Hebrews 13:8-9 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching. It is good to have our hearts strengthened by grace and not by foods, which do not benefit those who live by them.
In many Christian churches around the world, this last Sunday readings reflected what is commonly known as Trinity Sunday or the Feast of the Holy Trinity. As I’ve heard in several sermons by pastors or have read in other articles that it’s doctrine of Christianity many find difficult to express before others. A common analogy that I’ve read, although all analogies stretched to their ends fail, explains how three persons can be one God by using the sun that gives life to all of the earth. The source or the Father, which gives life, also provides light which illuminates the truth of our sinful natures like the light that reveals specks of dirt on a window and makes way the path of salvation—The Son. Finally, we have the Holy Spirit, which is said to be the love of the Father and the Son exemplified by the warmth of the sun felt on a cool spring or fall day.
Trinity Sunday, in many church calendars, falls after the Feast of Pentecost where, as promised by Christ before his ascension, has sent us this Advocate of Love that provides for us Christians the mode of Grace to be in a relationship with God. Of course, once we’ve experienced this friendship of God through grace, let us be reminded that the Lord calls us to action in the world in the Great Commission:
The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Six years ago, today, a new little blog poked its head up over the parapet of that desert mission above and made its first post. The founder of this blog and all who commented on that post, are rarely seen in the precincts today. But that post, quoted here in full, still motivates us.
This is a blog about Christianity under siege, and sometimes this Christian under attack. That’s not to say I think that in this country we are persecuted, but just that it can be difficult to make one’s voice heard above the clamant voices. This is my voice, for what it is worth. My first two posts appeared on another blog, and I am grateful to Jon for making them available here.
The spirit that Jessica showed in post number one, has been our constant guide here, ever since, as has been the tagline, she chose for us.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you … John 13:34
Well, we all fall far short of the goal, but we keep trying, and given the troubles we’ve all seen here, I think we’ve done fairly well, with God’s help.
Some of us have been here since almost the beginning, some came here much later, it doesn’t matter. I’m glad you are here, and we will go forward together.
And so, here’s to the next six!
Several things caught my eye in Philip’s excellent article the other day. I hate writing posts in commboxes (although I do it far too often), so I thought I would discuss it here.
The first comes from the Catholic Herald, always a good source of information.
[O]n 8 April, I made the 2.5-hour drive to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts for Divine Mercy Sunday. And how could I not? Judging by the licence plates in the parking lots, pilgrims travelled from every corner of the United States. According to the programme, many more flew over from Europe. I practically live down the street.
It was a deeply moving occasion, despite Mother Nature’s lack of cooperation: it was finger-numbingly cold, with snow flurries dropping in and out. Yet 15,000 pilgrims descended on the little mountain town, bundled in parkas and blankets. Some charitable souls drifted through the crowd passing out hand warmers.
Aside from the official proceedings, what struck me most was the demographic make-up. There were Hispanics, Filipinos, Africans, and Chinese – but hardly a Caucasian in sight. That’s grossly unrepresentative of the national Catholic population: 59 per cent are white, 34 percent are Hispanic, 3 per cent are Asian, and 3 per cent are black.
Of course, this has nothing to do with race and everything to do with trends in migration. Immigrants, whatever their faith tradition, tend to be more devout than their native-born counterparts. This is true even in countries like Sweden, where predominantly-white immigrants from Poland are contributing to a boom in the Catholic population.
But are these new Catholics a permanent feature of American and Western European countries? That seems doubtful. A new Gallup polldemonstrates that the rate at which Catholics attend Mass continues to fall since 1955, from 75 per cent to 39 per cent. This, despite the fact that the nominal Catholic population has grown considerably thanks to mass immigration from South America. Meanwhile, attendance at Protestant services has remained fairly stable.
The lack of Protestant immigration actually gives them an advantage with this metric. The children or grandchildren of immigrants who stop practising the faith are more likely to identify – if only nominally – with their family’s religion. Because Catholic immigration is so high, there are many “cultural” or “lapsed” Catholics: those who identify with the Faith, but don’t attend Mass. Meanwhile, Protestants who have “un-churched” are more likely to identify as irreligious.
