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Bishop Rob MutsaertsIVEROMA / YouTube

(LifeSiteNews) — Fiducia Supplicans – the controversial Declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith – is above all a cowardly document. It refuses to name homosexual practices as intrinsically evil. It is now clear that Fiducia Supplicans is not about an expansion of the meaning of blessings, but of a deliberate modification of what is sin. Objections from numerous bishops – indeed, bishops’ conferences – and hundreds of priests and faithful are arrogantly dismissed.

FS explains “blessings” in such a way that they no longer have a clear meaning. This happens more often under this pontificate. When concepts become vacuous they are easily manipulated. Don’t call a child in his mother’s womb a child but a clump of cells, and you can do whatever you want with him. Then abortion is not murder, but surgery. Give “blessing” a new meaning, and you can do anything with it. The magic word that is then easily pulled out is “pastoral.” A formal blessing is not allowed, the Declaration says, but a spontaneous blessing is. That is “pastoral.”

How often the word “pastoral” is used to set aside the Magisterium, to set doctrine and life in opposition to each other, and then to condone life that is at odds with doctrine. Pastoral care is no longer soul care; it has become soulless. Doctrine is set aside; after all, it is only words; it says nothing about the real meaning, or so people reason. Nominalism is back from (never) being gone. Subjectivism and relativism reign supreme today at the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. “Dicastery of Deconstruction” would be a more appropriate name.

READ: Fr. Murray condemns Fiducia Supplicans: ‘Pope Francis has not upheld the Catholic faith’

Where this all leads is clear to me. In my country, Holland, this development began in the 1960s with a so-called “Pastoral Council.” All doctrinal concepts were eroded. Thomas Aquinas was cancelled, William of Ockham was put on the throne. They called this council “pastoral.” By now, the Netherlands is the most secularized country in the world. There was only one bishop who resisted. He really cared about the souls of the faithful. The rest were silent. In the Netherlands, the subject of “pastoral theology” was invented. But it is not a science. It is used to relativize real science. That is exactly what Pope Francis is doing, that is exactly what Cardinal Fernández is doing, that is exactly what Fiducia Supplicans is doing. Morality is pitted against dogmatics. That is exactly what Amoris Laetitia has been doing.

One thing is forgotten. All these concessions to secular culture have no appeal to young people. Liberal seminaries and congregations are dying. On the contrary, it is the traditional seminaries and congregations that are flourishing. While the Church in the Netherlands is nearly in a coma (average age of churchgoers is over 70), I see meetings of youth groups growing. They often come from atheist backgrounds but are searching for the truth. Through word of mouth they come to the Catholic Church, to pastors who are simply Catholic, who do not proclaim vague theories, but are faithful to Tradition. What is the desire of these young people: they long for the Eucharist, to worship, to dive into the deep. It is they who have rediscovered the sacrament of Confession. In time, things will turn out fine.

Perhaps the current developments in the Vatican are a blessing. Now the state of affairs in Rome is clearly coming to light so that a reversal is possible. Look at those with whom the pope surrounds himself. With James Martin. Francis is promoting McElroy, the man who believes the Church should change its teaching on sodomy – let’s just call it by its name. He promotes Hollerich to cardinal, Hollerich who believes that the Church’s morality regarding sexuality is scientifically and sociologically wrongly based. He writes to Sister Jeannine Gramick that he supports her New Ways Ministry.

He promotes his Argentinian friend Fernández to cardinal and head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. This Fernández has written a pornographic book in which, among other things, he blasphemously describes how a 16-year-old girl has a sexual experience. He also expands enormously on orgasms. And it is this Fernández who is to judge sexual abuse in the Church. Any bishop who finds out that one of his priests has written such an unsavory book would immediately suspend him. Pope Francis doesn’t. He doesn’t see the problem. By the way, it is not the only pornographic book Fernández has written. He wouldn’t do it now, he says. But he in no way distances himself from it. And this man is the author of Amoris Laetitia.

“Is the pope Catholic?” was until recently a rhetorical question. Nowadays it is a question. What to do? This pontificate will naturally come to an end. Is he the valid pope? Yes. Should you obey him? No. Stay in the Church! Don’t leave the Church! It is the Church of Christ. That Church is holy. The personnel are not.

READ: Cardinal Müller says obedience is not owed to an ‘obviously heretical bishop’

+ Rob Mutsaerts

Aux. Bishop ‘s-Hertogenbosch