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Anatomy of a Delusion – Part III
About Those "Missionaries of Mercy"

by Christopher A. Ferrara
May 11, 2015

In my recent column I inquired about the real intent behind a “Jubilee of Mercy” founded on the premise, stated by Francis in his Bull of Indiction, that “perhaps” the Church has “forgotten how to show and live the way of mercy” and that “the time has come for the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more.”

 I say the real purpose because the stated premise is patently false, constituting in fact an outrageous accusation against the Bride of Christ.  For the Church has never ceased to issue her call to mercy, which does not consist in telling people incessantly that God forgives every sin — as if they didn’t know — but rather to admonish them that He forgives every sin by those who sincerely repent and seek absolution in the Sacrament of Confession.

The problem is not, as Francis opines, “the temptation… to focus exclusively on justice.”  That is precisely the opposite of the truth.  The problem — which arose after Vatican II — is the loss of any sense of Divine Justice that would prompt a soul to repentance.

This is because, as John Paul II admitted in Crossing the Threshold of Hope, following the Council, with its supposedly “cosmic” vision of salvation in which “[t]o a certain degree man does get lost [!]”,  “preachers, catechists, teachers… no longer have the courage to preach the threat of hell.”  But the threat of hell is at the very heart of the Message of Fatima: “You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go.”   No wonder the Vatican apparatus — and one must say the Pope himself — has buried that part of the Message in silence.

So, again, what is the real purpose of the Jubilee of Mercy, given that the Church has never ceased to offer God’s infinite mercy to all who sincerely desire it, repent, make a good confession, and die in state of grace? 

I am afraid that the purpose is to introduce yet another disruptive novelty into the life of the Church.  In the Bull of Indiction the “God of surprises” Francis introduced during the Synod of 2014 makes another appearance: “In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us.” 

Uh oh.  In the same document we are given a sneak preview of the “surprise” that “the God of surprises” — meaning Francis — has in store for the Church; and it is a very big one indeed:

I intend to send out Missionaries of Mercy. They will be a sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith. There will be priests to whom I will grant the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See, so that the breadth of their mandate as confessors will be even clearer. They will be, above all, living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon. They will be missionaries of mercy because they will be facilitators of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again.

Let me get right to the heart of the matter: these “Missionaries of Mercy” will obviously be empowered to grant absolution over and against the contrary judgments of local ordinaries and local confessors in the parish churches. We know this because today there are, in fact, no “sins reserved to the Holy See” for which such “missionaries” would be needed to act in the Pope’s name.  Formerly, only the Holy See could grant absolution for five specified sins: (1) discarding or stealing a consecrated Host; (2) physically assaulting the Supreme Pontiff; (3) granting absolution to a priest’s partner in sexual sin; (4) consecration of a bishop without a papal mandate; (5) priestly violation of the seal of confession.  Under the 1983 Code of Canon Law, however, any parish priest can now absolve those sins; it is only the canonical penalties that might attach which Rome alone can remit. But Rome needs no “Missionaries of Mercy” to remit penalties.  That can be done with a simple request to the Holy See.

No, something else is going on here, and it does not bode well.  Notice the telltale phrases in the Bull about what the “Missionaries of Mercy” will be empowered by Francis to do:

  • “I will grant the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See, so that the breadth of their mandate as confessors will be even clearer.”

In other words, these priests will have the authority to “pardon” sins for which a parish priest or local ordinary cannot grant absolution, not just the non-existent “sins reserved to the Holy See,” which are cited only as examples of the “breadth” of the mandate these priests will have. If it were not so, then what need would there be for these roving “missionaries” as opposed to a simple parish priest?

  • “living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his [sic] pardon”…

Are the world’s parish priests not already prepared to “welcome those in search of pardon”?  If anything, pardon has never been easier to find in the local confession booth (where there even is a booth). In many dioceses and parishes everything from contraception to adulterous second unions is already excused or tolerated in practice and “absolution” routinely granted to objective mortal sinners who make no promise to amend their lives. Yet Francis apparently wants even more leniency and even less justice!

  • “they will be facilitators of a truly human encounter…”

Such amazing condescension to the Church, as if Francis must singlehandedly remedy her supposed lack of “truly human encounter” with his innovation.

  • a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles…

Liberation? Overcoming obstacles?  How is this not a dead giveaway for a plan to use these specially deputed priests to grant “absolution” where it has thus far been rightly denied — to people living in adulterous “second marriages” — if the next session of the Phony Synod fails to give Francis and its controllers what they still clearly want?  Or, if the Synod should, God forbid, overturn the Church’s perennial refusal to admit public adulterers to Holy Communion, is it not obvious that the “Missionaries of Mercy” will be authorized, like some kind of ecclesiastical SWAT team, to swoop down and “overrule” or at least intimidate prelates and priests who may be insufficiently cooperative in “the Francis Revolution” — especially those pesky African bishops with their declared resolve to oppose any change in the Church’s discipline?

I have said it before, and I will say it again: in the entire history of the Catholic Church there has never been a Pope like this. With Francis we seem to be nearing the end of a trajectory whose fearful arc was predicted nearly a century ago in the Third Secret of Fatima. As that centenary approaches, we can only regard the year 2017 with increasing dread, mitigated only by the hope that God will see fit to give Our Lady a miraculous victory over the madness that afflicts so much of the human element of the Church today.