Rorate Caeli

Confused how some Catholics can be labeled "Pelagians"?

Recently, there's been a lot of fingerpointing at traditional Catholics. Some of it is the same old, same old (insert stale Pharisees joke here). Some of it, however, is very new and very confusing. 

Some Catholics have recently been identified -- more than once -- as "Pelagians." 

This will undoubtedly bolster the morale of other Catholics while, yet again, making life next to impossible for the traditional-minded parish priest who is, now more than ever, being accused by his flock of putting himself "above the Church" by his devotion to reverence in the liturgy and traditional Catholic teaching.  

Below, you will find a very interesting retort (notes) from a Catholic priest, who is in full communion:

11th Sunday after Pentecost 
“by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace in me has not been fruitless.”

Recently, there has been some mentioning of the ancient heresy called Pelagianism. I have heard this term used a number of times in recent months and it seems some confusion has surrounded its employment. So, without passing any judgment on those who are using the term, let us take some time this Sunday to look into this ancient heresy. If we do this well, we might be surprised at how relevant this matter really is today.

Pelagianism takes its name from an austere monk, most likely of Irish descent, named Pelagius. He died around 418. He should not be confused with the two Popes who shared this same name.

Pelagianism can simply be thought of as the self-help heresy. It essentially “denies the elevation of man into the supernatural state, and denies original sin. According to Pelagians the sin of Adam affected his descendants by way of bad example only” (Ott, pp. 222-3). This means that Christ’s saving work of redemption consists above all in His teaching and His example of virtue. For Pelagius, Jesus was just a great teacher as was Moses before Him. Furthermore,

“Pelagianism regarded grace as within the natural capacity of man.” According to this view man has a natural capacity to live a sinless and holy life and merit eternal bliss by exercising his free will. The Pelagians believed this natural capacity was aided by external graces given to us by God… things like the Mosaic Law, the Gospel, the example of virtue set by Our Lord and His Mother and others. This means that man can achieve even the remission of his sins by his own power, by the act of turning his will away from sin. This makes Pelagianism pure naturalism.

To re-capitulate, Pelagianism holds “(i) that the sin of our first parents was not transmitted to their posterity; [Adam’s sin harmed only himself, not the human race, and children just born are in the same state as Adam before his fall.] (ii) that Christ came into the world, not to restore anything we had lost, but to set up an ideal of virtue, and so counteract the evil example of Adam; (iii) that we can, of our own natural powers, and without any internal assistance from God, [do good that is pleasing to God and thereby] merit the happiness of the Beatific Vision” (cf. Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Archbishop Michael Sheehan, p. 456). (iv) the Law of Moses is just as good a guide to heaven as the Gospel. Finally, (v) Pelagians considered death to be natural to man and not a consequence of Adam’s sin. So even if Adam had not sinned, he would have died in any case.

This heretical, erroneous way of thinking and acting was countered heavily by the Doctor of Grace, St. Augustine, as well as many others like St. Jerome and ultimately condemned as heretical by several Popes and Councils, most notably the Papal approved Council of Carthage (418).

This Council taught authoritatively what we still profess today, namely: (i) Death did not come to Adam from a physical necessity, but through sin. (ii) New-born children must be baptized on account of original sin. [Note that the current Code of Canon Law emphasizes this must be done within a couple of weeks of birth]. (iii) Sanctifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins. (iv) The grace of Christ not only discloses the knowledge of God's commandments, but also imparts strength to will and execute them. (v) Without God's grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform good works. (vi) Not out of humility, but in truth must we confess ourselves to be sinners… (cf. Dz. nos. 101-8).

This is all very interesting in light of what has been transpiring over the last half century or so. In fact, having made this little study, it is amazing to see how much Pelagianism has returned in our own day.


First, consider that today infant baptism is very often delayed and put off for months and even years with little or no concern for the infant’s eternal welfare. Many parishes and priests directly violate the Canon Law by making baptisms available to their people only once a month, whereas the Church demands that their baptism not be delayed over a week or two…and if they are in the danger of death, they are to be baptized without delay, even if a priest is not available. Why this nonchalance attitude toward baptizing infants? Because the prevailing thought today is that all children who die in infancy, baptized or not, go to heaven. De facto, they are considered to be like Adam before the fall! This is Pelagianism. No wonder there has been many efforts over the last decades to do away with the traditional teaching of the Limbo of the Infants, that place where unbaptized infants go.

On the other hand, it has been my experience that traditional minded Catholics seek very diligently to have their newborns baptized as soon as possible. Why? Because His Majesty, Our Lord Jesus Christ, taught that we must be born of water to be saved. St. Paul said in Ephesians, “were by nature children of wrath” (2:3). But we are reborn children of adoption by the waters of baptism! It has also been my experience that faithful Catholics always take the Traditional doctrine of the Limbo of the Infants very seriously. No Pelagianism here!

Second, it is bandied about recently that even atheists can do good works. Pelagius would agree because, as we heard, he held that any man, believer or not, baptized or not, can do good. “The root of this possibility of doing good - that we all have - is in creation” (Pope Francis). In other words, all that is needed to be good is found in nature. Of course, Pelagius also added that the good example of Christ, the written law and Gospel help man to this goodness as external aids. It is interesting to note how Pope John XXIII said at the start of the Vatican Council, “Nowadays… the Spouse of Christ… considers that She meets the needs of the present day by more clearly demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations...” He wanted to see the Magisterium be “predominantly pastoral in character” … “to teach more efficaciously” … “raising the torch of Catholic truth” (cf. The Second Vatican Council: the Unwritten Story, Mattei, pp. 174-5). All that is needed is to teach the truth and people will see the light and do the good. 

Whether intended or not, all this leans toward Pelagianism.

From this it follows that Pelagius would not be very supportive spending much time in prayer. Why pray if we do not need grace to be good!? Surely, Pelagius would not spend much time kneeling down to pray the Rosary to gain a heavenly favor. Why have priests? Who needs the Sacraments? Sadly, over the last century and still continuing on today, we have had a religious and priests who put work ahead of prayer. There was the worker priest movement. We have seen the rise of laicism…where the laity takes over various roles of the priests. We have seen priests and religious became activists, going to many meetings and opening soup kitchens while neglecting the divine office, their holy hours and spiritual reading. Knowing this, few are surprised at the numerous scandals and loss of vocations. All this flows perfectly from Pelagianism.

Yet, St. Paul clearly stated today in the lesson, “by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace in me has not been fruitless.” Any man can do a naturally good action…saying giving a banana to a friend in need.

Yet, only when the action is done with supernatural charity infused in the soul co-operating with an actual grace given by God for that particular action can it be pleasing to God and worthy of Him. St. Paul is crystal clear on this point: “if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing” (1Cor 13:3). This is precisely why Traditional minded
Catholics strive to offer everything up… This is precisely why such faithful souls pray the Rosary so often… attend the Holy Mass as much as possible, frequently confess their sins and use Sacramentals. They are beseeching God for grace to grow in holiness. No Pelagianism here. St. Padre Pio prayed multiple Rosaries everyday, even up to 30…pleading for Our Lady’s intercession and aid in the conversion of sinners. Surely, no one would consider this great stigmatic a Pelagian for saying so many Rosaries!

