Reclaiming the light of dogma in the face of supposed “deeper understanding”

The shallow and arrogant blathering coming from Luxembourg, Manhattan, and even the Vatican is best countered with a steadfast embrace of the deposit of faith, entrusted to the Church by Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis meets with leaders of the Synod of Bishops' general secretariat in the library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican Oct. 14, 2022. Pictured with the pontiff are XaviËre Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart, undersecretary; Bishop Luis MarÌn de San MartÌn, undersecretary; Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, relator general; Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general and Jesuit Father Giacomo Costa, consultant. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

The holy men and woman of the Old Covenant suffered torture, imprisonment, mocking, scourging, and death by horrific means because of their faith in God (cf Heb 11:32-40). Many early Christians, of course, suffered death by fire, lions, sword, and other means. And the Church is persecuted today, with Christians being martyred in parts of Asia and Africa on a regular basis.

But what can compare to the pain endured by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J.?

The brave archbishop of Luxembourg has reportedly endured difficult conversations with young people who feel excluded from the Church because the Church continues, for now, to teach that sex is meant for husband and wife in marriage, that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” and that the homosexual “inclination … is objectively disordered” (CCC, 2357-2358). Hollerich, in a recent interview with Vatican News, shared the observation that “for young people today, the highest value is nondiscrimination” and that he sees many young people “stop considering the Gospel, if they have the impression that we are discriminating…”

The solution, he boldly asserts, is to change Church doctrine. In an interview earlier this year, Hollerich flatly professed: “I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching”—that homosexuality is disordered and immoral—”is no longer correct,” He also said it was “time for a fundamental revision” and, referring to how Pope Francis has spoken of homosexuality, believes there could eventually be a change in doctrine:

What was condemned in the past was sodomy. At that time, it was thought that the whole child was contained in the sperm of the man, and that was simply transferred to homosexual men. But there is no homosexuality in the New Testament. There is only the mention of homosexual acts, which were partly pagan ritual acts. That was, of course, forbidden. I think it is time for a fundamental revision of the doctrine.

While Hollerich’s remarks caused a stir, they are hardly unusual. Fr. James Martin, S.J., has taken a similar approach in directly questioning clear Church teaching about homosexuality. Two recent examples are instructive. On September 4th, Martin tweeted about an essay by Walter Bruggemann, in which the liberal Protestant biblical scholar glibly dismissed traditional teachings about homosexuality and made light of the authority of Scripture. Then, eight days later, Martin tweeted about an essay by Jewish scholar Amy-Jill Levine that essentially said biblical passages against homosexuality are outdated and must be understood as products of their time.

It’s easy enough, in response, to point to the Catechism, as I have already. But I’ve not seen anyone point out how the Catechism, in its brief section, connects its clear statements to divine revelation: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered'” (emphasis added).

This is not accidental, but is a deliberate highlighting of what both Vatican I and Vatican II declared about divine revelation and doctrine. First, keep in mind that while all dogma (a specific sort of authoritative teaching) is doctrine (teaching), not all doctrine is dogma. Secondly, dogma is, to quote from Fr. Gerald O’Collins’ Concise Dictionary of Theology, a “divinely revealed truth, proclaimed as such by the infallible teaching authority [magisterium] of the Church, and hence binding now and forever on all the faithful” (Paulist Press, 1991).

Here is a key passage from Dei Filius (1870), from the First Vatican Council:

[A]ll those things must be believed which are contained in the written word of God and in tradition, and those which are proposed by the Church, either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal teaching power, to be believed as divinely revealed.” (par  3; 1870)

And from Dei Verbum (1965), from the Second Vatican Council:

The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord … She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles. (par, 21)

The point here is not complex, nor should it be controversial. The Catechism, in directly pointing to Scripture and Tradition, is emphasizing the dogmatic nature of the Church’s teaching about homosexuality. It is rooted in what the Church teaches about anthropology, marriage, and sexuality (cf. CCC 2331ff). Hollerich and Martin are, in short, thumbing their noses at dogmatic teaching, and thus are openly spurning the deposit of faith entrusted to the Church by Jesus Christ (see CCC, 84).

