Caution! Bergoglio gives spiritual advice…
Francis twists the Gospel:
“The Lord is not looking for perfect Christians”
For his Regina Caeli address on this first Sunday after Easter today, on which the Gospel of doubting Apostle St. Thomas (Jn 20:19-31) is read, the Jesuit apostate Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) had plenty to say, and some of it wasn’t pretty.
Seeking an ally for his Faith-wrecking ideology in St. Thomas, the false pope proposed the idea that it’s perfectly alright to doubt the truth of God:
We too struggle at times like that disciple [St. Thomas]: how can we believe that Jesus is risen, that he accompanies us and is the Lord of our life without having seen him, without having touched him? How can one believe in this? Why does the Lord not give us some clearer sign of his presence and love? Some sign that I can see better… Here, we too are like Thomas, with the same doubts, the same reasoning.
But we do not need to be ashamed of this. By telling us the story of Thomas, in fact, the Gospel tells us that the Lord is not looking for perfect Christians. The Lord is not looking for perfect Christians. I tell you: I am afraid when I see a Christian, some associations of Christians who believe themselves to be perfect. The Lord is not looking for perfect Christians; the Lord is not looking for Christians who never doubt and always flaunt a steadfast faith. When a Christian is like that, something isn’t right. No, the adventure of faith, as for Thomas, consists of lights and shadows. Otherwise, what kind of faith would that be? It knows times of comfort, zeal and enthusiasm, but also of weariness, confusion, doubt and darkness. The Gospel shows us Thomas’ “crisis” to tell us that we should not fear the crises of life and faith. Crises are not sins, they are part of the journey, we should not fear them. Many times, they make us humble because they strip us of the idea that we are fine, that we are better than others. Crises help us to recognize that we are needy: they rekindle the need for God and thus enable us to return to the Lord, to touch his wounds, to experience his love anew as if it were the first time. Dear brothers and sisters, [it] is better to have an imperfect but humble faith that always returns to Jesus, than a strong but presumptuous faith that makes us proud and arrogant. Woe to those, woe to them!
(Antipope Francis, Regina Caeli Address, Vatican.va, Apr. 24, 2022; underlining added.)
Of course Francis is clever: He introduces his poison under the guise of humility. He does this by setting up a false dichotomy, juxtaposing “an imperfect but humble faith that always returns to Jesus” with “a strong but presumptuous faith that makes us proud and arrogant”. But that is comparing apples to oranges. Obviously, a repentant sinner is better than an unrepentant one. Humility is better than pride. As we will see momentarily, however, doubt is not humble, nor is unbelief compatible with repentance.
Let us take a look at what the traditional Roman Catechism teaches concerning the nature and importance of the virtue of Faith:
The word believe does not here mean to think, to suppose, to be of opinion; but, as the Sacred Scriptures teach, it expresses the deepest conviction, by which the mind gives a firm and unhesitating assent to God revealing His mysterious truths. As far, therefore, as regards use of the word here, he who firmly and without hesitation is convinced of anything is said to believe.
Faith Excludes Doubt
The knowledge derived through faith must not be considered less certain because its objects are not seen; for the divine light by which we know them, although it does not render them evident, yet suffers us not to doubt them. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath himself shone in our hearts [2 Cor 4:6], that the gospel be not hidden to us, as to those that perish [2 Cor 4:3].
Faith Excludes Curiosity
From what has been said it follows that he who is gifted with this heavenly knowledge of faith is free from an inquisitive curiosity. For when God commands us to believe He does not propose to us to search into His divine judgments, or inquire into their reason and cause, but demands an unchangeable faith, by which the mind rests content in the knowledge of eternal truth. And indeed, since we have the testimony of the Apostle that God is true; and every man a liar [Rom 3:4], and since it would argue arrogance and presumption to disbelieve the word of a grave and sensible man affirming anything as true, and to demand that he prove his statements by arguments or witnesses, how rash and foolish are those, who, hearing the words of God Himself, demand reasons for His heavenly and saving doctrines? Faith, therefore, must exclude not only all doubt, but all desire for demonstration.
(Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests, McHugh/Callan translation [Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1982], pp. 14-15; italics given; underlining added. Available online here.)
Here we see how diametrically opposed Bergoglio’s teaching is to the traditional doctrine. It is arrogant and presumptuous to disbelieve, not to believe; to have doubt, not to have Faith!
St. Paul teaches that it is because we stand by Faith that we have reason for humility rather than pride: “But thou standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear. For if God hath not spared the natural branches, fear lest perhaps he also spare not thee” (Rom 11:20-21).
