“But if the just turn away from their right conduct and do evil when I place a stumbling block before them, then they shall die. Even if you warned them about their sin, they shall still die, and the just deeds that they performed will not be remembered on their behalf. I will, however, hold you responsible for their blood.” (Ez 3:20)
“If, however, you warn the wicked and they still do not turn from their wickedness and evil conduct, they shall die for their sin, but you shall save your life.” (Ez 3:19)
If our task is to seek our salvation and sanctification without losing sight of our Christian obligations, this is precisely one of the ways that I have chosen to save my soul; it’s a thankless way as there’s nothing simple about denouncing error (“Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people?” Gal. 1:10); a way that is not the same as “judging others and throwing stones” as those who choose to remain silent would like to present it, by those who would like us to be simple spectators, lukewarm and cowardly, as they destroy our holy Catholic Church while nobody stands up to them.
Perhaps St. Paul could be accused of denying St. Peter’s authority when he opposed him to his face for being wrong (Gal 2:11), or of having insinuated that Our Lord was wrong in choosing an imperfect man like Peter? In choosing St. Peter, Our Lord wanted to show us that His representative on earth could make mistakes and do objectionable things, reminding us that the Church Militant has not only the right but also the duty to share their opinion about those things that belong to the good of the Church with the shepherds and the rest of the faithful (Can. 212). Our Lord could have easily chosen St. John from the beginning, the holy apostle of unfailing loyalty and infallibility; nevertheless, He chose Peter who had behaved objectionably.
If anyone, including the Pope, thinks that we should be silent in the face of error, he should consider, as St. Paul said to the Corinthians, “For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within? God will judge those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from your midst’” (1 Cor 5:12-13). And so I ask our shepherds, do the laity no longer belong to the Body of Christ? For not only have we been left destitute, lacking our proper character as Ecclesiae Militantis by our own bishops, but we are now called “non-Catholics,” sentenced as such by particular judgment, or better said, in communion with the new pastoral view, by the “special insight” which is so fashionable in this Year of Mercy. “Be quiet, observe, but do not denounce under pain of excommunication.”
“So now have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Gal 4:16)
If the Cardinals are the only ones that can and should examine the Pope’s actions and make accurate observations about them, then we must ask, where are they? Is it perhaps a matter of “no pasa nada, it’s OK, nothing’s wrong?” Maybe it’s that those we see acting publicly and immovably are acting, “in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline” (Can. 342)? And if our bishops fail and are silent, either out of fear or out of the selfishness that is foreign to Christ, maybe the laity should sit back and look the other way? “Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not everyday matters? If, therefore, you have courts for everyday matters, do you seat as judges people of no standing in the church” (1 Cor 6:3-4); despicable as I am, a filthy sinner, very far from being able to compare myself with a cardinal, a Prince of the Church, to whom it seems that our bishops have granted the exclusivity or monopoly on judgment or discernment of the Pope’s actions; Cardinal Princes, the most dignified among all the Faithful, who have nevertheless forgotten the meaning of their scarlet garments; the scarlet that we, simple faithful, do not wear ourselves but that Our Lord permeated in our blood, ready to be spilled in defense of the faith. In this Year of Mercy, respect is given to receiving Communion unworthily, including if you are Lutheran; but it never occurs to most people to to think about Pope Francis’ actions.
“But let no one accuse, let no one rebuke; with you is my dispute, priest! … My people are ruined for lack of knowledge” (Hos 4:4,6) “For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent” (Rom 1:18).
If Pope Liberius signed one of the documents that supported the Arian heresy and gave in to the Arians, excommunicating St. Athanasius (357 A.D.), and if St. Hilary of Poitiers was the only bishop who dared to severely rebuke Pope Liberius for these acts; well, then if my parish community judges me unworthy of being considered a Catholic, and at the same time says that I should abandon the Catholic Church and become protestant, I know that it is nothing compared with what these holy men suffered. And yet when all is said and done, knowing that I will be judged by God and not by an Episcopal Conference, much less by a parish community that does not know the Gospel and that persists in its ignorance; because if they really knew the Sacred Scriptures, they would be horrified by the “new gospel” and by the “new spirit” of Pope Francis. Or do they not want to hear it?
