“Anyone who attempts to construe a personal view of God which conflicts with Church dogma must be burned without pity.” – Pope Innocent III
As you might have noticed, that was a different pope than the one today. His message was more direct to the mass people. But as you know, since he didn’t have Twitter, Facebook and bloggers who would reread and share the statement, this controversial statement didn’t reach many people.
However, today, in a world which is full with technological wonders, the Pope must choose his worlds very carefully.
In the next few months, the Pope is expected to release a post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation In it he is expected to decide on the question of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, and on the proposal to give bishops conferences doctrinal authority. Some observers also think the pope may address the question of homosexuality and language.
An apostolic exhortation is a type of communication from the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It encourages a community of people to undertake a particular activity but does not define Church doctrine. It is considered lower in formal authority than a papal encyclical, but higher than other ecclesiastical letters, Apostolic Letters and Other Papal Writings.
“Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,’ this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination. It’s as if they went about by guessing: ‘What has been said and what doesn’t change is what’s important; what I hear—from myself and my closed heart—more than the Word of the Lord.’ Obstinacy is also the sin of idolatry: the Christian who is obstinate sins! The sin of idolatry. ‘And what is the way, Father?’ Open the heart to the Holy Spirit, discern what is the will of God.”
That is the translation of The Pope’s Homily of January 18th 2016.
However, the Pope is now issuing a warning that rejection of a coming change (which is not doctrinal-based on the bible) will be regarded as a sin of Divination.
The word divination comes from the Latin divinare, meaning “to foresee” or “to be inspired by a god.” To practice divination is to uncover hidden knowledge by supernatural means. It is associated with the occult and involves fortune-telling or soothsaying, as it used to be called.
He also calls it the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of an idol or a physical object as a representation of a god.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Whatever the change is, it is very big for the Pope to already issue a death warrant to anyone that rejects it. The Pope here has hinted that the change will be so huge that it’s rejection is tantamount to idolatry.
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