Saturday, April 27, 2019
‘Without Doctrine there is No Evangelization” in Francis’s Apostolic Constitution or Holiness
The National Catholic Register reported that “Pope Francis’ new apostolic constitution for the Roman Curia” appears to give “evangelization” priority “over doctrine”:
“Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, a former executive director of the U.S. bishops’ committee on doctrine, expressed misgivings over the document’s ambiguity, as reported so far.”
“If evangelization is being emphasized over doctrine in order to give evangelization priority, Father Weinandy said he would have ‘no problem’ with that as it would be in keeping with Christ’s command and the Church’s tradition.”
“But if, within such a stress on evangelization, it meant Church doctrine would not be emphasized at the same time, then that would not be a ‘true evangelization’ as the Church’s doctrines ‘are at the heart of evangelization.'”
‘Without doctrine there is no evangelization!’ he said.”
The new apostolic constitution, like Francis’s document Gaudete et Exsultate which are supposed to be a calls to evangelization and holiness, unfortunately, appears not to be a calls to either evangelization or holiness. Below is the reason why:
This is why Dan Hitchens in First Things says of the document “there is an orthodox interpretation,” but then writes:
“But there is a different interpretation: that when someone says ‘The Church teaches that X is intrinsically wrong,’ he is probably a bit of a Pharisee. The history of Amoris Laetitia suggests that more expansive interpretation often gains the upper hand.” (First Things, “An Ambiguous Exhortation,” 4-12-18)
Hitchens suggests that this papal document is mocking those Catholics who believe and teach the infallible moral doctrines of Divine Revelation.
Obviously if one knowingly rejects Divine Revelation, one rejects God and loses his salvation.
But there is another reason why Gaudete et Exsultate will not make you holy and could help you lose your salvation.
St. Augustine said that no one can save his soul if he doesn’t pray.
Augustine is talking about true prayer.
Prayer simply means to communicate or have dialogue with God. St. Teresa of Avila says prayer is conversation with God.
An excellent book on prayer by Tim Gray titled “Praying Scriptures for a Change: An Introduction to Lectio Divina” explains what is needed to have true prayer:
“With the effects of original sin distorting both the book of nature and the book of the human person, how can we hear God’s communication?… When the Word became flesh, God’s voice at last could be heard… Only through Jesus can we come to discern and hear clearly God’s Word to us.”
“This Word of divine revelation is handed down to us through Scripture and Tradition [infallible Church doctrines], which provide us with the Rosetta Stone for deciphering all that God wants to communicate to humanity. God desires enter into dialogue with us.” (Pages 13-14)
St. Ignatius of Loyola couldn’t have put it better on how to pray and make discernment.
Unfortunately, Francis’s Gaudete et Exsultate says ” the Holy Spirit… discernment… develop[s]… [by] prayer, reflection, reading and good counsel” (First Things, “An Ambiguous Exhortation, 4-12-18),” but not through Divine Revelation.
In fact, the document apparently condemns or as Hitchens says “criticizes… ‘dogmatism'” and thus those who discern or pray using “dogmatism” or Divine Revelation as the only foundation to true prayer.
As all saints in history have taught, the only way to become holy is by prayer using Divine Revelation as it’s only foundation.
So, Gaudete et Exsultate’s method of prayer and discernment apparently will not make you holy and could help you lose your salvation if all the saints and St. Augustine are correct.
Pray an Our Father now for more Catholics to come to true prayer and discernment.