Questions

Ask a theological question (open)

Use the comment section below to ask a theological question. I prefer topics on which I’ve written in my books or blog, but I’ll answer almost any question in Catholic theology.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

Categories: Questions

40 replies »

  1. Q1: Is boxing immoral?

    Q2: Is MMA (mixed martial arts) immoral?

    Q3: Are Catholics obligated to believe the rules of football should be changed to avoid head injuries like CTE (google it). Or can a Catholic support a sport that may be slightly more dangerous, simply because it is substantially more enjoyable to watch? (This begs the question: how risky can a sport be before it becomes immoral to participate? What about skydiving? What about NASCAR? We can agree some activities/ sports are inherently more risky, but much more enjoyable to do. How risky can something be before it becomes immoral?)

    Q4: Is smoking cigarettes evil? Is it immoral when done in moderation (1 pack a month for the sake of argument)?

    Q5: Are permanent tattoos intrinsically evil? What about piercings? (Tongue, belly button, etc).

    Q6: Is factory farming immoral? Take this specific example: tail docking piglets. If farmers had to use pain killers, it could increase the price of meat substantially. In light of this, is it moral to keep farming practices as they currently are and not require pain killers? (Also, what if the procedure was substantially more painful, like putting rings in the noses of adult pigs).

    Q7: If global warming does indeed pose catastrophic consequences to all humanity (draughts, floods, starvation), should we be just as concerned about climate change as we are with things like poverty, or things that are intrinsically evil… like abortion?

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    • A1 and 2: These sports are not intrinsically evil. Perhaps they should be modified to lessen the chance of injury.
      A3: It is moral to choose activities which have a degree of risk, such as skydiving. It is a matter of weight in the consequences of your action. As for football, modification to reduce risk is reasonable. One might be of the opinion that such modifications need not reach the level of making the sport less enjoyable to play or to watch.
      A4: Smoking cigarettes is not intrinsically evil, so it might be justifiable, in moderation, if the good consequences outweigh the bad. Generally, the bad consequences are so weighty that most persons should not smoke.
      A5: Tatoos and piercings are not intrinsically evil.
      A6: Not intrinsically evil but might be immoral based on the circumstances. I’m not going to judge the specifics.
      A7: See Pope Francis’ document on the subject.

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  2. Q1: Under what conditions can we reject an authoritative, but not infallible, papal decree (say one’s in Denzinger)?

    I say this because I know you have suspected slight errors in Denzinger on passionate kissing for the intention of pleasure (for the unmarried)… that it is a mortal sin, not merely a venial sin. And in Pope Francis’s case saying the death penalty attacks human dignity.

    Q2: Can you disagree with Church teaching based on: (A) Forming your “conscious” (the scapegoat of liberals). (B) Another Pope apparently contradicting a decree. (C) The logic/ fonts of Catholic morality. (D) “An unscientific view of biology” (E) What else?

    Q3: How do we determine “authoritativeness?” Is something in the “fallible Magisterium” less authoritative if just one Pope decreed it, compared to many Popes confirming it (even if no Pope and council declared it infallibly)? What about when decrees in Denzinger get referenced in footnotes of encyclicals. Example: Denz. 2795 got referenced in Vademecum for Confessors. Does that make 2795 more likely to be correct (closer to infallible)?

    Q4: Finally, do all papal bulls and encyclicals require “assent?” I mean, the infamous papal bull Ad extirpanda, seeming to define torture as loss of life or limb, is said by many online commentators to only be decreed to “secular leaders.” Therefore, it is not a dogmatic claim of faith and morals. Is there a basis for this argument?

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    • No one thinks that everything in Denzinger is infallible. It is mostly non-infallble teachings and some discipline. The term “decree” is irrelevant. Any non-infallible teaching might be rejected, faithfully, under the conditions I’ve discussed in my articles and books (too lengthy to get into here).
      Tradition, Scripture, other Magisterial teachings; natural law. That’s all.
      There is no fallible magisterium; it is infallible or non-infallible. Infallible teachings meet certain conditions; every other teaching is non-infallible.

      Ad extirpanda was of discipline, not doctrine. It is erroneous. Discipline is not teachings, but decisions on practical matters. I don’t think Ad extirpanda gives an authoritative definition of torture.

