Recycling the Revolution: 1
The Conciliar "method" beloved of Cardinal Kasper and his Comrades was a wicked one. We know it came "from evil" because His Eminence plainly admits that it was tailored to avoid the simple "si, si: no, no,'' demanded by Our Lord in Matthew 5:37. Marked by verbosity, ambiguity, and deceit, we have suffered the rotten fruits of this 'progressive' methodology for fifty dismal years: half-a-century of strife and destruction that has exhausted everyone but the Modernist ideologues, whose levelling lust is never sated. Buoyed by a papacy of their wildest dreams, and Kasper's assurance that it has "inaugurated a new phase" of Vatican II, they have duly recycled their evil modus operandi to serve the de-facto-Vatican III "processes" initiated by Pope Francis: to help him raze the dogmatic bastions of Catholicism once and for all.
The embodiment of Kasper's "method," our verbose and self-contradictory Holy Father's ambiguous desire "to initiate processes rather than possess spaces" (Evangelii Gaudium, 223) duly revolves around a never-ending synodical talk-fest. This allows the Modernists to storm the Catholic citadel by way of "compromise formulas designed to delimit" orthodoxy and "open the door to a selective reception" of truth and heresy, unleashing "a huge potential for conflict" — "the same method also we had in the Council," crows Comrade Walter.
No surprise, then, that Cardinal Kasper's deceitful fingerprints are all over the Instrumentum Laboris (working paper) for next month's Synod on the Family. Even though his frontal assault on the indissolubility of marriage and the sanctity of the Blessed Sacrament failed to receive a two-thirds majority during the 2014 Synod, the Instrumentum Laboris for 2015 contains a section on his so-called "Penitential Way"; a Modernist blueprint for sanctioning sacrilegious Communions for the divorced and re-married en masse. John Vennari notes other manifestations of "Kasper’s anti-dogma style" in the working document, which
contained yet another questionnaire for the bishops. The document tells Church leaders to "avoid in their responses a formulation of pastoral care that are based simply on an application of doctrine," for such an approach "would not respect the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod Assembly and would lead their reflection far from the path already indicated."
Will the Kasperites win the day and send us all down that broad path "that leads to destruction" [Matt. 7:13]? Now that the nefarious "process" and its manipulative "method" is underway, we should expect anything. Certainly, despite the supposedly large number of prelates who reject the Kasper theses out of hand, the narrow voting margins at Synod I, that barely saw off insidious doubts and ambiguities about sodomy, cohabitation, and divorce and remarriage, should give us pause (see CO, Dec. 2014, pp.28-44). Especially since those precarious voting figures merely reflect the loss of nerve and Catholic sanity in general.
Following the US Supreme Court's recent decision to impose homosexual 'marriage' on all American States, a Californian Democrat swiftly introduced a Bill to remove 'Husband' and 'Wife' from the US Federal Code. An Evangelical leader railed: "It is as if a collective madness has settled over our nation's elite, and they are trying hard to bring everyone under the same cloud of confusion."
The "collective madness," commonly termed political correctness, has not so much "settled" over Western elites as obliterated their common sense: the rational faculties that once distinguished them from animals. In the process, it has eliminated all sense of the common good. Paradoxically, in an age of hyper-individualism, it has crushed individuality: fostering chronic self-interest that 'goes along to get along' with any and every lunacy proposed by the mob. This secular delirium would be bad enough. But the atheistic legislative, executive, judicial and media elites who hold Western electorates hostage to their cupidity and carnality, are now aided and abetted by God's elect.
While "diabolic disorientation" is more precise, "collective madness" truly describes the hierarchical betrayal we are living through, as foretold in the Third Secret of Fatima. It certainly captures the group-think of an episcopal herd that spins its steady deconstruction of Catholic faith and identity as a New Springtime in the Church. Orchestrated by an aggressive liberal minority and sustained by the lukewarm neocon majority, this episcopal mania has inevitably served up a manic pontiff whose eco-'recyclical' Laudato Si takes complicity and convergence to a whole other level. This is not to say that Francis is wholly responsible for the black hole in which we find ourselves. The "Who Am I To Judge?" papacy has merely picked up and turbo-charged a slightly flagging revolution.
