PopeWatch: Vice

Father Gerald Murray at The Catholic Thing reminds us how the Pope is attempting to change doctrine.


The claim was widely made during the two Synods on the Family that the innovation of allowing persons living in adulterous second unions to receive Holy Communion, as proposed by Cardinal Kasper and others, was not a change in doctrine, but simply in discipline. I did not believe this to be true then (or now) and, apparently, neither did many of the supporters of this innovation.

The first evidence of that was the seemingly universal refusal to identify these unions as adulterous in fidelity to Christ’s words: “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” (Lk 16:18) Instead of adulterous these sinful relationships were called “irregular” unions. This tactic reduces Christ’s teaching to the level of a regulation. The use of scare quotes further diminished the stature of Christ’s teaching by casting doubt on whether we should really consider these unions to be irregular at all.

A conference on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was recently held at Boston College. Further evidence of the rejection of Christ’s plain teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery is found in the reported comments of two speakers: Professor Cathleen Kaveny and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J.

Kaveny used curious language to describe Our Lord’s teaching on marital fidelity: “Jesus clearly disfavored adultery.” No, Jesus forbade adultery. One can disfavor things that are good in themselves, but simply do not appeal to one for a variety of reasons. One can never claim as good and right something that God has clearly forbidden.

Kaveny continued: ”It’s clear that he rejects divorce and remarriage as contrary to the original will of God. But nothing in Jesus’ words or conduct demand that the sin involved in divorce and remarriage must be conceptualized as a sin that continues indefinitely, without the possibility of effective repentance.”

Well, the original will of God remains in force unless God himself has indicated otherwise. Jesus clearly reaffirmed the prohibition of divorce and remarriage, harkening back to God’s original plan for man and woman as revealed in the Book of Genesis.

Understanding the sin involved in divorce and remarriage requires making distinctions. The responsibility for the break-up of marital life falls upon one or both parties, depending upon each one’s degree of culpability. The obtaining of a civil divorce is likewise to be evaluated as to the motives and responsibilities involved: is a divorce sought to free one to enter a new union, or is it sought to obtain legal protection of the financial and other interests of the offended spouse and children?

The decision to enter into an adulterous second union, however, is a public violation of the nature of indissoluble Christian marriage, and of one’s wedding vows. It involves the sin of adultery and the public scandal of living in opposition to Christ’s commandments.


Go here to read the rest.The stealth change of doctrine that the Pope is seeking to implement in regard to adulterous unions is becoming less stealthy each day.  Alexander Pope aptly described how this papacy operates over three centuries ago:


Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.


More to explorer


  1. Saint Paul said: “Husbands love your wives. Wives be submissive to your husbands.”
    God created all men (men includes mankind, women) equal in His image and likeness in free will and intellect with a rational, immortal human soul.
    Saint Paul could not say women be submissive to men for that would violate the truth of creation.
    Marriage and the Sacrament of Matrimony, as God said:” You are men sacred to me, as I, the Lord, am sacred.” is a covenant with God and with man (and women) through informed consent of our God-given free will and through our rational soul.
    Some same sex attracted individuals claim that God violated them by their homosexuality. Homosexuality is an act of nature.
    Addiction to sodomy is a violation of the God-given free will and rational soul. Addiction, all addiction, to lust, gluttony, greed, envy, sloth, avarice and pride is a violation of informed consent. Informed consent of the mature person, the sovereign person, man and woman, can only be forth coming from a free person who lives in sovereignty over himself. Sovereignty, or discipline over oneself is an hallmark of spiritual maturity and the foundation of informed consent.
    There can be no equality between maturity of spirit and addiction. Innocence and virginity are the foundation of civilization.
    There can be no marriage or Sacrament of Matrimony without informed consent through spiritual maturity and sovereignty over oneself.

  2. Joseph Shaw at LMS Chairman compares the views of Pope Pius XII and Pope Francis on whether doctrine changes and comes to the conclusion that there is a contradiction between the two views–Pope Pius XII says it doesn’t change, and Pope Francis says it does with the times. And this neatly, according to Shaw, disposes of the notion that everything a Pope says is to be regarded as ultimate holy writ. See here:

  3. Fr. Gerald Murray speaks the truth. He is a courageous priest who not afraid to publicly contradict the heresies of Pope Francis. He is a rarity and we should pray for him and pray that there would be more like him.

  4. Right now there are millions througout the world receiving the Sacraments who both to priest and themselves know they are not reconsiled to do so. In their hearts and with the artificial blessing of pastor Sunday after Sunday. Babies baptized with parents who live toghether. Openly gay couples. Openly cohabitating couples going through RCIA. Someone, if there is any truth to what we older Catholics were taught, will be held accountable. I go to Mass receive Sacraments. Riddled with chastisment, accused of judgementalism, I cower and pray, “lead all souls to heaven, especially those in the most need of Thy mercy.”

  5. No one who has read any part of Pascal’s “Provincial letters” is surprised by the attitude of Pope Francis. The Jesuits have always been famous for their deference to earthly power. One reason why they were hated by Protestants and orthodox and by other religious orders.The pope speaks of other Catholics as the Jebbies of the 17th century spoke of the Jansenists of Port Royal. He reminds us why “Jesuitical” became synonymous with sophistry. Yet also why having acquired such power through their monopoly of education they refused to bend to the realism of the new science until overwhelmed by the forces of the Enlightenment.

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