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At the daily ding-dong school of apostasy…

On Gospel Text forbidding Adultery, Francis denounces “Casuistry”

To ensure that no word of Jesus Christ will ever go understood correctly again, “Pope” Francis has been on an unrelenting diabolical mission of twisting Scriptural texts as they come up each day in the Novus Ordo lectionary. Since his installation in 2013, the Casa Santa Marta’s most obnoxious squatter has been distorting biblical passages on a daily basis to advance his very own personal “gospel”, one in which we hear an awful lot about this world, especially the poor and the suffering, but next to nothing about the importance of the afterlife, the soul, grace, justification, faith, the rights and dignity of God, etc.

Before we take a look at what Francis inflicted on his hapless hearers today, Feb. 24, let’s review the Gospel passage on which he preached. The Novus Ordo Gospel reading for the day was Mark 10:1-12:

And rising up from thence, [Jesus] cometh into the coasts of Judea beyond the Jordan: and the multitudes flock to him again. And as he was accustomed, he taught them again. And the Pharisees coming to him asked him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. But he answering, saith to them: What did Moses command you? Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce, and to put her away. To whom Jesus answering, said: Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you that precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house again his disciples asked him concerning the same thing. And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

This is really not a very difficult text to comprehend. It is rather black and white, even “rigid.” The only “problem” with it, for Francis, is that it is a scathing rebuke of his own heretical theology that permits adultery and even makes it into a moral imperative at times (see Amoris Laetitia, n. 303).

How was Francis going to get around this divine refutation of his own wicked heresy? Although we don’t have the verbatim text of Francis’ entire homily, we do have the following summary with substantial quotes, as reported by Crux:

Reflecting on divorce and remarriage on Friday, perhaps the key issue in debates over his document on the family Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis said the key is to hold justice and mercy together, not becoming obsessed with the fine points of legal interpretation. The pontiff’s remarks came during his morning homily in the chapel at the Domus Santa Marta, the Vatican residence where he lives, and were prompted by the day’s Gospel passage in which Jesus responds to legal scholars asking him about the rules for divorce.

The pope said Jesus “doesn’t respond as to whether it’s licit or not; he doesn’t enter into casuistic logic,” using a term from moral theology referring to the application of broad principles to concrete cases. Francis, however, appeared to be using the term “casuistry” not in that sense, but rather as a synonym for a legalistic approach to interpreting God’s will.

“They thought about the faith only in terms of ‘you can’ or ‘you can’t, up to what point you can’t [sic] and at what point you can’t’,” Francis said, referring to the legal scholars. “Jesus always speaks the truth,” Francis said, “and explains things as they were created.” For that reason, Francis said, Jesus said bluntly to his disciples: “Whoever repudiates his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if the wife repudiates her husband and marries another commits adultery.” Jesus spoke, he said, “without casuistry, and without permissions.” Francis then asked, if it’s true that Jesus defined adultery as a grave sin, how is it possible that Jesus also spoke with an adulterer and said to her at one point, “I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more?” “The path of Jesus, and we see this clearly, is a journey from casuistry to truth and mercy,” Francis said. “Jesus sets aside casuistry,” Francis said. “To those who want to test him, those who thinks in terms of the logic of ‘can or can’t,’ he describes them – not here, but in other passages of the Gospel – as ‘hypocrites.’”

According to Pope Francis, it’s not careful legal reasoning but the integration of mercy and justice that marks the path of Christ. “When temptation touches the heart, this path of exiting from casuistry to truth and mercy isn’t easy, it needs the grace of God so we can go forward in that direction,” Francis said. “A casuistic mentality would ask, ‘What’s more important to God, justice or mercy?’ That’s a sick way of thinking,” Francis said. “There aren’t two things, only one. For God, justice is mercy and mercy is justice.” “The Lord helps us understand this path, which isn’t easy, but it will make us happy, and will make lots of people happy,” he said.

(“On divorce/remarriage, Pope says keep justice and mercy together”, Crux, Feb. 24, 2017; paragraph breaks condensed.)

