Category Archives: conservatives

This Explains Quite A Bit!

Lifted from the recent issue of New Oxford Review:

Why American Politics Marginalizes Catholic Voters

SEARCHING FOR A  CATHOLIC THEO-POLITICAL CONSENSUS

By Kenneth Colston | October 2018

Catholics are outliers in American politics. Michael Doran’s public lecture “The Theology of Foreign Policy” (reprinted in First Things, May) provides a rich demonstration of this thesis. Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, attributes the enduring divide in American foreign policy not to animosity between Democrats and Republicans but to a 19th-century schism in Protestantism between modernists and fundamentalists. He names these two politicized Protestant camps the Jacksonians and the Progressives. Although he passes over it, Doran’s binary might also explain the division in domestic politics. Most arguments, Chesterton is claimed to have said, are ultimately theological, and this one rightly leaves Catholics out of the mix.

Both sides in the American Protestant schism, according to Doran, are missionary democrats. The Jacksonians (Andrew Jackson, Herman Melville, William Jennings Bryan, Harry Truman, et al.), it is well known, favored the common man against the elites. Less well known is that they drew their political bias from dispensational premillennialism, the belief in an imminent Second Coming that will, in the words of a manifesto published in Prophetic Times, a 19th-century, Philadelphia-based premillennialist publication, “avenge [Christ’s] elect,” “revolutionize” all “systems in Church and State” (if not destroy them), and spare only those “properly awake to these truths” (vol. 4; 1866). Consequently, Doran observes, the Jacksonian persuasion is a “sleeping volcano” in politics. The “guardians of freedom” are quiet (i.e., isolationist and nativist) when liberty seems safe, but stirred to full-throated, unilateral war when righteously indignant — enough to, say, drop nuclear bombs on city centers to rid the world of tyranny.

The theo-politics of the Progressives (the Roosevelts and Rockefellers, Woodrow Wilson, et al.), by contrast, builds on a postmillennial eschatology. Spreading the Gospel will produce a period of peace and prosperity by virtue of centralized, top-down initiatives in which the elect direct the common man through industrialization, education, social justice, multilateral coercion, and do-gooding — e.g., the war to end all wars, the United Nations and Peace Corps, the universal brotherhood of man, and the right to abortion-on-demand everywhere on earth.

This schism between Jacksonian and Progressive Protestants accounts for both unexpected conflations and surprising polarities. Both groups are militaristic missionaries — one to keep liberty alive, the other to forge universal brotherhood. The dispensational premillennialists, however, eventually became committed Zionists, while the postmillennial Progressives sought CIA-backed friendship with Israel’s enemies. Perhaps most crucially, these two camps of missionary democrats are bitterly opposed in their extreme views of human nature — utterly depraved versus ultimately perfectible, with original sin either destroying everything or doing nothing. Those extremes squeeze out the Catholic via media in both theology and politics.

Although not a schism, a different theo-political tension — between Augustinians and Thomists — animates Roman Catholicism without polarizing it. For Augustine, the soul is nearly helpless without divine grace, and so the state, without justice, is a “band of robbers.” For Thomas Aquinas, the soul is less damaged by original sin, and the polis is a requirement of man’s social nature. At the parish level, the Augustinian view edges out the Thomistic. American Catholic conservatives often oppose single-payer universal health care, regulation of the market, food stamps, environmentalism, trust-busting, and even blue laws as violations of subsidiarity. Liberal Catholics, less Augustinian on these policies, are nevertheless quieter on abortion and often favor contraception, same-sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana, and even sometimes robust military intervention abroad. Both groups show themselves to be, theo-politically speaking, more Protestant American than Roman Catholic in their distrust of government, more libertarian than communitarian. Culture often prevails over faith, or faith sneaks into culture. I once heard an ardent French atheist declare that he worked not only for himself but for all those who cannot work — mothers, children, the elderly, and the incapacitated. The preferential option for the poor seeped into the hearts of the Frenchmen whose revolution decapitated the saints’ statues.

Neither the Augustinian nor the Thomistic view, however, in itself creates democratic missionaries or American apologists. Christ is King, not the people or the commander-in-chief. Baptizing the nations does not mean making the world safe for democracy. There is no Gospel by compulsion. War must be rare and just, as little used as capital punishment. Revolution is usually disorder; dictatorship may be better than anarchy. The bias toward order is perennially Catholic.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church articulates this theo-political consensus. Any form of government that promotes order under the divine law is acceptable. Even a hereditary monarchy, so long as it respects the free choice of citizens, the natural law, public order, and the fundamental rights of persons (no. 1901) can possess legitimate, binding authority, even though the balance of powers and the rule of law are “preferable” to the arbitrary rule of men (no. 1904). Not irresistible, Catholic grace is operative from God on us and cooperative from God through us (no. 2008); the Catholic understanding of original sin leaves the stain of concupiscence, not the obliteration of the will, which naturally avoids evil and seeks the good (no. 405). Consequently, government is less a result of our fallen nature than a requirement for our humanity; we need it less to protect ourselves than to fulfill ourselves. We may even go so far as to say that it is part of our spiritual battle for holiness. Further, submitting to governing authorities but putting not her trust in princes, the Church eschews both violent righteous eruptions and oppressive utopian schemes.

Millennialism (pre or post), or a literal interpretation of the chaining of Satan and the reign of Christ on earth with the saints for a happy thousand years (Rev. 20-21), is not Catholic. (Does not the difference between Catholic and Protestant theology often come down to what is read literally by one and figuratively by the other, the Eucharist as the glorified Body and Blood of Christ for Catholics, “Do not resist evil” as the biblicus evangelicus for Mennonite pacifism?) Millennialism is explicitly denounced in the Catechism:

The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world [not merely at the end times but] every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism. (no. 676)

The Catholic vision of the end times is marvelously vague: “The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven” (no. 677).

As a result, the Thomistic view of politics, milder and yet more positive than the Augustinian (and Protestant premillenniabpwhile also more limited than the postmillennial, prevails in the Catechism. The positive aspect of politics follows from Aristotle’s definition of man as zoon politikon: “The human person needs to live in society. Society is not for him an extraneous addition but a requirement of his nature” (no. 1879). Thus, not only the family but also the state “correspond more directly to the nature of man” and are “necessary to him”; we “associate with one another for the sake of attaining objectives that exceed individual capacities” (no. 1882).

Catholic politics is not Hobbesian tending toward authoritarianism, or libertarian tending toward anarchy; the Mystical Body of Christ has a natural political analog. At the same time, Catholic politics is limited by the principle of subsidiarity, by which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order” (no. 1883). Subsidiarity opposes “all forms of collectivism,” sets “limits for state intervention,” aims at “harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies,” and tends toward “the establishment of true international order” (no. 1885) — always with a “view toward the common good” (no. 1883).

