Transcript of Q&A with Portuguese Jesuits released…
Francis to Jesuits in Portugal: Some Sodomites aren’t ‘Capable’ or ‘Mature Enough’ to Stop Sinning!
An English transcript of the question-and-answer session was released on Aug. 28, 2023, by the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., who just recently published a blasphemous sermon on Our Lord’s encounter with the Canaanite woman:
- ‘The Water Has Been Agitated’: Francis in Conversation with Jesuits in Portugal (La Civiltà Cattolica)
As always, Francis had a lot to say. There is no need to go through the entire text, which contains some of the usual insufferable Bergoglian inanities about “backwardism”, and also some comments about a supposed “development” of doctrine that allows for a complete reversal of what it used to be.
In this post, instead, we will focus on only the following particular exchange. We will quote it in full for the sake of disclosing the entire context:
Holy Father, I am João, I hugged you in Rome a few years ago, but I didn’t tell you my name then because I was too excited. I work in the university center in Coimbra. I want to ask you a difficult question. In your speech at last Thursday’s welcoming ceremony here in Lisbon, you said that we are all called as we are, and that there is room for everyone in the Church. I do pastoral work every day with young university students, and among them there are many really good ones, very committed to the Church, to the center, very friendly with the Jesuits, and who identify as homosexuals. They feel that they are an active part of the Church, but they often do not see in doctrine their way of living affectivity, and they do not see the call to chastity as a personal call to celibacy, but rather as an imposition. Since they are virtuous in other areas of their lives, and know the doctrine, can we say that they are all in error, because they do not feel, in conscience, that their relationships are sinful? And how can we act pastorally so that these people feel, in their way of life, called by God to a healthy affective life that produces fruit? Should we recognize that their relationships can open up and give seeds of true Christian love, such as the good they can accomplish, the response they can give to the Lord?
I believe there is no discussion about the call being addressed to everyone. Jesus is very clear about this: everyone. The invited guests did not want to come to the banquet. So he sent out to the streets to call in everyone, everyone, everyone. So that it remains clear, Jesus says “healthy and sick,” “righteous and sinners,” everyone, everyone, everyone. In other words, the door is open to everyone, everyone has their own space in the Church. How will each person live it out? We help people live so that they can occupy that place with maturity, and this applies to all kinds of people.
In Rome I know a priest who works with young homosexuals. It is clear that today the issue of homosexuality is very strong, and the sensitivity in this regard changes according to historical circumstances. But what I don’t like at all, in general, is that we look at the so-called “sin of the flesh” with a magnifying glass, just as we have done for so long for the sixth commandment. If you exploited workers, if you lied or cheated, it didn’t matter, and instead sins below the waist were relevant.
So, everyone is invited. This is the point. And the most appropriate pastoral attitude for each person must be applied. We must not be superficial and naive, forcing people into things and behaviors for which they are not yet mature, or are not capable. It takes a lot of sensitivity and creativity to accompany people spiritually and pastorally. But everyone, everyone, everyone is called to live in the Church: never forget that.
I take a cue from your question and want to add something else that concerns transgender people. The Wednesday general audiences are attended by a Charles de Foucauld sister, Sister Geneviève, who is in her eighties and is a chaplain at the Circus in Rome with two other sisters. They live in a mobile home next to the Circus. One day I went to visit them. They have a little chapel, a kitchen, sleeping area, everything well organized. And that nun also works a lot with people who are transgender. One day she said, “Can I bring them to the audience?” “Sure!” I answered her, “why not?” And groups of trans come all the time. The first time they came, they were crying. I was asking them why. One of them told me, “I didn’t think the pope would receive me!” Then, after the first surprise, they made a habit of coming. Some write to me, and I email them back. Everyone is invited! I realized that these people feel rejected, and it is really hard.
In his response, Bergoglio makes a number of claims we must take issue with, namely: (a) that the Church is for ‘everyone!’; (b) that the seriousness of the sins of the flesh has been exaggerated, or that the focus is always on them alone; (c) that we must not “forc[e] people into things and behaviors for which they are not yet mature, or are not capable”.
