Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Some thoughts about the Buenos Aires letter

In this post I address two questions.

The first is: what does it mean for Pope Francis to promulgate his letter to the Bishops of Buenons Aires, on their guidlines for the application of Amoris laetitia, in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS), the official record of Papal acts?

The second question is: does this procedure create an obligation on Catholic to believe something they were not previously obliged to believe?

So, on the first question. The Pope can speak as Pope and as a private person. In the latter capacity what he says may be of interest as an indication of his thinking, but it wouldn’t bind the faithful to believe anything. Normally private letters wouldn’t be considered part of the magisterium. Putting something in the AAS is a way of making it part of the magisterium. It is a bit surprising to do this with a private letter but I think there are precedents. Certainly many things are in the AAS which were addressed in the first place to particular groups, such as Pius XII’s famous talk to midwives authorising NFP. Putting such things in the AAS is a way of directing them to the whole Faithful.



On the second question: There is, however, more to making something part of the magisterium, and therefore binding on the consciences of Catholics, than simply asserting that it is magisterial. The content of the document is also relevant. ‘Legal positivists’ claim that laws are valid just by virtue of a valid procedure approving them, but this is false and has never been accepted by the Church. Even in the case of human laws, a law will fail to bind in conscience if it is impossible to follow, for example if it is incomprehensible, retroactive, or totally unreasonable. In those cases it fails to be a binding law, or, really, a law at all. Law is by definition something which guides action, and such putative laws are incapable of doing that.

In a similar way, if we are to talk of a papal magisterial act binding Catholics to believe something, then it must be in accordance with the existing magisterium, and it must be possible to understand what it means. Pope Francis’ letter fails on both counts.

Let's consider the content of the letter in more detail. The letter makes it clear that Pope Francis approves of the guidelines produced by the Bishops of Buenos Aires, but it does not say that these are doctrinally precise and binding on everyone, as opposed to being a reasonable local adaptation of general principles. The attitude of Pope Francis expressed on other occasions, in fact, points more to the latter interpretation. Cf. Amoris laetitia 3:

Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs.

So the most the letter says is that these guidelines are not in error.

The guidelines themselves are not entirely clear. They appear to say that a couple living in a state of objective sin may receive Holy Communion without repenting of their sin, since repentence would involve an intention not to return to the sin, and the guidlines' key scenario is one in which the couple have no such intention. The guidlines do not, however, propose the theological presuppositions which would have to be true if this position were to be possible. For example, they do not say that unrepentant mortal sin is not an impediment to the fruitful reception of Holy Communion; nor that Canon 915 (forbidding the giving of Holy Communion to those in objective states of grave sin) is invalid or somehow innaplicable; nor that penitents can be sacramentally absolved of deliberate sins without expressing contrition; nor that the category of mortal sin does not exist; nor that genital sexuality outside marriage is not gravely sinful; nor that a civil union lacking the form necessary for a valid Catholic marriage (let alone: in the absence of the annullment of a previous marriage of one or more of the parties), is a 'marriage' in the sense that sex for the couple is not gravely sinful.

It wouldn't, of course, have to say all of these things, but on the face of it one or more of them, or other equally impossible claims, would have to be true if it were to be true that couples in illicit unions should be allowed to receive Holy Communion.

On their most natural interpretation, the guidelines, in short, imply a contradiction with one or more of some very fundamental legal and moral principles, which Catholics are obliged to believe. Pope Francis has never attempted to deny these principles directly; on the contrary, Amoris laetitia implies strongly (in section 3) that it is not concerned with changing the teaching of the Church, and this has often been reiterated by the Pope’s supporters since then. In light of this, giving magisterial authority to this letter of approval of these guidelines seems besides the point. 

It is also innacurate to say that this latest papal act 'answers the dubia', since the dubia were precisely about these underlying principles which, on the face of it, rule out the position which appears to be implied by a natural reading of Amoris (and, still more clearly, by the Buenos Aires guidlines). Pope Francis' letter, and the guidlines themselves, steadfastly decline to say which, if any, of those principles are false, or how their truth might be compatible with the position which they appear to propose.

To summarise, there is no act this or any pope can perform which can free Catholics from the obligation to believe those truths of Faith and Morals which are taught infallibly by the Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium. Among those truths are many which appear to conflict with the Buenos Aires guidelines - though exactly which ones will depend on how those guidelines are defended. (Herein lies the unclarity.) Insofar as the guidlines are incompatible with those principles, including Canon 915, the publication of Pope Francis' letter in the AAS does not make it any more possible for Catholics to accept them as doctrinally sound.

