Who is really trying to replace doctrine with ideology?

The timing of Pope Francis’s recent Q&A with Jesuits in Portugal is just as notable as the recycled and now all-too-familiar clichés about those who are “rigid,” “go backward,” and are “superficial”.

Pope Francis addresses reporters on Aug. 6, 2023 aboard the papal flight on his return to Rome from his five-day trip to Portugal and World Youth Day. | Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

“There you go again.” — Ronald Reagan, 1980

Pope Francis, addressing a group of Jesuits recently, said: “When you abandon doctrine in life to replace it with an ideology, you have lost, you have lost as in war.” He is correct. But not, I think, in the way he apparently thinks.

On August 5, 2023, while in Portugal for World Youth Day, Francis met with Jesuits at the Colégio de São João de Brito. His question-and-answer session with them was published today in the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica by editor Antonio Spadaro, SJ, who has a long history of working closely with Francis. There are a number of interesting remarks in the lengthy conversation, providing plenty of red meat for the usual faux Catholic crowd—“Pope Francis blasts reactionary American Catholics who oppose church reform”—and worthless media outlets—“Pope Francis blasts ‘backwards’ U.S. conservatives, ‘reactionary attitude’ in U.S. church”.

The timing of the interview is just as notable as the recycled and now all-too-familiar clichés about those who are “rigid,” “go backward,” and are “superficial”. While Spadaro is not very adept at mathematics or theology, he is a crafty operator who is undoubtedly looking toward the upcoming Synod in October in Rome. And I suspect this particular piece is meant to be something of a long stare at any U.S. bishops who might have the temerity to asks difficult questions about the endless process of the Synod on Synodality.

Three topics and points stand out to me in this interview.

First, responding to a question from the youngest member of the group about “our formation as Jesuits at the affective, sexual, bodily levels,” Francis remarks that “it is one thing to prepare for dialogue with the world — as you do with dialogue with the worlds of art and culture — it is another thing to compromise yourself with the things of the world, with worldliness.” Very true. Then, having remarked on the problem of pornography, he says:

I am not afraid of sexualized society. No, I am afraid of how we relate to it. I am afraid of worldly criteria. I prefer to use the term “worldly,” rather than “sexualized,” because the term encompasses everything, for example, the eagerness to promote oneself, the eagerness to stand out or, as we say in Argentina, to “climb.”

There is a genuine insight here; again, it’s made in the context of Jesuit formation. But it seems to get lost later, when Francis takes up the topic of homosexuality in responding to a leading question about the tension between doctrine and what are presented as “loving” homosexual relationships:

It is clear that today the issue of homosexuality is very strong, and the sensitivity in this regard changes according to historical circumstances. But what I don’t like at all, in general, is that we look at the so-called “sin of the flesh” with a magnifying glass, just as we have done for so long for the sixth commandment. If you exploited workers, if you lied or cheated, it didn’t matter, and instead sins below the waist were relevant.

First, if the dominant society, the media, and the powers-that-be continually told us that exploiting workers and cheating them of wages was a wonderful and even necessary thing, Francis would have a point. But, of course, that’s not the case. It is, however, the case with homosexuality, transgenderism, and any number of other immoral or harmful actions, which are no longer merely tolerated—they are pushed, pimped, and preached with diabolical fervor. And precisely so because the sexual revolution is no longer a revolution but the ruling culture in the West.

Furthermore, practicing Catholics in the West are under continual assault for standing against the flood of sexual depravity and the deeply warped anthropology behind it. They recognize that sexual sin is just as much of an injustice as stealing from workers, but even more deeply personal and destructive. We are no longer just dealing with adultery or even homosexual acts among consenting adults, but sex trafficking, child pornography, sex abuse, and the mutilation of young bodies. (And, of course, it doesn’t help that Francis himself promotes the work of men such as James Martin, S.J., whose supposed pastoral work is mostly pro-“LGBTQ-alphabet” propaganda.)

Secondly, a religious brother who recently returned from a year-long sabbatical spent in the United States remarked: “I saw many, even bishops, criticizing your leadership of the Church.” The horror, the horror! Say it ain’t so. Well, if only this man had endured the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s—you get the idea—when it was commonplace to the point of boredom for Catholic intellectuals, priests, politicians, priests—many of them Jesuits!—and even bishops to openly criticize, attack, and dismiss Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. Of course, the vast majority of those were angry that those pontiffs had upheld the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, artificial contraceptives, divorce and remarriage, ordination of women, and so forth.

One need not agree with various criticisms of Pope Francis to know that many, if not most, of them come from concern that he has caused confusion or even undermined the Church’s teaching regarding these same subjects. Sure, there are some traditionalist attacks—which seem to dominate and skew the Pope’s view of Catholicism in the U.S.—that are outrageous and laughable, soaked in the sour waters of risible conspiracy theories. But there are plenty of good Catholics who have expressed, for many years, sober and legitimate concerns. As Francis X. Maier observed last week: “Critics are not always enemies. Some speak out of love, even when their words are heated.”

“You have seen,” Francis says, “that in the States the situation is not easy: there is a very strong reactionary attitude. It is organized and shapes the way people belong, even emotionally.” He’s most certainly referring to traditionalist Catholics, but his words could just as easily be applied to “progressive” Catholics of the past sixty years, who are as reactionary and emotional as they come. Suffer through nearly any piece at National Catholic Reporter about, say, women’s ordination and you’ll how little respect there is for doctrine, the teachings of Vatican II, and the emphatic statements of previous popes.

“I would like to remind those people that indietrismo (being backward-looking) is useless…” says Francis, again focused on traditionalists. But, as Stephen White tweeted:

A source of fascination (and frustration) is how widespread American Catholic concerns about not wanting to return to 1975 are consistently translated, between here and Rome, into a desire to return to 1955.

Finally, and most significantly, Francis states:

… we need to understand that there is an appropriate evolution in the understanding of matters of faith and morals as long as we follow the three criteria that Vincent of Lérins already indicated in the fifth century: doctrine evolves ut annis consolidetur, dilatetur tempore, sublimetur aetate. In other words, doctrine also progresses, expands and consolidates with time and becomes firmer, but is always progressing. Change develops from the roots upward, growing in accord with these three criteria.

Let us get to specifics. Today it is a sin to possess atomic bombs; the death penalty is a sin. You cannot employ it, but it was not so before. As for slavery, some pontiffs before me tolerated it, but things are different today. So you change, you change, but with the criteria just mentioned.

Just a few years ago, the Catechism stated that the “traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty…” (CCC 2267). Now, Francis flatly states, the death penalty is a sin. One is reminded of Chesterton’s observation in Orthodoxy:

An imbecile habit has risen in modern controversy of saying that such and such a creed can be held in one age but cannot be held in another. Some dogma was credible in the 12th century, but is not credible in the 20th. You might as well say that a certain philosophy can be believed on Mondays, but cannot be believed on Tuesdays

Francis is correct to say “change,” but incorrect to describe this change as “development.” Neither Vincent of Lérins nor John Henry Newman believed or taught that something could be morally upright and prudent at one time and then later change into something morally wrong and sinful. (As one theologian has noted, “St. Vincent never speaks positively about reversals. A reversal, for Vincent, is not an advance in the Church’s understanding of truth; it is not an instance of a teaching ‘enlarged by time.’ On the contrary, reversals are the hallmarks of heretics.”) Such a transformation is certainly not “progress,” a term used several times by Francis.

Which brings us back to the fast-approaching Synod. Whatever the motives of Francis, it’s evident that Spadaro—who recently wrote about how Jesus was “healed” from “the rigidity of the dominant theological, political and cultural elements of his time”—and others have designs on trying to change Church doctrine. After all, if “for two millennia the Catholic Church has taught that the death penalty can be a legitimate punishment for heinous crimes” and now that can be completely changed and deemed “sinful”, why not reverse Church teaching on sexuality, marriage, and more, in the name of “radical inclusion”? 1975, here we come!

And yet, ironically, I do take hope in Francis’s remark: “When you abandon doctrine in life to replace it with an ideology, you have lost, you have lost as in war.”

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Carl E. Olson 1217 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.


  1. All right, let me offer two cents here. Although woke Left has indeed gone too far, I’m baffled that there’s one thing at no point will occur to American Catholics: that conservatism and libertarianism too are guilty of the sorry state our society is in. Please, let me explain.
    When I hear Right-leaning Christians rage against transgenderism, I can’t help but ask myself: weren’t THEY the ones who upheld ridiculous gender roles in the first place? Didn’t they always equate femininity with an imaginary idea of Audrey Hepburn-meets-Marylin Monroe-Stepford wife? As if they never treated girls who deviate from their narrow vision of what authentic womanhood is with utter contempt! As right as they are about the horrors of gender transition (which should be illegal in my opinion), didn’t they ever simultaneously endorse using physically and psychologically harmful practices on their troubled same-sex attracted children? They talk of mutilation and of torture, they talk of government indoctrinating kids (again, yes it DOES happen and yes we SHOULD call that out) yet how many times did they support violent military tactics and atrocities inflicted upon civilians in the enemy camp, demonic brainchildren of the very evil government they crow on about yet at the same time, hold up to an idolatrous level?
    They bloviate about sexual immorality (don’t get me wrong, family values are indeed attacked by Satan, I agree with these critics) yet bootlick market-worshipping, morally decrepit, pro-pornography libertarians such as Camille Paglia, a vile woman with zero empathy for rape and abuse survivors! They’re 100% correct about the harms of sexually explicit media and sex outside marriage, yet then they turn around and treat sex withIN marriage as something husbands are entitled to!
    Need I go on? How often do we hear “kids nowadays”, “back in my day…” speeches? How many times yet do we have to listen to these people share unasked for details in fetishistic glee of how their parents used to punish them? How long are we condemned to bear hypocritical rants about how 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were the supposed “good old days”? As if black-and-white boudoir fetish photos or racist caricatures could ever be somehow… “better” than their modern-day counterparts?
    Friends, I do share discomfort in some of Pope Francis’ words. I agree that modernism, progressivism and liberalism are heresies. But here’s the thing: we need to face the cold, hard fact that serious problems caused by the three won’t be helped by any secular ideology, including pseudo-traditionalism. What we need right now are the following: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, penance, and last but not least – the Rosary, the most powerful weapon of all. Far more powerful than online sarcasm, far more effective than political pundits prattling on Twitter. Let’s pray for Pope Francis so that he may be free from misleading ideological tendencies, let’s turn to the Tradition of our Church, to the saints! THIS will save our Church, NOT the likes of Matt Walsh, NOT Candace Owens, and no, not even Jordan Peterson.

    • Dear M. A.:

      What in heaven’s name are you talking about? You’re saying that you disagree with what Bergoglio is saying here, but that you cannot oppose him because people like me don’t get enough Vitamin D in our diets and once got a speeding ticket in Poughkeepsie?

      Why do you bring in so much extraneous niff-naff when you’re trying to make sense of something fairly clear-cut?

      If you’re demanding perfection from political advocates before you side with them, you must really struggle in the voting booth.

