After Four Cardinals, Six Laymen Speak. Who Knows If the Pope May At Least Listen To Them

After Four Cardinals, Six Laymen Speak. Who Knows If the Pope May At Least Listen To Them

Sandro Magister
22 apr 17

The four cardinals have never been alone with their “dubia.” Proof of this comes from what happened in Rome on April 22 in an auditorium of the Hotel Columbus, a short walk from Saint Peter’s Square, where six renowned lay scholars came together from as many countries of the world to give voice to an appeal that is being raised from a large part of the “people of God” so that clarity may be brought to the confusion raised by “Amoris Laetitia.”

Anna M. Silvas came from Australia, Claudio Pierantoni from Chile, Jürgen Liminski from Germany, Douglas Farrow from Canada, Jean Paul Messina from Cameroon, Thibaud Collin from France. And one after the other, over the span of one day took stock of the crisis that the document of Pope Francis has produced in the Church, one year after its publication.

Settimo Cielo offers its readers the complete texts of the six presentations, in the languages in which they were delivered. But it calls special attention to the one by Claudio Pierantoni, a scholar of patristics and professor of medieval philosophy at the Universidad de Chile, in Santiago, an abridgment of which is provided below.

Pierantoni brings up again the cases of two popes who fell into error during the first Christian centuries, the one condemned “post mortem” by an ecumenical council and the other induced to correct himself during his lifetime.

But also today – he argues – there is a pope who is “victim,” although “hardly aware of it,” of a widespread tendency to error that undermines the foundations of the Church’s faith. And he too is in need of a charitable correction that may bring splendor back to the truth.

Pierantoni is not the only one among the six to have recalled the lessons of the past, ancient and recent.

Thibaud Collin, a professor of moral philosophy and politics at the Collège Stanislas in Paris, recalled for example the opposition of numerous theologians and entire episcopates to the encyclical of Paul VI “Humanae Vitae,” which was downgraded to purely “ideal” and thereby made inoperative. And he showed how this deleterious “pastoral” logic has come back into vogue with “Amoris Laetitia,” concerning indissoluble marriage and soon also concerning homosexual amours.

Anna M. Silvas, an Australian of the Eastern rite, a scholar of the Fathers of the Church, and a professor at the University of New England, instead emphasized the danger that the Catholic Church might also go down the road already traveled centuries ago by the Protestants and Orthodox toward divorce and remarriage: just when – she surprisingly added – the Coptic Church is returning to the indissolubility of Christian marriage, without exception.

On a response from Pope Francis to the “dubia,” as also on the possibility of a “correction” from him, Anna M. Silvas expressed skepticism. She instead proposes a “Benedict option” for the current post-Christian era, inspired by the monasticism at the collapse of the ancient era, a humble and communal “dwelling” with Jesus and the Father “Jn 14:23) in the faithful expectation, made up of prayer and work, that the tempest shaking the world and the Church today may cease.

Six voices, six different interpretations. All profound and nourished by “caritas in veritate.” Who knows if Pope Francis may at least listen to them.



by Claudio Pierantoni

In this presentation we will first briefly examine the incidents of two popes of antiquity, Liberius and Honorius, who for different reasons were accused of deviating from the Tradition of the Church, during the long Trinitarian and Christological controversy that occupied the Church from the 4th to the 7th century.

In the light of the reactions of the ecclesial body in the face of these doctrinal deviations, we will then examine the current debate that has developed around the proposals of Pope Francis in the apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” and the five “dubia” raised by the four cardinals.

1. The case of Honorius

Honorius I was the only pope to have been formally condemned for heresy. We are in the early decades of the 7th century, in the context of the controversy over the two wills of Christ. Honorius upheld the doctrine of the one will in Christ, or “monothelitism”, which was however later declared to be in contrast with the dogma of the two natures, divine and human, a doctrine solidly founded on biblical revelation and solemnly decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

Here is the text with which, in 681, after his death, the third ecumenical Council of Constantinople, the sixth ecumenical council, condemned him together with Patriarch Sergius:

“Having examined the dogmatic letters written by Sergius, in his time the patriarch of this imperial city. . . and the letter with which Honorius responded to Sergius, and having seen that they are not in keeping with the apostolic teachings and with the definitions of the holy councils and of all the illustrious holy Fathers, and that on the contrary they follow the false doctrines of the heretics, we reject them and execrate them as corruptive.”

