Bergoglio ‘teaching the Faith’…
Francis Gives ‘Catechesis’ on Vice of Lust, Fails to Mention Sin or Anything Supernatural
Last Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, ‘Pope’ Francis — the Argentinian apostate whose real name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio — once again graced the world with one of his weekly ‘catechesis’ sessions during the general audience:
The topic was the vice of lust, also known as sexual impurity. A few weeks ago, Francis had begun a new cycle of catechetical lectures, on vices and virtues, and this was the fourth installment in the series. The prior week’s lesson had been on gluttony.
The topic of vices and virtues is not objectionable, of course. Indeed, it is important to teach people the Catholic truth about virtues and vices so that they may know how to practice the former and stamp out the latter.
Lust is forbidden by both the Sixth and the Ninth Commandments, and Our Lord Jesus Christ made clear that it was not mere impure acts that are mortally sinful, but also consenting to such thoughts or entertaining such desires, at least if done with full deliberation. Our merciful Redeemer underscored the seriousness of the matter by making clear we must flee all the unnecessary occasions of sin in this regard, lest we be damned eternally:
You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.
Although by no means the greatest of sins, sexual impurity is one that can easily ensnare any soul, owing to the weakness of the flesh and the fact that it does not admit of lightness of matter. It only takes an instant for sanctifying grace to be snuffed out, and just one unguarded moment can entrap a soul in a lifetime of habitual mortal sin. We must therefore practice custody of the eyes and be modest in our dress and conversation, lest we carelessly expose ourselves to temptation or become a temptation to the purity of others.
This is all very basic and neither hard to understand nor difficult to explain. Yet, in his Jan. 17 catechesis, the ‘Pope’ mentions none of these things. Instead, he offers all kinds of drivel that bears some remote relation to impurity but that has nothing to do with the primary and most important aspect: Lust is a capital sin that offends God and snuffs out the life of grace in the soul, thereby impacting our struggle to obtain eternal life and avoid hell.
A Naturalist Catechesis
Let’s have a look now at the infinite wisdom Francis unloaded on his hapless audience. We will quote only the most important portions:
While gluttony is voracity with regard to food, this second vice is a kind of ‘voracity’ with regard to another person, that is, the poisoned bond that human beings have with each other, especially in the sphere of sexuality.
Right at the very beginning, we see a significant error in Bergoglio’s catechesis, an error concerning the very essence of lust that reflects the ‘Personalism’ so prevalent in Novus Ordo thought. Lust is not a voracity with regard to another person. Lust, rather, is the inordinate desire for sexual pleasure. Another person may or may not be involved — the essence of impurity lies in the willful seeking or enjoyment of forbidden sexual pleasure.
Francis proceeds to point out that “in Christianity, there is no condemnation of the sexual instinct”, and of course that is true. Sexuality is not wrong; God created it, but He did so for the primary purpose of the generation and education of children (see Gen 1:27-28). However, both divine revelation and right reason dictate that sexual relations may be enjoyed only between husband and wife. Outside of lawful wedlock, it is gravely sinful.
Francis then cautions against dangers associated with sexuality and quotes St. Paul scolding the Corinthians for their immorality (in 1 Cor 5:1). He goes on to speak about falling in love and how beautiful it is when “not polluted by vice”; and then claims that “if you ask a person in love, ‘Why [do] you love?’ they won’t have an answer: In so many ways their love is unconditional, without any reason” — apparently confusing love with infatuation, since genuine love is eminently reasonable.
In any case, Francis proceeds to warn that love is defiled by lust, a vice which he concedes “is particularly odious, for at least two reasons. At least two.” What might these two reasons be that he is about to enumerate? Will they have anything to do with God, with the supernatural, with our spiritual life?
