Category Archives: Pope Francis

This is HUGE! …and it’s for real.

from:  ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP

NOTICE TO ALL READERS OF ABYSSUM
The letter posted immediately below is so vitally important for the resolution of the present Crisis in the Church that for awhile I will not be posting new posts independently  of this blog  BUT WILL INSTEAD ADD THEM TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS LETTER.  New Posts will be added daily as an addition to this letter.  To read the new posts simply press the “page down” button on your computer keyboard and scroll down to the new daily posts.
Until further notice it will not be possible to accept comments on Abyssum. 
Blessings,
+Rene Henry Gracida
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

AN OPEN LETTER

TO THE CARDINALS OF THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

AND OTHER CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL

IN COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE

Recently many educated Catholic observers, including bishops and priests, have decried the confusion in doctrinal statements about faith or morals made from the Apostolic See at Rome and by the putative Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Some devout, faithful and thoughtful Catholics have even suggested that he be set aside as a heretic, a dangerous purveyor of error, as recently mentioned in a number of reports.

Claiming heresy on the part of a man who is a supposed Pope, charging material error in statements about faith or morals by a putative Roman Pontiff, suggests and presents an intervening prior question about his authenticity in that August office of Successor of Peter as Chief of The Apostles, i.e., was this man the subject of a valid election by an authentic Conclave of The Holy Roman Church?  This is so because each Successor of Saint Peter enjoys the Gift of Infallibility. 
So, before one even begins to talk about excommunicating such a prelate, one must logically examine whether this person exhibits the uniformly good and safe fruit of Infallibility.  If he seems repeatedly to engage in material error, that first raises the question of the validity of his election because one expects an authentically-elected Roman Pontiff miraculously and uniformly to be entirely incapable of stating error in matters of faith or morals.  So to what do we look to discern the invalidity of such an election?  His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, within His massive legacy to the Church and to the World, left us with the answer to this question.  The Catholic faithful must look back for an answer to a point from where we have come—to what occurred in and around the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 and how the fruits of those events have generated such widespread concern among those people of magisterial orthodoxy about confusing and, or, erroneous doctrinal statements which emanate from The Holy See.  
His Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis) which governed the supposed Conclave in March 2013 contains quite clear and specific language about the invalidating effect of departures from its norms.  For example, Paragraph 76 states:  “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”  From this, many believe that there is probable cause to believe that Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio was never validly elected as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter—he never rightly took over the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and therefore he does not enjoy the charism of Infallibility.  If this is true, then the situation is dire because supposed papal acts may not be valid or such acts are clearly invalid, including supposed appointments to the college of electors itself.
Only valid cardinals can rectify our critical situation through privately (secretly) recognizing the reality of an ongoing interregnum and preparing for an opportunity to put the process aright by obedience to the legislation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in that Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis.  While thousands of the Catholic faithful do understand that only the cardinals who participated in the events of March 2013 within the Sistine Chapel have all the information necessary to evaluate the issue of election validity, there was public evidence sufficient for astute lay faithful to surmise with moral certainty that the March 2013 action by the College was an invalid conclave, an utter nullity.
What makes this understanding of Universi Dominici Gregis particularly cogent and plausible is the clear Promulgation Clause at the end of this Apostolic Constitution and its usage of the word “scienter” (“knowingly”).  The Papal Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis thus concludes definitively with these words:  “.   .   .   knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.”  (“.   .   .   scienter vel inscienter contra hanc Constitutionem fuerint excogitata.”)  [Note that His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, had a somewhat similar promulgation clause at the end of his corresponding, now abrogated, Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo, but his does not use “scienter”, but rather uses “sciens” instead.  This similar term of sciens in the earlier abrogated Constitution has an entirely different legal significance than scienter.]
This word, “scienter”, is a legal term of art in Roman law, and in canon law, and in Anglo-American common law, and in each system, scienter has substantially the same significance, i.e., “guilty knowledge” or willfully knowing, criminal intent.  Thus, it clearly appears that Pope John Paul II anticipated the possibility of criminal activity in the nature of a sacrilege against a process which He intended to be purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual, if not miraculous, in its nature. This contextual reality reinforced in the Promulgation Clause, combined with:  (1) the tenor of the whole document; (2) some other provisions of the document, e.g., Paragraph 76; (3) general provisions of canon law relating to interpretation, e.g., Canons 10 & 17; and, (4) the obvious manifest intention of the Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, tends to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the legal conclusion that Monsignor Bergoglio was never validly elected Roman Pontiff.
 This is so because:
 
1.  Communication of any kind with the outside world, e.g., communication did occur between the inside of the Sistine Chapel and anyone outside, including a television audience, before, during or even immediately after the Conclave;
2.   Any political commitment to “a candidate” and any “course of action” planned for The Church or a future pontificate, such as the extensive decade-long “pastoral” plans conceived by the Sankt Gallen hierarchs; and,
3.  Any departure from the required procedures of the conclave voting process as prescribed and known by a cardinal to have occurred:
each was made an invalidating act, and if scienter (guilty knowledge) was present, also even a crime on the part of any cardinal or other actor, but, whether criminal or not, any such act or conduct violating the norms operated absolutely, definitively and entirely against the validity of all of the supposed Conclave proceedings.
Quite apart from the apparent notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated with the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” other acts destructive of conclave validity occurred.  Keeping in mind that Pope John Paul II specifically focused Universi Dominici Gregis on “the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors” such that “the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit,” even certain openly public media broadcasting breached this seclusion by electronic broadcasts outlawed by Universi Dominici Gregis.  These prohibitions include direct declarative statements outlawing any use of television before, during or after a conclave in any area associated with the proceedings, e.g.:  “I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself.”
Viewed in light of this introductory preambulary language of Universi Dominici Gregis and in light of the legislative text itself, even the EWTN camera situated far inside the Sistine Chapel was an immediately obvious non-compliant  act which became an open and notorious invalidating violation by the time when this audio-visual equipment was used to broadcast to the world the preaching after the “Extra Omnes”.  While these blatant public violations of Chapter IV of Universi Dominici Gregis actuate the invalidity and nullity of the proceedings themselves, nonetheless in His great wisdom, the Legislator did not disqualify automatically those cardinals who failed to recognize these particular offenses against sacred secrecy, or even those who, with scienter, having recognized the offenses and having had some power or voice in these matters, failed or refused to act or to object against them:  “Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, ¶55]   
No Pope apparently having been produced in March 2013, those otherwise valid cardinals who failed with scienter to act on violations of Chapter IV, on that account alone would nonetheless remain voting members of the College unless and until a new real Pope is elected and adjudges them.  Thus, those otherwise valid cardinals who may have been compromised by violations of secrecy can still participate validly in the “clean-up of the mess” while addressing any such secrecy violations with an eventual new Pontiff.  In contrast, the automatic excommunication of those who politicized the sacred conclave process, by obtaining illegally, commitments from cardinals to vote for a particular man, or to follow a certain course of action (even long before the vacancy of the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ), is established not only by the word, “scienter,” in the final enacting clause, but by a specific exception, in this case, to the general statement of invalidity which therefore reinforces the clarity of intention by Legislator that those who apply the law must interpret the general rule as truly binding.  Derived directly from Roman law, canonical jurisprudence provides this principle for construing or interpreting legislation such as this Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis.  Expressed in Latin, this canon of interpretation is:   “Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.”  (The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.)  In this case, an exception from invalidity for acts of simony reinforces the binding force of the general principle of nullity in cases of other violations.
Therefore, by exclusion from nullity and invalidity legislated in the case of simony:   “If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae.  At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.”  His Holiness made an exception for simony.  Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.  The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave.