2. The case of Liberius

Liberius was instead pope at one of the most delicate moments of the Arian controversy, halfway through the 4th century. His predecessor, Julius I, had tenaciously defended the faith established by the Council of Nicaea in 325, which declared the Son to be consubstantial with the Father. But Constantius, the emperor of the East, supported the majority position of the eastern bishops, contrary to Nicaea, which according to them did not leave room for the personal difference between the Father and the Son. He had the pope abducted, deposed, and sent into exile in Thrace, where after about a year he gave in.

Lberius thus renounced the faith of Nicaea and excommunicated Athanasius, who was its most significant defender. Now docile to the emperor, Liberius obtained permission to come back to Rome, where he was reinstalled as bishop. In the months that followed, all the pro-Arian prelates who had established their careers through the favor of Constantius consolidated their power in the main episcopal sees. This is the moment at which, according to the famous expression of Saint Jerome, “the world lamented that it had become Arian.” Of the more than one thousand bishops that Christendom numbered, only three stalwarts held firm in exile: Athanasius of Alexandria, Hilary of Poitiers, and Lucifer of Cagliari.

But Constantius died suddenly, in 361, and the emperor Julian, later called “the Apostate,” rose to the throne. He imposed the return of the Roman state to paganism, eliminated the whole ecclesiastical policy of Constantius at a stroke, and allowed the exiled bishops to go back to their jurisdictions. Free from threats, Pope Liberius sent an encyclical that declared invalid the formula he had previously approved, and required the bishops of Italy to accept the creed of Nicaea. In 366, in a synod celebrated in Rome shortly before he died, he even had the joy of obtaining the signature of the creed of Nicaea by a delegation of eastern bishops. As soon as he died he was venerated as a confessor of the faith, but devotion to him was soon interrupted because of the memory of his concession.

In spite of their differences, the two cases of Liberius and Honorius have in common an attenuating circumstance, and that is the fact that their respective doctrinal deviations took place when the respective doctrines were still being determined, that of the Trinity in the case of Liberius and the Christological one in the case of Honorius.

3. The case of Francis

However, the doctrinal deviation that is taking place during the current pontificate instead has an aggravating circumstance, because it is not countering doctrines that are still unclear, or still being determined, but doctrines that, in addition to being solidly anchored in Tradition, have also been exhaustively debated in recent decades and clarified in detail by the recent magisterium.

Of course, the doctrinal deviation in question was already present in recent decades and with it therefore was also the underground schism that this signified. But when one passes from an abuse at the practical level to its justification at the doctrinal level through a text of the pontifical magisterium like “Amoris Laetitia” and through positive statements and actions of the pontiff himself, the situation changes radically.

Let us see, in four points, the progress of this destruction of the deposit of the faith.


If marriage is indissoluble, and yet in some cases communion can be given to the divorced and remarried, it seems evident that this indissolubility is no longer considered absolute, but only a general rule that can admit exceptions.

Now this, as Cardinal Carlo Caffarra has explained well, contradicts the nature of the sacrament of marriage, which is not a simple promise, as solemn as it may be, made before God, but an action of grace that works at the genuinely ontological level. Therefore, when it is said that marriage is indissoluble, what is stated is not simply a general rule, but what is said is that ontologically marriage cannot be dissolved, because in it is contained the sign and the reality of the indissoluble marriage between God and his People, between Christ and his Church. And this mystical marriage is precisely the end of the whole divine plan of creation and redemption.


The author of “Amoris Laetitia” has instead chosen to insist, in his argumentation, on the subjective side of moral action. The subject, he says, may not be in mortal sin because, for various reasons, he is not fully aware that his situation constitutes adultery.