Third, consider how it has been bandied about for some decades now that the Jews do not need to convert, that they have all they require in the Old Law to be saved… as if Our Lord, the Messiah, the very fulfillment of the Old Testament types and prophecies, did not come in the Flesh to establish the New and Everlasting Covenant in His own Blood. Besides most Jews do not follow the Old Law but rather the Talmud. In any case, Pelagius would love this…for, as we heard, he held the Mosaic Law is just as good for going to heaven as the Gospel. Once again, faithful Catholics believe that the Old Law has been fulfilled and completed in the New. That the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the only Sacrifice pleasing to God. No Pelagianism here.

Fourth, consider how Pelagius held that death was natural to man. He would find many in agreement with him today simply because the theory of evolution holds the same. Sad to say, most members in the Church at this time seem to think that evolution is the how things came about. Given that that Pelagius very much agreed with man asserting his will to get things done, I wonder what he would think today about man intervening in nature to force evolution to a new level… as, for example,we are doing in genetically modified foods, environmental controls, and other areas.

The Traditional Catholic, however, is repulsed by evolution, knowing that God did not create death and destruction, but rather death is the wages of sin. Furthermore, the faithful Catholic knows that the Church has given multiple teachings against the pseudo-science of evolution by Her teachings on creation. No Pelagianism here! 

Fifth, the use of confession has greatly diminished over the last 40 years. Fewer and fewer souls consider sin a serious concern or a blockage to heaven. Everyone who dies now, goes to heaven. Sinners often are heard saying: “God will understand” and “I will not do it again…”. Pelagius strikes again. Man can overcome sin by himself. God will understand!

The faithful Catholic, however, knows that sin is deeply offensive to God and can only be erased by the application of the Precious Blood of Christ, most especially available in the Confession, and by making reparation through penance and amendment of life. This is why hundreds of thousands of people went to St. Jean Vianney and St. Padre Pio… so that these gifted saints would look into their souls and make sure there were no more sins that needed removal.

Finally, consider how Pelagius denied that Christ Our Lord came to restore what Adam had lost but rather He came merely to provide a good example. Thus, it seems to me that Pelagius would not be a big supporter of any movement of restoration whereas the faithful Catholic longs to see the whole world come under the social reign of Christ Our Majestic and Glorious King. Thus, they love the phrase given to us by St. Paul: “To restore all things in Christ!”

The only point that coincides between the monk Pelagius and traditional minded Catholics is the matter of discipline and austerity. I wish this were more true. Would that more Traditional Catholics were austere with themselves… and more willing to do penance and acts of reparation. Oh how they would please Our Lady who asked us over and over again for nearly 200 years… Penance! Penance! Penance! For the salvation of souls!

It is clear to me that the modern Church in her membership has become more Pelagian than ever whereas Traditional minded Catholics are seeking to hold the line against this most pestiferous return of heresy… striving not to let the precious grace of God granted them be in vain!

74 comments:

Michael Ortiz said...



Thank you for this post. It is timely for a variety of reasons.

Ezekiel Mossback said...

This sermon is a good condemnation of Pelagianism, but as a response to the recent suggestions that traditionalists are in danger of Pelagianism, falls far short.

Doesn't this sermon amount to saying: "Other people are Pelagians, so traditionalists aren't"?

There could be other ways to be Pelagian, than the common, Jean Jacques Rousseau variety.

I just heard a good sermon this morning from a Fraternity priest about the difference between formalism and faith. I think it was implicitly a better treatment of the types of Pelagianism than the above sermon.

it is a danger for Christians, traditionalists in particular today because we emphasize the formative power of law and discipline, to fall into formalism and Pelagianism. To fall into an idea that discipline will redeem us, rather than the infinite, unmerited Love of Jesus.

That is what I think Pope Francis, and Pope Benedict mean when they critique some aspects of contemporary traditionalism.

Adfero said...

You may wish to read it again. He not only clearly dispels the bizarre attack that trads are pelagians, he shows clearly how the modernists are. It's almost as if you're reading a different text.

S. Armaticus said...

Better a "Pelagian" than a "Bugninite". Or is it a "Bugninista"?

Gratias said...

It seems that when Pope Francis speaks about Pelagianisn he refers to Traditional Catholics. This may not be what the word actually means, but what is left from Francis' words is that there are dangers of heresy in Tradition.

Adfero said...

Please refrain from turning this into an evolulion debate. This is a traditional blog. If you want to debate whether Adam and Eve descended from apes, take it somewhere else please.

Adfero said...

My kingdom for a comms box free of complaining about minor details. Please, just once ...

Corneille said...

Could Rorate please post these two official press releases from the FI countering the nonsense being spread by Vatican Insider and multiple other sites:
http://www.immacolata.com/index.php/en/35-apostolato/fi-news/230-vatican-insider-response
http://www.immacolata.com/index.php/en/35-apostolato/fi-news/231-risposta-vatican-insider-2

I imagine the second should be translated into English soon. In it we learn that Pope Benedict did NOT order the visitation of the FI!

Charles said...

There are several good points in this homily but also several points which go too far. I will focus on just one point: the criticism of the assertion that atheists can do good.

I will restate specifically what the priest said so that his words are read in full: "Second, it is bandied about recently that even atheists can do good works. Pelagius would agree because, as we heard, he held that any man, believer or not, baptized or not, can do good. “The root of this possibility of doing good - that we all have - is in creation” (Pope Francis). In other words, all that is needed to be good is found in nature." [Note: There is a second part of the paragraph but it does not seem to connect up with the first part of the paragraph.]

Yes, Pelagius would agree with Pope Francis' statement and so would St. Thomas Aquinas. Pelagious' reasons for agreeing are profoundly different from Aquinas agreeing with Francis -- and I think it's a safe assumption that Francis is more in Aquinas' camp than Pelagius on the reasons why atheists can do good. The fact that Pelagius held that grace was in nature and so that is why a non-believer can do good is not at all what Pope Francis is saying. Grace perfects nature -- grace is not equivalent to nature. Christ is the only door to beatitude, but the non-believer can do good. God is the end of man but it can also be said that the good is the end of man. Anything which is good points to God, as all creation does. Doing good does not require assent to the doctrines of the Church.

Jordanes551 said...

We recently hosted such a debate on evolution here:

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-inerrant-word-of-god-does-not-evolve.html

However, the criticism of evolution in the posted discourse on Pelagianism is but one point, and it will not conduce to an edifying discussion to revisit the evolution debate, since that topic has a tendency to overwhelm the comment box. To cut to the chase, it may help to recall New Catholic's comment on his position on the question which he posted during the previous debate, and then leave it at that.