Perhaps the Holy Spirit has charged Pope Francis with announcing a new gospel to us, abandoning the antiquated, out-of-date one that Christ Himself left us? The Word of God is the immutable law. Maybe the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity can contradict Christ, the second Person? The ignorance of our faith that the laity of a new, spectator Church have, has made us forget that popes of the past have fallen into error; such is the case of Pope Vigilius, excommunicated by the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 A.D.; or of Pope Honorius I, condemned as a heretic by the Sixth General Council in 680 A.D.
I am a sinner, and I know that I will have to answer God for my sins and my weaknesses, deserving as I am of His just punishment; but at least I will avoid the embarrassment of standing before Our Lord and telling Him that I was “politically correct;” that I saw a gospel preached that was not His and that I said nothing; that His Vicar said that all roads lead to salvation and that I accepted and applauded (and obeyed) the news that Our Lord was neither the only way nor the only truth, “Ego Sum Ostium” (Jn 10:9), but that, out of obedience to the Pope, I accepted that Our Lord Jesus Christ was but an option in this new “path of reconciliation and the culture of encounter, with the goal of a more human world,” according to the Vicar of Christ, Francis.
“You shall have no other gods besides me.” (Ex 20:3, Dt 5:7)
“You shall not bow down to any other god, for the LORD—’Jealous’ his name—is a jealous God.” (Ex 34:14)
I will avoid the embarrassment of telling Him that I didn’t protest for fear of being rejected by my parish community, and that I was silent when His Vicar denied the Holy Trinity by saying that all – Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists, all – “we are all children of the same God.” Is is possible to love one person of the Holy Trinity, but hate the other two? “Whoever hates me also hates my Father” (Jn 15:23). “Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn 3:18). I will avoid the embarrassment of telling Him, “Lord, I denied You and I didn’t defend You because I didn’t think it was necessary, because the Pope wasn’t wrong and my pastor confirmed it,” justifying a false, blind obedience. “Lord, You gave me a talent, but You forgot to make me a Cardinal with the power to discern, and your shepherds had to remind me that it wasn’t right to use the talent that You gave me; and so I buried it, and now I return that talent to You.” I think we all know how Our Lord will respond (Mt 25:26-30).
If the Saints had waited until they considered themselves to be holy and spiritually perfect, with the grace to speak and denounce, in their humility, they never would have condemned error; then, how much more should a perfect sinner like myself be able to denounce error when they are destroying our One, Holy, Catholic Church! How much more should I shout when our shepherds are silent!
“I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!” (Lk 19:40)
Faced with the imminent growth of the Church of simple spectators, and the salvation guaranteed and “decreed” in writing in Pope Francis’ – or perhaps it was Mons. “Tucho” Fernández’s, but it is not known – recent apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia; as well as the “abolition” of the Church Suffering and the obsolescence of the Church Militant by papal decree, we have given way to a new Church surrounded by the hand of the Church Triumphant; that’s what there is to see these days with the “spiritual novelties” of Pope Francis. Dear priests and laity, consider this and decide for yourselves, for whom is a silent Church beneficial? Who benefits from our silence and our looking the other way? Surely it is not Christ, but the Father of Lies and the Prince of this World who seeks to destroy His Creation and His Holy Church… “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Mt 12:30).
Dear priest, why do you ask for my obedience to the one who tells me that fraternal charity is the first law of Christians (Amoris Laetitia, ch. 8, 306)? Maybe we have forgotten that the first law of Christians is that “you will love God above all things” (Lk 10:26-27)?
Dear priest, why do you ask for my obedience to the one who tells me that evangelism, the spread of the Gospel, is proselytism and a serious, senseless foolish thing to do, putting aside the great mandate of Our Lord Jesus Christ who commanded us to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16).
