The Papal Year That Was: 3
III. "The Chosen One"?
Last May we warned readers to "buckle up" for a rollercoaster ride under Pope Francis — "An unpredictable person in a predictable papal mould." We meant, of course, the neo-Modernist mould he personifies in the image and likeness of Cardinal Martini; the neo-Jesuit fifth columnist he venerates.
Long renowned in Buenos Aires for his attention-seeking (see Open Letter herein), it was a seamless transition to the post-Bergoglio era of look-at-me stunts: from setting up papal HQ in a glorified cafeteria across the piazza, to celebrity interviews, to phoning the world and taking 'selfies' with the kids, etc., et. al., ad nauseam. All to prove, as he informed Corriere della Serra in yet another problematic interview last month, that "The pope is ... a normal person."
Well, now we know. What a blessed relief. And not just "normal" but modern. A thoroughly aggiornamento-ised pontiff determined to drag us back, and even further down into that pit of "newness and updating" presented as "an order, a programme," by his other dubious hero, Paul VI.
Among all the nonsense, however, beyond the mere nitwit and cringeworthy, were the serious nose-thumbings at Church discipline and tradition.
First red flags
It started with the refusal to set aside his personal predilections and humbly present himself to the world wearing the authoritative symbols of the Divine office to which he had just been elevated: to wear the papal pectoral cross and the mozzetta (should-length cape) with its embroidered papal stole, as a sign of his universal sovereignty. (Francis donned the stole only when bestowing the blessing Urbi et Orbi, then consigned it to mothballs.)
This prideful beginning, so full of false collegial charity, was followed by the non-blessing of assembled journalists for fear of upsetting non-Catholics (even while blithely ignoring his first priority: the Catholic journalists). Our response to this singular neglect was to serialise Mgr Gaume's magnificent apologetical work, The Sign of the Cross: both to impress upon readers the gravity of that ostensibly trifling incident, and as a reparation of sorts for such gratuitous papal offence.
Soon after, on Holy Thursday, the Holy Father washed the feet of two female prisoners. Predictably lapped up by dissidents (as 'change!') and the puerile media (as 'inclusive!'), it was in fact a contemptuous disregard for the rubrics of the Mass of the Last Supper and what they sacramentally signify. Beyond the apostolic duty "not to be served, but to serve," the ceremony recalls the institution of God's exclusively male priesthood: hence the papal choice of 12 priests to represent the 12 apostles on every previous Holy Thursday.
On cue, papolatrous neo-cons sought to rationalise this inexcusable and needless infraction with appeals to the absolute power of governance newly invested in Francis; as if to divorce his undoubted possession of supreme legislative power from its judicious and unmistakably Catholic wielding. Their unholy pragmatism aside, the papolators conveniently overlooked his pre-papal contraventions of Church law in this regard; i.e., Archbishop Bergoglio's annual foot-washing of Argentinian women. (In keeping with the Bergoglian modus operandi, the ceremonies were performed in the jails, hospitals and care homes of Buenos Aires: designed to tug at social gospel heartstrings even as they corroded doctrine and law.)
It may not have had the seismic impact of John Paul II's capitulation to girl altar boys, yet in many ways that first Holy Thursday ceremony conducted at Casal del Marmo juvenile detention facility outside of Rome was even worse: equally corrosive of the priesthood, but more damaging to the papacy. For whereas John Paul II 'merely' acquiesced, Francis rebelled. "By disregarding his own law in this matter, Francis violates, of course, no divine directive," wrote canon lawyer Edward Peters, an adviser to the Apostolic Signatura (the Church's High Court). "What he does do, I fear, is set a questionable example."
You might say. Even more than a bad example, it was a ringing endorsement of liberal ends justifying illicit means: a belated papal blessing of the widespread disobedience that finally pressured Rome into formalising so many previous aberrations (Communion in the hand; serviettes; Extraordinary Monsters). Well might we wonder how many dissident prelates and clerics the world over were thus confirmed in their liturgical anarchy, as also in this-worldly outlooks and impossible hopes for women priests and the like. Moreover, how many erstwhile vacillators and temporisers were primed to zealously mimic Francis this Easter? We can only guess at the papal damage done to clerical hearts and minds; the extent to which that one "questionable example" alone will further undermine the sacred priesthood. The only certainty is that our best clergy will face more ridicule for rubrical fidelity, and even greater pressure to feminise their sanctuaries.
Confirming the obvious
These kinds of early warnings came in a papal flood. We have documented others. Naturally, they were intermingled in neo-Modernist fashion by orthodox pontifical words and actions. Our Lady was honoured; the Devil denounced. Although welcome and undoubtedly sincere, against a backdrop of ecclesiastical apostasy, not least in his homeland, these momentary flashes of Catholicity which set Francis at odds with the zeitgeist were so much empty posturing. Especially where reaffirmations of Catholic teaching were actually hasty correctives; fleeting nods to orthodoxy following unsound statements or scandalous silence.
From the very first days of the new papacy, therefore, informed and thinking Catholics long accustomed to such intermittent orthodoxy amid the rampant heterodoxy and heresy, were not distracted. Instead, they rightly focused on the rash of perverse papal utterances and acts; each of which spoke volumes about the informing liberal spirit, psyche and agenda of the new pontiff.
Again, these were so plentiful and egregious that hard-pressed critics hardly needed a dossier on the Holy Father's troubled past to confirm the evidence of their own righteous eyes. In the event, it transpired that a lengthy bullet-point list of his scandals and scandalous associations — the "transgressions, heresies and sins" he "condoned, tolerated and encouraged here in my country," as one Argentinian lamented — more than justified their early worst fears.
Among very many others, the Bergoglian rap sheet included such uplifting items as a blasphemous Tango Mass (— seated and still vested he watched an entwined couple dance a passionate Tango(1)back and forth across the very sanctuary of a church in which he had just offered Mass, as YouTube duly records); his frightening devotion to über-Modernist Cardinal Martini SJ, a priest who would have been defrocked and drummed out of the Church in any other era; and his thoroughly telling social gospel non-reaction to the monumental Bishop Bargallo scandal (— an independently wealthy prelate elected as president of Caritas for the Latin American and Caribbean region in 2007, Bargallo was caught cavorting on a beach at a luxury resort in Mexico with a divorced woman he first claimed was a childhood friend before admitting she was his lover, whose wedding he had performed and whose children he had baptised. "It was a real pity," Archbishop Bergoglio sighed, "because he did a great job for the poor.")
Nor, moreover, did the savvy faithful require future confirmations of the obvious papal drift. Yet these too arrived soon enough. The papal rationalisation/protection of sodomite Mgr Ricca, referenced in Part I, for instance. Or the inevitable appointment of arch-liberal prelates to key Vatican Congregations — the likes of our own Vincent Nichols and Donald Wuerl of Washington; bad shepherds who do not guard the flock’s gate but throw it open and let the wolves eat them. Indeed, it was during a New York Times interview last December, the week before news broke that he was to replace Cardinal Burke on the Congregation for Bishops, that Cardinal Wuerl conveyed the Pope's agenda with a smug allusion:
Asked whether all of the pope’s changes mattered if Cardinal Burke still had such influence in appointing bishops, Cardinal Wuerl smiled.