The common good, that grand term missing almost entirely in American political discourse, in turn requires authority. But this authority is circumscribed by a limited view of the common good, and yet authority is defined more expansively than the typical American small-government model. Authority is limited by, first, the “respect for the person as such,” permitting him to “fulfill his vocation” through such freedoms as “the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion” (no. 1907); second, by “the social well-being and development of the group itself,” such as “food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right to establish a family, and so on” (no. 1908); and third, by the goal of “peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order,” which “is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defense” (no. 1909).

The second component of the common good is expanded from the American small-government model and “implies a universal common good” calling for an organization of the community of nations “to provide for the different needs of men” (no. 1911), such as questions of food, health care, education, immigration, and progress, in the order of persons “founded on truth, built up in justice, and animated by love” (no. 1912). As Chesterton observed, this Catholic view of the common good falls between Locke’s desire for security and Marx’s effort to recreate reality.

Military intervention, however, in order to secure the universal destination of goods, is noticeably absent. Indeed, the Catechism does not even outline just-war theory per se; rather, it sets the conditions for “legitimate defense by military force,” which is to be undertaken only when (1) the “damage” inflicted by the aggressor is “lasting, grave, and certain,” (2) “all other means of putting an end to it” are “impractical and ineffective,” (3) legitimate defense enjoys “serious prospects of success,” and (4) “the use of arms” does not produce “evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.” Responsible authorities are further restrained by “the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict,” so that “non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be treated humanely.” Genocide is “a mortal sin,” and we are “morally bound to resist orders” to commit it. Peace through strength is itself cautioned against, for “the accumulation of arms” as a method of deterrence “gives rise to strong moral reservations” (nos. 2309-2315).

The Augustinian emphasis on original sin, the will remaining free, leaves enough room for Aquinas’s confidence in the intellect to inform the will to master the passions. Together these two classic Catholic poles result in theo-political caution through the principle of subsidiarity and rigorously conditioned self-defense. No earthly nation, no alliance or empire, enjoys special privilege in the City of Man. American Catholics must therefore be careful not to be more American than Catholic, especially since American politics, both foreign and domestic, like most things in American culture, is essentially Protestant, even when it is neither Jacksonian nor Progressive. The founder of the Constitution was James Madison, who studied at the Calvinist Princeton University, doing special course work under its president, John Knox Witherspoon, a political philosopher and Presbyterian minister. Is it any surprise that Federalist No. 10 so assumes the depravity of man that the separation of powers is not to fulfill man’s social nature but succeeds only if “ambition counterattacks ambition”? While this dark view of human nature checks the Progressives, it also excludes Catholics who seek something beyond political gridlock.

A newly organized third party, the American Solidarity Party (ASP), highlights this exile of Catholics from American politics. Without being explicitly Christian (that reticence is itself a sign of American secularism’s animus against Christ), its four core principles span the Protestant divide in American politics and express the Catechism consensus in charged Catholic language:

Part One: “I affirm the sanctity of human life.” Our nation began with the profession — however often it has been violated — that all persons are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, chief among them the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The ASP…affirms the foundational assumption that human persons, from conception to natural death, possess a particular dignity that sets us apart from the rest of the created world.

Part Two: “I affirm the necessity of social justice.” Social justice is the natural corollary of the sanctity of human life. We are designed to live in community, to thrive together, to bear each other’s burdens, to not only pursue happiness but to find it in love.

Part Three: “I affirm our responsibility for the environment.” The privileged place of human beings in the natural order means we have a special responsibility to care for the rest of the world.

Part Four: “I affirm the possibility of a more peaceful world.” Violence begets violence, which threatens life, liberty, and human dignity. At the same time, those who threaten the rights of the most vulnerable are rarely deterred by mere admonitions. The use of force is necessary at times, but it should be a last resort, taking as little life or liberty as possible; leaving open the door to reconciliation as much as prudence allows.

Have you heard of the ASP? I doubt it. It didn’t register even 7,000 votes in the last presidential election. Without at all endorsing it, I cite it as, on its surface, an all-in statement of Catholic theo-politics, billboarding the “culture of life” of Evangelium Vitae, the “common good” of Rerum Novarum, the “common home” of Laudato Si’, and the “world peace” of Pacem in Terris. Dig a little deeper and you will find the philosophic personalism of Pope St. John Paul II, the economic distributism of Chesterton and Belloc, the UN Thomism of Jacques Maritain, and the service to the poor of Dorothy Day — solidarity balanced by subsidiarity but reaching out to the nations.

The ASP is more all-four-cylinders Catholic than almost any Christian Democrat Party in the West. Its platform is as pure and chivalrous as Don Quixote in the bawdy inn, and it shows how marginal and isolated the American Catholic voter who would think with the Church really is.

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

I’m NOT Uncomfortable With This…Should I Be?

A view of the SSPX – from the Occidental Observer – this will frighten some, annoy many and cause many more to – at least – raise their eyebrows:

An Appraisal of the SSPX from the Viewpoint of White Advocacy

Karl Nemmersdorf

The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is a priestly fraternity founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was one of the very few bishops to oppose the modern innovations imposed on the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). The SSPX does not have a sanctioned, official position within the Church, but it vehemently opposes any attempt to characterize it as “schismatic,” or opposed to basic and lawful Church authority. Its self-imposed mission is to preserve the kernel of the Church free from corruption, specifically the Latin Mass and the ordination of priests, and thus keep alive the old paths that produced millions of holy men and women.

The SSPX knows that enemies have infiltrated the Church—modernists, Jews, freemasons, and homosexuals—and have accomplished a profound and tragic transformation of the old Faith (see “The role of Jewish converts to Catholicism in changing traditional Catholic teachings on Jews“). Pope Francis with his leftist activism is not an isolated phenomenon, but simply the culmination of this maleficent penetration of the Church. It is crucial to understand that the Church we see today—wimpy and liberal—is emphatically not the Church of old. That Church is long gone, but a remnant perpetuates the old no-nonsense, masculine traditions. The SSPX is that remnant, along with patches of conservatism here and there in the New Church.

We must distinguish between the SSPX and its followers. The SSPX, strictly speaking, consists only of the priests and its few bishops. These priests offer Mass for many faithful (“traditional Catholics”), who are often mistaken for “members” of the SSPX. In this essay I will, however, sometimes lump priests and laity together under that term, or simply, “the Society.”

The SSPX is a very positive movement for Whites for several reasons. Perhaps the most important is that Society families produce White children at a rate virtually unknown anywhere in the contemporary West. The SSPX and its faithful make up one of the very few vital bodies in the entire West. By “vital,” I mean a body that is full of life and energy, from the Latin vita, “life.” And isn’t that what Whites need above all else? Life? Descendants? White children? What other group in America is “vital” in this sense? What other group in the U.S., apart from Mormons, and Mennonites, is producing large numbers of White children?

