Saturday, June 18, 2016
A BUMBLING MISSPOKEN DICTATORSHIP OF RELATIVISM?
The reason for this is that carrying the cross that is laid upon our shoulders or we choose takes a great deal of human and divine strength. It is too easy to go with what the world teaches rather than God's design which is available to believer and non believer through natural law.
Thus I have found Pope Francis liberal pastoral theology made almost into a doctrine or dogma very disconcerting because it is the old "new" morality of the 1960's and 70's which I was taught in the major seminary between 1976 through 80. It was and is a disaster for the Church and individual souls. I blame the sexual abuse crisis as well as the sexual immorality of Catholic clergy and laity upon this old "new" morality because it relativizes everything and makes Scripture and Tradition in terms of morality out to be time and culturally constrained. This allows for its manipulation by what is called "development." Thus what was once considered immoral is manipulated into being moral. This is the dictatorship of relativism of the heretics of the new morality born slightly after Vatican II and very much a result of the sexual revolution of the 1960's.
Worse yet, in fact the worst, is to hear the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church bloviate about this, that and the other in off-the-cuff remarks that shows his complete insensitivity to those of us who are trying our best to be both pastoral and docrtrinally sound. As well we know that the way of the Episcopal Church and other liberal Protestant denominations in moral relativism has been the death knell for them. Why should the Catholic Church through a pope's off-the-cuff bloviating be dragged down this same destructive path? It is beyond my comprehension.
Thus Pope Francis' most recent opinionated off-the-cuff remarks (and these are not magisterial, btw) hit me in two ways:
1. When His Holiness said that the majority of "SACRAMENTAL" marriages were invalid, I don't think His Holiness was thinking. His Holiness misspoke. He must have meant marriages or marital unions because if a marriage is proven to be SACRAMENTAL(and all Catholic marriages are presumed to be sacramental) through a very strict canonical process, it cannot be ever considered invalid. This misspeak on Pope Francis' part is inexcusable for a pope but forgivable.
2. Worse yet is to confirm people in cohabiting prior to marrying in the Church. Canon Law governs marriage of Catholics although we know that Pope Francis has a 1970's mentality about canon law as being small minded rules. Nevertheless none of us is dispensed from canon law unless a bishop dispenses us. And yes a bishop could dispense from the Catholic form of marriage but not from natural law or Scripture and Tradition as it regards sexual morality.
Yes, it is true that in the early centuries of the Church all that it took for a marriage to be a sacrament was for a Christian man and woman who had no impediments to simply move into together and consummate the marriage--that alone constituted the Sacrament of Marriage. Only later did civil and religious law require a "solemnization" of this coming together under one roof. The Catholic Church devised a nuptial liturgy for the purpose of blessing this living together union and eventual canon law to govern Catholics and marriage for the good order of the Church!
The Church has always required that not only Canon Law recognize Catholic marriages by following the law but that civil or secular law must be followed as well for a valid marriage.
Pope Francis may be suffering from old age which muddies his thought processes. If so we can cut him some slack. If His Holiness misspeaks are actually what His Holiness believes and wants to teach in this fashion as a way to change Catholic doctrine and morality intentionally, we have a very serious moral, canonical and psychological problem on our hands which can only be rectified by the college of bishops in union with the pope. Lay people and other clergy can voice their concerns but only the hierarchy can deal with this-- and that's the way it is!
The Church has experienced worse from popes in the past and yes, this too will pass by the grace of God!