Pontius Pilate washed his hands to make himself look blameless in the judgement of Christ but as Christ had already pointed out, “You would have no authority over me if it had not been given to you from above.” Notice, Pontius Pilate WAS given authority but for the specific purpose of Jesus’ Passion and death. Even so, Pilate made judgements while doing all in his power to draw back from those judgements in the eyes of the people. But what does this have to do with Pope Francis? Isn’t it strangely convenient that EVERY time Pope Francis makes his revolutionary off the cuff remarks, there is always a ‘theologian’ to come behind him and help us “dumb Catholics” understand what he meant. Need a good example? Glad you asked:
We all remember the controversial conversation and ‘spiritual’ direction that Pope Francis gave the Lutheran woman concerning Holy Communion and the response against it. However, in order to get a better understanding of his philosophy, let us take a look at Francis’ words. Now Keep in Mind, Pope Francis, representing Catholicism is talking to a Lutheran:
…a pastor-friend once told me: ‘We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present. You all believe that the Lord is present. And so what’s the difference?’ Eh, there are explanations, interpretations. Life is bigger than explanations and interpretations. Always refer back to your baptism. One faith, one baptism, one Lord.” This is what Paul tells us, and then take the consequences from there. I wouldn’t ever dare to allow this, because it’s not my competence. One baptism, one Lord, one faith. Talk to the Lord and then go forward. I don’t dare to say anything more.
Incredible. That a Pope could utter these words to a Lutheran is simply astounding. Let’s look at his words carefully to dispel the illusion of mercy and discover the twisted philosophy within.
He begins, as the Pope of the Catholic Church, to recall the words of a pastor (an Anglican to be exact) that he can relate to when he says there is no difference between a Catholic’s understanding of the Eucharist and that of a Lutheran. First of all, there is a HUGE difference between to two. The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of Transubstantiation, meaning that the very substance of the bread and wine offered as the Eucharist entirely change to the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ once and for all. Therefore, after consumption of the consecrated hosts and wine (Jesus’ LITERAL Body and Blood) is placed in the Tabernacle where Jesus is Truly present. Lutherans however believe in Consubstantiation, meaning their “Eucharist” is only “with or around” the hosts and wine during their worship service, which something the Catholic Church has DENIED as true consumption of Jesus Christ to receive eternal life. There have even been debates among a confederacy of Lutheran churches that argue Jesus is only with the hosts and wine but leave once the service is over.
Notice that he makes it painfully obvious that he is not interested in “explanations and interpretations”. As though this is not important at all. In fact, God is just so loving and merciful that Jesus should and does overlook the letter of the law and worthy reception to the Eucharist! So take it from Papa Francis, don’t worry yourself with laws of the Church, you know, those outdated and harsh statutes and edicts that have been passed down since Christ himself?
Ah yes, refer back to your baptism. Since there is only one baptism, then that MUST mean that we are of the same faith, just like St. Paul said! STOP RIGHT THERE. Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit indeed is Catholic as it was given to us by Christ. However, the goal then after a valid baptism is to raise the child in the CATHOLIC FAITH. Pope Francis acts as though Baptism is the only Sacrament the Church has. The phrase, ‘one cannot have cake and eat it too’ comes to mind.
Pope Francis then reveals a little more about himself, that he is unable to say what else to do in her matter. The POPE is not competent in instructing a human being on what to do in regards to admission to Holy Communion. Was it not easy to say to the Lutheran why she can NOT receive the Eucharist due to unbelief in the abiding True Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament? Couldn’t he have told her it was out of an act of LOVE to keep her from consuming His Body and Blood since she does not discern the truth concerning the Eucharist or else she would be guilty of sacrilege? Of course not…that apparently is above the pay grade.
And finally, the most confusing line of all: “Talk to the Lord and then go forward.” Examples like these is what destroys his credibility as a spiritual shepherd. There is no clear direction given. In fact, one would understand this advice to pretty much leave it up to your conscience to decide, after you pray of course. Is this not why we have a Magisterium, to help us understand the lawful means of following Christ’s commands? Did Jesus not say that if we love Him we are to Obey Him and for that matter…did Jesus not also say after the Great Commission, that all those that listen to His Disciples (Popes, Bishops, Priests, etc. who carry the faith) listen to Jesus and all those who deny them are actually denying Jesus Himself? But of course, after Pope Francis speaks scandalously he makes sure to quickly remove himself from his own involvement in the matter, “I don’t dare to say anything more.”
