Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Countdown to Tsunami or to a False Alarm?

April 7th, 2016, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Postponed at least 3x, co-opted by the death and funeral of the iconic and revered EWTN foundress, and now with announced participants of shaky theology and shakier intentions, eyes turn to Rome in less than a day for the presentation of conclusions and results from the Extraordinary Synod. Where do you stand in your expectations between tsunami and false alarm? How quiet the wires have fallen on clear church teaching (Cardinal Brandmuller and Cardinal Sarah being significant exceptions).  How risky can it be to teach church doctrine on the eve of a Synod report?

Cardinal Brandmuller’s clarity

‘Deviation’ only word to describe gender theory and homosexual ‘marriage’: Cardinal Sarah

Africans will not accept Western push for gay ‘marriage’: cardinal

Pope picks leading progressive to present family exhortation April 8


So- strengthen the brethren:

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:1-5

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel–not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Galatians 6-12.


27 Responses to “Countdown to Tsunami or to a False Alarm?”

  1. raymondfrice says:

    “What struck me about Amoris Laetitia, is how clearly it demonstrates the consistency of Francis’ thinking, and what he seems to have embraced within his Petrine mission. There are really no surprises in this document — and no change in doctrine, because this is more about how we find the pastoral way to the doctrine — but there is clear evidence that certain themes run deep within the Holy Father’s spiritual understanding, and they are of-a-piece with a world-view that is founded not on a continual quest for “progress” but instead leads us back to what is instinctive to our humanity. Back to the garden, as it were; to what is natural.”

    Elizabeth Scalia

  2. raymondfrice says:

    As someone wiser than me said”, you can’t walk around the streets and do business in your first communion outfits”.

    Your understanding of spirituality, theology, morals, and the Church has to mature each day beyond what it was the day before or the year before.

  3. annonymouse says:

    I haven’t read the whole document yet, but my first “find” on the pdf was to the word “conscience” and he does resort to individuals’ consciences over and above “dogma” – so I presume an improperly formed conscience is the loophole those in irregular marriages can avail themselves of. And pastoral ministers will be free to hand out this card as they see fit. “Go and do whatever your heart…er conscience tells you is right.” God save us.

  4. annonymouse says:

    Dr. Ed Peters’ analysis:

    I have to say that Francis’ lack of intellectual precision and consistency, and his apparent liberal tendencies (even if largely restrained) are growing quite tiresome. His use of the word “fidelity” in referring to certain persistently, objectively adulterous irregular second marriages is a travesty.

  5. raymondfrice says:

    annonymouse ::

    Having read your comments over time and especially your current ones, I really think you might avail yourself of a number of books on Church history and history of dogma. You are decidedly giving the impression that you might be more intellectually and spiritually at home with the Society of St Pius X.

    PS: try St Thomas More as a start.

  6. annonymouse says:

    Raymond, I guess I’m spoiled by Francis’ two predecessors, who were indisputably intellectual giants. Francis’ work to date has exhibited muddled thinking and unclear, if not confusing, teaching. This from the man whose foremost role is to teach the faith, proclaim it, not reinvent it.

    Jesus was all about mercy, and He was all about repenting of sin (Mark 1:15). Whatever happened to the call to repent?

  7. annonymouse says:

    As an example from this exhortation: ““The greatest mission of two people in love is to help one another become more a man and more a woman. Love is thus a kind of craftsmanship.”

    Please, someone, tell me what that’s supposed to mean.

  8. raymondfrice says:

    annonymouse :

    Maybe it means that a good marriage takes work and skill???

  9. annonymouse says:

    Congrats, Raymond. To be able to glean that meaning from that quote, you’re obviously more insightful than am I. To me, something must have been seriously lost in translation.

    With respect to this one tiny quote, I was always taught that it’s futile to try to change one’s husband or wife – that they must be open to changing on their own. Prayer works, as does openly communicating one’s own feelings, and in my experience, nothing else, to effect change in one’s spouse. Maybe that’s the “craftsmanship” of which the Holy Father speaks.

    But that was just one tiny example of the meaninglessness I find in much of this document, and in his other documents.

    What is especially troubling to me is that he’s content to release a document containing inherent contradictions and apparently intentionally muddled teaching. Among these are his implicit endorsement of the “inner forum” without saying he endorses the inner forum (for to do so explicitly means he would have to contradict either the Lord or the Apostle Paul) to allow communinon to people in objectively adulterous second “marriages.” Here he explicitly rejects providing clear and unambiguous teaching in the process. Communion is not a prize for perfection, after all (straw man there, Holy Father, for whoever said it was, but what say you about the Apostle’s admonition, interpreted for 2000 years to mean being cleansed of mortal sin?).