Now this, which in general terms can certtainly happen, in the utilization that “Amoris Laetitia” makes of it instead involves an evident contradiction. In fact, it is clear that the much-recommended discernment and accompaniment of individual situations directly contrast with the supposition that the subject remains, for an indefinite time, unaware of his situation.

But the author of “Amoris Laetitia,” far from perceiving this contradiction, pushes it to the further absurdity of affirming that an in-depth discernment can lead the subject to have the certainty that his situation, objectively contrary to the divine law, is precisely what God wants from him.


Recourse to the previous argument, in turn, betrays a dangerous confusion that in addition to the doctrine of the sacraments goes so far as to undermine the very notion of divine law, understood as the source of the natural law, reflected in the Ten Commandments: a law given to man because it is suited to regulating his fundamental behaviors, not limited to particular historical circumstances, but founded on his very nature, the author of which is none other than God.

Therefore, to suppose that the natural law may admit exceptions is a real and proper contradiction, it is a supposition that does not understand its true essence and therefore confuses it with positive law. The presence of this grave confusion is confirmed by the repeated attack, present in “Amoris Laetitia,” against the quibblers, the presumed “pharisees” who are hypocrites and hard of heart. This attack, in fact, betrays a complete misunderstanding of the position of Jesus toward the divine law, because his criticism of pharisaic behavior is based precisely on a clear distinction between positive law – the “precepts of men” – to which the pharisees are so attached, and the fundamental Commandments, which are instead the first requirement, indispensable, that he himself asks of the aspiring disciple. On the basis of this misunderstanding one understands the real reason why, after having so greatly insulted the pharisees, the pope ends up in de facto alignment with their own position in favor of divorce, against that of Jesus.

But, even more deeply, it is important to observe that this confusion profoundly distorts the very essence of the Gospel and its necessary grounding in the person of Christ.


Christ in fact, according to the Gospel, is not simply a good man who came into the world to preach a message of peace and justice. He is, first of all, the Logos, the Word who was in the beginning and who, in the fullness of time, becomes incarnate. It is significant that Benedict XVI, right from his homily “Pro eligendo romano pontifice,” made precisely the Logos the linchpin of his teaching, not by coincidence fought to the death by the subjectivism of the modern theories.

Now, in the realm of this subjectivist philosophy there is the justification of one of the postulates most dear to Pope Francis, according to which “realities are more important than ideas.” A maxim like this, in fact, makes sense only in a vision in which there cannot exist true ideas that not only faithfully reflect reality but can even judge and direct it. The Gospel, taken as a whole, presupposes this metaphysical and epistemological structure, where truth is in the first place the conforming of things to the intellect, and the intellect is in the first place that which is divine: indeed, the divine Word.

In this atmosphere it can be understood how it is possible that the editor of “La Civiltà Cattolica” could state that it is pastoral practice that must guide doctrine, and not the other way around, and that in theology “two plus two can equal five.” It explains why a Lutheran lady can receive communion together with her Catholic husband: the practice, in fact, the action, is that of the Lord’s Supper, which they have in common, while that in which they differ is only “the interpretations, the explanations,” mere concepts after all. But it also explains how, according to the superior general of the Society of Jesus, the incarnate Word is not capable of coming into contact with his creatures through the means that he himself chose, the apostolic Tradition: in fact, it would be necessary to know what Jesus truly said, but we cannot, he says, “since there was no recorder.”

Even more thoroughly in this atmosphere, finally, it is explained how the pope cannot answer “yes” or “no” to the “dubia.” If in fact “realities are more important than ideas,” then man does not even need to think with the principle of non-contradiction, he has no need of principles that say “this yes and this no” and must not even obey a transcendent natural law, which is not identified with reality itself. In short, man does not need a doctrine, because the historical reality suffices for itself. It is the “Weltgeist,” the Spirit of the World.