    • Indeed, we have all sinned greatly and no one is at all interested in fixing their own hypocrisy. We need to stop this in-the-box thinking and treat all people and events in the light of reality and not wishful thinking.

    • “When I hear Right-leaning Christians rage against transgenderism, I can’t help but ask myself: weren’t THEY the ones who upheld ridiculous gender roles in the first place? Didn’t they always equate femininity with an imaginary idea of Audrey Hepburn-meets-Marylin Monroe-Stepford wife?”

      Short answer: “No.”

      And who here is actually “raging”?

    • These words of yours are devoid of charity, which is why you have become as “a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”:

      “bootlick market-worshipping, morally decrepit, pro-pornography libertarians such as Camille Paglia, a vile woman with zero empathy for rape and abuse survivors!”

    • Well, that was a load of pure nonsense. Hope you got that off your chest, because it bears no relation to anything that is going on in reality.

    • You really need to think about what you’re going to say before you commit it to writing.

      “When I hear Right-leaning Christians rage against transgenderism, I can’t help but ask myself: weren’t THEY the ones who upheld ridiculous gender roles in the first place? Didn’t they always equate femininity with an imaginary idea of Audrey Hepburn-meets-Marylin Monroe-Stepford wife?”

      Oh, right-leaning Christians are to blame that Monroe and Hepburn were idols? The photographer Cecil Beaton who took a number of famous photos of Hepburn was gay. He also designed her costumes for “My Fair Lady”. Richard Avedon, who was bisexual, said, “I am, and forever will be, devastated by the gift of Audrey Hepburn before my camera.” Andy Warhol’s rendering of Monroe’s image became a cultural phenomenon. Marilyn married Arthur Miller who, I assure you, was not right-leaning.

      Liberals of all stripes are also to “blame” for the popularity of Hepburn and Monroe. Your “whataboutism” missed the mark, my friend.

    • “Didn’t they always equate femininity with an imaginary idea of Audrey Hepburn-meets-Marylin Monroe-Stepford wife? As if they never treated girls who deviate from their narrow vision of what authentic womanhood is with utter contempt! “

      No. I find this statement unrecognizable in my cradle Catholic life. Sisters in my elementary school fully endorsed Tom boys, encouraged girls to be astronauts and artists…or whatever God called them to be. In the 1950-60s. We were taught that Joan of Arc and Teresa of Avila should be our inspiration for courageous Catholic womanhood. 8th grade we read of Judith a woman of considerable beauty, beheading Holofernes- our Sisters pinned back their veils and played softball with us. The picture you paint of conservative Catholic women is truly foreign to me.

    • Why you would conflate leftist pornographers with conservative anti-pornographers, for starters, reflects the fact that you haven’t given your sociobabble any serious thought. You might consider discovering what Catholics have actually had to say about living the virtuous life prior to indulging denigration.

    • M.A. Shenberg: At a visceral level, I agree with some of what you say. Very precisely, and speaking to the end of your comment, I wouldn’t have put the “even” in front of Jordan Peterson’s name. When he interviewed Yeonmi Park, dolled-up k-pop celebrity making a profit on everyone else’s North Korean refugee story, I knew he was a) a man, and b) a guy “makin’ a buck”. And I think this sentiment is underneath your comment. If you watch the right-wing side of the argument long enough on youtube you start to become cynical about the fact that real faith which should be simple, poor, and humble, has been replaced by narcissism that sees a cynical opportunity in making bank from the appearance of righteousness. If I had the talent, even I might try it! What strongly opinionated person doesn’t fantasize about having all those followers? Can I really feel sorry for Jordan Peterson having been “driven out” of the Canadian academic establishment when he’s made himself into an industry elsewhere? There are people with bigger problems than him. I completely agree with you that the powerful panacea is the rosary, the Mass, the sacraments. The other day I read something in Luisa Picaretta’s writings in which Jesus says to her – quite abruptly – “be quiet and obey.” We’re in those days now, and the endless talk-stream won’t move us to Jesus. It’s time to BE like Benedict XVI, not just to think he’s cool.

    • Wow. This is one of the most risible comments that I have read in a looooooong time. Your cartoonish caricatures of conservative Catholics seem to be, well, uniformed by reality. Here are a few questions for you M.A:

      1) Can you name any conservative Catholic who also holds the libertarian views you rightly criticize? Is it possible that you have confused David French (or many Protestant libertarians) for Catholics?
      2) Can you name any conservative Catholic who “bootlicks” Camille Paglia?
      3) What, exactly, has Matt Walsh said in “rage”? Have you ever listened to him or his critiques of transgender ideology?
      4) Have you ever actually met or conversed with a conservative?

    • I guess I’m coming to this from a different perspective than many here at Catholic World Report.

      In 1946, having served in World War II and after meeting his soon-to-be wife – my mother – my father converted to Roman Catholicism from Russian Orthodox Christianity. My mother’s family, devout Catholics, had connections which enabled my father to be instructed and baptized by Bishop Fulton Sheen. My father felt very blessed.

      Eventually, my father because as tenaciously devout as my mother. Then the Second Vatican Council occurred. Not surprisingly, both my mother and father were disheartened and disgusted with the changes but remained (unhappily) Roman Catholic until the very end of their lives. The Church’s changes caused both of them much sorrow.

      On the other hand, I could no longer tolerate the changes, especially under Francis, so I returned to the faith of my paternal ancestors: I now (happily) attend a local Orthodox parish, and I am very pleased and grateful as I no longer have to forfeit my peace of mind every time I pass through the church’s portal. There are no battles over liturgy, doctrines or dogmas. There hasn’t been an “ecumenical council” in over 1,000 years. Praise God!

      When reading of this upcoming Synod all I can do is pray for all of you and hope you can find the peace I now possess. God bless you all!

      • Dear ‘A Fellow Christian’. Thanks for this moving insight into your personal faith journey.

        As an elderly Catholic academic who has researched other varieties of authentic Christian allegiance, I sympathize and think I know where you are coming from.

        Only my soul is troubled by the absence of any affirmation of encounter with, submission to, and single-hearted love of the person of King Jesus Christ.

        Even more than some over-religious Catholics, my Orthodox friends seem to place their faith is the physicality of beautiful buildings, lovely artworks, high & mighty clergy dressed luxuriously and wearing ever more altitudinous headgear, and in wonderfully orchestrated, incensed, & illuminated liturgies.

        As in any religion, well-orchestrated, aesthetically perfect, presentation of ‘holiness’ can be hypnotically addictive.

        Yet, King Jesus Christ, Ruler of the Heavens & the Earth, told Saint Martha: “Only One thing is needed!” Saint Paul tells us that we are counterfeits if we don’t relate to Jesus Christ alive in our hearts (2 Corinthians 13:5).

        Jesus said His church (family) are those who hear His Word and obey it.

        With Christ genuinely ALIVE in us, we are dead to the allure of materiality and its passing grandiosities. We move beyond religiosity and all its charms. We care little about the pros-&-cons of various denominations and we’re immune to their competitive claims and often malicious wranglings (more common even, I observe, in Orthodox churches, than in Catholicism).

        Alive in Christ we are totally changed into a person whose whole aim in life is to humbly obey & witness to Him and His Way, Truth, & Life. We are The New Israel: that is the one Light and only Hope of this troubled world.

        We no longer desire the denomination that pleases us most and instead desire only to be where Jesus calls us to be, the place where we can spread The Good News and bear the good fruit of His Vine, pleasing to His God & Father and our God & Father.

        It would soothe my soul to read that it is, indeed, King Jesus Christ within your heart who shepherds you, rather than the lure of ancestral religion.

        Always in the grace & mercy of The Lamb; love & blessings from marty

    • I used to believe that Pope Francis had low self-awareness. He has copious amounts of self-awareness, which is why he is so self-referential and dares even to correct Christ, as His Vicar!

      Remember in 2019 when Pope Francis altered how Christ prayed the Our Father(!): “Instead of saying, ‘Lead us not into temptation,’ Catholics will say, ‘Do not let us fall into temptation.” And recently, Pope Francis called out the need for Christ to become less rigid when dealing with outsiders like the Canaanite woman. This awful message is offered just before his Synods will ask Catholics to act like Christ and become less rigid toward blessing same-sex unions, etc.

      Listening to Pope Francis speak of his merciful acts, one wonders if charity existed before his pontificate.

      • Lat time I was at Mass we prayed just as we always have prayed it. That being said, there is no difference in either interpretation.

  2. I find it best to just dismiss anything that comes out of Bergoglio’s mouth. To listen to him is, for me, an occasion of sin.

    • A sad state of affairs indeed, but true. Giving an audience to lies makes us complicit in the act of lying, so avoidance is probably the wise response. If you just ignore them, they’ll go away.

      • When someone makes inflammatory remarks about imagined whole groups of peoples, i am given to respond with anger and uncharity of heart which, for me, can be sinful. In Bergoglio’s case, it’s best for me just to ignore him altogether.

  3. How about these “backward” thoughts about the future of synodal “bridge building”…

    Cardinal Newman converted (a backward idea!) to the Catholic Faith when he realized (by reading the Church Fathers) that the Anglican thingy was not a bridge (the Via Media) between Protestantism and the Catholic Church…

    Today, would the “Jesuit spirituality” thingy have us believe (certainly not an ideology!) that homosexuality is a “third option”—a sort of middle ground bridging between the binary male and female?

    In the near future, should the solvent of secularist “values” then be coupled with Islamic-style “abrogation” (as in their reading of Qur’anic contradictions)? The process-theology thingy in a turban, and the synodal “paradigm shift” in collar, tie, and polyester pant suits?

    In the foreseeable future, is it to be our belief (certainly not an ideology!) that synodality is not ghost writers—but the Holy Ghost—who is writing the Church into a middle ground or flattened bridge between post-modern Secularism and pre-modern Islam? A coupling of ambiguous religious “pluralism” and the synodal “aggregate, compile and synthesis” thingy?

    “Backward”? Without the incarnate Jesus Christ clearly at the center, the past is prologue: the Church as less a bridge than an encapsulated dhimmi within both the irrationalism found in the Secularist world and the fideism of the Muslim world…

    When does “dialogue” devolve into ideology? Maybe the gamble of drawing to an inside straight.

  4. What is made ambiguous, what is left out, what is said wrong, what is turned into distortions, what the bad motives are and why it is all conveyed as “new and open” but on its own terms – are Spadaro’s fault?

  5. The only change the Catholic Church really needs is regime change. All the elderly hippies stuck in the sixties/seventies time warp need to retire or go to their eternal reward above (or, in some cases, below) and allow the younger generation of priests, who actually care about Church doctrine and the spiritual health of the faithful, to take over.

    • About the seventies and such, in 1987 some dude named Charlie Curran was formally excluded from teaching in Catholic institutions. The same year arrived the “Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals”!

      Pope Francis, who has volunteer that he “is not a theologian,” has recently expressed admiration for pseudo-theologian Curran. And today in America the lip-syncing and next-generation spawn of Curran & Co. can be easily named. In the weeks before the Dallas meetings of 2002, the chair Wilton Gregory was even quoted in the media as saying “the question is whether the homosexuals will run the Church in America, or not.”

      So, what has happened since that line of great clarity? Nationally, internationally, and synodally? Well, we’re informed from on high that to notice such history (as does CWR editor Olson), and to not want to repeat it (the “ideological” conservatives), is “backwardness.”

      Hello-o-o-o? At the synods, how many non-amnesiac adults will be in the room?

    • wishing that all hippie priest die so the new few priest(not that many are joining) can take over. Good luck by the time all the 50 and and 70 Catholic’s join heaven or hell. There will be no Church. Look to God for advise. Pray for his wisdom to fall upon us. Stop worrying about what you will get from the church.

  6. “[T]he pope is forcing us to choose between himself and Jesus.” An apt quote from David Warren, in his essay at link below:


    As to the Pontiff’s “pre-occupation” with the demsnds if ghe 6th Commandment, is there any person more offensive than the “rigid ideologue” who uttered this (?): “You have heard it said, ‘you shall not commit adultery.’ BUT I SAY any man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    And the “offensiveness” of the Sermon on the Mount the apt word. Because as the herald of Pontiff Francis, one of his preferred theologians, Cardinal Walter Kasper declared (was it 1968?) in his work ‘God in History:’

    “The God who sits enthroned over the world as a changeless being is an offense to man. This God must be opposed….”

    It’s between Jesus and the Pontiff Francis.

    It always has been…

    • Thank you once again, Carl, for this report and all your work.
      When reading about these remarks from Francis, coupled with his more recent remarks praising Putin’s favorite past Russian imperialists, one just wonders how much longer we must endure this pope who beyond any reasonable doubt is the one substituting his own personal political ideology for the truths of the Faith.
      I believe that most faithful American Catholics want to support and learn from their sitting pope. Not, however, when as Chris states, the choice is “ between Jesus and the Pontiff Francis.”.

      • Well said, dear ‘Chris in Maryland’ & dear ‘Tom in Florida’.

        A pope is elected to represent King Jesus Christ and His chosen Apostles & their witness that is uniquely presented in The New Testament’s 27 texts by 9 sacred authors, as clearly laid out in The Catechism of The Catholic Church.

        When a pope inherently distorts and misrepresents those unique Church Authorities by his words, actions, and through those he associates with and favors, he is to be justly labelled ‘anti-Apostolic’ and considered to have renounced his election.

        Does that leave a vacuum in the Church? No!

        It simply means that all Catholics who care about authenticity turn away from Francis’ many misrepresentations and turn back to The Christ, our One & Only Teacher, and to the enormously rich heritage we have from Jesus’ Apostles and their many faithful Catholic successors over the last two millennia.

        Lacking an authentic pope in Rome does NOT MEAN we lack sound papal teaching.

        Francis & his anti-Apostolic mates are merely a transient pimple on the rear of The Body. The irritation they provoke is causing many Catholics to get more serious about what it really means to be a follower of King Jesus Christ and His chosen, Holy Spirit Annointed Apostles and their genuine Catholic successors.

        If the irritation provided by these apostates provoke a doubling of the number of Catholics who become serious about obediently following Jesus Christ, they will have (unwittingly) served a very beneficial purpose.

        The Book of Job gives us a classic example of how God evokes holiness from the suffering imposed by evil. God always wins!

        Ever in the unshakeable, unbreakable, unbeatable love of Christ; blessings from marty

  7. Thank you for this hot-off-the press analysis of yet another one of Pope Francis’ confusing and dubious talks. Although, with this latest talk, he cannot be accused of ambiguity. “The death penalty is a sin”. He has clearly laid his cards on the table to the detriment of Church doctrine.
    With homosexuality, he is still dodging a bit and leaving himself an out i.e. that he’s not really changing Church teaching. With the death penalty, there are no more excuses. It’s a sin, according to Pope Francis. We knew intuitively this was his position (despite the Church’s constant teaching that the state is justified in its use of the death penalty). Changing the Catechism on the death penalty, up to a hair of overturning Church teaching (inadmissible) is the boldest move of this papacy. Now he is flat out pronouncing it a sin— at least, still unofficially. I look forward to reading Dr. Edward Feser’s analysis.

    • I don’t understand the obsession some American Catholics have with the death penalty. I find it especially odd given that the largest supporters of the death penalty usually come from small government Republicans types. I don’t know why any advocate for small-government would want to give the State the power to kill its citizens. Especially given the untrustworthiness and the inequalities found in the legal system (innocent people are often sent to jail). You don’t trust the government to run things like schools, but you trust it to kill people?! It makes no sense. Francis is right. In modern times, capital punishment is, as the Catechism now says, inadmissible. We have other means that punish and protect.

      • It’s not an obsession. The death penalty is a matter of law and justice, the just and necessary punishment for the heinous crime of taking life. The victims and their families are the actual victims, not the criminals.

        • Athanasius: So you trust the government to kill its citizens without error? You have far greater trust in the government than i could ever have. You really are a “big government” advocate…you trust the government so much that you’d give it the power to kill. No thanks. The act of killing is wrong when there are other options to punish the offender and protect the common good. Life in prison is a just punishment.

          As long as it is possible for innocent people to be found guilty of capital crimes, the death penalty is unjust and too dangerous a power to give to an imperfect and unequal legal system. BTW since 1973, 192 wrongfully convicted Americans have been released from death row and since that time at least 20 people have been executed who were possibly innocent. Look it up yourself. Sorry my friend, I just can’t trust the State the way you do.

          • Perhaps, but trusting the State or otherwise does not change the position the Catholic Church took for years. This is why I disregard JPII’s catechism and feel completely happy with the Catechism of the Council of Trent.

          • I trust the rule of law and due process. Criminals sit on death row for years, and there are often many appeals before the penalty is administered. I don’t support big government, but I do believe that criminals should be held accountable for their crimes. Justice demands it.

          • Makes me ask:

            Does anyone know what the comparative percentages are of genuinely remorseful repentance and surrender to God between convicted murders who are: 1) facing certain execution; and 2) those who have to serve life imprisonment?

  8. 2. As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shines everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.
    — Irenaeus, Against Heresies (Book I, Chapter 10)

    That miraculous uniformity of the Church’s teaching throughout the world described by Irenaeus was the work of the Holy Spirit, Who Christ promised would would remain with the Church forever (John 14:16) and guide it into all truth (John 16:13).

    “Forever” means that uniformity will persist throughout the centuries as well as “throughout the whole world.”

    Genuine development of doctrine deepens our understanding of the truth, never contradicting it.

    Bergoglio, to the extent that he contradicts it, is an anti-pope.

  9. I have never been prouder to be a frequenter and supporter of CWR.

    The estimable Mr. Olson sees through Bergoglio’s cant and characterizes it perfectly. Bergoglio is the one who would drag us backward into the hepcat, now-a-go-go theology of the seventies.

    I didn’t realize it until now, but for my entire life, I have been searching for an article that quotes both G.K. Chesterton and Ronald Reagan.

    Now that I have read it and agreed with it (as I, of course, knew I would), I can depart in peace.

    • That is a great point you emphasized, that it is Pontiff Francis who is (to quote the rhetoric of contemporary apostates) “culturally-bound” to the 70s and the post-Christian tribe’s devotion to “the sex revolution.”

      Truth = Jesus, who is eternal, and per St. James, who kneels Jesus, unchanging.

      Pontiff Francis = “Truth has a Shelf-Life” but my Ideology Will Rule Forever,” and I and my synod bureaucrats are Oracles of “a new Gospel,” and we declare that dullards like St. Paul the apostle are passe.

    • Dear LORD Jesus, please grant many more years, health & strength, & many more insightful comments to our beloved brother ‘brineyman’.

      • Dear Dr. Marty, I am deeply, deeply touched by your very kind words. You are the very soul of charity.

        And may I be so bold as to suggest that any prayers on my behalf be directed to St. Jude, patron of lost causes.

  10. Sorry Carl. We should hope for the best, but after a decade of theological abuse, this pontificate demonizes dogma, and all who teach it, as backardist (especially it would seem at the USA based CWR).

    Since no Vicar of Christ can replace the teaching of Christ with ideologies and remain Catholic, Pope Francis is clearly seeking to show Catholics how to bypass Catholic doctrine and still receive Communion. This worldwide synodal rollout of Amoris Laetitia heteropraxy is happening. It is doomed to fail because Christ calls us to repentance.

    It is not God’s fault that He is Perfect. We are fallen. Our concupiscence is also not God’s fault. The Pope and friends are wrong to gaslight anyone, but beyond ridiculous to try that on God. No blasphemy will improve God. Even if we choose sin, God’s grace is always enough to do His will. Our sin will not lead us to union with God. We cannot skip purgation. Not even a Pope can dispense with the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:18-20). Pope Francis is not more merciful than God or some sort of rock star preacher. In the Catholic Church, all are welcome to repent. There is no other Way than to follow Christ. “For if we have been united with Christ in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For He who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” (Romans 6:5-8)

  11. From the ‘roots’ upward refers to change in kind. Lerins as confirmed by editor Olson labored to distinguish development of doctrine that remains essentially ‘in kind’. Death penalty doctrine newly restated in the catechism does not change what already preceded during John Paul’s pontificate. The word inadmissible suggests instances of admissibility.
    Homosexual acts are intrinsically evil, meaning by nature of the act because they abrogate the order of nature as ordained by God. They can never be justified as a good, as proposed by Fr Martin SJ and Fr Spadaro SJ, and which the pope, by all indication supports.
    Spadaro is among a brain trust including Archbishop ‘Tucho’ Fernandez. There is agreement among them of the need to reevaluate doctrine to adjust to current scientific, theological trends. Spadaro’s 2+2=5 refers to instances when conditions may essentially change the morality of an act, for example when mercy may supersede justice. As when a bishop Myriel shows compassion for Jean Valjean’s theft, and when Valjean spares his nemesis Inspector Javert. However, when the crime is beyond the taking from the excess of another for survival – for example homosexual acts, because of their intrinsically evil nature, the Church rightly maintains such acts cannot be justified as an act of survival, or compassionate love – such acts remain intrinsically evil and beyond justification.
    Although today one may argue with seeming validity there are no essential differences in acts of homosexuality, or the secret appropriation of excess goods from another for survival. To the contrary the transmission of human life created in God’s image is revealed to the Church vis a vis Apostolic tradition, Humanae Vitae as inviolable. It essentially corrupts the good of human sexuality.
    Insofar as a cooperative effort among secular elements and the Church there is indication of that possibility in appointments to the dicasteries relating to human life and marriage. We’re at a point of requirement to challenge these mistakes.

    • Simply put, an act of intercourse between a man and woman is itself a good. Although depending on conditions, outside its legitimacy in marriage it can incur the sin of fornication, or adultery. Whereas sexual acts between men, or between women are in every instance sinful because of the act itself, which is sinful by nature since it is contrary to nature as ordained by God. This particular sin, unlike most others is most grievous and can never, similar to sexual child abuse, incest, murder [although killing in self defense, acts of restraint can, since they can be measured be rightfully judged excessive and fall under penalty of some degree of manslaughter or murder] false witness, lust be justified. Taking secretly from the excess of others for survival is not considered stealing as per Alphonsus Ligouri. Also withholding the truth, as in falsifying information [considered by some lying] may be justified to protect someone or some others [as when the gatekeeper tells the Gestapo he hasn’t seen any Jews when he knows they’re hiding in the basement]. Most human acts are judged good or evil in accord with the conditions of the act.
      What impinges the entire spectrum of morality understood as revealed to us by God, specifically through the person of Christ, is that all morality is undermined during this pontificate by a new paradigmatic morality that neutralizes the principles of responsibility for moral behavior, placing personal conscience above revelation, and promoting a doctrine of mitigation that effectively destroys the difference between good and evil. This being accomplished by a dual orthodox and heterodox message, not unlike a form of Manichaeism that ensnared St Augustine prior to his conversion.

  12. Thank you Carl for your addressing what Pope Francis said to the Jesuits. I am confused Pope Francis also said the Church should be a welcoming Church. Welcome everyone. I can agree to be welcoming, however must one repent of all sin before one can enter in full communion in the Church? Stay alway from mortal sins and if you have sinned gravely go to confession before receiving communion. Also whether you are gay or straight need to stay chaste. In marriage couples in the Catholic church must stay faithful to each other. Also single men and women must stay chaste also. So what does Pope Francis mean? How do they welcome them the LBG plus community? Do the one’s welcoming need to explain this to them? I am confused.

  13. Pius XII:
    “…should not one say that the Church of today is inclined more to indulgence than to severity? The accusation of oppressive rigidity made against the Church by the ‘new morality,’ in reality, attacks, in the first place, the adorable Person of Christ Himself.”

  14. Everything the pope said was factually wrong.
    1) No, the church did not “change” its teaching on slavery. See Joel Panzer “The Popes and Slavery”; See Paul Kengor “The Worst Indignities”
    Homosexuals posing as “theologians” have long lied about this, claiming that if the church could change on slavery, they could change on homosexuality. In short, No.
    2) It is another homosexual talking point that we are “too focused” on sexual sins. Thet pope repeats the homosexual talking point.
    3) The Pope mangles development of doctrine. He apparently does not understand it, and is being told what to say about it by Kissyboy Fernandez, the probable homosexual.

    It is clear that the Pope knows his end is near, and he will try to change the church dramatically at the upcoming “Synod of Evil”
    The time has come for regular Catholics to take the lead. The bishops and priest cannot do much because of their vow of obedience. But lay Catholics MUST raise a big stink. They should travel to Rome, protests in St. Peter’s square, chain themselvs to the columns ,and generally let the world know our Pope is certainly evil.

    • Agreed. A smorgasbord of baseless agendas. This gathering and it’s subsequent press release is are a test drive for tired ideologies that seek in practice to replace the Faith/Truth of Christ at the upcoming Synods.

      As we object like Carl to this attempted highjacking of Catholicism, each synodal ideology will be refined by this pontificate for weaponized ambiguity to pacify the faithful into tolerating various forms of heteropraxy. For instance, the Synods will seek to implement a blessing for “loving” same-sex unions and more “welcoming” language for homosexuals in the Catechism. Etc.

    • “The bishop and priest cannot do much because of their vow of obedience.”
      Who are you supposed to be obedient to? JESUS CHRIST, His truth and the gospel!

        • True, dear Fr Peter.

          If only because you are sensible and informed enough to live so as to hear the beautiful voice of King Jesus Christ say:

          “Well done you good & faithful servant. Now enter the joy of your Master!”

  15. This is proper criticism of the Pope. It as Ed Feser levels of proper. This is the gold standard. Now enough of me kissing up(btw FYI it is sincere kissing up).

    I am posting this on the twitter.

  16. In the U.S. so much emphasis is placed every day on sins of sexuality whereas mass shootings of children are accepted with mere condolences and your going to tell me Pope Francis is wrong. Shame on you Carl and the sheep you mislead.

    • Thank you, Mike, for introducing a classic red herring into the discussion. Mass shootings were not mentioned by Pope Francis, nor part of my response, obviously, since I remarked on his comments.

      But, again, to reiterate my perfectly logical point: nobody is supporting and endorsing mass shootings, especially not the media, politicians, celebrities, the supposedly smart set. But nearly all of them are supporting and endorsing the goodness of homosexuality, fornication, divorce, the hook-up culture, hormone “therapy,” transgender ideology, surgeries on young men and women, etc. And they do so shamelessly.

      And where, exactly, is this emphasis on the sins of sexuality in American culture? You hardly even hear the truth about sexuality, marriage, chastity, virtue, and moral purity on any given Sunday in any given church in this country. That is truly shameful.

    • You’re saying that some of us give a wink and a nod to the “mass shootings of children”? You’re stretching credibility to the point that it’s tantamount to psychosis.

    • And then there’s the generic malignancy of lust. This from St. Augustine:

      “[beyond sins of sexuality] lust is a word applicable to any kind of appetite [….] But, to return to the word ‘lust.’ As lust for revenge is called anger, so lust for money is avarice, lust to win at any price is obstinacy, lust for bragging is vanity. And there are still many other kinds of lust, some with names and some without. For example, it would be difficult to find a specific name for that lust for domination which plays such havoc with the souls of ambitious soldiers and comes to light in every civil war” (The City of God, Book XIV, ch. 16).

      Civil war as now within the Church? In addition to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, and especially when the international megaphone comes into play—at what point does the Eighth Commandment also come into play?

  17. So many words, so little meaning. Anglicized muddleism at its best. Arrows shot at unseen targets. Is anyone responsible while all are guilty?

  18. Thank you, Carl, for addressing the pope’s latest remarks. This pope, for some reason, really disdains US Catholics.

    As to ideology, this pope, who has no scientific background, has adopted the ideology of man-made climate change straight from the UN playbook and has based much of his speaking and writing topics to promoting it.

  19. What will you do if and when when the Bergoglian program finally comes to fruition? SSPX? Orthodoxy? Protestantism? I wish my faith were stronger and I had confidence that the Holy Spirit will protect the Church from falsifying itself, but at this point I sadly have serious doubts. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. Or perhaps the Lord will take me home before I have to make such a terrible decision. But I don’t think it wise to continue to bury our heads in the sand. It is time for everyone to start making contingency plans.

    • You doubt that “the Holy Spirit will protect the Church from falsifying itself”? You doubt that God is really God and is really in charge? Or perhaps you doubt that he is honest enough to keep his word? In that case, I don’t really know what to say to you in response.

      • Well, I suppose that’s where I find myself and I blame Francis. I can feel my faith (at least in the Church) slipping away. SSPX? Orthodoxy? I don’t know. I will wait for the results of the Devil’s Synod.

        • “A schismatic is a fool.” St. Catherine of Siena. Why wait for the next Synod to leave, since it is never faithful to Christ to quit His Church? What are synodalers going to do to make you think that it is now God’s will for anyone to abandon His Church? – right at the moment when She has most need of our fidelity!

          No one can force me to leave the Catholic Church except me, and my unwillingness to pick up my cross and follow Christ. Our job is to stay Catholic and never surrender our love and joy in Christ and His Church – “warts and all.” (St. Augustine). One rotten pontificate after a string of Saints and we want dump St. Peter? Not me pal.

          A serious question: Where did we get the idea that leaving the Church was ever a solution? How did we ever get the idea that the cross of bad Popes, etc., wasn’t a part of Catholicism? If we accept such an ideology and leave the Faith, how are different in the end to the heteropraxy of this pontificate and following an ideology? This notion of justifiable schism is not from Scripture or Tradition. Watch out!

          We are never allowed to feast on self pity. If we become Saints in the Church, things will get better…
          Try one of these Parishes if it helps: https://reverentcatholicmass.com/map

          Let’s finish the climb to Golgotha.

          • “A schismatic is a fool.”

            You miss the point. Schismatic from what? If the Church (for example) approves liturgical blessings of homosexual unions then I am gone because the Church will have shown herself to be a fraud. Leaving a church that has demonstrably falsified herself – ie, that has proven she is not what she has always claimed to be – would not be foolish. Let’s hope (and pray) it doesn’t come to that. But it certainly looks like that’s where we are headed, quickly.

          • “warts and all.”

            God’s Fool, we’re not talking about “warts” and “bad popes” here. Those don’t bother me in the least. We are talking about the prospect of a Church that’s been fake from the beginning. We’re talking about the Church doing something that definitively proves she is not guided by the Holy Spirit and that her claims to that effect are lies. What would it take for you to believe that? Perhaps if a “bad pope” made an “infallible” declaration that Jesus did not actually rise from the dead or that the Eucharist is nothing more than a symbol? I know, you will say “but that will never happen.” Here’s the thing. I don’t see how the Church can go from sodomy being a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance to being liturgically blessed without the Church demonstrating that she is a complete fraud.

          • Which Church would we leave? She is the Mystical Body of Christ. Would we leave the Church Triumphant of Saints Catherine and Augustine – as if they were not tested with suffering, mystery and confusion? How could Christ and His Saints be frauds?

            The Church Militant on earth is always being put to the test, like at the Last Supper. Christ is asking us to stay for the Sacrifice of the Mass, even if the Cross is coming next. The Saints stayed.

    • BXVI. Faith is being tested during this crisis. If you find yourself weakened know that many others struggle with you. The aggregate of believers in the goodness of God revealed in Christ is a powerful means to brace us. Commit yourself to that communion of believers through prayer, and willingness to offer your distress, suffering for the good of those who have surrendered their trust in Christ.

    • BXVI,
      May I suggest a read or two about the Arian heresy? Most of the bishops subscribed or leaned toward Arian teachings. The church survived that dominating heresy, yet at some points in time there were only a few bishops and some laity who believed [the Creed] that Jesus was not only man but was also one substance, one in being, with God the Father.

      The Church will survive this crisis of immorality and apostasy taught and practiced by many of her leaders. Remember that Jesus was put to death but resurrected. The bricks of the Church are being crushed now, but the Soul of the Church (the Holy Spirit of God) will remain. Christ PROMISED US THIS. His PROMISE REMAINS, today RIGIDLY, His promise. Do not put Him to the test. Trust Him and rely on his good protection and that of his beautiful Blessed Mother. Adore Him in the Eucharist and receive Him in your heart most fervently and frequently. Talk to Him and Listen to Him. Wishing you all the best.

      • For me, citing the he Arian controversy is not helpful and is a non sequitur. No pope ever officially declared as magisterial truth (and thus the Church never officially taught) that “there was a time when he was not,” as the Arians held. That’s why the Church survived the Arian crisis.

        The situation here seems different. Has PF officially taught heresy? Perhaps: the change of the Catechism on the death penalty and certain statements in Amoris Laetitia come to mind. The back breaker for me would be official Church acceptance of homosexual relationships and/or blessings. That seems to be what the entire Devil’s Synod is designed to achieve. In fact, an objective person might say it has been the primary project of this pontificate from day one. It is quite troubling that the Belgian bishops have already developed and implemented a liturgy blessing homosexual relationships, seemingly with PF’s approval. The Germans are doing the same, without papal reprimand. PF has stacked the college of Cardinals and the Devil’s Synod with prelates who want the Church as a whole to do the same. We shall see.

