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Are Pope Francis & Cupich Catholics or Dung Covered with Snow Lutherans?

Cardinal Blase Cupich, in his latest column wrote:

"The Holy Father’s core conviction about the resurrection of Jesus also helps us make sense of his urging not to judge others or become an obstacle by denying God’s grace to those whose lives are imperfect. The pope rightly believes that, as one who has broken down the barrier between time and eternity through his resurrection, Christ loves without limit or condition."

"... For instance, like Pope Francis, he advocated for “the law of gradualness” when it comes to judgment in particular cases. He wrote that there is a need to recognize “the distinction between objective disorder and subjective guilt, which depends greatly on intentions, motivations and concrete circumstances. … In this line the law of gradualness has been rightly developed. … As judge, Christ is not a cold legalist.”

"... Absent such an appreciation, there will always be a tendency to fixate on laws and rules, or to place one’s confidence in human efforts of personal heroism as the starting point of the spiritual life, as opposed to trusting in God’s ever-present grace and mercy to overcome any sin. I notice that just this past week, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith warned of the danger of teachings that propose that we can earn salvation by our own efforts. This error has deep roots in the church’s history and is called Pelagianism, the belief that we can will our own salvation." []

Sadly, Cupich and Francis are not advocating “the law of gradualness,” but the heretical "gradualness of the law" which teaches "that repentance does not require a decisive break with sin."

Jimmy Akin explains that in "1997 the [Pope John Paul II] Pontifical Council for the Family issued a vademecum (i.e., handbook) for confessors in which it gave guidance to those hearing confessions about how to handle certain situations."

"In particular, it warned confessors against the idea of thinking that repentance does not require a decisive break with sin, saying:"

"The pastoral 'law of gradualness', not to be confused with the 'gradualness of the law' which would tend to diminish the demands it places on us, consists of requiring a decisive break with sin together with a progressive path towards total union with the will of God and with his loving demands [Vademecum for Confessors 3:9]."

Akin, also, shows how Pope John Paul II rejected the Cupich/Francis  heretical "gradualness of the law" in the his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, saying:

"[Married people] cannot however look on the law as merely an ideal to be achieved in the future: they must consider it as a command of Christ the Lord to overcome difficulties with constancy."

"And so what is known as 'the law of gradualness' or step-by-step advance cannot be identified with 'gradualness of the law,' as if there were different degrees or forms of precept in God's law for different individuals and situations."

"In God's plan, all husbands and wives are called in marriage to holiness, and this lofty vocation is fulfilled to the extent that the human person is able to respond to God's command with serene confidence in God's grace and in his or her own will."

"On the same lines, it is part of the Church's pedagogy that husbands and wives should first of all recognize clearly the teaching of Humanae vitae as indicating the norm for the exercise of their sexuality, and that they should endeavor to establish the conditions necessary for observing that norm." [Familiaris Consortio 34].

To give him the benefit of the doubt, it is possible that Cupich doesn't understand the two law's definitions when he claims “the law of gradualness” is the heretical "gradualness of the law":

"Pope Francis, he advocated for 'the law of gradualness' when it comes to judgment in particular cases. He wrote that there is a need to recognize “the distinction between objective disorder and subjective guilt, which depends greatly on intentions, motivations and concrete circumstances."

What Atkin said in 2014 of the Synod document called a Relatio post disceptationem applies to Cupich's above statement:

It "appears more to reflect the 'gradualness of law' that was warned against in those documents, according to which a decisive break with sin is not required before receiving absolution and holy Communion, and in which a different standard of what constitutes sin would be applied to some than is applied to others."[]

Cupich claims that the reason that Francis believes in the heretical "gradualness of the law" is because of the "Holy Father’s core conviction about the resurrection of Jesus."

Sadly, Cupich and Francis implicitly deny not just the power of the resurrection, but the resurrection itself by saying that it doesn't rise us by infused grace to cooperate in a new life with Christ free to fulfill the moral law even if we fail to do so.

