PopeWatch: Father Z



Father Z makes a prediction regarding Pope Francis:

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, will eventually uphold the Church’s teaching and discipline that those who “marry” again after a divorce, that is, those who live in an adulterous relationship, cannot receive Holy Communion.

I don’t see any way around that.  Furthermore, one of the main duties of every Pope is to say “No!”.  It shouldn’t surprise us when they do.

In the meantime, bishops and theologians and parish priests and armchair theologians and journalists will write and talk and write and talk and worry and spout and write and talk some more about “compassion” and “solutions” and so forth. There will be a tsunami of options and articles crashing around by the time the Holy Father affirms that people who are divorced and “remarried” cannot receive Communion.  As a matter of fact, it may come to pass that there will be so much confusion, so much damage done in the lead up to the Pope’s affirmation of traditional teaching, that his affirmation may not make a lot of difference to people.

So, I repeat:

People are going to sin.  Nevertheless, we must uphold doctrine.

That’s the way we have always done this.  That’s the way Jesus did it. 

Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”  But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?  Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?  It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him.  And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”  After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.  Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;  and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”  Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him. [Read John 6]

So, the Church will teach the truth – something that makes liberals and writers and readers of the National Schismatic Reporter have night sweats because they think anyone should have sex with anything – and people will, in their weakness and under the pressure of today’s confused culture, sin a lot – something that makes conservatives have night sweats because they fear for the eternal souls of so many who are falling away from the Faith.

It has ever been so.

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch prays that Father Z will be a prophet.


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  1. I’m sure the Pope will uphold Church dogma on marriage and divorce, but before he does, we will be treated to his world famous statemens that confuse the living daylights out of us, and require ‘experts’ like Mark Shea and Jimmy Akins to explain it all and claim our fears.

  2. To confuse and scandalize the souls of our innocent posterity, it would be better that he put a millstone around his neck and drown himself in the river.
    There is spiritual communion. Those who turn their nose up at spiritual communion to demand of Pope Francis a change in doctrine need to start their own church, a church without saints, a church without repentance, a church without salvation.
    Why does anyone demand Holy Eucharist while denying and betraying Jesus Christ?

  3. I wonder if he read this report on the Synod of Bishops Secretary General this AM yet…


    The implicit idea that Eucharist is spiritual food for sinners seems lopsided…it is also union with God for which the sinner must be in grace which excludes mortal sin. The only way out is if they switch from annullment courts only to a mix of such courts plus and aside from them…the internal forum as legitimate though unaffirmed by the Church like private revelation from saints is permitted but not affirmed by the Church. Watch and see.

  4. Pope Francis could have avoided all of this by telling Cardinal Kasper to keep his mouth shut. Only the FFI merits that punishment from the Holy Father.

  5. The problem is with Canon Law. Why on earth a divorced Catholic married to an un-baptised person in a registry office ceremony has to run the full gambit of the annulment process is patently absurd. The marriage was never a Sacramental marriage in the first place.
    I am at present dealing with such a situation – the man, un-baptised, whose divorce was granted 3 years ago – had been married to a woman who was raised Catholic for 4 years, with no children, and she was abusive and unfaithful – he has to go through annulment before he marries his current fiancee.
    Fortunately, our diocese Canon Lawyer and Vicar General may use a process developed during Paul VI pontificate which, if my understanding is correct, can in part short-cut the process.
    In these situations, the bishop’s conference and the regional dicastery should be able to grant nullity. Society has changed markedly in the past century, along with the watering down of Church instruction to proposed spouses. There are probably world-wide, 100 million Catholics caught up in this situation, and the Church has a massive pastoral duty to them. Of those, many – if not most – were certainly in a marriage that was not totally valid.
    Parts of Canon Law are an ass. There are very real and urgent changes needed – not in the doctrinal teaching on marriage – but in the adjudication of Sacramental marriage, similar, but not the same as perhaps, to the Orthodox handling of this situation.