“Don’t we have to give this pope time?” he said.
Shortly after, the godless Times better understood this signal: that it needn’t fret over tradition-leaning neo-conservative Burkean Catholics gumming up Francis’s plans, which were to be mapped out by Wuerlian ones instead; by the sort of Catholics In Name Only the New York Times would like us all to be.
To put this in bold relief: Wuerl, an effeminate CINO poster boy, has facilitated and protected radical homosexuals, feminists and other doctrinal and moral dissidents throughout his career [CO, Oct. 2012]. He is also a close pal of his equally diabolic predecessor, Theodore McCarrick. A sexual pervert who slept with his seminarians [CO, June/July & Aug/Sept 2006], McCarrick once hid a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger telling the U.S. bishops that if a pro-abortion politician, "with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it." Worse still, Cardinal Burke himself lamented that McCarrick not only withheld Ratzinger’s letter from the bishops but distorted it, falsely stating that Ratzinger had merely left the matter to the prudence of individual bishops.
Wuerl's smirking response to the Times said everything: incumbent or retired hirelings — like himself, McCarrick, Dolan, Nichols, Murphy O'Connor, Maradiaga, Parolin, et. al. — will continue to run the show, directly or indirectly, at national and universal levels, only more aggressively (the usual sops and false flags, as with the recent appointment of Fr Robert Byrne, founder of the Oxford Oratory, as Auxiliary Bishop in Birmingham, notwithstanding.)
Despite being so righteously vindicated, Catholics solicitous for the moral, doctrinal, and pastoral health of Holy Mother Church are still taking stick from papolators; derided as scandalmongering finger-pointers doing the devil's work by doing down the pope.
Never mind "there being an imminent danger for the Faith" that urgently requires such dutiful Pauline exposure and correction!
Never even mind that none of the copious pre- and post-election corroborations of that "imminent danger" were necessary in order to understand the heightened phase of post-conciliar Modernism we had clearly entered from day one. For when he spoke of giving Francis "time," the cocky Wuerl was only referring to the time needed to pick up and run with the social gospel-gauntlet so flagrantly thrown down by the symbolically-stripped, primacy-phobic People's Pope on the balcony.
For those who didn't feel a little queasy at that first papal sight, the giveaway was the media's manic adoption of Francis as their celebrity du jour. At best, the euphoria screamed "Appeasement!" At worst, "Surrender!" Self-evidently so, because it was a meeting of hearts and minds which had nothing to do with objective Catholic truth and everything to do with the sudden, brazen proclamation of subjective Modernism by the Vicar of Christ. In other words, it signalled precisely what the pope's attack dog, Cardinal Maradiaga, triumphantly barked in due course: "an end to the hostilities between the Church and Modernism [read Secularism]."
While helping facilitate this wicked rapprochement without, the media simultaneously pushed the deceptive line of complete rupture within, portraying 13 March 2013 as year zero; the day when humility and charity suddenly came of papal age. A comical juxtaposition of Francis the Merciful against his supposedly aloof and hard-line predecessors was relentlessly hammered: as if fatherly concern for the poor, suffering, most vulnerable and alienated were not par for the papal course.
This ludicrous spin has served to demonise Benedict even further in the eyes of ignorant CINOs and worldlings for whom "Ratzinger/Benedict" already equalled "God's Rottweiler"; the Inquisitorial image cultivated by heretics since his CDF days. At the same time, however, by eliciting misplaced sympathy for Benedict among the orthodox faithful and leaving Francis to take all the heat, it served to reinforce the dangerous false dichotomy at play.
If we are to make any sense of the past twelve months, this needs elaboration. Especially for new subscribers unfamiliar with the John Paul Franchise: our thematic shorthand for a papal thread waved away or flatly denied by those who fear the naked truth. Such as these accept at face value the media's self-serving presentation of Francis vis-à-vis his predecessor as a sea change rather than a mere See change. Against this spurious portrayal, the papal 'franchise' is a blunt reminder that what we actually face is a matter of papal degree rather than papal kind; an enhanced status quo, not a new one. And that being the case, those who think Benedict was our last best hope, and/or view Francis as a papal aberration, should look away now.
Given the neo-Modernist proclivity for shuffling between orthodoxy, heterodoxy and heresy, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Not least where Benedict is concerned. His renowned liturgical sensibilities and courageous proclamation of Summorum Pontificum skew the understanding of many traditional-leaning neo-cons, and not a few traditionalists. Understandably so. And yet Benedict is fully supportive of Francis. "I'm grateful to be bound by a great identity of views and a heartfelt friendship with Pope Francis," he wrote insistently to Hans Kung. How to explain this apparent conundrum to orthodox apologists still pining for the Pope Emeritus while decrying his Kung-like successor?
Unwittingly, it was England's doughty if oxymoronic traditionalist-Anglican blogger, "Archbishop Cranmer," who most neatly captured the incomprehension. "Benedict XVI was a Catholic Herald pope; Francis inclines toward The Tablet," he opined. As unfamiliar with the complexities of the Catholic civil war as most Catholics themselves, "Cranmer" meant this as a compliment; a nod to Benedict's conservatism. But the dichotomy is a false one because the Herald is a weekly textbook of via-media neo-Modernism. According to Revelation 3:15-16, being neither "hot" nor "cold" it is even worse than the execrable likes of the Universe and the Tablet. It just doesn't seem that way in our post-conciliar fantasy world: a place where two popes live cheek by jowl and lukewarmness now passes for zealous Catholicity. Calling any pope a "Herald pope" is about as insulting as it gets. Yet many view it otherwise, reflecting the topsy-turvy state of play and endemic confusion within orthodox ranks.
While attention is focused on the disturbing fact of Francis, there remains, in other words, a deeper unpalatable truth that faithful Catholics, desperate for heroes to lead them out of our intractable crisis, cannot bear to contemplate: viz., Benedict's neo-Modernism.
Even Michael Davies, our late great friend and supporter, would not hear a word against Cardinal Ratzinger. He greatly appreciated the Cardinal's important liturgical patronage, and rightly admired his single-handedly having saved the Church from the cataclysmic Final Report of ARCIC. Presented as final agreements on central doctrines after 25 years of "dialogue" with the Anglicans, the compromising "conclusions" had been welcomed by virtually every hierarchy in the world; perhaps the greatest "failure of the Teaching Church since the Arian heresy," as Michael put it. And so he lambasted our frank critiques of the Cardinal's problematic theology [CO, June/July 2004].
Yet the self-defeating alternative, then as now, to leave readers in blissful ignorance of Joseph Ratzinger's other side, is not an option. Why? Because his positive achievements — notably Summorum and the providential ARCIC intervention — do not override his history. And that background speaks directly to the phoney liberal/conservative divide which both legitimised and sustained the neo-Modernists on their long march to the hysterical cult of Francis.
But don't the dissidents love Francis and despise Benedict? To be sure, Martini-liberals were irked and enraged by Benedict's traditional leanings, since they held back their devilish denouement: the complete and final razing of the 'triumphal Tridentine model' of the Church and its replacement by the convergent worldly 'model' they raised up on the back of the Council they commandeered. And yet... Did his traditional alter-ego anger them more than the perceived betrayal by one of their own?