(a) That Church for ‘Everyone!’
As of late, one of Francis’ points of continual emphasis has been that the Catholic Church is for “everyone, everyone, everyone!” To that end, he has been hijacking the Gospel parable of the marriage feast in Matthew 22:1-13, specifically verses 9 and 10: “Go ye therefore into the highways; and as many as you shall find, call to the marriage. And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together all that they found, both bad and good: and the marriage was filled with guests.” See, says Bergoglio, everyone is to be included!
Not surprisingly, however, things are not quite the way Francis makes them seem. The point of the parable is that the Gospel is addressed to all people and therefore to be proclaimed to all, regardless of how good or bad, rich or poor, healthy or sick they may be. All people are to be converted from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God and, finding their haven of salvation in “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15), persevere in Faith, hope, and charity until death so they will enjoy the Beatific Vision eternally.
In other words, the Gospel is meant for Zacchaeus as much as for the widow of Naim, for Nicodemus as for Mary Magdalene, for the Roman centurion no less than for the Samaritan woman at the well. It is meant for the shepherds of Bethlehem as much as for King Herod, for Pontius Pilate as for Caiphas, for Gamaliel as much as for Saul. That is why it is such a terrible crime that the Vatican II religionists continually pretend that the Gospel is not for the Jews!
In the parable of the marriage feast, Our Blessed Lord was manifestly not teaching that His Kingdom, His Church on earth, accepts all people as they are, regardless of their beliefs, actions, or intentions. Bergoglio himself doesn’t believe that either, of course. Unlike what he says, he has no intention of including everyone in his church — that’s just the mantra he spouts when he wants to push a greater acceptance of certain vile sins, usually sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments. There is no indication he wants unrepentant weapons dealers, greedy exploiters of laborers, or people defrauding the poor in his big-tent religion, for example. Or those rigid Restorationists! Or the Mafia.
Just over two years ago, Vatican News reported:
The Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has announced the creation of a working group with the aim of excommunicating members of the mafia.
Pope Francis excommunicated the mafiosi in Sibari, in 2014. On that occasion, in a homily at Mass on 21 June, he described Calabria region’s ‘Ndrangheta” crime syndicate as “worship of evil and contempt for the common good”. He said the mafiosi “are not in communion with God: they are excommunicated.”
(“New Vatican working group aims to excommunicate mafia members”, Vatican News, May 10, 2021)
So much for including everyone, everyone, everyone in his sect! Not even Francis himself believes that “everyone has their own space in the Church” and that the task of the Catholic cleric is to “help people live so that they can occupy that place with maturity.” Nonsense!
With his continual push to open the Church to ‘everyone’, Francis is further eroding the boundaries of the (putative) Catholic Church. This process of dissolution was begun, albeit in a different way, at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). By means of its patchwork ecclesiology, according to which the Church exists in elements in all kinds of heretical sects, the council began to dissolve the boundaries of the Mystical Body of Christ, which it no longer identified exclusively with the Catholic Church.
Erasing existential boundaries necessarily leads to dissolution, to disintegration, because boundaries are a necessary part of one’s definition, one’s identity. One cannot define something — anything — without delimiting it from everything else.
Francis has been working for years, however gradually, to further dissolve the already-fuzzy boundaries of the Novus Ordo Church, until nothing remains but one gigantic hodgepodge of people sharing in a common ‘human dignity and fraternity’ — a post-Christian, apostate humanity ready to embrace the Antichrist:
- Francis: “All the Baptized are Members of the Church!”
- Faithless Francis: Heretics and Apostates are Part of the Church, “We Are Brothers”
- Francis expands the “People of God”: Now it includes All Religions!
- Francis: The Different Religions are an ‘Enrichment’ for Humanity
- Apostate adrift: Francis says Fraternity is “Anchor of Salvation for Humanity”
Beating the drum for ‘everyone!’ to be included and accepted in his church is just the latest attempt to erase all Catholic identity while maneuvering the last remaining people-meaning-to-beCatholics into accepting even the foulest of sins.