        • It is an error to think we can understand everything about a divine mystery like Papal infallibility, since that is not possible for fallen, finite creatures.

          The crisis today is different than Arianism because it is not a crisis of doctrine. Today, we are witnesses to the second worldwide attempt to cancel Christ. Sadly, this crisis involves a Pope encouraging heteropraxy to bypass doctrine – like tolerating concubinage or seeking a blessing for same-sex couples, etc. Such heteropraxy does not even involve infallibility, since infallibility is about teaching doctrine. If a Pope never planned to teach or simply is not teaching, then he is offering his private ideas. We might owe his opinions respect, but these are not automatically part of the gift of infallible teaching.
          Nothing would prevent a future Pope (perhaps with an Ecumenical Council) from correcting heteropraxy implemented by his predecessor. Nothing would prevent a future Pope from teaching that a Synod of People (!) was invalid. Nothing would prevent a future Pope from teaching that an entire previous papacy is annulled, if he judged it to have been begun in bad will – for instance, that said papacy never planned to teach and confirm us in the Faith, but instead planned from the start to foist heteropraxy upon the Church. God knows what will happen. We cannot know everything. Faith teaches us that the Church will come through this – likely humbled and smaller with a purified understanding of Papal limitations.

          • The Fact that “ it is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion” is, in fact, a Doctrine Of The Church, regarding The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque).

            “For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the Revelation, the Deposit of Faith, delivered through the Apostles. “

        • Thank you dear ‘Meiron’ and dear ‘BXVI’, you are opening what is probably the most important practical issue arising from the matters outlined in Carl’s superb Church purifying article.

          You are right to be maximally concerned about church leadership approval of the mortal sin of homosexuality. This would completely overturn all that we have been taught by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and their loyal Catholic successors over the last two millennia.

          It will indeed be a devil’s church when iniquitous ‘marriages’ are blessed by our clergy, soon followed by the ‘coming out’ as active homosexual by deacons, nuns, priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and pope. Setting the stage for their satanic apex: sexualization of infants & children.

          But let’s be real about the current situation. First: this abdominal trend is not confined to the Catholic Church. It is the trend of contemporary, sophisticated society. It is the way many different denominations and religions are heading. Far worse than covid, this pandemic will destroy billions of souls.

          Second: it has been true for some decades now that the Catholic clergy who we generously fund and trust to administer The Church, both male & female, are often under the sway of pornography and often become active as homosexuals and pederasts. There is solid legal evidence that some ‘progress’ via involvement in witchcraft and freemasonry to the extreme of satanic human sacrificing.

          That does NOT mean there are no authentically Christian clergy. There are. It is up to sincere Catholic lay people to acquire a good understanding of the character, allegiances, and activities of those we accept as leaders in The Church. This is a commonsense process, such as we employ in many other areas of our lives; it has nothing to do with the red herring of ‘synodality’.

          There’s no sense in leaving The Church. Lay people who are committed to loving & following The LORD Jesus Christ simply need to do what He told us: “Watch & Pray!”. As sheep, we need to pay attention, stay focused, & know everything about anyone who we accept to be a faith leader. From now on, total transparency in Christ is mandatory for clergy to be accepted by us.

          With this in mind, we might realize that the current crisis has arisen from years of neglect by faithful lay Catholics. We have bestowed wealth, property, status, and power on our clergy, willy-nilly. How convenient it has been to believe church leaders are inevitably truly holy men & women, chosen by God to lead us home to Heaven. In today’s world, that proves increasingly naïve.

          Brother & sister lay Catholics: there’s work to be done! As for role models, let’s take Catholic World Report and The Pillar as examples of the depth of enquiry we need and that The Church needs in these troubled times.

          Ever in the love of our King, Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

        • But at this writing, Pope Francis has not “infallibly” defined that sodomy is no longer morally censurable, or that homosexual relationships can be incorporated into the sacrament of Matrimony, or that Christ never bodily rose from the dead or that the Eucharist is merely a symbol, etc. It has NOT happened. He’s been in office ten years, and he has not done any of those things. He has made many off-the-cuff remarks apparently contradicting dogma, but we are not obligated to pay heed to his off-the-cuff remarks. You seem to be predicting the formal overturning of doctrine as a virtual certainty–so certain that it’s already a done deal. But your opinion is just your opinion. It has not become fact. It is NOT a done deal, therefor.

          • That does NOT mean there are no authentically Christian clergy. There are. It is up to sincere Catholic lay people to acquire a good understanding of the character, allegiances, and activities of those we accept as leaders in The Church. This is a commonsense process, such as we employ in many other areas of our lives; it has nothing to do with the red herring of ‘synodality’.

            There’s no sense in leaving The Church. Lay people who are committed to loving & following The LORD Jesus Christ simply need to do what He told us: “Watch & Pray!”. As sheep, we need to pay attention, stay focused, & know everything about anyone who we accept to be a faith leader. From now on, total transparency in Christ is mandatory for clergy to be accepted by us.

            With this in mind, we might realize that the current crisis has arisen from years of neglect by faithful lay Catholics. We have bestowed wealth, property, status, and power on our clergy, willy-nilly. How convenient it has been to believe church leaders are inevitably truly holy men & women, chosen by God to lead us home to Heaven. In today’s world, that proves increasingly naïve.

            Brother & sister lay Catholics: there’s work to be done! As for role models, let’s take Catholic World Report and The Pillar as examples of the depth of enquiry we need and that The Church needs in these troubled times.

            Ever in the love of our King, Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

  20. Just as a point of nuance, it has become a bit too popular for some people to use the label “traditionalist” in a very simplistic, overly-generalized (and frequently poorly defined) polemical way. I don’t think this is helpful, nor fair. If anything it comes to feel as though they are being made the sacrifical lambs.

    Those who might be classed as “traditionalists” can range from the extreme sedevacantist who adheres to conspiracy theories, to the notable academic, mother, father, or working class professional who believe in none of that, but who espouse classical Catholic doctrine, adhere to the teaching of BXVI, JP2 as much as Pius XII, and prefer and promnote the ancient Roman rite, ie. “the usus antiquior.”

    It frequently feels as though the label “traditionalist” get tossed around much like so many modern “-isms” and “-ists” in a way that unfairly portrays them and tosses them, en masse, under the bus. In reality, one can find more and less extreme proponents of something in every sector of the Church as in every sector of society.

    • Hey Richard,
      I agree. Pity those who simply don’t discern care in their choice of words or understanding of ideas. They are lost lambs. Just as Jesus was misunderstood and reviled, so are many traditionalists. As a ‘moderate’ ‘traditionalist,’ I don’t mind being made a ‘sacrificial lamb.’ Jesus was one, so I fail to see a problem there.

  21. God bless you, Carl Olson, to defend our Catholic Apostolic Faith and the Truth of Christ. The bishops wrap themselves in silence. We all have to speak up and carry the torch forward and pray for the next holy pope to be granted from above. Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on your Church.

  22. A couple of facts traditionalist Catholics cannot grasp: A) modern consumerism actually reached its peak in pre/post WWII era, which had its own fair share of pornographic imagery, from Hollywood to Playboy.
    B) Pseudo-traditional family values (fancy car, big house, nuclear family) aren’t in fact traditional at all. This time period saw the loss of extended family unit.
    C) Good manners =/= good person. Kids weren’t necessarily well-behaved even back then.
    D) You can’t call yourself pro-life, then wish physical harm and death on people, such as prisoners, enemies, political opponents or just people you don’t like.
    E) Snide comments won’t get your point across. Keep them to yourselves. Several contributors on this website are severely lacking in charity, judging by the sensationalist titles of their articles. How does that help? What do you guys hope to achieve?
    F) Pope Francis may say controversial things at times and I don’t actually agree with him on everything, but his ideas expounded in Laudato Si are neither new or heretical. Unfettered capitalism did disrupt man’s relationship with nature.

      • “…it’s a matter of law and justice…” I agree that criminals should be held accountable, but we aren’t living in a routinely just society where we can trust the legal system at all costs. Yes – criminals often sit on death row for years before being executed, but I’ve seen many years after a crime that new evidence shows a convicted criminal is innocent. That means the legal system works sometimes, but what of possible errors found much too late? Justice isn’t truly blind, and too much has happened in other governmental systems. It just about totally ruined healthcare and public education systems. It has never substantially monitored the student loan programs such that higher education routinely raises tuition and fees way over the cost of living. We unnecessarily wore masks for an overly extended time period and saw our economic system nearly collapse due to the shutdown. What makes the legal system different and trustworthy re: ‘law and justice’? I want to agree with you, but most helpful would be a return to some semblance of trustworthy governmental systems that function for the best interests of our citizens and not for ideological, secular, and/or financial benefits. That last sentence almost sounds idealistic instead of realistically hopeful – so be it.

        • Thank you, dear Lucy Jerome, for that genuinely heartfelt cry.

          Regarding: “That last sentence almost sounds idealistic instead of realistically hopeful – so be it.”

          It seems to this poor servant of Jesus Christ that idealism – in the form of faithfully living out our most blessed Apostolic Catholic faith – is the PRIORITY.

          When our Church finally surrenders to Christ’s Way, Truth & Life it will bring God’s blessings on our nations. We will see many injustices righted; and, world-wide, we’ll be amazed how wonderful life can be!

          Is this not what Pope Francis is mandated to lead us to? (rather than his present attempts to be a hybrid of Greta Thunberg and the Dalai Lama; and his attempts to normalize sins that outrage the holy angels of God). That brings no Divine blessings and, maybe, we can see the consequences all over the globe.

          Let’s keep on prayerfully following The Lamb; love & blessings from marty

  23. They know their goose is cooked thus they want Pope Francis to protect them. But it’s not the place for the Pope to legitimize evil.

    Who told you to flee the wrath to come. It’s the same thing I told the Lord in my prayer, He knows what He has to do about the Rock.

  24. “When you abandon doctrine in life to replace it with an ideology, you have lost, you have lost as in war.”

    So the question becomes this. When Francis says things like this, does he know he’s speaking like a total hypocrite and he is gaslighting everyone or is he completely clueless?


  26. A massive apostasy from the Faith seems like where some of our leaders and the whole sexual deviance movement is taking us Is it unreasonable to see a link to the so far unacknowledged Fatima prediction of our Blessed Mother?

  27. “The sins which cause most souls to go to hell are the sins of the flesh,” or sins against chastity.” –Blessed Mother of Fatima

    “But what I don’t like at all, in general, is that we look at the so-called ‘sin of the flesh’ with a magnifying glass, just as we have done for so long for the sixth commandment.” –pope Francis

  28. I can’t believe that a Pope who presides over a Church utterly rife with sexual abuse scandals can be so dismissive of sins against the 6th commandment. Moreover, one only has to look at the profound harm sexual sin produces in this world…adultery, broken marriages/families, sexual abuse and assault, sexual diseases, pornography, sex trafficking, abortion, objectification of women etc. The Pope’s comments make no sense and are divorced from reality.

