New Article: Posted May 22, 2016
Amoris Laetitia: Part IV
The War Against Being
Note: Parts I, II, and III of this series of articles on Amoris Laetitia are linked here:
Part I: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/node/64
Part II: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/node/67
Part III: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/node/68
Amoris Laetitia; Part IV
The War Against Being
“God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes. We must initiate processes, rather than occupy spaces.” (Pope Francis: Interview with Antonio Spadaro, Aug, 2013)
What might be called the “theological agenda” of Amoris Laetitia is succinctly formulated very early in this document. In paragraph 3, we encounter the following:
Since “time is greater than space,” [bold emphasis mine, quotation marks are Francis’] I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral, or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For “cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle…needs to be inculterated, if it is to be respected and applied.”
Now, any honest assessment of this paragraph should produce profound bewilderment. The subjects we are dealing with in Amoris Laetitia– marriage, family, the impossibility of divorce and remarriage, and the prescription against those living in adultery receiving the Eucharist – all these subjects are doctrinal “places” which are not subject to evolution, change, growth, or inculteration. Further, there can be no unity of teaching and practice where these doctrines are violated. And finally, if questions regarding such doctrines need not now to be “settled by intervention of the magisterium”, it is only because they have been settled by the magisterium and by the Gospel from its inception. In other words, every sentence in paragraph 3 is redolent with error and deception.
We do indeed have not only the right, but also the obligation, to reject this concept that “time is greater than space” in regard to anything to do with Catholic truth. And we should be left with a very disturbing question as to exactly what Francis is trying to do with this strange notion that “time is greater than space”.
Amoris Laetitia is not the first time that Francis has used this phrase or concept. Those who read Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium may have been puzzled that in fact an entire subsection of this document was titled “Time is Greater than Space”. There we read:
“A constant tension exists between fullness and limitation. Fullness evokes the desire for complete possession, while limitation is a wall set before us. Broadly speaking, “time” has to do with fullness as an expression of the horizon which constantly opens before us, while each individual moment has to do with limitation as an expression of enclosure. People live poised between each individual moment and the greater, brighter horizon of the utopian future as the final cause which draws us to itself. Here we see a first principle for progress in building a people: time is greater than space.”
In commenting on this passage in my article Receiving the Kingdom of God as a Little Child, I wrote:
Neither shall they say: Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)
It has nothing to do with a utopian future, but with the “now” of our response to God’s grace and truth:
“And we helping do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain….Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:1-2).
It is this now which has been the crucial and saving moment for each individual soul from the creation of Adam down to the last man. It is this now which has been the source of all that is good in human history; for it is here that God’s Rule is either accepted or rejected, this in turn determining whether true love, peace, justice, compassion, and mercy are either accepted or rejected in societies and nations.
Pope Francis indeed seems to make “time” the very source of revelation and salvation. In his interview with Anthony Spadaro, he said the following:
“God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes. We must initiate processes, rather than occupy spaces.”
Space, for Pope Francis, is simply a euphemism for what we are in possession of now – in other words, what we traditional Catholics believe to be the fullness of God’s Immutable Revelation, Rules, Dogma, the Infallible Magisterium, and the reality that we each possess a substantial human nature and soul, requiring the same fundamental choice now as was true of the first man.
Time is proposed as being greater than Space because “becoming” is more real than God’s Supreme Being, and takes precedence over the Revealed Truths which are the fullness of that Being. It is therefore quite easy to see why, in the mind of Pope Francis, a bogus mercy trumps immutable dogma – why the divorced and remarried may receive Holy Communion, why we must be “inclusive” towards practicing homosexuals (who must certainly also be admitted to Sacramental Communion if such a “mercy” holds true), and why, in fact, we must be inclusive towards everyone (except, apparently, rich capitalists, the Mafia, and possibly Traditionalists). It is the Journey into the future which is everything. There can be no Now which demands conversion to any Absolutes, and such conversion cannot be a requisite for being included within the sacramental and supernatural life of Christ’s Mystical Body.