(b) Exclusive/Exaggerated Focus on the Sins of the Flesh?
The false pope tells us what he doesn’t like at all, namely, “that we look at the so-called ‘sin of the flesh’ with a magnifying glass, just as we have done for so long for the sixth commandment. If you exploited workers, if you lied or cheated, it didn’t matter, and instead sins below the waist were relevant.”
If Francis knows of a single magisterial pronouncement or theology book in which it is taught that the exploitation of workers is only a venial sin — whereas in fact defrauding the laborer of his just wages is one of only four sins crying to Heaven for vengeance — perhaps he could name it. But unless he can, what he says is just fluff. Of course there are other mortal sins besides sins of a sexual nature, and even sins much more serious than them (heretical blasphemy, for example, which Bergoglio is a master at). But that’s beside the point even because Francis is not merely communicating that other sins are also really bad, or worse, he is communicating that sexual sins are no big deal — because, you know, human weakness.
We recall his scandalous remark, printed in a 2017 interview book with Dominique Wolton, that: “The least serious sins are the sins of the flesh.” There is no surer way to send a soul to hell than to tell it that sins of impurity are the least serious of sins!
We do not need to reinvent the wheel here: We need not guess as to the seriousness of the sins of the flesh, and it’s not like Bergoglio just discovered the mercy of God, either. No, we can simply consult Sacred Scripture to be instructed on these things. The long and the short of it is: Sins of impurity, if not genuinely repented of, make the sinner worthy of eternal punishment.
St. Paul wrote to the Hebrews: “[Let] Marriage [be] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled. For fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb 13:4). St. Jude wrote in his epistle: “As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7). And St. Paul warned the Corinthians: “Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10). Examples could be multiplied exponentially, but this is not necessary.
The Church’s doctor of moral theology is St. Alphonsus Liguori (d. 1787). What he wrote about the vice of impurity sounds as if he were responding to ‘Pope’ Francis directly:
My brother, do not say, as many do, that sins against chastity are light sins, and that God bears with them.
I. What! Do you say that is a light sin? But it is a mortal sin: and if it is a mortal sin, one act of it, though it be only the consent to a wicked thought, is sufficient to send you to hell. No fornicator … hath inheritance in the kingdom of Jesus Christ and of God [Eph 5:5]. Is it a light sin? Even the pagans held impurity to be the worst of vices on account of the miserable effects that it produces. Seneca says: “Immodesty is the greatest evil of the world;” and Cicero writes: “There is no plague so fatal as bodily pleasure;” and (to come to the saints) St. Isidore says: “Run through all sins, you will find none equal to this crime.”
(St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Preaching [New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, 1890], p. 470; italics given.)
Another Catholic of note who never got the Bergoglian memo about the lightness of impurity was Pope Pius XI. In 1930, his Sacred Congregation of the Council decreed: “Girls and women who wear immodest dress shall be denied Holy Communion, and shall not be admitted as sponsors at Baptism and Confirmation, and, if needs be, shall be stopped from entering any church” (Instruction Concerning the Immodest Dress of Women, Jan. 12, 1930, n. 9). Talk about excluding people from church!
Why such harsh treatment of the immodestly dressed? Are we saying that the human body is bad? Not at all. However, we are no longer in the state of original innocence. Since the fall, immodesty arouses concupiscence and is thus an incentive to impurity. The need to cover our bodies is one of the consequences of original sin: “And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons” (Gen 3:7).
The claim is sometimes made that sins of the flesh are not as dangerous or as serious as other sins because they arise from weakness. However, the truth is that it is precisely because the flesh is weak that sins against purity — which do not admit of light matter — are so dangerous and must be guarded against very carefully. It usually does not take malice to commit a sexual sin — mere weakness suffices. This makes impurity to be one of the most dangerous sins of all — not the gravest, but the most dangerous. It is easier to go to hell because of impurity than because of, say, calumny, which is the spreading of lies about another in order to destroy his good name. It takes malice to commit calumny, whereas it only takes weakness to be impure. One is more likely to commit sins of lust than of calumny, therefore, and the devil doesn’t care so much whether we go to hell for sins of lust or for other mortal sins, as long as we will never see God.
