Admirable Yet Ridiculous
by Christopher A. Ferrara
September 9, 2015
As this column is published, even Brietbart News has noticed that the now famous Filial Petition, calling upon Francis to stand up for the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage and procreation, about which I have written earlier, has now reached over 500,000 signatures. The Petition, Brietbart notes, has been signed “by five Cardinals as well as numerous bishops and archbishops from across the world. Other major figures who signed the petition include former US senator Rick Santorum.”
In one sense, this is an admirable display of the Church Militant and the sensus fidelium at work. In another sense, however, it is ridiculous. Ridiculous because hundreds of thousands of laity and numerous prelates have been reduced to signing a “filial” plea to Francis not to allow his Synod, packed with his handpicked radical subversives, pursuing what are clearly his aims, to destroy the moral edifice of the Catholic Church by fatal compromises with the corrupt spirit of the age.
And Francis’ response? I hear the sound of crickets. Evidently, Francis couldn’t care less. It’s just more of that “gossip” he denounced back in March after nearly 500 priests from England signed a similar petition.
What is going on here? I will tell you: We are witnessing a spectacle the Church has never seen before, not even in the darkest days of hierarchical corruption. We are witnessing an open and concerted effort, at the Church’s very apex, to use an official gathering of prelates in Rome, under the guidance of a Pope, to undermine her authority and infallible teaching on marriage, procreation and sexual morality. We are truly confronted with what must be the worst example yet in Church history of the moral defection of hierarchs of which Our Lord speaks to Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, in the Dialogue:
So, were the prelate, or any other lord having subjects, on seeing one putrefying from the corruption of mortal sin, to apply to him the ointment of soft words of encouragement alone, without reproof, he would never cure him, but the putrefaction would rather spread to the other members, who, with him, form one body under the same pastor. But if he were a physician, good and true to those souls, as were those glorious pastors of old, he would not give salving ointment without the fire of reproof. And, were the member still to remain obstinate in his evil doing, he would cut him off from the congregation in order that he corrupt not the other members with the putrefaction of mortal sin.
But they act not so today, but, in cases of evil doing, they even pretend not to see. And do you know why? The root of self-love is alive in them, wherefore they bear perverted and servile fear. Because they fear to lose their position or their temporal goods, or their prelacy, they do not correct, but act like blind ones…
Remember what Pope Benedict revealed about the Third Secret of Fatima in 2010 on his way to the Fatima Shrine — in answer to a question he personally selected beforehand. Remember and pray:
As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church.
This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice.