As Michael Matt has noted in his video postmortem, the same synod was also, if not primarily, a vehicle for Bergoglio’s attempt to convert the Church into what Antonio Socci has called a “social assistant to the New World order.”
All in all, the just-concluded synod is but another symptom, one of the worst yet, of a terminal disorder in the human element of the Church resulting from a widespread infection by Modernist thinking. In that regard, back in 1998, at the beginning of my “career” as a writer defending the traditionalist position, I wrote a piece for The Latin Mass magazine entitled “Viruses in the Body of Christ. That piece became a chapter in The Great Façade, written to defend this newspaper against attacks by the neo-Catholic constituency in its tireless defense of indefensible, self-evidently ruinous changes in the Church. As presented by the book, the analogy to viruses as a way of understanding the current ecclesial crisis was summarized thus:
...a virus is not in itself a living thing, but rather a mere particle of RNA or DNA. This particle cannot reproduce unless it finds a living cell whose machinery it can employ to make copies of itself. A virus contains just enough information to reproduce itself by finding cells to infect and turn to its purpose. In fact, the only purpose of a virus is self-replication.
By analogy, then, we maintain that certain verbal “viruses” have infected the Mystical Body of Christ. These viruses are pseudo-concepts, which, like actual viruses, have minimal informational content. Just as a virus hovers between life and non-life, these pseudo-concepts hover between meaning and non-meaning. They seem to mean something, but upon close examination, we find no real meaning... These viral pseudo-concepts in the Mystical Body of Christ, like actual viruses, exist only to reproduce themselves, which they do by infecting the understanding of genuine concepts with precise meanings—namely, the perennial teachings of the Magisterium.
We contend that by introducing “ecumenism,” “dialogue” and various other “viral” pseudo-concepts into the Mystical Body, Satan has found a means to confuse, divide and wreak havoc upon the human element of the Church, without the Church ever having taught an actual error of doctrine, which is impossible. Quite the contrary: the pseudo-concepts in question cannot be called doctrinal errors as such, because they are not reducible to a proposition whose words would signify the formal contradiction of an existing Catholic doctrine. Indeed, the terms “ecumenism” and “dialogue” contain nothing in themselves that contradict prior Church teaching; like actual viruses, these terms remain inert until they come into contact with something they can infect. That is why when neo-Catholics say that traditionalists “dissent from ecumenism,” for example, they are unable to articulate precisely what it is about this notion that requires our assent. That is because this notion does not involve any intelligible Catholic doctrine.
This is easily demonstrated. Any Catholic doctrine will fit nicely into the template phrase “X means that...,” where X is the Catholic doctrine in question. Thus, the Immaculate Conception means that from the first moment of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin. Likewise, transubstantiation means that at the moment of the Consecration the substance of the bread and wine are miraculously changed entirely into the substance of Christ –Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—so that nothing of the bread and wine remains, but only the appearances of these.
Applying our template to “ecumenism,” however, we immediately encounter an intellectual dead end. The phrase “ecumenism means that” cannot be completed, just as the phrase “an elephant means that” can’t be completed. Ecumenism, like an elephant, cannot be defined as an abstract concept, but only described or indicated, as in: that is an elephant. Ecumenism, like an elephant, is a thing, or rather a collection of things known as “ecumenical activities.” Ecumenism certainly is something, just as an elephant is something. Ecumenism is, so they say, “a movement for Christian unity.” But movements are by their nature contingent and ever-changing things, and no Catholic can be obliged to believe in a “movement” as if it were a definable Catholic doctrine....
Now, however, in the aftermath of the Amazon Synod a new and arresting analogy to the parasitic action of the Vatican II pseudo-doctrines presents itself. In her piece “The Cordyceps Pontificate of Pope Francis” back in 2015, Hilary White analogized the activity of cordyceps mycelium, a genus of fungi that propagates by infecting organisms with its spores, which then burst forth in a fruiting body that emerges from the infected organism. Pope Francis, she argued, is like “cordyceps fruiting body that is sprouting out of the infested body of the host of the papacy. The spores of Neo-modernism have been bursting out of him since his first moment on the loggia.”