Dogma and doctrine, of course, are disliked or even hated by most people, and far too many Catholics follow suit. This is hardly new; the history of the Church is filled with heresies and falsehoods. Vatican I, which took place over 150 years ago, was attentive to attacks on the doctrine of faith, saying at the conclusion of Dei Filius that such doctrine “has been entrusted as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ, to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding” (emphasis added).

Alas, we live in an age of “deeper understanding,” conjoined with endless emotionalism and fixation on experience over revealed truth. So, for example, the recent synodal synthesis document from the USCCB informs us (to no one’s surprise) that many participants “voiced their opinion that some areas of Church doctrine and regulations are out of sync with modern times, especially regarding divorce, annulment, birth control and conception, IVF, LGBTQ issues and the ordination of women as deacons and priests.”

Who could have seen that coming? It further shares: “Others believe that Church doctrine should be changed. … Many suggested, that the catechism should be updated to reflect changes in doctrine and regulations that no longer apply in today’s world.” No surprise there.

One might think, reading comments by Hollerich—who just happens to be relator general of the Synod of Bishops—and many others, that the main job of cardinals and bishops is to be a sort of guidance counsellor, constantly affirming the emotions and desires of those venting (dialoguing?) from the ecclesial couch. However, Vatican II emphasized that the key work of bishops in union with the Pope—that is, the Magisterium—is to serve, guard, and profess the Word of God. The Magisterium, the Council explained, “is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it.” The Magisterium listens to the Word of God “devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.” (CCC 85-86; DV 10)

The deposit of faith—alas, the basics cannot be assumed—cannot be changed, even by or for the archbishop of Luxembourg. It is set fast, precisely because, again, it was given by Jesus Christ to His Church. So, “when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment [regarding doctrine], they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself…” (Lumen gentium, 25).

Those of a certain age or a certain interest, recognize that Hollerich, Martin, and Co. are not only trying to bypass divine revelation, the deposit of faith, and the Magisterium, they are stuck in the progressive mud of the late 1960s and early 1970s. And their pet projects were called on the papal carpet back decades ago, as when, in 1988, St. Pope John Paul II reflected in a letter to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on how some continually appeal “to the Council” while pursuing a form of “progress” that “breaks with the past, without taking into account the function of Tradition, which is fundamental to the Church’s mission in order that she may continue in the Truth which was transmitted to her by Christ the Lord and by the Apostles and which is diligently safeguarded by the magisterium.”

Hollerich’s push for the “blessing” of “same-sex unions” is certainly one break with the past, Tradition, and the Magisterium. “Pope Francis often recalls the need for theology to be able to originate and develop from human experience,” he says, “and not remain the fruit of academic elaboration alone.” Such rhetoric cleverness bypasses the essential nature of theology, which is prayerful contemplation of divine and natural truths. “Because there is no theology without faith,” wrote Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “there can be no theology without conversion.” Not faith in sociology and scientism, or in fads and passions, but in God’s Word. Dogma is not only the drama, it is a divine gift meant for our salvation, verbal icons that reveal the Word Incarnate.

The Pontifical Academy for Life, however, apparently prefers dialogue with pro-abortionists over dialogue with truth. The Academy tweeted a month ago that “Morality should not be dogmatized…” How clueless and absurdly negative can one be about dogma? Where are the adults? The Catechism has a completely different perspective:

There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith. (CCC 89)

“Religion cannot but be dogmatic,” wrote a noted theologian seventy years ago, “it ever has been. All religions have doctrines; all have professed to carry with them benefits which could be enjoyed only on condition of believing the word of a supernatural informant, that is, of embracing some doctrines or other.”

