Advent sermon before Francis and Roman Curia
“Cardinal” Cantalamessa: “The Sacrament of Poverty is the Presence of Christ under the Species of the Suffering”
The apostate Fr. Cantalamessa on Dec. 18, 2020, teaching Francis and his henchmen
The 86-year-old Modernist apostate Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., who was made a fake cardinal by Francis on Nov. 28, 2020, has been the preacher of the “Papal” Household since 1980. As such, he is the only person in the Vatican II Church who is permitted to preach to the “Pope.” This he typically does twice a year, during Advent and Lent. He also has his own web site.
In a sense, Fr. Cantalamessa is the proto-Bergoglio, for as far back as 18 years ago he proposed the blasphemous idea that other religions “are not merely tolerated by God but positively willed by Him as an expression of the inexhaustible richness of His grace and His will for everyone to be saved” (Sermon of March 29, 2002). This is obviously outlandish and manifestly contrary even to right reason. It also incurs the anathema pronounced at the Council of Trent: “If anyone shall say that it is not in the power of man to make his ways evil, but that God produces the evil as well as the good works, not only by permission, but also properly and of Himself, so that the betrayal of Judas is no less His own proper work than the vocation of Paul: let him be anathema” (Session 6; Canon 6; Denz. 816).
By proposing his blasphemous thesis back in 2002 (in the presence of “Saint” John Paul II, we might add), Cantalamessa beat Francis to the punch by 17 years! After all, “Pope” Francis has himself propagated this false belief, beginning in February of 2019, when he signed the Declaration on Human Fraternity together with a Muslim imam in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:
- Apostasy in Abu Dhabi: Francis says God wills Diversity of Religions
- Ark of Apostasy: Why Francis’ Interreligious Fraternity Document does Not Admit of an Orthodox Interpretation
- Francis lies to Athanasius Schneider, tells him he meant God wills Diversity of Religions merely Permissively
- One Year Later: The Apostate Abu Dhabi Declaration on Human Fraternity
- Naturalism at Full Blast: Francis on the Existence of All Religions
- Francis to Interreligious Youth in Mozambique: “Our Differences are Necessary”
Ordained on Oct. 19, 1958, Fr. Cantalamessa is a valid priest, but he is not a Catholic, being a public apostate:
Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed…. For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, nn. 22-23; underlining added.)
On Dec. 18, 2020, Cantalamessa gave the last of three Advent sermons to the Roman Curia, including “Pope” Francis (video here). One does not have to read far to discover that the preacher is a Modernist, for early on in his lecture, he brazenly exclaims: “We need to rediscover the primeval and simple meaning of the incarnation of the Word, beyond all the theological explanations and dogmas built on it.”
The notion that Catholic dogma is “built on” a mystery of the Faith, as though it were merely a human construct added on top of mystery itself, rather than being its accurate theological expression, is characteristic of Modernism. Cantalamessa’s statement is dripping with the contempt so typical of the adherents of the Neo-Modernist Nouvelle Théologie (New Theology) condemned by Pope Pius XII in his masterful encyclical Humani Generis. Indeed, what he expresses seems to be precisely the following error reproved by Pope St. Pius X: “The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort” (Decree Lamentabili Sane, n. 22).
Cantalamessa’s assertion also reeks of the following idea rejected by Pius XII:
In theology some want to reduce to a minimum the meaning of dogmas; and to free dogma itself from terminology long established in the Church and from philosophical concepts held by Catholic teachers, to bring about a return in the explanation of Catholic doctrine to the way of speaking used in Holy Scripture and by the Fathers of the Church.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Humani Generis, n. 14)
A return to the language and terminology of Sacred Scripture and the Church Fathers for theological discourse, is a hallmark of the Novus Ordo religion. Although one might first wonder why it should be a bad thing to use biblical and patristic expressions, the fact is simply that this terminology is too imprecise and ambiguous for theological discourse. The Church has refined her theological language over nineteen centuries by developing precise definitions of terms, and she has done so for good reason.
