THE CHURCH MILITANT - BELEAGUERED BY BERGOGLIANISM

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TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, November 24, 2017 4:23 PM

When 'the Church' at its very top plays blind to the threat of Islam...

Europe and Islam:
Who is afraid of John Paul II?



Riccardo Cascioli, editor of La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, has shared a letter sent him by Mons. Mauro Longhi, the Opus Dei priest from Trieste
who recently revealed a 1993 conversation with John Paul II in which the latter said "I see the invasion of Europe by Islam".

Dear Editor,
I was surprised by the echo produced by the words I said at a lecture in Bienno last October 22. I see that some interpret it in terms of 'the battle between Christians and Muslims'. I am greatly pained by such a reading and I apologize if I myself induces such a reading because I was lacking in clarity. In John Paul II's mind, there was no idea of 'battle' – on the contrary, he sought better relations.

In the conversation with the Pope that I spoke of at the conference, and which your newspaper disseminated, the Pope referred to certain groups of terrorists who even then had already started to be active, using the name of God (as Pope Francis often reminds us today), and in his comments, there was no kind of generalization.

Mauro Longhi


This is a surprising reaction from Mons. Longhi,
- first, because his story about John Paul II's remarks about Islam in 1993, when relating to him a vision he had, is only now being picked up by the media and the blogosphere, and
- more importantly, because the accounts I have read of those who have picked it up have not claimed textually that the late pope spoke in terms of
'a battle between Christians and Muslims" – they did not have to, because the words Longhi quotes him to say are in distinctly martial terms, even
if he says that the invasion will not be kept out with weapons alone
.

“Remind those whom you will meet in the Church of the third millennium. I see the Church afflicted by a mortal scourge – more profound, more sorrowful than those we have suffered in the second millennium (referring to Nazism and Communism). It is called Islamism. It will invade Europe. I see the hordes coming – from Morocco, Libya, Egypt and the countries of the East.

They will invade Europe
, and Europe will be a cellar of old relics, shadows, cobwebs, memories of family. But you, the Church of the third millennium, must keep out that invasion. Not with weapons – they will not suffice – but by living your faith with integrity”.

Nor has anyone said that John Paul II had not sought better relations with Islam – to the point of kissing the Koran, which many Catholics still find 'strange', at the very least.
- second, the Bussola account of Longhi's lecture had no mention at all of Longhi's reference in his letter to the pope speaking about 'certain groups of terrorists etc...'

It looks to me like Longhi, who is still an active priest with monsignorial rank (obviously gained before the present pope said he would stop naming priests 'monsignors'), appears more concerned right now about not getting into any possible 'hot water' with the Bergoglians.


Now, Riccardo Cascioli's reply to the monsignor.

Dear Mons. Longhi:
There is no need to apologize. You were very clear in simply reporting an episode in the life of St. John Paul II of which you were a personal witness and which opens a window on Karol Wojtyla's mystical life.

Rather, those who need to apologize are those curial circles who have wished to reduce the vision of John Paul II to their own ideological schemes or those clerical news organs who have constructed improbable behind-the-scenes theories on the motives of your narrative and our article.

We simply reported your words at the lecture in which you said John Paul II had a vision of an Islamic invasion of Europe and that we should oppose such an invasion above all by living our faith with integrity.

Does it bother the critics to speak of an invasion? But even Pope Francis called it so in an interview on March 2, 2016 with the French weekly magazine La Vie: "An Arab invasion of Europe is under way," he said, although he added he was optimistic about the outcome of this invasion. And two months ago, it had been Cardinal Schoenborn of Vienna who expressed fear over 'the Islamic conquest' of Europe.

So does it also bother the critics to speak of the need to live our faith with integrity? But is this not the task of all believers, Islam or not Islam?

Nonetheless, the real alternative Europe has was very well expressed by the late Cardinal Giacomo Biffi of Bologna, speaking at around the same time John Paul II had his vision:

Europe will either become Christian again or it will become Muslim. What seems to me without a future is the 'culture of nothing'. Of freedom without limits and without content, of skepticism vaunted as intellectual superiority, which seems to the largely dominant attitude among the European peoples, who are more or less all rich in means but poor in truth.

This 'culture of nothing' (fed by hedonism and libertarian insatiability) [nihilism?] will not be able to stand up against the ideological assault of Islam which is inevitable. Only re-discovering Christianity as the only salvation for man – and therefore, only a decisive resurrection of Europe's ancient soul – can offer a different outcome to the inevitable confrontation.


Does this mean calling for a new Crusade? Or taking refuge in 'dialog' and 'relationship'? But true dialog is possible only between two clearly identified entities - if I know who I am and I know my interoluctor, his values, what and how he thinks. Yet the dominant Catholicism today is merrily renouncing its identity and seems not to have the least idea of what it is facing, and has nothing more than a sentimental solidarity.

St. John Paul II lived through this, and in hearing his testimony, dear Mons. Longhi, we canot but look with wonder at the great spiritual gifts that he received. Who would have imagined in 1993 what is now before our eyes?

Only a few in Europe at the time were able to recognize the manifestations of an Islamic 'rebirth', let alone think of an Islamic 'invasion' of Europe. At the time of your conversation with John Paul II in March 1993, there was an atmosphere of great international optimism: Promising peace conversations between Israel and the Palestinians were under way which in a few months (Sept 1993) would culminate in the historic Oslo accords which would go on to earn the Nobel Peace Prize for its protagonists, Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasir Arafat. [The shortsightedness, rashness and wishful thinking of the Nobel Peace Prizegivers is nowhere more evident than in this choice, in which the Oslo Accords have merely been used by the Palestinians as a pretext for going on doing what they always did (not forgetting that Arafat is the acknowledged father of organized terrorism as a political tool).]

Islamist terrorism was still to come [That is, of course, not true, since the Terrorist Age began at the Munich Olympics in 1972 when Palestinian assassins killed Israeli athletes, and Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel were not uncommon. Except that until 9/11, most terrorist acts were by Palestinians against Israelis. Islamist terrorism involving larger non-Palestinian groups like AlQaeda and the Taliban, and against Western targets on general, did take a quantum leap in degree and frequency with 9/11, even if that, too, had been preceded by major terrorist attacks against US military facilities and embassies in Lebanon, Kenya and Tanzania and the USS Cole] whereas the Soviet Union had just collapsed thus bringing an end to the Cold War, leaving some hope for a peaceful New World Order.

Of course, all too soon, events would take on a different turn, and therefore we can for more reason appreciate how prophetic John Paul II's words were in 1993, and not just about the Islamic invasion. Just as Benedict XVI's words in Regensburg were prophetic when he exhorted that both the West and Islam must unite faith and reason.

Today, however, it seems that the principal concern in a significant part of the Catholic world is to silence such prophetic words.

Riccardo Cascioli
Editor



Beatrice on her site, benoit-et-moi.fr/2017, shares a an unusually strong reaction from a priest who sent her the following letter, expressing skepticism over the pope-saint's reported mystical visions [though JPII did write in the 2003 Ecclesia in Europa about his visions everytime he consecrates the Body and Blood of Our Lord at Mass, starting with his first Mass], and above all, his surprise that the pope would have "confided his vision [about Islam] during a break while mountain walking to someone who was, after all, a stranger to him".

The episode took place in 1993, and as Mons. Longhi narrates, for a period of 10 years till 1995, he was the pope's mountain guide during the 4-5 times a year that he 'escaped' to the Abruzzo mountains to ski, which means they would have known each other through at least 24 such visits in circumstances where the company was limited to the pope, Mons. Dsiwisz and a handful of Polish friends, plus then Fr. Longhi, so the occasions were pretty intimate, I would say, and after 24 visits, Longhi would no longer have been considered by the pope 'a stranger'.



Doubting Longhi's revelation
by Pere J***
Translated from


I am less enthusiastic than you are on the subject of John Paul II, and I must confess that I do not believe at all in the revelations made by this Opus Dei priest. It does not correspond at all to the actions of the Wojtyla Pontificate.

When John Paul II was elected, I was filled with immense hope. But disappointment and questions rapidly replaced that. In effect, under his pontificate, everything [about the faith] appeared to have grown worse, except [Catholic] morality which remained safe until the present pope [seems to have] sold it off.

But everything else was catastrophic: the liturgy, episcopal nominations, constant references to Vatican II, favoritism for Opus Dei and the Legionaries of Christ (with the protection and cover-up for Fr. Maciel), unrefined ecumenism (the Assisi prayer meetings), Islamophilia (he kissed the Koran), bad relations with the Russian Orthodox Church [not by his desire, though, but because Russians traditionally look down on Poles… One recoils at these denunciations of a pope-saint, but the priest's list is factual even if too generic and un-nuanced, and reflects what were in effect compromises born out of practical considerations, even if the 'optics' of it all was bad. Pere J's list is another way of expressing Hilary White's disillusion expressed in the post above, that John Paul II did not turn out, after all, to be the rescuer of the faith from the ravages of Vatican II.]

It's hard for me to imagine a pope who had visions of Christ and the Virgin Mary who could nonetheless lead the Church into such errors, and the present pope can well draw on that legacy without a problem (except, I repeat, with regard to Catholic morals). For my part, I have reservations about the many 'private revelations' [visions and apparitions] which have been flourishing for decades. The messages from direct Revelation as transmitted by the Church are enough for me.

Of course, you are free to accept these new reports about John Paul II as true, but I am not convinced. Having had the opportunity to get close to him often and even to have lived with him, I can assure you that I never felt any particular presence around him but a low of 'show'. Besides, he never looked at his interlocutors direct in the eye, as Cardinal Ratzinger did. [The last statement is a strange and unlikely criticism to make of someone who met hundreds of world leaders and tens of thousands of individuals in the course of a 27-year pontificate!]

It was not my desire to shock you with this, but simply to express my reservations.

[One would dearly like to know the circumstances in which Pere J*** "had the opportunity to get close to him often and even to have lived with" John Paul II. As for the fact that he 'never felt any particular presence about him', I can only say that perhaps feeling a particular presence about someone depends on the person who feels it - i.e., the feeling, if it comes, is usually spontaneous and probably, very subjective.

But I do know that the first time I saw John Paul II in 1978, a few days after his inaugural Mass as pope (I happened to be part of the official Philippine delegation to his inauguration, so we were given an audience with him at the Apostolic Palace and were presented to him one by one), I was totally unprepared for the impact of his persona on me, because I had never felt such an impact from anyone before – a wave of physical vitality and spiritual radiance that hit me like a blow. I would be able to meet him again twice after that at the Vatican, and it was always the same.

When he visited Manila in 1981, instead of joining my TV coverage team at the airport, I chose to cover his arrival by standing with the faithful that lined Manila's bayside boulevard to greet him on his entrance to the city – there was no popemobile then, but he was transported in an open vehicle on which he sat on a chair that was elevated so that the faithful could see him well. And as the vehicle passed, I swear I felt the selfsame impact that hit me those three earlier times at the Apostolic Palace, even if the closest I was on that boulevard must have been least 15 feet away...

In contrast, I cannot explain why, when I had the privilege of being presented to Mother Teresa during a visit she made to Manila in 1980, what her presence conveyed to me was pain and suffering, though I was very much aware, of course, that I was in the presence of someone who even then was already considered a living saint.

BTW, I never felt that whatever faults, errors and shortcomings may be acknowledged objectively in John Paul II's Pontificate, detracted at all from his personal holiness, though they certainly highlighted his human flaws.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:50 AM
November 24, 2017 headlines

Canon212.com


At this point, I shall only selectively post these headline round-ups
1) when the headlines do refer to news that is significant for the Church as well as in the world, and/or
2) when taking note of the latest Bergoglian nuggets of incoherence, of which there are quite a few on this set of headlines.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, November 25, 2017 3:15 PM


Make Communism history

November 22, 2017

100 years ago, a Communist organisation took control of a Country (and of a huge one at that) for the first time in history...

Communism is – like its bastard little brother, Socialism – the fruit of a godless mentality that does not see reality for what it is: the fruit of the Fall, with all its attending problems – but, rather, for what it should become if the toy called planet earth were, so to speak, repaired and made to work as it always should have. This is the thinking of children, and of godless adults.

Inequality is not a bug, it is a feature. People having the most varied inclinations and the widest differences of willingness, intelligence, resilience, and appetite for risk, it must follow that they will range – in a completely sinless, utterly justified way – on a huge spectrum as to their prosperity and quality of life.

Poverty – which is the aspect of inequality leftists cry about the most, though I am pretty sure few of them have ever experienced it – is also, as Our Lord taught us, always going to be with us. It must be so, because poverty teaches humility, encourages to prayer, and helps look heavenwards in all one's endeavour; although it can be the deserved consequence of laziness, profligacy, entitlement mentality, and general wrong thinking. [For most of the world's poor today, however, the reason is none of that, but simply historical and sometimes geographical circumstances, but such victims today number in the tens of millions that human institutions are unable to alleviate their poverty in any significant way. But there are those utopists like Pope Francis who think that one 'solution' is to allow tens of thousands among these tens of millions to escape their poverty by migrating to more prosperous parts of the world, as if such mass migration were totally free of costs and other social consequences for the targeted host countries to the detriment of their own native citizens, the immediate as well as ultimate victims of indiscriminate immigration.]

War is also one result of the Fall. It is childish – nay: it is outright stupid – to think that bad guys will disappear from the earth only because nations gather together in a forum that is nothing more but the collection of all rubbish regimes on the planet. The bad guy will never be “history”, and there will always be need of good guys ready to fight and die to stop him.

You can't “make poverty history”. You can't put an end to wars. As Communism is on its way to becoming history at least as an ideology able to run entire countries – socialism will possibly always be with us, because stupidity is - poverty has, unsurprisingly for every Catholic, not only remained, but it has been generously multiplied by those same people who claimed they would put an end to it. Sanity wins in the end, albeit sometimes at the price of countless millions of victims.

We, the smart set, do not try to make poverty history. We work towards making Communism history. And with Communism, we want to throw in the rubbish bin of history all that nonsense about inequality, “war no more”, and all the thinking that comes from forgetting God. We want, most of all, to purge Catholicism from this cancer.

Make Pope Francis history. [That's not up to us - he becomes history when God decides his time has come, and the Church, God willing, will have a chance to emerge from the incubus of Bergoglianism that now envelops her in its Satanic shroud.]

Poverty, war, and godless people will always be with us.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, November 26, 2017 1:39 AM
November 25, 2017 headlines



Sorry, I am forced to use this Canon212 headline above-the-fold headline round-up because what its bottom banner headline reports is
Bergoglio's determination to institute the Catholic quickie annulment in which he calls on diocesan bishops to be the one-man judge-jury-
executioner decreeing his quickie marriage annulments.

I do so despite my unremitting distaste for Canon212's abuse and overuse of 'Francis-' as a pejorative prefix to anything and everything that
editor Frank Walker disapproves of in this pontificate, not to mention appending '...see?' to questionable statements by Bergoglio or his
surrogates (as if pointing out something the moron reader may not be sharp enough to note on his own). Now that PewSitter is out of
business, Walker's monopoly of the Catholic news aggregation niche appears to have given him license to aggravate his worst violations
of Journalism 101. Though obviously Walker does not feel bound by any guidelines of style or taste.


Pope says 'pastoral consolation' is
the goal of new annulment norms


November 25, 2017

Pope Francis on Saturday addressed the participants of a training course for clerics and laity held by the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

In his prepared remarks, Pope Francis focused on new matrimonial norms and Super Rota procedures. [What exactly are Super Rota procedures? Does he mean that marriage annulment at the diocesan level has rendered the diocesan tribunals above the Roman Rota itself, which is supposed to be the supreme marriage tribunal in 'the Church'? One more improvement over 'the Church' by the church of Bergoglio!]

In particular the Pope said “it is necessary to give greater attention and proper analysis to the two recent motu proprios: Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus and Mitis et misericors Iesus, in order to apply the new procedures that have been established.”

These two measures, he said arose [“from a synodal context, and are the expression of a synodal path.” The Pope explained that the Synod had the purpose of promoting and defending marriage and the Christian family.

[He is bending the truth again – i.e., lying – as usual.
- Everyone knows that he sprung his new barebones no-cost quickie annulment decrees unawares on everyone a few weeks before the second ‘family synod’ opened, which would have been the proper venue for first discussing and then recommending changes in the Church’s careful checks-and-balances annulment process.
- Nor was this issue ever taken up in the first family synod.
So how can he say they arose ‘from a synodal context and are the expression of a synodal path”?

It has come to this point - that the supposed Vicar of Christ on earth can and does tell whatever lies are convenient to serve his agenda and no one calls him out for it. This brazen shamelessness about sinning publicly – because that is what his lies amount to (before we even get to the more serious matter of his doctrinal heterodoxies and near heresies) – is all part of his Luciferian hubris (and I am deliberately being ‘kind’ by using the adjective Luciferian instead of Satanic though of course the terms are synonymous).]


Pope Francis also urged those gathered to strive to be missionaries and witnesses of the spirit of the Synod when they return to their communities.

He stressed the importance of “pastoral consolation,” which is the goal of the new matrimonial norms. The Pope told the participants that they are called “to be close to the loneliness and suffering of the faithful waiting for ecclesial justice and to provide the help needed to regain the peace of their consciences and the will of God on readmission to the Eucharist.”

During his discourse Pope Francis said he had decided to definitively clarify some of the fundamental aspects of the two recent motu proprios, in particular the role of the diocesan bishop.

In a series of points the Holy Father said the diocesan bishop was the natural judge in the new “shorter process.” He added that the shorter process was not simply another option that the Bishop may choose; rather, it is an obligation that comes from his consecration and the mission that has been entrusted to him.

The Pope also underlined several fundamental criteria for the shorter process: mercy, in the first place, and closeness and gratuity, which the Holy Father said “are the two pearls the poor need, and which the Church must love above all else.”



Did I ever think I would have to mutter - as often and as anguished as I have had to do in the past four years and eight months- "Father, forgive him for he knows not what he's doing" about a person who is pope no less? Am I sinning by sanctimony?

Of course, he thinks he does know what he is doing, because he thinks he would have done better than God the Father - he would never have driven Adam and Eve out of Eden, and would never have laid down all those negative Ten Commandments - and better than God the Son because look at all the changes he is introducing to the Church to show that the church of Bergoglio-aka-Jesus-II will definitely be an improved model of the One True Church of Christ! Someone please tell me if there is a single redeeming Catholic virtue to be found in this pope that I am simply too biased or too obtuse to see!



One-stop super-fast drive-by service at the church of Bergoglio.

Here is the full text of the address by the new Lucifer robed as the Vicar of Christ on earth. Unlike most full texts from which only headline-worthy 'highlights' are reported, and turn out to be 'not so bad' after all, this one is even more chilling when read in full:

Dear brothers and sisters,
I am pleased to meet you at the end of the training course for clerics and laity promoted by the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota on the subject of the new matrimonial process and the Super Rato process.

I thank the Dean, Msgr. Pinto, for his words. The course that has taken place here in Rome, and those held in other dioceses, are praiseworthy and encouraging initiatives, as they contribute to gaining a proper knowledge and an exchange of experiences at various ecclesial levels regarding major canonical procedures.

In particular, it is necessary to pay great attention and to adequate analyze to the two recent Motu proprio, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus and Mitis et misericors Iesus, in order to apply the new procedures they establish. These two acts have arisen from a synodal context, they are the expression of a synodal method, and they are the arrival point of a serious synodal path.

Faced with the most thorny questions concerning the evangelizing mission and the salvation of souls, it is important for the Church increasingly to recover the synodal practice of the first community in Jerusalem, where Peter together with the other Apostles and with the whole community under the action of the Holy Spirit endeavoured to act according to the commandment of the Lord Jesus.


[NO! How dare this man compare his Satanic actions subvert the faith to that of the first Christian community in Jerusalem who, unlike him, were genuinely on fire about their "evangelizing mission and the salvation of souls", which appear to be the least of Bergoglio's concerns.

On the contrary, he has no interest in evangelizing or in the Church's primary mission which is the salvation of souls because he is too busy posing as he who will save the world from poverty and the planet from catastrophic climate change, and deliver Europe to Islam on a golden platter. Where in all this is the salvation of souls?]


This is what has been done in the synodal assemblies on the family, in which, in the spirit of communion and fraternity, representatives of the episcopate from all over the world gathered in assembly to listen to the voice of the communities to discuss, reflect and carry out the work of discernment.

[No, the synods may have discussed and reflected, but the 'discernment' as to what they recommended and what the world has formally been told about those synods was all the work of one man (and his ghostwriters) - which is a betrayal not just of the synods themselves but also of the Word of God on marriage and the Church's age-old discipline of the sacraments. A betrayal that cries out amid all the calculated casuistry and self-justification in the name of the Lord that we have been subjected to for the past 18 months since the release of that exhortation from Hell.]

The Synod had the purpose of promoting and defending the Christian family and marriage for the greater good of spouses faithful to the covenant celebrated in Christ. [NO! It was really focused on those unfaithful to that covenant.] It also had to study the situation and development of the family in today’s world, preparation for marriage, ways to help those who suffer as a result of the failure of their marriage, the education of children, and other issues.

As you return to your communities, strive to be missionaries and witnesses of the synodal spirit that is at their origin, as well as of the pastoral consolation that is the purpose of this new matrimonial provision, so as to strengthen the faith of the holy people of God through charity. [Through false charity and mercy, really.]

May the synodal spirit and pastoral consolation become the form of your action in the Church, especially in field as delicate as that of the family in search of the truth about the conjugal state of spouses.

With this attitude, each of you is a sincere collaborator of your bishop, to whom the new norms grant a decisive role, especially in the streamlined briefer process, as he is the natural judge of the particular Church.

In your service, you are called to be close to the solitude and suffering of the faithful who expect from ecclesial justice the competent and factual help to restore peace to their consciences and God’s will on readmission to the Eucharist.

Hence, the need and the value of the course you have attended – and I hope that others will be organized – to promote a just approach to the matter and an increasingly wide-ranging and serious study of the new matrimonial process. It is an expression of the Church that is able to welcome and care for those who are wounded in various ways by life and, at the same time, it is an appeal for the defence of the sacredness of the marriage bond.

To make the application of the new law for marriage process, two years after its promulgation, the cause and reason for salvation and peace for the great number of faithful who are wounded in their matrimonial situation, I have decided, in my office as bishop of Rome and Peter’s Successor, to specify some fundamental aspects of the two Motu proprio, especially the figure of the diocesan bishop as personal and single judge in the streamlined process.

The diocesan bishop has always been Iudex unum et idem cum Vicario iudiciali; but since this principle is interpreted as de facto excluding the personal exercise of the diocesan bishop, delegating almost everything to the Tribunals, I establish as follows how I consider to be decisive and exclusive the personal exercise of the role of judge by the diocesan bishop:
1. The diocesan bishop, by virtue of his pastoral office, is the personal and sole judge in the briefer process.
2. Therefore, the figure of the diocesan-bishop-judge is the architrave, the constitutive principle and the discriminating element of the entire briefer process, established by the two Motu proprio.
3. In the briefer process, two indispensable conditions are required, ad validitatem: the episcopate, and the fact of being the head of a diocesan community of faithful (cf. canon 381 § 2). If one of the two conditions is not met, the briefer process cannot be followed. The case must be judged via the ordinary process.
4. The exclusive and personal jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop, set out in the fundamental criteria of the briefer process, refers directly to the ecclesiology of Vatican Council II, which reminds us that the bishop already has by consecration the fullness of all the authority that is ad actum expedita, through the missio canonica.
5. The streamlined process is not an option that the diocesan bishop can choose, but rather an obligation that derives from his consecration and from the missio received. He holds exclusive competence in the three phases of the briefer process:
— the request must always be addressed to the diocesan bishop;
— the preliminary phase, as I have already affirmed in my address at the Course held by the Roman Rota on 12 March last year, will be conducted by the bishop «always assisted by the judicial vicar or other instructor, even a layperson, by the assessor, and always with the presence of the defender of the bond”. Should the bishop not have the assistance of clerical or lay canonists, the charity, which distinguishes episcopal office, of a nearby bishop may come to his aid for the time necessary. Furthermore, I reiterate that the briefer process must typically be concluded in one session, requiring as an indispensible condition the absolute evidence of the facts proving the alleged nullity of the marriage, as well as the consent of both spouses.
the decision to pronounce coram Domino is always and only taken by the diocesan bishop.
6. To entrust the entire briefer process to the interdiocesan court (either neighbouring or multiple dioceses) would lead to a distortion and reduction of the figure of the bishop, from father, head and judge of his faithful to a mere signatory of the judgement.
7. Mercy, one of the fundamental criteria ensuring the salus, requires that the diocesan bishop implement the briefer process as soon as possible; should he not consider himself ready at present to do so, the case must be addressed via the ordinary process, which must in any case be conducted with the proper solicitude.
8. Closeness and gratuitousness, as I have repeated several times, are the two pearls most needed by the poor, whom the Church must love more than anything else.
9. With regard to jurisdiction, in receiving the appeal against the affirmative judgement in the briefer process, on the part of the Metropolitan or of the bishop indicated in the new canon 1687, it is specified that the new law confers to the Dean of the Rota a new and therefore constitutive potestas decidendi regarding the rejection or admission of the appeal.


In conclusion, I would like to reiterate clearly that this is to occur without asking for permission or authorization from another Institution or from the Apostolic Signatura.

Dear brothers and sisters, I wish you well for this study and for the ecclesial service of each one of you. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady protect you. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.



Dear God, please convert Jorge Bergoglio back to the true faith, and if he won't, please lift this burden from your Church before she gets further crushed. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

P.S. I must apologize. In the original story from Vatican Radio, there was a reference to a 'Super Rota' procedure - it turns out the right term is 'Super Rato' which means 'valid' as in the phrase 'super rato et non consummato' referring to a Church marriage that iv 'valid but not consummated'. But the Bergoglian norms obviously do not apply to such pretty straightforward cases of annulment ('unconsummated' marriages must be quite rare, after all)...
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:48 AM
Unfortunately, the only way to support my biases against the reigning pope and someone I'm starting to detest just as much, Cardinal Mueller, because like Bergoglio, he is incoherent and just will not shut up, is to document their babble, blather and bluster... So here goes, on Cardinal Mueller, thanks to Marco Tosatti... I was going to ask why newsmen even bother to interview Mueller, but of course, they do because they can always count on him to say something that will give them occasion to skewer him (does he really think anyone in the media is his friend?...

Bergoglians react to
Mueller's latest interview

Translated from

November 27, 2017

Does the magic circle around Papa Bergoglio feel alluded to by the criticisms expressed by Cardinal Gerhard Mueller in an interview published Nov. 26 by Corriere della Sera? It seems so, judging by some reactions.

First, let us see what was said by Mueller, whom the pope chose not to re-appoint as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. According to Corriere:

"Muller, perhaps the most respected Catholic theologian [Whence comes this sudden apotheosis of Mueller as a theologian??? He's now more respected than, say, one Joseph Ratzinger? The Corriere writer must be inhabiting a parallel universe!] is the ex-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, surprisingly replaced [No doubt about it – this writer is in a parallel universe] last July by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, recounts affronted:

The Pope confided to me 'some have told me anonymously that you are my enemy', without explaining to me in what way. After 40 years of service to the Church, I felt like saying that it was an absurdity invented by gossips who instead of instilling disquiet in the pope would do better to visit a shrink. A Catholic bishop and a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church is inherently with the Holy Father. But I believe, as the 16th centurytheologian Mielchior Cano said, that the pope's true friends are not those who adulate him but those who help him with the truth and with theological and human competence. In any organization, sycophants only serve themselves'.


[Well, isn't Mueller's own account above not equally self-serving? He's starting to sound like Eugenio Scalfari in his multiple versions so far of his last conversation with the pope. If it helps make it clearer – not that it isn't already quite clear – that the meeting was far from cordial, to further underscore how humiliating it was for him, he should sit down and write out, once and for all, to the best of his recollection, exactly what he and the pope talked about that day. Not disclose bits and pieces one at a time. Obviously, I am even more peeved at Mueller for playing a victim of Bergoglio whenever it suits him, and then in the same breath, defending him to the hilt 'as a loyal cardinal would defend his pope'.]

In the same interview, Mueller says:

The tensions in the Church arise from the opposition between an extremist traditional front and an equally exaggerated progressivist front which identify themselves as hyper-papalists. They are minorities but belligerent [Brilliant analysis! Blaming the opinionists lined up for and against the pope's anti-Catholic ideology for what Mueller dismisses as mere 'tensions'! Someone playing blind to reality presuming to offer advice!]

But look out: If there is a perception of injustice in the Roman Curia, almost by force of inertia,[????] a schismatic dynamic could be set into motion which will then be difficult to correct. I believe that the cardinals who expressed their DUBIA over Amoris laetitia, or the 62 signatories of a letter of excessive criticisms against the pope , should be listened to and not liquidated as Pharisees or curmudgeons. The only way out of this situation is a clear and frank dialog. [Great! Did he perhaps dare say that to Bergoglio the last time they talked? When, from all his various accounts so far, the conversation was essentially one-sided? You can't have a dialog with someone who insists that only he is right, and everyone else must simply acquiesce or shut up.]

Instead, I have the impression that in the pope's 'magic circle', there are those who are concerned above all with spying on presumed adversaries, thus preventing an open and balanced discussion. [And there he goes again! Laying the blame on those around the pope, who certainly are not blameless, but isn't the chief culprit the pope himself?] To classify Catholics as friends or foes of the pope is the most serious damage they can do to the Church. [And who is it who habitually classifies Catholics into 'us' and 'they' but Bergoglio whose morning homilettes at Casa Santa Marta are a handbook of 'insults' directed against the Catholics he dislikes?]

One is perplexed when a journalist who is a well-known atheist, boasts of being a friend of the pope [Why be perplexed – Scalfari is as free to claim what he does as Mueller has been free to speak from both sides of his mouth about Bergoglio and many other issues!], whereas a bishop who is Catholic and a cardinal like me is defamed as an opponent of the Holy Father. I don't think that any of them can give me lessons in theology on the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.

[This entire quotation is pathetic, embarrassing, and , of course, soooo self-serving!]

Regarding the dismissal without cause of some priests from the CDF: "Persons cannot be fired ad lib, without proof or due process, just because someone has anonymously denounced vague criticisms of the pope attributed to them". [Again, who is it who decided to dismiss those priests without cause? Certainly not the 'anonymous' denouncer(s) but the pope himself. Why not put the blame on him?]

It is obvious that Mueller sees himself at the center of the tensions now straining and lacerating the Church, that he does not want to be classified among the adversaries of the pope, and seeks 'dialog', as suggested recently by the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Bergoglio's right-hand man. [Are we really to set much store by a single generic and pro forma statement made by Parolin? Did he ever follow up in terms of a 'dialog' on AL, specifically? Was he not the protagonist at that disgraceful Knights of Malta episode when only the party with influence on Parolin and the pope were heard, and the aggrieved party, the then Grand Commander, was simply told to resign?]

Alberto Melloni, leader of the 'Bologna school' [which has incessantly promoted Vatican II as having given birth to a 'new church'] which is the most leftist in the Italian ecclesial panorama, and among the advisers of this pope said: "I don't think there is danger of a schism: the Catholic Church is united even with the differences that exist. To hear someone speak like that, someone who was head of the CDF, seems to me like he is daring to threaten the pope". [Melloni is obviously just as deranged as Mueller, or as Bergoglio, for that matter. What's wrong with these men?]
"If someone is really with the pope, perhaps it is best to just keep quiet!" [Oh, I wish he says that to the Spadaros and Grillos and Paglias!]

As for Mueller's request that all should be heard, Melloni cuts that short: "The Church is not a fish market!" [What an inappropriate metaphor! In a fish market, or what one assumes Melloni thinks of as a fish market, everyone is speaking all at once and at the top of their voice in order to he heard. ]

One must remember that the 'Bologna school' has been very critical of the popes before Bergoglio, and its exponents have never been known to 'keep silent'.

As further reactions to Mueller, I am attaching a couple of tweets by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, the Jesuit seen by manty as one of the shadows behind the pope's dazzling media show, and by Andrea Grillo, a lay theologian who is said to have much influence at Casa Santa Marta:



The Spadaro tweet reads: "The pope's trip to Myanmar and Bamngladesh forcefully reaffirms that the Church is] a FIELD HOSPITAL by nature – and not just temporarily – which is called on to touch wounds of every kind with the balsam of the Gospel". [It may be Bergoglian blather, but I do not see how this can be read as a reaction to Mueller's interview].

Grillo's reads: "Mueller who asks for quality theology is pathetic – and Thomas sneers!' [I suppose he means Thomas Aquinas?] To which [reminiscent of the malicious Mickens Facebook exchange that got the latter fired from the Tablet], a friend of Grillo comments: "You are right. If he and Ratzinger are considered great theologians, then what we really lack is a theology of quality".

Nov. 28, 2017
P.S. Rorate caeli's translation of Mueller's CdS interview begins with a passage that includes sentences inexplicably missing from Tosatti's account of the same passage, namely:

“There is a front of traditionalist groups, just as there is with the progressivists, that would like to see me as head of a movement against the Pope. But I will never do this. I have served the Church with love for 40 years as a priest, 16 years as a university professor of dogmatic theology and 10 years as a diocesan bishop. I believe in the unity of the Church and I will not allow anyone to exploit my negative experiences of recent months. Church authorities, on the other hand, need to listen to those who have serious questions or justified complaints; not ignoring them, or worse, humiliating them. Otherwise, unwittingly, the risk of a slow separation that might lead to a schism may increase, from a disorientated and disillusioned part of the Catholic world. The history of Martin Luther’s Protestant Schism of 500 years ago, should teach us, above all, what errors to avoid.”


[Mueller's self-inflation is remarkable! Really, there are people who "would like to see me as head of a movement against the Pope" and "to exploit my negative experience of recent months"? As far as I can see, this master of speaking with forked tongue is the only one seeking to exploit this 'negative experience' by protesting both his victimization by the pope and professing his papal fealty to the hilt. It's his version of turning the other cheek.]

P.S. #2 Tosatti follows up his report on the Mueller interview with a contribution from one of his followers that perfectly captures the absurdity of Muller's self-inflation:

'Pezzo Grosso' takes it out
on Mueller - and alas, on me!

Translated from

November 28, 2017

In Cardinal Mueller's interview with Corriere della Sera where he 'rejects' leadership of an anti-Bergoglio movement, he asks – strange, true? – that instead of insulting those who question the pope, there must be dialog with them [though he studiously avoids saying the pope must take the lead in this dialog since it is his exhortation from Hell that has provoked all this dissension] and which reveals things about the man Bergoglio, has triggered off the 'worst' in Pezzo Grosso ['Big Cheese', one of Tosatti's most diligent commentators] who, as you will read, does not spare his poor host. But thanks to him, a smile and a chuckle these days is a rare gift… [BTW, a small note. We are not alone. These days, this blog has passed the 2.5 million mark in terms of viewership…]

Dear Tosatti, did you read Cardinal Mueller's interview with Corriere della Sera? I do not know His Eminence, but from this interview (and perhaps from previous statements of his), I have drawn an impression I would have preferred not to have. I shall express this indirectly by imagining myself in your shoes [Tosatti's] in an interview with Corsera:
Q: But you, Tosatti, are always very critical of the pope and his collaborators. Are you then an enemy of the pope?
A: Me an enemy of the pope? Are you kidding? There are some 5 million traditionalist laymen who would want me to publish an anti-pope newspaper, they have been asking me for some time to organize a daily journal that would be all and only anti-pope, simply by assembling every day everything the pope says or writes, what his supporters and advisers say and write, and all the consequent criticisms written by theologians and opponent of diverse extraction. Enough for a daily journal of at least 70-80 pages…

But I would NEVER do that, NEVER would I be at the helm of an anti-pope newspaper, NEVER! Look, few people love the pope as I do, and I am joyful that Bergoglio is pope. I was on the verge of retirement after a life as a Vaticanista, but Bergoglio gave me a new lease on journalistic life – now I am translated in five languages and read in five continents. Illustrious personages ask to write on my blog. What more could I desire? Viva il Papa! And these vile traitors and refuseniks who have been seeking to direct me against the pope, ought to be ashamed. (Of course, one wonders why ever they would have proposed it to me. But there it is!)


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, November 28, 2017 7:30 AM

C&L's Christmas flyer, 2017: It looks like a spoof of Bethlehem and the humble birthplace of Christ.

Bergoglio, C&L, and Soloviev's Anti-Christ:
The progressive 'cancellation' of Jesus in the light
of John Paul II's dramatic prophecy of the 'Muslim invasion'

Translated from

November 26, 2017

There was some uproar recently over a school in Sicily where the images of Jesus and Our Lady were taken out, and morning prayers before class were cancelled, all in the name of secularity for schools. As the law would have it. [Is there a new Italian law now? Did not the European Court of Justice many years ago rule that Italian public schools could display Christian images on school walls?]

For the same reason, then, all ideological indoctrination ought to be banned from public schools.

But if freedom of education were fact, then these problems would not arise. In a nation which has a variety of educational offerings, everyone could choose [or parents can for minors] the school he prefers (including a Catholic school that begins morning classes with a prayer).

But Italy does not have this freedom. And one can bet that what happened in that Sicilian school is merely the 'appetizer' for the coming polemics over Christmas which rage annually over the crèche in public places and other Christian images and practices celebrating the birth of Christ. [Isn't it just outrageous and irrational that the whole world – even Muslims – take advantage of the Christmas season for commercial purposes, and then in the name of secularity, would seek to prevent Christians from celebrating Christmas as they have done for more than 2000 years until the dawn of political correctness?]