True enough, out here the Catholic Church is made up of probably close to a majority of Hispanics, of all ages, and who are treated quite badly by the established Anglo congregations, to the point of nearly two churches in one building. A good many of the Anglos strike me as mostly CINO’s (Catholics in name only). Given it is Hispanic immigration, I don’t see it as much in the Protestant churches but suspect it is mostly a lack of Hispanics not a difference in attitude.
The funny part is, Islam also has this problem, they too are losing the immigrants’ children.
Here, again, Pew’s study of Islam in America is enlightening. Nine per cent of ex-Muslims converted to a different faith, and one per cent said they were actively searching for a spiritual path. That means only 10 per cent remain open to engaging with organised religion. The other 90 effectively become secular or “spiritual-not-religious”, which usually amounts to the same thing.
Apparently, it is something in the air in America. part of it, of course, is the churches themselves, I’m not a particularly regular attendee myself. My local church is good on liberal platitudes, on real (what some call, muscular) Christianity, not so much. Other choices such as LCMS are quite inconvenient for me, perhaps it will solve itself, or God will show me a way, but for now, that’s how it is.
In a Federalist article, Mathew Cochrane notes that one of the weaknesses of our churches is that we are driving away men. He quotes Ross Douthat’s “God and Men and Jordan Peterson” New York Times column to good effect.
The men fled; the women stayed.
That’s the story of Easter weekend in the New Testament. Most of Jesus’ male disciples vanished when the trouble started, leaving his mother and Mary Magdalene and other women to watch by the cross, prepare his body for his burial, and then (with the men still basically in hiding) find the empty tomb.
Male absence and female energy has also been the story, albeit less starkly and dramatically, of Christian practice in many times and places since.
Except that is not true, all concerned missed the real story, didn’t they? How many times had Jesus told them he would rise from the dead? None of them, not a single one, believed Him – they went to the tomb to properly prepare his corpse and were gently chided by the Angel:
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise” (Luke 24:5-7).
There is also this,
As one blogger quickly pointed out, two key issues with Douthat’s presentation of the story highlight a disregard for men. First is the enormous factual error: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both men, were actually the ones to prepare and bury Jesus’ body (John 19:38-42) while the women watched (Luke 23:55-56) and returned with additional spices several days later. Unlike Douthat, Mark the Evangelist is quite right to observe that Joseph “took courage” before going to the guy who just had Jesus executed and asking him for the corpse (Mark 15:43).
Yep, that’s how you are going to attract men, NOT.
Well after Nicholas’s kind words yesterday, maybe I should share this. This is my traditional Easter Sunday post, although I edited it for today, it remains very much as it was.
That’s the importance of the day. Jesus the Christ is risen from the dead. This is the most important day for Christians.
Let’s speak a bit on the history. You may know that Easter is an Anglophone term for what nearly everybody else calls some form of Pasch. There’s a myth about that, which The Clerk of Oxford does a fine job of debunking.
How was Easter celebrated in Anglo-Saxon England? There’s a popular answer to that question, which goes like this: ‘the Anglo-Saxons worshipped a goddess called Eostre, who was associated with spring and fertility, and whose symbols were eggs and hares. Around this time of year they had a festival in her honour, which the Christians came over and stole to use for their own feast, and that’s why we now have Easter’.
Yeah, not so much, Eostre was mentioned in two sentences by St Bede, the rest is mostly 19th-century fabrication.
The reenactment of this scene – the women and the angel at the empty tomb – forms one of the best-known elements of the early medieval Easter liturgy, famous because it is often said to be one of the oldest examples of liturgical drama. To quote from Regularis Concordia, as translated in this excellent blogpost at For the Wynn:
When the third reading [of Nocturns] is being read, let four brothers clothe themselves, one of whom, clothed in white and as if about to do something else, should go in and secretly be at the burial place, with his hand holding a palm, and let him sit quietly. And while the third responsory is being sung, let the remaining three follow: all clothed with cloaks, carrying censers with incense in their hands, and with footsteps in the likeness of someone seeking something, let them come before the burial place. And let these things be done in imitation of the angel sitting on the tomb and of the women coming with spices, so that they might anoint the body of Jesus.