Addressing Apostolic Nuncios gathered in Rome on 21 June 2013, Francis warned, without a hint of self-awareness, that "Giving in to a worldly spirit exposes us pastors in particular to ridicule." This from a PC global-warming alarmist who insists that "live and let live is the first step towards peace and joy"! No wonder bishops who have long tailored their 'action plans' and 'mission statements' to the zeitgeist, courting worldly approval in ways indistinguishable from their political counterparts, have thrown all caution to the wind. Even as I write, a spokesman has announced that Archbishop Nichols would like the notorious Masses he has championed for unrepentant sodomites and lesbians, to be seen as a model for other parishes. Rolling out blasphemy and sacrilege, while peddling a sin that cries to heaven, now constitutes pastoral justice and mercy in Westminster. Music to the ears of David Cameron.
At the same time, across the pond, the Archdiocese of Newark confided care of a parish to a priest who had just been removed from a college chaplaincy after posting a pro-LGBT Facebook message. "Transferred," but not sacked, insisted the archdiocese: "The Church doesn't fire priests for tolerance; it condemns those who are intolerant." So promoting vice now constitutes virtue, warranting promotion of a self-identified sodomite to a parish. Moreover, thanks to the Francis Effect, his new flock are not fazed by the prospect. "The pope said God doesn't judge, so I don't judge," they baaed like shepherdless sheep. "If the Boy Scouts can put gays in there, what the heck is the difference?" queried a 90-year-old parishioner, as if reading out the latest papal interview. A young 'Eucharistic minister' at least broached her misgivings, only to dismiss them. "I know it's against the Church," she confessed, "but — what are you gonna do? I'm really happy."
Well, that's alright then. As long as we're all happy-clappy. Never mind the Vatican's 1961 declaration (as "a matter of public law") that "Advancement to religious vows and ordinations should be barred to those who are afflicted [even] with evil tendencies to homosexuality." And no matter the misery heaped upon Our Blessed Lord by ignoring that wisdom and prudence: viz., the proliferation of sodomitic degradation and profanation of His Holy priesthood, Holy Sacrifice, and Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity — all in His Father's house!
Even as He suffers at the hands of their ignorance and blase attitude, however, Christ surely weeps tears of pity for these hapless progeny of secularised ecclesiastics. What hope do they have with the papal brake disengaged and the apostasy of high-profile cardinals and bishops in overdrive?
The Pre-Synod Synod
With a view to Synod II, European bishops have been lining up all year long to oppose Church teaching, without a word of reproach from the Supreme Pontiff.
Emblematically, on 25 May, just days after the Irish voted in same-sex 'marriage', with the help of complicit bishops and a conspicuously silent pontiff, the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of Germany, Switzerland and France — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Markus Büchel and Archbishop Georges Pontier — gathered at the Gregorian University in Rome for a pre-emptive synodical strike. There, together with several dozen select theologians and journalists, they spent the day aping Cardinal Kasper's deviant party line.
An invitation-only, closed-door affair (even prominent Jesuits at the Gregorian were completely unaware of it), the normalisation of sodomy, by way of an amorphous "theology of love" separating sex from procreation, topped the agenda. Followed, of course, by further abstract acrobatics aimed at dissolving the indissoluble: sacramental marriage. But these particular issues were merely part of the overriding agenda: changing Church doctrine.
Among the speakers, reported the National Catholic Register, was Father Eberhard Schockenhoff, the (im)moral theologian "said to be the 'mastermind' behind much of the challenge to settled Church teachings among the German episcopate and, by implication, at the synod on the family itself." A critic of Humanae Vitae (for all the wrong reasons), he insists that moral theology must be "liberated from the natural law" — which, when all was said and done, was the leitmotif of the presentations. In a blog post of 27 July on his MondayVatican site, Andrea Gagliarducci reported that
Schockenhoff offered a materialist reflection, one that pivoted on the difficulties of modern life, and he generously sprinkled his thesis with quotations from the psychoanalyst Erich Fromm and the Marxist sociologist Theodor Adorno.
