Typical Bergoglian blather…
Francis at Audience: We must observe the Commandments Not to be Justified but to Aid the Encounter with Christ!
Jorge Bergoglio, alias “Pope Francis”, on Aug. 18, 2021
The walking theological train wreck known as “Pope Francis” (Jorge Bergoglio) has struck again.
This past Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, it was time again for the weekly General Audience. In his catechetical address (video here), Francis continued his “explanation” of St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, this time on the purpose of the Mosaic Law in preparing God’s people for the grace and freedom of the New Law that is the Gospel.
In the past, Bergoglio has not been shy about his theological predilection for Lutheranism. At the same time, he has also demonstrated that has a soft spot for the heresy of Pelagianism. The fact that these heresies are not compatible does not bother Francis. The important thing to him is not teaching Catholicism.
Depending on whom he is addressing and in which circumstances he is speaking, the Jesuit usurper of the papal throne will adjust the message he communicates. Thus, for example, he has no problem denouncing Christians as “pagans” in one context; yet actual pagans, on the other hand, Bergoglio never makes any effort to evangelize, instead confirming them in their unbelief. Clearly, when it comes to damaging souls, Bergoglio is one flexible chap!
In yesterday’s General Audience catechesis, Francis tried to explain how keeping the Ten Commandments works in the New Covenant of grace. Here’s what he said:
What does this mean? That after the Law we can say, “We believe in Jesus Christ and do what we want?” No! The Commandments exist, but they do not justify us. What makes us just is Jesus Christ. The Commandments must be observed, but they do not give us justice; there is the gratuitousness of Jesus Christ, the encounter with Jesus Christ that freely justifies us. The merit of faith is receiving Jesus. The only merit: opening the heart. And what do we do with the Commandments? We must observe them, but as an aid to the encounter with Jesus Christ.
This teaching on the value of the law is very important, and deserves to be considered carefully so we do not give way to misunderstandings [LOL!] and take false steps. It is good for us to ask ourselves if we still live in the period in which we need the Law, or if instead we are fully aware of having received the grace of becoming children of God so as to live in love. How do I live? In the fear that if I do not do this, I will go to hell? Or do I live with that hope too, with that joy of the gratuitousness of salvation in Jesus Christ? It is a good question. And also the second: do I disregard the Commandments? No. I observe them, but not as absolutes, because I know that it is Jesus Christ who justifies me.
(Antipope Francis, General Audience, Vatican.va, Aug. 18, 2021; underlining added.)
What an utter mess!
Let’s go through this step by step.
“The Commandments exist, but they do not justify us. What makes us just is Jesus Christ. The Commandments must be observed, but they do not give us justice; there is the gratuitousness of Jesus Christ, the encounter with Jesus Christ that freely justifies us.”
As stated, this is heresy. The Council of Trent taught infallibly:
Can. 21. If anyone shall say that Christ Jesus has been given by God to men as a Redeemer in whom they should trust, and not also as a legislator, whom they should obey: let him be anathema.
Can. 26. If anyone shall say that the just ought not to expect and hope for an eternal recompense from God and the merit of Jesus Christ for the good works which have been performed in God, if by doing well and in keeping the divine commandments they persevere even to the end: let him be anathema.
Can. 32. If anyone shall say that the good works of the man justified are in such a way the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him who is justified, or that the one justified by the good works, which are done by him through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ (whose living member he is), does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life (if he should die in grace), and also an increase of glory: let him be anathema.
(Council of Trent, Session VI, Canons on Justification; Denz. 831, 836, 842; underlining added.)
Observing the Commandments most certainly and truly justifies us, as long as they are observed under the auspices of the grace of Jesus Christ: “Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?” (Jas 2:24).
Christ has given us His grace freely, without any merit on our part, to enable us to keep the Commandments and to allow this observance of the Commandments to bear spiritual fruit, even unto eternal life: “Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction: for all have sinned, and do need the glory of God. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:22-24).
Without this freely-given grace of God, observing the Commandments would not be able to merit eternal life for us: “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man may glory” (Eph 2:8-9).
