Rorate Caeli

Pope Francis against the "Pelagianism" of "restorationism": this time, it's official.

When the Pope's private remarks to the presiding board of the Confederación Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Religiosos y Religiosas about the "pelagianism" of "restorationist" groups were first reported here on Rorate and some other blogs and websites, one of the reactions, especially from some of those who adhere to the new orthodoxy that little or nothing has changed since March 13 of this year, was that the remarks were probably fabricated in the imagination of the CLAR presiding board members. 

Today, after the Mass at Copacobana, Pope Francis gave a speech to the leadership of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean or CELAM. In the course of his speech he spoke of three temptations against "missionary discipleship", one of which is that of "making the Gospel message an ideology". He then mentions four ways by which the Gospel message is made an ideology, one of which is -- "The Pelagian solution". 

It may be of interest to our readers, especially those conversant with the history of the debates over the Council Documents, that the only passage from Vatican Council II that is cited here is the opening sentence of Gaudium et Spes, a passage that Pope Francis describes in this address as "the basis (of the Church's) dialogue with the contemporary world".

It cannot be denied that some passages in this speech will also make liberals uncomfortable. Our concern here, in this Traditional Catholic blog, is on what might adversely impact Traditional Catholicism, especially in Latin America where it is far more beleaguered and persecuted than in many other parts of the Catholic Church. 

From the Vatican Radio translation of the full text of the prepared address: Pope Francis: address to CELAM leadership. There were many off-the-cuff remarks which Radio Vaticana has promised to also post soon. (He did pronounce the passage on Pelagianism as already prepared, with the addition of exageradas before a la “seguridad” doctrinal o disciplinaria.)

Some temptations against missionary discipleship

The decision for missionary discipleship will encounter temptation. It is important to know where the evil spirit is afoot in order to aid our discernment. It is not a matter of chasing after demons, but simply one of clear-sightedness and evangelical astuteness. I will mention only a few attitudes which are evidence of a Church which is “tempted”. It has to do with recognizing certain contemporary proposals which can parody the process of missionary discipleship and hold back, even bring to a halt, the process of Pastoral Conversion.

1. Making the Gospel message an ideology. This is a temptation which has been present in the Church from the beginning: the attempt to interpret the Gospel apart from the Gospel itself and apart from the Church. An example: Aparecida, at one particular moment, felt this temptation. It employed, and rightly so, the method of “see, judge and act” (cf. No. 19). The temptation, though, was to opt for a way of “seeing” which was completely “antiseptic”, detached and unengaged, which is impossible. The way we “see” is always affected by the way we direct our gaze. There is no such thing as an “antiseptic” hermeneutics. The question was, rather: How are we going to look at reality in order to see it? Aparecida replied: With the eyes of discipleship. This is the way Nos. 20-32 are to be understood. There are other ways of making the message an ideology, and at present proposals of this sort are appearing in Latin America and the Caribbean. I mention only a few:

a) Sociological reductionism. This is the most readily available means of making the message an ideology. At certain times it has proved extremely influential. It involves an interpretative claim based on a hermeneutics drawn from the social sciences. It extends to the most varied fields, from market liberalism to Marxist categorization.

b) Psychologizing. Here we have to do with an elitist hermeneutics which ultimately reduces the “encounter with Jesus Christ” and its development to a process of growing self- awareness. It is ordinarily to be found in spirituality courses, spiritual retreats, etc. It ends up being an immanent, self-centred approach. It has nothing to do with transcendence and consequently, with missionary spirit.

c) The Gnostic solution. Closely linked to the previous temptation, it is ordinarily found in elite groups offering a higher spirituality, generally disembodied, which ends up in a preoccupation with certain pastoral “quaestiones disputatae”. It was the first deviation in the early community and it reappears throughout the Church’s history in ever new and revised versions. Generally its adherents are known as “enlightened Catholics” (since they are in fact rooted in the culture of the Enlightenment).

d) The Pelagian solution. This basically appears as a form of restorationism. In dealing with the Church’s problems, a purely disciplinary solution is sought, through the restoration of outdated manners and forms which, even on the cultural level, are no longer meaningful. In Latin America it is usually to be found in small groups, in some new religious congregations, in (exaggerated) tendencies to doctrinal or disciplinary “safety”. Basically it is static, although it is capable of inversion, in a process of regression. It seeks to “recover” the lost past.

