Catholic Blogs That Twist Facts and Even Lie About Pope Francis

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It’s a terrible shame when Catholic writers and editors become so self-important they consider themselves wiser than even the popes.  It’s a terrible shame that in our beautiful faith where Jesus teaches us to avoid gossip, scandal and slander, some Catholic publications do just that about the actions and words of good Pope Francis and any others who dare to agree with him or at the very least stay silent.  When it comes to discussing Pope Francis, these journalists are sophists who take facts and twist them in just a way to pit people against the pope, making themselves appear as the guardians of the faith. They pose a danger to souls when their sinful, deliberately twisted quotes and interpretations are accepted by some Catholics as facts and spread around the globe to anyone who will listen. The apparent goal of these writers is to convince people to rebel against Pope Francis because they say he is violating or even attempting to change Catholic doctrine. However, he has not done this as yet and this writer will venture to say he never will.

Take, for example, the new information that the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has revealed.  Georg Gänswein has recently stated that Benedict is aware of and is going to stay silent on the controversies surrounding Amoris Laetitia.  Controversies, by the way, that the Catholic journals themselves actively stirred up.  Instead of learning from the silence of Pope Benedict, a blog called One Peter Five criticizes, “Sadly, it does appear as though he (Benedict) is not concerned about what has befallen the Church in his absence. If that’s so, more’s the pity.”  Imagine having the temerity to state unequivocally that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is not concerned about the Church because he won’t speak about, preferably in a negative light, Pope Francis.  Surprising too, since many of these very same writers consider Pope Benedict to be a proper pope, perhaps even the “real” pope.  Here, I won’t get into the conspiracy theories that Pope Benedict was secretly pressured to resign by liberal Cardinals who schemed to elect Pope Francis for the purpose of changing Church doctrine, a vicious rumor that still hasn’t materialized in four years of this pontificate and one that Pope Benedict has solidly refuted.

Another publication called Lifesite News implies that Pope Francis gave carte blanche for anyone committing adultery of any type without examination or repentance to worthily receive communion. This implication is unequivocally false.  Lifesite wrote, “A Malta newspaper also recently reported that Pope Francis thanked the bishops of that country for their allowance of Communion for adulterers who feel ‘at peace with God.’”  These words are a deliberate twisting of the guidelines written by the Maltese bishops on administering chapter eight of Amoris Laetitia. The bishops actually wrote, “Some remarried divorcees can receive Holy Communion after a period of discernment, with an informed and enlightened conscience, and if they are ‘at peace with God.’” This is a sound doctrinal statement through the use of a process called an Internal Forum available to divorced/remarried people who are seeking full reunion with the Church, but the full explanation is for another article. The twisted words of Lifesite are deliberately meant to cause misunderstanding. I daresay the writers, editors and journalists could be guilty of more serious sin than those they feign concern over!

And why do these Catholic writers and their followers promote and participate in this? There are a myriad of reasons including that Pope Francis was not their favored preference for a pope, they don’t like the progressive philosophies of Jesuits, they have a staunch traditional mindset, they are American and inappropriately compare the papacy of the Church to left/right politics, they don’t fully understand their faith, they are conspiracy minded, they follow false prophecies, they don’t trust Christ’s words in Matthew 16:18, ”I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it,”  or they have some other unimaginable agenda.

The bottom line is that the responsibility of the journals should include investigating the full context, meaning, and truth of the words and actions of Pope Francis with comparison to doctrine and report on those facts without a slanted agenda. Readers should also be discerning; just because one agrees and desires it to be true does not necessarily make it true.  All parties involved might surprise themselves by what they learn. Gossip, lies and slander are sins. Period.

13 thoughts on “Catholic Blogs That Twist Facts and Even Lie About Pope Francis”

    1. These anti-Pope bloggers, like the dummy sedevacantists, protestants and Mormons, who insist that Francis and/or the Church is corrupt are laughable due to ONE BIG REASON: They forget that, when Jesus gave Peter the appointment and the Keys, He could also look into the future and see what would happen to the Church He was starting. Therefore He could have taken steps to insure that such things would not happen, if it displeased Him. He said “the gates of HELL would not prevail against His Church”. Sorry, anti-Catholics, but you are limiting Christ, Who IS GOD, with your lies, which is Blasphemy!