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  3. Okay, this will be my last comment for a little awhile. I like your answers!!!
    I have been reading your articles on infallible vs non-infallible. You seem to be saying two things.
    (1) There can exist “limited” dissent. But can you provide any more details on “limited?” For example, if a decree says something is a mortal sin, would it be “limited dissent” to say it was a “venial sin?” What about if you claimed it was “not a sin at all?” (That doesn’t appear to be “limited”)

    (2) But at the same time laypeople who are not theologians should assent to any position of the Church, infallible or non-infallible, because doing so will not lead us into grave error.

    Wikipedia claims that something is infallible if declared: “1. Pope ex cathedra”, “2. Bishops, in communion with Pope, defining doctrine at General Council” or “3. Bishops, in communion with Pope, together with the Pope, proposing definitively, dispersed but in agreement.”

    Last question: I know that sodomy was declared immoral, infallibly at the Third Lateran Council. So have the teachings of:

    (A) Humanae Vitae been declared infallibly… state which/ when conditions (1,2,3) above were met
    (B) Other unnatural acts… state which/ when conditions (1,2,3) above were met
    (C) The death penalty is not evil in itself… state which/ when conditions (1,2,3) above showed this

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    • Laypersons might disagree with a non-infallible teaching. But they need a basis in Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium.
      A person might disagree with the assertion that passionate kissing is a mortal sin (that is not exactly what the teaching says, by the way), and instead assert it is venial. There are other ways to disagree with a non-infallible teaching. I think I gave some examples on my blog.
      A. HV is infallible under the ordinary and universal magisterium (Wikipedia 3)
      B. unnatural sexual acts are condemned by Tradition and Scripture, and by the ordinary universal magisterium
      C. death penalty is approved by Tradition and Scripture, and by the ordinary universal magisterium

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  4. What is a “Father of the Church”? I know they are “early” theologians , but what is “early”? It doesn’t seem to be a historic period, like, say, the Roman persecutions. If Jesus tarries for ten thousand years, could St. Thomas Aquinas be called a “Father of the Church”?

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  5. From that source:

    It follows that, as our own Fathers are the predecessors who have taught us, so the Fathers of the whole Church are especially the earlier teachers, who instructed her in the teaching of the Apostles, during her infancy and first growth. It is difficult to define the first age of the Church, or the age of the Fathers. It is a common habit to stop the study of the early Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. “The Fathers” must undoubtedly include, in the West, St. Gregory the Great (d. 604), and in the East, St. John Damascene (d. about 754). It is frequently said that St. Bernard (d. 1153) was the last of the Fathers, and Migne’s “Patrologia Latina” extends to Innocent III, halting only on the verge of the thirteenth century, while his “Patrologia Graeca” goes as far as the Council of Florence (1438-9). These limits are evidently too wide, It will be best to consider that the great merit of St. Bernard as a writer lies in his resemblance in style and matter to the greatest among the Fathers, in spite of the difference of period. St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636) and the Venerable Bede (d. 735) are to be classed among the Fathers, but they may be said to have been born out of due time, as St. Theodore the Studite was in the East.

    So apparently it is not that simple, I guess.

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  6. @Ron

    I have some objection on some things you write in your article “Good Popes and bad Popes” and I would like to point them out. I also ask you to answer so that i can see if and where i’m wrong

    “Claims of simony in buying the papacy are leveled against some Popes. However, strictly speaking, this act occurs before the man becomes Pope. And, again, we have to consider that this may be a false claim made by persons who do not want a particular candidate to be elected. It should also be noted that, under current Church rules for papal elections (Universi Dominici Gregis) simony does not invalidate an election. A papal candidate who buys the papacy, by offering enticements to Cardinals, remains validly elected.”

    Ok, but let’s suppose that someone can buy his Papacy, which is something that has most likely occurred in the past.

    If your theological hypothesis that God doesn’t permit any Pope to commit actual mortal were true, it would also be true that an evil man can literally buy, with money, his salvation, because once he becomes Pope, God’s Grace would not allow him to sin mortally anymore and he would be sure of his own salvation.

