Pope Francis

Start at the beginning for context. Make sure to pay close attention after 1:14:00 but get the whole question just before that. Changes are made to any transcript with or without the approval of the Holy Father. All I know is that the video is up, still unchanged with no note on the video (super easy to do).

I am told that fraternal correction is a mortal sin by those providing me with their version of fraternal correction. I am told that I am in mortal sin for having called out the Holy Father on this in a striking manner. When I get the chance, I’ll put something up about fraternal correction rendered by the likes of John the Baptist. It can be rather sharp which doesn’t mean it isn’t done in love. I should put up a note on irony as well. And Christian mirth for that matter. Where is the Christian joy? I love Pope Francis to pieces and I say it. If I note some logic it is done in a spirit in which I think it would be understood, that is, with respect of a son for a father. I think Pope Francis would chuckle at what I said and perhaps take it to heart perhaps noting the seriousness of what he said. I’m quite sure a thousand copies have been sent to him!

In taking down my critique of what Pope Francis says in the video about the vast majority of sacramental marriages being null, I don’t take back what I said or the manner in which I said it. He is wrong, and error does have consequences. This is strictly a practical matter. I’m at an ordination today and out of respect for the ordinands I don’t want people screaming during Mass that I should be burned at the stake for trying to be a faithful son of the Holy Father. After the ordination is fine. You have to know, some of the notes I received were pretty wild.

Just to say, if we can’t help each other for fear of offending, what has become of us? What will become of us?


Filed under Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis

26 responses to “Pope Francis

  1. Just another in the line of Francisism’s that will go down in the tabloids of, “Why did I say that?”

  2. Nancyv

    I have been greatly “offended” by fraternal correction, but thank God someone loved me enough to offend me!

  3. Part of the problem is – we live in an age where VIP’s can’t clear their throat without it being recorded, ‘corrected’ and then spread over the land. There are no more ‘off the record’ comments. And everyone thinks out loud at times. That said, how about St Paul and St Peter? If the Bible is right, there were a few times when Paul corrected Peter, (the original “Rock,”) over circumcision. I’ll bet those discussions would raise eyebrows if they were recorded live and played back today! Imagine what the critics would have made of those utterances! I think we have all come to the point that we have been so brainwashed by Political Correctness that we are eager to criticize anything anybody says. It’s become an armchair sport. That’s why anyone who dares to speak out is automatically condemned – before the message is even understood. Prayers for you and Francis.

  4. Father, thank you for being a faithful son of Our Holy Mother Church. You called Pope Francis to account for what he said about the majority of marriages being null.

    Logically that means that children of those marriages are bastards. Further following that logic, there is a good probability that Pope Francis’ parents’ marriage was null which if true, makes Pope Francis himself a bastard. Only, Pope Francis is wrong….which means that Pope Francis is not a bastard and neither are the children of those marriages to which the Pope referred.

    Father, especially because Pope Francis is pope, he has a duty and obligation to NOT be a loose cannon. By calling him out on what he says, when that has a negative impact on the flock which is his duty to protect, you as a shepherd are doing your duty.

    Thank you Father, and please accept my wishes for a blessed and Happy Father’s Day….you are a good spiritual father who loves his flock to pieces.

  5. You not only love the Holy Father, but also love your flock to pieces…

    Thank you for that.

  6. Frank Galluzzo

    Father, I have known you for a very long time and I too love you as well as the Holy Father to pieces. I seldom post or reply but my recent confusion leads me to do so. I fully understand your acts of mercy in correcting the Holy Father, as well as the fact that you are a Missionary of Mercy appointed by the Pope himself. In regards to the attached post, as well as your open letter to the Holy Father and recent comments regards of the Amoris Laetitia, my question is…why do this in public…in full view ? Why not attempt to make contact privately or simply personal prayer. Can these acts of public scrutiny not lead to lack of humility ? I will beg forgiveness if I have over-stepped the mark. Yours in sincere confusion…

  7. Hello, Father,
    Before I read your post, I read Canon Lawyer Dr. Ed Peters’ excellent blog post on the Pope’s comments. It’s very good, and if it’s alright, I’ll post it here: https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/papal-comments-on-cohabitation-and-civil-marriage-suggest-a-direction/
    It is courageous priests, like you, who will keep this Holy Barque pointing in the right direction. Carry on, Father!
    God bless Pope Francis and let us always pray for him.