(Rorate: The original Spanish text of this paragraph is: d) La propuesta pelagiana. Aparece fundamentalmente bajo la forma de restauracionismo. Ante los males de la Iglesia se busca una solución sólo en la disciplina, en la restauración de conductas y formas superadas que, incluso culturalmente, no tienen capacidad significativa. En América Latina suele darse en pequeños grupos, en algunas nuevas Congregaciones Religiosas, en tendencias exageradas a la “seguridad” doctrinal o disciplinaria. Fundamentalmente es estática, si bien puede prometerse una dinámica hacia adentro: involuciona. Busca “recuperar” el pasado perdido. The Pope added "exageradas" during actual delivery.)

2. Functionalism. Its effect on the Church is paralyzing. More than being interested in the road itself, it is concerned with fixing holes in the road. A functionalist approach has no room for mystery; it aims at efficiency. It reduces the reality of the Church to the structure of an NGO. What counts are quantifiable results and statistics. The Church ends up being run like any other business organization. It applies a sort of “theology of prosperity” to the organization of pastoral work.

3. Clericalism is also a temptation very present in Latin America. Curiously, in the majority of cases, it has to do with a sinful complicity: the priest clericalizes the lay person and the lay person kindly asks to be clericalized, because deep down it is easier. The phenomenon of clericalism explains, in great part, the lack of maturity and Christian freedom in a good part of the Latin American laity. Either they simply do not grow (the majority), or else they take refuge in forms of ideology like those we have just seen, or in partial and limited ways of belonging. Yet in our countries there does exist a form of freedom of the laity which finds expression in communal experiences: Catholic as community. Here one sees a greater autonomy, which on the whole is a healthy thing, basically expressed through popular piety. The chapter of the Aparecida document on popular piety describes this dimension in detail. The spread of bible study groups, of ecclesial basic communities and of Pastoral Councils is in fact helping to overcome clericalism and to increase lay responsibility.

We could continue by describing other temptations against missionary discipleship, but I consider these to be the most important and influential at present for Latin America and the Caribbean.


  1. OK: well, is there any truth to his claim?

  2. Anonymous10:09 PM

    I think it would be a mistake to read into this. The context is clearly the Latin American situation which (as RC has pointed out again and again) lacks a firm TLM movement in most places.

    He certainly MIGHT be talking about a "manner and form" of liturgy, but I don't see how that can be presumed.

  3. There is some truth in this categorization.

    The weakness of the post-conciliar culture is a form of Pelagianism along the lines of Rousseau: the idea that man following his nature, which has no original sin, can save himself.

    The necessary remedy for this heresy is an awareness of original sin, the need for formation for our wounded natures, and thus the centrality of discipline in discipleship.

    It is possible, though-- a temptation- for Catholics returning to the traditional remedy to Pelagianism, to become another form of Pelagianism that idolizes discipline, giving law and power pride of place, rather than the person of Jesus Christ. This would be a temptation to discipline without discipleship.

    While the former form of Pelagianism is far more widespread, I think Benedict and Francis both make these critiques of traditional reformers to "nip it in the bud" -- the temptations that is.

    I'm not sure about Francis, but I think Benedict sometimes seemed hard on traditionalists precisely because he saw tradition as the remedy, and wanted to keep it on course from the beginning.

    Pelagianism is a real temptation for traditionalists, not just modernists.

  4. Traditionalists need to out Bergoglio Bergoglio. Ramp up traditionalist work among the poor. Bolster orthopraxy with traditional liturgical orthodoxy. Attract people with beautiful EF liturgy, but don't harness it to a political myth of coherence, allow its sun to fall on all. Traditionalists need to be the most welcoming Catholics there are.

  5. Lovers of Liturgical Tradition in the Catholic need to be the most welcoming Catholics there can be. We need to out Bergoglio Bergoglio.

    Let's not be fettered to political myths of coherence.

    Let's bring bread, charity and the EF to the poor, the sinners and the oppressed. And be obvious about it.

  6. The Holy Father made a lot of remarks beyond the text he had in his hands.
    The address published here (and in Radio Vaticana) is this written text the Pope had in his hands and not what he really said.