That same theologian further wrote: “As far as Jesus Christ is concerned, it is plain that He had nothing whatever to do with modern subjectivism. He was not concerned with ‘edification’ but with truth …His purpose was not to arouse feeling or to awaken religious inwardness, but to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord…”

That theologian was Romano Guardini (1885-1968), and the book is titled The Faith and Modern Man. Guardini is widely touted as one of Pope Francis’s essential intellectual mentors. My guess is that Guardini would be disappointed and dumbfounded by the shallow and arrogant blathering coming from Luxembourg, Manhattan, and even the Vatican. But Guardini, I suspect, would also be unshaken. Dogma, he wrote elsewhere, “surmounts the march of time because it is rooted in eternity, and we can surmise that the character and conduct of coming Christian life will reveal itself especially through its old dogmatic roots. … The absolute experiencing of dogma will, I believe, make men feel more sharply the direction of life and the meaning of existence itself.”


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About Carl E. Olson 1190 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.

27 Comments

  1. A very solid and clarifying article, Carl, but I would propose a moment more of simplifying reflection. You write that “Hollerich and Martin are thumbing their noses at dogmatic teaching.” Perhaps the deepest message, anthropologically speaking, is that their thumbs and noses are occupied elsewhere?

    Also, in images together of Hollerich and the more-suave Grech…take a closer look at the unguarded expression on Grech’s face. https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2022/10/25/cardinal-hollerich-church-blessings-for-same-sex-unions-not-a-settled-matter/

    Unspoken is the clear theological (!) message: “My God, I’m sharing air time with a complete idiot!” Too bad Cardinal Grech, also, is so committed to the company store.

    • Thanks, Peter. I think it’s safe to posit that the push for normalizing sexual sins and disordered appetites is a combination of several interrelated factors, including a lack of faith, an absence of understanding, a desire to subvert tradition and truth, moral corruption, and desire for raw power. What I emphasize here and plan to continue to do so in future pieces, is the assault on divine revelation and the failure of many bishops to do what they are supposed to be doing: guarding, protecting, clarifying, and explaining the Faith, regardless of how hard or unpopular it is.

      • Yesterday, Larry Chapp put out on Youtube an interview on Synodality. It featured D. Schindler, R. Howsare, and M. Hanby. Their theological ‘take’ is as yours. The realization seems to be fairly widespread. The wool, it seems, can no longer be pulled over the eyes of those who see. A week or so back, Chapp interviewed Minerd and Levering re growing communio among Thomists and Ressourcements in light of current church corruption and crisis.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JajzO3Qh1fA

      • Another excellent piece logically building to its most salient conclusion by quotation: Dogma (and by implication truth) surmounts the march of time because it is rooted in eternity.

        It doesn’t require perfect faith or theological sophistication to appreciate my level of understanding and grasp one of my first principles that either God is a fool or we are, and it can’t be God. I call this Ed’s law.
        Anyone of even sub mustard seed faith contemplating the nature of truth would have to take into account that it would be impossible for God to deceive and to withhold essential truth from the peoples of the past. Therefore, truth is irreversible. Ed’s second theological law.
        Theologians of the last hundred years have tossed around the word science to act as though theological pandering represents serious original thought, to inflate their pretentions as serious thinkers, and to bury their own denial systems, and those of others, of repressed guilt.
        I’ve worked in the apparent pure science of physics for decades and even here scientists commit a lot of fraud and dazzle gullible progressives in government with fantasy theories for both grant money and prestige at cocktail parties. There is no science required at all to honestly face the ways we corrupt God’s gifts. I call this Ed’s third law.
        Every moment of insanity in the Church should be rebuked with Hebrews 13:8, and we should try to confront these destroyers at public events.

      • Near the root, possibly, of your “several interrelated factors,” might there also be two more, one philosophical and the other ecclesial?

        FIRST is the joint mystery of eternity and time, together. It’s almost as if a really transcendent God Himself, would have to tell us and show us who he Is, in the world and also above the world. Something about being both the unalterable Truth and in time the existential Way, because Spirit? Maybe the startling Incarnation, as in “I am the Way, AND the Truth AND the Life”!

        Wait, what? Is this why Pope Paul VI, in one of his nineteen interventions in Dei Verbum, added two words: “through His words AND DEEDS,” (as in the Incarnation, Resurrection and Ascension (n. 4)? But today we have tribal leader Cardinal Kasper who, in his book of 1974, is said to have still wandered away from the singular, unique and real Incarnation.

