Saturday, April 30, 2016


Article 305 together with footnote 351 of Amoris laetitia has become the primary preoccupation of those who have read the papal exhortation, which when it comes to a papal teaching document is a bit higher than a homily but much lower than an encyclical.

99.9% of Amoris Laetitia is great and would have made a wonderful exhortation. But just as a great, healthy body that is 99.9% healthy can become infected by a virus, the preoccupation is with the resulting effects of the virus on the body despite 99.9% of it being okay, so too is article 305 together with footnote 351 a virus of Amoris Laetitia that can corrupt the entire Church, not only her Deposit of Faith but her people, clergy and laity together.

For anyone to complain that the majority of the critics evaluating Amoris Laetitia seem to ignore the 99.9% of it that is good and only focus on article 305 together with footnote 351 does not understand what viruses do and how a preoccupation with the virus results until it is removed or overcome.

In effect, article 305 together with footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia is a computer virus. A computer virus as Wikipedia describes it is a malware that, when executed, replicates by reproducing it self or infecting other programs by modifying them. Infecting computer programs can include as well, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive. When this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected". The term computer virus was a misnomer until it was coined by Fred Cohen in 1985.[6] Viruses often perform some type of harmful activity on infected hosts, such as acquisition of hard disk space or CPU time, accessing private information, corrupting data, displaying political or humorous messages on the user's screen, spamming their contacts, logging their keystrokes, or even rendering the computer useless. However, not all viruses carry a destructive payload or attempt to hide themselves—the defining characteristic of viruses is that they are self-replicating computer programs which install themselves without user consent.

I think you can see the parallels between a computer virus and what it does to the computer and what article 305 with footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia can do to the inner workings of the Church's Deposit of Faith and her people without them even knowing it. 

The question that one must ask of those responsible for the inclusion of article 305 with footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia, to include the Holy Father and the one where the buck ultimately stops, was this an intentional virus to corrupt the Church and make her more like liberal Protestantism when it comes to the formulation of moral theology and practice. Was it an intentional subversion, manipulative planting of a virus to promote what appears as orthodoxy but where orthopraxis is thrown recklessly to the wind leading to the triumph of the dictatorship of relativism in the Church?

When one hears from certain Church cardinals that what might be acceptable in one country, for example like Germany, might not be acceptable in countries of Africa and the Church must accommodate both perspectives, this sounds like speaking with a forked tongue to me and dangerously demonic. It is not holy it is evil.

What is the solution? One must take the long view with 20/20 hindsight. Evil never ultimately triumphs in the world or in the Church although both are made to suffer because of it for a time that seems like eternity.

Either the current pope or  future popes will have to steer the barque of Peter back on course but whenever that occurs and it will, in the meantime we must keep the Faith.

Sorry to mix metaphors. A virus usually can't be cured but must run its course until it fizzles. As it concerns the Church, she will be left weakened but with the ability to recover with time, maybe generations. The long view of history is needed today more than ever.

However, the Holy Father himself can give the antidote. Remove the virus and apologize for its inclusion. Pope Benedict, the truly humble pope, would have apologized if it happened to one of his documents intended or not.  


Vox Cantoris said...

Absolutely correct Father. I'm tired of hearing, "how much good" is in the document. A drop of poison in a glass of milk will still kill you. The Pope created this mess. If he did not read the footnote or proof read AL, then whose fault is that? I don't buy it. I believe he knew it and wants all of it.

The pressure on him must be enormous. Either he will correct this and clarify it or he will not. If he does not, he will be denounced by a future Pope or Council.

God have mercy on him and us.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Are you criticizing the humblest pope ever? You seem to be. You must be one of those pseudo Catholic converts who is really a Protestant. You can't criticize the pope because he is the pope. Just because Francis says that people living in objective mortal sin and violating a direct COMMANDEMENT from God Himself that doesn't mean they are living in mortal sin and are not living in a state of grace, you have a problem with that, he is the pope. You said we can't criticize the pope. You also said lay people can't criticize the pope. Does that include highly intelligent elite lay people who have jobs in important universities or just regular Catholic lay people who have a mind that works just fine?

You need to get your......head....out of the clouds and uphold Catholic matter what the cost. And so do the bishops.

For a pope to teach that a woman living an active adulteress life can go to confession and confess the sin or abortion but not the adultery and receive absolution is heresy...AND YOU KNOW IT. Can we now pick and choose what mortal sins we are going to confess? Because it's clear that is what Francis believes. Yes Francis. The same man who DAILY judges and condemns people is also the same man who says a true Christian can't judge anyone. It's madness or evil or both.

