You have to pay attention to language, especially in the hands of libs. They twist and they turn. They set you up with implicit premises which you might breeze right by. They lead you astray and into the dark places where mortal sin lurks.
A few days ago a concerned friend sent me from the English language weekly of L’Osservatore Romano (which happily almost no one reads anymore) a piece by Fr. Gerald J. Bednar of the Diocese of Cleveland about “Mercy and law in ‘Amoris Laetitia’. I wrote a draft post about it at the moment, and then said, “Nahhh… no one will read that. It’s too long for most people and – hey! – it in English L’Osservatore!”
However, it has returned to my mail box.
The problem with correcting bad texts is that you have to write ten times as much as the bad stuff to do it. Hence, I will limit myself to pointing out a few serious problems with Bednar’s offering. After that, you can do your own work pretty easily… if you care to look at it more.
It’s mostly blah blah, but it is insidious if you are not paying attention. He bumps along, recycling clichés, and then we find the phrase:
“mercy listens to the voice of Jesus”
He places law, on one side, and “the voice of Jesus”, way on the other side of the tennis court. See what he’s doing?
I am going to move a little fast here (time presses me) and this will be clunky, but you will quickly see what the problem is.
Bednar describes a man who leaves his wife, “obtains a civil divorce and marries another.”
No. He does not marry another. He does something civilly called marriage, but it isn’t really marriage. There dire consequences for Catholic theology and, frankly, truth and common sense, if we accept his premise. Let’s see some of his work, with my emphases and comments. He is talking about a divorced and “married” guy…
He admits his sin, and seeks pardon and forgiveness. What does conversion require of him? Must he leave his second wife [HUH? What’s a “second wife”, if the first and real wife is alive?] and their children to return to his first wife? What if his first wife has remarried? [Ummm. Same problem.] Is there no way for the repentant husband to stay in the second “marriage” and still receive Communion? [YES! There is a way. He can “stay” with her and the kids (other than those he had with his wife) as brother and sister, remoto scandalo. Also, let’s ask: must be amend his life or not?]
He goes on… watch the language…
The traditional response [Blow all that dust off! After all Familiaris consortio 84 is over 30 years old.] to this unfortunate circumstance requires him and his second wife [There it is again. No. The second woman is not his wife. NB: If she truly is his “second wife”, as he says, then there remain only two possibilities: either 1) there is no such thing as indissoluble marriage, or 2) he can be married to two wives simultaneously, which is polygamy. So, Fr. Bednar, is this guy he married to two women simultaneously?] to live in a “brother- sister” relationship — denying to each other [?!?] normal conjugal relations. [Ummm… “conjugal” is going to involve being “married”. Right?] Some circumstances may indeed call for such an arrangement. Some may not. Some couples may want their family [wait… they are not married, so how are we defining a Christian family now?] to continue to grow, and may recoil at the very idea of simulating the sacrament. [They ARE simulating matrimony! And he is saying that living as brother and sisters is pretending to be married. Good grief.] Can nothing be done?
Bednar seems to want the civil marriage to have the same effect as sacramental marriage.
Along the way he throws in some stuff about a “Spirit-guided institution” which we are to link that to “voice of Jesus” which he started with.
He seems to argue that Jesus and the Spirit want us to ignore what Jesus said.
There is in his piece some discussion of the Pauline and Petrine Privileges. He seems to be saying that if there can be such Privileges, well then, marriages are perhaps not so easy to define as indissoluble. After all… its the voice of Jesus in Spirit filled institution. Right?
Both privileges are not so much commentaries on the indissolubility of marriage as they are affirmations of the centrality of mercy.
The problem with his argument is that both of those Privileges concern a good even higher, more fundamental than marriage. The real point of the Pauline and Petrine Privileges is not “mercy”, but rather foundational importance of baptism and salvation. The Privileges are about the Faith.
No one is saying that Francis is trying to make a new doctrine. They are concerned that AL gives the impression of denying doctrines that cannot be denied, i.e., as the indissolubility of marriage and the necessity of Communion in grace and the imposes of give absolution to unrepentant sinners. Denying the voice of Jesus, rather than listening for it.