Should a Nativity scene be set up in public? Does Jesus's birth in Bethlehem offend anyone? Then why do schools have 15 days of vacation at Christmas time? Is a Nativity scene in a public space only a religious representation or is it not a cultural reminder of the Christian roots we Europeans have in common? [But that is the whole point of the 'Christmas controversy' – official, institutional Europe has chosen to forget or ignore these Christian roots, leaving out any mention of it in the European Constoitution!]

Before answering these questions, one must point out something that no one has yet noted. An occurrence of enormous importance is taking place in 'the Church' – above all, in 'the Church', not in the schools – that Jesus is either being progressively 'cancelled out' or takes only secondary importance.

The announcement of God incarnated, the announcement of salvation, has been replaced in the past five years, with a kind of social or socialist preaching centered around immigrants (preferably Muslim) and ecologist preaching on global warming.

This replacement is quantitative above all: the obsessive insistence with which the reigning pope continuously speaks of migrants and ecology at all hours and every day, at Christmas, at Assumption, at Easter, at whatever holiday, is that with which his predecessors spoke constantly of announcing Christ, eternal life, Catholic doctrine.

But a conceptual substitution is also under way, because the poor man, in general, and the migrant in particular (especially if he is Muslim) have become, for Bergoglio, a theological category with which he has progressively replaced the Savior.

On November 15, 2015, he even said that "it doesn't matter if you go to Mass - what is important is if you are concerned about the poor because poverty is at the center of the Gospel".

In his view, therefore, 'social action' is more important than the Sacrifice of Christ relived in the Mass and the Eucharist. So it would seem that the models to be followed would be labor leaders, and not saints like Therese of Lisieux who lived a cloistered life.

Just a few days ago, he said in one of his catecheses that 'salvific power' lies with the poor, because "they open the way to heaven, they are our passport to Paradise". This is a direct slide into Liberation Theology which the Church has solemnly rejected. [But which Cardinal Mueller defends tooth and nail, as long as it does not advocate fighting a literal war!]

Yet has not the Church always preached that 'Christ is the only Savior', and as Peter said, "There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved" (Acts 4,12).

Someone who has perfectly interpreted the new Bergoglian Gospel is the present head of Comunione e Liberazione, Julian Carron, who, throwing out the teaching of C&L founder Don Giussani (and in the process, also casting off C&L itself which has been reduced to 'minimum terms'), has come up with a Christmas flyer which has nothing about Jesus but depicts instead a refugee camp. It might be a 'beautiful, artistic picture' but Jesus is totally absent, so it represents a Bergoglian 'Christmas', not the Christian Christmas. [Actually not totally absent, because he is mentioned in the text that goes with the flyer. Or is it supposed to be a Christmas card?]

Forgetting that someone who had perfectly interpreted the Christian announcmenet was Francis of Assisi who loved the poor and poverty far more [because genuinely] than Bergoglio or Carron. Indeed, ge invented the whole idea of a Nativity scene to celebrate and adore God-made-man, not the poor or migrants. [Bergoglio's rationale is that we should literally see Christ himself in every poor man and every migrant.]

Mother Teresa lived like Francis of Assisi, and she considered Liberation Theology a plague.

Yet the drift towards secular 'socialisticizing' humanitarianism began in the Church in the 1970s. Cardinal Giacomo Biffi wrote at the time: "The great danger for Christianity in our day is that it is gradually being reduced – perhaps by the generous desire to be pleasing to all – to an aggregate of humanitarian commitments and the exaltation of those values which are marketable in the world".

Don Giussani, who was a friend of Biffi and shared this concern - and in order to make C&L members understand the poisonous insidiousness of the degeneration of Christianity into humanitarianism – exhorted them to read and disseminate "A short tale of the Anti-Christ' by Vladimir Soloviev which dealt with just such a distortion of Christianity.

The protagonist of the story, the Emperor, said he esteemed the figure of Jesus, but
believed he was better than him [Does that remind you of someone???] because he would finally bring peace and love to the world:

Christ was the reformer of mankind, preaching and showing moral goodness in his life. But I will be called the benefactor of mankind… (because) I will give to all men what they need.

Christ, as a moralist, divided men into good or bad, whereas I will unite them with benefits which are needed equally by good and evil men. I will be the true representative of that God who makes the sun rise for the good and the bad, and brings rain to both the just and the unjust.

Christ brought the sword, I bring peace. He threatened the world with a terrible Last Judgment. But I will be the ultimate judge, and my judgment will not simply be justice but also mercy.

[Soloviev wrote his short tale in 1900. I am sure he never imagined that his emperor would be incarnated 113 years later in an actual pope!]

With this claim, the Emperor promised Christians – provided they prostrated themselves before him – whatever they wished: a Christian culture, social and moral values… But the response came from a saintly monk, the starets [wise elder] Ivan: "Great sovereign, what we treasure most in Christianity is Christ himself. He and everything that comes from him, since we know that the fullness of divinity swells in him… Confess Jesus Christ, here and now, to us!"

Ivan represents the true Christian in the face of the seduction of power manipulating the faith, don Giussani explained. Yet today, it seems the Emperor is triumphant – if at Christmastime, it is Catholics themselves who replace Jesus with the humanitarian value of solidarity manifested with any and all refugees.

Moreover, the poor migrants of Bergoglio or of Carron's Christmas card are not even 'the poor persecuted Christians' who are truly the most derelict because they seem to have been abandoned by everyone (starting with the Vatican).

The objects of their mercy are, rather, Muslim migrants – and it is not by chance that when Bergoglio visited the refugee camp on Lesbos, where there were many Christian refugees, he chose to bring back a Muslim family to Rome with him.

This Bishop of Rome does not see any problem whatsoever with the Muslim migrant waves washing over Italy and Europe, even if there are enormous problems.

We recently learned that John Paul II, who had mystical experiences – had a dramatic vision about the future of Europe. Back in March 1993, he confided to a friend:

Remind those whom you will meet in the church of the third millennium. I see the Church afflicted by a mortal scourge. More profound and more sorrowful compared to those of the 20th century. It is called Islamism. The Muslims will invade Europe. I saw hordes of migrants coming from Morocco, Libya and Egypt, and from the East. They will invade Europe. And you, the church of the third millennium, must stop that invasion. Not with weapons - which will not suffice – but by living your faith with integrity.

Replacing Jesus with migrants is hardly integral faith. It is total surrender of the faith.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, November 28, 2017 1:34 PM


The Irish Rosary on the coasts
Thousands of Catholics gathered at over 270 locations on the Feast of Christ the King
to pray the Rosary, seeking to stem the tide of abortion and other evils
in what used to be the most Catholic country in the world.

by George J. Galloway

November 27, 2017

And so they came. Despite the cold and damp and drops of patchy drizzle, the faithful came out to the coasts of the Irish Island. I mean all of it.

They braved the stinging winds off the North Atlantic Ocean in tiny villages like Clonbara, Falcarragh, in Donegal. Standing or kneeling on beaches and strands they stubbornly faced Dingle Bay, the Celtic Sea, St. George’s Channel, the North Channel, and the Irish Sea. Determined faces all with one purpose. To stem the tide of abortion in what used to be the most Catholic country in the world.

There were thousands of them gathered at predetermined locations to begin their march to the seas. They met at The Docks, in Galway City, the Lobster Pot Restaurant, in Wexford, Brandon’s Pier, in County Kerry, Castlerock Beach, in Derry and more than 270 other locations around the whole of Ireland, north and south, east and west.

They came “asking God for the miracle of the protection of Life and the preservation of Faith.” And, they did this on the Feast of Christ the King. The organizers of the event explained it this way:

Why the Feast of Christ the King? Ireland was the first country in the world to be consecrated to Christ the King. This solemn consecration was declared in the 1940’s. The feast is extremely important. Acknowledging Christ as King has relevance for the spiritual, social, cultural, legal and political life of Ireland.


Take note America: “…the spiritual, social, cultural, legal and political life.” Especially when our courts, our academic institutions, our major corporations, our own government have redefined the relationship between Church and State. Thus making it impossible to hold any religious convictions, at least publicly, lest the office holder or the judge or the bureaucrat or the titan of business or the teacher be held in contempt.

Today’s charged politically-correct atmosphere will not tolerate the belief in a higher power above the sanctimonious dictates of the state. Because, rather like the old Soviet Union, the still autocratic China, and all forms of socialistic societies brainwashed by “group think,” the State is now their god.

There are some in Ireland, I know not how many, who are convinced that prayer is the only path to freedom from the dictates of modern morality.

The Irish did this, following Poland’s lead to pray for the protection of their homeland by lining up on their borders, appealing to heaven to thwart the onslaught that threatened a timeless faith and fidelity to Christ the King.

Next year there’s to be a referendum in Ireland on abortion. According to a September 26th article in The New York Times, the “debate will center on the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution passed by a two-thirds majority in 1983, which gives an unborn child a right to life equal to that of its mother, effectively banning abortion.”

But, that was a long time ago even in an ancient land which proudly proclaimed itself the island of martyrs and missionaries. The Eighth Amendment was passed only a few years after St. John Paul II made the first papal visit to Erin’s shores.

In recent years, Catholic Ireland has been bloodied by the sins of her clergy in sexual scandals one after the other. The faith, so embodied by her patron Saint Patrick, has plummeted to new lows. This is a new, spiritual version of the An Gorta Mòr (The Great Hunger).

Yes, there is another kind of famine plaguing Ireland today. It is one wrought by the sins of man and not the soil. Like almost all western countries, Ireland has bought into a materialistic, self-absorbed, hedonistic form of secularism. Where the highest good in human existence is characterized and fantasized by a corrupted form of self-realization.

Instead of exporting or giving and sanctifying and sacrificing to the world her innate spirituality, Ireland is now importing the modern creed of “what’s in it for me?”

Yet, the organizers of the Rosary on the Coasts had an answer for that mindset: “When we honor Christ as King, we are immediately brought to His Queen, Mary and her Immaculate Heart.”

Sharon Mcgononegal, a participant in the event said “next to the prayers of the Holy Mass, the rosary is the most powerful prayer on earth when prayed with fervency, love, and great devotion.”

Bernice Rance, a supporter of the Irish efforts on the Feast of Christ the King, and a native of Alberta, Canada said “This is awesome. Will be praying for you from Canada. God bless!”

And, Norma Cahill Morrison added on Facebook “This is the sword given to us … we must use it!”

Indeed, instead of complete capitulation to the dynamic forces pushing a faithless existence in which everything and every thought is bleached with the esoteric, elite mantra of a progressive and culturally accepted, Hollywood ethical dementia, and the leftover, drug-induced, dictates of Baby Boomer professors indoctrinating our offspring, maybe it’s time to fight back with the best weapon we have: the sword Norma Cahill Morrison speaks of. “The beads,” as my father called them.

We owe that much to our children, our grandchildren, and posterity. Because, if we let things go the way we have, if our schools keep trending towards a goose-stepping insistence on accepting everything anathema to Judeo-Christian ethics, and we surrender to the dictates of social planners planning our own destruction, then we will self-destruct. We will implode from within without a shot being fired from any enemy combatant. Unless we use “the sword given to us.”

The faithful of Poland recognize this. Even their government has proclaimed this. Is this Ireland’s last chance at redemption? Is it ours in America? Can anything save us from ourselves? Yes, of course, if we, as Sharon Mcgonegal shared with us, pray the rosary “with fervency, love, and great devotion.”

On the first day of the apparitions of Our Lady of Knock, in August of 1879, a steady downpour began to fall, not unusual for an island nation in midsummer. In a 1999 article written for The Priest, Fr. Paul E. Duggan, a Doctor of Sacred Theology, quoted Fr. Hubert, O.F.M. Cap.:

Knock is a manifestation of the mystery of redemption wrought by the Lamb of God. By a felicitous symbolism conceived in heaven, the Queen of Knock reveals in her person something of that singular grace and beauty conferred on her by this mystery … She appears as the climax of human redemption. This unique completion of redemption in Mary has already crowned her in heaven as the divine ideal which foreshadows the absolute victory and transfiguration awaiting the Church on its entry into eternity.
At the Shrine, now Basilica of Knock since St. John Paul II christened it so, there was a steady, yet light rain falling on the Feast of Christ the King this past Sunday. On the strands of Ireland everywhere, following the program for the Rosary on the Coasts for Life and Faith, there were hymns sung including Hail Redeemer King Divine, Hail Queen of Heaven, and Faith of Our Fathers. Holy water was sprinkled in all directions. Finally, the faithful dug into the sand and, after a blessing by a holy priest or bishop, they planted Miraculous Medals to protect Ireland from all harm and the self-destructive conventions of our modern world.

And, in the small community of a place called Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, at Eighth Square, a stone’s throw away from the shores of Lake Caroline, Jane Galloway and members of her family said a rosary in communion and solidarity with their brothers and sisters just across the pond.

Perhaps it’s time to think about our own rosary on the coasts of America. Only, instead of facing the sea we should turn around and look inward at ourselves and our families and our homes. Let’s replicate what the Poles and the Irish have done. Let’s bend a knee to Christ the King.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:31 PM


I am very glad for this essay on the Confiteor which, as the writer notes right at the start, is said three times in the traditional Mass - twice
at the foot of the altar, by the priest and then the acolyte, and a third time just before the Ecce Agnus Dei, when the acolyte prays it kneeling
at the right side of the altar facing the celebrant who holds the ciborium in his hand. The 'Ecce Agnus Dei' (Behold the Lamb of God) is followed
appropriately by the congregation praying aloud three times 'Domine non sum dignus...' (Lord, I am not worthy...' This sequence just before
Communion is given, underscores our consciousness that sin continually besets us and that, being human, we do sin all the time.

Just for quick reference, here are the Confiteor in the traditional Mass and in the Novus Ordo (old and revised translations):

The original Confiteor from the Tridentine Mass
I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, (and to you, brethren) that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, (and you, brethren),to pray to the Lord our God for me.

The Novus Ordo Confiteor in the English translation used till 2011
I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God. [This prayer omits the 'mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa' which distinguishes the Confiteor. The new translation restores it.]

The Confiteor in the Novus Ordo, in the 2011 revised English translation
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.



Praying to the saints in the Confiteor
By Veronica A. Arntz

November 27, 2017

In the usus antiquior Confiteor, which is prayed three times in the 1962 liturgy, specific saints are invoked: the Blessed Mother, St. Michael the Archangel, St. John the Baptist, St. Peter, St. Paul, and then all the Saints.

While the listing of these saints in the Confiteor was not retained in the liturgical changes after the Second Vatican Council, this ancient tradition is vital for the spiritual growth of the members of the Body of Christ, for a number of reasons.

Indeed, praying for the intercession of the saints while we are on our journey toward the heavenly patria is essential for our sanctification, for these individuals have come before us and are now worshipping before the heavenly throne of God.

The Confiteor is the prayer that asks the Lord to pardon our sins. We admit that we have sinned against our Lord, and we recognize that we are in need of His mercy, of which we are certainly not deserving. How fitting, then, for us to pray to the saints when asking for the Lord’s mercy. Indeed, the Psalms of David reveal a saint who prayed to the Lord for mercy, because he was aware of his deep and profound sinfulness: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your merciful love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1).

If the saints themselves begged for the mercy of God, then surely we too must follow in their example, by asking for the mercy of God. Therefore, when we invoke the saints in the Confiteor, we are asking for their intercession for the Lord’s mercy. We acknowledge the fact that they are in Heaven, and at one time, they, too were in need of mercy.

As Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, in his book Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness, explains, “When one confesses to St. Michael, to St. Peter and St. Paul, one invokes particular real historical and heavenly patrons, patrons with a special authority and role in the variegated drama of salvation. In spite of our lowliness, we are in communion with them as fellow members of the Mystical Body of Christ” (p. 217). The personal invocation of the saints gives us this hope that we also will join them in the Beatific Vision.

Furthermore, invoking the saints reminds us of the great humility we need when praying to God, especially when praying for His mercy. As we read in Humility of Heart by Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo:

In Paradise there are many Saints who never gave alms on earth: their poverty justified them. There are many Saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting or wearing hair shirts: their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many Saints too who were not virgins: their vocation was otherwise. But in Paradise there is no Saint who was not humble (p. 1).


In other words, while there are many vocations and paths to sanctity, only those who were humble in this life are in Heaven. Even though the paths to humility are diverse — some through poverty, others through hair-shirts, still others through the daily care of children — we are all in need of the virtue if we wish to attain Heaven. But to be humble, we must recognize our own sinfulness and our own human weakness. We must recognize our total dependence on God for everything — and the saints in Heaven have already done this.

It is for this reason that we pray to the saints in the Confiteor: as Dr. Kwasniewski continues, “They [the saints] are hearing our humiliating confession; they, personally, are going to pray for us” (p. 217). By humbling ourselves before the saints, we are preparing ourselves to ask for the intercession of the merciful Father. Humility must be our first step in the spiritual life if we want to be with the saints in Heaven. In the letter to the Hebrews, we read:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and the perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2, RSV).


The saints in Heaven are our “great cloud of witnesses.” They surround us with their prayers and petitions before the heavenly throne, because they have already won the race that we are now enduring. They have already humbled themselves before God, recognizing their deep sinfulness, and begging the Lord for His grace of forgiveness and the grace to amend their lives.

In this passage from Scripture, we are reminded that the saints can help us to “lay aside … sin which clings so closely.” Thus, when we pray to the saints in the Confiteor, we should remember that they can help us to put aside our sins, because they have already lived in this vale of tears, and are now in Heaven with God.

The saints point us to Christ, who endured the Cross for our sake, and offers the Resurrection of the Body to us, if we should reject our sins and live entirely conformed to Him. Let us then take up our crosses and follow after Christ, praying to the saints for their help, and protection from sin.

Finally, the first saint invoked in the Confiteor is Mary, the Blessed Virgin. This is most fitting, because she was entirely without sin during her life. She was “full of grace,” and for this reason, she can help us to overcome our own attachments to sin. As Co-Redemptrix, she is able to intercede for us with her Son, that we might be given the grace to reject sin and choose to follow God.

Mary is our model for living the virtuous life: She was perfectly humble, as exemplified in her Fiat. She submitted herself to the Lord, and now reigns as Queen of Heaven. We should also submit ourselves to the Lord, recognizing the ugliness of our sin, so that our souls may be transformed to be more like Mary, who was perfectly full of grace. She is a loving Mother, who stood beneath the Cross of her Son—she will assist us in all our needs, if we pray for her intercession.

In short, the fact that the Confiteor invokes the saints should give us great hope for the life to come, and for the Resurrection of the Body. They have gone before us, and they have won the race. When we pray to them, we are given the hope that we too might someday be sitting before the heavenly throne of the most Holy Trinity, worshipping the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost with Mary and all the saints. Let us, in all humility, recognize our faults, failings, and sinful habits, so that we might have the hope of worshipping our Lord in Heaven.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, December 1, 2017 2:12 AM

This is my third attempt to post this interview in the past two days - both times, my posting was interrupted by Chrome shutting down in the middle of my 'introductory remarks', so for now, I will shorten the opening merely to note that as the centenary year of the Fatima apparitions winds down, this new book should serve to better arrive at a commonsense conclusion of whether the Vatican has kept back any part of what Sor Lucia of Fatima disclosed as the three secrets that Our Lady revealed to her and her cousins now Saints Jacinta and Francisco in July 1917.


The Third Secret of Fatima and
the ‘hermeneutic of conspiracy’

Interview by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

November 27, 2017

Kevin J. Symonds (kevinsymonds.com) is the author of the recently published On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima (En Route Books and Media, 2017), which offers a scholarly challenge to those who claim the existence of a yet-unrevealed text of the third part of the secret of Fatima, given to Sr. Lucia de Jesus dos Santos by the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. In response to the publication of his book, Symonds was invited by Angelus Press to debate Fatima controversialist Christopher Ferrara at the traditionalist publisher’s annual conference in October.

In the following interview, Symonds discusses his research on key issues of controversy in the debate over the text of the Third Secret, and his recent debate with Ferrara. He also reveals the existence of a heretofore unknown letter from Sr. Lucia to Pope Paul VI regarding a “diabolical revolt” against the Church that seems to refer to themes from both the second and third parts of the secret.

The appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima in 1917 are probably the most written-about apparitions in the modern history of the Catholic Church. They are also the subject of much controversy in some circles. In your view, what is the state of Fatima scholarship today and what led you to make your own contribution to the subject?
I have the distinct impression that the bulk of the scholarship on Fatima is performed in Europe. Not all of it is available in English, which is most unfortunate for the Anglophone world, as we are bereft of some excellent scholarship. That said, there is the critical documentation published by the Sanctuary of Fatima, which is available in Portuguese up to 1930 and extends to 15 or so volumes. There is hope of adding to this collection the post-1930 documents. Additionally, Dr. Cristina Sobral has presented the official critical edition of Sr. Lucia’s Memoirs. The Sanctuary of Fatima is also taking some steps to make solid scholarship available in English.

My own contribution on Fatima came out of a desire to engage an influential body of literature that has largely emanated from France and North America. In the latter, there is the work of Father Nicholas Gruner and his Fatima Center, while in France there is the work of the Abbé Georges de Nantes and his Contre-Reforme Catholique. These two groups do not always agree with each other, but there was some collaboration between them in the 1980s into the 1990s. Later, in 2006, the Italian journalist Antonio Socci joined the discussions. There has not been much (if any) critical work addressing the body of literature published by Gruner and the Abbé, though there has been some response to Antonio Socci. My book is an attempt at providing a critical assessment of some contentious points that are generally common to all three.

Your book contains various quotes and even full-length translations of some vital primary source material. How did you go about investigating this subject and how were you able to obtain access to these primary sources?
The literature from Father Gruner and the Abbé de Nantes struck me as being an enclosed circle that was given credibility by the journalistic clout of Antonio Socci. Prior to Socci’s involvement, the main audience for Gruner and the Abbé were various “traditionalist” Catholics with some conspiratorial understandings of the third part of the secret. Socci expanded that audience to include a much larger swath of people.

I decided to examine matters for myself. I travelled to various academic libraries to do research on the topic during the summer of 2016 and chronicled my travels on my website. I have a modest background with Romance languages which helped me in my research of the primary sources. Later, as a member of the Mariological Society of America, I requested permission (which was granted) to research in the archives of the Sanctuary of Fatima. The information I obtained from these sources, as well as from Fatima scholars and officials, formed a picture that offered an alternative view to that of Gruner and the Abbé.

Fatima controversialists have long denied that the Third Secret was truly revealed to the public by the Holy See in 2000. Although some among them have simply dismissed the text presented to the public at that time as inauthentic, others have claimed it is incomplete and that some other explanatory text must exist. You argue that primary source material does not support their claims. How has your investigation of primary sources on Fatima led you to this conclusion?
These groups strike me as having a deep concern for the Church. Unfortunately, their concern led them to develop what I call in my book the ‘hermeneutic of suspicion and conspiracy’, meaning that they view ecclesiastical authority with suspicion and mistrust in matters pertaining to Fatima. Using that suspicion and mistrust, they have organized a like-minded narrative from mostly circumstantial evidence. What is circumstantial, however, might have an alternative explanation. To find out, I checked their sources, approaching matters using the older documentation as well as the latest information in the widening reservoir of resources on Fátima. My research showed that some arguments proposed by Gruner and others had merit while others are not viable.

For example, shortly after the publication of the integral text of the third part of the secret in June 2000, there was a general impression among some Catholics that there was more to the third part. This hunch then led to claims from Gruner and his associates that there was a second text with explanatory words of Our Lady that the Holy See was withholding. Here, one must separate truth from fiction, and we were recently given important information that addresses this matter.

In 2013, the Carmelites of the convent of St. Teresa in Coimbra, Portugal, where Sr. Lucia lived for 57 years, published a biography on her entitled Um caminho sob o olhar de Maria (A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary). They revealed a previously unknown command of Our Lady to Sr. Lucia from January 3, 1944 — that she was to “write what [her superiors] command you, but not that which is given to you to understand of its meaning.” Apparently, there was some prophetic insight into the third part that had been given to Sr. Lucia by 1944 but which she was not allowed to communicate to others. This fact could account for why the text seemed “incomplete” to some people.

We must accept the logical consequences of this command, the most obvious one being the impossibility of Sr. Lucia giving an accompanying explanation to the third part of the secret when she wrote it down in 1944 — a notion that had been proposed by Gruner and his Fatima Center. Other primary source documents available in 2000 told us how reluctant Sr. Lúcia was to speak of her mystical experiences. There was also the simple fact that prior to 2013, we possessed no document from her describing the apparition from January 1944. We knew the fact of the apparition, but not its details, thus caution was necessary before presuming anything. Again, what is circumstantial might have an alternative explanation.

Instead of engaging critically with these facts, Father Gruner and his associates (not the Abbé de Nantes) argued that the Holy See was covering up a second text of the third part of the secret. Such arguments made for sensational propaganda of scandal and Vatican intrigue, real cloak-and-dagger stuff, that played upon the sympathies of Catholics concerned for the state of the Church. My book challenges this narrative.

You recently debated one of the principal Fatima controversialists, Christopher Ferrara, at Angelus Press’ annual conference. Was that the first time you spoke with him?
No, it is not. Chris and I publicly disputed during the summer of 2015 over a mistranslation in the Carmelites’ biography [of Sr. Lucia]. I have elsewhere written about this matter in more detail. Having now met Chris in person, I know that he cares much for the Church, though we do not see eye-to-eye on Fatima. I keep open the doors of communication and respect his pro-life work in the legal system.

What are his principal criticisms of your position and how do you respond to them?
Our principal disagreement concerns our hermeneutical approaches to Fatima. Chris prefers the hermeneutic of suspicion and conspiracy with the rhetoric of a lawyer. A theological lens would serve him better. He might think me too credulous when it comes to Vatican officials, whereas I would say he has been in an adversarial posture with the Holy See on Fatima for so long that he has lost objectivity. The contrast in our respective positions was apparent during the debate.

For example, Chris stated that I was “running away” from a phrase in Sr. Lucia’s fourth Memoir: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith shall always be preserved, etc.” This phrase is used by some as proof of a second text. The word “etc.” is thought to indicate words that we never received.

Chris neglected, however, to state that Chapter 9 of my book contains a critical examination of this phrase and whether it is the ending of the second part of the secret or the beginning of the third. My book might be the only one in English with such an examination. After presenting the evidence for both sides, I left the matter open-ended for readers to decide for themselves. I personally do not believe it is the beginning of the third part and I promote the view that the secret in all its parts is an organic whole and needs to be read in that context. Central to Chris’ argument is the belief that the phrase is the beginning of the third part. I was reluctant to engage Chris’ polemics during the debate. I opted for a simple “just the facts” approach. Several people came up to me afterwards to express their gratitude for my approach!

Another matter that arose during the debate concerned a letter Sr. Lucia wrote to Pope John Paul II in May 1982. A part of this letter was published with the third part of the secret in June, 2000. The 1982 letter offered some general guidelines for the Holy Father to interpret the third part, and it disproves the notion of a second text. Sr. Lucia expressly stated in her letter that the Holy Father was “anxious to know” the third part of the secret. Well, if there was a second, explanatory text of Our Lady that the Pope already read between 1978 and 1981, why would he be “anxious to know” the third part of the secret?

When I posed this question during the debate, Chris questioned the letter’s authenticity. I responded that the Carmelites of Coimbra have authenticated the letter and provided some details about it in their biography. Chris simply reasserted his position, yet, in doing so, there was an indirect implication made against the integrity of the Carmelite nuns of Coimbra. I have been to the Carmel of Coimbra and do not find their integrity to be questionable.

In 2010, Pope Benedict delivered a discourse during his airplane trip to Fatima, in which he spoke of “new things we can find” in the third secret regarding attacks on the Church, noting that “attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church.” Have you found anything relevant to this in your own research on Sr. Lucia and Fatima?

I examined Pope Benedict XVI’s discourse, and my findings are in Chapter 11 of my book. The Holy Father’s remarks were interpreted by the Fatima Center as him saying that the third part of the secret is still playing out before us, contradicting what he said in the year 2000. Pope Benedict did no such thing. He maintained that the events prophesied in the third part were fulfilled in the 20th century. His position in 2010 was built upon a theological distinction he made between 2000 and 2010 that had been overlooked at the time of his apostolic voyage. There are always going to be attacks upon the Church, Pope Benedict argued, and we can look to the third part of the secret for inspiration and hope in the triumph of God over such things.

What paths of scholarly research remain open at this point regarding Fatima? What, if anything, can new scholarship contribute to the Catholic Church’s understanding of the Fatima apparitions?
I am convinced that we are entering into a new phase of Fatima’s history, one marked by a deeper study of the life and person of Sr. Lucia. Given that she was the primary interlocutor with Our Lady at Fatima, what Sr. Lucia says about the message is important. The Church’s norms for discerning private revelation include examining the “personal qualities” of the seer(s), thus we need to understand her better. Take, for example, Sr. Lucia’s reluctance to speak about her supernatural experiences. How much did this fact affect her writings about the message of Fatima? Scholars need to discuss this question.

Sr. Lucia was commanded in 1944 by Our Lady not to reveal the meaning of the 1917 vision. Compelling evidence suggests, however, that in various writings, Sr. Lucia used words that were from her supernatural experiences without expressly stating these things were from Our Lady. The Italian journalist Marco Tosatti attributed a quote to Pope John Paul II’s personal secretary, Cardinal Dziwisz, that helps us to understand better this point. Dziwisz said that we have “to understand what Our Lady had said and what was said by Sr. Lucy.” We must also be clear on what is our own interpretation of the facts. Making these distinctions is quite difficult and requires a lot of responsibility. I suspect that is the reason why the Holy See chose to publish the excerpt from Sr. Lucia’s May 1982 letter to Pope John Paul II. It was probably the most direct statement from her in the Holy See’s possession!

Have you discovered any examples of such indirect referencing in your own research?
Yes, there is at least one that is already public knowledge, namely Sr. Lucia’s January 9, 1944 letter to Bishop José da Silva. I would like to submit that there might be another one. In June, I visited the Sr. Lucia museum in Coimbra, which is overseen by the Carmelites of Coimbra, Sr. Lucia’s convent. On display was the first page of an unpublished and undated letter of Sr. Lucia to Pope Paul VI. She wrote him a beautiful, encouraging letter that was similar to one that St. Pio [of Pietrelcina] wrote to the Holy Father in September 1968.

In her letter, Sr. Lucia spoke about a “diabolical revolt” that was being “promoted by the powers of darkness” with “errors” being made against God, his Church, her doctrines and dogmas. She said the Church was going through an “agony in Gethsemane” and that there was a “worldwide disorientation that is martyring the Church.” She wrote to encourage Paul VI as the Vicar of Christ on earth and to tell him of her and others’ steadfastness to him, to Christ and his Church, in the midst of the revolt. Perhaps I am biased, having studied the third part of the secret, but I was struck by how similar Sr. Lucia’s discourse appeared to the second and third parts.

What similarities do you see between this letter and the texts of the second and third secrets of Fatima?
Sr. Lucia’s discussion on the Church’s “agony in Gethsemane” and its martyrdom by a “worldwide disorientation” seemed similar to the third part of the secret, which portrays a global martyrdom of the Church while making its way to a cross. What causes this martyrdom? In the second part of the secret, Our Lady warned about the spread of Russia’s “errors.” Those errors caused exactly what Our Lady predicted: wars, persecutions of the Church, and suffering for the Holy Father that were brought on by Communism and its enforcing atheism through revolution. In June 1958, Sr. Lucia wrote to Pope Pius XII and told him that Communism would reach its zenith in the 1960s. The errors of Communism did infect the world, leading people to revolt against God and all that is holy. Therefore, those who are faithful to Jesus Christ in the midst of the revolt undergo a martyrdom.

Do you have a complete copy of this letter and will you reveal the whole text to the public?
No, I do not possess a complete copy. The museum only had the first page on display and does not allow photography. I did, however, take notes. I could read Sr. Lucia’s handwriting as I’ve seen it in some reproductions published by Father António María Martins in 1973. Out of about 350 words there were a very few that were illegible to me. I took the information back to Fatima and processed it with a Portuguese-speaking friend. Later, the Sisters gave me permission to discuss what I saw in the museum.

To be clear, let me add that it would be irresponsible for me or anyone else to state with certitude to the public that Sr. Lucia made use of the third part in this letter. In fact, one of the points I criticize in my book is people positing their own ideas as Sr. Lucia’s. We have to be clear, as I said earlier, on what is from Our Lady, what is from Sr. Lucia, and what is our own interpretation. Moreover, the Holy See has observed that the events in the third part of the secret condense many events into a single description. Thus, to say that Sr. Lucia’s letter is the only interpretation would be unwise, and I plan on publishing an essay that discusses this fact in more detail.

In the end, theologians and scholars, not polemicists and sensationalists, must take Our Lady’s call at Fatima and interpret it in the light of our great tradition. This requires humility and openness to God’s grace, whereas sensationalism stokes the very distrust of the Church that runs absolutely contrary to the message of Fatima.

When do you think scholars will have the opportunity to study Sr. Lucia more in depth?
Her cause for canonization is now in Rome. The process requires an environment free from polemics. Once this occurs, and experts have a better sense of matters, more information will become available, but it will take time. There are about 11,000 documents just in Sr. Lucia’s letters alone. I have met the vice-postulator for her cause, Sr. Angela Coelho. She is a good woman. We must practice, as Sr. Lucia used to say, “Patience!”

One must quote from Cardinal Ratzinger’s Theological Commentary that accompanied the disclosure of the Third Secret in 2000;

What is the meaning of the “secret” of Fatima as a whole (in its three parts)? What does it say to us?

First of all we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano: “... the events to which the third part of the ‘secret' of Fatima refers now seem part of the past” insofar as individual events are described, they belong to the past. [These would be the references to the war about to end in 2017, the war that was to come (the Second World War), and the advent of Communism whereby Russia would spread ‘error’ throughout the world. This would not include any elements of the apocalyptic vision seen by the shepherds in the third part of the Fatima secret.]

Those who expected exciting apocalyptic revelations about the end of the world or the future course of history are bound to be disappointed. Fatima does not satisfy our curiosity in this way, just as Christian faith in general cannot be reduced to an object of mere curiosity.

What remains was already evident when we began our reflections on the text of the “secret”: the exhortation to prayer as the path of “salvation for souls” and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion.

I would like finally to mention another key expression of the “secret” which has become justly famous: “my Immaculate Heart will triumph”. What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time.

The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.

My own personal conviction about the content of private revelations: They are often ‘gratifying’ to us when they happen to coincide with what we think, but then, the language of such revelations is hardly ever clearcut, outside of the message of penance and conversion for the salvation of all souls, which seems to be common to all of them, and rightly so.

But is that not the message that is inscribed in the heart of every properly-catechized Catholic? Do we have to hear it from a heavenly apparition in order to know that it is how God wishes us to live? These private revelations are inspiring reminders about this basic message, but our appreciation and reception of this basic message should not be conditioned by whatever specifics are described in these revelations and the interpretations that we choose to give to these specifics.

Did Our Lady predict apostasy at the summit of the Church, as the controversialists would insist? If she did, what would it help with the fact that it may be happening now? - except to gratify the egos of those who insist it was prophesied by the Virgin Mary.

It makes no difference as far as our duty is as Catholics: pray for the salvation of souls - including the apostates - and convert and do penance for this end.


P.S. apparently, Christopher Ferrara has just given a highly polemical, almost over-the-top interview in which he lashes out at Kevin Symonds for the above and against Symonds's book itself. As I have posted more than enough of Ferrara's views - and Antonio Socci's - about the Third Secret all these years, I shall merely provide a link to Ferrara's latest effusions on the topic:
stumblingblock.org/?p=11414


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, December 1, 2017 4:16 PM


Pascal and the Jesuits

by David Carlin
DECEMBER 1, 2017

Editor's Note: Our politician-professor-pundit friend David Carlin makes a crucial distinction this morning. There is a difference between the older tolerance and patience with Catholic misbehavior, and the newer situation in which an alternative – and quite militant – religion is growing under the canopy of tolerance.

That is why at The Catholic Thing we have always believed that the very survival of the Church in the West depends on what Pope Benedict XVI has called “creative minorities.” At the same time, we must not only maintain but grow those minorities so that it becomes impossible even for the cynical politicians to ignore us. I’ve said it before: there are at least 20 million Catholics in America who agree with us. So far, only 30,000 subscribe to The Catholic Thing. But that means we have an unlimited future ahead of us. If you wish to help shape that future – and have not already contributed – what are you waiting for? We know that the immediate future is going to be quite challenging for real Catholics. But what better time to go on the offensive? The other side, as I’m convinced will soon be clear, has no future. Now’s the time to bet on the future of Christ’s Church. Help us help that future. Make your contribution to TCT. Now.


It seems to me (I’m hardly alone in this) that many clerical leaders (priests and bishops) are relatively 'soft' on matters related to sexual sin – fornication, unmarried cohabitation, abortion, and homosexuality. It’s not that they approve of these things; they just don’t go out of their way to condemn them.

If someone were challenged to write in defense of this clerical 'softness', I think the argument would go like this:

At least since the time of Emperor Constantine, the Church has realized that there are three main classes of Christians.