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35 comments:

  1. A TIMELY PRAYER FOR POPE FRANCIS

    V. Let us pray for Francis, the Pope.
    R. May the Lord preserve him from GRAVE ERROR, grant him humility to correct his errors, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and may the Lord not hand him over to the power of the enemy.

    V. May your hand be upon your holy servant.
    R. And upon your son whom you have anointed.

    Let us pray. O God, the Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in your mercy, upon your servant, Francis, whom you have appointed to preside over your Church; and grant, we beseech you, that both by word and example, he may edify all those under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may arrive at length unto life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord.

    R. Amen.

    Please share to all Catholics.

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    1. *BXVI is the pope.

      Warts and all.

      Denis

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    2. BXVI is culpable in his resignation (that I believe was brought about through blackmail, which, should that be the case, means he has something grave to hide). He has "done Francis" to the Church, to the immense harm to souls and dishonor to Christ the King. In the meantime, he plays with his cats, plays Mozart on the piano, and keeps a tight silence in the face of the destruction of souls and of the Church he once led. May God have mercy on his enigmatic soul.

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    3. Pope Benedict XVI's resignation was NOT valid as it was obtained by coercion, per Canon Law. The Vatican ATM's had been turned off...and were turned back on the day after Pope Benedict's invalid resignation. The blackmail used against Pope Benedict XVI was not personal...it was blackmail against the Catholic Church. Either, way blackmail causes his resignation to be invalid. Furthermore, the St. Gallen Group practically admitted to ousting Pope Benedict and canvassing for votes for Bergoglio which is an excommunication offense...so Bergoglio's election was not valid, either. Francis' directive to allow public adulterers to receive Holy Communion is another anti-Catholic directive...more evidence that Francis is not Catholic. That evidence adds to the many non-Catholic statements Francis has promulgated, such as "Evangelisation is solemn nonsense" and his assertion that Jesus Christ sinned when he was in the Temple in Jerusalem for three days. And more. It is high time for Catholics to realize Francis is an anti-pope and the False Prophet of Revelations.

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  3. It reminds me slightly of Francis's "magisterial" statement that the liturgical reforms are "irreversible". More like a category error than infallible teaching.

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  4. 1) 'No hay otras interpretaciones.' renders AL, 3 moot [US].

    2) This is rather very simple but highlights the widespread, deep and suffocating darkness and confusion among clergy and laity alike:

    a) In the creed we recite [cf. Credo Chart - http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/credo.htm] we believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church and not in a pope.

    b) Therefore, when a pope teaches [recall earlier arguments as to whether AL was a papal magisterial act], the next question ought to be, 'has the Church taught?'

    c) If a pope [or even an angel] were to teach a novel doctrine [such as AL], the Church is to reject such doctrine. Cf. Gal 1:6-10 (RSVCE) - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+1%3A6-10&version=RSVCE. And this is scriptural and of Apostolic Tradition. [Cf. A Primer on the Magisterium of the Catholic Church - https://goo.gl/1pQoNF]

    - For All the New/Novel Doctrine in #AmorisLaetitia, Let Pope Francis Be Accursed! - https://wp.me/p2Na5H-uF

    - #AmorisLaetitia: My Papa Offers Me A Mistress - https://wp.me/p2Na5H-rK

    - Bishops: Be Brave before Pope Francis as Paul before Peter | Online Petitions - https://wp.me/p2Na5H-E4