Along the say Bedmar tries to argue that relaxing Sabbath laws shows that Jesus is merciful and, if he is merciful, marriage laws can also be relaxed. The problem with claim is that Jesus upheld Sabbath laws but rejected interpretations of the laws.
“The issue is not whether divorce is permissible. Clearly it is not. The issue is whether a second marriage [No!]must be characterized continuously as adultery. That precise question has not been addressed before, not even in Familiaris Consortio. [YES. It has been. It is adultery. Otherwise, why must they live as brother and sister. Having sex would make it adultery.] Pope Francis shows mercy to those who come to realize all too late that their actions have offended the moral order. [Which doesn’t change the fact that they offended the moral order and are still offending the moral order!] After they confess their sin, [with a firm purpose of amendment of the sinful lives?] must they settle only for a simulated marriage? [No! 1) They aren’t being forced. 2) They are not married!] If there is no reconciliation, as years pass, the situation of the parties may change. [Their “situation”?] Mercy may call for leaving the second marriage in place. [There it is AGAIN. Some Orthodox think that marriages die even though the spouse didn’t die. THAT is NOT Catholic teaching and Pope Francis can’t make it Catholic theologian. This could be admission of Orthodoxy through the back door]
He goes on to talk about “opponents” and “rules”. Get it? He leaves out the part that the “rule” came from the Lord.
Folks, again, this is a little shotgunned, but you get the idea.
The main things to take away are these.
You can’t just invoke “the voice of Jesus” and “Spirit filled” and get away with illogical hogwash.
You must use language precisely. We have to talk about the civilly remarried. Without that “civilly” we get into huge trouble. What he wrote, taken at face value, assuming that he is fairly intelligent and means what he wrote, leads to two possible outcomes.
If some divorced guy was truly married to his first wife, and then goes out and marries a second wife, and you give that guy and his second “wife” the sacraments without they have a firm purpose of amendment then the consequence is that there is either 1) no indissoluble marriage and/or 2) we now have recognized polygamy.
The moderation queue is on for ALL posts right now.
By this reasoning, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph only had a “simulated Marriage” and the we should refer to them as the “Simulated Family.”
We will have to amend the holy cards already in production.
My husband and I were married to each other back in 1973. It was the first marriage for both of us. We were both cradle Catholics and were married in the Catholic Church. “J” is now onto wife #4 – with various girlfriends in-between and – although he claims to be an atheist at this point – will be thrilled to know that the Catholic Church is now accompanying him on his journey and will give its imprimatur to his current marriage as it removes any remaining stigma. Bet it will get him back to the church, now that God recognizes that “J” was right all along.
Last Sunday, our new pastor spoke of Pope Francis’ desire to accompany people who find themselves in irregular unions. How nice. And what about the first wives or husbands, I asked myself. Where do we fit into this accompaniment? Where in Amoris Laetitia are we mentioned? Pope Francis never speaks about us. Our job is to shut up and disappear. If we talk about this we’re whiners, bitter losers. We haven’t “moved on”, ourselves gotten “involved” in new “relationships”. If we choose to do something as screwy as keep our marriage vows then we’re seen as embarrassing throw-backs to a more judgmental time. Better keep mum about it. Fly below the radar. Sit sedately during the homily and swallow the vomit in our throats.
I was on a state committee and worked with Gerry several years ago.
He’s hardly a “lib.” [Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur. Go by what he WROTE, for public consumption.]
He knows his stuff and would readily run circles around anyone I know in the fields of theology or ecclesiology. [Not anyone I know.] He is, if you don’t mind the expression, freaking brilliant. [You need to get out of your circle a little more. This was sophomoric, at best.]
If he has any orientation at all, it would be somewhere on a continuum between “centrist/moderate” and “traditional/conservative.” [So… he’s tepid.]
He writes: “The traditional response to this unfortunate circumstance requires him (a remarried divorcee) and his second wife to live in a “brother – sister ” relationship – denying to each other normal conjugal relations.” And he concludes that such a solution is not “merciful”.