  6. Don the Kiwi

    The accelerated procedure also applies to bigamy, prohibited degrees, sacred orders, solemn vows and others where the impediment can be proved by authentic documents.

  7. “The Holy Father, Pope Francis, will eventually uphold the Church’s teaching and discipline that those who “marry” again after a divorce…cannot receive Holy Communion.” What Pope Frank should be doing is is constantly, consistently, and firmly upholding the Church’s teaching and discipline on all matters of Faith and Morals. That includes harsh and serious measures to protect faithful Catholics from the enemies of the Church, which include dissenting Catholics. Bring back the Anathema!

  8. What is this man doing with a fiancee? Is he baptized now? Is he a Catholic now? Does he not respect the sanctity of the presumption of validity, since he needs an annulment?

    Based upon this little information no clear pictue emerges.

    I would not even date were I seeking nullity.

    This man is fortunate I am not the ordinary.


  9. I would like to see a knowledgeable analysis of the “Orthodox handling of this situation”. This seems to pop up more and more in these discussions of “reforms”, but to date I’ve seen nothing biblical or theological that would give credence to the Orthodox position vis-à-vis the Catholic position. Anyone?

  10. Karl.
    I presume you are addressing my comment.
    The man is not a Catholic – nor has he been baptised – his ex wife was the Catholic and she was the cause of the break-up. There were no children. Their marriage was non-sacramental, as it was performed in a registry office – a civil marriage only, which means that in the eyes of the Church, the marriage was invalid.

    After his divorce came through, he stated dating another woman, and they are now engaged. There is no problem with that from the Church’s perspective. They thought he would not need an annulment, but the Church requires one. Now there may be a case here for the Pauline Privilege – ‘Epikaeia’ – but the Church still requires that the former marriage be investigated. The point I am making is that their are, arguably, millions of Catholics caught up in this situation, which can be extremely onerous for them, when it need not be.

    There is no suggestion that the teaching of the Church on Marriage be put aside or watered down; simply that Canon Law be reviewed to allow the invalidity of the marriage in these circumstances be dealt with at the local diocese level.

  11. So Don the Kiwi, why does the Church require an annulment for a non-sacramental civil registry marriage?

  12. The Church recognizes marriages outside the Church. The baptized man and woman are ministers of their sacrament.

  13. Tom D.
    Exactly my point.

    Yes – but are they sacramental marriages? In the true sense .

  14. Don the Kiwi

    If two baptized non-Catholics marry in a register office, their marriage is both valid and sacramental.

    If both are unbaptized, their marriage is valid, but non-sacramental. It would, of course, constitute an impediment to a second marriage.

    If one is baptized and the other not, the de facto marriage is void, on the grounds of Disparity of Cult.

  15. Almost four decades ago my aunt met a really wonderful man. He was Jewish, and he was divorced from his first wife, who he had married in a civil ceremony. They went through the diocese’s marriage tribunal, submitted all of the requested documentation, and got the tribunal’s blessing.

    Then, two weeks before the wedding the marriage tribunal told them that they had to delay the wedding because the tribunal had to investigate the validity of the first wife’s first marriage! None of us could figure out what that had to do with anything. My aunt had a civil wedding, and then regularized the marriage with the Church after the honeymoon when the tribunal backed away from their unbelievably stupid position.

    This story is of course light years from the situation of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, but it does hold a warning similar to the easy annulments of the rich and powerful. The tribunal process today is not pure, it is subject to human whims and stupidity, and people look at it and think – incorrectly – that the “right” cardinal or pope can make it all “better”. Even worse, people look at it and ask where is God in such decisions. This is not good.

  16. The only way for us to know that answer would be on a case by case basis. ( Backlog at Ttibunal)
    Two baptized persons in a state of grace not under coercion mature and capable physically and mentally are presumed to be in a natural marriage. Freedom, will, intent – all sanctified by grace.

  17. Don the Kiwi:

    “a woman who was raised Catholic for 4 years?” I think it takes longer than 4 years to be “raised” Catholic.

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