In his remarks, Schockenhoff stressed that "one must admit that love may end," because the "irrevocability of the choice of marrying is based on what love wants," and indissolubility is instead "a request that spouses look after each other as long as they trust in their love." In the end, he said, personal conscience holds the primacy, with all of the nuances of truth.
This insane call for radical autonomy, that would render dogma and the Catholic magisterium redundant, is no longer the raving of fringe dwellers frozen in 1968. Schockenhoff not only has the ear of the German episcopate but that of Francis himself, whose inner circle espouse the same views. Consider this from the Pope's favourite theologian, one Walter Kasper:
If differences arise, between the official doctrinal teaching of the Church and the laity’s everyday experience of the faith — as is often the case today — these conflicts cannot be resolved simply by a repetition and tightening up of the traditional dogmatic formulas without discussion. The truth of the Gospel can only emerge from a consensus.
According to Cardinal Kasper, the authority of the Magisterium depends on the consensus of the faithful. More insanity. Yet the Holy Father has given Walter his head. As John Vennari points out, the Vatican questionnaire insisting that doctrine not impinge on "the formulation of pastoral care" could have been written by Kasper, who states: "The questions of the day require a new and deeper exploration of the Gospel so to stimulate new answers which are not just abstract conclusions from past beliefs."
Since Schockenhoff and his fellow apostates are not at all fringe but more or less engaged in running the asylum, what is their — and Kasper's — final goal? A keen Vatican observer, Gagliarducci is in no doubt:
By looking closely at the German, Swiss and French texts from the "shadow synod," we can see that they are pushing in the end for a theological revolution. ... Briefly put, this is their rationale: given that what the Gospel asks for is an ideal that men are not always able to achieve, let’s change the ideal.
In the end, the "shadow synod’s" remarks do not deal merely with the push for a more pastoral approach to marriage, but are mostly an attempt to detach it from the Church’s traditional teaching, on the grounds that it is too difficult to follow. In the end, these positions suggested an overriding need to fit in with the world, and to make the Church fit in with the world, all the more so by adopting the world’s (secular) language.
This linguistic capitulation to the zeitgeist reached a new low when Francis dutifully intoned the "gay" word, to cover over sodomitic and lesbian acts at once degenerate, debilitating, and deadly. (How long before "termination of pregnancy," "pro-choice," and "fetus" enter the papal lexicon, to deflect the plain truth about murder, murderers, and the murdered?)
We are assured that nothing fundamental is happening here: that secularising language and practise will not affect doctrine. Typically, Argentine Franciscan Ramiro de la Serna, who has known the Pope for more than 30 years, insists that
He won’t change doctrine. What he will do is return the Church to its true doctrine — the one it has forgotten, the one that puts man back in the centre. For too long, the Church put sin in the centre. By putting the suffering of man, and his relationship with God, back in the centre, these harsh attitudes toward homosexuality, divorce, and other things will start to change.
Got that? The Pope simply wants to return the Church to the true doctrine: the merciful one that put people before dogma; the original teaching buried beneath centuries of nit-picking magisterial accretions. So the current doctrine is false … and so can and should be changed ... but he’s not changing doctrine … 'no, si, si, no' (... feel a migraine coming on?)
Contradictory and gnostic, it is the 'spirit of Vatican II' resurgent and rampant. Since old news doesn't sell, however, the press makes it sound fresh and bold.
As a quid pro quo for their invite to the Gregorian, journalists spread a breathless message. A reporter for La Repubblica conveyed the routine Modernist fare as "revolutionary, uttered by clergymen." While La Stampa quoted a participating comrade as saying that the Synod would be a "failure" if it simply continued to affirm what the Church has always taught. Who would've thought?!
