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Excommunicating Jesus

September 7, 2023 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


Pope Francis regularly curses the “rigid,” “backward-looking” Catholics, as he calls them, who love and revere our Catholic tradition, and all that has been handed down by means of it.
Strange conception of the papacy, this. Rather than pastoral chief shepherd of the worldwide flock we seem to have instead an angry and scolding martinet. One who should be seen as a loving servant of all emits instead a constant drumbeat of negative and discriminatory vituperation against one group within the Church, a group defined by its desire to do what the Church always did, and still does. Selecting out one group within the whole for special abuse resembles more a Marxist political campaign than a Christian family of faith.
The Traditional Mass, rightly the centerpiece of life for Traditional Catholics, has never ceased to be offered by the universal Church throughout the world, in an unbroken “traditio,” or handing on, as the work of the Holy Spirit. To condemn those who rightly revere this inestimable gift as excluded from the larger Ecclesia for that reason marginalizes some who should be loved and cared for along with the rest.
Word came, after the tragedy of Traditionis Custodes broke upon the Catholic world, banishing as it did the Church’s worship from her parish churches, that an earlier version of the document threatened excommunication for Catholics who attended the immemorial Mass. Vatican scuttlebutt indicated that advisers, among them the previous CDF prefect Luis Ladaria, advised against the move as too divisive.
The resulting virtual homelessness of TLM congregations has been further exacerbated by a verbal campaign of name-calling and baiting, led by the Pope himself.
Francis did it once again in Portugal, following World Youth Day, in a question-and-answer session with the local Jesuit community. A young priest, in a curious case of suspiciously random specificity, shall we say, brought up the subject of U.S. Catholics, giving the Pope yet one more opportunity to regurgitate a tired litany of abuse.
National Review reports:
“A Portuguese Jesuit told Francis that he struggled during a recent sabbatical year in the U.S. after coming across many Catholics, including bishops, who were critical of Francis’ papacy and today’s Jesuits, at which point Francis commented on the ‘backward’ reactionary attitude in the U.S. church.”
The Pope responded:
“Doing this, you lose the true tradition and you turn to ideologies to have support. In other words, ideologies replace faith.
“The vision of the doctrine of the Church as a monolith is wrong. When you go backward, you make something closed off, disconnected from the roots of the Church.
“I want to remind these people that backwardness is useless, and they must understand that there’s a correct evolution in the understanding of questions of faith and morals.”
The Catholics and the legacy Francis labels as “backwardist” do not discriminate: All traditions, all teachings of faith and morals, are gratefully accepted and cherished. This includes, most importantly, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
In a new development, one can add Our Lord Himself to the number of those who offend against the cause du jour. Traditionalists are in good company, it appears.
Those who surround the Pope or are appointed or promoted by him have taken up the refrain and accelerated what are now multiple and frequent attacks on those who do not greet with open arms the perversions most loved by contemporary non-believers.
Among these undaunted shock troops is one Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit priest from whom we heard much at the beginning of Francis’ mystifying reign, but who has lately somewhat taken a back seat. We heard recently from Spadaro again in an outburst of strange anti-Christology.
Journalist Edward Pentin explains, below:
“Writing in Il Fatto Quotidiano August 20, a highly secular left-wing Italian daily, Fr. Spadaro reflected on the Gospel story of the faith of a Canaanite woman and concluded that Jesus was healed and freed ‘from the rigidity of the theological, political and cultural elements dominant in his time’.”
Has he gone too far? Pentin reports:
“One of Pope Francis’ closest advisers, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, has been accused of ‘heretical blasphemy’ after portraying the Lord as a flawed human being in need of conversion from ‘nationalism’ and ‘rigidity’” (
The charge of “heretical blasphemy” was leveled through a pos on Italian language messainlatino blog.
Pentin gives background details and explains the problem with Spadaro’s analysis:
“The story, from the Gospel of Matthew (15:21-28), concerns that of a woman from the pagan region of Canaan who begs Jesus to heal her daughter possessed by a demon.
“Jesus initially refuses to help her, saying that He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel. However, the woman persists, begging Jesus and even comparing herself to dogs, who are allowed to eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table. Jesus is eventually moved by her faith and heals her daughter.
“The Church Fathers and Church Tradition have always interpreted the story as a powerful reminder of the importance of faith. The woman did not give up on Jesus, even when He seemed to be rejecting her. She continued to believe that He could help her daughter, and in the end, her faith was rewarded.
“But for Fr. Spadaro, along with other modernist and heterodox preachers before him, Jesus initially has a prejudiced and exclusionist view in the Gospel story, but is converted by the Canaanite woman, making it a story of what today is called ‘radical inclusion.’
“However, the Italian Jesuit goes further, ascribing to Jesus many human failings, including ‘rigidity,’ ‘nationalism,’ irritation, and callousness. These are then transformed into acceptance and liberation from ‘the dominant theological, political, and cultural elements of his time.’ Such a transformation of the Lord, Fr. Spadaro says, is ‘the seed of a revolution.’
“Fr. Spadaro’s reflection is significant given the audacity with which he ascribes to Jesus such deficiencies, thereby undermining Church teaching on Christ’s divinity, but also because of the Italian Jesuit’s closeness to the Pope, and that he is editor of the historically prestigious Jesuit periodical La Civilta Cattolica” (Ibid.).
If, as Fr. Spadaro claims, Jesus is “rigid,” along with other bad things, he blasphemes; that is clear. But if, as Pope Francis has legislated, the historic Mass and those who cling to it must be thrown out of regular places of worship for the same crime of unbending adherence to what came before, then both traditional Catholics and Our Lord Himself find themselves excluded. Not bad company at all.
These Catholics under attack necessarily also, at the same time, reject as immoral what Catholic teaching has traditionally excluded as sinful. They accept only doctrines that align with immemorial Catholic teaching. And this in fact may be the real source of the problem.
But what becomes of any baptized Catholics who reject the Lord Himself as guilty of the same crimes of which traditional Catholics are deemed guilty? Whatever it is they believe they belong to, they cannot claim it is the true Body of Christ. You cannot at the same time be both a member of the Mystical Body of Jesus in the world and excommunicate Him.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

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