We’re currently witnessing a struggle of historic proportions in the chambers of the Roman Catholic hierarchy although most Catholics and evangelicals aren’t even paying attention.
At the center of the controversy is the mass, the centerpiece of the Catholic religion. Catholics are obligated to attend mass every Sunday where priests allegedly change bread wafers and wine into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Supplicants ingest the Jesus wafer and wine, believing they receive graces which help them avoid mortal sin so they are able to merit Heaven.
For century after century, the popes and Catholic hierarchy taught that Catholics who had divorced and remarried without an annulment of the first marriage were living in a state of open adultery and were forbidden from receiving communion. That wasn’t a problem when divorce among Catholics was relatively rare, but in current times, with Catholic divorce rates at 50% mirroring the rest of society, the restrictive communion policy was alienating a large portion of the membership and many were dropping away.
In an effort to stanch the exodus, pope Francis the pragmatist issued the Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) apostolic exhortation last April, which, among other things, ambiguously left it up to parish priests to decide whether a remarried Catholic could receive communion or not, thus countermanding a doctrine that had been taught by other equally “infallible” popes for over a millennia.
Opposition to the pope’s new teaching has been swelling within the ranks of traditionalist cardinals, bishops, priests, and laity for the past eight months. Recently, four cardinals including American cardinal, Raymond Burke (pictured), formally requested that Francis “clarify” his remarks in Amoris Laetitia in light of previous infallible church teaching. The pope has declined to respond to the appeal. Burke is now suggesting the cardinals could possibly issue a “formal act of correction,” a declaration that Francis is teaching heresy (see articles below).
As I stated previously, most Catholics are oblivious to the dramatic tug-of-war taking place between Francis and his allies and church traditionalists over Amoris Laetitia and other reforms. What’s at stake is Catholicism’s claim to the infallibility of popes on teachings of faith and morals. The great irony here – don’t miss this – is traditionalists are willing to concede the current pope is fallible and in error in order to preserve the teaching of previous infallible popes! Francis winks at “infallible” doctrines in an effort to keep people in the pews.
- Regarding cardinals’ request for clarification of ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ the Pope’s silence speaks volumes
- Cardinal Burke: we will make ‘formal act of correction’ if Pope doesn’t issue Amoris clarification
All men are fallible. Even casual students of the history of the Catholic church are aware of the tragic failings of popes and other high church officials down through the ages. The only Rock we have is Jesus Christ. Accept Christ as your Savior and then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that teaches God’s Word without compromise.