Faith is a gift from God, and we ought not to be puffed up on account of it, for it can certainly be lost (see 1 Cor 10:12), and unless it be joined to supernatural charity, it will not merit us eternal life: “So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble” (Jas 2:17-19).
At the same time, above all it is Faith that makes a Catholic a Catholic, even if he be in the state of mortal sin: “If anyone shall say that together with the loss of grace by sin faith also is always lost, or that the faith that remains is not a true faith, though it be not a living one, or that he, who has faith without charity, is not a Christian: let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Session VI, Canon 28; Denz. 838).
The New Testament is clear that he who consciously and willingly abandons the true doctrine of Christ, loses all: “Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you” (2 Jn 9-10).
As he has done several times before, Francis is trying to sell doubt as being good for Faith, or as even being a kind of “superior faith”. Francis wants to sow doubt (which is incompatible with Faith) in order to dispel Faith, and for that reason he presents doubt — he calls it “imperfect faith” once — as the humble thing and firm Faith as the proud and presumptuous thing. To that end, he even claims that God does not demand that our Faith be steadfast, nor that He wants “perfect” disciples, when the reality is quite different:
Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity. (Ephesians 1:4)
But Jesus having heard the word that was spoken, saith to the ruler of the synagogue: Fear not, only believe. (Mark 5:36)
And the Lord said: If you had faith like to a grain of mustard seed, you might say to this mulberry tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou transplanted into the sea: and it would obey you. (Luke 17:6)
This precept I commend to thee, O son Timothy; according to the prophecies going before on thee, that thou war in them a good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some rejecting have made shipwreck concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)
Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ: and love one another, as he hath given commandment unto us. (1 John 3:23)
How often in the Gospels does Christ not lament: “O ye of little faith!” (for example, in Luke 12:28). He exhorts us to “have the faith of God” (Mk 11:22), a Faith so strong it can move mountains (see Mk 11:23-24); He marvels at and praises the great Faith of the Centurion (see Mt 8:10) and the Canaanite woman (see Mt 15:27); He cures diseases on account of great Faith (see Mt 9:20-22); and He upbraids, however gently, the disciples on the road to Emmaus for their lack, or slowness, of belief (see Lk 24:25).
In the pericope we contemplate today on Low Sunday, our Lord likewise mildly rebukes St. Thomas for his unbelief — He does not congratulate him for being sincere in his doubt, as Francis wants us to imagine:
Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.
Likewise, our Blessed Lord upbraided the Apostles for not believing the testimony of the women that He had risen and was alive: “At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again” (Mk 16:14).
Certainly, our Blessed Lord is gentle and merciful and compassionate towards those who are sincerely struggling with Faith. We see this in today’s Gospel, where even though He rebukes the doubting Thomas, He is nonetheless very kind, generous, and forgiving with him. After all, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who seeks out the lost sheep and does all He can to bring it back. But that is a far cry from saying that doubt is a good thing or that we should not be ashamed of it! (Talk about presumption!)
In fact, the great Scripture scholar Fr. Cornelius à Lapidé (1567-1637) observes that in doubting that Christ had risen from the dead, St. Thomas committed sin sixfold:
Thomas sinned in this: 1. By unbelief, 2. By obstinacy, 3. By pride, 4. By irreverence, for when all the other Apostles said that [Jesus] had risen, he obstinately resisted, and refused to believe, 5. By presumption, because he would not believe, unless he thrust his hands and fingers into Christ’s wounds. Canst thou then presume, O Thomas, to lay down laws for Christ? 6. By persisting in this unbelief for eight days when perhaps even the Mother of Christ urged him to believe.
(The Great Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide: The Holy Gospel according to Saint John, trans. by Thomas W. Mossman, rev. and compl. by Michael J. Miller [Fitzwilliam, NH: Loreto Publications, 2008], p. 776. Alternate edition with different translation available here.)
These are six rather serious sins St. Thomas committed, and yet “Pope” Francis would have us practically imitate the doubting Apostle! “But we do not need to be ashamed of this”, the false shepherd claims, when it is clear that each of these sins is cause for shame (a salutary shame that leads to repentance, not the kind that leads to despair).
It is important to understand what Francis is and is not doing in this Regina Caeli address. He is not compassionately appealing to those weak in Faith to have stronger Faith, nor is he trying to help doubters overcome their struggles and believe (which would be the charitable thing to do). Rather, he is confirming doubters in their doubt by telling them that God does not expect us to be perfect anyway, and he is encouraging those of steadfast Faith to begin doubting, lest he should have to consider them presumptuous and arrogant!