Jordanes551 said...

It is true that atheists can do good deeds. Without faith in Christ, however, the good we do is not salvific, redemptive, or meritorious. The Holy Father, of course, did not say that the good atheists do is salvific, redemptive, or meritorious -- his point was to exhort them to do good, because doing good can bring us closer to God and provides occasions to receive grace.

Eufrosnia D said...

Great and well informed article.

I have been following the articles on this site for sometime and have enjoyed reading them. But I wanted to raise a concern (or questions) over one point.

You mentioned how holding that Atheists can do good works is Pelagianism. But isn't the idea of Pelagianism that you can merit through good works as an atheist? So wouldn't it be correct to say that Atheists can indeed do good works but the key point is that they cannot merit unless they are in a state of Grace?

Because if we say simply that Atheists cannot do good works, then don't we fall in to Jansenism?

Apart from that, I must say that your article was a great defense of the Catholic faith (though some people like to call it "Traditional" these days).

Eufrosnia D said...

Thank you for a well informed article in defense of the Catholic faith.

But if I may raise one concern (or question). When you say that (or imply) "Atheists cannot do good works" is that not Jansenism?

Wouldn't it be more correct to say that the Pelagian heresy is that Atheists (assumed to not be in a state of Grace) can MERIT from good works?

Nevertheless, great article!

Eufrosnia D said...

Test.

Eufrosnia D said...

@Charles,

I think the "Atheists can do good works" means just that they can do good works. It would only be Pelagian if the Pope had said they can merit from when they are most likely not in a state of Grace (since they deny the existence of the creator). So as I pointed out in a comment before, there is probably nothing wrong with that comment by the Pope (though it leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation).

@Ezekial Mossback

I personally think it is impossible to accidentally fall in to Pelagianism through traditional practices. To say that one can fall in to the Pelagian heresy this way is similar to saying "One can fall in to Pelagianism by over stressing the Sacraments".

Is it technically possible? Yes. But unless someone does not understand that traditions and Sacraments are simply ways of obtaining God's grace and also making it easier to answer the Grace, there is really no risk of Pelagianism. Those who fall in to Pelagianism will probably fall even if they had been a non-traditionalist.

UnamSanctam said...

Might the problem be that the Bishop of Rome doesn't know his Pelagians from his Gnostics?

His various comments insinuating that Traditionalist Catholics are Pelagians comes from a gross misunderstanding of what spiritual activity actually IS, it seems to me.

For Vatican II Man, one's spiritual health (= "good will") is assumed. Anything more is then seen not as a means of obtaining Grace but mere human bean-counting.

This is how bad things have fallen. It's enough to make one find a cave on a lonely mountain and retire from the modern Church altogether.


Benedict Carter

Allan Wafkowski said...

Pope Francis seems to speak first and think second. Just about everything he says is open to interpretation (has anyone yet figured out why he didn't make the Beethoven concert?) He has a penchant for making brash statements and odd gestures that have only a suggested meaning. He really can't be trusted to make a clear declarative statement. It is always prudent to wait to see what he really meant by waiting for the Vatican handlers to clarify.

Jacobi said...

This article is very much overdue. Recent comments on Pelagianism have been confusing if not, apparently, in error – and it’s about time somebody said so!

The idea of accusing traditional or orthodox Catholics of Pelagianism, is wrong. To imply that such Catholics do not believe in Original Sin, or the Redeeming Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, or, by implication, the Divinity of Christ, is absurd.
On the contrary, the liberal/Modernist heresy which has so afflicted the Church, particularly in the post-Vatican II period, and which has seeped into the thinking of so many liberal Catholics, fits the bill closely.

Novus Ordo trends as they have developed over the last 40 years, such as the downplaying of the Real Presence by the abolition of outward signs of respect, of reception kneeling and by mouth, the attack on the Ordained Priesthood with excessive lay involvement, and the turning of the Redemptive Sacrifice of the Mass into a man-centred memorial meal, all imply that man is self-sufficient and can achieve some sort of salvation on his own. That is Pelagianism. It is to be found in the liberal trend in Catholicism, not in the mainstream or orthodox Continuity.

Robert Allen said...

The atheist certainly cannot do good, not if it consists in doing God's will. He is promoting himself, if not acting, despite outward signs of charity, inimically to the Almighty. I am not really helping someone, nay, I'm leading him seriously astray, unless I'm drawing him closer to the Lord. But the atheist would love nothing more than to leave the impression that God 'had nothing to do' with his actions.

Rev. Anthony Cekada said...

Very cleverly done.

I still am puzzled, though, on why trads are called "Pelagians" in the first place. It seems to be a modernist buzzword.

Does anyone know who came up with it and what, exactly, it is supposed to refer to?

poeta said...

Actually, before Pope Francis started throwing around the "Pelagian" buzzword I would most often see people throwing "Jansenism" in our direction.

Alphonsus Jr. said...

Here's some Pelagianism for you. When I had to take an hour long class to become a godparent, the old hippie teaching the class began by approvingly informing us that since Vatican II original sin is no longer part of Church teaching.

Angelo said...

In a Comment, I once asked what was this "Palagianism" that was being talked about. Now I got my answer! How could anyone accuse Traditionalists of Pelagianism? This sermon points to no small fact that the modernists are the bona fide pelagarists. St. Pius X referred to modernism as "The mother of all heresies". The modernists have in fact revived every heresy condemned by the Church. Even the heresy of Jansenism, for Traditionalists only, of course! I believe that all Traditionalists should get together in one place, in a kind of unofficial but yet serious Council, to name and condemn all the heresies of Modernism in the Church. Of Course headed by learned men who have Holy Orders of the Church. All this since the modernists have no intentions of condemning errors except for the hallucinatory imaginary errors of theirs, when it comes to us Trads. After all Vatican Council ll called for the active participation of the Laity. We need to put the real V2 into action!

Cristóbal Orrego said...

This is an error, I believed:

"(v) Without God's grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform good works. "

From my reading of the magisterium and St Thomas, I recall that without the aid of grace WE CAN do good works, but WE CANNOT DO supernatural works which are meritorious of eternal reward. The contrary view is protestant, namely that with no grace every action is sinful.

If I am correct, the artichle should be ammended.

J. said...

Rev. Cekada:

I think a good answer to your question, even if you may disagree with him, which at least shows why the terms are used, can be found in parts 51 and 52 of "Dame de Beber" by P. Jose-Maria Iraburu. Especially 52, though it is about Semi-Pelagianism.

http://www.gratisdate.net/conferencias/dame_de_beber/051-gracia-libertad-I.mp3

http://www.gratisdate.net/conferencias/dame_de_beber/052-gracia-libertad-II.mp3

I don't know whether these are available in English in any form, whether audio or written.



poeta said...

For some it is crucial to find a category of heresy to apply to traditionalists because we simply can't be Catholic, can we? As Chris Ferrara wrote, "if we are Catholics, then they are quislings."