While it is not necessary to look outside Universi Dominici Gregis in order to construe or to interpret its plain meaning, the first source to which one would look is the immediately prior constitution which Universi Dominici Gregis abrogated or replaced.  Pope John Paul II replaced entirely what Pope Paul VI had legislated in the immediately previous Constitution on conclaves, Romano Pontfici Eligendo, but in so doing, Pope John Paul II used Romano Pontfici Eligendo as the format or pattern for His new constitution on conclaves.  Making obvious changes, nonetheless, Pope John Paul II utilized the content and structure of his predecessor’s constitution to organize and outline Universi Dominici Gregis.  Therefore, while it is not legally necessary to look outside Universi Dominici Gregis, the primary reference to an extraneous source of construction would entail an examination of Romano Pontfici Eligendo, and that exercise (bolsterd by the use of the key word “scienter” in the Promulgation Clause) would reinforce the broad principle of invalidity.

Comparing what Pope John Paul II wrote in His Constitution on conclaves with the Constitution which His replaced, you can see that, with the exception of simony, invalidity became universal. In the corresponding paragraph of what Pope Paul VI wrote, he specifically confined the provision declaring conclave invalidity to three (3) circumstances described in previous paragraphs within His constitution, Romano Pontfici Eligendo.  No such limitation exists in Universi Dominici Gregis.  See the comparison both in English and Latin below:
Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77. Should the election be conducted in a manner different from the three procedures described above (cf. no. 63 ff.) or without the conditions laid down for each of the same, it is for this very reason null and void (cf. no. 62), without the need for any declaration, and gives no right to him who has been thus elected. [Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77:  “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam uno e tribus modis, qui supra sunt dicti (cfr. nn. 63 sqq.), aut non servatis condicionibus pro unoquoque illorum praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida (cfr. n. 62) absque ulla declaratione, et ita electo nullum ius tribuit .”] as compared with:
Universi Dominici Gregis, 76:  “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, 76:  “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam haec Constitutio statuit, aut non servatis condicionibus pariter hic praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida absque ulla declaratione, ideoque electo nullum ius tribuit.”]

       

Of course, this is not the only feature of the Constitution or aspect of the matter which tends to establish the breadth of invalidity.  Faithful must hope and pray that only those cardinals whose status as a valid member of the College remains intact will ascertain the identity of each other and move with the utmost charity and discretion in order to effectuate The Divine Will in these matters. The valid cardinals, then, must act according to that clear, manifest, obvious and unambiguous mind and intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, so evident in Universi Dominici Gregis, a law which finally established binding and self-actuating conditions of validity on the College for any papal conclave, a reality now made so apparent by the bad fruit of doctrinal confusion and plain error.