It was indeed a shocking and execrable event. And we needed to hear about it. All the more because of its furtive nature. Yet in the scandalous light of Synod I, where the vote on "welcoming" active homosexuals into parish life failed by just two votes to get the required two-third majority, the media hype could not disguise the weary predictability of it all: viz., Modernist mutineers, pushing a recycled revolution, with recycled methods. This involved the usual lie — that their subversive 'theology' was a mere reflection of the lay 'consensus' — cooked up from the usual 'questionnaire' — full of loaded questions tailored to the predetermined liberal outcome. A survey despatched from Rome to the parish wastelands of the West, Lutheranised Swiss and German respondants, as per usual, led this faux common consent.
Also on cue, a French Biblicist (channelling Kasper) insisted that the Magisterium can only continue to guide consciences effectively through "a dynamic of mutual listening" which "echoes the words of the baptised" (read: 'a dynamic of liberal hectoring' that 'echoes the words of baptised apostates'). Fr. Shockenhoff naturally concurred, pontificating that conscience should be shaped not by principles received from the infallible magisterium but, rather, from the "life experience of the faithful" (read: the 'private judgement of the unfaithful').
The real villains of the piece, however, were the sponsoring episcopal presidents. What a crew!
In our June/July editorial we mentioned the alleged Masonry of leftist Archbishop Pontier; an affiliation he did not deny when confronted by his flock. While just the day before this shadow synod, in his Pentecost Sunday homily, Cardinal Marx had called for a "welcoming culture" in the Church for sodomites, insisting it’s "not the differences that count, but what unites us."
As for Bishop Büchel of Switzerland, in early August, still aflame two months after his Gregorian sortie, he nearly injured himself in his rush to contradict a brother bishop's reminder of Old Testament condemnations of sodomy. "It is less decisive whether someone has a hetero- or homosexual inclination; rather, the responsible approach to sexuality and all the other dimensions of a relationship (such as attentiveness, carefulness, respect, or fidelity) is decisive," he said. "Here we are permitted, as Catholic faithful, to trust the conscience of each individual." Stressing a spurious love and affection over divine and natural law, he also mouthed the Big Lie about sodomites being 'born that way.'
Pontier, Marx and Büchel are representative of the aliens in our midst; prelates alienated from Christ, from His Magisterium, and from His faithful flock. But not, alas, from His current Vicar on earth, who encourages them to run amuck, as we saw at the hellish 2014 Synod, and continue to see day by chaotic day.
On 1 August, the Archbishop of Hamburg, Stefan Heße claimed that sodomy and lesbianism were no barriers to "love and fidelity between two people." As for holy matrimony, he quite likes "the ideal of marriage," but wants the Church to devise "livable forms" for remarried divorcees; i.e., a politically correct sell out of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Meanwhile, on the same day as the Büchel debacle, a Spanish Bishop allowed a 21-year-old woman who self-identifies as a man to be a godfather at the baptism of her nephew. The Bishop of Cádiz had originally denied the woman's request to be a godparent. He did so on the perfectly reasonable grounds that she does not live according to the Church's moral teaching. Yet all it took to swap the Catholic faith for "collective PC madness" was a national petition of protest signed by 35,000 politically correct Spaniards. Suddenly, His Lordship was beating the emotive drum for sexual deviance. "Being transsexual does not constitute a reason for [her] being excluded from the office of a godfather," declared the diocese, inverting the Faith and biology in one hit.
Reporting on these relentless scandals for LifeSiteNews, the intrepid Maike Hickson notes the papal orchestration: that the madness is accelerating "at a time when Pope Francis himself repeatedly speaks about the importance of welcoming 'remarried' divorcees in the parishes, and not having any negative attitude toward them and their children, without once mentioning – as a pastor for all – that they live, objectively speaking, in the state of sin. Many concerned Catholics pray and hope that he will soon speak an authoritative word in order to defend, amidst this growing moral anarchy, the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself, as Cardinal Raymond Burke requested nearly a year ago."
Readers will recall that during the Sodomy Synod, Cardinal Burke condemned out of hand the Relatio post disceptationem: the scandalous interim report fabricated by the Bergoglian placemen who controlled proceedings (the pro-homo, pro-divorce-and-remarriage, pro-anything-goes crew). He said:
The document lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium. In a matter on which the Church has a very rich and clear teaching, it gives the impression of inventing a totally new, what one Synod Father called ‘revolutionary’, teaching on marriage and the family. It invokes repeatedly and in a confused manner principles which are not defined, for example, the law of graduality.