And when the one remaining has seen the three, wandering and seeking something, approach him, let him begin, with a moderate voice, to sing sweetly: ‘Whom are you seeking?’ When this has been sung to the end, let the three respond with one voice: ‘Jesus of Nazareth’. To whom he should say: ‘He is not here. He has risen, as he said before. Go, announce it, because he has risen from the dead.’ With this command, let those three turn around to the choir, saying, “Alleluia, the Lord has risen.’ When this has been said, let the one sitting turned back, as if calling them back, say this antiphon: ‘Come and see the place’.
Saying these things, let him rise and lift up the veil and show them the place devoid of the cross, but with the linens placed there which with the cross had been wrapped. When they have seen this, let them set down the censers which they were carrying in the same tomb, and let them take the linen and spread it out in front of the clergy, and, as if showing that the Lord has risen and is not wrapped in it, let them sing this antiphon, ‘The Lord has risen from the tomb’, and let them lay the linen upon the altar.
This is a dramatic replaying of the crucial moment in the Easter story, bringing it to life through the voices and bodies of the monks. Although presumably the primary audience for this liturgical play was the monastic community itself, it may also have been witnessed by lay people. That appears to be the implication of a miracle-story told by Eadmer, describing something which he saw take place as the ritual was being performed in Canterbury Cathedral in c.1066:
There is quite a lot more at her post which is linked above and recommended highly.
We have often spoken about Jesus the leader, and his unflinching dedication to the death to his mission. On Easter, this mission is revealed. It finally becomes obvious that His mission (at this time, anyway) is not of the Earth and it’s princelings. It is instead a Kingdom of souls.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
And so we come to the crux of the matter. The triumph over original sin and death itself. For if you believe in the Christ and his message you will have eternal life. This is what sets Christianity apart, the doctrine of grace. For if you truly repent of your sins, and attempt to live properly, you will be saved. Not by your works, especially not by your wars and killing on behalf of your faith, valid and just though they may be, but by your faith and your faith alone. For you serve the King of Kings.
And as we know, the Christ is still leading the mission to save the souls of all God‘s children. It is up to us to follow the greatest leader in history or not as we choose. We would do well to remember that our God is a fearsome God but, he is also a just God. We shall be judged entirely on our merits as earthly things fall away from us. But our God is also a merciful God. So be of good cheer for the Father never burdens his people with burdens they cannot, with his help, bear.
As we celebrate the first sunrise after the defeat of darkness, Hail the King Triumphant for this is the day of His victory.
He is Risen indeed!
And hath appeared unto Simon!
Even Simon, the coward disciple who denied him thrice
“Christ is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon!”
to Simon Peter the favoured Apostle, on whom the Church is built
Crossposted from Nebraska Energy Observer.
I thought it would be a shame if this Christian blog did not have a post for Palm Sunday, as I noticed we didn’t this morning. And so I will do a hasty one, drawing on our collective beliefs. The one I have selected is one of Chalcedon’s from Palm Sunday in 2015. My comment on it makes a fair introduction, I think. This was my comment:
“My thinking parallels yours.The sacrifice, of course, hearkens back to the Temple but it echoes down in that far further. If an act, it echoes back to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isaac to God, and God’s message to him that he will provide the sacrifice, a ram, instead.
The quote in Lutheranism’s general confession is:
“We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone”
The English isn’t as beautiful as the BCP but we have the meaning right, at least. And yes, at my age it is more often “what I have left undone”. Sort of sad, really, it was much more fun to confess what I had done. 🙂”
It will soon be Palm Sunday; Lent is coming to its appointed climax. In Sunday’s Gospel we get the first sign of a something which will become more prominent on Maundy Thursday – Jesus’ fear of what awaits him: ‘Father, save me from this hour’. He would have seen crucifixions; he knew what there was to fear. Crucifixion was intended to instil fear; it was brutal, bloody and fatal. Yet it was for ‘this hour’ that Jesus had come into the world. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us so that He might be raised up as the propitiation for our sins. He died for our sins.
