When Bergoglio rediscovers a traditional moral concept…

Tendentious Theology:
Francis’ Selective Use of the Concept of Moral Obligation

Discovers moral obligations only when useful to him: The false pope Jorge Bergoglio

It is well known that “Pope” Francis’ 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia is far removed from any notion of moral obligation with regard to the sexual purity demanded by God in the Sixth and Ninth Commandments.

In the controversial document, the false pope, whose real name is Jorge Bergoglio, goes so far as to introduce a subjective morality (based on personal conscience) to replace the objective demands of traditional Catholic morality. He does not even shy away from essentially redefining sin as an incomplete or imperfect participation in the “ideal” of the moral law. In other words, in Amoris Laetitia Francis demotes genuine moral obligations that apply equally to all people, to the status of unrealistic ideals that it would be nice to observe but that are actually kept only by the heroic anyway.

Interestingly enough, however, Francis does not reject or eschew the concept of moral obligation entirely. The sly devil Bergoglio is more than happy to re-introduce and even harp on it when he can use it to advance his own ideology.

A word search on the Vatican web site for the exact phrase “moral obligation” in the documents, speeches, homilies, and other texts of “Pope” Francis that have been translated into English, yields 15 unique instances. Considering how much the man has said during his almost 9-year reign, and how frequently he speaks, that is not exactly a large number.

Still, fifteen mentions of the concept of moral obligation by a man who is known only for “mercy” and for mocking “rigidity” and “rules”, is perhaps more than most would have expected. It is only fitting, therefore, that we should take a closer look at each of these mentions.

The following is a chronological and complete list of the 15 quotations by Francis in which the phrase “moral obligation” appears (bold print added). We will number them so we can easily refer to them later on:


  1. “Beyond scientific and technical competence, the present situation also demands a sense of moral obligation expressed in a social and deeply fraternal exercise of responsibility.” (Meeting with Brazil’s Leaders of Society)
  2. “Let us not forget that ‘responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation‘.” (Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, n. 220)


  1. “World Mission Day is also an occasion to rekindle the desire and the moral obligation to take joyful part in the mission ad gentes [to the peoples].” (Message for World Mission Day 2014)
  2. “…the moral obligation to share the world’s economic wealth.” (Address to Food and Agriculture Organization 2014, n. 4)
  3. “Hunger is criminal, food is an inalienable right. I know that some of you are calling for agrarian reform in order to solve some of these problems, and let me tell you that in some countries – and here I cite the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church – ‘agrarian reform is, besides a political necessity, a moral obligation‘.” (Address to Participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements 2014)
  4. “…the international community has the moral obligation to assist Turkey in taking care of these refugees.” (Meeting with President, Prime Minister, and Civil Authorities of Turkey)


  1. “Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation. For Christians, the responsibility is even greater: it is a commandment.” (Address to Participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements 2015)
  2. “The Roman Rota shall adjudicate cases in accord with the Gospel precept of gratuity, i.e., with ex officio legal aid, except for a moral obligation that affluent faithful offer an oblatio iustitiae in favour of the causes of the poor.” (Rescript on Marriage Annulment Procedures, n. 6)


  1. “The just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labour is not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation.” (Address at Conferral of Charlemagne Prize)
  2. “It is by loving that the God-who-is-Love is proclaimed to the world: not by the power of convincing, never by imposing the truth, no less by growing fixated on some religious or moral obligation.” (Homily of Sep. 25, 2016)


  1. “I am even more worried about the disturbing fact that our Catholic communities in Europe are not exempt from these defensive and negative reactions, supposedly justified by a vague moral obligation to preserve an established religious and cultural identity.” (Address to National Directors of Pastoral Care for Migrants of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Europe)


  1. “The overriding consideration, never to be forgotten, is that we are all members of the one human family. The moral obligation to care for one another flows from this fact, as does the correlative principle of placing the human person, rather than the mere pursuit of power or profit, at the very centre of public policy.” (Message to Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum)


  1. “A Gospel presented as a doctrine that fell from on high, and that did not enter into the ‘flesh’ of this daily life, would be at risk of remaining a fine theory and, at times, of being experienced as a moral obligation.” (Message to Participants in Online Meeting “Our Daily Love” for Amoris Laetitia Family Year)
  2. “In this regard, I think of the need to confront such pressing global issues as migration and climate change, as well as the humanitarian crises that they often bring in their wake. I think too of the economic debt that burdens many countries struggling to survive and the ‘ecological debt’ that we owe to nature itself, as well as to peoples and countries affected by human-induced ecological degradation and loss of biodiversity. These issues are not simply political or economic; they are questions of justice, a justice that can no longer be ignored or deferred. Indeed, they entail a moral obligation towards future generations, for the seriousness with which we respond to them will shape the world we leave to our children.” (Address to New Ambassadors May 21, 2021)

2022 (so far)

  1. “Each of us has a responsibility to care for ourself [sic] and our health, and this translates into respect for the health of those around us. Health care is a moral obligation.” (Address to Members of the Diplomatic Corps)

That’s it.