    For instance, in 1.b) Pope Francis explicitly mentioned how useless the *eneagram* was.
    He mentioned it here:

    "It is ordinarily to be found in spirituality courses, spiritual retreats, etc. [HERE] It ends up being an immanent, self-centred approach."

    I saw it live. Is there anyway to get the video or the real text the Holy Father said?

  7. It is already well known that the Holy Father has no use for traditionalism.

    The posted remarks shed no additional light on those views.

    Indeed, they do not appear to shed light on anything.

    His remarks are a farrago of buzzwords and devil terms of a very strong "progressive" character.

    But I defy anyone to claim to make any sense of them beyond that. To call them "vague" is to give them far too much credit.

    In particular, the Holy Father's critique of traditionalism might be characterized as sub-caricature, so little connection does it make with anything that could reasonable be called traditionalism.

    It is as if conciliar ambiguity has been replaced by conciliar incomprehensibility.

    In saying this, I'm not trying to be snide. I'm in dead earnest.

    Cardinal Bergoglio was a known quantity.

    I think he was elected precisely because he was a man with neither gift for nor interest in clarity.

    As such, his writings and addresses are quite beyond criticism.

    The incomprehensible is irrefutable.

    So perhaps there is even worse to come in the conciliar Gethsemane. t

    We must continue to watch and pray, and enter not into temptation.

  8. "The Holy Father made a lot of remarks beyond the text he had in his hands.
    The address published here (and in Radio Vaticana) is this written text the Pope had in his hands and not what he really said."


    It would be correct to say that this written text is not ALL that he said. However, he did pronounce almost all of the prepared text; his off-the-cuff remarks were largely add-ons, not replacements, for parts of the speech.

  9. Anonymous11:13 PM

    It's odd how everyone is trying to interpret the Pope's "word-mapping," rather than taking it on its face: the Pope hates Tradition and made no fuss about it, especially in the references describing "small groups, in some new religious congregations, in (exaggerated) tendencies to doctrinal or disciplinary 'safety.' Basically it is static, although it is capable of inversion, in a process of regression. It seeks to “recover” the lost past.

    See, right there. It is what it. This Pope can't stand Tradition. Lately he has been talking the talk but with this little chat, the talk is becoming more barbed. Now all we have to do is see where he actually aims those barbs.


  10. Speaking of "outdated manners and forms which, even on the cultural level, are no longer meaningful," has the pope been to a Novus Ordo Mass recently?

    Singing hymns and shaking hands were outdated a loooong time ago.

  11. We can't blame him for trying to make the opposite of traditionalists happy. He's the Holy Father, after all. I'm trying my best to keep faithful to Him.

    Don't worry, we just have to keep at it. It's not like we're doing anything wrong. The biological solution will be our allies. How can it not be- the urge to abort and contracept are strong outside traditionalism, so... People who want to change the teachings of the Church are doing harm to themselves, so we have to be here so that when they've run out of steam, we can keep going.

  12. Traditionalism isn't a regression but a creative response to the modern challenges that we face.

    As for excessive discipline--didn't the strictest (pre-council) orders and institutes experience the biggest collapses in discipline and identity after the wave of flower power moved through the Church? I think it's fair to say that the excessive rigidity that was in vogue before the Council can bear much of the blame for the dramatic and swift collapse which we saw happen.

  13. Of course we want restorationism! Restore all things in Christ!

    Seeking for a chimerical Hegelian synthesis, as Küng has proposed, is not a solution.

  14. I like his new definition of clericalism: that the laity can be clericalized, too.


  15. Interesting comments.

    I do think that the typical NO parish has lots of Pelagianism in its "he helped out every week with the(fill in the blank)so now he's surely in heaven.

    But, sure, Traditional Catholic piety has lots of ways of going wrong; it comes with being the truth and being virtuous--it's the balance of sanity.

  16. "Ramp up traditionalist work among the poor."

    NO! And this really irritates me. Are you saying that we should perform the works of mercy to advance our ideology?? OH, NO TO THAT!

    Unlike the current the pope, we don't bang our gongs on the street corners, nor do we preform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy as a way to advance an ideology.

    We perform those works to save our souls, and that it is. We love our neighbor out of love for God. It's going back to the basics. You know? The Act of Charity??

