The great heresy of the Enlightenment is that of the perfectibility of man. Man by the application of reason and the exercise of the individual conscience will, and indeed must, secure the betterment of human life. He will ‘come of age’. It is the heresy which, in the Catholic Church goes by the name of Pelagianism.
It is a cause of wonder that this naïve superstition survived unscathed the tumultuous history of the twentieth century. But it is alive and well, and has become the orthodoxy among many of those around Pope Francis.
Step forward one Blase Cupich, Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, personal invitee of the Pope to the Synod on the family. He is hosting a conference on Amoris Laetitia, whose speakers include most of the usual suspects.
In June, the cardinal interpreted Amoris Laetitia as a call for Catholics to graduate from “an adolescent spirituality into an adult spirituality” where they will be able to use their “freedom of conscience” to “discern truth” in their life.
Claimed another contributor to the colloquium: ‘Pope Francis is calling for respect for the moral decisions lay people make in their lives and that he is working to overcome the “infantilization of laypeople. The infantilization of the laity has its historical roots in a view of lay-people as objects of clerical control: pay, pray and obey.’