I can’t believe it’s not adultery…
Is it Adultery? In Portugal, YOU Decide!
Roughly two weeks ago, the Vatican’s no. 2 in command, Secretary of State “Cardinal” Pietro Parolin, stated that with Francis’ infernal exhortation Amoris Laetitia, there had been introduced a “paradigm shift”. Although he cleverly chose not to elaborate on this concept, we are beginning to see precisely that: a shift from objective moral norms to situation ethics, according to which each individual decides what is right and wrong for his particular “concrete” case.
No matter the verbal contortions and the lipservice being paid to objective morality, it is clear that a subjective, individualized pseudo-morality is precisely what is intended with Bergoglio’s paradigm shift. We see this in the deliberately vague and ambiguous language used in the document itself, together with what ought to be said that is left unsaid; we see it in what is said behind closed doors; we see it in the refusal to clarify; we see it in the utter chaos that has erupted that Francis could end at any moment but chooses not to; we see it in the example the “Pope” himself gives in “blessing” adulterous unions; we see it in the praise and acceptance of those who draw the intended conclusions; and we see it in the toleration of and refusal to contradict those who take the principles a step further to argue that mortal sin may sometimes be not only permissible but even obligatory to commit.
It is no accident that Pope St. Pius X, in warning against the Modernists, identified them as “the enemies of the Church” on account of not only “their tenets” but also “their manner of speech, and their action” (Encyclical Pascendi, n. 3). This is very important: Not only must we look at what they say but also how they say it, and what they do. If we apply this method to Francis, it does not take long to conclude that he is, in the words of Pope Pius X, among “the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church” (ibid.).
The latest news on the Amoris Laetitia kerfuffle comes from the Novus Ordo archdiocese of Braga, Portugal. On Jan. 17, 2018 its leader, “Abp.” Jorge Ferreira da Costa Ortiga, announced details concerning the implementation of Amoris Laetitia in his diocese at a press conference: The diocese has launched an “Office for Welcoming and Support to the Family” and issued two documents to put Amoris Laetitia into effect. Although these two documents are not yet available in English, a transcript of Ortiga’s presentation was released by the diocese in both the original Portuguese and in English translation:
- “Abp.” Ortiga’s Presentation: “Criteria for running the Archdiocesan Service for Reception and Support to the Family”
- “Abp.” Ortiga’s Presentation: “Critérios para o funcionamento do Serviço Arquidiocesano de Acolhimento e Apoio à Família”
- Announcement: “Archdiocesan Office for Welcoming and Support to the Family”
- Document: “Construir a Casa sobre a Rocha”
- Document: “Documento Orientador da Pastoral Familiar”
The most salient and explosive part of Fr. Ortiga’s presentation is the following:
We believe in the methodology’s soundness proposed by Pope Francis: to accompany, discern and to integrate. This means that couples have to be ready, for example, to accept that there are no pre- conceived answers or previously defined goals. If this were not the case, there would be nothing to discern. The couple of “remarried divorcees” and the spiritual director must accept that it isn’t a process to guarantee access to the sacraments, but rather a spiritual way to seek God’s will.
After several steps and a course of a few months, it will ultimately be up to the couple to take the decision before God. The spiritual director is responsible for monitoring the process and ensure that it runs with complete normality. As Pope Francisco says, “we are called to form consciences, not to replace them” (AL 37).
It’s not a matter of granting a general “authorization” to access the sacraments, but of a process of personal discernment, of the internal forum, accompanied by a pastor with regular meetings. This priest will help in the process of discernment in the light of the Church’s teaching.
(Archdiocese of Braga, “Criteria for running the Archdiocesan Service for Reception and Support to the Family”, n. 3; underlining added.)
All the fluffy verbiage found in the pretend-Archbishop’s speech is intended to make this all-determining “discernment process” look profoundly spiritual and doctrinally sound. However, it does not take a prophet to predict that the reality of it all will simply be this: The “irregular” couples will end up reading a bunch of boring documents, they will say some prayers, they will talk with the pastor and probably a few lay “counselors” — and ultimately they will all “discern” that in their particular case, there is no adultery; or even if there is, they can continue engaging in sexual relations because “for now [that] is the most generous response which can be given to God” and in fact “is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of [their] limits” (Antipope Francis, Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 303). This will happen probably without a single exception.
By the way, what if the two “irregular” parties come to opposite conclusions in their discernment? It seems no one has thought of that scenario at all, but why not? Could it be that we all know that everyone will always “discern” the same thing, namely, that they can keep having relations? Perish the thought!
In any case, no matter what is actually discerned, this internal-forum process is contrary to the dogmatic decree of the Council of Trent: “If anyone says that matrimonial causes do not belong to ecclesiastical judges: let him be anathema” (Session 24, Canon XII; Denz. 982). It is a real shame that Pope Pius IV, who promulgated this Tridentine anathema, didn’t know about the panacean internal forum solution! Had this been known then, it would have saved King Henry VIII and Pope Clement VII a lot of trouble — and St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More a few heads!
Ironically, Fr. Ortiga has it exactly right when he says that if “there are no pre-conceived answers or previously defined goals”, then “there would be nothing to discern.” And that is precisely the case: There is nothing to discern because there are pre-conceived answers. They are the answers of the objective moral law, which is applicable at all times and everywhere, equally to all; all consciences must conform to it, and if they do not, then those consciences must indeed be “replaced”. Sometimes the truth is as simple and dull as: “…he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband” (Jn 4:18).
In his role as “Archbishop” of Braga, Fr. Ortiga is also the Primate of All Portugal. Whether the Bergoglio-Ortiga process will soon be adopted throughout the rest of the nation remains to be seen, but for now, it most certainly applies to the territory over which “Abp.” Ortiga wields his putative authority.
Ladies and gentlemen, ask yourselves: Is your carnal union matrimonial, blessed by God, and therefore an aid to your eternal salvation? Or is it adulterous, mortally sinful, and therefore putting you on the path to hell? In the Modernist archdiocese of Braga, you decide!