After all, the man himself has never hidden or regretted his "progressivism" (read corrosive liberalism). Quite the contrary. In his 1985 book-length interview with Vittorio Messori, Cardinal Ratzinger labelled himself a "well-balanced progressive." He rationalised this oxymoron by explaining that he favoured a "peaceful evolution of doctrine" without, however, "solitary breakaways ahead of the flock," yet "without nostalgia nor regret for times irretrievably past." And while he shrank back from extreme "progressivism" he insisted that "We must remain faithful to the present day of the Church, not to its past, nor its future."
Those kinds of views, which Pius X would have condemned out of hand, surely account for Fr Ratzinger having been listed as suspect by the Holy Office.
The stealthy Ratzinger/Benedict assault on the Faith was epitomised in the CDF Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesiastical Vocation, which document, Cardinal Ratzinger informed the press, affirms, "maybe for the first time ever," that decisions of the past Magisterium were "not to be considered as the final word on a given subject ... but serve rather as a mooring,... an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of temporary disposition"! [L'Osservatore Romano, 27 June 1990] He gave several examples of these "temporary dispositions," which are now considered "outdated in the particularities of their determinations": 1. those "Papal declarations of the last century on religious liberty";
What really aggrieved the Modernists, then, was the sight of their once besuited Conciliar comrade in arms, Father Ratzinger, now querying the revolutionary consequences of the radical New Theology he still held and continued to espouse [CO passim]. It was not his genteel orthodox critiques of the "the post-conciliar era" per se, but the hypocrisy that infuriated them.
As if to underline St. Pius X's insight that Modernists, even the very brightest, are unable to draw from their erroneous premises logical and inevitable conclusions, Cardinal Ratzinger variously: bemoaned "the crucial problem for theology and for pastoral work today," that "the 'truth' is thought to be a claim that is too exalted, a 'triumphalism' that cannot be permitted any longer"; rebuked his fellow liberals for seeking "the end of Tradition, a new start from zero"; and clearly felt uncomfortable with a Church that peddled "dialogue" with every alien entity but would not reach out to the youthful, vibrant traditional bastion within.
Yet all such criticisms and reactions were incompatible with the liberal essence of his beloved Council, and his own evolutionary Modernism of Teilhardian stripe [CO, Feb. 2009 & 2011].
The self-contradiction aside, despite a lifetime of ignoring both Pascendi and the wise counsel imparted to his rebellious generation by legendary Thomist Fr Garrigou-Lagrange, OP — that "even a small error regarding first ideas and first principles has incalculable consequences which are not foreseen" — Benedict had at least tried to right some past wrongs.
As he primed the 'Tridentine' lynchpin, the detested Latin Mass, for resurgence, and reached out with paternal solicitude to the dreaded 'Lefebvrists', the high neo-Modernist tide ebbed away before liberal eyes. Acutely aware of the uncompromising Domino Effect it would set off — doctrinally, morally, liturgically, catechetically, socially — it was panic stations. Bewailing the reincarnation of Pius X, hysterical apostates like Boff denounced Benedict as "an angel of death in the Church." Their venomous temper was certainly heightened by their hatred of Catholic Tradition. But the vexing source of the fury was a radical brother who was not radical enough. He had to go. And they were not the only ones praying for that eventuality.
It is a supreme measure of our complex crisis that a greatly persecuted defender of Tradition — a priest uniquely commissioned and positioned within the curia by Pius XII to fight ecclesiastical Freemasonry — longed to see Benedict depart the scene as much as the Modernist ultras, Vatikleaks conspirators, et. al..
Just several weeks before he died, in a quietly impish way, Father Luigi Villa foretold the time of Benedict's departure. He had recently finished writing a special edition of his Italian monthly Chiesa viva dedicated to the theology, philosophy, thoughts and acts of Benedict XVI. In keeping with similar comprehensive analyses of Paul VI and John Paul II, he had set forth why and how Benedict's liberalism corrupted the Faith. Shortly before he entered hospital in late October 2012, the ailing cleric pressed his friend and colleague Franco Adessa: "When do you intend to typeset my Special Number of Chiesa viva on Benedict XVI?" Assured that this edition would be published in February 2013, he replied: "Well, it is good for the month of February, and so Benedict XVI will go before Easter!" Adding with the hint of a smile. "He may choose the reason he wants to leave, but... just go away!"
Three weeks later, on 18 November 2012, this model of priestly courage, fidelity and perseverance passed away. Until his last breath he had continued to perform the weighty task consigned to him by Padre Pio: to defend the Church from the work of the Masonic wolves within the fold. (It was during the reign of Paul VI that St. Pio told him they had already reached the shoes of the Fisherman: "La Massoneria è già arrivata alle pantofole del Papa".)
On 25 January 2013, the February 2013 edition of Chiesa viva, sporting Benedict's face beside a giant question mark, was duly released. Barely a fortnight later, Benedict resigned.
Thus, remarkably, Fr Villa's little 'prophecy' of a pre-Easter papal resignation was fulfilled.
Recounting this history, Dr Adesso recalled Padre Pio's words to Fr Villa: "You will have to suffer much from a Church already invaded by Freemasonry!" [But] "In the end, you win!"
Whether Benedict's departure was part of that victory, only God knows. It may very well be, as Fr Villa intimated, that Benedict himself did the choosing; that coercive, threatening plotters and schemers did no more than fuel his doubts and nudge along a decision that long weighed upon him. The Pope Emeritus recently drew attention to his having broached the precise possibility back in 2010, in his book-length interview Light of the World, dismissing speculation that he had been coerced and insisting he had acted with "complete freedom." Yet even if the pressures were self-inflicted (reported death-threats would indicate otherwise), his enemies, for diametrically opposite reasons to Fr Villa, could not wait to see the back of him, with a view to installing Jorge Bergoglio, their preferred 2005 candidate and runner-up to Joseph Ratzinger. Hence the stratospheric elation and expectations from the off. Francis would "spread an atmosphere of renewal," claimed his Latin American compatriot Leonardo Boff, hastening to add, "I am quite optimistic that he will in fact do so."
It is only by facing facts and viewing Francis and Benedict in the round that we are able to see through all such talk; to comprehend that the new pontificate is not a "renewal" but an impetus: the latest, perhaps penultimate or even final surge in the relentless "progressive" morphing of the supernatural Gospel of Grace into a naturalistic social gospel of "social solidarity" and "universal brotherhood." In other words, as the following historical snapshot explains, it is all of a Modernist piece; inevitable differences and deviations along the revolutionary way being mere variations on a wholly destructive liberal theme.
Hermeneutic of Masonic/Modernist continuity
After a brief hiatus, during which a softer attempt was made via Benedict's tortuous "hermeneutic of continuity" to effect the same impossible reconciliation attempted by the early Modernists — between the Syllabus and the Declaration of the Rights of Man — we are now witnessing the last make-or-break offensive in the grand design of the secret societies to subvert the Church by means of infiltration; to use its structure and a pope and hierarchy imbued with liberal ideas but still believing themselves to be faithful Catholics (viz., CINOs) as a means to further their own Masonic principles and goals.
