This is when I got the knot in my stomach.
301. For an adequate understanding of the possibility and need of special discernment in certain “irregular” situations, one thing must always be taken into account, lest anyone think that the demands of the Gospel are in any way being compromised. The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations. Hence it is (sic) can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values”,339 or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.
Footnote339: John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), 33: AAS 74 (1982), 121.
Before we get to the footnote, as misleading as the footnote is, there are two other things here that are even worse. And I only pasted the first half of the paragraph.
See those air quotes around “irregular”? That’s what writers do when they believe the phrase in question is inherently fallacious. Like Catholics referring to so-called “gay” marriage. So Francis is mocking the very notion that there is anything irregular about these relationships. Ya think that might be a teensy weensy problem? Explains a whole lot of other things, doesn’t it?
Then comes a real show stopper. After 232 pages of set-up, Francis attempts to abrogate the dogma of Immutability. Does everyone remember the dogma of Immutability? “For I am the Lord, and I change not” (Mal 3:6). God does not change, so His divine will does not change, so the things which go against His divine will (sin) do not change. Nor can doctrine, which is the codification of His will. How do we know God doesn’t change? Because time is a construct. Time was created by God, just like all the material dimensions were created by God. God exists outside of time. Change cannot occur without the element of linear time. Now watch this.
“Hence it is (sic) can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace.”
Got that? “Can no longer be said.” What was true in the past is no longer true. That’s why He is the God of surprises. Surprisingly, He now loves moral relativism, situational ethics, divorce and adultery. Well, He might not LOVE them, but He knows there is certainly GOOD contained within them, and He wants us to discover that GOOD, and to stop being so mean. Time to face the strange cha cha cha changes.
Someone at the Vatican must be super busy collecting every extant copy of the CCC and whiting out paragraph 2384: (emphasis mine)
2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery: If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.
Honestly, I will say this. It is entirely possible that Francis himself is eligible for some of this cheap grace he is dishing out, because the brashness, the hubris he is exhibiting here is at such a level that you wonder if he was ever properly taught the faith. Is he really rejecting it, or does he just not understand it? Yes, I really think that could be true. Think of the irony if he is actually guiltless out of invincible ignorance.
Finally, the footnote. It’s from FC 33 HERE. Is FC 33 dealing with people in irregular situations who are living their lives in a state of mortal sin? Um, no. FC33 is about ACTUAL MARRIED PEOPLE, and the subject matter is WHOLLY DIFFERENT from what’s being dealt with here. Namely, a situation where the actually married couple struggles, in the context of modern sexually depraved society, to understand, accept and practice continence while avoiding artificial means of contraception.
Which in itself is a rather generous bit of sympathy, given that Humanae Vitae isn’t that hard to understand HERE.