The Dangerous Road of Papal Silence

 

The letter of the four Cardinals to Pope Francis, and the decision to go public with this document certainly constitute a stunning affair in the history of the Church. When has anything like this ever taken place? There’s the sad history of Ignaz Von Dollinger, which eventually led to his excommunication, but Dollinger was simply a priest-historian, and no Cardinals ever joined his challenge to Vatican I’s solemn teaching on papal infallibility.

This present event is a dramatic challenge to Pope Francis who, ironically, has several times called for a shaking up of the Church. The Cardinals are all well respected and strong supporters of the papal primacy and the papal office of teaching. Their letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is a sincere effort to gain some clarity on positions advanced in Amoris Laetitia. For their troubles, the head of the Roman Rota has openly threatened them with the loss of their status as Cardinals.

It’s worth noting that only one of the five questions posed for clarification by the Cardinals had to do with admitting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to the Eucharist. In a way, the other four questions point to even more significant problems relating to the existence of intrinsically evil acts, the objective situation of grave habitual sin, and the critically important formation of an objectively true conscience.

The five dubia were very carefully and succinctly written and followed the traditional method of presentation of such questions to the Holy See. They ask the pope to explain how certain statements in Amoris Laetitia were to be understood in the light of the authoritative teachings of his predecessor Pope John Paul II as found in Familiaris Consortio 84 (reaffirmed in Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 34, and Sacramentum Caritatis, 29 (dubium 1); Veritatis Splendor 79 (dubium 2); (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts (dubium 3); Veritatis Splendor 81 (dubium4); Veritatis Splendor 56 (dubium 5). These texts are foundational for the Church’s teaching on moral principles, for an upright confessional practice, and for sacramental discipline.

The letter’s authors insist that their only intention is to remove the confusion: “theologians and scholars have proposed interpretations that are not only divergent, but also conflicting. . .thereby provoking uncertainty, confusion and disorientation among many of the faithful.”

Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke
Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Burke, in an interview with the National Catholic Register, stated that they chose to go public only after they learned that the pope had decided not to respond, which decision is a stunning response from the Chair of Peter. One might almost call it reckless, given the very real potential for dividing the Church. Indeed, Cardinal Burke addressed this possibility in the interview when he stated that the letter “has also been undertaken with the greatest respect for the Petrine Office, because if the Petrine Office does not uphold these fundamental principles of doctrine and discipline, then, practically speaking, division has entered into the Church, which is contrary to our very nature.”

Pope Francis already had an agenda for “reshaping” the Church in certain areas of discipline when he came into office, as seems clear from the speed with which he announced the Synod on the Family. It was a perplexing event. His predecessor, Saint John Paul II, had convoked a Synod on the same topic and had issued a brilliant exhortation, Familiaris Consortio.

It was even more telling that little in the preparatory documents, or in the exhortation following the Synod, seemed to have much reference to that earlier exhortation. In retrospect, that Francis had it in mind to alter certain determinations of that earlier Synod and John Paul II’s exhortation appears all but certain.

Now, it is not only Catholic scholars like the eminent philosopher Robert Spaemann who in 2015 recognized that “This pope is one of the most autocratic [popes] that we have had in a long time.” In a recent Reuters article, “Pope Francis the manager – surprising, secretive, shrewd,” Philip Puella argues that Pope Francis, whom he admires and strongly supports, is more like an autocrat than a typical, saintly pontiff. For instance, Puella says “Francis likes to break rules and then change them once the shock has died down.” And that “after he was elected, he appointed trusted people to lower or mid-level positions in Vatican departments, where they can be his eyes and ears.”

Looking back, the pope’s invitation to Cardinal Kasper to speak to the bishops months before the first Synod on the Family seems almost certainly now to have been a bit of management. The pope was behind the proposed change from the beginning and was determined to provide access to the sacraments by the divorced and remarried, even if the Synod Fathers did not support it – which they didn’t.

Pope Francis certainly had no mandate from the Synod Fathers to make such a drastic alteration in the Church’s sacramental discipline. Quite the opposite, which should have suggested he would be entering dangerous waters should he choose to do so. But he did, nonetheless, and has since tried to portray his critics as fundamentalist, legalistic, and rigid Catholics, who are troubled and are troubling the Church.

The upshot of all this, as Australian Cardinal George Pell remarked in a lecture in London earlier this week, is that “a number of regularly worshipping Catholics” are “unnerved by the turn of events.” More seriously, there is now widespread confusion about the role of conscience in Catholic moral thought.

Well, now four cautious and conscientious churchmen have openly sought a solution to all this turmoil. Cardinal Burke suggested what might follow if the pope remains silent:  “There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.”

This really would be quite awful, forcing Church leaders, priests, and lay people into taking sides – a kind of practical schism. Let’s pray it never comes to this. But to avoid such divisions and worse, Pope Francis will now have to do something.

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71 Responses to The Dangerous Road of Papal Silence

  1. JabbaPapa says:

    It’s worth noting that only one of the five questions posed for clarification by the Cardinals had to do with admitting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to the Eucharist. In a way, the other four questions point to even more significant problems relating to the existence of intrinsically evil acts, the objective situation of grave habitual sin, and the critically important formation of an objectively true conscience.

    Quite.

    But there is OTOH an intrinsic difficulty in the questions and their explanatory text — despite the yes/no answers being broadly straightforward within the Orthodoxy, nevertheless the detailed explanatory comments in the text of the dubia require a properly robust text in answer to those comments beyond the one word yes or no responses ; the risk of inadvertent problems in such an answer is non-negligible.

    There is however one with a keen enough mind who could actually handle that task, and who partakes of the Petrine Ministry more closely than the CDF or its Prefect : Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

    One advantage is that the Pope could “recruit” him far more discreetly than would be the case in a referral to the CDF, or even to the Pontifical theologian.

    This is a better and more balanced article than most on this topic, although it is not free of mistakes.