If Time triumphs over what we possess Now then we float, untethered, until the life of God’s Revelation is left behind. The world has for some time rejected all Absolutes, and prostrated itself before the goddesses of scientific change and progress. This world, of which Satan is the Prince, now has a friend within the Church in the person of Pope Francis.
All of this, as I have discussed in numerous previous articles, is rooted in the subjection of faith to modern reductive science (especially analytical physics and evolution), and the consequent loss of the entire concept of substance as applicable to anything to do with either God or man. As Joseph Ratzinger wrote in his early work Faith and the Future,
“the medieval concept of substance has long since become inaccessible to us. In so far as we use the concept of substance at all today we understand thereby the ultimate particles of matter….
The result of this is that everything – God, man, truth, dogma, and even the concepts of justification and the state of sanctifying grace – are seen as evolving processes. Ultimately, therefore, there can be no sort of judgment made as to the state of a soul in the midst of this evolutionary journey – as to whether it is in any determined state of sanctifying grace or justification. Logically, therefore, there can also be no judgment made to prevent any such person from receiving Eucharistic Communion, since such Communion must now be viewed not as a reward or right for those in a particular state of being and living in God’s grace, but rather as a medicine of mercy necessary for all human beings in their Teilhardian, evolutionary assent. The fact that Pope Francis and others are now proposing a pastoral policy which would only admit some of those living in a state of objective adultery to Holy Communion needs to be seen what it really is: an illogical, but perceived as a necessary, first stage in an evolutionary progression of doctrine which will finally demand recognition of the right of all to Eucharistic Communion.
It must also be realized that the denial of substantiality is not something whose profoundly deleterious effects upon human thought and action is limited only to the realm of physics. Rather, it has undermined the substantial foundations of all sciences – not only those of the more abstract disciplines – physics, theology, philosophy, etc., but also the very concrete and practical – such disciplines as economics, criminal jurisprudence, sociology, and psychology. And since it is the last – psychology – which is most intimately related to the morality and consequences of human acts, it is only natural therefore that Pope Francis, in his agenda to undermine substantial doctrine in regard to marriage and the reception of the Eucharist, should plunge deeply into the murky and relativistic waters of modern psychology.
As I pointed out in Part II of this series, a very large portion of Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia is devoted to overwhelming us with the number and extent of psychological “forms of conditioning and mitigating factors” in order to try to convince us that a person can be living in a state of objective mortal sin, and yet still be living in the life of God’s grace and charity, and therefore be worthy of receiving Holy Communion. All of this is, of course, in total congruity with a view of man which has completely lost contact with the traditional concept of a “law written in the human heart”, and the innate culpability of each and every human in relation to this “law”. There remains no “substantial nature”, applicable to all men of all times. There is no free will, which is always faced with the primordial responsibility of either choosing to obey this law or reject it. There is only reductive “conditioning” – chemical, glandular, emotional, psychological, educational, environmental, familial, religious, etc. Each and every human being is a nebulous subject always existing in a more fundamental relationship to the time of evolutionary becoming, rather than the space of a soul created in the image of God with a well-defined nature.
What we are faced with here is not just a contradiction of magisterial teaching developed over the centuries (such as Pope John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor), but with a full-faced denial of the Gospel itself.
The teaching with which we are most familiar in regard to a “law written in the heart” is that of St. Paul in Romans 2: 13-15:
“For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature, those things that are of the law; these having not the law are a law to themselves: Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another.”
This does mean that a baby is born with all the laws formulated in his mind. It is in fact a primary principle of Thomistic epistemology that there is nothing in the mind that is not first in the senses. We are born with no innate knowledge. But this does not at all mean that the mind is devoid of a specific nature, or that the intellectual light which specifies this nature is not implicitly and instinctively drawn towards truth. In regard to the “truth” about created things, for instance, Thomas writes:
“And thus we must need say that the human soul knows all things in the eternal types, since by participation of these types we know all things. For the intellectual light itself which is in us, is nothing else than a participated likeness of the uncreated light, in which are contained the eternal types.” (ST I, 84, 5).
