Part XXVIII: Truth Shall Be Cast Down on the Ground: Christ's Advent Blasphemed

Truth Shall Be Cast Down on the Ground
Christ’s Advent Blasphemed

And strength was given him [the Antichrist] against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground….” (Dan 8: 12)

It is extremely difficult to convince people of the depth of the crisis which we now face.

It has been standard fare among orthodox and traditional Catholics to see Pope Francis as some sort of singular aberration, and to hunger for a return to what is thought to have been the relative Catholic “sanity” of a papacy such as that of Pope Benedict XVI. As a consequence of this position, it is also a prevalent attitude that it is now just a matter of “getting beyond” Francis in order for things to return to some sort of normal.

This is a delusion. The “excesses” of Pope Francis are the fruition of a philosophy and theology which has been long in preparation, has poisoned the thinking of virtually all members of the Catholic hierarchy, and which found its most succinct and influential formulations in the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. There can be no “return” to Catholic sanity until the sources of these errors are confronted, engaged in battle, and defeated.

I have therefore compiled below a series of quotations from Joseph Ratzinger’s works. I request that the reader meditate on these passages, ask themselves whether there is any truly Catholic context in which they could be considered acceptable, and then go on to read my articles in which these passages (and many others) are more closely examined. At the end of these quotations I have also linked the most relevant articles.

Before listing these quotations I also offer, in the following two paragraphs, a general synopsis of the depths of this crisis:

The “new” theology, in all its varieties, must be seen as being primarily due to the eviscerating effect of reductive science upon the minds and hearts of Catholic theologians and philosophers. It begins with the denial of substantial being as constituting the root concept of all philosophy and theology. Since all physical reality is now wrongly thought to be entirely reducible to atoms (and quantum mechanics), and since such phenomena are constantly subject to change, then all of created reality has come to be viewed in terms of the constantly changing and evolving relationships between these phenomena.

As a result of such reductive science, every concept involving a “fixed” substantial nature has been cast aside, and is replaced by the concept of ongoing and ever-changing relationships. Evolution thus becomes the necessary mistress of all human thought and spirituality. Under the influence of such thinking, it is impossible to believe in an original nature of man created in sanctifying grace; there can be no Fall from such a nature through original sin; there can be no restoration of such a nature to innocence through sanctifying grace (thus destroying the traditional doctrine concerning Baptism); and there can be no real distinction between mortal and venial sin. There can therefore be no judgment in regard to the present state of the soul of any individual person (or whether he or she is in the proper state of grace to receive Holy Communion), but only an ongoing pastoral approach of universal mercy. Also, since there is no such thing as fixed substance, and certainly no ontological distinction between substance and accidens, there can be no change of the entire substance of bread into the substance of Christ’s Body, or the entire substance of wine into the substance of His Blood. Finally, God Himself must also be seen entirely in terms of relationship, as also must His Revelation to man. Thus, all of Catholic doctrine and dogma is destroyed of any absoluteness or permanence, and must also be seen as evolving phenomena. In other words, the entire Catholic Faith is substantially destroyed.

The following 25 quotations are placed in a somewhat loose order, which will hopefully help penetrate to the interconnectedness of the heresies enumerated above. I have numbered them for easy referencing. I remind the reader again that they are all from the works or statements of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.

Concerning Substance & Transubstantiation:

1: "Jumping over all the other affirmations of the Patristic age, that present obstacles to us today, let us take but a single example from medieval dogma, one that recently has aroused much interest: the doctrine of transubstantiation, of the essential change of the eucharistic offerings. As it is, the subtle meaning of this definition can be represented by the ordinary intellect only in a rough and ready manner, so that what is indicated is bound to seem for ever unattainable, especially as there is the additional difficulty, that 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, and the chemically complex mixture that is bread certainly does not fall into that category." (Faith and the Future, p. 14).