    Fr. Pilon suggests : “But he did, nonetheless, and has since tried to portray his critics as fundamentalist, legalistic, and rigid Catholics, who are troubled and are troubling the Church” … whereas in fact the “rigid” comment was directed not at “critics” but at those practicing a particular form of bad theology and excessive (the adjective is important) formalism, constituting doctrinal and disciplinary errors expressed as politics including sometimes via abuses of the TLM ; the “legalistic” comment was aimed simultaneously at those attempting to instate “communion for adulterers” as well as those (in whichever faction) putting the letter of the Law above its foundational Divine Principles ; and “fundamentalist” simultaneously at traditionalist fundamentalism and “liberal”-“progressive” fundamentalism.

    Some traditionalists however seem to be severely biased towards assuming that they are the special targets of any more general criticisms, and so convincing themselves for example that a phrase such as “self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagianism“, which only makes sense as a critique of Modernist egotistical Relativism, was somehow intended as an attack on *them*.

    Priests currently providing “communion for adulterers” because of their willful refusal to listen to the multiple clarifications from the Holy See against such sacrilegious practices are clearly the ones who are practicing such self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagianism, masquerading as Catholicism.

  2. mmvc says:

    Looking back, the pope’s invitation to Cardinal Kasper to speak to the bishops months before the first Synod on the Family seems almost certainly now to have been a bit of management. The pope was behind the proposed change from the beginning and was determined to provide access to the sacraments by the divorced and remarried, even if the Synod Fathers did not support it – which they didn’t.

    Pope Francis certainly had no mandate from the Synod Fathers to make such a drastic alteration in the Church’s sacramental discipline. Quite the opposite, which should have suggested he would be entering dangerous waters should he choose to do so. But he did, nonetheless, and has since tried to portray his critics as fundamentalist, legalistic, and rigid Catholics, who are troubled and are troubling the Church.

    Certain persons cannot or will not recognise this sad reality.

  3. kathleen says:

    What a fantastic article! VERY insightful. It exposes Pope Francis’ willful and deviant methods that he’s been using since his (questionable) ‘election’ to the papacy. He is determined to get his own way, by hook or by crook, to remake a church à Le Francois.
    IOW, his burning ambition (barely concealed) is to alter Church teaching; to make it fit into his anti-Catholic, leftist agenda.
    His anxious (but still orthodox) aides, theologians, etc., have been doing their best to steer Francis’ constant stream of cringeworthy utterances back on track (re the latest from the CDF), but he carries on as ever with his cunning schemes as though these vexed clerics were not there!
    (Edit: He has filled the Curia with as many of his own left-leaning progressives as possible to foil the virtuous work of the orthodox members anyway!)

    And now the bombshell of the unanswered dubia. There is absolutely no other explanation why Francis CANNOT reply to the questions asked of him and give a truly orthodox affirmation of the Church’s dogma and doctrines, than that these questions clash head-on with his heterodox ideas!
    Francis has been cornered by these wise, faithful Cardinals. He’s been shown up as being the mythical ‘Emperor with no clothes’… and he knows it. And to have to give a “yes” or “no” answer once and for all, something he clearly hates having to do? Well, well! (No wonder Ed Pentin’s Vatican contact revealed he was “boiling with rage”!)
    Perhaps Francis hopes that by ignoring the Letter with the dubia it will, in time, make the whole fiasco die down, to eventually be all but forgotten. A naive hope indeed!

    This vitally important issue – that the Vicar of Christ REFUSES to put an end to the widespread confusion of his teachings in Amoris Laetitia (and elsewhere) – will never, ever die down.

  4. mmvc says:

    Some traditionalists however seem to be severely biased towards assuming that they are the special targets of any more general criticisms, and so convincing themselves for example that a phrase such as “self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagianism“, which only makes sense as a critique of Modernist egotistical Relativism, was somehow intended as an attack on *them*.

    Again, a brief reminder:

    From a transcript of Pope Francis’ address to CLAR :

    I share with you two concerns. One is the Pelagian current that there is in the Church at this moment. There are some restorationist groups. I know some, it fell upon me to receive them in Buenos Aires. And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council… One feels in 1940… An anecdote, just to illustrate this, it is not to laugh at it, I took it with respect, but it concerns me; when I was elected, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: “Your Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries.” Why don’t they say, ‘we pray for you, we ask…’, but this thing of counting… And these groups return to practices and to disciplines that I lived through – not you, because you are not old – to disciplines, to things that in that moment took place, but not now, they do not exist today…

    The second [concern] is for a Gnostic current. Those Pantheisms… Both are elite currents, but this one is of a more educated elite… I heard of a superior general that prompted the sisters of her congregation to not pray in the morning, but to spiritually bathe in the cosmos, things like that… They concern me because they ignore the incarnation! And the Son of God became our flesh, the Word was made flesh, and in Latin America we have flesh abundantly [de tirar al techo]! What happens to the poor, their pains, this is our flesh…

    The Pope most likely mis-used the term Pelagian. His target however is quite clear.

  5. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 09:07

    Some traditionalists however seem to be severely biased towards assuming that they are the special targets of any more general criticisms, and so convincing themselves for example that a phrase such as “self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagianism“, which only makes sense as a critique of Modernist egotistical Relativism, was somehow intended as an attack on *them*.

    Good try (to exonerate Pope Francis) but a totally impractical one all the same!

    It’s not a question of “bias”, Jabba, but pure and simple commonsense. The hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of “traditionalists”, IOW, orthodox Catholics who hold to all the Church’s magisterial teachings and traditions, cannot all be wrong (after years of being insulted, scorned and scolded) in viewing this Pope as an unconcealed enemy of traditional Catholicism and traditional Catholics.

  6. Toad says:

    “But to avoid such divisions and worse, Pope Francis will now have to do something.”
    Maybe he actually doesn’t want to avoid “such decisions.”?

    “… his burning ambition (barely concealed) is to alter Church teaching; to make it fit into his anti-Catholic, leftist agenda.”
    Maybe what he really wants is to alter Church teaching to make it fit into his idea of Catholic agenda?
    Maybe you can do that – if you have been voted The Big Hat.
    I wouldn’t know.