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  5. You appear to be clutching at straws here. The problem does not arise from Pope Francis having made his teaching magisterial but merely from his having attempted to make it so whether or not the attempt was actually a success. If anyone is a pope and invokes papal authority for a teaching then we are required to submit our intellect to it. So, by the most elementary application of logical rules, if we're not required to submit our intellect to it then either it has not been has not been taught with an invocation of papal authority or it has not been taught by a pope. Since the teaching that those in an objective state of grave sin can sometimes be admitted to Holy Communion has now been taught with an invocation of papal authority it follows inescapably that if we're not required to submit to it then the invocation cannot have been made by a genuine pope. So if we accept your argument that we are, indeed, not required to submit to that teaching because it contradicts previous settled teaching on the matter, then it follows that we have to conclude that Pope Francis is not a genuine pope whether or not we have a good explanation for how that is possible e.g. loss of office due to public heresy, electoral invalidity or whatever. Nor can one wriggle out of this by claiming that only a pope can invoke papal authority. Such invocations are purely a linguistic matter and can be made by anybody. What differs about a genuine pope is not his ability to make such invocations but his ability to do so successfully. Neither does it matter that Pope Francis has explicitly said in Amoris Laetitia that he is not changing the rules. Indeed he isn't, he's just prefacing them with a disclaimer that 'these are all rules of thumb, subject to exceptions in complex situations'. It is not as if he thinks it is important to change the rules anyway because they're just rules and only a rigid Pharisee thinks they are ever exceptionless or pays much attention to them! So isn't it about time that you accepted that what you previously agreed about Ultramontanists – that their position is no longer tenable unless Pope Francis's teachings are not genuinely papal – now applies to traditional Catholics in general? Catholic theology does not rule out Sedevacantism so it is difficult to see why so many traditional Catholics, who loudly insist that modernists should bow to the dictates of logic, are implacably opposed to accepting its demands when it points in that direction.

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    1. 'Clutching at straws' is exactly right. Previously the Argentine letter was dismissed as fake, or as merely private opinion. Now that Francis has explicitly stated that it is 'magisterial', new loopholes are desperately sought. Anything to avoid the obvious conclusion. Other 'line in the sand' moments came and went; such as the 'canonisation' of Karol Wojtlya. What will it take for people to see reality?

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    2. Here it is: the insane premise of Ultramontanism.

      ' If anyone is a pope and invokes papal authority for a teaching then we are required to submit our intellect to it.'

      It really is true: Sedevacantists are Ultramontanists who've been mugged by reality.

      That's why Traddies have no inclination to go Sede. They don't share this premise. You'd be better off fishing in the com box of the likes of Mark Shea.

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    3. Hear hear, Opacus.

      The heretical interpretation of AL has now been promulgated ex cathedra by the purported Roman Pontiff as an act of the papal magisterium. That means, quite right, that we are obliged to give it "religious submission of mind and will". Therefore, a parish priest who accepts the authority of Bergoglio would now be obliged to offer Holy Communion to Catholics living in adultery, according to the norms set out by Bergoglio; Canon 915 is overridden because the Pope is not bound by canon law.

      To say that we do not owe obedience to the Pope's ordinary magisterium, but only have to assent to teachings of the extraordinary magisterium, is liberalism pure and simple; it's to deprive the Pope of his teaching authority except in the most exceptional cases. Traditionalism does not rest on this kind of liberal dissent from papal authority (although for the SSPX it may), because many of the errors promoted in or since the council have been promoted as ambiguous or non-magisterial statements, which do not require religious obedience.

      The way that some Traditionalists are using the term Ultramontanist as a term of abuse, when it originally meant loyalty to the Holy See and opposition to liberalism, only shows how corrupted their thought has become. The liberals of our day who profess undying obedience to the Pope are not truly Ultramontanists because, (1) they ignore the teaching of past popes and councils, and cling only to the most recent ones, (2) they abuse the ambiguous and non-magisterial statements of recent popes to promote their own liberal agenda. Traditionalists are not dissenting from the papal magisterium in asking it to express itself more clearly & dogmatically; Liberals are dissenting by asking precisely for more and more ambiguous & off-hand words which they can abuse. The fact that recent popes have been infected with bad theology & philosophy and have often pandered to the liberals changes nothing. They use the term Ultramontanist to caricaturise those who have an exaggerated reverence for the pope, but they themselves are so bewitched that they cannot see the heretic behind the papal clothing.

      Furthermore, recognising that Bergoglio cannot be the pope upon his attempting to promote heresy as magisterium cannot be conflated with the classic sedevacantist position which imagines that the entire "Vatican II sect" or "Conciliar church" is in apostasy, and that none of our suppposed cardinals or bishops have any authority. On the contrary, recognising that Bergoglio is not the pope (either because his election was invalid & Ratzinger remains pope; or because his promoting heresy has ipso facto deposed him) does not deprive our cardinals, bishops, or priests of their authority. So we are not in the classic sedevacantist position of being without episcopal authority or the sacraments.

      The fact that Benedict XVI is still living and is still calling himself Benedict XVI only adds to the weirdness of the situation. That his abdication was invalid and/or that Bergoglio's election was invalid would seem the cleanest solution to over four years of scandal and flirting with heresy.

