12 March 2015

Pope Francis Again Accuses Followers of Doctrine as Being Pharisees

Pope Francis on Thursday underlined the role of saints in the Church, saying it is they and not hypocrites who bear witness to the love of God. He cited as examples St. Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1431 and later canonized in 1920; and of the Italian priest and philosopher Antonio Rosmini who had some of his works placed on the Index of books as they were deemed as heretical.
"This also happened in the history of the Church," Francis told faithful gathered for Mass at the Vatican guesthouse where he resides.
 "But think of the poor Joan of Arc: today she is a saint! Poor girl: these learned people burned her alive because they said she was a heretic... But these learned people, the ones who knew the sure doctrine, were the Pharisees: removed from the love of God," he continued.
 "Close to our time, think of the Blessed Rosmini: all his books on the Index. You couldn't read them, it was a sin to read them. Today he is beatified," Francis said.

St Joan of Arc was condemned to death under the false pretense of being a heretic for purely political reasons by a worldly Bishop who himself died shortly after St. Joan. These "learned people, who knew the sure doctrine" abused that doctrine for personal gain, not in the interest of truth. To accuse followers of doctrine as being Pharisees is disingenuous at best. Her trial and death were immediately recognized as a sham by the Church and indeed it was the Inquisitor-General who reversed the decision from the trial. Her accusers were like the Gospel pharisees in the sense that they twisted the law to suit their own immoral purposes, not because they followed the laws of the Church. It is wrong to suggest that those who follow the laws and teachings of the Church are themselves pharisees and hypocrites simply because they follow those teachings.
Regarding the statement "Close to our time, think of the Blessed Rosmini: all his books are on the Index. You couldn't read them, it was a sin to read them. Today he is beatified," Francis said.
With due respect to the Holy Father the statment regarding "all his books being on the Index" is false. Only two of Blessed Rosmini's books were placed on the Index. That was in 1849 and they were removed in 1854. In 1887 the Holy Office condemned "40 Propositions" that were taken primarily from posthumous works and works edited during his lifetime.

In 2001 Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, following an in-depth examination of the two doctrinal Decrees, promulgated in the 19th century, and taking into account the results emerging from historiography and from the scientific and theoretical research of the last ten years has reached the following conclusion:
The motives for doctrinal and prudential concern and difficulty that determined the promulgation of the Decree Post obitum with the condemnation of the "40 Propositions" taken from the works of Anthony Rosmini can now be considered superseded. This is so because the meaning of the propositions, as understood and condemned by the Decree, does not belong to the authentic position of Rosmini, but to conclusions that may possibly have been drawn from the reading of his works. The questions of the plausibility of the Rosminian system, of its speculative consistency and of the philosophical and theological theories and hypotheses expressed in it remain entrusted to the theoretical debate.
At the same time the objective validity of the Decree Post obitum referring to the previously condemned propositions, remains for whoever reads them, outside of the Rosminian system, in an idealist, ontologist point of view and with a meaning contrary to Catholic faith and doctrine.
In fact, the Encyclical Letter of John Paul II Fides et Ratio, named Rosmini among the recent thinkers who achieved a fruitful exchange between philosophy and the Word of God. At the same time it adds that the fact of naming persons does not intend "to endorse every aspect of their thought, but simply to offer significant examples of a process of philosophical enquiry which was enriched by engaging the data of faith" (Fides et ratio, n. 74). http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfserba.htm Another worthy analysis of the Rosmini case was done and should be read to realize that this was not an abuse of power by zealous pharisitical followers of the law.  http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/ROSMINI.HTM

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