Not merciful to whom? The first wife? He calls the divorce an “unfortunate circumstance”. It could also be called a “betrayal of a wife”. But what about the “first” (and only) wife whose marriage to this man was witnessed by the Church as they promised fidelity to each other for as long as they live? Let’s assume she did not re-marry. Now, that the Church has approved her husband’s second “marriage” what is the Church going to tell the first (true) wife? What about her being denied normal conjugal relations? “Sorry daughter, we know that a promise was made, but … we moved on.” That’s mercy? That’s crazy. And the man who civilly re-married did not take a vow. Is the Church now going to accept such a “vow-less” union as if it was a real marriage? He cannot take a vow: it would make no sense. He cannot vow to be faithful to two wives simultaneously. And what if he leaves the second wife also and marries a third one, as many people do these days? Is the Church supposed to go through the hoops of this fake “mercy” again? There is a solution to all of this: a vow is a vow. A betrayal of a vow is not mercy.
What a wretched priest writing a wretched article for L’Osservatore. Is all that it takes to write for it that you be a cleric and say something favorable to Francis’s documents? Is that it’s standard of review? Because this is patent bilge-water.
There is another way to have a second wife, but I grant you that this is not what the writer had in mind.
My wife’s grandfather outlived his first wife, married a second time, and outlived the second wife. Shortly thereafter, he died.
I once asked a group of middle school students why matrimony wasn’t on the Baltimore Catechism list of sacraments which could be received only once. Brightest bulb in the class answered that the marriage could be annulled. Then she realized how silly that was, and corrected herself.
I wonder, by the way, if his goal isn’t persuasion so much as intimidation or coercion.
Gracie wrote, “And what about the first wives or husbands, I asked myself. Where do we fit into this accompaniment? Where in Amoris Laetitia are we mentioned? Pope Francis never speaks about us. Our job is to shut up and disappear. If we talk about this we’re whiners, bitter losers. We haven’t ‘moved on’, ourselves gotten ‘involve’ in new ‘relationships’.”
A horrifying state of affairs, indeed: so-called mercy and accompaniment for wrongdoers who have not amended their lives; while to the wronged spouses in still-canonically valid marriages, who have been abandoned, the message is: “Hey – so whaddya gonna do, eh? Life is tough all over.”
“Mercy” is not to pat people on the head while watching them choose that which will ultimately lead them straight to hell. A “merciful” physician doesn’t say to his patient, “yes, you have shattered bones in your knee, but surgery and physical therapy necessary to make you whole again would take so long a time and would be so painful and difficult and expensive: I want to spare you all of that. I’ll just ‘accompany’ you while you live out the rest of your life in a wheelchair.” That’s not mercy; that’s a form of enabling – attempting to protect or to shield someone from the demands of life’s exigencies or from the natural consequences of his or her own behavior.
Or observe a parent of a 15-year-old boy who loves to steal cars and go joy-riding in them, and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Perhaps when he’s caught and arrested, he’s repentant, but not so much that he amends his ways once he gets out. Time and time again, his mother and father are “merciful” to him and “accompany” him by bailing him out of jail, hiring top-gun attorneys, helping the boy to plea to lesser charges, paying his fines for him . . . hoping he will change . . . and he never changes. This is not “mercy.”
Real mercy tells it like it is. Real mercy accompanies the individual through the process of seeing the wrong that he has done, repenting of doing it, turning away from sin, making amends to those who have been harmed, and leading an honorable and decent Christian life going forward. And all this with the goal of seeing this person on the road to Heaven, and not that he or she falls into the Hell which Jesus warns about frequently in the Gospels.
I. Can’t. Stand. It. Anymore.
Only satan is so duplicitous, sly and conniving. …and it all began in the Garden of Eden….“No, you shall not die the death….God knows…..” Calling God a liar from the beginning, and now Father Bednar sounds just like satan.
And frjim4321: As for Father Bednar being “brilliant” – so is satan, and look where it got him. Since when is brilliance equivalent to godliness? Are you really a priest?
Thank you, Father Z, for so deftly decoding Modernist doublespeak for us and keeping our headlights turned on.
Come Lord Jesus!
I am still confused about which “sin” these mercy theologians think couples in these situations are supposed to actually confess?
Which of their actions do these mercy theologians think “offended the moral order?”
And if he states that “clearly divorce is not permissible”, then I don’t comprehend logically how continuing to have sex with someone who is not the first person you married in the Church is anything but the sin of adultery.
I asked a line of questions in the comment box of another similar Fr. Z blog post a ehile back and am still curious for an answer from these mercy theologians.