    To do good works out of love for God and a desire to live with Him into eternity in Heaven is the only legitimate reason to perform good works. God does not serve man; man serves God!

    But I guess that's just static and regressive. Really, folks, what's culturally relevant about the salvation of souls in the eyes of these Neo-Modernists?

  17. @ José Tomás

    How odd that the very Gospel of today contains Jesus' words about persistence in prayer, i.e. what often is called 'storming heaven with prayers', :

    "I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs." Luke 11:8

    I cannot for the life of me see how a 'gift' of persistent prayer, Mary's prayer, the Rosary, is Pelagian or can be scorned as 'forcing the hand of God'

    Remember too:

    "I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out by her unending pleas.'
    And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says! Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?” Luke 18:4-7

    It's all gone topsy turvy.

  18. According to Rowland, in one of her books on Benedict, according to Benedict, the collapse came partly because piety and theology had parted ways. The pious didn't have strong foundations; the theologians weren't praying: this equals collapse.

  19. David, Bringing tradition to the poor alongside alms would not aid salvation?. Lovers of traditional Catholic Liturgy should out Bergoglio Bergoglio. There are many reasons why.

  20. By the way, my heart ached today to see such an enormous throng of young people at the Pope's WYD closing Mass and to hear them commissioned to go forth into the world to evangelize all men in Christ's name.

    Brave youth!

    It heartened me too to see such exuberant innocence notwithstanding the depth of catechesis they may or may not have received to date.

    In the end I should have preferred to have them exhorted with these words:

    "Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves." Matthew 10:16

    I remarked to my wife as we watched the Mass that the uproarious emotions seemed to me like the manner with which the crowds must have hailed Jesus on Palm Sunday.

    I believe in my heart of hearts that Good Friday for the Church (and all of us) is not far off.

  21. Sounds like Obama... "Fearfully clinging to guns and religion" changed to "Bitterly clinging to incense and bells."

    Yes we 'cling'. We cling to timeless truth, we cling to what we love.

  22. In my opinion the Church has already began her Good Friday.

  23. I would agree with Scurlock here, and perhaps he is also thinking, as I am (as an Ordinariate person), of the parallel case of the Anglo-Catholic movement within the XIXth Century Church of England. It was precisely the Anglo-Catholic (or "ritualist") outreach into the slums and hovels of London and other English cities that gave them the standing in the eyes of the Establishment and the people that was needed to overcome the initial reserve (and litigation) felt by those worthies and to allow the AC movement to predominate in the CofE for decades up to the Fifties or so. John Shelton Reed's book "In Glorious Battle" is the humorous account of these things.

    Of course, there is another side: from what I read, it appears that the assumption held by many of the AC priests who went into the slums was that, in addition to their charitable work, the lower classes would automatically take to the beauty of Anglo-Catholic (basically the TLM in English, and in some really "high" churches, even in Latin) worship. While the AC clergy were no doubt loved by their flocks, it seems questionable whether they in fact were able to love the liturgies that much as well.

  24. I think it's jumping the gun to assume Pope Francis is referring to traditionalists here. You have to look at it through his eyes, not yours. Pope Francis' view is still very much Argentinean. He is still very dependent on Spanish (his only other language, Italian is reportedly not good and note that he gave all his speeches there in Spanish - this is a departure from the last two popes precisely because of his deep Argentinean roots.)

    If you look, he has discussed "restorationists" before here:

    Here is defines them by their "rigid religiosity" "disguised with doctrines that claim to ive justifications, but in reality deprive people of their freedom." The result is young people who join these groups later 'crack.' He's obviously not discussing the liturgy here.

    Through the work on our blog we've been put in touch with a number of traditional Argentineans and they too refer to these groups as restorationist, fundamentalist, or neoconservative groups. They all are post-conciliar groups, most with animosity towards traditionalists, in fact. I could name a few of the groups they usually have in mind, but rather than derail the discussion I'll just let you guess (think along the lines of the LC.)

    Point being, through Argentine eyes, with different experiences and facing different problems, "restorationist" probably does not reference the TLM or those that support it, but rather sects within the Church which are more prominent in Argentina than the USA and perhaps other western countries.

  25. IVE, can it be that Francis is hinting at Opus Dei and the Legion of Christ?

    I would like to believe this, but I am not holding my breath, since he has appointed several Opus Dei clerics to important functions. He may be just as misguided in this regard as JP and Benedict - Opus Dei has such a perfect propaganda machine that they were able to seduce even John Allen from the NCR!

    Opus Dei effectively destroyed my life and that of thousands of other people who offered their lives to God. Well, it "almost" destroyed my life, since the Lord is Merciful and never gave up of me. But not everyone was so blessed, many people left the Church and even faith in God after their disastrous experiences in these heretical institutions. For more info, just check

    The one thing that was good in Opus Dei was Liturgy. Novus Ordo in Latin full of Gregorian Chant. I never got a good Mass after leaving it. But it was a very good reminder for me that good Liturgy is compatible with pharisaism and even heresy.

  26. To Jose Tomas, I would say that the difference between Protestants and Catholics is not love of the Pope, good or bad. Rather it is the true Sacrifice of the Mass in the Catholic Church; not the Protestant, English Mass but the re-enactment of Calvary which takes place at the true Mass.This Mass was codified by a Canonized Pope whom we Traditionalists love dearly.

  27. The sure way to turn the tide: sanctity. We must become saints. It's the only thing worth giving your energy to, and it's the only effective way to fight modernism. God can, and will, crush it in an instant. It's His Church, and He is with us, but He'll be more fully throughout the Church Militant if we become saints. Pray for sanctity! Pray to be filled with Divine Love! Pray to have self-love destroyed within you, and to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

  28. It seems we will have to study these famous Aparecida CELAM documents to learn where the Church is being taken by Pope Francis.

  29. The news here is this:


    ....things just keep moving right along an accelerated pace since Pope Benedict's the wrong direction for Traditional Catholics - the only type of Catholic that existed 50 years or so ago....

  30. Bergoglios' approach is more reminiscent to restoration of old religion of paganism. As far as we trads are concerned his honeymoon with us is well and truly over.We gave him a benefit of doubt. Scepticism of some concerning H.H. Francis proved to be correct.

  31. These are shaping as tough years for Traditionalists. If Pelagianism means Latin Mass in Bergoglian we have a big problem.

    On the other hand, pope Francisco taught that the elderly are the bearers of the memory of the people. By not listening to what the elderly have to say we are committing "cultural euthanasia". The Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy is the ultimate transmission of memory vehicle. And a great insurance of survival in case the Council Vatican II implodes. We are but small numbers but potentially very useful to the Church.

    If the famous Pelagianists are us, then Una Voce types need a short-term line of defense during which we should donate large amounts of money to the few Diocesan parishes that host us. In this way we become an important part of the pastoral experience. Every traditional Catholic should be registered in their host Diocesan parish and have nice weekly donation cheques ready.

  32. Looks to me like a critique of conservatism, rather than anything else.

  33. Seeking to be understood more than understand. The pope does not understand traditionalism which is not about hankering after an idealised past! It is about continuity and incorporates change and adaption in the process of transmission. It is not fake and flakey joining in with whatever fashion dictates or seems "modern". I suggest the Holy father reflect of what modernity is. It is a chasing after fashion for its own saked alone and that very modern fashion becomes redundant and disposable the moment its second is over! It is like a dog chasing cars. When an old dog does it it seesm especially stupid. With all respect the the Pope he needs to disentangle his prejudices from whatever post colonial syndrome his immigrant family picked up in South America!

  34. Dear Jose Tomas, please don't display crocodile tears and posing as a victim and in the meantime attempting to sterelize the forum. Some gays from time to time attempt to act likewise. Sinse you like to give impression of objective critique, than why is the world in such quagmire? Your attempt to try defend and exonerate the modern popes and church of their role in this unwholsome mess paramounts to gross dishonesty. Don't expect everyone to jump on your sentimental band wagon and toss the facts out thorough the window.