Dear priest, why do you ask me to accept the authority of the one who tells me that we Christians as well as those who deny the Holy Trinity (Jews, Muslims, Buddhists [Jn 8:44]) “are sons of and pray to the same God?” Why should I accept the authority of the one who believes that “there is no Catholic God” (Interview with Scalfari, Oct. 1, 2013)? A Catholic God is the Holy Trinity. Perhaps the Creed is optional, and we’ve forgotten that we must adore one triune God? It seems we have forgotten that, as has constantly been the custom of the Church and upheld by the unanimous teaching of the Holy Fathers, and has always been seen as a condition for exclusion from Catholic communion, that is, from the Church, for anyone who separated himself in the smallest way from the doctrine taught by the authentic magisterium. St. Epiphanius, St. Augustine, St. Theodorus had all mentioned a great number of heresies in their time. St. Augustine has noted that other classes of heresies can develop and that, if someone adheres to only one of them, in doing so, he is separating himself from the Church. (Satis Cognitum 17, from Pope Leo XIII) (Can. 194 and 1364).
Dear priest, will you insist that I support the denial of the Holy Trinity for the sake of obedience to the Pope? Is the Pope really infallible?
And in any case, what does it matter now if no one can be condemned forever, because it is not the sense of the Gospel (Amoris Laetitia, ch. 8, 297)? If now we won’t be thrown into the fiery furnace (Mt 13:50), into the eternal fire (Mt 25:41), then what does it matter if “I’m already saved;” if I am the object of an “unmerited, unconditional, gratuitous” mercy (Amoris Laetitia, ch. 8, 297)? In obedience to the Pope and recognizing his authority, why should I worry about going to the place where “there will be wailing and grinding of teeth” (Lk 13:28) if this is not the sense of the Gospel, according to Francis?
Dear priest, you tell me that I should seek my salvation and sanctification, but at the same time you ask for my obedience and recognition of the one who tells me that I can take the “way of charity” in whatever circumstance if I have difficulties in living the divine law (Amoris Laetitia, ch. 8, 306).
“I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel. Not that there is another; but there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Gal 1:6-7)
Resisting, in conscious objection, to obey and recognize the authority of him who preaches me a different gospel, doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize that Francis is the Pope. And surely my call would never have an Imprimatur, it’s true, including getting this web site to support the “new pastoral mercy,” tolerating everyone except those who denounce it. But we should not forget that our bishops are complicit in their silence, and by virtue of their baptism and confirmation, the laity, like the rest of the faithful, are destined by God for the apostolate, and we have the general obligation and enjoy the right both personally and in our associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation might be known and received by all men throughout the world; an obligation that impels us even more in these circumstances in which it is only through us, the laity, that men can hear the gospel and know Jesus Christ (Can. 225).
And certainly, since receiving Holy Communion unworthily is no light matter, we are more careful than ever not to participate in this error by supporting the current Vicar of Christ in this. We know that everything will be fulfilled as it is written, but at least I will not be responsible for the soul of any man who remains silent, for “Si autem tu annuntiaveris impio, et ille non fuerit conversus ab impietate sua, et a via sua impia ipse quidem in iniquitate sua morietur; tu autem animam tuam liberasti.” (Ez 3:18)
A Mexican Parishioner
Translation by Carolina Santos. Original article
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- 212 §3. They have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons (Code of Canon Law).
- 221 §1. The Christian faithful can legitimately vindicate and defend the rights which they possess in the Church in the competent ecclesiastical forum according to the norm of law. §3 The Christian faithful have the right not to be punished with canonical penalties except according to the norm of law.
- Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia
- “Proselytism is a solemn foolishness, it is senseless. We must know, listen, and grow in knowledge of the world around us…” (Pope Francis, Interview with Scalfari, Oct. 1, 2013).
- “And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God; a Catholic God does not exist, God exists. And I believe in Jesus Christ, God Incarnate. Jesus is my teacher and my shepherd, but God the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being. Do you think that we’re far apart?” Pope Francis
- 194. The following are removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself: §1 a person who has lost the clerical state; §2 a person who has publicly defected from the Catholic faith or from the communion of the Church (Code of Canon Law).
- 1364 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication; in addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in ⇒ can. 1336, §1, nn. 1, 2, and 3 (Code of Canon Law).