Class 1: an elite minority of “real” Christians: those who are deadly serious about their religion; who believe all the official doctrines; who try hard (though never quite succeeding) to obey all the commandments all the time; who spend much of their time and energy at Mass and in prayer.

Class 2: those who are “ordinary” Christians, the great majority of all Christians. They honestly believe in their religion, but they are decidedly lukewarm. When it comes to doctrine, their willingness to recite the Apostle’s Creed or the Nicene Creed doesn’t imply that they agree with all the articles. And it certainly doesn’t even imply that they understand all the articles; they don’t, and they are not troubled by their lack of understanding.

As for the rules of Christian morality, not only do they habitually violate many of them, except for the really big ones – e.g., murder and adultery – they barely notice them. They usually say prayers, especially in moments of trouble; and they attend Mass on a fairly regular basis. They are for the most part “decent” people, and hope to go to Heaven someday.

Class 3: this is made up of ne’er-do-wells who habitually and conspicuously fall below the level of ordinary decency. They are robbers, gangsters, prostitutes, drunks, drug addicts, wife-beaters, etc. They rarely attend church. And except when they’re standing before a judge waiting for him to pronounce sentence, they rarely pray. Apart from the existence of God (who, they hope, will someday rescue them from their sea of troubles), the dogmas of the religion mean little to them. And occasionally, in their moments of despair, they doubt even God’s existence. But they never sever their formal connection with the Church.

Members of this third class aren’t a threat to the Church. They are even, in a perverse way, allies. For one thing, they verify by their horrid examples what the Church teaches about sin, that it will have bad consequences, both spiritual and temporal. For another, they provide opportunities for Class 1 Catholics to show compassion to the “least of these,” easing their pain, showing them the right path. Further, they occasionally supply edifying examples of late-in-life conversions to righteousness.

But Class 2 Catholics are always a potential threat to the Church. For if the Church were to insist that all Catholics must be of the Class 1 type, that all must strive for sainthood on a daily and even hourly basis, most Class 2 (“ordinary” or “decent”) Catholics would bid farewell. “I see this is not a religion for me,” they would say. “It demands too much. It is unrealistic. It is fanatical. Au revoir.”

And so, to make sure that these folks, the great majority of Catholics, don’t leave the Church, thereby not only damaging the religion but endangering their own salvation, the Church loosens the reins on these people.
- If they don’t believe everything the Church believes, oh well, let’s not make a fuss about it.
- And if they have incorrigible habits of sin, well, let’s not make them feel uncomfortable by publicly condemning the sins they’re prone to; and
- let’s tell them that God is forgiving and tolerant; and
- let’s remind them that all sins can be instantaneously wiped away in the confessional or on a good deathbed.
- Above all, let’s tell them that, practically speaking, the goal of this life (except for a rare few) is not Heaven but Purgatory; in other words, you don’t have to get an A-plus in sanctity, a C-minus will do just fine.


In his Provincial Letters, Blaise Pascal (a Class 1 Catholic if ever there was one) finds fault with the Jesuits of his day for bending Catholicism so that it will accommodate the un-Christian code of honor that was then typical of upper-class gentlemen. In one of the more hilarious letters, Pascal tells of a Jesuit casuist (some things never change) who figured out a way for a gentleman to participate in a duel while not, technically speaking, violating the Catholic rule that dueling is a mortal sin.

So can it be argued that the 'softness' with regard to sex-related sins that we find today among many bishops and priests is just one more example of what has been an all-too-human Catholic practice since at least the fourth century, the practice of – not exactly consenting to – but tolerating the many imperfections of Class 2 Catholics?

No, I don’t think so. When the Jesuits tolerated, say, the morality of 17th century French gentlemen – a morality that included dueling and 'gallantry' (as upper-class adultery was euphemistically called) – they were not tolerating a non- or anti-Catholic religion. They were tolerating – however much we may laugh about it – an un-Catholic code of manners and morals, quite a different thing.

But when today’s Jesuits (and other Catholic clerics) are 'soft' on sex-related sins, including homosexuality, they are doing much more than making a calculated accommodation to an un-Christian code of manners. They are tolerating a sexual ethic that is part and parcel of an increasingly militant anti-Catholic religion. [Thank you for using that very appropriate word for much that is going on in the church of Bergoglio - anti-Catholic, in the image and likeness of its founding leader.]

What religion is that? Secular humanism, a comprehensive worldview that is tantamount to a (God-less) religion. Dueling in 17th century upper-class Paris was bad, but it was not an affirmation of an anti-Catholic religion. By contrast, abortion and homosexuality in 21st century America truly are affirmations of a growing and decidedly anti-Catholic quasi-religion.

Catholic leaders from the pope on down need to wake up to the nature of that new mortal threat. [But the new mortal threat is coming precisely 'from the pope on down'!]



An odd address by Cardinal Parolin

December 1, 2017

Speaking at an organisation called the Catholic University of America, Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State, recently gave a lecture which seemed to me to have some distinctly dubious implications ... to which I hope to return later in the week. Just for today, however, a couple of weeny details.

His Eminence based the mission of Episcopal Conferences in the sacramental origin of the episcopal ministry: "in other words, these conferences are really 'episcopal': they have their raison d'etre not in a sociological principle of collaboration, but in the implementation of the ministry conferred on each bishop with episcopal consecration".

Interestingly, this appears to run contrary to PF's 'ecumenical' practice. PF meets ministers who are called 'bishops' but who belong to sects which do not possess or claim the Apostolic Succession and do not regard episcopal (or any) ordination as a sacrament. And he makes clear that he regards them as truly bishops. "We bishops", PF pointedly says to them in between the hugs.

Clearly, Parolin is on a divergence course from PF in this matter. It is remarkable that he has chosen to make his disagreement so public, especially considering the symptoms of paranoia in PF revealed recently in an interview given by Cardinal Mueller (PF: "They tell me you're my enemy").

Secondly: Latin Catholicism has tended to have an immensely juridical style to it. Sacramental 'consecration' is not enough; a man must also have a missio canonica before he (lawfully) goes bishopping. He needs to have been given jurisdiction in a canonical way which may accompany, but is distinct from, his Consecration. This attitude lay behind the insistence that when Pope Ratzinger remitted the excommunications incurred latae sententiae by the SSPX bishops, they still possess no licit ministry whatsoever in the Church Militant.

Parolin, in so exclusively emphasising the sacramental rather than the canonical or juridical, clearly implies that if his Excellency Bishop Fellay were to knock on the door of the Swiss Episcopal Conference, their excellencies would welcome him warmly. "My dear fellow", una voce they would cry, "do come in and implement together with us the ministry conferred on you in your episcopal consecration".

Furthermore, if Cardinal Mueller is right in his fear that PF might be leading the Church Militant into schism and division, it will, given Cardinal Parolin's ecclesiology, be pretty unproblematic if, a decade or two down the road, some orthodox bishops consecrate more bishops sine mandato Apostolico. So there may come a time when this ... von Schoenborn would call it "this development" ... might come in useful.

Could it be that Cardinal Parolin is be one of these crypto-Lefebvreists whom we are sometimes warned to avoid?

If anyone ever doubted that Parolin is a trueblue Bergoglian acolyte, think again! Of course, some Vaticanistas like Magister and Allen have been puffing him up by claiming that he seems to be the most papabile successor to Bergoglio, and that therefore by word and deed, he has been trying to court cardinals other than the avowed Bergoglians to his side. Bosh and balderdash! With Bergoglio-named cardinals now making up almost half the cardinal electors, and the other half avowed Bergoglians and unavowed because approving-by-their-silence Bergoglians, he doesn't have to court anybody. All he has to do is look out for number-1, himself.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, December 1, 2017 6:15 PM




ALWAYS AND EVER OUR MOST BELOVED BENEDICTUS XVI

Ooops! Unexpected page change...





If I have not posted anything so far on this new book, it's because the material I previously had needed to be translated, and I haven't had much time in the past few days, but now 1Peter5 has come up with an English wrap-up that also quotes more from the book than the articles I have in Italian. Of course, this is pure manna for me since it reinforces my worst biases about Jorge Bergoglio, but why not?

I used to think I would be able to 'neutralize' my biases by seeking one to report at least one unconditionally good thing during the day that the media reports about Bergoglio - outside of the usual papolatrous puffery and his pro forma seemingly Catholic statements - but that has not been possible. Anything unconditionally good would be reported even in media and Internet circles not friendly to the pope, if only because it would be a rarity. But I'm still keeping my eyes open for any good Bergoglian rarity whatever.


Mysterious new book looks
'behind the mask' of the reigning pope

By Steve Skojec

November 30, 2017

A remarkable new book about the Bergoglio papacy is set to be released in English this coming Monday, December 4th, after an Italian debut earlier this month that is rumored to have made quite a splash in Rome. Entitled The Dictator Pope, it is described on the Amazon pre-order page as “The inside story of the most tyrannical and unprincipled papacy of modern times.”

The book promises a look “behind the mask” of Francis, the alleged “genial man of the people,” revealing how he “consolidated his position as a dictator who rules by fear and has allied himself with the most corrupt elements in the Vatican to prevent and reverse the reforms that were expected of him.”

OnePeterFive has obtained an advance copy of the English text, and I am still working my way through it. Although most of its contents will be at least cursorily familiar to those who have followed this unusual [How about 'bizarre' and 'diabolical'?] pontificate, it treats in detail many of the most important topics we have covered in these pages, providing the additional benefit of collecting them all in one place.

The author of the work is listed as Marcantonio Colonna — a transparently clever pen name laden with meaning for the Catholic history buff: The historical Colonna was an Italian nobleman who served as admiral of the papal fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. The author bio tells us he is an Oxford graduate with extensive experience in historical research who has been living in Rome since the beginning of the Francis pontificate, and whose contact with Vatican insiders — including Cardinals and other important figures — helped piece together this particular puzzle.

The level of potential controversy associated with the book has seemingly led some journalists in Rome to be wary of broaching the book’s existence publicly (though it is said to be very much a topic of private conversation), whether for fear of retribution — the Vatican has recently been known to exclude or mistreat journalists it suspects of hostility — or for some other reason, remains unclear.

Notable exceptions to this conspicuous silence include the stalwart Marco Tosatti — who has already begun unpacking the text at his website, Stilum Curae — and Professor Roberto de Mattei, who writes in Corrispondenza Romana that the book confirms Cardinal Müller’s recent remarks that there is a “magic circle” around the pope which “prevents an open and balanced debate on the doctrinal problems raised” by objections like the dubia and Filial Correction, and that there is also “a climate of espionage and delusion[??? It may be an incorrect translation of the Italian word 'delazione', which means 'snitching'] in Francis’s Vatican.

Some sources have even told me that the Vatican, incensed by the book’s claims, is so ardently pursuing information about the author’s true identity that they’ve been seeking out and badgering anyone they think might have knowledge of the matter. The Italian version of the book’s website has already gone down since its launch. The reason, as one particularly credible rumor has it, is that its disappearance was a result of the harassment of its designer, even though that person had nothing to do with the book other than having been hired to put it online.

If these sound like thuggish tactics, the book wastes no time in confirming that this pope — and those who support him — are not at all above such things. Colonna introduces his text by way of an ominous portrait of Francis himself, describing a “miraculous change that has taken over” Bergoglio since his election — a change that Catholics of his native Buenos Aires noticed immediately:

Their dour, unsmiling archbishop was turned overnight into the smiling, jolly Pope Francis, the idol of the people with whom he so fully identifies. If you speak to anyone working in the Vatican, they will tell you about the miracle in reverse. When the publicity cameras are off him, Pope Francis turns into a different figure: arrogant, dismissive of people, prodigal of bad language and notorious for furious outbursts of temper which are known to everyone from the cardinals to the chauffeurs.

Colonna writes, too, of the “buyer’s remorse” that some of the cardinals who elected Bergoglio are experiencing as his pontificate approaches its fifth anniversary: “Francis is showing,” writes Colonna, “that he is not the democratic, liberal ruler that the cardinals thought they were electing in 2103, but a papal tyrant the like of whom has not been seen for many centuries.”

Colonna then transitions to an opening chapter exposing the work of the so-called St. Gallen “Mafia” — the group of cardinals who had been conspiring for decades to see to it that a pope of their liking — a pope like Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was capable of becoming — would be elected. Formed in 1996 (with precursor meetings between progressive European prelates giving initial shape to the group as early as the 1980s) in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the St. Gallen Mafia was originally headed up by the late Jesuit Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini.

The group roster was a rogue’s gallery of heterodox prelates with a list of ecclesiastical 'accomplishments' that reads more like a rap sheet than a curriculum vitae. (In the case of Godfried Danneels, implicated in some way in about 50 of 475 dossiers on clerical sexual abuse allegations that mysteriously disappeared after evidence seized by Belgian police was inexplicably declared inadmissible in court, this comparison transcends analogy.)

The names of some of the most prominent members of the group — many of which would have been unknown to even relatively well-informed Catholics just a decade ago — have become uncomfortably familiar in recent years: Cardinals Martini, Danneels, Kasper, Lehman, and (Cormac) Murphy O’Connor [recently deceased] have all risen in profile considerably since their protege was elevated to the Petrine throne.

After a controversial career, Walter Kasper had already begun fading into obscurity before he was unexpectedly praised in the new pope’s first Angelus address on March 17, 2013. Francis spoke admiringly of Kasper’s book on the topic of mercy — a theme that would become a defining touchstone of his pontificate. When Kasper was subsequently tapped to present the Keynote at the February 14, 2014 consistory of cardinals, the advancement of his proposal to create a path for Communion for the divorced and remarried thrust him further into the spotlight.

The so-called “Kasper proposal” [Right, Kasper being the fall guy for Bergoglio] launched expectations for the two synods that would follow on marriage and the family, and provided the substrate for the post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, around which there has been a theological and philosophical debate the likes of which has not been seen in the living memory of the Church. For his part, Danneels, who retired his position as Archbishop of Brussels under “a cloud of scandal” in 2010, even went so far as to declare that the 2013 conclave result represented for him “a personal resurrection experience.”

And what was the goal of the St. Gallen group? Originally, their agenda was to bring about a “much more modern” Church. That goal finally crystalized around opposition to the anticipated election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy — a battle in which they were narrowly defeated during the 2005 conclave, when, according to an undisclosed source within the curia, the penultimate ballot showed a count of 40 votes for Bergoglio and 72 for Ratzinger.

Colonna cites German Catholic journalist Paul Badde who said it was the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner — later one of the four DUBIA cardinals — who “passionately fought” the Gallen Mafia in favor of the election of Ratzinger. After this loss, the Gallen Mafia officially disbanded. But although Cardinal Martini died in 2012, they staged a comeback — and eventually won the day — on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. For it was on that day that Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, victorious, as Pope Francis the First. Those paying attention would take note that one Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium stood triumphantly by his side.

Colonna points out that indications existed — particularly through certain press interviews with Cardinal Murphy O’Connor — of possible pre-meditated collusion between Bergoglio and the St. Gallen conspirators who worked to elect him. Colonna writes:

In late 2013, the [then] Archbishop of Westminster gave an interview to the Catholic Herald in which he admitted not only to campaigning at the Conclave, but to gaining Bergoglio’s assent to be their man.

The article by Miguel Cullen in the September 12, 2013 edition of the Herald says, “The cardinal also disclosed that he had spoken to the future Pope as they left theMissa pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the final Mass before the conclave began on March 12.”

Murphy O’Connor said, “We talked a little bit. I told him he had my prayers and said, in Italian: ‘Be careful.’ I was hinting, and he realised and said: “Si – capisco” – yes, I understand. He was calm. He was aware that he was probably going to be a candidate going in. Did I know he was going to be Pope? No. There were other good candidates. But I knew he would be one of the leading ones.’” The admonition to Bergoglio to “be careful” certainly seems to imply that Murphy O’Connor – and Bergoglio – knew he was at least bending the rules.

This is supported again in the same article in the Heraldwhere Murphy O’Connor is quoted saying, “All the cardinals had a meeting with him in the Hall of Benedictions, two days after his election. We all went up one by one. He greeted me very warmly. He said something like: ‘It’s your fault. What have you done to me?’”

In an interview with the Independent after the Conclave, Murphy O’Connor also hinted there was a particular programme laid before the 76 year-old Argentinian, that he was expected to accomplish in about four years. The English cardinal told journalist and author Paul Vallely, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” A fair enough comment after the fact, but this was the same phrase recorded by Andrea Tornielli in La Stampa in an article dated March 2, 2013, eleven days before Bergoglio’s election: “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.”whispers a cardinal and long-time friend of the archbishop of Buenos Aires.”

Four years has certainly been enough.


From this analysis of Francis’s inauspicious beginnings as the handpicked pope of the most progressive forces in the Church, Colonna takes us on a brief but informative tour of his life and background.
- He mentions Bergoglio’s strained relationship with his parents — his father a “struggling accountant” and mother a temporary invalid — noting that he rarely speaks of them. [True, he only speaks about his grandmother.]
- He examines Bergoglio’s precipitous rise through the Jesuits in Argentina, despite opposition from his superiors at certain critical points along the way.
- Highlighted too, was the assessment of the unusually young provincial by the Jesuit Superior General — offered when “ Bergoglio applied for a dispensation from the Jesuit rule forbidding him from becoming a bishop [I had not read about this before!] — allegedly describing him in no uncertain terms as unsuitable for the role. I say allegedly, because the text of the evaluation has never been made public. Writes Colonna:

Father Kolvenbach accused Bergoglio of a series of defects, ranging from habitual use of vulgar language to deviousness, disobedience concealed under a mask of humility, and lack of psychological balance; with a view to his suitability as a future bishop, the report pointed out that he had been a divisive figure as Provincial of his own order. It is not surprising that, on being elected Pope, Francis made efforts to get his hands on the existing copies of the document, and the original filed in the official Jesuit archives in Rome has disappeared. [Is this fact or scuttlebutt?]


Despite these setbacks, Bergoglio was seen, at the time, as a champion of Catholic conservatism in the mode of John Paul II by Cardinal Quarracino, his predecessor in the archbishopric of Buenos Aires and the man who ultimately ignored the warnings and raised him to the episcopacy. [Quarracino did notraise him to the episcopacy – he was already an auxiliary bishop, created so by John Paul II.]

The perception of Bergoglio’s conservatism appears to have stemmed largely from his opposition to the Marxist liberation theology that had become so prevalent in the region — an opposition which, as Colonna explains, was not so much because of ideological disagreement as class warfare:

Bergoglio himself was a man of the people, and in Latin America “liberation theology” was a movement of intellectuals from the higher classes, the counterpart of the radical chic that led the bourgeoisie in Europe to worship Sartre and Marcuse.

With such attitudes Bergoglio had no sympathy; although he had not yet identified himself explicitly with the “theology of the people”, which arose in direct competition with the Marxist school, his instinct made him follow the populist line of Peronism, which (whatever the cynicism of its creator) was more in touch with the genuine working class and lower middle class. Thus, Father Bergoglio backed the apostolate to the slum districts, but he did not want their inhabitants recruited as left-wing guerillas, as some of his priests were trying to do.

His Peronism helps to make clear, in another illuminating moment, Francis’s infuriating habit of saying diametrically opposing things from one day to the next:

The story is told that Perón, in his days of glory, once proposed to induct a nephew in the mysteries of politics. He first brought the young man with him when he received a deputation of communists; after hearing their views, he told them, “You’re quite right.” The next day he received a deputation of fascists and replied again to their arguments, “You’re quite right.” Then he asked his nephew what he thought and the young man said, “You’ve spoken with two groups with diametrically opposite opinions and you told them both that you agreed with them. This is completely unacceptable.” Perón replied, “You’re quite right too.”

An anecdote like this is an illustration of why no one can be expected to assess Pope Francis unless he understands the tradition of Argentinian politics, a phenomenon outside the rest of the world’s experience; the Church has been taken by surprise by Francis because it has not had the key to him: he is Juan Perón in ecclesiastical translation. Those who seek to interpret him otherwise are missing the only relevant criterion.

The book is packed with such fascinating insights into the phenomena of the Francis papacy, in part by viewing the present through the lens of his past. From indications that his notorious simplicity was simply a means of shedding any 'ballast' that might impede his pursuit of power to his ostentatious humility (often with cameras conveniently waiting to capture the moment) to his masterful manipulation of an over-eager media into displaying the image he wishes to portray, the layers of the Argentinian pope are peeled back and examined, offering a deeper understanding of the man himself.

Colonna does not spend much time on the question of the validity of Francis’s papal election, but he does raise questions about the convenient (for the St. Gallen group) timing of Benedict’s abdication and considerations made both by papal biographer Austen Ivereigh and Vatican journalist Antonio Socci on the politicking and the questionable canonical validity, respectively, in the 2013 conclave.

“Whether one chooses to uphold Socci’s view or not,” Colonna writes, “there is something rather appropriate in the fact that the political heir of Juan Perón should have been raised to the head of the Catholic Church by “what was arguably an invalid vote.[Invalid or not, like it or not, that vote will never ever be put to the test and will stand – Jorge Bergoglio was, for all intents and purposes, validly and legitimately elected the 266th successor of St. Peter.]

The book does not merely content itself with the pre-pontificate history of Bergoglio. Under the microscope, too, are the critical agenda items of the ongoing papacy, foremost among them, those promises which have never materialized. From reform of the curia to a supposed “zero tolerance” policy on clerical sexual abusers to Vatican bank and financial reform, some of the major initiatives of the Francis papacy have failed to reach fruition, been abandoned, or have received only lip service.

Later chapters deal, among other important topics, with the heavily-manipulated synods on the family, the Vatican response to orthodox resistance, the saga surrounding the DUBIA, the gutting and reinvention of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the destruction of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Vatican-supported coup within the Knights of Malta, and the persecution of those ecclesiastics who fail to toe the line for the papal agenda — along with an examination of the KGB-style tactics deployed by “Kremlin Santa Marta”. (On a personal note, I was both pleased and honored to discover a chapter subheading entitled “The Dictatorship of Mercy,” with a direct reference to the article in which I coined the term.)

There is a great deal of material in this book for all Catholics, but it will be of particular interest to readers of this website, who have watched many of these developments unfold in real time. There are also new things to learn from the text, particularly in its examination of the pope’s Argentinian history. If you or someone you know is interested in getting up to speed quickly on where things are with this papacy — and why it is so singularly controversial — this book appears to be an excellent starting point to cover much of the necessary ground.

At 141 pages, it provides a sufficient amount of depth without overwhelming the reader with too much information, and the language and presentation make it an easy, fascinating read. [141 pages is too short, however, for it to contain a comprehensive day-to-day catalog of all the anti-Catholoic things this pope has said and done in the past almost five years!]

I believe The Dictator Pope will prove to be a critical tool in understanding and documenting the present papacy, and so, despite already having a copy of the text, I’ve also pre-ordered the book, both in support of the author and to help bolster its status via the one metric that seems to garner the most attention: sales rank. I encourage you to do the same. Already in Italy, the e-book is an Amazon best seller, having attained the rank of #60 in that country and hovering at #1 or #2 in books in its category. It would be fantastic to thrust it to the top of the charts in the English-speaking world as well.

That would send quite a message.

Beatrice on her website, www.benoit-et-moi.fr, first called my attention to the book with this commentary-book review from an Italian website...


That dark side of Bergoglio that
attracts and deceives –
and ultimately, destroys all

Christ's one true Church is the first true victim
of everything that has been happening

by 'kattolika'
Translated from

November 23, 2017



What we are about to share will not please many – and above all, will not be accepted, even without reading or verifying what's in it - by the 'fandom' of the Bergoglian world. We apologize to these overly sensitive persons [I think the current English term for such persons is 'snowflakes'] but if we didn't have courageous authors as there always were in the past to describe the situations or the personality of the popes who have marked various epochs in the Church's history, for good or bad, today we would not have any elements who would understand why in the past, the people of Rome themselves have felt so involved in their bishop, the Bishop of Rome, that they did not hesitate to publicly give 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' to what he said or did.

Those who love and know genuine history also know perfectly well that in many cases, the Romans did not dispute the legitimacy of a pope's election but rather, in weighing the work of 'their bishop', acted or reacted either with hosannahs, or with true uprisings in an attempt to be rid of pontiffs with questionable behavior.

But the saints always taught the people the way of prudence, of calm, and above all, of praying for the pope – to name just a few examples, Catherine of Siena, Phillip Neri and John Bosco. They defended not the bizarreries or defects of any pope but his office and the proper exercise of his primacy.

Indicative is the incident during which St. Bosco, hearing the cries of "Viva Pio Nono" (Long live Pius IX), told the people: "Do not shout 'Viva Pio Nono', but rather 'Viva il Papa!'" to teach them what was the proper attachment to a pope, whose role and primacy was, in the 19th century, threatened by various powerful enemies of the Church – by protestants, freemasons and liberals.

Unfortunately, we must note that it was probably in the pontificate of Paul VI, precisely he who had made the gesture of renouncing the papal tiara that 'protected' the pope's triple role, that we came to the idea of the ad personam pontificate, in which the pope's name became an adjective to describe not just his pontificate but also 'his church' and his followers, i.e., 'the church of Montini', the Montinians; 'the church of Wojtyla', the Wojtylians; 'the church of Ratzinger', the Ratzingerians; 'the church of Bergolgio', the Bergoglians… [Not that any of the popes before Bergoglio ever professed anything but that the Church they led was the Church of Christ, and no one else's.]

But yes, Don Bosco was right, because today the Church no longer seems to be the Church of Christ, but the church of whoever happens to be the pope, a church in his name and in his image and likeness. But there is a difference with the 'nominal' popes before Francis, because where the media became instrumental in unleashing a popstar 'fandom' towards the pope, John Paul II [who was dubbed John Paul II Superstar by TIME magazine early in his pontificate] many times denounced indications of a personality cult around him, and Benedict XVI virtually sought to eclipse himself in the media spotlight.

Now, Bergoglio has made the media the 'curators' of his image, and his most direct and immediate spokesmen. His very friendship with avowed atheist Eugenio Scalfari, who through his media empire, proudly transmits what he believes to be the 'essence' of a heretical pope, reinforces the emergence of a new 'religion' for a church in the image and likeness of the current pope.

These premises are necessary and fundamental to undertake a healthy and honest reading of a new book which, although it contains few new and unpublished facts - much of it it what is already known and documented - treated in a professional, impartial and objective way, supported by available and accessible sources.

The author gets directly into facts – some well-known, others less – that gave rise to the character and psychology of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He does not dispute the legitimacy of his election, but he does ask how was it possible that the cardinal electors could have known so little and were so totally deceived about him as to place the Church of Christ in the hands of a man without scruples, with behavioral problems well-known to those who had to deal with him at various levels in the Church, and above all, to someone who had shown himself ready to make any compromise in order to advance his thirst for power that would allow him to realize his personal dream of a church in his likeness and image.

The author analyzes the facts of Bergoglio's personal life honestly and impartially, reports the documented facts, and reconstructs what seems to have been the man's clear course. It emerges that most of the cardinal electors were in the dark about Bergoglio mostly because the latter had been so skillful at masking not just his true intentions but also his modus operandi.

The author also shows that Bergoglio's true 'charism' is in being the great 'faker' of his own persona – no one really knows who he is and what he thinks [except, obviously, what he wants the world to think he is and what he thinks!]

But his 'charism' attracts the weak and the insecure who, having entered into his radius of interest, often do not realize that they are being manipulated to his advantage, and when they do realize it, it is often too late and it is best that they leave. Because when he notes that he has been 'uncovered', at best, he quickly divests himself of those who have done so, because they are no longer useful to him; and at worst, they can be the objects of psychological pressure from the man himself who will continue to use them to sow divisions, insecurities and suspicions in his own entourage.

All of this is documented in black and white, with proofs, but narrated in a calm, respectful and long-suffering tone. The author seeks to keep himself impartial without hiding the pain and difficulty of saying the truth, of narrating the facts that are key to understanding the psychological complexity of Bergoglio – the modernist Jesuit who became pope because, whereas the cardinals who elected him thought that through him, they would effect 'true reform' in the Church where it is urgently needed, they found themselves with a revolutionary dictator who is uncontrollable, uncommunicable, hardly humble and hardly charitable [or merciful!]

Of course, we did not get to Bergoglio from scratch! The book also shows the responsibility of many cardinals and bishops who are corrupt, careerist and unscrupulous – not just those of the small St. Gallen group, but also the protectors of the gay lobby ensconced in the Vatican since the 1970s.

About this most serious scourge in the Church that goes hand in hand with the scandal of sex-predator priests, the author goes through a brief history of concrete facts to show that this pope is not concerned at all about the 'gay lobby' or the sexual crimes of priests, unlike Benedict XVI who used an iron fist in at least suspending and/or dismissing more than 800 priests and bishops. Instead he seems to be reinforcing these questionable elements by giving them prestigious jobs and promotions. [Does the list contain other names besides Mons. Ricca, 'Don Mercedes' Inzoli and Cardinal Coccoplamerio's bingeing protégé, that we know of?]

The book is not about gossip, nor being anti-Bergoglio; it does not accuse him of being a heretical or illegitimate pope; there is no polemic over obeying a pope who is exercising his legitimate authority. But it documents facts that show what is happening in 'the Church' under Bergoglio, and far from attacking the papacy or the Petrine ministry, it seeks to defend them from insidious subversion and worse adversities.

That is why – with immense pain and filial respect – we wish to share and urge reading this book with true discernment in the spirit of free children of God. If it is read properly, this book, the conclusions to which it leads us, will not constitute a trial and verdict, but instead make us pray even more assiduously praying for this pope and for the Holy Church of Christ which has been the first true victim of everything wrong that is taking place.

To pray as well that we may be blessed with holy bishops and priests, cardinals inspired by the saints and not by careerism, and for ourselves, lay faithful who are devoted to Christ and his Church, but are surrounded by confusion and advancing darkness.

Our task is not to judge the pope [We cannot judge anyone, only God can – but we certainly can hold personal opinions, which is what everyone has been doing about Bergoglio, those who adulate him and those who dislike him] but that, in understanding what he wants, we can wisely discern what things we can concede to him from what we cannot, as many documents show – from the DUBIA letter to that of the Franciscan theologian who was dismissed from his position in the US bishops' conference for having dared to write what he did to the pope, to what this pope has said and done about liturgy, the worship of God, and sacramental discipline.

All these cannot simply be coincidences nor do they constitute a conspiracy against this pope, because who would gain from such a conspiracy when those who criticize what needs to be criticized are simply defending Scripture, Tradition and Doctrine? If it were nothing but a malicious plot, then it would be most counter-productive for the Church and the faith.

But facts are facts, and let the readers use their reason and wise discernment.


Here is a translation of Prof. De Mattei's commentary:

Cardinals Burke, Brandmüller and Müller
and 'The Dictator Pope'

by Roberto de Mattei
Translated by Francesca Romana for Rorate caeli from

November 29, 2017

Over the last few weeks three interviews from prominent cardinals have appeared. The first was given by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller to Christian Geye and Hannes Hintermeier for the Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung on October 28th 2017; the second was given by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to Edward Pentin on November 14th for The National Catholic Register; the third, by Cardinal Müller to Massimo Franco of Corriere della Sera on November 26.

Cardinal Brandmüller revealed his anxiety concerning the possible beginnings of a division in the Church. ['Possible beginnings'??? Unfortunately, I cannot get to the original article because the Corrispondenza site is deemed 'not secure' by Google Chrome, but if that is a correct translation of what De Mattei wrote in Italian, then one must wonder why the good cardinal would call the split in the Church today that is now almost five years long 'possible beginnings'!]

“The fact alone that a petition with 870,000 signatures addressed to the Pope asking him for clarification has still not been answered and likewise the 50 scholars of international ranking have yet to obtain a reply - raises questions. This is truly difficult to understand", Brandmueller notes.

“Addressing some dubia, i.e. doubts and questions to the Pope, has always been an absolutely normal way to dissipate ambiguities.

Simply speaking, the question is the following: Can something that was considered a sin yesterday be good today? Further, we now have the question whether there are actually acts - as has been the constant teaching of the Church – that are always and in all circumstances morally reprehensible? Such as in the case of killing an innocent person or adultery for example? This is the point.

If there should be in effect a “yes” response to the first question and a “no” to the second, this would be a de facto heresy, and consequently a schism. A split in the Church.


Cardinal Burke, who confirmed that he was in constant communication with Cardinal Brandmüller, advanced a fresh warning “on the gravity of the situation which continues to worsen” and reaffirmed the need to shed light on all the heterodox passages in Amoris laetitia, saying that we are,in fact, faced with a process which constitutes “a subversion of the essential parts of Tradition”.

“Above and beyond the moral debate, the sense of sacramental practice in the Church is being increasingly eroded, in particular as regards Confession and the Eucharist", he says.

The cardinal once again addresses Pope Francis and the entire Church, by stressing “how urgent it is for the Pope, in the exercise of the ministry he has received from the Lord, that he confirm his brethren in the faith, by expressing clearly the teaching on Christian morality and the importance of the Church’s sacramental practice.”

Cardinal Müller, for his part, confirms that there is the danger of a schism inside the Church and the responsibility of this division does not belong to the Dubia Cardinals of Amoris laetitia, nor the signatories of the Correctio filialis to Pope Francis, but the Pope’s “magic circle”, which is blocking open and balanced discussion on the doctrinal problems raised by these criticisms. [It is infuriating how Mueller consistently seeks to exculpate Bergoglio when his followers are simply following his lead, precisely!]

“Attention: If the perception of an injustice is given by the Roman Curia, it could inevitably set in motion a schismatic tendency, difficult afterwards to recover from. I believe that the cardinals who expressed their doubts on Amoris laetitia, or the 62 signatories of an even excessive letter of criticism to the Pope should be heard, not liquidated as “Pharisees” or grumblers. The only way out of this situation is through clear and frank dialogue... [Yes, exactly, but tell that to the pope who refuses to engage in a dialog with anyone who does not agree 1000 percent with him!]

Instead, I have the impression that in the Pope’s “magic circle” there are those who are mainly concerned about snitching on presumed adversaries, thus blocking open and balanced discussion. Classifying all Catholics according to the categories of “friend” or “enemy” of the Pope, is the gravest damage they are causing in the Church. One remains perplexed if a journalist well known to be an atheist, boasts of being the Pope’s friend; whereas, a Catholic bishop and cardinal like myself is being defamed as the Holy Father’s opponent. I don’t believe that these people can give me lessons in theology on the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. [Quite a snit from someone who is so full of himself he does not even realize it.]


According to his interviewer, Cardinal Müller, has yet to digest the “hurt” of his three collaborators being dismissed shortly before his non-renewal as head of the Congregation last June. “They were good, competent priests who had worked for the Church with exemplary dedication”, is his judgment. “People cannot be sent away [like that] ad libitum, without evidence or procedure, simply because someone anonymously reported that one of them made some vague criticism of the Pope …” [Hey, Your Eminence, anyone can say anything to the pope - it is still he and only he who decides what action to take and takes it! Don't blame the snitches!]

Under what kind of regime are people treated this way? Damien Thompson in The Spectator wrote about it last July 17th.
https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/07/ pope-francis-is-behaving-like-a-latin-american-dictator-but-the-liberal-media-arent-interested/).

The dismissal of Cardinal Muller’s collaborators “brings to mind his most authoritarian predecessors – or, indeed, some Latin American dictator who hugs the crowds and advertises his ostentatiously humble lifestyle while his lieutenants live in fear of his rages”, Thompson wrote. [Which 'authoritarian predecessors' might Thompson mean???]

This aspect of Pope Francis’s Pontificate is now the object of a book, recently published with the significant title The Dictator Pope
https://www.amazon.it/Papa-Dittatore-Marcantonio-Colonna-ebook/dp/B077M5ZH4M

The author is an Oxford-educated historian who hides under the name of “Marcantonio Colonna”. His style is sober and documented, but his accusations against Pope Bergoglio are numerous and strong. Many of the elements he has based in the formulation of his accusations are well-known, but what is new is the accurate description of a series of “historical pictures”: the intrigue of Pope Bergoglio’s election, piloted by the St. Gallen Mafia; Bergoglio’s Argentinean behavior and actions before his election; the obstacles Cardinal Pell encountered after having attempted a financial reform of the Curia; the complete overhaul of the Pontifical Academy for Life; the persecution of the Franciscans of the Immaculate; and the decapitation of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

The mass-media, always ready to lash out with indignation at any episode of bad government and corruption, are silent about these scandals. The foremost merit of this historical study is having brought them to light. [Well, these episodes were already well in the light - it is just they were all just condoned and not condemned at all by the media captive to Bergoglio.

“Fear is the dominant note of the Curia under the law of Francis, along with reciprocal suspicion”. It is not only about informers who are seeking to obtain advantages by reporting a private conversation – as Cardinal Müller’s three members of staff discovered.

In an organization where morally corrupt people have been left in place and even promoted by Pope Francis, underhanded blackmail is the order of the day. A priest in the Curia said ironically: “The saying goes that it is who you know that counts not what you know. In the Vatican, here’s how it is: what you know counts more than who you know.”

Marcantonio Colonna’s book, in short, confirms what Cardinal Müller’s interview conceals: the existence of an atmosphere of espionage and snitching which the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith attributes to a “magic circle” conditioning the Pope’s choices, whereas the Oxford historian reports it as Pope Francis’s modus gubernandi and compares it to the autocratic methods of the Argentinean dictator Juan Peron, of whom the young Bergoglio was a follower.

One might respond that nihil sub sole novum (There is nothing new under the sun) (Ecclesiaste 1, 10). The Church has seen many other deficiencies in government.