Of course not! Being the Naturalist that he is, the two reasons Francis lists as making lust “particularly odious” are reasons having no reference whatsoever to the supernatural — to God, to sin, to the life of grace, etc. — but only to human relationships:
First, because it destroys relationships between peoples. To prove such a reality, unfortunately, the daily news is sufficient. How many relationships that began in the best of ways have then turned into toxic relationships, of possession of the other, lacking respect and a sense of limits? These are loves in which chastity has been missing: a virtue not to be confused with sexual abstinence – chastity is something different from sexual abstinence – but rather must be connected with the will never to possess the other. To love is to respect the other, to seek his or her happiness, to cultivate empathy for his or her feelings, to dispose oneself in the knowledge of a body, a psychology, and a soul that are not our own, and that must be contemplated for the beauty they bear. That is love, and love is beautiful. Lust, on the other hand, makes a mockery of all this: lust plunders, it robs, it consumes in haste, it does not want to listen to the other but only to its own need and pleasure; lust judges every courtship a bore, it does not seek that synthesis between reason, drive and feeling that would help us to conduct existence wisely. The lustful seeks only shortcuts: he does not understand that the road to love must be travelled slowly, and this patience, far from being synonymous with boredom, allows us to make our loving relationships happy.
All this is Naturalist drivel. That is not to say that what Francis says here is necessarily wrong — it is not — but that it utterly fails to communicate the supernatural truths which must be a Pope’s first priority: that lust is a dangerous sin that easily destroys our friendship with God and sullies our souls, making us lose our adopted divine sonship (see Rom 8:13-17) and returning us to the state of being “children of wrath” (Eph 2:3); and that, as a capital sin, it tends to occasion many other sins in us; etc.
The second reason Bergoglio gives for why lust is “particularly odious” is that it takes away freedom:
But there is a second reason why lust is a dangerous vice. Among all human pleasures, sexuality has a powerful voice. It involves all the senses; it dwells both in the body and in the psyche, and this is very beautiful; but if it is not disciplined with patience, if it is not inscribed in a relationship and in a story where two individuals transform it into a loving dance [sic], it turns into a chain that deprives human beings of freedom. Sexual pleasure that is a gift from God is undermined by pornography: satisfaction without relationship that can generate forms of addiction. We have to defend love, the love of the heart, of the mind, of the body, pure love in the giving of oneself to the other. And this is the beauty of sexual intercourse.
The flowery linguistic style used here is insufferable but entirely typical for the post-conciliar theology coming from the Vatican. One really must wonder what goes on behind the forehead of someone who can write, not as poetry but as catechetical instruction, that human sexuality must be “inscribed in a relationship and in a story where two individuals transform it into a loving dance”.
But, silly figures of speech about stories and dances aside, it is not enough that human sexuality be “inscribed in a relationship” of “two individuals”. That doesn’t make sexual activity lawful. Any adulterous couple would meet those requirements — indeed, any homo-perverted ‘couple’ would, too. No, the “two individuals” must actually be of the opposite sex and also married to each other — they must be husband and wife! Bergoglio fails to mention that, as if it were but a minor detail — although, to be fair, he does speak about “man and woman” in the next paragraph, which is also the final one:
Winning the battle against lust, against the “objectification” of the other, can be a lifelong endeavour. But the prize of this battle is the most important of all, because it is preserving that beauty that God wrote into His creation when He imagined love between man and woman, which is not for the purpose of using one another, but of loving one another. That beauty that makes us believe that building a story together is better than going in search of adventures – there are so many Don Juans out there; building a story together is better than going in search of adventures; cultivating tenderness is better than bowing to the demon of possession – true love does not possess, it gives itself; serving is better than conquering. Because if there is no love, life is sad, it is sad loneliness.
Again, the jargon is insufferable, but what is worse is that the truth is distorted in these lines. Lust may very well involve an objectification of the other in many cases, but that is not in what the sin essentially consists. Other sins, too, can conceivably ‘objectify’ another, and even where there is no objectification of a human being, there could still be impurity.
What we see in the above is that ‘Pope’ Francis has replaced the powerful, supernatural Gospel truth regarding the vice of impurity with two fairly humdrum natural observations about it: Lust is bad because it poisons relationships and because it can become addictive. Whoop dee do! These two insights, true enough though they surely are, will not deter most people from committing mortal sin when passion comes knocking.
By teaching this Naturalist blather instead of the moral doctrine of Christ, Bergoglio not only denies the Gospel (at least implicitly), he also deprives people of the knowledge of the means to conquer this terrible vice, to combat concupiscence, to avoid the unnecessary occasions of sin, to resist temptation. For Christ does not merely command us to live a moral life, He also provides us with the necessary supernatural help, with the actual graces, that enable us to obey Him: “Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light” (Mt 11:28-30; cf. 1 Cor 10:13).
