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Where Timothy Gordon goes astray…
… in other words, Where Dogma prevails over Prudential Judgment regarding Pope Francis
The critics of Pope Francis have accused him of heresy, apostasy, idolatry, grave errors on doctrine and discipline, and of desiring to corrupt the Faith. All of these accusations are made based on their prudential judgment of the Pope in his infused virtue of faith and in his use of the Keys of Saint Peter. But the judgment of fallen sinners is highly fallible. And that is especially true when the Pope is liberal and his critics are conservative.
But in response to the prudential judgment of Pope Francis by fallen sinners, we can offer a contrary judgment. His alleged errors have explanations, such as the claim that Francis does not believe in the miracle of the loaves, when in fact on August 1st he reaffirmed that this was a true miracle: sharing is simply one of the meanings, as it is a teaching miracle. Even though the Pope can be defended by a judgment of the prudential order, just as he can be so accused, the real basis for his innocence is dogma.
It is dogma that the Church is indefectible. The accusations of Taylor Marshall in “Infiltration” describe a Church that has defected, so much so that he dares to call the Vicar of Christ a “Pope for Satan” and again he calls him a puppet resulting from a Satanic revolution. Such claims are blasphemous and also contrary to the dogma of indefectibility. Then the exaggerated hate-filled pseudo-scholarly rants of Carlo Vigano are also contrary to indefectibility. It doesn’t matter what your evaluation of Pope Francis is, we must trust the dogmas of the Faith over our own reason, or we are no different than atheists.
It is a dogma that every Pope has the charism of truth and of never failing faith. This has been taught many times in the history of the Church. And it was confirmed by the Letter of Pope Saint Agatho to the Sixth Council and by the dogma of the 20th Council (Vatican I). There is no doubt based on the different possible interpretations of Vatican I, as some claim. If you doubt, read what the Church and Saints have always taught. Read what Cardinal Manning taught here. The faith of Peter and his successors is indefectible. It has perpetual stability. Manning even calls it “the infallible faith of Peter and his successors.”
There is no doubt on the meaning of never failing faith. And since this charism is explicitly taught to be of truth as well as of faith, then the Pope cannot err gravely in teachings, neither inadvertently as this is contrary to truth, nor deliberately, as this would be a failing of faith. And then the Apostolic See is clearly taught, in the perennial teachings of the Church as well as in Vatican I to be without blemish, that is, without grave error. It could not be clearer.
And this implies not only that the accusations of grave error and heresy against Francis are false as a matter of dogma, not only that prudential judgments by fallen fallible sinners is contrary to dogma (and therefore material heresy), but also that the Pope can never have an internal disposition, intention, desire, plan, or attempt to corrupt the Faith, to lead the Church astray, to collude with the enemies of the Church, nor anything similar.
But if it were true that a Pope could err so gravely, would it not therefore be all the more true that those who lack ordination, who are not Bishops, who are not the Vicar of Christ are all the more prone to errors of the prudential order? So then how can you exalt your own very fallible judgments of the prudential order, you who lack the charisms given only to successors of Peter, above the dogmas of the Faith?
Timothy Gordon has accepted Vatican II’s teachings. This shows the world that he is sincere in seeking the truths of the Faith. But he errs by a sincere but mistaken conscience in putting his own evaluation of Pope Francis above the dogmas of the Faith. The Pope cannot be wicked in the sense that Gordon claims, and he cannot have erred so gravely as he proposes either. These claims are contrary to the dogmas of the Faith, and so we must submit our fallible prudential judgments to the dogmas of Faith.
A Pope can be “wicked” in the sense of refusal to repent from personal actual mortal sins. But he can never be “wicked” in the sense of desiring to harm the Faith or corrupt the Church or lead the faithful astray, neither deliberately nor inadvertently. Deliberately is contrary to never failing faith and inadvertently is contrary to truth. And the charism is of truth and never failing faith. All who say otherwise are putting their own judgments of the prudential order, fallible judgments by fallen sinners, who are violating the teaching and law of the Church that the First See is judged by no one, above the dogmas of the Faith.
The Church infallibly teaches the above, so the judgment of fallen sinners to the contrary does not prevail. Submit your faulty reasonings to the teachings that demand an assent of faith from you.
Ronald L Conte Jr
author of books defending Popes and Councils
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible