The Layer Church
The latest initiative taken by Francis for Lent is certainly laudable. In Rome and elsewhere, a special effort will be made, keeping some churches open in the evening and providing for confession opportunities at that late hour. A beautiful way to remind the faithful of the Sacrament of Confession, and to encourage them to avail themselves of it in this Lenten time.
Unfortunately, this being Francis-The-Bishop-of-Rome the initiative is diluted by the usual, exaggerated expectation for mercy. Therefore, with one corner of his mouth Francis tells you that it is good to go to Confession, whilst with the other he implies that God's inexhaustible mercy doesn't make it necessary; because hey, if you have good will and follow your conscience you will be just fine.
In this, I notice once again the “layer Church” so evident in this year of Pontificate: one layer is the traditional Catholic teaching to which Francis must, being the Pope, pay some sort of lip service. The other layer is the new homemade religion Francis concocted for himself instead of providing himself with a solid Catholic education; this is the religion in which faith is not necessary for salvation because conscience saves, sodomite priests are not to be judged, God slaps one in the wrist at most, being a good Catholic who follows the rules makes one suspicious, and counting your rosaries makes one positively ridiculous, Neo-Pelagian and a lot of other things, none of them positive.
My suspicion is that the former layer comes mainly from his advisors, who suggest to him that he does something Catholic for a change; whilst the latter is obviously the fruit of Francis' decade-long neglect for basic Catholicism and its substitution for a vaguely resentful, and more than vaguely dirty, social gospel.
Francis wasn't born a genius, but like every Modernist he understands if he wants to spread his own gospel – the gospel that makes him so popular among people without the least intention of converting to Catholic values – he must also play the Catholic pope every now and then, and affirm today what he has happily denied yesterday. This latest Confession initiative is just the most recent example: conscience saves, but please go to confession, it's good for the blood pressure.
The antidote for Francis' poison is very simple: we must make an extra effort of learning of sound Catholic teaching; so that every time Francis speaks we may easily recognise what is legitimate Catholicism and what is homemade “Che” religion. It is not really difficult, because Francis' love for headlines and novelty will allow a properly instructed Catholic to almost instantly recognise those concept sounding “off”.
I can at least see no other way we can react to this than by making Francis' antics work for us – in that we use them to root ourselves deeper in the Truth – rather than against us.
Many others will be confused by Francis' Layer Church. But you, dear reader, who are more Catholic than that, will see the danger and instruct others in the proper way to eat it; discarding the mix of sugar and poison Francis has put on top of it; but for heaven's sake, without throwing away the entire cake.
Posted on March 25, 2014, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged Confession, Modernism, modernism in the church, Pope Francis. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.