Different Vice, Same False Method
The week prior, in his catechesis of Jan. 10, Francis had preached on gluttony, and, not surprisingly, his focus was mostly on the vice’s social effects on the world than on what such sins do to the soul of the individual, namely: Gluttony is a capital sin that tends to lead one to sloth and impurity, keeps one attached to the temporal world, etc., and thus ultimately endangers salvation. That idea was totally missing from the Bergoglian catechesis on gluttony.
Instead, Francis spent his time teaching that (a) the enjoyment of food is not wrong in itself; (b) the Jewish dietary laws were abolished by Christ; (c) gluttony consists of an improper relationship with food, which can become pathological; (d) gluttonous eating manifests a disorder within ourselves; (e) there is a social dimension to gluttony, and it is doing grave harm to the world, even killing our planet.
Clearly, all of these things just enumerated are basically correct. The problem once again is not that Francis was teaching outright falsehood in that instance but that he was putting emphasis on secondary points while neglecting to teach the most important aspect: Gluttony is a sin against God. In itself merely venial, it can nevertheless become mortal, for example, if it seriously endangers one’s health.
Interestingly enough, Francis brings up the concept of sin regarding gluttony only with respect to (e), the social dimension of the vice. In other words, it is only when our behavior impacts other creatures that Bergoglio suddenly worries about sin. Insofar as our behavior primarily concerns God, the Creator, he doesn’t give a hoot because, you know, “God never tires of forgiving us” (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 3), and, supposedly, “He asks only that we ask him for forgiveness” (Address of Apr. 23, 2022).
The lesson to be learned here is how much lasting damage can be done to souls not only by teaching them outright errors, but also by withholding from them the most important (supernatural) truths while at the same time harping on aspects of lesser importance, usually those that relate merely to the temporal realm and pertain to the subject matter only in an indirect, secondary, or remote way. In short, sometimes what is not said can be just as consequential, or even more so, as what is stated.
Indeed, we see this confirmed also in Bergoglio’s disastrous catechesis lessons given on Oct. 24 and 31, 2018, concerning the Sixth Commandment:
If you’re beginning to detect a pattern, a veritable method to Francis’ madness, you’re not alone.
The Contrast with True Catholicism
Just how poor, how trashy, how utterly worthless Novus Ordo catechesis is on a given subject, can perhaps be seen most vividly when contrasted with the traditional Roman Catholic teaching on the same topic. It strikingly reveals how empty, how shallow, how useless post-Vatican II religious instruction is.
For example, concerning the Sixth Commandment, the traditional Roman Catechism, promulgated by Pope St. Pius V in the 16th century, teaches with great simplicity and clarity the following:
The bond between man and wife is one of the closest, and nothing can be more gratifying to both than to know that they are objects of mutual and special affection. On the other hand, nothing inflicts deeper anguish than to feel that the legitimate love which one owes the other has been transferred elsewhere. Rightly, then, and in its natural order, is the Commandment which protects human life against the hand of the murderer, followed by that which forbids adultery and which aims to prevent anyone from injuring or destroying by such a crime the holy and honourable union of marriage a union which is generally the source of ardent affection and love.
Two Parts Of This Commandment
This Commandment, then, resolves itself into two heads; the one expressed, which prohibits adultery; the other implied, which inculcates purity of mind and body.
What this Commandment Prohibits
To begin with the prohibitory part (of the Commandment), adultery is the defilement of the marriage bed, whether it be one’s own or another’s. If a married man have intercourse with an unmarried woman, he violates the integrity of his marriage bed; and if an unmarried man have intercourse with a married woman, he defiles the sanctity of the marriage bed of another.
Other Sins Against Chastity Are Forbidden
But that every species of immodesty and impurity are included in this prohibition of adultery, is proved by the testimonies of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose; and that such is the meaning of the Commandment is borne out by the Old, as well as the New Testament. In the writings of Moses, besides adultery, other sins against chastity are said to have been punished. Thus the book of Genesis records the judgment of Judah against his daughter-in-law. In Deuteronomy is found the excellent law of Moses, that there should be no harlot amongst the daughters of Israel [Deut 23:17]. Take heed to keep thyself, my son, from all fornication [Tob 4:13], is the exhortation of Tobias to his son; and in Ecclesiasticus we read: Be ashamed of looking upon a harlot [Eccl. 41:35].
