VATICAN CITY, June 29, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In his homily for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis has once again launched an attack on so-called “rigid” Catholics, seemingly comparing them to the way St. Paul acted before his conversion, claiming that Paul was freed by God from his “rigid and inflexible” religious zeal.
Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the Vatican today — with the largest congregation since the start of COVID-19 restrictions. His homily focused on the concept of freedom, as pertaining to Peter and Paul, and provided an opportunity for another attack on those Catholics he describes as “rigid.”
Both Apostles were described by the Pope as having a “Passover experience,” being set free by God, and thus able to lead lives following Christ.
St. Paul was liberated from “the most oppressive form of slavery, which is slavery to self,” stated the Pope. Not only this, but Paul was “set free from the religious fervour that had made him a zealous defender of his ancestral traditions (cf. Gal 1:14) and a cruel persecutor of Christians.”
Francis alluded to St. Paul’s persecution of the early Church, describing it as a defense of tradition which turned him against God: “Formal religious observance and the intransigent defence of tradition, rather than making him open to the love of God and of his brothers and sisters, had hardened him: he was a fundamentalist.”
“God set him free from this,” declared the Pontiff.
Highlighting the importance of the two great saints of the Church, the Pope stated that they could only “set free the power of the Gospel” because they had already been “set free by their encounter with Christ.”
“Jesus did not judge them or humiliate them,” declared Francis. “Instead, he shared their life with affection and closeness.” However, he continued by noting that Christ in fact “reproached them to make them change.”
Such freedom from “formal religious observance and the intransigent defence of tradition” is something the Pope wished to be extended to the whole Catholic Church.
“We too have been touched by the Lord; we too have been set free. Yet we need to be set free time and time again, for only a free Church is a credible Church.”
Addressing the assembled clergy, the Pope urged them “to be set free from a sense of failure before our occasionally disastrous fishing,” which was an imitation of St. Peter, he claimed.
Pope Francis then launched into what has become a regular attack on the “rigid” Catholics, seeming to suggest that “rigid” Catholics are like St. Paul in his anti-Catholic zeal.
“Like Paul, we are called to be set free from hypocritical outward show, free from the temptation to present ourselves with worldly power rather than with the weakness that makes space for God, free from a religiosity that makes us rigid and inflexible; free from dubious associations with power and from the fear of being misunderstood and attacked.”
Dissident Jesuit-run America Magazine highlighted this aspect of the Pope’s homily, reporting that he had issued a call for the Church to be freed from the “intransigent defence of tradition.”
Nevertheless, it was St. Paul himself who wrote: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
Then, in his letter to Titus, St. Paul stipulated that bishops must faithfully adhere to the doctrine of the Church: “Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers.”
Commenting on the Pope’s interpretation of St. Paul’s theology, popular author Deacon Nick Donnelly wrote: “Pope Bergoglio interprets every page of the Bible through the prism of himself. This is not a St. Paul I recognise, this is Bergoglio Paul.”
Donnelly’s concern was echoed by Eric Sammons, editor-in-chief of Crisis Magazine, who took issue with the Pope’s biblical knowledge: “This sounds like the most fundamentalist Protestant interpretation of St. Paul’s life imaginable. I take that back: even fundamentalist Protestants would cringe at this interpretation.”
Recent attacks against “rigid” Catholics
Pope Francis’ attacks on those he describes as “rigid” have increased in regularity of late, with today’s being the third such attack in as many weeks.
In his general audience last week, the Pope denigrated online preachers he described as “rigid” and who seek “solutions to the crises of today.”
“It is precisely the way of the evil one, of these people who divide, who do not know how to build,” he said.
“Today too there is no shortage of preachers who, especially through the new means of communication, can disturb communities,” continued Pope Francis. “They present themselves not primarily to announce the Gospel of God who loves man in Jesus, Crucified and Risen, but to insist, as true ‘keepers of the truth’ — so they call themselves — on the best way to be Christians.”
PETITION UPDATE (6/29/2021):
The Pope has written a note to Fr. James Martin, SJ, praising his fellow Jesuit’s controversial pro-LGBT ministry, saying it "reflects the closeness of God" and is in the "style of God."
The Pope’s note was written in response to a communication that Martin had sent Francis earlier, informing him of an upcoming LGBT conference organized by renegade New Ways Ministry (NWM), which has been denounced as non-Catholic ministry by the U.S. bishops and whose leaders defied the Vatican’s order to cease their affiliation with NWM decades ago.
