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Anonymous David wrote:

HI, guys —

While it doesn't change Church doctrine in any official capacity, and with all deference and the upmost respect for the Holy Father, the recent statements about gay civil unions seem unwise for a very public figure (and leader) of the Catholic Church to say. People could be left to think that things like this are OK.

  • Couldn't this lead souls to Hell?

His role is to defend the faith and guard it but it seems as if saying all these off-the-cuff statements, like I said, doesn't officially change anything. In a way it does change it de facto, even if nothing has changed de jure.

  • With the Holy Father's down playing of the papacy, isn't that disrespectful of such a sublime and august gift?

Even if nothing about the papacy has officially changed, it leads people to a view of the papacy as unimportant and having no need for respect because the Holy Father is saying it. Again, I try to say this with the utmost respect and deference to The Sovereign Pontiff.

If you could speak to these things I would be most appreciative.

As a side note, I've heard this is why in the past the Pope would hardly ever speak and when he would, it would always be 100% in conformity to Church doctrine and pre-written, not off-the-cuff, statements.

God bless,


  { Could you speak on the effect of Pope Francis' words (on the issue of gay civil unions) on Catholics? }

Bob replied:


Thank you for your most thoughtful question.

It is difficult these days to balance respect for office of the papacy and the necessary critique of the often blatantly errant and destructive statements made by Pope Francis. Your respect for this office is most evident. Still I believe the time for trying to explain away his missteps is over. This is not the first time he has left a trail of confusion and error; it is a consistent pattern with him.

We could say that the office of the papacy was established by Christ to bring unity and clarity to the Church, as Jesus gave Peter the commission to strengthen your brothers (Luke 22:31) and likewise the charism of infallibility in defining matters of faith and morals.

Sadly, however, the hallmarks of this papacy seem to be division and obscurity. There have been ample opportunities for Francis to clarify dubious or confusing statements he has made in either speech or document, but he cynically refuses to do so, which belies an attitude of contempt and indifference to the spiritual welfare of the Church. I realize this is a harsh analysis, but I find it impossible to sugarcoat anymore. There has been no show of good faith to reconcile any of the matters that have so undermined the sound doctrine of the Church.

In my opinion, as is true for many, Francis may be a good man but he is a bad pope. While I say that, I remain hopeful that, by the grace of God, he can change and become the leader the Church needs. My concern, however, is that that conversion may come in the wake of terrible things—as the third vision of Fatima seems to forbode.

Ultimately this darkness the Church is experiencing is the work of satan, and many of the hierarchy are blinded. The only way forward is:

  1. to pray
  2. adhere to sound doctrine, and
  3. keep the faith.

Trials are here but in the end, the Immaculate Heart will triumph.


Bob Kirby

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