If you sin against the Lord Jesus Christ by heresy, by schism, by malice or the like, by sins directed at His Vicar, the Roman Pontiff, you must repent. If the Pope dies or resigns, and the next Pope is much more to your liking, those sins you committed against Pope Francis are still on your conscience — until you repent. And if you outlive Francis by 50 years, and can barely remember your sins against him when you are on your deathbed, you still owe the Lord Jesus your repentance from those sins. If you fail to repent, you will be held accountable for those sins against Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, which therefore are sins against Christ himself. Indirect blasphemy is a grave sin, as are heresy and schism. And you cannot justify those sins by complaining about Francis’ alleged faults, nor can you simply forget those sins once a new Pope is elected, one who is much more conservative.
Anyone who commits a grave sin of any kind must repent and go to Confession. Perfect contrition forgives all sins, but the intention to go to Confession, if one is able, is also necessary. What is not acceptable for any kind of actual mortal sin, is to merely forget the sin and move on with your life. “Oh, that was a long time ago.” Right. But did you repent? No? Then you owe God your sorrow and repentance.
I read different blogs speaking as if they cannot wait until Pope Francis dies or resigns. Really? And what do you plan to do if the next Pope is conservative and to your liking? Just forget about Francis? You cannot. These are grave sins that I am seeing expressed online, very publicly: malicious rhetoric directed at the Vicar of Christ, reprehensible language, outright malice and hatred. Is it not a grave sin to treat anyone that way? And it is worse to treat the Supreme Pontiff in the same way. And those sins remain on your conscience, until and unless you repent. I suspect that very many souls will be going to Hell for the sins they committed in reaction to Pope Francis. It was the same way with Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus scandalized the Pharisees, and they committed worse sins in reaction to His preaching than they would have committed if they had never heard of Him.
The next conservative Pope will not reject Vatican I or II. He will not reject the teachings of Pope Francis. He will not reject the pontificates and canonizations of the Vatican II Popes. He will likely excommunicate those who reject the teachings of the recent Councils and the recent Popes. The Francis haters will rejoice if the next Pope is conservative. But they are not thereby absolved from their sins against the Lord Jesus, the Church, and Pope Francis.
Each Pope has the charism of truth and of never-failing faith; each Pope is always free from material and formal heresy; each Pope is free from grave error in his decisions of doctrine and discipline. Those who sin against the Catholic Faith by fighting against any Roman Pontiff sin gravely and must repent, or they will be held accountable by God.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.