4. Conclusion

What leaps to the attention in the current situation is precisely the underlying doctrinal deformation that, as skillful as it may be in evading directly heterodox formulations, still maneuvers in a coherent way to carry forward an attack not only against particular dogmas like the indissolubility of marriage and the objectivity of the moral law, but even against the very concept of right doctrine, and with it, of the very person of Christ as Logos. The first victim of this doctrinal deformation is precisely the pope, who I hazard to conjecture is hardly aware of this, victim of a generalized epochal alienation from Tradition, in large segments of theological teaching.

In this situation, the “dubia,” these five questions presented by the four cardinals, have put the pope into a situation of stalemate. If he were to respond by denying Tradition and the magisterium of his predecessors, he would also be heretic formally, so he cannot do it. But if he were to respond in harmony with the previous magisterium, he would contradict many of the doctrinally significant actions carried out during his pontificate, so it would be a very difficult choice. He has therefore chosen silence because, humanly, the situation can seem to have no way out. But meanwhile, the confusion and the “de facto” schism are spreading in the Church.

In the light of all this, it therefore becomes more necessary than ever to make a further act of courage, truth, and charity, on the part of the cardinals but also of the bishops and then of all the qualified laity who would like to adhere to it. In such a serious situation of danger for the faith and of generalized scandal, it is not only licit but even obligatory to frankly address a fraternal correction to Peter, for his good and that of the whole Church.

A fraternal correction is neither an act of hostility, nor a lack of respect, nor an act of disobedience. It is nothing other than a declaration of truth: “caritas in veritate.” The pope, even before being pope, is our brother.

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14 comments on “After Four Cardinals, Six Laymen Speak. Who Knows If the Pope May At Least Listen To Them

  1. The first victim of this doctrinal deformation is precisely the pope, who I hazard to conjecture is hardly aware of this, victim of a generalized epochal alienation from Tradition, in large segments of theological teaching.

    The pope isn’t aware that he’s a victim of doctrinal deformation? Good grief. He ran the Sin-Nod and chastised all the bishops who wouldn’t go along with the deformation. It’s deliberate. Bergoglio is fully responsible along with all who are helping him perpetrate this crime against true doctrine.

    • I agree, Cyprian, there are reams of documentation available in reference to the Traditional Magisterium, that is, before Modernism, and for the Pope to willfully disregard same shows his stubborness and his complete disregard for the souls entrusted to his care. He’ll get no “victimhood” classification from me. What he will get is prayers that he will repent of his sins and return to communion with the Christ he was elected to serve.

      • I appreciate the sentiments.
        Let me be clear I did not classify him as a victim of circumstances. I only expressed the possibility of such. My real point is that neither I nor anyone else really knows the degree of his guilt…
        Until, of course, he is formally questioned in a court of ecclesiastical law, and shows himself to be sufficiently familiar with the fact that the time-conditionality of dogmas is a heresy, that heresy is a mortal sin against the Faith, and that he nevertheless intends to be pertinacious in his heresy.
        As to the documentation, sure, it is all there. Being trained in the most corrupt order in the Church, one wonders how much he has read. And again, if he has read it, it is *possible* (I don’t know) that it was very easy, by his training, to respectfully write it off as a product of a different age, having a different vital immanent need, and true for its time (whereas we moderns are ever so much more evolved, and we have a different truth, because, remember, the “Spirit” speaks to us). Ratzinger came right out and said essentially as much re/ Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors.
        But why should we *care* if he’s culpable or not; an evil clown, or merely a clown?
        In either case, he simply has to GO AWAY.
        Rest assured, if he were convicted of heresy, I would rejoice with the most zealous among us to see him punished — and not in some wussy modern wrist-slapping style.
        BTW, I pray for him too, every day.
        I hate doing it. :o)