Angelo said...

When it comes to the subject that even Atheists can perform good works, of course they can. This good Father did not go into the theological aspects of what he was saying. God inspires us all to do good works, whether Catholic or Pagan. The difference is in the Holy Sacrament of Baptism. No one can do good without the Grace of God. God inspires the Baptized as well as the non-Baptized to do good. With the non-Baptized the good act is Human and pleasing to the Creator. But with the Baptized, if we do the good that is inspired by God, then the good act is supernatural by virtue of our Baptism. Big Difference! The Modernists would have us believe that the good done by the Baptized and non-Baptized is equal. This is the heresy that this priest is condemning. This is how the modernists are downgrading the importance of the Holy Sacrament of Baptism.

Edward More said...

Fr Cekada,

I am no theologian, but from my understanding of the article by the priest posted on rorate, I cannot see any connection between pelagianism and traditional Catholicism. Is there anything missing in the description given in the article of this heresy and anything that traditionalists might reasonable be accused of? I mean, I might well understand if a conciliarist would accuse people like Arch. Lefebvre of being schismatic, insubordinate, considering themselves more catholic than the pope, of considering themselves superior to other people, so on and so forth, but is this in any way, shape or form connected to the heresy of Pelagianism.

I will be the first to admit that traditionalists have their own defects and sins, but how are our own weaknesses in any way related to Pelagianism.

Or are we dealing with a subjective calumny of bishop of Rome Bergoglio on traditionalists?

I am rather puzzled by some of the comments here on rorate that attempt to "read the mind" of Bergoglio in order to give his statements a more benevolent interpretation. Why not take his statements at their face value? That would create a lot less confusion and controversy among traditionalists.





Willard Money said...

Trad Pelagianism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8cs9ofAuWFw&t=3577

James Jordan said...

Welcome to the New Calvinist fruitopia, you Pelagian. Them sneaky Genevans finally got one of theirs installed in Rome. Now you're stuck like chuck.

John McFarland said...

I think the way to understand the Pelagianism remark is to recall the original assessment of Pope Francis by New Catholic's Argentine friend, who said among other things that his remarks are often incomprehensible.

We now know why: he is strongly inclined to rhetorical shooting from the hip, and indeed seems to prefer it as his means of communication.

But although not very clear in their particulars, his critical off-the-cuff remarks are quite standard liberal stuff. The wrong sort of Catholic is hidebound, formalistic, intolerant, unsympathetic, inward looking, etc.

This particular time, no doubt on the spur of the moment, he used "Pelagianism" to describe traditionalists, who are one species of the wrong sort of Catholics.

Now I can't entirely rule out that there is some deeper meaning to his use of the term.

But it's not the way to bet.

In these off-the-cuff remarks, the message is that he's the right kind of liberal with the right kind of liberal ideas.

To try to make anything else of them is to drive yourself to distraction, and to no good purpose.

Alan Aversa said...

The OED gives a quote regarding the adjective "pelagian":
"1999 Church Times 12 Mar. 19/4 Catherine is almost Pelagian in her emphasis on free will."

Perhaps this is the sense it's directed toward traditionalists: we are apparently "free spirits" who do not obey because that would apparently limit of our freewill?

Edward More said...

Angelo,

"No one can do good without the grace of God"

But how can an atheist do a good work if the grace of God is absent in his soul, if his soul is still in the clutches of Satan due to his soul not having undergone the sacrament of Baptism? Are you suggesting that unbaptized souls are in the state of grace? As I said in my previous post, I think we should stop trying to read into Bergoglio's mind and take his statements at face value. According to the statement (without any further clarification) "Atheists can do good works" the sacrifice of Our Lord on Calvary was useless. Period. If atheists can indeed do good works, then Catholics are wasting their time on their knees praying the rosary begging Our Lord for the conversion of mankind and offering sacrifices to Our Lord to appease His divine wrath.

I guess I should have joined some neo-pagan congregation earlier in my youth. I wouldn't have had to worry about attending those tedious novus ordo masses each and every single sunday. Plus, no need to worry about all those pesky church teachings on morality. I guess all that time spent on my knees praying to Our Lord and Our Lady was a wasted effort.

Hey, even atheists "can do good works".

I guess we don't need catholics in the world any more.

This will indeed be music to the ears of neo-pagans throughout the world.

Welcome to the "civilization of love". Of a "civilization" where everyone and everything is accepted except Our Lord and His most Holy Mother of course.

Willard Money said...

It's really simple and was rampant in the trad communities I was involved in.

The basic idea is that trads "suffer" with having many kids, driving many miles to the "correct" mass, avoiding impure conversations with their buddies at work, etc. etc. And because the trad does all these things, he think God OWES him and also really hates the idea of mercy being to shown anyone who doesn't also have to suffer likewise.

Literally, I knew people who were angry at a couple when it turned out that they were unfertile. Especially the women were like "it's not fair...they get to have sex but don't have to have a dozen kids".

The Pope is saying it is pelagianism if you think that by being a traddy you think you are "earning" some favor with God.

Aloysius Gonzaga said...

Brilliant.

Jordanes551 said...

"But how can an atheist do a good work if the grace of God is absent in his soul, if his soul is still in the clutches of Satan due to his soul not having undergone the sacrament of Baptism?"

How do pagans do the good work of requesting Baptism if it impossible for the unbaptised ever to do anything good?

"Are you suggesting that unbaptized souls are in the state of grace?"

Obviously he is not, and there's no evidence the Holy Father suggested any such thing either.

"As I said in my previous post, I think we should stop trying to read into Bergoglio's mind and take his statements at face value. According to the statement (without any further clarification) 'Atheists can do good works' the sacrifice of Our Lord on Calvary was useless. Period. If atheists can indeed do good works, then Catholics are wasting their time on their knees praying the rosary begging Our Lord for the conversion of mankind and offering sacrifices to Our Lord to appease His divine wrath."

No, even without further clarification, it is fallacious to reach such a conclusion.

Edward More said...

Jordanes551,

"How do pagans do the good work of requesting Baptism if it impossible for the unbaptised ever to do anything good?"

What about the baptism of desire? Plus, I said an ATHEIST cannot do a good work not an UNBAPTISED person with the INTENTION of being baptized (baptism of desire). Moreover, if pagans before had the excuse of not knowing Our Lord and his truth through invincible ignorance, such an excuse can no longer be made because of easy access to such information unless you are living in the most poor or repressive countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea etc) of the world.

St Teresa of Avila, (Pelagian) mystic and doctor of the Church:

“Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few!”

~ Said as she was bucked off her horse into a river on the way to visit one of her monasteries

Gratias said...

The conference posted by J. may be the theologic foundation of the Pope's thoughts. Semi-Pelagianism held that grace and free will collaborate in good works, while Catholic teaching is that grace acts through the Holy Spirit on men to produce works of Charity.

