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Thursday, May 16, 2024

A Major Statement Calling For Francis’s Removal Raises A Major Question

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A Major Statement Calling For Francis’s Removal Raises A Major Question

On May 2, 2024, Rorate Caeli published a “Call for the Resignation of Pope Francis,” setting forth numerous crimes and heresies committed by Francis. Originally signed by seventeen reputable Catholics, the lengthy “Major Statement” concluded with the following:

 

“If Pope Francis refuses to resign, the duty of the bishops and cardinals is to proceed to declare that he has lost the papal office for heresy. If such a declaration cannot occur because there are too few bishops and cardinals willing to speak out about Francis’s heresy, the faithful bishops and cardinals should form a united group to publicly warn the faithful of his crimes and heresies, state that his tenure of the papal office is in doubt due to his heresy, and admonish the faithful not to believe his statements or obey his orders unless it is clear on independent grounds that these statements and orders should be respected. Of course, even a resignation, or a declaration of Pope Francis’ loss of office will not solve the problems in the Church. When he is gone, the clerical corruption that produced him and that he has fostered will remain. But addressing the crimes and heresies of Francis is the essential first step in dealing with this corruption.”

Although efforts such as this naturally find an assortment of critics who can collectively disagree with the entirety of the project, the overall statement appears worthwhile and commendable even if we never see tangible results. Those responsible for the Major Statement evidently wanted to cooperate with God’s grace to serve the Catholic Church in this period of unprecedented crisis, and that should be a good example for all of us.

Without wanting to cast a negative light on the Major Statement, it is timely and perhaps even necessary to consider a question it does not directly ask: do Catholics today need to reject the errors perpetuated by Francis’s predecessors? Or, to ask the question differently: can faithful Catholics today hope to petition God’s grace to resolve the crisis if they tacitly adhere to the errors promoted by John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and even Benedict XVI?

Francis is standing on the shoulders of giant heretics — even if we detest the new blasphemous heights to which he has reached in offending God, he would still be guilty simply by defending the indefensible errors he inherited.

The Major Statement itself offers the following holy wisdom to help us answer these questions:

“One duty that the Church must fulfill is to speak out about the crimes and heresies of Pope Francis, to denounce them, to warn the faithful of them, and to entreat Pope Francis to renounce them. This duty falls on all the members of the Church who have some right and authority to publicly teach and uphold the faith. It falls on Catholic theologians and pastors who have a cure of souls, but it falls most especially upon the bishops of the Church. ‘Each of [the bishops of the Catholic Church], as a member of the episcopal college and legitimate successor of the apostles, is obliged by Christ's institution and command to be solicitous for the whole Church, and this solicitude, though it is not exercised by an act of jurisdiction, contributes greatly to the advantage of the universal Church. For it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church’ (Lumen gentium 23). Those persons who have a responsibility to speak out in this way incur the guilt of Francis’s crimes themselves, if they remain silent. ‘Qui tacit consentire videtur, si loqui debuisset ac potuisset’; ‘he who is silent is understood to consent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to do so’.”

If those shepherds who ought to speak out against Francis’s crimes fail to do so, they incur the guilt of his crimes themselves — these are powerful words.

As the authors of the Major Statement acknowledged in the final sentences, the corruption that produced Francis will remain even after he is removed. In all likelihood, then, many or all of the signatories would readily acknowledge that any heresies Francis inherited from his predecessors would ultimately need to be repudiated by a future pope. Nonetheless, here is what the Major Statement says about Paul VI and John Paul II:

“A number of magisterial interventions were made to counter these attacks. Pope Paul VI addressed various errors in the encyclicals Mysterium fidei, Sacerdotalis caelibatus, and Humanae vitae, and in the Credo of the People of God. Pope John Paul II did the same in the encyclicals Evangelium vitae, Redemptoris missio, Ecclesia de eucharistia, Veritatis splendor, and Fides et ratio, in the declaration Dominus Iesus, and in the exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia. The existence, content, and number of these interventions testifies to the gravity of the crisis of faith in the Church. The neomodernist position at the origin of this crisis, and the theologians who developed and advanced it, were however not clearly identified and condemned. There were no serious consequences for clerics and theologians who held and proclaimed these errors.”

While this is not exactly calling Paul VI and John Paul II great champions of Catholic orthodoxy, most reasonable readers probably would not detect from these words any hint that Paul VI and John Paul II were actually critically involved in developing or promulgating the heresies that plague the Church today.

Can faithful Catholics today hope to petition God’s grace to resolve the crisis if they tacitly adhere to the errors promoted by John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and even Benedict XVI?

