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Seems like a silly question, doesn’t it? I mean to a greater or lesser degree we have all displayed obstinance about certain ideas or positions we’ve held even as others have convincingly explained how it is we have been wrong (I’m lookin’ at you, Bill Kristol). So, what’s the big deal if Pope Francis has displayed very apparent obstinate behavior? Well, the obstinance is one of the lynchpin factors to determine whether a member of the clergy, in this case, the current pontiff, may be a heretic for the positions he’s articulated that run counter to both doctrine and dogma and for his continued promotion of known sexual predators to positions of prominence in the Roman Curia.
A few days ago, 19 Catholic scholars issued an indictment of heresy upon Pope Francis and cited in detail what his heretical infractions were. As of this morning, several others have added their names to the document bringing the total to 61. Of course, defenders of the pontiff have criticized the issuing of the indictment and dismissing the authors even as they avoid criticizing or dissembling the actual examples of heresy and heretical behavior cited. From Life Site News:
One of the heresies the authors accuse Pope Francis of committing is expressed in the following proposition: “A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.” Many of these heretical statements touch on questions of marriage and the family and are to be found in Amoris Laetitia, but there is also a new claim made by Pope Francis in 2019 – namely, that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God” – that is listed in the open letter.
It seems to me that the pope has often displayed an intractable, one might even say, obstinate attitude to his strident support and praise for homosexual couples, clerics who push a strident homosexual agenda contrary to Catholic teaching, praise for a well-known Italian abortionist, and has obstinately refused to correct or even clarify his quite troublesome and ambiguous pronouncements and positions. His apparent refusal to stop promoting known members of the clergy who have been well known and reported as sexual predators, even slandering those who have called attention to this continued promotion lends credence to the charges laid out in the latest document.
As they have done with such probing and insightful erudition in the past. Dr. Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon address the merits and even some of the issues they have with this latest open dissension of the current pontificate (to note — Taylor Marshall refers to TnT videos which is the acronym for Taylor and Tim):
The scholars who issued the indictment of the pope have implored the episcopacy to take the matter further presumably in hopes of adding their support and condemnation of the pope’s apparent heresies:
The authors respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded, they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex (‘the salvation of souls is the highest law’). They can do this by admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies, and if he should persistently refuse, by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy.
Unfortunately, that’s where the matter gets a bit thorny since there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism, short of divine intervention, to replace a pope once enthroned in the chair of Peter, so perhaps the hope would be that if Francis is so discredited that he would find his authority eroded and be unable to exert any measurable influence in his agenda for the Church. I think, given the makeup of the Vatican hierarchy, this would be very wishful thinking indeed. Bergoglio, since becoming pope, has also hand-picked and elevated those in his camp to the college of Cardinals, who would be responsible for electing his successor.
Unless something radically changes, the next pope will likely be in sympathy for Bergoglio’s pontifical agenda and his many problematic pronouncements. Two other factors do have the potential of making the accusations about Pope Francis more challenging for the current Vatican hierarchy, specifically if lay Catholics, particularly in America, continue to withhold funds from supporting the episcopacy and it must be said its allegiances with agencies that support many Leftist causes, and the ratcheting up federal RICO investigations that have the potential of undermining the fiscal stability of the Church when fines are meted out and settlements are reached.
It’s only going to get uglier and more contentious going forward.