This is the teaching of the Council of Trent:
But when the Apostle says that man is justified “by faith” and “freely” [Rom. 3:22,24], these words must be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted consent of the Catholic Church has held and expressed, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because “faith is the beginning of human salvation,” the foundation and root of all justification, “without which it is impossible to please God” [Heb. 11:6] and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and are, therefore, said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things which precede justification, whether faith, or works merit the grace itself of justification; for, “if it is a grace, it is not now by reason of works; otherwise (as the same Apostle says) grace is no more grace” [Rom. 11:6].
(Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter 8; Denz. 801.)
And so we see that although Francis is right in saying that Christ offers salvation gratuitously — “for free”, as it were –, the sense in which we must understand this is not the sense conveyed by Bergoglio. Christ’s Redemption does not justify us apart from keeping the Commandments, it enables our observance of the Commandments to merit us eternal life: “But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17).
“The merit of faith is receiving Jesus. The only merit: opening the heart. And what do we do with the Commandments? We must observe them, but as an aid to the encounter with Jesus Christ.”
Here we have a stellar example of that deliberately imprecise language of the “New Theology” (more on that later). What does it mean to say that the “merit of faith is receiving Jesus”? What is “opening the heart” supposed to signify? This is not the language of theology — it is the language of poetry.
Similarly, what is “the encounter with Jesus Christ”? At the very least, it is unclear. There are different kinds of encounter. An encounter can be a positive thing, a negative thing, a happy thing, an annoying thing, a dangerous thing. Adam and Eve encountered the serpent in the Garden (see Gen 3); our Blessed Lord encountered Satan in the desert (see Mt 4:1-11).
An encounter is an experience, one not necessarily involving intellectual activity. An elephant can encounter a tiger, and yet neither of the two have a rational (intellectual) soul. Therefore, it would be wrong to think that “encounter” means “Faith”, for Faith is intellectual assent to divinely-revealed truth — it is not an experience.
The word “encounter” is so elusive and amorphous as to allow for it to be understood in many different ways; and that is precisely why it’s a favorite term employed by Novus Ordo Modernists: It lends itself incredibly well to communicating dangerous errors while conveniently allowing for plausible deniability. “That’s not what I meant” is an easy excuse when using terminology that allows for multiple meanings.
So when Francis says that the Commandments are “an aid to the encounter with Jesus Christ”, it is really not clear what he is saying. What does this mean? Will everyone understand this in the same sense? Hardly. What is certain is that he is denying the Catholic dogma that observing the Commandments under the influence of divine grace justifies us.
In any case, the false pope’s exhortation that “we must observe” the Commandments is hypocritical, as in his infernal 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia he had already downgraded the Ten Commandments to the status of “suggestions” in principle, specifically that pesky Sixth Commandment — “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Ex 20:14). We recall that Francis even dared to assert the frightful blasphemy that breaking that Commandment may be “what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal” (Amoris Laetitia, n. 303). You can’t make this stuff up!
And we must never forget that in 2016, the false pope raised the mortal sin of habitual fornication with one and the same person to the status of a sacrament: “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity…” (source).
This man is a devil wrapped in an evil spirit inside a demon!
“This teaching on the value of the law is very important, and deserves to be considered carefully so we do not give way to misunderstandings and take false steps.”
Oh, Francis is concerned about giving way to misunderstandings? This is too funny!
“It is good for us to ask ourselves if we still live in the period in which we need the Law, or if instead we are fully aware of having received the grace of becoming children of God so as to live in love. How do I live? In the fear that if I do not do this, I will go to hell? Or do I live with that hope too, with that joy of the gratuitousness of salvation in Jesus Christ? It is a good question.”
Here Francis again expresses himself in such a way as to be easily understood in more than one way. By juxtaposing “the period in which we need the Law” with the Christian life of grace, he causes the impression that Christians do not need God’s Law. But this is false: “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15; cf. Jn 13:34).
Contrary to how it may appear at first, Bergoglio is not saying (at least not in this passage) that a Christian ought not to fear hell. Rather, he says that in addition to that fear, we ought to “live with that hope too” of salvation. That too is a strange and insufficient way of phrasing things, and presumably by design also, but it is not the same thing as saying that hell should not be feared. (Of course the man doesn’t even believe in hell, except for the Mafia, but that’s another matter.)
Still, many people will understand Francis to be saying that the fear of hell is, at least, unbecoming of a Christian; and of course the Vatican won’t do anything to correct that impression. For that reason, we will make clear what the Catholic teaching is.