  7. The Pew at the Back says:

    I have read this blog for some time. I regret the tone which has entered debate recently. I regret the undermining of The Holy Father by some, becoming more open by the day. I find the constant suppression of Toad to be a mistake, and also irritating for continuity; the snide provocation of Jabba to be unCatholic, as I do the character of the opposition to Ginny though I do not agree with her. All of this shows Catholics in an unfavourable light. I wish the blog would return to cheerier disagreement..

  8. JabbaPapa says:

    The pope was behind the proposed change from the beginning and was determined to provide access to the sacraments by the divorced and remarried

    First, this is a rumour that has never been substantiated.

    Second, “access to the Sacraments” in such cases anyway starts with Confession, which requires penance and amendment of life.

    kathleen : his burning ambition (barely concealed) is to alter Church teaching; to make it fit into his anti-Catholic, leftist agenda

    That is a very extreme claim, and so therefore most likely to be inaccurate.

    mmvc : He certainly misused “pelagian” there, but that is not where he made the “self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagianism“ comment.

    Nobody has claimed that he doesn’t dislike the Traditionalists. He’s still done easily as much as Benedict XVI to help the SSPX in particular reintegrate the Church.

    kathleen : It’s not a question of “bias”, Jabba, but pure and simple commonsense

    Anyone with a bias will naturally confuse it with “common sense”.

    “traditionalists”, IOW, orthodox Catholics who hold to all the Church’s magisterial teachings and traditions

    Not every orthodox and Faithful Catholic is a traditionalist — traditionalism is not to merely adhere to the Tradition of the Faith, but it is a particular political faction or movement that not all of such Faithful will join.

    BTW, “all the Church’s magisterial teachings” necessarily include the Authoritative teachings of Vatican II and those that have been given (Familiaris Consortio, Humani Generis, Pope St John Paul II’s ex cathedra doctrinal ruling that the priesthood is reserved to men, etc) since the Council — the pastoral sections of Amoris Laetitia do not belong to this group (though its doctrinal section, not containing dubious footnotes, does) ; nor does Nostra Aetate (and whilst its paragraph on the Jews is decent enough, Catholics are still free to disagree with it).

  9. Toad says:

    Well said, Pew At The Back, there!
    Unchain Toad!What do they have to fear?


    Wouldn’t I enjoy going head-to-head with Barron on these issues!
    His best point is, “yes, Catholics are irrational, but Atheists are just as bad.” “Yes, lots of Catholics are bad, but so are lots of Americans.”
    Right. So?
    He doesn’t try to explain why Catholicism is, in his mind anyway, superior to no religion at all.

  10. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 16:22

    “The pope was behind the proposed change from the beginning and was determined to provide access to the sacraments by the divorced and remarried”

    These words of Fr Mark Pilon are only a “rumour” you say?
    Nonsense!
    There is a mountain of evidence – unmistakable facts – that demonstrate that this has been the aim of Pope Francis all along… and that of the mafioso St Gallen group that made sure he got elected to the papacy!

    And I am not biased against Pope Francis at all – unless the Church pronounces otherwise, he is the Pope and I pray for him every day to become a true Shepherd of the Church – but I find his constant worldly blabbering, lack of true Catholic leadership and attacks at orthodox Catholics, all deeply disturbing. (To say nothing about his pointers towards heterodoxy!)

    Not every orthodox and Faithful Catholic is a traditionalist — traditionalism is not to merely adhere to the Tradition of the Faith, but it is a particular political faction or movement that not all of such Faithful will join.

    I remember we had a discussion about this misunderstanding once before. I was using the word “traditionalist” in that sense: as those who adhere to the Church’s teachings and traditions, and not as referring to any “particular political faction or movement”.

  11. kathleen says:

    The Pew at the Back @ 15:01

    Thanks for your comment. It is always a good thing to hear from those who disagree with us, and who do so with equilibrium and courtesy.

    I do not believe anyone who has expressed negative opinions of the Holy Father on this blog has the intention of “undermining” him out personal distaste for his person. It is his own troubling words and actions that have given way to an increasingly loud criticism from traditional Catholics here and all over the blogosphere and Catholic media.
    The Catholic Church’s sacred Deposit of Faith is being attacked by enemies within the Church which is what is at stake! This is (in the words of Archbishop Schneider) the fourth great “crisis in the Church” of Her 2000 year history, and calls for all us, clergy and laity, as her baptised members, to speak out in Her defence.

    BTW, don’t worry about Toad – the majority of his comments see the light of day anyway! 😉 But some are just…well, you know, waaaaay off course! Or else they are boring relativist repetitions we have heard hundreds of times already.

  12. mmvc says:

    The Pew at the Back @ 15:01

    As for Jabba and Ginny, they give at least as good as they get (plenty of excommunication, damnation and calling out of heresy – can’t get much cheerier than that ;o)) , so don’t worry about them either.

  13. JabbaPapa says:

    There is a mountain of evidence – unmistakable facts

    I repeat myself, but no there isn’t — the fact that multiple traditionalists have (or more likely simply repeat) the same story might be a mountain of “something”, but whatever it might be, it’s not “evidence”. Not in face of the *facts* that he, his Vicar, the Prefect of the CDF, and others have all denounced “communion for adulterers”, and have instead restated the provisions of Familiaris Consortio.

    These ARE facts ; contrary opinions are not.

    And I am not biased against Pope Francis at all

    I suggested no such thing, and it is ironic here that you feel personally accused by my impersonal comment about third parties.

  14. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 21:20

    Well, it’s an extraordinary thing that every traditional Catholic sees the evidence, the “facts”, before their eyes (i.e., of the “proposed changes” of Catholic teaching by Pope Francis) but to you these are mere “rumours” and no more than “opinions”!
    JabbaPapa against the world, huh?

    the Prefect of the CDF, and others have all denounced “communion for adulterers”, and have instead restated the provisions of Familiaris Consortio.