  35. Sandro Magister confirms my above post:

  36. One could claim re-evangilisation is an effort to reintroduce outdated concepts ideas and practises but I'm sure the Pope does not believe that. I'm not sure what he means as I don't recognise the problems he is referring too. Neither do I recognise the mature faith communities he is talking about "in our countries".
    "The spread of bible study groups, of ecclesial basic communities and of Pastoral Councils is in fact helping to overcome clericalism and to increase lay responsibility."
    That is has not been my personal experience at all. Bible study groups are very difficult if you do not have a Catholic scriptural scholar leading it. Pastoral councils are a disaster and interfere with proper community relations in my view. Keep the laity out of the sacristy. I have no problem with lay missions in society but the interference in Church matters are really disruptive. The problem being that the well adjusted laity know not to interfere but the power grabbing psychopaths can't help but jump in. As a result the laity involved tend to be borderline nut cases. This has been my experience.


  38. His Holiness criticises 6 things here (a, b, c, d, 2 & 3), only 1 of them is aimed at traditionalists. His big guns seem to be aimed mostly at the errors of the "Spirit of Vatican II" crowd.

    And even when he criticises us, his addition of "exaggerated" makes it a criticism of a tendency to excess, not of traditionalism itself.

    I agree that it seems this Pope has no time for traditionalist practices, but I don't think that is actualy hostility, more that he just can't see that we are any use.

    If we can show that we are successful in bringing people back into the church, especially the working class, I think his attitude will change.

    Woody's parallel to the 19th century Anglo Catholic missions to the inner cities is one that occurred to me as well. It wasn't charity, it was liturgy-led mission.

  39. I think IVE info blog may have a good point. There are a number of post-conciliar organizations which would see themselves as being "restorationist" in some sense. I think of the "Neocatechumenate" in particular - are they not far more numerous than traditionalists in Latin America? Do they not believe that they are all about restoring the ancient practices of the Church?

    Quite apart from their heretical eucharistic theology, the charges of Pelagianism and rigidity could easily be levelled at them.

    On the issues of restorationism, archaism, "winding the clock back" and so on, I think we should all take these rather with a pinch of salt when levelled at those who love the traditional liturgy. It is worth remembering that the whole Novus Ordo project from the beginning was predicated on returning to the ancient simple and noble forms of the Roman Rite. The Novus Ordo is an exercise in liturgical archaeologism which, because it was based on many false assumptions and misconceptions, has gone somewhat awry.

    Traditionalism should be presented as the antidote to those who seek to recover a lost past - not their advocate.

  40. The persecution begins:


  41. Jose, your post is out of all proportion to the occasional criticism this blog has offered of the bishop of Rome. It reads a little bit like a "rant" itself. Popes are not immune from criticism when they say and do improvident things. They themselves would be the first to admit that. I cannot count the number of times I heard JP II "bashed" by "liberal" Catholics for his "regressive" views of women, sexuality, etc.

  42. It's the Novo Ordo that is the best expression of Pelagiasm in the Church, all blended with modernism...

  43. While the Holy Father's comments do not speak of the liturgy per se, I think it would be rather naive to assert that he is not implicitly talking about the traditionalist movement at least generally and by extension the Mass. I believe there is cause for traditionalists to be concerned about the future of the Traditional Mass, or at least its' availability. I ran across this in an article by Sandro Magister, entitled "For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict":

    The decree bears the date of July 11, 2013, the protocol number 52741/2012, and the signatures of the prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, a focolarino, and of the secretary of the same congregation, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, a Franciscan....

    ... Rodríguez Carballo instead enjoys the pope's complete trust. His promotion as second-in-command of the congregation was backed by Francis himself at the beginning of his pontificate.

    It is difficult, therefore, to think that pope Bergoglio was unaware of what he was approving when he was presented with the decree before its publication....

    ...But what is most astonishing are the last five lines of the decree of July 11:

    "In addition to the above, the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request."
    [End Quote]


    It sounds like the start of a rollback on Summorum Pontificum, at least in this instance. This deals specifically with the liturgy, namely the TLM, and in my opinion bolsters the argument that HH is no fan of tradition in a universal, not merely geographic, context.

  44. Some "highlights" from the Holy Father's conversation with journalists on the way back from Rio:

    The Ricca Case

    “I did what canon law requires, which is to conduct a preliminary investigation. We didn’t find anything to confirm the things he was accused of, there was nothing … I’d like to add that many times we seem to seek out the sins of somebody’s youth and publish them. We’re not talking about crimes, which are something else. The abuse of minors, for instance, is a crime. But one can sin and then convert, and the Lord both forgives and forgets. We don’t have the right to refuse to forget … it’s dangerous. The theology of sin is important. St. Peter committed one of the greatest sins, denying Christ, and yet they made him pope! Think about that.”