Another major service provided by the Society is standing firm against the agenda of Pope Francis. This includes his scandalous love affair with “migrant” Muslims (who would like nothing more than to execute him and turn St. Peters into a mosque), his espousal of the global warming agenda—and thus the globalist agenda—and his tragic failure to uphold sexual morality. In the latter sphere, he has left the Church fatally vulnerable to the LGBT agenda and (with his document Amoris Laetitia), those who attack the institution of marriage. Since the Church was the last real bulwark against the disastrous reign of loose morals, this leaves the West even further lacking in the sorts of social supports needed for a healthy, productive society.[1] The SSPX by its mere existence represents a standing rebuke to the agenda of Pope Francis, and stands almost alone in the Catholic world working to counteract the mad program of Francis. This alone should earn the gratitude of those who love the West.

In the U.S., there are only about 20,000 people who attend SSPX Masses; traditional Catholics are not numerous. Yet, the SSPX is much more important than its numbers might indicate, for the simple reason that it carries on the traditions of the ancient Western cult. The Catholic faith was the original cultus of our High Culture and “has had a vital role in the development of the West.” The Catholic Church was not a wimpy or egalitarian social force. It was a muscular entity that united everyone under a reassuring canopy of dogma and sacrament; it had a major role in holding the West together in the face of the Muslim onslaught. Often it was the only entity that considered Europe as a whole, the only force rising above the often petty contentions of individual princedoms. The Catholic West conducted many wars against Islam, and all of them were summoned by the Popes. The Church became a handmaid of the Left only in the past fifty years.

I know the SSPX well; I have attended SSPX masses for almost twenty years. I returned to the Church when I was in my mid-thirties, when I thought I was well on my way to eternal bachelorhood. But then I fell in love with a young Catholic girl, and we proceeded to marry and have six children, and may have more. I and my family now live in one of the biggest SSPX parishes in the world, with over thirty-seven hundred souls. I must say, the Faith has been a boon to me in affording me the chance at marriage and a family, but it also rescued me from behavior that would have introduced me to an early grave. Religious faith has many benefits.

Before I discuss race, some prefatory comments are in order. My personal view is that all men are descended from a common ancestor, and are thus brothers. All possess certain innate rights and are due proper justice and respect. My thoughts here coincide with, and are informed by, Catholic teaching. It seems to me we can all agree on these basic points. I do not view White nationalism as incompatible with Catholic charity or justice whatsoever, at least if one defines White nationalism as implying that races naturally come into too much conflict when mixed and would thrive from division into separate nation-states.

The idea that “charity begins at home” also does not conflict with Catholic teaching. We naturally love what is closer to us, family, then neighbors, and less so as one moves outward (also Catholic doctrine). Whites certainly can—and should—assist other Whites or fellow citizens before helping outsiders. This does not rule out charity for other nations or races, but it does place the emphasis squarely on helping those who are closer. (“America First!”) The “pathological altruism” of the modern West stems from suicidal liberalism, not Catholic teaching: “Christianity has not had a consistent message of ethnic suicide or moral universalism.”

The Catholic position on human “equality” also deserves a few words, since it is a central political and social concern. Many believe that “Christian” egalitarianism has been a major cause of the decline of the West. Catholic teaching, however, holds that men are equal only in that they have a common human nature (body and soul) and a common end (fulfillment in God). This concept of equality is largely spiritual; when men operate in society, inequality of ability and achievement quickly becomes evident. Catholic teaching always understood and accepted this. Pope Leo XIII wrote,

There naturally exist among mankind manifold differences of the most important kind; people differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition. Such inequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community. Social and public life can only be maintained by means of various kinds of capacity … (from the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum)

Pope St. Pius X stated,

Human society as God established it, is composed of unequal elements . . . to make them all equal is impossible, and would be the destruction of society itself  . . . Consequently it is conformable to the order established by God, that in human society there should be princes and subjects, masters and [workmen], rich and poor, learned and ignorant, nobles and plebeians . . . (E. Cahill, The Framework of a Christian State, p. 289)

It is Communism and its evil twin, the liberal democratic/globalist regime, that have strived to crush and level Western man, not the Catholic Church. The Church always upheld social and political hierarchy.

With these fundamental questions addressed, we proceed. Racially, the SSPX faithful in the U.S. are overwhelmingly White. There is a sizeable number of Hispanics, and a few blacks and Asians, but the Whites must amount to about ninety percent of the whole, if not more. Being Catholic, the Society is cosmopolitan (it has churches worldwide) and there is admittedly some race mixing. I have seen a handful of White-Filipino or White-Asian marriages, and a few White-black. The mixing is on a small scale, but the Society (like the old Church) is amenable to it. White Nationalists might sneer at these facts, but intermarriage will remain a minor matter in the SSPX. It does nothing to alter the fact that the SSPX brings large numbers of White children into the world. Intermarriage, I think, hits a raw nerve today largely because of the race crisis brought on by mass immigration. Absent this dangerous situation, we might look upon the occasional interracial marriage as a curious novelty, not as a pang to the heart and a loss of precious genes. We might.

The state of marriages and families among the SSPX faithful is—make no mistake—sometimes less than ideal. The faithful exist in various stages of conforming to the Catholic faith, and there is much ignorance. There are some broken marriages and badly raised children. The faithful (many of whom are converts) have had to go through the process of tearing themselves away from extreme feminism, hedonism, and other mindsets of the modern and postmodern world. It is an extremely difficult process, and many are only in the early stages of making the break.

Yet fruitful marriages abound. The portion of SSPX faithful who marry is far above the present rate in the U.S. Only fifty percent of adults in the United States are married, as opposed to seventy-two percent in 1960, a drastic decline of over thirty percent. The rate among Society faithful, I think, meets or exceeds the 1960 U.S. rate. Very few become priests or nuns; the great majority “commit matrimony,” as the priests jest. And once married, something magical happens. These couples are open to having as many children as possible. It is a remarkable phenomenon. The women willingly accept this calling, and they do so with pride. When SSPX couples meet, one of the first questions is always, “how many children do you have?” The happiness of the parents is evident.

There is also a very low rate of illegitimacy, almost certainly less than three percent, when the White rate in America is now approaching thirty percent. This protects children (and mothers) from a wide range of bad social outcomes.

In my large parish, families of ten or twelve children are common. There are at least two families with eighteen kids. The birth rate in the Society is about three times greater than in the U.S. as a whole. (Using some rough calculations, I estimated the birth rate—births per 1,000 women of childbearing age—in the Society at about 170, while the U.S. White birth rate is 60. That would make it 2.83 times greater, but I have a hard time believing the number is not closer to 4.) Whatever it may be, the begetting of the next generation is the sine qua non of the race, and traditional Catholics are tackling the job splendidly. I would challenge you, dear reader: how many children have you given the White race?

