Sensus Hereticus, Or The Pope On The Bus
Posted by Mundabor
Every time that I smell something fishy in the public declarations of the man currently sullying the Papacy, several readers intervene with very apposite comments from great saints of the past.
It is the first mark of the “sensus catholicus” that a properly instructed Catholic immediately or almost immediately perceives that something is not in order, even if in the moment he might have some difficulties in saying why. Expressions like “Jesus was pretending to be angry”, or “Jesus in the Gospel was never angry” instinctively go against our grain of Catholics, because even if we cannot remember on the spot that God cannot deceive or that Jesus drove the merchant out of the temple with savage fury, we have been instructed to fear the Lord and not incur His wrath, and to say “the Word of the Lord” as the very epitome of everything that is truthful. Catholicism is like a diamond, that can be looked at from every possible angle but is in the end always the same whatever the vantage point. A Catholic who has been halfway properly instructed will notice rather fast that the diamond is being partially obscured, or sullied by personal opinions and strange theories.
Another example is this omnipresent obsession with poverty. When abortion is condemned because the aborted baby is “poor” something has gone fundamentally wrong: poverty, not the dignity of God-given human life, has become the main argument, the litmus test used to validate every condemnation.
It is evident now that Francis completely lacks this kind of sound perception of Catholicism. What he has learned – if he has ever learned it – and what faith he used to have – if he ever had it – has been now buried under so many strata of social and socialist blabbering, and washed out by so many decades of “social Gospel” and ecumania, that he might genuinely wonder how it can be that so many people take scandal whenever he opens his mouth.
At some point, Luther must have totally forgotten the truths that he used to believe; to the point that he must have been shocked at being repeated verbatim what he used to believe decades earlier. Francis isn’t as far advanced in this process as Luther, but it is clear that we are in front of one whose Catholicism has slowly slipped out of his hand, becoming the exterior clothing of an ideology that is not Catholicism anymore, though perhaps he does not realise it.
Take the “who am I to judge”, or the “salvation for atheists”, or the “following one’s atheistic conscience” stunts. Isn’t it evident that here an entirely secular mentality is at work, covered or painted with Catholic clothes to let people believe, or to persuade himself, that the body itself of this thinking is Catholic?
This does not necessarily have to be the result of an evil intent, though in this case it can only be the result of decades long, criminal negligence and dereliction of duty. As Francis gradually became more and more secular, he has done nothing else than slowly, gradually “adapting” the Catholic thinking he knew, bending it to the new priority: the social Gospel and the total submission to the worldly values of social justice, idolatry of poverty, and the like. This is a rather common phenomenon, as few people have the courage to look at the reality in the face and see that they have changed. Most people will, on the contrary, seek to validate the new ideas by bending their old ones, in order to persuade themselves that they are evolving or deepening – rather than gradually abandoning – their old thinking.
And there you have it all, as clear as the sun: all the heretical stunts popping out, with Francis not even able to realise what kind of troubles he is putting himself in. He authorised an astonishingly heretical interview that was taken down in shame from the Vatican site several weeks after publication, and with the man clearly unable to even see what kind of problems he was putting himself in, much less able to admit he has them in the first place. What better evidence so you want that Catholicism has – in the charitable hypothesis – simply slipped away from this man? Wouldn’t you call your parish priest, if he were to say exactly the same things – nay: one fifth of them! – utterly confused?
This, assuming that Francis is, in a way, in good faith. That he is, in other words, culpable of negligence, ignorance and arrogance, but not of evil intent. I want to believe that this is the case, but to be frank the facts speak in equal measure for the one or the other side, and I cannot detect what Francis would, if he were moved by an evil intent, actually do differently. It is hard to imagine this work of confusion being pushed by anyone positively intent to cause harm to 2,000 years of Catholic tradition with any more insistence or determination.
One thing is certain: this man must be kept in check by the smartest and most orthodox – or least heterodox – of the people around him. He is a maverick, unable (if we are charitable) to even understand how distant he is from proper Catholicism. He is one that can give you to understand that Jesus used deceptive behaviour without batting an eye, and to say to you in a sermon that Jesus never got angry and keep a straight face.
One truly wonders whether he has ever read the Gospel after, say, 1962.
What we have here, is the “Pope on the bus”.