So we can see that Francis gets around Christ’s condemnation of his own heresy by pretending that Christ’s teaching is actually his (Francis’), and throwing a canard about “casuistry” into the mix so as to distract his listeners.

Now let’s take this sophistry apart.

First, when one reads the Gospel text, as quoted above, it becomes very clear that the teaching of our Lord is not difficult to understand. Francis claims that Christ “doesn’t respond as to whether it’s licit or not” for a man to divorce his wife and marry another, but that’s simply a lie. Our Lord does respond. He says no, it is not licit — no other conclusion from His words is possible: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder…. Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her” (Mk 10:9,11).

Yet Francis, being the demagogue that he is and always trying to come up with fake support from Scripture for his own false and perverted gospel, tries to make it seem as though simply asking the question is a matter of “casuistic logic” — as though there were something inherently wrong with the question of whether divorce and remarriage are permitted or condemned. That’s not “casuistry” (in the pejorative sense Francis tries to assign to it), it’s a completely normal and legitimate question in moral theology. Notice that our Lord does not object to the question and does not criticize the Pharisees for posing it. It is only Francis who claims that there is something wrong with even asking about this.

Our Lord does criticize the Pharisees for something, and curiously enough it’s the one thing Francis completely glances over in his homily: Christ criticized the Pharisees for permitting divorce and remarriage! Moses, Jesus makes clear, only permitted it under the old law because of their hardness of heart (see Mk 10:5). But now that our Lord has ushered in the dispensation of grace and mercy, divorce and remarriage are once again forbidden — the very opposite of what Francis would have you believe — thus restoring the original design of God, “from the beginning of creation” (v. 6).

As usual, Francis’ words do not make a whole lot of sense and are clearly geared only towards one thing: condemnation of “casuistry”, one of his favorite topics to rail against (as he did in a Q&A on Oct. 24, 2016). Yet it is precisely this “casuistry”, this rigid black-and-white thinking that permits and forbids, that is exhibited by our Lord Jesus Christ in this Gospel passage, for the divine teaching clearly states that adultery is forbidden, and this is presented not as an “ideal” for which we “should” strive but as a moral absolute that admits of no exceptions.

Now let’s recall what Francis stated last November:

In education we are used to dealing with black and white formulas, but not with the grey areas of life. And what matters is life, not formulas. We must grow in discernment. The logic of black and white can lead to abstract casuistry. Discernment, meanwhile, means moving forward through the grey of life according to the will of God. And the will of God is to be sought according to the true doctrine of the Gospel and not in the rigidity of an abstract doctrine.

(from Q&A with Francis, Nov. 25, 2016; excerpted here)

This is nothing but Modernist feel-good drivel easily refuted by a brief glance at the Gospel text. The words of our Lord on adultery are rigid and black-and-white. They are, if you will, precisely a “formula”: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” This is the true doctrine of the Gospel. It is precisely a logic of “can/cannot”. There is nothing “grey” here that changes depending on what you “discern” while “moving forward” in the flow of “life”.

Ah! But then why, if adultery is a sin, does Christ offer forgiveness for it elsewhere? Obviously because Christ came to redeem us and forgive us our sins if we are truly contrite! “Be it known therefore to you, men, brethren, that through him forgiveness of sins is preached to you: and from all the things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38). There is no “setting aside casuistry” or “moving from casuistry to truth and mercy.” It’s simply a matter of generously forgiving a grave wrong that had been committed. But the wrong remains a wrong; the “cannot” remains forbidden. This isn’t legalism. This is the Gospel.

Contrary to the impression he likes to give, it is actually Francis who is the Pharisee in all this. The holy doctrine of Jesus Christ is simple, beautiful, coherent, challenging, and binding. But to Francis and his Modernist cohort, the Gospel truth is a “stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal” (1 Pet 2:8), a “hard saying” which one “cannot accept” (Jn 6:61). Under the guise of false mercy, he and his ilk obfuscate and distort the saving truth of our Lord into a false doctrine that pleases the ears of the masses (cf. 2 Tim 4:3), while in the same breath condemning the true doctrine of Christ as pharisaical.

There is a very hot place in hell for people like that.