For instance, one would look in vain for expressions such as Trinity, original sin, limbo, purgatory, homoousion, sanctifying grace, infallibility, supernatural, or Immaculate Conception in the Bible, yet they are all essential to understanding correctly what the Bible teaches. Terms such as salvation, love, faith, or saints are found in abundance in the sacred text, and yet they can be understood in different ways with varying meaning depending on the context; for which reason Holy Mother Church has provided magisterial guidance by strictly defining terms and adding supplementary terminology throughout her history.
In no wise does this mean to cast doubt or blemish on the Word of God. On the contrary, Holy Writ itself implies theological refinement and development over time:
He said therefore: To what is the kingdom of God like, and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and cast into his garden, and it grew and became a great tree, and the birds of the air lodged in the branches thereof. (Lk 13:18-19)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you. (Jn 16:13)
And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest? Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:30-31)
To a Catholic, none of this is a problem, for Christ founded His Church on the rock of St. Peter (see Mt 16:18-19) as “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). He endowed those He sent with His authority: “He that heareth you, heareth me…” (Lk 10:16).
The question that inevitably presents itself, then, is why the Modernists have an interest in returning to the language of the Bible. How is it that the very same people who have been telling us since the 1960s that “there is no going backwards” for the Church because “you can’t turn back the clock”, nevertheless insist on going back to an undeveloped and therefore vague and ambiguous way of speaking. What is their motivation? Are they trying to be “traditional”?
Hardly. Rather, they have been advocating a return to a biblical or patristic way of speaking because this allows them to get around the Church’s subsequently-given strict theological terminology and the precise doctrinal content that is contained in or attached to it. This, in turn, allows them to hijack the inchoate words and phrases and put their own spin on them for the introduction of countless novelties, heresies, and other errors. And that is precisely what we have seen since the Nouvelle Théologie emerged in the 1930s and became the official theology of the Counterfeit Church at Vatican II. The devastated Catholic vineyard we encounter today is its ripest fruit.
Antipope Francis listens intently as Fr. Cantalamessa confirms him in his errors
Although much of what Cantalamessa says in his Advent lecture is true and good, he also drops a few bombshells that, at the very least, offend pious ears and warm the hearts of the supporters of Liberation Theology. For example, the apostate Capuchin asserts:
It is helpful to provide a Biblical and theological foundation on the preferential choice for the poor, as proclaimed in the Second Vatican Council. As Jean Guitton, a layman who attended the Second Vatican Council as an observer, wrote: ‘The Council Fathers have rediscovered the sacrament of poverty, that is the presence of Christ under the species of those who suffer.’
The ‘sacrament’ of poverty! These are strong words, but they are well-founded. If indeed, by the fact of the incarnation, the Word has, in a certain way, taken upon himself every man (as some Greek fathers claimed), as for the way it was enacted, he took upon himself the poor, the humble, the suffering. The “institution” of this sign by Jesus matched his institution of the Eucharist. He who said on the bread: ‘This is my body’ used the same words about the poor as well. He did so when he was speaking about what people did – or failed to do – for those who were hungry, or thirsty, or in prison, or naked or strangers, by solemnly adding: ‘whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’ and ‘what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me’ (Mt 25:31ff.).
(Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., “He Made His Dwelling Among Us – Third Homily of Advent 2020”, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Dec. 18, 2020; underlining added.)
Here we witness how Novus Ordo Modernists like to exaggerate or otherwise distort certain truths to the detriment of other, often more important truths.
It is certainly true that Our Blessed Lord has a certain preference for that which is lowly, humble, poor, and rejected. The very fact that God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, took on a human nature (cf. Phil 2:7; 2 Cor 8:9) so He could suffer and die for men, proves this truth. That He chose to be born in a crib at a stable in Bethlehem under the most humiliating conditions, lived a hidden life in Nazareth for 30 years, etc., underscores it further.
But the Liberation Theology preached by “Pope” Francis and his willing accomplices, such as Fr. Cantalamessa, does much more than acknowledge, reflect on, and draw consequences from this important reality. It distorts truth by exaggerating it, misapplying it, and drawing consequences that go beyond what is warranted. Poverty is not a sacrament, and to use language suggesting that it is, is theologically dangerous, especially in our times.