        It would seem then that praying and working in a discreet and prudent manner to encourage only those true cardinals inclined to accept a reality of conclave invalidity, would be a most charitable and logical course of action in the light of Universi Dominici Gregis, and out of our high personal regard for the clear and obvious intention of its Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.  Even a relatively small number of valid cardinals could act decisively and work to restore a functioning Apostolic See through the declaration of an interregnum government.  The need is clear for the College to convene a General Congregation in order to declare, to administer, and soon to end the Interregnum which has persisted since March 2013.
Finally, it is important to understand that the sheer number of putative counterfeit cardinals will eventually, sooner or later, result in a situation in which The Church will have no normal means validly ever again to elect a Vicar of Christ.  After that time, it will become even more difficult, if not humanly impossible, for the College of Cardinals to rectify the current disastrous situation and conduct a proper and valid Conclave such that The Church may once again both have the benefit of a real Supreme Pontiff, and enjoy the great gift of a truly infallible Vicar of Christ.  It seems that some good cardinals know that the conclave was invalid, but really cannot envision what to do about it; we must pray, if it is the Will of God, that they see declaring the invalidity and administering an Interregnum through a new valid conclave is what they must do. Without such action or without a great miracle, The Church is in a perilous situation.  Once the last validly appointed cardinal reaches age 80, or before that age, dies, the process for electing a real Pope ends with no apparent legal means to replace it. Absent a miracle then, The Church would no longer have an infallible Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ.  Roman Catholics would be no different than Orthodox Christians.
In this regard, all of the true cardinals may wish to consider what Holy Mother Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶675, ¶676 and ¶677 about “The Church’s Ultimate Trial”.  But, the fact that “The Church .   .   .  will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” does not justify inaction by the good cardinals, even if there are only a minimal number sufficient to carry out Chapter II of Universi Dominici Gregis and operate the Interregnum.
This Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, which was clearly applicable to the acts and conduct of the College of Cardinals in March 2013, is manifestly and obviously among those “invalidating” laws “which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is effected” as stated in Canon 10 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.  And, there is nothing remotely “doubtful or obscure” (Canon 17) about this Apostolic Constitution as clearly promulgated by Pope John Paul II.  The tenor of the whole document expressly establishes that the issue of invalidity was always at stake.  This Apostolic Constitution conclusively establishes, through its
Promulgation Clause [which makes “anything done (i.e., any act or conduct) by any person  .   .   .   in any way contrary to this Constitution,”]  the invalidity of the entire supposed Conclave, rendering it “completely null and void”.
So, what happens if a group of Cardinals who undoubtedly did not knowingly and wilfully initiate or intentionally participate in any acts of disobedience against Universi Dominici Gregis were to meet, confer and declare that, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Monsignor Bergoglio is most certainly not a valid Roman Pontiff.  Like any action on this matter, including the initial finding of invalidity, that would be left to the valid members of the college of cardinals.  They could declare the Chair of Peter vacant and proceed to a new and proper conclave.  They could meet with His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and discern whether His resignation and retirement was made under duress, or based on some mistake or fraud, or otherwise not done in a legally effective manner, which could invalidate that resignation.  Given the demeanor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and the tenor of His few public statements since his departure from the Chair of Peter, this recognition of validity in Benedict XVI seems unlikely.
In fact, even before a righteous group of good and authentic cardinals might decide on the validity of the March 2013 supposed conclave, they must face what may be an even more complicated discernment and decide which men are most likely not valid cardinals.  If a man was made a cardinal by the supposed Pope who is, in fact, not a Pope (but merely Monsignor Bergoglio), no such man is in reality a true member of the College of Cardinals.  In addition, those men appointed by Pope John Paul II or by Pope Benedict XVI as cardinals, but who openly violated Universi Dominici Gregis by illegal acts or conduct causing the invalidation of the last attempted conclave, would no longer have voting rights in the College of Cardinals either.  (Thus, the actual valid members in the College of Cardinals may be quite smaller in number than those on the current official Vatican list of supposed cardinals.)
In any event, the entire problem is above the level of anyone else in Holy Mother Church who is below the rank of Cardinal.  So, we must pray that The Divine Will of The Most Holy Trinity, through the intercession of Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Graces and Saint Michael, Prince of Mercy, very soon rectifies the confusion in Holy Mother Church through action by those valid Cardinals who still comprise an authentic College of Electors.  Only certainly valid Cardinals can address the open and notorious evidence which points to the probable invalidity of the last supposed conclave and only those cardinals can definitively answer the questions posed here.  May only the good Cardinals unite and if they recognize an ongoing Interregnum, albeit dormant, may they end this Interregnum by activating perfectly a functioning Interregnum government of The Holy See and a renewed process for a true Conclave, one which is purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual.  If we do not have a real Pontiff, then may the good Cardinals, doing their appointed work “in view of the sacredness of the act of election”  “accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit” and provide Holy Mother Church with a real Vicar of Christ as the Successor of Saint Peter.  
       
May these thoughts comport with the synderetic considerations of those who read them and may their presentation here please both Our Immaculate Virgin Mother, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Signed:  Nom de plume
               Friend of the Popes
**********************************************
This guy is a good friend to a good friend of mine!   –Allan Gillis

My Heart is Knocked Askew

So, I talk to several priest-friends and beloved laymen…   guys I go to Mass with regularly.     It’s all kind of  surrealistic.   We’re strangely of one mind.    Wuerl must go and Bergoglio must go…and even O’Malley here in Bostoniensis must either tell all …or take a hike.   Many of those I respect in Catholic media are calling for the resignation of Bergoglio.  That in itself seems too good to be true…    but, is it?   What a horrible thing!  Scumbags like Wuerl and McCarrick should be burned at the stake…or at least purged in this temporal world to perhaps save them in the next…   (?)      so much for Medieval Roman Catholicism!  I’m in LOVE with the paradigm!   But the frickin’ pope?!

I can’t stomach the guy for what he presents theologically, liturgically and even his politically-leftist/modernist slant.  I dread him.  I am sure Jesus Christ himself winces every time someone evokes Bergoglio’s title of “His Holiness”.  I am sure of it.

I am convinced that Bergoglio knows all about Vatileaks, the scandals with the Vatican Bank, the scandals with the several Vatican officials around the cocaine-infused gay orgies IN THE VATICAN, the ordeal with the butler,  the unlawful conspiracies prior to the conclave to elect a Modernist like Bergoglio, the crimes of U.S. cardinals like McCarrick and Wuerl and others…     rotten, stinking stuff…   the kind of stuff to make some hearts wane…     maybe a heart like that of  Benedict XVI…   Did he fail us?  did he “chicken out”?  I don’t know.

I DO know that my task…my job;  is to pray – pray and fast for Holy Mother Church.

I urge YOU dear reader to join me.  These are times like never before.  This is real.  Profoundly grave times are what we are living in – right now.  Don’t doubt me!

I’m NOT hateful…I have a sense of righteous indignation…for what these Modernist, traitorous, unbelieving, lying bastards have done to His Holy Church!

Think for a moment what a millstone tied around your neck – might feel like as you’re being heaved into the deep seas…

PRAY for these jackals!  That God might have mercy…

and let’s pray that this signals a restoration by Our Lord in Heaven of His Holy Church!

by Allan Gillis

Finally! Some With Credibility Say It!

Rorate Caeli finally says what I’ve been hoping to hear from some credible Catholic media folks!  Praise God Almighty!

