This is a request, bordering on a plea, for those scholars, theologians, thinkers, and ecclesiologists who know, to explain the use of the words “mens” and “logic” in various official translations of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“AL”). Also, are the implications of Jorge Bergoglio’s use of these words as ominous as they appear? All that follows is in the nature of questions from a layman who, someday, would like to behold the face of God.
The official Vatican Latin version of AL uses the word “mens” in this now-infamous statement from Section 297 of AL:
Nemo in perpetuum damnari potest, quia haec est mens Evangelii!
The official English translation of this statement uses the word “logic” as the translation of the word “mens”:
No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!
I first opened a Cassell’s Latin-English and English-Latin Dictionary in the Fall of 1961. I still have that copy of this authoritative work. It is 927 pages long. The entry for the definition of the Latin word “mens” is not short. It includes, inter alia (you gotta love Latin) mind, opinion, way of thinking, character, conscience, understanding, intellect and judgment. In its full text for the definition of this word, which includes several actual uses of it in various ancient works, there is no mention of the word “logic.” None.
Of all the apparently heretical statements in AL, The “no one is condemned forever” statement may be the ultimate “run-in-front-of-the-bear” statement for faithful catholics; and Jorge and his handlers may now regret being so forthright in their heresies. Some discussions of AL spend more time on this statement than all the other heresies of AL. This is probably because of its clarity, its succinctness, its lack of plausible deniability, and its lack of ambiguous wiggle room for evasive misinterpretation or “reading in full context.” That is, it is impossible to explain this away, which may account for the silence from the man wearing papal white, his minions, and his handlers, silence even in the face of bishops and cardinals publicly worried about, at a minimum, the ambiguity of the statement.
Although the official Latin text of AL says “mens, and Jorge B. has used the phrase on at least one other occasion, these phrases -“logic of the Gospel” and “mind of the Gospel” – are not phrases that have the long and voluminous history of two other “mens” wordings – “mens Ecclesiae,” or mind of the church and “mens Christi,” or mind of Christ. In church history, going back to the early Church Fathers and up to the present day, “mens ecclesiae” and “mens Christi” are understood to mean and include the universally accepted teaching and traditions of undeniable truths of the church grounded in Holy Scripture:
Historically, the mens ecclesiae or mind of the Church was expressed through the extrinsic tradition. That is to say that the Church, since it receives both its teaching from the past and the labor of the saints and previous Magisterium by tradition, always looked at the present through the eyes of the past. In this, she looked at the present not as man under the influence of modern philosophy looked at the present, but through the eyes of her Lord Who gave her His teaching when He was on earth (i.e., in the past). Only at the time of Christ was it possible to look authentically at the past through what was then the eyes of the present, since Christ was the fulfillment of the past. But once the work of Christ became part of history and He ascended into heaven, we must always look back to Christ and to our tradition for an authentic understanding of the present. . . . Traditionalists, confronted by a Church in crisis, know that something has gone wrong somewhere. . . . That, allied to their looking at the present through the eyes of the past, helps traditionalists to see that the onus is on the present, not the past, to justify itself. ” (Conservative vs. Traditional Catholicism, Fr. Chad Ripperger, F.S.S.P., Latin Mass Magazine, Spring 2001).
There is a inherent substantial connection in church teaching between the concepts of tradition and the mind of the church:
Such is the notion of tradition in the double meaning of the word; it is Divine truth coming down to us in the mind of the Church and it is the guardianship and transmission of this Divine truth by the organ of the living magisterium, by ecclesiastical preaching, by the profession of it made by all in the Christian life.
Doctrinal chaos inevitably follows from heresies, especially heresies such as those of AL that contradict not only God-inspired Holy Scripture, but the very words of Jesus Himself:
While we are required to give religious assent even to the non-infallible teachings of the Church, what are we to do when a magisterial document contradicts other current or previous teachings and one does not have any more authoritative weight than the other? It is too simplistic merely to say that we are to follow the current teaching. What would happen if in a period of crisis, like our own, a non-infallible ordinary magisterial teaching contradicted what was in fact the truth? If one part of the Magisterium contradicts another, both being at the same level, which is to believed?
Terrible conclusions can be drawn from the use of either word, “mens” or “logic”, in AL – terrible in the sense of: are any of the faithful so influenced by this that they will go to the eternal hell that Jorge has abolished by this Bergoglian heresy?
It appears that Jorge has deformed and sullied the beautiful artist’s image of the King and presented the faithful with the distorted picture of an heretical dog:
Such, then, is their system, which neither the prophets announced, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles delivered, but of which they boast that beyond all others they have a perfect knowledge. They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures; and, to use a common proverb, they strive to weave ropes of sand, while they endeavour to adapt with an air of probability to their own peculiar assertions the parables of the Lord, the sayings of the prophets, and the words of the apostles, in order that their scheme may not seem altogether without support. In doing so, however, they disregard the order and the connection of the Scriptures, and so far as in them lies, dismember and destroy the truth. By transferring passages, and dressing them up anew, and making one thing out of another, they succeed in deluding many through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions. Their manner of acting is just as if one, when a beautiful image of a king has been constructed by some skilful artist out of precious jewels, should then take this likeness of the man all to pieces, should rearrange the gems, and so fit them together as to make them into the form of a dog or of a fox, and even that but poorly executed; and should then maintain and declare that this was the beautiful image of the king which the skilful artist constructed, pointing to the jewels which had been admirably fitted together by the first artist to form the image of the king, but have been with bad effect transferred by the latter one to the shape of a dog, and by thus exhibiting the jewels, should deceive the ignorant who had no conception what a king’s form was like, and persuade them that that miserable likeness of the fox was, in fact, the beautiful image of the king. In like manner do these persons patch together old wives’ fables, and then endeavour, by violently drawing away from their proper connection, words, expressions, and parables whenever found, to adapt the oracles of God to their baseless fictions. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 1, Chapter 8).
Putting aside for the moment the eternal salvation, or not, of the faithful, what is going on with Jorge’s use of these theologically-deep and magisterially-loaded words? It must be assumed that: their use is no accident; that the writer or writers of AL knew this and the long history of these words in connection with “church” and “Christ;” and they were and are fully aware of the implicit claims made by Jorge and for Jorge’s teachings by their use. This being so, this layman has some questions for the scholars, etc. mentioned at the beginning of this article and for those membes of that enormous group who know more about all this than he does:
- Why two different words in the official Latin version and in most of the official translations, two words whose meanings are not the same?
- Via the assertion regarding “mens,” is it being claimed that Jorge has some new divine inspiration about truth, some revelation that has not been heard for two millennia, some addition to the centuries old tradition of the church?
- Does the claim to now know the “mens” of the Gospel include the claim that Jorge can amend tradition, correct Holy Scripture, and let us know the errors of Jesus?
- Can Jorge’s mens-truth be the virtue-basis for disobeying Commands Of The Lord, including the Command Of The Lord that only males can receive the sacrament of Holy Orders?
- Is there anything, once the new Jorge-mens truth or the Jorge-logic doctrine is accepted and established, is there anything in any creed, any dogma, any scripture, any doctrine, or in any church teaching that cannot be “developed” by Jorge, ostensibly based on his mens-inspiration or logic-revelation, even developed to the extent that it is contradicted, abolished, or destroyed?