In other words, God so created us in His image as to possess a created intellectual light which indeed does see created substances as He sees them.
Similarly, the created light within us is also implicitly ordered towards God. According to Thomas: “man possesses a natural aptitude for understanding and loving God; and this aptitude consists in the very nature of the mind, which is common to all men.” (ST I, Q. 93, a.4). From the standpoint of the intellect, this entails that “all knowers know God implicitly in all they know.” (De Veritate, Q. 22, a.2). This does not mean that man has any innate knowledge of God, but rather that the human mind, being constituted as a created participation in the uncreated Light of God, the intellectual light that is within us is also ordered towards the structure of causation in God’s creation. Every known thing therefore implicitly draws our intelligence towards both the First and Final Cause Who is God. This is why St. Paul proclaimed that unbelief in God is “inexcusable,” because “the invisible things of him [God], from the beginning of the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made….” (Romans 1:20). Being naturally drawn towards God, we are also naturally drawn to the light of His Truth.
The premier foundation of this Gospel teaching (and the teaching of St. Paul and Thomas) concerning this “law written in the heart” would be the extraordinarily beautiful words to be found in the first chapter of the Gospel of John:
“In him [Christ] was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1: 4-5)
This is further amplified, and applied, in John 3: 20-21:
“For everyone that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.”
There are here no “forms of conditioning and mitigating factors”, but only light and darkness, truth and evil. We may therefore speak of no legitimate relationship with Christ (and therefore no excuse for admitting to Eucharistic Communion) for those living in adultery or any other mortal sin. On the contrary, he who does not convert away from such sin, and towards Christ and His commandments, is judged:
“Not every one that saith to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
There can be no justification, no charity, no “living in grace” for one who does not obey God’s commandments. And there can only be sacrilege for those who would presume to receive Holy Communion while living in violation of God’s moral commandments; and complicity in such sacrilege for any one, priest or otherwise, who would counsel such a pastoral practice.
It is certainly true that all those who are under the sway of darkness and who “do evil” in violating God’s commandments are worthy, having been created in God’s image, of our evangelical efforts towards their conversion. But any such evangelical efforts which would confirm them in these sins by not stipulating the need for conversion now would constitute a war against the being of their souls, and the Being of God. Amoris Laetitia is now positioned to be the “big gun” in this war. And this is why, as I have said in the previous articles in this series, it must be flatly rejected by the entire Church.
Since some of what I have written above (and especially the concept that there exists a war against being now being conducted from both within and without the Church,) may seem somewhat new and strange to my reader, I have listed below seven of my articles and their corresponding links, which I hope might be helpful. There are many more in the Menu on the left side of my website.
The War Against Being and the Philosophy of Deceit: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/parti-article1
This is the first of my articles concerning the War Against Being, which details the fundamental struggle in which we are all engaged.
Science: Original and Final Sin: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/node/42
It is reductive science to which the faith has now been subjected, and which constitutes the root source of all present aberrations in Catholic thought. This article exposes such science as the most destructive force in human history.
The Quintessential Evolutionist: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/parti-article12
The most powerful engine of reductive science is the theory of evolution – both physical and spiritual. This article explores its conquest of the mind of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, especially in regard to his philosophy and theology.
A Living Host: Liturgy and Cosmic Evolution in the Thought of Benedict XVI and Teilhard de Chardin: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/node/40
Teilhardian pantheism is the logical consequence of reductive science, and especially evolution. This article explores the adoption of Teilhardian evolutionary and pantheistic theology by Joseph Ratzinger.
The Restoration of the Supernatural: In Accord with the Teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/partix
This article constitutes my most comprehensive examination of the philosophy/theology of St. Thomas. A return to the theology and metaphysics of Thomas is the only road by which the Church can return to intellectual (and moral) sanity.