Let us consider some of the absurdities that result from this quasi-deification of the poor.
For instance, in his hellish
encyclical screed Laudato Si’, Francis claims: “Just as [the Blessed Virgin Mary’s] pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power” (n. 241; underlining added). There is absolutely no reason to speak of the poor as being “crucified” — except, as Francis does, to blasphemously try to deify them by turning them into a victim for sin, a kind of Second Incarnation of Christ. (Interestingly enough, Bergoglio never says that Our Lady grieves for souls being lost or the Faith being abandoned — his thoughts always center on what is earthly and temporal. But this just as an aside.)
With such a theology, is it any wonder that Francis would call on his adherents to kneel before the poor?! This he said in a video message released on Apr. 28, 2015: “How I would like, when a poor person enters the church, that prayerful parish communities would kneel in veneration in the same manner as when the Lord enters! How I would like this, that we touch the flesh of Christ present in the poor of this city!” On May 23, 2019, Bergoglio pushed the envelope even further when he proclaimed: “It helps us to be before the Tabernacle and before the many living tabernacles that are the poor. The Eucharist and the poor, fixed Tabernacle and mobile tabernacles: there one abides in love and absorbs the mentality of the broken Bread.”
Thus, while the Lord Jesus Christ casually gets demoted to “broken Bread” (a common theme for the false pope), the poor become practically divine, with their own tabernacles — not on account of any likeness to God through grace, but simply on account of not possessing much. “Worthy of honor are the poor who fear God“, Pope Pius XII wrote by contrast, “because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven and because they readily abound in spiritual graces” (Encyclical Sertum Laetitiae, n. 34; underlining added; cf. Rom 13:7; Mt 5:3).
Typically, the Modernists’ over-emphasis on the presence of Christ in the poor, the sick, the hungry, etc., comes at the expense (or great de-emphasis) of the entirely unique real and substantial Presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. And that is exactly what we see in Francis. He calls the poor “a real presence of Jesus in our midst” and “mobile tabernacles” before whom we should kneel — yet when it comes to the (invalid Novus Ordo version of) the Blessed Sacrament, he hands it out like popcorn and refuses to kneel before it. Any questions?
There is another favorite thesis of Liberation Theology that is often offered alongside the quasi-deification of the poor: We are talking about “Mother Earth”, oppressed and “crying out” for help. Indeed, Francis has written: “The wounds inflicted on our mother earth are wounds that also bleed in us…. Recently we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, which drew attention to the cry that mother earth lifts up to us” (see “Holy Father’s Letter on World Environment Day”, Zenit, June 5, 2020). If you figure that it shouldn’t be long now before we hear of the “Crucified Earth”, you are a bit late to the party: “The crucifixion of the earth is the unsustainable exploitation of our planet in the interests of profit and greed”, proclaim the Novus Ordo Passionists, although not (yet) Francis himself.
It should be clear that this blasphemous language not only dilutes the unique and unrepeatable Crucifixion of Christ for our Redemption, it also deifies human nature and all of creation so that in the end, it is no longer the Crucified God whom we adore but “crucified” creatures — above all, man himself. And thus is fulfilled what we read in the Epistles of St. Paul:
And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Rom 1:23-25)
Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. (2 Thess 2:3-4)
That is not to say that we ought not to have a special love for the poor and lowly.
In fact, Fr. Frederick Faber, with the approval of Pope Pius IX, used some very strong language in regard to Christ’s presence in the poor; but he also distinguished it quite unambiguously from the sacrament of His real and substantial Presence in the Holy Eucharist:
Jesus is with us still. … It is the end [=purpose] of the Blessed Sacrament to make Jesus present to us, and miraculously to multiply His presence. The Sacraments, as theology calls them, are the actions of Christ: the Blessed Sacrament is the living Christ Himself. … No more amazing continuation of His Thirty-three Years can be imagined. Indeed no created intelligence could have imagined one so amazing. But His love covers the whole ground of creation; and He felt that this invisible dwelling with us was not enough. All ministries to the Blessed Sacrament must of necessity be adorations; and man’s power of actual worship is intermitting. Our poor hearts wish to be always adoring the Blessed Sacrament; but the strain would be excessive.