  2. IMHO, it is the safer and more prudent course to withhold judgment of the internal forum. Of course, Francis’ prosecution of his agenda is deliberate. Of course, he is objectively anti-Christian and heretical from a multitude of aspects. It does not follow that he is aware that he is an anti-Christian heretic.
    We should keep in mind that he was *trained* as an anti-Christian heretic in Jesuit seminaries of the 1960s; he was trained in anti-Catholicism and Modernism *under color of* Catholicism. This means that, assuming he is by nature a rather shallow individual, who could be excused from questioning his formative influences — and he gives every indication of being shallow (if not an outright fool) — it is at least possible that he is operating under invincible ignorance. Because if he was trained as a Modernist (in reality, while being given to *think* he was being trained as a Catholic), since Modernism holds that all truth evolves, and is in any case different for each individual, as well as each age — because as Blondel says, truth is conformity of the mind to life, *not* conformity of the mind to reality — it is actually possible that Francis sincerely believes all or many of the stupidities he believes.
    What is more scary is that it is even conceivable that, if confronted with arguments, even objectively irrefutable arguments, that his Modernist epistemology is false, he may still *honestly* refuse to accept them. How? Because of the power of habit formation. Over years, one can become so used to thinking in Modernist terms, that one will *automatically and unthinkingly* respond to such objective arguments along the lines of: “Well, yes, that objectivist-traditionalist refutation of Modernism is perfectly valid — for those still attached to an objectivist-traditionalist mindset. But of course, the progress of human thought has shown that this mindset is outmoded; that no one really knows objective truth. The only truth that exists is really subjective. Since we are all limited to knowing merely what our own personal immanent needs incline us to, if we want to transcend the subjective, the best we can do is conform to the still subjective, but at least collective, spirit of the age.”
    As a certain prelate said “Modernism is a self-sealing heresy”. It is like locking yourself in a black box, then throwing the key out the only window; a window too small for you to climb out of. Naturally speaking, that is, without grace, there is *no* hope of coming back to the light.
    For any particular Modernist, the question is: Did this Modernist throw away the key with sufficient knowledge of the key’s value? If he did, he is guilty of mortal sin. If not, he is not.
    But even if he is guilty, over time, he can forget that he is guilty. He will still go to hell if he dies in that state, since his blindness is originally his own fault, but he may, in the moment-to-moment present, be ignorant of his anti-Catholicism.
    I think we do not sufficiently realize the weakness of fallen human nature, and in this case the weakness of the intellect in particular. In being so ready to judge the internal state of others, we ironically reveal this weakness in ourselves — because we rashly presume that human nature should not be able to be fooled thus. But our own rash judgment only proves that we ourselves have been thus fooled.
    Personally, I do not think it useful to judge the soul of Francis, or anyone else. We need to deal with the objective crimes, and the subjective persons only so far as it is necessary to stop the crimes.
    This is not meant to be offensive. If it does offend anyone, consider that perhaps…
    You didn’t find the thing insulting, the thing found you insulted.

  3. NIN, you raise interesting distinctions.

    The point about not judging the interiors is most apt. It’s impossible to do so unless the subject is entirely, formally outspoken and details the blueprint for his audience.

    What is written down, whether by authorship or responsible quotation, is matter for inspection and serious commentary. Unless it is, outright public acts ( obvious defections, public silliness, etc. ) notwithstanding, the auditor is merely playing Karnak the Magnificent.

    (Since I can’t for whatever reason post photos on AQ, perhaps someone will find, copy and paste the appropriate Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon photo… : – ) )

  4. I really can’t allow that this pope, or any pope, could be “operating under invincible ignorance.” Looked at one way, if the Vicar of Christ is invincibly ignorant, who isn’t? I.e., who could possibly be held responsible if the pope isn’t responsible?

    Looked at another way, who has received all manner of instruction, albeit bad, to become a bishop and cardinal, and who further knowingly accepts the office of pope atop 2000 years of predecessors, but hasn’t clue on how to adjudicate some matter of faith and morals? He has no inkling on where and how to obtain correct information. On top of that, he’s the Vicar of Christ, an office that places him above all men in his authority to adjudicate matters. And more, he has the helps of the Holy Ghost, along with the prayer of Our Lord that his faith not fail. For him to fail to avail himself of all the helps and advice, and dubia, etc., and wallow in ignorance, is in itself a sin for which he is culpable. In other words, if Francis is somehow ignorant of the true doctrine on marriage, the fact that he militates against those who repeatedly present him with the true doctrine rather than listening is his fault.

