If you think politics today in this country are a mess – it’s the same and probably worse for the Catholic Church. What started as a time of hope with the election of Pope Francis has turned into the greatest period of confusion and likely heresy since the Reformation.

Confusion is the name of the game, but it isn’t a game. Pope Francis, who initially exuded a look of caring and friendliness, has turned into a pope who issues opinion that contradict established Catholic teaching, while at the same time denying he’s doing that. Well, sort of.

Much of the confusion stems from his statements in his document entitled, “Amoris Laetitia,” which has been described by many, including clergy, as a ticking time bomb for Catholic morality.

In it, the pope states that some Catholics, living in circumstances that heretofore had been considered sinful, may in fact be acting in conformity with God’s law, at least how Francis interprets it.

Is it OK for divorced Catholics to remarry and still receive Holy Communion? Centuries of teaching and tradition say no, but according to this pope, it’s “maybe.”

What about the issue of artificial contraception? It has long been a decided fact that it is not licit for Catholic couples to practice it – it’s simply immoral and wrong.

But today? Apparently, there’s a movement within Francis’ church that says there are times when it is OK. When? Who decides? It’s hard to say because there are cardinals and bishops across the Catholic world who agree and disagree, and the pope allows this confusion to continue.

Then there’s the issue of married priests. For centuries, a no-no. Now, however, under Francis, maybe – and likely.

What is the truth about the accusations, and in many cases proof, that there is a widespread climate/practice of homosexuality within the Vatican and, indeed, in many churches and dioceses across the world?

There are allegations that the pope has gay friends both in and out of the Vatican and, indeed, covers up for their activities even when they face legal charges in civilian courts.

Along with this, there are the charges of Pope Francis being involved in what is described as a “cover-up” of clergy sex abuse in Chile.

In an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo on Feb. 8, as reported on Lifesite, attorney and child advocate Elizabeth Yore said, “It’s a classic move of the pope to provide ‘mercy’ to the clergy sexual abuse predators – and ask everyone else to ‘move on.'”

She was referring to a case where the pope appointed a bishop with “a history of complicity in child sex abuse.”

The pope continually claims he had no information about the involvement of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros – despite proof that has surfaced that he received a letter that clearly outlined the abuse situation. Yore stated it is known the pope received a letter from one of the victims explaining the situation, yet the pope claims not to have known.

She calls it a “scandal of epic proportions.”

Keep in mind, there are still the Ten Commandments, which outline the areas of sin that Catholics need to be aware of and avoid – murder, lying, theft, betrayal and more.

Which ones can Pope Francis allow Catholics to ignore and still gain entry into heaven?

How does one explain to Catholics that it is OK to ignore “some” of the rules and yet follow others – and, in fact, which ones?

If an act had been deemed to be immoral for members of the church in good standing over the centuries, what does it mean that there is a pope now, who declared he is the judge of what is OK now and to forget about the past?

In fact, there are at least five cardinals who have questioned Francis’ positions in his document. They wrote to him almost a year ago, asking him to clarify his position. Did he really mean that God will allow people to perform intrinsically immoral acts with moral freedom?

They wrote, asking for clarification, and he has effectively ignored them. NO response at all.

According to professor Josef Seifert, founding director of the International Academy of Philosophy in Lichtenstein, the logical consequence of the pope’s position will be the destruction of the entire moral teaching of the Church.

Professor Seifert has written to the pope about his concerns, asking him to eliminate the notion that sometimes God wills people to commit evil acts.

Again, no response.

Pity the Catholics. They’re torn between trying to do the “right thing” and following the leader of their church, who is changing the rules for whatever goals he has in mind.

As they say, “old hairy legs” – Satan – must be rejoicing!

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