However, if [is there any doubt about it???] this pontificate is actually bringing about a division among the faithful, as the three cardinals highlighted, the motives cannot be limited to the Pope’s way of governing, but have to be sought in something which is absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Church: the separation of the Roman Pontiff from the doctrine of the Gospel, which he has, through Divine mandate, the duty to transmit and guard. This is what is at the heart of the religious problem of our times. [And what is that but rank apostasy???]
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, December 1, 2017 11:37 PM
A mother writes the pope - and
still awaits any answer after months

Translated from

November 30, 2017

It is not just cardinals, theologians, university professors or persons with a professional interest in following the affairs of the Church who write this pope to express their perplexity and unease in the face of his apparent abandonment of basic and well-consolidated moral principles.

The simple faithful too have had the courage to do this on their own, sending letters to the pope. Some of them, who have not received any answer, have written me, thinking that perhaps through me, there may be a 'privileged' way to get through to the Pontiff. I received two in the past few days, one from the United States and one from Italy, but certainly there must be many others whom we will never know about.

A few days ago, someone with whom we have been in contact through Twitter, though we do not know each other personally, sent me a direct message after I had published on this blog a letter from a colleague and friend who gave vent to his frustrations with this pontificate.

My Twitter acquaintance whom I shall call Maria said: "I read the last letter you published and something came to my mind: Would it be doable to publish letters from so many 'simple folk' who have written to the pope just this year alone? Above all, is it allowable to do so? Without using real names, obviously… I personally wrote him in February 2016 [two months before AL!], and to my bishop, in the same vein, a few months ago." She claims she has not received any reply from either.

Therefore Maria suggests the creation of a rubric (column or blog) where the 'ordinary' faithful can publish the letters they have sent that have not been answered, and concludes: "If there were a chorus of voices rising from the flock, perhaps cardinals and bishops would find the courage to break the silence behind which, in my opinion, they have been hiding in cowardice… I thought of the fable in which a child cries out "But the emperor is naked!"… In a tweet where I said this, others wrote to say that they would have wanted to write the pope as well, some even asking for the best address to send it to. And that is why I make this proposal".

But what did Maria write the pope, to which she did not even receive the usual little note of acknowledgment from some functionary at the Secrtariat of State - whose office, it must be remembered, made the headlines for sending a letter that conveyed a blessing to a lesbian couple in Latin America in the name of the pope. [And who knows what letters this office may have been sending in the name of the pope to Bergoglians who are as anti-Catholic as the pope?] Here is Maria's letter:

Holy Father,
I am a 'normal' woman, wife and mother.

I present myself this way because I would like you, in reading my letter – if they will let you read it personally – to think of your mother who would most certainly have been a 'normal' woman, wife and mother.

So I am not a lesbian who wants to have a child, nor a remarried divorcee who is supposedly shunned in her parish. I am just a normal person. Perhaps that is why I am afraid that you would not deign to answer me.

But, I ask you, would you not answer your own mother?

As a normal woman, wife and mother, I cannot be silent about all the pain that I experience from what I am seeing at the beginning of the third millennium – in the world, in the family, and most of all, in the Church.

I am married to the only man in the world alongside whom I shall grow old for good or bad. We have the gift of two daughters, now both adults, whom we sought to raise above all with respect for those inalienable values that, with great difficulty and day to day, my husband and I have sought to defend despite everything, for them and in them.

I shall cite merely the latest episode to give you an idea what I am referring to. My daughters have heard you say on TV that "avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil in some cases", which gave rise to a discussion in the household.

Obviously, my daughters quickly added 2+2, and said, "So therefore, contraception is not evil; committing impure acts which we would consider 'acts of love' is not evil, as long as we avoid getting pregnant".

You see the point? But that is just one example. I could make you a thousand other examples which have now become daily routine.

I know – because one day I confided at a meeting of catechists, stating the sin but not the sinner – how much a poor priest of my acquaintance had to do battle in order to convince a boy that performing homosexual acts was a sin, that he had to ask forgiveness in confession, while the boy insisted to him , "But the pope said… the pope said…"

This has seemed to become the scenario of every day for every problem: on the one hand, there is what the pope says about freedom, joy and sin; on the other hand, there are the poor priests who, in silent prayer, fight sin with all they can do yet who do not feel that the Vicar of Christ is with them in this battle.

It is maddening!

I realize perfectly well the 'weight' it must be – for any human even if assisted with God's grace – to guide 'the barque of Peter'. But do you, Holy Father, realize the 'weight' that each word of yours would have – and the evil it may produce for the soul - of those who listen to you?

I would like to hope that all this is not being done out of 'sheer calculation' but is the result of your excessively ingenuous, though horrible, spontaneity!

Because if this were deliberate calculation, I would feel myself completely betrayed by the Holy Father who has received from Christ the task of confirming his flock in the faith, not to instill doubts and to destroy that faith.

In conclusion, I would like to ask you then: Do you think that your mother – who is certainly observing you from heaven and therefore is now in full possession of the Truth – would be happy with you now?

While assuring you of remembrance in my humble prayers, I thank you for the time you would have given to read what I wrote, hoping that it may help you in deciding to convert.

With tears in my eyes, I offer you, Holiness, my filial greetings.


I think that such trust deserves an answer – and reassurance.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, December 2, 2017 7:23 PM


'The Dictator Pope'?

December 1, 2017

I gather that, next Monday, a book will be published in English which appeared electronically a few days ago in Italian; its English title will be The Dictator Pope, and its author is Marcantonio Colonna.

It is not obvious whether the book is written from a Traddy or a Trendy viewpoint, and I would not want readers to be under the impression that I desire to be held responsible for every claim or judgement made in its pages. What I do think is that it is a very important book.

At the present moment, the papacy is more dominant that it ever has been before, its iron grip on the Church strengthened by the mechanisms of the instant world-wide media. Inevitably and properly, the person and personality of the pontiff himself are subjected to detailed scrutiny, especially when it appears that we are going to have yet more 'surprises of the Spirit' sprung upon us.

This book brings together pretty well everything which can currently be known about PF. I suspect that Marcantonio Colonna is a trained historian, so you will find in his book not only a wealth of information about the rise of PF, but a subtle analysis of the cultural background which has formed him.
- Have you ever wondered what people have in mind when they say "PF's Peronism accounts for it all"? Dr Colonna will explain to you what that means.
- Would you like a careful explanation of PF's skills in playing people off against each other, in making use of a person and then discarding him, in ruthlessly humiliating or disposing of people whose aptitude for sycophancy he finds insufficiently crafted? It's all here.

Every book has its particular take on things, and Colonna's take on PF will not in itself surprise anyone.

It has, I think, become so clear as now to be uncontroversial that what you get in PF is not what it says on the tin. He is not a kindly humble avuncular figure with a winning smile and a passion for cripples and babies, who spends his days and nights thinking about the poor.

He is a hard and determined politician with a vindictive temper and an appetite for power and a disinclination to let anybody or anything stand in his way. Colonna shows how this was already apparent to PF's own fellow-countrymen well before he burst on to the international scene with his 'Buona sera'.


Under Colonna's tutelage, you will not only understand PF's past, but you will be able to hazard an informed guess about what he might do in his future!

The unscrupulous manipulation of the 'Synods'; the dismembering of the Franciscans of the Immaculate; the 'Reform' of the Vatican finances; the assault upon the Knights of Malta; the 'Reform' of the Roman Curia; PF's poor record in dealing with the scandal of paedophile or ephebophile priests; the St Gallen Group and the parts played by Martini and Daneels and Murphy-O'Connor and the rest of them in plotting for the last two Conclaves; the antics of the Vatican's Gay Mafia - Marcantonio's historian's scalpel will expose to your view all the subcutaneous realities of this pontificate.

The whole game is not yet played out; but we already have a lot of data. Let Dr Colonna offer you a guided tour through them!

Beatrice on her website www.benoit-et-moi.fr/2017 has translated to French an excerpt from IL PAPA DITTATORE which refers to the often-mentioned but now apparently unavailable Kolvenbach report, an appraisal of Jorge Mario Bergoglio prepared by the then Jesuit Superior General at the request of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires who wanted Bergoglio named as one of his auxiliary bishops…

From IL PAPA DITTATORE

In 1986, a new provincial for the Jesuits in Argentina was named [to replace Jorge Bergoglio]… Bergoglio was sent to Germany, officially to work on a doctoral thesis on Catholic philosopher Romano Guardini, which would never be completed.

At the end of the year, he returned to Argentina without bothering to get authorization, an omission for which later, the Superior General of the Jesuits would accuse him of disobedience. For a brief period, he taught theology in Buenos Aires but he was not 'well seen' by Jesuit authorities in Argentina, and starting in 1990, he was confined to an obscure posting in a provincial town.

In worldly terms, the career of Fr. Bergoglio appeared to have come to an end, and he experienced two years of real discouragement, but the Society of Jesus and its mostly leftist leaders did not constitute the entire Church, after all. [It must be remembered that at the time, Bergoglio was considered a 'conservative' by his Jesuit peers.] But he was saved from his exile by the new Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Quarracino, an ecclesiastic from a different school [a diocesan cleric, to begin with, not a member of a religious order].

Like Bergoglio, Quarracino thought of himself as a 'man of the people'. A follower of John Paul II, he would have welcomed the pope's action in 1981 when he deposed Fr. Pedro Arrupe as Superior General of the Jesuits and sought to lead the order into a less destructive direction. The new Superior General, elected in 1983, was the Dutchman Peter Kolvenbach, who however did little to change the ultra-liberal Jesuit course.

In 1991, Cardinal Quarracino proposed to have Bergoglio named auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires. It must be understood how exceptional this move was. Because traditionally, Jesuits are not authorized to accept an episcopal rank, and other than from the missionary angle, one had hardly ever seen a Jesuit in the Latin-American church hierarchy.

Thanks, however, to Quarracino's patronage, Bergoglio freed himself from the Jesuit command structure and entered a world where his own inclinations were shared. But since he still needed a dispensation to be named a bishop, it was necessary to get a formal report on him from his order, which Quarracino got in 1991. The report was provided by Superior General Kolvenbach and represented the most critical report ever made on the personality of Jorge Bergoglio before he became pope.

The text of the report was never made public, but the account which follows comes from a priest who saw the report before it mysteriously disappeared from the archives of the Society of Jesus. He claimed that Fr. Kolvenbach accused Bergoglio of a series of shortcomings, from the habitual use of vulgar language to duplicity, disobedience hidden behind a mask of humility, and psychological imbalance.

In the light of his suitability for the office of bishop, the report underscored that as Provincial of the Jesuits, Bergoglio ‘had brought division to the order’. It is not surprising, therefore, that once he was elected pope, Bergoglio sought to lay hands on any existing copy of the report, and that the original, which had been kept in the central Jesuit archives in Rome, has since disappeared.

As to the objectivity of the report, it must be granted that the Jesuits who were running the order in Argentina at the time of the report were hostile to Bergoglio. In fact, however, Bergoglio always exaggerated the report's denunciations to the point that he made himself appear to be a victim (the quality that Kolvenbach probably had in mind when he spoke of disobedience hidden behind a mask of humility). Yet even with every indulgence, Kolvenbach's report could hardly be read as the description of a model religious by his superior.

Cardinal Quarracino absolutely wanted Bergoglio to be his auxiliary, and if it required a special audience with John Paul II to do this, he asked for it and got it. [But what explained Quarracino’s extreme partiality for Bergoglio?]

So in 1992, Bergoglio was named auxiliary bishop, one of many in Buenos Aires. In this role, he followed the line of his archbishop, considered to be in the 'right wing' of the Church but in the 'populist' style of John Paul II. His new career in the Church hierarchy, opened up by Quarracino's patronage, would soon be followed by more progress.

In 1997, Bergoglio as auxiliary bishop was acknowledged to have the right of succession to Quarracino, and so he became Archbishop of Buenos Aires when Quarracino died in 1998. In 2001, John Paul II named him a cardinal.

Thus he became the most important man of the Church in Argentina, and there is no lack of testimony about him, and on how he was viewed in the Church and outside it during this time.

The most penetratuing study on his personality was El verdadero Francisco (The real Francis), by Omar Bello, published a few months after Bergoglio became pope. It must be noted that the book disappeared from bookstores with surprising rapidity, a fate that has also befallen other books which are not favorable to Bergoglio.

Bello (who died in a car accident in December 2015) was a public relations expert who had the task in 2005 of launching a TV station for the Church in Argentina granted by then President Carlos Menem. For more than eight years, Bello worked for Archbishop Bergoglio and got to know him well. By the nature of his job, he found out soon enough that Cardinal Bergoglio was an expert at self-promotion well camouflaged by an image of simplicity and austerity…



An obit for Bello in La Nueva, an Argentine newspaper, described him as a journalist-philosopher who, at the time of his death, was editor of the newspaper La Verdad de Junin and a contributor to the Argentine magazines Perfil and Noticias. It quotes him as saying that he wrote the book on Bergoglio, since he thought the new pope "was not liked by many who accuse him of manipulating their emotions, which, he said, "is logical for someone who seeks to change anything in a major way. And if he is loved by a world in decadence, then we have a problem. In Argentina, he was known for making enemies, where he was not a media darling".

Beatrice notes that since Bello is dead, he can no longer answer any questions nor make any new revelations. However, the La Nueva obit did lead to a book review of El Verdadero Francisco in August 2016, which appeared on an Argentine blogpost 'Amor de la Verdad" (Love for the truth) by someone who is openly sedevacantist...Obviously, little of what follows is 'kind' to Bergoglio, but it's the house-of-horrors mirror image of the pluperfect pope and santo-gia (already saint) enshrined by the Bergoglidolators including the media.

EL VERDADERO FRANCISCO
by Moimunan

August 20, 2016

I am posting a commentary by Penthos after reflecting whether to do so or not. In fact, I do not know the nuts and bolts of Pope Francis's true personality. But with what we have been seeing and the testimony of those who knew him well in Buenos Aires, there is no doubt that this is a complex personality who shows many contradictions, at times rather theatrical outwardly, but still one who seems to challenge us with his darker aspects. So I post this commentary for the reader to sift what it says through his own impressions and judgments. The commentary refers to a book written by a journalist who died in questionable circumstances, apparently while he was investigating Argentine Mafiosi.

What I am unable to dissimulate is that Pope Francis – whether he knows it or not, whether he likes it or not – is realizing the work which many in the obscurity of Masonic lodges throughout the world and/or in highly placed in the strategy of the 'new world order' have wished to be accomplished in the world.

I do not think it is even necessary at this point to go through the speeches, interventions, creations, etc of those who show themselves to be the standard bearers of a syncretic universal religion in which "the only certainty is to know that we are all children of God".

I must confess I have not read the book nor even skimmed through it. But I do not rule out reading it soon – since after all is said and done, it is very topical and should interest anyone who writes, reports or posts about the person, words and deeds of this pope, which almost always causes surprise if not amazement to those who adhere to Catholic faith and tradition. Here then is Penthos's commentary:


On the Internet, anyone can now download the book by Omar Bello, who claimed to have known Jorge Bergoglio well because they were in close and permanent contact for at least two years while Bello helped set up a Catholic television channel for Argentina. Bello was personally chosen by Bergoglio for the task.

Once Bergoglio as elected pope, Omar decided to write a book about his friend. But with the scruples of someone who wishes to be an impartial and objective chronicler, he also wanted the book to reflect the true Bergoglio, both what is good and bad about him. With the best of intentions.

But whoever sees the book ends up seeing Bergoglio's 'unknown' face: his thirst for power, for control of everything, his interest in finances, his vengeful character towards anyone who opposes him, his false humility, and his capacity for lying. This last applies to Bergoglio's claim that he flew to Rome for the conclave with a roundtrip ticket, and that it had never occurred to him to be pope [How could he even say that when he was the 'runner-up' in the 2005 conclave?], when everyone who had seen him in the days before he left for Rome, saw a frenzy of contacts with prelates from many parts of the world [One must conclude this had to do with the machinations of the St. Gallen Mafia and their pre-conclave maneuverings.]

Omar Bello, a well-intentioned man who did appreciate what was good in Bergoglio, nonetheless wrote more than he was 'expected' to write, and shortly thereafter died in a doubtful car accident. It may have been a genuine accident, but one cannot rule out the other option that you can well understand, Bergoglio being an important factor for the enemies of the Church who wish to destroy her. His mission is too important for them, and to speak of him in any way that is not favorable would be deemed dangerous by them.

Bergoglio is carrying out his mission very well, confusing millions of Catholics of good faith and misleading them towards perdition. He is playing a very delicate role that only a consummate master of deceit could carry off. He probably thinks he is doing good because he really sees the traditional Church as iniquitous and one that must be destroyed, in order to finally realize 'true universal Christianity' for all mankind that has already been redeemed wholesale by the Incarnation.

One does not rule out that he could even accept to play Judas* because for the Gnostics, this personage is a decisive one. It is a role that Cardinal Kasper gladly took on in public – to be the stoic betrayer of Catholic orthodoxy. Likewise, Bergoglio thinks he is accomplishing a great mission, even if he must pretend and lie because in his ethical code, the end justifies the means, as we see in the new situational and relativistic morality that he champions.

*[Among the fairly recent ‘to translate’ items I have is all about Bergoglio’s most recent favorable citation of Judas in his catecheses with a lookback to other times when he has implied that Judas wasn’t so bad after all and that he was forgiven by the Lord – despite his betrayal and his suicide.]

That Bergoglio lies can be seen in many other issues on which he wishes to deceive us, in which he achieves some measure of success because of our own voluntary blindness.

For example, didn't he say that he chose to live in the Hotel Santa Marta because he does not like being alone and that he needs to be among others all the time? But is that not the exact opposite of what he did in Buenos Aires when he chose to live by himself for years in a one-bedroom apartment? It is an example of the lies he elaborates for those who wish to be deceived.

He tells us that he always wakes up early so he can pray for long periods of time, and so many think he is a great contemplative. But those who know true Christian spirituality also know that contemplatives who live in prayer love solitude and silence, neither of which Bergoglio can bear.

How can we allow ourselves to be deceived by this man, when numerous prophecies have warned us of false prophets who may smell like sheep but act like a dragon? Even Francis of Assisi warned us against false prophets.

What else is needed by those with stubborn skulls?


P.S. For some reason, I failed to post Marco Tosatti's report on IL PAPA DITTATORE from November 29, but here it is...

A book on the Bergoglio pontificate –
and his clear-eyed ascent to power

Translated from

November 29, 2017

For some days now, there has been present on Amazon a book whose title already says everything: IL PAPA DITTATORE, written by a Marcantonio Colonna, described as Oxford-educated with experience in historical research. He has apparently lived in Rome since the Bergoglio Pontificate began, and has, according to the author data, “close contacts with many persons who work in the Vatican”.

Indeed, one Marcantonio Colonna has written us on gmail to recommend that we read the book, and I wrote back asking to meet him, but it will probably not happen, if my suspicion is founded. It obviously is a noble pseudonym for someone who does not wish to be identified. He probably is not Italian, and maybe Anglo-Saxon, deducing from the fact that his references are mostly Anglophone.

Those who read this blog (and its antecedent ‘San Pietro e Dintorni’ )know that we have been following intensely and with depth the internal workings of the Curia in the Bergoglio era, and of the men and ‘hidden’ events that have brought ‘the Church’ to where she is today. All that material would have been valuable to this book, whose only reference to my work, however, is an article I wrote in English for First Things.

Nonetheless, it is not important to identify the author. What matters is what he has written because he fulfills an important task – which is to line up, one after the other, all the elements that are concrete, useful and unfiltered through specialists in justifying current events, in order to reconstruct what will probably pass into history as one of the most disputed pontificates in the last few centuries.

If the book has a defect, it is that it could be longer and more detailed. But as it is, it already represents an impressive image. If only because, immersed in the flux of daily developments, it is difficult even for someone who is professionally occupied with reporting on the Church to keep a panoramic view with both breadth and depth.

The author examines his protagonist from the start of his ecclesiastical career and highlights what now appears even now to be his essential characteristics: “An expert self-promoter camouflaged behind an image of simplicity and austerity”. A circumstance that was essential in the 2013 Conclave, since it drew into his trap even persons (like the late Cardinal George of Chicago) who would soon immediately regret their support for the Argentine cardinal.

Colonna makes use of material from the book El verdadero Francisco by Omar Bello who worked with Bergoglio in Buenos
Aires for eight years to launch and manage a Catholic television channel for the Archdiocese. Colonna really does not have outstanding novelties nor extraordinary revelations to offer, not even that we are dealing with 'the dictator pope'.

But the work is certainly well documented, interesting and valuable, especially for questionable affairs like the dismissal of Libero Milone, the first Vatican auditor-general (whose successor has still not be named after four months), the Vatican takeover of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, and above all, the Knights of Malta episode, an extraordinarily unscrupulous operation on the part of the Pope and his Secretary of State, in which the stink of money prevails over everyone and everything, in defiance of of the mediatic image of a regime supposedly inspired totally by Francis of Assisi’s ideals of poverty.

Though we cannot give you more details about the book, I wish to offer a most relevant citation. You know that for some time I have sought to narrate how, in the 35 years that I have been covering the Vatican, I have never before observed a climate of terror such as we have at present.

Cardinal Mueller in his recent interview with Corriere della Sera merely said what we already knew and have been writing about. Which is that in the reign of Bergoglio, lives and careers turn on the slightest morsel from snitches, and on anonymous accusations.

This pope, writes Colonna, citing one of his sources who wishes to remain anonymous, is ‘a person who knows above all how to instill fear’. As he was in Buenos Aires, so he is in Rome, he thrives in ‘a spider’s web of lies, intrigues, espionage, suspicion, and, more effective than anything else, fear”. And this is the stuff of the Vicar of Christ?

For his part, Fr. Z notes about the book:

It is not flattering. Some of it resonates with what I have picked up in my last visits to Rome and conversations with friends who still labor there. There is a really bad environment in Rome right now. The tension is so thick that you could cut it with chainsaw… maybe.

REMEMBER: Most of you do not have to read this stuff. Some of us do. Most do not. Be wary, in yourself, of the vice of curiositas. Yes, there is a kind of “curiosity” which leads to sin...

No, I won’t tell you the author’s real name (a question that has come up several times in email). Won’t. Do. It… Unless the author says it’s okay, and by then it will be out anyway. So, stop asking that, please.

Intrigued enough?

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, December 2, 2017 10:49 PM


What the cardinal actually says does not sound as apocalyptic as the 'headline bite' makes it seem...

‘Perhaps we have arrived at the End Times’
An interview with Cardinal Burke
by Paolo Gambi
Contributing Editor

November 30, 2017

Cardinal Raymond Burke has been much in the news this past year. In November 2016, he and three other cardinals presented Pope Francis with the famous DUBIA – five questions regarding Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.

Then the American cardinal became embroiled in a power struggle within the Order of Malta, of which he is patron. This was followed by his surprise appointment as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court. [I totally missed that development! How bizarre is it for a pope to re-appoint someone to the same dicastery whom he had dismissed without cause as the Prefect of the dicastery just two years ago?] He had been prefect of the Apostolic Signatura from 2008 to 2014, when he was removed by Pope Francis.

Cardinal Burke has spoken out frequently against what he sees as the growing confusion within the Church about the liturgy, Catholic identity and even the faith itself.

I met him shortly before the first anniversary of the DUBIA at a celebration in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna, organised by the Coordinamento Nazionale del Summorum Pontificum and the St Michael the Archangel cultural association.

Your Eminence, you have recently referred to our times as “realistically apocalyptic”. And you added that the “confusion, division and error” within the Catholic Church coming from “shepherds” even at the highest levels indicate that we “may be” in the End Times. Would you help us to understand what you meant by this?
At present, there is confusion and error about the most fundamental teachings of the Church, for example with regard to marriage and the family. For instance, the idea that people who are living in an irregular union could receive the sacraments is a violation of the truth with regard both to the indissolubility of marriage and to the sanctity of the Eucharist.

St Paul tells us in his First Letter to the Corinthians that before we approach to receive the Body of Christ, we have to examine ourselves, or we eat our condemnation by receiving the Eucharist in an unworthy way.

Now the confusion in the Church is going even further than that, because there is today confusion as to whether there are acts which are intrinsically evil and this, of course, is the foundation of the moral law. When this foundation begins to be questioned within the Church, then the whole order of human life and the order of the Church itself are endangered.

So there is a feeling that in today’s world that is based on secularism with a completely anthropocentric approach, by which we think we can create our own meaning of life and meaning of the family and so on, the Church itself seems to be confused. In that sense one may have the feeling that the Church gives the appearance of being unwilling to obey the mandates of Our Lord. Then perhaps we have arrived at the End Times.

Could you please give us an update on the “formal correction” [of Amoris Laetitia]?
I cannot say too much. On November 14, it will be a year since the dubia were published. The whole question is still to be determined as to how to go forward, since we have not received any response at all, not even an acknowledgment of the DUBIA, which are very serious questions. I think I cannot say anything more than that right now.

What is the correct interpretation of your recent reappointment to the Apostolic Signatura?
As a cardinal I have served various dicasteries of the Roman Curia. As a matter of fact, I am right now serving in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. Certainly, I have preparation in canon law and especially in jurisprudence, so in a certain way, my new appointment is a logical one. Beyond that I would not want to speculate about what it may mean.

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, has recently declared that the Reformation was “an event of the Holy Spirit”, and every day we read about prelates winking at the Protestant world. In the meantime, we read about a commission that is working on the hypothesis of a common sacramental interpretation of the Eucharist, a rumour since denied by the Vatican. Will we all die Protestant?
Well, I don’t see how you can say that the division of the Church was an act of the Holy Spirit. It simply does not make sense. And I don’t know what the nature of this commission is, but it is not possible to have a common Eucharistic celebration with Lutherans, because they don’t believe in the Eucharist as the Catholic Church teaches, and, very significantly, they don’t believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, that the substance of the bread and wine, at the moment of consecration of the Mass, is changed into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ. For Catholics to engage in some kind of ecumenical Eucharist would be abandoning the Catholic Faith. This is a profoundly false ecumenism which would do grave harm to the Faith and to souls.

In a homily you stated: “The nature of the reform of the Rite of Mass has significantly darkened in a sense; the divine action in the Holy Mass, which is the union of heaven and earth, has led some to mistakenly thinking that the Holy Liturgy is an action that we have fabricated in a certain way and with which we can therefore experiment". Is it true, as many people think and say, that this new way of celebrating the Mass is a necessary consequence of Vatican II?
The precise form of the revised Rite of the Mass is not a necessary consequence of the Second Vatican Council. In fact, the reform of the Rite of the Mass as it was carried out did not follow as faithfully as it should have what the Second Vatican Council taught us and wanted. That is why we are talking today about a “reform of the reform”: in other words, we should examine again how the Rite of the Mass should be more faithfully reformed according to the Council.

Certainly, the Council mandated some reform of the Rite of the Mass. However, some condemned the reform as it was carried out as too violent, in a certain way, in terms of removing so many aspects of it that it was difficult to see the continuity between the rites before and after the Council.

Of course, that continuity is essential, because the Rite of the Mass has come down to us from the first Christian centuries as an organically living reality; you can’t have a “new” Mass in the sense of a totally new Rite of the Mass. We must in some way express the Apostolic Tradition as it has come down to us.

Is it possible nowadays to ask for the traditional liturgy and not be considered, for this reason, an “enemy” of Pope Francis and perhaps even of the entire Church?
Yes. In fact, the celebration of both forms of the Roman Rite – the more ancient or traditional form, and the Ordinary Form – is to be considered normal in the Church. Since the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI in 2007, priests are free to celebrate the Extraordinary Form.

So there should be no reason to believe that celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is a sign of being somehow a protester or an enemy of the Pope.

But how can we use the word “Catholic” to describe both a cardinal who celebrates the ancient Mass and defends the values of the family and, for example, a bishop like François Fonlupt of Rodez et Vabres, who has recently ordained a priest following a rite with Hindu elements? What can keep all of us together?
Better than “what” is “who”. Who keeps us together is Jesus Christ, who comes to us in the unbroken tradition of the Church, in her teaching, in her sacred worship, in her discipline and in her government. I haven’t heard about the episode that you mention, but a bishop who pretends to ordain a priest according to a strange rite has broken communion with the Church.

Do you, as patron of the Order of Malta, have any update about the unusual situation of the order?
No. The Pope announced that his only representative to the order is Archbishop Becciu [of the Vatican Secretariat of State]. He left me with the title of “cardinal patron”, but I don’t have any function right now. Therefore, I don’t receive any communication either from the Order of Malta or from the Pope.

Forgive me a last silly question: what would you do as your first act if you were elected pope?
I don’t think there is any danger of that. I think that, not referring to myself, the first thing any pope should do is simply to make the profession of faith together with the whole Church, as Vicar of Christ on Earth. Most popes did that, usually by a first encyclical letter, like Pope St Pius X with his encyclical E Supremi. Also Pope St John Paul II’s Redemptor Hominis is a sort of profession of faith, calling to mind again that the Church is the Body of Christ, the Church belongs to Christ and that we are all obedient in his service.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, December 3, 2017 3:39 AM


One wonders what occasioned this essay on Benedict XVI, but as grateful as I am to the writer for even thinking to write it, I would not call him 'the forgotten pope', though obviously, he no longer merits headlines automatically nor daily coverage in the media compared to when he was the reigning pope. The writer is an emeritus professor of the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school formerly affiliated with Boston University since its inception in 1991, but an independent institution since 2005 which trains its students in statecraft, national security, and foreign policy.

The Forgotten Pope
By ALBERTO PIEDRA

December 2, 2017

“Optimism is obligatory, but it’s cheap. In the current situation, there is a heavy price to pay. Relativism has wreaked havoc, and it continues to act as a mirror and an echo chamber for the dark mood that has fallen over the West. It has paralyzed the West, when it is already disoriented and at a standstill, rendered it defenseless when it is already acquiescent, and confused it when it is already reluctant to rise to the challenge”.
- From Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam
by Pope Benedict XVI and Marcello Pera, 2006).


It is to be hoped that future generations will finally recognize the scholarly contributions to the moral teachings of the Church that the humble and intellectually brilliant Pope Benedict XVI has made in theology and philosophy in defense of the basic truths of the Catholic faith.

[Even before he became Pope, Joseph Ratzinger's contributions to the moral teachings of the Church and his defense of the faith were already widely acknowledged and praised. His papal Magisterium simply reinforced these contributions and made them more widely known, not just to theologians and men of the Church, but to the Catholic man-on-the-street who may not have been exposed to his writings before he became pope.]

The forgotten Pope, or, as some of his critics have called him, the German Rottweiler and/or Panzerkardinal, has dared to assert that it is wrong to claim that relativism is harmless and has never hurt anyone. He may not have used the term “political correctness,” but the implication is clearly there to see by both clergy and laymen alike.

The proposal to insert a reference to the Christian roots of Europe in the preamble to the Constitution of the European Union was roundly rejected. Pope John Paul II delivered a series of statements in 2004 in which he categorically mentioned that the identity of Europe would be incomprehensible without Christianity.

His 2003 apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in Europa says quite explicitly that “European culture gives the impression of silent ‘apostasy’ on the part of people who have all that they need and who live as if God does not exist” (n. 9).

In this age of triumphant relativism, he also explained, belief in the true no longer exists, the mission of the truth is considered fundamentalism [I believe the reigning pope himself formulated this outrageous definition], and the very affirmation of the truth causes fear.

If these words were unheeded in 2003 much less are they listened to in the confused Catholic world of today, not just among the Christian faithful but starting from higher Church authoirities themselves.

The threat of an increasing relativistic society is spreading rapidly under the cover of what is now euphemistically called “political correctness.” There is no doubt that the forces of evil are attempting to put an end to Christianity in order to establish what they think of as the “perfect society,” a modern Utopia.

The essential theories related to the crisis of Christianity have been repeatedly stated by recent Popes, especially by St. John Paul II in his encyclical letter Veritatis Splendor. In it, he warns that within the context of the theological debates which followed the Second Vatican Council there have developed “certain interpretations of Christian morality which are not consistent with ‘sound teaching’….Thus the Magisterium has the duty to state that some trends of theological and certain philosophical affirmations are incompatible with revealed truth.”

At a historic 1984 interview that lasted three days in the Tyrolean Alps between Cardinal Ratzinger and the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori, the future Pope Benedict XVI did not hesitate to comment that as a result of the crisis of faith, it is apparent that some theologians have forgotten that they represent the entire Catholic community and not only their own personal opinion in matters of faith and morals.

Thus, it seems they want to be creatively producing a theological pluralism which very often is nothing less than pure subjectivism, far removed from the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church. The real role of the theologians, repeated Ratzinger, is to deepen, to help understand, and to announce the Deposit of Faith; not to “create.” Otherwise the faith disintegrates itself into a series of schools and contradictory views with very negative consequences for the confused Christians.

There is no doubt, he observed, that very often theologians have tried to harmonize faith with the signs of the times in their efforts to discover new ways of transmitting the Gospel to the average Christian. Nevertheless, many fervent Catholics sincerely believe that these new trends have aggravated the crisis instead of solving it. It would be unfair to generalize this statement, continued Cardinal Ratzinger, but it would also be false to simply deny it.

In this subjective vision of theology, dogma is frequently considered as an intolerable cage, an attempt to restrict the freedom of the researcher. Man has lost sight of the fact that a dogmatic definition is a service to the truth, a gift offered to the believers by the willful authority of God, he said. Dogmas are not walls which impede our sight but, on the contrary, windows open to infinity.

Ratzinger stressed the fact that the difficulty in understanding the reality of original sin, even among certain theologians and ecclesiastical authorities, is certainly one of the most serious problems affecting contemporary theological and pastoral issues. The key concept of many of these theologies is “liberation” which seems to have replaced the traditional one of “redemption,” according to Ratzinger.

Indeed, many of the problems that we face today are due to the fact that we have forgotten the reality of original sin.

Theologians have often tried to adjust to the principles of Enlightenment a la Rousseau. They assume that at the root of modern culture, whether capitalist or Marxist, lies the French philosopher’s belief that man is good by nature and corrupted only by an erroneous education and by social structures in need of change. Only this way will man be able to live in peace with himself and with his fellowmen, they erroneously hold. Thus, man must be “liberated” from the evil structures that surround him.

It must be understood, however, that man is in a state of alienation that is not exclusively social and economic, an alienation from which he cannot free himself with his own strength except through the redemptive power of Christ. The general will, described by the author of the Social Contract — so much talked about in the 18th century — would only end up, to the dismay of his admirers, in totalitarianism.

Changing structures “per se” is not going to solve man’s social and economic problems. Without having a clear understanding of this, claims Pope Ratzinger, the entire structure of faith is threatened. To ignore or deny the reality of “original sin” is certainly one of the most serious problems facing modern theology and pastoral issues.

Messori remembers those three days in August 1984 when he met with the future Pope in Bressanone/Brixen, where the cardinal spent a brief summer vacation with his brother Georg and stayed at the local seminary. His impression was of a man completely immersed in a religious dimension. Equally, he was astonished at the clarity and straightforwardness of his comments and answers. No ambiguities there.

His genuine modesty and simplicity should be taken as an example for others to follow. His detractors saw him as' the Rottweiler', but those who knew him describe a very different person: an erudite yet warm and friendly man who inspires trust.

Pope Benedict XVI has always been a faithful defender of the traditional moral values of the Church, even at the cost of his popularity not only among many lay Christians but even among some avant-garde high ecclesiastical authorities within the Church.

Endorsing the writings of St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI maintains the traditional moral teaching of the Church. He does not hesitate to say that with acts which are intrinsically evil, good intentions or particular circumstances can diminish their evil but they cannot remove it.

He follows the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Magisterium of the Church: “A good intention cannot make an evil act good.” A man cannot steal five thousand dollars to help the poor. Though his intention is good, his act is evil in itself.

The teleological ethical theories (consequentialism, proportionalism), so much in vogue today, reject the insightful analysis of St. Thomas Aquinas. They maintain that it is never possible to formulate an absolute prohibition of particular sorts of behavior even if they are contrary to the Decalogue and/or the divine and natural law. The goodness of a free act depends on its consequences. Some good can be attained from some intrinsically evil act, they argue.

Such theories are not faithful to the Church’s teachings and are in conflict with every culture as indicated by reason and Revelation. St. Augustine reminds us that in such cases, like theft, fornication, and blasphemy, who would dare affirm that by doing them for good motives they should no longer be sins?

Pope Benedict XVI saw quite clearly that the relativistic theories of modern man run counter to Revelation which teaches us that the power to decide what is good and what is evil does not belong to man but to God alone. No wonder he was disliked and, as mentioned previously, even called a Rottweiler for his strong stands on the moral teachings of the Church; a comment made at the cost of his losing popularity among many an ignorant Catholic.

Many a theologian did not escape being contaminated with relativistic theories of ethics which were then and still are now very much in vogue.

Pope Benedict XVI has repeatedly stated that relativism has become the real religion of modern man and it has infiltrated into Catolic theology. The power of Christianity consisted in the synthesis of reason, faith, and life.

Marcello Pera, an Italian philosopher and statesman, explains the ascendancy of relativism this way:

The takeover proceeded in the customary manner. The starting point was the phenomenological observation that there is a plurality of creeds and religions. This was followed by a comparison, a loss of hope in meta-criteria. The end point is doubt in fundamental creeds of Christianity (the final stage, the reinterpretation or deconstruction of the religious facts).

