Throwback Thursday: The “unchanging” Roman Catholic church changes once again

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on April 11, 2016 and has been revised.


Catholics often boast that theirs is the UNCHANGING, “one true church,” but even a casual student of church history knows that is not the case. And now we have another example.

In the past, any Catholic who divorced and remarried without obtaining an annulment was said to be living in a state of mortal sin and was officially barred from receiving the eucharist Jesus wafer. But in his new “apostolic exhortation,” Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), released last week, pope Francis tacitly suggests via an obscure footnote that it’s now up to the local parish priest to evaluate the circumstances of each remarried divorcee parishioner and decide if they are able to receive the sacraments (see article below). With so many Catholics divorcing these days, Francis was compelled to change the policy in an effort to keep the church viable.

But this ex-Catholic saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone has a couple of important questions regarding this new policy. First, what about all the divorced Catholics who remarried and died in a state of mortal sin prior to this change? Do they all now receive a “Get Out of Hell, Free” card or is the declaration not retroactive? Also, how could such an important doctrine affecting faith and morals that was upheld by all previous infallible popes now be so conveniently discarded? Catholics would rather not confront such questions.

I’m so grateful to the Lord for leading me out of Catholic legalism, ritualism, and man-made traditions. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and then ask the Lord to direct you to an evangelical church in your area that teaches God’s Word without compromise.

Pope Francis to church: Be more accepting of divorced Catholics, gays, and lesbians

Note from April 2021: I couldn’t have possibly known when I wrote the above post in April 2016, that pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia encyclical would have MAJOR repercussions within the Roman Catholic church. Conservative Catholic prelates, priests, and laity did in fact note the doctrinal incongruity of Francis’ lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees and reacted with zealous indignation. Formal protests were submitted and ignored by the pope. Cautious conservative prelates and priests advised their followers to ignore Francis’ doctrinal novelty while a few went so far as to openly call Francis a heretic. Amoris Laetita was the start and Francis has continued to roil conservatives with his progressive reforms.

Communion for the divorced and remarried, papal critics and family life: Pope Francis’ ‘Amoris Laetitia’ at 5 years

31 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: The “unchanging” Roman Catholic church changes once again

  1. Thanks Tom for another informative post about the never changing but always changing Roman Catholic system! I won’t call it a church because it’s not. And the beat goes on…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, Tom! I don’t know why but this never changing yet changing post reminds me of Mormonism. If you find an old copy of the Book of Mormon the church will pay you big bucks for it. Each revised edition is said to be authoritative and old ones are pulled from circulation. At the end of the day, they don’t want their congregants to know what was previously written.

    I find much of Christendom has mistreated divorced people. I am thankful that Jesus has saved you from this false church!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Mandy, for the info on changing Mormonism. I’m aware of many problems with Mormonism that the LDS hierarchy sweeps under the rug. We’re only 18 miles from Palmyra where Joseph Smith got his start, and being a history geek I did a lot of reading and research on Mormonism back in the early-1980s before I was saved. There are five irrefutable proofs that Mormonism is a false religion, which I detailed in the two posts far below.

      Century after century, Roman Catholic prelates, theologians, and priests boasted that the RCC was Semper eadem, “Always the same.” But this Amoris Laetitia encyclical, which craftily eases the restrictions on remarried divorcees is the latest of MANY significant changes in church teaching/policy. The one thing that hasn’t changed is Rome’s insistence that its members must merit their salvation under the direction of its priests.

      Yup, divorce is certainly sinful BUT it’s not the leprosy-like sin that Rome has portrayed it. With 25% of Catholics divorced, Francis couldn’t afford to allow the policy of barring them from communion to stand.

      Thank you! I’m so grateful the Lord freed Corinne and I from the RCC’s false salvation system.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I never understood evangelicals and Beck (as well as Romney). Much of the Book of Mormon was translated on the Susquehanna River in Pa (I always scour when I have to drive past the sign!). Nathan lived in Idaho for years and he can tell you all about the cult of Mormon. I was NOT well received by anyone in that community!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. The change of practice (and also doctrine) is one of the amazing thing within Catholicism, for a faith that says its the one true church that never deviate from past doctrines and also have a magisterium. Good unmasking article here concerning divorce and remarriage. Good appeal to Catholics reading it to believe in the Gospel too

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, brother! Yup, conservative Catholics know they have a very, very serious problem with Francis’ bending of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees.

      I appreciate your “getting it” because I imagine most evangelical pastors not only don’t get the significance but could not care less.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, while the conservative and liberal factions of the RCC feud over the particulars of their works-righteousness salvation system, evangelicals are oblivious and jostle in line for a photo op with the pope!
        BTW, I enjoyed the C2TC guys while driving around today. Smart phones can be a blessing!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Yup, semper eadem. No contradiction here. Nothing to see let’s move on. 🙂

    The Council of Florence (1441) Bull Cantata Domino: It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. See Henry Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, trans. Roy J. Deferrari, Thirtieth Ed. (Powers Lake: Marian House, published in 1954 by Herder & Co., Freiburg), #714, p. 230.

    Vatican II: But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Moslems, these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. Nor is God Himself remote from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, since he gives to all men life and breath and all things (cf. Acts 17:25–28), and since the Saviour wills all men to be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4). Those who, who through no fault of their own, do not know the gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation.Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Austin Flannery, O.P., General Editor (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1980), Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium II:16, p. 367.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. More “Semper Eadem”. Keith Nester obviously didn’t do his homework before he apostasized. 🙂

      Council of Constance (1415), Haec Sancta: ….First it declares that, legitimately assembled in the holy Spirit, constituting a general council and representing the catholic church militant, it has power immediately from Christ; and that everyone of whatever state or dignity, even papal, is bound to obey it in those matters which pertain to the faith, the eradication of the said schism and the general reform of the said church of God in head and members.

      Next, it declares that anyone of whatever condition, state or dignity, even papal, who contumaciously refuses to obey the past or future mandates, statutes, ordinances or precepts of this sacred council or of any other legitimately assembled general council, regarding the aforesaid things or matters pertaining to them, shall be subjected to well-deserved penance, unless he repents, and shall be duly punished, even by having recourse, if necessary, to other supports of the law. SESSION 5 – 6 April 1415, Haec Sancta

      Vatican 1: So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema. Chapter 3, Number 9, SESSION 4 : 18 July 1870

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, a notable contradiction. I recently posted a Throwback Thursday post that commented on the Council of Constance and the trial of Jan Hus, but I didn’t get into how the council claimed jurisdiction over the papacy in order to resolve the Western Schism.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Another good post Tom. Changing doctrines and mandates aligns with political and economic needs, esp to maintain numbers and funds.
    I only hope that as the foundation crumbles, Catholics will seek and find the Lord.
    Press on brother, we’re actually leaving a snowstorm in NH today!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth! The author of a recent book I read, a convert to RC-ism claimed he tried and tried but could not find where the RCC changed any of its doctrines. He should have called me.
      Argh! Snow! Yup I heard there was some snow way east of us. Stay safe!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I sadly paid money i didn’t really have to spare at the time for a Roman Catholic annulment 😢
    SO SO THANKFUL THE LORD SHOWED ME WHAT TRUE FREEDOM IN HIM IS! -it definitely is not found in the cult of the RCC !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wealthy contributors like the Kennedys could get an annulment in a snap. So ridiculous for the RCC to declare a married couple “wasn’t really” married.
      Yup, Jesus Christ is our freedom from these man-made religious shenanigans.

      Liked by 1 person

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