Skip to comments.Apostolic Exhortation or Aggravation?
Posted on 04/20/2018 9:16:20 AM PDT by ebb tide
In an apparent move to rebut conservative allegations that the pope has been denying tenets of the Faitha crisis that culminated during Holy Week with the popes alleged denial of hell and the immortality of the soulPope Francis on April 8 issued his newest Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), in which he bewails the defamation and slander being spread online by traditional Roman Catholic journalists and bloggers.
In this newest document, the pope repeatedly mentions Satan, but seemingly with the implication that tradition-minded journalists and clergy who challenge his ideas are guided by the devil. He speaks of the wiles of the devil, the spirit of the devil, keeping the devil at bay, how to banish the devil, and snares and temptations of the devil, in apparent reference to defamation and slander that have become commonplace on the Catholic blogosphere.
Praised by Radicals
The fact that Gaudete et Exsultate has been praised by the liberal media and by gay-advocates like the notorious Fr. James Martinknown for the scandal he has caused by his disgraceful sodomite aspirationsis quite telling. By their fruits you shall know them. (Mt. 7:20)
This shouldnt surprise us when we consider that Gaudete et Exsultate is about dismissing doctrinal and moral absolutes. And whereas the document is replete with quotations from the saints and Holy Scripture, this is apparently done for cosmetic reasons to turn the faithful against tradition so that they will be more open to the temptation of change.
According to Francis, those who resist this change are led by evil. This is all the more important when some novelty presents itself in our lives. Then we have to decide whether it is new wine brought by God or an illusion created by the spirit of this world or the spirit of the devil. At other times, the opposite can happen, when the forces of evil induce us not to change, to leave things as they are, to opt for a rigid resistance to change.
Any Interpretation Goes
Against the exhortations of past popes, Francis advocates a diversity of interpretations of doctrine. Here I would note that in the Church there legitimately coexist different ways of interpreting many aspects of doctrine and Christian life; in their variety, they help to express more clearly the immense riches of Gods word.
Clearly, the document does not think with the God of tradition. Under the guise of advancing holiness, it discounts the fear of God and the keeping of his laws while advocating a passive flow with the so-called renewal in the Church. The problem with this is that todays renewal is not from God but from the devil who entered the temple of God. (Pope Paul VI, June 29, 1972)
In Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis states: Not infrequently, contrary to the promptings of the Spirit, the life of the Church can become a museum piece or the possession of a select few. This can occur when some groups of Christians give excessive importance to certain rules, customs or ways of acting.
So, the pre-Vatican II Church with its set rules and religious customs was a dead museum piece void of the Holy Spirit which catered to the interests of a select few? And were all the saints and popes who subscribed to this religion a bunch of Pharisees too? If so, what does Francis consider a spirit-filled Church, one which foments heresy and runs after strange gods and spirits as seen in todays so-called Charismatic Renewal?
According to the document, the Church does not have all the answers and shouldnt tell people how to live. When somebody has an answer for every question, it is a sign that they are not on the right road. They may well be false prophets, who use religion to exercise a strict supervision over others lives. According to Francis, any religion will do, evidenced by his constant dictating that we should never try to convert Jews and outsiders to the Catholic Faith.
In the spirit of Luther, Gaudete et Exsultate also teaches that Heaven is not gained by merit. In Protestant fashion, it preaches that man is not justified by works (52-57), even calling Pelagians those who obediently exert their free will to please God. Still, some Christians insist on taking another path, that of justification by their own efforts, the worship of the human will and their own abilities an obsession with the law.
Naturally, it is Christ Himself who justifies and saves, but he doesnt save anyone unless they obey his laws and commandments to the letter. For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Romans 2:13) The Savior reminds us that he will render to every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27)
As seen many times, we again see Francis holding the keepers of the law as hypocrites who separate their obedience from a true desire to abide with Christ. I regret that ideologies lead us at times to two harmful errors. On the one hand, there is the error of those Christians who separate these Gospel demands from their personal relationship with the Lord, from their interior union with him, from openness to his grace. (100)
What this does is to turn people against the law where they do things their own personal or Pelagian way. If Catholics obey the Gospel demands, it is precisely to preserve their personal relationship with the Lord and their interior union with him. Why suspect them?
Francis continues, The other harmful ideological error is found in those who find suspect the social engagement of others, seeing it as superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist or populist. Or they relativize it, as if there are other more important matters. (101)
This line is deeply concerning for several reasons. For one thing, it denies that there is an actual superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist, or populist agenda being implemented in the realm of social engagement. For another, it opens the way for placing all social issues, whether it be abortion, immigration, environmentalism, or homosexuality, on the same equal footing an opening through which he passes in the very next line.
Hindering Immigration No Less Sinful than Abortion
In the document, Pope Francis abets the global cause of a borderless one-world government and goes so far as to say that the political issue of migration shouldnt be seen as secondary or lesser to grave bioethical questions (abortion) and that helping victims of every form of rejection (homosexuals, Jihad migrants) is just as important as defending the unborn. (102)
So according to Francis, hindering migrant insurgents from trespassing our borders is just as serious as murdering a baby! This would seem to contradict St. John Paul IIs encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, where in paragraph 58, he said:
Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The Second Vatican Council defines abortion, together with infanticide, as an unspeakable crime.