    I don’t think this would be even remotely fair, expecially when we have many common Catholics who struggle against their sins and they fear Hell for them.

    And it would make look very strange this words of our Lord

    “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from him who has been entrusted with much, even more will be demanded.” – Luke 12:48

    If the claim that God prevents every Pope from committing any kind of actual mortal sin were true, what Christ said would be false i think, because he would enjoy a “protection” (not only from error -protection which doesn’t strictly benefits him, but the Church- but from personal actual mortal sin as well) that no faithful enjoys, despite have ben given much and despite having been entrusted with much. In other words, we would have a situation where the more you have been given and you have been entrusted with, the more you can be sure of your salvation. This would seem a little Calvinist to me.

    “And God can prevent anyone from sinning, if He so wishes. For prevenient grace acts prior to free will; it is God operating, not cooperating. And no one can refuse prevenient grace.
    This would not be contrary to free will.”

    We cannot refuse prevenient Grace but we can refuse to cooperate with subsequent Grace, though.

    Anyway, it’s true that this would not be strictly contrary to free will.

    I also believe that the promises that God made attached to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

    “ 1 I promise that the soul that will venerate this image (of Divine Mercy) will not perish. I also promise victory over (its) enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.” (Diary, 48)
     
    2 “The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death.” (Diary, 754)
     
    3 “When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one.” (Diary, 1541)”

    And even the promises attached to the fifteen prayers of Saint Bridget, for example “15 days before his death he will feel a deep contrition for all his sins and will have a perfect knowledge of them”, “ I shall preserve him from a sudden death” , “His soul will be delivered from eternal death”

    As i said, I believe that these promises, if they are true, imply that God will use some special Grace that makes sure that the faithful who made use of these prayers will not suffer eternal punishment in Hell (otherwise they wouldn’t make sense and they would be useless. If these promises are true and still God allows the faithful to go to Hell it would like saying “I promise you that your trip to Rome will be safe…. Unless you get killed in the city by a group of criminals”) and as you said this would not be contrary to free will.

    It would not even be contrary to this Canon of the Council of Trent

    “If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end,-unless he have learned this by special revelation; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, Session VI, Canon XVI on Justification)

    For the simple fact that private revelations are not an articule of Faith and, even if those promises are true and a faithful piously believes them to be true, he cannot claim that “he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end”. Why? Because he cannot KNOW for sure that those promises are true for the reason stated above: they don’t belong to the depositum Fidei and can only be piously believed.

    So, for these reasons, it would not be strictly contrary to the Faith to believe that every Pope is prevented from committing actual mortal sin and most importantly from final perdition.

    But i don’t think it’s true because our Lord said that whoever has great responsibility has also a great burden and he will be judged in an harsher way if he does evil.

    I would also add that

    “The Blessed Virgin Mary was prevented from committing any personal sins for her entire life. “

    Our Blessed Virgin was also blessed by God to the point that she wasn’t even stained by Original Sin, though. That is a great difference.

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    • You make some good points about Popes and mortal sin. I don’t think that being Pope necessarily means the person will go to heaven, so actual mortal sin must be possible. On the other hand, I don’t think God permits an evil or corrupt person to be Pope. So, I’m not sure where to draw that line. Still working on that point. God certainly prevents Popes from certain types of mortal sin, those which would harm the indefectibility of the Church.

      I suppose God permits mortal sins by Popes, and refusal to repent, but not in regard to his role as Teacher and Shepherd of souls. I’m considering drawing the line there, what do you think?

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    • It’s very hard to answer, Ron.

      But we know Zechariah 11,15-17

      “Then the Lord said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves.

      “Woe to the worthless shepherd,
          who deserts the flock!
      May the sword strike his arm and his right eye!
          May his arm be completely withered,
          his right eye totally blinded!”

      I think that God can permit the faithful to have teachers who say what their “itching ears” want to hear (2 Tm 4,3) expecially in an era where we have the Internet and we have the Depositum Fidei at our fingertips.

      I personally draw the line when it comes to heresy, apostasy and schism. A faithful cannot be forced by the Church to believe heresy as true. But we cannot say that it is impossible that God allows the faithful to have a “worthless sheperd”, in order to separate the sheep from the goats.

