Naturalism vs. Catholicism
Francis vs. Pope Pius XII:
The Fate of Aborted Infants
After the conclusion of World Youth Day in Panama City, Francis’ return flight to Rome came with the usual in-flight entertainment: questions from journalists and answers from Jorge Bergoglio. It’s a combination that in the past five-and-a-half years has led to numerous headlines that were often nothing less than scandalous because you never get more Modernism from this “Pope” than when he is off script and speaks his mind freely. His infamous “Who am I to judge?” came from his apostate lips during the first such press conference, on July 28, 2013.
The Argentinian pretend-pope’s latest off-the-cuff interview aboard Airhead One contained several objectionable remarks, but in this post we’ll only concern ourselves with one that came up in the context of abortion. Here is the entire exchange on the topic:
Q: During the Via Crucis [Stations of the Cross] there were very strong words on abortion. Do radical positions respect women?
A: The message of mercy is for all, also for the human person that is in gestation. After having committed this failure, there is mercy also. But it’s a difficult mercy because the problem isn’t to give forgiveness but to accompany a woman who has become conscious of having aborted. They are terrible dramas. Once I heard a doctor who spoke about a theory according to which a cell of the just-conceived foetus goes to the mother’s marrow and it receives there also a physical memory. This is a theory, but to say what a woman thinks about what she has done . . . I tell you the truth. It’s necessary to be in the confessional, and there you must give her consolation. Therefore, I have given the authority to absolve an abortion out of mercy, because many times they must meet with the child. Many times I counsel them when they have this anguish: “Your child is in Heaven. Talk with him. Sing to him the lullaby you were unable to sing to him.” And I found there is a way of reconciliation of the mother with the child. With God there is already forgiveness; God always forgives. But mercy, you must elaborate on this. To understand well the drama of abortion, one must be in a confessional.
(Source: “Holy Father’s In-flight Discussion with Reporters (Full Text)”, Zenit, Jan. 29, 2018; underlining added.)
Here “Pope” Francis is clearly asserting that aborted children go to Heaven. By saying this, he is implicity saying either that human beings are not conceived in original sin and therefore not deprived of sanctifying grace (Naturalism), or that sanctifying grace is not necessary to enter Heaven (Pelagianism).
Either of these assertions is heretical.
Let’s briefly review some doctrinal pronouncements on this:
“Original sin” is the hereditary but impersonal fault of Adam’s descendants, who have sinned in him (Rom. v. 12). It is the loss of grace, and therefore of eternal life, together with a propensity to evil, which everybody must, with the assistance of grace, penance, resistance and moral effort, repress and conquer. The passion and death of the Son of God has redeemed the world from the hereditary curse of sin and death. Faith in these truths … belongs to the inalienable treasury of Christian revelation.
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, n. 25)
By [Christ’s] death that bond of death introduced into all of us by Adam and transmitted to every soul, that bond contracted by propagation is broken, in which no one of our children is held not guilty until he is freed through baptism.
(Pope St. Zosimus, Epistle Tractatoria ad Orientalis Ecclesias, Denz. 109a)
“The punishment of original sin is deprivation of the vision of God….”
(Pope Innocent III, Apostolic Letter Ex Parte Tua; Denz. 410)
“…the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds.”
(Council of Florence, Bull Laetentur Coeli; Denz. 693)
“Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, when no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil and adopted among the sons of God, it advises that holy baptism ought not be deferred for forty or eighty days, or any time according to the observance of certain people….”
(Council of Florence, Bull Cantate Domino; Denz. 712; underlining added.)
“If anyone denies that infants newly born from their mothers’ wombs, are to be baptized, even though they be born of baptized parents, or says that they are baptized indeed for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam, which must be expiated by the laver of regeneration for the attainment of life everlasting, whence it follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins is understood to be not true, but false: let him be anathema. For what the Apostle has said: ‘By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned’ [Romans 5:12], is not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For by reason of this rule of faith from a tradition of the apostles even infants, who could not as yet commit any sins of themselves, are for this reason truly baptized for the remission of sins, so that in them there may be washed away by regeneration, what they have contracted by generation. ‘For unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ [John 3:5].”
(Council of Trent, Decree on Original Sin; Denz. 791)
“If anyone shall say that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation: let him be anathema.”
(Council of Trent, Canons on the Sacrament of Baptism, Canon 5; Denz. 861)
“Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism, we may easily understand how griveously those persons sin who permit them to remain without the grace of the Sacrament longer than necessity may require….”
(Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part II: The Sacraments: “The Sacrament of Baptism”; underlining added.)
“Baptism, the gateway and foundation of the Sacraments, actually or at least in desire is necessary for all for salvation….”