The Modernist Deconstruction of Fatima: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/node/38
I have included this article because obedience to Our Lady’s requests at Fatima are our sole hope for avoiding severe chastisement. The message of Fatima was subjected to severe Modernist interpretation by Pope Benedict XVI, and now lies largely trampled and abandoned under the feet of Modernism.
The Truth of Mercy: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/node/58
This article examines Pope Francis’ extraordinary distortions of the Catholic concept of mercy (the primary theme of his Pontificate), and explores the tradition Catholic concepts of truth, love, charity, and mercy in their proper relationships.
- James Larson
War Against the Papacy
Now in print, and available from Cruachan Hill Press
This book contains additional material to the work on my website bearing the same title. Following is an excerpt from the new Preface:
There is no more justification for the SSPX position during the pontificate of Pope Francis than there was during the reign of any previous Pope. Unquestionably, however, many who are “bent” towards an SSPX mentality, or even towards sedevacantism, find more excuses under the pontificate of Francis for such a move than under that of John Paul II.
I think it profitable, therefore, to speculate as to what would be the position of Archbishop Lefebvre himself towards such a pontificate as that of Francis. In an address to seminarians in 1986, Archbishop Lefebvre offered the following
“Now I don't know if the time has come to say that the Pope is a heretic; I don't know if it is the time to say that. You know, for some time many people, the sedevacantists, have been saying "there is no more Pope," but I think that for me it was not yet the time to say that, because it was not sure, it was not evident, it was very difficult to say that the Pope is a heretic, the Pope is apostate. But I recognize that slowly, very slowly, by the deeds and acts of the Pope himself we begin to be very anxious…. What conclusion must we draw in a few months if we are confronted by these repeated acts of partaking in false worship? I don't know. I wonder. But I think the Pope can do nothing worse than call together a meeting of all religions, when we know there is only one true religion and all other religions belong to the devil. So perhaps after this famous meeting of Assisi, perhaps we must say that the Pope is a heretic, is apostate. Now I don't wish yet to say it formally and solemnly, but it seems at first sight that it is impossible for a Pope to be publicly and formally heretical. Our Lord has promised to be with him, to keep his faith, to keep him in the Faith - how can he at the same time be a public heretic and virtually apostatize? So it is possible we may be obliged to believe this pope is not pope.”
If Archbishop Lefebvre could propose such a thing during the pontificate of John Paul II (and even before Assisi), then it would not seem unreasonable to speculate that the pontificate of Pope Francis might very well have carried him over into sedevacantism. No one, of course, can be sure as to what his course of action might have been. But the interesting point for consideration is that each person who is an adherent of the SSPX’s position is now not only in the position of subjectively judging the Papacy (through defying Papal jurisdiction), but also finds himself necessarily forced into subjectivity in regard to what would be the position of the one man since the Council whom they most seek to emulate and follow – a subjectivity which has enormous consequences in terms of their own personal faith and their belief in regard to wherein the Catholic Church itself subsists.
Available from Cruachan Hill Press
”He who eats the Pope dies”
– German proverb
“A Voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great
mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would
not be comforted, because they are not.”
All of the following is written in a spirit of charity. It is also written in a spirit of deep caution, and even trepidation. I sent many of my writings to Pope Benedict XVI ( in September, 2007), along with a personal letter. In the spirit of obedience, I publicly state that at his simple request, or that of his successor Pope Francis, I would cease writing and prevent the further spread of my writings as much as morally possible.