The crucial bottleneck here is finding women willing to contract permanent marriages and have children. It is hard enough to find a woman willing to get married and have any children. That is the great value of the SSPX. In the Society there are many young White women eager to marry and have as many children as they can. Try finding that anywhere else. They are willing to marry outside the faith, too, as long as their partner converts. Say it with me, “Whites need to have more children.” With the Catholic solution to fertility introduced here, I might ask, is the survival of the race worth going to Mass? It might come down to that.

Then there is the training of children. People in the SSPX know that children need to be trained, guided, formed. This awareness seems to be utterly lacking in the U.S. as a whole. The mere sight of modern children makes it painfully obvious that their parents have never given a thought to their training. Look at the children you see in public. They yell, throw themselves around, and make yowling demands upon their parents, demands that are usually met with parental submission. This is not normal, my friends. SSPX parents rarely permit their kids to grow up with such a sense of entitlement. Self-control is a byword for traditional Catholics, and much thought is given to child-rearing.

This training in self-discipline is absolutely crucial. No one who lacks self-control can accomplish anything of importance. Thus, traditional Catholic parents not only have the children, they are also raising them to be productive members of society.

SPXX families also raise their children almost wholly shielded from the worst monstrosities of the modern world, such as promoting homosexuality, transgenderism, and feminism. Parents foster good moral health. For Catholics, homosexuality has always been a horror, “the sin that dare not speak its name”; enough said about it. Traditional gender roles are emphasized quite thoroughly, both in the home and in the schools. There is a real emphasis on giving boys free rein for their natural masculinity, and they glory in it. Traditional girls’ roles are a bit harder to inculcate (although some families excel at it). Women are less enthusiastic and less knowledgeable about this type of training. Extreme forms of feminism have so permeated modern society that many men and women of the Society are not aware that they hold such views. Nevertheless, this does not prevent the women from fulfilling their roles as mothers of large families. And really, who cares what they think if they fulfil this duty?

Families, schools, and priests in the Society all foster an appreciation for Western Culture. The traditions of the West in music, art, literature, and philosophy are valued, taught, and assimilated. How many schools or colleges in America can say that? This emphasis on Western culture is not necessarily conscious, but it exists. And that is enough. When was the creation of the great works ever completely conscious?

The Society teaches the duty of patriotism. Traditional Catholics are truly patriotic and many serve in the military. In general they participate dutifully in the political process and stay informed on the issues. (They work with the democratic process, which in my youthful rage I spurned; who was right?) Many men in the Society see the world in ways similar to the viewpoint of White Nationalism, especially concerning the immivasion crisis and the dominance of the hostile elite.

At a time when the public schools operate as a vast, sinister project indoctrinating students in all the current paths of social dissolution favored by the hostile elite, at least some fraction of young men and women will be able to begin their adult lives free from this complex of depravities. Thanks to the SSPX.

There is much evidence that the practice of religion benefits individuals and society. By raising young adults in a religious tradition, the SSPX benefits society as a whole.

Politically, the SSPX knows as well as anyone in the modern West the danger posed by the Jewish influence and the Islamic invasion. The Catholic Church was the only solid defense the West ever enjoyed against Jewish influence.“With the political success of the Church, society as a whole became organized around a monolithic, hegemonic, and collectivist social institution defined by its opposition to Judaism.”  In 1910, during the papacy of Pius X, the Catholic Encyclopedia described the causes of anti-Semitism as follows:

 

  • The deep and wide racial difference between Jews and Christians which was, moreover, emphasized by the ritual and dietary laws of Talmudic Judaism;
  • the mutual religious antipathy which prompted the Jewish masses to look upon the Christians as idolaters, and the Christians to regard the Jews as the murderers of the Divine Saviour of mankind, and to believe readily the accusation of the use of Christian blood in the celebration of the Jewish Passover, the desecration of the Holy Eucharist, etc.;
  • the trade rivalry which caused Christians to accuse the Jews of sharp practice, and to resent their clipping of the coinage, their usury, etc.;
  • the patriotic susceptibilities of the particular nations in the midst of which the Jews have usually formed a foreign element, and to the respective interests of which their devotion has not always been beyond suspicion. (See “The Church and anti-Semitism—Again.”)

 

The Church often kept strict controls upon the Jews. However, as a result of the Enlightenment and liberal ideas, the nations awarded the Jews a citizenship and political equality. This opened wide the social and political spheres to the Jews, and they rushed in and got to work. This happened only in the states that had thrown out the Catholic Church. On this topic, one of the innovations of the New Church the Society rejects is Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II statement that retreated significantly from the old militant Catholic view of the Jews. (This document also features this gem: “The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems.”) The SSPX preserves this old wisdom, with the result that it features prominently on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website. A badge of honor.

To sum up, the Society of St. Pius X will never be a frank ally of White Nationalism. The Church shies away, in charity, from probing too deeply into the race question; after all, its kingdom is not of this world. However, despite whatever reservations one may have about the Catholic faith or teachings, traditional Catholics are doing the arduous work that Whites all across the West (and White Nationalists) should be doing, but all too often are not: begetting and training the next generation of Whites. For that, the SSPX deserves gratitude and respect.

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

This is BIG NEWS locally here in Bostoniensis!

From Father Z’s Blog:

D. Worcester – Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary granted canonical status

My friend Fr. Jay Finelli let me know a while ago that Bishop of Worcester has granted canonical status to the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, MA. He has this on his site:

Congratulations to my dear friends, The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, Massachusetts. On 27 October, the Most Rev. Robert J. McManus granted them canonical status as a Public Association of the Faithful.

This is big news!   I want to get to the bottom of what really happened to Father Leonard Feeney.   Chicanery at the highest levels I suspect!   There is something rotten in the city of Brighton! (now Braintree – if ya catch my drift!)

The Catholic Identity Conference in Weirton, WV

By Allan Gillis

What a wonderful experience for an old “rad-trad grump”!   I flew down to Pittsburgh Friday morning, picked up my rental car and drove southwest to the cozy little hamlet of Weirton, West Virginia.  There the folks at The Remnant Newspaper had assembled a great stable of Catholic writers and speakers.  The theme seemed essentially to be a look at Fatima, 100 years later…   in light of the current Church crisis.   Very, very interesting stuff!

I’m not going to write a play-by-play as I know I wouldn’t do justice to many of the speakers.  You can subscribe to (and I encourage you to!) the online recorded talks given. See their website:  www.remnantnewspaper.com

Let me just share briefly my impressions of some people and some ideas of mine as to the experience.

