Tuesday, February 14, 2017


You can read from Crux the following article (simple press the title):
 Excerpt:  Catholics who find themselves in what the Church considers “non-legitimate” situations, such as being divorced and civilly remarried, can receive Communion as long as they want to change their situation but cannot act on their desire because doing so would lead to further sin.
That’s the final word, at least according to the Vatican’s key interpreter of the law, Italian Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, who was appointed by Benedict XVI in 2007 as President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

With all due respect to Cardinal Coccopalmerio,  for the Church to officially go into specific situations of pastoral concern to give guidance to bishops, priests and deacons on how to handle delicate pastoral situations is an anomaly. Dogma, doctrine and Church Canon Law must be unambiguous. The pastoral solution for complicated situations should be local but always in reference to the specific.  Holy Communion based upon cheap grace isn't the Catholic way. The internal forum is no solution. 

The good Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and others in the Vatican have opened up Pandora's Box.

(Pandora's box is an artifact in Greek mythology, taken from the myth of Pandora's creation in Hesiod's Works and Days.[1] The "box" was actually a large jar (πίθος pithos)[2] given to Pandora (Πανδώρα, "all-gifted, all-giving"),[3] which contained all the evils of the world. Pandora opened the jar and all the evils flew out, leaving only "Hope" inside once she had closed it again.)
Today the phrase "to open Pandora's box" means to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but that turns out to have severely detrimental and far-reaching negative consequences.
No doubt, this will lead not only to the laity making up their own morality as they go, but also the clergy in their personal lives too. It is the 1970's all over except now the 1970's version of immorality of both clergy and laity will be on steroids. 

The Magisterium of the Church, up until now, has always taught the ideal, the way of perfection, to be Perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. The Sacrament of Penance indicates that when one falls or fails to be perfect recourse to the Sacrament of  Penance has no bounds if one is truly sorry and has a firm purpose of amendment. 

But public sin, such a living as husband and wife when one is either not married or is in an illicit civil union brings an added burden of ceasing to give public scandal.

The Magisterium never, until now, proposes scenarios that excuses on from the clear dogmas, doctrines and Canon Laws of the Church. This is novel. In the seminary, these are discussed and solutions based upon the clear teachings of the Church are suggested. 


rcg said...

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young advised that if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with thereby destroying both morality and grammar with one stone.

We may simply be in a Mount Nebo moment in Church history where the people who have brought us this far can take us no further without losing actually ground. We need to continue filling seminaries with dispicable young men who wear their cassocks without shame and face the altar and are not afraid of Latin until all of the broken old men of the 1970s have passed to their reward.

C, S, N, & Y had another tune about that, too:
"And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,

So just look at them and sigh and know they love you."

Tom Makin said...

I just don't understand why the Holy Father will not clarify this issue. I fear this is intentional and that through deliberate silence, he is, if not de jure, certainly de facto, enabling a circumstantial interpretation that allows the faithful to decide for themselves..."who am I to judge?" I just don't understand. He is right out of the Liberation Theology School that ram rampant in the 70's and 80's and while he may not have been one with those Priests who aligned themselves with Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, he certainly wasn't/isn't far removed.

Victor said...

The way this pope is handling the situation over divorced Catholics resembles the way of the Church in Latin America. Within 25 years, the vast majority of Christians there will be Evangelical Protestants. People do not want confused minimal Christianity of the 1970's, but more rigid and clear teaching for the new millenium which the Evangelicals offer.

Anonymous said...

"I just don't understand why the Holy Father will not clarify this issue. I fear this is intentional"

Is there any way anyone could possibly think otherwise? What, PrayTell, would be an alternative rationale?

Jusadbellum said...

So....and I never thought I'd be typing this.... it looks more and more conceivable that Ms. Barnhardt's thesis that Pope Francis is an anti-pope might not be so crazy after all. It certainly would explain the facts on the ground better than any other theory as to what's going on.

We are teetering on the brink of a global schism. The last one ended just on the eve of the Protestant Revolt that ripped Western Civilization apart and unleashed the most bloody series of wars in European history.

In the beginning of the Church there was the Arian heresy that was also largely imposed on the Church from the top down. It was rough rowing for the faithful of the late 3rd and 4th century. By the time they recovered, they had a very brief respite before the Islamic armies of conquest swept in and swept the whole of ancient Christendom away.....

rcg said...