The strategy was set down in an early 19th-century Masonic document, The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita; the highest lodge of the Carbonari, an Italian secret society (see extracts pp. 57-59). First authenticated and directed to be published by Pius IX, it was also personally re-published by Leo XIII. These great pontiffs wished to alert Catholics leaders to this planned internal attack, so they would fight to prevent the subversion coming to pass, and "tear off the mask from Freemasonry and make plain to all what it really is." [Humanum Genus]
Writing in the mid-19th century, the excommunicated cleric insisted that "the divine cult in the form directed by the liturgy, ceremonial-ritual and regulations of the Roman Church will shortly undergo a transformation at an ecumenical council, which will restore to it the venerable simplicity of the golden age of the Apostles in accordance with the dictates of conscience and modern civilization." This council, he said, would usher in "a perfect accord between the ideals of modern civilization and the ideal of Christ and His Gospel. This will be the consecration of the New Social Order and the solemn baptism of modern civilization."
Like all revolutions, the ecclesiastical revolt that progressively realised The Permanent Instruction of the Carbonari elite, and vindicated Roca's ravings, was more dependent on sincere "useful idiots" than conspirators. It accelerated in the aftermath of WWII as extreme Modernists (Blondel, Rahner, Schillebeeckx, Chenu, Kung, Congar et. al.) and "moderate" Modernists (Wojtyla, Ratzinger, de Lubac, von Balthasar et. al.) fought a phoney war, splitting into two camps under the literary banners of Concilium and Communio respectively. This served to mainstream the "moderate wing" of heretical Liberalism and inject its pernicious principles into the Catholic bloodstream, since it seemed benign in comparison to the manifestly wicked alternative.
The several hour tête-à-tête between Communio's Pope Benedict and Concilium's Hans Küng at Castelgandolfo soon after Benedict's election spoke directly to this ruse. Long stripped of his Catholic teaching credentials (though, scandalously, still not excommunicated), for 25 years Kung had sought an audience with John Paul II without success. "There are not two Ratzingers, he has stayed the same person but what has changed is his role," Küng later commented. "He no longer has to control the teaching and censor the teachers. Now he is responsible for spreading the Christian message in the Church and in the world. He has found another style."
Six months later, "Fr" Richard McBrien, Notre Dame's heretic--in-residence, reflected gleefully on Benedict's papacy: "I have observed little or nothing from my vantage point that would trouble me or other reform-minded Catholics."
While on the first anniversary of his election, under the headline "Pope Benedict Confounds Critics with Kinder, Gentler Image," Deutsche Weller reported high satisfaction levels even among the rabid German heretics. By that time, Benedict had appointed serial ecumenical compromiser Archbishop Levada to replace himself as head of the CDF; a homo-friendly CINO who proudly viewed himself as a "conservative" Catholic because he didn't take sides but stood, like all Carbonari Clones, "in the exact middle of the road as to where I should be as a bishop."
The traditionalist journal Si Si No No summed it all up:
The sham struggle is between modernists who have gone to the very limits of their erroneous principles and their cousins, the moderate modernists who wish to go in the same direction albeit more slowly; it is not at all a question of a fight to the death, but rather of insignificant skirmishes, or more exactly, "of party maneuvers or ploys."
In a striking way, Francis signals the Concilium element breaking through and the end of all that pussyfooting about. To the disengaged, uninformed, lukewarm ranks of the Church Militant he seems like a bolt out of the blue. Yet he and his pontificate represent the spoils of a revolution planned, foretold, fought and concluded long ago. Truth is, by the time 1978 compromise candidate Karol Wojtyla attained the papacy and brought in Joseph Ratzinger to head the CDF, the Modernism Francis more boldly proclaims was already institutionalised, the supposed struggle between "liberal" Catholics and "conservative" Catholics was redundant, and the true conservatives (men of Tradition) had been wiped off the ecclesial map.
Meeting of "progressive" minds
So now we know: Why Benedict versus Francis is spurious nonsense. Why, on the contrary, John Paul III identifies with John Paul IV (who both mirror John Paul II). Why he shares the informing principles of his successor's corrosive mindset and largely endorses his shocking declarations and activities.
This may not include such things as the return to dumbed-down liturgy and the associated persecution of several hundred Summorum Pontificum Franciscans (on the convenient pretext of a few dozen whining rebels). However, like the slippery "moderate"/"extremist" tags, it must be borne in mind that such neo-Modernist 'exceptions' (read 'begging to differ among themselves') not only prove the liberal rule, they are not exceptions at all, being stealthy means to achieve the same ends. (Liturgical death by "reform of the reform" cross-fertilisation/assimilation of the Old Mass, for instance).
It is no surprise, therefore, that Benedict the Comforting, the self-professed "well-balanced progressive," makes contented common cause with Francis the Frightening and his scary views — like this little bloodcurdler casually broached in his most recent interview-cum-brainstorming-session:
The Pope emeritus is not a statue in a museum. It is an institution. We weren’t used to it. 60 or 70 years ago, ‘bishop emeritus’ didn’t exist. It came after the (Second Vatican) Council. Today, it is an institution. The same thing must happen for the Pope emeritus. Benedict is the first and perhaps there will be others. We don’t know. [Corriere della Sera, 5/3/14]
The Question Mark Papacy strikes again! As with married clergy, Communion for the divorced and remarried, papal primacy, civil partnerships, to name just a few items now in the balance as never before, "We don't know" only because Francis prefers to keep us hanging: to leave all options on the table. The "general principle" of Modernist "change" and "the laws of evolution" to which "everything is subject — dogma, Church, worship, the Books we revere as sacred, even faith itself" [Pascendi, 26] — demand it!
So once again the abnormal is normalised: another aberration, the papal resignation, suddenly mainstreamed. Even creepy Canon Roca didn't see that one coming! It raises all kinds of satirical possibilities involving multiple geriatric Emeriti nursed in custom-built Vatican condos and wheeled out for super-conclaves (only to keep forgetting where they are and who's on the ballot). But let's not go there. The novelties embraced by recent papacies are too painfully serious. And none more so than the most dangerous of all the liberal commonalities they share: the ecumenical project.
Revolution by "dialogue"
Together with the Novus Ordo, the ecumenical enterprise remains the most graphic marker of Modernist continuity; an apocalyptic sign of the times readily apparent to any Catholic prepared to lift up his/her head instead of burying it [Matt. 16:3; Lk 21:28]. And yet, despite its symbiotic dependence on Paul VI's avowedly Calvinised worship which he detested and sought to 'reform'; in spite of his corresponding CDF attempt to 'reform the interfaithreform' with his reaffirmation of the one true Church in Dominus Iesus — despite everything he knew and plainly feared about its dangers, the self-contradictory Benedict picked up the corrupting Assisi Franchise and seamlessly carried on. Francis will take it to spookier levels still, stating:
I decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to open to modern culture. The council fathers knew that opening to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with nonbelievers. After then very little was done in that direction.
Seriously? As Louis Verrecchio fired back: "If the ecumeniacal folly of the last four decades amounts to 'very little,' what in Hell does 'a moderate amount' look like? (I think I just answered.)"