If you start flirting with a new woman at work and you’re already married in the Church to your wife, is this a sin?
If you go get drinks with this woman from work and tell your wife that you’re staying late at work, is this a sin?
If you go to this other woman’s apartment for a night cap, is this a sin?
If you have sex with this other woman, is this a sin?
If you have sex with this other woman a second, or tenth, or fiftieth time, is this a sin?
If you abandoned your spouse and kids for this other woman, is this a sin?
If you get this other woman pregnant, has having sex with her stopped being a sin yet?
If you divorce your first wife and marry this knocked up woman in a courthouse, is your having ongoing sex with her no longer sinful?
If you have started a new family with this second woman and have disappeared from the life of your first wife and kids when you abandoned them, can you say that now having more sex with this other woman isn’t a sin anymore?
Really, when do people who cheat on their spouses get to have the sex with other people stop being a sin?
And if you then start the cycle over again with yet another new woman, toward whom are you committing a sin of injustice against with your misplaced sexual affections? Do you have to confess that, mercy theologians? In kind and number? How do we count this?
The reason I don’t stand outside of abortion clinics either praying or picketing is because when I think of what is going on inside, I get so angry that I want to smash into the building and physically restrain the women who are seeking abortion. That sort of anger is counter-productive, even if it has a right sense to it. I can fast and pray for those going to the abortion clinic, but, I, myself, must avoid going so as to neither give scandal by my anger nor impede the good of the people who are there.
The issue of giving Communion to the “divorced” and “remarried”, likewise, makes me so angry that I can rarely write about it. At some level, the Divine and the Natural have become pitted against each other, such that any and all improper sexual acts can be either excused or be subject to reduced culpability because of habit or psychological conditions. In other words, what God has forbidden, Nature permits, or so the reasoning goes. Such is the, “mercy of Nature,” that is being proposed to allow those people who know they are sinning (“but can’t help themselves”) to rationalize away their actions.
Indeed, there are cases where the will is so compromised that resisting sexual sin is almost impossible, such as in very rare cases of right temporal lobe tumors, but even in these cases, the person has a responsibility to at least try to avoid the evil, even if they can foresee that they might not be sucessful.
What makes me so angry is that people who want their sex and divorce aren’t, in most cases, even willing to try to be chaste. Such people ought not be accompanied, except by a knock on the head. To say they, “seek pardon and forgiveness,” is a lie. If they truly sought forgiveness, this would entail the resolution to avoid the near occasion of sin. Indeed, wanting sex and Communion without resolving to avoid the near occasion of sin is a contradiction. No external reason can ever, ever release one from the duty to try to avoid the near occasion of sin.
Fr. William Most (requiescat in pace) wrote a good summary article on the various schools of thought on moral absolutes:
In the article, he makes a telling point:
“Thus, in the thought of St. Thomas, there are natural law precepts proscribing acts morally bad by reason of their objects. Some of these precepts, e.g., those of the Decalogue, are absolute, without exceptions, whatever the circumstances. Accordingly, St. Thomas, on encountering the opinion of the Anonymous Commentator on Aristotle’s, Nicomachean Ethics, that adultery (sexual relations with a tyrant’s wife in this case) is morally permissible when committed to save a nation from tyranny, did not hesitate to say: “That Commentator ought not to be supported in this; for one ought not to commit adultery for any benefit whatsoever.”57”
This flies directly in the face of Amoris Laetitia.
Maybe we should just jettison the proviso of “living as brother and sister.” Not jettison in the sense of allowing sexual activity for adulterers, but in the sense of denying them cover for living together “as brother and sister.” They just need to split. We tried this proviso it for thirty years (I think that Fr. Hunwicke asked once, “Was it ever allowed before ‘Familiaris Consortio’?”), and the scandal hasn’t proven to be very romote. Here are some considerations:
1.) The couple in this scenario aren’t really living “as brother and sister.” They’re actually living as husband and wife in everything except conjugal intimacy. One functions as the father and head of the household, the other as mother of the children and helpmate. It is, in a sense, a simulated marriage.