I met Michael Matt and he is a dynamo.   Clearly very passionate about his faith (our faith) and clearly a dedicated and loving dad.  Many of his brood were there in different roles i.e. greeting conferees, audio/visual technical help and various logistical tasks.  The kids in turn seemed to be surrounded by a friendly warren of same-aged kids helping out.  It was real nice seeing the younger folk taking part in this conference!  Let me be emphatic here; there were a good 20% of the attendees under the age of 40 years old!  It wasn’t just us old farts!

I made a point of meeting Chris Ferrara.  Gracious and witty!   Sharp tongue and pen!  A riot of a man.

John Rao …    a towering intellect and quite well-read.

Elizabeth Yore…  wielding a stinging pen and a rather humorous, righteous indignation.

It seems that this group meets yearly. But, it had an aura of “newness” about it.  I did take a random look online at several websites that reported on the same conference of years gone by and the accompanying photos showed far, far fewer people there in the past.  So, take my word for it – this thing is growing exponentially!

It felt so nice to be around a few hundred people that saw the world and the Church in a similar way as I do.  I fight a degree of skepticism as I grow older.  I feel sometimes frightened by the rapidity of decay in the culture.  Our civilization is on fire.  The Devil is waxing bold.  I worry about my children and grandchildren.  What will become of them?  Will they be able to build and hold onto a faith in Jesus Christ?  Will they cleave to truth?  …or slide under the mud of the mundane or slowly rot with the dis-believing soul-dead?  My task is to pray them into Heaven and set an example of holiness, honesty and self-sacrifice.   I found many, many others at this conference that have the exact same sense!  It felt nice.

There was a Extraordinary-Form Mass all three days (2 on Sunday!) just down the road in a BEAUTIFUL old Catholic church!  Delightful!  Bishop Athanasius Schneider celebrated Friday evening’s Mass in Steubenville (10-15 minutes west of Weirton) at St.Peter’s

Here are a few photos from St.Peter’s website in Steubenville (click to enlarge):

the gorgeous altar:

the incredible schola:

I salute the whole team at The Remnant and shall endeavor to wrestle out on my keyboard a few issues that I faced and ideas that I had at the conference.

One thing that really occurs to me is that we traditionalists must be scaring the shit out of some of these unbelieving bishops across Europe and these United States.  As Bishop Schneider said: “thank God for the internet”!  We’re successfully connecting with, communicating with and continually encouraging one another in the faith and ancient traditions of Holy Mother Church.  Modernism be damned!

Ave Maria, Ora Pro Nobis!

 

Good Little Jewish Girl…

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

Check this out…     makes me sick!

CBS fires vice president who said Vegas victims didn’t deserve sympathy because country music fans ‘often are Republican’

By Brian Flood, Fox News

CBS has parted ways with one of the company’s top lawyers after she said she is “not even sympathetic” to victims of the Las Vegas shooting because “country music fans often are Republican,” when discussing the tragic mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas late Sunday night.

“This individual, who was with us for approximately one year, violated the standards of our company and is no longer an employee of CBS. Her views as expressed on social media are deeply unacceptable to all of us at CBS. Our hearts go out to the victims in Las Vegas and their families,” a CBS spokeswoman told Fox News.

Hayley Geftman-Gold, [A HILLARY CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER AND FUNDRAISER!] the network’s now-former vice president and senior counsel, took to Facebook after a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, killing at least 58 people and sending more than 520 others to hospitals.

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing,” Geftman-Gold wrote in a now-deleted message that was first reported and captured by The Daily Caller.

Geftman-Gold continued: “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic].”

Geftman-Gold is presumably referring to Sandy Hook, which occurred in Newtown, Conn. back in 2012. A 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza, killed 20 children and six adults during the tragic event that sparked intense political debates regarding gun control.

Geftman-Gold did not work directly with the network’s news division. According to her LinkedIn bio, Geftman-Gold worked at CBS since September 2016 and graduated from the prestigious Columbia University law school in 2000.

I WANT TO THROW UP AS I SEE THE MAIN-STREAM MEDIA QUICKLY TRYING TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM THIS CHICK!

Its worse than you think

By Augustinus

Acolytes of Pope Francis apparently do not believe that the church is in crisis. Like the Pope himself they apparently believe that further accommodations to fallen humankind and the world are in order all in the name of mercy, inclusion and understanding. The acolytes of Pope Francis tend to be better Christians than the opponents of Pope Francis at least in one respect: they are more forgiving of anyone who is accorded the sacred status of “victim”. If on the other hand a group or individual is given the label rigid” or conservative or reactionary, well then no quarter is given, nor mercy, nor understanding, nor inclusion. The opponents of Pope Francis, however, are little better. They at least see that the church is in severe crisis but they erroneously attribute the crisis to the legacy of Vatican II or to the long term effects of the reformation and the gradual adoption of the modernist heresy by western elites and then by most of the laity in the church.

Just as the French revolution ushered in the political vocabulary of progressive and reactionary, liberal vs conservative, right and left so too factions in the church battle it out interminably over all kinds of issues but always within the terms of the debate set originally at the French revolution….and thus the opposing sides never settle anything and never get anywhere.

To truly understand the seriousness of the crisis the church finds itself in at the present moment one needs to let go of seeing the world in terms of right and left, liberal and conservative, progressive and reactionary etc and instead see the world and the church as it really is.

If we turn our backs on the interminable and petty name calling between the liberals and the conservatives in the church we can then engage seriously with the theology of the church.  Due to the nature of their calling theologians can sometimes see history and the church in a clearer light than can the clergy and laity who are trapped in a historical moment. Real theologians are however few and far between especially in the modern era. They tend to want to follow the herd of academics to curry favor with the zeitgest and the state and other idols. Nevertheless, they have to contend with the eternal truths of the creed and that tend to force them to keep one foot in reality whenever considering the church in the world and the present historical moment.

When we look at the theological work in ecclesiology or the theory of the church in the world we of course find a lot of garbage and nonsense but we also find true gems that allow us to gauge the current crisis of the church and what to do about it.

The church is composed of several pillars: the Petrine pillar composes the papacy and magisterium and is suppose to safeguard basic dogmatic residua of the tradition. The Pauline pillar safeguards  and promotes the work of spirit in upbuilding of the body of Christ. The Jamesian pillar safeguards the dogma of the sacrifice of Christ and builds up the priesthood, the clergy and bishops. The Johannine pillar safeguards mystical and dogmatic traditions around christology, the Eucharist and the mystical marriage of Christ and Church. The Thomasian tradition safeguards the secret christian gnosis and the marriage of reason and faith that is the essence of christianity. The  Lazarus tradition safeguards traditions around easter and the resurrection. And finally the Marian tradition safeguards the purity of the church and works against heresy –the giving birth of monsters.

