The controversy was called the "Dubia" question and to this day, and the blunt questions of the Cardinals has yet to be answered by Pope Francis, while his minions go around ridiculing those who dare to bring it up.
A few weeks ago, Pope Benedict released an essay about "sexual abuse": which he blames on the weakening of the idea of holiness in the church and the moral collapse of recent times.
Benedict originally sent it to be discussed when Pope Francis met with the bishops about the pederasty crisis, but of course it was ignored.
So Benedict released the essay for publication in a "minor" church journal, and it was picked up by the Catholic branch of the Catholic blogosphere on the internet and was discussed by many lay people worried about the church.
The latest discussion of Benedict's essay is in the CatholicThing: the author noticed that Pope Benedict answered the "dubia" questions. And her analysis suggests that Benedict is saying that Pope Francis is indeed going against 2000 years of church dogma and morals to please the situational ethics of the modern PC world:
Whatever the reason, the world watched, read, and missed the answers to the dubia proposed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his April essay, “The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse.”
In offering a three-part response to the crisis in the Church, he indirectly answers the five dubia that Cardinals Brandmüller, Caffarra, Meisner, and Burke presented years ago to Pope Francis. The pope emeritus fulfilled a duty that Pope Francis has not, namely, to maintain the bishops and all the faithful in the unity of the Church’s constant teaching on faith and morals.
What did the pope emeritus say? He gives the Church and the world an unequivocal No, Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes. Five questions, five answers.
Why worry about dogmatic trivia?
Here is just one snip that gives an example:
Dubium Three: After “Amoris Laetitia” (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration, June 24, 2000)?
Benedict’s response: Yes. “A society without God – a society that does not know Him and treats Him as non-existent – is a society that loses its measure. . . .Western society is a society in which God is absent in the public sphere and has nothing left to offer it. And that is why it is a society in which the measure of humanity is increasingly lost. At individual points it becomes suddenly apparent that what is evil and destroys man has become a matter of course.”
read the whole thing because it has a lot to do with the collapse of civilized society in the modern world.
John Paul II went "over the heads" of the lazy bishops to strengthen the church, but now things have become much worse as Francis seems bent on destroying anyone who opposes his fancy church of sexual liberation, ecology, and niceness.
and I won't even go into the scandal of his cover up of bishops who are (fill in blanks here... Yup. pass another "code of conduct" but don't fire them or punish them.
The problem is basic ethics: but the basic problem is is philosophy more than theology: it has to do with the question if there is truly a right and wrong, or is it relative, and left to the conscience of the individual.
This problem is blamed on the 1960s but goes a lot further back.
Gresham college had a lecture series that discusses the reason modern atheists and others rebelled against the church as an evil restricting institution and that rejects traditional morality because it limits their "freedom".... Full series here.
so is there hope out there?
One is reminded of the conclusion of Cahill's "how the Irish saved civilization" that notes often the civilization is often saved by the least likely folks who often are at the margin and ignored by the self important.
The Gresham lecture on Christ vs Hitler notes this too:
To many people it is incongruous, even embarrassing, that the twentieth century’s bestselling work of fiction is an excessively long, apologetically archaic and sometimes self-indulgent fairy-tale written by a philologist who was a very traditional Catholic, and whose most devoted readers were and remain teenage boys. But even if you share the now-receding literary disdain for J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, there is no gainsaying its cultural importance.
Tolkien himself had no patience for allegory as a literary form, and vigorously denied that he had written one, but if his War of the Ring does not mirror the Second World War which was raging as he wrote the book, it certainly refracts it.
Tolkien was an early and staunch opponent of Nazism in general and Nazi racial ideology in particular, in part because he felt the Nazi appropriation of his beloved Nordic mythology as a personal affront.
But while he never doubted the righteousness of the Allies’ cause, he was also a veteran of the Battle of the Somme, and knew that this war was, like any war, ‘an ultimately evil job’: so he told his son in 1944. And he used his own developing myth to explain what he meant: not only that there were ‘a great many Orcs on our side’, but that ‘we are attempting to conquer Sauron with the Ring’. Such a war might end in victory, but a victory whose effect would be ‘to breed new Saurons’.
Whatever we make of that as a political judgement, as a cultural prophecy it has proved uncannily prescient. Western culture has been breeding new Saurons ever since.so who is filling the gap identifying the new Saurons and encouraging opposition to them when the Popes and bishops won't take a stand?
As I have noted, in the Catholic wing of the Catholic church there are internet podcasts and blogs that fill in the gaps, from EWTN to Father Ripperger to Father Z to Bishop Barron.
Yet they do not reach the unchurched population.
but there are others there doing this: the most famous is an obscure psychology teacher from Canada who sort of stumbled into the frey.
Internet types like Jordan Peterson are busy trying to clarify things by fighting the nihilism in youth who watch him stealthily because he is not politically correct.
Like Benedict, and like the Gresham lectures, he is so nuanced that you have to listen/read it twice and ponder these things.
Here is his latest, which I am listening to as I write.
at 1:25:00 he discusses how a woman who wants a family is being ridiculed by modern "feminists" because having children destroys the environment.