Our all-knowing merciful God knew from all eternity that this generation would be weak in faith, and that the papacy of Pope Francis would be plagued by doubters, who falsely accuse him of heresy and of being an invalid Pope. So the providence and grace of God led his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, to resign his papacy, in a free and valid resignation. In this way, the previous valid Pope, Benedict XVI, would still be alive to confirm the validity of the subsequent valid Pope, Francis. Furthermore, Pope Benedict XVI was a close associate of Pope Saint John Paul II, working with him for many years as the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (as Cardinal Ratzinger). So the progression from one valid Pope, to the next, to the next, ought to be clear and indisputable, even to the weak in faith.
Yet the free will of fallen sinners is permitted to choose grave sin. And some Catholics, filled with pride in their own limited understanding and misunderstanding of the Faith, have decided to reject Pope Francis as a valid Pope and to accuse him, falsely, of heresy. This occurs by a combination of arrogance and ignorance. It is arrogance, in that they presume to judge the Pope and therefore also the Church. For they consider the version of Catholicism in their minds to be Catholicism itself, and they speak as if they themselves are infallible in all they think to be true. It is ignorance because they have badly misunderstood many teachings of Christ and His Church. They do not acknowledge the indefectibility of the Church, taught by Christ. They contradict our Lord’s teaching that the Church is founded on the Rock of Peter and his successors. They do not treat Christ as Lord, nor the Church as Teacher. They are their own teacher and their own lord.
They do not understand that some magisterial teachings are non-infallible and can err to a limited extent. They misrepresent the teaching of Saint and Doctor of the Church Robert Bellarmine, on Popes and heresy. They have oversimplified and distorted past magisterial teachings, so that when the correct interpretation of past teachings is presented to them by the Pope or the Bishops or by their fellow Catholics, they reject is as if it were heresy. In their arrogance, they permit no one to teach or correct them, not even the Pope. In their ignorance, they quickly go astray by their many misunderstandings of Catholic doctrine.
Such wicked unfaithfulness has no excuse, and will certainly be punished by God.
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