Anonymous said...

Your post, Father, sums it up. From his recent comments the Pope is obviously aware of the confusion caused by his exhortation - Bishop Schneider for one has requested he clarify the meaning of his exhortation. If Pope Francis makes no clarification - and it seems from his comments that he won't - then I can only assume that what he has exhorted is what he intended all along - a softening up of Church teaching - and that he is of the erroneous belief that, in certain circumstances, people living in a situation of unconfessed mortal sin without repentance can be pleasing to God and accordingly receive Holy Communion.

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."the papal exhortation, which when it comes to a papal teaching document is a bit higher than a homily but much lower than an encyclical."

It doesn't matter that the Exhortation is "much lower than an encyclical". Bishops will implement the Exhortation in their dioceses. I have read one bishop after another declare that the Exhortation is orthodox, will be implemented within their diocese, and does not permit (unrepentant) divorced and "remarried" Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

The bishops are preparing guidelines to implement the Exhortation. It is just a matter of time before Pope Francis' Exhortation will impact directly and powerfully the Faithful at the parish level.

The bishops have accepted the Exhortation. In particular, that applies to conservative bishops who have gushed over the Exhortation.

Example: Bishop Morlino (beloved by conservatives).

Bishop Morlino: "And my first word is just what I’ve said, marriage and married life is treated in such a tremendously beautiful way."

Bishops have praised Amoris Laetitia to the hilt. They are determined to implement what they have insisted is a 100 percent orthodox and tremendously beautiful Exhortation.

Amoris Laetitia is here to stay and will impact the Church.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald, please forgive my off-the-topic comment...perhaps you may wish to post the following to a separate thread:

That is a link to today's special Saturday General Audience held at Saint Peter's Basilica. A vast audience of pilgrims were present there today. Such outfits as Rorate Caeli have claimed that in Italy, the Year of Mercy has been a flop...nobody supposedly is interested in the Jubilee.

Well, the tremendous amount of pilgrims today who gathered with His Holiness Pope Francis did not receive Rorate Caeli's message. At the beginning of the video, it is so beautiful to witness the enthusiastic pilgrims express their great love and joy toward Pope Francis.

The Holy Father was joyful as he rode in the Popemobile to bless and greet his loving flock.

Pope Francis' message today was powerful...GO TO CONFESSION! The Pope exhorted us to reconcile to God. Go to the Holy Sacrament of God. Confess our sins. Then be thankful and joyful in the Lord.

The English-language remarks begin at the 37:23 mark.

The beginning of the video, as the Pope blesses and greets his joyful flock is beautiful beyond words.

That is the true image of Pope Francis and the People of God. Our Pope is a holy man of God. Jesus Christ's people love their Pope. We are united in Jesus Christ. Our Pope exhorted us today to reconcile ourselves to God and each other.

I pray that Catholic bloggers, Traditionalists in particular, will more and more report the beautiful things related to Pope Francis. Cherry-picking his statements to "prove" that he is a "heretic" doesn't uplift the Church. Generating endless controversies and negative posts about Pope Francis doesn't uplift the Church.

We are brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. We are gathered about the Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis. Let us show greater love to Pope Francis and each other. I confess that more than anybody else, I must begin to heed my own advice.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

“99.9% of Amoris Laetitia is great and would have made a wonderful exhortation.”

“The worst kind of heretic is the one who, while teaching mostly true Catholic doctrine, adds a word of heresy, like a drop of poison in a cup of water.” -- Pope Leo XIII

Article 305 together with footnote 351 looks like just such a drop of poison. It’s a pertinent question who added this word of apparent heresy to this overflowing cup.

Rood Screen said...

The Church has already made clear to modern man her teachings about, and concern for, families. This document was never intended to be a reaffirmation of those teachings and concerns so recently articulated. The intention was always to find a way to allow a man who began his ecclesiastical career failing to condemn a murderous junta in Argentina, to build upon that failure by creating a theology of non-condemnation of evil and sacramental embrace of avowed sinners. But he should condemn adultery now just as he should have condemned the junta then.

Anonymous 2 said...

Is it a virus or is it an upgrade? Perhaps only time will tell and much will depend on the user and the reader of the code.

Anonymous said...

MT - Rorate Caeli blog is dangerous to the faith because in its founding and in its messages it is cynical.