I would like to pursue the analogy a bit further by reference to a particular species of Cordyceps which is the subject of a video linked to Hilary’s 2015 article. Ironically enough, it is found precisely in the jungles of the Amazon that provided the stage setting for the latest of Bergoglio’s sham synods. I mean the species Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, the “zombie-ant fungus” one finds in Brazil and other countries with tropical rainforests such as those of the pan-Amazonian region.
One article on this fungal parasite describes its devastating effects upon ant colonies as among “the world’s most sinister examples of mind control…” When the zombie fungus infects an ant in the Amazon jungle, it relentlessly robs it of all nutrients and tissues, ultimately replacing the ant entirely with itself, leaving only the exoskeleton. But, before it eliminates the ant entirely, the fungus controls its brain to make it an agent for the infection of all the other ants in the colony. It does so, as the article explains, by inducing an infected ant to climb up a plant stem to a height of exactly 25 centimeters (about ten inches) above the forest floor and fasten itself immovably to the plant with its mandibles. Then the fungus “sends a long stalk through the ant’s head, growing into a bulbous capsule full of spores.” The spore bursts and “the fungal spores rain down onto [the ant’s] sisters below, zombifying them in turn.”
The infectious process involved here is eerily analogous to the way in which error and confusion have spread through the Church over the past sixty years: from the top down to the entire community.
Moreover, the article further explains, Ophiocordyceps eventually crowds out every semblance of order in the ant colony by intercommunication between the individual spores that rain down from above to control the brains of all the ants in the colony. But it does so without destroying the brains, which are left intact to direct the zombie ants toward disorder and destruction of the colony as a whole. Try not to cringe as you read the following or watch this video of how the fungus works:
When the fungus first enters its host, it exists as single cells that float around the ant’s bloodstream, budding off new copies of themselves [like a virus, as my 1998 piece observes]. But at some point… these single cells start working together. They connect to each other by building short tubes… Hooked up in this way, they can communicate and exchange nutrients.
They can also start invading the ant’s muscles, either by penetrating the muscle cells themselves or growing into the spaces between them. The result is what you can see in this video: a red muscle fiber, encircled and drained by a network of interconnected yellow fungal cells.
[Y]ou could also think of the fungus as a colony, much like the ants it targets. Individual microscopic cells begin life alone but eventually come to cooperate, fusing into a superorganism. Together, these brainless cells can commandeer the brain of a much larger creature.
But surprisingly, they can do that without ever physically touching the brain itself…. “[M]anipulation of ants by Ophiocordyceps so exquisitely precise that it is perhaps surprising that the fungus doesn’t invade the brain of its host… If such parasites were merely invading and destroying neuronal tissue, I don’t think the manipulated behaviors that we observe would be as compelling as they are… Something much more intricate must be going on.”
So, what we have here is a hostile takeover of a uniquely malevolent kind. Enemy forces invading a host’s body and using that body like a walkie-talkie to communicate with each other and influence the brain from afar….
[The fungus] effectively cuts the ant’s limbs off from its brain and inserts itself in place, releasing chemicals that force the muscles there to contract. If this is right, then the ant ends its life as a prisoner in its own body. Its brain is still in the driver’s seat, but the fungus has the wheel.
The analogy Hilary suggested four years ago now seems even more apt than that of viruses in the Body of Christ. Here I pursue the analogy further, beyond Bergoglio and back to the Second Vatican Council.
The parasitic spores are the conciliar pseudo-doctrines: “ecumenism,” “dialogue,” “interreligious dialogue,” “inculturation,” “collegiality,” and so forth, to which Bergoglio has added “synodality,” “discernment,” “accompaniment,” “culture of encounter,” “ecological conversion” and others. All of these pseudo-doctrines emanated from the top at an ecumenical council or in the later pronouncements of the conciliar and post-conciliar Popes. Like the spores of Ophiocordyceps, they rained down from on high, infecting the minds of vast numbers of otherwise sensible members of the ecclesial community, leaving their minds intact but inducing them to say and do crazy and destructive things.