A RORATE Editorial: Francis Must Go

In the two years that led to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI from the papacy, many strange things happened: leaks, a Secretary of State (Cardinal Bertone) who seemed intent on making things difficult for the pope, and a crisis that seemingly had left his control. Only seemingly: what was actually happening was that the large group of Cardinals involved in what would become known as the “St-Gallen Mafia” were plotting to force Pope Ratzinger’s departure in a see of problems, forcing the election of the “anti-Ratzinger” — indeed, the anti-Ratzinger they had promoted in the previous conclave, Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.
It all went exactly as planned. Benedict XVI became, or was, convinced that he would not be able to fix things and left. And Bergoglio, the Horror, was elected. The Horror was how we characterized the Pontificate that was about to begin, on the very day of Bergoglio’s election.
And how we were criticized and vilified for it! In fact, if you go back and read that post by a dear Argentinian friend, that followed on the footsteps of our intense coverage of the Church in Argentina since our founding, you will see that the current Pope is not accused of heresy. Never once! He is not accused of apostasy. We were wrongly charged with all evils, when in fact our concern, that proved absolutely true, regarding this Pope was his mix of the worst moral companions and his utter doctrinal confusion.
Alas, his friends, the same who got him elected, got the best of him. From the very beginning, as the damning written testimony by Archbishop Viganò (at the time, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States) makes clear, Francis used all means, including malice and deception, to help his friends, such as then-Cardinal McCarrick, and also Cardinal Danneels. And he used all means to punish those he saw as his enemies, such as Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Léonard of Brussels, and so many others.
And he destroyed countless lives and vocations. Remember the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate? Your kids won’t. They won’t even know that a young, thriving, traditional order of Franciscans once existed, thanks to this failed pontificate.
Evil in his persecution of anyone with whom he disagreed; evil in his purposeful implementation of confusion in doctrine; evil in his refusal to clarify the confusion he himself had generated — Francis has, with his authoritarian evil, heightened the tensions within the Church to levels not reached since the Protestant Revolt or the French Revolution.
But this time the revolutionary malice comes from within the Church, from a theologically stunted and morally bankrupt, evil-pursuing tyrant.
Francis must go.
An unbearable stench fills the edifice of the Catholic Church. It emanates from the Throne of Peter, where a corpse decays before the whole universe. The powers of the world still parade before the cadaver, offering it secular homages, but the Catholic faithful recoil in horror before the nauseating pagan spectacle.
Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is dead. He is not actually deceased, but his moral presence is gone. His moral corpse is the revolting cadaver sitting upon the Cathedra of the Prince of the Apostles. And his only real supporters — the liberals, the heretics, the apostates — are already scheming to figure out how to replace him when the inevitable occurs.
He has deceived, he has persecuted the truly faithful, he has confused the little ones in their faith, he has mocked Tradition whenever he could. Above all, he has lied, and he has been shown to lie, and he has been presented as a consummate liar in the protection of a racket of perverted and abusive priests who are his closest aides.
All that is left for him is to remove his corrupt moral body weighing on Holy Mother Church and go away. Abdication is the only possible solution to five years of growing disgrace and purposeful mismanagement.
The horror we identified on the very first day has come to full fruition, as a pustulous infructescence of corruption: Sodom in Rome.

 

AMEN!!! says Allan Gillis

This Would’ve Been Unthinkable Before 1958!

There’s no crisis in the present-day Roman Catholic Church?    …an institution that was established TWO THOUSAND years ago!     Are you kidding me?!!!

from Rorate Caeli:

For the record: James Martin SJ to speak at World Meeting of Families, homosexual “couples” welcomed to volunteer at event
Plus: the fall of the Archdiocese of Bologna

As widely reported in the Catholic media, the notorious Fr. James Martin SJ will be one of the main speakers at the upcoming 9th World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Dublin, Ireland (August 21-24, 2018). His topic will be “Exploring how Parishes can support those families with members who identify as LGBTI+.”Martin claims that he was invited to speak at this event by the Vatican and the Archdiocese of Dublin.

The event’s official website points out that “Amoris Laetitia is the guiding theme of all three days of the Pastoral Congress and of all the topics chosen.” The whole event will have around 200 speakers, however, Martin will be one of the keynote speakers. It is significant that the “Highlights from the Pastoral Programme” on the event website names only him, and Cardinal Tagle of Manila, among those making presentations.
On the same day that Fr. Martin’s involvement in WMOF was announced, Irish media reported that according to Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, “LGBT couples” are considered “welcome” to volunteer at the event. (‘Of course’ LGBT couples welcome to volunteer says Archbishop: ‘It’s also a Catholic event’.)

The Irish Church continues its rapid journey to the bottom.

***
This news comes a few weeks after Archbishop Matteo Zuppi’s public endorsement of Martin’s “Building a Bridge” in a preface that he wrote for this book’s Italian edition. Zuppi, 62, appointed Archbishop of Bologna in 2015 by Pope Francis to succeed the redoubtable Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, is sometimes called the “Bergoglio of Italy”. When he was appointed Rorate expressed hope that he would be “a worthy successor of the faithful Cardinal Caffarra in the defense of Christian morality”. Unfortunately, Zuppi and the other bishops of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy went on to release “guidelines” on Amoris Laetitia that open the doors for communion for those in adulterous “divorced-and-remarried” relationships. (The guidelines were publicly condemned by prominent Italian Traditionalist priest Don Alfredo Morselli.) With his endorsement of Martin’s approach to homosexuals, Zuppi’s has clearly betrayed the legacy of Cardinal Caffarra, who shortly before his death denounced the “ennoblement of homosexuality” as a clear sign of the confrontation between Christ and Satan.
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

Fire From Yet Another Quarter!

The Catholic Herald reports today that:

“The US bishops’ conference has announced that Fr Thomas Weinandy has resigned as an advisor to their Committee on Doctrine after he published a letter strongly critical of Pope Francis.”

Here is the letter:

July 31, 2017

Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

 

Your Holiness,

I write this letter with love for the Church and sincere respect for your office. You are the Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock, the successor to St. Peter and so the rock upon which Christ will build his Church. All Catholics, clergy and laity alike, are to look to you with filial loyalty and obedience grounded in truth. The Church turns to you in a spirit of faith, with the hope that you will guide her in love.

Yet, Your Holiness, a chronic confusion seems to mark your pontificate. The light of faith, hope, and love is not absent, but too often it is obscured by the ambiguity of your words and actions. This fosters within the faithful a growing unease. It compromises their capacity for love, joy and peace. Allow me to offer a few brief examples.

First there is the disputed Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia. I need not share my own concerns about its content. Others, not only theologians, but also cardinals and bishops, have already done that. The main source of concern is the manner of your teaching. In Amoris Laetitia, your guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous, thus inviting both a traditional interpretation of Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce as well as one that might imply a change in that teaching. As you wisely note, pastors should accompany and encourage persons in irregular marriages; but ambiguity persists about what that “accompaniment” actually means. To teach with such a seemingly intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit is given to the Church, and particularly to yourself, to dispel error, not to foster it. Moreover, only where there is truth can there be authentic love, for truth is the light that sets women and men free from the blindness of sin, a darkness that kills the life of the soul. Yet you seem to censor and even mock those who interpret Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia in accord with Church tradition as Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism. This kind of calumny is alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry. Some of your advisors regrettably seem to encouraged, particularly during the two past synods, all persons, especially bishops, to speak their mind and not be fearful of what the pope may think. But have you noticed that the majority of bishops throughout the world are remarkably silent? Why is this? Bishops are quick learners, and what many have learned from your pontificate is not that you are open to criticism, but that you resent it. Many bishops are silent because they desire to be loyal to you, and so they do not express – at least publicly; privately is another matter – the concerns that your pontificate raises. Many fear that if they speak their mind, they will be marginalized or worse.

