PopeWatch: Stalinist Methods

Philip Lawler in an article at First Things looks at the subversion of the JPII Institute:

The new and improved Institute, the pope said, would expand its range of interests to include the social sciences—in particular, the implications of climate change. Conspicuously missing from his list of concerns were issues like divorce, same-sex marriage, abortion, and euthanasia, which had been regular fare for the Institute in the past.

Lest there be any doubt about the new direction, Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, who was appointed by Pope Francis as president of the rebooted Institute, said that he would focus on the “central importance of the magisterial teaching of Amoris Laetitia,” a document that would “naturally be integral to the curricula.” So while the name of John Paul II was still attached to the Institute, the thought of the late Polish pontiff was clearly superseded by that of Pope Francis in the institutional mission.

The other shoe dropped in July of this year, with the publication of new canonical statutes for the renovated Institute and the dismissal of old faculty members. Msgr. Livio Melina, who served as president from 2006 to 2016, was informed that his services were no longer required, since the Institute would no longer focus on moral theology. Also dropped from the faculty was Father Jose Noriega, another veteran moral theologian. Among the new additions to the faculty was Father Maurizio Chiodi, who has argued—citing Amoris Laetitia—that there are some circumstances that “precisely for the sake of responsibility, require contraception.” Here Chiodi’s reasoning on contraception is clearly at odds with the teaching of Pope John Paul II, and indeed with the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church. Yet he will be teaching at the renewed Institute, and Melina will not. So it is important to understand the disagreement that led to Melina’s ouster.

Far from being a critic of Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia, Msgr. Melina has done his utmost to defend the papal document, arguing—against the majority opinion—that the current pope’s teaching on marriage can be reconciled with previous Church teaching. On the hotly contested question of whether Pope Francis had opened the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, Melina conceded that the document seemed to imply a change in Church teaching, but concluded that it should be read in the light of constant Catholic tradition. That argument was roundly condemned in Avvenire, the newspaper published by the Italian bishops’ conference, as “not exactly benevolent toward the Pope.”

But if it is “not exactly benevolent” to suggest that Pope Francis is in line with the constant teaching traditions of the Church, does it not follow that the pope has broken with those traditions, and changed those teachings? Msgr. Melina raised that question in an interview with the Italian daily La Verita. If the new direction of the Institute is confirmed, he reasoned, “what they are saying is: ‘The interpretation of the magisterium of Pope Francis in continuity with the previous magisterium is intolerable in the Church.’” And as Msgr. Nicola Bux—a theologian who has been considerably more critical of Pope Francis—put it, the changes at the John Paul II Institute are part of a larger bid to force change in the Church through the exercise of Vatican power, “using Stalinist methods with velvet gloves.”

Go here to read the rest.  The direction of the current Pontificate is crystal clear at this point.  Catholicism is being substituted with contemporary Leftism, and critics, hilariously, are being condemned as being disloyal to the magisterium.  The magisterium has meaning only as it applies to Catholicism, and what this Pope is pushing has bupkis to do with Catholicism.


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  1. Let me be perfectly clear says “Pope” Francis: “All so-called Catholic truth is a lie. Communism is the new Catholicism.”

  2. St. Pope JP II and Pope Francis will one day sit at the table of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When the topic of “family” arises and it’s roots found in Catholic doctrines I’m pretty certain that the bouncer will be very quiet. Very, very quiet.
    A footstool type of quiet.

    That is, if he’s invited to the table at all.

  3. Like a beautiful symphony, one sour note will ruin the entire performance. But, the faith is not one performance. We ought to take heart that we can ignore any one abhorrent musician who plays that sour note, and learn to read the score for ourselves…for it has been published correctly for millennium.

  4. @Don L.

    The music plays on and on.
    I liked your imagery.

    Nothing will be wasted. After himself is off the page the footnote will be helpful to future generations…that is after damage control sweeps up the mess.

  5. If no one stop him, he will ad falsehood to the teaching of JesusChrist,and our childrens and grand childrens will be educated in anti-church. Old on to the Baltimore cathechist and teach it to your childrens . If you want them to know the truth.

  6. Well, at least we all can agree, with the changes being implemented by Francis and pals we are witnessing a new springtime in the Church. Pews are overflowing with reverts who find themselves more embraced by the relaxation of moral principles. Money is pouring into chanceries. New schools are being built to meet the overflow of demand. Seminaries are full to the brim. Wait…

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