In the Gospel, too, Christ the Lord says: From the heart come forth adulteries and fornications, which defile a man [Mt 15:19]. The Apostle Paul expresses his detestation of this crime frequently, and in the strongest terms: This is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication [1 Thess 4:3]; Fly fornication [1 Cor 6:18]; Keep not company with fornicators [1 Cor 5:9]; Fornication, and an uncleanness and covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you [Eph 5:3]; Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God [1 Cor 6:9].
Why Adultery Is Expressly Mentioned
But the reason why adultery is expressly forbidden is because in addition to the turpitude which it shares with other kinds of incontinence, it adds the sin of injustice, not only against our neighbour, but also against civil society.
Again it is certain that he who abstains not from other sins against chastity, will easily fall into the crime of adultery. By the prohibition of adultery, therefore, we at once see that every sort of immodesty and impurity by which the body is defiled is prohibited. Nay, that every inward thought against chastity is forbidden by this Commandment is clear, as well from the very force of the law, which is evidently spiritual, as also from these words of Christ the Lord: You have heard that it was said to them of old: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. [Mt 5:27-28]
What this Commandment Prescribes
We now come to explain the positive part of the precept. The faithful are to be taught and earnestly exhorted to cultivate continence and chastity with all care, to cleanse themselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God [2 Cor 8:1].
First of all they should be taught that although the virtue of chastity shines with a brighter lustre in those who make the holy and religious vow of virginity, nevertheless it is a virtue which belongs also to those who lead a life of celibacy; or who, in the married state, preserve themselves pure and undefiled from unlawful desire.
Reflections which Help one to Practice Purity
Impurity Excludes From Heaven
The first kind consists chiefly in our forming a just conception of the filthiness and evil of this sin; for such knowledge will lead one more easily to detest it. Now the evil of this crime we may learn from the fact that, on account of it, man is banished and excluded from the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all evils.
Impurity Is A Filthy Sin
The abovementioned calamity is indeed common to every mortal sin. But what is peculiar to this sin is that fornicators are said to sin against their own bodies, according to the words of the Apostle: Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body [1 Cor 6:18]. The reason is that such a one does an injury to his own body violating its sanctity. Hence St. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, says: This is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that know not God. [1 Thess 4:3-5]
Furthermore, what is still more criminal, the Christian who shamefully sins with a harlot makes the members of Christ the members of an harlot, according to these words of St. Paul: Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. Or know you not, that he who is joined to a harlot is made one body? [1 Cor 6:15-16] Moreover, a Christian, as St. Paul testifies is the temple of the Holy Ghost [1 Cor 6:19]; and to violate this temple is nothing else than to expel the Holy Ghost.
Adultery Is A Grave Injustice
But the crime of adultery involves that of grievous injustice. If, as the Apostle says, they who are joined in wedlock are so subject to each other that neither has power or right over his or her body, but both are bound, as it were, by a mutual bond of subjection, the husband to accommodate himself to the will of the wife, the wife to the will of the husband; most certainly if either dissociate his or her person, which is the right of the other, from him or her to whom it is bound, the offender is guilty of an act of great injustice and wickedness [1 Cor 7:4].
Adultery Is Disgraceful
As dread of disgrace strongly stimulates to the performance of duty and deters from the commission of crime, the pastor should also teach that adultery brands its guilty perpetrators with an unusual stigma. He that is an adulterer, says Scripture, for the folly of his heart shall destroy his own soul: he gathereth to himself shame and dishonour, and his reproach shall not be blotted out [Prov 6:32].
Impurity Severely Punished
The grievousness of the sin of adultery may be easily inferred from the severity of its punishment. According to the law promulgated by God in the Old Testament, the adulterer was stoned to death [Lev 20:10; Jn 8:5]. Nay more, because of the criminal passion of one man, not only the perpetrator of the crime, but a whole city was destroyed, as we read with regard to the Sichemites [Gen 34:25]. The Sacred Scriptures abound with examples of the divine vengeance, such as the destruction of Sodom and of the neighbouring cities [Gen 19:24], the punishment of the Israelites who committed fornication in the wilderness with the daughters of Moab [Num 25:4], and the slaughter of the Benjamites [Judg 20]. These examples the pastor can easily make use of to deter men from shameful lust.