I have often asked myself: “Why has Jesus let all of this happen?” The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops. Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness. In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.

Holy Father, I pray for you constantly and will continue to do so. May the Holy Spirit lead you to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.

Another U.S. theologian bites the dust.  But, at least he got his “Parthian shot” off and sent the arrow home!  May it cause much discomfort to the unbelieving cabal within the USCCB and the Vatican!  It is the grain of sand that causes the oyster to bring forth a pearl!

-Allan Gillis

Nice goin’ Jorge’!

Bergoglio’s “Lunch of Solidarity” proves to be an opportunity to dodge justice for two Italian criminals.

Nice goin’ Jorge’!   The Catholic News Agency reports:

Pope invites prisoners to lunch, they break free instead

.- They were supposed to be having lunch with Pope Francis.   By Mary Rezac

During his Oct. 1 trip to Bologna, the Holy Father was scheduled to dine with 20 prisoners from a local drug rehabilitation facility, along with refugees and the poor of the area, during a “Lunch of Solidarity” at San Petronio Basilica.

Instead, two of the Italian prisoners shirked their invitation for what they saw as a prime opportunity for escape.

According to Bologna newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, the prisoners escaped sometime during the hour, though it is unclear whether they first ate lunch.

They have yet to be found.

Pope Francis regularly includes prisoners in his trips and events, including washing the feet of prisoners on Holy Thursday and holding a Jubilee Mass for prisoners at the Vatican last year.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Allan Gillis

“Justice and peace”, “community”, “sustainable”, “safety”, “equality”… words loaded with political import these days. How I grimace as I hear or read them. How my skin crawls as I sometimes listen (as a penance) to NPR. Or read something in the NYT – or pretty much anywhere in media these days.  The choice of words is often a statement of ideology…I guess it always has been.  I am so convinced that the Devil is the father of the political Left.  I’m serious.

I came upon this particular months-old story; of which I previously commented and posted upon here in this venue. [ “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” (part 2)  – July 7 2017 ] The cocaine-fueled gay orgy in the Vatican earlier this year. (the one that we just happen to know about – only God knows how often it has and continues to occur!)

The Church IS IN CRISIS!

Yes we know of times in the past – namely during the Renaissance reign of Pope Pius V, that the scourge of homosexuality ran rampant throughout the culture/church/clergy…  but at least then the reigning pontiff took a militant (and public) stance against the wave of sin!  Pope Pius V (who was later canonized) didn’t spout any “girly-man” statements such as “who am I to judge?”!  Pius kicked ass!

Here’s what “ticked me off” this morning as I re-read an older post on Life Site News:

Vatican appointee says gay sex can express Christ’s ‘self-gift’

ROME, May 19, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Pope Francis has appointed radically liberal, pro-homosexual Dominican Father Timothy Radcliffe as a consultor for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The Holy Father made the appointment on Saturday, according to Vatican Radio.

Father Radcliffe, an Englishman, author and speaker, was Master of the Dominican order from 1992 to 2001, and is an outspoken proponent of homosexuality.

“We must accompany [gay people] as they discern what this means, letting our images be stretched open,” he said in a 2006 religious education lecture in Los Angeles. “This means watching ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ reading gay novels, living with our gay friends and listening with them as they listen to the Lord.”

In 2005, as the Vatican deliberated the admission of men with homosexual tendencies to study for the priesthood in the wake of the Church sex abuse scandal, Father Radcliffe said that homosexuality should not bar men from the priesthood, and rather, those who oppose it should be banned.

As a contributor to the 2013 Anglican Pilling Report on human sexual ethics Father Radcliffe said of homosexuality:

How does all of this bear on the question of gay sexuality? We cannot begin with the question of whether it is permitted or forbidden! We must ask what it means, and how far it is Eucharistic. Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift. We can also see how it can be expressive of mutual fidelity, a covenantal relationship in which two people bind themselves to each other for ever.

Father Radcliffe often celebrated Mass for the U.K. dissident group Soho Masses Pastoral Council (now renamed the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council).

The priest is also a supporter of the proposal of to allow communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

He currently works as director of the Las Casas Institute of Blackfriars at Oxford University, a social justice center.

Social justice is the focus of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, established in 1967 by Pope Paul VI in response to the Vatican II proposal for establishment of a body of the universal Church that would “stimulate the Catholic Community to foster progress in needy regions and social justice on the international scene.”

Read the rest here:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-appointee-says-gay-sex-can-express-christs-self-gift

Ave Maria, ora pro nobis !!!

Had enough yet?

The New Oxford Review published this salient piece last month…

A Pontificate of Mercy — or a Merciless Pontificate?

September 2017

For the past four-plus years, faithful Catholics have bent over backwards to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt, telling themselves that the Argentine Jesuit means well, that he is a faithful son of the Church, that he — like his immediate predecessors — has an enduring love of Catholicism and Western civilization, even if at times he comes across as ambiguous, contradictory, and intellectually deficient. The NOR, more than most Catholic-oriented journals, has published critical assessments of Francis’s confusing statements, pontifical missteps, muddled theological writings, and misguided initiatives (we have an entire online dossier devoted to this pontificate: http://www.newoxfordreview.org/dossier.jsp?did=dossier-francis). Nevertheless, we have always approached the subject with an eye toward giving Francis the benefit of the doubt. We respect the Petrine ministry and we respect the office, but that presupposes the man elected to that office respects the ministry too. The time has come to offer an unvarnished look at the fruits of this papacy and to suggest that we move beyond giving Francis the so-called benefit of the doubt. Frankly, doubt is no longer an issue. Four-and-a-half years of evidence shows that Francis has fomented division, preached politics over the Gospel, and conducted himself more like a South American strongman than a vicar of Christ.

