Friday, December 22, 2023


Vatican News has yet another editorial on the Pope’s pastoral dogmas as a form of damage control as the Church’s bishops and laity spiral into division and schism over Pope Francis’ papacy and pastoral theology made into a dogma. You can read the commentary here.

Here is an excerpt:

The pastoral conversion of which the Pope speaks is not a cosmetic operation, a simple adjustment of schedules, a few minor adjustments to structures. It is something deeper, which engages the responsibility of everyone, and first and foremost that of ordained ministers. The etymological meaning of the word “conversion” is “to move from one place to another”, “to turn towards someone or something”, “to change direction”. The pastoral conversion Francis speaks of is the invitation to a radical change of outlook and mentality, not in the sense of somehow conforming to worldly thinking by watering down the Christian proclamation, but exactly the opposite. It is an invitation to revitalize the proclamation of the Gospel, concentrating on the essential, on the kerygma, knowing that we are increasingly dealing with interlocutors who no longer know it. Knowing that we must go out, take risks, meet others without prejudice, listen before judging, and not wait for people to come looking for us. The image of the Church as a “field hospital”, so dear to the Successor of Peter, is a powerful example. The root of pastoral conversion is profoundly evangelical: Jesus invited us not to judge lest we be judged, not to focus on the mote in the eye of those before us while ignoring the beam stuck in our own. Jesus overturned the religious logic and norms of His time by going first to untouchables and public sinners.

The purpose of pastoral conversion is one only, and it is the one that gives meaning to the Church’s existence: mission. That is, the witness of the infinite love of a merciful God Who embraces before judging and Who comes to meet us to lift us up if only we allow Him to do so, even if we only desire it.

MY COMMENTS: The problems with the commentary that I highlight in red are that Pope Francis has done nothing but to judge the Church, meaning Catholics of whatever rank. He categorizes a wide swath of Catholics as mentally ill, rigid, backwards and obstinate, all outside of his mandate and competence as the Supreme Pontiff and Bishop of Rome. This name calling and judgmentalism is meant to divide and conquer, polarize and make angry and is far from what Jesus would do as explained in red above. How this pope has treated those clergy and laity who followed what Pope Benedict XVI allowed for the TLM is breathtaking. He has exacerbated the negative feelings he already created by calling them backwards, rigid, ignorant, and mentally ill, and which by implication, included Pope Benedict. That wasn’t and isn’t helpful, but catastrophic. 

I also read an excerpt from the New York Times where a man who ministers to the LGBTQ+++ community told the reporter that Pope Francis told him  “Out of the blue, he said, ‘You know, what gets me most upset are priests who chastise people in the confessional, who reprimand them,’” Mr. DeBernardo recalled. It is that instinct, to emphasize pastoral welcoming over “giving litmus tests for orthodoxy,” that he sees as key to the new document. Once again, the pope throws priests under the bus based upon some anecdotal evidence of some priests some where. My question is, just how many laity actually go to Confession to hear a rigid priest scold them like this pope scolds the clergy over and over and over? And of those few who do go to Confession, how many of them are of the LGBTQ+++ community of sinners? Just wondering. 

The other problem is that what the pope is doing is meant to soften the ground for a complete change in the anthropology of the sacraments of the Church and her sexual morality which will embrace gender ideology. The commentary does not recognize how much many in the clergy and laity distrust the pope and his stealthy way of getting what he wants which is worldly rather than not. That should be addressed first and foremost and no smoke screens to say things to the contrary. No one would have dreamed in 2013 that a new pope would eventually publicly demand that priests in an unpriestly fashion bless couples in immoral public unions. It does not take a leap of logic to think that more will come which now seems unimagiable! 


Unknown said...

See, the Church being a field hospital for sinners implies that there is a ward for "trouble patients." Those are the trads, and they are given the harsh medicine needed to purge them of their rigidity. It all makes perfect sense.


Jerome Merwick said...

" No one would have dreamed in 2013 that a new pope would eventually publicly demand that priests in an unpriestly fashion bless couples in immoral public unions."

If that's so, then I must be the world's most horrid cynic. After reading Anna Katherine Emmerich's visions, after reading the messages of La Salette, Akita, Garabandal and what little of the 3rd Secret of Fatima the Vatican apostates actually have released, I've fully expected this from a future pope. And the night that Jorge Bergoglio walked out and did his humble dance on the loggia next to the evil Cardinal Daneels, I smelled a rat. Several rats.

I think a number of Catholics saw this coming. Of course, most of us have been marginalized by our pastors for decades...the same spineless pastors who will go with the flow as the false church continues to erect its perverse edifice and drive believing Catholics deeper underground. God have mercy on anyone honest enough to declare that the emperor has no clothes.

DJR said...

In holy and orthodox fashion, entire episcopates are rejecting the "teaching" of Fiducia Supplicans.

Bishops of Cameroon reject Fiducia Supplicans.

7. Literally, "To bless is to say good." And to speak well with a gesture of blessing from a "homosexual couple" would be to encourage a choice and practice of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to God's revealed purposes. We therefore declare unsuitable any form of blessing which tends to recognize "homosexual couples" as a state of life.

9. Therefore, we formally forbid all blessings of "homosexual couples" in the Church of Cameroon.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk: Ukrainian Catholic Church rejects Fiducia Supplicans.

Therefore, on the basis of can. 1492 CCEO, this Declaration refers exclusively to the Latin Church and has no legal force for the faithful of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Mark Thomas said...

Holy Bishop Stephen D. Parkes, Diocese of Savannah, Georgia:

Savannah Morning News

"He first encouraged others to read and review the Pope’s introduction and original document."

"As Bishop, I will ensure that the directives of the declaration are understood by the priests and carried out properly."

"The declaration does not make any change or amendment to the theology of the Sacrament of Marriage. Priests are often asked to provide a blessing to people in casual interactions, as indicated in the declaration."

"These blessings do not inquire or require examination of the person’s moral character or standing.'

"A blessing of the individuals who are involved in a same-sex union would be, in a pastoral context for instance, to provide a few examples: helping the person to grow in their relationship with God, to desire holiness, or to ask for strength in living a life of faithfulness as a disciple."

"Blessings are imparted to help a person understand God’s love and mercy, and inspire us to grow closer to Him."


Mark Thomas

rcg said...

If MT has represented Bishop Parkes accurately, then his excellency is dissembling.

Jerome Merwick said...

All due respect to Bishop Parkes, he is young and new at this thing. We should not be surprised if he is a little nervous about how to navigate the moral/ecclesial minefield he's been placed in. Don't expect him to be Strickland or Chaput or anything like the other stalwarts--yet. He's finding his footing. I suspect that soon we will find out what he's really made of. Let's pray he comes out on the right side.