During the post-Vatican II epoch, these spore-like novelties have crowded out the sound doctrines of the Faith, replacing them with a miasma of muddled notions in which critical distinctions between one thing and another are lost: for example, between the inside and the outside of the Church, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, between truth and error generally, between Catholics and Protestants, between true and false religion generally, between the clergy and the laity, and so on. The great Romano Amerio called this degenerative intellectual disease a “loss of essences.”
And now, with Bergoglio, even the distinction between moral and immoral sexual relations, a matter of natural law binding on all men, has been lost as all forms of sexual union are characterized as merely “irregular unions” that more or less possess “good elements,” just as the man-made Protestant sects and pagan cults are said to possess “elements of truth” even though man-made religions as such save no one. The result is a kind of moral ecumenism that in practice eliminates exceptionless precepts of the natural law, reducing them to a hazy “objective ideal” as we read in the infamous Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia (AL).
Worse, it was via AL that Bergoglio injected “discernment” into the life of the Church, his fraudulent mischaracterization of a true Ignatian discernment of God’s will regarding morally permissible alternative decisions in temporal and spiritual life. Here we encounter what may well be the end stage of the parasitic fungal infection of post-conciliar thinking, the stage in which not only morality but doctrine as such is de facto swallowed up by Bergoglio’s vacuous neologism.
Consider the following revealing exchange between a clearly exasperated questioner and Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ, current head of the Jesuits and a close confident of his fellow Jesuit Bergoglio. The subject was Bergoglio’s outrageous authorization of Holy Communion for public adulterers supposedly engaged in Bergoglian “discernment”:
Q: So if conscience, after discernment, tells me that I can receive communion even if the norm does not provide for it…
Abascal: The Church has developed over the centuries, it is not a piece of reinforced concrete. It was born, it has learned, it has changed. This is why the ecumenical councils are held, to try to bring developments of doctrine into focus. Doctrine is a word that I don’t like very much, it brings with it the image of the hardness of stone. Instead the human reality is much more nuanced, it is never black or white, it is in continual development.
Q: I seem to understand that for you there is a priority for the practice of the discernment of doctrine.
Abascal: Yes, but doctrine is part of discernment. True discernment cannot dispense with doctrine.
Q: But it can reach conclusions different from doctrine.
Abascal: That is so, because doctrine does not replace discernment, nor does it the Holy Spirit.
So, as the post-conciliar crisis in the Church enters what would appear to be its final stage, all of doctrine is subsumed by the fungal spore of “discernment,” which Bergoglio has caused to scatter throughout the Church from above, like a zombie ant from its perch above the jungle floor.
Finally, just as the individual spores of Ophiocordyceps eventually communicate with each other by establishing tubules to coordinate their destruction of the host organism, Bergoglio’s “discernment” communicates with his “synodality” to spread corruption of the body of doctrine. In like manner, the other conciliar pseudo-doctrines intercommunicate to devastate the host organism: “dialogue” communicates with “ecumenism” to produce “ecumenical dialogue” and “interreligious dialogue,” while “collegiality,” like “synodality,” facilitates the spread of these conceptual spores by linking them all together in various subversive assemblies of infected clerics, including episcopal conferences and presbyterial councils.
Now, almost everywhere, infected zombies in clerical garb, their minds intact but controlled by the strange and all but meaningless ideas with which they have been infected, are threatening the destruction of the entire ecclesial commonwealth, if that were possible. Like an Amazonian zombie-ant that has succumbed to Ophiocordyceps, what remains of the Church’s visible human element in vast swaths of the commonwealth is an exoskeleton of diocesan real estate within which zombie-clerics have taken over, even if the Church’s invisible supernatural element, including valid sacraments, remains. (We are not, after all, proponents of the Donatist heresy).
Given this “Cordyceps pontificate,” perhaps it would be fitting to rename the Amazonian zombie-ant fungus after the Pope who has made the Amazon region a test bed for his attempt to complete the auto-demolition of the Church that began with the Council and was lamented—too little, too late—by the ill-starred Pope who presided over its conclusion. I propose the name Cordyceps franciscus.