The Opponents of Pope Francis are Uncorrectable

I am not referring here to those faithful Catholics who merely have some concerns or criticisms of the Pontificate of Pope Francis.

Rather, I refer to those who reject Vatican I and II, who say “recognize and resist” about Pope Francis, who do not believe the recent Pope Saints are Saints, and who claim that grave doctrinal errors are found in the teachings of Popes and Councils. These are the papal accusers, the opponents of Church authority itself, who make themselves out to be judges over the Popes, the body of Bishops, the Ecumenical Councils, and ultimately the Magisterium and the Church Herself.

These opponents of Pope Francis are uncorrectable.

Can they be corrected by an Ecumenical Council? No. For they reject Vatican I and Vatican II, and some of them even suggest that other Ecumenical Councils must be corrected for forgotten. Ecumenical Councils are one of the most important ways that the Church corrects groups of persons who have gone far astray from the true faith. Ecumenical Councils define dogma and reject heresy. Those who refuse the authority of any Ecumenical Council have never, in the history of the Church, been proven to be faithful.

Having made themselves into unjust judges over Vatican I and II, they cut themselves off from correction by a future Ecumenical Council. They have rejected two Councils with many important teachings that have continued to be taught by the Popes and the body of Bishops unceasingly. So then, why would they accept a future Council, one that decides specifically against their errors? Unless they repent, they would not.

Can they be corrected by a future Roman Pontiff? No. For they reject the current Roman Pontiff, saying “recognize and resist”. They accuse Pope Francis of heresy, apostasy, and idolatry. And they accuse many other Roman Pontiffs of grave errors in doctrine and discipline, as well as grave failings of faith. So when any Pope attempts to correct them for their errors, they simply assume that the Pope must be wrong.

Some go so far as to accuse the Church Herself, in Her Roman Pontiffs and body of Bishops of being so corrupt as to be called a “pornocracy”, and this accusation is brought against the Church for three periods of time, including the present time. Anyone who calls the Church, which has Christ as Her Head and the Holy Spirit as Her soul, a “pornocracy” will certainly not submit to Her judgments and teachings. Having already rejected the indefectibility of the Church and the never-failing faith of Her Roman Pontiffs, they will always consider their own understanding to be better than that of the Church they malign as frequently corrupt. But this is in direct contradiction to the words of our Lord (Mt 16:18) that the gates of Hell will never prevail over the Church. If the Church were ever a pornocracy, then the gates of Hell would have prevailed. Since the Lord does not lie, nor err, nor fail, the indefectibility of the Church is certain.

Can they be corrected by Saints? No. For they do not accept any teaching of any Saint which is contrary to their own understanding, or which would cause them to abandon their pride and submit to the Church in humility.

Saint Thomas Aquinas: “For it is revealed that to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is from the necessity of salvation…. And [Saint] Maximus [the Confessor] in the epistle to those of the East directly says: ‘We state that the universal Church has been united and founded upon the rock of the confession of Peter, [and] according to the definition of salvation, in Her, by the necessity of salvation, our souls are to remain, and to her [our souls] are to be obedient, keeping her faith and confession.’ ”

The above teaching of St. Thomas was later made a dogma by the Fifth Lateran Council. Yet the opponents of Pope Francis reject this teaching by openly resisting the current Pope.

Can they be corrected by the body of Bishops? No. For they believe that most Bishops have gone astray, not only under Pope Francis, but also since Vatican II. They only accept the teaching of Bishops who teach what they themselves already think to be true.

Can they be corrected by the body of the faithful? No. For they believe that most of the faithful have gone astray, not only under Pope Francis, but since Vatican II or even earlier.

Can they be corrected by Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture? No. For they reject the sole authoritative interpreter of Tradition and Scripture, the Magisterium, whenever the Magisterium teaches contrary to their own views and understanding. They treat their own ideas as identical to Sacred Tradition, even though their ideas are incompatible with the teaching of multiple Popes, the body of Bishops, and Ecumenical Councils.

Can they be corrected by Jesus? They have already rejected the correction Jesus has offered to them from His Popes, His Ecumenical Councils, His body of Bishops, His Saints, and His Divine Revelation in Tradition and Scripture.

Are they infallible? They behave as if they were infallible, for they never consider for a moment that their own positions — contrary to many Popes, Bishops, Saints, and Councils — could be wrong. They are adamant that Popes can err gravely on doctrine and discipline, contrary to what the Church has always taught, and yet they speak as if they cannot err at all. This type of error is truly a kind of idolatry of self. For they act as if they had the infallibility and indefectibility that is only found in God and in the Church.

Can they be corrected by the grace of God? Only if they choose to cooperate with that grace. Having rejected the Church very thoroughly, they must be treated like pagans and tax collectors.

{18:14} Even so, it is not the will before your Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should be lost.
{18:15} But if your brother has sinned against you, go and correct him, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you will have regained your brother.
{18:16} But if he will not listen you, invite with you one or two more, so that every word may stand by the mouth of two or three witnesses.
{18:17} And if he will not listen to them, tell the Church. But if he will not listen to the Church, let him be to you like the pagan and the tax collector.

{16:30} So he said: ‘No, father Abraham. But if someone were to go to them from the dead, they would repent.’
{16:31} But he said to him: ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe even if someone has resurrected from the dead.’ ”

It reached a point with some of the Pharisees who opposed Jesus that they realized He was the Messiah, and yet they had false accusations brought against him so that He would be put to death.

{20:9} Then he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and he loaned it to settlers, and he was on a sojourn for a long time.
{20:10} And in due time, he sent a servant to the farmers, so that they would give to him from the fruit of the vineyard. And they beat him and drove him away, empty-handed.
{20:11} And he continued to send another servant. But beating him and treating him with contempt, they likewise sent him away, empty-handed.
{20:12} And he continued to send a third. And wounding him also, they drove him away.
{20:13} Then the lord of the vineyard said: ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps when they have seen him, they will respect him.’
{20:14} And when the settlers had seen him, they discussed it among themselves, saying: ‘This one is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance will be ours.’
{20:15} And forcing him outside of the vineyard, they killed him. What, then, will the lord of the vineyard do to them?”

Some Pharisees knew Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, but they killed him anyway, so that the inheritance of the people of God might belong to them. They did not want to be followers of Jesus, who humble themselves to believe whatever He might teach. Instead, they wished to be the ones who would teach and be followed, despite the corruption of their own teachings.

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

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2 Responses to The Opponents of Pope Francis are Uncorrectable

  1. Robert L Fastiggi says:

    Thank you, Ron, for these reflections. I always thought it was possible to dialogue with hard-core traditionalists by appealing to magisterial sources prior to Vatican II. With the more extreme traditionalists today, such appeals have now become futile. It’s all very sad and disturbing.

  2. Doug Foster says:

    Excellent summation and teaching thank you.
    Some of us mostly converts did a Bible Study on VATICAN II and it’s refinements and refocusing previous councils. It was not radical at all Then Canon Law, the Constitution of the Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church and scripture clear state who has authority in the Holy Catholic Church. I am always astounded when I here cradle Catholics
    rail against the Pope ( Church ) like demons or worse false saviors. We are a Church of sinners! Pope Francis’s book
    “Let Us Dream a Path to A Bettet Future” is excellent Church and world insight.

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