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  1. I would be pigeon-holed as a traditionalist… I prefer the Traditional rite of mass, I am confused by recent papal teaching etc etc. But I regard Francis as a friend. I’ve never met him, but I like him. I agree that many things written about him are out of context or twisted. However this whole discernment business, please enlighten me on it. If a person is still sacramentally married but lives as husband or wife with another partner, and discerns that it’s ok to receive communion, why do we still have the annulment process? Surely it renders it useless? And if you can discern that it’s ok to receive communion whilst in an active sexual relationship with someone other than your valid spouse surely this can be applied to other occasions of sin? Can we discern that we can receive communion after committing any form of serious sin? But I believe the Church will recover from this controversy, but it may take some time. I think the frustration 1Peter5 feels is due to the fact that they want it resolved now.

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    1. Hello Eejay. I think your question can be answered best with statements from Vatican documents. This was written by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger while he was Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in 1994:

      “In some places, it has also been proposed that in order objectively to examine their actual situation, the divorced and remarried would have to consult a prudent and expert priest. This priest, however, would have to respect their eventual decision to approach Holy Communion, without this implying an official authorisation. In these and similar cases it would be a matter of a tolerant and benevolent pastoral solution in order to do justice to the different situations of the divorced and remarried.”

      Eejay, nothings changed! There is no new set of rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases. In cases where an annulment can’t be granted because of a lack of witnesses, a person who had married in the Church for only tradition’s sake and years later finds themselves in a second marriage and having a renewed desire to be in full communion with the Church and yet doesn’t qualify for an annulment, a process is available called “internal forum”. This has always been the case. This next excerpt is from the Vatican Presentation of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia:

      “Priests have the duty to ‘accompany [the divorced and remarried] in helping them to understand their situation according to the teaching of the Church and the guidelines of the bishop. Useful in this process is an examination of conscience through moments of reflection and repentance. The divorced and remarried should ask themselves: how did they act towards their children when the conjugal union entered into crisis; whether or not they made attempts at reconciliation; what has become of the abandoned party; what consequences the new relationship has on the rest of the family and the community of the faithful; and what example is being set for young people who are preparing for marriage. A sincere reflection can strengthen trust in the mercy of God which is not denied anyone.’ What we are speaking of is a process of accompaniment and discernment which “guides the faithful to an awareness of their situation before God. Conversation with the priest, in the internal forum, contributes to the formation of a correct judgment on what hinders the possibility of a fuller participation in the life of the Church and on what steps can foster it and make it grow. …” — Amoris Laetitia, No. 300.

      .”…a fuller participation in the life of the Church ” Does not mean they can eventually receive Holy Communion.

      In other words, Eejay, he rejected Cardinal Kasper’s proposal, which would have meant a change of the law and practice of the Church in how to solve, in the internal forum, the readmittance of the divorced and remarried persons to Holy Communion. Pope Francis is simply upholding long-standing Church doctrine while encouraging an attitude of mercy toward those who feel disenfranchised from the Church. It is shocking to see journals that claim themselves Catholic to either not know this, or know it but use a pretext of misunderstanding to criticize our good Pope Francis simply because they don’t like him as the current choice for Vicar of Christ.

      Sources: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_14091994_rec-holy-comm-by-divorced_en.html

      https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2016/04/08/160408a.html

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      1. Very interesting, many thanks for sharing that. Especially interesting is the CDF’s letter of 1994. I’m confused (again). The passage you quoted: ”In some places, it has also been proposed that in order objectively to examine their actual situation, the divorced and remarried would have to consult a prudent and expert priest…” etc. I am not an English grammar expert so maybe I need correcting (it wouldn’t be the first time!) but by writing this part isn’t Ratzinger simply listing an example of a pastoral situation/solution which he then rejects with the following words found later in the letter… “With respect to the aforementioned new pastoral proposals, this Congregation deems itself obliged therefore to recall the doctrine and discipline of the Church in this matter. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ(5), the Church affirms that a new union cannot be recognised as valid if the preceding marriage was valid. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Holy Communion as long as this situation persists(6).”

