Let's play the game of "Sammons Says." Because a Catholic is called to be in union with the pope, that means Bergoglio is the pope in the first place. Let's apply Eric's logic elsewhere and find out.
Simon [Sammons] Says
So, let's play the game of "Sammons Says," shall we?
--Because a Catholic is called to be in union with the pope, that means Bergoglio is the pope in the first place. Does this make sense? Let's apply Eric's logic elsewhere and find out. Because a Catholic spouse may licitly have relations with his or her spouse, a divorced-and-"remarried"--without an annulment-- Catholic may licitly have relations with the individual who, "to all appearances"--Eric's words; not mine--is that "second spouse." As long as the majority of the couple's family and friends "universally accept" them as man and wife, it makes them man and wife, canon law notwithstanding. The fact that "acceptance" is offered by the numerous malformed, and non-acceptance by the few conscientiously well-formed, is beside the point. Catholic morality is a matter of gaining the vote of the majority; nothing more. And this is coming from a man who purports to have reservations about the methodology and ecclesiology of the rigged "Synod on Synodality"? Sammons reasons exactly the same way. It is not only the possible conclusions to be reached by this bizarre assembly, but also its way of reaching them, that must in principle be opposed.
--Determining whether or not Bergoglio is the pope is "above (a layman's) pay grade."
But, why? There are obtainable facts, legible and intelligible ecclesial criteria, and the reflections of saints and orthodox theologians, not to mention instructive historical situations, readily applicable to the present situation, unprecedented in some respects though it may be. Playing the Obama Card--for have people already forgotten it was he who gave currency to an excuse torn straight from the transcripts of the Nuremburg Trials?--is telling with respect to the Bergoglio Question, because the people "playing" it would never do the same in other cases. The purveyors of synodality imply, for instance, that the James Martin sin isn't a sin at all. Laymen in the Catholic Church do not bear hierarchical responsibility for formal doctrinal or moral determinations, so isn't Eric bound by the laws of logical consistency to declare himself unfit to opine on this matter, either? "Well, that is different," some might say. "After all, that teaching is already established." So were the norms of UD Gregis. To hold that we don't know if those norms have been violated in the case of the 2013 conclave would be one thing; a layman in that kind of doubt would be morally bound to declare it, to withhold from the suspected antipope the submission due to an authentic one, and to demand from the hierarchy a just and canonical clarification. But that is not what Eric and his ilk mean by "above my pay grade" at all. What they mean is that they "don't know" what makes for a legitimate successor of Peter in the first place. But the only possible reason they "don't know" is that they don't want to know. Just like the synodalists, they acknowledge the aspects of Catholicism which don't happen to offend their private sensibilities or to demand sacrificial adjustments in conduct and outlook, while styling themselves exempt from any which do. Participants in this round of "Sammons Says" qualify as conservative "cafeteria Catholics" just as the synodalists are "liberal" ones, but it all boils down to "cafeteria Catholicism" in the end.
Note: The above piece is from a Catholic Monitor contributor.