        Why are we reminded of cosmologist Carl Sagan’s (con)fusing of science with Hinduism in his own book, “Cosmos”? Or, reminded of Hinduism itself which claims millions of incarnations, all in front of an unknowable and silent Deity? (The analogue in Western thought is academic/flat-universe “historicism,” and “paradigm shifts” spewed forth from Vatican luminaries.)

        SECOND, regarding ecclesiology as we now find in the German synodal way…might we at least wonder if the ZdK (the Central Committee of German Catholics—half of the fused and so-called synod) includes card-carrying Lutherans who also claim Catholic membership? In Germany, do we have a hermaphrodite (!) ecclesiology? A small step from this to everything else now on the table. Why would one expect fidelity from successors of the apostles spawned in the fluid “spirit” of Vatican II, wind-blown banners, Kumbaya, Pachamama, and a corporate boardroom style of leadership?

        Instead of an ostensible “welcoming Church,” we morph into a churchy doormat. Butt, it’s just semantics! As Cardinal Grech explains: we’re simply “expanding the grey area.”

      • Thank you Carl for standing with Catholic Truth during this storm.

        When Cardinal Hollerich speaks of “non-discrimination” he is actually referring to the freemasonic doctrine “Tolerance.”

        My personal experience is that when freemasons make references to Tolerance they evoque it to smash “rigid doctrine” (Catholicism).

        Since Cardinal Rampolla is enthroned on Hollerich’s European Office wall, we should cautiously conclude he understands Tolerance in precisely that Masonic “New Ways” SJ style.

        PS. There’s a video on youtube which shows an SJ church built back to back with a Masonic lodge sharing a common garden and quad… Truth up front, Tolerance out back. When did this SJ comedy-tragedy become Universal status quo?

  2. I can only conclude that those in the Church who expend their energies promoting sodomy as a virtue and wringing their hands over the young who are, at best, confused, have a personal stake in the dismantling of Church teaching.

    I would suggest that Hollerich, Grech & Co. spend more of their time in regular visits with their Spiritual Directors and Confessors.

  3. Heretics like Hollerich and Brokeback Martin will stop at nothing to destroy the Deposit of Faith and upend settled Catholic doctrine, as long it will enable them to legitimize their precious sin of unnatural intercourse.

  4. Prof. John Cavadini, is a distinguished Catholic professor and scholar. He writes from the University of Notre Dame de Lac. His thinking on the subject of human sexuality, its primary importance, can be found at http://www.churchlifejournal.nd.edu. His post is entitled: “Humanae Vitae and the Brave New World”. Readers who assume that contraception is settled “reasonable behavior” may be discouraged by this beginning. Please persevere! This carefully constructed argument is not limited by any one particular piece of an ongoing process, one which in the end might accomplish the desired goal of eliminating fundamental categories of civilization. Included are the categories of man and woman – as in the question now actually being asked: “What is a woman?” He addresses the consequences of severance of human sexual relations from conception of new life. The piece must be read through to the end; perhaps read again and then pondered. In the concluding paragraphs, Prof. Cavadini explains what is being slowly accomplished by this severance. He deals with the questions around laboratory methods of “producing” children.

    (Readers might also consider a first or another reading of Huxley’s “Brave New World”) My attempt to explain is deeply inadequate. Please read Professor Cavadini’s writing. “Take these things into your heart and ponder them”: Then decide.

  5. Well put, Mr. Olson.

    Hollerich, Martin and their ilk are flaks for the leftist death cult that is the Democratic Party.

    Their sexuality mirrors their thinking. It’s all about sterility, futility, barrenness and death.

    In other words, hell.

  6. I loved it! I’m so frustrated with what’s happening in the church. The Bishops and the Magisterium are undermining it’s strength and are leaving the simple layperson without a leg to stand on. If the two pillars of truth are the church and tradition, what is going to hold up that truth? But our hope is in Christ who said He would never abandon us.

  7. And just like that, we have arrogant, theological children at the helm of Christ’s Church. It is no longer the Church of Martyrs. Too many clueless cowards at the top.

