One year ago today, Pope Francis walked onto the loggia of Saint Peter's Basilica as the new head of the Roman Catholic Church.
One year later, there are reports out of Rome that the Holy Father might approve same sex civil unions. Such approval is scandalous and blasphemous.
When Francis walked onto the loggia with only his white cassock, and that Benedict's coat of arms was not unveiled, tells us something fishy. Every pope has walked on the loggia with the red mozzetta and papal stole over the cassock when he is first elected and says "Yes." But Francis not doing so has many Catholics (both Traditional and Novus Ordo conservatives) scandalized.
On Dogma 101, the Catholic teaching is that the Sacraments cannot change, either in essential matter, form, or number. Jesus Christ instituted seven sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony), not two, not four, not eight, but seven. This number cannot be infringed upon, whereas, a pope cannot add or delete any rite to be a sacrament.
The forms used for the Sacraments have been traced down from apostolic times, and the essential ingredients and the necessary words used are as old as the Church itself. Up until Vatican II, the Roman Rite sacraments and ceremonies remained unchanged. After Vatican II, all of the ceremonies of all the Sacraments were altered. The examples are stunning for someone who believes that the Church was founded in 1965:
- Baptisms were always done privately as soon as possible after birth. Currently, Baptisms are performed once a month in Novus Ordo Churches; there are no exorcisms; and the emphasis on Original Sin is omitted.
- Confirmation was always administered with olive oil. Today, Confirmation may not include olive oil (essential matter), as many bishops consecrate something else at the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass. So therefore, if olive oil was not used, your confirmation is invalid.
- Confessions were always heard inside a confessional with anonymity. Today, "face-to-face" confessions are more common, and the priest and penitent socialize instead of giving absolution.
- Extreme Unction was only giving at danger of death. Today, the "Anointing of the Sick" is given weekly to all senior citizens, regardless of wellness.
Now, what are the essential matter and form for the Sacrament of Matrimony? A baptized man and a baptized woman who, of a certain age, freely and willingly enter this union before God, with the intention of being open to children (provided she is of child-bearing age), for their own mutual assistance, and with the intention of staying married until one of them dies. These vows must be said before a priest, who is the official witness on behalf of the Church.
This is a Dogma of the Church, and every Catholic must believe in it. The Pope cannot, under any circumstances, change defined Dogma, which includes all Seven Sacraments, with the greatest one the Rite of Mass defined at the Council of Trent.
To put the marriage issue in perspective, watch this video from the Fatima Center, where Fr. Nicholas Gruner and John Vennari discuss this serious issue:
Just because most "Catholic" parishes do not use the Traditional Sacraments, they are in "de-facto" schism. There could be another Great Schism coming if Francis actually changes some dogmatic practices.