    Yes, and good for them, but so what? You continually miss the point. It is POPE FRANCIS who Catholics are waiting for to “denounce” this aberration (“communion for adulterers”) and to “restate” unambiguous Catholic doctrinal teaching. No one else! He is the Pope, so he alone must calm people’s doubts. He has been presented with a Letter containing questions from four of his Cardinals after months of uncertainty in the Church in the wake of Amoris Laetitia with wild speculation as to its proper interpretation. The dubia was necessary because there is sufficient doubt among Catholics of the Pope’s real underlying intentions in its texts, and in all his other utterances and actions over these last years. All he would have to do for the good of the whole Church at this moment would be to eat a little piece of humble pie (having been put into this embarrassing situation) and come out loud and clear to reaffirm Catholic teaching.

    But he remains silent!

    What are we to make of this? Why has he chosen not to reply to the dubia? One can only speculate here, but it certainly looks as though his silence implies he cannot give the ‘correct’ answers!! Meaning….. ?
    And I can assure you that there has never been a time when I would have liked to have been proven wrong as much as I would now.

    ————

    Me: And I am not biased against Pope Francis at all

    You: I suggested no such thing, and it is ironic here that you feel personally accused by my impersonal comment about third parties.

    It’s not “ironic” in the slightest. It was the obvious conclusion from the context of your immediate reply to me when you used the word, “bias”. If you were referring to “third parties”, you could have said so.

  15. Toad says:

    “BTW, don’t worry about Toad – the majority of his comments see the light of day anyway!😉 But some are just…well, you know, waaaaay off course! Or else they are boring relativist repetitions we have heard hundreds of times already.”
    Shall we tell The Pew At The Back (lovely name, by the way – is it Welsh?) that Toad’s reply to Kathleen’s comment above – and also delivered with equilibrium and courtesy – was killed stone dead, without a word of explanation?
    Nah. What’s the point?

  16. JabbaPapa says:

    it’s an extraordinary thing that every traditional Catholic sees the evidence

    Nonsense.

    “the Prefect of the CDF, and others have all denounced “communion for adulterers”, and have instead restated the provisions of Familiaris Consortio.”

    Yes, and good for them, but so what?

    What on EARTH do you mean, “so what” ???

    It is the job of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and of its Prefect, to provide doctrinal and interpretative clarifications into matters where some confusion has arisen. This is NOT the job of the Pope, although the Pontiff can of course, if he should so decide, participate in that work.

    But, instead of simply accepting the clear instructions and clarifications of Cardinal Müller, you(*) seem instead to have embarked upon a course where the binding and Authoritative instructions of the CDF in doctrinal matters are to be rejected and ignored in favour of some objectively malicious commentary from third-party sources who have NO teaching Authority whatsoever.

    In other words, you are rejecting and denouncing as “unimportant” the Traditional means of doctrinal clarifications of the Catholic Church.

    As for the “JabbaPapa against the world” stuff, when the world sets itself against the Church and against Christ, then yep, always.

    It is POPE FRANCIS who Catholics are waiting for to “denounce” this aberration (“communion for adulterers”) and to “restate” unambiguous Catholic doctrinal teaching. No one else!

    That is a very hubristic expectation. Particularly given that Pope Francis expressly denounced “communion for adulterers” during the recent Synod.

    The Pope has decided to leave the particular matter of the penitential path that divorced-remarried Catholics must follow for a purpose of return to Sacramental Grace to the authoritative judgment of Bishops, who are all of them perfectly aware of the requirement to follow Catholic Dogma, as well as particular instructions from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as the Canon Law, and as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church — NONE of these entirely unambiguous sources of genuine Catholic teaching in these matters has been “vanished away” simply from the fact that some people despise our current Pope.

    Furthermore — Amoris Laetitia : 79. “When faced with difficult situations and wounded families, it is always necessary to recall this general principle: ‘Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations’ (Familiaris Consortio, 84).

    … which refers directly and explicitly to : Familiaris Consortio : 84. Daily experience unfortunately shows that people who have obtained a divorce usually intend to enter into a new union, obviously not with a Catholic religious ceremony. Since this is an evil that, like the others, is affecting more and more Catholics as well, the problem must be faced with resolution and without delay. The Synod Fathers studied it expressly. The Church, which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage. The Church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation.

    Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.

    Together with the Synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can, and indeed must, share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope.

    However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

    Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”[180]

    Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of Matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful, forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new sacramentally valid marriage, and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.

    By acting in this way, the Church professes her own fidelity to Christ and to His truth. At the same time she shows motherly concern for these children of hers, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate partner.

    With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord’s command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity.

    Some people have been destructively, gratuitously, and falsely claiming that Amoris Laetitia somehow “permits” what the constant Tradition of the Church denies, in the face of the actual FACTS that these things have been expressly denounced by the Pope, by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Vicar of Rome, and in the face of the FACT that Amoris Laetitia makes express reference to the Authoritative text in this matter rather than somehow pretending to “abrogate” it.

    Nowhere in its text does Amoris Laetitia provide ANY permission whatsoever for any such Blasphemous communions.

    See kathleen — this is what a presentation of FACTS looks like ; not like the wishy-washy forced presentations and tortured rhetoric beloved by such as those fools at the so-called “Remnant“.

    As for : He has been presented with a Letter containing questions from four of his Cardinals

    Yes indeed, but anyone would be very mistaken to think that these dubia are either an “attack” upon the Pope or that they might concern Amoris Laetitia especially. Only reading and interpreting them with insufficient theological care could lead someone to such notions.

    More profoundly, they concern the false so-called “Spirit of the Council” bad theology that is still being promoted by some in the Church even 50 years later, to the clear detriment of the Church’s duties in properly Catholic doctrinal, moral, and pastoral instruction of the Faithful.

    kathleen: And I am not biased against Pope Francis at all

    Jabba: I suggested no such thing, and it is ironic here that you feel personally accused by my impersonal comment about third parties.

    kathleen : It’s not “ironic” in the slightest. It was the obvious conclusion from the context of your immediate reply to me when you used the word, “bias”.

    If you actually refer to what I said, it was : “Some traditionalists however seem to be severely biased towards assuming that they are the special targets of any more general criticisms”.

    Not only is there ZERO suggestion in that phrase of “bias against the Pope”, but there is also ZERO accusation against any individual at all. The irony here is that your decision to not only misinterpret the phrase but to also take it 100% personally is actually a direct demonstration of exactly what I was really referring to in the first place.