  8. Hollerich et al. claim that science indicates that doctrine should be changed. I have read all of the so-called logic behind their false assertions and find it greatly lacking AND very theologically dangerous. A twenty-seven thousand article exposes all of the falsehoods behind their claims. Here is the link: https://www.stossbooks.com/open-letter-to-german-episcopate.html.

    As for science, the predisposition for same-sex attraction (SSA) is not rooted in the architecture (sequencing) of DNA. However, as posted on STOSS Book’s website: “It is, however, rooted in epigenetics. The word epigenetic, translated literally, means above the genome. …To help visualize the epigenome’s role, think in terms of our DNA as being a computer. The genes within the DNA molecule are the hardware of the computer. The epigenome is the software, which tells the computer (the genes) what to do. In our biology, the software (the epigenome) will alter the computer’s function without changing the hardware (i.e., the DNA sequencing of the nucleotides, aka the steps of the DNA ladder). The epigenome tells the cells to divide and what types of cells they are to become (e.g., heart cell, muscle cell, neuron, etc.).”

    The epigenome responds to behaviors and environment (including behaviors of one’s parents). It then causes responsive functional changes to the genes within the appropriate cell’s DNA, including triggering the expression of addictive sin-inducing hormones. Because the epigenome is biological software that can be programmed for the predisposition toward sinful desires (to the third and fourth generation), the ability to reprogram that software, thus removing the harmful chemically induced desires. While the science does not yet exist to accomplish such changes, it is getting close. Using biologically generated light, sound waves, and structured biological water, scientists have been able to undifferentiated, then re-differentiate cells to an entirely different cell type. In other words, the software of the cell’s epigenome was reprogrammed!!

    We cannot change doctrine based on a biological process that can be artificially changed through behaviors and the environment. Truth is unchangeable. Dogma is unchangeable. Doctrine is unchangeable, though it can develop.

  9. Could it be any more clear?

    675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

  10. A wonderfully tonic call to order, a brilliant, witty essay. So few people are prepared to call a spade a spade when it comes to the heretical claptrap oozing from the Vatican and its toadying satellites. So few people are prepared to denounce the cynical travesty of the ‘synodal way.’ So few people are prepared to acknowledge what boring farce the Modernists subject us to in trying to remake the Church in their ghastly images. This pieces calls nearly every spade a spade without losing its sense of humor. Bravo, Carl Olson.

  11. As I’ve come to read the comments of Carl Olson during my short years on CWR, I became increasingly aware of a well comprehended scope of knowledge of Church, theology, human nature, and the misleading events were contending with today within Church and world, that what shines through is his insistence on the integrity of the eternal Word. I’ve gained knowledge in areas I wasn’t well acquainted with, in particular Romano Guardini.
    Christ’s Church, the very Gospels are under a powerful assault from within under the guise of compassion for the wounded disenfranchised. Repentance, key to obedience to Christ and salvation is theoretically displaced rather than formally denied, the ruse of a true Antichrist mentality. We are obliged to resist, and to counter evil with the truth with which we are commissioned by both our baptism, and for some our ordination.

  12. Beauty attracts is an often enough heard theme in the Church as well .

    Diary of Divine Mercy of St.Faustina mentions how beautiful Jesus is, yet many might disregard such an expereince as a special privilege given to the St and not to the ordinary – true to an extent too .
    Yet, we too have been given the means to have same in a rather vivid enough measure
    about the beauty and majesty of The Lord as well as the effects of same on the beholder – in the writings on Divine Will in S.G. Luisa’s writings …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9fPY3cSy8o
    ‘just seeing the serenity of His adorable forehead , the infusion of peace one recieves in the interior is so great’ ..and so on…
    yet, preeding the above ,that ‘the silghtest breath of disturbance can prevent one from recieving a sight so beautiful .’

