Ah, yes. We come to the central dogma of the new religion: Inculpability. The idea that while mortal sin remains, objectively, mortal sin, God’s mercy demands we view these sins through the lens of their “concrete situations”, so we can see that the guilt has been expunged by the weight of the circumstances, always and everywhere.
Such a wonderful evolution of discipline, eh? How did it ever take us 2000 years to properly apply God’s boundless mercy? Such a mystery how He let us languish through the centuries under such rigid justice. That wasn’t very nice of Him.
Nope nope nopey nope. Not only does God never cause you to sin, God never even permits you to be put into a situation where you are incapable of resisting sin. In ages past, a third grader could teach you this. When you sin, it is ALWAYS because you make a conscience choice to do so. Yes, it’s true that culpability can be reduced by mitigating factors, but how Francis twists it here is to literally make it a different religion. Once again, the devil is in the footnotes. If you read the whole post, I lay out the Catholic teaching at the end. Truth is so simple and so beautiful, it speaks for itself.
Part Two: Fancy Footnotes and the Diabolical Inversion of Truth
300. 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. What is possible is simply a renewed encouragement to undertake a responsible personal and pastoral discernment of particular cases, one which would recognize that, since “the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases”, the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same.336
Footnote 336 This is also the case with regard to sacramental discipline, since discernment can recognize that in a particular situation no grave fault exists. In such cases, what is found in another document applies: cf. Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 44 and 47: AAS 105 (2013), 1038-1040.
The footnote is footnoted. +Francis references EG 44, 47 (which isn’t a reference at all, since he wrote it himself). So what do these two paragraphs say? Before your read them, you should know something. He is so in love with these two paragraphs, he comes back to them multiple times, with direct quotes and more footnotes, in subsequent sections of AL. This is really the heart of the matter; the battlefield before us.
44. Moreover, pastors and the lay faithful who accompany their brothers and sisters in faith or on a journey of openness to God must always remember what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches quite clearly: “Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors”. Consequently, without detracting from the evangelical ideal, they need to accompany with mercy and patience the eventual stages of personal growth as these progressively occur. I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy which spurs us on to do our best. A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.
47. The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open. One concrete sign of such openness is that our church doors should always be open, so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door. There are other doors that should not be closed either. Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason. This is especially true of the sacrament which is itself “the door”: baptism. The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak. These convictions have pastoral consequences that we are called to consider with prudence and boldness. Frequently, we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators. But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.
Get it? Mortal Sin is nullified by inculpability always and everywhere. It’s not just the possibility of a reduction in culpability depending on the circumstances, which the Church does teach is possible, and is already dangerously close to Situational Ethics. It’s also that this reduction in culpability, up to and including inculpability, occurs in EVERY CASE of Mortal Sin, and this includes future intended sins! That’s the only way “there is a place for everyone, with all their problems” squares with the issue at hand. Since no one is really guilty of their faults, no one is deserving of the punishment God’s justice would require. Because “God’s saving love is at work in each person”, when someone sins, it must mean that they have some burden or defect which cannot be overcome and is not their fault.
This is a different religion. A properly catechized ten year old can explain that, not only does God never cause you to sin, He also never puts you in a situation where you are incapable of resisting sin. Sin is an action taken through free assent of one’s own free will that goes against God’s will. God cannot will something that goes against His own will.
The three conditions necessary for Mortal Sin: Grave Matter, Full Knowledge, and Deliberate Consent. God made it simple, so that simple people can know the score. That quote from the Catechism in EG44 is CCC 1735. Now take another look at the Catechism, at the bits immediately preceding and following CCC1735:
1734 Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary. Progress in virtue, knowledge of the good, and ascesis enhance the mastery of the will over its acts.
1736 Every act directly willed is imputable to its author: Thus the Lord asked Eve after the sin in the garden: “What is this that you have done?” He asked Cain the same question. The prophet Nathan questioned David in the same way after he committed adultery with the wife of Uriah and had him murdered. An action can be indirectly voluntary when it results from negligence regarding something one should have known or done.
Twisting CCC1735 by selectively quoting it in isolation from the context which surrounds it. This is not merely willful ambiguity, nor merely deliberate obfuscation. This is diabolically inverting the truth. And he is not being misquoted, mistranslated or misunderstood. No, he is obstinately clinging to these notions, time after time, after numerous charitable corrections, after petitions, after the Thirteen Cardinals Letter, etc etc.
And that’s how you attempt to destroy the One True Faith. By holding the Bride of Christ at fault, and holding Her children blameless. If the children are blameless, Christ died for nothing. And when the children have nothing required of them, have nothing Supernatural to strive for, for whom nothing is transcendent, they dedicate themselves to attacking the First Commandment by worshiping environmentalism, vegetarianism, and animals.
Oh, I haven’t even gotten to the bad parts yet.