Calling on Pope Francis to issue a statement defending Catholic doctrine, the Cardinal said:
The debate on these questions has been going forward now for almost nine months, especially in the secular media but also through the speeches and interviews of Cardinal Walter Kasper and others who support his position.
The faithful and their good shepherds are looking to the Vicar of Christ for the confirmation of the Catholic faith and practise regarding marriage which is the first cell of the life of the Church. In my judgment, such a statement is long overdue.
It must be said that since then, Francis has indeed made many statements supportive of marriage and the family. Neoconservatives often falsely accuse his critics of failing to acknowledge this side of the Holy Father, as if their criticisms are without foundation, mean-spirited, and irrational. Yet there is no need to add, omit, or exaggerate anything. The problem lies not with his orthodox side per se but the fact it is precisely that: just one side of his papal persona; the one that speaks clearly between bouts of purposeful ambiguity and contradiction by the other side.
Writer and author Atila Sinke Guimarães has written at length about Evangelii Gaudium, the rambling Apostolic Exhortation that laid out the programme of this pontificate. Quite apart from failing to quote "one single document of the Catholic Magisterium previous to Vatican II," while also introducing "a 'slang' unbefitting to papal dignity," Guimarães found the encyclical riddled with internal contradictions. Among many others, these included: clarity vs confusion; ideals vs realities; calls to not study doctrine vs calls to study doctrine; claims that EG is not a social document vs it is a social document. The contradictions alone, he writes, "constitute a sad landmark of what [Francis] is doing to destroy, by the way of facts, the papal power of teaching."
Beyond his written output, the credibility of the Faith and the papacy is further diminished with every cringing papal pronouncement and scattergun interview, showcasing the same contradictory, confused, incoherent persona.
Having spent several years as Bergoglio’s press aide in Buenos Aires, Federico Wals asked the hapless Father Lombardi, whose Vatican role essentially mirrors Wals’s old one, "So, Father, how do you feel about my former boss?" Managing a smile, Lombardi replied, "Confused." Wistfully comparing the Germanic precision of Benedict XVI, Lombardi told reporter Robert Draper: "It was incredible. Benedict was so clear... — two minutes and I’m totally clear about what the contents [of a conversation] were. With Francis — ‘This is a wise man; he has had these interesting experiences’." [National Geographic, August 2015]
Now, doubtless there were pre-conciliar pontiffs who also lacked the Teutonic efficiency of Benedict XVI. Yet whatever their personal shortcomings, they all understood that clarity, precision and consistency is papacy 101; that a disordered mind and unruly tongue were to be avoided like the plague, since they invite contradictions and double-standards — and scandal!
St. Pius X pointed out that this unholy habit of speaking out of both sides of one's mouth — stating one thing only to say and do another — is a quintessential Modernist trait, utterly destructive of Catholic truth and order. Yet it defines this papacy.
There is not much point Pope Francis denouncing sodomitic 'marriage' as "the envy of the Devil," for example, or decrying, as he also did before more than a thousand families in Manila on 16 January, the "new ideological colonisation that tries to destroy the family," when homosexuals and homo-sympathisers who have colonised the Church are touting sodomitic 'gifts' and hybrid 'families' with papal blessing, even and especially at synods.
If you are sponsoring this Kasperite pro-homo, pro-divorce-and-remarriage Fifth Column, why ask the Manila faithful to "Proclaim the beauty and truth of the Christian message to a society which is tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family"? Could there be a greater temptation to confusion than the contradictory papalpresentations of sexuality, marriage and family we currently face?!
And why highlight the increasing efforts "to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life," as Francis dutifully warned in Manila cathedral, only then to publicly deride a heroic mother who suffered to bring forth many children, as he notoriously did soon after? Indeed, why commend Humanae Vitae, as he also did, while hammering the contraceptive mantra of "responsible parenthood," plugging "three children per family" as "the key number" for population replacement, and giving credence to the bigoted jibe about Catholics "breeding like rabbits" — all in the one considered breath?