Today’s widespread tendencies toward subjectivism, utilitarianism and relativism appear not merely as pragmatic attitudes or patterns of behavior, but rather as approaches having a basis in theory and claiming full cultural and social legitimacy.


Let us recall the warnings of the late St. John Paul II and be prepared to meet this new threat by placing our faith and trust in the redemptive power of Christ.

History will remember Pope Benedict XVI not only as a great scholar and theologian, but also one of the greatest defenders of truth. In an age of doubt and confusion and, I would even go as far as to say, hatred of the Catholic Church, he never hesitated to uphold religious truth while at the same time defending the right of religious freedom.

In our embattled culture, in which truth is often sacrificed in the name of false tolerance, he never deviated from the timeless teaching of the Magisterium. He was always a beacon of light in the midst of darkness, and his teachings shone brightly in the stormy relativistic intellectual world of today.

God bless Pope Benedict XVI for his great contribution to uphold the basic truths of the faith and the integrity of the Catholic Church.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, December 3, 2017 4:02 AM
Interesting little Rip Van Winklery here... Where has Mr. Hellner been the past five years??? It's like someone suddenly finding out that boiling water is hot!

Sometimes the pope seems to have his priorities screwed up
As a practicing Catholic, I have frequently been disappointed in Pope Francis

By Jack Hellner


On his trip to Burma, he somehow failed to directly mention that 600,000 Muslim Rohingya have been chased out of the country into Bangladesh since late August. They're refugees.

He seems to be very selective about what he will talk about harshly.

He has gone against Trump on wanting to be careful on what refugees we allow in. Yet his own Vatican is careful. Why are there walls around the Vatican?

He has railed against capitalism. Somehow he doesn't understand that capitalism is the system that finances the Vatican and has lifted the most poor people out of poverty. It's not socialism or communism.

He seems to think economic systems that make people more dependent on government are superior to a system that gives more people the opportunity to move up the economic ladder.

He talks about greed but not the greed of government officials or the greed of the Church, especially the Vatican.

He continually condemns how global warming and fossil fuels have been tremendous dangers, not seeming to understand that the advent of fossil fuels the last 150 years has yielded great increases in the quality and length of life. Fossil fuels have led to water and sewage treatment facilities, among other things.

Somehow the pope doesn't seem to mind that underdeveloped countries and underprivileged people remain that way because of their inability to utilize fossil fuels. He's offered them no encouragement to develop with fossil fuels.

I have always thought some enterprising person should ask the pope if he doesn't believe that God controls the climate, the weather, the sun, the moon, the tides, and the seas.
- Doesn't he believe that God developed CO2 and all the chemicals in the atmosphere that allow life to thrive on Earth?
- Didn't God create the process whereby humans breathe out CO2, which allows plants to thrive and emit oxygen, which allows humans to live?
- Does he believe that God meant for the natural resources on earth to remain unused or for humans to develop them?
- Didn't God give humans the brains that allow for the development of fossil fuels, cars, and all other inventions powered by fossil fuels and made out of crude oil?

It also seems that the pope would gladly have had a president who supports abortion on demand, including partial-birth abortion, instead of Trump.

Speaking of screwed-up priorities, Antonio Socci cites a recent Bergoglio banality (or rather, his nth iteration of one of his favorite banalities):

'High' Magisterium
Translated from

December 2, 2017

Today in Bangladesh, Bergoglio spoke once again, as he often does, of the terrible scourge that menaces mankind and our faith in God: GOSSIP. Certainly this must be the major problem in Bangladesh! As Johnny Stecchino says in the movie, the worst problem of Palermo is traffic [vehicular traffic, that is, not the nefarious trafficking that the Mafia deal in].

Yet this is a pope who, as everybody at the Vatican knows - is avid for gossip, and daily collects any and all curial chatter (on the basis of which he can decide throwing people overboard, like a South American dictator disowning suspicious subjects). But in public, he seems to be on a crusade against gossip and gossips.

In Bangladesh, he called it 'terrorism'. The same man who refuses to speak of 'Islamist terrorism' and has never called it 'terrorism'...

The day before, Socci had this comment:
It is difficult to understand Bergoglio's fixation on the Rohingya. There are so many persecuted minorities in Myanmar, including Christian minorities belonging to the Kachin, Karen, Shan and Chin tribes counting with hunreds of thousands of refugees.

But Bergoglio has been insisting always and only on the Rohingya [except not in Myanmar itself where he avoided saying the word]. How about the other persecuted minorities?

Perhaps it's because he is always and only impelled by political reasons and the international powers by whom he is led, so he has been using the Rohingya for geopolitical reasons...

The stunning Bergogliade today was this: "Today the presence of God is called Rohingya. To which everyone has his own answer". [What a preposterous statement!]

What does he mean 'everyone has his own answer'? That each religion is as good as any other? This is the Christian announcement? [Well, it's the 'vicarian' announcement from a duplicitous Vicar of Christ.]

Sandro Magister caught the 'all religions are equal' flavor of Bergoglio's recent Asian jaunt on Day 1 of the trip:

The Pope in mission territory - yet
the only mention of Jesus came from a Buddhist


November 28, 2017

There was only one moment when Jesus was named and his Gospel proclaimed on the first day of Pope Francis’s visit to Myanmar.

But it was not by the Pope, rather by the Burmese state counsellor and foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi, who is Buddhist:

"Jesus himself offers a 'manual' for this strategy of peacemaking in the Sermon on the Mount. The eight Beatitudes provide a portrait of the person we could describe as blessed, good and authentic. Blessed are the meek, Jesus tells us, the merciful and the peacemakers, those who are pure in heart, and those who hunger and thirst for justice.

This is also a programme and a challenge for political and religious leaders, the heads of international institutions, and business and media executives: to apply the Beatitudes in the exercise of their respective responsibilities. It is a challenge to build up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers. It is to show mercy by refusing to discard people, harm the environment, or seek to win at any cost.

It is true that San Suu Kyi took these words from the pope's own message for the next World Day of Peace on January 1, 2017. But it is striking that she chose to mention Jesus and his Gospel, where Christ's own 'vicar on earth' did not.

The speech delivered immediately afterward by the pope was completely 'secular', except for the final invocation of “divine blessings of wisdom, strength and peace" on those present.
> "A peace based on respect for each ethnic group and its identity"
w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2017/november/documents/papa-francesco_20171128_viaggioapostolico-myanmar-autor...
Also on the morning of Tuesday, November 28, in meeting with representatives of the various religions present in Myanmar – Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Anglican and Catholic Christians – Francis did not say anything specifically Christian, but instead, he insisted on the fact that “every confession has its wealth, its traditions to give, to share”; he invoked a “harmony” among the religions in respect for differences; he condemned the “cultural colonization” that presumes to “make all equal” and therefore to “kill humanity”:

And yet, was not a Church that “goes forth,” more “missionary” than ever, precisely the objective that pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio put in first place in the agenda-setting text of his pontificate, the exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium"? [But that was the deceptive part of the Bergoglio agenda from the beginning! He falsely wooed the cardinal electors with those words. Yet it became quite clear early on - and he has made it explicit again and again - that he is not interested in converting anyone to Christianity, much less to Catholicism, and has called 'proselytism' evil. He has failed to support the missions as every pope has done before him because he himself has chosen to discard the mission directly mandated by Christ to "go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit". Instead, his chosen mission has been to promote himself and Bergoglianism. Benedict XVI in October 2014 sent a message to an institution that promotes genuine Catholic mission to underscore that 'dialog' does not constitute mission and is no substitute for it!]

And what could be more “forthgoing” and more “missionary” than a journey of the successor of the apostle Peter to a “periphery” of the world like Myanmar, which remains almost entirely to be evangelized? [Of course, all irony is lost on Bergoglio who follows his own mind alone, and thinks he knows better than anyone about everything, as he thinks he knows better than Jesus himself what is good for 'the Church'.]

A reader, responding to Socci's link to the Magister article expressed it very well: "In preaching a Church that 'goes forth', this pope has left the Catholic Church. Therefore, he no longer cites Jesus - because he thinks himself better than Jesus!"

Socci, in fact, has been keeping track of Bergoglio's banalities. Some two weeks ago, he commented on the pope's address to Italian state and railway police:

High spirituality!
The memorable and profound Magisterium of Bergoglio: "Do not use your cellphones while driving!" Soon he will be asking us not to forget to collect our dog poop!

A reader's comment:

"Well bravo! After advising us to sort our garbage, and telling us that smoking is dangerous to our health [so he bans the sale of cigarets in Vatican territory] here's some new practical advice. Next, we shall be told: do not write on the walls, do not walk on the lawn, use a helmet when you are on a bike or motorcycle, pay your bus fare, don't speak to the bus driver... How about something to lift our hearts to God? No, what we get is sermons in obviousness."

Ah, what would we do without our nanny pope?

On the Rohingya, in fairness to the Pope:

Read the CNS story here:
www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/12/03/i-raised-concerns-about-rohingya-with-burmas-leaders-sa...


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, December 3, 2017 4:23 AM

Poland's rosary event in October inspires US Catholics to do the same on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Catholics to pray rosary across U.S. to protect
nation from Islamic jihad and abortion

by Dorothy Cummings McLean


SANTA PAULA, California, December 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — There will be a mass rosary service throughout the United States on December 12, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, inspired “100 percent” by the Rosary on the Borders in Poland.

The “Rosary on the Coasts and Borders” is the initiative of a group of Church Militant fans who proposed — and then began planning — the event in its website comments box.

“I am in constant admiration of Poland,” Patricia Lemmon, who is one of the organizers, told LifeSiteNews. “Over and over again, (the Poles) show their allegiance to reality. Their pro-life laws and initiatives encouraging families to have children, supporting families when a Down syndrome child is expected, welcoming Christian refugees but barring (jihadist) incomers, these are a beacon of intelligence coupled with goodness in the midst of so much truly dark news out of dying secular western Europe.”

Lemmon also praised the rosary events in Italy and Ireland.

The intention of the prayers will be “to ask Our Lady to save the USA from Islamic jihad, from the denial of the Christian faith, and for an end of abortion.”

The USA Rosary on the Coasts and Borders will not literally surround the nation’s massive territory. Instead, Lemmon said, it will put up “a prayer shield by representation.”

“Here in the States we do things state by state, and we believe in representation,” she told LifeSiteNews. “So (we need as representatives) one person or group from each of the 50 States, plus D.C., plus Puerto Rico, plus Guam or other territory. By December 12, that will be all 53 of us, representing the whole USA to Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

In this way, the organizers hope to match a state or protectorate to each of the Hail Marys in a five-decade rosary.

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe was chosen for a few reasons.
- First, the only Marian apparition in the New World pronounced authentic by the Catholic Church was witnessed in Villa de Guadalupe in 1531.
- Next, Pius XII named Our Lady of Guadalupe the Patroness of the Americas in 1946.
- Finally, an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was taken by Don Juan of Austria’s Christian army into the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The Battle of Lepanto represented a major defeat to the Ottoman Empire.

“The New World’s Lady sailed to confront jihad in the Old World,” Lemmon said. “Is this not mind-blowing? That battle, against all odds, saved Europe from imminent invasion. … As Don Juan fought under that banner, the pope prayed the rosary.”

The anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto on October 7 is also the Feast of the Holy Rosary and the date chosen by the organizers of the Polish Rosary to the Borders.

“So the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, victor of Lepanto, seems the ordained date for America to link with Poland … ” said Lemmon. “Thus we will jointly block jihad and embrace faith and life.”

The Rosary On the Coasts and Borders currently has representatives in 30 states and Puerto Rico. The organizers are still looking for representatives in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Guam, or some other protectorate.

Canadians, too, are invited to join in. Lemmon addressed them through LifeSiteNews, saying, “Turn to your south on December 12 and join us in throwing up to heaven a bubble of protection across these vast lands. … And when you do your own Canadian rosary, we will turn to our north … and join you in storming heaven for Canada!”

Lemmon described the lay-led event as “a Wild West Rosary.”

“We didn't wait for the U.S. bishops to do anything,” she told LifeSiteNews. “As a group, they don't seem cut from the same cloth as the great Polish bishops who are so busy (being bishops), protecting and leading their flock among real dangers (although the U.S. does have a few sterling bishops). We here in the States can springboard off of the American do-it-yourself spirit.”

Those interested in joining can register on the Disqus link here.
https://disqus.com/home/discussion/channel-tobecatholic/rosary_on_the_coasts_and_borders/newest/
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, December 3, 2017 5:37 AM

For some reason, it took Catholic World Report almost two weeks to publish Fr. Stravinskas's concluding homily on the Four Last Things last Nov. 19, but here it is finally...

'All the way to Heaven is Heaven':
7 basic steps to holiness

Life here below is all about the pursuit of sanctity.
How does one go about it so as to know the greatest measure
of fulfillment now, as well as beatitude for all eternity?

by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Ph.D, STD
Homily preached on Nov. 19, 2017
Church of the Holy Innocents, Manhattan


In keeping with the mind of the Church in these last weeks of the liturgical year, we continue our consideration of the end-times. Last week, we reflected on three of the Four Last Things”: death, judgment, and Hell. Today we’ll look at the more pleasant topic of Heaven.

Life here below is all about the pursuit of sanctity. How does one go about that process, so as to know the greatest measure of fulfillment now, as well as beatitude for all eternity?
- Saint Teresa of Ávila offered a simple but profound insight: “Trifles make for holiness, but holiness is no trifle.”
- The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews declared: “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come” (Heb 13:14). That does not mean that we despise this earth; it does mean, however, that we understand that we were made for more.

So, how does one get to “the more,” that is, Heaven? By being a saint on earth. And how does one become a saint? By living a life of holiness. And in what does holiness consist? Let me suggest seven elements.

1. Holiness consists in being childlike. Our Lord Himself asserted – unequivocally – “unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 18:3). But, as you have undoubtedly heard many times, being childlike is quite different from being childish. Saint Thérèse, for example, was devoted to the Holy Child Jesus because she found in Him all the qualities to become a saint herself. What is spiritual childhood, you ask?

The pseudo-sophisticates of the two last centuries of blood and violence need to acknowledge that their programs have failed abysmally and that the human capacity for God can only be satisfied when one approaches that God as a child accepts the loving overtures of a father.

2. Holiness consists in having a strong love for the Holy Eucharist. You cannot point to a single saint in history who did not have a special devotion to the Eucharistic Christ. Let but two serve as representatives of hundreds of others.

In Loss and Gain, Cardinal Newman’s autobiographical novel, he has his alter ego proclaim:

To me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass. . . . I could attend Masses for ever and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words, – it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth. It is, not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and devils tremble.


Saint José Maria Escrivá asserts: “A very important characteristic of the apostolic man is his love for the Mass.” We are allowed to eavesdrop on a conversation between him and one of his spiritual directees: “‘The Mass is long,’ you say, and I reply, ‘Because your love is short.’”

In light of these brief but powerful statements,
- what are we to think of would-be theologians who tell us that Jesus is as present in nature or in ourselves [or in every poor man and refugee and would-be immigrant, as our beloved pope constantly preaches] as in the Bread of the Eucharist – even though the Second Vatican Council and all the Popes since then have said otherwise?
- What shall be say when polls tell us that two-thirds of those who receive the Lord in Holy Communion each Sunday do not believe in His Real Presence?
- What shall be our reply when so many clergy and laity alike fail to give the reverence and adoration due the Sacrament in which is contained the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity?
- How should we react to those (God forbid, some of us included) who make sacrilegious Communions by approaching the holy altar while still in the grip of sin and out of fear of human respect?

3. Holiness consists in devotion to the Blessed Mother. The Fathers of Vatican II in their Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, highlighted numerous titles of the Blessed Virgin, all of which find their way into the Catechism of the Catholic Church, where we read:

This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect.

Taken up to Heaven she did not lay aside this saving office, but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. (n. 969)

As should be readily seen, the titles chosen by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council underscore Mary’s role as an intercessor on our behalf.

Cardinal Newman shares some wise advice he once received: “I recollect one saying among others of my confessor, a Jesuit Father, one of the holiest, most prudent men I ever knew. He said that we could not love the Blessed Virgin too much, if we loved Our Lord a great deal more.

4. Holiness consists in doing the ordinary things of life extraordinarily well. The saint of “The Little Way” achieved sanctity, precisely by attending to the humdrum details of daily existence with perfection and devotion. Whether she was sweeping the stairs, or working in the sacristy, or giving formation to the novices, she did everything with verve, deliberateness, and conviction. Not for her, the slipshod, the careless, or the half-hearted style of doing things. She believed that “God is in the details,” and that attending to such details led one along the road to perfection.

Simplicity, however, should never be mistaken for simple-mindedness or a simplistic method of evaluating life. As we chase after fame and fortune, as we seek marvels and wonders, as we try to provide a careful nuance for every teaching of Christ and His Church, we complicate what God has actually made very simple. Perpetual malcontents, unsatisfied with their Christian vocation, miss out on the opportunities which the Lord offers each one of us to achieve sanctity in the world of business, in academia, in the family, in public service.

Saint José Maria Escrivá, promoter of the lay vocation decades before the Second Vatican Council, asks a question and quickly answers it: “Do you really want to be a saint? Carry out the little duty of each moment: Do what you ought and put yourself into what you are doing.”

He encourages someone who longs to do great things for God: “Persevere in the exact fulfillment of the obligations of the moment. That work – humble, monotonous, small – is prayer expressed in action, which prepares you to receive the grace of that other work – great and broad and deep – of which you dream.”

Then he makes a charming observation: “Didn’t you see the light in Jesus’s eyes when the poor widow left her little alms in the Temple? Give Him what you can: The merit is not in whether it is big or small, but in the intention with which you give it.”

The Little Flower summarizes it all rather well: “Nothing is an obstacle to holiness. Different temperaments, situations in which we find ourselves, duties in our state in life, can become material for sanctity.”

5. Holiness consists in embracing the sufferings that come our way. A signal characteristic of our age is the avoidance of suffering at all cost; therefore, it is not surprising to find folks today who think that the acceptance of suffering is neurotic at best and psychotic at worst. But that is to misunderstand the Christian “take” on these matters.

The first point that must be perceived is that the believer does not suffer alone – he suffers in union with Christ, which suffering is redemptive for the one suffering and for any for whom he offers his sufferings.

Do you recall what Saint Paul taught the Colossians: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24)? Does that sound blasphemous?

What could be lacking to the sufferings of the God-Man? Our participation. The Head of the Body has indeed suffered and drunk from the chalice of suffering to the full, but what Saint Augustine calls the Totus Christus (the whole Christ), that is, His Mystical Body which is the Church, is called to drink deeply from that chalice as well. As we do that, we do it in union with the suffering Christ and in union with every other believer who has ever lived and suffered in His Name or is doing so presently.

Christians, however, are not masochists. We do not go out of our way to seek out crosses to carry. However, whether one is a skeptic, an agnostic, an atheist or a disciple of Christ, no human being can keep suffering at bay forever. Some avoid it; some delay it; yet others reject it, with horror, resentment or rage. Dr. Kevorkian never would have had any clients or political allies if a truly Christian appreciation of the value of suffering were in place.

To repeat: A Christian need not – and should not – look for crosses; but when they come, one must pray for the ability to deal with them lovingly and humanly, resulting in an increase in human dignity, an increase in love in the world, and an increase in glory in Heaven.

6. Holiness consists in the desire to please God. Much of what we do seems calculated to earn us a reward or to avoid a penalty, but that is a very stingy, selfish approach to the living of the Christian life.

The traditional act of contrition puts words on our lips which call to mind that while, humanly speaking, we are sorry for our sins because we “dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell,” we are urged to advance to a more perfect form of sorrow, that is, “because [my sins] offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.”

Our fear of the Lord as disciples of Jesus should not be a servile fear but a filial fear. What’s the difference?
- Servile fear moves a person to avoid certain acts because one is in terror of the chastisement of a monstrous master.
- Filial fear, on the other hand, moves one to avoid sin because he knows God as a loving Father, Whom he would never wish to displease.

And if we live to please God, we need to recall that He has done all by His sovereign Will, not to please Himself in some kind of divine narcissism, but because that will ultimately benefit us. We desire to please Him in all things because, in humility, we know that He does know best; that He has our best interests at heart; that He is, in the words of Saint Augustine, intimior intimo meo [closer to me than I am to myself].

7. Holiness consists in having a sense of humor. Some people have added an eleventh commandment to the Decalogue: “Thou shalt be glum.” In truth, they firmly believe that the more sour one’s puss, the holier one must be.

How incongruous that is, however, especially when we note that Christians are commissioned to be messengers of the Gospel, that is, “good news.” Now, this anomaly struck even so vehement an opponent of Christianity as Nietzsche, who quipped: “If Christians wanted me to believe in their God, they would have to look more redeemed!”

The greatest saints, however, were not dour, depressing sorts. Saint Philip Neri was a practical jokester. Saint Teresa of Ávila often asked God to deliver her from would-be saints who made a career out of looking miserable.

Good humor makes external various interior dispositions. Peacefulness, calmness, contentment, acceptance of God’s Will in one’s life – all make for genuine joy, which is not a cheap brand of hilarity or superficiality.
- Joy arises from the sure conviction that God is in charge, and that nothing will happen this day that He and I – together – will be unable to handle.
- Joy comes about because of the awareness that the greatest battles in life – against the world, the flesh and the Devil – have been fought – and won – by Jesus Christ; it but remains for us to claim the victory.

This type of perspective on reality provides a person with a real sense of humor, which is a fitting and necessary pre-condition for entrance into a state of eternal joy.

Pope Benedict opened his apostolic letter promulgating the 2012 “Year of Faith” with these stirring and challenging words:

The “door of faith” is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into His Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the Word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime.


Well, we have come to the end of our course in the making of a saint, and the one thing that should strike us is how incredibly easy – and enjoyable – it all should be.

Of course, someone like Saint Thérèse set the goal of her life in childhood, as she mentioned so often: “I’ve always wished that I could be a saint.” And then she gives a final piece of advice, advice all of us would do well to heed: “Believe me, don’t wait until tomorrow to begin becoming a saint.”

As the Holy Father Benedict said, it’s “a journey that lasts a lifetime,” but we need to embark on that journey today. Saint Catherine of Siena put it very succinctly: “All the way to Heaven is Heaven.”

I had meant to append the following to my post a few days back on the wind-down to the Fatima centenary, because last Sunday, the Church of the Holy Innocents
formally closed the centenary year celebrations.




After Mass last Sunday, a Eucharistic procession, ending with Benediction, was held to mark the occasion. When I got home, I searched the Vatican sites for any acknowledgment at all of the
Fatima centenary, but it did not even get a mention in the pope's Sunday Angelus on Nov. 26. Of course, the Vatican's entire focus was his trip this week to Myanmar and Bangladesh... But last
October 13, and around that time, he also failed to mention the 'Miracle of the Sun' anniversary on Oct. 13, which the Shrine of Our Lady in Fatima considered the formal closure of the centenary
year. Strange Marian devotee we have in this pope!


P.S. to Fr. Stravisnkas's homily on holiness: a more academic take -


What holiness means -
to a Catholic and to the world

by Jonathan Cariveau

November 29, 2017

Holiness is a topic about which ignorance abounds and concerning which not much Catholic ink is spilled. It’s also one of the most critical to understand if we’re to have a clear idea of what it means to be Christian.

Holiness is typically taken as a synonym for moral goodness. However, this is only one sense of the word.

Holiness may be understood in three sharply distinct senses: the ontological, the moral, and the ritual. The one definition that is critical to all three is this: holiness is the clear distinction of one from many. To be holy is to be unique, to be set apart from what is common, imperfect, or wicked.

Ontological holiness is firstly God in Himself. God is essentially holy. His nature is the basis upon which holiness rests. All definitions of the holy depend on God as their reference point.

Ontological holiness is also that state of being of being a partaker in the Trinitarian life and indelibly marked as a Christian or a priest. This holiness is imparted in baptism, confirmation, and sacred ordination. It cannot be blotted out by anything whatever, and it constitutes a Christian as definitively set apart forever.

Ontological holiness is fortified by the other sacraments – namely, confession, unction, and matrimony, and the Holy Eucharist is He Who is its end. The sacraments are the sine qua non of participation in that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. This is one of the central elements of the authentic gospel, and it is the sure foundation of the virtue of hope for those of us who believe.

Moral holiness is goodness in human acts and is a result of ontological holiness. It is the conformance of our behavior and our character to God, resulting in us being a new and different sort of people.

The heart of moral holiness is the virtue of charity. God is charity, a charity that is firstly Trinitarian and secondly Christological, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that we might burn with the charity of the Holy Ghost.

Moral holiness is the witness we give to the reality of the change effected by God in baptism. To the extent that it is present, sin has no place. Moral holiness also urges us to do not only what is right, but what is respectful, prudent, and honorable, discerning what is perfect in all circumstances.

Like ontological holiness, moral holiness is central to the proclamation of the gospel. Christians are called to holiness so as to be made ever more perfectly the members of Christ.

Finally, there is ritual holiness, which is the consecration of people, places, and things exclusively to God. Consecration imparts an invisible character and signifies that character by physical means.

In baptism, all three senses of holiness are present: the catechumen is ontologically changed; he is infused with the charity whereby moral holiness arises; and, importantly, he is consecrated in the sight of all as the temple of the Holy Ghost.

In every sacramental or liturgical act, the Church segregates certain things from among common elements.
- The host and the chalice are consecrated as holy to the Lord from the moment they are placed on the altar.
- The altar is the throne of God and the place of sacrifice; it is no longer just a table.
- The sanctuary is where God dwells and is the image of Heaven on Earth. It is no longer a mere portion of a large room.
- The nave is for the use of Christians in the worship of God; for no one else and to nothing else is it so reserved.
- The narthex is that point at which the world is transformed into the church.

Ritual holiness is neither new nor superfluous.
- It has been the defining identifier of the Church since Abraham, who by his singular journey to the land of promise signified his call to be God’s own.
- It is also the defining characteristic of the Mosaic covenant, which with its elaborate rites not only foreshadowed the blood that speaks better things than Abel’s, but also consecrated Israel as holy to the Lord.

Ritual holiness creates hierarchy and exclusivity. It says, “This far, and no farther.” It does not respect all equally. It creates divisions. It implies moral absolutes. It is therefore at enmity with the modern mentality, just as surely as it is at the heart of Catholicism.

These are foundational principles from which many implications can and ought to be drawn.
- The Church is constituted in, called to, and consecrated in holiness.
- Holiness is the reason she exists; it is her origin and destination.
- It is the light with which she lightens the world, the salt whereby she seasons it, and the bait whereby she catches souls.
- It is Christ, living and moving in His mystical Body.

May we all come to realize just how essential holiness is to all of us individually, and especially to the life of the Church.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, December 3, 2017 2:52 PM

Another belated post...

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi on why
he signed the Correctio Filialis:
'My sense of responsibility demanded it'

Interview by Lorenzo Formicola

November 28, 2017

Editor’s note: The following is an interview conducted by Italian journalist Lorenza Formicola with Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. As former head
of the Vatican Bank, he is one of the better -known signatories of the recently issued filial correction of Pope Francis.




It’s been a few months since the “filial correction” was published, and confusion remains. What is this letter, signed by 62 and delivered in August to Pope Francis?
It simply is the natural outcome of all the DUBIA about Amoris laetitia. It was submitted to the Holy Father as a filial and devout plea by laypeople who are faithful both to the pope and to the Magisterium of the Church but who are, at the same time, worried for those souls in need of doctrinal certainties.

There are many faithful and priests – who have nothing to do with the caricature that depicts them as sinister, pharisaical traditionalists – who are struggling to face the confusion that comes from equivocal and manifold interpretations.

Not everyone possesses the needed capacity of discernment. Not everyone has an adequately formed conscience, and many find themselves advised by confused and confusing priests. These priests also think they are creative, perhaps, in their anxiety to interpret the gospel and eternal truths in an evolutionary fashion, thinking this is the right way to do it according to the will of the Holy Father.

You are one of the most well-known signatories. Why did you want to sign?
Because my sense of responsibility demanded it. My love for the vicar of Christ demanded it. My conscience of what should be the mission of the Church also demanded it, as well as my witnessing – as a layperson – the applicability to the modern world of the Five Wounds of the Holy Church (by Rosmini) and the perception of the need for strong, clear, and absolute values among people, at all levels, conditions, and age. The understanding of what is happening in the world also demanded it.

This is an asseriton of matters I had the privilege of learning from and sharing with Cardinal Ratzinger, later to be Benedict XVI – a vision I also shared with other holy men, such as Cardinal Caffarra, for instance, and Cardinal Sarah.

I do not let illusory strategies confuse me – neither those founded on a reality superior to ideas nor those about a different conversion policy to be enforced after having attracted the world to Catholicism by opening up a dialogue. I have strong doubts about the possibility of an easy communication with the “world guided by gnosis.” Who is able to do that?

For a long time, there has been talk of heresy. But on reading the 25-page letter, it doesn’t seem as though anyone is accusing the pope of heresy. Or am I mistaken?
On page 13, it is possible to read a specific note that declares the purpose of the letter.

If the pope wants to understand who the real dangerous enemies of the Church are, it would be enough to read through some of the reactions to the letter – reactions written by people who probably did not even read it, and if they read it, they did not want to understand it. Such an attitude speaks volumes on the value of some non-official “interpreters.” [But since these 'interpreters' often do speak for the pope, in the letter as well ass in the spirit, then surely Bergoglio himself would have to realize that he himself is the real dangerous enemy of 'the Church' - which he never will, of course, since in his eyes, he is the 'savior' of 'the Church', or rather the one who is 'improving' on the ibe true Church of Christ!]

The Vatican has still not answered. Rather, in dealing with its own house, it has raised a wall…
Sometimes non-answers are clear answers. Clearly, someone thinks it is good to have doubts, to foment them, to create and distribute them. Isn’t this the way to prepare the ground for the proposition of new certainties?

More than a year since the publication of the DUBIA, Cardinal Burke recently spoke of an “increasing confusion about the ways of interpreting the apostolic exhortation.” From your point of view, why does such a climate of disorder still survive? Even after the pope asked everyone to “speak of it with a great theologian, one of the best today and one of the most mature, Cardinal Schönborn”?
I can say I share the opinion of Cardinal Burke by direct experience, not by reading about it in newspapers. I can’t say anything about Cardinal Schönborn. I am not able to interpret his thoughts.

It almost seems as if the media were looking forward to pillorying you again. Can you explain why your signature has been seen – and still is seen – as an “ironic coincidence”?
Other things happened after my signature and after the media attack, which focused on me almost as the promoter of the correction. A really good bishop, with whom a lecture by me had already been scheduled for two months, called the meeting off because of 'inappropriateness'; another bishop immediately “discouraged” (and then cancelled) another lecture already scheduled in his diocese; and a third bishop asked the organizers of a roundtable to postpone it because of my presence. I also received a public correction (which hurt me greatly) by another prelate, who doesn’t know me, who doesn’t know the facts and the circumstances, and who didn’t ever care to.

On the other hand, I received multiple expressions of esteem, consensus, and sympathy, not only in the Catholic community, but also in a more secular environment (and this is really remarkable). There are even people worried about the collapse of the Catholic education built on the values of the gospel, which they benefited from, and they’re afraid it may now disappear. …

Never forget that the values of Christian traditions are greatly appreciated if lived by the people around us. Always remember that Voltaire claimed he wanted his servant, his doctor, and his wife to be Catholic to avoid being robbed, killed, and cheated on. And still he despised the Catholic religion.

Can a son who asks his father for explanations expect the support of his siblings? Or does he deserve disdain?
It turned out all the worse for Abel…

A year ago, you wrote, “After meditation on the exhortation of Pope Francis, ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ I wonder if this document is not founded on the certainty that the Christian civilization has actually finished collapsing. If this is true, it explains why the exhortation indirectly suggests that the moral laws and the sacraments should be adapted to the practical reality according to different cultures and not according to authoritative ideals to which we were used.” Do you think this is still true?
I don’t believe this is still true – I believe that this “must” be true. Because now all of this must be imposed, since it is not accepted by those to whom it was addressed.

All through this year, I have perceived more of a refusal of doctrinal relativism rather than the wish to 'open up to modernity'. People with a sound conscience understand the greatness of the risk. All sacraments end up collapsing if we start questioning the sacrament of matrimony (not by denying it, but by relativizing it) and, as a consequence, that of penance, and most of all that of the Eucharist.

Here there is a clear contradiction between Lumen Fidei and Amoris Laetitia. Pope Benedict ended Caritas in Veritate essentially explaining that to solve the world’s problems, it is the hearts of men that need to be changed (not the instruments); in Lumen Fidei (written by Benedict XVI but signed by Pope Francis), it is said that changing the hearts of men is a duty of the Church, which has three instruments to do so: prayer, the Magisterium, and the sacraments.

To see if the Church is attending to her mission, it is enough to see if she is accomplishing these three actions and how she is doing it. Most of all, it is enough to see if the Church is reinforcing or weakening the absolute value of the sacraments wanted by Christ himself.

Professor Josef Seifert recently claimed that Amoris Laetitia really is a “theological atomic bomb that threatens to tear down the whole moral edifice of the Ten Commandments and of Catholic moral teaching.” Would you agree with this statement?
I answer saying that it “could be" because it undermines three sacraments, and all of the sacraments as a consequence. We hope, however, for an intervention by Pope Francis to prevent all of this – maybe by answering, even indirectly, the DUBIA. [Obviously a kind but most unrealistic hope: he will never crucify himself by admitting to material heresy in AL, nor would he ever deny the anti-Catholic propositions he makes in that document because they are the heart of Bergoglian morality (perhaps 'amorality' is the more appropriate word).]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, December 3, 2017 3:36 PM




So now it's truly official:
Bergoglio's letter to Argentine bishops that
'there are no other interpretations'of AL but
to allow communion to some adulterers is now
part of the 'acta' of his pontificate

by Andrew Guernsey

December 3, 2017

This week, the Vatican's organ for promulgating the Official Acts of the Apostolic See, Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS), published its October 2016 issue, containing Pope Francis's infamous Letter to the Buenos Aires Bishops.

AAS not only published this letter, declaring that there are "no other interpretations" ("No hay otras interpretaciones") of Amoris Laetitia other than those of the Buenos Aires bishops, but it also published the full Buenos Aires guidelines themselves, which permit Holy Communion in some cases for couples in a state of permanent and public adultery who are not committed to living in complete continence.

Most significantly, AAS upgrades Pope Francis's private letter to the Buenos Aires bishops to the official magisterial status of an "Apostolic Letter" ("Epistula Apostolica") - AND it includes a special rescript as an addendum by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State.

This rescript declares that Pope Francis expressly intends that BOTH documents - the pope's letter and the Buenos Aires guidelines themselves- bear the character of his "authentic Magisterium", and that the pope personally ordered their publication in AAS and on the Vatican website.

Rescript: "From an Audience with His Holiness"
The Supreme Pontiff decreed that the two preceding documents be promulgated through publication on the Vatican website and in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, as authentic Magisterium.
From the Vatican Palace, on the day of June 5 in the year 2017
Pietro Card. Parolin
Secretary of State


The Catholic Encyclopedia defines a papal rescript as follows: "Rescripts are responses of the pope or a Sacred Congregation, in writing, to queries or petitions of individuals. Some rescripts concern the granting of favours; others the administration of justice, e.g. the interpretation of a law, the appointment of a judge." Rescipts generally have the force of particular law, however, as in this case, only "when they interpret or promulgate a general law, are they of universal application."

Since papal rescripts answer an inquiry - could this rescript be a direct reply to the DUBIA of the Four Cardinals? [To the first dubium, directly, Yes, and logically and by implication, NO to the other four. The wrong answers to the DUBIA obviously. Does Bergoglio's cunning way of promulgating anti-Catholic teaching by rescript spare him from the accusation of material heresy?]

Under Canon 8 § 1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, the AAS is the regular method by which "universal ecclesiastical laws" are to be promulgated: “Universal ecclesiastical laws are promulgated by publication in the official commentary Acta Apostolicae Sedis, unless some other manner of promulgation has been prescribed in particular cases.”

While most papal documents appearing in AAS lack canonical or disciplinary force, the Pope's rescript at the hand of Cardinal Parolin is clearly intended to give the Buenos Aires Guidelines a significant level of Magisterial authority in the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.

The pope's use of the term "authentic magisterium" is especially troubling because it appears intended to trigger Canon 752, to purportedly require "religious submission of the intellect and will" to the Buenos Aires guidelines' overturning of the traditional teaching of the Church:

Can. 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

In paragraph 6 of the Buenos Aires guidelines, now explicitly to be treated as belonging to Pope FrancisS' "authentic magisterium", the allowance for communion in cases of couples in a state of adultery without living in complete continence is made explicit:

6) In other, more complex circumstances, and when it is not possible to obtain a declaration of nullity, the aforementioned option [living in continence] may not, in fact, be feasible. Nonetheless, it is equally possible to undertake a journey of discernment. If one arrives at the recognition that, in a particular case, there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia opens up the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (cf. footnotes 336 and 351). These in turn dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the aid of grace.


Pope Francis'S once private letter to the Buenos Aires Bishops, but now to be considered an Apostolic Letter belonging to his "authentic magisterium", confirms these guidelines:

"The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations. And I am certain that it will do much good."


The problem with Amoris Laetitia, it is clear, is not merely with "liberal bishops" who interpret it, but with the pope whose manifest interpretation of his own document is impossible to square with the perennial doctrine and discipline of the Catholic faith.