2.) The proviso seems to privilege some couples over others. If couple A can live in this scenario without a clear and present danger of adultery, their pseudo-family gets to remain intact. If couple B can’t live in this scenario without a clear and present danger of adultery, their pseudo-family is torn apart. However, it seems like it is normal (in fact, natural) for a man and a woman with a past history of intimacy and with common children and who share life’s burden to be strongly prone to future intimacy. So this allowance seems to reward people who can live in an unnatural situation successfully, while punishing people who can’t live in the same unnatural situation successfully.
3.) Is the scandal actually remote? Is this a situation where the scandal is remote because objectively no one should be scandalized by this living arrangement, or because standards are so low that we’re just telling people not to be scandalized by it? Prior to the 1900s, I think that a past adulterer and adulteress getting to have a household together provided they are not sexually active (oh, and apparently they somehow communicate that fact) would be regarded as scandalous. At some future point, would we want to return to a point where this arrangement is impossible without scandal?
4.) Are we conceding too much here to the claims of the other partner and to the children? While in justice the parents of the children owe something to their offspring, this does not necessarily mean that it’s appropriate for the father and mother from an adulterous union to live together “for the good of the children.” If one partner is free to marry (someone else) in the Church, maybe he or she should be told to strike out on their own, find a legitimate spouse, and raise the children in that context.
Do we concede that, if the legitimate spouses have an opportunity to reconcile, they should do so and cut off their illegitimate civil spouses? Even if that “breaks up” the later pseudo-families? Then we admit that there’s no absolute obligation for the adulterous couple to stay together “for the good of the children.” Has anyone ever examined what weight to give to the integrity of a pseudo-family? Because it’s not the same weight given to a legitimate family.
It all seems ad hoc. Someone is in a bad situation, doesn’t want to destroy what he or she currently has unless necessary, and the “brother-sister” arrangement preserves everything about it except sexual intimacy. But just as there’s more to cheating than the sexual activity part (many men and women have cheated emotionally), I’m not sure that merely removing the sexual activity renders such a relationship non-adulterous.
4.) Men and women had illegitimate children before 1960, and they had long-term affairs, and they had concubinage. What did the Church say about the obligations of parents toward bastard children and toward former lovers? Did St. Augustine and his concubine stay together “as brother and sister” to raise Adeodatus?
To sum up, I can understand why the ghostwriters and supporters of “Amoris Laetitia” don’t find the brother-sister allowance from “Familiaris Consortio” satisfying. I think it raises more issues than it resolves, and should be shelved. It has served as a thin edge of a wedge, granting the patina of legitimacy to relationships that should be broken off.
What do you think?
“The issue is not whether divorce is permissible. Clearly it is not. The issue is whether a second marriage [No!]must be characterized continuously as adultery. That precise question has not been addressed before, not even in Familiaris Consortio. ”
It was addressed by Jesus himself : And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her;” MK 10:11
“He’s hardly a lib.”
This, coming from jim.
The Bible summarized:
God sets the rules, man decides not to follow the rules, appointed leadership weakens on the rules, God gets angry about that, and mankind is punished for not following the God’s simple rules. A new leader is appointed.
This happens about six times in the OT.
Then God says, okay, fine, I’m sending my Son down there to straighten this mess out once and for all. He’ll review the rules so you humans finally get it. He’ll even use parables for clarity.
Then the appointed leaders start tinkering with the rules again…..
(I’ll be going to Confession before Mass tomorrow…)
I think you missed one, father —
The issue is not whether divorce is permissible. Clearly it is not. [In fact the teaching of the Catholic Church makes clear that in certain extreme circumstances, civil separation may not only be permissible, but even necessary.]
I would like to thank The Masked Chicken for the post above. I have one correction to make, if I may: the author of the linked article is William E. May, not Fr. William Most (RIP).
If we know for certain that the voice of Jesus tells us that a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery (cf. Mt 19:9, Mk 10:12, Lk 16:18), then later some voice is telling us some variance of this norm which in effect ends up negating what the voice Jesus really said, then I don’t know if that would be the voice of Jesus there.
What some think is being “pastoral” usually involves invoking this Jesus who just wants things to “work out” for us, and in such a manner that we end up shedding our crosses instead of carrying them (cf. Lk 9:23), or going down the wide and easy way as opposed to the narrow and hard (cf. Mt 7:13-14).