In a nutshell: The fear of God can be servile or filial. A servile fear fears God on account of His punishments — it is the kind of fear a servant has for his master, hence it is called “servile”. There is a certain amount of self-interest in it. A filial fear, on the other hand, fears offending God because of His goodness — it is the kind of fear a child has for his father whom he does not want to displease, hence it is called “filial”. St. Thomas Aquinas speaks about this in his Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 19, a. 2.
Although the fear of going to hell is clearly a servile kind of fear, it is nevertheless compatible with the Gospel and the life of grace. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains: “Even when the law of fear had given way to the law of love, Christ does not hesitate to inculcate that we must ‘fear him who can destroy both soul and body into hell’ (Matthew 10:28)” (s.v. “Attrition”).
The Council of Trent elaborates:
That imperfect contrition which is called attrition, since it commonly arises either from the consideration of the baseness of sin or from fear of hell and its punishments, if it renounces the desire of sinning with the hope of pardon, the Synod declares, not only does not make a person a hypocrite and a greater sinner but is even a gift of God and an impulse of the Holy Spirit, not indeed as already dwelling in the penitent, but only moving him, assisted by which the penitent prepares a way for himself unto justice. And though without the sacrament of penance it cannot per se lead the sinner to justification, nevertheless it does dispose him to obtain the grace of God in the sacrament of penance. For the Ninivites, struck in a salutary way by this fear in consequence of the preaching of Jonas which was full of terror, did penance and obtained mercy from the Lord [cf. Jonas 3].
(Council of Trent, Session XIV, Chapter 4; Denz. 898; underlining added.)
The same council also teaches that we “are profitably aroused” by “the fear of divine justice” (Session VI, Chapter 6; Denz. 798) and declares: “If anyone shall say that the fear of hell, whereby by grieving for sins we flee to the mercy of God or refrain from sinning, is a sin or makes sinners worse: let him be anathema” (Canon 8; Denz. 818).
Indeed: “The fear of the Lord driveth out sin: For he that is without fear, cannot be justified…” (Ecclus [Sir] 1:27-28).
“And also the second: do I disregard the Commandments? No. I observe them, but not as absolutes, because I know that it is Jesus Christ who justifies me.”
Again, it is not clear just what Francis is actually trying to communicate, and that is by no means to his credit. After all, he has an obligation to communicate the truth clearly and in such a way as to rule out theological error.
The false pope, tainted with Lutheranism, is clearly struggling to explain why one should keep the Commandments when “it is Jesus Christ who justifies me”. So he tries to smooth it over by saying that he does observe the Commandments — and “does” is a very different thing from “must” or “should”, for it dances around the question of obligation –, just not “as absolutes”. So what is that supposed to mean? That the Ten Commandments are relative? Relative to what?
Earlier the Argentinian Jesuit had said that we “must observe them”, implying obligation; but then he immediately relativized that obligation by limiting it to mere usefulness “as an aid to encounter” with the Lord. So, what if I don’t want to be aided in this encounter in that manner? What if I’ve already had my encounter and am happy with that experience? Does that mean I am then under no obligation to observe the Commandments? Or is the fake pope claiming that all Christians “must want” to receive such an aid?
To say that “it is Jesus Christ who justifies me” can be understood in an orthodox sense, but it is typically how Lutherans speak. The Council of Trent explains the orthodox Catholic understanding of how Christ the Lord justifies us:
Justification itself follows this disposition or preparation, which is not merely remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts, whereby an unjust man becomes a just man, and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be “an heir according to hope of life everlasting” [Tit. 3:7]. The causes of this justification are: the final cause indeed is the glory of God and of Christ and life eternal; the efficient cause is truly a merciful God who gratuitously “washes and sanctifies” [1 Cor. 6:11], “signing and anointing with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance” [Eph. 1:13f.]; but the meritorious cause is His most beloved only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, “who when we were enemies” [cf. Rom. 5:10], “for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us” [Eph. 2:4], merited justification for us by His most holy passion on the wood of the Cross, and made satisfaction for us to God the Father; the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the “sacrament of faith,” without which no one is ever justified. Finally the unique formal cause is the “justice of God, not that by which He Himself is just, but by which He makes us just”, that, namely, by which, when we are endowed with it by him, we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and not only are we reputed, but we are truly called and are just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the “Holy Spirit distributes to everyone as he wills” [1 Cor. 12:11], and according to each one’s own disposition and cooperation.