    (*) nota bene – when in fact I do mean “you”, that is what I type

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    bah, formatting again — sorry

  18. mmvc says:

    It is the job of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and of its Prefect, to provide doctrinal and interpretative clarifications into matters where some confusion has arisen.

    Not in a mere INTERVIEW given to a German publication.

    See kathleen — this is what a presentation of FACTS looks like

    No it is not. You can’t base ‘facts’ on the contents of a circumspect interview, even one given by the Prefect of the CDF.

    not like the wishy-washy forced presentations and tortured rhetoric beloved by (blah, blah, blah…)

    That which has been emanating from the Vatican, mostly via interviews, nasty tweets, reports of papal anger and homilies full of vitriol over this scandal, is what is ‘wishy-washy’, ‘tortured’, confused as well as confusing etc, etc. So far, there is no sign of any clear formal answers to the dubia, whether in yes or no format or by way of a lengthy theological treatise. Anything less than that will not stop those who want to see the teaching changed from doing so in practice.

    From Deacon Nick Donnelly at EWTN:

    Cardinal Müller has made his first comments about the four cardinals’ dubia and the controversy following Pope Francis’s decision not to respond. The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has told Kathpress that the dicastery charged with upholding the Faith of the Church would not be involved in the discussions because it acts and speaks “with the authority of the pope” and “cannot participate in the controversy of opinions.”

    Cardinal Müller further explained that though the dubia were personally addressed to the Holy Father, Pope Francis could commission the CDF to “settle the dispute ad hoc”.

    The Prefect for the CDF would not be drawn into the controversy of whether or not Amoris Laetitia allowed the divorced and “remarried” to recieve Holy Communion in justified cases. However, Cardinal Müller did emphasize that Amoris Laetitia should not be “interpreted as if earlier statements from Popes and the Congregation were no longer valid”. In particular, Cardinal Müller singled out Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1994 response to the pastoral letter issued in 1993 by Cardinals Kasper, Lehmann and Saier that proposed allowing divorced and remarried to receive communion on a case-by-case basis:

    He expressly named the official response of the Congregation for the Congregation to the pastoral writings of the three South German Bishops of 1993 to the reception of communion by remarried divorced persons. In this, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation at the time, rejected bishops to allowing communion in individual cases. The indissolubility of marriage must be the “unshakeable foundation for every pastoral accompaniment”, stressed Müller. At the same time, Francis wishes to help all those whose marriages and families are in a crisis “to find a way in accordance with the ever-gracious will of God.”

    Cardinal Müller also commented on reports of “alleged trench battles in the Vatican” and “power struggles behind the scenes or the high walls of the Vatican between reformers and stalwarts”. He warned about polerization in the Church, saying that it was wrong to think in terms of power politics, but rather it is about the “the victory of truth and not the triumph of power”.

    The prefect went on to correct Religion Confidencial’s account of the Dean of the Roman Rota’s address in which he strongly criticised the four cardinals. Cardinal Müller explained that according to the sound recordings of the interview Archbishop Pio Vito Pinto had emphasised that “Francis was not a pope of past times who would withdraw the title from the Cardinals.”

    Comment

    Though Cardinal Müller doesn’t come out and say it, his interview with Kathpress strongly implies that Pope Francis has told him that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith must not reply to the four cardinals’ dubia on Amoris Laetitia. Having stated that the CDF will not get involved in the debate, his comment that the Holy Father could commission the CDF to settle the dispute ad hoc suggests a degree of frustration at having his hands tied.

    During the interview Cardinal Müller signals as strongly as he can in the circumstances that he is on the side of the four cardinals who submitted the dubia to Pope Francis. He does this by going out of his way to emphasise that Amoris Laetitia must be interpreted according to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the reception of Holy Communion by the divorced and remarried members of the faithful (1994). This definitive reiteration of the Church’s magisterial doctrine on communion for the divorced and remarried was an explicit correction of the main architect of Amoris Laetitia’s “innovative” approach to the issue, Cardinal Kasper. Cardinal Müller has just stated categorically that Amoris Laetitia cannot introduce any change to the Church’s doctrine and pastoral practice.

  19. mmvc says:

    Whoops. Sorry for jumping in to a response directed at you, Kathleen.

    Memo to self: Learn to count to ten…v e r y
    s l o w l y… 😉

  20. JabbaPapa says:

    Not in a mere INTERVIEW given to a German publication

    So mere INTERVIEWS given by the Pope are vitally important but mere INTERVIEWS given by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be completely ignored ?

    Though Cardinal Müller doesn’t come out and say it, his interview with Kathpress strongly implies that Pope Francis has told him that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith must not reply to the four cardinals’ dubia on Amoris Laetitia

    No. It. Doesn’t.

    Just because you have inferred something does NOT mean that it is implied.

    This is straightforward misinterpretation on your part.

    Cardinal Müller has just stated categorically that Amoris Laetitia cannot introduce any change to the Church’s doctrine and pastoral practice

    And yet people continue to comment on this as if it were an “open question”, instead of simply restating the FACT that no it isn’t.

  21. mmvc says:

    So mere INTERVIEWS given by the Pope are vitally important

    No. You and I know that. In fact we should all be immune by now to PF’s confusing utterances on planes, to atheists etc, but because he is THE POPE, these interviews, although they carry no magisterial weight, have had and continue to have far reaching negative repercussions.

    …but mere INTERVIEWS given by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be completely ignored ?

    I didn’t say that. However, if the aim is to bring clarity and dispel error, then a formal CDF response to the dubia is surely what is required here. A guarded interview given to a German publication won’t do:

    The proper duty of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals in the whole Catholic world; so it has competence in things that touch this matter in any way … To safeguard the truth of faith and the integrity of morals, the Congregation takes care lest faith or morals suffer harm through errors that have been spread in any way whatever. (Pastor Bonus, Articles 48,51)

    This is straightforward misinterpretation on your part.

    No. These are Deacon Nick Donnelly’s comments with my emphasis. He is EWTN’s correspondent for the Holy See and I for one trust his insights.