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    4. 'Canon 915 is overridden because the Pope is not bound by canon law.' Of course the Pope is bound by Canon Law: all the more because he can change it. Even if he were not, parish priests are bound. Canon 915 is a far more secure emanation of the will of the Supreme Legislator than this letter. Ergo.

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    5. Yes, I mean that he is not bound in the sense that he can change, reinterpret, or provide exceptions to it.

      From the point of view of the parish priest, he has Canon 915 telling him not to administer the sacrament to the adulterer, but the apparent authority of the pope telling him that there are exceptions.

      The fact that the Supreme Legislator, God, denies that there can be any such exception is precisely why we are dealing with heresy, and why the parish priest that continues to accept the papacy of Bergoglio is thrown in to a crisis of conscience: when the adulterer asks for Holy Communion does he follow Canon 915 strictly, or does he follow it more loosely in accordance with the "magisterium"? Who does he trust to interpret canon law: himself or the Roman Pontiff? It is not ultramontane to defer to the Roman Pontiff, it is what is expected of Catholics. The mere opinion of canon lawyers and priests on the application of a particular canon are not as binding as the papal magisterium.

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    6. I am not a sedevacantist, but it must be admitted that those who are continually grasping at straws to show that Francis has not taught heresy formally are on very shaky grounds. Whatever the legal technicalities, we should be ashamed of a pope who is clearly malevolent and heretical (whether true pope or not); we should also be ashamed of belonging to a Church that turns the Vicar of Christ into a kind of untouchable idol and that feels totally free to contradict its formal teachings in devious, surreptitious ways that can only be described as evil subterfuge. That is not how Catholic Christians should be acting in an unprecedented crisis: the times and the horror Francis has created (NOT US) calls for clear, energetic denunciation and action to block his yes-men whoever they may be. Our protest should be loud and public and constant against these new Protestants. The act of legitimate protest does not make one a "Protestant," otherwise the holy English Martyrs at the time of the Elizabethan reign of terror would technically have been "protestants" and the Counter-Reformation would have been "protestant"---clearly ridiculous non-logic. It is time to stop playing games and start defending Our Mother, the Church, against the wolf that is Francis.

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    7. "The heretical interpretation of AL has now been promulgated ex cathedra by the purported Roman Pontiff as an act of the papal magisterium."

      It is emphatically not "ex cathedra."

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    8. Sean W.,
      Sorry I was using the term ex cathedra in a loose sense to mean whatever the Pope teaches according to the authority of his office, as opposed to stating a private opinion of his. I just checked and it seems that the term ex cathedra is only used in reference to acts of the extraordinary (infallible & irreformable) magisterium; and I agree that Bergoglio has not invoked that level of authority and so, in that sense, has not spoken "ex cathedra"; sorry for the sloppiness on my part.

      coradcorloquitur,
      Agreed.

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  6. Dear Sedes and Sede sympathizers, what exactly has Sedevacantism to offer? Doesn't Fr. Cekada choose which liturgical laws of Pope Pius XII he would like to obey or rather disobey? Or Pius XII's teaching on episcopal jurisdiction? Where is the ordinary jurisdiction of the Church if Sedevacantism were true? According to Fr. Cekada's minory opinion this wouldn't be a problem, since each bishop receives jurisdiction directly from Jesus Christ. According to the teaching of Pope Pius XII, this doesn't work since each bishop receives his jurisdiction from the Pope. Where does this leave Thuc line bishops (which some Sedes do not acknowledge, btw)? Some Sedes don't even recognize St. Pius X, others like Richard Ibranyi believe there hasn't been a pope since the 12th century. Some are Feeneyists, others combat Feeneyism. Some elect popes, others don't. The list goes on and on. Will the true Sedevacantist please stand up?

    Just some food for thought for those who are about to fall or haven fallen into an error that creates more problems than it solves.

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    1. Bergoglio not being Pope does not necessitate that all the other bishops are not bishops. They retain their authority as long as they do not follow him into heresy. The problems that arise from classical (post-VII) sedevacantism are due to its ascribing formal heresy to VII itself, resulting in the apostasy not just of the Pope, but of all the cardinals and bishops with him.