    Divine Will is also mentioned at times as The Womb of Light of The Trinity .
    Persons who are seeking the love and relationships in wrong places – to be helped by going back to one’s early days, of the ‘one flesh ‘ union of own parents and one’s origin – the father , as a being of light moving to enclose the mother and thus the baby , rather like what the Immaculate Conception would have been like..It is significant how in the Flame of Love devotion give for our times , we ask Bl.Mother to share the graces of the Immaculate Conception – which include beholding The Trinity to be in an exchange of Love and joy ..
    The controversies and all allowed may be for The Church to look with enough focus into all these remedies given for our times, thus to be of aid to those who have left The Church as well ..to see them along with each of us too beholding The Lord and being transformed ..
    At times even wonder if Cdnl Hollerich is playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ role for such a purpose and its good fruits to be spread through the Synod .

    FIAT !

  13. Hollerith, Martin, et. al. are the spiritual descendants of Eusebius (of Niocmedia) and the other Arians, anxious to please the world by changing the Apostolic faith to conform to the world. Like their forebears, these men claim orthodoxy while embracing heretical ideas. Moreover, just as the Arians continued to press their case even after the Council of Nicaea had spoken, so do these men demand dialogue and listening and offer new formulations or interpretations of scripture and tradition to obfuscate their heresies. I am starting to wonder if they recall that “S.J.” means “Society of Jesus” not “Smarter than Jesus.”

  14. Finely written and reasoned. Godliness is always in season and does not change according to the generational whims of man.

    Steadfast loyalty to Christ is needed by the church leadership, not agents of change.

    Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

    Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

    Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

  15. This is one bravely erudite article you’ve written Mr. Olson and your mention of the equally erudite Romano Guardini is right on target. I applaud your insightliness and courage in writing it, because it obviously is no time for moral cowardice that we currently live through. And in the spirit of what you’ve written, can I mention one weird appointment made through the auspices of Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Life (PAL)? It is one Mariana Mazzucato, ATHEIST & ABORTOON activist.How and why did this abominative appointment happen? (No mention of what she does @ PAL is given) The story of this appointm’t comes from LifesiteNews.com. Involved in the appointm’t. was Arcbishp. Vincenzo Paglia, one of Francis’s right-hand men. So, once again, what were they thinking? But this is not the only bizarre appointment made through Pope Francis; many more have occurred. Just sating. God Bless All.

    • Thank you, Roger. I agree with everything you say, except in your overly kind comparison of my work to that of Guardini. 😉

      Paglia has an agenda, and it has nothing to do with authentic Catholic thought and practice. That is obvious. So, why does Francis say nothing? There’s the big question.

      • Maybe the big answer to the big question is simply that Pope Francis hopes that Luther’s right-hand man, Melanchthon, showed the correct way of “walking together” when he wrote the Augsburg Confession in 1530. Some 28 articles of Lutheran congruence, more-or-less, with Catholic Tradition and dogma, while simply omitting the points of disagreement asserted by Luther…

        Why make a fuss, back then, with the formal rupture of the Reformation as the outcome? Why not, now, just go with the flow and even pretend that things will die down, if not in 2023 as originally scheduled, then why not 2024 as rescheduled? Or never—“the endless journey.”

        But, “what sharp teeth you have,” said Little Red Riding Hood to Grandma Wolf! The insightful genius of femininity!

        So, turning now to the sheep, the shepherd’s staff is fashioned with a crook designed to gently gather either the body of a wandering lamb or the neck of a wayward sheep. At the Synod on Youth, why would one exchange such a staff for a forked Wiccan stang? And, overall, why would one gamble (gambol?) with the synodal flock of “one percent”—as an unchallenged (?) plebiscite—while apparently dismissing the other 99 percent?

        My guess is that, as with other adolescents, once you cave in a notch or two or three on curfew, the rest is history. A time now for divine intervention, but not likely from the hands of Cardinals Grech or Hollerich.

        Hope lives eternal—after all, Pachamama was baptized in the River Tiber!

        • Dear Peter:

          John 18:34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”

          John 18:4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”

          John 7:19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?”

          Luke 17:18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

          Job 13:15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.

          Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

          Romans 3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

          James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

          Yet, God assures us that our faith is proved through the gift of works. These invigorate us, help others and is a rebuke to Satan. Yes, works set out in advance for us to perform. In terms of our salvation, God leaves nothing undone.

          God bless you,

          Brian

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