Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Bergoglio goes for low-hanging theological fruit, and neo-Catholics largely let him get away with it - Sunday 29th of July to Saturday 4th of August

There is really only one place to start this week and that is with the news that Bergoglio has altered the John Paul II Catechism to read that the death penalty is now  "inadmissible" in all circumstances because it violates "human dignity" . That God Himself in the Bible did not realise this, or the various Church fathers, or Doctors of the Church, or all the popes up until Bergoglio ought to get us suspicious.

I cannot do justice to the arguments against this latest heresy by Bergoglio so I shall simply leave it to you to have a look at the links below, one of which is from OnePeter5 and is titled "Pope Francis Is Wrong about the Death Penalty. Here’s Why." Rorate Caeli ran one under the title "What was black is now white".

The one thing I shall note is that the argument that Bergoglio uses is one that is expressly condemned by the Catechism of Trent. Bergoglio argues that using the death penalty deprives the convict of the chance of conversion. The Catechism of Trent tells us, in rather common-sensical terms, that he who knows that his life will end and is granted the grace of knowing when will scarcely convert at a later time if he cannot do it while at the point of oncoming death. So Bergoglio's argument is not even original, and is one which has been put down before as nonsensical.

It is interesting to note that the only person Bergoglio can quote to rationalise his new posture is himself, continuing his now-growing list of novelties by self-quotation.

As usual, the neo-Catholics were mostly out in force proving that they are part of the problem. To watch EWTN reporting that "the pope has changed the Church's teaching on the death penalty" or the "pope has strengthened the Church's opposition to the death penalty" would have  been to come away with the conclusion that a pope can change the Church's teaching. The Papal Pose was misex, with Fr. Murray arguing that it was a break, and Robert Royal at his usual neo-Catholic best when responding that canonists will have to determine whether it is 'de fide', when asked that by Arroyo. It's striking that these people are there to respond as experts and they do not even know that catechisms are not in and of themselves infallible, not even the venerable Catechism of Trent. They ought, however, to contain infallible truths.

Some of the Novus Ordites argued that it is a case of the pope implanting his prudential judgement and that we should take it seriously, having been offered this opinion. Excuse me, but the Catechism is there to tell us what the Church teaches explicitly, not to argue for selective enforcement of prudential judgements, regardless of where they hail!

This is nothing short of heresy because the Church has taught definitively about this issue from her beginning, and God has made it clear that the death penalty can be justifiably imposed by legitimate authority. To argue otherwise is to do nothing short of lying, and to pass it off to others it to shirk responsibility.

What is clear is that Bergoglio has gone after low-hanging theological fruit. He knows that even among those who argue for the licitness of the death penalty, many are opposed to it in practice. The death penalty is only available in a few countries and even in these it is rarely used. He knows that people will not die on 'death penalty hill', so to speak, protesting "thus far but no farther!" We can, however, be sure that if Bergoglio gets away with this he will not stop there.

The arguments he puts forward for it, namely that people nowadays have a realisation that the death penalty is opposed to human dignity, can be used to rationalise pretty much every heresy and Church teaching which is not popular with the modernists. It is pretty much what he has attempted to do with divorce and remarriage and you can be sure that he is testing waters by formally changing the Catechism on the death penalty. Next up on the line might just be your favourite teaching.

Some have argued that Bergoglio only did this to divert attention from the McCarrick scandal - given that it involves one of his closest aides - while others have argued that even with Bergoglio being an idiot, using heresy as deflection is a move too dumb even for him. I am not sure there is anything so dumb that Bergoglio will not do it, so I'll not dismiss the theory entirely.  I too was initially drawn to the theory that he used it as a distraction from the McCarrick scandal. However, I do pride myself in thinking outside the box, and I have wondered: What if the reverse is true?

What if Bergoglio used the McCarrick scandal to introduce formal heresy into the teaching of the Church? What if the McCarrick scandal was itself the distraction? Most of the Catholic and secular media is pre-occupied with other stuff anyway, and there is no better time to poison  the Church's  already-sub-standard Catechism . If he pulls it back on account of major opposition (yeah, as if Bergoglio listens to anyone!) then it will hardly be headline news. If it sticks, then he can use it as reference for even further heresy, knowing that EWTN and the rest of  the neo-Catholic establishment has his back arguing as dishonestly as ever that we need to try and take onboard something which is obviously a heresy simply because the pope has put his weight behind it.

I have often maintained that neo-Catholics, or 'conservative Catholics', will reject every heresy unless it comes from the pope. This incident proves me right, yet again!

All I can say is that I am in total agreement with Christopher Ferrara that The Reversible Magisterium...

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