The Bergoglian shell game continues…
Did Francis approve Blessings for Homo Couples? Examining his Response to the Pre-Synod Dubia
October 2 of this year was D-Day — ‘Dubia Day’: The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Destruction of the Faith, now headed by ‘Cardinal’ Victor Manuel Fernandez, released official and authoritative responses (personally signed by Jorge Bergoglio, aka ‘Pope Francis’) to two sets of Dubia that had been submitted in July: one set of ten questions by ‘Cardinal’ Dominik Duka, and one set of five questions by ‘Cardinals’ Raymond Burke, Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Walter Brandmüller, Robert Sarah, and Joseph Zen.
As was to be expected, the Vatican responses were loaded with fireworks. Here are links to our coverage of the drama so far:
- New Dubia Drama: Five Conservative ‘Cardinals’ challenge Francis
- Duka Dubia: Vatican Doctrine Office clarifies Adultery can be a Venial Sin only!
- Podcast: The Synod, the Dubia, and Chaos Frank (TRADCAST EXPRESS 179)
One of the more explosive answers given by the Argentinian doctrinal duo (Francis/Fernandez) concerned the five conservative Novus Ordo cardinals’ question about the blessing of homosexual couples. They had asked:
Dubium about the claim that the widespread practice of the blessing of same-sex unions would be in accord with revelation and the magisterium (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357)
According to divine Revelation, confirmed in sacred Scripture, which the Church “with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, … listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully” (Dei Verbum, 10): “In the beginning” God created man in his own image, male and female he created them and blessed them, that they might be fruitful (cf. Genesis 1:27-28), whereby the apostle Paul teaches that to deny sexual difference is the consequence of the denial of the Creator (Romans 1:24-32). It is asked: Can the Church derogate from this “principle,” objectively sinful such as same-sex unions, without betraying revealed doctrine?
(Source; bold print and italics given.)
Admittedly, this is a rather convoluted way of framing the question, one which practically begs Francis to answer in the most obscure and ambiguous way possible. Needless to say, that is precisely what he did, and at length:
a) The Church has a very clear conception of marriage: an exclusive, stable, and indissoluble union between a man and a woman, naturally open to the begetting of children. It calls this union “marriage.” Other forms of union only realize it “in a partial and analogous way” (Amoris Laetitia, 292), and so they cannot be strictly called “marriage.”
b) It is not a mere question of names, but the reality that we call marriage has a unique essential constitution that demands an exclusive name, not applicable to other realities. It is undoubtedly much more than a mere “ideal.”
c) For this reason the Church avoids any kind of rite or sacramental that could contradict this conviction and give the impression that something that is not marriage is recognized as marriage.
d) In dealing with people, however, we must not lose the pastoral charity that must permeate all our decisions and attitudes. The defense of objective truth is not the only expression of this charity, which is also made up of kindness, patience, understanding, tenderness, and encouragement. Therefore, we cannot become judges who only deny, reject, exclude.
e) For this reason, pastoral prudence must adequately discern whether there are forms of blessing, requested by one or more persons, that do not transmit a mistaken conception of marriage. For when a blessing is requested, one is expressing a request for help from God, a plea for a better life, a trust in a Father who can help us to live better.
f) On the other hand, although there are situations that from an objective point of view are not morally acceptable, pastoral charity itself demands that we do not simply treat as “sinners” other people whose guilt or responsibility may be due to their own fault or responsibility attenuated by various factors that influence subjective imputability (cf. St. John Paul II, Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 17).
g) Decisions which, in certain circumstances, can form part of pastoral prudence, should not necessarily become a norm. That is to say, it is not appropriate for a diocese, an episcopal conference or any other ecclesial structure to constantly and officially authorize procedures or rites for all kinds of matters, since everything “that is part of a practical discernment in particular circumstances cannot be elevated to the level of a rule,” because this “would lead to an intolerable casuistry” (Amoris Laetitia, 304). Canon law should not and cannot cover everything, nor should the episcopal conferences claim to do so with their various documents and protocols, because the life of the Church runs through many channels in addition to the normative ones.
