"The Church must apologize to gay people" (2016):
In 2016, Pope Francis on his plane returning from Armenia made headlines when he stated that the Catholic Church should apologize to gay people for how it had treated them. Since when did the Church have to apologize for calling deviant behavior sin? No apology required when speaking the truth.
"There is no hell, only the disappearance of sinful souls" (2018):
In an interview with an Italian journalist in 2018, Pope Francis allegedly made a statement suggesting that there is no hell and that the souls of sinners simply cease to exist. This statement sparked immediate controversy, as it contradicted traditional Catholic doctrine on the existence of hell as a place of eternal punishment and evoked the heresy of Annihilationism. This is contrary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church that states: “1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.” The Vatican later clarified that the quote was not an accurate representation of the Pope's words, but the controversy had already taken hold.
One may be tempted to say that his intemperate and reactive statements are distortions of his words by ill-intended Catholics and that he deserves the benefit of the doubt. But a cursory review of his actions belies his interior motives.
"God made you gay" (2018):
During a private meeting with a Chilean victim of clerical sexual abuse in 2018, Pope Francis reportedly told the man, "God made you gay and loves you as you are." The Pope's comment was a significant shift in the Church's rhetoric regarding unnatural sexual activity and contrary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church that states: “2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” However, the Vatican did not confirm the specific phrasing of the statement, compounding confusion.
"It is an honor to be called a revolutionary" (2020):
In a book-length interview published in 2020, Pope Francis described himself as a "revolutionary" he also stated in 2019 in a brief exchange with a French journalist aboard the papal plane to Africa, "It is an honor when Americans attack me." These comments, along with other criticisms of capitalism and economic inequality, were seen as aligning the Pope with left-wing political ideologies. His emphasis on social justice devalues the Church's spiritual role in the life of the faithful.
One may be tempted to say that his intemperate and reactive statements are distortions of his words by ill-intended Catholics and that he deserves the benefit of the doubt. But a cursory review of his actions belies his interior motives. For not in vain would our Lord tell us in Matthew 15:18-19: “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy.” Let us review some of his actions in this regard, to better judge if the words coming from his mouth truly come from his heart.
Appointment of Father James Martin:
Pope Francis appointed Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and gay advocate, as a consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications in 2017. Father Martin has been a key figure in Pope Francis' efforts to incorporate the gay agenda into the Church. Through his writings and public speeches, Father Martin emphasizes the contributions by gay individuals within the Church. Father Martin is the leader within this Trojan horse inside the gates.
Outreach and Engagement:
Pope Francis has consistently emphasized the need for the Church to reach out to what he calls the marginalized groups, including LGBTQ+ individuals. He has encouraged priests and bishops to pastorally welcome the gay agenda, urging them to avoid judgment and promote “dialogue.” This dialogue will not lead to the conversion of sinners, instead on a practical level to the normalization of deviant behavior. He took lead when he also met with various LGBTQ+ individuals and groups, listening to their stories and experiences. These encounters have fostered the arrogance (after all, the month of June has been designated as PRIDE month) of those who calling themselves Catholics promote changes to the traditional Catholic teaching regarding homosexual acts.
Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has mastered the art of contradiction and hypocrisy. His statements on topics such as homosexuality, family, and Tradition, have challenged traditional Catholic teachings and disoriented, if not disheartened, the Catholic faithful. His statements are departures from established doctrine that leave a lasting impact on the Catholic Church and the world.
Changing the Pro-Life Pro-family Staff at the Pontifical Family Center:
Pope Francis made significant changes at the highest levels of the Pontifical Family Center, which was originally established by Pope John Paul II as a conservative institution in charge of promoting pro-life and pro-family values. Under Pope Francis' new leadership, the center underwent a transformation, relegating to the backburner pro-life issues for which it was created in support of the family and adding a supreme emphasis on issues of social justice. This shift indicates that Pope Francis' desire is to dilute the nuclear family along the lines of Hilary Clinton’s “it takes a village” concept.
But perhaps Francis’ most vicious attacks were reserved for Traditional Catholicism, to name the most salient, as follows.
"Cor Orans" and Traditional Religious Orders:
In 2018, Pope Francis released the document "Cor Orans," which provided guidelines for the contemplative life of women religious. The document was a direct attack on their way of life, as it imposes a uniform approach to religious life, disregarding the unique charisms and practices of individual communities. The document imposes stricter regulations on matters such as formation, governance, and even the use of social media, diminishing the autonomy and distinctiveness of traditional religious orders. All this under the guise of ensuring proper discernment, transparency, and accountability within religious communities. Although it purports that it promotes necessary reforms of the religious orders seeking the overall well-being and relevance of the contemplative life in today's world, it is already causing the closures of many cloistered communities with the Vatican swiftly siphoning their estates and endowments.
"Traditionis Custodes" and the Latin Mass:
On July 16, 2021, Pope Francis issued the apostolic letter "Traditionis Custodes," which significantly restricted the use of the Latin Mass, also known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The document revoked the widespread permission granted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, requiring bishops to seek permission from the Holy See for any new celebrations of the Latin Mass.
This move was a slap in the face to traditionalist Catholics who had embraced the Latin Mass as an integral part of their spiritual identity. "Traditionis Custodes" undermines the principle of liturgical diversity and restricts the legitimate preferences of the faithful. It is a total disregard for the richness and historical continuity of the Latin Mass. Again, setting up a strawman, Pope Francis contends that the Latin Mass had become a source of division and polarization within the Church. He argues that the restrictions were necessary to ensure proper adherence to the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, to foster unity among Catholics under the false schema of a more active participation of the laity in the liturgy within the Church.
Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has mastered the art of contradiction and hypocrisy. His statements on topics such as homosexuality, family, and Tradition, have challenged traditional Catholic teachings and disoriented, if not disheartened, the Catholic faithful. His statements are departures from established doctrine that leave a lasting impact on the Catholic Church and the world. Given the above facts as the fruits of his labor, and the hutzpah he displays in issuing this latest document, we can assert that in Francis lives brightly the aphorism that Jesus gave us in Matthew 7:15-20: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, you will know them by their fruits.” So, once again, “Physician, heal yourself!”
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