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"If the law does not lead to Jesus Christ, if it does not bring us closer to Jesus Christ, it is dead," Pope Francis told a congregation at daily Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae on October 13.

The Pope spoke at length about the Pharisees and the leaders of the community in Jerusalem at the time of Christ. “They were closed within their system,” he said. “They had perfectly systematized the law.” From their perspective, this system of law was perfect and safe, the Pope said.

To these leaders, it seemed that Jesus did “strange things,” the Pontiff continued. They were unable to accept Jesus because they could not fit Him into their system of law.

Pope Francis reminded his listeners that “a path is not absolute in itself” and the purpose of moral law is to draw closer to Christ.

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/head...ryid=22908
I've heard this argument many times before, it's certainly nothing new.  The problem is, up until now, this argument has always come from someone openly living in mortal sin. 
The pharisee rationale says that people who observe the law closely are condemned by Our Lord, while those persons living in sin, and scorned by the law keepers are friends of Christ.  This argument is absurd to anyone whose conscience is not completely clouded.  Christ condemned those who would not repent, those who had no need of forgiveness.  The Pharisees would not acknowledge their internal sins.  But what is never mentioned by those who stake their souls on this argument, is that after Christ forgave the prostitutes and tax collectors, He told them to sin no more.  Yes, to observe the nasty old law.  But prostitution is a career.  In the middle ages, I know that tax collecting was a position sold to the highest bidder, and remuneration came only through graft.  It was probably thus in apostolic times.  They must give up their careers!  Radical change with massive hardship is what Our Lord asked of those He forgave. 
Pope Francis is not making this argument openly, but he is providing cover to those who do make it.  This practice of speaking no evil, but making dubious implications, is what we've come to expect from HH. This is the closest I've come to criticizing a pope in a long, long time.  I'm afraid those days might be over. 
There's a balance between what the Pharisees did and lawlessness.  Good law is like a fence that helps keep us from evil.  What the Pharisees did was put fences around the fences to prevent people from getting even close to the other original fence.  By doing so, they also fenced people off from the good--but all they cared about were their fences, they lost sight of the good and the evil.

At the height of the Jansenism, there were some extreme Jansenists who argued that it was better for priests to not even say Mass, rather than risk saying it unworthily, or risk people receiving Communion unworthily.  They fenced people off from the good of Mass and Communion and were greatly opposed by Saints like Francis de Sales and Vincent de Paul.  During the height of simony, there were those who went around telling people to never receive the sacraments from simoniacal priests or bishops, or even those simply ordained by other simoniacal bishops.  Again, they denied people the good of the sacraments and were vigorously opposed by Saints like Peter Damian.

Applying this to some other hypotheticals to show the distinction, denying someone Holy Communion who is engaged in known, ongoing grave sin fences them off from committing sacrilege and heaping sin upon sin, increasing their eternal torments if they do not repent.  It is denying someone an evil, as well as guiding them away from that evil and toward the good of repentence.  Denying someone properly disposed of Holy Communion simply because they strongly desire to receive kneeling rather than standing is simply denying someone a good--it's putting a fence around the good.   

Jesus broke through the fences that kept people from the good--He healed on the Sabbath and ministered to people considered unclean, etc. in order to bring people to the good of repentance and faith.  But He reaffirmed the good fences, constantly repeating the good of the Commandments and condemning those practices and attitudes that lead to damnation.
(10-14-2014, 09:32 AM)Landless Laborer Wrote: [ -> ]I've heard this argument many times before, it's certainly nothing new.  The problem is, up until now, this argument has always come from someone openly living in mortal sin...This practice of speaking no evil, but making dubious implications, is what we've come to expect from HH. This is the closest I've come to criticizing a pope in a long, long time.  I'm afraid those days might be over.

You are so right. Until now only by someone openly living in mortal sin.  I've been amazed since almost the beginning at those making all kinds of excuses for how he has been misquoted, or his Italian didn't reflect his true feelings, or the media was selectively quoting to further their agendas, or nothing can go wrong because God wouldn't allow the Church to be in error, etc. The weekly document yesterday shows we are truly heading for a period of great error, surpassing even, at least in terms of its immediately identifiable nature, Vatican II itself. The Church's teachings won't (can't) change. The errors, like those of the last 45 years, will be those of men. You're close to criticizing? If he does what I think is coming I will be using the "h" word...and that will lead to the "s" word. I never thought I'd see things get any worse. He may, indeed, turn out to be an anti-pope.  The Church will exist until the end of time. It's important to note a pope is not the Church.
(10-14-2014, 09:32 AM)Landless Laborer Wrote: [ -> ]I've heard this argument many times before, it's certainly nothing new.  The problem is, up until now, this argument has always come from someone openly living in mortal sin. 
The pharisee rationale says that people who observe the law closely are condemned by Our Lord, while those persons living in sin, and scorned by the law keepers are friends of Christ.  This argument is absurd to anyone whose conscience is not completely clouded.  Christ condemned those who would not repent, those who had no need of forgiveness.  The Pharisees would not acknowledge their internal sins.  But what is never mentioned by those who stake their souls on this argument, is that after Christ forgave the prostitutes and tax collectors, He told them to sin no more.  Yes, to observe the nasty old law.  But prostitution is a career.  In the middle ages, I know that tax collecting was a position sold to the highest bidder, and remuneration came only through graft.  It was probably thus in apostolic times.  They must give up their careers!  Radical change with massive hardship is what Our Lord asked of those He forgave. 
Pope Francis is not making this argument openly, but he is providing cover to those who do make it.  This practice of speaking no evil, but making dubious implications, is what we've come to expect from HH. This is the closest I've come to criticizing a pope in a long, long time.  I'm afraid those days might be over.

Actally the popular word for prosdtitute in many languages is ambiguous. It could refer to someone who makes a career pf seling their bodies for sex. However it could also refer to a woman who sleeps around with just about anyboody.