  22. mmvc says:

    Gee whiz I came to this web site looking for some direction in life.

    Joe, you will find our devotional items, such as the recent article about Saint Barbara, our many other posts on the Saints of the Church, the Divine Mercy, the Rosary, prayer etc helpful in terms of direction. Also there are some excellent Catholic spiritual direction resources out there which you may find useful.
    If our discussions on the sad developments in these times of trial for the Church are too much for you to bear, please don’t dwell on them.

    Now atheism and satanism look clearer to me. God help me

    If that is really true, then yes, God help you!

    I’ll leave you with Saint Pio’s words:

    “Pray, hope and don’t worry”

  23. Tom Fisher says:

    Gee whiz I came to this web site looking for some direction in life. Now atheism and satanism look clearer to me. God help me

    Websites, by themselves, aren’t a sensible place to look for direction in life. Especially blogs. They mostly consist of conversations that began ore than two years ago and will still be going two years from now.

    However there are better options. May I ask if you live in the U.S?

  24. Toad says:

    Well, Joe, Atheism and Satanism are clearer than Christianity. Not truer, necessarily –
    because,. as far as I know, there’s only one version of each of them.
    But I might be wrong on that.
    Maybe there are Lutheran Atheists, and Methodist Satanists, just as there are Liberal Catholics.
    Someone on here will surely know.

    “…but to you (Jabba) these are mere “rumours” and no more than “opinions”! “
    All metaphysical interpretation (and this debate is nothing else) must – almost by definition, be matters of opinion. And “rumour,” if you want to label it that.
    Which is not to say it might nor be true, anyway.

    (Oh, and everyone is biased. Everyone with an opinion, that is.)

  25. joe says:

    In the beginning was the word etc

  26. joe says:

    Hey where did my earlier comment go? Sorry if I was rude

  27. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 07:45 yesterday

    Your habitual talking past me (instead of keeping to the argument) makes conversation with you an exasperating waste of time nowadays, I’m truly sorry to say, Jabba!

    But, instead of simply accepting the clear instructions and clarifications of Cardinal Müller, you(*) seem instead to have embarked upon a course where the binding and Authoritative instructions of the CDF in doctrinal matters are to be rejected and ignored in favour of some objectively malicious commentary from third-party sources who have NO teaching Authority whatsoever.

    I am doing no such thing! That is an offensive and twisted accusation.

    In other words, you are rejecting and denouncing as “unimportant” the Traditional means of doctrinal clarifications of the Catholic Church.

    An outright lie!
    Bearing false witness against someone is both libellous and sinful. Did you not know?

    You understood none of the points I was making in my previous comment (@ 23:53 on Dec. 4) you were responding to, resorting to rolling off more cut ‘n pastes from certain parts of Amoris Laetitia we have all read, and the CDF’s pronouncements, that has nothing to do with the possible heterodox leanings of Pope Francis, which is what was being discussed. (Hence my earlier use of the words, “so what?” where you used the same tactics.)

    I know the CDF gives an orthodox understanding of the Church’s teaching of AL, and that most of AL is in line with Catholic orthodoxy too; it is Francis’ underlying intentions in certain parts of said document (plus, of course, in so many of his words elsewhere) that are being debated. His words are confusing, ambiguous, and often misleading! I repeat: HE IS THE POPE, therefore it is his “understanding” of the Faith Catholics are clamouring to hear. It is the “job” of the Pope to safeguard the Deposit of Faith and to teach it uncontaminated from heretical tendencies to the flock. (Hence the Letter of the dubia from the four Cardinals sent to him requesting clarification.)

    All the evidence (that appears only to be “evidence” when you use the word), gathered from all reliable Catholic sources nowadays, are leading traditional Catholics who love the True Church with passion, to seriously question the orthodoxy of the current incumbent of the Chair of Saint Peter! This is for no other reason than that the Holy Bride of Christ be kept free from erroneous teaching.
    And you, Jabba, are playing “the Devil’s Advocate” card to ridiculous extremes.

  28. kathleen says:

    Mmvc @ 09:51 yesterday

    Whoops. Sorry for jumping in to a response directed at you, Kathleen.

    No, please don’t be “sorry”. I’m grateful to you for responding to Jabba for me when I was just too busy to be able to do so myself. Thanks! 🙂

  29. JabbaPapa says:

    Your habitual talking past me (instead of keeping to the argument)

    I can understand how you may think so, but it is literally impossible to express my disagreements with your ideological positions without rejecting the ideology in question.

  30. JabbaPapa says:

    You understood none of the points I was making

    In fact, overt disagreement with such points is not subjected to imaginary intellectual failure.

  31. JabbaPapa says:

    Bearing false witness against someone is both libellous and sinful. Did you not know?

    Please do remind your friends at the so-called “Remnant of this news.

  32. mmvc says:

    From Father Z:

    There are a lot of really smart people in the Church who want clarity about a great many things in orbit around Amoris laetitia, ch. 8.

    I have conversed with a lot of really smart people about this.
    They, as I am, are convinced that nothing short of another papal document from Francis will suffice. At the very least the CDF could issue responses to dubia, which Pope Francis would have to order published.

    If Amoris laetitia is a magisterial document, then a penned note to a committee of bishops in a conference in Argentina means, effectively, nothing. If an Austrian cardinal gives opinions about the nature of the teaching and its coherence with previous papal magisterial documents, we can shrug and continue to wait for a response that matters. I think it will take a papal document to bring clarity to another papal document.

    Is it possible that the Holy Father wants the sort of confusion and division that is going on right now? If so, I am mystified as to his motive. Cui bono? It this an example of the principle cunctando regitur mundus? Just wait everyone out until, finally, you have your way. However, the written word is pesky. It has a way of sticking around. Just to keep the Latin adages going, scripta manent. And it’s corollary is verba volant. That’s why we need a papal document to clarify the papal document that, by a reasonable reading, seems directly to contradict other papal documents of the recent past. Or else, is this a kind of … experiment? “Let’s let the two sides clash and bang and see what come out!” That doesn’t seem very wise to me, and, so, it is unlikely. When this started to rev up, I and others observed that those who tend to be faithful to the Church’s cult, code and creed will continue to be faithful. On the other hand, those who have a less then easily identifiable relationship with cult, code and creed and who have tended to do exactly as they please hitherto, will probably continue to do exactly as they please in the future. Except: now they will claim approval – not clearly enunciated in law or doctrine, but by creeping antinomial, anti-intellectual, faux-pastoral incrementalism. After all, if it isn’t written down and issued in the right way, but just sort of happens until people stop asking questions about it, then … what is it?

