Changing Practice by altering Perception while leaving Doctrine untouched

Steve Skojec in one of his recent blog posts observed:
‘This pope who ever says one thing while manipulating events toward a different end. A cabal of advisors and surrogates empowered to spread the messages of the revolution through the Church, changing practice by altering perception while leaving doctrine untouched — the latter tactic making it possible for the useful idiots to keep saying that the pope has done nothing unorthodox.’

This post from The Motley Monk’s Omnibus blog confirms that the sinister course of erosion of Catholic teaching under the present leadership looks set to continue:

The President of the German Bishops’ Conference and adviser to Pope Francis, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, has proposed jettisoning the “blind rigorism” of the Church when it comes to sexual morality.

Why? Marx believes it’s “difficult to say from the outside whether someone is in the state of mortal sin.”

That’s true. After all, Jesus did teach his disciples:

You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. (Luke 16:15a)

Consider this case:

  • A Catholic spouse has been physically and emotionally abused by her husband. Nothing she has suggested or done has helped. Traumatized after five years of suffering abuse, the wife civilly divorces her husband. Several years later, she falls in love and marries–without the benefit of an annulment  –a kind and loving gentleman who has helped her heal from the trauma. Now in the 10th year of a civil marriage to her second husband, she goes to Confession and tells her story to the priest. He reminds the penitent that she is living in an state of objectively serious sin and that, short of receiving an annulment of her first marriage, if she wishes to receive Holy Communion, she must live with her husband as brother and sister.


Cardinal Raymond Burke (left) vs. Cardinal Reinhard Marx


This case pinpoints the problem the Church has been confronting for centuries:

  • Mercy.” One side–today including Cardinal Marx–asserts that the pastoral situation calls for mercy. The “existential facts” of the woman’s life history indicate the second bond isn’t seriously sinful but, in fact, God has blessed it because the chaos of with the first bond has been replaced by the order of the second bond. Only hardhearted, blind rigorists would disagree.
  • Justice.” The other side–today including Cardinal Raymond Burke–asserts it must be established that, before the fact, there was no bond in the first marriage (thus, deserving of an annulment) and then to convalidate (sacramentalize) the second civil bond. Short of that, the woman and her second husband in the second civil marriage are living in a state of objectively serious sin. If the woman wants to receive Holy Communion, she and her husband must live as brother and sister. These are the only two options for resolving this dilemma because this is what Scripture and Tradition teach.

Public opinion characterizes the former approach as “caring and pastoral” and the latter as “unfeeling and uncharitable.”

But, it must be asked, “What about the more difficult, virtuous way–the narrow way–about which Jesus taught his disciples? He said:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Important as all of that really is (and it is!), what’s extremely important about this particular interview is that Cardinal Marx included not only men and women in what are called “irregular situations” (like the case above) but also those in very irregular situations, namely, homosexual relationships. Applying the same principles to the latter as he did the former, Marx opines that there must be “respect for a decision made in freedom” as well as for the voice of “conscience.” Marx adds that this requires considering an individual’s “concrete circumstances” as well as “one’s own responsibility in light of the Gospels” which includes “listening the voice of the Church.”

That’s what it means for the Church to jettison “blind rigorism”?

How about jettisoning Scripture? After all, after Jesus said  “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.” But, Jesus also happened to add:

What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:15b)

And that’s not the end of this story…just it’s opening trope.


Bishop Franz-Josef Bode (“Let’s keep things ambiguous”)


Perhaps taking his cue from Cardinal Marx, the Vice President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, is once again calling for discussion concerning “blessing” homosexual relationships. Believing that “silence” in this matter isn’t helpful and there’s “much [that is] positive” in them, Bishop Bode is proposing that the German hierarchy now reflect “upon a blessing [of homosexual couples], which is, however, not to be mistaken as a wedding.”

Of course not.

But, why? In Bishop Bode’s carefully considered estimation, political reality dictates a “marriage for all” that’s different from the Church’s understanding of marriage. He asks: “How do we do justice to them?” Adding: “How do we accompany them pastorally and liturgically?”

Not only that. Bishop Bode proposes reconsidering whether active homosexual relationships are gravely sinful. He said:

We have to reflect upon the question as to how to assess in a differentiated manner a relationship between two homosexual persons. Is there not so much positive and good and right so that we have to be more just?

Let’s be clear: This is secular progressivism. It’s aimed at co-opting and undermining Scripture, Church teaching, and worship with the objective of legitimizing a political agenda within the Roman Catholic Church. That’s not bigotry but fact: The secular progressives within the Church want to remake Her in their ideological image and likeness. Anything short of that is due to bigotry, they assert.

The simple and straightforward truth is: That’s not Roman Catholicism.

Let the discussion begin…

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7 Responses to Changing Practice by altering Perception while leaving Doctrine untouched

  1. Mary Salmond says:

    Okay! Is this called ambiguous reasoning? This is ungodly and un-Aquinas!
    Let’s take a pregnancy due to premarital sex. That birth is a constant reminder of the commitment of consensual sex before marriage. This is a reminder of the lifelong consensual sex. The marriage contract is the same. It is done in public with supposed full knowledge of that commitment (a priest does the same in ordination). So, were the persons involved in marriage not aware of the word “commitment?” When committing at the sacrament of marriage ceremony, divorce should not be a plausible option “in the minds” of the man and woman making the covenant. The child is a reminder of the choice, the marriage is a reminder of the choice, forever. Mercy and forgiveness are in the souls for the rest of their lives. God wants our happiness when we make the right or wrong choices, so we have to live with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s hard I guess when you see no one around you hold this things as sacred and a commitment. I fell away from the Faith for a time and ended up having 4 children out of wedlock (with the same woman thank God), and in order for me to make things right (as I had been living with her unmarried in sin, and been unable to recieve Holy Communion for 6 years), we had to separate for a few months and take classes (we were granted a dispensation as she has a Protestant background). But I hear of these cases all the time. The biggest problem I believe stems from the faulty belief of what marriage actually is. Obviously it is a oneness of flesh and a constant sacrifice, for the propagation and spreading of the human race but most people marry for themselves. They don’t marry for any other reason but to make themselves happy. And when your sole aim is to please yourself, why sacrifice for anyone or anything else? It’s easier to quit and find someone new I suppose?


  3. Mary Salmond says:

    tradcat: well said from past experience. Yes, 4 children from the same union and now reversion is wonderful. You made things right before death and your children! Thanks.


  4. Mary Salmond says:

    Non-married persons, heterosexual or homosexual, are expected to live as brother and sister OR brothers or sisters. That’s chastity, the unheard word in progressive discussion. Sex, lust, or pleasure are not the only things in life in which to look forward. Some learn that earlier in life than others. Wouldn’t Jesus who is merciful and forgiving say the same? Especially adults who asked for that forgiveness!


  5. 000rjbennett says:

    I think the coming collapse of our society – whenever it comes, through financial, social, political disorder, or through a losing struggle with Islam – will make all these questions irrelevant and motivate the remnant of true Catholics to rebuild the Church out of its present ruins.


  6. Mary Salmond says:

    RJB: well said in one sentence!


  7. John says:

    Sorry but how many practising Catholics get in the situation? I suspect that the “Catholic” woman in the example has married an atheist and no children are mentioned because she used contraceptives throughout marriage while voting for politicians or political parties who support abortion and same sex marriage.


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