(Source; italics given.)
That was a total of seven paragraphs in which the ‘Pope’ appears to say everything from yes to no to maybe to you decide. It is a way of replying that is characteristically Bergoglian: There’s something in it for everyone, and so, as was to be expected, the popular shell game of “What did Francis really say/mean?” started up right away. (Recall that as many as seven years ago, a book was published with the title What Pope Francis Really Said in an effort to clean up the first three years of Bergoglian doublespeak. Not surprisingly, author Tom Hoopes did not publish a sequel.)
In what follows, we will cut through the fog Bergoglio and Fernandez have created in their response to the Dubium and provide a real Catholic reality check.
A Sedevacantist Assessment of Francis’ Response
Regarding (a), Francis simply pays lip service to marriage there. Notice that he avoids mentioning the purpose of marriage (primarily, the begetting and education of children; secondarily, mutual support and affection), merely stating that a marriage is open to the begetting of children. That is not wrong, but it is curious that he would not mention to what purpose marriage exists in the first place, especially considering that it is a thing’s purpose from which we deduce its lawful use.
Francis quotes from his infernal exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 292. It will be useful and enlightening to quote the paragraph in full:
Christian marriage, as a reflection of the union between Christ and his Church, is fully realized in the union between a man and a woman who give themselves to each other in a free, faithful and exclusive love, who belong to each other until death and are open to the transmission of life, and are consecrated by the sacrament, which grants them the grace to become a domestic church and a leaven of new life for society. Some forms of union radically contradict this ideal, while others realize it in at least a partial and analogous way. The Synod Fathers stated that the Church does not disregard the constructive elements in those situations which do not yet or no longer correspond to her teaching on marriage.
(Antipope Francis, Apostatic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 292)
Here we see Vatican II theology at work: Christian marriage is spoken of as being “fully realized” in a union of husband and wife who have entered the sacramental state of matrimony. Notice the clever terminology, which is extremely significant. Just as with the conciliar redefinition of the Church in Lumen Gentium, n. 8, according to which Christ’s Church “subsists in” the Catholic Church, so here too we see a devilishly shrewd semantic opening that allows for exploitation further down the road. An ambiguous premise is being set in place from which dangerous ideas can be deduced and sold to the unsuspecting pew sitter as a ‘doctrinal development’.
What is that premise? The premise is that the essence of marriage can exist in degrees or in elements. It is contained in Francis’ formulation of Christian marriage being “fully realized” in those who have entered holy matrimony. This opens the door to maintaining that marriage is also realized in other unions in elements or degrees — certainly not “fully” and therefore only imperfectly, but nevertheless really and truly.
That is precisely what Vatican II did with regard to the essence of the Church, for which reason they now speak of “imperfect” or “partial” communion between Rome and non-Catholic ‘Christian’ denominations, contrasted with “full” communion. Before Vatican II, one was either in communion with the Church or not.
In his heretical 1995 encyclical Ut Unum Sint on ecumenism, ‘Pope’ John Paul II spoke of “the real but imperfect communion existing between” all the baptized (n. 96), and how that “imperfect but real communion is preserved and is growing at many levels of ecclesial life” (n. 84). (Underlining added.) It is no surprise, therefore, that now Bergoglio and his henchmen have begun applying the ‘elements’ metaphysics also to marriage. It exists fully in the married, and partially or imperfectly in those who are in some kind of sexual relationship without being married. It is insane!
And indeed, we see Francis stating explicitly in the very same paragraph 292 of Amoris Laetitia that there are some forms of sexual union that “radically contradict this ideal [!], while others realize it in at least a partial and analogous way”. He wasted no time in applying the new premise of marriage as being “realizable” in elements, parts, or degrees. Moreover, it is he himself who refers to Christian marriage as a (mere) “ideal”, in which other sexual unions can participate in an imperfect way.