    God help us.

  10. Ben Anderson says:

    Asked in what specific situations he would allow a divorced and remarried person to receive Communion, Archbishop Cupich refused to rule anyone out.

    “I wouldn’t exclude anyone,” he said. “I would like our pastors to have discussion in all of those folks who are in these kinds of situations. ‘ I know in my experience as a pastor, if you’ve seen a marriage then you’ve seen one marriage. There is no instance that can be replicated. Every situation has its variables that are part of it.”

  11. raymondfrice says:

    Annonymous: Want to change your husband or spouse or bring your family closer??

    The papal documents just published at this enclosed site is the most formidable and reality oriented source in the past 150 years. It surpasses The introduction of Pius IX”s original cologne!!

  12. raymondfrice says:

    To All:

    When I first began reading Cleansing Fire, there was on the first page A profile picture of Pope Benedict the XII. When he resigned from the papacy and Pope Francis was elected, Pope Francis was on the first page!! Now there are no popes at all pictured on the page. Does this mean that CF thinks that we have a sedes vacante situation as far as CF perceives the situation?/ Inquiring Catholics want to know!!

  13. Ben Anderson says:

    Archbishop Chaput in Philly.

    diocesan guidelines for understanding and applying Amoris Laetitia are already being drafted and will be widely circulated in the coming month once they’re completed.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and how other bishops are planning on responding.

  14. Ben Anderson says:

    Does this mean that CF thinks that we have a sedes vacante situation as far as CF perceives the situation?

    of course not. you’re reading too much into it.

  15. Diane Harris says:

    @Raymond Rice

    Happy to confirm 100% what Ben said. There is ABSOLUTELY NO implication of sede vacantism or of any other judgment regarding any papal authority, other than what is strict Catholic Teaching. (BTW, correcting your comment: Pope Benedict was not XII but XVI).

    Cleansing Fire is about supporting God and His Teaching. Knowing Him, Loving Him and Serving Him. The triumphant figure of “Christ in Majesty” is intended for the Glory of God. It dramatically brings to fruition the Suffering Christ of the earlier masthead (banner) which you did not comment on its being replaced. The banner was revised a couple of years ago (with CF readers’ input invited). I believe it captures well the reminder of Whom we serve.

    The mosaic in Byzantine style is not only a magnificent piece of work, but that it is a mosaic rather than a painting serves to remind us how the Body of Christ is made of many parts, each different and all working together. I doubt that any Pope would consider himself slighted by Christ’s having the prominence.

  16. raymondfrice says:

    “Cleansing Fire is about supporting God and His Teaching.” Diane Harris.

    And also supporting his Holiness the pope who is Christ’s representative on earth, head of His church , and seat of infallibility?
    I sometimes wonder if there is cafeteria orthodoxy here when it comes to church doctrine.

    Alas and alack!! God sends us what we need,and not what we want, that will serve us; sometimes even in the case of a new pope.

  17. Diane Harris says:

    Wonder all you like. But don’t confuse firmness of intent with imperfections in execution.

  18. Ben Anderson says:

    I sometimes wonder if there is cafeteria orthodoxy here when it comes to church doctrine.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at, but I’m happy to challenge anyone to a carbon footprint duel.

  19. annonymouse says:

    Raymond, when the shepherd leads the sheep astray, or lets them wander, or fails to shepherd the flock, as happened to a large extent here in the Church of Rochester for so many years, faithful sheep will notice and call that shepherd to task, which led to the creation of this site.

    Well it might well be that the same thing is happening with the man vested with the title “Vicar of Christ,” who was the good Shepherd. There’s no cafeteria orthodoxy here, only a desire that the shepherd be orthodox, and not let sheep go astray by calling into question settled, orthodox teaching.

    In an era when the sheep listen to so many voices – media, culture, government – that lead sheep astray, is it wrong to desire to hear the clear voice of the true Shepherd from His vicar? Instead we get intentionally muddled teaching, which makes quite apparent his desire to change doctrine (if only he could get past those inconvenient scripture passages). In this document he even rejects this desire for clear, unabashed teaching, in effect saying, “get used to it.

    You see “cafeteria orthodoxy.” I see consistency.

  20. militia says:

    Catholic News reports that at least part of the problem with Amoris Laetitia is that Pope Francis seems to have used a ‘ghostwriter.’ It boggles the mind — would that invalidate the entire writing? Or only what the ghostwriter had written elsewhere? Or only what is in doctrinal conflict?

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