PopeWatch: Homilies

If one wishes to understand this Pope, it is a good idea to look at his homilies.  He often “wings” them rather than reading from a prepared text.  Thus in his homilies we get the pure and unadulterated Francis.  Case in point this extract from a homily last month:


“This (is the) healthy realism of the Catholic Church: the Church never teaches us ‘or this or that.’ That is not Catholic. The Church says to us: ‘this and that.’ ‘Strive for perfectionism: reconcile with your brother.  Do not insult him. Love him. And if there is a problem, at the very least settle your differences so that war doesn’t break out.’ This (is) the healthy realism of Catholicism. It is not Catholic (to say) ‘or this or nothing:’ This is not Catholic, this is heretical.  Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws’ rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well.  He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us.”

Go here to read the rest.  Thus the Pope summarizes one of the key teachings of his papacy:  much of the traditional moral teaching of the Church represents an ideal that many Catholics are incapable of reaching.  Jesus just wants us to do our best, and so should the Church.

We should thank God that the Pope is such a confused thinker that he is unable to systematize the moral latitudinarianism that is the clear central message of this Pontificate.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Once again, he shows his screaming hypocrisy. When it comes to his personal morality, he is an absolutist. Accompany every form of sin of which he approves, not the ones he doesn’t. This includes, of course, the sins he made up.

  2. You nailed it Don, it’s Jesuitical Protestantism. I repeat an earlier comment (trying to find the reference): Benedictines require the forms be observed (I’m a Benedictine Oblate and I’ll testify to that); Jesuits go by what feels good (witness the 40 day retreat that’s the beginning of the Jesuit trip). And that latter is the Protestant way.

  3. In a 12 step program of recovery, it is understandable that relapse may sometimes be a part of the recovery process. In the same way, it is understandable that a person may go to Confession, but later fall into sin again due to concupiscence. So not achieving the ideal is understandable, but it still isn’t permissible. We are told to be holy just as our Heavenly Father is holy (1st Peter 1:15). Thus, there are some absolutes that cannot be denied. For example, an alcoholic in recovery who drinks again may not get another chance at recovery; he may die in a drunk driving accident or get imprisoned for committing a crime due to his drunkeness or go insane from being unable to stop drinking. In the same way, a person who habitually and defiantly sins may not get another chance at repentance; if he dies by accident or illness or whatever while in a conscious state of unrepentant mortal sin, then hell awaits him. 2nd Peter chapter 2 says:

    20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.

    And Hebrews chapter 6 says:

    4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. 7 For land which has drunk the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.

    By the way, Jorge Bergoglio always speaks about the rigidity of the Law. But the word religion derives from the Latin noun “religio” whihc evolved out of the Latin verb “re + ligo” which means “to bind fast together.” It denotes and implies a rigidity, a firmness, and an unbreakableness created by tying together individual people in a common worship and common discipline where dogma and doctrine cannot be broken by trying to bend it in every breeze of whimsical fancy that blows one’s way.

  4. What’s interesting about this Pope’s career is that all the screens which might have been applied by the Society of Jesus, by local metropolitans, and by the Congregation of Bishops have given us a man whose mediocrity equals that of a bog standard liberal protestant parson from some suburban locus.

  5. The source of the Pope’s confused thinking can surely be traced to the so-called New Theology. See online – The New Church of Karl Rahner … and also… Cardinal Ottavianni Against the Modernists.
    Cardinal Giuseppe Siri’s book, ‘Gethsemane: Reflections on Contemporary Theology’, is the best answer I know to Rahner’s deeply flawed and sterile modernism.
    It was said that seminarians held the heretical Rahner in higher esteem than the theology of Saint Thomas.
    No wonder we are in the mess we are in.
    We see now that this German Jesuit was a kind of one-man Trojan horse who ruined the thinking of two generations of priests..
    A final statement of faith by Cardinal Siri, ‘The Immensity That Awaits Us’, can also be read online. It reminds us of what the Church lost in this great defender of the faith.
    YouTube has Father Gregory Hesse, a canon lawyer, addressing the issue – ‘Vatican 2 Gave Us A New Religion’.
    Liberal Catholicism is an exhausted project, and Francis seems to be its last-gasp embodiment.
    You do well to align him to liberal Protestantism.
    ‘Let the dead bury the dead,’ as the Lord said.

    J Haggerty

  6. I suspect you’re overthinking it Mr. Haggerty. Having grown up in the ambo of liberal protestantism, I’ve heard many a sermon which has no beginning, no ending, no descernable point, and is a random meander of vague apercus. Only the worst Catholic homilists are as bad as a standard issue Episcopal vicar. (OTOH, Episcopal parishes don’t mail order their liturgy and music from Hallmark). Francis is a familiar type, the sort of clergyman who gives you the impression he enrolled in seminary after flunking out of a social work program.

  7. The latest trend to appease the modernists is
    the Columbarium, which a number of Catholic churches
    are building near the Altar, which encourages the faithful to be

  8. With Jesus there was no ‘maybe’; it was either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. With Pope Francis it is always the devil-speak of equivocation when it comes to Catholic faith and morals. But when it comes to Socialist dogma he is always quite sure of himself.

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