YES, YES! WE MUST READ POPE FRANCIS THROUGH POPE BENEDICT WITH THE PELAGIAN REMARK! YES! GOD IS GOOD!
MY COMMENTS FIRST: Be happy, not sad, everything is copacetic. Pope Francis was just reiterating what Pope Benedict had said about rigid, insecure Palagian traditionalists:“the other face of the same vice is the Pelagianism of the pious. They do not want forgiveness and in general they do not want any real gift from God either. They just want to be in order. They don’t want hope they just want security. Their aim is to gain the right to salvation through a strict practice of religious exercises, through prayers and action. What they lack is humility which is essential in order to love; the humility to receive gifts not just because we deserve it or because of how we act…”--Pope Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger!
So we must truly read Francis through Benedict and Vatican Insider, Andra Tornielli confirms this in a just released article which you can read at his website HERE.
The bottom line is that the Holy Father is taking to task both the Palagians of the Church and the gnostic Pantheists. And in continuity with what he has been teaching, he is asking everyone, including the gay lobby in the Church to be faithful to Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium! The risk that we take and the mistakes we might make when we go out to the world with our Orthodox faith and Orthodox practice of the faith is the one worth taking. Don't take Pelagianism or Pantheism to the world because it is a mistake to do that and to oppose Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium with these heretical ideologies. And to the lobbyists in the Church, the careerist lobbyists like the gay lobby, don't oppose Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium! THANK YOU POPE FRANCIS AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR HERMENEUTIC OF CONTINUITY WITH POPE BENEDICT!
Francis, Ratzinger and the Pelagianism risk
The two concerns Chilean website “Reflexión y Liberación” claims Francis expressed in his conversation with Latin American clerics echo the words of his predecessor
Although it was Pope Francis’ comments on the existence of a gay lobby and corruption in the Vatican and the fact that clerics should not be discouraged when they end up in the cross-hairs of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that attracted the media’s attention, the summary of the conversation which took place between Francis and CLAR’s clerics last 6 June, contains some interesting passages relating to today’s Church. CLAR’s leaders made it clear they had nothing to do with the publication of the text, which is essentially a reconstruction of what was said, based on participants’ recollections.
The two concerns the Pope apparently expressed in his conversation with Latin American clerics are to do with the risk of “Pelagianism” and “pantheist” gnosis. The first was regarding the doctrines of the Irish monk Pelagius, which were contested by St. Augustine and condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 451. According to Pelagian heresy, original sin did not really contaminate human nature and so humans are apparently able to choose the path of goodness and avoid sin without the help of mercy. In recent decades some were averse to a return to Pelagianism because hyperactivism in the Church, trusting in human plans and projects and believing that human action is what makes the Church what it is, ends up nullifies the action of mercy and reduces everything to human ability.
According to the summary of the Pope’s conversation with CLAR, which was published on the Reflexión y Liberación website, Francis talked about the existence of a “Pelagian current in the Church at this moment” and that “there are some restorationist groups.” “I know some, it fell upon me to receive them in Buenos Aires. … And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council…,” the Pope apparently said. Francis is said to have added: “when I was elected, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: "Your Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries." Why don't they say, 'we pray for you, we ask...', but this thing of counting...” The Pope stressed that he did not in any way intend to make this example sound ridiculous with his description.
The reference to traditionalism sparked an immediate reaction among professed Ratzingerians who pointed to a discontinuity with Benedict XVI. But these censors got it wrong. It was the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself who spoke about the “Pelagianism of the pious”. During the Spiritual Exercises of 1986 (in the book “Guardare Cristo: esempi di fede, speranza e carità” [Looking at Christ: Examples of faith, hope and charity]; published by Jaka Book), Ratzinger said: “the other face of the same vice is the Pelagianism of the pious. They do not want forgiveness and in general they do not want any real gift from God either. They just want to be in order. They don’t want hope they just want security. Their aim is to gain the right to salvation through a strict practice of religious exercises, through prayers and action. What they lack is humility which is essential in order to love; the humility to receive gifts not just because we deserve it or because of how we act…”
Francis’ second concern is also interesting because it seems to call attention to the declarations made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against philosophies and currents of thought that end up “wiping out” incarnation. The current Francis was referring to was “the Gnostic current…Those Pantheisms…”. Gnosticism is a philosophical and religious current that became particularly popular between the second and the fourth centuries and still exists in some religious tendencies like the “New Age”. Both Pelagianism and Gnosticism are “elite currents”, the Pope is said to have stated, “but the latter is of a more educated elite... I heard of a superior general that prompted the sisters of her congregation to not pray in the morning, but to spiritually bathe in the cosmos, things like that... They concern me because they ignore the incarnation! And the Son of God became our flesh, the Word was made flesh, and in Latin America we have flesh abundantly [de tirar al techo]! What happens to the poor, their pains, this is our flesh... The Gospel is not the old rule, nor is it this Pantheism. If you look at the periphery; the destitute... the drug addicts! Human trafficking... This is the Gospel. The poor are the Gospel...”