For a long time now, many conservative Catholics have been making certain mistakes.
1. The assumption that the conservative answer to any theological question is necessarily correct, and that the liberal answer is wrong or heretical.
2. The reliance on a set of conservative Catholic leaders and teachers, instead of relying on the Magisterium itself, to interpret and explain Catholicism, and to answer questions and respond to controversies.
3. The acceptance of a number of distortions of doctrine, on the basis of their acceptance among conservative Catholics.
And now the fruit of this rotten tree is ready for harvest. Heresies have spread among conservatives. Yet they are absolutely unwilling to be corrected by a liberal Pope. The foundation of the great conservative schism has been laid and is ready to be built upon.
Already, many conservative Catholic leaders are in a state of interior schism. They have decided that they understand the Faith better than Pope Francis, and that he must be corrected according to their understanding, as if they could not err. They propose dubia, petitions, and articles — all explaining their (unwittingly erroneous) version of the Faith. Then the arrogant, the ignorant, and the foolish join their outcry. It is as if these many grains of sand think to replace the Rock on which the Church is founded.
So now I tell you, soon you will see many prominent Catholic leaders, who have good reputations and fine credentials (according to an earthly perspective) fall way from the true Faith. They will rebuke Pope Francis and falsely accuse him of heresy.
God is putting conservatives to the test, under the liberal Pope Francis. Then later, God will put liberals to the test, under a conservative Pope.
What will you do? Will you side with your favorite bloggers, authors, speakers, and other Catholic leaders? Will you side with the Cardinals and Bishops who seem most holy and faithful to you? Or will you obey Jesus Christ and put your faith in the Rock upon which the Church is founded, namely, every successive Pope, from Peter to Pope Francis and all the Popes who will follow him?
Do not be fooled by reputation, or charm and wit, or pretended authority. The Roman Pontiff holds the keys of Saint Peter. When he opens, no one can close. When he closes, no one can open. All arguments, petitions, blog posts, and anonymous online comments notwithstanding.
I think you will be surprised to see which conservative Catholic leaders fall away in the schism. Many of these schismatics have excellent reputations among conservative Catholics. Somehow, they have obtained a following of Catholics who are more loyal to them, than to the Pope.
Already, I see many of these conservative leaders teaching one error after another, with the claim that their own erroneous understanding is merely correct doctrine. Already, I see many of these persons openly treating Pope Francis with opposition, animosity, denigration, and contempt. Perhaps some will repent and then not fall away. We shall see.
Do not join the schism! Do not rely on reputation, nor on the majority opinion within the conservative Catholic subculture! Do not rely on your own understanding of the Catholic faith! Instead, submit your mind and heart to the teaching of each successive Pope, including Pope Francis. Otherwise, you will become guilty of schism, and also heresy, and then YOU will be unworthy to receive Communion along with the divorced and remarried.
Do not imagine that the only grave sin among communicants is this particular sin committed by some of the divorced and remarried. Many grave sins have spread among the faithful, along with theological rationalizations for those sins offered by conservative leaders and commentators. It is very much like the situation when Jesus opposed the Pharisees, and many of Our Lord’s rebukes apply also to this generation. It is astounding how closely the Pharisees of today fit the description in the Gospels, and yet they themselves are blind to it.
Beloved children of God, make a prayerful decision, as soon as possible, to remain faithful to Pope Francis — no matter what he teaches. For he has the gift of truth and of a never-failing faith. He is the Rock on which the Church is founded, and his many critics are the sand that you ought not to build upon. He can err in a number of limited ways, on doctrine and discipline, but he can never commit or teach heresy, and he can never lead the faithful away from the path of salvation.
Are you children of God? Or are you children of the conservative Catholic subculture, or children of traditionalism, or children of sinful secular society? So many persons still call themselves Catholic, yet they long ago departed from the true faith. Do not join them.
Repent of your sins of unfaithfulness, and live a simple humble life of prayer, self-denial, and works of mercy. Otherwise, you might fall away in the great schism, or in the great apostasy which follows on its heels.
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