Leaving aside for now the theological hubbub and ensuing kerfuffle surrounding Francis’s controversial apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (see “Amoris Laetitia: What Is Pope Francis Up To?” by Anthony Giambrone, O.P., June), his accommodation and appeasement of Islam (see “Pope Francis’s Appeasement Plan: Securing a False Peace with Iran” by Timothy D. Lusch, June 2016), his enigmatic comments on shared communion (see “Francis & the Lutherans: Intercommunion Confusion” New Oxford Note, Jan.-Feb. 2016), his serial insults of orthodox Catholics (see “Pope Francis: Put-Down Artist?” New Oxford Note, April 2014), his equivocal statements regarding contraception (see “A Virus, a Crisis” by Monica Migliorino Miller, April 2016), and his willfully vague and confusing comments to reporters at 30,000 feet (see “The Poor Misunderstood Pope?” New Oxford Note, Nov. 2013, and “A Sign of Self-Contradiction,” New Oxford Note, Dec. 2016), let’s simply look at the current state of the Church vis-à-vis Pope Francis and the Bergoglio Vatican.

Longtime Francis watchers will know that, shortly after being elected, the Holy Father gave every indication that, as an outsider, he would “clean house” — ridding the Vatican of bureaucratic excesses, financial scandals, and the horrific sexual immorality among the Roman clergy, late lamented by Pope Benedict XVI. Although Francis has effected some much-needed streamlining of the Holy See’s offices, he has shown himself more intent on removing every last vestige of the St. John Paul II and Benedict eras, up to and including the Church’s commitment to life issues, defense of marriage, and support of believers who suffer persecution.

Add to that, in recent months, Pope Francis has championed Islam as a “religion of peace,” hammered Catholic Poland as a nation of xenophobes, supported the “fake” government-sponsored Catholic church in communist China, floated the idea of ordaining married priests and women deacons, and marginalized conservative prelates who question his pontifical trajectory or uncover inconvenient truths that might cast his ideological allies in an unflattering light.

Let’s look at personnel: Much has been made of the Pope’s ham-fisted treatment of Raymond Cardinal Burke, the U.S.’s premiere canon-law expert. After Burke publicly aired his “conservative” views on divorce and “remarriage” at the 2014 Synod on the Family, Francis summarily removed him as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, where he served as the highest-ranking canon lawyer in the Church, and reassigned (read: demoted) him to the obscure position of patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Earlier this year, Francis removed Burke even from this largely ceremonial post after Burke uncovered the order’s promotion of condom use in Africa. To make a long story short, Pope Francis came down on the side of the condom promoter, Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager, over the whistleblower, Cardinal Burke. Not to go unnoticed: Burke was one of the four cardinals who signed the dubia asking the Pope to clarify certain passages in Amoris Laetitia, which Francis has refused to do, either publicly or privately.

There’s more: For four years running, Pope Francis has passed up awarding the red hat to either of the longtime leaders of the archdioceses of Los Angeles and Philadelphia, two of the largest sees in the U.S., both of which are traditionally home to cardinals. L.A.’s José Gómez and Philly’s Charles Chaput, appointed to their posts by Pope Benedict, are widely known as faithful, orthodox prelates. Some Vatican watchers have tried to explain this away by citing Francis’s desire for a more diversified College of Cardinals and admitting that — to put it bluntly — the Holy Father doesn’t like Americans.

That might explain why Francis has awarded cardinalates to prelates in obscure sees in far-flung parts of the world that have minuscule Catholic populations (relatively speaking), such as José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán of the diocese of David in Panama, Philippe Ouédraogo of the diocese of Ouahigouya in Burkina Faso, Patrick D’Rozario of the diocese of Dhaka in Bangladesh, Sebastian Koto Khoarai of the diocese of Mohale’s Hoek in Lesotho, and Charles Bo of the diocese of Yangon in Myanmar, to name a few. But that doesn’t explain why Francis, after appointing Blase Cupich as archbishop of Chicago and Joseph Tobin as archbishop of Newark (New Jersey), immediately raised them to the College of Cardinals.

Francis appointed Cupich to his post in September 2014 and named him a cardinal less than two months later, one day after Cupich’s installation as Chicago’s new archbishop. Francis named Tobin a cardinal in November 2016, just 12 days after appointing him archbishop of Newark. For the record, Newark has never been home to a cardinal, perhaps because a cardinal has always lived eight miles away in Manhattan. According to The New York Times, Tobin “is considered a friend and ally of Pope Francis in a potentially important spot in the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States not far from New York City, where Cardinal Timothy F. Dolan has been the face of American Catholicism in the nation’s media capital” (Jan. 6). More recently, the Times contrasted him with Dolan, noting that “Cardinal Tobin is emerging as a champion of progressive, center-left Catholics” (July 16).

As for Cupich, not only is he an ardent Francis ally, the hyper-liberal National Catholic Reporter (NCR) said his appointment is symbolic of the Pope’s personal involvement in “reorienting the U.S. hierarchy after 35 years of seriously conservative, dogmatic appointments” (Sept. 25, 2014). Presumably, NCR, and Pope Francis, would lump Gómez and Chaput in the pile of “seriously conservative, dogmatic appointments” — in other words, orthodox in their views of the Church and her teachings. (By the way, it is just silly for NCR to speak of 35 years of conservative appointments, considering the extremely liberal cardinals Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and Joseph Bernardin of Chicago were appointed during that time and became the two primary kingpins in recommending U.S. bishop appointments. That said, after Bernardin died and Mahony retired, the appointments did get more “conservative.”)

Make no mistake: Francis is politically astute. His modus operandi is to marginalize Benedict’s “conservative, dogmatic” picks and promote his own like-minded ideologues. Francis knows that, if nothing else, his appointees to the College of Cardinals will be hand-picking the next pope, and maybe the one after that. Those whom Francis passes over — the Chaputs and Gómezes of the Church — will be locked out of the conclave. This is the surest way for Francis to promote his legacy for decades to come.

But Francis hasn’t stopped there. Oh no. He has extended his legacy-promoting plan by ridding the Vatican of other Benedict holdouts. In early July, Francis abruptly removed 69-year-old Gerhard Cardinal Müller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Müller, whom Benedict appointed to the Church’s chief doctrinal post in 2012, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur that Pope Francis “did not give him a reason” for his dismissal, “just as he gave no reason for firing three highly competent members of the CDF a few months earlier” (July 19). Müller also told Allgemeine Zeitung that the Pope justified his dismissal by claiming that he “no longer intends to prolong roles in the Curia beyond five years,” and that Müller was the first one to whom this practice has been applied (July 10). It is instructive to note that Müller’s dismissal came on July 2, the exact expiration date of his five-year term, and that prior to that date, it had been customary for the head of the CDF to continue in his post until he resigned or reached the age of retirement, which is 75. Why the change for Cardinal Müller? Francis won’t say, but it bears mention that Müller, serving as the Vatican’s top doctrinal watchdog, has been critical of Amoris Laetitia, instead upholding the Church’s traditional teaching on Holy Communion and divorced-and-remarried Catholics. Further, he cannot have won brownie points with Francis by criticizing the Pope’s cult of personality and the accompanying “sanctimonious papolatry” he says is rampant within the Vatican. In a nutshell, it seems that Müller is too “dogmatic” for a Bergoglio Vatican. Francis prefers sycophants in his service.