In the past history of the church you might have one or tow of these pillars not given due attention. For example while the era of the church fathers gave due weight to the petrine, pauline, jamesian, johannine and marian pillars the thomasian and lazaran traditions were not given due weight. In the middle ages the pauline, johannine and lazaran pillars were neglected. During the reformation the pauline tradition was emphasized by the protestant sects to the neglect of all other traditions/pillars. In the modern era ALL pillars are under severe attack.

Bergoglio the “Leftist World Leader”!

Brought to you by Allan Gillis from the venerable Rorate Caeli

Op-Ed: “With Democrats’ loss in the US, Francis becomes the leader of the Global Left.”

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After Trump’s victory, has Pope Francis become the leader of the international left?

Roberto de Mattei

Corrispondenza Romana
November 11, 2016
The Cardinal Secretary of State, Parolin sent the Holy See’s congratulations to Donald Trump, expressing its hopes that the new president would work in service to his country and for peace in the world. Also Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville and President of the U.S. Bishop’s Conference, congratulated the newly-elected President, urging him to govern for the common good of all citizens. The position of the Vatican diplomacy appears to be correcting, or tempering, that of Pope Francis, who has never concealed his intolerance with the candidate for the American presidency.

On his return flight from Mexico on February 18th of this year, in commenting Trump’s plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico in order to slow down the migratory surge the Pope had said that “a person who thinks only of building walls and not bridges, is not a Christian.” On another return flight, of October 2nd from Baku to Rome, to those who asked what candidate he favoured, he didn’t commit himself. Yet, no matter how strong the reservations towards Trump can be, for a Catholic it would be difficult to imagine a position of equidistance between him and Hilary Clinton, who had officially inserted a massive implementation of abortion and the LGBT agenda into her programme. Unless self-defence against the migratory invasion is considered a graver sin than the legalization of abortion and so-called homosexual marriage.
Over and above any moral judgment on such questions, the basic problem that divides the Vatican and the new American presidency is of a political order. The theme of immigration in fact, from the very beginning of this pontificate – the basic cornerstone of Bergoglian politics – constitutes nonetheless a keystone also in Donald Trump’s programme. On this point Francis’ vision and the President of the United States’ are in opposition. “A nation without borders is not a nation, just as a country without laws is not an nation” Trump affirms, whereas for Pope Francis, an unlimited welcome to immigrants is almost a theological “locus”. If Trump goes ahead with his plan, he will not only pull the brakes on the reigning multiculturalism in his country since the Kennedy era, but he will also give inevitable impetus to those parties on the right and “those who identify with it”, which in the upcoming weeks and months, will go to elections in Austria, Holland, France and Germany.
For his part, after Clinton’s defeat, Francesco now remains the only point of reference for the international left, [now] lacking a leader. On November 5th at the conclusion of the Third World Meeting of the so-called “Popular Movements” in the Vatican, in the presence of revolutionary agitators from the five continents, Pope Francis turned to them saying: “I make your cry mine”. But the cry of protest, that is raised by the movements gathered in Paul VI’s audience hall, is, unfortunately, characterized by ideological fanaticism and incitement to violence.
The trend line is clear. In his last trip to South America, Francis expressed his sympathy for the Bolivian and Ecuadorian Presidents, and on October 24th received in private audience in the Vatican, the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro Moros, also of the extreme left, to whom he guaranteed his support. No word of approval or pleasure came instead from the Vatican for the extraordinary gesture by the Peruvian President, Pedro Paplo Kuczynski, who, on October 21st, before members of the Chamber and Senate, consecrated his country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
How fitting it would be, if in staying out of politics, the Pope and Bishops of the world would unite their efforts in religious acts of this type, beginning with the long-awaited consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on the occasion of the 2017 Fatima centenary, which coincides with the evil one of the October Bolshevik Revolution.
Translation: Francesca Romana

Maybe The Pilot isn’t a Pirate after all…

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

This in today’s Boston Pilot:

A Catholic News Service story (CNS)

Election outcome expected to influence religious freedom in health care

By Dennis Sadowski
Posted: 11/3/2016

Dr. Anne Nolte, right, a family physician with the National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility in New York, is pictured with a patient in 2009. A pair of Catholic physicians argue that changes in the way health care is paid for and stronger relationships between doctors and their patients will do more to improve people’s health and uphold the sanctity of life than bureaucratic government-run programs and expensive insurance policies. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)


WASHINGTON (CNS) — A pair of Catholic physicians argue that changes in the way health care is paid for and stronger relationships between doctors and their patients will do more to improve people’s health and uphold the sanctity of life than bureaucratic government-run programs and expensive insurance policies.

Dr. Marguerite Duane, adjunct associate professor of family medicine at Georgetown University, and Dr. Lester Ruppersberger, president of the Catholic Medical Association, also maintain that control over health care must be in the hands of patients and their families rather than any bureaucracy.

Both physicians offered their views during an hourlong discussion Nov. 2 in Washington sponsored by Christ Medicus Foundation at the Catholic Information Center called “The Changing Face of Health Care and the 2016 Election.”

The program took place just days ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Each of the four participants said that the next presidential administration and the new Congress will influence how the U.S. health care system evolves.

The panelists expressed concern over the erosion of conscience protections for hospitals and health care workers and the rights of individuals to choose a doctor who aligns with their religious beliefs and to purchase insurance without paying for health services that they morally oppose.

“People have to realize that Americans of all stripes, regardless of their religious affiliation, that we are losing our religious freedom … at amazing speed,” said Louis Brown, foundation director.

“We’re seeing with the increased power of the executive, of the White House and regulatory agencies that a lot of things can be done or undone without congressional action, and there’s a lot of danger,” Brown said.

He said the new Congress is expected to strengthen the Weldon Amendment, a federal law enacted in 2005 to protect the conscience rights of institutions and individuals, and to clarify some aspects of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Then there’s the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brown said observers expect at least three, and perhaps four, justices will be appointed by the next president and they likely will play a key role in health care services as lawsuits make their way through appeals.

The foundation-led discussion stemmed in part from its CURO health care ministry, a health sharing program that bills itself as an alternative to traditional health insurance. It enables people to pay for medical expenses without being part of an insurance plan they feel compromises their religious beliefs.

The panelists covered several topics, with the physicians expressing concern for increasingly restrictive regulations emerging from the Affordable Care Act that serve to marginalize the conscience of health care workers, Catholic hospitals and patients.

A fourth panelist, Matt Bowman, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, outlined some of the lawsuits nationwide filed on discrimination grounds challenging the rights of hospitals and health care professionals to deny to offer care that violates their religious beliefs.

Citing her experience treating patients at the Spanish Catholic Center in the Archdiocese of Washington, Duane said she has learned that health care does not have to be expensive or guided by a checklist of actions in order to meet reimbursement guidelines or government mandates.

