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Friday, July 29, 2022

How About We Keep the Papacy and Dump Bergoglio?

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How About We Keep the Papacy and Dump Bergoglio?

Soon after Nancy Pelosi’s bishop forbade her to receive Holy Communion due to her support of abortion “rights,” she hopped a plane to the Vatican. While there, she posed for a photo-op, exchanging gifts with a smiling and chummy Francis. She then went on to sacrilegiously receive Holy Communion from a priest at Francis’ own Mass.[i]

On June 24, 2022 Roe vs Wade was finally overturned after fifty years of pro-life efforts. Francis met with pro-abortion Pelosi just five days later. It wasn’t until ten days after Roe’s overturn that any comment on this momentous decision was released from Francis and that was only because a reporter happened to ask him about it. What words did the Vicar of Christ have to commemorate the liberating of the world’s most powerful nation from the “right” to an abortion?  Did he ring the bells of St. Peter’s? Have the Te Deum sung at all masses in the United States? Send out a personal video address thanking Almighty God, as well as thanking and congratulating all United States Catholics who have fought for this day at great personal cost since 1973?

No. Instead, we waited ten full days to hear Francis give Catholics this gem of a response…

“I tell you the truth. I don’t understand it from a technical point of view,” he explained, adding, “I have to study it because I don’t really understand (the details of) the ruling 50 years ago and now I can’t say whether it did right or wrong from a judicial point of view.”[ii]

Yes, this was his response. An absolute disgrace of an answer from any pro-life Christian, much less the Vicar of Christ. But then again, are we surprised? Then, to make matters worse he added the following:

The Holy Father also emphasized the importance of a pastoral approach to Catholic politicians who support abortion, saying, “When the Church loses its pastoral nature, when a bishop loses his pastoral nature, it causes a political problem. That's all I can say.”[iii]

In other words, to Francis, a “pastoral approach” means to participate in the photo-ops of pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians, smile with them, shake hands with them, exchange gifts with them, and then allow them to receive sacrilegious Communion at his Papal Mass.

But it gets worse. If you thought Francis giving the ok for public adulterers to receive sacrilegious Holy Communion under the pretext of “accompaniment” was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. As predicted, the situational morality of Amoris Laetitia is soon to be applied to contraception and artificial insemination. As LifeSite News reported on July 8th: 

The Vatican just published a book in which the Pontifical Academy for Life proposes both contraception and artificial insemination as morally acceptable, even though the Magisterium has definitively condemned each practice. 

The book, titled Theological Ethics of Life. Scripture, Tradition, Practical Challenges, was published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the publishing house of the Vatican. It is a collection of essays taken from a three-day interdisciplinary seminar sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life…

On the practice of artificial contraception, however, definitively condemned in all its forms by Pope St. Paul VI in Humane Vitae, the Academy spoke of the issue in its new book as if it were an open question...

Proposing that all possible techniques for avoiding conception, except abortifacients, were on the table for consideration by a couple, the Academy claimed that those forms of contraception that were not abortifacient were nothing more than not providing for life. It argued that such acts would not contradict a more universal openness to life, and that this would constitute “wise discernment in the concrete case.”...

In a similar manner to the arguments for keeping “open” the question of contraception, the Academy proposes in its book that homologous artificial insemination is morally acceptable, that is, medically assisted insemination using the sperm of the husband...

The contributor claims that such artificial insemination “cannot be rejected a priori in medicine: It must be made the subject of discernment, to ascertain whether it fulfils the function of a form of care for the person.” On these grounds, the medical intervention would be considered “therapeutic,” it is claimed, “allowing the conjugal relationship of infertile spouses to reach full realization as the responsible donor of a new life, opening their love to the generation of a new life.”[iv]

Add these events to the other exhibits in Francis’ long Hall of Shame which includes his ongoing efforts to eradicate the ancient Traditional Mass from parish life, his bishops suspending priests for saying even the Novus Ordo ad oreintem[v] and even going so far as to forbid traditional vestments[vi] Even worse than these are his preaching of egregious public errors such as stating that Heaven is open to atheists, that the death penalty is  “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” that the diversity of religions is willed by God, telling Catholics it is not licit to convince non-Catholics of your Faith, stating that Catholics and Protestants are in agreement about justification, stating that Luther was not mistaken about justification, saying that there is no Catholic god, overseeing the worship of Pachamama in the Vatican Gardens, teaching that apostate deniers of the Faith are in the communion of saints, etc. etc.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Jorge?

 

It seemed we were on our way to answering this question way back in 2016. As National Catholic Register reported: 

 Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four cardinals have taken the very rare step of publicizing five questions they have sent Pope Francis in a bid to clear up “grave disorientation and great confusion” surrounding his summary document on the synod on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

The cardinals — Italian Carlo Caffarra, American Raymond Burke and Germans Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner — sent the five questions, called dubia (Latin for “doubts”) to the Holy Father and Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), on Sept. 19, along with an accompanying letter.

Dubia are formal questions brought before the Pope and the CDF aimed at eliciting a “Yes” or “No” response, “without theological argumentation.” The practice is a long-standing way of addressing the Apostolic See, geared towards achieving clarity on Church teaching.