I believe that the Papacy is wounded and suffering and that this suffering has profoundly affected the philosophical-theological orientation of recent Popes. While leaving intact the prerogatives established by Christ for all times upon Peter and his successors, this philosophical and theological disorientation has affected virtually everything else, to the detriment of the Church and the salvation of souls
The reader will note that a number of my articles are deeply critical of the writings and statements of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. I wish to state that I can make no final or absolute judgment about the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI. However,a fair number of my articles critical of his statements and writings were written after his ascension to the Papacy. They give evidence as to the continuity of his present thought with that of his past writings, but pretend to make no absolute judgment. I must add that I have seen no evidence on the part of Joseph Ratzinger of any renunciation of his previous thought and that, on the contrary, he has asserted the essential continuity of his thought up to, and even after, his elevation. As with any author, he would fall under the strong moral imperative to correct any serious errors in his past writings of which he became conscious. I am aware of no efforts on his part to do so.
I must also now add that in April of 2005, two weeks before the election of Benedict XVI, I sent my manuscript of The War Against Being and The Return to God" to then Cardinal Bergoglio in Argentina, along with a letter stating that I believed he might be elected Pope. I received no reply. There are now two articles (Part I, Articles 24, 26) which contain analysis of Pope Francis' thinking and actions.
I call the reader’s attention to the two quotes which I have placed at the beginning of this short introduction. The first encapsulates in a startling manner the sense of caution, and even fear, which any person in the Church should feel in undertaking criticism of a person who has become Pope. The presence of this fear is always necessary in order to generate and maintain that charity towards the Holy Father which is always integral to the Catholic Spirit, no matter what personal faults the personality and thought of a particular occupant of the Chair of Peter might present as an impediment to the natural expression of this charity.
The second quote simply represents the reality which is the present moment in the life of the Church. We are faced with a holocaust of the spiritual life and well-being of children which is directly attributable to the chaos in religious instruction, sacramental life, and morality which has been the inheritance of post-Vatican II life in the Church. And this chaos in all things Catholic is directly attributable to the philosophical-theological orientation of members of the Catholic hierarchy, especially to the Popes who have reigned during and since the Council.
In this situation the tension between one’s natural Catholic love and respect for the Pope and the knowledge of what recent Popes have perpetrated, or allowed to be perpetrated, upon innocent children becomes almost unbearable. Ultimately the question as to whether to criticize or not comes down to the question of being a man. In the Old Testament the Lord says that “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” he shall send Elias the prophet to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers: lest I come, and strike the earth with anathema.” (Malachias 4: 6). Surely, if we are men, and are to retain our manhood, then our hearts must turn to the defense of our children.
I think it is only at this point – once our hearts have truly turned to militancy in defense of our children – that our eyes become opened to perceive the extent to which the Papacy itself is really suffering, that this suffering must be a visitation upon us by God in chastisement for our sins and infidelities, and that charity for all – for Christ, for the Pope, for our children and our own souls – demands the full revelation of certain truths which are, indeed, very painful for us to face. If we remain silent the darkness can only deepen, and our cowardice and emasculation only become more pronounced.
Finally, I wish to state that I do not support in any way either the sedevacantist position, or that of the SSPX or any individual or group that has defied the Pope in his discipline and government of the Church. I have written a small book on this subject which is now available as Part X on this website. I wish also to state that many of my articles have appeared in Christian Order Magazine, the website of which is www.christianorder.com.
On the Use or Publication of these Articles:
I desire the widest possible dissemination of the articles on this website, but wish it to be done with integrity, and in accord with the following stipulations.
First, I emphatically state that I accept both Benedict XVI and his successor Francis I as legitimate Popes, and that I am not a sedevacantist and also do not support any group, especially the SSPX, that has defied the Pope in his discipline and government of the Church.
Second, I do not permit any critical analysis of any article using a technique to insert comments within the body of the article itself. I believe that any well-written article is a whole greater than the sum of its individual parts, that continuity in reading it is necessary in order to be able to understand the whole force of the argument or position, and that therefore such a technique does unjust violence to the integrity of the work. An honest critical analysis therefore demands a separate article or treatment. This, of course, does not preclude the use of individual quotations, as long as they are taken in context.
I also wish to recommend that Article 1 of Part 1 be read first, as it contains an analysis of philosophical and theological principles necessary for the understanding of the rest.
Authored by: James Larson
Continue to Article 1