(1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 737 §1)
In a nutshell, the situation is this: From the very beginning when God created man, He ordered him to a supernatural end. This supernatural end is Eternal Beatitude, also called the Beatific Vision, the seeing of God as He is. Its attainment is the ultimate purpose of man’s existence and the reason why God created him. The Beatific Vision is the supreme happiness man can experience. In order to enable man to attain this end, God bestowed upon him, freely and without any kind of necessity, supernatural grace to make him just and holy. This grace is not part of his nature but perfects it. It raises man from the condition of being merely God’s creature to actually being God’s adopted child, worthy of the inheritance of the Beatific Vision (cf. Rom 8:17).
In the Garden of Eden, through the first sin of Adam, man lost the supernatural grace which made him holy and enabled him to eventually enjoy the Beatific Vision. As the physical head of the human race, Adam’s sin triggered the loss of this grace not only for himself but also for all of his descendants. To restore it was not within man’s power, and so a special Redeemer was needed, One who would offer a perfect sin-atoning Sacrifice to Almighty God and merit for man the grace of justification. Since man was unable to provide such a Redeemer, God Himself provided Him in Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate (see Is 35:4; Jn 1:1-17). Being true God, the merits of Christ’s Passion and Death would be infinite in value; being true man, His merits would truly redeem the human race. The sanctifying grace thus merited does not only remit sin, it also makes the souls to which it is applied, positively and supernaturally pleasing to God.
Only souls thus regenerated can be made partakers of the Beatific Vision because God, who is perfectly holy, cannot admit to Heaven souls that do not possess genuine holiness; and this holiness is lacking in any soul that is not in the state of sanctifying grace. Since a baby cannot receive sanctifying grace except through baptism, unbaptized babies who die cannot enter Heaven (being guilty of no personal sin but of original sin only, they go to a permanent place of natural happiness, which is typically called the Limbo of Infants and is thought to be situated on the edge of hell; cf. Denz. 1526).
Speaking to participants in the Congress of the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives, Pope Pius XII addressed this very point of the salvation of infants and the importance of baptizing newborns as soon as possible:
If what We have said up to now concerns the protection and care of natural life, much more so must it concern the supernatural life, which the newly born receives with Baptism. In the present economy there is no other way to communicate that life to the child who has not attained the use of reason. Above all, the state of grace is absolutely necessary at the moment of death. Without it salvation and supernatural happiness—the beatific vision of God—are impossible. An act of love is sufficient for the adult to obtain sanctifying grace and to supply the lack of baptism; to the still unborn or newly born this way is not open.
(Pope Pius XII, Address to Midwives on the Nature of their Profession, Oct. 29, 1951)
Could the Catholic position be any more clear? We have created a meme to illustrate Francis’ latest contradiction with the genuine Catholic Magisterium. You are welcome to share it on social media:
(click image for larger version)
Although an unbaptized adult who has the use of reason can, through perfect supernatural contrition, obtain justification through the so-called “baptism of desire”, this option is not available to babies — born or unborn — since, lacking the use of reason, they are incapable of acts of Faith, hope, or charity.
The Catholic teaching on the matter is really not complicated or difficult to understand. The key to it all is the dogmatic truth that no one is owed the Beatific Vision to begin with. Therefore, God is not unjust if He deprives those who die in original sin of Eternal Bliss.
That “Pope” Francis would say unbaptized children go to Heaven is not surprising at all. After all, Bergoglio is a Naturalist, and the denial of original sin is one of the fundamental components of Naturalism, which is also a bedrock principle of Freemasonry. In 1884, Pope Leo XIII wrote: “But the naturalists and Freemasons, having no faith in those things which we have learned by the revelation of God, deny that our first parents sinned…” (Encyclical Humanum Genus, n. 20). We also saw this Naturalism at work in Francis when he said last year that that “good atheists” go to Heaven.
The denial of original sin — a favorite also of “Pope Emeritus” Benedict XVI — is a most damnable heresy because it effectively dismantles the entire Catholic religion. If man is not conceived in and born with original sin (cf. Ps 50:7), then there is no need for sanctification and consequently no need for a Redeemer. The Christian religion thus becomes nothing more than a gigantic waste of time. This is also the reason why the Vatican II Sect places so much emphasis on the temporal world and its problems — from migration issues to climate change to sustainable farming and integral ecology. In the Novus Ordo Church, the supernatural has been subordinated to, and placed at the service of, the natural, especially in the pseudo-magisterium of Francis, which has replaced the true Gospel with what we call the “gospel of man”.
Modern man has long lost sight of his supernatural end and therefore seeks his happiness and salvation in the temporal world, which must of necessity pass away. Thus he squanders his life on things that can only bring him destruction: “For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting” (Gal 6:8).
Image sources: composite with elements from photopin.com (Catholic Church of England and Wales) and Wikimedia Commons / own creation with screenshot from Vatican News video
Licenses: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 and public domain / fair use