Concerning Evolution in General

2: “…the pre-Darwinian idea of the invariability of the species had been justified in terms of the idea of creation [and, of course, by taking the Bible seriously]; it regarded every individual species as a datum of creation that had existed since the beginning of the world through God’s creative work as something unique and different alongside the other species. It is clear that this form of belief in creation contradicts the idea of evolution and that this expression of the faith has become untenable today.”(Credo for Today, p. 34)

3: “We have established that the first aspect, that is, the concrete form which the idea of creation had taken in practice, has been abolished by the idea of evolution; here the believer must allow himself to be taught by science that the way in which he had imagined creation was part of a pre-scientific world view that has become untenable.”(Credo for Today, p.36)

4: “This would then lead to the insight that spirit does not enter the picture as something foreign, as a second substance, in addition to matter: the appearance of spirit, according to the previous discussion, means rather that an advancing movement arrives at the goal that has been set for it….The clay became man at that moment in which a being for the first time was capable of forming, however dimly, the thought ‘God.’ The first ‘thou’ that – however stammeringly – was said by human lips to God marks the moment in which spirit arose in the world. Here the Rubicon of anthropogenesis was crossed.” (Credo for Today, p. 46-47).

Concerning Original Sin, the Fall, and Baptism:

5: “In the story that we are considering [Ch. 3 of Genesis], still a further characteristic of sin is described. Sin is not spoken of in general as an abstract possibility but as a deed, as the sin of a particular person, Adam, who stands at the origin of humankind and with whom the history of sin begins. The account tells us that sin begets sin, and that therefore all the sins of history are interlinked. Theology refers to this state of affairs by the certainly misleading and imprecise term ‘original sin’. What does this mean? Nothing seems to us today to be stranger or, indeed, more absurd than to insist upon original sin, since, according to our way of thinking, guilt can only be something very personal, and since God does not run a concentration camp, in which one’s relative are imprisoned because he is a liberating God of love, who calls each one by name.” (In the Beginning….A Catholic Understanding of Creation and the Fall, p. 71).

6: “The question of what it means to say that baptism is necessary for salvation has become ever more hotly debated in modern times. The Second Vatican Council said on this point that men who are seeking for God and who are inwardly striving toward that which constitutes baptism will also receive salvation. That is to say that a seeking after God already represents an inward participation in baptism, in the Church, in Christ.

To that extent, the question concerning the necessity of baptism for salvation seems to have been answered, but the question about children who could not be baptized because they were aborted then presses upon us that much more urgently.

Earlier ages had devised a teaching that seems to me rather unenlightened. They said that baptism endows us, by means of sanctifying grace, with the capacity to gaze upon God. Now, certainly, the state of original sin, from which we are freed by baptism, consists in a lack of sanctifying grace [the reader is reminded at this point that Cardinal Ratzinger is here summarizing the “unenlightened” view which has prevailed in the past – this is not his view; as we have seen, he considers the traditional view of original sin ‘misleading’ and ‘imprecise’]. Children who die in this way are indeed without any personal sin, so they cannot be sent to hell, but, on the other hand, they lack sanctifying grace and thus the potential for beholding God that this bestows. They will simply enjoy a state of natural blessedness, in which they will be happy. This state people called limbo.

In the course of our century, that has gradually come to seem problematic to us. This was one way in which people sought to justify the necessity of baptizing infants as early as possible, but the solution is itself questionable. Finally, the Pope made a decisive turn in the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, a change already anticipated by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, when he expressed the simple hope that God is powerful enough to draw to himself all those who were unable to receive the sacrament (God and the World, p.401-402).”

Concerning Teilhardian Evolution:

7: “The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host.” – Pope Benedict XVI – Homily at Aosta

8: “In the background is the idea that in the cosmos, alongside the two orders or classes of the infinitely small and the infinitely big, there is a third order, which determines the real drift of evolution, namely, the order of the infinitely complex. It is the real goal of the ascending process of growth and becoming….” (Introduction to Christianity, p. 237)

9: “But let us return to man, He is so far the maximum in complexity. But even he as mere man-monad cannot represent an end; his growth itself demands a further advance in complexity.” (Ibid.)

10: “From here it is possible to understand the final aim of the whole movement as Teilhard sees it: the cosmic drift moves ‘in the direction of an incredible ‘mono-molecular’ state, so to speak, in which…each ego is destined to attain in climax in a sort of mysterious superego’.” (Introduction to Christianity, p. 238).

11: “From here onward faith in Christ will see the beginning of a movement in which dismembered humanity is gathered together more and more into the being of one single Adam, one single ‘body’ the man to come.”(Introduction to Christianity, p. 239).