In spite of the fact that Francis has done this, the Church still teaches that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered," and "under no circumstances can they be approved." (Catechism of the Catholic Church Para. 2357)
Therefore, when a priest, like James Martin, SJ - and, New Ways Ministry - adovcate for the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism, without calling for chastity and repentence, we know that this style is most certainly not in the style of God.
Please continue to SIGN and share this petition asking the bishops of the United States to stop Martin's LGBT advocacy.
'On eve of LGBT Catholic conference, Pope Francis praised Fr. James Martin, SJ’s pro-LGBT ministry' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/on-eve-of-lgbt-catholic-conference-pope-francis-praised-fr-james-martin-sjs-pro-lgbt-ministry
PETITION UPDATE (2/4/2020):
Fr. James Martin, SJ, can't resist telling bishops how to run their dioceses.
He recently opined that dioceses should stop firing homosexuals who are "married" by the state, saying that this is tantamount to discrimination.
But, of course, when it comes to such relationships, Bishops must discriminate between what is authentically Catholic and Christian, both under the natural law and in Revelation.
And, such people, who enter into a homosexual relationship and then have it publicly recognized by the state as something which nature and religion know can never be fruitful -- but, which conversely, can cause grave scandal to children -- cannot expect to hold positions in Catholic schools.
The two positions are contradictory, and not just in the way that other things are contradictory.
Homosexual "marriage" is a contradiction in terms, and is not only unnatural, but also confusing to young minds. And, not just about human nature, but also about the way that God has designed man and woman to be together, in marriage, in a lifelong, monogamous bond.
What Fr. Martin suggests is that bishops are free to take a sledge hammer to God's design...which, of course, is totally, totally wrong.
Bishops, please continue assert your right to protect the innocence of children as well as defend the institution of marriage.
Fr. James Martin, SJ recently issued a tweet questioning the Bible's condemnation of homosexual acts.
Fr. Martin’s tweet quotes an article from the Center for Action and Contemplation in which Fr. Richard Rohr, a priest with a long record of dissenting from established Church teachings, favorably shares a pro-homosexuality missive from his “dear friend,” Methodist minister Walter Wink. In June of 2018, Fr. Rohr declared in a speech that “historically, scientifically, culturally,” the Bible is “a mass of contradictions from beginning to end.”
This is decidedly NOT what the Catholic Church teaches.
Thankfully, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, and Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa, have both responded to Fr. James Martin’s tweet highlighting an article that questions the “biblical judgment” of “same-sex sexual behavior.”
Bishop Strickland issued a response yesterday evening on his own Twitter account:
“Thank you for acknowledging that you question scripture. If we go down that road where do we stop? I know you have lots of support but you are challenging the Deposit of Faith that I promised to defend. As a bishop I’ll keep defending it.”
This morning, Cardinal Napier also took to the popular social media platform to give his response to Fr. Martin’s tweet.
“How convenient to use slavery to justify support for homosexuality, totally overlooking the fact that the Bible is overwhelmingly the story of God freeing His People from all slavery — physical & political but also slavery to idols & false gods, to moral & spiritual aberrations!”
We give thanks to God for these examples of strong leadership from the episcopate!
But, we need more Shepherds to come out against Fr. Martin's LGBT advocacy, which is a stain on the Church's teaching and on Christ's admonition to, "Go, and sin no more!"
Thank you for SIGNING!
Fr. James Martin is perhaps the most notorious pro-LGBT priest in the Catholic Church today. His public statements are opposed to the Church’s perennial teachings on sexuality, marriage, homosexuality, and transgenderism. They blind souls to the truth about human nature and the harsh reality of sin.
And, in spite of meeting with the Pope recently, which gave the veneer of respectability to his morally dangerous positions on the Church's teaching on sexuality, no-one has the authority to declare morally good or neutral, something which is actually intrinsically disordered -- not even the Pope.
Thankfully, however, there are some pastors of the Catholic Church who continue to place the constant teaching of the Church on faith and morals, and on sexuality, above human respect.
This petition, therefore, asks the Bishops of the Catholic Church to stop bowing to human respect, and ban Fr. James Martin from spreading his spiritual poison in their dioceses..."spiritual poison", because encouraging someone to continue in mortal sin is like giving poison to someone's soul, no matter how well-intentioned one may be.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia released a statement noting that Fr. Martin’s “statements and activities” have caused confusion.
