by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th., ChurchMilitant.com, April 26, 2019
With the approach of Divine Mercy Sunday, it’s worth noting that some prelates like Cdl. Robert Sarah are still urging Catholics to confess their sins with repentance in order to receive God’s mercy.
During an interview with Polish media in 2016, the Vatican’s chief liturgist clarified that God only forgives those who sincerely repent of their sin.
“Jesus did not say to the adulteress, ‘Well, go and continue to do what you are doing since I forgive you.’ No! Because she threw herself at His feet and begs forgiveness, He says: ‘Go and sin no more.'”
“But, there is no forgiveness if there is no repentance,” emphasized Sarah. “Jesus did not say to the adulteress, ‘Well, go and continue to do what you are doing since I forgive you.’ No! Because she threw herself at His feet and begs forgiveness, He says: ‘Go and sin no more.'”
Many false shepherds seemingly have no problem administering Holy Communion to active homosexuals and those in adulterous relationships. Tying confession, contrition and conversion together, therefore, is a common theme for Sarah. During an interview in 2015, he put it quite bluntly: “If there’s no repentance, there’s no mercy.”
Asked if such unrepentant sinners decide to receive Holy Communion, Sarah, in reference to St. Paul’s 1 Corinthians 11:27–29, responded, “If he does so knowingly, and does it of his own will, he eats unto his own condemnation.”
In 2015, Sarah wrote God or Nothing in which he speaks of divine mercy that can only be received by those who first let go of their sins:
Many of the faithful rejoice to hear talk about divine mercy, and they hope that the radical demands of the gospel can be relaxed even for the benefit of those who by their lives have chosen to break away from the crucified love of Jesus. They think that because of the Lord’s infinite goodness everything is possible, while at the same time deciding to change nothing in their lives. Many expect, as something normal, that God should pour out his mercy on them while they remain in sin.
Sarah is not alone in warning Catholics against current false notions of mercy without conversion. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, is saying the priests, bishops and the Pope bare even greater responsibility for misleading Catholics astray in this regard.
During a talk in 2017, Schneider warned pastors that allowing adulterers to continue in adultery while offering them the sacraments was a very great danger for such souls and “a grave responsibility more on the priest who allows this and more on the pope who seems to allow this.”
Article first appeared at: https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/the-divine-mercy