      “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” – 2 Thessalonians 2,11-12

      I also have to say that Pope Honorius has been anathematized by Pope Leo II

      “We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Sergius, … and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted.” -Denzinger-Schönmetzer, number 563

      This is not to say that Pope Honorius was guilty of formal heresy, but he was certainly guilty of very grave negligence and he hasn’t confirmed his brothers in the faith, nor has he feed Christ’s sheeps. Saint Athanasius has been unjustly excommunicated for his defense of the true Faith.

      If you want my opinion, i don’t think that Francis is a formal heretic, but i do think (my opinion is based on facts and Christ himself said “You Will Know Them by Their Fruits”, so if we can’t judge the internal disposition of a Pope we can certainly judge his fruits, leaving the judgment of the person to the only true Judge) that Pope Francis is guilty of allowing false teachers to thwart his documents and he is also guilty of having written documents that can be thwarted in an heretical way. I would also add that he is guilty of having allowed false teachers to remain in position of power and during this Pontificate many of them have gained a lot of power and influence. And many others are being promoted unceasingly.

      I’m not saying that he is guilty of these sins to the point of actual mortal sins either. But the fact that in the Church we have a terrible confusion, that we didn’t have with other Popes, is undeniable.

      This is my opinion.

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    • Your position is not so bad. It is a big improvement over most papal critics. Honorius was negligent, but I couldn’t judge whether to the extent of actual mortal sin. That is an important distinction, between merely objective mortal sin and the full culpability of actual mortal sin.

      False teachers have had power in the Church since the time of Peter and Paul. 2 Cor 11:13. There is literally no way to remove them all. I don’t think Francis has done worse than this predecessors. He removed McCarrick, while JP2 and B16 did not. The confusion claim is not justified, really. It is just that Francis corrects conservatives, and offers them a liberal point of view on the Gospel. Almost any document, and the Bible itself, can be misinterpreted to the extent of heresy.

      There has to be a limit on the evil that God permits in the person and office of the Pope. The Magisterium has not answered that question, except for the dogma of Vatican I: the gift of truth and a never-failing faith, and past teachings that consider the First See to be unblemished by any grave error. I think that further clarification will occur in our generation.

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    • “False teachers have had power in the Church since the time of Peter and Paul. 2 Cor 11:13. There is literally no way to remove them all. “

      But you can promote good teachers and marginalize the bad ones. You can also give very clear teachings that cannot be twarted.

      “I don’t think Francis has done worse than this predecessors. He removed McCarrick, while JP2 and B16 did not. “

      Actually, Ouellet’s answer to Viganò confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI sanctioned Mc Carrick, and Mc Carrick has regained a lot of power and influence during this Pontificate.

      Ouellet never denied Viganò’s central claim: that Cardinal McCarrick was put under some form of restriction by Pope Benedict because of reports of his scandalous behavior. Nor does he deny that Francis was informed about them. Instead, he seeks to downplay the significance of the sanctions and Francis’s own failure to act.
      “The former Cardinal,” admits Ouellet, speaking of McCarrick, “retired in May of 2006, had been requested not to travel or to make public appearances, in order to avoid new rumors about him.” He disputes the notion that such restrictions technically constituted “sanctions” but not that measures were taken. Furthermore, he dismisses Pope Francis’s failure to act on the information given him about McCarrick by Viganò, saying:

      “I can only imagine the amount of verbal and written information that was provided to the Holy Father on that occasion about so many persons and situations.
      I strongly doubt that the Pope had such interest in McCarrick, as you would like us to believe, given the fact that by then he was an 82-year-old Archbishop emeritus who had been without a role for seven years.”

      Again: not a denial, merely an obfuscation and an excuse. In this way, as Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican notes in his Letter #65 https://insidethevatican.com/news/newsflash/letter-65-silver-cord/ Viganò’s assertion is bolstered: “This confirmation comes from an authoritative source,” writes Moynihan. “It gives support to Vigano’s overall credibility.

      He removed Mc Carrick, yes, after the scandal had already erupted in all its violence.

      “The confusion claim is not justified, really”

      It is not? I see Parishes were every divorced and remarried is given the Sacraments, and the priests claim that they are applying Amoris Laetitia and that they are endorsed by their bishops. And in the most part of the world, the situation is the same.