Impurity Blinds The Mind And Hardens The Heart
But even though the adulterer may escape the punishment of death, he does not escape the great pains and torments that often overtake such sins as his. He becomes afflicted with blindness of mind a most severe punishment; he is lost to all regard for God, for reputation, for honour, for family, and even for life; and thus, utterly abandoned and worthless, he is undeserving of confidence in any matter of moment, and becomes unfitted to discharge any kind of duty.
Of this we find examples in the persons of David and of Solomon. David had no sooner fallen into the crime of adultery than he degenerated into a character the very reverse of what he had been before; from the mildest of men he became so cruel as to consign to death Urias, one of his most deserving subjects [2 Kgs (2 Sam) 11-12]. Solomon, having abandoned himself to the lust of women, gave up the true religion to follow strange gods [3 Kgs (1 Kgs) 11]. This sin, therefore, as Osee observes, takes away man’s heart and often blinds his understanding [Os 4:11].
(The Catechism of the Council of Trent, trans. by Fr. John A. McHugh and Fr. Charles J. Callan [Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1982], pp. 431-436; some formatting changed. Purchase through Amazon link benefits Novus Ordo Watch. This chapter is also available online here.)
It is important to quote this at some length because such simple, clear, and forceful teaching is absent from all the ‘renewed’ teaching of the post-Vatican II period, which so many hapless souls are subjected to in our day under the label of ‘Catholic’. We encourage every reader to click on the source link and read the entire chapter because we had to cut it short. The Roman Catechism continues to talk about the means of safeguarding oneself from falling into this terrible vice of lust and how to practice the opposite virtue, that of chastity.
After reading the above lines from the Roman Catechism, every adult understands what the Sixth Commandment forbids and what it prescribes. It’s not hard to understand. And did you notice? There is nothing in there about some loving dance, about building stories or seeking adventures; nothing about encounter, journey, maturity, authenticity, self-gift, or any other high-sounding words that Novus Ordos throw out there that may sound impressive at first but ultimately leave the soul not with true nourishment but only with irritating bouts of spiritual acid reflux.
To further contrast Francis’ insufferable catechesis on lust with genuine traditional Catholic instruction, we are happy to present the following sermons on the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, preached by Fr. Philip Eldracher in 2019:
Notice how the traditional Catholic sermons are eminently clear, full of understanding, and provide substantial nourishment to the soul. Francis’ Naturalist blather, by contrast, leaves people confused and uncertain as to what has been said, and offers no lasting nourishment to the soul, even if it may seem to do so at first sight.
Interestingly enough, at no point in his garbage catechesis does Bergoglio mention the primary end for which the generative faculties exist: procreation. That is significant but not surprising because, beginning with the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Novus Ordo theology has long obliterated the hierarchy of ends regarding the marital act and now considers procreation as merely one end among several of equal rank.
By contrast, up until and including Pope Pius XII (r. 1939-58), Catholic doctrine had insisted that the generation and education of children alone is the primary end to which all other ends, however legitimate in themselves, are subordinate:
Now, the truth is that matrimony, as an institution of nature, in virtue of the Creator’s will, has not as a primary and intimate end the personal perfection of the married couple but the procreation and upbringing of a new life. The other ends, inasmuch as they are intended by nature, are not equally primary, much less superior to the primary end, but are essentially subordinated to it. This is true of every marriage, even if no offspring result, just as of every eye it can be said that it is destined and formed to see, even if, in abnormal cases arising from special internal or external conditions, it will never be possible to achieve visual perception.
It was precisely to end the uncertainties and deviations which threatened to diffuse errors regarding the scale of values of the purposes of matrimony and of their reciprocal relations, that a few years ago [see Denzinger 2295], We Ourselves drew up a declaration on the order of those ends, pointing out what the very internal structure of the natural disposition reveals. We showed what has been handed down by Christian tradition, what the Supreme Pontiffs have repeatedly taught, and what was then in due measure promulgated by the Code of Canon Law. Not long afterwards, to correct opposing opinions, the Holy See, by a public decree, proclaimed that it could not admit the opinion of some recent authors who denied that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of the offspring, or teach that the secondary ends are not essentially subordinated to the primary end, but are on an equal footing and independent of it.