12: “From this perspective the belief in the second coming of Jesus Christ and in the consummation of the world in that event could be explained as the conviction that our history is advancing to an ‘omega’ point, at which it will become finally and unmistakably clear that the element of stability that seems to us to be the supporting ground of reality, so to speak, is not mere unconscious matter; that, on the contrary, the real, firm ground is mind. Mind holds being together , gives it reality, indeed is reality: it is not from below but from above that being receives its capacity to subsist. That there is such a thing as this process of ‘complexification’ of material being through spirit, and from the latter its concentration into a new kind of unity can already be seen in the remodeling of the world through technology.” (Introduction to Christianity, p. 32).

13: “We left the question of the materiality of the resurrection at the point to which Thomas Aquinas had brought it. The fundamental insight to which Thomas broke through [the real unity of soul and body) was given a new twist by Rahner when he noted that in death the soul becomes not acosmic [having nothing to do with the physical world] but all-cosmic. This means that its essential ordination to the material world remains, not in the mode of giving form to an organism as its entelechy [thus, out the window goes the teaching of the Council of Vienne that the soul is the substantial form – the entelechy – of the body], but in that of an ordering to this world as such and as a whole. It is not difficult to connect up this thought to ideas formulated by Teilhard de Chardin. For it might be said in this regard that relation to the cosmos is necessarily also relation to the temporality of the universe, which knows being only in the form of becoming [this is possibly the most defining statement of the New Evolutionary Theology], has a certain direction, disclosed in the gradual construction of ‘biosphere’ and ‘noosphere’ from out of physical building blocks which it then proceeds to transcend. Above all it is a progress to ever more complex unities. This is why it calls for a total complexity: a unity which will embrace all previously existing unities….The search reaches the point of integration of all in all, where each thing becomes completely itself precisely by being completely in the other. In such integration, matter belongs to spirit in a wholly new and different way, and spirit is utterly one with matter. The pancosmic existence, which death opens up would lead, then, to universal exchange and openness, and so to the overcoming of all alienation. Only where creation realizes such unity can it be true that ‘God is all in all.”(Eschatology, Death and Eternal Life, p. 191-192).

14: “Certainly one can debate the details in this formulation [of a passage from Teilhard de Chardin’s writing]; yet the decisive point seems to me to be grasped quite accurately: the alternative: materialism [the view that “spirit” and consciousness are ultimately only an accidental phenomenon of matter] or a spiritually defined world view, chance or meaning, is presented to us today in the form of the question of whether one regards spirit and life in its ascending forms as an incidental mold on the surface of the material world…or whether one regards spirit as the goal of the process and, conversely matter as the prehistory of the spirit. If one chooses the second alternative, it is clear that spirit is not a random product of material developments, but rather that matter signifies a moment in the history of spirit.” (Credo for Today, p. 45).

15: “The impetus given by Teilhard de Chardin exerted a wide influence. With daring vision it incorporated the historical movement of Christianity into the great cosmic process of evolution from Alpha to Omega: since the noogenesis, since the formation of consciousness in the event by which man became man, this process of evolution has continued to unfold as the building of the noosphere above the biosphere.” (Principles of Catholic Theologyp, p. 334).

Revelation as an Evolutionary Phenomenon

16. “At this time the idea of salvation history had moved to the focus of inquiry posed by Catholic theology and this had cast new light on the notion of revelation, which neoscholasticism had kept too confined to the intellectual realm. Revelation now appeared no longer simply as a communication of truths to the intellect but as a historical action of God in which truth becomes gradually unveiled. Therefore, I was to try to discover whether in Bonaventure there was anything corresponding to the concept of salvation history, and whether this motif – if it should exist – had any relationship with the idea of revelation.”(Milestones, p.104).