    Furthermore, were Francis to present the rebuttal that you provide, namely, “that objectivist-traditionalist refutation of Modernism is perfectly valid — for those still attached to an objectivist-traditionalist mindset.” This response in itself is sufficient proof that the respondent is fully aware of tradition, yet deliberately rejects it. In other cases like this, we refer to it as heresy and judge such persons, e.g., Luther, Calvin, etc., as devoid of grace and lost. When such a person is still living, we don’t say he is inevitably damned, but should he die, then to quote St. Alphonsus on Luther, “That pig burns in Hell.” This is the point where I can accept withholding judgment on the internal forum, namely, that we can never judge that someone living has committed unforgivable blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. There can be a speck of good that the good God can convert. And I do allow this of Pope Francis.

    • I get your points, Cyprian, and they are good ones.
      Again, I don’t think we need to know if Francis is invincibly ignorant or not. We just need Francis gone.But this discussion is useful on more than one level, so perhaps we should continue.
      “if the Vicar of Christ is invincibly ignorant, who isn’t? I.e., who could possibly be held responsible if the pope isn’t responsible?”
      Well, TradCaths, among some others; and actually anyone who wasn’t trained as a Modernist, or some other brand of skeptic or agnostic. And even skeptics and agnostics are responsible if they, in the beginning of their exposure to such perversion, were sufficiently aware that they were being perverted, yet entered willingly into the blindness training anyhow.
      “who has received all manner of instruction, albeit bad, to become a bishop and cardinal…but hasn’t clue on how to adjudicate some matter of faith and morals?”
      Well, bad training makes one incompetent, that is all. Holy Orders is not a magic spell that infuses knowledge into the recipient.
      “he has the helps of the Holy Ghost, along with the prayer of Our Lord that his faith not fail.”
      Everyone has the help of the Holy Ghost. But God promised only that we would receive sufficient grace, not efficacious grace; we are free to reject sufficient grace. The Lord prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. It is not the common opinion of theologians that this promise extends to his successors, except in the limited fashion defined by Vatican I (Dz 1839).
      “For him to fail to avail himself of all the helps and advice, and dubia, etc., and wallow in ignorance, is in itself a sin for which he is culpable.”
      Absolutely, *and* this sin is not the sin of heresy, but of pride.
      “This response in itself is sufficient proof that the respondent is fully aware of tradition, yet deliberately rejects it.”
      Indeed, but rejection of Tradition is not per se a formal, culpable heresy, but just more pride. IF the rejection involves an aspect of Tradition that is defined dogma (and let’s not quibble: Francis *has* actually rejected defined dogma), still, one must prove that Francis recognizes that such a thing as immutable dogma can and does exist, and that he recognizes that those dogmas he rejects are indeed defined dogmas.
      But this is precisely the problem. IF Francis *sincerely* believes that this whole Trad notion of immutable dogmas is simply false; that man and the Church by nature have *never* been able to attain to objective immutable supernatural truths, but only subjective and changeable “truths”, by an “interior sense” driven by an immanent need; that in the earlier ages of the Church there was a subjective immanent need for *objective* truth, so that the Church *thought* it had immutable dogmas, when it never in fact did…then Francis would indeed be a heretic on this point, but also on this point (and humanly speaking) invincibly ignorant. He would be in the Modernist black box, without the key of acceptation of objective truth to get him out.
      Again, the question would be: Was he put in this self-sealing black box by being blindfolded and led into it, or did he go in of his own aware will? Did he throw away the key of truth himself, or did someone take it from him?
      We don’t know. And again, we don’t need to. We just need to get him OUT, firstly from the papacy, and secondly and if possible, from the black box, by prayer and penance.

      • Well, I’ll just assume that I’m invincibly ignorant, you’re invincibly ignorant, and that Karol Wojtyla is the Saint of invincible ignorance. It’s all theoretically possible. But it’s malarkey. It’s the end of responsibility for one’s beliefs and actions. There’s no one to whom you can repute responsibility for anything when the most obvious of responsibilities is not binding.