Doctrine Can Be Questioned
Clearly, Gaudete et Exsultate is not about allegiance to doctrine, but about advancing a fake mysticism aimed at belittling doctrine and befogging the faithful about their duties in life. Therein, the pope even dubs Gnostics those who earnestly seek to know and follow the absolute truth of God. (36-42) According to Francis, doctrine can be questioned. (43)
Someone who wants everything to be clear and sure presumes to control Gods transcendence. (41) Francis says, In effect, doctrine, or better, our understanding and expression of it, is not a closed system, devoid of the dynamic capacity to pose questions, doubts. (44)
So in other words, the dubia cardinals arrogantly presume to control Gods transcendence because they humbly request clarification on Francis often ambiguous statements about Christs doctrinea doctrine which they rightfully understand is a closed system of absolute truths which one may never question or doubt.
What is odd is that nowhere in this 98-page exhortation on holiness does the pope prescribe the true path to holiness, which is a childlike submission to doctrine and tradition. The document is rather loaded with little digs and resentments against those who humbly stand apart from the world and live only for God.
For example, Francis appears to take an indirect crack at Cardinal Sarah, known for his love of prayerful solitude and his criticism of the busy-body religion advocated by Francis. It is not healthy to love silence while fleeing interaction with others, to want peace and quiet while avoiding activity, to seek prayer while disdaining service. Everything can be accepted and integrated into our life in this world. (26)
This radically dissents from Christs teaching. According to the Savior, the noise and chatter of this world should never be integrated into our life, since the friendship of this world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)
In an apparent attempt to imply that the hypocrites of tradition who follow their own will should accept correction from others, Francis quotes St. John of the Cross out of context, saying, Always prefer to be taught by all, rather than to desire teaching even the least of all (GE 117), but when the true teachers of humility try to gently correct the pope, his love of being taught suddenly turns to rage as he starts blowing fuses and making insinuations that he is a martyr who is persecuted by the proud.
Unfortunately, the most influential people surrounding Pope Francis are global elitists at the United Nations who murder the unborn and who seek to enslave humanity under a borderless one-world government. His repeated recommendations that we listen to population-control experts like Jeffrey Sachs and Ban Ki moon clearly demonstrate this. In Laudato Si, he even says, There is urgent need of a true world political authority.
In Gaudete et Exsultate, Franciswho has abetted anti-life forces, betrayed the underground Church in China, sacked loyal priests, empowered homosexuals, rewarded abortionists, praised heretics, blessed adultery, profaned the Eucharist, and denied dogmahas set out to correct our faults and teach us the way of holiness. To him the Lord says, And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? (Matthew 7:3)
Our prayer is that Francis will first remove the beam of pride from his own eye so that he will better be able to remove the spec from the eyes of others. And if he can bring himself so far, let him make the teacher of the saints and popes his teacher, and let him flow with the same spirit that guided all the saints, popes, martyrs, and holy hermits for 2000-years without change. When this is done, then he can truly Gaudete et Exsultate!
“Rigid” seems to be one of his favorite pejorative words. Maybe he thinks the Ten Commandments should be interpreted flexibly. Lots of people would like that.
Poisonous antinomianism. Even the "bad popes" of the Renaissance didn't fall into that trap.
But then, Holy Father... since if we're going to start saying that certain rules need not be given excessive importance... shall we choose to not give excessive importance to Canon 1404?
So, is he saying the Lord is wishy-washy in telling us how to live a holy life?
This is all the more important when some novelty presents itself in our lives. Then we have to decide whether it is new wine brought by God or an illusion created by the spirit of this world or the spirit of the devil. At other times, the opposite can happen, when the forces of evil induce us not to change, to leave things as they are, to opt for a rigid resistance to change.
What is it that hath been? the same thing that shall be. What is it that hath been done? the same that shall be done. Ecclesiastes 1:9.
There is nothing new under the sun. There are no new sins. That which was a sin 2000 years ago is still a sin today. The Pope can not change what was said by the prophets or the Christ.
Christianity also teaches one does not gain Heaven by merit.
Paul notes this in Ephesians.
4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:4-10 NASB
Naturally, it is Christ Himself who justifies and saves, but he doesnt save anyone unless they obey his laws and commandments to the letter. For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Romans 2:13).
Let's put the passage into context....something seemingly lost on Roman Catholics.
The Roman Catholic is arguing that one must keep the Law...the OT Law, all 614 commandments, to be saved. However, Paul is arguing against that very thing.
12For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. Romans 2:12-16 NASB
But this is only part of the writings of Paul in Romans on this for in Romans 3 he goes to write:
21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Romans 3:21-30 NASB
The Savior reminds us that he will render to every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27)
And again, context is key to understanding this verse.
24Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. 28Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.
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