17: “I had ascertained that in Bonaventure (as well as in theologians of the thirteenth century) there was nothing corresponding to our conception of 'revelation', by which we are normally in the habit of referring to all the revealed contents of the faith: it has even become a part of linguistic usage to refer to Sacred Scripture simply as 'revelation'. Such an identification would have been unthinkable in the language of the High Middle Ages. Here, 'revelation' is always a concept denoting an act. The word refers to the act in which God shows himself, not to the objectified result of this act [read “Dogma”]. And because this is so, the receiving subject is always also a part of the concept of 'revelation'.” (Milestones, p. 107)

18: “Our consideration of the history of the Apostles' Creed has led us to the recognition that here, in the baptismal formulary, Christian doctrine stands before us in its original shape and, thus, also in its primitive form, what we today call “dogma.” Originally there was no such thing as a series of doctrinal propositions that could be enumerated one after another and entered in a book as a well-defined body of dogmas. Such a notion, which today may be difficult to resist, would have to be described as a misconception of the nature of the Christian assent to the God revealed in Christ [out the window goes the Baltimore Catechism, not to mention the Dogmatic Decrees of the Council of Trent]. The content of the Christian faith has its inalienable place in the context of the profession of faith, which is, as we saw, in the form of assent and renunciation, a conversion, an about-turn of human existence into a new direction of life. In other words, Christian doctrine does not exist in the form of discrete propositions but in the unity of the symbolum, as the ancient Church called the baptismal profession of faith. This is probably the moment to look rather more closely at the meaning of this word. Symbolum comes from symballein, meaning in English: to come together, to throw together. The background to the word's etymology is an ancient usage: two corresponding halves of a ring, a staff, or a tablet were used as tokens of identity for guests, messengers, or partners to a treaty. Possession of the corresponding piece entitled the holder to receive a thing or simply to hospitality. A symbolum is something that points to its complementary other half and thus creates mutual recognition and unity. It is the expression and means of unity.

Thus in the description of the creed or profession of faith as the symbolum we have at the same time a profound interpretation of its true nature. For in fact this is just what the original meaning or aim of dogmatic formulations in the Church was: to facilitate a common profession of faith in God, common worship of him. As sym-bolum, it points to the other person, the unity of spirit in the one Word. To this extent, dogma (or symbol, respectively) is also always, as Rahner has rightly pointed out, an arrangement of words that from a purely intellectual point of view could have been quite different yet, precisely as a form of words, has its own significance – that of uniting people in the community of the confessing word. It is not a piece of doctrine standing isolated in and for itself but is the form of our worship of God....'This discovery also points, it is true, in another direction: even the Church herself, as a whole, still holds the faith only as a symbolum, as a broken half, which signifies truth only in its endless reference to something beyond itself, to the entirely Other. It is only through the infinitely broken nature of the symbol that faith presses forward as man's continual effort to go beyond himself and reach up to God.” (Introduction to Christianity, p. 96-98)

Faith Subjected to Science:

The following quotations demonstrate the profound degree to which Joseph Ratzinger has subjected his Faith to reductive “Science” – this being the fundamental error which, according to Pope Pius X in his encyclical on Modernism, defines the Modernist heresy:

19: “The intellectual approach of modern physics may offer us more help here than Aristotelian philosophy was able to give. Physicists know today that one can only talk about the structure of matter by approaching the subject from various angles. They know that the position of the observer at any one time affects the result of his investigation of nature. Why should we not be able to understand afresh, on this basis, that in the question of God we must not look, in the Aristotelian fashion [and, obviously, criticism of St. Thomas is also here intended], for an ultimate concept encompassing the whole but must be prepared to find a multitude of aspects that depend on the position of the observer and that we can no longer survey as a whole but only accept alongside each other, without being able to say the final word on the subject? We meet here the hidden interplay of faith and modern thought. That present-day physicists are stepping outside the structure of Aristotelian logic and thinking in this way is surely an effect already of the new dimension that Christian theology has opened up, of its need to think in 'complementarities', [which, as Fr. Ratzinger had already noted, are often contrary to one another and are therefore also “contradictories”].

In this connection I should like to mention briefly two other aids to thought provided by physics. E. Schrõdinger has defined the structure of matter as 'parcels of waves' and thereby hit upon the idea of a being that has no substance but is purely actual, whose apparent 'substantiality' really results only from the pattern of movement of superimposed waves. In the realm of matter such a suggestion may well be physically, and in any case philosophically, highly contestable. But it remains an exciting simile for the actualitas divina, for the idea that God is absolutely 'in act' (and not 'in potency'), and for the idea that the densest being – God – can subsist only in a multitude of relations, which are not substances but simply 'waves', and therein form a perfect unity and also the fullness of being....” (Introduction to Christianity, p. 176-77)