      Sure, these heretical applications cannot be linked directly to Amoris Laetitia, but certainly the Pope knows about these situations and he does nothing. And he also keeps promoting shepherd that are often at least material heretics.

      I can testify that the confusion is very real.

      “It is just that Francis corrects conservatives, and offers them a liberal point of view on the Gospel.”

      And many of his appointed bishops offer an heretical point of view of the Gospel. And he doesn’t correct them. Again, i see many analogies with Honorius. I don’t know if he is guilty of actual mortal sin but i do know that the fruit of these Pontificate are, at least right now, not good at all.

      Let me quote this Italian priest http://isoladipatmos.com/the-synod-of-the-young-the-church-after-the-shoa-of-the-catholic-world-will-be-judged-to-the-new-process-of-nuremberg-where-cardinals-and-bishops-will-reply-to-the-judges-i-only-obeyed-the-high/

      “The facts show that things, at the height of the Pontifical Russian Revolution, are so good that the churches are increasingly empty, the disappointed faithful, the depressed clergy and the missing vocations. The abandonment of the priesthood has never been as numerous as in the last five years of the history of the Church, even if the Congregation for the Clergy is silent on the statistical, because it is presided over by another friend of the Court of Miracles, or Magic Circle.”

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    • During the Pontificate of JP2, McCarrick was promoted to Cardinal, despite some evidence against him at that point in time. It is not so easy as you say, to distinguish who is good and who is evil, who are the good shepherds and who are the bad. A Pope-Saint erred in this matter. But you demand that Pope Francis do better. And he has done so, since he is the one who removed McCarrick.

      This judgment that you issue, as to which bishops “offer an heretical point of view”, is unjust. You are not qualified to judge the Bishops or the Pope. And the real assumption is that the Pope and the Bishops should be judged by the conservative Catholic subculture. The Pope is to be judged by no one but God alone. The Bishops are judged by the Holy See and perhaps by a Bishops conference or Ecumenical Council. This culture of using common opinion on the internet to judge the Pope and the Bishops is sinful and foolish.

      The confusion results from the assumption that the conservative point of view is inerrant, and from the refusal to accept teaching and correction from the Pope. The fruit of this Pontificate is exactly the fruit chosen by God, to rebuke the conservative Catholics for their arrogance and for their refusal to obey the Magisterium.

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    • “During the Pontificate of JP2, McCarrick was promoted to Cardinal, despite some evidence against him at that point in time. It is not so easy as you say, to distinguish who is good and who is evil, who are the good shepherds and who are the bad. A Pope-Saint erred in this matter. But you demand that Pope Francis do better. And he has done so, since he is the one who removed McCarrick.”

      Again, first he has removed the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed upon him, setting him free in the process despite Viganò’s warnings; then he removed him altogether only when the rot had already exploded thanks to Viganò. If this is enough for you, ok….

      “This judgment that you issue, as to which bishops “offer an heretical point of view”, is unjust. You are not qualified to judge the Bishops or the Pope. And the real assumption is that the Pope and the Bishops should be judged by the conservative Catholic subculture. The Pope is to be judged by no one but God alone. The Bishops are judged by the Holy See and perhaps by a Bishops conference or Ecumenical Council. This culture of using common opinion on the internet to judge the Pope and the Bishops is sinful and foolish.”

      Ron, i cannot declare that a Bishop is a formal heretic but i can certainly recognize an heretic teaching http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/06/01/jesuit-superior-general-we-have-formed-symbolic-figures-such-as-the-devil-to-express-evil/ Are you Claiming that when bishops preach things like this priest i can’t judge their teachings?

      And here in Italy i have heard even bigger heresies coming from both priests and bishops, i tried to denounce them, like many others, and nobody did nothing. And they are stile poisoning the flock to this day, i can testimony this even with my family where one of my loved oned picked up some heretical ideas in his parishes and i had to correct her.

      Has Someone corrected Arturo Sosa? No. Has Someone corrected those priests and bishops whom we denounced, who are poisoning the flock giving them snakes and scorpions to eat instead of bread and fish? Neither.