What is notable is that Francis mentions the notion of moral obligation only in the following ways, with one apparent exception (to be discussed further on):

  • in a positive sense, when promoting (directly or indirectly) his ideological agenda of humanitarianism, globalism, fraternity:
    • being responsible citizens (2013.1)
    • participating in political life (2013.2)
    • sharing wealth and helping the poor (2014.2 / 2015.2 / 2020.1)
    • easing or eliminating hunger (2014.3)
    • assisting refugees (2014.4)
    • just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor (2015.1 / 2016.1)
    • climate change and ecology (2021.2)
    • health care (2022.1)
  • in a negative sense, when attacking conservative/traditional Catholic concepts that do not jibe with his ideology:
    • against proselytism (2016.2 / 2021.1)
    • promoting and defending religious or national identity (2017.1)

To be clear: We are not saying that every positive mention of moral obligation by Francis is to be condemned. Not at all. It is indeed a moral obligation to be responsible citizens, to assist the poor, and so on. We are merely pointing out that Francis only uses the concept in a positive sense when it helps him promote adherence to his agenda.

When the concept would oppose his agenda, on the other hand, he either spurns it (as seen in the negative mentions above) or simply omits any reference to it altogether, replacing it instead with such wishy-washy ideas as “accompaniment”, “discernment”, and “individual conscience”, or simply exhorting people not to “judge”.

It is a false and duplicitous theology that deals harshly with anything that opposes the Bergoglian ideology (building walls to protect your nation’s borders? Forget it!) but changes its tune completely when it comes to sins the agenda seeks to facilitate.

Consequently, habitual mortal sins such as fornication through cohabitation are demoted to the status of mere “irregular unions” that are “not fully the objective ideal” (before being raised to the level of a sacrament later). The moral obligations arising from the Sixth and Ninth Commandments — prohibiting not just impure acts but also entertaining impure thoughts and desires — are falsely presented as mere “ideals” to which only the “heroic” can attain, and are drowned in noisy appeals to “mercy” while excluding, however, genuine repentance and a firm purpose of amendment.

It is this false theology that presents the mortal sin of adultery not only as possibly a merely venial sin, or as being among the “least serious sins”, but even as potentially no sin at all — worse still, as actively willed by God Himself:

Recognizing the influence of such concrete factors, we can add that individual conscience needs to be better incorporated into the Church’s praxis in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage. Naturally, every effort should be made to encourage the development of an enlightened conscience, formed and guided by the responsible and serious discernment of one’s pastor, and to encourage an ever greater trust in God’s grace. Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal. In any event, let us recall that this discernment is dynamic; it must remain ever open to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized.

(Antipope Francis, Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 303; underlining added.)

What utter blasphemy this is! It explains, however, why Francis conferred a “papal” blessing on the adulterous union of the President of Colombia in 2017. You can’t be so black and white, you see! Or rather, you can’t be so black and white concerning issues of sexual morality — when it comes to his social justice agenda, Francis isn’t so generous with shades of grey.

To reinforce his false new morality, the papal pretender was pleased to resurrect the old concept of heresy even:

…all the while true heresy is something he has no problem with. In fact, it is his own daily bread.

Francis does a similar thing with other topics. For example, when it comes to preparing souls for God’s Judgment at the end of their lives, Francis isn’t too concerned and counsels people not to sweat it — because, you know, God is merciful and there’s encounter and all that. When it comes pushing his environmentalist agenda, on the other hand, or his obsession with humanitarianism, suddenly Bergoglio reminds people of God’s judgment that they will have to face. See for yourself:

See how this works?

Returning to our list of 15 quotations on moral obligation, attentive readers may have noticed that there is one that does not fit the categorizations given, at least not at first sight. It is the one mentioned under 2014.1 that says: “World Mission Day is also an occasion to rekindle the desire and the moral obligation to take joyful part in the mission ad gentes [to the peoples].”

Whoa! Francis calls participating in missionary activity — the evangelization of the nations (“ad gentes”) — a moral obligation? Surely that’s out of character! And indeed it would be, were it not for the words that immediately follow this quotation, namely: “A monetary contribution on the part of individuals is the sign of a self-offering, first to the Lord and then to others; in this way a material offering can become a means for the evangelization of humanity built on love” (Message for World Mission Day 2014).

Now that would explain it: No, Francis didn’t suddenly discover his adherence to the Divine Commission (see Mt 28:19-20) — his numerous subsequent attacks on proselytism leave no doubt that he repudiates the mission Christ gave to His Church. Rather, it looks like the Jesuit antipope simply needed to raise money, and to that end he was happy to dust off even that archaic concept of moral obligation for a minute to get people to open their wallets. What do you know, that old traditional Catholic morality sure does come in handy at times, doesn’t it?!

To sum up: Francis is very selective in his use of the concept of moral obligation. He generally leaves it mothballed in the catacombs of the “casuistry” of a bygone era. Occasionally, however, he will pull it out and dust it off when it comes in handy to push his anti-Catholic ideology.

Once again we see that Francis harms the Faith not only by what he says, but by how he says it, where he lays the emphasis, and what he leaves unsaid.

In his 1907 encyclical Pascendi, in which he condemned Modernism as the “synthesis of all heresies” (n. 39), Pope St. Pius X made the following crucial observation about these “partisans of error” he said were hiding within the Church herself (n. 2):

Although they express their astonishment that We should number them amongst the enemies of the Church, no one will be reasonably surprised that We should do so, if, leaving out of account the internal disposition of the soul, of which God alone is the Judge, he considers their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action.

(Pope Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, n. 3; underlining added.)

It is clear that in “Pope” Francis we have a genuine Neo-Modernist.

Image source: shutterstock.com (Riccardo De Luca – Update; cropped)
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