Pope Francis on the modern-day versions of Gnosticism and Pelagianism

This article Pope Francis warns of two paths to holiness explains the teaching of the Pope on this point quite well. It is a criticism that applies to many conservatives and traditionalists, so it has been rejected or ignored by those who should accept its correction. I don’t have anything to add. Please read and consider what the article says.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

Gallery | This entry was posted in commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Pope Francis on the modern-day versions of Gnosticism and Pelagianism

  1. Paul M. says:

    Pope Francis gives the faithful a good reminder to focus on the theological virtues as a measure of holiness. Would that the document focused more on what this might look like in today’s trying times, rather than criticizing those who know the law but are far from God.

    To generalize so broadly as to lump all those who seek to know the law ONLY with those who seek to know the law AND do it, is to misrepresent many Catholics who are striving to live holy lives in a culture that is attacking the Church and morality on many fronts.

    “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). Is this not our calling? Is this not where the grace that Pope Francis writes about in living the theological virtues reaches it’s fulfillment? Is not our greatest Christian witness to be exemplars in both word and deed to a world that has embraced so many vices by calling them goods? Can we do this if we emphasize a “God of surprises” as a God who can only be known “in the heart” but not also in the mind and will and who is the same yesterday, today and forever?

  2. sircliges says:

    Let me quote you the paragraph 29.3 of the Official Relation by Gasser at the Vat 1 Council:


    «(03) Note well. It is asked in what sense the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is “absolute.” I reply and openly admit: in no sense is pontifical infallibility absolute, because absolute infallibility belongs to God alone, who is the first and essential truth and who is never able to deceive or be deceived. All other infallibility, as communicated for a specific purpose, has its limits and its conditions under which it is considered to be present. The same is valid in reference to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. For this infallibility is bound by certain limits and conditions. What those conditions may be should be deduced not “a priori” but from the very promise or manifestation of the will of Christ. Now what follows from the promise of Christ, made to Peter and his successors, as far as these conditions are concerned? He promised Peter the gift of inerrancy in Peter’s relation to the Universal Church: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it …” (Mt. 16:18). “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep” (Jn. 21:13-17). Peter, placed outside this relation to the universal Church, does not enjoy in his successors this charism of truth which comes from that certain promise of Christ. Therefore, in reality, the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is restricted by reason “of the subject,” that is when the Pope, constituted in the chair of Peter, the center of the Church, speaks as universal teacher and supreme judge: it is restricted by reason of the “object,” i.e., when treating of matters of faith and morals; and by reason of the “act” itself, i.e., when the Pope defines what must be believed or rejected by all the faithful. Nevertheless, some of the most reverend fathers, not content with these conditions, go farther and even want to put into this constitution conditions which are found in different ways in different theological treatises and which concern the good faith and diligence of the Pontiff in searching out and enunciating the truth. However, these things, since they concern the conscience of the Pontiff rather than his relation [to the Church], must be considered as touching on the moral order rather than the dogmatic order. For with great care our Lord Jesus Christ willed that the charism of truth depend not on the conscience of the Pontiff, which is private – even most private – to each person, and known to God alone, but rather on the public relation of the Pontiff to the universal Church. If it were otherwise, this gift of infallibility would not be an effective means for preserving and repairing the unity of the Church. But in no way, therefore, should it be feared that the universal Church could be led into error about faith through the bad faith and negligence of the Pontiff. For the protection of Christ and the divine assistance promised to the successors of Peter is a cause so efficacious that the judgment of the supreme Pontiff would be impeded if it were to be erroneous and destructive of the Church; or, if in fact the Pontiff really arrives at a definition, it will truly stand infallibly.»

    • Ron Conte says:

      There is nothing there that contradicts the gift of truth (Pope’s can’t teach material heresy) and never failing faith (Pope’s can’t commit formal heresy). Of course papal infallibility is not absolute. But notice the assertion that “in no way” should we consider that the Pope can be in “bad faith”. So his interpretation supports my view. The Pope is not personally infallible, but he is preserved from certain types of errors (material and formal heresy) and he can teach without error (papal infallibility).

    • sircliges says:

      I don’t see how could Gasser support your view. He precisely excludes the Pope’s inner conscience from the range covered by infallibility – the opposite of what you have stated.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I’m not saying the Pope is infallible in his thoughts, or even his ordinary teachings. Only that he is preserved from teaching or committing heresy.

  3. sircliges says:

    Who is the most reliable hermeneutic of the dogma? You or this Bishop that was a reference for Lumen Gentium?

Comments are closed.