Rorate Caeli

When Doubt Becomes Certainty

When Doubt Becomes Certainty
Michael Charlier
4 October 2023

Image: Titian, National Gallery London. Christ instructs Peter: "Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men." Mt 16,23

The question we asked on the occasion of the "Dubia" by five cardinals, "But where is Peter?" requires an update. In the meantime, the first answer of Francis (of July 11) is available. The text bristles with woolly "on the one hand, on the other hand" statements that avoid any clear orientation and seemingly open up unlimited scope. In this perception, literally all directions within the Church agree.

In the mouthpiece of the German bishops inclined to schism,, a "fundamental theologian" named Gregor Maria Hoff rejoices that the Pope has "opened up leeway" and strengthened "the synodal transformation of the Church" with the Pope's "authorial doctrinal claim." You really have to let that roll off your tongue. Revolution from above.

Faithful voices are horrified and see their most pessimistic expectations of the synod that has just begun confirmed. This ranges from the commentary worth reading "Let your yes be a yes, your no a no!" by Bishop Marian Eleganti to the observation of Luisella Scrosati on La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana: "Francis' answers arouse more doubts than the Dubia." And in addition dozens of others, also from the United States, where, however, attention is already focused on the coming Synod and its feared fruits.

The secular commentariat also knows how to decipher the papal statements. To quote just one of its international flagships, the BBC of Oct. 3 shouts it loudly to the world: "Pope hints at church's readiness to bless same-sex couples." From all this it becomes abundantly clear that the unwillingness (or would it really just be inability?) of the present pontificate to express itself clearly on matters of doctrine is surpassed only by the unconditional will to impose its own position  on the whole Church.

Perhaps the most revealing commentary on both the Dubia and the Synod is due to the world-famous Argentine conjurer and book author Victor Manuel Fernández, newly installed in the formerly honorable Palazzo del Sant'Uffizio. He stressed in the interview that Francis' July non-responses were the pontiff's final response, and accused the senders of the dubia of not appreciating it enough that Francis, "despite his many preoccupations," had bothered to reply to them: "As if the pope were their errand boy"!

On the subject of errand boys, there was once a time when popes knew how to adorn themselves with the title "Servus Servorum Domini Jesu Christi"; even Francis, if memory does not deceive us, is said to have used this formula on occasion. Even more telling is Fernández' rebuke that the cardinals probably have no understanding for the "many occupations" that claimed the pope's time. Does the court jester mean pastimes such as the nth reception of the American homo-missionary Fr. James Martin SJ at the beginning of the Synod? Or the strenuous work on the second environmental encyclical, which has just been published (and which contains virtually no reference to the Christian faith)? Or the who-knows-how-many photo-ops with celebrities of the international jet set like Bill Clinton and Soros Junior (July 6), or Sylvester (Rambo) Stallone (Sept. 9)? Yes, indeed, Francis is a busy man; and that there is no time for cardinals like those of the first set of dubia (of 2016) or now of the second set, must be obvious to every well-meaning person.

What a pontificate! A "one side/other side" obscurantist on the chair of Peter. Surrounded by creatures like the supreme dogma-liquidator Fernández, the liturgy-defiler Roche, the religious-order-destroyer Braz de Aviz, and the "2+2=5"-inventor Spadaro and similar geniuses.

In view of this panopticon of horror, there is hardly any room left for considerations and hopes to be able to resist the evil with human power, and the certainty grows: Here only the Lord himself can help. We are therefore happy to pass on the call of American initiative that each one, in his own place and according to his own abilities, but above all through prayer and sacrifice, should implore the true Lord of the Church to ward off the misery:

We, simple Catholic faithful, wishing to testify to the truth of the Catholic Faith regardless of the Supreme Pontiff's willingness to do so, hereby provide the correct responses to the dubia in light of the Church's constant and unchangeable teaching. We furthermore pledge our prayers and sacrifices, in the form of a spiritual bouquet, for the good of the Church and triumph of the Catholic Faith over the darkness of the present age, praying especially for the day when Peter will cease to be a scandal unto Christ because he "savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men" (Matt. 16:23) but rather fulfill the divine command: "being once converted, confirm thy brethren" (Luke 22:32).