Would this lead, perhaps, to Our denying or diminishing what is good and just in personal values resulting from matrimony and its realization? Certainly not, because the Creator has designed that for the procreation of a new life human beings made of flesh and blood, gifted with soul and heart, shall be called upon as men and not as animals deprived of reason to be the authors of their posterity. It is for this end that the Lord desires the union of husband and wife. Indeed, the Holy Scripture says of God that He created man to His image and He created him male and female, and willed—as is repeatedly affirmed in Holy Writ—that “a man shall leave mother and father, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh”.
All this is therefore true and desired by God. But, on the other hand, it must not be divorced completely from the primary function of matrimony—the procreation of offspring. Not only the common work of external life, but even all personal enrichment—spiritual and intellectual—all that in married love as such is most spiritual and profound, has been placed by the will of the Creator and of nature at the service of posterity. The perfect married life, of its very nature, also signifies the total devotion of parents to the well-being of their children, and married love in its power and tenderness is itself a condition of the sincerest care of the offspring and the guarantee of its realization.
(Pope Pius XII, Address Vegliare Con Sollecitudine, Oct. 29, 1951)
This genuinely papal teaching is as clear as it is beautiful. How differently it reads from the drivel dished up by Bergoglio!
The gist of the true Catholic position regarding chastity is also reflected in the following beautiful traditional Catholic prayer, in which we beg God to have mercy on our weakness and preserve us from sins against purity:
O LORD Jesus Christ, Guardian of chaste souls, and lover of purity, who wast pleased to take our nature and to be born of an immaculate Virgin: mercifully look upon my infirmity. Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me; help me to drive away all evil thoughts, to conquer every sinful desire, and so pierce my flesh with the fear of Thee that, this worst enemy being overcome, I may serve Thee with a chaste body and please Thee with a pure heart. Amen.
Francis, however, is not worried about sin, as we have seen, at least not insofar as it dishonors and offends God, or insofar as it causes the spiritual death of the sinner. The only aspect of sin Francis worries about is the social dimension — how it affects other people or even the world at large.
This is not surprising when we recall that Bergoglio has made clear he doesn’t believe that keeping the commandments is necessary for salvation. On Aug. 18, 2021, he claimed in a catechesis lesson on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians that we must keep the commandments, not in order to be justified but rather “as an aid to the encounter with Jesus Christ” — whatever that means. Besides, the false pope had stated publicly in 2016 that with regard to the doctrine of justification, he believes Martin Luther was correct (and, by implication, the Council of Trent was wrong).
Bergoglio’s abysmal treatment of lust reminds one of the asinine remarks the papal pretender made last year in the Disney documentary The Pope Answers. Addressing a whore who told him she makes lewd videos for online customers, ‘His Holiness’ had this to say: “Those who are addicted to pornography are like being addicted to a drug that keeps them at a level that does not let them grow” (source). This powerful and profoundly spiritual answer has no doubt converted many souls since then! (It was only minimally less scandalous than his remark that Catholic teaching on sexuality is “still in diapers”.)
By contrast, we recall how Our Lord preached against lust, as quoted earlier: “And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell” (Mt 5:29-30).
So, what should Francis have done instead? For instance, he could have asked the whore if she really wants to stand before her Judge one day and have to answer for the countless men she led into mortal sin, for the many marriages she destroyed, for the bad example she gave to other women, for the numerous souls who are now eternally damned because of her. He then could have told her about Saint Mary Magdalen and Saint Augustine, how they once sought their happiness in impurity but then, through God’s grace, had profound conversions and repented of their wicked deeds.
In short, Bergoglio would have needed to rebuke the woman most severely for her seductions and then, lest she despair, offer to her the hope of forgiveness and salvation if she is truly contrite and promises amendment, etc. That is not a mere suggestion even, it is what a true Pope would have had the obligation to do under the circumstances: “If, when I say to the wicked, Thou shalt surely die: thou declare it not to him, nor speak to him, that he may be converted from his wicked way, and live: the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at thy hand” (Ez 3:18).
‘Pope’ Francis will have a lot to answer for.
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