Jusad, don't fret. I have tried to be as even handed and as supportive of the Pope as I can while still trying to constructively criticize things he does or says. I think I have done OK. So I do not want to slam the Pope nor the person in the office to point out that we have had worse popes and this one is not effective enough to do real harm. Maybe stacking the college of cardinals was the worst thing he did. But his reign seems more like Warhol's 15 minutes of fame than anything very important. He could easily have been an American Pope with emphasis on feelings and publicity to show how important caring is. And it is important if it motivates you to think then act. He seems fearful of strong personalities more than conservatives, especially if they actually do something.

All in all he is a nice man as long as you don't shout or make sudden moves.

Anonymous said...

Sooooooo......I don't know what to say. Well I do but I won't. Yes I will. It's heresy.

So does this "mercy" apply to those who oppress the poor? Those oppressing the poor may not really understand what they are doing, and it might adversely affect their lifestyle if they stopped committing this sin so according to Francis it would be ok to continue to oppress the poor if it would mean that their children couldn't go to a nice school or live in a nice house if they stopped.

Or how about a KKK member? They may not really understand who bad racism is and if they stopped being a member of the KKK it might cause family breakups or lose of a friendship or some other according to Francis' logic it would be okay to continue burning crosses on people's lawns and they could still go to communion......oh and confession and not have to confess being a KKK member.

Or what about the pedophile that really believes that love is love. According to Francis' "mercy" that person might really want to change but just can't because he believes he really loves the little altar boy he is abusing......well he to could go to communion keep abusing the child and even go to confession and never mention it. All the while remaining in a state of grace according to Francis. Evil.

TJM said...

It's a counter-productive strategy to discourage the Faithful. I think the Pope must have early on-set dementia. That's the most benign explanation I can come up with at this point.

Anonymous said...

TJM, publicized reports from Argentina would seem to indicate that he exhibited the same attitudes and behavior well before dementia might reasonably be assumed to have afflicted him.

Rood Screen said...


I agree. His nation of origin makes this worse. Argentina has long had an identity problem, being a nation capable of cosmopolitan prosperity, but ever determined to undermine its own successes with regular doses of banana republic politics, and unable to learn any lessons from the past. Throw dementia into the mix and you get the Vatican 2017.

Anonymous said...

Where IS Mark Thomas ro defend the indefensible? Pax.

Gene said...

He'll be along...

Jusadbellum said...

Gene, what's your take on the ideological/political make up of the Church in your neck of the woods? I assume only 40% of registered members go to Mass regularly. Of those, what do you suppose the red/blue split is? And secondly, do you think the clergy know the split?

Gene said...

Jusad, Well, I'm in the Deep South...I think St. Jo's in Macon probably reflects the same percentages. Fr. MacDonald could speak to that better. St. Jo's seems to me to be a thriving parish, but there are many members who do not regularly attend Mass. As far as the red/blue split goes, I have seen several cars in the St. Jo's parking lot with Obama bumper stickers and "Catholics for Choice" bumper stickers. However, I am pretty sure that the members overall are conservative. But, I'll bet the percentage of libs at St. Jo's is a lot higher than at, say, First Baptist next door or First Presbyterian down the street. I'm not sure the Priests care about the split....they shouldn't. They are to mediate God's grace and mercy to all, liberals and conservatives alike. Fr. MacDonald and I had many conversations while he was here and I don't remember us ever once getting into politics or the leanings of the members. One Church where I attend Mass sometimes is in a quite wealthy area...I park my old Dodge pickup in among a sea of Mercedes, BMW's, and Lexuses. I actually know more people personally at this Church because some live in my neighborhood and some have been my clients or students. I almost expect to see a Trump banner over the door when I drive up, LOL! Funny, it is the worst OF Mass I attend anywhere and the inside looks like First Methodist. I am surprised many of these people still go there. Their attitude is one of a deep sigh and acquiescence. I drive a few extra miles to St. Jo's because the OF there is tolerable. It was better when Fr. MacDonald was there...he has to be nice about the OF, but I suspect he is an EF guy at heart. My impression of most Priests around here, anyway, is that they are totally indifferent...and this includes in their celebration of the Mass as well as their attitude.