Thus it is clear that sins of impurity are an acute danger to the presence of sanctifying grace in the soul, even if they are only committed in thought (cf. Mt 5:28). But in addition to extinguishing the divine life in the soul and thus making a child of God into a “child of wrath” once more (cf. Eph 2:3), impurity also often has grave natural consequences. For example, it has the potential to create addictions, increase selfishness, and dull the mind: “Fornication, and wine, and drunkenness take away the understanding” (Osee 4:11). And of course it can quickly destroy relationships, marriages, and families.
But for Francis, none of that seems to be of concern. They’re just sins “below the waist”, so he doesn’t want us to take them too seriously.
(c) ‘Forcing’ People who aren’t ‘Capable’ or ‘Mature’ Enough
Warning not to “forc[e] people into things and behaviors for which they are not yet mature, or are not capable” seems to be a new argument for Francis, at least phrased in such terms. But although new it may be for him, it is not new for the Catholic Church: Pope Pius XII blew it out of the water decades ago when it was first advanced as part of the ‘New Morality’ trying to gain ground then.
On Oct. 29, 1951, as part of an address to midwives on the nature of their profession, His Holiness touched upon cases of married life in which the married are required by the moral law to abstain from exercising their conjugal rights for a considerable time because pregnancy would pose too great a risk to the life of the wife:
It will be objected … that such abstinence is impossible, that heroism such as this is not feasible. At the present time, you can hear and read of this objection everywhere, even from those who, because of their duty and authority, should be of quite a different mind. The following argument is brought forward as proof: No one is obliged to do the impossible and no reasonable legislator is presumed to wish by his law to bind persons to do the impossible. But for married people to abstain for a long time is impossible. Therefore they are not bound to abstain: divine law cannot mean that.
In such manner of argument, a false conclusion is reached from premises which are only partially true. To be convinced of this, one has simply to reverse the terms of the argument: God does not oblige us to do the impossible. But God obliges married people to abstain if their union cannot be accomplished according to the rules of nature. Therefore, in such cases, abstinence is possible. In confirmation of this argument, we have the doctrine of the Council of Trent which, in the chapter on the necessary and possible observance of the Commandments, referring to a passage in the works of Augustine, teaches: ‘God does not command what is impossible, but when He commands, He commands, He warns you to do what you can and to ask His aid for what is beyond your powers, and He gives His help to make that possible for you.’ [Council of Trent, session 6, chapter 11, Denzinger number 804 – Saint Augustine De natura et gratia, chapter 43, number 50; Migne, Latin Patrology, volume 44, column 271.]
(Pope Pius XII, Address Vegliare con Sollecitudine; underlining added.)
Thus is refuted what would otherwise be a terribly convenient excuse for anyone struggling with sin: that one is simply ‘incapable’ of living in accordance with God’s Law. St. Paul confirms Pius XII’s teaching: “Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13).
By bringing up the concept of ‘maturity’ in this context, Francis is just trying to obfuscate the issues further. It is a complete red herring, since the necessary contrition and firm purpose of amendment have nothing to do with maturity. What are we being asked to believe here? That one can be mature enough to sin but not to repent? Such an idea could only come from the father of lies! (cf. Jn 8:44) Either way, the ‘immature’, too, have an obligation to live by the moral law.
That is not to deny that it can be very difficult indeed to give up a mortal sin to which one has grown attached, which one has made into a habit. No question, it takes real effort. That is why our Lord says that “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away” (Mt 11:12). But God’s help is never lacking. Through prayer, self-denial, and the frequent reception of the sacraments, all habitual sin can be overcome. A real struggle it no doubt is — St. Paul compares it to running in a race (see 1 Cor 9:24-27) — but there is no other way to Heaven than the Way of the Cross (see Mk 8:34); and “he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved” (Mt 10:22). Whoever preaches anything else, preaches a false gospel (cf. Gal 1:8-9).