Yes indeed, a hellish abyss beckons. For as we observed last May apropos the Holy Father's clear intention to sprint ahead with the Assisi baton: "of primary interest to power-broking globalists is an ecumenical project that continues to sap Catholic conviction." It proceeds inexorably on that sapping trajectory because the internal logic of Modernism dictates that "every religion... must be considered as both natural and supernatural." [Pascendi, n. 8]
That is why Modernist Masons and Masonic Modernists are two sides of the same diabolically-debased coin; why the Lodge now finds it relatively easy to recruit ecclesiastics; and why the endless ecumenical talking shop is tailored to suit the interests of both parties. Praising the ecumenism nurtured at Vatican II in his book Ecumenism Viewed by a Traditional Freemason, Yves Marsaudon of the Scottish Rite wrote: "Catholics ... must not forget that all roads lead to God. And they will have to accept that this courageous idea of freethinking, which we can call a revolution, pouring forth from our Masonic lodges, has spread magnificently over the dome of St. Peter's."
"We had struggled for a century and a half to bring our opinions to prevail with the Church and had not succeeded," writes Marcel Prelot, a senator for the Doubs region in France. "Finally, there came Vatican II and we triumphed. From then on the propositions and principles of liberal Catholicism have been definitively and officially accepted by Holy Church."
If Francis is the latest definitive papal proof of that revolutionary outcome, he also personifies the means by which it was achieved. Embracing a kindred spirit, Judeo-Masonry exploded with joy over his election, the Italian Lodge lauding "a clear choice of fraternity for a Church of dialogue."
And how! "[When] they ask for my guidance," Archbishop Bergoglio informed Rabbi Abraham Skorka "my answer is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue."
That panacea was laid down in their book-length "inter-religious discussion," On Heaven and Earth (2010). But if presenting "dialogue" with such total commitment, as a veritable cure-all, does not inspire equal Catholic confidence in the reader, it may be because the word did not appear even once in the entire annals of Church teaching or pastoral practice until the rebels slipped it in at Vatican II. Yet now it is the tragic measure of the papacy of loose and vacuous verbiage we have latterly inherited.
A casual glance at the ecumenical detritus strewn across the post-conciliar landscape — the doubt, dialogue, and convergence that replaced conviction, evangelisation and conversion — is enough to understand why the D-word was avoided by the Church Fathers and the popes, councils, saints, martyrs and doctors of yore. In Iota Unum, his peerless critique of the Council and its aftermath, the late great Romano Amerio supports their perennial prudence. Following detailed consideration of the various facets of dialogue old and new, he sums up precisely why the new version is fatally flawed:
We may conclude by saying that the new sort of dialogue is not Catholic. Firstly, because it has a purely heuristic [experiential] function, as if the Church in dialogue did not possess the truth and were looking for it, or as if it could prescind from possessing the truth as long as the dialogue lasted.
Secondly, because it does not recognize the superior authority of revealed truth, as if there were no longer any distinction in importance between nature and revelation.
Thirdly, because it imagines the parties to dialogue are on an equal footing, albeit a merely methodological equality, as if it were not a sin against faith to waive the advantage that comes from divine truth, even as a dialectical ploy.
Fourthly, because it postulates that every human philosophical position is unendingly debatable, as if there were not fundamental points of contradiction sufficient to stop a dialogue and leave room only for refutation.
Fifthly, because it supposes that dialogue is always fruitful and that "nobody has to sacrifice anything," as if dialogue could never be corrupting and lead to the uprooting of truth and the implanting of error, and as if nobody had to reject any errors they had previously professed.
Continuing to shred the entire post-conciliar rationale, the brilliant philosopher-theologian adds this vital point, alluding to the bogey of 'triumphalism' that hangs like a dead-weight over Catholic parties to dialogue, draining whatever conviction and confidence they may have retained (emphasis added):
Dialogue converging towards a higher and more universal truth does not suit the Catholic Church, because an heruistic process putting the Church on the road to truth does not suit it; what is appropriate for the Church is the act of charity, whereby a truth possessed by grace is communicated to others and they are thereby drawn to that truth, not to the Church as an end in itself. The superiority here is not that of the believer over the non-believer, but of truth over all parties in dialogue. It should not be thought that the act of one man persuading another of the truth is tantamount to an act of oppression or an attack on the other's freedom. Logical contradiction and an "either or" are part of the structure of reality, not a kind of violence.
In stark contrast to that lucid and irrefutable exposition, the Holy Father has implied that Catholic doctrine is but an 'opinion' that threatens to 'interfere' with an individual’s spiritual life. During his infamous "Who am I to judge?" retort about sodomites, Francis claimed that "Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person."
Like his two predecessors, therefore, Francis is living testimony as to why Holy Mother Church protected Her children for two thousand years from the dialogic revolution. On Heaven and Earth itself is one long further confirmation of Her maternal wisdom (and Amerio's critique). A Francis-friendly reviewer relates that the book "reveals a Pope... open to change, open to dialogue, ... however there's little disagreement or vigorous debate. The tone is measured and thoughtful with Bergoglio remaining slightly in the background. What he says is clear, economically and diplomatically expressed, but mutable." Precisely.
Jorge the Indifferent: Francis the Utopian
Blind to his own textbook description of Modernism-as-dialogue, the reviewer appears nonetheless to comprehend something of its dreadful ramifications. For he notes that after reading the book, "there are those who will be made uneasy by having to make assumptions about orthodoxy."
Understated yet damning, that conclusion captures our dire predicament. The faithful were certainly "made uneasy" and left "to make assumptions about orthodoxy" by the Supreme Pontiff's immediate refusal to openly bless journalists with God's Catholic Signature (yes, He is a Catholic). As also when it transpired that the female prisoner whose feet he washed on Holy Thursday was a Muslim to boot.
We now know that such disorienting ecumenical messages were signalled on a regular basis back in Buenos Aires, many involving his close and omnipresent friend, Rabbi Skorka.
YouTube records one occasion on which Archbishop Bergoglio publicly honoured and embraced the pro-"gay marriage" Skorka. After being decorated by Bergoglio, the Rabbi declared: "we have to... build a different human reality. We are waiting for the messiah, but for him to come, … we have to prepare the way. We have to make a space for him. ... I believe he will come when God decides that God will reveal himself to humanity...."
The Bergoglio response to that emphatic denial of Christ was to join other clerics present in applauding Skorka. Yet it was no less appalling than his revelation in their co-authored book that he had included different religions in a ceremony, just after the homily, when everyone prayed publicly to "each" one’s beliefs.