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    2. Konstantin, what Sedevacantism has to offer is that it correctly says that the following is a valid argument:

      (1) If anyone is a genuine pope and has invoked papal authority for a teaching then a Catholic is bound to submit to it,

      (2) No Catholic is obliged to submit to the teaching of Amoris Laetitia on admission to Holy Communion for those in a state of objective grave sin,

      (3) Jorge Bergoglio has invoked papal authority for that teaching of Amoris Laetitia,

      (4) So Jorge Bergoglio is not a genuine pope.

      One can only dissent from (4) by denying at least one of (1), (2) and (3). To his credit Dr. Shaw has gone for the jugular and denied (1). According to him a rational Catholic, given the choice of believing either that Jorge Bergoglio is a genuine pope or that we are bound to submit to papal teachings for which papal authority has been invoked, but not both, is bound to plump for the former and not the latter. What is more, he thinks that this is traditional Catholicism despite the tradition behind Canon 752 and various past papal statements to the same effect. Indeed, only an insane Ultramontanist would think otherwise! I must say that is news to me! Anyway, if you want to disagree with (4) you also have to say which of (1), (2) and (3) is or are wrong. You cannot avoid this issue by lumping together all the theological opinions of those various parties who describe themselves as 'Sedevacantists' and exclaiming 'how is it possible to believe all that?'. You have merely constructed a straw man. While Fr. Cekada is well able to defend himself, nobody who accepts (4) is thereby committed to accepting his contention that there have been no popes since Pius XII. That would take extensive further argumentation. Somebody, rather, who merely accepts the argument from (1), (2), (3) and (4) might well be a short-term Novus Ordo Sedevacantist or a very-long-term Orthodox Sedevacantist and be entirely untroubled by your straw man. So at the moment you are attempting merely to throw dust in everyone's eyes and ignore the point at issue. Please tell us instead, as Dr. Shaw has, which of (1), (2) and (3) you reject so that you can deny (4).

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    3. "Bergoglio not being Pope does not necessitate that all the other bishops are not bishops."

      If you do not accept the new rites of ordination and episcopal consecration, it does.

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    4. Opacus, thank you for proving my point that Sedevacantism is an absurd movement since everybody gets to choose which Pope was the last one:

      "While Fr. Cekada is well able to defend himself, nobody who accepts (4) is thereby committed to accepting his contention that there have been no popes since Pius XII. That would take extensive further argumentation. Somebody, rather, who merely accepts the argument from (1), (2), (3) and (4) might well be a short-term Novus Ordo Sedevacantist or a very-long-term Orthodox Sedevacantist and be entirely untroubled by your straw man."

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    5. Anyone who knows Anthony Cekada---as I did once long ago---will know with total certainty that the likes of him cannot be who Our Blessed Savior wishes to use for the restoration of His Church.

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  7. Why is this so difficult to grasp? It is Pope Francis' magisterial act and NOT the Church's Magisterial act.

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    Cf. #AmorisLaetitia: Finally the Vatican Enters the Modern World into the Digital Age with a New Genre of Papal Documents - https://goo.gl/HVSriN

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  8. Canon 752: 'Can. 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.'

    Well, that's just the question, isn't it? Is this an exercise of the authentic magisterium. What we all know, and is not denied by Pope Francis, is that the authentic magistrium has been exercised in the past in a certain way on the pertient matters. Since I am bound to beleive that, I can't be bound to believe something which contradicts it.

    In this situation it seems simpler to deny that this is an act of the authentic magisterium (at least, with the meaning such that it contradicts the earlier teaching), than to deny that the Pope is the Pope.

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    1. One would think that authentic magisterium is exercised when and only when a genuine authority genuinely invokes that authority. If that is so, then to deny that authentic magisterium has been exercised in the current case one will need to deny either that the purported authority is genuinely such or the invocation genuinely occurred. Yet unless one is prepared to establish that the reporting of 'Acta Apostolicae Sedis' is in some way 'fake news' the prospects for showing that the invocation did not genuinely occur seem pretty dim. The prospects for showing, on the other hand, that 'the Pope is not the Pope' seem much better when rephrased as the more accurate contention that the supposed pope is actually an antipope due to public heresy. The possibilities of antipopes and the loss of office due to public heresy are well established in Catholic theology and so should not be beyond the bounds of consideration despite the editorial policies of the likes of Church Militant or Fr. Hunwicke to the contrary! The difficulties derive from it never having been clearly spelled out exactly how public heresy is to be established in the case of a suspected antipope. Many who would otherwise embrace the possibility in the present case seem unable to do so in the absence of some kind of legal declaration with some sort of canonical authority. What legal authority may not be able to supply, however, logical authority may more than make up for. An antipope may be known to be such in the first instance by logical deduction rather than legal declaration. And if one cannot trust the laws of logical deduction then no other authority can be trusted either since to trust an authority involves being able to deduce that what he says is true merely from his having said it while invoking his authority to say it.

