HIDDEN IN THE AFTERMATH OF A TUMULTUOUS THEOLOGICAL TREMOR, a tremor intended to shake the pontificate of the Pope Francis, hidden in this aftermath can be found unsubstantiated volatile rumblings such as the following that give an indication what it is all about:
“On April 8th, Amoris Laetitia was published; a document wherein it would appear that the pope had declared that fornication and adultery are not necessarily mortal sins, and what’s more, Almighty God Himself occasionally asks us to persist in committing them! The point apparently being, to open the door to Holy Communion for the civilly divorced and remarried, cohabitators, and perhaps even those who persist in homo-deviant acts.”
Apparently, there are more than a few who have fallen into the cracks caused by this global convulsion. Either they are sincere members of the Body of Christ being confused by sincere but liberal bishops and equally sincere traditionalist cardinals or there is, as Pope Francis himself has noted, a cabal at work in the Church, a cabal that he is in the process of sweeping away. A cabal that Francis has identified as the “most serious problem he faces:
“The problem is not having this [homosexual] orientation. No, we must be brothers and sisters. The problem is lobbying for this orientation, or lobbies of greed, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the most serious problem for me” (CNS News).
This problem has grown so acute that it has apparently penetrated the hallowed ramparts of Malta leading Pope Francis to order a purge of Freemasons from the Knights of Malta.
For a long time, many on the right have been pleading for the popes to clean house; now that the cleaning has commenced many of the supplicants ravenous for a papal crackdown, are finding themselves on the bristles tips.
In the Holy Father’s own words:
“There are also cases of malicious resistance, which spring up in misguided minds and come to the fore when the devil inspires ill intentions (often cloaked in sheep’s clothing).”
“This last kind of resistance hides behind words of self-justification and often accusation,” he said. “It takes refuge in traditions, appearances, formalities, in the familiar, or else in a desire to make everything personal, failing to distinguish between the act, the actor and the action
By using words such as traditions, appearances and formalities, it is quite clear whom the pope is referring to. His words are similar to those of Cardinal Ratzinger when he headed the sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF):
“It is necessary to be strong in faith and to resist error even when it masquerades as piety.”
The culprit is then brought into stark relief when the sacred scriptures point their light on the theme or error, piety, tradition etc:
“And what I do I will continue to do, in order to end this pretext of those who seek a pretext for being regarded as we are in the mission of which they boast. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, who masquerade as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light. So it is not strange that his ministers also masquerade as ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11: 12-15).
Strangely, this could apply to “ministers” on the left and the right who have entered into an highly unusual alliance. Usually the two, left and right, are at each others throats, now in a strange set of circumstances they are either consciously or unconsciously working together to unseat the pope before he unseats them. Churchmen of the right are claiming that Amoris Laettia is unclear while those on the left are confirming their allegations by implementing specious diocesan guidelines that permit liturgical and sacramental abuses in the name of Amoris Laetita.
These obfuscating claims and divisive schema have prompted Cardinal Mueller to suggest that it is the bishops, not the pope, that are causing the confusion. Recently, to the chagrin of both the right and the left, Cardinal Mueller defended the doctrinal integrity of Amoris Laetitia. Those on the left (those who think the Magesterium has somehow opened the door for Holy Communion to unrepentant adulterers based on a private judgement of their own unformed conscience) are obviously in error – Cardinal Mueller has begun the process of addressing their error. But it is the Churchmen on the right who are unexpectedly sensing the heat. Following closely on the heels of this doctrinal pronouncement, intended to bring clarity, the Prefect for the CDF took measured aim at the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Mueller is in the process of revealing that it is not just liberals on the left that are causing confusion – those on the right are equally culpable. To do so he is using the issue of religious freedom.
According to Cardinal Mueller:
“Religious freedom as a fundamental human right and freedom to protect religion regarding the supernatural revelation in Jesus Christ are recognized by every Catholic without reservation.”
In response to this verity, some of the “faithful” composing the radical and schismatic far-right are acting like liberal protesters who have taken to the streets to vilify President Trump. Like them, they are engaged in a smear campaign involving false reporting, blatant disrespect, and sacrilege. Expletives such as the following are rolling off of their tongues:
“Müller not only made it clear that he is in no way to be taken seriously, he revealed his Catholic IQ; placing himself squarely in the category of functional idiot.
Is this how one should speak to the Prefect for the Sacred Congregation of Faith, the highest doctrinal authority in the Catholic Church? If not, this is a manifest instance of pride revealing what is hidden in the hearts of those who are impelled to speak this way:
“Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy? But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man” (Matt 15: 17-20).
A wise and well developed man does not revile his enemies – he opposes, but also respects. If the opposition happens to be with superiors, he prays for his superiors knowing that they will receive a stricter judgement and is careful not to offend in word esp. with words delivered to ears that have no business in the matter; that is, those who are not in a position to ameliorate:
“Be ye not many masters, my brethren, knowing that you receive the greater judgment. For in many things we all offend. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man. He is able also with a bridle to lead about the whole body….Even so the tongue is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.
So how do we know that wisdom or words presented as wisdom are from the Holy Spirit, are from above? First, those who speak them are not in the business of daily reviling their superiors to an audience incapable of doing anything about it. Such men and women engage in controversies and apparent controversies like the Virgin Mary and like the just man, Joseph: Quietly and Privately; when they do so Loudly and Publicly, we begin to grow suspicious of their motives. When sarcasm and belittling are added to the mix, our initial suspicions are emboldened because love is not sarcastic. The Spirit of God is revealed in “good conversation”, “meekness of wisdom”, it avoid “contentions”, it is “chaste” and “peaceable” and “full of mercy.”
“Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew, by a good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter zeal, and there be contentions in your hearts; glory not, and be not liars against the truth. For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and contention is, there is inconstancy, and every evil work. But the wisdom, that is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, FULL OF MERCY and good fruits (patience, kindness long suffering etc), without judging, without dissimulation. And the fruit of justice is sown in peace, to them that make peace.
Some members of extreme right groups such as the the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) wonder why they are having difficulties with the Vatican. When they speak in the following manner, as some of them do, it should not be too hard to figure out. According to some members of SSPX, both Pope Francis and Cardinal Mueller are “functional idiots” whose ideas are “laughable” because they are “clowns” and “fools”.
“Which brings me to Müller’s laughable suggestion that recognition of the Second Vatican Council is “not an unreasonably high hurdle” to overcome with respect to the regularization of the SSPX. Presumably, by “recognition” he means to say that the Council represents “an integral part of the tradition of the Church;” the prerequisite established by Benedict the Abdicator.”
“Remember, this Müller is the same German clown that just a few moments earlier said that it’s not acceptable to take one “key statement” of faith and reject others – as if the text of Vatican II doesn’t do exactly that on any number of points; most notably as it concerns the very matters he chose to highlight, religious freedom and ecumenism.”
By bringing up the issue of religious freedom, which he wants members of the SSPX to “unreservedly recognize” as a “human right”, and “an obligation to ecumenism”, Cardinal Mueller has placed them in an imbroglio. In an attempt to demonstrate their intellectual superiority, some radical members of the SSPX begin to sound like emotionally distraught liberals who believe their ideas to be so extremely sacrosanct that they can impose them on everyone; those who disagree with them in the hierarchy are accused of vile intent, a disorientation that must be combated:
“Rome has long been Satan’s playground, and only a fool ever imagined that Cardinal Müller may have somehow been spared the diabolical disorientation that has infected the overwhelming majority of those in the sacred hierarchy.”
As Jesus warned, a man’s worst enemies are from his own household (Matt 10:36). These are enemies detected by their sarcasm, contentiousness, reviling and sacrilegious audacity; like the Pharisees before them, who accused Jesus Christ of being possessed by demons, they are not afraid to fulfill scripture by saying the same about His apostolic successors:
“Do not we (Pharisees) say well that thou (Jesus) art a Samaritan, and hast a devil” (John 8:48)?
Addressing the issue further Jesus hinted that others would follow in the Pharisee footsteps and renounce the leaders of His Church the same way:
“It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! (Matt 10:25).”
Like their forefathers they will bring division into the Kingdom of God, which will be their undoing.
“This man drives out demons only by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.” But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand” (Matt 12:24-25).
Since the Gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church, apparently, it is time to drive this divisive force out of the Kingdom of God- something these brash opponents fear more than anything else. Like nation’s around the world who have begun to see the pernicious errors of liberalism and have begun to set it aside – some like Poland have gone as far as declare Jesus Christ to be their King – Francis too has begun the long overdo and arduous chore of papal house cleaning.
On the issue of religious freedom, one adamant accuser who believes he is superior to the Prefect of the CDF speaks with sarcasm containing all the marks indicated above. Addressing Cardinal Mueller’s declaration of religious freedom as detailed in Dignitatis Humane he states:
“I say, there is no human right to freedom of religion when that religion is false.”
It is questionable of this critic of Vatican II ever read the document and if he did that he properly understood it. He is already engaging a straw man.
“So Mr Muller, do you believe these religions are as equally true as the Catholic faith founded by God in the flesh of Jesus Christ? If so,then you must at least tacitly support the above named practices no?”
“It seems to me, (and I do not have a degree in philosophy or theology, thank God,) that Catholicism and all the other mentioned “religions” cannot both be true. And, if you believe Catholicism is true, how can you then lend support the above named practices? especially when I really do not see Jesus as approving the above practices anywhere in Scripture.”
“I am seeing a conflict here buddy, because you say you are Catholic, but you seem to support the right of anybody to do anything in the name of “freedom of religion”
An outlandish presumption based on obnoxious ignorance, followed by disrespect, calling the Cardinal “buddy” and a silly deduction based on his own straw man argument. The fact is, he does not know what the cardinal thinks; if he does know, his sin is compounded because the cardinal does not believe anything remotely close to his distorted suppositions and conclusions.
Projecting his guilt and hiding behind a shield of feigned piety and sarcasm he then accuses cardinal Mueller of “Satanism” – enough is enough.
“Actually, your belief in “freedom of religion” sounds exactly like Satanism to me… do whatever you want whenever you want with no restrictions…but again I’m just an ignorant lay Catholic person…not a prince of the Catholic Church.”
Speaking of his reform of the Vatican Curia, Francis told the curates that his reforms, reforms he has just begun, would require more than surface ironing out; no he intends his reforms to be so deeply penetrating that they will remove ingrained stains, those that are most difficult to get out:
In his annual address to the Vatican Curia, he implied some of those engaged in “malicious resistance” to the reform are inspired by the devil. Resistance, he said is sometimes “open” and sometimes “hidden”, both of which can be constructive if conducted with proper intentions. However, he warned that
“This last kind of resistance hides behind words of self-justification and often accusation….It takes refuge in traditions, appearances, formalities, in the familiar, or else in a desire to make everything personal, failing to distinguish between the act, the actor and the action.”
Pope Francis means business and they know it. St. Peter ora pro nobis.