Pope Francis tells people yesterday that we should judge ourselves and our capacity to commit horrible sins. Isn’t this the man who refuses to judge homosexual priests who seek God in good faith? Isn’t this the man who tells the adulteress to find a parish where they do not know she is an adulteress and receive the Eucharist even though she is in a state of mortal sin, in effect saying that she should not judge her own grave sins and sacrilege? Shouldn’t we also not judge the scandal his advice causes and the sacrilege he condones and incites? Shouldn’t we also not judge the heretical policies sought by so many priests, bishops and Cardinals like Marx and Kasper that would twist the Faith into a counterfeit Faith, denying our Lord? Yes, these real sins we should not judge. Yet he would have us judge ourselves, not for the actual sins, the horrible things we have actually done, but our capacity, our potential, to do even worse. Judge not the real sins, but the ones you can fantasize, Jesus told no one ever.
Dear Pope Francis, some of us have actually tried to heed and obey God’s Commandments, the law that you have scoffed at us for trying to obey. We have striven often painfully to overcome the sins that have enslaved us, have repented and sought absolution in Confession, have done penance and continue to do penance, attend Mass every week at least if not more, pray often, do more penance, seek indulgences and do more penance, and continually seek to learn more, to gain a better understanding of the Faith and how we might better ourselves, heeding and trying to abide by the words of Jesus and believing that He truly means what He says, and seek to be before the face of God when we move from this earthly realm to our hopeful eternal abode in Heaven.
We don’t need to reflect on what we might be capable of doing, because we know that already. We have seen what our potential has truly been and know quite well that we could always do worse, particularly if we heed the bad advice so often given today to ignore the Commandments from so many in the Church who should know better, and who have the responsibility to teach those things so obscured and distorted and hidden, and demeaned. We know this every day because we have made repeated attempts to form properly our consciences based upon what the Church has actually taught for 2,000 years, not what we wish She has in order to conform with our desire to keep sinning. This might be the minority position in the Church today because so many priests, bishops, Cardinals and sometimes even you, Pope Francis, have withheld the fullness of the Truth, warping the conscience of many so that they do not even know if they sin, or the gravity of their sin if they know it to be at least a sin, nor the final end of unrepentant and unabsolved mortal sin.
Contrary to the new heresy of Marxianism, we do not ignore the clear teaching of our Lord and seek a modern “sense” of what Jesus tells us which is contrary to the actual words. Contrary to the keen theology of Cardinal Kasper “developed on his knees”, Pope Francis, we actually believe the Gospels to be Truth, believe that Jesus did the miracles He did, actually died and then rose from the dead, that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and these things have real meaning and promise for which it is all worth the effort to form our consciences, and to form the consciences of our families, properly so that we know when we might sin, when we actually do sin, and what we must do when we do sin: we repent, we do not receive the Eucharist if we are in mortal sin, we seek the sacrament of confession and absolution and we do penance for our sins. Then we strive to avoid repeating the sin, yet knowing again when we haven’t.
It seems to me that Pope Francis left out some important details in his exhortation, details which are the most important for understanding just why it is that such judgment is necessary, of the sins of ourselves and of others, how we are able to make such judgments based upon a properly formed conscience, and how the lack of the ability to do so is eternally deadly for so many souls. This ability does not come from taking deep breaths of the ether, nor from listening to the insane ramblings of heretics, nor from doing whatever we will so long as we claim to seek God in good faith, whatever that means. Some of us realize that this ability comes from the knowledge of the Faith and the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
Some of us may go to Hell, but some shall know and understand why if it happens, and it will not be a surprise, as it will be for so many others deluded into believing that they just have to be “nice” or “good” according to their own definitions, based upon half-baked notions of the Faith gleaned from a sound bite that they will go to Heaven, because God is all about mercy only and no longer is concerned about justice and no one really goes to Hell. Unless, of course, a person is in the mafia, in which case they will go to Hell, if it’s a Thursday, maybe . . .
“But, who am I to judge, if I am able to do things that are worse?” the Pope asked.
The Holy Father concluded his homily, asking God this Lent to “give us the grace to learn to judge ourselves” in light of our capacity to do the “the most evil things,” and to pray: “Have mercy on me, Lord, help me to be ashamed and grant me mercy, so I may be merciful to others.”
It would have made more sense to make that final petition based upon what sins we have actually committed, not the “capacity” we have for what we may be capable of doing. Of course, we are all able to do worse, which is why the knowledge of the Commandments and obeying them is important. This is called a properly formed conscience, a small detail left out of the homily. Yet, it makes no sense from the Pope who famously said “Who am I to judge?” and which has become the rallying cry for all manner of unrepentant sin and calling it now good.