    Gay Lobby

    “There’s a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I’ve never seen it on the Vatican ID card!”

    “When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”

    Full report from NCR

  45. John McFarland said:

    His remarks are a farrago of buzzwords and devil terms of a very strong "progressive" character.But I defy anyone to claim to make any sense of them beyond that.

    This was my impression, too.

    Apart from trads, who or what else is Francis condemning here? Who are the sociologizers, the psychologizers and the Gnosticizers?

    Or are they just phantom targets that will allow him to portray his campaign against trads as a "war against extremes," when in fact trads are his only target?

  46. Jose Tomas, I accuse your judgment of Traditionalists to be mistaken to the extreme. You should first attempt to discover what a Traditionalist is and what we believe, before you make rash judgments. You accuse us of being uncharitable, but I don't see any charity in what you have to say. Your comments are a prime example of one of the points we Traditionalists make about the modernists. And I mean when we condemn the fact that modernists today speak of love, sweet sentimental love, and then they turn on Traditionalists like ravenous wolves. We Traditionalists try our best to be imitators of Christ, we are the stones that the builders have rejected. Our mission is to restore all things in Christ. The Church officially condemned the "heresy of all heresies" which is modernism and we intend to continue to perform the Spiritual Works of Mercy of admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant. Learn who we are, and why we intend to restore the Past, then make a sound judgment. I end with this, you speak of obeying our Holy Father. Tell us, what is your opinion of Summorum Pontificum and of Bl. John Paul ll and Pope Benedict XVl with all their efforts to restore the Tridentine Mass?

  47. At least he admitted that the laity in Latin America "lack maturity", which I have been saying for years in response to Weigel-types who suggest that the Latin American Church is some sort of model for 21st century Catholicism.

  48. Yesterday I went to a TLM in a small desert chapel where a German Chaplain celebrated the mass. About 15 people attended, a persecuted forgotten lot, The priest said he has not celebrated the NO in 15 years or more (this is after mass)and then went on to say, that he has suffered a lot of persecution in that time. He then joked, that if you are not being persecuted, you should question whether you are being true to discipleship, I wonder what Pope would think of this

  49. From the above comment by "said" (comments by Bergoglio on his way back from Rio)

    "We didn’t find anything to confirm the things he was accused of, there was nothing …" So, the bishops conference of Uruguay was ALSO wrong in confirming the Ricca story???? But, I suppose Bergoglio anticipates that most people will not now this inconvenient fact.

    "I’d like to add that many times we seem to seek out the sins of somebody’s youth and publish them. We’re not talking about crimes, which are something else." So, bishop of Rome Bergoglio considers Ricca's multiple sins against purity via sodomy as mere "sins of somebody's youth"??????? For Bergoglio ONLY child abuse is a "crime"???? Bergoglio does not believe the priesthood should be pure, very pure (Our Lady to Jacinta of Fatima), and that to break your purity with the heinous sin of sodomy, tarnishes the priest's soul permanently???

  50. I am a traditional Catholic because a Catholic is traditional.

    I am a traditional Catholic because I want what gives God the most Glory not because I find any particular form of liturgy or Sacraments personally more appealing than the other.

    I am a traditional Catholic because the Saints and Martyrs were before us and the traditional Sacraments, Sacramentals and Liturgy cannot be deceived by any lying novelty.

    Is that pelagianism?

  51. Did Pope Francis say anything at all to the young people at WYD about the importance of personal holiness? Or about living up to the Church's teachings regarding chastity, etc? Or does he equate holiness and virtue only with works of mercy and evangelization? This is what seems to be the case. Salvation through works only.

  52. Gospel Of The Living God Lord Jesus Christ is THE IDEOLOGY OF GOD HIMSELF! The opposing ideology is that of satan.

  53. "I just say this to other commenters here: no, you are not welcoming at all. You are repelling people. If this is what you want, well, you are succeeding at it... So, your cause has a bleak future, if even faithful catholics are turned down in this way."