There is this something against which our notions of justice rail. How, we ask, can it be right for an innocent man to die for the guilty?’ What sort of Father, we wonder, sacrifices his son for rogues such as ourselves. Of late I have found praying the Sorrowful Rosary next to impossible; the envisaging of what happened to Jesus unsettles my prayer, and it is only by thinking on what was to come that I get through. But, as St Isaac reminds us, this is an act of love. There were, he tells us, many ways God could have chosen to save us, and by choosing this one, he shows us the extent of His love; I think He also shows us the extent of our sins.
Soon, then, we shall be following the familiar story of the Passion of the Lord, Perhaps its familiarity robs it of its power for us, so we might want to spend more time meditating on it. Every stripe applied to His back is a sin of mine; that Crown of Thorns he bears, they are the sting of my sins; and high on that Cross on Calvary my sins are forgiven, and through Him I am saved from my sins.
But my sins are not banished. By this stage of my life, it is more a matter, in the words of the old Anglican General Confession, of the ‘things I have not done’ rather that the things I have done. That I am conscious of that is a sign of growth I think; but it is also a sign that the journey continues. Words sometimes darken discussion.
I also commented,
“And of course Julian of Norwich, who in her illness also witnessed the scene, reminds us:
Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
We have taken from the defeated
What they had to leave us—a symbol:
A symbol perfected in death.
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching.
or so we pray in this, and all, seasons.”
My thoughts this day echo his when he ends, as I shall, “But the path to the Resurrection leads through Gethsemane and the hill at Golgotha; at times the Cross is too heavy to bear – and save for His presence would be so.”
One aspect of folks that I value is the ability to allow free dialogue, even if it doesn’t seem important, may hinder one’s argument, or a point that tends to lead in a different direction. Of course, I value this because I value the exploring of ideas to reveal truth.
Perfect Chaos is a blog run by Steven Colborne, who believes in God, maybe even the Christian God, but doesn’t believe in Free Will basically because God is in charge of everything existence. Steven posted again today about The Free Will Problem. Naturally, there are analogies that can be given to show when one is in charge they can allow free will etc. However, as I’ve continued to exhibit through Catholic thought, there is ample philosophical evidence within Catholicism that indicates a lack of free will is more or less rubbish.
In this particular blog of Steven’s I gave Augustine’s answer to Steven’s assertions that Free Will doesn’t exist, please refer to his post as well as his essay that he gives a link to in the post. I answered that in accordance with Catholic tradition that Steven fails to properly refute Augustinian Theodicy. More or less Steven doesn’t even address it, which of course the comment is a critique that Steven could use to finely tune his own thoughts on the matter–even for his own side of the argument. Unfortunately, Steven deleted my comment, so I present it here to you, reconstructed.
Augustine’s point is rested in the Confessions Book 7:
Augustine explains his view of Free Will: ” I was absolutely certain when I willed a thing or refused to will it that it was I alone who willed or refused to will. Already I was beginning to see that therein lay the cause of my sin. I saw that what I did against my will was something done to me, rather than something I actually did. I concluded that it was not my fault, but my punishment.”
Augustine explains earlier in Book 7 how this relates to God in a fashion the resembles Anselm’s ontological argument: ”
There has never has been, nor will there be, a soul able to conceive anything better than you, who are the supreme and best good. But since it is of the utmost truth and certainty that the incorruptible is preferable to the corruptible, even as I already preferred it to be, I could now attain in thought to a being better than yourself, my God, if you were not incorruptible. Therefore, where I perceived that the incorruptible must be preferred to the corruptible, there ought I to seek you. There too, ought I to observe where itself is, that is, whence comes that corruption, by which your substance can in no way be violated. For absolutely no corruption defiles our God.”
