08 July 2015

"One who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion."

The above quote relates to those who support a false notion of unity of religions, in which all are considered more or less good, and from which a unity can be arranged without demanding adherence to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  It comes from Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos, and is quoted in this devastatingly true and well-written piece by Hilary White at The Remnant.

This article is a must read.

In light of my post of yesterday, this article simply explains it better.  Yes, it is bracing, but it is true.

Some excerpts:

I feel sorry for the self-appointed papal interpreters. It is certainly becoming very difficult to maintain the idea that the pope is saying these things without knowing that they at least sound heretical. This especially seems deliberately aimed as a refutation of previous Catholic teaching, (namely, extra ecclesia nulla salus) and certainly seems to imply that he believes that, whatever the Church used to teach, she ought to teach it no more.

It’s just words in a book, after all. And Jesus was a man of his time… right? I wonder what other things Our Lord said that are no longer applicable in our more enlightened times? Perhaps we will learn in October.

This of course is going to be explained away, as is everything the pope says and does, by the papal apologists. Which is fine. Go to it, lads. But it’s a job of work, and not one I’d like. Indeed, so incomprehensible have Francis’ pronouncements become within the context of the traditional methods of papal expression, that Fr. Lombardi himself was recently forced to offer the excuse that Francis’ has a “new style” of teaching, one that has little to do with clarity, traditional theological precision or expressions of ... well... facts. But if you chaps think you can manage what the official papal spokesmen cannot, more power to y’all.

Francis is a master of the ambiguous, indefinable, plausibly deniable, vaguely Catholic-sounding babble that allows a listener to apply over it any personally preferred interpretation. Nailing down what he actually means within the framework of Catholic orthodoxy gets left up to the rest of us, but this is a losing game. The point is that it is the entire purpose of the papacy not. to. be. vague.

His very vagueness, the same quality that makes it so appealing to the thousands of “charismatics” in the audience, make the pope’s instructions impossible to follow rationally, even if there were not already clear instruction on the matter to the contrary (see below). As someone has said elsewhere, there are two kinds of orders a soldier cannot obey: those that are outright unlawful, and those that cannot be understood.

As we know, Francis himself has decried clarity of doctrine because, as he says, this locks people into “small-minded rules.” Of course, being Francis, I’m sure he contradicted himself on this within 24 hours. But the whole point of the clarification of doctrine - the working out over the last 2000 years of exactly and precisely how the Scriptures and Traditions of the Faith are to be interpreted and understood - is that error is fatal. And not just fatal like a train accident is fatal. We're talking about eternity and how you and I are going to spend it.


Is Francis a heretic? If he is, is he a material heretic, someone who has never known better, could not know better, and does not realise it? Is he a formal heretic, someone who, once having known and admitted the truths of the Faith has culpably rejected it? Is he some other previously unimagined thing that defies categorisation because it rejects the very concept of specific teaching or belief, the whole concept of meaning? Is it even possible to identify his thought when he seems unaware of the basic requirements of rational expression?

I don't know. But I know that most of what comes out of his mouth is either so nebulous as to be meaningless of itself within the Catholic theological framework, is contradictory to something he said the day before, or outright in error. Attempting to defend his...orations on the basis of traditional Catholic teaching is like trying to interpret Hallmark card platitudes or the slogans on office motivational posters through the lens of formal Thomistic theology. Why bother?

From the regularity with which he contradicts his own words, it’s clear that he does not regard as important the actual content of anything he says. The notion that words have meaning, that words are meant to express objective realities, seems to mean nothing to him. As with so many clerics of his generation, the only important thing is feelings. His words are probably better understood as soothing noises ordered only to generating an emotional response - as one would make soothing sounds to an infant - from an audience who aren’t too well informed or quick on their mental feet. And as such, I must say, they’re a grand success.

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