BTW, what does Cardinal Burke now say about this development? If the pope has decreed that both the letter of the Argentine bishops and his reply supporting their position (both of them private letters to begin with) are his 'authentic magisterium', how can Amoris laetitia, which is a post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation and therefore by definition, part of this pope's Magisterium - it automatically went into the Acta Apostolis Sedae - not be considered as such?

I understand the cardinal's point that any papal teaching that is contrary to the deposit of faith may not be considered part of the Magisterium of the Church, but that is a technical point that does not concern the overwhelming majority of the world's 1.2-billion-plus Catholics who still believe that when it is reported that "the pope says...', then that is the word of the Vicar of Christ on earth and must be 'accepted'.


Pope’s letter on Argentinian communion guidelines
for remarried divorcees now has official status

by Steve Skojec

December 2, 2017

A letter from Pope Francis praising episcopal guidelines that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion in some cases while living in a state of objective grave sin has now been added to the official acts of the Apostolic See, conferring official status on what was formerly considered by many to be merely private communication — and raising the stakes in the Amoris Laetitia debate significantly.

Of the guidelines issued by the bishops of the Buenos Aires region that would open “the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist” in “complex circumstances” where “limitations that lessen the responsibility and guilt” of couples who will not make the commitment to “live in continence” despite living in an objectively adulterous situation, the pope said in his letter that “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”

In August of this year, this letter was added to the Vatican website as a papal document available for public reference. Concerns were raised that what had previously been viewed as only private correspondence — and thus, completely outside the realm of papal magisterium — was being given the appearance of an official papal act.

Others were quick to point out that the presence of such a letter on the Vatican website, while troubling in itself, did not grant the document any status, but only publicity. The concern, as I speculated at the time, was that the letter seemed likely therefore to find its way into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) — the journal of the official acts of the Apostolic See. Such a move would confer an official, and at least quasi-authoritative status to the document, in as much as the AAS “contains all the principal decrees, encyclical letters, decisions of Roman congregations, and notices of ecclesiastical appointments. The contents are to be considered promulgated when published, and effective three months from date of issue.”

As Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti reported yesterday, the addition of the letter to the AAS has now been confirmed*:

The “private” letter of Pope Francis to the Argentine bishops was published in the October 2016 edition of Acta Apostolicae Sedis, with the bishops' directives for the application of chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia (the chapter with the famous footnotes on giving communion to the divorced and remarried). Directives which, as has been noted and emphasized here, are anything but clear.

The publication of this letter in the Acta is accompanied by a brief note from the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, together with an official rescript from a papal audience in June 2017, announcing that the Pope himself wanted the two documents — the guidelines and the letter — published on the website of Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

The announcement can only serve to further fuel the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the controversial apostolic exhortation as well as the Pope’s way of doing things, which yet again appears to be a far cry from the clarity and straightforwardness that many of the faithful would expect [from the Holy Father].

[Can we all stop already with this 'confusion and uncertainty' charade? The only reason Bergoglio has refused to answer the DUBIA is that to do so, whether he answers the five questions in the right way, or answers them honestly according to what he really thinks - of which no one can be in doubt, so what confusion and uncertainty could there be? - he would place himself in estoppel [the legal term for a bar or impediment preventing a party from asserting a fact or a claim inconsistent with a position that party previously took, either by conduct or words, especially where that representation has been relied or acted upon by others].

More simply said, if he answers the DUBIA in the only correct way they can be answered, it would mean renouncing his propositions in AL - which he has spent the better part of the past three years seeking to consolidate and institutionalize unilaterally. But if he answers the DUBIA honestly, consistent with his real intentions as well as his words and actions, then he gives his accusers ground for accusing him of material heresy, when the whole point of all that calculated casuistry in AL was to avoid giving anyone a reason to do so. Now this rescript seems to be Bergoglio defying his accusers and the Catholic faith by boldly promulgating a relativistic morality! I can already shudder to think of the 'charitable' and inexplicably forbearing light in which Cardinal Burke et al will choose to cast this latest diabolical defiance!]


He has given no response to the dubia Cardinals, no response to the letters, petitions and other initiatives written by scholars, theologians, and ordinary faithful people who have been confused by the deliberate ambiguity of the document. Yet, at the same time, he has given a veneer of officiality to one letter sent to one member of one bishops’ conference.

To what end? To obligate all to give religiosum obsequium [religious assent] to a magisterium expressed in oblique and ambiguous forms, or to respond without committing himself in a direct response which would express the mind of the Pope in an unequivocal manner to the doubtful and perplexed? One is given the feeling that the only thing this does is cause the simple believer annoyance with the Pope’s comportment, which may be defined as a “pretext” in the worst sense of that term.]/dim]


You can view only the relevant section of the October 2016 edition of the AAS here (Spanish/Latin PDF). (The full edition is available here, but a word of caution – it’s a huge PDF document at nearly 1,200 pages and with a 300MB file size.)

Some outlets are already reporting that the presence of the Buenos Aires letter in the AAS elevates it to the level of “authentic Magisterium,” which would therefore require the aforementioned religious assent of mind and will (cf. Lumen Gentium 25). Others are not so sure.

We asked for an assessment from Dr. John Joy, co-Founder and President of the St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies and a specialist in Magisterial authority. “It means that it is an official act of the pope,” Joy said, “rather than an act of the pope as a private person. So it cannot be dismissed as a merely private endorsement of their implementation of AL. It is an official endorsement. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the letter to the Argentine bishops is itself magisterial” and thus requiring religious submission of will and intellect. Such a requirement, Joy said, would only apply if the document intended to teach on matters of faith and morals. Inasmuch as the letter was in praise of pastoral guidelines that were anything but concrete, this seems unlikely.

Dr. Joy pointed out that adding the letter to the AAS could, in fact, damage the credibility of Amoris Laetitia by potentially removing the possibility that it could be interpreted in an orthodox way through establishing, via its publication in the official acts of the Apostolic See, that the unorthodox interpretation is the official one.
Marco Tosatti says that even some who have been ideological supporters of the pope are allegedly losing patience with his brashness:

And further, if what we have learned from two different sources is true, this annoyance extends to the Vatican. A cardinal of great renown, a former diplomat, who has served an impressive career at the head of Congregations and in high offices in the Secretariat of State, is said to have reproved the Pope for his actions [as Pope], saying to him essentially, “We elected you to make reforms, not to smash everything.”

News of this conversation — if it can be called a conversation — has spread through the Vatican, because it took place at a high decibel level, which carried through the fragile barrier of the doors and walls. The cardinal in question was one of those who supported the candidacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the conclave of 2013.

It would not be the first time such dissent has been reported from within the pope’s own camp. In March, The London Times reported that some of the cardinals who helped to elect Francis wanted Francis to step down out of fear that his agenda might cause a schism “more disastrous” than the one wrought by Martin Luther, and that the Church could consequently be “shattered as an institution”. That story indicated that at least some of the group had an interest in replacing the pope with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who heads up the aforementioned Secretariat of State.

Earlier this week, we also told you about a new book, The Dictator Pope, which alleges that many cardinals who helped elect Francis are experiencing “buyer’s remorse,” in part because Francis “is not the democratic, liberal ruler that the cardinals thought they were electing in 2013, but a papal tyrant the like of whom has not been seen for many centuries.”

It seems difficult to believe that just over a year ago, we were attempting to ascertain the veracity of the papal letter to the Argentinian bishops — which had been called into question nearly immediately after its publication — and we now learn that it has become an official act of the Apostolic See.

As reported in The Dictator Pope, the English Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor told journalist [and Bergoglio hagiographer] Paul Vallely in 2013, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” Every day, we receive new evidence that this might have been a significant understatement.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, December 3, 2017 8:37 PM
After Myanmar and Bangladesh
In which the Rohingya became the main content
of the papal trip, and the pope's messages
were 'too much about man, too little about God'

Translated from

December 2, 2017

In a few hours I will be joining the papal flight which, God willing, will return to Rome after the apostolic trips to Myanmar and Bangladesh. Let me toss forth some quick impressions and I apologize beforehand for what may seem to be superficiality, but I did wish to register these impressions.

In general, even with the determining contribution of us in the media, the impression was that the principal content of the two trips were the Rohingya Muslims, and the entire narrative became a sort of crescendo building towards the pope's meeting yesterday in Dacca [the capital of Bangladesh], with a group of Rohingya refugees from the Cox Bazar camp.

No one will dispute that the plight of the Rohingya is tragic in so many ways. There are just a little over a million of them, of whom more than 600,000 are packed in refugee camps across the border in Bangladesh, after having been chased out of Myanmar which does not recognize their right to citizenship because the government does not consider their tribe a national ethnic group.

The pope has taken their cause to heart, and arranged to meet with some of them in Dacca, where the Bangladesh government recognizes them as legitimate political refugees. The government in Yangon [the Myanmar capital known to the West as Rangoon when Myanmar was still called Burma] has been responsible for brutal repression of the tribe, a repression which the world has stigmatized. But the Rohingya, too, have 'armed forces' which have likewise been guilty of violent acts.

This must be said not to fashion impossible and useless classifications but to underscore that the situation is more complex than it is seen and reported in the West. It must also be considered that Myanmar, in southeast Asia, is a Buddhist nation that fears Islamist 'contamination' and has been trying to protect itself from dangerous infiltrations.

However, the Rohingya situation (for two-thirds of this trip, the pope could not say the word in public in order not to displease his hosts in Myanmar) has catalyzed public attention to the neglect of virtually every othe4r aspect of this two-nation apostolic voyage – first of all, the two tiny Catholic Churches in Myanmar and Bangladesh, where they are very much a minority in an overwhelmingly Buddhist and Muslim nation, respectively.

So the papal Masses celebrated in Yangon and Dacca, in the presence of tens of thousands of persons, many coming from neighboring countries, were quite moving.

It must not be forgotten what a papal visit means for Catholics who live in complex political and social situations. The joy and the emotion they display on such an occasion should compel us never ever to take the Catholic faith – theirs or ours – for granted.

The ordination of 16 new priests during the papal Mass in Dacca was the image of a small Church that is no longer kept alive only by missionaries from Europe. The Church in Pakistan has become largely autocthonous, and one that is dedicated in silent service to the spiritual care of the poorest.


As for the content of the papal messages during the trip, one could describe them briefly as "very much about men, too little about God". By which I mean that the pope spoke mostly about the condition of peoples and their concrete situations, about respect for human rights and the need for justice, about the need of building peace through coexistence. He spoke much less about the faith and what it teaches, about the example of Jesus and the primacy of God. I don't say he did not talk about this, only that he referred to them marginally.

This was most evident in his meeting with Aung San and his encounter with Buddhist monks, where at most, he spoke about transcendence in a generic way, and where his words on Buddha and St. Francis had a syncretic flavor. [No surprise there, surely, from this anti-Catholic pope who has gone way past ecumenism and inter-religious dialog, towards forging Hans Kueng's ideal of 'one world religion' in which abstract values are 'deified' in place of God or a Supreme Being,and which values may all be subsumed under the rubric of 'secular humanism', the religion of Freemasonry. Oh yes, for Masons, as well as for non-Masonic ultra-liberals, Bergoglio represents the fulfillment of two centuries of 'deep-state' infiltration into the governments of the West to ultimately achieve the destruction of the Catholic Church.]

On a couple of occasions, the pope used technological metaphors to speak about God. He spoke of a 'spiritual GPS', a 'software' that God has somehow implanted into man to help him find the right path. [So many things wrong with that analogy, but let it be for now!] Thus he sought to address peoples who, despite being characterized by widespread poverty, are nonetheless quite advanced in information technology.

If I can be allowed some other fleeting impressions, I would say that on transferring from Myanmar to Bangladesh, I seem to have passed from a nation of smiling people to a nation of staring people. If in Myanmar one cannot but be struck by the serenity emanating from the faces in the crowd and their readiness to smile, in the part of once-Indian Bengal where Dacca is located, it is difficult not to observe the penetrating look the Bangladeshis fix on foreigners: dark eyes looking directly into yours with a mixture of fierce pride and even perhaps of reproof.

The two capitals, Yangon and Dacca, are similar in some ways. Both have lots of water and lots of traffic. Yangon is situated at the confluence of two big rivers, while Dacca developed around the Buriganga river, itself a major channel of the larger Dhaleshwari river. But traffic is the dominant element.

Whether it is Yangon (with 5 million inhabitants) or Dacca (with 16 million), to get into any motor vehicle means to get in a long barely moving ine, at least in the major roads. Not that public transport is lacking – I saw numerous buses in Yangon, and in Dacca, there wdre buses of every kind, including two-tier buses like in London. But public transport is overwhelmed because setting out in your own car is like going off to war.

Traffic congestion is unbelievable. I am told that the Japanese sought to study building a subway system for Yangon but it was not feasible because the city's subsoil is too acqueous. I do not know if Dacca would have the same problem, but traffic bottlenecks are 'normal', and travelling just a few kilometers may require Biblical time.

The other element I noted, compared to the West, is the presence on the streets of so many young people. And the absence of overweight or obese people! It is most likely genetic, but for many people in these lands, the Italian expression of 'being happy with just a handful of rice' is not a metaphor but daily reality. Let us not forget this about our brothers in the Third World.

I did not realize Valli was on the papal trip - but of course, he would have had to be, since he is the chief Vatican correspondent of Italian state TV RAI.

P.S. I have translated an earlier post by Valli from Myanmar about the Rohingya problem that is relevant to the above.

The pope in Myanmar:
The Rohingya problem and Chinese influence

Translated from

November 28, 2017

The generals running Myanmar wished to make things very clear from the start. By asking to be received by the pope just a few hours after his arrival, before any other meeting scheduled for him in Myanmar, they demonstrated that they still run the government here even if a transition to democracy has formally begun.

Five of them came to see the pope at the residence of the Archbishop of Yangon (where there is no Apostolic Nunciature pending the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Myanmar). Papal spokesman Greg Burke tells us that it was precisely the transition to a more democratic system that was discussed at the center of the conversation which lasted 15 minutes, with a Burmese priest acting as interpreter.

Regardless of what was discussed, the meeting had great symbolic significance. In a way, the generals had 'marked out' their territory, at the very moment when Cardinal Charles Bo was suggesting to the pope never to say the word 'Rohingya' during his three-day visit.

The Rohingya are, of course, an ethnic tribe who profess Islam unlike the rest of this Buddhist country, and whose citizenship is not acknowledged by the government which does not even consider their tribe one of the 135 ethnic groupings in the country. The government considers them a terrorist group and 'refugees', most of whom (600,000 out of a million) have been chased out to neighboring Bangladesh where they live in refugee camps).

The pope is travelling next to Bangladesh, where, among other things, he wishes to see for himself the status of the Rohingya refugees and violation of their human rights. It is true that Myanmar and Bangladesh recently signed an agreement for the repatriation of these 600,000 refugees, but the Myanmar government is hampered by the 'nationalism' of anti-Islam Buddhist radicals.

Myanmar is 90% Buddhist. Muslims make up 4%, as do Christians in general (only one-fourth of them Catholics). 'Love and peace' is the official slogan for the pope's visit, but the way to 'love and peace' seems truly complicated, particularly because of the economic interests at stake.

In recent years, the Chinese have made remarkable investments in Rakhine, the region native to the Rohingya in western Myanmar, considered strategic by the Chinese in their project to have a new 'Silk Road' through Asia by land and sea, in order to obtain commercial footholds and conquer new markets along the way. For this reason, the Chinese present themselves as mediators because to protect their investments, they want the area free of ethnic-religious tensions and consequent confrontations.

The Chinese foreign minister on a recent visit here called for an immediate ceasefire in Rakhine [between government forces and the armed Rohingya guerrillas]; for concrete negotiations with Bangladesh to resolve the refugee problem; and for economic development of Rakhine to address the problems of poverty and social rest that is at the root of the Rohingya uprising. The Myanmar government responded positively, and we shall see what happens. At this delicate stage, every move made by the pope will be carefully observed and evaluated.

The Rohingya have an armed group called the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army which the Myanmar government considers terrorist because it has been responsible for attacks against police and army positions. The government has taken repressive measures to neutralize them, including the destruction of entire villages affecting innocent civilians.

The Holy See has been aware of this humanitarian crisis, and last August 27, in his Angelus message, the pope said: "We have received sad news about the persecution of a religious minority in Myanmar, our Rohingya brothers. I wish to express my closeness to them. Let us all ask the Lord to save them and inspire men and women of goodwill to come to their aid, and that their human rights be granted to them. Let us pray for our Rohingya brothers".

The Rohingya problem is rooted in Myanmar's colonial past and has various components, including the religious, because being Muslim, they have been the target of armed Buddhist groups. Which is why for many of them, fleeing the country became obligatory. They have fled towards Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, but most of these countries have refused to accept them, and in Bangladesh, they live in refugee camps that are deprived of resources.

What will China do to help out? For now, Beijing supports the Myanmar government's actions against 'extremist terrorists' and has therefore blocked any possible UN resolution against Myanmar for violating the human rights of the Rohingya.

One will better understand Beijing's position by looking at the map. The state of Rokhine adjoining the Bay of Bengal, is a strategic route for the transport of petroleum, oil and other products. Moreover, large deposits of natural gas have been found in Rokhine. So is the fate of the Rohingya and their human rights tied up to the production and transport of profitable resources? It would not be unprecedented.

China also has strong commercial ties with Bangladesh, which China has given aid in behalf of the Rohingya refugees that the country now accommodates.

But many observers think that the poor and discriminated Rohingya have little to expect from the Chinese – because any economic development projects in their native state would benefit foreign investors and the privileged Myanmar classes (Buddhists and nationalists).

It is a very complex game with numerous players, including the pope – who purports to bring 'love and peace' to a land which needs these badly but for realistic reasons must listen to other messages.

********************************************************************************************************************************************


Rohingya here, Rohingya there, I hope the pope has paused to say words of consolation for the families of the 43 men and one woman
who were on board the Argentine submarine missing for two weeks, until the Argentine Navy announced on December 1 that it has
"officially ended operations to search for possible survivors of the 43 men and one woman who were aboard the Argentine submarine
which disappeared two weeks ago in the South Atlantic." At Angelus prayers on Nov. 22, one week after the sub disappeared,
the pope called on the faithful to pray for the safety of the crew.


On Beatrice's site, Carlota linked to this photograph

from the website of the Spanish daily ABC, showing the only female on board the ill-fated sub. The picture of Lt. Eliana Krawczyck
was taken in the sub Ara Salta which she served in before being transferred to the San Juan. She was the first woman to have been
assigned to an Argentine submarine.

Carlota notes that the image of the Virgin Mary is prominent behind her on the Salta. "I do not know if there was also an image
on the San Juan, but I hope that the Navy crew - whose names are mostly Hispanic, with some Italian, and only Lt. Krawcyzk
with a Polish name - had Our Lady's support during their ordeal and that their end was not too painful. Our prayers, too, for the
families they leave behind."

AMEN!
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, December 3, 2017 11:37 PM
December 3, 2017 headlines

Canon212.com


When the Bergoglio Vatican decides to mark the first day of the liturgical year with a stealth-bomb promulgation
answering YES, in effect, to the first dubium, what would you expect but a barrage of red-letter headlines?


Whether or not canon lawyers will call the flagrant move heresy or some variant of it, I think Mundabor - who clearly thinks it is outright heresy - makes
a compelling presentation of the situation as we have it today - he calls it Honorius 2.0.


Officially heretical Pope: What now?

December 3, 2017

After the official proclamation of heresy beyond any reasonable doubt some of the understandably shocked Catholics will now experience, methinks, a certain sense of disorientation. Therefore, it seems to me that it is now necessary to go back in time and search whether something like that has ever happened in the history of the Church, and what happened next.

It seems to me that we are now in a phase of obvious Honorius 2.0 : the Pope was officially a heretic and the Bishops (there were no Cardinals then) simply did nothing for as long as the Pope was in charge, and for some time afterwards.

Did the See become vacant? No.

Did the Church die? No.

Did the world end? No.

The Church, which is Indefectible, survived Honorius, and she will survive Francis, irrespective of how many bishops and cardinals will be sent to hell for the offences done to her.


What happened next? At some point after the death of Honorius, it was decided to right the heresy with the extremely strong move of an Ecumenical Council. Mind, though: as long as he lived, Honorius did not have to retract and I have no knowledge of official resistance of the bishops, or threat to declare Honorius self-deposed (as it was done, though the details are unclear, with Pope Marcellinus) in virtue of the offence committed (“Judge thyself!”, the bishops famously said to Marcellinus).

Yes, we are tested. We are tested by the cowardice and idiocy of the Burkes of the world almost as much as we are tested by the obvious faithlessness and heresy of Francis.

But let us put things in the proper context here: just as the faithful in the time of Honorius were not so important that Honorius’s heresy had to mean the end of the church, or of the world, or of whatever is good and holy, we are not so important that this officially heretical pontificate has to mean that the end times are now near.

Instead of waiting for Armageddon (which will come, have no doubt about this, at the appointed time anyway), you had better pray more and reflect that you, and everyone else, is expected to know and follow the manual irrespective of what Francis says.

If the world ends, be prepared. But hey, be prepared anyway, and consider that the world did not end in the time of Honorius.

As I have developed an allergic reaction to meaningless whining and “the end is near” doom saying, I will not publish any comment that does now incite the readers to do (to pray more, to do more penance, to become more active in our sphere of influence) rather than to whinge.

Man up, grab your shield, and go to war.

Yours is not the first generation to experience the seemingly unthinkable.


One can only be thankful there are little signs here and there that the rank and file of the Church Militant are fighting back to uphold
the faith against the supposed Vicar of Christ on earth, who seems to have chosen to be the wolf in shepherd's guise to his flock...
Marco Tosatti has this story...




'Pirate' leaflets turn up in some
Rome churches inviting prayers

Translated from

December 3, 2017

In some churches in Rome, yesterday, and today, there were leaflets inviting the faithful to pray. The leaflets feature a smiling Pope Francis circumscribed by a rosary, and a list of seven prayer intentions:

- that Rome may return to the faith
- that Our Lady may come ahead of Luther
- that faith may come ahead of politics
- that Pannella and Bonino should never again be held up as models
- that the pope may choose to talk to cardinals rather than the media
- that the pope may stop persecuting priests and religious orders he does not like
- that the pope does not keep silent in the face of those who are enemies of the family and of life

The leaflets carry no attribution.

Anyone following the affairs of ;the Church today' will have no problem deciphering the significance of these prayer intentions.

The second intention, for example, evidently reers to the stamp issued by the Vatican to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran schism, in which Luther and his foremost theologian Melancthon are shown kneeling before the crucified Lord in place of Mary and the Apostle John.

Pannella [longtime leader of the Radical Party of Italy who died earlier this year] was profusely lauded for his 'spirit' on his death by Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, Bergoglio's appointee to head the Pontifical Academy for Life, although Pannella fought all his lfie for abortion on demand, same-sex 'marriage' and euthanasia, while Pannella's longtime deputy, Emma Bonino, grande dame of Italian abortionists, has been praised by this pope as one of the greatest of contemporary Italian leaders.

The reference to cardinals and media probably has to do with the DUBIA cardinals and Eugenio Scalfari, the pope's atheist BFF, with whom he has these periodic 'chats', dutifully reported in direct quotes by Scalfari.

And the persecuted priests and religious orders would include the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who have been the object the Bergoglio Vatican';s crackdown and takedown.

If I had any hand at all in framing the intentions, I would have recommended that the first intention was "that the pope may become Catholic and lead the Church of Christ as he was elected to do"... BTW, this is the second initiative one might call 'anti-Bergoglio' carried out in Rome this year, but the prayer leaflets are decidedly better than the sourpuss Bergoglio posters that papered the main streets of Rome earlier this year...

Speaking of church handouts, Holy Innocents in Manhattan, in addition to the Sunday EF Mass propers and weekly parish bulletin, always has quite a variety available - most of them beautiful brochures, leaflets or prayer cards by various religious associations to promote a particular devotion or to honor a saint. There have been quite a variety related to the Fatima centenary year. Last Sunday, one of the handouts was a double-sided leaflet containing the text of Fr. Weinandy's letter to the pope and his explanation of how he came to write it.

Before his homily, Fr. James Miara, our young parish priest,included among his parish announcements a reference to the Rosary event planned for December 12, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Holy Innocents, of course, is where Fr. Peter Stravinskas occasionally celebrates Mass and gives those homilies that Catholic World Report later publishes. You can see why I very much feel at home at Holy Innocents.



I find this post from a quirky Brit blogger very much on target for someone who already jestingly referred to himself as Jesus II...
Has the Second Coming already happened?
The Gospel on the First Sunday of Advent tells us
we don't know when to expect Christ's Second Coming.
What if the Second Coming has already taken place as
we are told by the Book of the prophet Ivere(gh)iah?


December 3, 2017

"... and he will return to judge and insult the quick and the dead..."

Only a fragment of the prophecy survives, but what there is, is fairly definite.

1. And when the Saviour returns he will appear in the humble town of Buenos Aires in the land of gauchos and corned beef.

2. And he will take control of his Church gradually, appearing in a cloud of glory - or at least, white smoke - having been led to the throne of Peter by the four horsemen of the Apocalypse - Murphy-O'Connor (Confusion), Martini (Scandal), Kasper (Heresy) and Danneels (Corruption).

3. His reign will on Earth will last for many years, and be a time of great trouble.

4. For he will explain the scriptures, and bring out new meanings that were never found by the previous occupants of the throne of Peter.

5. And his lowly servants, bearing the names Spadaro, Martin, Faggioli, and many others, will explain that doctrine has evolved, and that which was Gospel Truth in the land of Judaea two thousand years ago is no longer "hip", "cool" and "groovy" (in the language of Vatican II). In short it must be replaced.

6. Thus there will be a New Testament, to be called Amoral Latitude, which will deliver a new message, but in as confusing a way as possible.

7. For the Saviour will not wish that the theologians and moral philosophers go out of business, by actually saying something clear and unambiguous.

8. For what else can they do? They cannot dig, and to beg they are ashamed. So they must continue to preach.


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, December 4, 2017 3:08 PM


Benedict XVI presented with
4-volume compilation of his homilies
published in Brazil




The two photos come from the Fondazione Joseph Ratzinger-Benedetto XVI which only provides the information in its caption for the photographs: "Benedict XVI receives the Complete Anthology of his preachings, homilies and exhortations published in four volumes in Brazil, from Prof. Rudy Albino de Assunção, representing Mons. Antonio Catalan, secretary of the Ratzinger Society of Brazil."

I believe it is unprecedented that the Magisterium of any contemporary pope has been anthologized in this way by any organization other than the Vatican [which routinely compiles all texts and documents considered part of a pope's magisterium in a chronological series called INSEGNAMENTI (Teachings)] or of a special association devoted to transmitting and disseminating a pope's teachings [such as the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI, publisher of Joseph Ratzinger's COMPLETE WRITINGS].

The Brazilian initiative (I assume the volumes are translations into Portuguese) simply underscores the great importance of Benedict XVI's teachings - the clarity, resonance and insight with which he transmits the deposit of faith, especially in these days when this deposit is being betrayed or trampled right and left.


Rumor: Mons Guido Marini
to be replaced soon as
master of pontifical liturgies

Translated from

December 4, 2017

Reliable sources (two of them, independent of each other) think it is very likely that Mons. Guido Marini, master of pontifical liturgical celebrations, will be replaced soon by one of his assistants, Mons. Diego Ravelli, who had been in the office of pontifical liturgical celebrations since 2006 and was named by the reigning pope to assist another colleague, Mons. Konrad Kasniewski, when the latter was named to head the pope's almsgiving office.

Ravello's appointment to replace Guido Marini is said to have the support of Piero Marini, whom the other Marini had replaced in 2007. Piero was, of course, secretary to Anibale Bugnini, considered by many to have been the principal architect of the Protestantized Mass imposed on the Church as the Novus Ordo. (Bugnini is said to have fallen from grace shortly afterwards and exiled to Iran as nuncio because of his presumed affiliation with Freemasonry).

Our sources say the announcement on Guido Marini is imminent, but he will stay until after the cycle of Christmastide celebrations ends on January 6. If the report is true, it will certainly mean a radical change in the style and orientation of pontifical liturgies.

A few days ago, I had referred to insistent rumors that Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household, will not be renewed in that position when his five-year appointment ends this month. [In Tosatti's earlier column, he said it is not known what the pope will decide to do with GG, that naming him to lead a German diocese is said to be out of the question because he is 'too Catholic', and that he may be kept at large as Cardinal Mueller is after he was dismissed from the CDF, or named a secretary (#2 man) in one of the Curial dicasteries.] [Whatever the pope decides to do about him, I should think he would consult Benedict XVI, whom GG continues to serve as private secretary. I cannot imagine Bergoglio sending GG away from the Vatican and leave the Emeritus Pope without a man he needs more than ever by his side at this point in his life.]

The departure of both Gaenswein and Marini from the Curia would complete the dismantlement of the Ratzinger Curia – other than some 'untouchables' which include the Prefect of Propaganda Fide, Cardinal Filoni, and the prefect of Oriental Churches, Cardinal Sandri – both of them ex-diplomats [and therefore fall into the privileged class into which Bergoglio has placed apostolic nuncios and others whose CV includes a stint in Vatican diplomacy], and the cardinals under the so-called 'Bertone umbrella' [Calcago and Bertelli, apparently kept on in the Curia as part of a 'deal' acknowledging Bertone's support for Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave].
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, December 6, 2017 2:49 AM


In the following editorial, Riccardo Cascioli follows up aggressively on something already implied by Aldo Maria Valli in his Nov. 28 blogpost
from Myanmar. It was probably this apparent loss of the 'sense of mission' that prompted the words of Benedict XVI in his October 2014
message to the Pontifical Urbanian University run by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith which is in charge of mission lands
:

But does it [mission] still have value? - many today ask, inside and outside the Church - indeed, is mission still relevant? Would it not be more appropriate between religions to meet in dialogue together and serve the cause of peace in the world? The counter-question: can dialogue replace the mission?

Today, in fact, many people have the idea that religions should respect each other and, in the dialogue between them, become a joint peacekeeping force. In most cases this way of thinking takes for granted that the different religions are variants of one and the same reality; that "religion" is the common gender, which takes different forms according to the different cultures, but still expresses the same reality.

The question of truth, the one that originally moved the Christians more than anything else, here is put in parentheses. It is assumed that the real truth about God, in the final analysis, is unattainable and that at most it can make present what is ineffable only with a variety of symbols. This renunciation of the truth seems realistic and helpful for peace between world religions.

And yet it is lethal to the faith. Indeed, faith loses its binding nature and its seriousness if all boils down to basically interchangeable symbols, able to examine only from afar the inaccessible mystery of the divine.
- Benedict XVI



Does the pope still have a sense of mission?
The question is more relevant than ever after his recent Asian trip
where mission was never once invoked in classic mission territories

by Riccardo Cascioli
Editor
Translated from

December 4, 2017

There are many take-off points and questions arising from the pope’s recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, which we may have to return to in the next few days. But there is one question that I believe must take priority because the pope’s words and actions during the trip – and even in his post-trip inflight news conference - have brought it to the foreground now more than ever.

Which is: the sense of mission. Or better – and excuse me for the brutal directness – to be consistent with the statements the pope has made, does he still have this sense of Catholic mission? Or are we now to shred the concept of mission as the Church has lived it in her first 2012 years?

The question is pressing especially since both Myanmar and Bangladesh are classic mission lands, where the Catholic faith arrived 500 years ago thanks to European missionaries, but where evangelization took on a new impulse in the 20th century. And although the Catholics represent only an insignificant minority in both countries (1% in Myanmar, even less in Bangladesh), those communities have an important history of fidelity to Christ which they have demonstrated even with martyrdom – again, with thanks to the missionaries who have worked in these two countries. Among them, there was Fr. Clemente Vizmara who spent 65 years in the jungles of Burma (former name of Myanmar) and was beatified in 2011.

It wasn’t just that the pope did not even mention this history of mission and martyrdom but that in his public statements, two aspects emerged clearly: the first is his open reluctance [refusal???] to convert others to Catholicism, and his apparent rejection of everything else that is associated with ‘traditional’ Catholic mission.

He insists constantly that evangelization is not proselytism, and he did so again at the inflight news conference. And although the common perception is that proselytism means ‘aggressive’ missionary work [as for example, the Mormons and many Protestant churches do], that does not seem to be what he means when he uses the word [which in its pure sense, simply means “the attempt of any religion or religious individuals to convert people to their beliefs”, which describes the generic function of Catholic mission, its specific function being to gain converts to Jesus and the Catholic faith], seeing as Catholics in general [and Catholic missions after the Age of Conquest in the 15th and 16th centuries]- are never ‘aggressive’ in this sense .

Rather, the pope seems to be distancing himself from mission, understood as announcing Christ to the world, of which we find numerous examples in the Acts of the Apostles which describes the initial evangelizing work of the early Church and in the letters of St. Paul, in which he synthesizes mission in his address at the Aeropagus in Athens:

“You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious.For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’* What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you".

[This was the spirit in which Benedict XVI said at Aparecida in 2007:

Yet what did the acceptance of the Christian faith mean for the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean? For them, it meant knowing and welcoming Christ, the unknown God whom their ancestors were seeking, without realizing it, in their rich religious traditions. Christ is the Saviour for whom they were silently longing.

His statements, of course, caused a fleeting controversy at the time, with protests from representatives of so-called indigenous associations.

And yet at his news conference, the pope said:

…we aren’t very enthusiastic about making conversions immediately – if they come [wishing to convert], wait for them to come, then speak to them, such that conversion is a reply to something that the Holy Spirit has inspired in someone’s heart by what they see of Christian witness… This is the power and gentleness of the Holy Spirit in the work of conversion. It is not about convincing others mentally with apologetics and reason – no! It is the Spirit who causes conversion. And we are witnesses of the Spirit, witnesses of the Gospel”.

There is no doubt that with respect to conversion, this pope gives precedence to coexistence among religions and reciprocal respect:

“Which has priority – peace or conversion? Yet if one lives giving witness to one’s faith and respect to other faiths, we make peace. But peace starts to break up when proselytism begins, and there are so many types of proselytism, but this is not evangelical”.

In short, we may well be mistaken, but it appears that this pope’s ideal is for every religion to cultivate its own territory, because woe on us all if we changed the ‘equilibrium’ in any way.

One may object: “But the pope is continually urging us to give witness to the Gospel, to be a Church that ‘goes forth’”. And yet, this is precisely the second point that emerges from Bergoglio’s words and actions, namely, what exactly does he mean by giving witness to the Gospel?

In his news conference,he said: “It means to give witness to the Beatitudes, to Matthew 25 (“I was hungry and you fed me… etc”),to give witness to the Good Samaritan, to give witness to forgiving others seventy times seven”. And in expressing his appreciation for the Catholics of Myanmar, he said:

“In the midst of so much poverty and difficulties, many of you offer concrete assistance and solidarity to the poor and the suffering. Through the daily care of your bishops, priests,creligious and catechists, and especially through the praiseworthy work of the Catholic Karuna Myanmar and the generous assistance provided by the Pontificial Works of Mission, the Church in this nation is helping a great number of men, women and children regardless of religion or ethnic origin”.

The pope once again appears to be reducing evangelization to doing good works for the poor. The ideal is apparently to be good and kind. Of course, good works are important but we cannot help make a comparison: Jesus did good works [but they were miraculous actions primarily meant to manifest his divinity, not 'humanitarian' work as Bergoglio seems to think is the primary meaning of 'giving witness to the Gospel'] but he also taught and gave the Great Mandate to the apostles to preach the Gospel to the world and to “teach the people”.
- The Acts of the Apostles tell us of the joy arising from converting pagans and their acceptance of the Word of God.
- And the history of the Church has been constellated with missionary martyrs who live to announce the Word of Go before constructing hospitals, schools and ‘welcome centers’.
- Mother Teresa, who was second to none in working for the poor, said: “The greatest misfortune of the Indian people is not knowing Jesus Christ”.
- As for apologetics, which this pope seems to disdain, was it not St. Peter who called on us to “give reason for the hope you have”?

Yet it’s not as if the missionary approach of providing educational, health and humanitarian assistance along with announcing the Gospel is a novelty at all, because for decades, a part of the missionary world has emphasized the socio-economic aspects of their work over the religious and spiritual.

But if this is truly the priority of missionary work laid down by the Vatican, then let us go back to our initial question: Does Catholic mission still mean anything? It would be desirable if missionaries in the field spoke out about this in order to open up a public debate.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, December 6, 2017 4:00 AM


Fr. Z invites us
to watch this new video
by Michael Voris


December 5, 2017

In the last couple of years I’ve written more than once about the Church’s attribute of indefectibility. In a nutshell, the Church’s members may err or fail, but the Church cannot.

Which leads me to advance a video that Michael Voris made.

He makes a good appeal. Have a listen.

I think that Michael struck the right tone here. We are in seriously troubling times. However, the troubles of these times also present opportunities for learning well and reasserting and articulating with conviction all that the Church teaches.

We need everyone to get on board with dedicated spiritual programs of prayer and mortifications.

Learn your Faith.

Pray. Pray especially before the Blessed Sacrament. Pray the Rosary. Pray to St. Michael and other saints who are you personal and local patrons.

GO TO CONFESSION.


Meanwhile, Fr. H has more to say on Cardinal Parolin's recent statement in Washington about episcopal conferences...