  8. Father George David Byers

    @ Frank – good to hear from you. Because he’s scandalizing my parishioners, the Church and the world. See the link in the other comment to Ed Peters’ article. He consults for the Holy See. As for myself, I was invited to speak with parrhesia by Pope Francis and that’s what I’m doing. I’ll write more about the effects of irony later… In short, it’s because I’m full of arrogant pride that I seek humility in doing this.

  9. Cathy

    I simply cannot wrap my head around Pope Francis’ comments. Not only is Holy Matrimony for the most part “null”, co-habitation is, in many instances, as grace filled and faithful as Holy Matrimony. If this is the situation, are we to discourage Holy Matrimony and encourage co-habitation-living in sin? I do pray for Pope Francis, he has been given much, and much will be required of him. I lived with a man without being married for nine months in my younger years, the experience was horrific. I pray that the Pope’s comments do not lead people to the romantic thought that they can make for themselves a grace-filled and faithful union outside of Holy Matrimony. I pray as well for those who witness married couples in difficulty, not to encourage divorce with the presumption that what they committed to in Holy Matrimony is probably “null”. A lack of respect for marriage, in general, is rampant in our own culture. Is it too much to expect the Pope to defend the bond of Holy Matrimony? Is there mercy for the sacrament in an invitation to life for those marriages which are very sick to be counseled and healed?

  10. sanfelipe007

    I understand from where you come, Father, but there is merit in the phrase “what I have written, I have written.”

  11. Father George David Byers

    I’m just finding that out.

  12. elizdelphi

    What Ed Peters said recently that the Pope seems to think most sacramental marriages are not marriage and some non-marriages are marriage seems like he may have put his finger on something, an idea so surprising I would not have thought of it. That is not something I have ever heard from the Church nor indeed from anyone else at all. One hesitates to consider the idea that the truth about marriage is something that has never been discovered before Francis. [[ I don’t hesitate. I just don’t consider that worth considering at all. ]] Father, to me there may be a kind of childlikeness in your babbling out what is on your mind. [[ Thanks. But, actually, it’s well considered. ]] A grown up would know he must hold his tongue. [[ I’m so glad I’m not all grown up! ]] But there is not a thing Francis or any other frail human can do to destroy Truth itself [[ True… ]], nor can it even be hidden where it is totally inaccessible. [[ Making it as difficult as possible to discover the truth is not helpful. ]] Humanity must deserve Francis [[ I love Pope Francis to pieces. ]], but there will be a next Pope and he won’t be Francis. [[ You’re right. We don’t believe in reincarnation. ]]

  13. elizdelphi

    Though now Fr Z is pointing out the ever confusing Francis said differently on another, more carefully prepared occasion. http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/06/pope-francis-v-pope-francis-about-indissolubility-and-marriage/ of course on that occasion it was somewhat obvious he had a lot of help preparing his remarks since it was not even in his style.

    Every time Pope Francis says such weird things my real reaction is I am just speechless or feel like I should be speechless even if I say something anyway, it seems like there is nothing useful to say, but just wait for this to pass. Yet, I also love Pope Francis.

  14. Father George David Byers

    You see, it doesn’t make any difference what he says off the cuff, officially off the cuff, or officially, that is, in view of the salvation of souls. Some few can distinguish that he’s not speaking ex-Cathedra. Great. For many, it’s just “The Pope Said…” And he did. Also, he said such things AFTER those other comments. Which is it that the Pope REALLY thinks today, as if truth can change from day to day. Or is that the point, that it can, or that we just say what people in front of us want to hear? Or…. Let’s come up with a thousand points of view about this, because maybe that’s the point, to do that. Because nothing matters anymore… Again, as one bishop told me on the other side of the world from where I am now writing: “Marriage has nothing to do with conscience.”

  15. elizdelphi

    I would be comfortable with you being Pope.

  16. Father George David Byers

    Hah! LOL! What name would I choose? What coat of arms? What motto? Who could design something with a donkey?