20: “We know today that in a physical experiment the observer himself enters into the experiment and only by doing so can arrive at a physical experience. This means that there is no such thing as pure objectivity even in physics, that even here the result of the experiment, nature's answer, depends on the question put to it. In the answer there is always a bit of the question and a bit of the questioner himself; it reflects not only nature in itself, in its pure objectivity, but also gives back something of man, of what is characteristically ours, a bit of the human subject. This too, mutatis mutandis, is true of the question of God. There is no such thing as pure objectivity. One can even say that the higher an object stands in human terms, the more it penetrates the center of individuality; and the more it engages the beholders individuality, then the smaller the possibility of the mere distancing involved in pure objectivity." [and since God is infinitely “higher”, there can consequently be no objectivity whatsoever in our knowledge of Him]. (Introduction to Christianity, p. 175).

Faith Emptied of its Certainty, Absoluteness, Objectivity, and Consistency

21:“The text [of the document titled Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1990, and signed by its Prefect, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger] also presents the various forms of binding authority which correspond to the grades of the Magisterium. It states – perhaps for the first time with such candor – that there are magisterial decisions which cannot be the final word on a given matter as such but, despite the permanent value of their principles, are chiefly also a signal for pastoral prudence, a sort of provisional policy. Their kernel remains valid, but the particulars determined by circumstances can stand in need of correction. In this connection, one will probably call to mind both the pontifical statements of the last century regarding freedom of religion and the anti-Modernist decisions of the beginning of this century, especially the decisions of the then Biblical Commission....with respect to particular aspects of their content, they were superseded after having fulfilled their pastoral function in the situation of the time.” (The Nature and Mission of Theology, p.106).

22: "The basic form of Christian faith is not: I believe something [particular content or doctrine], but I believe you. Faith is a disclosure of reality that is granted only to him who trusts, loves, and acts as a human being; and as such it is not a derivative of knowledge, but is sui generis, like knowledge, although it is indeed more basic and more central to our authentically human nature than knowledge is.

"This insight has important consequences; and these can be liberating, if taken seriously. For this means that faith is not primarily a colossal edifice of numerous supernatural facts [I believe that we can only understand this demeaning phrase to refer to the Deposit of Faith], standing like a curious second order of knowledge alongside the realm of science, but an assent to God who gives us hope and confidence. Obviously this assent to God is not without content: it is confidence in the fact that he has revealed himself in Christ and that we may now live safe in the assurance that God is like Jesus of Nazareth, in the certainty, that is, that God is looking after the world – and me in it. We will have to consider this definition of content more closely in the next chapter. It is already clear, however, that the content is not comparable with a system of knowledge, but represents the form of our trust." (Faith and the Future, p. 20-21).

23: "A man remains a Christian as long as he makes the effort to give the central assent, as long as he tries to utter the fundamental Yes of trust, even if he is unable to fit in or resolve many of the details [which, of course, are constituted by the Church's infallible teachings on faith and morals]….As long as this core remains in place, a man is living by faith, even if for the moment he finds many of the details of faith obscure and impracticable." [this, of course, would seem to apply to the civilly divorced and remarried who are living in the objective sin of adultery]. (Faith and the Future, p. 24-25).

24: "As things are, faith cannot count on a bundle of philosophical certainties [thus Thomism is sent entirely packing) which lead up to faith and support it. It will be compelled, rather, to prove its own legitimacy in advance by reflecting on its own inner reasonableness and by presenting itself as a reasonable whole, which can be offered to men as a possible and responsible choice. To say this is to imply that faith must clearly adjust itself to an intellectual pluralism that cannot ever be reversed, and within this intellectual climate must present itself as a comprehensible offer of meaning, even if it can find no prolegomena in a commonly accepted philosophical system. That means, in the end, that the meaning which man needs becomes accessible in any case only through a decision for a meaningful structure. It may not be proved, but can be seen as meaningful." (Faith and the Future, p. 74-75).

The “New, Evolutionary Theology” of Joseph Ratzinger documented above has come to fruition in the pastoral approach of Pope Francis which, while “casting truth to the ground”, promotes an unconditional and unmerited mercy. It is most succinctly encapsulated in his oft-repeated mantra: “Time is greater than Space.”