      And the heresies of Arturo Sosa, which I have linked, just like countless others i have heard here from many others, are just that: heresies. They are not a mitological “liberal” point of view opposed to a conservative point of view.

      I agree that I cannot judge a priest or a Bishop to be a formal heretic. But every catholic can certainly judge whether a TEACHING of a priest or a bishop is heretic, because the catholic Faith is not an esoteric cabal which can understood only by the doctors of the law.

      There is a great uneasiness, at this time, in the world and in the Church, and that which is in question is the faith. It so happens now that I repeat to myself the obscure phrase of Jesus in the Gospel of Saint Luke: “When the Son of man returns, will He still find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). It so happens that there are books coming out in which the faith is in retreat on some important points. The episcopates are remaining silent and these books are not looked upon as strange. This to me is strange. I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging. Are we close to the end? This we will never know. We must always hold ourselves in readiness, but everything could last a very long time yet. What strikes me when I think of the Catholic world is that within Catholicism there seems sometimes to predominate a non-Catholic way of thinking, and it can happen that this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism will tomorrow become the stronger. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be” – Pope Paul VI

      I don’t think i’ve said something not true.

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    • “But every catholic can certainly judge whether a TEACHING of a priest or a bishop is heretic.”
      I did not mean that we do not have the right to denounce an heretical teaching. I meant that most Catholics are unable to do so because they are so poorly catechized. Conservatives can recognize liberal heresies, but they have utterly failed to recognize many severe heresies among conservative theologians (as I have pointed out in my posts).

      Soon many conservative Catholics will falsely accuse Pope Francis of heresy. If you agree with me that Popes are absolutely prevented by grace from teaching or committing heresy, then you will realize that the teaching, whatever it may be, is not heresy.

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    • I haven’t criticized the Pope because of his formal teachings. Of course he hasn’t taught anything formally heretic.

      I have criticized him because of the fact that he promotes heretics in positions of power and he does nothing to stop them. And even his documents, while ortodox, could have been written in a clearer way, that would not have left room for heretical applications (even though the heresies aren’t limited to the application of Amoris Laetitia, they embrace the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, the necessity to belong to the Church -visibly or invisibly- for salvation and many other bastions of the Faith).

      You know that i had even written this article defending Amoris Laetitia https://ronconte.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/communion-discipline-for-the-orthodox-shows-the-wisdom-of-amoris-laetitia/ but in this year I have seen many things which have brought me to the realization that many things are not right and that the conservatives, while being wrong when they accuse the Pope of heresy, are right in some instances.

      It has been a painful realizations for me.

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    • People talking about how difficult an incorrect decision has been for them to make! That doesn’t mean the decision is right!

      You do not have the role to evaluate each decision of the Pope to see if it is right or wrong. While Popes can err in non-infallible teachings, they can err only to a limited extent. The main problem is that the conservative subculture refuses to submit to the authority of the Pope. They think they should be judges over the Popes and the Magisterium. And they have taken this attitude about past Popes as well.

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  7. that Pope Francis is guilty of allowing false teachers to thwart his documents and he is also guilty of having written documents that can be thwarted in an heretical way.

    Marco, it is impossible to write a document which cannot be thwarted in a heretical way. The existence proof is the Bible. How many denominations of Christians have there been over the last twenty centuries? Tens of thousands? If God cannot write a document which cannot be thwarted in a heretical way, nobody can.

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    • @Tom

      “Marco, it is impossible to write a document which cannot be thwarted in a heretical way.”

      How come that they weren’t able to do that -at least to this extent- with the documents of previous Popes? Anyway, the problem is not in the documents themselves, but in the lack of correction of the heretics.

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    • There was a lack of correction of heretics under JP2 and B16. The problem is with society and the culture among the faithful, too. When margaret farley was rebuked for the heretical errors in her book “Just Love”, she received publicity, higher sales for the book, and more support than before the rebuke. Heretics have attained to teaching positions in many Catholic universities, and they are widely accepted as if orthodox. JP2 spoke of this in VS. 4. It is a problem not unique to the reign of Francis.

      However, Francis has tried to correct conservatives for their errors, and their reply is “we are the most faithful, go correct the liberals”. The conservatives do not accept correction.

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