Frequently Rorate Caeli has made "predictions" that are shown, in short order, to be flat-out wrong. Frequently Rorate Caeli has been in factual error.

Add to that, one of their biggest critics of Pope Francis, Marcelo Gonzalez, who called Francis a “sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass," is widely known as a Holocaust denier. His piece is here:

I'd urge you to stay away from Rorate Caeli.

Rood Screen said...

Henry is right. This exhortation is in the spirit of VCII. I've spent decades defending VCII on the grounds that those documents can and should be read in continuity with Trent, etc. But I've done so knowing full well that, in practice, the "hermeneutic of rupture" has guided application of the VCII reforms from the beginning, with no serious effort from the Vatican or the local bishops to change course. Similarly, there's no point arguing that this latest exhortation can be read in continuity with the Apostolic Tradition when we all know that in practice it will not be.

Jusadbellum said...

We all know that there has been a de-facto schism in the Church since the 1960s breaking along Socialist/Sexual revolution lines. The only thing keeping it from becoming a de-jure schism is the decision of the Popes to pretend that it doesn't exist and come out with documents that attempt to uphold the Faith while providing just enough wiggle room to allow the dissenters (i.e. heretics) from deciding all is lost and they should push for open rebellion.

I suspect the prudential decision making is that a de-facto rupture can be healed with time (generally outlasting the heretics) whereas open, institutional rupture tends to endure for centuries taking countless souls with it.

So the Vatican is saying "nice doggie" while quietly looking for a rock or stick. It looked like the orthodox were winning the race under Benedict XVI, that the heretics would soon die out and all their younger minions be outnumbered by up and coming more orthodox young priests and bishops whereas all their religious orders would just shrivel up and fade away....alas, Pope Francis has breathed new life in their camp - giving them a true sense that "just a little more" is needed for total victory of their socialist-sexual revolution to score a lasting victory.

As always we steal defeat from the jaws of victory. It's hard to not be cynical and consider the Benedict (to heck with it all) option. But that sort of run and hide option really, REALLY sticks in my craw. There's got to be a better way and I for one think what's always been needed was clarity and day-light. Don't give wiggle room, come out with a clarity of doctrine that eliminates equivocal spin. Don't play nice. Challenge the Hans Kungs of the world to an open debate and mop the floor with him and his 'nuance' that has proven so disastrous for Catholicism and indeed even simple humanism.

If the heretic's thesis was correct we'd have a thousand cases of booming religious orders, booming ministries in the inner cities, millions of converts to Catholicism, happy, well adjusted children, teens, young adults, and restored marriages positively impacting every culture they live in. Instead we see across the board disintegration and melting into the secular culture, retaining Catholicism as an ethnic habit rather than a moral choice.

Anonymous said...

Exactly so, Dialogue. MT shows how confused he is by saying that the bishops are going to implement this exhortation because, if it were orthodox, as Mark is turning himself inside out trying to prove, then there would be nothing for the bishops to implement because the teaching on the divorced and civilly remarried was long ago settled by Our Lord Himself with no ifs or buts.

Pray tell me, Mark Thomas, what in this "orthodox" document do you think the bishops are going to be implementing?

James said...

The current Holy Father is only the latest in a line of Popes who have said or done doctrinally problematic things. It is impossible to have any respect for the "conservative" Pope-bashers, because they were nowhere to be seen or heard when John Paul II committed indifferentism at Assisi, approved an Ecumenical Martyrology, allowed the 1983 Code to include subsections in canon 844 that extended the Blessed Sacrament to non-Catholics, approved the Balamand Declaration, said the Old Covenant was stil in force, approved altar-girls.

Where were today's champions of Catholic orthodoxy and morals then ? Nowhere. The Prefect of the SCDF ? He went along with JP2's behaviour. So much for protecting the Faith ! And he imitated his predecessor, once he was Pope himself. Where were the present Pope's oh-so-courageous critics then ? Did they criticise those Popes ? Not a bit of it ! It is wholly unfitting of such people to accuse Pope Francis of unorthodoxy, when they have tolerated much worse unorthodoxy from his predecessors for so long. Such people cannot exoect to have any credibility among those of us who are sickened by their inconsistency. Apparently relativism is fine after all: what is a sin in Pope Francis, worthy of vocal and vigorous condemnation, is apparently highly defensible and estimable, when does by the previous post-Vatican 2 Popes. It reflects very badly indeed on the Church today, that the alleged bio-ethical failings of the Holy Father have come in for prolonged and stern criiticism, whereas his indifferentism has gone almost unnoticed.