The glaring problem in a Christian argument against Free Will, or for that matter the argument for God is that for God to be God, He must be a perfect being. Naturally, this fits into Aquinas’ model in the Summa Theologica:
“Now God is the first principle, not material, but in the order of efficient cause, which must be most perfect. For just as matter, as such, is merely potential, an agent, as such, is in the state of actuality. Hence, the first active principle must needs be most actual, and therefore most perfect; for a thing is perfect in proportion to its state of actuality, because we call that perfect which lacks nothing of the mode of its perfection.”
So, as I challenged Steven, for God to be perfect, He must be without corruption or He simply wouldn’t be God. If there is no Free Will, then God would have to be responsible for evil, one would have to assert and defend those evils such as theft, rape, death, any violence, natural disasters would need to be part of God’s perfection and not corruptions in the world to argue that Free Will doesn’t exist because God would be responsible for all of these actions and they could not take away from His perfection.
Sadly, again, Steven deleted my comment which was simply a good nature criticism that I had seen lacking in his essay. As my second response was also deleted after I noticed he deleted my initial comment, I decided to bring my critique to the general readership of the blogosphere.
I believe that scripture is the word of God, I believe that limited Biblical inerrancy is a mistaken approach due to the failure to properly understand the historiography of ancient writings. Any modern failure in properly understanding the words of eternal life stems from our cultural loss of ancient Judaism and Christian historicism.
It’s important to understand that scripture, inspired by God and written without error, is limited by the cultural identity of the Biblical writers. Simply, Biblical authorship that was needed for worship and evangelization from Babylonian Captivity to 1st Century A.D. that incorporated ideas of 21st Century positivism–that especially predated Herodotus and Thucydides–would have been dead on arrival during the period of their authorship. In this manner of understanding, it is important to put trust in God’s grace, our faith and the traditions of the Church.
That Neo should be going is a cause of great sadness, but not surprise. I have been out of action here, other things have had a greater call on my time, and I have appreciated the way Neo, and others have kept the flame burning. But we live in dark times. There is a passage in Lord of the Rings where Frodo regrets living in parlous times, but Gandalf simply responds by saying that so do all who live through such times.
Commenting upon Catholic matters is a parlous affair. Given that my own position is not adequately safeguarded by my pseudonymity, I have preferred silence to comments which would be bound to get those without the courage to comment openly, writing to my employer with whining complaints. We are where we are, and my one comment is that those who want an Anglican future for the Catholic Church should take that route for themselves and let the rest of us get on with the Faith once received by the Apostles.
But this is a post about Neo, who is the polar opposite of such people. He first came across my line of vision when I worked with the founder of this blog. I noted then what all his posts show. Firm principle, warm heart, and a loyalty beyond compare. That he and I were not of the same Church mattered not one whit. We were of the same timber. And through many years here, I never once saw him flinch, never once saw him waver, and never once saw him fail in the duty of a Christian gentleman. Kipling knew the value of a man by whether he was the sort of fellow you would go tiger-shooting with. Well, now that would get one ostracised in no time at all. But Neo is the sort of man with whom one would go on a tiger shoot, or any other activity which required a strong and loyal backer.
His words have stirred my out of my, well I won’t call it a reverie, but I will call it a reluctance to venture out. Neo, like Jess, is right, there is much in the blogging world which is touching pitch, but it is there whatever one does, and a small light in the darkness means that the darkness has not won.
Neo has kept the light burning. If, as has happened before, it passes now again to me, I shall do my best to keep it lit. Neo is in my prayers, as he has always been. Pray for him, and for all who in these dark times, do what they can to keep the flame alight. He fought the good fight, he ran the race. He encouraged others, and set an example of how those from different backgrounds and traditions can find an agreement. If he does go, we shall not see his like again.
I would thank him, from the bottom of my heart.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I write today, after some thought as a testimony of my position, I still support the Pontificate of Pope Francis, the Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ. There are many opinions in regards to his Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, and sadly not enough clarity on the matter, but I believe there to be good reasons to give him still the benefit of the doubt.
As noted by the National Catholic Register:
None of the passages of Amoris Laetitia cited by the correction explicitly denies that a person who knowingly and willingly commits grave evil cuts himself or herself off from God’s grace.