Are we really supposed to believe that the Pope is going to oust every Vatican prelate at the end of his five-year term? The ever-reliable Vatican watcher Sandro Magister of Italy’s L’Espresso has noted (July 10) that Francis has kept in place other curial officials whose terms have expired. Msgr. Pio Pinto, for example, despite being 76 years old (one year past the mandatory retirement age) and at the end of his five-year term as dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, remains in his position. Pinto, charged by the Pope to revise the annulment process in the Church, is a well-known Francis supporter. And then there’s Argentine cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation of Oriental Churches, whose second five-year term has expired. He’s still there. Is he a big Francis supporter? Yep, you bet.

The list goes on! Most notably, February 15 of this year brought the end of the second five-year term of one of the Pope’s closest collaborators, 79-year-old Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. Coccopalmerio published a book earlier this year defending Amoris Laetitia and promoting unmarried, cohabiting couples receiving Holy Communion. (Cardinal Cupich wrote the foreword to the English-language edition of the book, by the way.) Of course, Coccopalmerio is still in his position, despite his age, despite his double-term expiration, and despite a bizarre drug-sex scandal involving his secretary, Luigi Capozzi. Msgr. Capozzi, a 49-year-old canonist, was arrested by Vatican police this spring after they caught him hosting a cocaine-fueled homosexual orgy in the former Palace of the Holy Office — a mere 500 yards away from Francis’s Santa Marta residence. Lord have mercy! Accounts by Italian news service Il Fato Quotidiano, which broke the story months after the fact, reported that Capozzi, whom it described as an “ardent supporter of Pope Francis,” was so high on cocaine when arrested that he had to be hospitalized for detoxification (June 28). Interestingly, Capozzi’s arrest came on the verge of his appointment as a bishop — on the recommendation of Cardinal Coccopalmerio, who, incidentally, made news in 2014 by emphasizing, in an interview with the Italian Catholic website Rossoporpora, the “positive realities” of homosexual relationships. No, the cardinal hasn’t yet shared his thoughts on the possible “positive realities” of cocaine use.

As of this writing, Capozzi remains Coccopalmerio’s secretary. Further, in follow-up accounts of the coked-up gay orgy, a senior member of the Curia told veteran Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin that homosexual activity among the clergy in Rome has “never been worse” (National Catholic Register, July 8). According to the NOR’s boots-on-the-ground sources in Rome, the Vatican is filled with an active gay subculture that is flourishing under Pope Francis. Why? It just so happens that those who are members of this subculture are the Pope’s most ardent ideological supporters, in a certain sense “friends of Francis.” No wonder he tends to look the other way. (Il Fato Quotidiano reported that Francis knew all about Capozzi’s orgy and arrest, months before the story broke in the news, but has remained silent about it.)

Francis is also hard at work undoing the great pro-life work begun by John Paul II. This May, Francis dismantled and reconstituted the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life. He dismissed those, appointed by John Paul and Benedict, who believe abortion is an intrinsic evil, in favor of new members who aren’t so sure. In at least one case, the Pope appointed a pro-abortion theologian who has expressed support for euthanasia in certain circumstances. Francis began his initiative last November when he released new statutes for the academy that summarily ended the terms of 116 of its 139 members (23 of them were re-appointed). The revised statutes no longer require Francis’s new appointees to sign a declaration that they uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings. Among the new appointees who won’t be signing that declaration is Nigel Biggar, a professor of moral and pastoral theology at the University of Oxford. Biggar has supported legal abortion up to 18 weeks and has expressed qualified support for euthanasia. And this man now represents the Vatican on life issues!

Founded by John Paul II in 1994, the academy is dedicated to promoting the Church’s consistent life ethic and carries out research in bioethics and Catholic moral theology. It has promoted and developed the Church’s teaching on medical ethics, including in-vitro fertilization, gene therapy, euthanasia, and abortion. Francis has now expanded the academy’s mandate to include a focus on the environment and street violence, giving Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” concept a further watering down.

For those wondering (1) why the Pope has summarily dismissed longtime, faithful, intelligent, and effective pro-life leaders around the world, and (2) why he wants to “refocus” the efforts of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the newly appointed head of the academy provides some insight. In an interview with Cruxnow.com (July 19), Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia — a close collaborator and ally of Pope Francis? but of course! — explained that the academy “now aims to be missionary in outlook…in collaboration with believers of other churches and faiths as well as non-believers.” The Pope’s new appointments include two Jews, a Muslim, an Anglican, and a number of those “non-believers.” Paglia went on to criticize the current Catholic pro-life movement, calling it ineffectual. “If I may say so,” he told Cruxnow.com, “there is a certain way of defending life that doesn’t defend it.”

And so, Francis is entrusting the pro-life mission to Archbishop Paglia, who presumes to know more about promoting the pro-life ethic (as redefined by Francis) than those dismissed from the academy, including philosopher Robert Spaemann of Germany, Maria Mercedes Arzú de Wilson of Guatemala, Christine de Marcellus Vollmer of Venezuela, Andrzej Szostek of Poland, Mieczyslaw Grzegocki of Ukraine, Jaroslav Sturma of the Czech Republic, and Etienne Kaboré of Burkina Faso, whom Sandro Magister describes as “perfectly in line with the positions of the African Church on marriage, family, and sexuality, seen at work during the last two synods” (L’Espresso, March 13). These are just some of the dismissed members, but the list illustrates how geographically diversified the former members of the academy were. What all the dismissed members have in common is that they ardently believe in the teachings of the Church on critical life issues. What many of the dismissed members have in common, according to Magister, is that “they have distinguished themselves in publicly criticizing the new moral and practical paradigms that have entered into vogue with the pontificate of Francis.”

Have you noticed a pattern yet?