Marital and Familial Duplicity
Recently, the present writer read nine reflections on the family delivered by Francis during his early 2015 Wednesday audiences. Starting with the Holy Family and moving through the role and contribution of the mother, father, children, siblings, grandparents and the elderly, they contained many nice passages. But once again it was impossible to read them, without recalling contradictory papal actions and omissions that effectively nullified their worth.
Undermining the entire familial series in a single swoop was the solemn multiple wedding presided over by Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, September 14, 2014. For among the 20 couples he invited on his own initiative, were several he knew to be in irregular situations — couples in which one of the two had a civil divorce; couples cohabitating for a long period of time; couples with children out of the wedlock. Despite the public nature of this media spectacle, nothing was said about whether any repentance or penance was required by Francis to allow these persons to marry and receive Communion — which justice required, in order to avoid scandal. It was, however, the month before Synod I, so it sent a clear message, as if to say: 'I want Catholic morals to change so that the three reported situations are no longer considered sinful. Consequently, persons in these situations should not be removed from the Church’s life or barred from receiving Communion.' The unspoken message of false mercy was well received by one irregular bride. Ecstatic at being told she could have her cake and eat it too, she beamed: "We hope that our story gives hope to those who are cohabitating and have given up on marrying before God" (read: on our own terms, without recourse to the Confessional).
Having contradicted the truth about sacramental marriage and family life in such spectacular public fashion, all manner of papal duplicity in the Wednesday talks was only to be expected. Among many examples, the advice to fathers "to correct without humiliating... in a just way," was particularly hard to stomach. The Holy Father is renowned not only for spraying insults all over his traditional sons and daughters, but also for his humiliation of the blameless mother mentioned above, and his ruthless and unjust dispersal of the equally innocent and wholly admirable Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate.
"When it comes to children," Francis implored one group, "no sacrifice on the part of adults is too costly or too great." In which case, why tell us to lower the pro-life volume and stop obsessing over the slaughter of babes in the womb? Why let the Kasperian dogs loose to savage Our Lord's clear teaching on marriage, when children have suffered so terribly for so long from the same rabid Protestant mauling? And since "no sacrifice" for the little ones is "too great," why the facile acceptance of 'irretrievable breakdown,' as if separation is always the final word?
At a more recent (5 August) audience, Francis mouthed this self-fulfilling secular mantra, referring to "those who, following the irreversible failure of their marriage bond, began a new union." Fomenting false compassion in typically spurious fashion, he stressed that such parishioners "are not excommunicated" (as if anyone said they were!) "and must not be treated as such" (as if they are!). There was no mention of the many separations which are not irreversibly broken: no urging of those spouses to re-establish their conjugal life; no reminder that there was "no sacrifice too costly or too great" to heal their fractured marriage bond for the sake of their children.
Confusing Faith with Works
Since Francis often uses this kind of deceitful hyperbole to nudge along his agenda, we should view the stress on supposedly persecuted 'irretrievables' as yet another papal marker for the forthcoming Synod: the latest beat up at the service of his drive to foist on the universal Church his own disobedient practise in the villas miserias. "Communion for the divorced and remarried is not an issue there [in the slums of Buenos Aires, where Bishop Bergoglio ministered]. Everyone takes Communion," a diocesan priest happily confirmed.
It was there, in the villas miserias, that the "Who Am I To Judge?" papacy took root; among the curas villeros (slum priests), "practically all" of whom, according to one shocked journalist, keep concubines and sons, or homosexual/transexual partners. It was there, amid chronic destitution, that the pragmatic assumed precedence over the dogmatic; where the social gospel trumped the Gospel of Christ and its Catholic theology in the heart and mind of Bishop Jorge. For unlike Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and myriad saints, who all knew a thing or two about teeming slums and the poorest of the poor, he failed to see that without Catholic doctrine, pastoral action, however praiseworthy, quickly regresses to mere philanthropy at the service of the zeitgeist: the "worldly spirit" he hypocritically condemns.
