Friday, May 19, 2017


This is what Pope Francis said during his morning homily as it concerns the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles about a decision of the Holy Spirit and the apostles in an important matter of Church discipline:

“But there were always people who without any commission go out to disturb the Christian community with speeches that upset souls: ‘Eh, no, someone who says that is a heretic, you can’t say this, or that; this is the doctrine of the Church.’ And they are fanatics of things that are not clear, like those fanatics who go there sowing weeds in order to divide the Christian community. And this is the problem: when the doctrine of the Church, that which comes from the Gospel, that which the Holy Spirit inspires – because Jesus said, “He will teach us and remind you of all that I have taught’ – [when] that doctrine becomes an ideology. And this is the great error of those people.”

My take: 

It is certainly crystal clear to me that the "ideologues" are those who promote women priests, gay marriage, Holy Communion for those in unrepentant mortal sin, who are pro-choice, pro-artificial contraception and want the liturgy to be fabricated by each parish, diocese and culture. 

Who else or what else could the Holy Father mean? It is crystal clear to me especially at the conclusion of the homily His Holiness, Pope Francis says the following:

... to not be afraid in the face “of the opinions of the ideologues of doctrine.” The Church has “its proper Magisterium, the Magisterium of the Pope, of the Bishops, of the Councils,” and we must go along the path “that comes from the preaching of Jesus, and from the teaching and assistance of the Holy Spirit,” which is “always open, always free,” because “doctrine unites, the Councils unite the Christian community, while, on the other hand, “ideology divides.” 


Marc said...

Your take doesn't account for the pope's assertion that the "ideologues" he has in mind label people heretics and assert that the doctrine of the Church is clear.

The people who promote women priests, gay marriage, and the other things do not use this sort of rhetoric.

He clearly has in mind people who believe that the Church's teaching is settled on areas where he is trying to change it, but is receiving resistance. It is no coincidence that a group of such faithful Catholics is meeting yesterday and today in Rome to discuss the crisis in the Church that Francis is furthering. The pope has a history of using these "homilies" as a platform to launch very thinly veiled attacks against those who disagree with him on days when those people are getting some attention for their disagreements.

Woody said...

Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, SYNODALITY AND PRIMACY DURING THE FIRST MILLENNIUM: TOWARDS A COMMON UNDERSTANDING IN SERVICE TO THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH, Chieti, 21 September 2016

"7. The history of the Church in the first millennium is decisive. Despite certain temporary ruptures, Christians from East and West lived in communion during that time, and, within that context, the essential structures of the Church were constituted. The relationship between synodality and primacy took various forms, which can give vital guidance to Orthodox and Catholics in their efforts to restore full communion today.

18. From the First Ecumenical Council (Nicaea, 325) onwards, major questions regarding faith and canonical order in the Church were discussed and resolved by the ecumenical councils. Though the bishop of Rome was not personally present at any of those councils, in each case either he was represented by his legates or he agreed with the council’s conclusions post factum. The Church’s understanding of the criteria for the reception of a council as ecumenical developed over the course of the first millennium. For example, prompted by historical circumstances, the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicaea II, 787) gave a detailed description of the criteria as then understood: the agreement (symphonia) of the heads of the churches, the cooperation (synergeia) of the bishop of Rome, and the agreement of the other patriarchs (symphronountes). An ecumenical council must have its own proper number in the sequence of ecumenical councils, and its teaching must accord with that of previous councils.(13) Reception by the Church as a whole has always been the ultimate criterion for the ecumenicity of a council."

Note that the history of the Church in the first millennium is "decisive", and that a council's "teaching must accord with that of previous councils. Reception by the Church as a whole has always been the ultimate criterion for the ecumenicity of a council."

From the entire text of the document, it seems clear that when it refers to "Church" it means both Catholics and Orthodox, even in the second millennium, so one cannot escape the conclusion that every western synod, aka "council" after 1054 is not an ecumenical council. Even Ferrara-Florence, as one will recall, was rejected by the Orthodox faithful and so cannot be considered to have been received by the Church as a whole, even if there was acceptance by the emperor and most (but not all) of the hierarchs participating.

Anonymous said...

"Who else or what else could the Holy Father mean? It is crystal clear to me

To me, too. For the upteenth time, he's referring to those "doctors of the law"--dubia cardinals, TLM types, those who read Sacrosanctum Concilium literally, etc. In anyone else, would such monomania sound unhinged. But with our Holy Father, surely there's another explanation.

Marc said...

Interesting point, Woody. Vatican II and post-Vatican II Rome has a tendency to sell out its long-held teachings on ecclesiology when those teachings conflict with the goals of the modern ecumenical movement.

Anonymous said...

I don't care any more. Honestly I can't wait until he is dead and receiving the reward he deserves.

Gene said...

It is nothing but vague double talk. Doctrine is clearly fluid for this Pope. If you believe that homosexuality is an abomination, that divorce and adultery are mortal sins, that Confession is essential before Communion, that abortion is murder, and that Jesus bodily rose from the dead and will return at the end of historical time to judge the living and the are an ideologue. If you believe in situation ethics, that sin is a relative term, and Liturgy should be laid back and people are good catholic. This Pope is a disaster.