In short: Francis is trying to cast Faith into a bad light because he wishes to attack and wipe out the virtue of Faith in souls. After all, people’s firm adherence to God’s revealed truth would be a gigantic stumbling block to the Masonic-Naturalist new religion he and his fellow-globalists want to see firmly established in the world. That is also why he said in Morocco in 2019 that “being a Christian is not about adhering to a doctrine…”. The true Catholic doctrine stands in the way of the Great Apostasy.
The importance of Faith for the supernatural life of the soul cannot be overestimated. For, leaving Francis’ misleading rhetoric aside, without Faith it is impossible to retain the life of grace, and it is likewise impossible to return to God through sincere contrition. All repentance, all sanctifying grace, all supernatural charity necessarily presuppose Faith: “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 that reason, Pope Pius XII reminds us:
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. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 23; underlining added.)
It is quite misleading, therefore, for Francis to pit “humble” doubt against “proud” Faith, on the grounds that “the Lord is not looking for Christians who never doubt and always flaunt a steadfast faith.”
Notice, too, how he sneaks in the word “flaunt”, as if anyone who doesn’t doubt is necessarily flaunting Faith. Likewise he misrepresents the call to perfection (in Mt 5:48) as people believing themselves to be perfect. That, of course, is another rhetorical trick, for it is one thing to understand that Christ calls His followers to tend to perfection, and quite another to proudly believe one has in fact reached this state (something that the truly perfect would never believe anyway).
Now the topic of Christian perfection is somewhat complex, and there is no need to provide a full exposition of it here. It will suffice to note that the supernatural perfection that it is possible to obtain in this life essentially “consists in charity, principally as to the love of God, secondarily as to the love of our neighbor, both of which are the matter of the chief commandments of the Divine law…” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 184, a. 3c).
Further, although there are different vocations and different states of life to which one may be called, “Perfection is open to all, because the full love of God is possible in any walk of life; and all are called to it, at least remotely…” (Donald Attwater, ed., A Catholic Dictionary, s.v. “Perfection”). However, that is not to say that all Catholics are equally bound to practice the Evangelical Counsels, for example. Rather, all have a duty of tending to perfection, as explained by Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey:
It is certain that one must die in the state of grace in order to be saved, and that this suffices. It would appear then that for the faithful in the world there is no other obligation than that of preserving the state of grace. However, the question is precisely whether they can preserve the state of grace for a long time without striving to grow in holiness. To this, authority and reason enlightened by faith answer that, in the state of fallen nature, one cannot for long remain in the state of grace without striving at the same time to make progress in the spiritual life and to exercise oneself from time to time in the practice of some of the evangelical counsels. It is only in this restricted sense that we maintain the obligation of perfection for ordinary christians.
(Very Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey, The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology [Tournai: Desclée & Co., 1930], n. 353, pp. 176-177; italics given.)
By telling people that God isn’t looking for perfection and that entertaining doubt is somehow the humble thing to do, Bergoglio is obviously not encouraging people to persevere on the road to holiness.
Yet, pursuing sanctity is precisely what we must do. That, more than anything else, is our real task in this life:
Because of these facts, Venerable Brothers, do you endeavor, following the example of St. Francis [de Sales], to instruct thoroughly the faithful in the truth that holiness of life is not the privilege of a select few. All are called by God to a state of sanctity and all are obliged to try to attain it. Teach them, too, that the acquisition of virtue, although it cannot be done without much labor (such labor has its own compensations, the spiritual consolations and joys which always accompany it) it is possible for everyone with the aid of God’s grace, which is never denied us.
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Rerum Omnium Perturbationem, n. 27; underlining added.)
What a marked contrast that is compared to the message Francis is sending!
What do people, especially those of our day and age, hear when they are told that God isn’t looking for perfect Christians? It’s clearly an invitation to mediocrity, as in: “Don’t sweat it, pal — God isn’t looking for perfection anyway, and if you think otherwise, you must be a proud Pharisee!” Is it any wonder, therefore, that Francis has also told people not to worry too much about being judged by God?
So Bergoglio says further that Faith “knows times of comfort, zeal and enthusiasm, but also of weariness, confusion, doubt and darkness.” There is no question that every Catholic also goes through times of crisis, darkness, and difficulty, times when he is tempted to commit all kinds of sins, including sins against the Faith. It is true that crises and temptations are not sins; however, they can easily lead to sin, as the case of St. Thomas shows. Such challenges in our spiritual life must be overcome precisely with Faith, with prayer, with works of penance, all assisted by grace — and certainly not with reassurances that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect.
That is the Christian struggle, the noble way of the Cross. As we just saw, we will not be victorious unless we at least strive for sanctity and thereby tend to perfection.
Image source: Shutterstock (sunun)
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