…[O]ur love needs more than this. Our souls have cravings which must be satisfied. Our life is very much a life of matter, sense, and outward things. In the Blessed Sacrament Jesus is invisible. So far therefore we are not so well off as they were of old that conversed with Him in Judea. … The Blessed Sacrament is better in many ways. To use our Lord’s own word, His invisible presence was “more expedient.” But the visible Jesus was in some ways sweeter, in some ways dearer. We cannot help but feel this; yet we should be surprised how Jesus has made the loss up to us, were it not that such repeated experience of His love has made us cease to be surprised at anything He does.
Shall a soul know of a way in which it can love Jesus, and not burn to love Him in it? Shall a soul know of a way in which it can love Jesus, and yet find that Jesus has made no provision for it to love Him in that way? He knew that, when once the love of Him had taken possession of our hearts and had gained delightful mastery there, we should long to minister to Him by our outward lives, to accumulate upon Him endless tokens of our affection, to wreak upon Him these contrivances and endearment of which the heart can be so fertile when it pleases. His infinite wisdom is always the handmaid of His infinite compassion. He looked out into His creation to find a fitting representative of His own blessed Self…. The Creator chose the Poor. When He was about to come on earth, He chose poverty for His own lot, for the condition of His own private life. Now, when He has hidden His Face from us in the clouds of heaven, He chooses the Poor to represent Him, and to carry on for our sakes all those occasions of worship and opportunities of sanctity, which belonged to the Three-and-Thirty Years. Hence it is that the Church has always clung to the Poor, as Mary clung in the cold and the dark and the wet to the Babe of Bethlehem. Hence it is that generous outgoings to the Poor are the infallible measure of our inward love of Jesus, and that spirituality is hindered from deceiving itself by being able always to test its own reality by the abundance of its alms. What a revelation of Jesus is His choice of the Poor!
(Rev. Frederick William Faber, Devotion to the Pope [London: Thomas Richardson and Son, 1860], pp. 10-13)
To give this a bit fuller context: Fr. Faber argues in his sermon that, although the Blessed Sacrament is the living, substantial, and true Presence of Christ in an invisible way, and entirely unique, Christ has chosen three “visible” ways to remain with us until He returns in glory: He is with us in the Poor, in Children, and in the Roman Pontiff. That is his thesis, and Pope Pius IX was pleased with it.
Yet, we find no talk at all in Fr. Faber’s sermon that we ought to “kneel” before the poor, that they are “mobile tabernacles”, or that poverty is a “sacrament”. Cantalamessa, Francis, and their ilk go far beyond what is theologically warranted. Besides, as we have seen, the Modernists’ over-emphasis on poverty comes at the expense of reverence towards, and adoration of, the Blessed Sacrament.
Jean Guitton‘s statement that the bishops who attended Vatican II “have rediscovered the sacrament of poverty”, therefore, is offensive regardless of how one looks at it. For if he meant that the bishops happily rediscovered an exaggerated notion of poverty, his words are blasphemous; and if he merely meant that the Church had rediscovered her solicitude for the poor, then his words are offensive as well, for he would be saying that the Church had not cared for the poor until Vatican II “rediscovered” that apostolate — a blatant lie.
In 1878, for instance, Pope Leo XIII wrote in an encyclical against Socialism:
But not the less on this account does our holy Mother not neglect the care of the poor or omit to provide for their necessities; but, rather, drawing them to her with a mother’s embrace, and knowing that they bear the person of Christ Himself, who regards the smallest gift to the poor as a benefit conferred on Himself, holds them in great honor. She does all she can to help them; she provides homes and hospitals where they may be received, nourished, and cared for all the world over and watches over these. She is constantly pressing on the rich that most grave precept to give what remains to the poor; and she holds over their heads the divine sentence that unless they succor the needy they will be repaid by eternal torments. In fine, she does all she can to relieve and comfort the poor, either by holding up to them the example of Christ, “who being rich became poor for our sake”, or by reminding them of his own words, wherein he pronounced the poor blessed and bade them hope for the reward of eternal bliss. But who does not see that this is the best method of arranging the old struggle between the rich and poor?