“Much of our health care costs does not actually pay for health care,” Duane told the forum. “It covers the administration of the bureaucracy that continues to build and expand and will only hasten and worsen with the Affordable Care Act. All of this money we are putting into this health care system is not helping people get healthier. It’s helping government to grow bigger. It’s helping government to have greater control in our lives and what we do.”

The ACA is facing new challenges after the Department of Health and Human Services announced in October that 2017 premiums for mid-level health plans will increase by an average of 25 percent and that consumers in some states will find fewer insurance companies offering coverage.

Duane called for greater use of direct primary care, an alternative care model in which a trusting relationship between patient and doctor is encouraged and fee-for-service incentives are replaced with a flat monthly fee. She said direct primary care leads to better outcomes because people feel connected to their doctor.

In cooperation with another physician, Duane has formed a direct primary care practice in which basic care is delivered at homes or elsewhere. She said the monthly cost is $79 for individuals and $250 for families.

Comprehensive health insurance instead, Duane explained, can be used for more costly procedures and because it would be used less often premiums could be lower. She compared such a system of comprehensive health insurance to automobile insurance, which is accessed only in cases of serious damage to a vehicle.

Ruppersberger said the Catholic Medical Association has long recognized the need for health care delivery reform. He pointed to the Catholic Medical Association’s 2004 white paper, “Health Care in America: A Catholic Proposal for Renewal,” which offered specific policy proposals based on Catholic moral and social teaching.

The document, he explained, pointed to a “crisis” in the American health care that stems from the lack of health insurance coverage millions of Americans had in 2004 and continue to have today despite the ACA.

“The crisis in American health care is more than a crisis of the insured and uninsured,” Ruppersberger said. “It is a crisis afflicting the patient-physician relationship, which has been eroded by factors that include financing health care, but that are more properly understood as having their roots in the loss of a common understanding, within and without the medical profession, of the sanctity and inviolability of each human life and the dignity of the person.”

The Catholic Church, he continued, can provide the needed guidance to “enact meaningful health care policies that uphold the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, as well as the common good, and to do so in a financially sustainable fashion,” he said.

Acknowledging that the document must be updated to reflect changes in the health sector since then, Ruppersberger noted that any recommendations the Catholic Medical Association offers will conform with Catholic social and moral teaching.

“The challenge is to create new incentives that drive the power and responsibility for purchasing health insurance away from specific employers and government bureaucracies and toward the individual worker and family. Changes in public policy are needed to foster a renewed climate in which individuals and families are free to make decision about their health care and its source based upon conscience,” he said.

Bowman cited cases in which religiously affiliated medical facilities and physicians are defending their right not to refer a woman for an abortion elsewhere when the procedure is not offered at their own facilities. He also noted a Vermont case in which doctors are required to tell a terminally ill patient about all treatment options available, including physician-assisted suicide.

“This is a serious issue about whether health care professionals or health care facilities will be able to practice medicine consistent with their beliefs,” Bowman said of the lawsuits pending nationwide. “But it’s also an issue about whether their patients will be able to choose them. There are many women who want the freedom to choose a doctor to deliver their baby and their doctor also does not kill babies.”

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Perhaps I’m too hard on The Pilot.  With all that I have going on personally, I NEED these distractions!

I Found This Absolutely Fascinating!

I found this the other day and wanted to think more about it before posting it. – The funny thing is; I am a very astringent opponent of Frankie-The-Hippie-Pope and also, I am very supportive of and a great admirer of Vladimir Putin. I had never put the two thoughts together on the same mental page! Check this out:

Catholics who are anti-Francis but love Putin

from The Vatican Insider

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giacomo galeazzi – andrea tornielli

rome

The glue that holds them together is their aversion towards Francis. The world of Francis dissenters ranges from Lefebvrians who have decided to “wait for a traditional Pope” before renewing their communion with Rome, to catholic regionalists who compare Francis to his predecessor Ratzinger and promote the campaign “Benedict is my Pope”.

Then there are the ultra-conservatives of Fondazione Lepanto – a foundation that aims to protect the principles and institutions of the Christian civilization – and websites that share sedevacantist positions, adamant that the Catholic writer Antonio Socci was right to argue that Bergoglio’s election is invalid, simply because a vote was cancelled without a scrutiny in the march 2013 Conclave. This was because one of the cardinals mistakenly placed an extra ballot in the ballot box. The voting resumed immediately to wipe away any doubts and without any of the cardinal electors raising any objections. Prelates and traditionalist intellectuals have signed appeals or protested against the Argentinian Pope’s open pastoral attitude with regard to communion for remarried divorcees and dialogue with the Chinese government.
Opposition to the Pope unites people and groups that are very different among them: soft criticism is expressed by online newspaper La Bussola Quotidiana and monthly newspaper Il Timone, directed by Riccardo Cascioli. The Argentinian Pope is also reproached almost on a daily basis by L’Espresso’s former Vatican affairs journalist Sandro Magister. Then there are the revelatory and mocking comments made by Maria Guarini in Italian blog Chiesa e Postconcilio and the harsher criticisms made by ultra-traditionalist and sedevacantist groups, those who believe there has not been a worthy Pope since Pius XII. Italian newspaper La Stampa visited the places and protagonists of this opposition to Francis which is contained in terms of numbers but widespread on the web. Those behind this opposition, use the Internet and private meetings between clerics, combining frontal and public attacks with more articulate strategies. Alessandro Gnocchi, who writes for the Riscossa Cristiana and Unavox websites, is on the frontline of web criticism against the Pope: “Bergoglio is systematically surrendering the Church to the world, the Church is becoming worldly. His pontificate is based on the brutal handling of power. Never has the faith been so debased.”

Opposition headquarters
Fondazione Lepanto, located between the paleochristian walls of St. Balbina Basilica on the Aventine Hill is one of the cultural power houses of anti-Francis sentiment. The foundation’s books combined with the Corrispondenza Romana news agency and the meetings held in the sitting room on the first floor, make it one of the headquarters of the anti-Bergoglio front. “The Church is going through one the biggest moments of chaos in its history and the Pope is one of the causes of this,” says historian and President of Fondazione Lepanto, Roberto De Mattei. This chaos is above all to dow itht he Pope’s magisterium. Francis is not the solution but part of the problem.” Opposition, De Mattei added, “is not just being expressed by these so-called traditionalist circles extends to bishops and theologians who were trained according to the Ratzinger and Wojtyla schools of thought.”

De Mattei prefers to refer to it as “resistance” rather than “dissent”. This resistance was recently expressed by 45 Catholic theologians and philosophers who criticized the apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” and by 80 figures – who gradually turned into several thousand – including Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians, who made a declaration of “loyalty to the unchanging magisterium of the Church”. One of the hotbeds of resistance, the historian underlined, “is the John Paul II Institute for the family, whose heads were recently removed by Bergoglio”. Traditionalists are also targeting Francis for the part his migration policy is playing in destabilizing Europe and obliterating western civilization.

