We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

When madness replaces common sense? Francischurch? Media fog?

More than a few agitated folk use the abbreviation 'Francischurch' to denote (and denounce) the current senior administration, so-to-speak, of God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is an abbreviation that implies an untenable distinction between the person and agenda of Pope Francis on the one hand and the Magisterium of the Church on the other. Recent events have loaned credible weight to that pejorative, however, as confusion mounts over the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.

Despite Francis' own words which preclude Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, i.e., those living in adulterous relationships, interpretations of interpretations are circulating which merely cloud further the ambiguous doctrines of Pope Francis or his ghostwriters, a circumstance which may lead even the happiest papist to ask—Which Francis are we to believe?

The "mess" Francis has introduced into the Church is probably in keeping with his desire to shake up the sons and daughters of Holy Mother Church in order to create a flux whereby Catholic Christians may be better disposed to the Gospel.

Those who are permanently encamped in the prison of progressivism, i.e., heterodoxy, are enjoying themselves under the media-Francis umbrella. Whether they realize it or not, they are enjoying the last lingering days of the 1970s which plague the Church in the new millennium.
The next pope will be laden with the burden of reconciling Francis' tolerance for heterodoxy and further footnoting what appears to be heterodox statements in Francis' own works which, it seems, are largely the tamperings of ghostwriters. The Amoris Laetitia of the progressives, of the ghostwriter, is not the Amoris Laetitia that is (barely) tethered to John Paul's Familiaris Consortio and the Holy Gospel.

Francis, moved by the forces of societal relevance, it seems, has fallen prey to that Jesuit thing that, itself, is barely tethered to Saint Ignatius' original charism.

Francis has dared to walk in the shoes of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, theological giants. Not to be too, too blunt—Francis is simply not in the same league as the aforementioned titans. If history repeats itself, it will take three popes to sweep up the detritus of an action plan that has been hijacked by the media and hierarchs behaving badly.

Pope John XXIII, the "caretaker pope", initiated the Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI, a mild mannered fellow, endured enormous pressure to "update" the Church. Paul, in the midst of massive upheaval, issued the prophetic Humanae Vitae, as well as other important reminders, largely ignored by fluffy priests and bishops, about the right celebration of Holy Mass. When John Paul II stepped up, there was little doubt as to the direction the Holy Spirit was pointing the Church. Renewal was given even greater impetus under Benedict XVI. Sadly, continued liturgical renewal (i.e., a more fervent return to Tradition) has been interrupted by the current occupant of the Chair of Peter who has refocussed the Church's eyes toward mercy and, consequently it seems, away from the reverent celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. It would seem that under Francis, mercy is the new source and summit of the Christian life, to borrow a phrase properly belonging to the Holy Eucharist (cf. Lumen Gentium).

If mercy flows out of the concern for the salvation of souls, then Francis' agenda itself may yet be saved, though only the part which conforms completely to the Gospel. The question is—Who will rescue Francis' mission of mercy from the "progressive" Catholic whose only goal is the acquisition of power to undermine the Gospel?

As for the parts of Francis' teaching which are being used to prop up mortal sin, i.e., adulterous relationships, we can safely say that any agenda which attempts a manipulation of the Holy Gospel is a dead end. Those who cling to wishful thinking, for example, that the Church will embrace worldly values, those errant priests, bishops, cardinals and lay folk will get exactly what they worship—spiritual death.

Even though Pope Francis has said that integration (in parish life) does not mean adulterous Catholics can receive Holy Communion, many priests have already signalled their intention to offer Communion to adulterous Catholics.

Contrary to the claims, even those residing in official notifications, that Pope Francis has said Amoris Laetitia may be only interpreted to mean unrestricted access to Holy Communion, we cannot forget his own words regarding the nature of the "integration" of adulterous Catholics:
Strangely enough, with all the media buzzing about what the Pope really thinks concerning (the problematic) footnote (in Amoris Laetitia), and the larger issue of invalidly married couples receiving Holy Communion, almost no one has brought up the Pontiff's own words uttered less than two months prior which speak directly to this question. Nor have they brought up the Pope's interview conducted in Rome from the previous year where he responds to the same question in virtually the same manner. Both go a long way in revealing the Pope's mindset on this matter.
The Pope fielded 12 questions during his hour-long in-flight interview returning from Juarez to Rome in mid-February. Anne Thompson from NBC asked the Pope a question regarding mercy to the divorced and remarried.
In response, Pope Francis emphasized, "The key phrase used by the synod, which I'll take up again, is 'integrate' in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etc."
Thompson then asked, "Does that mean they can receive Communion?"
Pope Francis, with unusual clarity, responded, "This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn't mean receiving Communion."—Church Militant
The report issued by Vatican Radio, one of the official clarifications of the clarifications circulating and one that certainly carries weight, does not specify, again, which sacraments are to be made available to adulterous Catholics:
The Pope was responding (in a letter leaked to the public) to a document by the (Argentine) bishops entitled ‘Basic criteria for the application of chapter 8 of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ which details ways of ‘accompanying, discerning and integrating weakness’ for Catholics living in irregular family situations. That chapter focuses on the need to support and integrate divorcees into the life of the Church, specifying that “in certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments”. (Emphasis added).
Sacrament of Penance? Sacrament of Anointing?

Catholics may have a long wait before certain errant pastoral practices and the wacky theologies (that can never be made to fit into the Magisterial teaching of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church) can be purged from her precincts.

Come Holy Spirit and renew Your Church.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defender of the Church and Israel: pray for us.
Saint Peter: pray for us.
Saint Paul: pray for us.
All holy men and women: pray for us.

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