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  9. @Joseph Shaw: claiming something doesn't make it so. He has claimed it is authentic magisterium, labeled it as such, but is it? It is his magisterium [= teaching], but it is neither authentic nor the Church's.

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    Examples from Amoris Laetitia:

    1) How can it be authentic magisterium when it omits the FC, 84, the magisterium of Pope St. John Paul II

    2) How can it be authentic magisterium when it corrupts a Council document? "Footnote 329 of AL also presents another surreptitious corruption. It cites a passage of Gaudium et Spes 51, concerning the intimacy of married life. But by an undetected sleight of hand it is placed in the mouth of the divorced and remarried instead. Such corruptions surely indicate that references and footnotes, which in this document are made to do some heavy lifting, need to be properly verified." - Dr. Anna M. Silvas

    And finally, how can it be authentic when it contradicts the Teaching of the LORD himself and that of his Apostle to the Gentiles?

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    1. PS I am not one of those who say the Pope is not the Pope. Nevertheless, to me, there is overwhelming evidence that the papacy has been usurped by the enemies of the Church. Cf. The Pope is a Mason? – https://goo.gl/fY85SZ

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    2. "I saw a great power rise up against the Church. It plundered, devastated, and threw into confusion and disorder the vine of the Lord, having it trampled underfoot by the people and holding it up to ridicule by all nations. Having vilified celibacy and oppressed the priesthood, it had the effrontery to confiscate the Church's property and to arrogate to itself the powers of the Holy Father, whose person and whose laws it held in contempt.

      - Jeanne le Royer (Sister of the Nativity), born in 1731 and became a nun in 1755. | Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont

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  10. For those who think that AL is all hunky-dory and that it definitely and validly gives approval under certain circumstances, to those (etc, etc) to receive Communion do they claim any official guidance as to what exactly those circumstances are? Or are they claiming that their interpretation of the circumstances is the only one acceptable?

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  11. Here's an extremely apposite quote from a genuine Pope and a genuine Saint, Pius X:"when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed; when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough, almost as if he were forced to repeat to the ear of each one the will clearly expressed so many times not only in person, but with letters and other public documents; we do not place his orders in doubt, adding the facile pretext of those unwilling to obey - that it is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him; we do not limit the field in which he might and must exercise his authority; we do not set above the authority of the Pope that of other persons, however learned, who dissent from the Pope, who, even though learned, are not holy, because whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope." Allocution Vi ringrazio to priests on the 50th anniversary of the Apostolic Union, November 18, 1912 (Quoted on Rorate Caeli blog) So, Dr Shaw, was St Pius X guilty of spreading 'insane ultramontanism' or 'papolatry'?

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    1. If what everything a pope does [cf. past non-exemplary popes] or says [cf. e.g. current pope], the faithful are to blindly follow, there would have been no need for the LORD to reply to St. Peter, the first Pope, as follows:

      The Faithful or the Unfaithful Slave - Lk 12:41-48 (RSVCE) - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A41-48&version=RSVCE

      41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 44 Truly, I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish[f] him, and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. 48 But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.

      ***

      It is clear that not only is Pope Francis NOT feeding the faithful nor confirming his brethren in the Faith [his basic job description from the LORD], he is giving them poison. God have mercy on him.

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  12. By the way, the Rorate Caeli blog author commented: "... the Pope summoned all the Church to understand what love for the Pope, any Pope, the one who holds the Keys, truly entails: a hard message that, exactly one century later, must be heard and obeyed by the clergy and by the lay faithful." Is Rorate Caeli an 'Ultramontanist' blog?

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  13. Dr Shaw. Can I ask why you declared yesterday on Twitter: "No abstaining today"? This was correct for countries where the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is an Holy Day of Obligation, but not for England and Wales, where it is not.

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    1. It is a ‘solemnity’ in the reformed calendar. Under the new Code that means the rules of abstinence are lifted. In the old Code this only happened on ‘days of precept’, not so now.

      “Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.“

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