Amoris Laetitia does explore the possibility that a person who commits grave evil may in some cases not have full knowledge or deliberate consent when doing so, but precisely insofar as they lack full knowledge and/or deliberate consent, such a person is not necessarily committing mortal sin.
The position is consistent with the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”131
1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: “Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.”132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
The fact is that it is true that there are possibilities for someone to be in a relationship that from the outside may appear to be gravely sinful; however if that particular person does not meet the three requirements for a mortal sin then they are less culpable. Pope Francis should not be criticized for attempting to bend—not break– understanding as an example of God’s mercy. The National Catholic Register also reminds Catholics to recognize the authority of the Catechism of the Catechism by citing Fidei Depositum 3. As of now, faithful Catholics should understand the exhortation under the precepts of the established teachings of the Catholic Church. Of course, this is the understanding also of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput:
“Archbishop Chaput, on July 1, issued pastoral guidelines for his archdiocese on the Pope’s exhortation. He said the document is best understood when read “within the tradition of the Church’s teaching and life.”
My own Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, a known orthodox Catholic bishop–who has brought back the Latin mass to the diocese, restored the St. Michael Prayer to all masses, withheld communion from Senator Dick Durbin, performed an exorcism on the Illinois House—has written in support of Amoris Laetitia:
There are no changes to canon law or church doctrine introduced in this document, as Pope Francis explains, “If we consider the immense variety of concrete situations such as those I have mentioned, it is understandable that neither the Synod nor this Exhortation could be expected to provide a new set of general rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases” (n. 300). Rather, the Holy Father says, “In order to avoid all misunderstanding, I would point out that in no way must the Church desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage, God’s plan in all its grandeur” (n. 307).
Pope Francis himself notes that it is a lengthy document. “Consequently,” the Holy Father writes, “I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text. The greatest benefit, for families themselves and for those engaged in the family apostolate, will come if each part is read patiently and carefully, or if attention is paid to the parts dealing with their specific needs. It is likely, for example, that married couples will be more concerned with Chapters Four and Five, and pastoral ministers with Chapter Six, while everyone should feel challenged by Chapter Eight. It is my hope that, in reading this text, all will feel called to love and cherish family life, for ‘families are not a problem; they are first and foremost an opportunity’” (n. 7).
Following the Holy Father’s request, I encourage Catholics and all people interested in strengthening marriage and family life to read the entire Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis “patiently and carefully.” As Pope Francis so frequently requests, please pray for him and for all those called to the vocation of marriage and family life as well as those who minister to them.
So I ask that for those among us not to misconstrue my words. I still believe it to be prudent and the duty of the Pope to still clarify his teachings on the matter of his exhortation, but I refuse to frame the Church in a myopic political language of left vs. right or Traditional Catholics vs. Vatican II Catholics—these are the seeds of division. There is only the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. I believe Pope Francis should also answer the scholars who have attached their name to the Filial Correction.
I believe it prudent for the Pope to give a proper answer within the context of the deposit of our faith because I believe that the author of the Filial Correction, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, makes a fair point of the ramifications of no such answer:
It’s very difficult to say, but I believe they haven’t issued it yet because they fear a schism. But I think the opposite is true: that if they don’t do it, there will be a schism. To not speak of the true doctrine, to not correct errors, for fear of schism is a contradiction. Only truth can unite. If error spreads it will cause a split, from parish church to parish church, from bishop to bishop, from country to country. It would be a practical schism, which in fact already exists, but if the correction doesn’t take place, it will get much worse.
I fully believe that some squabbles between Catholics are completely silly. I would almost surmise that some Catholics have been wanting to leave the Church for some time, only waiting for some excuse to do so because of so-called heresy. In many ways, we’ve forgotten to love our brothers and sisters in the Church. Naturally, I think to myself, if we cannot get our own house in order, how can we convince our fellow protestant Brothers and Sisters in Christ to come to the Church? In the wake of these “scandals” and “heresy,” I cannot stop but think of Christ priestly prayer:
20 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
“Behold, I come to do your will, O God.”
 Jn 17:20