Saint Basil the Great…

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church having defects

  • It is the part of God’s mercy to threaten sinners and call them to repentance

For it is the part of God’s mercy not silently to inflict punishment, but to send forth threatenings to recall the sinner to repentance, as He did to the men of Nineveh, and now to the dresser of the vineyard, saying; ‘cut it down’, exciting him indeed to the care of it, and stirring up the barren soil to bring forth the proper fruits. (Pseudo-Basil quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea on Lk 13:6-9)

…judges Francis’ idea on the poor being the heart of the Gospel

  • Poverty does not save the covetous – many are poor in their possessions yet most covetous in their disposition

But not everyone oppressed with poverty is blessed, but he who has preferred the commandment of Christ to worldly riches. For many are poor in their possessions, yet most covetous in their disposition; these poverty does not save, but their affections condemn. For nothing involuntary deserves a blessing, because all virtue is characterized by the freedom of the will. Blessed then is the poor man as being the disciple of Christ, Who endured poverty for us. For the Lord Himself has fulfilled every work which leads to happiness, leaving Himself an example for us to follow. (Saint Basil the Great, quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea in Luke 6:20-23)

…judges Francis’ idea that man is the center of christian life

  • The fruit of envy is a hypocritical outward semblance of charity

Surely, you are aware of how great an evil hypocrisy is, and it is the fruit of envy. This vice, above all others, causes double-dealing among men. Hypocrites maintain an outward semblance of charity, while keeping their hatred deeply hidden within, like rocks under the surface of the sea, which, being covered with shallow water, bring unforeseen disaster to the unwary. (Saint Basil the Great. Ascetical Works, Homily 11: Concerning envy, pg. 474Spanish)

…judges Francis’ idea on selling off churches to feed the poor

  • Involuntary poverty in itself is not blessed. The poor who are covetous: this poverty does not save, their affections condemn

But not every one oppressed with poverty is blessed, but he who has preferred the commandment of Christ to worldly riches. For many are poor in their possessions, yet most covetous in their disposition; these poverty does not save, but their affections condemn. For nothing involuntary deserves a blessing, because all virtue is characterized by the freedom of the will. Blessed then is the poor man as being the disciple of Christ. (Saint Basil the Great. Cited by Saint Thomas Aquinas Catena Aurea In Lucam Ch. 6 v. 20-23)

…judges Francis’ vision on the divorced who re-marry

  • When a man is not conscious of sin, and is not adverted, how can he be cured?

For as in bodily diseases there are many of which the affected are not sensible, but they rather put faith in the opinion of their physicians, than trust their own insensibility; so also in the diseases of the soul, though a man is not conscious of sin in himself, yet ought he to trust to those who are able to have more knowledge of their own sins. (Saint Basil the Great cited by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea in Lk 22:21-23)

…judges Francis’ idea on our sins drawing us close to Jesus

  • Besides renunciation of sin the fruits of penance are also necessary

The mere renunciation of sin is not sufficient for the salvation of the penitents, but also the worthy fruits of penance, which is also required of them. (Saint Basil the Great. Moralia I, 3)

…judges Francis’ idea on boasting of our sins

  • Sin is the use of human faculties against the will of God

And this is the definition of sin: a deviated use, and contrary to the will God, of the faculties that God has given us to practice good; just as, virtue, on the contrary, which God seeks [of us], consists in using these faculties with an upright conscience, proceeding in accordance with the Lord’s command. (Saint Basil the Great. Greater Monastic Rule, resp. 2, 1: PG 31, 910)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Pope

  • Christ bestows on his servants that which is His

Peter is made the foundation, because he says: Thou art Christ, the Son of the Living God; and hears in reply that he is a rock. But although a rock, he is not such a rock as Christ; for Christ is truly an immovable rock, but Peter, only by virtue of that rock. For Jesus bestows His dignities on others; He is a priest, and He makes priests; a rock, and He makes a rock; what belongs to Himself, He bestows on His servants. (St. Basil the Great, cited by the Catechism of Trent, Article IX (‘I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church..’) – Unity in Government)

…judges Francis’ idea on happiness

  • The hope of eternal goods fills our soul with joy

They should be considered happy those who, in view of the hope of the future life, bear with the present, thus exchanging present goods for the eternal. […] Thus, risen above present things, you will apply your mind to the hope of eternal goods, whose only knowledge is capable of filling our soul with joy, and introducing the happiness of the angels into our hearts. (Saint Basil the Great. Homily De Gratiarum Actione, no. 3,7: PG 31, 223,237-238)

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