    • Dear ‘Anon’, how very true is that.

      All those Catholics who have worked in the healings & deliverances ministries will amply confirm what you say. Sexual sins in thoughts, words, or deeds are doorways for evil influences to seize upon a person’s life. From that there can be many terrible consequences for them & for others.

      When will the current pope and his mob ? come to understand God has not abjured those sins in order to deprive us but to survive us! Obedience to God’ commands is our shield against ownership by evil. We flout those commands at our eternal peril.

      There’re likely to be an awful lot of senior clerics in the choir of Hell, singing: “We did it OUR way!”

      Ever following The Lamb; love & blessings from marty

    • A superb point.

      Which puts a spotlight on the pre-requisite for submission to the ideology represented by Pontiff Francis: “Everyone must pretend that reality isn’t happening.”

    • Not to mention, sexual immorality is highlighted again and again and again throughout the NT as excluding one from heaven. When the word “immorality” is used in English translations, the word in Greek is “porneia,” which means sexual immorality. I don’t see how anyone who is familiar with the NT can come away with the view that “sins below the belt” are not a serious as other sins, as PF has regularly stated.

  29. One good thing about articles like this and statements by … Francis is that people are being “radicalized” (i.e. seeing through deceptions) as the mask is torn off.

    This seems to be a mistake by TPTB. They know what it takes to win, but I think that they are becoming overconfident. Even Satan can’t predict the future, but both evil humans and demons are proud.

  30. Seems Pope Francis is on the verge of causing real long lasting damage. Seriously there is a need to dedicate a year of prayer for the Pope.

  31. Is anyone concerned that a lot of these comments could have come from the Pharisees condemning Jesus for not being rigid enough or ignoring the Old Law. Perhaps Pope Francis is suggesting our Faith doesn’t depend on a prescribed set of customs or patterns of behavior but rather on the love we show one another. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

    • Dear Gregory McNiff: ‘. our Faith doesn’t depend on a prescribed set of customs or patterns of behavior but rather on the love we show one another. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”’

      How true, for without genuine, empathetic, self-giving godly love all other virtues are rendered null & void, as Saint Paul made clear in his first letter to the Corinthian church (1 Cor 13:1-13). Yet, more is required by King Jesus Christ and His anointed Apostles.

      The same Saint Paul made it clear that followers of Christ must be seekers after purity, holiness, and obedience to God’s commands (Ephesians 4:17 to 5:20).

      Pope Francis & his coterie commit grave sin when they teach: “ALL you need is love & mercy!” Any souls they inveigle with this contra-Apostolic distortion are, according to the repeated exhortations of The New Testament, placed in danger of exclusion from The Eternal Realm of God. Before it’s too late, Francis & Co need to understand the deadly seriousness of their misleading of Christ’s little ones.

      Please don’t be misled, dear Gregory McNiff, Catholicism is about obedience to God’s commands (at whatever the cost to us) but always lived out in a loving & merciful manner, never in a condemnatory or self-righteous manner.

      This has been the teaching of The Church from the start and has been exemplified in the lives of countless Catholic saints and martyrs. In that light, Pope Francis and his anti-Apostolic mafia are simply reprobates & likely to be punished as such. Let every true Catholic take care not to be sucked down into that maelstrom.

      Take care brother Gregory; always in the love of Christ; blessings from marty

    • Mr. McNiff:

      Our faith depends on ALL of the things that Jesus and his apostles taught.

      As Jesus said at his ascension: “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”

      And in the same Gospel (Matthew), in the Sermon on the Mount, the same Jesus declared: “You have heard it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I SAY, any man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart.”

      And in the same: “You have heard it said: ‘You dhall love your friends and hate your enemies.’ But I SAY, live your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

      Thus summed up by Jesus (in John): “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

      With Jesus, who is Truth itself, the decision is all or nothing. There is no escaping to a minimalized, undemanding “new Gospel” and concluding that rejection of so much else retains a communion with Jesus.

    • I am not concerned. Why not put your worried mind to rest? Have you not heard that God is the Head of the Church and King of all Creation?

      These comments do not come from Pharisees; we do not live in the Old Testament.

      Francis may say anything his heart or mind urges him to say. Our Catholic Faith does not rest on every little utterance which comes from the mouths of men. Our Faith depends on the Word of God, and Francis is not He.

    • “love we show to one another”
      First we show all our love to JESUS CHRIST, believe and love Him and follow Him. We are asked to be witnesses to Him and His Truth every day and hour. “If someone preaches a different gospel (or commandment)”, St Paul says: Anathema!

  32. The Pope is absolutely right about conservative Christian churches in the US and of course it doesn’t apply to all churches and Christians but there is a very large proportion influencing and openly pushing their flock to vote and promote the conservative political line, ideology has indeed taken over in these places. Why is being a conservative Christian tied up with voting republican for example ? This is what many of these churches and schools are pushing and have for a long time. The right wing ideality has taken over, the no social welfare, no helping the poor, no healthcare reform, no helping to re educate people who have lost jobs in ex mining towns, anti immigration etc is this what jesus wanted ? And thats the point the Pope was making.

    • The pope is wrong and so are you. You’re reducing Jesus Christ and his Church to political partisanship. Stop politicizing our Catholic Church. Just because Bergoglio is doing it doesn’t make it right. Leftists always look at reality through the prism of politics. Politics and Christianity are opposed to one another. Bergoglio doesnt get it and neither do you, peter.

    • Catholic Social Teaching advocates appear to have a fixation with government. That there is a preferential option for governmental solutions. That the government is the universal destination for power. Corrupting concentrations of power that can be used to reduce the common person to the role of a serf. Using healthcare to force a pro-abortion agenda. Using education to turn schools into centers for sexual and other forms of political indoctrination. All manner of social programs with political strings attached. Social justice that becomes little better than a political machine controlled by political bosses.

      • Right on! Love cunningly corrupted into power-over!

        We Catholics still want Godly Love to flourish, sans the control spirit!

    • Peter says: “… there is a very large proportion [of Christian churches in the US] influencing and openly pushing their flock to vote and promote the conservative political line…”

      CHAT-GPT has no answer to naming even one small Christian church who do what you say a ‘very large proportion’ of them do.

      I suppose you intended to refer, instead, to the likes of the conservative christian church of CINO-Democrats like Biden and Pelosi. Their brand of conservative christian church, for example, calls for federal laws putting tax dollars to work to conserve these and similar types of freedoms: of promiscuity, of abortion-after pills, of open borders for passage and legalization of drugs to assuage worried consciences, of abortion-murder of innocents and euthanasia-murder for the disabled and elderly, of marriage laws for noodle-addled citizens worried over the loss of their polyglot alphabet-soup identity, etc., ad infinitum. Yeah. I see what you mean.

      They claim their brand of christian democrat church is just, perfectly social, and very catholic. They meet with the pope who pats them on the back and has their back in their US political-church home. They call for votes so that the democrat party may remain free to conserve its ideology of social christian justice, and the conservation of license to sin and to commit crime. Surely that is what you, the pope, and the US CINO-Democrats hope to conserve, preserve, and lord over your one-free imperial world.

      So yes, there are a large ‘proportion’ of those types of church polities in the US.

  33. It is neither fair nor reasonable to blame Francis’ hostility to American Catholics on the views of some “traditionalists”. By his words and deeds, he has shown nothing but contempt for his two post-Vatican II predecessors. His appointment of openly pro-abortion academics to the Pontifical Academy for Life is only one of many examples that can be adduced. Did the nefarious “traditionalists” provoke Francis into making those moves? For heaven’s sake, there has been much more that is offensive in this papacy than his cruel suppression of the Latin Mass. Francis is a thorough going leftist of the most extreme kind. He knows whom he hates and traditionalists make up a small subset of that population.

    Aside from this complaint, I think this piece is excellent.

      • Hey Terence,
        I remember you as my Jeeves and Bertie cohort! I used to work in health care administration. The term “back ward” was used at one point in history to describe an area in the far corners of the hospital where persons with mental illness were housed. So there’s that.

        • Good point Meiron, and remember – ”All work and no play makes Jack a peh bah pom bahoo” – words to live by.

  34. It’s one of the more insidious effects of the Holy Father’s habitual ranting against caricatures of those with whom he disagrees. Even his critics are his spiritual children, and they learn from his example. “If gold rusts, what will iron do?” to borrow from Chaucer, or (for a less ‘backwardist’ reference), the over-reaction and subsequent counter over-reactions described in South Park’s “Trevor’s axiom.”

  35. Promises of protection by Bl.Mother for those who pray for those who do not know the love of God, ‘In The Name of Jesus who said any thing we ask in His Name wil be given to those who believe , I ask that those who have not come to know the love of the Heavenly Father will be blessed with the knowledege that they are loved by Him beyond all human reasoning and understanding .Please grant them the gift to feel His Love as it enfolds them to such an exent that they will be unable to resist or deny it .May the knowledge of the Heavenly Father’s infinite Love stir within their hearts the desire to return that love to Him and to reflect it to all others. May their lives be a pure reflection of His respelndent Love . I ask this in The Name of The Father , Son and Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary ‘ –
    A prayer that seems to summarise the heart and perspective, the mission and efforts of the Holy Father through out his pontificate- possibly touched profoundly by the Eucharistic Miracle of Argentina -of the wounds of our Lord ..devotion and love for The Mother that gives him the trust that the wounds , what we lack are to be brought to that Mother as at the Wedding at Cana and expect miracles as in the above prayer ..
    The trust in The Mother that even when persons seem wounded and lacking in perfect holiness and wisdom in certain areas , even in those who are in high enough positions – that there is still room for them too to grow …our times , with its vast evils of fear against life, its hatreds and all , along with presence of hidden generational spirits, from backgrounds with antipathy towards The Mother , who have rose up to fast fame , now using that influence to bring subtle contempt / rebellion siding with those who bring distorted accusations , fed and fanned in company of like minded – sad too , saddening to The Mother ..
    May we instead join the invitation to walk with The Mother as to the wedding at Cana and expect the Holy Spirit to speed up the reign of the Divine Will – as the answer to the above prayer . FIAT !

  36. In Italy lots of people are opening their eyes about the “magna+questio”. We are thankful to Padre Alessandro Minutella and Andrea Cionci for their courage and faith. Please, don’t turn your eyes from the truth.

    • Dear Enrica, you are right.
      “Be holy as God is Holy! Be perfect as God is Perfect!”
      Catholic Christianity is about God changing us, never about us changing God.
      Let every Catholic be alert & praying to keep the Faith handed down to us.
      Always in the grace & mercy of Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

  37. The problem is that Francis already seems to have won the war. The entire College of Cardinals is just a bunch of leftists and liberals, apart from a handful of conservatives. Already John Paul II mudded the waters by appointing full blown modernists to high positions, including the cardinalate. With the next Pope, the Catholic Church will go entirely off the cliff and become the religion of Antichrist.

