Wednesday, June 21, 2017

“Pope Francis” Brings Doctrinal Anarchy, Leads People Astray

“Pope Francis” Brings Doctrinal Anarchy
“Pope Francis” Brings Doctrinal Anarchy
The National Catholic Register is probably one of the most mainstream Roman Catholic publications that there is in the US. No one can claim that it’s either liberal or progressivist. They are purely the milquetoast EWTN Catholics. And now they have come out with the headline “Doctrinal Anarchy” in association with the fact that Bishops’ conferences around the world are coming up (as “Pope Francis” intended) with conflicting “interpretations” of the Amoris Laetitia statement.

Since the publication last year of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family Amoris Laetitia, a “doctrinal anarchy” that was feared and predicted at the synods on the family is becoming apparent.

Belgium’s bishops have become the latest to read the exhortation as giving — under certain conditions but with an emphasis on the primacy of conscience — access to the Sacraments for some civilly remarried divorcees without an annulment.

They follow the bishops’ conferences of Malta, the Philippines and Germany, as well as some bishops from other countries who have issued similar guidelines and statements for interpreting Amoris Laetitia’s controversial Chapter 8.

By contrast, Poland’s bishops’ conference last week became the first national conference to declare that Amoris Laetitia has not changed Church doctrine on Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, and that they continue not to have access to the Sacraments as the Church considers them to be living in an objective state of adultery.

I found this article (and a related one) among Jerry Walls’s Facebook posts. Regarding the “doctrinal anarchy”, he asks the question, “are conservative Roman Catholics now accusing their own Church of what they normally accuse Protestants?”

One writer there, Mark Daviau (a recent “Catholic Convert” who seems to be representative of such folks), apparently gave a response to the effect that “It’s no big deal; the pope wasn’t speaking ex cathedra and no dogma was changed”. For many Roman Catholic converts, this is their stock-in-trade. For them, the fact that “Roman Catholic Dogma” is not changed, is 100% of the reason for their “faith in the Church”. Nothing else matters. Never mind it is the case that Rome adds layer upon layer of obfuscation as time goes on, which, in reality, does change Roman Catholic dogma.

As Raymond Brown has said, “Essential to a critical interpretation of church documents is the realization that the Roman Catholic Church does not change her official stance in a blunt way. Past statements are not rejected but are requoted with praise and then reinterpreted at the same time” (Raymond E. Brown, “The Critical Meaning of the Bible,” New York, NY: Paulist Press ©1981, Nihil Obstat and Imprimitur, pg 18 fn 41).

Francis Beckwith, the took issue with this, noting (as in the screen capture nearby), that the real issue is (assuming Rome’s definition of “marriage” is correct) that Amoris Laetitia allows people to live with sin that’s equally as culpable as if they were to “watch pornography and miss Mass” on Sundays (both mortal sins if done with the knowledge that they are such).

What “Pope Francis” seems to be doing is creating a public mood in which, more and more Roman Catholics accept the practice, leading to a situation in which the sensus fidelium is that such things are all right. Some years down the road, some other pope or council will then recognize this practice as being part of “The Tradition” – the old doctrine will be “requoted with praise and reinterpreted at the same time” to give the appearance that it was always a part of Roman teaching. It existed in the teaching of the Apostles in “seed form”.

This is the same way that the Marian dogmas of 1854 (“Immaculate Conception”) and 1950 (“Assumption of Mary”) were given credibility.


  1. 892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent"422 which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

  2. From the article: Further problems relate to how priests are dealing with the ambiguity over the change in practice, with bishops reporting many incidences of deep confusion as well as issues of obedience and conscience. A few clergy have reportedly abandoned the ministry as they refuse in conscience to give Holy Communion to remarried divorcees not living in continence.

    1. C'mon John, gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette

    2. Gotta scramble 'em too!