Since he does not say precisely what unions he has in mind, it is open to convenient interpretation and ‘development’ down the road. Fundamentally, what the false pope teaches in Amoris Laetitia is that fornication is an “imperfect realization” of holy matrimony. What used to be mortal sin, a clear evil, is now imperfect holiness, a partial good. It’s like saying that an abortion is imperfect prenatal care. What nonsense — but what dangerous nonsense!
It is a fundamental philosophical principle that essence does not admit of degrees (see Bernard J. Wuellner, Summary of Scholastic Principles [Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1956], n. 513). Yet that is precisely what is denied by this metaphysics of ‘elements’. On account of such a horrendous philosophical error, the synod fathers of 2014/15 affirmed that “the Church does not disregard the constructive elements [!] in those situations which do not yet or no longer correspond to her teaching on marriage” (Amoris Laetitia, n. 292).
We have news for the synodal Modernists: There is nothing constructive in mortal sin. The ‘fidelity’ that is shown between two permanent adulterers, for example, is not a positive good. If anything, it keeps them attached to their sin all the more and thus presents an even greater hindrance to their salvation.
By the way: In 2017, ‘Cardinal’ Francesco Coccopalmerio suggested this same erroneous metaphysics of elements be applied to questions of sacramental validity, but so far it has not caught on. Then again, just give it a few more synods, and there will be “partially-valid” or “imperfect” sacraments before long.
For more information, we have exposed and dismantled the false and dangerous moral theology in Amoris Laetitia in our podcast episode TRADCAST 013 (includes downloadable transcript).
Regarding (b), Francis suddenly doesn’t remember that it is he himself who calls Christian marriage an “ideal”, as we just saw, in Amoris Laetitia, n. 292. Now that it is expedient, he maintains that marriage “is undoubtedly much more than a mere ‘ideal’.” But here too we notice intentional vagueness: He claims it is “much more than” an ideal, but he does not clarify what then it actually is. It is one thing to say what something is not, or what it is more than; it is another thing to tell us what it is.
Regarding (c), Francis tells us what his church does and does not do in terms of liturgical rite or sacramental. He speaks in the present, not in the future. He could have easily clarified that the Church not only does not but cannot and will not ever administer any kind of rite or sacramental, or anything analogous, that would offend God and/or compromise her moral and dogmatic teaching. He chose not to. Instead he talks about what is currently done. What that is worth can be seen in his doctrinal change regarding the death penalty, where suddenly what the Church had taught in the past had to give way to what he was teaching in the present and for the future. What had been done and taught for many centuries before meant nothing anymore in the face of that “consciousness” of human dignity that the Church had allegedly acquired in recent times.
Furthermore, we note with some amusement that whereas Francis now claims that he does not want to “give the impression that something that is not marriage is recognized as marriage”, it was he who in 2016 revealed his conviction that if one cohabits/ fornicates long enough with the same person, thus demonstrating ‘fidelity’, the couple finds itself in a “real marriage” because of the marital “grace” it demonstrably has. You can’t make this stuff up!
Regarding (d), Francis appeals to “pastoral charity”. That is well and good, but in order to be truly pastoral, it must be a charity that, before all else, loves God above all things and one’s neighbor for God’s sake (see Mk 12:30-31). Although the defense of objective truth is clearly not the only element in this charity, it is a necessary element, and therefore it must never be contradicted, neutralized, or eclipsed under the specious pretext of loving the sinner.
Insofar as it is necessary for the upholding and safeguarding of the moral law, therefore, we must “become judges who … deny, reject, [and] exclude”, just as Our Blessed Lord Himself did when He said: “For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:20); and as St. Paul told the Corinthians:
But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not you judge them that are within? For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves.
(1 Corinthians 5:11-13)
The true mercy of the Gospel is that which condemns mortal sin and requires repentance and a firm purpose of amendment in order to receive it.