This does not have any relationship with Traditional Catholics of today except that we might count numbers of rosaries.

In the end, a nice designation such as "Traditional Catholic" was renamed by our Pope himself with that of a heresy, Pelagianism.

Liberal Jesuits will change the meaning of words on those they disagree with. You like the liturgy? Get stuck with the label of a heresy, however undeserved. Since they are Pelagians let's close down the TLM for the FFI as a start to terrorize other self-designated lovers of the traditional liturgy.

In the meantime, who am I to judge the Gay (another change of wording for the Vatican) escapades of Monsignor Ricca at the Nunciature of Montevideo, Uruguay? Let him run the Vatican Bank and Papal residency. Journalists love this openness. After all, what damage could Gay priests do to the Catholic Church?

Peter Karl T. Perkins said...

All of the comments on this thread are misdirected. All of them. The term Pelagian can refer to the heretics of the Early Church but it can also refer to the Pellegrini of the Late Middle Ages, and this is what Pope Francis means by it. The Pellegrini disdained to worship with other faithful and were élitists. They were suppressed as a sect but never considered to be formal heretics. He means that, like them, Latin Mass supporters are bad Catholics because they disdain to have anything to do with the New Mass or those who attend it. I would say that the NewMassers are Pellegrini, as they disdain to have anything to do with the Traditional Latin Mass. The retort to this, however, is that the New Mass is the principal and normative Mass of the Roman Rite, not the 1962 Mass in Latin. We Pellegrini, or Pelagians, should at least occasionally attend the New Mass to prove that we are Catholic! To hell with that idea!

P.K.T.P.

Charles said...

While this blog provides valuable information on liturgical issues, I suggest that in the future there be vetting of posts to the front-page which involve deep theological assertions. The priest's homily which was posted is far from "solid" as many of the comments have pointed out.

In reviewing the comments this morning, I think they also speak for the need for on-going catechesis for traditional Catholics. Merely because a person is inclined to the traditional rites does not mean that he or she has a good grasp of Church doctrine. We must study our whole life. As another commentator has pointed out, some of the comments trying to support the priest's homily have made classic Protestant assertions about grace.

GMMF said...

I think most of the parts that explain Pelagianism and which clarify that trads don't do what they do for Pelagian reasons are good, but often the parts where he tries to pin the label on others he essentially does unto others as they have done unto trads (as Christians, we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us, not as they actually have done unto us).

Often when the author tries to force the Pelagian label on other things, he makes this same error of assuming a Pelagian motivation where a completely orthodox motivation may exist. For example, while there may be some who deny original sin as Alphonsus Jr. above experienced, the primary reason given for the possibility of the salvation of unbaptized infants is the purely gratuitous remission of original sin as a kind of privilege resulting from God's salvific will. This workless salvation is as far from Pelagianism as can be.

Also, some commenters here are unwittingly proving the old accusation against trads that they are Jansenists by affirming Jansenist errors, like it is impossible to do good works apart from grace. This error and others related to it have been condemned at various times, including here:

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Clem11/c11unige.htm

Given the Pope's address in Brazil, it seems he thinks trads are Pelagian because he sees them as thinking if they only do enough or the right number of devotions or practice the "right" disciplines, by that fact they will fix the Church's problems or they will earn the grace of God that will fix the problems, which cannot be earned as well with other disciplines. If that were the case, it would seem like Pelagianism. This impression is what trads should be showing is mistaken (and I think this article generally is strongest when it addresses this by explaining why trads do the devotions they do, etc., albeit it does try to force some things into the Pelagian vs. non-Pelagian debate which aren't that relevant to the issues and practices actually in question when trads are described as Pelagian).

Rev. Anthony Cekada said...

Willard Money said...

The basic idea is that trads "suffer" with having many kids, driving many miles to the "correct" mass, avoiding impure conversations with their buddies at work, etc. etc. And because the trad does all these things, he think God OWES him and also really hates the idea of mercy being to shown anyone who doesn't also have to suffer likewise. .... The Pope is saying it is pelagianism if you think that by being a traddy you think you are "earning" some favor with God.


Very interesting speculation.

But it would be based on a type of inside knowledge of supposed "mentalities" that V2 liberals like Bergoglio would have no access to.

I certainly can't see any of the many trad parishioners I've had over the decades confiding anything at all about their interior dispositions to clergy of his ilk — still less, the bitter caricature that you present.

So I think that the real reason for slinging the "P-word" at trads is probably to be found elsewhere.

Dan Hunter said...

We traditionalists believe in Original Sin as it is taught by the Church.

How can we be remotely attached to the Heresy of Pelagianism?

Scott said...

I believe I understand where the Pope is coming from, assuming I understand that he is referring to traditionalists. But to identify trads as tending towards pelagianism is only fitting when the rest of the Church is also called out for pelagianism. Clearly it is not a problem with traditionalists alone. If he wanted to call out the problems with the traditionalist movement, which are not a few, an accusation of pelagianism was probably the least fitting and certainly least "pastoral" way of doing so.

Ironically I've always thought a bigger problem amongst traditionalist parishoners is borderline Janenism. But I guess this is more of a problem among traditionalists themselves, whereas the "pelagian" problem is between traditionalists and the rest of the Church.

Peter Karl T. Perkins said...

Ahem. I repeat: Pope Francis was referring to the Pellegrini of the Late Middle Ages and not to the Pelagians of the Early Middle Ages. The Pellegrini are sometimes called 'Pelagians' in English but they are an entirely different group of people. I suspect that a translator used a standard reference dictionary and gave us 'Pelagians', not realising the confusion this might cause. If so, he was correct, since 'Pelagian' is a proper term for both groups.

The Pellegrini of Northern Italy were known for their elitism and disdain for worshipping or praying with other faithful. They were a sect but not formal heretics. Nevertheless, the Church condemned and dispersed them. Francis is saying that we are like the Pellegrini, as we contemn and disdain the New Mass and those who attend it. Of course, we do so because it is an insult to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

P.K.T.P.

peccator said...

"Francis is saying that we are like the Pellegrini, as we condemn and disdain the New Mass and those who attend it."

Isn't it wonderful how that disdain and condemnation is never called out about the N.O. side towards us? "Oh, God, I thank Thee that I am not like those accursed traditionalists!" Bah!

Dan Hunter said...

We traditionalist's do not condemn those who attend the New Mass, nor do we condemn the New Mass.

Rather we feel nauseous when we have no choice but fulfill our obligation at the NO.

Edward More said...

GMMF,

Would you care to illuminate my poor mind and show where in the following encyclical you mentioned it is mentioned that "atheists can do good works" in order to prove correct your assertion of Jansenism on some of the "commenters" of this blog?

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Clem11/c11unige.htm

Without a clear proposition of your accusation of Jansenism your assertion is baseless. If, on the other hand, some reader here clearly points out to readers point by point how we are "Jansenists" I am more than willing to recognize my error and follow sound Christian doctrine. Nothing would displease me more than knowing I am separated from traditional Catholic teaching.