A pastoral creed "of sterile assistentialism [material aid]," concluded the above reporter from his first-hand observations and conversations in the shanty towns, "leads nowhere, keeps the poor in poverty, the lazy in laziness and the sinner happy with his sins." The Pope does not recognise this inexorable regression for one elementary reason: he no longer holds to Catholic teaching that faith "is primarily concerned with doctrine and denotes the assent of the soul to some truth." It is not the translation of faith into laudable works, but faith in this doctrinal sense that "brings blessing and salvation to the soul," explains St. Cyril of Jerusalem, a Doctor of the Church.
This Catholic understanding also saves us from every emotive distortion of faith by the Bergoglian-Kasperite school: not least from its false charity, false mercy, and false compassion. Disconnected from dogmatic truths they are so much feel-good mush, imperilling the salvation of all those hapless souls upon whom it is lavished, whether they be wealthy, poor, or morally degenerate.
Or, indeed, the divorced-and-remarried. For these, true mercy entails taking Christ at His dogmatic word: "And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another, commits adultery" - Matt. 19:9. Equally, neither authentic charity nor genuine compassion presents marriage as an abstract "ideal" beyond the reach of hapless mortals (— as posited by the Pope's reported view that 50 percent of marriages may be invalid, and his creation of a commission of canon lawyers to set up a speedy procedure for the processing of matrimonial nullity). Rather, they present marriage as a vocation specially blessed by God, and therefore perfectly capable of seeing through difficulties, even seemingly insurmountable ones, with His help.
In this regard, it is telling that the Holy Father rarely mentions a charming anecdote from his time in Germany (where he was exiled in 1986 by his Jesuit superiors after a disastrous stint as Argentine Provincial). Paul Vallely related in Newsweek that in a church in Augsburg, then Father Bergoglio SJ "discovered a painting that had been commissioned to celebrate the work of a wise old Jesuit who had rescued the failing marriage of a 17th-century Bavarian aristocrat. Entitled Mary Untier of Knots, it showed the Virgin Mary untangling the knots in the long ribbon used to celebrate the wedding of the nobleman and his wife."
Rather than fatalistic talk of "irreversibile breakdown," why not draw upon and emphasise, in season and out, the beautiful Catholic lessons to be learned from this heavenly depiction of reversibility under grace? Why promote instead a sophistic deconstruction of Catholic doctrine and morals, employing every crooked means to that end: loaded synodical secretariats and questionnaires; the suppression of Catholic counter-arguments (as with the confiscation of a book-length critique by five orthodox cardinals in advance of Synod I); or putting the Kasperite proposal on divorce and remarriage back on the Instrumentum Laboris for Synod II, despite its failing to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority vote at Synod I?
"Profound and Definitive Changes"
Why all these deceitful manoeuvres and power plays? Because that is what Modernist ideologues do: "they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy" [Pascendi, 3].
Pius X's damning passage encompasses both the current papal disregard for the principle of non-contradiction, which undermines all authority and all restraint, and the "pride and obstinacy" of Francis in doggedly seeking to change our holy Faith; the Deposit entrusted to him to be protected and handed on as he received it.
His Jewish shadow, Rabbi Skorka, admits that he can be "a very stubborn person." But that's the least of it. Last September, on the eve of Synod I, addressing the supposed 'consenus'-based approach of synods and questionnaires, an Argentine warned:
If you think that Pope Francis will bring collegiality to the Church you are dead wrong: it is his time to hold the power and he will use it. He will allow some form of collegiality but only for those things which he does not care about, and only if he has no choice. And, by the way, doctrine is one of those things.
A few months later, a priest in daily contact with Francis confirmed this assessment to a gathering of ten Argentinian and Chilean priests: "The last thing he [the Pope] told me before I came was to pray so that he can effect profound and definitive changes in the Church in such a way that they can never again be modified." As if to complete the Pope's message for him, another cleric declared that "What must be done is to change doctrine because, if it is not changed, in three hundred or four hundred years they could move everything backwards."