Regarding (e), Francis invokes “pastoral prudence” that must allegedly “discern whether there are forms of blessing, requested by one or more persons, that do not transmit a mistaken conception of marriage.” But there is really nothing to discern. A sexual union between two people outside of marriage cannot be blessed — period. It does not matter that a “mistaken conception of marriage” is excluded. It is the union itself which is evil, no matter the label we may give it. The way Francis frames the issue makes it seem as if the only criterion to be satisfied were that of not confusing a non-marital union with marriage, but that is clearly not so.
It is in this paragraph, (e), that Francis opens the way to the blessing of perverted couples — whether they be fornicators, adulterers, or sodomites. He does so by not clearly shutting the door when he had a duty to do so. Instead, he tries to force an opening, however small, that does not and cannot exist in Catholic teaching.
Regarding (f), when it comes to mortal sin that is manifested publicly and has the potential to scandalize other souls, not only must we treat such people precisely as public sinners, the local bishop may even need to impose an interdict or excommunication on the individuals involved, in charity towards them as well as the rest of the flock. It is precisely a matter of pastoral charity to communicate to an erring soul that he is on the way to eternal perdition. This must be based, of course, on a motive of love of God and neighbor, not on a motive of hatred or contempt.
It is the pastor’s duty to call sinners to repentance, not to look for ways to excuse their mortal sins:
When I say to the wicked: O wicked man, thou shalt surely die: if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked man from his way: that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at thy hand. But if thou tell the wicked man, that he may be converted from his ways, and he be not converted from his way: he shall die in his iniquity: but thou hast delivered thy soul.
When our Lord sent His twelve Apostles, He did not instruct them to bring a welcoming spirit to all but told them to call men to repentance: “And going forth they preached that men should do penance: And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them” (Mk 6:12-13).
Regarding (g), Francis reveals how he intends to get blessings for couples in immoral sexual unions implemented on the parish level: Simply do it. Don’t ask, don’t tell, just do it and don’t make a fuss about it one way or another. He doesn’t want it to be institutionalized by means of liturgical norms or canon law, because that would not be feasible at present and could backfire. The important thing for him is that it be done. He is a man of practice rather than of theory. For him, “realities are greater than ideas” (Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, n. 231). He wants to institute heretical and blasphemous practice first, and the theoretical — official rules or doctrinal changes — can follow later. For him, theory follows practice.
Thus far our commentary on the Argentinian doctrinal duo’s replies to the second Dubium.
Having received the Francis/Fernandez response in lightning turnaround speed of only 24 hours, and obviously not being satisfied with its content, the five cardinals submitted follow-up Dubia to their original set on August 21. Regarding the issue of the blessing of sodomite couples, the reformulated Dubium states:
Your Holiness has insisted on the fact that there can be no confusion between marriage and other types of unions of a sexual nature and that, therefore, any rite or sacramental blessing of same-sex couples, which would give rise to such confusion, should be avoided. Our concern, however, is a different one: we are concerned that the blessing of same-sex couples might create confusion in any case, not only in that it might make them seem analogous to marriage, but also in that homosexual acts would be presented practically as a good, or at least as the possible good that God asks of people in their journey toward Him. So let us rephrase our dubium: Is it possible that in some circumstances a pastor could bless unions between homosexual persons, thus suggesting that homosexual behavior as such would not be contrary to God’s law and the person’s journey toward God? Linked to this dubium is the need to raise another: does the teaching upheld by the universal ordinary magisterium, that every sexual act outside of marriage, and in particular homosexual acts, constitutes an objectively grave sin against God’s law, regardless of the circumstances in which it takes place and the intention with which it is carried out, continue to be valid?
(Source; bold print and italics given.)
It will not come as a great shock to many to find out that neither Francis nor his doctrinal undertaker Fernandez chose to reply a second time. In fact, Fernandez quipped that Francis isn’t the cardinals’ “slave for errands” — when it is none other than this ‘Pope’ who loves to emphasize that we find freedom and joy precisely in “serving others”.
If Francis truly were what he claims to be — the Servant of the Servants of God, aka Pope — then guarding the orthodoxy of doctrine and clarifying questions concerning it would be his primary duty — not recording video messages about oceanic pollution or chatting with Bill Clinton about the weather in 2050.
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