    Why is it reasonable to want a clarification? Because this controversy involves more than just who can receive (can. 916), and who can be given (can. 915), Communion. And it is more than about adultery. It’s about all manner of grave sins.

    The issue of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried (and all manner of sinners with no firm purpose of amendment) cannot be divorced from key questions. What… who… is the Eucharist? What does Communion mean? Who is Christ, who taught us about indissolubility, about the Eucharist, about Himself? Was Christ wrong? If you think so, then you must not believe in Christ’s divinity. If that’s the case…if Christ isn’t the Eternal Word, consubstantial with the Father, God made man… then what the hell are we doing?

    Remember: hard cases make bad law. When you read the wifty offerings of those who think that Amoris laetitia is clear as a bell, and if you can’t understand that then you must be lacking in “mercy” or “knowledge of Christ” or “intellect” or … pick some other stone to throw… keep your eyes peeled: they will appeal to sad, hard cases.

  33. mmvc says:

    Please do remind your friends at the so-called “Remnant of this news.

    You really have a bee in your bonnet about the good Catholics at The Remnant, don’t you?
    Can’t stop going on about them in your unpleasant little way.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if their readership, subscribers and supporters actually increased as a direct result of your uncharitable and irritating attacks on them.

    God bless them!

  34. JabbaPapa says:

    You really have a bee in your bonnet about the good Catholics at The Remnant, don’t you

    No, certain contributors to this blog are labouring under the false impression that these overt schismatics might somehow be “good catholics”.

  35. mmvc says:

    these overt schismatics

    Fiddlesticks.

    Next you’ll be saying that about the SSPX…

  36. JabbaPapa says:

    I was not expecting a reasonable response.

    Unlike the SSPX, the so-called “Remnant” idiots are quite clearly consumed with desire to express overt hatred against the Pope — and not just Francis, but they have engaged in similarly despicable attacks against Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope John Paul I (!!!), Pope Paul VI, Pope John XXIII, e tutti quanti.

    It is extremely unreasonable to imagine that such constant and frankly hateful attacks against not just six Roman Pontiffs but against the very Papacy itself should somehow NOT be Schism by nature, given that Schism is defined as the rejection of Communion with the Church and the Roman Pontiff.

  37. mmvc says:

    The only ‘overt hatred’ and ‘despicable attacks’ on display here are yours.

    Nothing we have posted from The Remnant points to their rejection of the papacy. Nor have they ever indicated that they are anything other than in Communion with the Church. I believe that both Rorate Caeli (whom you have also ranted about) and The Remnant enjoy the friendship of Bishop Schneider. If what you have written is true, I very much doubt that he would want to be associated with either of them.

  38. JabbaPapa says:

    I’m not the one who has published a claim that the Roman Pontiff is a “heretic”.

  39. mmvc says:

    The question of whether or not some of the pope’s utterances are heretical or bordering on the heretical has been raised by numerous traditional Catholic bloggers. We are all struggling and suffering in these times of the Passion and Crucifixion of the Mystical Body of Christ. All the papal confusion and scandals of recent years are part and parcel of this. You seem to be under an ongoing illusion that traditional Catholics (such as those at The Remnant and Rorate Caeli) revel in all of this and gleefully engage in so-called ‘pope bashing’. When will you finally learn that nothing could be further from the truth?

  40. Toad says:

    Oh, well. Let’s try again. Thanks, WordPress.

    “The only ‘overt hatred’ and ‘despicable attacks’ on display here are yours.”
    Fie, CP&S brothers and sisters in Christ – can’t you recognise the simple fact that nobody is “lying,” or “overtly hating,”, or being “despicable?
    All this adds up to a very minor difference of agreement about what the pope should, or should not, say – or do. So bleeding what? He’s got a right to his own opinions.
    We all parade a variety of ideas, not necessarily incoherent, on this and every other matter, and that is only to be expected.

    Same old dogmatic pinheads dancing on the same old dogmatic angels.It’s getting almost as boring as one of Toad’s cracked record rants about Hell and Damnation, abortion, Vat ll, altar rails – or the Pope’s daily colour choice of socks
    What all this vituperative bickering clearly does display – in vivid and vulgar detail – is how religion can make people absurdly argumentative over nothing much more that a few bits of debatable “dogma,” while the rest of the real world is grappling with serious issues – like mass murder, starvation, slaughter, immigration, and the apparent impossibility of being kind to one another.

    …Meanwhile, Isis is beheading both Lutherans and Catholics without asking which is which.
    And maybe they have a point in that respect. Who cares?

  41. johnhenrycn says:

    Here’s a provocative extract from an essay posted by Hilary White in The Remnant, an orthodox Catholic newspaper that began preaching The Word before JabbaPapist, ex-AngWiccan, outgrew his short pants:

    “As everyone who has been paying attention was expecting, Amoris Laetitia is magnificently fulfilling its most obvious purpose of facilitating the Bergoglian Purge of believing Catholics from the Church. It is neatly lining up the sides that have existed in the Church for fifty years so they can be clearly identified. It’s funny in a way that the ambiguity of the document is paradoxically finally creating clarity on issues that have remained muddy for fifty years; it is becoming clear which prelates are and are not willing to abandon Christ for the New Bergoglian Paradigm – a paradigm that Francis himself insists is nothing more than the long-delayed fulfilment of Vatican II.”