Keep in mind, this is not just his way of mixing Catholic teaching with outlandishly anti-catholic statements but he is deliberately showing others how to act, believe, and respond to the same subject. A well meaning Catholic could easily be scandalized by Pope Francis’ words seeing how ‘if the Pope said this, then who am I to think otherwise?’ or if anyone were to stand up for Catholic teaching on the matter, the response would undoubtedly be, “What? Are you More Catholic than the Pope?!”
So now that the Pope said his piece on intercommunion, what does the clean up crew say? A little piece from the Catholic Herald on why Catholics should stay calm because Pope Francis isn’t pressing for general Protestant admission to Communion. Let’s look at some of the statements used to help us Catholics ‘stay calm’.
In his answer on Protestant spouses receiving Communion, the Pope drew attention to the importance of the common bond of baptism, and this is indeed the foundation and well-spring of a sacramental marriage. It is also, according to canon law, the primary criteria for the reception of Communion (canon 912). Canon law also lays out some very limited circumstances under which Protestants can receive Communion (canon 844). So while some have gone bonkers at the suggestion that the Pope wants to give Communion to Protestants, the Church already holds that this is not a simple question of can they or can’t they, but one of time, place, disposition, and belief. These are not procedural hoops to jump through but necessary expressions of the seriousness of the Eucharist.
Okay…where to begin. Yes, of course baptism is the foundation and well-spring of a sacramental marriage. However, once again, a valid baptism is to be followed by holy instruction in the Catholic Faith to stay true to Christ’s purpose of the Great Commission (you know, that whole part about obeying what the disciples have said because of what Jesus told them). Therefore, canon 912 refers to a baptized CATHOLIC in good standing (like being in a State of Grace) who must never be refused holy communion. To get a better understanding of canon 912, one would only need to read the very next canon (913) where it explicitly explains how children are to be carefully taught with sufficient knowledge of the mystery of the Eucharist before they can receive Communion. So don’t give me this, “baptism is enough” business when we must raise Catholics by the book, so to speak, but with Protestants we can just ignore it for the sake of ‘mercy’. And I like that the writer mentions that these “…are not procedural hoops to jump through but necessary expressions of the seriousness of the Eucharist,” because I could of sworn I got the impression Pope Francis was not too terribly interested in “explanations and interpretations”, since apparently he does not know the difference between Consubstantiation and Transubstantiation.
And if it isn’t the Holy Eucharist Pope Francis is blurring the lines of truth and opinion of and it is the Sacrament of Penance as he was quoted,
If someone comes to you and feels something must be removed from him, but perhaps he is unable to say it, but you understand … it’s all right, he says it this way, with the gesture of coming. First condition. Second, he is repentant. If someone comes to you it is because he doesn’t want to fall into these situations, but he doesn’t dare say it, he is afraid to say it and then not be able to do it. But if he cannot do it, ad impossibila nemo tenetur. And the Lord understands these things, the language of gestures. Have open arms, to understand what is inside that heart that cannot be said or said this way … somewhat because of shame … you understand me. You must receive everyone with the language with which they can speak.
Um, I am sorry but didn’t the Church already define what one must do to actually receive Absolution?!
How about the Council of Trent…
On the parts, and on the fruit of this Sacrament.
…But the acts of the penitent himself, to wit, contrition, confession and satisfaction, are as it were the matter(p) of this sacrament. Which acts, inasmuch as they are, by God’s institution, required in the penitent for the integrity of the sacrament, and for the full and perfect remission of sins, are for this reason called the parts of penance.
From the institution of the sacrament of Penance as already explained, the universal Church has always understood, that the entire confession of sins was also instituted by the Lord…
In other words, if we do not confess our sins in the Sacrament of Confession, WE WILL NOT BE FORGIVEN and therefore remain in sin! With Pope Francis asserting that Priests need encourage penitents to confess all of their sins, (esp. MORTAL sins which sever you from Sanctifying Grace!).
No different than Pontius Pilate, Pope Francis is washing his hands and nonchalantly handing over the Body and Blood of our Lord to sinners, only this time, the authority given to Pope Francis over His Body and Blood is being abused day. And with this new diabolical theological twist on the Sacrament of Penance we look on to this “Jubilee of Mercy”, one can only imagine how much more Our Lord will be dragged through the mud. Therefore, pray. Pray a great deal, especially for those in seats of power in the Church who SHOULD speak up and defend what Christ established for His lambs!