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, n. 9)
Or consider the beautiful words of Pope Pius XII in 1939, addressed to the bishops of the United States:
No less vigorous among you are those works of zeal which are organized for the benefit of the children of the Church within the confines of your country: the diocesan charity offices, with their wise and practical organization, by means of the parish priests and through the labors of the religious institutes, bring to the poor, to the needy and to the sick the gifts of Christian mercy and relief from misery. In carrying on this most important ministry the sweet discerning eyes of faith see Christ present in the poor and afflicted who are the mystic suffering members of the Most Benign Redeemer.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Sertum Laetitiae, n. 11)
In his 1943 encyclical on the Church, the same Pope wrote:
If the faithful strive to live in a spirit of lively faith, they will not only pay due honor and reverence to the more exalted members of this Mystical Body, especially those who according to Christ’s mandate will have to render an account of our souls, but they will take to their hearts those members who are the object of our Savior’s special love: the weak, We mean, the wounded, and the sick who are in need of material or spiritual assistance; children whose innocence is so easily exposed to danger in these days, and whose young hearts can be molded as wax; and finally the poor, in helping whom we recognize, as it were, through His supreme mercy, the very person of Jesus Christ.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 93)
Was Guitton really suggesting that the Church had not been caring for the poor until Vatican II came around?
Hardly. No, what he meant must have been something else, and that is precisely the point: He was proposing that Vatican II gave the impetus to an exaggerated notion of poverty and the poor, which is precisely what we have seen since in Liberation Theology and other theological aberrations.
The excessive importance given to the corporal works of mercy we have been seeing from the Vatican II Sect since the 1960s easily lends itself to the heresy of Naturalism because the one-sided emphasis on the body eclipses the spiritual works of mercy and the importance of the soul. Besides, it fosters the heresy of Indifferentism because it makes it seem as though the essence, or at least the primary purpose, of religion were the provision of temporal assistance to the needy: “This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained” (Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical Mirari Vos, n. 13).
“For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always”, Our Lord responded to Judas when the latter was inquiring about St. Mary Magdalen’s “waste” of the precious spikenard (see Jn 12:1-11). This declaration of Our Lord’s is such a rebuke to Francis’ obsession about the poor that the antipope had to brazenly distort its meaning when he preached about it during Holy Week of 2020.
We return to Fr. Cantalamessa’s scandalous meditation. Towards the end he kicks things up a notch by extending his exaggerated veneration of the poor to an ecclesiological level, making them all part of the Church indiscriminately:
Let us draw the consequence of this at an ecclesiological level. Saint John XXIII, at the Second Vatican Council itself, coined the phrase ‘the Church of the poor.’ Its meaning goes well beyond the usual interpretation. The Church of the poor does not consist only of the poor within the Church itself! In a certain sense, all the poor of the world belong to it, whether they are baptized or not. Some object: ‘How come? They have not received the faith or received Baptism!” That is true, but neither had the Holy Innocents whom we celebrate after Christmas. In God’s eyes, their poverty and suffering, if it is free from guilt, is their own baptism of blood. God has many more ways of saving than those we imagine, even though all these ways, without exception and ‘in a way that is known to God alone,’ pass through Christ.
And there we have the heresy of Universalism, at least as regards the poor — salvation by suffering material poverty! Not only is poverty a sacrament now, it is, as it were, a “super-sacrament”, a guaranteed ticket to Heaven, as long as one’s condition is “free from guilt”! See how the New Theology of these Modernists ultimately dissolves all Catholic dogma and divine revelation. What becomes of Faith? What of sanctifying grace? What of self-denial, taking up one’s Cross, and following Jesus? What of the Ten Commandments?
“It is not enough to be a member of the Church of Christ”, Pope Pius XI reminded the faithful, “one needs to be a living member, in spirit and in truth, i.e., living in the state of grace and in the presence of God, either in innocence or in sincere repentance” (Encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, n. 19). Physical poverty is not of itself a sign of predestination, for God is not a respecter of persons: “Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to His word” (Mit Brennender, n. 10; cf. Acts 10:34).