Meanwhile, however, I ABSOLUTELY reject the notion that people who KNOWINGLY reject belief in Our Most Blessed Savior are capable of good works as understood in the traditional catholic sense. They MAY be able to perform works which people would term "good" in a strictly NATURAL level, but which are however not meritorious for their souls in any way. Again, I am referring here to souls who KNOWINGLY reject belief in God.

Pope Francis was hardly referring to some tribe somewhere on the Amazon that has no contact with the outside world when he uttered those words, "atheists can do good works".

"Atheists" as understood by everyone on the street in a western country is your typical guy who KNOWS of the existence of Christianity but forcibly rejects the graces of God sent to that person so that he may see the light of reason and enter into the bosom of the only ark of salvation, the Holy Catholic Church.

Rhoslyn said...

I wish we had a parish priest like this!!

Hayfarmer said...

Pope Francis is using a classic old socialist trick--ridicule and mock one group in order to divide and conquer. Just as some governments label pro-lifers, constitutionalists, veterans as "terrorists" because they question the current regime and want a smaller government as in the founding documents, the pope is throwing out a term which the majority of Catholics have never heard of to marginalize the groups who love Tradition and the Mass of All Ages.

After a period of time, it will only seem reasonable to curtail that old discipline, superstitious novenas, Latin, et al; for the unity of the Church. How can we have a universal church if some wacky tradicals are demanding the Tridentine Mass?

Psy-ops are a Jesuit's stock-in-trade.

O Resistente said...

I'm proud to be a Pelagian Restaurationist.

At a time when everything seemed to be lost, D. Pelagius (685-737) and his brave men defeated the moors in Covadonga (724), killed the traitor Bishop Opas, and restored the Christian kingdom of his forefathers in Spain.

It's about time for a new Pelagius to restore his kingdom in a new Covadonga.

San'Tiago y Cierra Espana!

GMMF said...

PKPT,

I think you are referring to the Pelagians of the 17th century (so-called because their center was the church of St. Pelagia). They were essentially quietists, so the application here is a stretch, especially given the Pope's remarks to the Brazilian episcopate which tied the the "Pealgian" description to the insistennce on particular disciplines, not the eschewing of all disciplines for mental prayer or "the prayer of quiet."

Edward More said...

I have been reading the encyclical by pope Clement XI (http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Clem11/c11unige.htm) wherein GMMF suggests that the alleged Jansenist errors of some of the commenters here on rorate are proved. Needless to say, nowhere on the encyclical is anything remotely close to, "Atheists can do good works" mentioned. Quite the contrary:

"1. What else remains for the soul that has lost God and His grace except sin and the consequences of sin, a proud POVERTY [TRUE POVERTY that is] and a slothful indigence, that is, a general impotence for labor, for prayer, and FOR EVERY GOOD WORK?

2. The grace of Jesus Christ, which is the efficacious principle of every kind of good, is NECESSARY FOR EVERY GOOD WORK; without it, not only is nothing done, but nothing can be done.


40.Without grace we can love nothing except to our own condemnation."

Regardless of the fact that the above encyclical in no way proves the charge of Jansenism on some rorate readers (quite the contrary in fact), I would heartily recommend the encyclical to readers as it contains some very holy and salutary teaching which I think that all catholics would do well to consider:

On charity:

"54. It is charity alone that speaks to God; it alone that God hears.

55. God crowns nothing except charity; he who runs through any other incentive or any other motive, runs in vain.

56. God rewards nothing but charity; for charity alone honors God.

57. All fails a sinner, when hope fails him; and there is no hope in God, when there is no love of God.

58. Neither God nor religion exists where there is no charity."

On avoiding servile fear, rather than a holy fear of the Lord based on charity and love of God:

"60. If fear of punishment alone animates penance, the more intense this is, the more it leads to despair.

61. Fear restrains nothing but the hand, but the heart is addicted to the sin as long as it is not guided by a love of justice.

62. He who does not refrain from evil except through fear of punishment, commits that evil in his heart, and is already guilty before God.

63. A baptized person is still under the law as a Jew, if he does not fulfill the law, or if he fulfills it from fear alone.

64. Good is never done under the condemnation of the law, because one sins either by doing evil or by avoiding it only through fear.

65. Moses, the prophets, priests, and doctors of the Law died without having given any son to God, since they produced only slaves through fear.

66. He who wishes to approach to God, should not come to Him with brutal passions, nor be led to Him by natural instinct, or through fear as animals, but through faith and love, as sons.

67. Servile fear does not represent God to itself except as a stern imperious, unjust, unyielding master."

Edward More said...

Just forgot to include this passage from the above encyclical; to be honest I was pretty much blown away by a pontiff readily admitting that the Church sometimes does pronounce unjust excommunications. I was very much reminded of Arch. Lefebvre when I read this:

"91. The fear of an unjust excommunication should never hinder us from fulfilling our duty; never are we separated from the Church, even when by the wickedness of men we seem to be expelled from it, as long as we are attached to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Church herself by charity.

92. To suffer in peace an excommunication and an unjust anathema rather than betray truth, is to imitate St. Paul; far be it from rebelling against authority or of destroying unity.

93 Jesus sometimes heals the wounds which the precipitous haste of the first pastors inflicted without His command. Jesus restored what they, with inconsidered zeal, cut off.

94. Nothing engenders a worse opinion of the Church among her enemies than to see exercised there an absolute rule over the faith of the faithful, and to see divisions fostered because of matters which do not violate faith or morals."

James Jordan said...

"Pope Francis is using a classic old socialist trick--ridicule and mock one group in order to divide and conquer."

If you guys had grown up Protestant you'd know its a CALVINIST trick. All the Calvinists do is ridicule everyone as Pelagians until they convert to Calvinism; its how they take over Baptist churches like the SBC after infiltrating them.

Peter Karl T. Perkins said...

G.M.M.F. is right: they were quietists but read more about them. They were also elitists, eschewing prayer and worship with other Catholics. This is indeed what he is referring to. Traditionalists, it is charged, eschew worship with the New Mass people and are therefore elitist. This is what he means. I did not realise that the Pelegrinni were from the 17th century, however.

P.K.T.P.

Peter Karl T. Perkins said...

The Pelagini were from the area of Milan and Brescia. They were said to avoid the company of others and they set up their own chapels. It is thie independence rather than their quietism which Pope Francis is referring to. Did not Pope Francis himself come from Northern Italy? Perhaps he knew about these 'Pelgini' (Pelagians) from his father. In English, the term 'Pelagian' can refer to this group as well as to the Pelagians we think of.

P.K.T.P.

Peter Karl T. Perkins said...

