Vatican Official Announces Contraction
of Mercy During "Year of Mercy"?
by Christopher A. Ferrara
December 7, 2015
Like Phony Synod 2015, whose final document and post-Synodal apostolic exhortation were written even before the Synod began, with no input from the Synod majority, the “Year of Mercy” beginning tomorrow promises to be another stage-managed event designed to achieve a predetermined outcome. And, just as the “Synod on the Family” had nothing to do with the family, it appears that the “Year of Mercy” will have nothing to do with mercy but rather with an expansion of power in the name of mercy.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization — that’s the New New Evangelization, as the first New Evangelization produced nothing but more apostasy — has just explained what the “Year of Mercy” will entail. The remarks reveal what I must say in all candor appears to be the ecclesiastical equivalent of a scam.
First of all, with great fanfare, the “Missionaries of Mercy” will be authorized directly by the Pope “to pardon ‘even those sins reserved to the Holy See,’” to quote Archbishop Fisichella. The only problem is that under the 1983 Code of Canon Law there are no longer any “sins reserved to the Holy See.” There are only canonical penalties attached to certain sins that can now be forgiven by any parish priest, even if the penalty — such as excommunication — can still only be lifted by the Holy See. The sins cited by Fisichella are in this category:
- Violation or profanation of the Holy Eucharist (CIC 1367),
- Absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the sixth commandment (CIC 1378)
- Unauthorized ordination of a bishop (CIC 1382)
- Direct violation by a confessor of the seal of confession (CIC 1388),
- Physical violence on the Roman Pontiff (CIC 1370).
- Procuring an abortion. (CIC 1398)
All of the cited canons involve only penalties, not the power of absolution, which, again, is possessed by any priest today, in some cases with authorization by the bishop. There is no indication that “Missionaries of Mercy” are empowered to remit the penalties, as well as absolving the sins. If not, then their commission confers nothing on them that is not already within the competence of any ordinary parish priest with a faculty to hear confessions. So what is the point of these “Missionaries”?
Fisichella also stated that the Pope “will extend to all priests, for the Jubilee Year, the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.” But priests already have that discretion. So, again, we have a lot nothing.
Now, here is where the apparent power play comes in. First, as Fiscichella warned, the Missionaries of Mercy “are appointed exclusively by the Holy Father, and that the faculty of forgiving reserved sins will be given to each one of them personally. No bishop in his own diocese may appoint these Missionaries, nor may he confer faculties that he does not possess.”
What is that supposed to mean? Does it mean that the “Missionaries of Mercy,” answerable directly to the Pope, will be the only priests in the world who can forgive “sins reserved to the Holy See” even though such sins are now forgiven by ordinary parish priests everywhere under the 1983 Code? That would involve a severe contraction of mercy in the “Year of Mercy.” Further clarification is needed to avoid the threat of a canonical train wreck as bishops and priests try to figure out which sins can still be forgiven at the ordinary diocesan level.
Moreover, will the “Missionaries of Mercy” be granted the power to absolve sins a bishop or parish priest would not absolve, such as the sin of adultery by a divorced and “remarried” person who does not agree to cease his adulterous sexual relations? That remains to be seen, but the prospect seems very real in view of the Pope’s non-stop campaign to “integrate” the divorced and “remarried” as we see in paragraph 84 of the Phony Synod’s final report. That would not be mercy, but the false appearance of mercy, purporting to absolve a sin that cannot be absolved because the penitent will not amend his life.
Secondly, when asked about the offense of “physical violence on the Roman Pontiff,” Fisichella replied: “I would say that we need to understand well ‘physical violence,’ because sometimes words, too, are rocks and stones, and therefore I believe some of these sins, too, are far more widespread than we might think.”
That is simply insidious: the term physical violence is arbitrarily expanded to include entirely non-physical, verbal acts. Canon Law is amended by metaphor! This would be a huge contraction of mercy in the name of mercy, vesting the Pope with the power to silence his critics under penalty of a sin only his “Missionaries of Mercy” could absolve.
Why do I get the impression that by the time the “Year of Mercy” is over there will be less mercy available in the Church, just as there was less protection for the traditional family after the “Synod on the Family” had done its work of sedition?
Candor also compels me to say that the assessment of Archbishop Bergoglio by one of his Jesuit superiors seems to have been borne out by this pontificate thus far: “he generated divided loyalties: some groups almost worshipped him, while others would have nothing to do with him, and he would hardly speak to them…. He has an aura of spirituality, which he uses to obtain power. It will be a catastrophe for the Church to have someone like him in the Apostolic See.”
May Our Lady of Fatima intercede to prevent the catastrophe that is indeed looming over the Church at this moment.