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.’
The Pandaemonium Club
My Dear Wormwood,
I have been intending to drop you a line to commend your excellent deployment of your assistant Spadaro.
He seems to me to be an altogether agreeable fellow – one with whom we can very easily do business. The Correctio Filialis chaps have, of course, got it right: there is genuine confusion among bishops and other pastors as to what guidance to give to divorced and remarried Catholics. Grist to our mill, you might say. But further opportunities present themselves.
In these circumstances, in my experience, Mortals need to be reassured that there are different kinds of truth: your truth differs from my truth, and yet all tend to the same happy conclusion. To this elementary perception your pupil Spadaro has added an ingenious refinement.
According to Antonio, there is horizontal truth and there is vertical truth. Vertical truth bad; horizontal truth good. Truth handed down from on high, by authority, by revelation, by tradition is profoundly suspect. Horizontal truth deriving from a consensus of contemporaries is engaging and commands commitment.
You will see immediately what Spadaro has achieved here. At a stroke he has dethroned the Enemy and replaced him with the Zeitgeist.
And all this ostensibly in defence of the Pope!
In the more febrile sections of the Church media there has already been speculation about how Pope Francis will react to the ‘Filial Correction’. Such speculation only goes to show how little the current Vatican policy is understood in such circles.
Buoyed up by popularity in the secular press, Francis does not need to pay heed (as his silence over the dubia has shown) to the opinion of Catholics. He can go over their heads and appeal to the post-Christian majority, who share his opinions.
Expect no response, therefore. The dignity of absolute monarchy is best maintained by silence.
The ‘Filial Correction’, by 62 clergy and scholars, which has recently been launched detailing accusations of heresy against Pope Francis has already been dismissed by Francis’s supporters.
One described it as a ‘flea-bite to an elephant’, alluding to the fact that few names of international repute (and no members of the hierarchy) have signed the letter, launched at midnight yesterday.
The ‘Correctio’ is significant for two reasons: the first is that it is virtually unprecedented; the second that it is the only way remaining to express what is an increasing body of dissent in Europe’s only surviving Absolute Monarchy – bolstered as it is by an unthinking Papolatry, which is itself inimical to the Church’s well-being.
The Filial Correction and its signatories, along with a summary statement and press release, can be viewed at www.correctiofilialis.org.
Jonathan Baker is a divorced and remarried bishop of the Church of England who renounced a senior position in Freemasonry in order to secure his elevation to the episcopate.
Readers of this blog will ask themselves how this accords with scripture and how, in any case, one can resign from a secret society.
Baker is, as well as his episcopal functions as Bishop of Fulham, parish priest of St Andrew’s Holborn in central London. The images here are of a fashion show which recently took place in his church. Charity might conclude that in allowing the show Bishop Baker had taken his eye off the ball, or leave of his senses.
Remembering that Baker was once Chairman of the traditionalist grouping Forward in Faith, readers will also want to ask themselves what is the significance, for Bishop Jonathan’s ministry, of the Masonic and demonic imagery and why it was permitted in his Church.
The images which follow can will seem to many little short of folly.
‘Fair is foul and foul is fair’, sing Macbeth’s witches.
But few inversions of values can have been as dramatic and significant as that recently agreed by the European Parliament. The nations of the West (and almost all societies elsewhere) have traditionally viewed abortion as a crime – the slaughter of the innocents. And they have universally affirmed the duty of mothers (and fathers) to guard the life of their child, to cherish and nurture it.
The opposite is true of the European Union.
In a recent enactment they have turned those moral principles on their head. Previously it was held that abortion was wrong because it was a form of violence against the unborn. The Union now maintains that to deny women the right to abortion is an act of violence against them.
[The European Union] ‘Strongly affirms that the denial of sexual and reproductive health and rights services, including safe and legal abortion, is a form of violence against women and girls; reiterates that women and girls must have control over their bodies and sexualities; calls on all the Member States to guarantee comprehensive sexuality education, ready access for women to family planning, and the full range of reproductive and sexual health services, including modern contraceptive methods and safe and legal abortion’
And this despite contradictory legislation in some of the countries of the twenty-seven.
Catholic Christians will ask themselves ‘What next?’, in a polity where opposing sin has been made a crime.