For although no one can be just but he to whom the merits of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated, yet this does take place in this justification of the ungodly when by the merit of that same most holy passion “the charity of God is poured forth by the Holy Spirit in the hearts” [Rom. 5:5] of those who are justified, and inheres in them. Hence man through Jesus Christ, into whom he is ingrafted, receives in the said justification together with the remission of sins all these [gifts] infused at the same time: faith, hope, and charity. For faith, unless hope and charity be added to it, neither unites one perfectly with Christ, nor makes him a living member of his body. For this reason it is most truly said that “faith without works is dead” [Jas. 2:17], and is of no profit, and “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith, which worketh by charity” [Gal. 5:6; 6:15]. This faith, in accordance with apostolic tradition, catechumens beg of the Church before the sacrament of baptism, when they ask for “faith which bestows life eternal,” which without hope and charity faith cannot bestow. Thence also they hear immediately the word of Christ: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” [Matt. 19:17]. Therefore, when receiving true and Christian justice, they are commanded immediately on being reborn, to preserve it pure and spotless as the “first robe” [Luke 15:22] given to them through Christ Jesus in place of that which Adam by his disobedience lost for himself and for us, so that they may bear it before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ and have life eternal.
Can. 10. If anyone shall say that men are justified without the justice of Christ by which He merited for us, or that by that justice itself they are formally just: let him be anathema.
Can. 11. If anyone shall say that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of grace and charity, which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Spirit and remains in them, or even that the grace by which we are justified is only the favor of God: let him be anathema.
(Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter 7; Denz. 799-800, 820, 821)
Did Francis mean this when he said that “it is Jesus Christ who justifies me” and therefore the Commandments are not absolute? Hardly!
In fact, in the past Francis had made it absolutely clear (funny how he can speak clearly when he wants to!) that when it comes to the doctrine of justification, he sides with Martin Luther and not with the Catholic Church. At an in-flight press conference aboard Airhead One on June 26, 2016, the papal pretender bluntly made known his heretical depravity: “I think that the intentions of Martin Luther were not mistaken. …And today Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he did not err. He made a medicine for the Church…” (source).
Does it get any clearer than that? In the battle over justification between Martin Luther and the Council of Trent, Bergoglio declares he sides with Luther! No wonder he was able to declare that same year: “I really like the good Lutherans, the Lutherans who follow the true faith of Jesus Christ” (source).
Finally, we must point out that Francis’ entire thesis that justification comes through Jesus Christ and not through the Commandments is not just flawed but also hypocritical. As we saw in 2018, this “Pope” has no problem declaring even atheists to be in Heaven, that is, people who not only rejected Jesus Christ but did not believe in God at all — as long as they were “good” in this life! So much for justification coming from Christ and not from our observance of the Commandments!
“He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mk 16:16); “But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him” (Heb 11:6); “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man may glory” (Eph 2:8-9).
Once again we have seen that “Pope” Francis is an utter theological train wreck.
Although he hypocritically pays lip service to the need not to “give way to misunderstanding” (good one!), as we have seen the quoted excerpt from his Aug. 18 catechesis is filled with ambiguity and half-truths, inevitably leading to great confusion. This is so characteristic of the Nouvelle Theologie (“New Theology”) in which Bergoglio’s mind has been steeped: the terribly imprecise, anti-scholastic, quasi-poetic, and allegedly “biblical” way of speaking — an approach rejected by Pope 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)
Employing gargantuan verbal gymnastics, the hapless souls at the Where Peter Is web site could probably manage to spin all of Francis’ quoted words above into something resembling orthodoxy. But the fact remains that (1) it requires effort; (2) Francis has an obligation to speak the truth and do so clearly; (3) Francis has an obligation to minimize the risk of being misunderstood needlessly; and (4) if scandal is taken from his careless words, Francis has an obligation to repair it in public and set the record straight.
Nowadays, however, among Novus Ordo apologists it is fashionable to put the burden on the hearer rather than on the speaker. If the hearer takes heresy from Francis’ words, no matter how reasonably, then it must surely be the fault of the hearer, who is imagined to have a duty to “hear orthodoxy” even when the words spoken communicate heresy!
Everything is upside down in this infernal pseudo-Catholic church from below.
For Chaos Frank that means: Mission accomplished!
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