Political-theological opposition
The attack against Francis is global. “There is a strong geopolitical element in the circles that oppose Francis,” observes Agostino Giovagnoli, Professor of Contemporary History at the Università Cattolica  and expert on dialogue with China. They are accusing Bergoglio of not proclaiming the truths of the faith with sufficient vigour but in reality they are blaming him for not defending the West’s primacy. This opposition has political motivations that are masked by theological and ecclesial questions”. China is an example of this. “There is an alliance between Honk Kong circles, sectors within the US and Europe’s right-wing: they are accusing Francis of putting the goal of uniting the Church in China before the defense of religious freedom,” he continues. Such positions are often expressed by Catholic news agency Asianews. These critics say the Pope should affirm religious freedom as a political argument against Beijing instead of seeking dialogue through diplomatic means”.

Opposition – which also finds backing in the Curia –is also being voiced by clerics with Vatican connections, such as the liturgist and theologian Fr. Nicola Bux, a consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Office of Liturgical Celebrations. “Today, there are quite a few lay people, priests and bishops are asking themselves where we are headed,” he tells La Stampa. In the Church, it has always been possible to express one’s  opposition to ecclesiastical authorities, even the Pope. Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini notoriously put his opposition to the reigining Pope in writing too but John Paul II never removed him from his post as Archbishop of Milan, nor did he consider him a conspirator.” The Pope’s job, Bux continued, is “to safeguard ecclesial communion, not to favour division and rivalry, siding with progressives against the conservatives”. “If a Pope upheld a heterodox doctrine, cardinals in Rome could declare his fall  from office”. In a rippling crescendo, researcher Flavio Cuniberto – who has authored a book criticising the Pope’s social magisterium, is a scholar of René Guenon and of traditionalism close to the esoteric right – recently launched a protest in Italian newspaper Il Giornale. He stated that “Bergoglio has not updated Catholic doctrine, he’s destroyed it  and acts as though he is a Catholic but is in fact not: the distorted idea of poverty elevates old pauperism to the dogmatic sphere.” The Pope praises recycling and thus “the virtues of the good late-modern consumer become the new evangelical virtues”.

Theories about the two Popes
On his official Facebook page, Antonio Socci claims that Benedict XVI did not really want to resign but still considers himself Pope and wants in some way to share the “Petrine ministry” with his successor. Ratzinger himself has denied this interpretation outright on more than one occasion between February 2014 and the recent interview-length book “Final Conversations”, confirming that his resignation is completely valid and publicly demonstrating his obedience to Francis. The theory was fueled by the interpretation drawn from some words pronounced last may by the Prefect of the Papal Household and Benedict XVI’s secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein. During a book presentation, Fr. Georg stated: “There are not two Popes therefore but an extended ministry, with an active member and a contemplative member.” Socci published Bergoglio and Ratzinger’s photos next to each other with the caption: “Which of the two?” He went on to write: “One contrasts love and the truth (Bergoglio), while another sees them united in God (Benedict XVI)”.

Among the many comments to these remarks, Paolo Soranno wrote: “Francis I seems to be serving God Rainbow (who does not impose religious and moral principles) and not the Catholic God.” The opposition intensifies on the web, with people letting all fury loose protected by their computer screen, as was apparent from some comments beneath the articles posted on social networks. The “messainitaliano” website, which promotes the old liturgy but also publishes vitriolic comments on the Pope, speaks about the “tedious ideological monotony of the current pontificate”. On the web, one comes across comments about the Church eventually dissolving into some kind of a UN of religions with a touch of Greenpeace and a hint of a trades union organization, given that “today, moral sins are downgraded and Bergoglio established social (or socialist) sins as well”. Maria Guarini’s ultra-traditionalist blog “Chiesa e Postconcilio” publishes titles such as: “If the next Pope is Bergoglian, the Vatican will become a Cathomasonic branch”. The opposition comes from the more conservative side of the spectrum but also finds a voice among some disappointed ultra-progressives.

Such is the case of the Ambroasian priest Fr. Giorgio De Capitani, who relentlessly attacks Francis from the left and does not therefore be included in the groups described so far. He tears the pontificate to pieces and feeds it to the wolves. “How many useless and obvious words. Peace, justice and goodness. The Pope is really getting on our nerved with all these tear-jerking words and gestures. Francis is a victim of his own consensus and all he is doing is creating illusions, pulling the wool over our eyes, steals some applause and fills some nincompoop journalists who know nothing of the faith, with rapture”. Journalist Giuseppe Rusconi reflected: “is our Shepherd really above all “ours”  or is he not showing that he favours the indistinct global flock, thus being perceived by non-Catholic public opinion as a leader who responds to the wishes of contemporary society? Is he doing it as part of a Jesuit strategy or out of personal choice? And when the shepherd returns to the pen, how many sheep will be bring with him? And how many of those lost will he find?” This mixed opposition has identified some bishops and cardinals as reference points. On his blog, Magister put Guinean cardinal Robert Sarah forward as a papal candidate. Sarah is currently Francis’ liturgy minister and is much loved by conservatives and traditionalists who often quote him on their websites and publications.

Risk of a schism?
Among those considered pole stars, are first and foremost US cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Athanasius Schneider. But beyond the amplified stories present on the web, there do not seem to be any further schisms on the horizon, after Bishop Marcel Lefebvre’s in 1988. Sociologist Massimo Introvigne is adamant about this: “There are more than 5000 Catholic bishops in the world, only about ten of them are active in their opposition, many of whom are retired, which shows that it is not substantial.”

Introvigne claims that this opposition “is present both on the web and in real life and is overestimated: there are dissidents who write comments on social networks using four or five different pseudonyms, to give the impression there are many of them”. According to the sociologist, the movement “is not successful because it is not united. There are at least three different kinds of opposition.: the political opposition of American foundations, the opposition of Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini who are not particularly interested in liturgical or moral issues – they often do not even go to church – but in immigration and the Pope’s critiques against turbo-capitalism. Then there is the opposition expressed by those who feel a nostalgia for Benedict XVI but do not contest Vatican II. And there is the radical opposition of the Society of St. Pius X or the likes of De Mattei and Gnocchi. This form of opposition rejects the Council and everything that came after it. Despite support from the odd Church figure, the contradictions between the three standpoints are destined to explode and a common front has no chance of lasting.” Introvigne pointed out a surprising trait that many of these circles share: “It is the mythical idealization of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is presented as a “good” leader in contrast to the “bad” leader, the Pope, because of his stance on homosexual people, Muslims and immigrants. Russian foundations that have strong ties with Putin co-operate with the anti-Francis opposition.