  38. The Pope knows how to live Faith for Christ’s sake yet proclaims living like the people for the sake of being with the people?

    His chosen adherents can not declare how their lives were changed; so they will make proof how Faith must change for everyone else?

  39. The Pope as a human being talks too much as if striving to impress. It seems that as a human being the Pope, although being a representative of the moral traditions of our Savior’s Church, is not fond of the permanency of traditional moral values. He thinks that right and wrong can be changeable based upon the current worldly culture of the time. However, if you believe that traditional moral values are something unchangeable and permanent, then you are an ideologue. Oh, blessed am I to be an ideologue of Christ’s Church! I am also proud of most, if not all,the Bishops of the United States in their traditional moral outlook and teachings.

  40. Pope Francis and Fr. Sparado blaspheme Christ regarding His treatment of the Canaanite woman, accusing Him of being: Indifferent to suffering; irritable and insensitive; inscrutably harsh; unmerciful theologian; mocking and disrespectful towards the poor mother; showing a lapse in attitude, manner and humanity; blinded by nationalism and theological rigorism; rigid, confused and in need of conversion; sick and imprisoned by rigidity and the dominant theological, political and cultural elements of his time; glorifier of the pagan faith. Etc.

    Does that mean Pope Francis thinks Our Lord was from the United States? And that US Catholics are like Christ?

    Synodaling is name calling for old people.

    • “He [Spadaro] argued that the woman needed to “upset Jesus’ rigidity” in order to “to ‘convert’ him to himself.” ~LifeSiteNews

      I wonder if Spadaro sees Eve similarly converting Adam? And Mary? If Jesus needed converting, I wonder what falsification of scripture Spadaro can offer for Mary? Was she too perhaps a migrant from the US, a backwardist, clueless about the power and use of her sexual identity?

    • Reuters just now reported the pope on the US Catholic response to his comments about us: “They got angry, but let’s move on, move on,” Francis told a journalist on the plane taking him to Mongolia.

      Ain’t that typical? Striving to progress, to ‘move on, move on’, to evolve, to erase away the rigid, the orthodox, the immutable truth carried in the lamps of faithful US Catholics.

      No. We aren’t angry. We are JUST AND RIGHTEOUS, courageously firm AND rigid in our defense of Christ and His ONE AND HOLY, APOSTOLIC AND CATHOLIC Church. We are full of sorrow for the cowardly men who are not similarly blessed, able or willing to even listen to talk of the same defense.

    • It means PF and his cadres do not believe the Jesus is God, but a mere prophet whose teachings can be changed and ignored due to concrete circumstances.

      • Right on, dear ‘Nick’.

        Recalling John 8:42-44, where the LORD Jesus answers His detractors: “If God was your Father, you would love Me, for I came from God and now I am here.”

        “You are from your father, the devil, . .”

        “When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

        The reason the anti-Apostles do not know Jesus Christ as God is because they do not know The Father! They’ve been deceived into thinking the spirit of this world is God. This is not theory; it is evident in the words and actions of the sexual rebellion instigated by Francis & Co; their betrayal of our beloved Chinese Catholic brothers & sisters; and, in their vicious, irrational defamations of faithful, Apostolic Catholic followers of Jesus Christ.

        What a shame Pope Benedict XVI did bring Cardinal Bergoglio to grasp that The Church needs a shepherd who will care for ALL of Christ’s lambs & sheep, uniting us by fearlessly teaching & witnessing the power of New Testament truth. He should have been told (maybe he was?): “Jorge: our papal job description does not require a globe-trotting, popularity-seeking hybrid of the Dalai lama and Greta Thunberg.”

        We all need to persevere in exposing the anti-Apostles. The truth has to be manifested and, by the mercy of King Jesus Christ, it may cause Pope Francis to repent and start doing his proper work before he ends up facing the Judgment Seat of Christ in Glory (Hebrews 9:27-28).

        Keep praying, beloved brothers & sisters. Love & blessings from marty

  41. Thank you CWR – for bringing to attention the little tempests too – unlikley that one would have heard the relevant enough controversy about the comments on the Cannanite woman by the Jesuit priest . Yet ,seems unfair to assume that his views are same as that of the Holy Father in every opinion . The Church just celebrated Feast of St.Barthelomew – our Lord addressing him endearingly, how He saw him under the ‘fig tree ‘ – ? pondering the sad plight of humanity since The Fall and yearning for the Messiah ..
    The Canannite woman too – Lord likely even went there just for that purpose .
    Luisa of Divine Will mentions how our Lord, during His hidden years in Nazareth too
    was redoing the rebellious thoughts, acts and words of humanity – Adam to the last person, to be conformed to the Divine Will ; thus, likely that He had a chuckle in hearing Nathaniel’s words -‘ Can anything good come out of Nazareth ..’
    Lord likely saw the people and history and wounds of the Cannanite people in that woman – the contempt of Ham towards the grief of Noah …all the evils and the abominations ,its effects which the woman too likely had fallen into and afflicting the daughter… the deafness of the people to the Voice of God …
    ? His foretaste too , for a minute for what He and The Mother would soon face to undo same …and His hatred for sin .. and as in every other situation and second, letting the Divine Will win, overcoming the human will ..
    Unsure if the narrative by the priest about the aversion The Lord experienced was meant as an effort to convey that struggle between the human will and the Divine will,to point to the help in the Holy Spirit to overcome the flood waters of rebellion of our times – if so , he is in agreement with the Holy Father .

    Thank God that we have the Mother and Queen of The Divine Will to guide and help us in the unity of our struggles too !

    • “Yet ,seems unfair to assume that his views are same as that of the Holy Father in every opinion…”

      But no one is saying that. Regardless, re: the Canaanite woman, Pope Francis’s homily offers a more watered down but still problematic variation on Spadaro’s more overt claims: “We see that Jesus changed his attitude. What made him change was the strength of the woman’s faith. Let us pause briefly over these two aspects: the change in Jesus and the woman’s faith.” Francis also insinuates that Jesus, prior to this meeting/exchange, was completely closed to the idea of reaching out to the Gentiles.

      This is a common approach within certain, liberal Protestant circles to the text. But Matthew’s Gospel shows something quite different. For example, in Matthew 8, Jesus extols the faith of the Roman centurion and says: ““Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

      Jesus, in fact, seeks to reveal to his apostles and other followers that his mission includes the Gentiles, something many of them struggled to comprehend and accept. It is why Matthew, in chapter 12, in the account of Jesus clashing with the Pharisees over the Sabbath, quotes the OT: “”Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.”

      And, of course, it all culminates in the Great Commission at the end of the gospel. It’s not a “change in attitude,” but a pedagogical arc gifted by the Incarnate Word. Jesus, knowing perfectly the Canaanite woman’s heart, understood that she could not only accept his initial rebuff, but that she would, in her three cries of “Lord!”, move from demanding to supplicating to completely humble acceptance of his will, which is exactly what the Pharisees in the immediately prior section of Matt. 15, refused to do (“Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites!…”).

      • Thank you – had missed the homilies of the Holy Father on the topic ; agree- it is a bit painful/ disappointing to hear the interpretation of the episode as you too have noted even when the intent is to high light the need to be open and persistent in prayer . The empathy of the Holy Father for the woman – ? even seeing himself in her situation , with the responsibilty in love to seek deliverance for a whole culture , pleading / crying for those who seem to disdain his efforts , including the dissenting sector in Germany who too are seen as in similar need like that of the Cannanite woman . There in too may be the good from this controversy – that the intention for The Synod is to bring healing and deliverance in the Holy Spirit while also bringing hope to those who might feel they are outside the territory of compassion and hope in The Lord . God bless !

        • Dear ‘J.P.G/M.’, nice words, seeming to lack the essential, viz:

          “To enter Life, obey the commandments.”
          “Obey everything I have commanded you!”
          “Hear The Word of God and obey it!”
          “If you love Me, you will obey what I have commanded!”
          “Those who love Me will obey My teachings and My Father will love them & be with them!”
          ‘If you do not love Me, you will not obey My teachings!”
          “We must obey God rather than men!”

          Such it always was and such it will always be.

          Take care. Always in the grace & mercy of Christ; love & blessings from marty

        • The mystery of the operation of the human will in relation to the Divine Will of The Lord – unsure if that is not what the Holy Father as well as The Jesuit priest was referring to as ‘change’ in the episode ,to high light how prayers of faith can allow for the Divine Will to descend – in this case into the life of the afflicted daughter .
          Such an operation of pleading for The Word to descend – we read about same in the Divine Will related revelations in the book below –


          Being a neophyte or less in the realm , would hope for more astute persons to bring more teaching / awareness for the faithful to know of these needed gifts for our times from the Holy Spirit – who can operate even with a few,since the intention of giving room for The Spirit would be what is of great importance, esp. when same is from a rightful authority such as the Holy Father .
          The Synod too , its sucess may be beyond #s , in the desire to plead for The Spirit to touch all hearts .
          True ,meanwhile the efforts might seem rather foolish to some , in fear that things are being messed up . 🙂
          Thank God that Holy Father has always invited The Mother , trusting that with her there would be New Wine .

          • Dear ‘J.P.G/M.’: with all due respects, what an amazing EVASION of the truth. The truth that from the least of the lay, like me, to the highest of the hierarchs, like Pope Francis, we have ONE LORD, Jesus Christ, who must be obeyed, whose commands are made perfectly clear in The New Testament’s 27 texts by 9 Apostolic authors, which is the basis of The Catechism of The Catholic Church and that has been The Rule of Life for every faithful Catholic for neigh on two millennia.

            Is it not effete & deadly for us to imagine that an appeal to our Most Blessed Mother Mary, now Queen of Heaven, will enable us to flout the eternal rock of Catholicism – that is OBEDIENCE to the commands of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who alone is The Resurrection & The Life.

            Our Most Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven, instructs you and all of us: “Whatever Jesus Christ tells you to do, do it!” (John 2:5)

            In John’s Revelation chapter 12 verse 17b, we are told that our Mother Mary’s true children are those who obey God’s commands and stay true to Jesus Christ.

            It is a satanic deception to believe that our Mother Mary will contradict herself by interceding for the salvation of those who are flouting God’s commands and are playing fast & loose with Jesus’ New Testiment. It’s futile for Pope Francis & his coterie of anti-Apostolic, immorality-advocating sycophants to appeal to Mary, whilst they disregard her clear instruction.

            The same can be said of many unwittingly Christ-demeaning catholics, whose deepest commitment is to witchcraft/freemasonry or worse, yet who are deceived into thinking that their disobedience to Jesus will be erased by devotions to Saint Joseph, our Most Blessed Mother Mary, and to The Sacred Heart of Jesus.

            When will our clergy return to the truth of teaching that religiosity cannot save a soul. Souls are saved by single-hearted allegiance and loving obedience to Christ. (see John 10:27-30).

            Am sincerely praying these truths will be transformative for your lives.

