Lowcountry Catholic

Reflections on the Catholic faith and prayer, with a Southern flair.

I’m too sober for this.

Last week, I wrote a blog post about papal infallibility in regards to the dumpster fire that is Fratelli Tutti (or “Fruity-Tooty” as a friend of mine calls it). I tried my best to be diplomatic and reassuring. And then this happened…

The entirety of the quote is as follows: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.” “They” are homosexuals. After hearing that, I said some very not nice things and marveled that just days before, I had written about papal infallibility and how we shouldn’t take every word that comes out of the pope’s mouth as the Gospel truth. The Holy Spirit has a sense of humor.

Let’s break this down a little.

The Context

The quote appeared in a documentary made of Pope Francis by Evgeny Afineevsky and is one in a long line of documentaries and docu-dramas about His Holiness. According to the Catholic News Agency, Afineevsky claims Pope Francis made the remark regarding civil unions directly to him.

However, CNA has found that Francis actually said this during a 2019 Mexican interview and the remark was edited out. I have been seeing conflicting reports on whether the Mexican interviewer edited it out or the Vatican itself did.

Here is the entirety of the quote, as reported by CNA in the linked article: “The grace of the Holy Spirit certainly exists. I have always defended the doctrine. And it is curious that in the law on homosexual marriage…. It is an incongruity to speak of homosexual marriage. But what we have to have is a law of civil union (ley de convivencia civil), so they have the right to be legally covered.”

Obviously, Pope Francis is talking about civil unions for homosexuals so they can enjoy the same legal rights as married couples, which I suppose would also include the right to adopt children. People, though, have been arguing about that.

Pope-splaining is an art form but…really? A pig is a pig, y’all.

The Translation

There have been people bending over backwards to make it sound like Pope Francis wasn’t saying what he said.

Gaulberto Garcia Jones of LifeSiteNews put out a video debunking the mistranslation theory:

Bless LifeSiteNews

And if you still have doubts about this, Catholic News Agency reported that Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez of Argentina confirms that Pope Francis meant “civil union” like how the rest of the planet uses the term, as in the legal, just-got-married sense. The confirmation, which was made on Facebook, has been since deleted.


The Vatican Response

And what has the Vatican press office said in response to this? What declaration has Pope Francis made to clarify this confusion? Has he tried to take it back or repented or acknowledged anything at all is going on?

I’ve been in rowdier monasteries.

People from Scott Hahn to Cardinal Burke have asked the Pope to repent or clarify or anything in regards to this latest controversy. On October 24, Catholic youth stood outside the Vatican with a big sign that read, “Holy Father, we ask for clarity on same-sex unions”.

And we got nothing. Well, actually, we do have two things but they aren’t good.

First, we have an alleged memo from the Vatican Communications department ordering a complete media blackout in regards to the documentary. Maybe they think this uproar is somehow going to die down and we’ll all get distracted. Either this is the height of stupidity or calculated. (Guess which one I think?)

Secondly, we have the appointment of new cardinals. How does this relate? Well, some of the men are very pro-LGBT. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, in particular, has supported the LGBT movement occurring within the Church. He is also friends with Father James Martin and the liberal Cardinal Cupich.

On a side note, I didn’t know this until I was doing research for this post but once these appointees receive their red hats, there will be 128 cardinals. According to canon law, there should only be 120 cardinals. Going over the limit with men who support homosexuality is an action which speaks louder than any blackout.

Is Pope Francis a Heretic?

What Catholics want to know is whether or not Church teaching has been changed. Or, barring that, we want to know if Pope Francis is a heretic.

Pope Francis did not speak infallibly. He did not change Church teaching. And as Cardinal Burke explains, the pope’s views are his personal opinion, which binds no one to obedience, and they’re contrary to Church teaching. Cardinal Gerhard Müller takes it a step further and says that faithful Catholics should “freely contradict” the Pope when he goes against the Gospel, citing St. Paul’s correction to St. Peter.

Whether or not the Pope is a heretic is not something I can say. I am not nearly learned enough. I’m just a laywoman sitting in front of a computer. And it’s a little beside the point, anyway. What matters is our reaction.

Our Next Steps

First, we have to pray and make reparation. Our Lady has come to us at Fatima, Akita, and La Salette to warn us about the coming trials and corruption that will occur in the Holy Catholic Church. And she has always said the same thing: pray and do penance. Say your rosary for the Church. Fast for the Church. Find little things to do everyday, like foregoing that expensive latte, to offer up for the Church. Visit Our Lord in the Tabernacle; rediscover the beauty of the Holy Hour.

Thirdly, learn your Faith and read good books. Don’t sit around and wait for LifeSiteNews to tell you whether or not something goes against Church teaching. Read the Bible and good catechisms like the Baltimore Catechism or the Catechism of Trent. Read books like The Catechism Explained by Father Spirago. Regarding books about growing closer to God, let me point you to this wonderful list by Dan Burke. In fact, here’s an article from his website about the importance of spiritual reading.

Finally, avail yourself of the Sacraments. Go to Mass. In fact, go to daily Mass if you can manage it. And don’t attend just any Mass. Find a church that is reverent and faithful. Preferably, attend the Extraordinary Form because that’s the Mass that formed saints like St. Catherine of Siena, St. Joan of Arc, and Padre Pio. Go to Confession at least once a month after examining your conscience thoroughly.

This is war, my friends. And we aren’t going to win if we don’t take up our arms.

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