In Catholic theology, "Christ’s Passion and death are the cause of the forgiveness of guilt, by which forgiveness we die unto sin: whereas Christ’s Resurrection is the cause of newness of life, which comes through grace or justice" which allows us to cooperate with with God's infused grace to fulfill the moral law. St. Paul says that St. Thomas Aquinas teaches:
“Two things concur in the justification of souls, namely, forgiveness of sin and newness of life through grace. Consequently, as to efficacy, which comes of the Divine power, the Passion as well as the Resurrection of Christ is the cause of justification as to both the above. But as to exemplarity, properly speaking Christ’s Passion and death are the cause of the forgiveness of guilt, by which forgiveness we die unto sin: whereas Christ’s Resurrection is the cause of newness of life, which comes through grace or justice: consequently, the Apostle says (Romans 4:25) that ‘He was delivered up,’ i.e. to death, ‘for our sins,’ i.e. to take them away, ‘and rose again for our justification.’ But Christ’s Passion was also a meritorious cause. . .' (Summa Theologiae III, q. 56, art. 2, ad 4; emphasis added)."[]
What Cupich calls “the law of gradualness,” is the heretical "gradualness of the law" which is connected to the Cupich/Francis denial of the infallible Catholic doctrines of sanctifying grace and justification.

What he calls Pelagianism "that we can earn salvation by our own efforts" appears to be his and Francis's denial of Catholic sanctifying grace and justification in which Catholics cooperate with God's infused grace.

Contrary to Martin Luther's thinking and Cupich's thinking if he is consciously or unconsciously a follower of Luther, the Catholic Church never taught that we can earn by our own efforts salvation, but by grace and our free will we cooperate with God's grace in our salvation.

We know Cupich is a disciple of the present Pope's Lutheran teachings.

According to Francis himself, he agrees with the heretical Luther doctrine of justification that says the resurrection doesn't "by grace truly sanctifies and liberates, and that baptized Christians are always free to fulfill the moral law, even when they fail to do so."

Cupich apparently agrees with the Pope who claims Luther in his doctrine of justification  "did not err." Francis said:

"Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he did not err." (, "Pope Francis is Wrong about Luther and Justification," April 5, 2017)

On January 2, Vatican expert Edward Pentin reported that Pope Francis's president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio unwittingly said that the official endorsement of the Argentine directive of Amoris Laetitia contradicted the infallible doctrine of Trent:

"He said it is 'precisely this theological element that allows absolution and access to the Eucharist, always — we repeat — in the presence of an impossibility to immediately change the condition of sin.'”

The Cardinal in the above statement said it is impossible to "change the condition of sin" which is another way of saying Amoris Laetitia's "in concrete situations which does not allow him or her to decide otherwise."

Trent said "If anyone says that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified  and constituted in grace, impossible to observe, let him be anathema."

Coccopalmerio's above statement of the Pope's understanding of sin is important because he was Francis's selected Vatican official who stated:

"While the content of the pope's letter itself does not contain teachings on faith and morals, it does point toward the interpretations of the Argentine bishops and confirms them as authentically reflecting his own mind." []       

As stated by Francis's own selected Vatican official Coccopalmerio to explain the pontiff's authentic interpretation:

The Pope's Amoris Laetitia appears to have fallen into the heresies of Martin Luther and situation ethics which are condemned by Trent and Veritatis Splendor.

Pope Francis said of the heresy of Luther on justification which includes his teaching on sin:

"Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he did not err." (, "Pope Francis is Wrong about Luther and Justification," April 5, 2017)

On May 25, 2016, the Catholic Herald said new "revelations suggest that some of Amoris’s most contentious paragraphs – relating to “situations of sin” and “mitigating factors” – had their origin in Archbishop Fernández’s articles, which gave a critique of John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor."

The evidence shows that the Pope’s intimate friend and ghostwriter Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernandez did a "cut and paste" from his ten year old anti-John Paul II tracts which made up some of the most controversial parts of the papal document according to a May 25 article of The Spectator.

Francis' friend, The Spectator said, is seen as "a joke figure" in terms of his reputation as a theologian who wrote a silly book called “Heal me with your mouth. The art of kissing.”

All these revelations came from Vatican expert Sandro Magister's blog. Magister said Pope John Paul II condemned the situational ethics of "theologians" like Fernandez in his important and magisterial encyclical ‘Veritatis Splendor.’ [ ]

The Vatican expert in the article showed how intimate a friend then Archbishop Bergoglio and the future pope was to his protege:

"Partly on account of those two articles, the congregation for Catholic education blocked the candidacy of Fernández as rector of the Universidad Católica Argentina, only to have to give in later, in 2009, to then-archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who fought tooth and nail to clear the way for the promotion of his protege."

The Catholic Herald quoted a passage from Fernandez's situational ethics articles which were "consciously echoed" in Amoris Laetitia’s paragraph 301:

“A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding ‘its inherent values’, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.”