And, of course, these “pastors” know that many people dealing with hard situations will unwittingly follow this “voice of Jesus” for the sake of things “working out”, “for if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough” (2 Cor 11:4). Which is why St. Paul also reminded us,”But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).
What we need is old school Mormonism. That’ll fix everything.
Father Jim, we can only hope that fraternal affection for “Gerry” caused you to overestimate his intelligence, for if he really is freaking brilliant, he’s going to have a freaking lot to answer for on the Last Day. Or could it be that an acute case of scarlet fever, as the desire for ecclesiastical preferment is sometimes called, has damaged the poor man’s mind since you so admiringly collaborated with him? Whatever the case may be, his essay contains no hint of brilliance. Did you actually read it?
And what about the first wives or husbands, I asked myself. Where do we fit into this accompaniment? Where in Amoris Laetitia are we mentioned? Pope Francis never speaks about us. Our job is to shut up and disappear. If we talk about this we’re whiners, bitter losers. We haven’t “moved on”, ourselves gotten “involved” in new “relationships”. If we choose to do something as screwy as keep our marriage vows then we’re seen as embarrassing throw-backs to a more judgmental time.
I think the best writers about this particular question are the Bible authors, and the highly unlikely French 16th Century brilliant novelist Friar/Abbot/Father François Rabelais.
Possibly the only man in History to have been legally and canonically permitted (personally by the Roman Pontiff) to be a cloistered monk, dispensed from the cloister, ordained as a diocesan priest and so simultaneously regular and secular, secretly married but then dispensed a posteriori from his vows of celibacy and chastity and thereafter married in public confirmation Sacramentally, and then elevated to the monastic rank of Abbot of Cluny, equal to a Bishop and therefore hierarchically subjected only to the Roman Pontiff.
Also BTW a wonderful priest and husband and father, and BTW the best medical doctor of his generation, and a wonderful personal friend to Saint Thomas More and the Great Erasmus of Rotterdam.
Rabelais took his marriage vows and the Sacrament with his wife most seriously indeed, up to and against a conflict with the Pope, and he wrote against the violation of the vows in a certainly satiric but nevertheless most serious and powerful manner.
There are married priests and ordained fathers in our cultural and religious history who have much to teach us about how to navigate some extraordinary circumstances that God might put us into. We should not ignore them, and certainly not the lessons that they provide.
In response to JabbaPapa, Rabelais was not the Abbot of Cluny. Here’s a list of the Abbots of Cluny, and no Rabelais: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbot_of_Cluny
Also, I don’t see how the position of “married priests and ordained fathers” is relevant to this question.
JabbaPapa, in light of your fascinating synopsis of the life of Rabelais (Priest; Husband; Protonotary; Mr. Universe; Apostolic Nuntio; Father; Academy Award Winner; Abbot of Cluny; Humanist; Marcus Welby — sorry, I just meant ‘medical doctor’; Pontifex Maximus Pontium ad Homosexualistas — sorry again, I was thinking of Fr. James Martin, SJ; Chairman of the DNC; and High Priestess of the Cult of Artemis), I can’t help but wonder how his cause for canonization is proceeding. Any word of late?
Regards to a fellow traveler from past days. I get what you’re saying but circumstances don’t permit it. Thanks for the kind thought.
In response to JabbaPapa, Rabelais was not the Abbot of Cluny
oops, Abbot of Lérins I meant — not sure how Cluny got in there instead …
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I can’t help but wonder how [Rabelais] cause for canonization is proceeding. Any word of late?
At a complete standstill for the past 500 years, and no surprises there …
“You have to pay attention to language, especially in the hands of libs.”
And those of us who are trying to defend Catholic orthodoxy must similarly be careful in the use of language. When did “heretics” become “libs”? I certainly don’t want to go back to burning them at the stake, but please let’s call them what they are.
[Heretic is a technical term that must be used properly. Stupid isn’t the same as heretical.]
There are too many priests who speak like this.
There are too many bishops who speak like this.
There is no clarity from most who hold positions of Church authority. It is meant to be that way.
Those who speak with precision and accuracy are punished and considered enemies of the Vatican.
So….we are likely beyond the point of no return.
The Catholic Church will be rescued now only through a Devine correction which will be brutally administered. There is no wiggling out of this with theological gymnastics. Our fate is sealed.
So be it.
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