    Funny, that is exactly the way I felt at several NO parishes, which is why I sought out a parish that offers the TLM.

  54. It may be of interest to our readers, especially those conversant with the history of the debates over the Council Documents, that the only passage from Vatican Council II that is cited here is the opening sentence of Gaudium et Spes, a passage that Pope Francis describes in this address as "the basis (of the Church's) dialogue with the contemporary world".

    I find it quite ironic that the present pontiff's predecessor labeled the same council document 'semi - pelagian'!

  55. Anonymous3:19 AM

    If anything, I'm turned off by people who have a distorted understanding of the Papacy, and think that the Pope is magically incapable that can harm his flock. Toss away the patheos/Catholics Answers blinders and take an objective look at the situation and what past minds have had to say. It isn't 'If something goes wrong in the Church, get mad at people who speak out.' I say this as somebody who isn't terribly worked up at the latest news, whatever it may mean.

    Oh, and the rudest, nastiest parishes I've ever been too are both Novus Ordo. I'm not saying it's all that way, I'm just saying that the 'you're mean!' argument has nothing to do with anything here.

  56. Thank you for sharing this article! It was a very clear and a very good read. I know that Pope Francis is doing his best for the Church and for the people. I am praying that God will give Him the strength and the wisdom to do it.

  57. I just keep remembering the 'bishop dance' and everything falls back into perspective.

  58. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Well, that was a poor job of proofreading on my part.

  59. Peter vs. Peter
    sed contra the words of Pope Pius XII in the 1944 allocution to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility:

    Many minds, even sincere ones, imagine and believe that tradition is nothing more than memory, the pale vestige of a past that no longer exists, that can never return, and that at most is relegated to museums, therein preserved with veneration, perhaps with gratitude, and visited by a few enthusiasts and friends. If tradition consisted only of this, if it were reduced to this, and if it entailed rejection or disdain for the road to the future, then one would be right to deny it respect and honor, and one would have to look with compassion on those who dream over the past and those left behind in face of the present and future...
    But tradition is something very different from a simple attachment to a vanished past; it is the very opposite of a reaction mistrustful of all healthy progress. The word itself is etymologically synonymous with advancement and forward movement—synonymous, but not identical. Whereas, in fact, progress means only a forward march, step by step, in search of an uncertain future, tradition also signifies a forward march, but a continuous march as well, a movement equally brisk and tranquil, in accordance with life’s laws... By virtue of tradition, youth, enlightened and guided by the experience of elders, moves forward with a surer step, and old age can confidently pass on the plow to stronger hands, to continue the furrow already begun. As the word itself implies, tradition is a gift handed down from generation to generation, the torch that at each relay one runner places in and entrusts to the hand of the next, without the race slowing down or coming to a halt. Tradition and progress complement each other so harmoniously that, just as tradition without progress would be a contradiction in terms, so progress without tradition would be a foolhardy proposition, a leap into darkness.

    Let your reason illuminated by Faith decide which Peter is right.

  60. delrancho, The "your mean!" comment you made is the type of comment made by modernists who fake all that love and humility hypocrisy they practice. Pope Benedict XVl said, "Those who battle the unjust to end injustice is an act of Charity", "Charity and Justice go together, they cannot be separated". What you refer to as our mean arguments are not mean at all, as we make these arguments with Charity united with justice. What is mean or rather evil is the modernist heresy that shows no mercy for God and Truth and kill God and Truth in the hearts of the faithful with no remorse. If your are not "terribly worked up" as you say at what is at question here, then ask yourself if you truly love Christ's Church.

  61. Anonymous9:01 PM

    You need to re-read that what I said in context. It's so far off it's pretty sad. I didn't say 'your mean,' (sic) I was referring to the meaningless (pun) 'argument from meanness.' Neo-cats accuse us of 'being mean,' which has nothing to do with the question at hand. Perhaps I should've directly quoted the fellow above who played the 'mean card.' You've got it backwards.

    And so now apparently my love of Christ and Church are under question because I didn't get totally freaked out at the 574,302,404th possibly (if this is true and we know every fact) bad thing I've heard on the internet. Nice thing of you to say.

  62. Every heresy starts with a claim of 'restoration'

  63. Is the Opus Dei also included under Pelagianism?


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