I've just checked the reference on Pelagians on Wikipedia, so that I don't have to go on memory on this one. Sorry about getting the century wrong for them. The article there says that they "abhorred association with others". It also says that they worshipped separately and built their own chapels, where they excluded other faithful Yes, they were indeed quietists but I think that Pope Francis is pointing to their refusal to worshop with others and their general disdain for other faithful. That's what he's referring to here. It is not a perfect fit but it fits much better than a refernce to the Pelagians of the much earlier heresy.

If the Pope is referring to these 17th century Pelegrini centred at St. Pelagius Church in Milan, this works well in combination with the noun 'restorationist'; that is, they wanted to restore previous forms of worship and disdained the company of other Catholics, or even contemned other faithful. To Pope Francis, the post-conciliar Catholic is the standard and those using 'previous forms and expressions' are an exception to be discouraged. He's said words to that effect before. Of course, if we avoid the New Mass and those who attend it, it might be simply that we adhere to the Traditional Latin Mass but the two are, in our time, apposed to each other for necessary historical reasons. For example, our Mass was illegally suppressed for fifty years. There will be the tendency to eschew the company of those who broke their own laws to take away what was most important to you, no?

P.K.T.P.

Willard Money said...

Willard Money said...

The basic idea is that trads "suffer" with having many kids, driving many miles to the "correct" mass, avoiding impure conversations with their buddies at work, etc. etc. And because the trad does all these things, he think God OWES him and also really hates the idea of mercy being to shown anyone who doesn't also have to suffer likewise. .... The Pope is saying it is pelagianism if you think that by being a traddy you think you are "earning" some favor with God.

Very interesting speculation.

But it would be based on a type of inside knowledge of supposed "mentalities" that V2 liberals like Bergoglio would have no access to.

I certainly can't see any of the many trad parishioners I've had over the decades confiding anything at all about their interior dispositions to clergy of his ilk — still less, the bitter caricature that you present.

So I think that the real reason for slinging the "P-word" at trads is probably to be found elsewhere.

Father you only have to spend about 6 months around a typical trad chapel to gain the "not so inside knowledge" of trad interior dispositions. Not a week went by when the gossip machine didn't resound with how much better Catholics so and so were because they were on their 9th kid in 11 years. I swear some of them didn't breastfeed so that they could get pregnant again as soon as possible...like some weird contest. This mentality is pure pelagianism and it is exactly the kind of thing Pope Francis would be aware of. Also it ties in nicely with those who think they are so impressive because they said 357 rosaries. Not 356...357.

t said...

Very good arictle and very needed too.
Re: the grace, good works and atheists, let me try to clarify the confusion. It is really simple - there are two kinds of grace: sanctifying grace and actual grace. Now, to obtain salvation, sanctifying grace is needed; it comes from sacraments and atheists (as well as other non-christians) presumably don't have it. But to do good works, only actual (and not necessarily sanctifying) grace is needed. Now as far as I understand, it is common theological opinion that God gives actual graces to every man, even atheists, pagans, etc. That's how it is possible for them to perform good works. So, it would be wrong to say that non-christians cannot do good works (this would be Jansenism, if I understand it correctly), but it would also be wrong to say that non-christians can obtain salvation by their good works (pure and simple Pelagianism).

Lynda Wolf said...

I am I guess you would call a "baby Catholic" in that although I joined the Church 9 years ago I still am learning so much. Every time I think I am grasping something, a new concept comes along I'd never thought of before like this. Makes me think, a lot. For example on the subject of infant baptism, during my last pregnancy I knew the exact date I would deliver as it was a planned surgery so I tried to schedule the baptism but it wasn't in the parish's schedule. It would have to wait until he was about 2 months old. Why? We have a small parish and even a quick rite after mass would've been fine with us. Really made me cry inside.

Peter Karl T. Perkins said...

A short added comment:

Pope Francis said on a previous occasion that 'restorationists' were those who used 'outmoded' or 'outdated' forms or practices of worship, like counting beads or attaching too much importance to numbers (e.g. maybe in novenas). After the council, there was a deliberate attempt, for example, to break numerical standards, like praying seventy petitions in a litany to commemorate the seventy years of our Lady on earth, or using thirty-three beads, for instance, in the Chaplet of the Blessed Sacrament, or making a petition for nine days in a novena.

That's the restorationist part. Yes, we want to restore what the Pauline barbarians of the 1960s destroyed; namely, Catholic civilisation.

The Pelagian part works better if the reference is to the 17th century Pelagians, who abhorred the company of others and prayed apart, even building their own chapels. does this sound familiar? Traditionalists seek to worship in their own chapels and to erect personal parishes, and they avoid the New Mass and those who attend it. That's the meaning here. Some trads even want their own parallel dioceses, like the personal Apostolic Administration of St. John-Mary Vianney in Brazil.

To Pope Francis, this is bad, very bad. The New Mass has set a new standard in the Church because Vatican II was called to 'update' and bring the Church in line with the modern world. Those who refuse to conform to this great new hippie standard are rejecting the spirit of a valid œcumenical Council. They must be discouraged. They must ask themselves why they are setting their teeth against God's will.

We can only wonder if the massive decline in vocations, churchgoing, recourse to the Sacraments and formation in the Faith at Catholic schools was also the will of God. Looks to me like the will of the other guy, the one over there in red with the horns.

P.K.T.P.

gerald may said...

Fr. Rev. Anthony Cekada wrote, “so I think that the real reason for slinging the "P-word" at trads is probably to be found elsewhere.”

I too, father, am scratching my head on this one. If the “P” word doesn’t fit, then the Pope should the trads acquit. If practicing the Catholic faith in continuity with tradition is a form of, or any type of Pelagianism, Pellegrinism, elitism or whatever, then that would mean that all Catholics who held and practiced the faith prior to VII, would all be flying under the same flag, which would include many great Saints. Thus far, we have “stubborn”,"rosary bead counters" and now Pelagian. In addition, are we traditional minded Catholics to be labeled Donatists, or the dreaded “D” word. There seems to be no end in sight to these inanities.

culbreath said...

I think it most likely that Pope Francis has adopted the historic Lutheran abuse and mis-use of the term "Pelagian". Lutheran theologians have long condemned Catholic soteriology has "Pelagian" because of its emphasis on works and merit - "works righteousness". That fits the context of the pope's remarks best. Why would he do this? I don't know. Perhaps he thinks the Lutheran condemnation has merit when it comes to traditionalist Catholic piety. But it sure does get Pelagianism wrong.

r100s said...

"In Rome, too, there are clear signs that a new order has already arisen.

Clergy who chafed under what they perceived as a mounting liturgical fastidiousness during the late John Paul II and Benedict years -- showing up for a papal Mass, for instance, only to be told they weren't properly dressed because they weren't sporting enough crimson and lace -- report all that ended in mid-March."

- John Allen, NCR, today

Scott Ramsay said...

The thought of the accusation of being a rosary-bead counter amuses me some.