The Capuchin apostate then backtracks a little: “This does not mean that it is enough to be poor in this world to automatically enter God’s final kingdom. The words: ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father,’ (Mt 25:34) are addressed to those who took care of the poor, not necessarily to the poor themselves simply because they were materially poor in their lives.” No kidding! So then, what does it mean? Cantalamessa said that “all the poor of the world belong” to the Church “in a certain sense”, but then he does not explain in what sense. Of course it is nonsense. And although he did not say that all the poor will go to Heaven, he did say that all the poor who are without means through no fault of their own will be saved.
Cantalamessa’s remarks reflect the heresy of Naturalism. He identifies an entire class of people as belonging to Christ without any kind of supernatural bond. Being “guiltless” in one’s descent into poverty is not a supernatural bond, it is simply the absence of culpability regarding a temporal state of affairs. This he then raises to the level of Baptism of Blood — a claim that is as ridiculous as it is outrageous. Baptism of Blood is martyrdom suffered by an unbaptized person who possesses the virtues of Faith and hope and — through His willing death for Christ — also that of perfect charity. It regenerates the soul and establishes a supernatural bond attaching him to the Mystical Body of Christ.
The Modernist pseudo-cardinal’s appeal to the Holy Innocents is specious. “They died for Jesus’ sake — therefore, their death was a real Martyrdom…”, writes Abbot Prosper Guéranger in his celebrated collection The Liturgical Year (Vol. 2: Christmas Vol. I, 2nd ed. [Dublin: James Duffy and Sons, 1886], p. 311). What does that have to do with those poor who have neither Faith, nor hope, nor charity (who are obviously included in “all the poor of the world”)?
The Holy Innocents are somewhat of a unique case in Church history. They died, of course, under the Old Covenant, but their baptism was a real Baptism of Blood. Their case cannot be extended, as Fr. Cantalamessa tries to do, to all kinds of suffering adults (or children) who have not received baptism: “Yes, God did for these Innocents, who were immolated on his Son’s account, what he is doing every moment now by the sacrament of regeneration [=baptism], in the case of children, who die before coming to the use of reason” (Guéranger, p. 312). In other words, the Holy Innocents received the equivalent of the sacrament of baptism that the Church confers on infants in the New Covenant. Theirs was a unique privilege of literally dying in Christ’s stead. St. Thomas Aquinas even mentions that “[s]ome have said that in the case of the Innocents the use of their free will was miraculously accelerated, so that they suffered martyrdom even voluntarily” (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 124, a. 1, ad 1), but he does not make this argument himself since there is no proof for it.
The New Theology is a ticking time bomb. As absurd as Cantalamessa’s argumentation is, one can take it further still. Why stop at the poor? In Matthew 25:35-40,42-45, Christ also mentions the sick, the imprisoned, and the stranger without a home. In fact, since our Blessed Lord identifies Himself with the “least” (v. 45), a Jesuit or a Capuchin could easily argue that anyone who is somehow “marginalized” is really part of the Church and also baptized in his own blood precisely because of this “marginalization”. You know, a kind of “social crucifixion”! In the current climate, that would surely include the sodomite, the transgender, the vegan, the migrant, the unemployed, etc. Where does it end?
What Francis and Cantalamessa preach is a kind of passive Pelagianism (salvation by works apart from grace) — “passive” in the sense that the subject doesn’t even have to do anything himself, he merely has to be treated a certain way. But that is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The Modernists themselves don’t even believe what they’re preaching, because if poverty were such a great sacrament, all but guaranteeing entrace into Eternal Life even for those who do not believe in Christ (cf. Heb 11:6), then why are they always working to eradicate it? Wouldn’t that be a tremendously uncharitable thing to do, depriving so many people of a sure way to Heaven?
Of course we know that these people do not really believe in Heaven. They believe in a heaven on earth, their “common home”, as Francis calls it in Laudato Si’ (n. 1); and that is why they are more concerned about the body than about the soul: “Perdition is the end that awaits them, their own hungry bellies are the god they worship, their own shameful doings are their pride; their minds are set on the things of earth; whereas we find our true home in heaven…” (Phil 3:19-20; Knox translation).
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