Back to what, precisely?
To worshipping Almighty God always and everywhere in strict, solemn, manifestly Catholic manner? To a beloved Mass providentially tailored for both a universal Church and a global village? To overflowing monasteries, convents, seminaries, pews, and waves of zealous missionaries? To the days of papal 'Yes' and 'No', before the "new genre of papal speech not concerned with precision" (as Fr Lombardi categorised Bergoglian incoherence)? To the unity of orthodox faith, mind and purpose that gave rise to untold lay social apostolates and sodalities? To putting God's Law, Rights and Justice before the mortal variety?
As both synodal questionnaires have clearly alluded: going "backwards" to all that dogma-fuelled success is a non-starter, to be avoided by endless "change" involving the evolution and adaption of Church teachings to fads and fashions (Anglicanism by any other name.) "Communion for the divorced and remarried is ... only the tip of the iceberg, it’s a stalking horse," says Cardinal Pell. "They want wider changes, recognition of civil unions, recognition of homosexual unions." According to those who know him best, we should expect much more from Francis besides.
"I believe we haven’t yet seen the real changes [under Francis]," his old compatriot Ramiro de la Serna commented recently. Another papal confidant, Protestant pastor Norberto Saracco, concurred. "If he can survive the pressures of the Church today and the results of the Synod on the Family in October, I think after that he will be ready to talk about celibacy." Asked by Robert Draper if Francis had told him this or if he was relying on intuition, the Pope's Pentecostal friend smiled slyly and said, "It’s more than intuition."
Whether the Bergoglian iron fist (increasingly visible) will be fully extracted from its papal glove of sophistic 'gradualism' to enforce "change" summarily, remains to be seen.
On the one hand, Francis might go for broke in October, using his supreme authority (underlined at the close of Synod I) to crush opposition and enforce acceptance of sexual deviance and Communion for the divorced-remarried.
On the other, faced with serious opposition, he may decide to keep his counsel and bide his time; "without obsession over immediate results," as he explains in Evangelii Gaudium, since "the important thing is to initiate processes." In that way he can let the episcopal dissent rage on unhindered, redefining and deconstructing the Faith by stealth and attrition.
Whatever happens, nothing will deter Jorge Bergoglio from his messianic mission to deracinate the Faith: to recycle and rebrand as 'Catholic,' the theological and moral detritus of the sexual revolution he found embodied in the priests and people of the villas miserias, who won his heart.Baptised with orthodox soundbites, their free love and false charity is now presented as a new and merciful theology of love and liberation, stripped of its Marxist bits and pragmatically tailored for our post-Christian times. On the contrary, however, this social gospel of the Latin American slums reveals itself ever more shamelessly as the earth-bound, man-fixated, exploitive, violent Socialist gospel it always was.
Testifying to that reality herein, Prince Bertrand's filial appeal is unlikely to stop our "very stubborn" pontiff preaching his counterfeit gospel. Or to dissuade him from turning the Church into a glorified UN soup kitchen at the service of the zeitgeist and its Socialist overlords. No matter. Truth fires enlightening bullets that even God's elect cannot dodge. And so we find that some who bought into the liberal narrative of Francis the Humble/Merciful/Great Reformer, who afforded Jorge Bergoglio the benefit of the doubt, defending him from the indefensible, have thankfully (finally!) had enough. Andrea Gallardi of the MondayVatican website is one of them. At the outset of his 27 July analysis of the Gregorian 'shadow synod,' he wrote:
What we are looking at now is a more secular Church that is taking centre stage, one that uses secular terms. .... once the Church loses the capacity to speak with its own language, it loses itself. ... This site has until now given the best possible charitable interpretation to Pope Francis’s actions. Now even here it seems undeniable that it is theology and reason that he opposes.
The corrupt methods and degenerate content of his synodical "process" alone proves the charge. The clarifying summa of Catholic theology and reason that Thomas Belfatto has penned for us on the eve of Synod II is not a work Francis would recommend. Certainly not to the Socialist company he keeps!