- “A pattern of ambiguity in his teachings tends to undermine his stated aims, alienating people from the very support they need for authentic human flourishing,” Chaput wrote. “Due to the confusion caused by his statements and activities regarding same-sex related (LGBT) issues, I find it necessary to emphasize that Father Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church, and to caution the faithful about some of his claims.”
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois quickly issued a statement supporting Chaput, saying that aspects of Martin’s teachings are “deeply scandalous,” and his “messages create confusion among the faithful and disrupt the unity of the Church.”
Bishop Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee has also opposed some of Martin’s statements.
And, in the Fall of 2018, Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland asked his fellow bishops to discern whether or not fraternal correction demands they ban from their dioceses Fr. James Martin and his pro-gay "marriage" message.
- Strickland said of Martin: “There’s a priest that travels around now basically saying that he doesn’t [believe the doctrine of the Church on marriage], and he seems to be very well promoted in various places.”
- “Brothers, I think part of the fraternal correction...we offer each other is to say, 'Can that be presented in our diocese? That same-sex ‘marriage’ is just fine, and the Church will one day grow to understand that.'”
- “That’s not what we teach,” he stated. “And I think we really have to ask those serious questions.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has called Fr. Martin “one of the most outspoken critics of the church’s message with regard to sexuality.”
And, Cardinal Raymond Burke has called Martin’s teaching “not coherent with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.”
Over the years, Fr. Martin has made numerous remarks that indicate open hostility towards and deep opposition to unchangeable doctrine on matters related to men, women, and sexuality. Bishops need to stop allowing him to spread his un-Christ-like message in their dioceses. Below is an extensive list of things he has said or done. For instance, Fr. Martin...
- Wants active homosexuals to be “invited into parish ministries” like eucharistic ministers.
- Once claimed “some” saints were “probably gay.”
- Told a gay Catholic journalist that he hopes that during the exchange of peace at mass “you will be able to kiss your partner or soon to be your husband. Why not? What’s the terrible thing?”
- Tweeted support for transgender bathrooms, claiming that “It doesn't hurt anybody" which bathroom "they" choose to use.
- Believes God made “LGBTQ people…who they are.”
- Wants the Catechism’s use of the term “intrinsically disordered” scrapped. He believes it is “needlessly hurtful" to homosexuals and thinks “differently ordered” is preferable because it is more “pastoral.”
- Has said a Catholic attending a same-sex “wedding” is just as acceptable as a Catholic attending a Jewish wedding.
- Claims to have discovered a "very high correlation between people who are against [same-sex marriage] and people who are in fact homophobic."
- Received an award from a pro-homosexual group for his “lasting contributions to the safety and/or equality of people who are LGBTQ, their families, and allies.”
- Thinks the Church should recognize the “special gifts” homosexuals bring to the Church because of their sexual attractions.
- Claims the Bible has been taken out of "context” in its condemnation of homosexual acts.
- Urged homosexual priests to “come out” as “LGBT” in order to facilitate “dialogue” with bishops.
- Praised the “fidelity” of a “married” transgender couple and wondered what the Church can “learn” from them.
- Retweeted a liberal journalist who complained priests can’t bless “committed gay couples.”
- Was given the “Bridge Building Award” at the 2016 gathering of the pro-gay New Ways Ministry, a dissident group censure by the Vatican and the U.S. Bishops Conference.
Then, in a June 10 address to Italian seminarians, the Pope warned them of the “perversion” of clericalism and “gratifying spiritualism,” which would “lead to closure and rigidity.”
While the Pope regularly returns to the subject of “rigid” Catholics, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, revealed the Pope is concerned about the rise of “traditionalist” ideas creeping into “priestly formation.”
Whether such an anecdote is true will perhaps be seen shortly, as Pope Francis has reportedly finished the third draft of a document which would restrict the use of what is known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. When speaking to the Conference of Italian Bishops in May, the Pope allegedly gave an example of a young “rigid” priest who wished to learn Latin in order to offer the Traditional Mass, and who was told to learn Spanish instead as it would be more useful.
Writing for The Remnant, Vatican journalist Diane Montagna supported the veracity of the rumor, stating that The Remnant had “independently confirmed that a Vatican document restricting Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum is backed by at least two Vatican cardinals, is in its third draft, and threatens to thwart the growth of the Traditional Latin Mass and other sacraments particularly among diocesan clergy.”
The document is reportedly currently under review at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.