Unfortunately, though, we know with certainty that John Paul II actively promoted the false ecumenism that is a foundational error of Francis’s most pernicious heresies. We can refresh our memories about John Paul II’s ecumenical efforts by considering this excerpt from Henry Sire’s Phoenix from the Ashes:

“[T]he worst enormity of the ecumenical movement has not yet been touched on. In this case, exceptionally, the guilt does not belong to the Second Vatican Council, nor to Paul VI. It is found in the perversion introduced into the ecumenical movement by John Paul II, who turned it from a search for Christian unity to a general convergence of world religions. Several times in his reign this false direction led him into shocking associations with paganism. Thus, during his visit to India in February 1982, he allowed a Hindu priestess to impose the mark of Telak on him, and another a few days later to smear sacred ashes on his forehead in a Hindu ritual. In 1995, in Australia, he conducted the beatification Mass of Mary of the Cross McKillop, at which the penitential rite was replaced by a ritual taken from aboriginal fire worship.”

We can consider the theological underpinnings of John Paul II’s ecumenical efforts, but these were all very visible manifestations accessible to even those who had no interest in theology. As Sire noted, though, the most grotesque scandal was that which took place in Assisi in October 1986:

“But these exhibitions were outdone by the pope’s project of summoning leaders of all the world’s religions to join him at Assisi in October 1986 with the object of praying together for world peace. At this meeting, under the pope’s presidency, representatives of many Christian churches, together with an assortment of Hindus, Tibetan lamas, Japanese bonzes, tribal snake worshippers, and animists of all sorts performed their respective rites, some of the less mainstream officiants showing a little embarrassment at having to exhibit their customs outside the privacy of their native groves. For a day, the town of St. Francis was given over to displays of pagan worship. Cardinal Silvio Oddi reported that a group of Buddhists entered the church of San Pietro, set up a statue of Buddha on the tabernacle of the altar and venerated it with prayer scrolls and incense; when a Benedictine priest protested at the sacrilege he was taken away by the police. These activities, all conducted at the pope’s behest, provoke the question what meaning John Paul attached to the first Commandment, by order and by importance, ‘Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.’”

John Paul II never publicly repented for the Assisi scandal, and his successors have repeated similarly scandalous gatherings.

For those who might doubt whether the Prayer Meeting at Assisi actually reflected a heretical mindset, Fr. Johannes Dormann’s four volume study — Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religious in Assisi — conclusively demonstrates that John Paul II actually did have a heretical mindset, which has now become essentially accepted among those who accept the Vatican II revolution. Rather than read Fr. Dormann’s lengthy study to verify this, we can simply consider the following quote from Karol Wojtyla, the future John Paul II:

“Nostalgia for the unity of Christians makes common cause with that of unity for the whole human race. The new concept of a ‘People of God’ has made us revise the old truth about the possibility of redemption outside the limits of the Catholic Church. This gives rise to the attitude of the Church towards the other religions, which is based on the recognition of their spiritual values . . .” (Fr. Mieczysław Maliński’s Mon Ami, Karol Wojtyla, as quoted in Peter, Lovest Thou Me? By Abbe Daniel Le Roux, p. 45)

So the ecumenical movement made John Paul II and his colleagues “revise the old truth about the possibility of redemption outside the limits of the Catholic Church.” Old truth? Once one thinks this is how the Catholic Church actually works, the door is opened to any heresy that can persuade enough wayward Catholics to endorse it, as we see clearly with Francis’s blasphemous Synod on Synodality.

If not, then it seems that those who truly want to resolve the crisis in the Church have more work to do in exposing and uprooting the foundational heresies that have given us Francis and his blasphemous Synod on Synodality.

As such, it should not be especially surprising that Francis is guilty of promulgating the first two heresies listed in the Major Statement:

  • “Acts that violate divine commandments in grave matters can nevertheless be morally good and acceptable to God.
  • “God not only permits, but positively wills the pluralism and diversity of religions, both Christian and non-Christian.”

Even if Francis was completely orthodox other than repeating the Assisi event staged by John Paul II, he would still be indirectly promoting these heresies, at least practically, because he would be endorsing false religions in the name of the Catholic Church. Francis is standing on the shoulders of giant heretics — even if we detest the new blasphemous heights to which he has reached in offending God, he would still be guilty simply by defending the indefensible errors he inherited.

The authors of the Major Statement likely sought to avoid losing their audience by denouncing heresies promoted by “St. John Paul II the Great” and perpetuated by Benedict XVI — perhaps some thought that there was little value in making the perfect the enemy of the good. But the entire exercise of preparing the Major Statement, commendable as it is, invites us to ask this question: can faithful Catholics today hope to petition God’s grace to resolve the crisis if they tacitly adhere to the errors promoted by John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and even Benedict XVI?

If not, then it seems that those who truly want to resolve the crisis in the Church have more work to do in exposing and uprooting the foundational heresies that have given us Francis and his blasphemous Synod on Synodality. God will not be mocked, so we cannot remain silent about the errors that have been mocking Him since the Council, even if they happen to have been promoted by men called saints today.

Today, the Mystical Body of Christ is undergoing a Passion resembling Our Lord’s. Replacing Francis with a man who is himself poisoned by heretical false ecumenism would, at best, be like insisting that Our Lord’s tormenters went too far with crowning Him with thorns and striking Him, while remaining silent about the rest of the Passion. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

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Last modified on Thursday, May 16, 2024
Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

Robert Morrison is a Catholic, husband and father. He is the author of A Tale Told Softly: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Hidden Catholic England.