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        1. Happy Easter, Eejay, He is risen! The passages you speak of refer to a situation wherein a person had been married in the Church, perhaps only for tradition’s sake and not for a sincere desire to receive the sacrament, and years down the road finds themselves in another marriage, but they have since had a spiritual conversion and have a desire to be in full communion with the Church, including worthily receiving our blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist. In cases like this, an annulment should be sought. An annulment can be referred to as “external forum.” However, if an annulment is not possible because, for example, there aren’t the necessary witnesses to move forward an annulment, then the person can seek out a knowledgeable priest to guide them through an “internal forum” process, wherein they examine their standing with God in relation to their lives. In this case, together with the guidance of the priest, a person with a sincere heart can determine whether or not they can worthily approach the sacrament of Communion. This has always been the case, but it’s currently receiving much attention because of those examining every word and action of Pope Francis. The people who are crying out for clear guidelines now are the same ones who were very silent when they had popes who met their approval.

          With regard to your statement that it seems Ratzinger rejects what he wrote regarding internal forum, I don’t see it as rejecting, but reminding of the Church doctrine regarding Communion, and that this process is not a “way around” a situation, but must be followed with a sincere heart with a mind to the Canon Law involved.

          From National Catholic Register, “Fr. James Coriden, a retired professor of canon law from Washington Theological Union, describes the internal forum as ‘ moral decision-making process rather than a canonical or judicial process for people who have experienced the tragedy of divorce and have come to a sense of repentance and desire for the sacraments despite the fact that they are in a second marriage and who cannot or will not avail themselves of the annulment process.'”

          Sources: https://www.ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/us-church-eyes-potential-internal-forum

          https://www.scribd.com/document/46811462/Does-there-exist-an-internal-forum-solution-for-the-divorced-and-remarried

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  2. “Surely it renders it useless? And if you can discern that it’s ok to receive communion whilst in an active sexual relationship with someone other than your valid spouse surely this can be applied to other occasions of sin? ”

    The above could never happen thank goodness, Eejay. I’ll write tomorrow as it’s late now.

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  3. Thanks BofP for your reply. Happy Easter to you too! As a side issue, surely anyone who has had a sacramental marriage and then entered into another relationship whether co-habitting or a new civil marriage are in the same boat, as the new civil marriage would not be recognised as a marriage? Anyway I think the question of whether the ‘internal forum’ being applied to marriage/divorce situations is and always has been part of the tradition of the Church is questionable. I appreciate the two links to documents you included but they are not official Vatican letters. I am not being purposely awkward here, it’s just I have yet to see any solid official Church documention approving the use of the internal forum to the divorce/remarried issue. But Christ is above all our judge, I would never judge anyone who suffers due to their practical marital situation. On the contrary I pray for those who feel forgotten and cornered. May they know Christ’s love and the help of our Mother Mary.

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  4. To continue, I think that the discussion and arguments regarding the ‘internal forum’ and marriage problems has been going for a long time, maybe we differ in interpretations and details, and it may be difficult here to come to any conclusions. However I agree with the general basis of your website. This whole subject of the divorced and remarried has been used to bash Pope Francis’ papacy. He is a very comforting pastor to his flock and is always offering hope to those in most need of it. Thank you for your reflections, they have helped me very much!

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    1. Happy Easter Eejay. The answer is simple. A divorced person remarries and years later has a conversion. He feels in his heart that his first marriage was invalid so he approaches a priest. They speak about the annulment process (External Forum ) but the man has no living witnesses, and so can’t go down this route. He tells the priest he is convinced his first union was invalid so together they examine and discern the whole situation, keeping in mind the teachings of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage. If, after some time, they come to the conclusion that there was indeed a certain something missing in order to make the first union valid then the man can receive the sacraments.

      All of us have to use our consciences in order to understand fully if a certain action of ours is sinful or not. We can ask the advice of the Priest, who will guide us in the teachings of the Church in this way we know whether we have sinned before God. This is the internal forum…confession! It’s exactly the same with the ‘remarried’ person Eejay.

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      1. I was thinking..how many lukewarm and fallen away Catholics are going to want to know if their second marriage is valid or not? I know plenty who are in this position and just do not want to know. So that leaves the ones who truly have a need to be reconciled with the Church and God. Sadly some of these will not have the outcome they expected. We keep in mind also that some who now receive, believing they have a right will get a shock if they are told they have been receiving unworthily. I think this whole process will stop abuses, rather than cause them.

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  5. On Guam (my home island), there is now more than 40 men (mostly aged early-50s) who have come out to state that they had gotten molested, raped, and abused by Catholic priests when they were altar boys or had joined the Boy Scouts that a priest had been the Scout Leader for. Truly sad.

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