This passage according to the Catholic Herald may be directly counter to defined Catholic doctrine:

"This paragraph of the exhortation has been criticised by theologians including E. Christian Brugger, who argued that it apparently goes against Church teaching: 'This seems to contradict the defined doctrine in Trent on Justification, canon 18: 'If any one says the commandments of God are impossible to keep, even by a person who is justified and constituted in grace: let him be anathema.'”

First Things, in "Francis's Argentine Letter And The Proper Response " by Elliott Milco, says the exact same thing about Francis's letter which endorses the Argentine norms.

America's most influential journal of religion and public life, First Things' Deputy Editor Milco says:

"The Church teaches and has always taught, from St. Paul to the Council of Trent and beyond, that grace strengthens and liberates us from the bonds of sin, and that while we may never, in the present life, be perfectly free from the inclination to do wrong, it is possible through grace to keep the commandments."

"This doctrine was given force of law in Trent's decree on justification: 'If anyone says that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to observe, let him be anathema.'"

"'The same decree explains that 'God does not command impossibilities, but by commanding admonishes you to do what you can and to pray for what you cannot, and aids you that you may be able.'"

"The real problem with the Argentine norms is their deviation from this larger and more fundamental principle: that grace truly sanctifies and liberates, and that baptized Christians are always free to fulfill the moral law, even when they fail to do so. Jesus Christ holds us to this standard in the Gospel. It is presumptuous of Francis—however benign his intentions—to decide that his version of 'mercy' trumps that given by God himself."

Brugger and Milco are not speaking about the Kasper proposal, but the Catholic doctrine of infused grace which was denied by Martin Luther and the other "reformers"

On that other issue, Fr. Raymond de Sousa's article "What Argentina's 'Amoris Laetitia' Guidelines Really Mean" in the National Catholic Register tries to make the case that the Kasper proposal in it's totality actually suffered a lose despite media hype claiming otherwise and despite Francis's efforts to implement the total proposal.

De Sousa tries to makes the case that the Argentine norms is not mistaken because it could be treated in pre-Amoris Laetitia "standard principles of moral theology and confessional practice, analogous to the the moral culpability of contraception when the spouses do not agree."

On this separate issue from the topic of grace, Brugger in the Catholic World Report with the article "The Catholic Conscience, the Argentine Bishops, and "Amoris Laetitia" destroys the De Sousa attempt to justify the Argentine norms by using Pope John Paul II's Veritatis Splendor that shows it creates a "destructive dichotomy, that which separates faith from morality."

He demonstrates that the only solution to the problematic Argentine norms is to form consciences not create loopholes so persons can sin in invincible ignorance.

Be that as it may, the point is that the Kasper proposal isn't the issue here, but Amoris Laetitia and the Argentine norms apparent denial of a defined doctrine of the Council of Trent on grace which the "reformers" denied.

The "reformers" idea of imputed grace saw man as "totally depraved" and corrupt who even after justification was not infused with grace and truly changed on the inside.

Luther's reported image of imputed grace was that of man as a pile of dung covered with snow.

Man isn't changed on the inside (he is still a pile of dung), but "justified" man is covered with grace (snow) while not being changed on the inside.

As Milco said Trent's doctrine on infused grace says "that grace truly sanctifies and liberates, and that baptized Christians are always free to fulfill the moral law, even when they fail to do so."

It is a very big and scary moment in Church history when it appears that a Pope is openingly teaching error that is anathema by the infallible Trent:

Moral Theologian Dr. E. Christian Brugger, on April 22, wrote Amoris Leatitia (A.L.) in 301 is "inconsistent with the teaching of Trent on grace."

Brugger then writes that it appears that Canon 18 of Trent, which is infallible doctrine, gives an anathema to Pope Francis's 301 teaching on grace.

Pray a Our Father now for the restoration of the Catholic Church.  


Aqua said…
A redeemed Christian as a pile of poo covered in snow is a lie. If you step on it, thinking it just another snow ball, it will soil your shoe and leave a stink. It is, in reality, poo. The snow covering is merely a deceitful ruse to trick you into thinking it is something it is not. Pick it up and throw it at your friend, or take a bight of its fresh snow for refreshment and you will see its true nature.

Luther was almost certainly that pile of poo covered in snow. That will not be good enough to get into the Kingdom of God. Our old nature may be poo, covered in snow or not. Our new nature, we are kings and queens pure as fresh snow.

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