Sunday, January 15, 2017

Is Pope Francis trying to Empty the Cross of Christ of its Power?

"Debating 'Amoris Laetitia': A Look Ahead" by Father Raymond J. de Souza says:

 "[T]he approach to the moral life proposed in Amoris Laetitia is at odds with the teaching of Veritatis Splendor." 

"Indeed, the third part of Veritatis Splendor, entitled 'Lest the Cross of Christ Be Emptied of Its Power,' warns precisely against the view that the demands of the moral life are too difficult and cannot be lived with the help of God’s grace. Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia appears to be exactly what St. John Paul II had in mind in writing Veritatis Splendor. It does appear to empty the cross of Christ of its power."

"The drafters of Amoris Laetitia persuaded Pope Francis that it was better to pretend that Veritatis Splendor had never been written. That was a mistake."[http://m.ncregister.com/daily-news/debating-amoris-laetitia-a-look-ahead#.WHt7yXOIYwi]

The bishops of Malta, in a pastoral letter published in the Pope's semi-official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano wrote:
 
-"[A] separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (see [Amoris Laetitia], AL, notes 336 and 351)."


-" 'It is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end' (AL 305). This discernment acquires significant importance since, as the Pope teaches, in some cases this help can include the help of the sacraments (see AL, note 351)."

-"On the other hand, there are complex situations where the choice of living “as brothers and sisters” becomes humanly impossible and give rise to greater harm (see AL, note 329)."[http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/5346/a_malta_laetitia.aspx]

Pope John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor wrote:


"Certain currents of modern thought have gone so far as to exalt freedom to such an extent that it becomes an absolute, which would then be the source of values. This is the direction taken by doctrines which have lost the sense of the transcendent or which are explicitly atheist. The individual conscience is accorded the status of a supreme tribunal of moral judgment which hands down categorical and infallible decisions about good and evil. To the affirmation that one has a duty to follow one's conscience is unduly added the affirmation that one's moral judgment is true merely by the fact that it has its origin in the conscience. But in this way the inescapable claims of truth disappear, yielding their place to a criterion of sincerity, authenticity and "being at peace with oneself."[http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/5346/a_malta_laetitia.aspx]

Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio wrote:



"However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage."


"Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."[http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/5346/a_malta_laetitia.aspx]


Pope Francis and his inner circle appear to have redefined mortal sin and adultery in a way that is contrary to the 2,000 year infallibly doctrine of the Catholic Church.

They redefine adultery as a "irregular relationship" and say mortal sin is not mortal sin because of the ultimacy of conscience.

This redefinition of Catholic conscience tells the murderer, rapist, sex abuser, the person in adultery or anyone in objective mortal sin that they are not in mortal sin if they are at "peace" with it, if the sinful behavior is "humanly impossible" to change, "if they can't change their sinful behavior" or don't know it is wrong. 


Under these "conditions", they say those in objective mortal sin may receive Holy Communion without forming their conscience and changing their sinful behavior.

Their redefinition of conscience is wrong. As St. Thomas said "An erroneous conscience may bind, but it does not excuse" as the great moral philosopher Ralph McInerny wrote:

"I think murder is wrong, but make up your own mind...It is pretty clear that we do not really accept the ultimacy of conscience in this way. That the rapist and the one raped have different views on the morality of rape does not much interest us when we consider the kind of deed it is."

"Each agent is obligated to follow his conscience, but this is not tantamount to saying that every agent has a well formed conscience. It is erroneous to believe that theft is permitted. It is wrong to hold that adultery is all right...If it is erroneous, we will be interested in his changing it. Indeed, we often prevent people from acting on their real or alleged views when those views are erroneous. Professional thieves are not considered to have an interesting and defensible concept of private property. As Thomas put it, an erroneous conscience may bind, but it does not excuse." (Ralph McInerny, "Ethica Thomistica," 1982, 1997, page 110-111)

Carl E. Olson in "A Malta Leatitia" wrote:

"That seems clear. It is clear. But Amoris Laetitia, especially chapter 8, is not clear. As Dr. E. Christian Brugger argued in these pages back in April 2016, remarking on AL 305: 'In this passage, the German bishops get all they want.' By that he meant that Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Marx, and others had finally gotten the window they need to allow divorced and civilly 'remarried' Catholics to receive Communion:"


"But the passage does not presume that the sinner is in invincible ignorance or that the pastor supposes that. The passage supposes that people who are objectively committing adultery can know they are 'in God’s grace', and that their pastor can know it too, and that their judgment is right because it approves what is in fact what God is asking of them here and now, which is not yet the ideal. The pastor must help them find peace in their situation, and assist them to receive “the Church’s help”, which (note 351 makes clear) includes 'the help of the sacraments.'"

"So, again, the German bishops finally get what they want. Divorced and civilly remarried couples are in complex situations, sometimes without guilt. Pastors should help them discern if their situation is acceptable, even if it is 'objectively' sinful, so they can return to the sacraments."

"More than this, all those who dissented against the Church’s teachings of moral absolutes get what they wanted. For those so-called absolutes are now non-binding ideals, and people who think that contracepting, etc., are okay for them here and now are doing what God is asking of them in their complex situations."[http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/5346/a_malta_laetitia.aspx]

The Pope and every Catholic is obliged to have a well formed conscience and have a firm amendment not to commit mortal sin in order to receive Holy Communion. The infallible Church doctrine of Trent teaches that God gives everyone the grace to repent and overcome sinful behavior. 


These Catholic Church doctrines can't be redefined, even by the Pope, because they are part of Revelation.

Catholics who are open to the redefinition of "mercy" to mean the ultimacy of conscience may cease to be Christians because they deny that the Incarnate God-man Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins.

Pope John Paul II's Veritatis Splendor warns against the ultimacy of conscience in the third part called "Lest the Cross of Christ Be Emptied of its Power."

The ultimacy of conscience denies mercy because if there is no objective sin to be forgiven and one doesn't have by grace the power to overcome sin then the cross of Christ is emptied of its power.

Pope Francis and his inner circle who ostracizing the Four Cardinals for questioning the parts of Amoris Laetitia that appear to reject Veritatis Splendor are apparently rejecting the cross of Christ and saying it has lost its power.

They talk a lot about atheistic secular issues and social work, but rarely or never about life after the death of the body, salvation and damnation.

Francis and his inner circle say Jesus had authority because he was (past tense) a servant, but rarely or never that Jesus had authority because he is (eternal now) God.

One reason that they rarely or never talk about the four last things is that apparently in making individual conscience supreme, they deny truth, the authority of God and implicitly the existence of God.

Pope John Paul II said in Veritatis Splendor:

"Certain currents of modern thought...are explicitly atheist. The individual conscience is accorded the status of a supreme tribunal of moral judgment...about good and evil...in this way the inescapable claims of truth disappear."

It may be a valid question to ask those who promote these redefinitions:


 -Do you even believe in the Incarnation and salvation since you appear to deny the very words of Jesus Christ and his Church that He died to save us from our sins?

-Do you want to empty the cross of Christ of its power?

"Debating ‘Amoris Laetitia’: A Look Ahead" by Father Raymond J. de Souza says:

"Because the longer Amoris Laetitia remains under examination and discussion, the more clear it will be that the arguments of the critics, well developed in the Tradition of the Church, require arguments in response, similarly grounded."

"To date, the defenders of Amoris Laetitia have not offered arguments as much as undemonstrated assertions and appeals to authority. Without a convincing argument to demonstrate why Amoris Laetitia does not run afoul of Veritatis Splendor, which it prima facie does, attacking those who raise questions remains only a short-term political tactic."

"The magisterium is not, over the long term, shaped by such tactics."

"We live, though, in the immediate term, where such tactics have their impact."

"The year after the year of Amoris Laetitia will thus be one of greater acrimony and division, with those close to the Pope questioning the integrity of those who insist that, indeed, the cross of Christ has not lost its power and, in fact, remains that which makes possible the joy of love — even in the 21st century."[http://m.ncregister.com/daily-news/debating-amoris-laetitia-a-look-ahead#.WHt7yXOIYwi]

 

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