The Truth Is Not an Idol!

The Truth Is Not an Idol!

by Christopher A. Ferrara
April 24, 2018

As this pontificate enters its sixth tumultuous year, the Church is witnessing something she has never witnessed before: a worldwide Catholic defense of orthodoxy against a reigning Pope who, as even a commentator as sober as Philip Lawler has observed, “is engaged in a deliberate effort to change what the Church teaches.”  Indeed, we have a Pope who declares in all seriousness — within the four corners of an apostolic exhortation no less — that “in the Church there legitimately coexist different ways of interpreting many aspects of doctrine and Christian life; in their variety, they ‘help to express more clearly the immense riches of God’s word.’”

Well, it is certainly obvious at this point that Francis has “different ways of interpreting many aspects of doctrine,” but in order to change what the Church teaches to suit his opinions he would have to change the truth itself, which is impossible.  Indeed, it is the very truth of Christ that stands immovably in the way of Francis’ program.  And so, incredibly enough, Pope Francis now assails truth itself.  As he declared on Holy Thursday­:

“We must be careful not to fall into the temptation of making idols of certain abstract truths. They can be comfortable idols, always within easy reach; they offer a certain prestige and power and are difficult to discern. Because the ‘truth-idol’ imitates, it dresses itself up in the words of the Gospel, but does not let those words touch the heart. Much worse, it distances ordinary people from the healing closeness of the word and of the sacraments of Jesus.”

The claim that truth can be a false god is but a thinly veiled demand that the Church bow before the idol of Francis’ false opinions.

Many Catholics of the mainstream commentariat have had quite enough of this shameless demagoguery. As Father Gerald Murray observes on the pages of the “moderate” outlet National Catholic Register (reprinted from the equally middle-of-the-road The Catholic Thing), this Holy Thursday attack on truth was all about the admission of public adulterers to Holy Communion — this Pope’s grand obsession, which he has pursued almost from the moment of his election:

“Here we have the interpretative key to what I think he [Francis] is getting at. He is defending his decision in Amoris Laetitia to allow some people who are living in adulterous unions to receive the sacraments of penance and the Holy Eucharistic while intending to continue to engage in adulterous relations.

This doctrinal and disciplinary innovation, which contradicts all previous papal teaching and legislation, was confirmed as his unequivocal intention in his letter to the Argentinian bishops of the Buenos Aires region.

Those who defend the Church’s constant teaching and practice on this matter have been subjected to various aspersions. Now they are being categorized as engaging in a horrific violation of the First Commandment because they treat Catholic doctrine as inviolable, and thus binding upon all believers.

If truth could ever lose its quality of being the means to know the will of God, and become something false, and thus evil, then mankind is lost. Without immutable truth, we have no way to live in unity with God, with reality, and with one another.

“The good news is that truth can never be false. It’s not an idol, and to defend the truth is not to lead people away from God towards false worship, but rather to invite them to embrace what is, in fact, their deepest desire for goodness, happiness, and peace.

“The truth will set you free, it will not enslave you in error and darkness. Those who seek to be healed by coming close to Christ in his sacraments will only realize that goal by knowing and doing what Jesus asks of them. To reject in practice his words about the permanence of marriage and the obligation to avoid adultery, and then assert a right to receive the sacraments risks making an erroneous opinion into an idol.

Here, as in so many other instances, the charge that Pope Francis hurls at the faithful — along with his false accusations of “rigidity,” “neo-Pelagianism,” Gnosticism, narcissism, hypocrisy, “self-referentialism” and so on, ad nauseam — actually applies to him.  As Father Murray rightly suggests, Francis has made an idol of his own erroneous opinion and demands that the whole Church sacrifice the truth of Christ at its feet.

It is utterly astounding that a good priest like Father Murray, that the faithful the world over, have to speak out so forcefully and so often in defense of orthodoxy against the very occupant of the Chair of Peter. How is this situation anything short of apocalyptic in dimension?  But speak out we must for the sake of the truth and the welfare of souls, including our own, while praying for the Church’s deliverance from this unparalleled trial.

Our Lady of Fatima, rescue the Church of which You are the Mother!

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