Cardinal Parolin elaborates on
the subversive Bergoglian hermeneutic
about episcopal conferences


December 5, 2017

In his recent paper read to the Catholic University of America, Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State, urged upon us a policy first suggested by PF in Evangelii gaudium: increasing the competences of Episcopal Conferences.

He appeared to be unaware of the reasons for Apostolos suos of St John Paul II; but he did acknowledge the existence of that document. He proceeded to tell us that it should "be understood not as a final destination, but as the basis for a renewed reflection".

This hermeneutical principle seems to me subversive of the whole structure of Catholic doctrine. Consider "[Christ] rose on the third day according to the Scriptures". Well, you can if you like call this a basis for a renewed reflection ... our Faith is always something upon which we should reflect further. But our reflection should always preserve the whole content of the original doctrine, so that the new reflection is eodem sensu eademque sententia.

Parolin then went on to claim that Conferences are "really episcopal" because "they have their reason for being not in a sociological principle of collaboration, but in the implementation of the ministry conferred upon each bishop with episcopal consecration". Thus an attempt is being made to give episcopal conferences a basis, a toe-hold, in the Church's Tradition and Dogma.

Whoever drafted this section for his Eminence seems to be ignorant of, or to have ignored, the Magisterium of the last three decades.

The Ecclesiology of the Catholic Church sees only two institutions as definitive by Divine Institution: the Universal Church, in communion with the Roman Church; and the local Particular Church, in communion with its Bishop. These are in fact, theologically if not geographically, the same thing; the Universal Church is manifested and made present in the Particular Church.

The phrase 'local Church' does not mean a quasi-National 'church', such as "the English Church", which is an aggregation of dioceses. That phrase itself is common, useful, but imprecise slang. But, to be precise, there is the Universal Church and there is the Diocese of Portsmouth.

Groupings of Particular Churches, as Vatican II taught, may for practical and prudential reasons be highly valuable or of venerable antiquity, such as the Patriarchates. But they are not by Divine Law essential. [See Communionis notio AAS 85 (1992)]

This is why our Holy Mother Church has been circumspect with regard to Episcopal Conferences. In Apostolos suosshe allowed Conferences to have a doctrinal competence, but only if (1) a vote is unanimous (in which case the teaching is also the teaching of each individual bishop) or (2) where a vote is not unanimous but is confirmed by the Holy See (in which case the teaching is that of the Universal Church). She is apprehensive about the weakening of the Magisterium of the Bishop in his own Particular Church (i.e. his diocese), and the influence of bureaucracies.

The duty of a local bishop is to ask himself whether a particular idea is in accordance with what has been handed down to him by his predecessors in his See and coheres with the Magisterium of the Church. It is not to ask "Is this a brilliant idea of an amazingly fantastic theologian?", or "Is this roughly in line with what my colleagues bishops X, Y, and Z thought last time we had a chat about it?", or "Can I really go against this when the the Episcopal Conference's ABCDEF Commission has considered it long and hard and come to a definite conclusion expressed in a big Document impressively supported by innumerable footnotes?"

I have throughout this pontificate been afraid that "autonomy and doctrinal Competence for Episcopal Conferences" may be the next major error to assault the whole State of Christ's Church Militant here in Earth. [A very real and well-founded fear because this pope already said so in EG.]

It is the very self-same principle which has corrupted and destroyed the Anglican Communion. It is a Diabolical threat with which those of us with 'Anglican Previous' lived and suffered for decades. Believe me, we know all about it. This is a problem which matters. It is most clearly a strategy elaborated at the very depths of the Lowerarchy.

Here are some remarks, very revealing, made a couple of years ago by a German bishop, Bishop Voderholzer of Regensburg, who seems to have his head screwed on the right way. He speaks of a document of the German Episcopal Conference which "was released in the name of the Conference of Bishops, of which I am a member, without my having seen its contents, much less having approved it".

He goes on to speak of his having "accepted the torch of belief and pastoral responsibility from his forerunners, including St Wolfgang." In other words, not from Cardinal Marx or the Episcopal Conference. And not even from PF. A Bishop and his diocese are not a department of a National Organisation, nor is a bishop Romani pontificis vicarius.

St Irenaeus, with his clear exposition of the handing down of the Faith from bishop to bishop in each Church, would have shaken Bishop Voderholzer warmly by the hand.

Provincial Autonomy (the crisp title by which all this unpleasant stuff is known among Anglicans) is perfectly designed to become a forum within which innovating and unscrupulous bullies will be endowed with the procedural and personal mechanisms to subjugate an orthodox Bishop.

And do not underestimate the danger that good and orthodox men may be worn down by a sense that they have a duty of solidarity with their episcopal colleagues. In English English, we call this "clubbing somebody". I am not sure whether this means 'hitting them with a big stick' or 'making them feel warm and comfortable members of a cosy club whose consensus they dread to break'. The practical consequences of each are much the same.

The apparent policy of reversing the teaching elegantly and concisely expressed by Wojtyla and Ratzinger is another major threat to the integrity of the Catholic Faith.

Today, another commonsense blog from Mundabor... Forget the technicalities. Just examine what is concretely before us:

Canon 915, heresy and the pope

December 5, 2017

Every single time Pope Francis does something atrocious, there is the one or other theologian explaining to us that Francis has not proclaimed a new dogma, or abolished Canon 915, or the like.

Yeah, well, interesting as an intellectual curiosity. Still, I think that the approach is totally wrong, and that we must stop circling around the real problem. If there is a hurricane going on, I am not really interested in the way the ozone layer reacts to it, nor am I reassured by the newly imparted knowledge. There is a hurricane going on, this is what counts.

Canon 915 is not just another canon. It reflects perennial teaching of the Church. Therefore, the prohibition of Canon 915 cannot be changed, sabotaged, or otherwise circumvented by anyone, and be him the Pope.

Every article reassuring you that Canon 915 has not been touched actually sends these messages: a) that it could be made, legitimately, hollow at some point in future and: b) that the Canon is being sabotaged but hey, don’t worry, it’s still there!

This is, emphatically, not the case in point. The point is that the Church prohibits communion for adulterers, and Francis is going against this prohibition. Therefore, any discussion about the matter should begin and end with the obvious recognition that no one, not even a Pope, can change iota unum in the matter of communion for adulterers. All the rest is, again, walking around the huge elephant in the room, pretending not to see it.

Which leads to the second matter: heresy. I am not at all interested in the discussion about whether Francis is a formal heretic in the strict sense of the matter. For me, and for every God-fearing Catholic on the street, heresy does not begin when a dogma is officially put in question or denied, or there is an attempt to change it ex cathedra.

Heresy is, in the common parlance of God-fearing Catholics, the willed promotion of heterodox thinking and the working in order to subvert what the Church has always believed, irrespective of whether a dogma has been touched or not. Pope John XXII is, rightly, considered a heretical Pope because he promoted such a thinking, even if the contrary belief of the Church had not been declared a dogma yet.

It follows from this that Pope Francis is a heretic and must be seen as such by every God-fearing Catholic; that every one of his actions meant to sabotage the Depositum Fidei in any way, shape or form must be condemned in the strongest terms, and refused obedience; and that we, the God-fearing Catholics, must demand that our Cardinals and Bishops grow a pair already, react to Francis’s endless provocations, and demand that he recant his heretical statements or face deposition.

Which, if it does not happen, does not cause the end of the world, nor the end of the Catholic faith. It merely causes the age to plunge into a deeper state of confusion, analogue to the one experienced in the time of Honorius, A situation of confusion from which, if the Bishops and Cardinals do not intervene, God will free us at some point, when the justly meted punishment for the madness of Vatican II has been recognised, and its evil acknowledged and repented.

A heretical Pope is still the Pope. Honorius was still the Pope. Marcellinus was still the Pope. Liberius was still the Pope. John XXII was still the Pope. There is no Church record stating that they were no Popes during the time of their heterodoxy. Not even the ecumenical council caused by Pope Honorius’ heresies stated such a thing.

But a heretical Pope is a Pope that should, now, be forced to change his ways or deposed (as happened with Marcellinus and John XXII, and did not happen with Honorius and, in a different way, with Liberius); failing which the bishops and cardinals who have refused to act (talking to you, Cardinal Burke!) will pay the most horrible price for their cowardice.

Catholics lived with a heretical Pope before. They are living with a heretical Pope now. Shit and Pope Francis happen. It is not for us to decide who is and is not Pope.

But it is for us to acknowledge an obvious, factual situation and ask that our shepherds do their darn job already.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, December 6, 2017 5:21 AM
December 12, 2017 headlines

Canon212.com


The banner headline refers to Bergoglio sycophant Cardinal Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts,
who told Catholic News Service Dec. 5,

The fact that the pope requested that his letter and the interpretations of the Buenos Aires bishops be published in the AAS means that His Holiness has given these documents a particular qualification that elevates them to the level of being official teachings of the church.

While the content of the pope’s letter itself does not contain teachings on faith and morals, it does point toward the interpretations of the Argentine bishops and confirms them as authentically reflecting his own mind. Thus, together the two documents became the Holy Father’s authentic magisterium for the whole church.”



TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, December 7, 2017 1:36 AM



It's a measure of the power of media and the Internet in the global village that before this pope has even completed five years of his anti-Catholic pontificate,
'the world' (including the overwhelming majority of the planet's Catholics) now seem to take Bergoglio's anti-Catholicism as the 'new normal', and few take
outrage as he increasingly casts his diabolical mindset in seeking to destroy the Church of Christ and replace it with his new improved version. While many
commentators appear mired in the amoral swamp created by Amoris laetitia, Bergoglio has been merrily cutting his swath through other aspects of the faith,
not the least of which is the primary mission of the Church. After Riccardo Cascioli, Antonio Socci and Aldo Maria Valli take their turn denouncing Bergoglio's
self-imposed anti-evangelization mission...


On evangelization and mission:
When Bergoglio's novelties openly contradict Jesus

Translated from

December 6, 2017

On his inflight news conference returning to Rome from Bangladesh on December 2, a French journalist asked the pope: “What is your priority – evangelizing or dialoguing for peace?”

[Socci then links to a PS from Magister to his single blog about the recent two-nation papal trip (in which ne noted that on the pope’s first day in Myanmar, the only person who mentioned Jesus was Buddhist Aung San Suu-kyi), reporting the pope’s full answer to the question posed to him. Riccardo Cascioli already quoted much of it in his editorial for Bussola the other day to underscore how un-Catholic – I prefer anti-Catholic – the pope’s answer was.

Confirming what Pope Francis means by evangelization was his response to a question from French journalist Etienne Loraillère: "What is your priority: evangelizing, or dialoguing for peace?"
The pope: "First distinction: evangelizing does not mean proselytism. The Church grows not by proselytism, but through attraction, which means by witness. This is what Pope Benedict XVI has said. [This is one Benedict quotation that Bergoglio often cites, though truncated to serve his purpose. Valli will give the full quotation in his post. As for claiming that the Church grows only by attraction and not by proselytism, Bergoglio is simply dismissing centuries of Catholic missionary work in which the missionaries had to ‘proselytize’ enough indigenes - i.e., recruit them first - to whom they could then demonstrate their witness to the faith while educating them in the faith.]

What is it to evangelize? It is living the Gospel, it is bearing witness to how one lives the Gospel: giving witness to the Beatitudes, giving witness to Matthew 25, giving witness to the Good Samaritan, giving witness to forgiveness seventy times seven. And in this witness, the Holy Spirit works and there are conversions.

But we are not very enthusiastic about making conversions right away. If they come, they can wait… Conversion is supposed to be the response to something that the Holy Spirit has moved within my heart, as a result of Christian witness.

At lunch with young people at World Youth Day in Krakow - around fifteen young people from all over the world - one of them asked me this question: 'What should I say to a fellow student at university, a friend, a great guy, but one who is an atheist? What should I say to change him, to convert him?' The response was this: 'The last thing you should do is to say something. You live the Gospel, and if he asks you why you do this, you can explain to him why you do it. And let the Holy Spirit draw him.'
[Right, how many converts might Francis Xavier have made if he had gone to Asia and never said something first to introduce Jesus to the natives, to explain why white-skinned folk would leave their homes to live in a foreign land amid a totally foreign culture just to 'give witness'? Clearly, Bergoglio has never tried to evangelize anywhere, but has the effrontery to write about 'Evangelii gaudium', in which even he has to make noise by his writing to tell the world what he intends to announce, not Christ's Gospel but his own, unfortunately.]


This is the power and the meekness of the Holy Spirit in conversions. It is not a mental persuasion with apologetics, reasons... no. It is the Spirit who brings about conversions. We are witnesses of the Spirit, witnesses of the Gospel. In Greek the word for 'witness' is 'martyr': the martyrdom of every day, also the martyrdom of blood, when it comes...

Your question: what is the priority, peace or conversion? Well, when one lives with witness and respect, one brings peace. Peace begins to fall apart in this field when proselytism begins, and there are many kinds of proselytism, but this is not evangelical."
/colore] [What, to speak about one's faith is not 'evangelical'? The adjective comes from the Greek word for gospel - evangelion - which means 'the good news'. How and why should anyone keep silent about the good news of Christ's message of salvation? But that's Bergoglio for you: he uses familiar Christian words to mean ehat he wants the words to mean]

In effect, Bergoglio maintains that to announce the Gospel (=proselytism) creates division , and that the meaning of the Christian presence in the world is to ‘dialog for peace’. BUT THE CHURCH IS NOT THE UNITED NATIONS. IT EXISTS TO ANNOUNCE JESUS CHRIST TO ALL MEN.

As Riccardo Cascioli noted, Bergoglio’s answer renders substantially useless (if not harmful) the work of Catholic missions and missionaries, and effectively delegitimizes so many Catholic missionary martyrs who made the mistake - so Bergoglio would think - of giving priority to announcing Christ rather than trying to please everyone and not offend them [the very definition of political correctness, which is the underlying principle of the fruitless, futile and never-ending dialog that seems to be the ideal of Bergoglio and his fellow p.c. ideologs].

The pope’s response – which is perfectly in line with how he has been acting and openly rejecting the idea of trying to convert anyone to Catholicism – raises a very great and serious question. Is this the answer a pope should give? When Jesus’s Great Mandate to the apostles was something else which could not be clearer:

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mk 16,15-16).
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28,19-20).

Jesus also foretold that the work of evangelization would bring persecution and martyrdom:

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (Jn 15,18-20).

Jesus warned his disciples that the announcement of the Gospel would create division because darkness can only hate light, but nonetheless we are called to witness our faith:

“Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ “
(Mt 10,32-26)

Jesus also taught us that the announcement of salvation is the true peace, not that which the world considers peace. And it is precisely by evangelizing that the Church helps to build the peace:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”(Jn 14,27)

If Jesus’s apostolic mandate and the raison d’etre of the Church is evangelization, how can one not protest a pope like Bergoglio who, through words and deeds, completely overturns the Savior’s mandate? [Obviously, all the above quotations are not to be found in the gospel of Bergoglio. We are supposed to forget that Jesus ever said any of these things! Bergoglio, self-anointed Jesus II, would never ever say "I have come to bring not peace but the sword!"]

Do we still have Catholic bishops and cardinals? They should know that God will ask them to account for their silent complicity. And if they have forgotten this, then let us remind them.

What are they waiting for before they raise their voices and confirm publicly to the People of God that Jesus’s words in the Gospel explicitly stated the mission of the Church?

To remind Bergoglio fraternally of the words of Jesus is an act of charity towards him. An act of charity that is the duty of the bishops and cardinals before God and men.


Aldo Maria Valli's commentary takes on other 'perplexing' statements made by Bergoglio in his airborne new conference on December 2.

Why does Peter travel?
To confirm his brothers in the faith
or to dialog with minorities
and other worldly concerns?

Translated from

December 5, 2017

Having returned from Myanmar and Bangladesh, I have been reflecting on some of the answers the pope gave at his inflight news conference on December 2. And as much as I have tried, I have been unable to push away some ‘perplexities’.

The first takes the form of a question: Why, to begin with, did the pope travel to Myanmar and Bangladesh? The purpose did not seem to be in the spirit of a pilgrimage at all.

Since the time the Successors of Peter were able to travel to other countries, the principal purpose of their travelling was always one: to confirm their brothers in the faith, especially those brothers who are most remote and most isolated, those who live in lands and cultures in which belonging to the Holy Roman Church made one the representative of a scant minority, often persecuted.

Yet some statements made by the pope to the newsmen on the papal flight make it appear that he made this trip for other reasons.
Indeed, in the course of his answers, he said at one point, to explain how and why he wished to meet with some Rohingya refugees in Dacca: “I knew that I would be meeting with some Rohingya. I did not know where nor how, but this was a condition of the trip for me, and ways were taken to prepare for it”.

So his meeting with the Rohingya in Dacca was not just a side bar, certainly important but just one aspect to a papal visit that, like other papal trips, ought to have been intended to confirm in their faith those Catholic brothers and sisters in the tiny Churches of Myanmar and Bangladesh. But now, the pope himself personally tells us, a meeting with the Rohingya was ‘a condition’ for the trip.

So has the basic reason for a pope’s travel to other lands changed? From confirming his brothers in the faith to now meeting with refugees? And if his hosts, for some reason, had not allowed such a meeting with these Muslim Burmese, what would the pope have done? Since he had laid down such a meeting as a condition for his trip, would he have then passed up the opportunity to confirm his brother Burmese and Bangladeshi in their faith?

About the Rohingya, the pope also made a statement that opens another problem. Presumably referring to Rohingya terrorists (in effect, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army which has been responsible for attacks on police outposts in Myanmar), he maintains that the Rohingya are ‘men of peace’ and that “the few who have been recruited into ISIS, although they are Rohingya, are a very tiny fundamentalist group”.

Does he mean that if a terrorist group is ‘very tiny', they are any less terrorist? Does being a small group constitute an attenuating circumstance? Does he mean we ought to understand if a tribal group that is discriminated against happens to have its terrorist component albeit small?

About the existence of Rohingya terrorists, he said: “As in all tribes and religions, there is always a fundamentalist group. We Catholics have them too”. [Not the first time he says this, of course! It has become a standard 'talking point' for him.]

Since he is talking about Islamist fundamentalists and terrorists, what does he mean when he says “We Catholics have them too”? That we have Catholics going around killing people and planting bombs?

Then we come to his response to a French journalist who asked him whether his priority was evangelization or ‘dialoguing for peace’. He answered: [colore]=#b200ff]"First distinction: evangelizing does not mean proselytism. The Church grows not by proselytism,[/colore but through attraction, which means by witness. This is what Pope Benedict XVI has said… " [Valli quotes most of the response cited in full by Magister in the post above.]

In short, this pope sustains that evangelization is not done through words [‘The last thing you should do is to say anything’] but by example, and hope that your example becomes contagious. And to support this, he says, as he also did in Evangelii gaudium, a passage from Benedict XVI’s homily in Aparecida on May 13, 2007, to open the fifth General Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops.

But what exactly did Papa Ratzinger say in that homily? Here is the passage:

“The Church does not do proselytism. It develops by attraction: just as Christ ‘draws everyone to him’ with the power of his love, culminating in his sacrifice on the Cross, so the Church fulfills her mission to the degree that she, in association with Christ, fulfills every work in spiritual and concrete conformity with the love of Our Lord”.


As one can see, Benedict XVI says that yes, the Church develops by ‘attraction’, but he did not say the Church should substantially abstain from announcing the ‘good news’ of Christ, but rather that the Church is more missionary the more it shows herself faithful to Christ.

Finally commenting on his talks with the ruling generals in Myanmar, Pope Francis said: “I never close a door. You want to speak to me? Then come! One never loses anything by talking. One always gains something”.

Really, he never closes the door to anyone who wants to speak to him? Ask the DUBIA cardinals (or at least the two of them who are still alive). Has not the pope’s door remained closed to them who have never been received in audience nor a written acknowledgment of their letter?

Ask everyone else who has respectfully and diligently sent letters and messages to Casa Santa Marta to express doubts, concerns and uneasiness but who has never received a note to acknowledge receipt of his missives, much less any of those telephone calls that this pope has bestowed prodigiously on others?

We know that the pope put up a sign on the door to his quarters at Casa Santa Marta that says “It is forbidden to complain”. Should we deduce from this that the critical observations made by his brothers in the faith are, for him, nothing but complaints to avoid?

So why does he always ask for parrhesia – that is, frankness of expression – and warns against gossip? Isn’t the best way to avoid gossip and vain speculations is to establish frank and direct dialog, face to face? - that dialog which he often speaks of as one of the most important attributes for a Church that ‘goes forth’ not scowling but as a friend to the world?

Or perhaps for him the only dialog worth having is that of the ‘forthgoing’ Church talking to ‘the world’ and elements remote from the Church, but not worth having within the Church herself and has to do with answering questions from your most perplexed neighbors?

If you were a trueblue Bergoglidolator, would you not cringe anyway at some of the things he says??? Perhaps a practical rule of thumb would be - "If Spadaro or Tornielli or Paglia or Faggioli do not comment at all on something Bergoglio said, one may assume they are cringing and have decided that the better part of valor is to keep quiet."


A Tosatti follower brings up an interesting historical template for Bergoglio...

RVC on the Pope and the Rohingya:
‘He seems more and more like Gandhi!'


Dear blog followers, Romana Vulneratus Curia (RVC for short) has something to say on the pope’s statements coming back from Bangladesh.

Because once more – not for the first time, nor will it be the last – the head of the Catholic Church spoke about terrorism and religions with these words:

“There are terrorist groups who wish to exploit the Rohingya who are men of peace. There is always a fundamentalist group in every religion – even we Catholics have them. The military in Myanmar justify their actions for cause against these groups. I did not choose to speak with this type of people, but with the victims, the people who on the one hand suffer from discrimination, and on the other, are being defended by extremists”.

I do not dare speculate what ‘extremists’ the pope was referring to, but I suspect he means those who instead of using machine guns, pray the rosary on olivewood beads made in Israel, from which there is no recoil. They are dangerous!

Nor do we know who informed the pope about the entire Rohingya situation, but there are also Hindu and Christian Rohingya, not just Muslim, and they have not been doing well among their Muslim brothers, but they did not merit any mention by the pope… Anyway, here’s what RVC thinks:

Dear Tosatti,
The more time passes, the more I am able to observe and appreciate the maturation of His Holiness through various occasions and circumstances. But more and more I am seeing in him the legendary figure of Mahtma Gandhi. Indeed, his statements about the Rohingya have reminded me vividly of Gandhi, fondly called Bapu.
- Gandhi, too, believed that religious extremists were everywhere.
- He also believed that everyone saw themselves in him, whether they were Buddhist, Christian, Muslim or Hindu.
- He too was convinced that the Muslim religion was non-violent, and that one must distinguish Muslim terrorists from most Muslims who are peaceful.
- He too founded his ‘religion’ on tolerance as a form of positive mercy.
- He too preached against proselytizing since he believed that all religions are true, each having a viewpoint on truth, but since religion is a human institution and man is imperfect,t hen all religions are imperfect although true.
- And of course, he was hostile to all traditional religious institutions. Which is why he is admired by Enzo Bianchi [the ‘prior’ of Bose].

So what’s missing in Bergoglio? Martin Luther King as a disciple, perhaps. But he already has the original Martin Luther virtually canonized.

And, of course, Gandhi was no Catholic. Yet another minutia of comparison. Are we in a global village or what?

Fr. Schall, too, has reacted to the latest Bergoglio self-indulgences in his public pronouncements, in which more and more, he sounds like a garden-variety politician focused on his narrow secular obsessions, and hardly like a man of the Church, let alone the Vicar of Christ on earth...

Soccer as a theological question:
On the Pope’s return from Myanmar and Bangladesh

What struck me about the news conference last Saturday was the lack of any mention
of the need of sacraments, of transcendent concerns, salvation, or redemption.

by Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.

December 5, 2017


“I always have the habit that five minutes before the ordination, I speak with them (about to be ordained) in private. And to me they calm, serene, aware. They were aware of their mission. Normal, normal. A question that I asked then: do you play soccer? Yes, all of them. It’s important. A theological question.

“First distinction: Evangelization is not proselytism. The Church grows not for proselytism but for attraction, that is for testimony, this was said by Pope Benedict XVI. What is evangelization like? Living the Gospel and bearing witness to how one lives the Gospel, witnessing to the Beatitudes, giving testimony to Matthew 25…but we are not very enthusiastic to make conversions immediately. If they come, they wait; you speak your tradition…seeking that a conversion be the answer to something that the Holy Spirit has moved in my heart before the witness of the Christians.”
- Pope Francis, December 2, 2017


I.
On the hour-long interview during his return flight from Bangladesh to Rome, Pope Francis answered some twelve questions from various reporters. Unlike his famous return flight from Rio, there were no memorable remarks like “Who am I to judge?” But some revealing responses bear reflection.

Perhaps the most memorable comment about the character of Pope Bergoglio took place after the inter-faith prayer session. The participants then lined up to greet the Pope individually. He said he did not

“like that. One, the other…but they (the organizers) immediately wanted to send them away from the scene and I got mad and chewed them out a bit. I’m a sinner. I told them so many times ‘Respect, respect.’ Stay there, and they stayed.”

I have noticed that in recent condemnations of various public sins, the word, “respect”, functions as the key “moral” word. It has the advantage of not naming any reason why this “respect” is offered.

The very first question came from a Spanish reporter. Some had questioned the Pope’s judgment in not mentioning the plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim people, eight hundred thousand of whom had recently been expelled en masse from Buddhist Myanmar. The Pope’s response was interesting. He eventually met some of these people in Bangladesh to where they fled. But to bring the issue up in Myanmar would do no good. He thought it better to speak of these things in private.

In a way, this is Pius XII and the Jews or Benedict XVI and the Muslims all over again. How does one speak of these issues without making them worse? “Often denouncements, also in the media, but I don’t want to offend with some aggressive tactics close the dialogue, close the doors and the message doesn’t arrive.”

An Indian journalist wanted to know why the Pope did not visit India. The Holy Father responded that he had thought about it, but India is such a vast country and the time was short. It was best to wait till he could visit all parts of India.

The Pope’s notion of evangelizing and not proselytizing was touched on in one of the initial citations above. It comes up in earlier papal discourses. Pope Francis recalls a conversation he had at World Youth Day in Krakow. A young student wanted to know what he should say to “convert” his atheist classmate. The Pope answered: “The last thing you have to do is say something.” Just give a good example and the Holy Spirit will do the basic work. “It is not a mental convincing, with apologetics, with reason; it is the Spirit that makes the vocation.”

On reading this passage, of course, most will recognize that need of the Holy Spirit to grace us to the level to which we are called. Yet, we also remember Paul’s “faith comes by hearing” and Peter’s telling us to have a “reason” for our faith when questioned. Many a convert in recent decades, if not throughout the ages, came to the faith first through the mind. It would be difficult to read Augustine, for instance, any other way. He found the Word in the Platonists, but not the Word made flesh, as he tells us.

Benedict’s whole lecture at Regensburg is precisely on the centrality of intelligence in faith. Few doubt the value of good example, the “see how they love one another” principle.
- (But) how would one read the First Letter of John or Paul’s Epistle to the Romans without attending to the fact that revelation directs itself to the mind? [Reading in itself is a mental activity.]
- Aquinas’s Summa theologiae has some ten thousand queries about the intelligence of this or that element of the faith. While it is true that Luther is said to have burnt his copy of this work, it is also true that most of its readers have been grateful for teaching us just how reason expands and explains what revelation teaches us. We do not all need the Summae to come to the faith, but many of us do and once having it, have kept it.

Actually, I do not think that the Holy Father is as anti-intellectual as he sometimes pretends to be. Anyone who has read Amoris Laetitia or Laudato si’ will recognize that they are filled with arguments about this or that sundry aspect of social policy that intends to be persuasive.

II.
A man from the National Catholic Reporter wanted to know about Francis’s views on nuclear weapons. The Pope has an “opinion”. It is that they are not licit. He cites as reasons environmental concerns and their destructive capabilities. The response does not go into any realism about deterrence, about whether there is a difference between those who seek to use them morally and those who might not.

So what happens if all the good guys declare bombs illicit? Most people would say that the bad guys win by default. Logically, this view implied that to be licit we must bow to the man with the most power. This view is that of Hobbes and Machiavelli.

Now that they are invented, we cannot think out of existence the possibility of such weapons. Not all wars are illicit, nor are all nuclear weapons unlimited in scope and effectiveness. If the North Korea of today were alone in the possession of nuclear weapons, would we be secure?

The lady from CNN tried to prod the Pope about his first visiting with the Myanmar strong man, General Haling, before he visited the Head of State. The implication was that the Pope yielded first to power. The Pope replied it was simply a matter of courtesy. The general had a trip to China scheduled and needed to leave early. But the Pope admitted: “Clever, that question.”

The man from America magazine wanted to know more about the Rohingya situation. He cited without comment a UN report that claimed these were the most persecuted people on earth. With so much persecution of Christians in Muslim lands, it seems strange that the Pope did not at least mention, as he does elsewhere, our many, many persecuted brethren over the past decades and who persecutes them.

A gentleman from one of the Italian television networks brought up the topic of the economic development of Bangladesh. He notes their efforts to get out of poverty, but often with means that do not work. He also noted the efforts of Muslim radicals to infiltrate this Rohingya movement. The Pope mentions that all religions have their fundamentalists, including Catholics. He does not mention any names. “I try to speak with the victims.” The local government has no tolerance for terrorists. Members of ISIS are just “fundamentalist extremists.” The real question that ISIS brings up, however, is whether they read the Qur’an correctly. In this sense, they may be more realist than the so-called moderates.

The reporter from Le Figaro wanted to know whether the Pope was planning to go to China, especially as all the nations around it are influenced by it. The Pope said he would love to go to China. This is a traveling Pope, for sure! But there are no immediate plans. The patriotic and underground churches present problems.

The question about the seminarians going to be ordained came up in the context of whether these young were fearful of the step in such a country. The Pope did not think they were. He then gives a curious rationale for their apostolate: “They (the seminarians) know that they must be close to the people, that, yes, they feel attached to the people and I liked this.” This sounds like a page right out of a liberation theology textbook.

The Pope affirms that he likes it “when I am able to meet the people of the country, the People of God, when I am able to speak, to meet with them and greets them, the encounters with the people.” There are encounters with politicians, priests, bishops, and the people.

Though it is not the same in the homilies in Casa Santa Marta, what struck me about this particular interview was the lack of any mention of the need of sacraments, of transcendent concerns, salvation, or redemption. There was no need really of intelligence. We only require examples of the social virtues that are said to move souls in the Spirit.

Not every base, of course, can be covered in every interview. When the disciples were sent forth to teach all nations, not a few in most of the nations probably did want to know why what was being preached to them, what they were listening to, was true.

As to what kind of theological problem the playing of soccer presents, Pope Francis did not tell us here. I have long thought, with Aristotle, that beholding good games, including soccer, was the nearest that most young men come to learning what contemplation for its own sake means. I learned this, of course, from Aristotle, a Greek philosopher. But much of it, as Josef Pieper pointed out, is also in the Book of Wisdom.

Many young atheists are not moved by our good examples. Still, not a few are given pause by our metaphysics, which is something emphasized in Fides et Ratio, in which St. John Paul II wrote:

“It should be stressed that the truths sought in this interpersonal relationship are not primarily empirical or philosophical. Rather, what is sought is the truth of the person — what the person is and what the person reveals from deep within.

Human perfection, then, consists not simply in acquiring an abstract knowledge of the truth, but in a dynamic relationship of faithful self-giving with others. It is in this faithful self-giving that a person finds a fullness of certainty and security.

At the same time, however, knowledge through belief, grounded as it is on trust between persons, is linked to truth: in the act of believing, men and women entrust themselves to the truth which the other declares to them. (Fides et Ratio, 32)



TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, December 7, 2017 10:04 PM


This book came out before IL PAPA DITTATORE, but for some reason, it has not had much media play – I have seen no mention of it in the usual Anglophone
sources of papal news - and I have read no reviews of it till this one. My first reaction, of course, to reports about the book was surprise that anyone would
think it necessary to write a separate 'intellectual biography' which is usually and necessarily covered in all biographies of him and other popes in our time
that necessarily include their formation and preparation before they became pope. There have been dozens of such books about Bergoglio, in which the deficiency
of material regarding his intellectual formation reflects what is probably the man's fundamental lack of interest in ideas as such, only in those ideas that he can
put to good use to promote his personal agenda. Moreover, the fact that he decided not to complete his doctorate in theology by abandoning his proposed thesis
on Guardini after just a few months of preparatory work says something about his personal mental discipline, or lack thereof.

His immediate predecessors from Pius XII to Benedict XVI all had considerable intellectual heft. And although John XXIII and John Paul I were not particularly
renowned for 'intellect', neither of them were intellectual lightweights. Both were well-prepared and well-read popes who also wrote revelatory texts about
themselves and their formation before they became pope - Papa Roncalli with his 'Journal of a Soul', and Papa Luciani with his book Illustrissimi ("To the
Illustrious Ones"), "a collection of letters penned by him in previous years, whimsically addressed to historical and literary figures such as Dickens, G. K. Chesterton,
Maria Theresa of Austria, Saint Teresa of Avila, Goethe, Figaro, Pinocchio, the Pickwick Club, King David and Jesus, written in very clear and simple, yet often witty
language, as a way of relating elements of the Gospel to modern life". Yet no one has thought it necessary to write an 'intellectual biography' of them.

Imagine the challenge of even attempting an intellectual biography of Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, whose intellectual and spiritual formations
were panoramic and profound in their sources and influences! One gathers that this book on Bergoglio is an attempt to give him some intellectual weight compared
to his predecessors, though unlike them, as the following review suggests, he has not really adopted much from his 'teachers', so what's the point in citing them
other than to suggest reflected glory by mere association?


A new book tells us
all of Bergoglio teachers
even if he goes his own way


December 7, 2017

After the many narrative biographies of Pope Francis, here is the first one thatbears the title of “intellectual biography.” Its author, Massimo Borghesi, is professor of moral philosophy at the University of Perugia and has been very close to Jorge Mario Bergoglio since long before he was elected pope, on a par with that circle of friends whose best-known name is that of the vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, all of them belonging to the Roman branch of Communion and Liberation that was headed by the priest Giacomo Tantardini.

But in addition to coming from Borghesi’s pen, this book is also the offspring of the spoken word of Pope Francis himself, who on four occasions - the two most recent being on March 13, 2017, the fourth anniversary of his pontificate - sent to the author audio recordings that are repeatedly cited in the text and all aimed at identifying the sources of his formation.

It is a biography, therefore, that is in part an autobiography as well. And it is motivated precisely by a revelation made here for the first time by Bergoglio himself, according to whom, at the origin of his thought is the French Jesuit theologian Gaston Fessard - a brilliant scholar of Hegel without being a Hegelian - with his 1956 book on the “dialectic” of the “Spiritual Exercises” of Saint Ignatius.

It is in fact above all from Fessard - as Borghesi confirms and substantiates - that Bergoglio got his markedly antinomian thinking, so fond of contradictions. [Antinomianism is the belief held by some Christians that they are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law.] But then came other prominent authors to reinforce this way of thinking, Erich Przywara and Henri de Lubac, both of them also Jesuits; Alberto Methol Ferré, an Uruguayan philosopher; and above all, but belatedly, Romano Guardini, with his youthful 1925 essay entitled “Der Gegensatz,” (Polar opposition) on which Bergoglio wanted to base his doctoral thesis during the few months he spent in Germany in 1986, a thesis that was quickly dropped and never written.

Borghesi deftly illustrates the thinking of these great theologians and philosophers. To them he adds, among the inspirations to whom Bergoglio himself says he is a debtor, other first-rate stars like Michel de Certeau and Hans Urs von Balthasar.

And he does all he can to demonstrate how in the writings of Bergoglio both far and near in time, before and after his election as pope, the genius of his teachers lives again. But it is precisely in this transition/translation from the teachers to their disciple that Borghesi’s reconstruction is most debatable.

It is truly arduous, for example, to identify the mature fruit of Fessard’s “dialectic” or Guardini’s “polar opposition” in the four “postulates” that Pope Francis placed at the center of the agenda-setting text of his pontificate, the exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” and reissued in the encyclical “Laudato Si'” and at the beginning of that other exhortation of his which is “Amoris Laetitia.”

It is true that Francis himself revealed three years ago, to the Argentine authors of another biography of his, that the chapter of “Evangelii Gaudium” with the four postulates is the transcription of a passage from his uncompleted doctoral thesis on Guardini.

But to see how this student exercise of his - an exercise now upgraded as pontifical magisterium - inevitably falls apart if it is subjected to the slightest elementary analysis, one gets the impression that the gap between Bergoglio and his celebrated teachers is truly very profound:
> The Four Hooks On Which Bergoglio Hangs His Thought
chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1351301bdc4.html?eng=y
> Bergoglio Too Has His Non-negotiable Principles
chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1351361bdc4.html?eng=y


The first of the four postulates, in fact, the one according to which “time is greater than space,” simply means that Pope Francis wants the evolutionary “processes” dear to him to win over the static apparatus of power, ecclesiastical and not.

While the third postulate, according to which “realities are greater than ideas,” is nothing other than a repackaging of the pseudoconciliar commonplace stating the primacy of orthopraxy over orthodoxy, or in other words, of the priority of the “pastoral” over doctrine.

As for the nature of the Church as complexio oppositorum, meaning a combination of institution and event, of mystery/sacrament and word, of individuality and community, of interiority and public worship, the pontificate of Francis shows how he does not at all love this reciprocal enrichment between opposites, but on the contrary wants to suppress or disregard that which in one or the other opposition he sees as static or obsolete.