The chief ‘accompaniment’, then, that must be extended to those who consent to same-sex attraction and/or engage in sodomy and similar perversions, is that if they wish to be forgiven by God, if they wish to be absolved of their sins, they must have supernatural sorrow for their sins and a firm purpose not to commit them again. Even if they foresee they probably will sin again, they must at least have the sincere intention not to. Without this genuine intention to give up their mortal sins — any and all mortal sins, in fact, not only those “below the waist” — they cannot be restored to the state of sanctifying grace. All this is explained very well in the little booklet Confession: Its Fruitful Practice.
One can only imagine a confused penitent saying to a real Catholic priest in confession, “But Father, I don’t think I’m mature enough yet to embrace chastity.” What response could the priest give other than a dispassionate, “If you want to go to heaven, you’d better mature very quickly”?
Our Lord Jesus Christ is mercy and compassion incarnate, but when encountering sinners during His earthly mission He often simply said what needed to be said, without getting lost in matters of ‘accompaniment’ and ‘sensitivity’. For example, He said: “Thou hast said well, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband. This thou hast said truly” (Jn 4:17-18); “Sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee” (Jn 5:14); “Go, and now sin no more” (Jn 8:11); “Think you that these Galileans were sinners above all the men of Galilee, because they suffered such things? No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish” (Lk 13:2-3).
Francis continually treats the vilest of fleshly sins as if they were mere peccadillos, ignoring the fact that they can snuff out the life of grace in a heartbeat, even if no external deed is committed and we sin only in our minds. Thus the truth is that, should we be unfortunate enough to succumb to such a sin, whatever merits before God we may have acquired, it is all ruined in an instant because we lose the state of sanctifying grace and thus are no longer the adopted children of God. Instead we are returned to the kingdom of darkness and will remain there unless (and until) our sin is forgiven in the sacrament of penance or, at the very least, through perfect contrition.
In Chapter XXII of his powerful Book of Gomorrah, Cardinal St. Peter Damian (1007-72) points out:
He should be admonished to consider that, however long he does not cease to suffer from the malady of this vice [of impurity], even if he is acknowledged as having done some good, he does not deserve to receive a [supernatural] reward. No religiosity, no self-mortification, no perfection of life which is soiled by such filthy impurity will be deemed worthy in the eyes of the celestial Judge. However, to prove that these things are true, let the testimony of the venerable Bede be presented:
He who thus gives alms while not discharging his guilt, does not redeem his soul which he does not restrain from vices. This is demonstrated by the actions of that hermit who, having many virtues, had entered into the eremitic life with a certain associate of his. The thought was injected into him by the devil that whenever his sexual passions were excited he should [commit the solitary sin]…. For this reason, as he died he was turned over to demons while his companion watched. Then the same companion, who was ignorant of his guilt, and recalling his virtuous exercises, almost despaired, saying, “Who can be saved, if this man has perished?” Then an angel standing by said to him, “Do not be troubled, for this man, although he might have accomplished much, has nonetheless soiled everything by that vice which the apostle calls ‘impurity.’”
(St. Peter Damian, The Book of Gomorrah, Chapter XXII. In The Book of Gomorrah and St. Peter Damian’s Struggle Against Ecclesiastical Corruption, trans. by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman [New Braunfels, TX: Ite Ad Thomam Books and Media], pp. 139-140. Purchases made through this Amazon link benefit Novus Ordo Watch.)
The ‘accompaniment’ Francis preaches, which continually looks for more and more excuses to allow people to continue in sin, now even to the point of arguing ‘immaturity’ and ‘incapability’, is straight from hell. Greater disservice to a soul can hardly be rendered than to feed it with ideas that excuse its sins rather than help it repent of them.
The first Pope, St. Peter, warned his flock: “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented. And especially them who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness…” (2 Pet 2:9-10).
Image source: laciviltacattolica.com (screenshot)
License: fair use