    And let be known that Hilary – who does not accuse PF of heresy or of being the AntiPope – speaks and understands Italian far more fluently than Jabberwocky, not to mention that she is a far more accomplished and credible exponent of Catholicism than he – or even me, if you can believe it.
    http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/2914-pulling-back-the-veil-orthodox-patriarch-defends-francis

  42. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 14:09

    I have no “ideological position”* at all, other than that of following (to the best of my ability with my weak and greatly limited human nature) the Way, the Truth and the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and whose fullness is taught by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
    With cutting descriptions such as this* you make it sound as though I were way off track!

    I read Father Z’s post (from Crux) mmvc links to at 14:37, and all the following comments, including yours. Seems like there are a lot of like-minded Catholics to my “ideological position” over there! Including the appeal for a one-word response from Pope Francis to the dubia (rather than a long-winded, convoluted discourse he tends to favour).

    We wait. And wait. And keep on waiting…..

  43. JabbaPapa says:

    mmvc @ 16:22*

    The question of whether or not some of the pope’s utterances are heretical or bordering on the heretical has been raised by numerous traditional Catholic bloggers

    Many do indeed imagine themselves to be more Catholic than the Pope.

    * [added by a moderator]

  44. JabbaPapa says:

    Toad @ 17:12 *

    All this adds up to a very minor difference of agreement about what the pope should, or should not, say – or do. So bleeding what? He’s got a right to his own opinions.

    Quite.

    * [name and time added again]

  45. JabbaPapa says:

    JabbaPapist, ex-AngWiccan

    moron

  46. JabbaPapa says:

    You are a tedious troll, jh, and your mindless “contribution” is completely worthless.

  47. johnhenrycn says:

    That’s really it. How dare you call me tedious! But before I go…

  48. mmvc says:

    But before I go…

    Don’t go, JH! Ignore certain persons with a SOH failure. We badly need some light relief here and you provide that aplenty. :o)

  49. mmvc says:

    Jabba @ 21.11
    Many do indeed imagine themselves to be more Catholic than the Pope.

    Sadly, under this pontificate it wouldn’t be surprising if they were…

  50. JabbaPapa says:

    SOH failure

    sorry, 7 years of constant asinine cr*p from that man leaves me unenthusiastic for any further doses

  51. johnhenrycn says:

    Yes indeed, 7 years we’ve been lovers, judging by the number of upvotes we’ve given each other here in cyberspace since you landed from outer space. You can’t take that away from me.

    The way you wear your hat
    The way you sip your tea
    The memory of all that
    No, no they can’t take that away from me
    The way your smile just beams
    The way you sing off key
    No, no they can’t take that away from me.

  52. johnhenrycn says:

    The way you wear that hat…the way your smile just beams…”

    JabbaPapa is a lot better looking than me, but looks aren’t everything you know.

  53. johnhenrycn says:

    Off to bed. 23:59 and all that. But I’ve been watching this magnificent Anglican (cf. JP) pageant tonight and thought perhaps other loyal subjects of HM might enjoy it too. A bit long, though:

  54. JabbaPapa says:

    Anglican (cf. JP)

    I have never been an “Anglican”.

  55. johnhenrycn says:

    oops, sorry, JP. I thought you were Anglican before converting. The cross (not crucifix) necklace you’re wearing above is an Anglican affectation, is it not? But I was formerly an AngWiccan (amongst other Proddie denominations) so glass houses and stones come to mind.

  56. johnhenrycn says:

    The joke called Amoris Laetitia reminds me of this old Melungeon tune:
    “Oh, bandwagon, it’s coming to your town,
    Selling you on something new, the cheapest ride around,
    Oh bandwagon, it ain’t the first or last,
    Oh Dear Lord, we’re all aboard and going nowhere fast…”

  57. JabbaPapa says:

    The cross (not crucifix) necklace you’re wearing above is an Anglican affectation, is it not?

    No.

  58. Toad says:

    The cross is a fashion statement, JH.
    C.S. Lewis used to wear one. But he was an Anglican, as we all know.

    Didn’t it strike you that Jabba might not want his photo on CP&A?*
    I doubt if he minds, because he isn’t a snob.
    But I wouldn’t care for my face to be on here. Too scary for sensitive lady readers.

    * Yes, no doubt – and that’s why you did it.

  59. joe says:

    O gee I must have upset someone. My last comment was aborted before birth

    [Moderator: Not sure what point you were trying to make with your ‘thought’, but it wasn’t constructive or helpful in any way was it?]

  60. joe says:

    Sorry Moderator. I will have to take your word for it. Apologies

  61. mmvc says:

    Toad @ 06.50
    Didn’t it strike you that Jabba might not want his photo on CP&A?

    My memory isn’t what it used to be, but I’m pretty sure that we’ve seen that lovely picture of Jabba here on CP&S before. It looks like it was taken at the end of the Camino. I’d have looked like a total wreck by that stage… ;o)

  62. joe says:

    Fr Spadaro, Bergolio’s best mate has recently said on Twitter that Amoris Leatitia has shown some middle of the road Catholic blogs to be raving right wing propaganda merchants

  63. mmvc says:

    After Spadaro’s ‘witless worm’ Twitter attack on Cardinal Burke, I wouldn’t set much store by his tweets.

  64. JabbaPapa says:

    * Yes, no doubt – and that’s why you did it

    I’d far rather he just refrained from internet stalking.

    mmvc : I’m pretty sure that we’ve seen that lovely picture of Jabba here on CP&S before — nope.

  65. mmvc says:

    mmvc : I’m pretty sure that we’ve seen that lovely picture of Jabba here on CP&S before — nope.

    In that case, there was probably a link to it on our site. Nice pic anyway. :o)

  66. joe says:

    Whoevers picture that is he looks like a kindly man and the world needs more kindly people.

  67. GC says:

    Joe, is that you, phil?

  68. JabbaPapa says:

    If I were the owner of that portrait, I would protest more vigorously at jh’s unseemly appropriation of the image for his own maniacal purposes.

  69. JabbaPapa says:

    GC : Joe, is that you, phil?

    If you mean the infamous “Phil” phil, then no I don’t think so — this one uses the sort of normal language that the other is psychologically incapable of.

  70. JabbaPapa says:

    Here’s a good antidote against jh’s photographic excess : http://www.laboiteverte.fr/100-photos-nont-aucune-influence/

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