His coldness toward the liturgy is plain for all to see, as is his insensitivity to the category of the beautiful and his under-appreciation [the more accurate term would be 'disdain'] of doctrine and institution.

It must be said - and Borghesi recognizes this - that Bergoglio never studied and assimilated the entire work of his teachers, but has only read a few isolated things, taking pointers from them in his own way. And this explains the non-homogeneity of his writings, magisterial as well, in which he combines the most diverse materials. [What Magister calls ‘non-homogeneity’ is really intellectual (and consequently verbal) incoherence that has been the hallmark of Bergoglio’s logorrhea, and this is the result of a mind that lacks system and discipline outside of the man’s specific obsessions which are for the most part erroneous.]

But it explains even more the gaping discrepancy between his illustrious teachers and the concrete figures of whom Pope Francis avails himself as his confidants and ghostwriters: from the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, a rhetorical yarnspinner, to the Argentine Víctor Manuel Fernández, a theologian with a less than mediocre reputation, who revealed himself to the world with a first work entitled “Sáname con tu boca. El arte de besar" (Heal me with your mouth: The art of kissing) and yet was encouraged by his friend who had become pope to go so far as to transcribe into “Amoris Laetitia” whole sections of his confused articles from a dozen years before, on family morality. [It says volumes that Bergoglio’s one-man brain trust all these years is an intellectual dilettante like Fernandez who is cast in the same mold as Bergoglio.]

Another sign of confusion is the equal “preference” that Francis reserves for the two French theologians dearest to him, de Lubac and de Certeau, showing that he is unaware that de Lubac broke with de Certeau, his former pupil, and leveled harsh criticism against him: he accused him of being a “Joachimite” infatuated, like the visionary medieval friar, with a presumed golden age of pure spirit, free from any constraint of the ecclesiastical institution. [In this case, it is interesting to note that De Lubac apparently shared Bonaventure’s (and Joseph Ratzinger’s) dismissal of Joachim de Fiore’s 'spiritualism'.]

Moreover, in this 'intellectual biography' written by Borghesi, there are glaring omissions. There is total silence on Walter Kasper, in spite of the fact that Francis declared himself to be a reader and admirer of his from his first “Angelus” after being elected pope, rewarding him with boundless praise - for knowing how to do “theology on one’s knees” – and then, promoting him as his theologian-guide for the major changes he, Bergoglio, has been ‘instituting’ on the matters of marriage, divorce and sacramental discipline, as well as on the supposed primacy of the local Churches over the universal Church.

Nor is there so much as a word on Rodolfo Kusch, the Argentine anthropologist whose concept of people (‘el pueblo’) Francis recently said he had assimilated. And this in spite of the fact that in Borghesi’s book there are many pages on Bergoglio’s “populism.”

And naturally there is no mention in Bergoglio’s readings, of Joseph Ratzinger as theologian, not even as the author of the books on Jesus. But this is a vacuum that makes matters even clearer. [In the years he was teaching theology, Bergoglio probably cast an anathema on Joseph Ratzinger's books and forbade any of his students to read them. Just as plausible as that he must have thrown out all CDF documents - including and especially DOMINUS IESUS - directly into the shredder without even bothering to read them.]

Then there's this about THE DICTATOR POPE:


The Dictator Pope:
A must-read book, available now

by Steve Skojec

December 4, 2017

Last week, I offered a preview of a new book called The Dictator Pope, which bills itself as “The inside story of the most tyrannical and unprincipled papacy of modern times.” In my sneak peek at the book, I said it was important and asked you to consider pre-ordering it, and you rose to the occasion.

Today it debuted in English as an Amazon best-seller out of the gate, ranking #1 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Biographies > Popes & the Vatican, #2 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Catholicism, and rising about 500 spots to sit at #876 in the Kindle store overall.

To be clear: I did not write or contribute to the writing of this book and I have no financial interest in promoting it, other than that if you click one of our links and buy it at Amazon, 1P5 gets a standard affiliate commission for sending you to their store.

I simply believe it provides essential information at a critical time, and I am doing whatever I can to help get it out there so people can come to understand the truth about the crisis in the Vatican.

After giving it a skim last week to offer you an overview, I’m going back through it more slowly today, and am about a quarter of the way through. I am already learning things that I did not know.

For example, did you realize that Pope Benedict XVI refused to accept Bergoglio’s mandatory resignation at age 75? [It surely was not remarkable that he allowed him to continue serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Many bishops have been allowed to serve beyond age 75 until Bergoglio became pope, when he has promptly accepted mandatory resignations if the bishops are persona non grata to him. Since it was common knowledge Bergoglio ended up being Ratzinger's eventual challenger in the 2005 Conclave, imagine the field day the media would have had if he had summarily accepted Bergoglio's mandatory resignation!]

The position that Bergoglio built up in these years was threatened, however, by a looming deadline. In December 2011, on reaching the age of seventy-five, he would have to submit his resignation as archbishop, and a movement away from the sinking ship became apparent.

Omar Bello considers that by 2011 Bergoglio had been eclipsed in influence by his rival Héctor Aguer, Archbishop of La Plata. Pope Benedict in fact refused Bergoglio’s resignation (to the disgust of some members of the Argentinian hierarchy, who would soon suffer for their discontent) and, as often happens in such cases, asked the retiring prelate to continue for a little longer.

But even in his own eyes Cardinal Bergoglio could only seem an increasingly lame duck at this time; he was talking about resigning and withdrawing to a retirement home for the clergy. The hopes that had been raised in the 2005 Conclave were disappearing, as Pope Benedict’s reign followed a doctrinal line which Bergoglio had too openly discarded. (From Colonna's book, Kindle 628-635).]

And this came as a shocker: According to sources interviewed by the author in Argentina, Bergoglio knew Benedict would be abdicating before he announced it — and Benedict’s having allowed him to stay on would play a direct role in what came next:

Unexpectedly, however, this gloomy situation was transformed by a rumour from Rome. By the middle of 2012, a few insiders in the Curia knew that Pope Benedict was considering abdication; he had confided his intention to two of his closest associates, the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, and the papal secretary Archbishop Gänswein, and he had named the exact date: 28 February 2013. [Bergoglio's spies must have had direct access to Bertone and/or Gaenswein to obtain the information, which I doubt either of the two would have shared!]

Cardinal Bergoglio’s communications with Rome were abruptly stepped up from this time, rising to hectic levels as the date approached. Sure enough, on 11 February 2013 Pope Benedict made his public announcement to the cardinals, and it took almost the whole world by surprise; not Bergoglio and his associates, however, as eyewitnesses discovered.

On the day of the announcement itself, the rector of Buenos Aires cathedral went to visit his Cardinal and found him exultant. During their interview, the telephone never stopped ringing with international calls from Bergoglio’s allies, and they were all calls of personal congratulation. One Argentinian friend, however, less well informed than the others, rang up to ask about the extraordinary news, and Bergoglio told him: “You don’t know what this means.”

Cardinal Bergoglio had had eight years to mull exactly what it meant. In 2005, the plans of the St Gallen Group had seemed shattered by the election of Benedict XVI. It was assumed that Benedict was due for a reign of ten or even fifteen years, and that would be too long for any of those involved to benefit.

The abdication in February 2013 came just in time to revive the St Gallen programme. Cardinal Martini had died the previous year, but Danneels and Kasper were just young enough to beat the exclusion from papal conclaves that cardinals incur at the age of eighty, a milestone they would both reach later in the year. Above all, Bergoglio, at the age of 76, remained papabile; the extension of his mandate by Pope Benedict meant that he was still in place as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and thus a leading member of the Latin American hierarchy. (From Colonna's book, Kindle 636-652).]

[In the two excerpts he posted, Skojec seems to be expanding the 'blame' that he and others have imputed to Benedict XVI for having brought on the Bergoglio pontificate by resigning when he did - now the blame goes back even farther to when Benedict XVI chose to extend Bergoglio's service as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.]

Frequently,the book has offered some new insight, or ties together pieces of information I already knew in a way that helps me better connect the puzzle in my head. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you’re missing out on what is turning out to be the best, most readable overview of this entire papacy I’ve yet come across. (And I say this as one of the sources cited in the book’s footnotes.)

Some of you have asked me if there’s a physical copy available, or just an ebook. For the moment, the answer is just an ebook. I’ve been in contact over the past few days with some people with knowledge of the book’s production, and they’ve told me there’s an interest in producing a physical copy, but it’s still in the planning stages. (You’ll note that the ebook was self-published; this is one of the most efficient ways to get a text out and into the hands of as many people as possible as quickly as possible.)

Also, to answer another question, even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can read the ebook. Just download the kindle app for your phone, tablet, PC or Mac right here.

Finally, I was also informed that as of today, the book’s website has gone back up. There’s really not much new information there, but considering that the first version of the website was taken down after the designer was hounded by people in Rome trying to get him to reveal the author’s identity, it’s noteworthy.

I am sure I’ll have more to share as I make my way through the rest of the book. Stay tuned!


“The Dictator Pope”
by Robert Royal

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017

Note: This is an all too brief account of a remarkable new book on the pope, which is making waves in Rome and around the world. Fr. Gerald Murray, Raymond Arroyo, and I will discuss this and other matters in greater detail tomorrow evening on EWTN’s “The World Over,” 8 PM East Coast time.


The title above is the name of a book that appeared Monday in English (after earlier publication in Italian) by a writer who has assumed a grand Renaissance pseudonym: Marcantonio Colonna (an admiral at Lepanto). He evidently could not publish under his real name, for fear of reprisals.

But the case he lays out is largely convincing: that Pope Francis has carefully cultivated an image in public as the apostle of mercy, kindness, and openness; in private, he’s authoritarian, given to profanity-laced outbursts of anger, and manipulative in pursuing his agenda.

This is hardly news, least of all in Rome. This volume, however, is far more probing and detailed than anything that has previously appeared. It sometimes stretches evidence, but the sheer amount of evidence it provides is stunning. About 90 percent of it is simply incontrovertible, and cannot help but clarify who Francis is and what he’s about.

The parts of this story I know best – the Synods on the family that I reported on daily from Rome for TCT – are absolutely reliable. We know, for example, that Pope Francis was quite willing to openly manipulate the Synods by personally appointing supporters of the Kasper Proposal and that he even intervened personally at key points, changing procedures and instructing the bishops about where their deliberations should start – and end.

When Francis cares about something – as Colonna shows – he makes it happen, whatever the opposition (at the Synods, it was considerable). There’s a clear pattern of behavior, whatever uncertainties remain. On the divorced and remarried, the environment, immigrants, “Islamophobia,” the poor, the pope is relentless.

But he was not elected to revolutionize marital doctrine or “discipline.” Nor was he chosen to be a player in international politics. He was elected to be a “reformer” who would mainly clean up Vatican finances and deal with the gay lobby, two things that played a role in Benedict’s resignation.

On the financial front, there was a strong start: The council of cardinals, Cardinal Pell’s effort to inject Anglo-Saxon transparency, a new special secretariat on the economy, hiring PriceWaterhouseCoopers to do an external audit. The momentum stalled as the old guard slowly regained control over Vatican finances – and oversight. A series of Vatican Bank presidents, officials, accountants, etc. – probably getting too close to the truth – have been fired without good explanations. (Something similar played out in the Knights of Malta controversy.) Pell had to return to Australia to deal with sexual abuse charges from forty years ago that, suspiciously, resurfaced after being earlier examined and dismissed.

And where was the pope during all of this? He didn’t seem very interested. If he had been, he’d be at least as dogged in dealing with financial reform as he is, say, about global warming. Austen Ivereigh, a British writer and papal fan, entitled his biography The Great Reformer, in part because of Jorge Bergoglio’s alleged role in curbing abuses in Buenos Aires. Colonna doubts the truth of that account, and not only because of Francis’s lack of action in Rome. He thinks the Argentinian stories should be re-examined.

Then there’s the gay mafia. People forget that the occasion for Francis’s famous remark “Who am I to judge?” was not a general comment about homosexuality. It was in response to a question about Msgr. Battista Ricca, who was involved in several notorious homosexual scandals, some right across the river from Buenos Aires in Uruguay. Nonetheless, right after the 2013 papal election, he became the pope’s “eyes and ears” at the Vatican Bank and director of the Casa Santa Marta, where Francis resides.

And then there’s the troubling, casual resurrection of figures like Cardinal Gottfried Daneels, once thoroughly discredited for his support for contraception, divorce, gay marriage, even euthanasia and abortion – and outrageous mishandling of priestly abuse. But he stood with Francis on the balcony of St. Peter’s right after the conclave and read the prayer for the new pope at his inauguration. He was also one of the ringers Francis personally invited to bolster his case at the Synods.

Then there’s the appointment of another radical, Archbishop Paglia, to head the “reformed” John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family. In a remarkably naked authoritarian move, the pope substituted himself for Cardinal Sarah for the institute’s opening academic address in 2016, and spoke of “a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage.” You have to believe that Cardinal Marx was expressing the truth when he said, at the end of the synods, that it was just the beginning.

The least satisfactory part of this book for me is the account of how the “St. Gallen Group” – one of its own members called it a “mafia” – which met to plan opposition to St. JPII and Joseph Ratzinger, identified Jorge Bergoglio as a future papal candidate. He had no global visibility until he gave the concluding address at the 2001 Synod on the role of bishops. NYC’s Cardinal Edward Egan was supposed to do that but stayed home because 9/11 had just happened. The address impressed the synod fathers for its fairness to both sides. Colonna reveals, however, that it was entirely the work of a Synod secretary/speechwriter, Msgr. Daniel Emilio Estivill. We need to know more about how things went, from then to now.

Colonna also weakens his credibility somewhat by repeating rumors that Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin convinced Francis to use money from Peter’s Pence to support Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. No footnotes appear to support this claim, nor does Colonna offer a plausible account of how and why Rome would think Mrs. Clinton – Hilary Clinton? – worth such a risky bet and potential scandal.

Despite a few lapses, the most disturbing element remains: the abundant evidence – confirmed by many particular instances now over years of this papacy – that the pope has little use for established procedures, precedents, even legal structures within the Church. These are not mere trivial rules, Pharisaic legalism, resistance to the Holy Spirit, etc. They are the means by which the Church seeks to be clear, fair, and orderly – and to address unjust actions or abuses by those in power.

When the head of the Church himself does not much feel bound by the tradition or impartial laws he has inherited, what then? That the question even has to be asked is disturbing. Any answer will have to reckon with the eye-opening material in this compelling book.

12/8/17
P.S. Fr. Blake on 'that book'...

'The Dictator Pope' - some thoughts

December 8, 2017

I finished that book, 'The Dictator Pope', a few days ago. There was very little that was new in it but it is shocking when scandals are brought together in a catalogue of vice. This is certainly not a book I would recommend most people reading, especially those who are easily shocked.

It portrays a picture of an arbitrary self-seeking princeling with few virtues and practically every vice. For those who hear confessions regularly it gives an insight into the cup which is clean on the outside but full of corruption on the inside.

It gives an insight into the contemporary Church, certainly into the psychology of many of its leading clergy and perhaps into the heresy of Mercy. In the abuse crisis so many of our leaders like Cardinal Daneels, who comes in for much criticism, not only defended abusers, telling their victim they needed to repent but they simply pretended there was no problem. Maybe they were not as bad as Cardinal Maradiaga who chairs Francis's Council of Nine, and who dismissed the whole matter as a construction of the 'Jewish media'.

A false, heretical understanding of Mercy reduces God to being tolerant of everything, to the point where sin disappears and black becomes white, the foolish are regarded as wise, the corrupt become virtuous. A tolerant God means mankind has no need of Redemption or Salvation, the whole Christological drama becomes unnecessary and humanity has no need of a moral compass, because whatever is done, so long as it doesn't undermine the Enlightenment virtues, is fine.

An excess of Mercy has a tendency to remove any critical faculty. God becomes the watchmaker who having finished his work, sets it in place to run by itself, he is not as scripture portrays him concerned by our every action, nor is he the one who will come to judge between sheep and goats, and certainly not the one who is concerned about our personal integrity, our truth telling, our sexual or financial morality and our craving for power.

It works well for a dictator, in that any criticism or expression of doubts or any questioning about this new god (the god of theological speculation, rather than God revealed by Jesus Christ in scripture and Tradition) becomes a sign of sickness, rigidity, even heresy, but worst of all of the unforgivable sins of divisiveness and disloyalty.

What I find so shocking in this book, which hardly reveals any new secrets, just adds a few details, is that such corruption as it reveals causes dis-ease in so few. [This is exactly what I meant when I deplored in a recent remark how the cumulative effect of daily media reports about this pope in the past almost five years has resulted in creating a 'new normal' for most Catholics, including Catholic media - in which the iteration and accumulation of doctrinal and moral infractions by someone who happens to be the pope has seemed to make the infractions no longer infractions but just 'the way it is with this pope'.

Yet whether in his habitual lying about his actions or his equally habitual selective preaching about the Gospel, none of it is the way it ought to be for any God-fearing Catholic, much less for the supposed Vicar of Christ on earth. Is it shocking to think of a pope, any pope, as a habitual liar? It's even more shocking, reprehensible and totally censurable that his deception extends to falsifying the Gospel - the very Word of God - by preaching only the parts of it that serve his agenda for himself and for the 'new improved church' he is trying to institute. But few are calling him out for these offenses.

'Heresy' is a difficult accusation to make because it has become tangled up in all sorts of legalisms and technicalities. But anyone can show Bergoglio is falsifying the Gospel by referring to his own innumerable statements, duly reported in the world's media, in which he does just that. ]


Indeed, those who do raise concerns are hussled to the margins and vilified. Colonna gives us insight into a court that seems to be hotbed of neurotic revenge, nepotism, financial corruption, homosexual practice and where surveillance and gossip are rife and where image is all.

A quote from the book, a priest said, "It is not who or what you know, it is now about what you know about who you know", he was talking about a culture of blackmail. Why is it tolerated? Why is it so easily accepted? Why do so few denounce it?

Perhaps it is that Catholicism in particular has seen so many changes in recent years that there are so few points of stability from which bearings can be taken. Even the Gospels, the actual revealed words of Jesus are pushed to the background and replaced by 'the sublime theology' of some German Cardinal. The author makes the point that what has been lost in the last few years is Jesus's 'Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no'. [One of those very obvious teachings of Jesus that this pope will never ever cite because he disregards it as he pleases!]

Being anxious that some fragment of the Lord's body might be lost or desecrated should be important to priests, nowadays every Christian should be deeply concerned that a word, a comma of the Lord's teaching is omitted, ignored or lost, because his words cannot be said wherever sin and vice abound.

But then many bishops and religious superiors simply turned a blind eve to sexual abuse and abusers.....
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, December 8, 2017 12:07 AM


Magisterial??

December 7, 2017

So PF's letter to a bishop in Argentina has been published in the AAS. Naturally, people are worried about the status which this might confer on it. Does it turn the letter concerned into a Magisterial document to which we are obliged to exhibit respect (obsequium)? And all that.

I am not going to get into questions such as the different weight to be accorded to different levels of papal documents; or how to construe a papal document which either obviously or apparently contradicts another document of the same Magisterial level. You can find that sort of stuff elsewhere.

And the great Father Zed has done the Church Militant another immense service by printing a detailed analysis of the situation by a noted canonist. [See article below.] The gist is: even an Apostolic Letter printed in AAS does not cancel Canon 915 (unless it explicitly and in due form says that it does).

We are in a new situation under PF, and new hermeneutical methods are both needed and implied. I offer some thoughts ... you might call them the tentative reactions of a Plain Simple Man.

It is an objective and undeniable fact that Amoris laetitia has been interpreted in diametrically contradictory ways.
- Some bishops, some conferences, take the view that it has changed nothing of the teaching contained in previous Magisterial documents. - Some bishops, some conferences, believe that it has opened up the possibility of giving the Sacraments to unrepentant public adulterers.

A sound and common sense principle is: "A doubtful Law is no Law". As Cardinal Mueller has pointed out, in a very grave matter a change can only be made in law or doctrine by an explicit statement, with accompanying reasoning, making clear beyond all doubt that a change is being made. Sending Von Schoenborn down to a Vatican News Conference to smile sweetly at Diane Montagna and say "It's a Development!! Read Newman!!!" hardly meets this criterion.

If Amoris laetitia itself is of no effect, clearly a letter (even if it subsequently appropriates to itself the grandiose term 'Magisterial') which purports to interpret AL, can hardly rise much above the level of nugacitas (trifling play).

Vatican I defined that ex cathedra statements of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable ex sese (in themselves) and do not depend ex consensu Ecclesiae (on the consensus of the Church]. By implication: it has not been defined that lesser papal statements are ex sese irreformable. Thus, we can take into account what conferences and individual bishops say in interpreting Amoris laetitia [and AL itself, without having to be bound by it].

That document is reformable and any force it may eventually after a few decades acquire will depend on the consensus of the Church. A fortiori, the same is true of the note that Cardinal Parolin has so unwisely attached to the text of "the Argentine letter" in AAS.

One of the cheapest and nastiest tricks of the current regime is its facile habit of plastering labels reading "Holy Spirit" or "Magisterium" onto any ill-considered novelty it wants to force down the throats of its unwilling fellow Christians.

Another objective and undeniable fact: although instructed by his Employer to "strengthen your brethren", PF has not replied to Dubia, even when submitted by patres purpurati. Quite obviously, it cannot be argued that he has taught, clearly, explicitly, and as definitive tenendum, any of those contents of the document Amoris laetitia which have caused such puzzlement.

In other words, the Petrine Ministry appears currently to be in the state which Blessed John Henry Newman neatly described as Suspense. I suggest that a general pastoral conclusion to be drawn from all this is that ordinary straightforward Christians have better things to do with their time than worrying about the precise status of ambiguous statements.

Better, richer, more God-given things. Qualia essent ...
Open a bottle of wine.
Compose a limerick in English about Cardinal Kasper.
Do the Times Latin Crossword in under five minutes.
Play forfeits with your wife/husband.
Incorporate into a 'Vergilian' eclogue (with goats and shepherdesses galore) Cardinal Mueller's recent brilliant apercu that the Church is not a Field Hospital but a Silicon Valley.
Recite the Quicunque vult and make an Act of Faith.
Cram yourself full of baklava and/or halva.
Listen to the Kyries of the Missa Papae Marcelli.
Go to Ashmole and commune with Menander or Benedict XIV or both.
Walk down the river from Sandford Lock to Abingdon and count the species of waterfowl.
Convert the encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis into Homeric hexameters.
Shoot a magpie or two or three or four.
Find a priest who will take a stipend to offer the Mass Salus populi for the Ecclesia Dei adflicta
.



This is canonist Ed Peters's take on the Bergoglian promulgation by rescript:

On the appearance of the pope’s letter
to the Argentine bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis


December 4, 2017

Some three months ago I predicted that Pope Francis’s letter to the Argentine bishops, approving their implementation of Amoris laetitia, would make its way into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Now it has.

An accompanying note from Cardinal Parolin states that the pope wishes the Argentine document to enjoy “magisterial authority” and that his endorsement thereof has the status of an “apostolic letter”.

Fine. Let’s work through some points.
1. Canon 915. It is crucial to understand that, today, what actually prevents ministers of holy Communion from distributing the Eucharist to divorced-and-remarried Catholics is Canon 915 and the universal, unanimous interpretation which that legislative text, rooted as it is in divine law, has always received.

Canon 915 and the fundamental sacramental and moral values behind it might be forgotten, ignored, or ridiculed, even by ranking officers in the Church, but unless and until that law is revoked or modified by papal legislative action or is effectively neutered by pontifically approved “authentic interpretation” (1983 CIC 16), Canon 915 stands and, so standing, binds ministers of holy Communion.

Neither the pope’s letter to the Argentines, nor the Argentine bishops’ document, nor even Amoris laetitia so much as mentions Canon 915, let alone do these documents abrogate, obrogate, or authentically interpret this norm out of the Code of Canon Law. Granted, little or nothing in these documents endorses or reiterates Canon 915, either, and the apparently studied silence that Canon 915 suffers these days is cause for deep pastoral concern. But law does not wilt under the silent treatment.

2. Apostolic letter. An “apostolic letter” is a sort of mini-encyclical and, however much attention encyclicals get for their teaching or exhortational value, they are not (with rare exceptions) legislative texts used to formulate new legal norms.

Typically “apostolic letters” are written to smaller groups within the Church and deal with more limited questions—not world-wide questions such as admitting divorced-and-remarried Catholics to holy Communion. Even where a special kind of “apostolic letter” is used to make changes to the law — such as John Paul II did in Ad tuendam fidem (1998), as Benedict did in Omnium in mentem (2009), or as Francis did in Magnum principium (2017) — the “apostolic letter” used in such cases carries the additional designation “motu proprio” (i.e., on the pope’s own initiative, and not in response to another’s action), and the changes made to the law thereby are expressly identified by canon number, not simply implied or surmised, especially not by silence.

The pope’s letter to the Argentines appears simply as an “apostolic letter”, not as an “apostolic letter motu proprio”, and it references no canons.

3. Authentic magisterium. Many people use the term “magisterium” as if it were tantamount to “Church governing authority”, but in its canonical sense “magisterium” generally refers to the Church’s authority to issue teachings on faith and morals, not to the Church’s authority to enforce discipline related to matters of faith and morals.

While Francis — albeit about as indirectly as is possible (through a memo to a dicastery official concerning a letter written by an episcopal conference) — has indicated that his letter to the Argentines and even the Argentine conference letter itself are “magisterial”, the fact remains that the content of any Church document, in order to bear most properly the label “magisterial”, must deal with assertions about faith and morals, not provisions for disciplinary issues related to faith and morals.

Church documents can have both “magisterial” and “disciplinary” passages, of course, but generally only those teaching parts of such a document are canonically considered “magisterial” while normative parts of such a document are canonically considered “disciplinary”.

Francis has, in my opinion, too loosely designated others of his views as bearing “magisterial authority” (recall his comments about the liturgical movement), and he is not alone in making, from time to time, odd comments about the use of papal power (recall John Paul II invoking “the fullness of [his] Apostolic authority” to update the by-laws of a pontifical think-tank in 1999).

But that inconsistent usage only underscores that the rest of us must try to read such documents in accord with how the Church herself usually (I wish always, but I’ll content myself with “usually”) writes them, and ask, here:

Are there “magisterial” assertions in Amoris, the Buenos Aires document, and Francis’ endorsement letter? Yes. Plenty, running the gamut from obviously true, through true-but-oddly-or-incompletely phrased, to a few that, while capable of being understood in an orthodox sense, are formulated in ways that lend themselves to heterodox understandings (and for that reason should be clarified for the sake of the common ecclesial good).

In any case, such teaching statements, to the extent they make assertions about faith or morals and come from bishops and/or popes acting as bishops or popes, already enjoy thereby at least some (relatively little) level of ordinary magisterial value, a value not augmented by sticking the label “magisterial” on them.

And, are there “disciplinary” assertions in Amoris, the Buenos Aires document, and Francis’ endorsement letter? Yes, a few. But as I have said before, in my view, none of those rather few disciplinary assertions, even those ambiguous and capable therefore of leaving the door open to unacceptable practices, suffices to revoke, modify, or otherwise obviate Canon 915 which, as noted above, prevents the administration of holy Communion to divorced-and-remarried Catholics.

Conclusion
- I wish that Canon 915 were not the sole bulwark against the abandonment of the Eucharist to the vagaries of individual, often malformed, consciences.
- I wish that a lively, pastorally-driven sense of the liberating permanence of Christian marriage, the universal need for Confession to reconcile those in grave sin, the power of the Eucharist to feed souls in the state of grace and to condemn those who receive irreverently, sufficed to make invocation of Canon 915 unnecessary in pastoral practice.

But apparently, in much of the Catholic world these days, such is not the case, and Canon 915 must be pointed to as if it were the only reason to bar reception of holy Communion in these situations.

But what can one say? Unless Canon 915 itself is directly revoked, gutted, or neutered, it binds ministers of holy Communion to withhold that most august sacrament from, among others, divorced-and-remarried Catholics except where such couples live as brother-sister and without scandal to the community.

Nothing I have seen to date, including the appearance of the pope’s and Argentine bishops’ letters in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, makes me think that Canon 915 has suffered such a fate.


In short, Canon 915 is still the law of the Church, regardless of what AL, the pope, Cardinals Schoenborn and Marx, the bishops of Malta, etc. about allowable exceptions. But how does that spiritually help - the persons who think themselves to be among these exceptions (and the priests whose discernment makes them agree with the self-absolved exceptions, none of whom will ever so much as remember Canon 915) and now feel free to flout Canon 915? We're talking practical consequences here, having to do with a false absolution from sin and a false state of grace leading to sacrilegious communion and a self-satisfied persistence in adulterous living. None of this will be avoided by citing Canon 915 to protest all that.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, December 8, 2017 9:04 PM

Bergoglio's trivial pursuits
Our beloved pope must think there is no crisis in the faith at all, if he now chooses to propose a new translation for the Lord's Prayer - and in
his habitual way, thereby 'correcting' Jesus's idea of temptation... It has taken the Anglophone media two days to pick this up from the Italian
media, and here is how the BBC reports it:

Pope Francis has called for a translation of a phrase about temptation in the Lord's Prayer to be changed.

The current wording that says "lead us not into temptation" is not a good translation because God does not lead humans to sin, he says. ["Oh, what a clever man am I - to be the first to see this in 2017 years!"]

His suggestion is to use "do not let us fall into temptation" instead, he told Italian TV on Wednesday night.

The Lord's Prayer is the best-known prayer in Christianity.

The pontiff said France's Roman Catholic Church was now using the new wording "do not let us fall into temptation" as an alternative, and something similar should be used worldwide.

"Do not let me fall into temptation because it is I who fall, it is not God who throws me into temptation and then sees how I fell," he told TV2000, an Italian Catholic TV channel. "A father does not do that, a father helps you to get up immediately."

The Lord's Prayer in common use around the world is a translation from the Latin Vulgate, a 4th-Century Latin translation of the Bible, which itself was translated from ancient Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.

Here are two Italian commentaries:

Bergoglio will change the 'Our Father':
He approves an erroneous French translation

By Fra Cristoforo
Translated from
ANONIMI DELLA CROCE
December 6, 2017

On November 14, I wrote an article reporting the serious errors in the new translation of the Our Father by the Italian bishops’ conferences, particularly the line ‘non ci indurre in tentazione’ ('lead us not into temptation’ which the ‘new Biblicists’ have translated as 'non abbandonarci alla tentazione' (do not abandon us to temptation).

This time, I shall not say more of the CEI translation, since the problem now lies with recent statements by Bergoglio in which once more he confirms his brothers ‘in error’ and not in the Truth of the Faith. In short, in a catechesis on the Lord’s Prayer, he said that it would be necessary to change the prayer using the erroneous translation as they have already done in France, because, he says, “God does not lead anyone to temptation… A father does not do this, because he helps us to get up”.

The argument against his reasoning is very simple. We all know that the author of every temptation is the devil. But God ‘allows’ temptation to happen [even Jesus was tempted by the devil] in our lives because we are ‘tried’ by temptation, and overcoming it brings great benefit to our soul and advances us on our way towards eternal life.

But the ‘new church’ of Bergoglio does not worship before Christ, because it has made an idol of the god of political correctness, opening the way for relativism in the matter of faith and morals. This is the dictatorship of relativisim that Benedict XVI denounced.

Starting with the fact that the correct translation is what it has always been –‘ lead us not into temptation ‘ – the pope’s latest staements make it clear that we cannot under-estimate imminent liturgical changes. If there is no fear of changing the Lord’s Prayer as He taught us more than 2000 years ago, there will be no hesitation in changing the rest of the Eucharistic liturgy, including the Prayers of Consecration.

I think this is a very ugly omen, yet so many Catholic journalists seem not to show any concern. I hope they do so soon, because they can highlight what is happening and sound the warning bell against changes which are anything but innocuous….

Of course, God allows temptation – he did so in Eden, and Adam and Eve failed the test. And most obviously, Jesus was etmpted in the desert by Satan Here nonetheless is an argument about temptation put forth by the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (which is an elaboration of Fra Cristoforo’s reasoning) who sees it from a more theological and logical perspective than the sentimental and illogical effusions of his fellow Jesuit Bergoglio

Yes, God allows temptation –
and he expects us to decide against it

Translated from

December 7, 2017

“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”. The Catholic world has prayed the Lord’s Prayer thus for 2016 years.

But recent statements by Pope Francis (“It is not a good translation. Even the French have changed it to say ‘do not allow us to fall into temptation” – because it is I who falls, it is not God who throws me into temptation to see how I fall! A father does not do this, he helps us get up”) have re-opened an old question.

If Christians have prayed this way for centuries, it is possible they have been wrong all along? Would it really be better to say “do not abandon us to temptation” in the new translation of the Italian bishops’ conference?

Not being an expert, I gladly let others answer this. Of course, I will continue to pray the Lord’s Prayer as I was taught when I was a child. And I bring up something relevant from many years ago from the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who devoted some illuminating reflections on this issue. [Valli wrote a biography of Martini entitled Storia di un uomo.]

The problem about a less ‘scandalous’ translation, he said, cannot certainly be raised today. St. Ambrose, for instance, preferred to translate the line as “do not allow us to fall into temptation” [exactly as the French bishops have done], so the equivalent Italian translation “do not abandon us to temptation” is just one of the many attempts to resolve a long-standing ‘problem’.

Martini however says that the true problem is something else:
Jesus himself placed the problem of temptation squarely and strongly in the Lord’s Prayer – and whatever the verb used in translation, we should not lose sight of its complement.

Jesus is telling us that temptation always accompanies us, it is part of our daily experience, as he himself experienced (not by chance, after the years he spent with his family, he began his public ministry by subjecting himself to the temptations of Satan during his 40-day retreat in the desert). So, whether we say “lead us not into temptation” or “do not allow us to fall into temptation” or “do not abandon us to temptation”, we are saying with the Lord that God certainly allows temptation – not in marginal or extraordinary ways – but as a constant experience.

Why? It is simple, Martini says: Because it is through temptation and our consequent interior battle with it, that we grow in our faith. If we were not exposed to temptation, if everything in life proceeded smoothly and tranquilly, if we had, as this pope says, an internal GPS that would guide us only towards the good, then the free will with which he endowed man would never be tested [nor even be necessary]. But we cannot forget that Christian life is a continual battle that calls on each of us at every turn to choose between good and bad.

Temptations are numberless and come in infinite ways, but there is one that is particularly frightening, and it is eschatological. That is, at the end of time, Satan will unleash his last and most fearsome attack. Martini recalled in this regard Matthew’s words: “Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24, 11-12).

So the last and most devastating temptation is this: to yield definitively to the Satan, to his seductions, and choose Evil. With a capital ‘E’ because Evil is somebody. And seduction is the weaon used by the Evil One, who instigates man to choose him as he presents himself in captivating persuasive guise.

All of us, Martini underscored, without exemption, are subject to the Evil One’s seduction, so we must all be vigilant. And that is why, in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus places his final emphasis on temptation and evil.

In his book Ritrovare se stessi (Finding oneself), Martini writes in the chapter dedicated to spiritual struggle: “All of Jesus’s life was a formidable struggle, placing himself in a decisive battle against the adversary.” So is it for us. We cannot sugarcoat the pill.

If we are in constant battle, what should we be aware of? The cardinal said:

“Above all, that we are always in a risky situation. It is risky and dangerous to live the Gospel to the full. To have this sense of risk and difficulty is realism – a realism that allows is to see the ways of the enemy, the ways in which the world is brought to evil – but always feeling that our strength is in God.

A profound analysis of the mystery of evil, of iniquity and of perversion, with the help of Sacred Scripture, makes us confront adversity without fear because it helps us to see, despite the vastness of evil, the power of Christ which operates continually throughout history.

A second point: This is a battle that has no pauses, allows no quarters, against an astute and terrible adversary who is both outside us and within us. This is often forgotten today when people live in an atmosphere of deterministic optimism in which everything can only go from good to better, without giving thought to the tragedies and divisions throughout human history, without realizing that history has its tragic regressions and risks which threaten precisely those who least expect it, cradled as they area in a vision of historical evolutionism that can only proceed for the better.

The third point: Only he who arms himself in every way can resist the enemy, who is always circling around us to detect any opening in our armor, if there is any element missing from our defense that will cause us to lose the battle.

And the last consideration: All of our weapons, all the elements of our armor, must be continually refined in prayer which, however, in and by itself, is no substitute for our zeal, our spirit of faith, our capacity for self-giving- but it is the reality which blankets it all and must always be strengthened for battle.

And one behavior of fundamental importance in the battle against temptation, Martini tells us, is to avoid occasions of sin. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna” (Mt 5, 29-30).

Jesus could not have been clearer. It is significant, Martini points out, that in the Gospel of Matthew, this admonition is found, in practically identical terms, in two different passages, which underscores its importance.

So, we must not just avoid sin but also the occasion for sin. A lesson not to be forgotten in a world distinguished by the infinite number of such occasions. Never forgetting that the Christian experience is a battle, a struggle, a competition against the Evil One who ceaselessly uses temptation to entrap us and conquer our soul.

For those who may be interested, here is a beautiful text by Cardinal Martini entitled «Non sprecate parole. Esercizi spirituali con il Padre nostro» (/do not squander words: Spiritual exercises with the ‘Our Father’).
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