The Murder of the Meaning of Advent and Christmas

It is of course elementary Catholic doctrine that Christ’s Advent and Sacrifice effected a radical change in regard to the “new man” created in Christ, and in human history. All of this is denied if spiritual evolution is embraced. Since this article is being published during Advent, I think it only appropriate therefore to conclude with the following words of Joseph Ratzinger:

"This week we celebrate with the Church the beginning of Advent. If we think back to what we learned as children about Advent and its significance, we will remember being told that the Advent wreath, with its candles, is a reminder of the thousands of years (perhaps thousands of centuries) of the history of mankind before Christ. It reminds all of us of the time when an unredeemed mankind awaited salvation. It brings to our minds the darkness of an as yet unredeemed history in which the light of hope was only slowly kindled until, in the end, Christ, the light of the world, came and freed mankind from the darkness of condemnation. We learned also that those thousands of years before Christ were a time of condemnation because of original sin, while the centuries after the birth of our Lord are 'anni salutis reparatae,' years of restored salvation. And finally, we will remember being told that, in Advent, besides thinking back on the past to the period of condemnation and expectation of mankind, the Church also fixes her attention on the multitude of people who have not yet been baptized, and for whom it is still Advent, since they wait and live in the darkness of the absence of salvation.

If we look at the ideas we learned as children through the eyes of contemporary man and with the experiences of our age, we will see that we can hardly accept them. The idea that the years after Christ, compared with those before, are years of salvation will seem to be a cruel irony if we remember such dates as 1914, 1918, 1933, 1939, 1945; dates which mark periods of world war in which millions of men lost their lives, often in terrifying circumstances; dates which bring back the memory of atrocities such as humanity has never before experienced. One date (1933) reminds us of the beginning of a regime which achieved the most cruel perfection in the practice of mass murder; and finally, we remember that year in which the first atomic bomb exploded on an inhabited city, hiding in its dazzling brilliance a new possibility of darkness for the world. [Joseph Ratzinger here misses the entire meaning of such atrocities – they occurred precisely because of mankind’s free rejection of the Incarnation and the graces earned through Christ’s redemptive Sacrifice].

"If we think about these things, we will have difficulty in distinguishing between a period of salvation and one of condemnation. And, extending our vision even further, if we contemplate the works of destruction and barbarity perpetrated in this and the preceding centuries by Christians (that is to say by us who call ourselves 'redeemed'), we will be unable to divide the nations of the world into the redeemed and the condemned.

If we are sincere, we will no longer build up a theory which divides history and geography into zones of redeemed and zones of condemned. Rather, we will see the whole of history as a gray mass in which it is always possible to perceive the shining of a goodness which has not completely disappeared, in which there can always be found in men the desire to do good, but also in which breakdownBeing Christian).

For an alleged Christian to pronounce judgment that the “whole of history” since the Incarnation of Our Lord is a gray mass in which we can distinguish nothing that differentiates it from what was present before the Incarnation, or that there is no real historical evidence differentiating true Christianity (and Christians) from the rest of the world after the Incarnation, represents an incredible testimony to the death of true Christianity in the mind and heart of such a person. It comes from a defeated heart, which in effect has declared that Jesus Christ was born and died for nothing.

Virtually all of my articles are related to the subjects explored above. I offer the following as possibly being most relevant:

For a General Introduction: The War Against Being: Science And The Philosophy of Deceit:

On Original Sin and Baptism:

On Evolution:

The intellectual “liberation” of the Catholic hierarchy can only be accomplished through a return to the theology and metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas. The following article is addressed specifically to this cause;

None of what I have written is in any way to be considered an attack on Pope Benedict or Pope Francis, but rather an act of charity in pursuit of the liberation of their minds and hearts from the grievous errors of Modernism. I consider both of their Papacies to be God’s chastisement for our infidelities, especially in relation to our failure to live the Beatitudes. Pope Francis is right in one very important respect: Christ sent us out to be the Church “of the poor and for the poor”, and we have largely come to rest in our own concupiscence’s and prostitutions to the world. This is also a subject which I have covered in a number of articles on my website. I especially recommend my rather long articles: The Return to God, and also St. Francis of Assisi: They Pretended to Love You So That They Might Leave You.

- James Larson