            Ever in the grace & mercy of King Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

  42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWOgGWCeTYM
    Thank God for the good talk by Rev.Fr.Jim – a good priest filled with faith, hope and joy – enthusiastic with a child like trust about the blessings our Lord is pouring into our times and a witness of His fidelity , not wagging fingers at one’s face with words and attitudes that reflect a sort of condesecending pharisiacal pride and its rigidity …
    May The Flame of Love blind Satan and bring light into hearts to recognize the extent of the blindness, to be firm in true virtue – set free from generational spirits too – graces in the Flame of Love prayer, to honor The Father and undo the erring steps of the First Father in The Garden –
    ‘ My Adorable Jesus , may our feet joureny together ..’- !
    Mercy !

    • Dear ‘J.P.G./M.’.

      The blinding spirit invoked by the oaths of witchcraft/freemasonry causes many to imagine nice sounding prayers such as: “‘My Adorable Jesus, may our feet joureny together’! Mercy !'” can excuse flagrant disobediences to Jesus’ clear commands.

      To them (and to all of us) He simply says: “If you love Me, obey My commands!”

      If we judge that to be: “a sort of condesecending pharisiacal pride and its rigidity” we unwittingly join the legions of the anti-Christ. Not a good place to be found on Judgment Day. See, for example, Apostle John’s Revelation 20:25.

      In genuine love & mercy, Jesus offers us the opportunity to repent, NOW, before it’s too late. There are many examples, some on the web, of sincere repentance by those who’ve been yoked for donkey’s years in anti-Christ organizations, such as witchcraft, freemasonry, New Age, etc., etc.

      The nail-pierced hands of our beloved Jesus are holding the door of repentance open – we will eternally regret it if we don’t grab the merciful opportunity to be restored.

      My apologies if this sounds ‘rigid’ to your ears. In truth it is not. Those who live to obey Christ’s instructions can show you: it is an easy yoke and a light burden.

      Beloved ‘J.P.G./M.’ please don’t rely on honey-tongue counsel, even from popular clergy. For example, in our parish in Australia, we’re told that our annual retreat next month is to be conducted by a charming Catholic priest. Sadly, he is also known to have sworn his oaths before GATO (a pseudonym for Lucifer, the false ‘flame of love’ and the blinding ‘light’ of freemasonry!). Some, who’re in a position to know, claim our Archdiocese is mainly run by clergy freemasons. May God help us!

      Yet, let it be known, King Jesus Christ welcomes them all to: “Repent & be saved!”

      Dear friends: repentance, obedience, & salvation in Christ are SO sweet and full of peace & eternal contentment. Not at all rigid or pharisaical. NB PF.

      Ever listening to & following Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

      Recommended reading, from last Friday’s Holy Mass: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

  43. Above we read,

    “You have seen,” Francis says, “that in the States the situation is not easy: there is a very strong reactionary attitude. It is organized and shapes the way people belong, even emotionally.” He’s most certainly referring to traditionalist Catholics…”

    I don’t believe he is referring only to traditionalist Catholics but also, more or less, to the ideologically conservative opposition to his Pontificate as a whole. An opposition which was there from the beginning among those who would identify as trad but which has ‘bled towards the center’ as the Pontificate has continued.

    So how do we live our Catholic faith free of ideological tinges, left or right?

    • Hi, dear ‘Timothy’, good question every Catholic should be regularly asking themselves and their sister and brother Catholics, especially our clergy.

      “So how do we live our Catholic faith free of ideological tinges, left or right?”

      Thoughtful & committed Catholic contributors to CWR seem to be certain the foundation has to be obedience to the Apostolic testimony of The New Testament. These 27 texts by 9 Apostolic authors give us a wonderful understanding of Almighty God, as revealed in the words & acts of Jesus of Nazareth, especially His enactment of The New Covenant in His Own Blood, and by the ensuing Holy Spirit anointing birthing the Church, that has now given us The Catechism of the Catholic Church, largely based on The New Testament.

      In other words: “Knowing the Living Christ as the Apostles knew Him changes everything!”

      Where this is The Rock our lives are founded on, the cacophony of political and commercial worldliness that surrounds us from birth to death tends to be less intrusive. Only when we Catholics allow ourselves to be compromised by other allegiances do we start to be swept into the rivalries and hatreds of the bottomless maelstrom of ‘this world’.

      We are a Distinct People; we belong to another King and His Bride, The New & Eternal Jerusalem, a city whose architect and builder is Almighty God (Hebrews 11:10. Actually, all of Hebrews 10, verses 1-40 tells us who we actually are and who it is we belong to).

      Sharing this identity with one another brings us close, so that our normal human preferences are much less divisive. Deep in Christ, with Christ alive in us (see Romans 8:9 and 2 Corinthians 13:5) we become peacemakers and humble servants of one another. As such, we will see miracles that reveal the Glory of God, even in this day.

      It is true, we have to pay attention to material realities, but they figure far less when we joyfully share identity in King Jesus Christ with one another other.

      Where we find Catholics deeply divided over politics and race and justice it’s certain that they only have a shallow allegiance to the One-And-Only King.

      The deeper we are in Christ the deeper will be our peace and mutuality.

      Love & blessings in The LORD from marty

    • Well, you can reject the prejudiced and ignorant premises of Francis for starters. Criticisms of Francis and his very real ideology are not and never have been “ideological”. They were based on the massive damage Francis is doing to the Church and to humanity by undermining Catholic moral witness. Traditional Catholics uphold the simple truth about truth that truth, because all of it comes from God, never changes. It is not ideological to defend the Deposit of Faith from a pope so hostile to it, he calls it museum pieces for the mentally ill. The definition of ideology involves the assumption that truth does change and requires superior elite minds to sort it out for the rest of us, even if this requires tyranny. The process theology of Francis even contends that God needs to learn and is in the process of learning new truths. This is why it is ridiculous to allow one’s self to be manipulated into believing that there is such a thing as “traditional ideology,” even when proclaimed by an ignorant, elitist, secularized man sitting in the Chair of Peter.

  44. The Magisterium consists of all previous validly elected Popes, and thus the ancient reality is the election of a man to The Papacy, who prior to his election, was no longer in communion with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church, outside of which there is no Salvation, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), which includes all those previously validly elected Popes to The Papacy, cannot possibly be a Successor to Peter.

    So do you choose Christ and His Magisterium, those who remain in communion with Him or do you choose Apostasy by following a man you know is not in communion with Christ and His Church?

    “When The Son Of Man returns will He find Faith on Earth?
    That is up to us, The Faithful.

  45. Christ’s Sacrifice On The Cross will lead us to Salvation, but we must desire forgiveness for our sins, and accept Salvational Love, God’s Gift Of Grace And Mercy; believe in The Power And The Glory Of Salvation Love, and rejoice in the fact that No Greater Love Is There Than This, To Desire Salvation For One’s Beloved.
    “Hail The Cross, Our Only Hope.”

  46. Is it possible for a thinking human to not have some form of ideology even if the ideology is “I have no ideology”? Sort of like everyone has a philosophy? Or an opinion? Is Francis saying he has no ideologies? That would be odd. Trying to wrap my brain around this makes me tired.

    • Hi, dear ‘tad’.

      Read up on PANENTHEISM – and I think you’ll recognise this is where PF is coming from.

      PF & Co are not CLASSICAL PERFECT BEING THEISTS as the ancient Prophets, the Apostles of Christ, and the Catholic Church has been since the beginning.

      Perfect being theists take God to be eternally transcendent, wholly different to this universe He created and that has fallen away from God and thus become subject to futility. Only through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ has the Holy Spirit birthed The Church so as to effect a SALVAGING of faithful, obedient, God-loving souls. Meanwhile the universe groans, as in childbirth (its whole purpose), longing for this revelation of God’s children (Romans 8:21). Come LORD Jesus we all cry!

      In complete contradiction, our current hierarchs are PANENTHEISTS, who naturalize God as a sort of IMPERFECT BEING, who is integrated with the evolving cosmos that, via human effort, will be perfected! This is an ancient pagan religion promoting the deception that the spirit of this world, with its goods & evils, is actually almighty God! Panentheism is also strongly evident in Animism, New Age, Wicca, Process Theology, Ecological Feminism, Freemasonry, some Hinduism, & some Buddhism.

      Many Catholics and non-Catholics have no idea of the crucial, categorical differences between Classical Perfect Being Theism and Pagan Panentheism.

      Our R.E. teachers and our catechists urgently need to be trained in classical theism.

      Hope this thumbnail account is at least a bit useful in soothing your tired brain!

      Always under the wisdom of Christ’s Holy Spirit; love & blessings from marty

  47. Ideology – an idea that is convincing to a person shaping his belief and if this ‘truth” differs from the truth of God as manifested in the holy revelations of God and the Words of Christ it becomes heresy if it is proclaimed as truth. The divine Word, Jesus Christ, is a two edged sword, clear cut, and unchangeable forever. Bergoglio’s truth is not compatible with the never changing truth of God. We follow Him who is the Truth. “You too left Egypt whom, at Baptism, you renounced that world which is at enmity with God.” (St Augustine)

    • Thanks for your Christ loving comments, dear Edith.

      Maybe the current pope & his entourage can be compared with those who in Numbers 14:4 were saying to one another: “Let us choose a captain, and go back to Egypt.”

  48. “Sure, there are some traditionalist attacks—which seem to dominate and skew the Pope’s view of Catholicism in the U.S.—that are outrageous and laughable, soaked in the sour waters of risible conspiracy theories.”
    There is one ‘conspiracy theory’ which isn’t laughable yet certainly outrageous and quite ignored, gaslit and attacked ad nauseum and that is the subject of paedophilia which runs rampant in the Catholic Church where the grooming of children is an all to-absorbing hidden-in-the-shadows concept for these people. If one were to pull their head out of their own proverbial $#@; and view the possibilities of the concept of paedophilia in the world of the elite, the Vatican, city of London & Washington DC, everything in this world makes sense. The world is run by billionaire, psychopath, narcissistic, powerful paedophiles, and what they want is to live in a world where they have no problem getting what they want and any time they want it, and that is children of all ages right at their fingertips. This is the concept we fight day and night whether we are aware of it or not.

    • Many thanks, dear ML Lindquist, for bravely exposing what so many nice Catholics erase from their brains and refuse to think about or discuss.

      In a society (including Catholic & other Christian churches) that increasingly refuses to acknowledge God and God’s right to set righteous commands before us, the door is wide open for evil to enter. Very little still remains in the Church to fearlessly expose & oppose even the worst acts of profanity and blasphemy. (see Ephesians 4:18-19)

      Criminal molesters of children & vulnerable adults are worshiping the demonic spirit called Molech in the Old Testament, where God’s implacable fury about this abomination is well attested.

      Jesus Christ, our LORD has warned us that it would be better for these offenders to be thrown in the ocean with a millstone around their necks than to suffer the terrible punishment God has appointed for such iniquities. (Luke 17:2)

      Let’s never give up from always witnessing the truth in hope of saving some. (see Ephesians 5:11-13)

      Ever in the love of King Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Who is really trying to replace doctrine with ideology? – Via Nova
  3. CWR’s Carl Olson nails it | Fr. Z's Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.