This workaday religious indifferentism explains the reflexive non-blessing of the journalists "out of respect for the consciences" of non-Catholics, and other compromising post-Bergoglian acts and statements. Among these was a 7 August 2013 discourse reported by CNS during which Francis stated, with real emphasis: "Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no! Go out and meet him, he is your brother. This is enough." If such a view no longer bothers us, then, quite frankly, we too have lost the "savour" of the Faith, and are "good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men." [Matt. 5:13]
No wonder Francis continually cosies up with practitioners of false religions, as if their man-made "truth" is the equal of God's Catholic Truth (did I mention He'sa Catholic?). "Pope Francis maintains that religious diversity, with all of its contradictory and irreconcilable doctrines, is a gift to be celebrated," notes Louis Verrecchio. "Though he stops short of explicitly proclaiming from whence such 'gifts' are bestowed, one can only presume that he imagines that these false religions spring from God Himself!" In fact, as St Pius X explains, it is only logical that he would:
And with what right will Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam? With what right can they claim true experiences for Catholics alone? Indeed Modernists do not deny but actually admit, some confusedly, others in the most open manner, that all religions are true. That they cannot feel otherwise is clear. For on what ground, according to their theories, could falsity be predicated of any religion whatsoever? ... For they heap such praise and bestow such public honour on the teachers of these errors [false religions] as to give rise to the belief that their admiration is not meant merely for the persons, who are perhaps not devoid of a certain merit, but rather for the errors which these persons openly profess and which they do all in their power to propagate. [Pascendi, n.14]
In this passage, a veritable portrait of Francis, the great Pope Saint effectively 'withstands his successor to the face, because he is to be blamed,' to paraphrase Paul's rebuke of Peter in Galations 2:11. And he is blameworthy on both counts: for refusing to deny "the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam," then confirming that false experience, even as he undermines the authentic Catholic one. Last January, for instance, he encouraged a group of refugees in Rome to share their experiences without the least religious distinction: "Those that are Christian, with the Bible, and those that are Muslim, with the Koran. The faith that your parents instilled in you will always help you move on," he said, levelling down Holy Scripture and the one true Faith with the syncretic aplomb of a Master Mason.
Spin this 'what we share is more important than what divides us' liberal-utopian claptrap any way you like. But it is not about blissful "fraternity." It is about not being seen as "unreasonable." It is opting for the safe harbour of political correctness to avoid launching into the deep water of holy controversy that leads to conversion. Islamic passages in Evangelii Gaudium confirm the charge. To take just two typical items:
Firstly, Francis dares to state that "[Muslims] together with us adore the One, merciful God" [n. 252].
Since Islam denies the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ this is manifestly untrue. The statement would not have surprised Muslim convert Magdi Allam, however. Baptised by Pope Benedict in 2008, the prominent Egyptian-born journalist renounced his membership of the Church shortly after the papal election, fuming that "The 'papolatry' that has inflamed the euphoria for Francis I and has quickly archived Benedict XVI was the last straw." He cited as his main reason for leaving the Church's perceived "religious relativism, in particular the legitimisation of Islam as a true religion." At that time (March 2013), he further warned in Il Giornale that "Europe will end up being subjugated to Islam" unless it "finds the courage to denounce Islam as incompatible with our civilisation and fundamental human rights."
As if to confirm that there will be no such brave denunciation on his watch, Francis is also at pains to state in Evangelii Gaudium that "True Islam and the proper interpretation of the Koran oppose all violence" [n. 253].
Now, perhaps the skedaddling Magdi Allam thinks he can 'resign' his baptism as simply as Benedict resigned his office? Yet if his wafer-thin faith reveals his ignorance of Catholicism — due to poor instruction by his neo-Modernist curial mentor, Archbishop Rino Fisichella (now official leader of the New Evangelisation!) — the same cannot be said about his knowledge of Islam. Showing up our PC pontiff, the courageous writer, who endangered his life by converting, insists that the Church must "banish the Quran for inciting hatred, violence and death towards non-Muslims," and "condemn Sharia as a crime against humanity."
Yet another Egyptian, Jesuit Islamologist Samir Khalil Samir, whose expert advice was sought by Benedict XVI, was moved to respond directly to Evangelii Gaudium, issuing a polite but very firm corrective [my emphases]:
This phrase is beautiful and expresses a very benevolent attitude on the Pope's part towards Islam. However, in my humble opinion, it expresses more a wish than a reality. The fact that the majority of Muslims are opposed to violence, may well be true. But to say that "the true Islam is against any violence," does not seem true: there is violence in the Koran. To say then that "for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence" needs a lot of explaining. It is enough to cite Chapters 2, 9 of the Koran.
"More a wish than a reality." "Does not seem true." "Needs a lot of explaining." In those few phrases Fr. Samir captures both the neo-Modernist modus operandi of this pontificate and the utopian 'spirit' which informs and guides it. The same reckless 'spirit' of self-deception and wishful thinking which, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, "pervaded the Council": a "naïve optimism" that stoked "the dream of liberation, the dream of something totally different," a "rejection of the past, that produced the concept of a zero hour, in which everything would begin again, and all those things that had formerly been done badly would now be done well."
Unholy 'spirit' of protestantisation
Neo-conservatives had always recognised the devastating centrifugal force of that utopianism. The Council per se was sacrosanct. But they joined their "conservative" champions John Paul and Benedict in decrying its bogus 'spirit.' Then, suddenly, on 13 March 2013, they embraced it as the Trinitarian real deal. Waving away the biblical portent of impending disaster (the two fearsome lightning bolts that thundered into the dome of St Peter's within hours of Benedict renouncing his pontificate, illuminating the Roman sky), they clothed the Naked Emperor-papacy and its rocket-fuelled surge towards Ecumenical Armageddon with Divine approbation — and woe betide the naysayers! The Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna led the way.
Synonymous with controversy and scandal, you can catch Cardinal Schönborn's disgraceful shenanigans on YouTube, if you have the time, and the stomach. Even his forbearing mentor Benedict XVI finally ran out of patience. In January 2010, he was forced to rebuke and discipline his "moderate" liberal-conservative disciple for undermining Bishop Peric of Mostar, whose jurisdiction he had entered unannounced in order to promote the Medjugorje scam. Peric righteously fumed that this only provided "encouragement for ecclesiastical disobedience."
However, last May, while showboating at an Anglican conference in London, Cardinal Schönborn outdid himself. At a stroke, he equated the Vicar of Christ and the conclave of apostolic (if disoriented) successors who elected him, with a synod of Protestant laymen who gathered at Lambeth in fancy dress to nominate one of their number, Justin Welby, to fill a perennially vacant Catholic see.
He then assured his enraptured audience of 5,000 in the Royal Albert Hall that the conclave was mystically "driven by the Holy Spirit" to elect Jorge Bergoglio as pope, and that he himself had received "real signs of the Lord." In fact, one of the "signs" was a tip from an Argentinian tourist. Truly. Here is the press report of his ludicrous, pompous rationalisation of Francis:
"It was a tremendous experience of the Holy Spirit." he said.
"We were driven by the Holy Spirit to this man – he was sitting in the last corner of the Sistine Chapel: This man he is the chosen one."
He added: "I received at least two strong signs: one I can tell, the other was in the Conclave I can’t speak about – but real signs of the Lord giving me indication ‘he is the one’."
The Cardinal said that just after a special mass before the Conclave began he came across a couple from Latin America who are friends of his.
He said: "I met them outside the Basilica and I asked: ‘You have the Holy Spirit, can you give me advice for the Conclave that will start in a few hours?’
"And the woman whispered in my ear ‘Bergoglio’, and it hit me really: if these people say Bergoglio, that’s an indication of the Holy Spirit.