        • But one can’t assume invincible ignorance in anyone, not even oneself.
          Not in others, because we can’t know how much they know without personally questioning them in depth (and even then our knowledge of their knowledge is not comprehensive, like God’s is).
          Not in oneself, because invincible ignorance is a result of one or more of three things:
          a) Not having access to information, in spite of reasonable efforts to get access
          b) If you have access to the information, being too stupid to understand it
          c) Being ignorant that you are ignorant; i.e. thinking that you know when you don’t know
          Re/ b, we can’t know if we are invincibly ignorant from excess stupidity, because if we were excessively stupid, we would be too stupid to realize our stupidity.
          Re/ c, it is possible to think that one has sufficiently studied up and understood something, when the reality is that we haven’t gotten it at all.
          In Bergoglio’s case, c is the only one that could possibly apply, because the info is definitely out there, and he may be stupid, but he’s not too stupid to understand it. It is possible, though, that, as I’ve suggested before in other words, he is so brainwashed that he thinks that he “knows” that dogmas can change, when of course they can’t.

      • Let me move it to a more practical matter. I need to teach responsibility to my children. If they get the least inkling that Pope Francis isn’t responsible for thinking that Catholic couples can swap beds, then they have their excuse for bed-hopping (one day) themselves.

        • No they don’t. Because YOU have already taught them better; you’ve taught them why such behavior is destructive of one’s own true happiness, and destructive of society.
          IF Francis is invincibly ignorant (and again, no one knows if he is), his unfortunate state has nothing to do with us.
          Invincible ignorance is only an excuse when it is…invincible. Once you already know that bed-hopping is gravely immoral, you can’t ‘unknow’ it without committing the sin of affecting ignorance; your ignorance is not real, it is a result of lying to yourself in order to excuse your sin.
          Moreover, ignorance — even invincible ignorance — is NOT bliss. “You shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Even if Bergoglio is walking around with Modernist blinders through no fault of his own (which I hardly believe), he is still doing damage to himself and others. The telephone poles and the open manholes in the world are just as real. Modernist blinders just make you smash your face into more telephone poles, and break more bones falling down open manholes, than you would if you could see.

          • “Once you already know that bed-hopping is gravely immoral, you can’t ‘unknow’ it without committing the sin of affecting ignorance; your ignorance is not real, it is a result of lying to yourself in order to excuse your sin.”

            Thank you. You’ve made my point better than I’ve made it myself. This is natural law, and there is no excuse. But especially for a Catholic priest, for he has heard it somewhere and is responsible to know that it’s the truth, just as my kids.

            But you know how kids — and all of us — make excuses. I just can’t buy it.

            • Even natural law can be obscured by brainwashing. Consider that these days a number of children are being raised from birth by homosexual couples.
              Maybe the point is that, as the lunatics get ever tighter control over the asylum, the sane just have to start shouting the louder all the explanations and proofs of their insanity.
              Anyway, you don’t have to buy anything from me.

  5. It’s even more confusing. The pope cannot clarify for the dubia and explain the contradictions between transcendent natural law and the neo-Hegelian “Weltgeist” of modernist dialectic and the Spirit of the World because Aristotle, Aquinas, and Hegel are all dead Western males and such philosophies are no longer taught clearly thanks to the modernist Land O’Lakes conference agenda so lay people under the spell of the modernist Spirit of Vatican II don’t know or understand the difference either. The whole thing is absurd. People are functioning under the fog of the neo-Hegelian “Weltgeist” of modernist dialectic, dialectical materialism, neo-Kantian subjectivism, situation ethics, and Frankfurt School social theory programming without knowing it while being prohibited from learning what Natural Law is. Even the people in positions of administrative authority and control making the decisions on curriculum don’t even know what they are doing. It is that absurd.

    The pope’s responses on all of these issues are emotivist. He appeals to certain styles of modernist jargon about mercy and compassion as if these are explanations with sufficient certitude. The famous “Who am I to judge?” comment was an appeal to emotivism. This is not the way that Catholic doctrine is supposed to be taught or explained, as if the pope can just make things up based on the way he feels about a certain issue.

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