  17. Well, I just posted a comment replying to elizdelphi’s first comment…it got misplaced as I had to go and reset my password. …and I see Fr. Byers that you responded saying it is about the salvation of souls. Exactly!

    I may be wrong, but my understanding is that cohabitation is a mortal sin. Being in mortal sin means that sanctifying grace is lost. Even if a person performs ‘good works’ when in mortal sin, the good works mean nothing toward their eternal salvation. If a person dies in the state of mortal sin their eternal salvation is in peril. [[ You are not wrong. ]]

    For Pope Francis to say otherwise is grossly negligent… especially given his position as the Vicar of Christ. He needs to be admonished and set straight. Thank you Father Byers for doing so… you are putting yourself at risk in terms of being silenced by the Church hierarchy but because you truly love your flock to pieces you can for their eternal salvation and so speak out in truth. [[ No chance. Pope Francis is the very one inviting me to speak with parrhesia. Ironic, no? I’m not ungrateful. It is done with cheerful love. No drama! ]]

    Would that the Holy Father love his flock to pieces as you do. [[ I’m sure he absolutely does love them. This is just the way he thinks. He’s wrong, but that doesn’t mean he’s without love. I simply can’t judge the way his mind works. Having said that, error doesn’t justify. ]]

    God bless and if I am wrong in my understanding of cohabitation, please correct me. [[ These things are not difficult. You are right. ]]

  18. pelerin

    There are two things which I force myself to remember when confronted with confusing comments from Pope Francis.

    1 ) When expressing my concerns a Priest said to me that he was sure Pope Francis knew what he was doing.

    2 ) One of my sons visited Rome recently and was very impressed with seeing Pope Francis and told me he had never seen anyone radiate such happiness like he did. My son left the Church many years ago and if seeing Pope Francis ignites just a spark resulting in his return, then I shall be eternally grateful.

  19. Father George David Byers

    1) Perhaps. I hope not.
    2) Yes. I totally love Pope Francis to pieces.

  20. pelerin

    Sorry Father your reply to (1) confuses me.

  21. Father George David Byers

    @ pelerin – The Holy Father is wrong. If he knows what he is doing, we’re in a really bad situation in the Church. Here’s the deal: The vast majority of sacramental marriages are not null as he said. For that matter, it would be wrong to say that shacking up can be filled with grace as if it were some sort of sacrament, which it is not. And for that matter, it would be wrong to say that a portion of sacramental marriages are null in some sort of comparison to a portion of shacking up situations which are grace filled. Go ahead are read Ed Peters’ commentary on this.


  22. pelerin

    Thank you Father for your reply and the link. It is still worrying that you suggest Pope Francis does not know what he is doing.

    I must point out that Fr X’s comment to me was made a year or two ago and has nothing to do with the latest confusion regarding marriage.

  23. Father George David Byers

    @ pelerin – You might also want to take a look at:


    In other words: totally contradictory. But, as I say, his recent comments are just that, more recent. Can we say, therefore more expressive of what he now holds? But truth doesn’t change with our moods or whims or the audience to whom we are speaking. Truth is what it is because Truth is Who He is, Jesus, who said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” I don’t know what Pope Francis is doing. Does anyone? Sorry, but he is inconsistent, unclear, ambiguous, contradictory, evasive…

  24. pelerin

    A certain French Bishop has described the Pope as ‘un cadeau de Dieu pour le monde’, Perhaps God has a sense of humour and there is a reason behind the confusion which we cannot at present grasp – one result of the new papacy is that we are all talking far more about the Faith and what it means to each one of us.

  25. Father George David Byers

    @ pelerin – All things work for good for those who love God. Romans 8:28

  26. John Larkin

    In my view it is no longer possible to trust a pope who disparages the sacrament of matrimony by falsely stating the majority of sacramental marriages are invalid and then also suggests in the same speech that couples living in sin may have relationships that are more real than married people.

    The intention is to diminish the value of the sacrament of marriage, to promote the concept of cohabitation and to abolish the concept of sin.

    I also believe these intentions are also present, though well, concealed in the papal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”.

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