Pope Francis’ attribution of Pelagianism to the restorationist tendencies—in my opinion, rightly applied to the above mentioned line of thinking—has nothing to do with a failure to believe in grace or in a neglect of its sources, but with the restorationist mode of operation in the face of the modern crisis. The traditionalist Counter-Revolution is no less pragmatic and Machiavellian than the progressive Revolution. When the Pope becomes the enemy, this somehow seems to justify the very human propaganda campaign and political program that undermines papal authority. Pope Francis criticizes the idea that a restoration of the past is going to solve the problems of the present and prepare for the future.Share
Traditionalists believe this is a rejection of Tradition. But human prudence is the wisdom of this world and it is human prudence that consistently pits personal opinion against the teaching authority of the Holy Father. This is not a work of God. It is a work of man, hence Pelagian.
I believe Pope Francis’s criticism of “triumphalist” Christians is related to what he has said about Pelagian restorationaism. He states that while traditionalists do not believe in the Resurrection of Christ they do have a very vibrant faith in their own victories. Obviously, no traditionalist denies the fact of the bodily resurrection of Christ. So what does the Holy Father mean? I believe it is this: belief in the historical resurrection of Christ and a really “deep down” assimilated belief in the “Risen One,” is a hope believed against hope, when in the present circumstances we are as good as dead (cf. Rom 4:18-19). From this hope proceeds no Pelagian Counter-Revolution, but a persevering faith in the One that God has sent (cf. Jn 6:29). Our belief in the indefectibility of the Church and in supernatural obedience, especially to the Holy Father, is not always supported by the facts of the present circumstances as we estimate them. When we obey the Holy Father, our faith is not in him, but in Christ—in God, not in man. The restoration of the Church in its pastoral practice and the liturgy is not a project or campaign to be strategized with cold, hard logic. The Church, as Pope Benedict has pointed out many times, is a person at whose feet we sit. And we are disciples, that is, learners. Only One is our Teacher, the Christ (Mt 23:8). (Read more.)