"And I’m sure many of us have received similar signs during the Conclave, it wouldn’t have been possible to have this election so soon and so rapidly."
To applause, the Cardinal went on: "You know there is a strange similarity with your Archbishop Justin, I hope so much that they will meet soon."
Laughing, he added: "I don’t know the secrets of the ‘conclave’ at Lambeth Palace. But it looks like a little miracle that he became the Archbishop, so I think the Lord has given us a great sign through these two elections and other signs and what I have deeply in my heart … it is as if he would say to the world ‘come home, I wait for you’." [Daily Telegraph, 14/5/13]
Shortly after, on 14 June, Francis "the chosen one" did indeed meet up with "little miracle" Justin, in Rome. The new pontiff said he wanted to collaborate in promoting "the sacredness of life," and "the stability of families founded on marriage." Despite all that Lambeth has done to undermine marriage since the first duplicitous primate of the King's religion smuggled his German wife into England in a chest (to circumvent Henry's celibacy rule (2), Francis praised Cranmer's latest successor for "recalling the value of marriage." Basking in the glow of this spurious recommendation, the latest pretender to the see of Canterbury replied with Cranmer-like duplicity that his Anglican community was "absolutely at one" with the Church on the issue of "gay marriage" — despite his having feebly acquiesced in its legalisation only two weeks earlier, all the while voicing ardent support for sodomitical "partnerships" and lauding his pro-"gay marriage" brethren!
We will soon note that this was not a mere diplomatic engagement but a meeting of liberal minds and dispositions. But it is also noteworthy that Francis did not wait three months to signal false-ecumenical business as usual (viz., the lending of Catholic credibility and prestige to irredeemable Anglicanism). Just days after he himself was enthroned he had sent Mr Welby his personal "greetings and best wishes on the occasion of your Enthronement at Canterbury Cathedral." As an indicator of ecumenical lunacy this haste to voice hearty papal recognition of a faux enthronement was obvious enough. But more indirectly the papal thumbs up also signalled another aspect of the drastic convergence: the telling proximity of Welby's beyond-satire installation to modern Catholic worship.
This gala rendition of 'private opinion dressed up' was captured by satirist Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail. A practising Anglican, he observed, among much else, "bongo drums, a Punjabi melody, splodges of political correctness — and suppressed giggles from the Duchess of Cornwall. ... The African chaps came jiving past in the middle of the service, twirling, yoo-be-dooing, their knees bouncing as high as blokes walking on a hot beach. Yeowww, bro’, that sand is hot!" [Daily Mail, 22/3/13]. Not to mention the inevitable lady vicars wandering about like extras from a Vicar of Dibley set. Or the so-called "archdeaconess of Canterbury" who actually "enthroned" Mr Welby!
The fact that the Church can no longer point the liturgical finger at those responsible for such blasphemous parodies of religion is the corrupting Ecumenical Effect writ large on the Great Facade of the post-conciliar Church. Even if papal enthronements have been spared jiving Africans (thus far), the Novus Ordo has facilitated Vatican jamborees far more culpable than anything Protestants can muster in all their clueless sincerity (think Mother Teresa's Hinduised beatification Mass in St Peter's - CO, Aug/Sept 2004). A Tango Mass-pontiff who quickly cancelled his predecessor's requested CDF examination of the Neocatechumenate's liturgical abuses, and who is now in the throes of dissolving the FFI's Summorum Pontificum stronghold, is hardly likely to reverse this liturgical rapprochement. Things can only get worse.
Or, if you're a liberal Protestant, better! Anglicans instantly recognised a kindred spirit. The "Rt. Rev." Scott Anson Benhase, tenth "Bishop" of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, keenly insisted that
Pope Francis may be the first Anglican pope.... , he seems to me to be approaching his vocation as the Bishop of Rome like an Anglican. ... Anglicanism was forged out of the creative tension of the catholic faith and the reforming zeal of protestant thinkers and theologians. ... After Queen Elizabeth, Anglicanism evolved through a commitment of living hopefully with one another even as differences remained. We recognized we could learn and benefit from our sisters and brothers who approached the Christian faith with different perspectives or emphases. We call this Anglican Comprehensiveness or simply, “The Big Tent.” [...] As I listen to and learn about Pope Francis ... whether in washing the feet of a young Muslim girl on Maundy Thursday or in responding to a question about homosexuality and rhetorically asking: “Who am I to judge them if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith?” Pope Francis is exuding an Anglican ethos in his Christian faith.
We may chuckle at his history and defence of the Anglican "ethos," but it's hard to fault the logic and the bottom line. This is what happens to prelates, even to the Bishop of Rome, when requests for "guidance" are "always" answered by recourse to the Modernist Trinity of "dialogue, dialogue, dialogue";when the uncompromising missionary Spirit of Pentecost morphs into the bogus 'spirit' of Assisi; when salty dialogue that converts gives way to saltless dialogue that perverts; when weasel words are preferred to "simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’" [Matt. 5:37]; when a New Evangelisation of ecumenical detente and realpolitik shores up false faiths and their damaging worldviews out of human respect, while muting absolute Catholic truth. After half a century of all that — voilà!: a papacy "exuding an Anglican ethos."
Hence the via media courting of the worldlings instead of teaching them; evincing, thereby, that "strange similarity" with Mr Welby and his liberal protestant worldview duly noted and lauded by Schönborn — even before Francis pulled his "Who am I to judge?" line from the Anglican Handbook of Evangelism.
The English press seized on the striking convergence. "New Archbishop, Justin Welby, has wrenched the Church away from damaging internal quarrels about sex and focused its attention on poverty and debt," reported the Mail on Sunday of 4 January. "Both men have tried to assert that the Church is fundamentally concerned with goodness, human kindness and unselfishness."
Social gospel similarities were further evoked by British headlines about "Buses, pizza and Oxfam clothes: Justin Welby lifts lid on life as Archbishop and why he shuns his chauffeur." In the same papal vein, following his election Welby did not hit the headlines for denouncing homosexuality and defending Christian morality, but for his campaign to stamp out legal loan sharks — an 'option for the poor' to warm a papal heart that views "youth unemployment" as the "most serious evil" we face. The media grasped this dovetailing: the emphasis on the corporal as "more relevant to people's everyday lives" than the spiritual and moral; the Pope and Mr Welby crying as one with Welby's Victorian forebears: We Only Want Social Evils Removed!
Meanwhile, in a country whose headlines recently screamed: "Aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals," Archbishop Nichols decries welfare cuts. They're all WOWSERs now! Just so long as removing social evils does not include telling Protestants to stop peddling sola scriptura relativism that leads to abortion-on-demand and dead-babies-as-low-cost-fuel. Or the sort of zeitgeist-rebuking Catholic action against radical sodomites that saw a million French laity fill the streets of Paris not once but twice within several months. Heaven forbid such socio-religious militancy by... er, the Church Militant.