I remember when I worked for the Catholic Church full-time a little over a decade ago: I was told that Vatican II had taught us that we (the Church) had much to learn from the "world" such as modern business practices. (So much for "the world, the flesh, and the Devil" being the classic triad of evil!) They brought in some business hotshot and all of a sudden everything had to be measurable -- baptisms, weddings, students in this year's kindergarten class, money in the plate at each liturgy (they didn't like the term "mass"). If the 7 AM mass lost money or wasn't producing results in terms of sacraments vice funerals, it was a "cut-and-gut." That was quite a progressive diocese...but now it's we the Traditionalists who are the ones obsessed with numbers.

My own experience with novenas, the "forty" days of Lent, and the like: numbers can be good things when they're goals to let God help one on the path to holiness. Numbers can be good with children who are often so concrete in their thinking -- "Just looks kids, you've made 5585 rosaries! Good job and the Lord will bless you for it!" When numbers are an end in themselves, yes, they're ludicrous.

How the currently number-obsessed tag us with the label appropriate to themselves is anyone's guess. The irony!

It's late. I'll go to bed and ask the Blessed Mother to intercede for me to have a good night's sleep and to stop me from being a Pelagian if so I am (though I don't think so!)...ah, Compline!

-- In Christ Jesus Through Mary,

Scott Thomas Ramsay

Rev. Anthony Cekada said...

William Money said:

Father you only have to spend about 6 months around a typical trad chapel to gain the "not so inside knowledge" of trad interior dispositions. Not a week went by when the gossip machine didn't resound with how much better Catholics so and so were because they were on their 9th kid in 11 years. I swear some of them didn't breastfeed so that they could get pregnant again as soon as possible...like some weird contest. This mentality is pure pelagianism and it is exactly the kind of thing Pope Francis would be aware of. Also it ties in nicely with those who think they are so impressive because they said 357 rosaries. Not 356...357.


Dear Mr. Money,

In the thirty-six years since my ordination, I've offered Mass for traditionalist groups literally all over the U.S. I've also lived long-term at a few trad parishes where I got to know the faithful very, very well.

After all those years and all that interaction with the laity, I can say that I've encountered the mentality you describe in a mere handful of cases.

You obviously bumped into one of the exceptions. Bad as the experience may have been for you, it's not fair to tar all trad chapel members everywhere with this brush.

I don't see how Francis could have been "aware" of such a mentality, still less, to have used it as a jump-off point to arrive at a grand generalization about "Pelagianism."

He doesn't exactly strike me as a deep thinker. I think he cribbed the term from some fellow liberal, and I would be very interested to find out who.

Thomas Lewis said...

I do believe, since I have been a traditionalist for the last eighteen years, am a cradle catholic as well, and have studied my Catholic Catechism and a few more Catholic documents, comprehend the heresy of Pelagianism fairly well. That together together with my observations of the actions taken by the new visible head of the Roman Catholic Church, I now believe that this newly elected pope, a Jesuit, a progressive, having extremely liberal views is in full support of the documents of Vatican II'(which for the purpose of this comment includes Dignitatis Humanae, Gaudium et Spes, Nostra Aetate, Unitatis Reintegratio, and Ad Gentes) when put all together functionally support the Modernist definition of Religious Liberty, Toleration, as well as the American heresy "Americanism," more recently defined as a modified version of Pelagianism turned Roman Catholic.

This simply put is the black Pot calling the old white Kettle - black. A little pun in that the head of the Jesuits is usually called the black pope.

Pelagianism defined puts action before prayer, suggest that Christ is not here to save the souls of mankind, and changes the Catholic Church by moving it away from it’s center piece which is Christ example of His "Sacred Heart," towards the materialist efforts of feeding the poor. Francis shows an almost annoyance to the primary goal of the Catholic Church in spreading the faith, hope, and message of charity (the love of God), together with the feeding of souls within the sacraments of the Mass and Confession.

In other words Pope Francis has made his play and has shown his hand indicating that he is for the most part a Marxist materialist, while on the other hand holding an almost benign badge called "catholic" which looks like a bottle opener around his neck.

This move by this particular pope is deceptive, as well as ignorant and can only do harm. I, do not believe that Benedict, or John Paul II, Paul VI or even John XXIII would make such an ignorant abuse of the use of a heresy that has been around for almost 1700 years. The truth of the matter is that the outcome of Vatican II, together with this pope's view combined, is "that the Catholic Church must promote the Social Gospel," FIRST.

This statement accusing Traditionalist of being Pelagianist is ignorant of the 2000 year old history of the institution.

Pope Francis, has been literally instructing Catholic youth, to change the message of the church, while down playing traditionalist as in the way and only "Navel watching Retrogrades," that traditionalist do not contribute anything significant to what Pope Francis calls his "Modern Catholic Church. The fact remains and the Holy Scriptures says it that the Catholic Church will never be modern, for God never changes. However, Pope Francis is making a great effort to defy Holy Scriptures.

Curiously this entire move by Pope Francis is in effect promoting Pelagianism within the Church, defying the Catholic Churches Mission, Responsibility, and very Existence whose primary purpose is and has always been the saving of souls, not setting up welfare kitchens. Apparently Pope Francis wants to be the leader of the NEW Salvation Army.

Gratias said...

Thomas Lewis, thank you for the laughs with "an almost benign badge called "catholic" which looks like a bottle opener around his neck." An excellent post.

Mary Kay said...

I think Our Lord once said that even the pagans give bread, not stones,to their children. I think bread is good, at least as compared with stones. I also believe that the sinner,cut off from grace because of mortal sin, has often been brought back to the Church, even if it takes some time. I have seen these things with my own loved ones. Somehow, their action, in praying, was good. Maybe the good is all on God's part, but He must have heard the prayers of those sinners.

One more thing: as a life-long Trad I have seen all kinds of characters: Little House on the Prairie types; new-age-y characters; old hippies; reformed buddhists; grunge rock band members (like my sons, the altar boys...) even old Psych majors such as myself. If you look beneath the surface you'll see the same cross-section as you see in most other RC Churches. Please don't attack with generalizations from one or two rural Trad chapels.

Barbara said...

All these labels are a defence mechanism of the dear tend-to-modernism- brothers and sisters who are bossing everyone else around in the Church.

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

Mr. Money, are you sure your name is not really "Mahony"? Your way of thinking sounds very familiar. Be sure to take your beach ball to mass next Sunday.

LeonG said...

This labelling of traditional Catholics is characteristic already of this liberal modernist pope who does not understnad The Roman Catholic Faith. How can he when he does not understand Latin, the language of The Church?

I would have given him a year before making comments but he does not sound entirely Catholic when he speaks. It is our duty to say so.

Adfero said...

Mr. Money, you're comment was anything but on the money.

As Father said, Francis couldn't possibly have seen the few exceptions who may think like that (I've never even met one). How could he have seen them as he denied ANY traditional Mass in his archdiocese to exist that would breed these traditionals in the first place?

If this happened in his archdiocese, it happened in the Novus Ordo, since he allowed no TLMs and thwarted Summorum.