Interesting, isn’t it? Pope Francis has consistently removed those who dare to try to “dialogue” with him or who publicly criticize his initiatives, his offhand utterances, his publications, or his “moral and practical paradigms.” If you’re tempted to draw parallels between Francis’s managerial playbook and that of your run-of-the-mill 20th-century communist dictator, you wouldn’t be alone. Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan made the same comparison, likening the Bergoglio Vatican to the Soviet “regime” under which he was born, where those who didn’t “follow the line of the party” weren’t allowed a voice (LifeSiteNews.com, Dec. 6, 2016).

Certainly, in any institution, a case can be made for removing those in positions of authority who seek to undermine that institution through public words and actions. But it is important to note that, by and large, those who are being “silenced” in the Church of Francis are those who have consistently upheld and defended what the Church has always taught, not those liberal Catholics who have made a career of undermining those teachings in a very public manner.

One last point about personnel, and this one is arguably the most troubling of Pope Francis’s pontifical trajectories. One would think that, given the Pope’s penchant for naming cardinals throughout the world — even in traditionally non-Christian countries — he would readily accept the advice of Joseph Cardinal Zen when it comes to the Church in China. Zen was China’s first cardinal and a key adviser to Pope Benedict regarding China-Vatican détente. But now it seems that Francis is ignoring the longtime advocate of religious liberty in communist China. Back in 2014 Cardinal Zen warned Francis not to visit China, cautioning that he would be manipulated by the government, which controls the “officially recognized” church on the mainland and persecutes the Chinese Catholics who make up the Vatican-aligned “underground” Church. The government-sanctioned church includes illegitimate bishops, three of whom have been excommunicated by the real Church. Nevertheless, Pope Francis disregarded Cardinal Zen’s warning. In an interview with Spanish daily El País, the Pope stated in a very dramatic manner that he would like to go to China, and that he awaits his invitation. “In China, the churches are packed,” he said. “In China they can worship freely” (Jan. 24).

Cardinal Zen knows there’s no truth to the Pope’s statement. The Catholic Church in China — the real Church — remains small and persecuted. In 2016 alone, five “underground” bishops from mainland China who had served time in prison or labor camps died either in prison or from health complications arising from their confinement. In 2016 the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom recommended that China be designated a “country of particular concern,” meaning it is one of the world’s worst violators when it comes to respecting the right to religious liberty. Are we to believe that Francis, the alleged Pope of the peripheries, is unaware of the realities in China, given the advice from Cardinal Zen and the widely available reports issued by international agencies?

In response to the Pope’s inaccuracies, Cardinal Zen said he feared that the Vatican, in its desperation to make a deal with China, would sell out the long-persecuted underground Church, the only legitimate Catholic presence in the communist country. The situation regarding religious liberty in China, Zen has said, is worse today than ever.

And now Pope Francis’s Vatican has indeed made an agreement with the Chinese government. Although Benedict stated that China has no legitimate Catholic bishops’ conference, the Holy See under Francis has given the initiative of choosing bishops to the so-called Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. This agreement amounts to giving an atheistic government the power to choose bishops for its state-sponsored church.

Cardinal Zen has repeated Benedict’s insistence that no legitimate bishops’ conference exists in mainland China. “The whole thing is fake,” he explained in an interview with the Polish outlet Polonia Christiana (July 14). “I really cannot believe that the Holy See doesn’t know that there is no bishops’ conference! There is only a name. They never really have a discussion, meetings. They meet when they are called by the government. The government gives instructions. They obey.” Francis’s Vatican, continued Zen, is “too eager to dialogue, dialogue so they tell everybody not to make noise, to accommodate, to compromise, to obey the government. Now things are going down, down.”

Clearly, Francis has his own ideas, regardless of what Pope Benedict might have said and despite Cardinal Zen’s warnings and the reports of violations of human rights and religious liberty from the international community. Pope Francis will plow determinedly ahead, with his sycophants at his side, just as he has done vis-à-vis his detractors in the hierarchy, even while preaching mercy, mercy, mercy and dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. But where exactly is the mercy for those with whom he disagrees? Where is the dialogue?

To recap: Pope Francis is making deals with the state-sponsored church in communist China, diluting the Church’s pro-life ministry, sidelining his critics in the hierarchy, and looking the other way when it comes to homosexual activity that takes place right under his nose (when those involved happen to be his ardent supporters). He has consistently demonstrated that he rejects orthodox Catholicism, a Catholicism that recognizes and respects the legitimate structures and devotional life of the Church — e.g., the parish, the priesthood, religious life, the liturgy properly celebrated, traditional devotions and devotionals, a faith life built on prayer, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and so on.

A recent article in L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper and often considered a “mouthpiece” of the papacy, illustrates well Francis’s attitude. The article, penned by Giulio Cirignano, an Italian Scripture scholar, asserts that the “main obstacle” to implementing Pope Francis’s vision for the Church is “closure, if not hostility” from bishops and priests. Fr. Cirignano believes that the laity understands and supports Francis’s vision, but those pesky bishops and priests keep getting in the way. Fr. Cirignano charges that “seriously conservative” and “dogmatic” clergymen are unfit for a 21st-century Church. He says, for example, that they hold to an “antiquated image of the priesthood,” one that sees the priest as the “boss” or a “sort of solitary protagonist”; that they are relatively uneducated, their “theological and Biblical preparation is often scarce”; and — wait for it — these “seriously conservative” priests and bishops subscribe to a kind of counterreformation theology that is “lacking the resources of the Word,” is “without a soul,” and has “transformed the impassioned and mysterious adventure of believing into religion,” resulting in a “limpid faith.” Yow!

It’s actually reassuring, assuming Fr. Cirignano is correct, to know that bishops and priests present the greatest obstacle to the implementation of Pope Francis’s program. Further, Fr. Cirignano has unwittingly revealed that the Pope just might be the one who considers himself a “sort of solitary protagonist,” that he is unwilling or unable to be collaborative, to listen to other authentic voices in the Catholic Church.

But we’ll give Francis this: His perseverance in reversing so many of the great strides made during the pontificates of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI is impressive. For Francis, his pontificate has become about his geopolitical agenda, his scattershot efforts at “reform,” the installation of his comrades in high places, and the exercise of his own personal power. The aim of his pontificate seems to be to remake the Church in the idiosyncrasies of Jesuit-trained Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, son of an Italian communist. As Cardinal Zen said, “Now things are going down, down.” Perhaps that’s exactly Pope Francis’s intent. The question is: How much further will things descend?