Unity trumps Truth
The above commentary by "Bishop" Benhase speaks directly to all this personal and corporate convergence. But also to the tragi-comedy being acted out before our eyes: pointing as it does to the naked absurdityof Cardinal Schönborn cloaking the cult of Francis in divine inspiration. For what we actually have is a pontiff declaring that he sees no value in being a "small [extra Ecclesiam nulla salus] chapel" pushing "small-minded [dogmatic] rules," while simultaneously courting the circus-master of a moribund "Big Tent" pushing no rules and universal salvation. Or to put it another way: a pope making eager common cause with a post-Christian socio-political shell just "one generation away from extinction," as Welby's predecessor George Carey recently warned its General Synod (— which body, as if to fast-track the dissolution, promptly removed all mention of sin and the devil from the latest version of the Anglican baptismal rite).
This is the real news behind a year of media spin and papal celebrity: ongoing mutual convergence/dissolution through a false ecumenical dialogue that avoids all conflict — because "Conflict," warns Francis, "can divide us!" And so must be avoided at all costs.
Whoops! Someone obviously forgot to inform his Lord and Master! Since He, contrariwise, came "not to send peace, but the sword." [Matt. 10:34] — viz., "the sharp two-edged sword" St John saw come out "from his mouth," with which He threatened to "war against" the unrepentant. [Rev. 2:12-16]. This "sword" of uncompromising Catholic Truth clearly figures little in the plans of His current Vicar, who is blind to its unifying force. For Francis, "Unity is superior to the conflicts, always!"
An insidious mantra routinely mouthed by bishops everywhere, it calls to mind a former head of England's Catholic Education Service. Having admitted to the Chairman of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice that the episcopate's Here I Am catechetical books were not Catholic, he said that, nevertheless, the bishops would not correct them. "You're putting episcopal unity above Truth!" she protested to his face. A perfidious, deafening silence affirmed the charge. His name was Vincent Nichols. In quick order, Francis appointed him to the Congregation for Bishops, then handed him a red hat and a conclave vote — with a view to John Paul V, who will duly maintain the primacy of unity over Truth when Francis decides to call it a day and join Benedict in the Emeriti condo.
Papal nature and papal grace
Meantime, without the "two-edged" sword of Truth which at once divides and saves, we find an utter lack of "unity" within our thoroughly conflicted fold. Are not the same liberal clergy still preaching liberal sermons, teaching liberal doctrines in liberal schools, joining liberal religious orders, being formed in liberal seminaries under the same liberal bishops, who still by and large haven’t a clue why anybody wants to pray and follow the disciplines of the 'old-fashioned' ways? And has the Holy Father lifted even one admonitory finger to deter them from this "wide" Modernist path to perpetual conflict and perdition? To shepherd them back to the salvific "narrow" way of peace and unity in Catholic Truth?
Before such damning, purely rhetorical queries, and after all that we have documented in the present trilogy, which represents the mere tip of the papal iceberg, the following opinion, offered by an unknown blogger just after the papal election, was prescient:
The princes of the Church who walked into the conclave had the power to elect a man according to the Will of God. That is all that is promised. It is not promised that they will cooperate with or exercise that power. Individually and collectively they have the freedom to abrogate that power. Perhaps some stood against this election, but the majority didn’t. The majority had the power to cooperate with the Holy Ghost and the power to elect God's choice, but they abrogated that power. You can contend otherwise, but then you must be willing to concede that the Holy Ghost would choose a man who deplores the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as it was offered for centuries, a man who deplores the Mass of the Church’s saints.
Is it possible that the office will change the man? Yes, I suppose it’s possible, just as I admit it is possible for God to work a miracle. I will certainly hope and pray for it. However, the office will not necessarily change the man, just as it did not necessarily change Pope Alexander VI.
Can Pope Francis turn out to be a good pope? Yes, of course, if he cooperates with the promptings and graces of the Holy Ghost. Pope Francis is the pope, for good or for bad, and by virtue of that office, he has the power of the Keys. He can exercise that power. He can also abrogate that power. Unique graces are available to the man who occupies the office of Supreme Pontiff. However, given Bergoglio’s past, it would be foolish of me to expect anything other than another abrogation. I’m sorry, but I’m a realist, not a “hysterical optimist”.
Our thankless and glorious task!
When all is said and done, therefore, if Francis is indeed "the chosen one," it is only in the sense that he was chosen by a conclave full of Schönborns: variegated products of the same neo-Modernist sausage machine that churned out Cardinal "You can’t make God a Catholic God" Martini; a notorious apostate variously praised by Francis as "a father for the whole Church," a "prophetic" figure, and "a man of discernment and peace."
To suggest that the Holy Spirit shares that Alta Vendita-pedigree and its social gospel strategy, is as fanciful as suggesting He inspired John XXIII to call the Council that finally realised Canon Roca's cataclysmic prophecies in the first place.
"There is a kind of papalotry going around," Dr. William Marra once observed. "It acts as if no matter what comes out of Rome, it must have been inspired by the Holy Ghost." The National Coalition of Clergy and Laity has also cautioned against "a naïveté that is unfamiliar with either Vatican politics or the immemorial praxis of the Holy See. For the ordeal which the Church is undergoing can be ended only by a rehabilitation of the principles which make her continuous and everlasting."
We will know that essential rehab has commenced only when we sight a Successor of Peter manifesting the fearless Catholic Spirit of Pentecost; boldly rebuking the zeitgeist, not caving in to it.A Holy Father who does not merely preach the reality of Satan, but acts accordingly; wielding the "two-edged sword"of holy conflict and division that saves souls from meeting Lucifer in Hell! A Supreme Pontiff who understands that while Protestantism talks about Jesus, Catholicism is Jesus; and since Jesus is God, that does indeed make God a Catholic, and so conversion to a faithful Catholic life the only sure path to Heaven. QED.
Until then, free will remains a constant. If mortal men go their own way under cover of a self-serving 'spirit' of their imaginings, God will let them. His genuine Spirit, however, will continue to protect the essential moral and doctrinal modesty of His Holy and Immaculate Bride; to guide and guard us even when "there shall arise false prophets" (read Martini-like peddlers of a false gospel) who can "deceive (if possible) even the elect." [Matt. 24:24].
Even so, the assurance of a final re-orienting of ecclesial disorientation does not obviate our need to "tear away the mask" of neo-Modernist deception, now manifest at the highest levels. At once a thankless and glorious task, we must carry it through in the spirit of St. Mary MacKillop, who spoke truth to ecclesiastical power even when falsely excommunicated for her trouble. Writing of her painful battle with Father Tennyson Woods, the co-founder of her nineteenth-century Australian Order, St. Mary's words resonate with our sorry predicament, and our own pressing Duty to Displease:
We have our own dear Father both with us and against us. He is with us in affection and against us in opinion. Our hearts would lead us to him and what would please him, but our wills and sense of duty must lead us to displease or pain him, so that we may do right in the sight of God and the Church.
(1) In a 1914 pastoral letter, St. Pius X sternly wrote: "The tango, which has already been condemned by illustrious Bishops and is prohibited even in Protestant countries, must be absolutely prohibited in the see of the Roman Pontiff, the centre of the Catholic religion."
(2) Not apprised of the contents of Cranmer's chest, the sailors at Gravesend set it up the wrong end downwards, nearly breaking "Mrs Cranmer's" neck!