Pope Francis ducks accusations of heresy, rails against traditional Catholics
Father Gruner’s enemies used to say that he was “against the Pope” — a vile calumny. As a Catholic priest, Father Gruner prayed for the Pope at Mass every day. And all of us at The Fatima Center continue to pray for the Holy Father.
That does not stop us from questioning or criticizing the pronouncements of the Pope or any leader of the Church, when it seems at least arguable that they are unclear or in error.
Challenging what the Pope says, when need be, is our right and duty. In De Romano Pontifice, Book II Chapter 29, St. Robert Bellarmine wrote:
“Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who attacks the body, so also is it licit to resist him who attacks souls, or who disturbs the civil order, or above all, him who tries to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will; it is not licit, however, to judge him, to punish him or depose him, for these are acts proper to a superior.”
It was in that spirit that a conference dubbed “Catholic Church, where are you going?” was held in Rome in early April. The meeting was inspired by the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra+, to whom Sister Lucia addressed prophetic words concerning the crisis in the Church today.
“Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, R.I.P.”, tells how, in a 2008 interview, then-Father Caffara said that he had received a long letter from Sister Lucia, in which she wrote: ‘The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid,’ she added, ‘because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.’”
Pope Francis’ muddled musings on these subjects, particularly the ambiguous statements of Amoris Laetitia, led to interventions by many who thought that either the Pontiff “misspoke” or that he was teaching error, and thus leading the faithful down the path to heresy and Hell!
Cardinal Caffarra was one of the prelates who signed a dubia — theological challenges on matters of marriage, divorce and the sacraments — which they called on the Pope to answer. But answer came there none. Likewise, a Filial Correction signed by 250 scholars and a Filial Appeal (petition) signed by nearly a million faithful Catholics remain unanswered, hence the conference.
One Peter Five reports that the Declaratio (Final Declaration) of the Conference warned that “due to contradictory interpretations of Amoris Laetitia, discontent and confusion are spreading among the faithful throughout the world.” So, “Amidst the grave danger to the faith and unity of the Church that has arisen, we baptized and confirmed members of the People of God are called to reaffirm our Catholic faith.”
Pope Francis’ answer
On April 9th, only two days after the Declaratio was published, the Vatican released the Pope’s latest “Apostolic Exhortation” (actually written in mid-March) entitled Gaudete et Exsultate, which purports to teach the faithful about the holiness which some would say he himself lacks.
In it, Francis slams traditional Catholicism, for which his code-word is “Pelagianism”, an ancient heresy totally unrelated to Catholic Tradition. He accuses “Neo-Pelagianists” of having an “obsession with the law…, a punctilious concern for the Church’s liturgy, doctrine, and prestige.” Is it any wonder that the Catholic Church is sinking fast! See “If the Church were a stock, you’d sell it before it’s too late” .
The Pope condemns traditional Catholics because they have “an excessive emphasis on doctrine, and gossip.” I must be getting old, because I can remember when following Catholic doctrine was considered a virtue! As for “gossip”, that’s not even a venial sin in cases when it is simply telling the truth about public leaders in the public forum. Telling the truth can only be a virtue!
The hypocrisy of this “Holy” Father is mind-boggling. Calling traditional Catholics “Neo-Pelagianists” is like Hillary Clinton calling patriotic Americans “deplorables”! All we are doing is standing firm for the True Faith handed down to us over the centuries.
We must pray harder than ever that the Holy Spirit, who Our Lord promised will protect His Church from error, will guide Pope Francis back onto the right path. In her second memoir, Sister Lucia wrote, “…there was not a prayer or sacrifice that we offered to God which did not include an invocation for His Holiness.”
In “Pray and Repent”, Arnaud de Lassus tells us that the particular intention of our prayers for the Pope must be for him to comply with the requests of Fatima — the Consecration of Russia and encouragement of the Reparatory Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the First Saturdays. So let us pray.