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Is This a Joke?
Pope Reportedly Asked Pro-"Gay" Cardinal ("Balloon Mass") Schönborn: Is Amoris Laetitia Orthodox?
Ignored Cardinal Müller's Corrections.

by Christopher A. Ferrara
July 18, 2017

Oh yes, Your Holiness! Perfectly orthodox.

Pope Bergoglio’s liberal biographer Austin Ivereigh reports that during a presentation and Q & A on Amoris Laetitia (AL) in western Ireland, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn made the stupefying disclosure that Pope Bergoglio had asked him whether AL is orthodox, and that Schönborn told his boss exactly what he wanted to hear:

“[W]hen he [Schönborn] met the Pope shortly after the presentation of Amoris, Francis thanked him, and asked him if the document was orthodox.

“‘I said, ‘Holy Father, it is fully orthodox’, Schönborn told us he told the pope, adding that a few days later he received from Francis a little note that said: ‘Thank you for that word. That gave me comfort.’’”

So, if this anecdote is true, we have a Pope who inquires into the orthodoxy of his own teaching after he publishes it!  But the same Pope simply ignored the pre-publication submission of some 20 pages of corrections of AL by the very prelate whose function is to vet papal documents for their orthodoxy: Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), whom Pope Bergoglio has since brutally sacked on a moment’s notice.  As Edward Pentin reported, not a single one of those corrections was accepted.

Relying on Schönborn to confirm that a document treating of sexual morality is orthodox is like relying on a burglar to confirm the security of one’s valuables in the bedroom safe. It was none other than Schönborn who, ignoring the contrary teaching of the Church on the Catholic’s duty to oppose and refuse to implement any form of legal recognition of “homosexual unions,” blithely declared that they are perfectly acceptable so long as they are not formally denominated marriage: “One can and should respect the decision to create a union with a person of the same sex, to seek legal instruments that protect their living together and their situation with laws that assure this protection.”

Pope Bergoglio’s reliance on Schönborn to tell him what he wanted to hear regarding AL dates from the moment the disastrous document was promulgated.  During one of his airborne press conferences, the Pope designated Schönborn as AL’s official interpreter. Referring to Schönborn as “a great theologian,” he cited Schönborn’s presentation on AL in answer to the question whether the divorced and “remarried” could be admitted to Holy Communion without ceasing their adultery ­— the answer obviously being ‘Yes,’ as subsequent events have made clear.  In that presentation, however, Schönborn merely pointed back to Pope Bergoglio, quoting AL:

“‘By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God’ (AL 205). He [Francis] also reminds us of an important phrase from Evangelii gaudium, 44: ‘A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties’ (AL 304).

“In the sense of this ‘via caritatis’ (AL 306), the Pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note (351) that the help of the sacraments may also be given ‘in certain cases’. But for this purpose he does not offer us case studies or recipes, but instead simply reminds us of two of his famous phrases: ‘I want to remind priests that the confessional should not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy’ (EG 44), and the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak’ (EG 47).”

So, Pope Bergoglio consults Schönborn, who in turn consults Pope Bergoglio, and each assures the other that there is nothing amiss with AL. Meanwhile, 20 pages of corrections from the CDF are tossed in the garbage, and the author of the corrections is summarily dismissed from office.

This is a joke.  But the joke is most instructive. For what better example could we have of the strict limits of papal infallibility as defined — infallibly — by the First Vatican Council? If nothing else, the Bergoglian pontificate has shattered the myth that the Pope is some sort of divine oracle whose every utterance is orthodox by the mere fact that a Pope has uttered it. 

As Vatican I made clear, the Pope teaches infallibly only when he formally defines as dogma what the Church has always taught on matters of faith and morals, which constant teaching is also infallible by reason of its constancy, not the mere fact that a Pope has made some statement of doctrine at a given point in time. Outside of that limited sphere, papal error is not only possible but, as we see here, unavoidable if a Pope acts recklessly and listens only to what he wants to hear from people of questionable orthodoxy.

As this farce plays out to its inevitable conclusion, we should take heed of a 1986 document specifically approved by Pope John Paul II, wherein the same CDF that Pope Bergoglio has taken out of commission, because it does not tell him what he wants to hear, warned “the Bishops to be especially cautious of any programmes which may seek to pressure the Church to change her teaching, even while claiming not to do so. A careful examination of their public statements and the activities they promote reveals a studied ambiguity by which they attempt to mislead the pastors and the faithful.” 

Who could have foreseen that the same warning would someday apply to a Pope and his collaborators?  Answer: the Mother of God, whose prophecy in the Third Secret of Fatima is now coming to pass.