The cardinals said the aim was to clarify “contrasting interpretations” of Paragraphs 300-305 in Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia, which are its most controversial passages relating to admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments, and the Church’s moral teaching.[vii]

Just three months later, Cardinal Burke sat down for an interview with The Catholic World Report. The interview revealed there were more than just four Cardinals who agreed with the Dubia:

CWR: Are there others, besides the four cardinals who submitted the dubia to Pope Francise, who support what you’re saying? 

Cardinal Burke: Yes.

CWR: And they’re not speaking out because…?

Cardinal Burke: For various reasons, one of which is the way the media takes these things and distorts them making it seem that anyone who raises a question about Amoris Laetitia is disobedient to the Pope or an enemy of the Pope and so forth. So they…

CWR: They’re keeping their heads down.

Cardinal Burke: Yes, I suppose.[viii]

The interview also revealed what many perceived to be the end game Cardinal Burke had in mind, of which the Dubia was step one:

 CWR: Some people are saying that the pope could separate himself from communion with the Church. Can the pope legitimately be declared in schism or heresy? 

Cardinal Burke: If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope. It’s automatic. And so, that could happen.

CWR: That could happen.

Cardinal Burke: Yes.

CWR: That’s a scary thought. 

Cardinal Burke: It is a scary thought, and I hope we won’t be witnessing that at any time soon.

CWR: Back to this question about the Pope committing heresy. What happens then, if the Pope commits heresy and is no longer Pope? Is there a new conclave? Who’s in charge of the Church? Or do we just not even want to go there to start figuring that stuff out?

Cardinal Burke: There is already in place the discipline to be followed when the Pope ceases from his office, even as happened when Pope Benedict XVI abdicated his office. The Church continued to be governed in the interim between the effective date of his abdication and the inauguration of the papal ministry of Pope Francis. 

CWR: Who is competent to declare him to be in heresy?

Cardinal Burke: It would have to be members of the College of Cardinals.[ix]

Burke2

The clear expectation of most Traditionalists at the time was that the Dubia Cardinals would wait for an answer. If no answer came, then Cardinal Burke would issue a fraternal correction. If Francis persisted in ignoring it, it would prove pertinacity and then Cardinal Burke and other Cardinals could move forward with a declaration of heresy.  As an August 2017 National Catholic Register article stated:

In a new interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke has said it is “now necessary” that a declaration be issued on key areas of Church doctrine that are “not clear” in Pope Francis’ teachings.

The Holy Father will then be “obliged to respond” in order to bring clarification to those teachings, he said.

The cardinal told The Wanderer newspaper Aug. 14 that such a formal act of correction has not been invoked “for several centuries” and until now it has never been used “in a doctrinal way.” 

But he said it would be “quite simple” and involve presenting on the one hand the “clear teaching of the Church” and on the other “what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff.” The teaching in question in particular relates to doctrinal matters published in the Pope's 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia.

“If there is a contradiction, the Roman Pontiff is called to conform his own teaching in obedience to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church,” the cardinal explained, adding that a “formal declaration” would be submitted to the Holy Father to which he would be “obliged to respond.”…

The cardinal, a former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court, did not give a timeframe for the correction, but hinted at its urgency by stressing that the Church is “being torn asunder right now by confusion and division” and that unity is at stake.

“The Holy Father must be called on to exercise his office to put an end to this,” he said.

In October 2017, Cardinal Burke still planned on issuing the Fraternal Correction. As SSPX.org reported:

On October 3, 2017, in an interview with the Vaticanist Edward Pentin from the National Catholic Register, Cardinal Raymond Burke explained that his nomination on September 30 as member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is not a full-time position, but that he would be solicited sometimes to serve as judge for occasional cases.

He said his appointment will not change, or delay, his plans to issue a fraternal correction of Pope Francis on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia...

Some Roman observers believe the publication of this Fraternal Correction is imminent.[x]

“Imminent.” So now, in 2022, six years after the Dubia Cardinals sent their dubia to Francis, and five years after Cardinal Burke said he intended to write his Fraternal Correction, where do we stand?

Fraternal Correction cropped

Sadly, we stand exactly where we stood in 2016, after the Dubia were sent to Francis. For reasons unbeknownst to us, Cardinal Burke never issued that fraternal correction, despite repeatedly stating how “necessary” it was. And if it was necessary in 2017, how much more necessary is it now after Francis has shifted his terrible statements and acts into overdrive over the past five years?

Time to Can Vatican I?

One approach some well meaning Traditionalists have been taking as of late, is to start re-examining Vatican I. It seems that all the blame is to be placed on the pesky “ultramontanes” who caused our current problem by granting the Vicar of Christ on earth way too much power. It seems the Vatican I Council Fathers didn’t consider the fact that by enshrining the Traditional teaching on the papacy into their Council, they were unwittingly setting the stage for a madman to ascend to the papacy and destroy the Church. Such was the thinking of one former Traditional website owner who openly questioned whether Vatican I got it wrong. Sadly, he is now a lapsed Catholic.

But were all of the Vatican I Council Fathers that shortsighted? Were the opponents of Vatican I’s teaching on the papacy the true stalwart defenders of Tradition instead? Men like Dr. Dollinger, who attempted to prove that plenty of popes throughout history were heretics and was later excommunicated for refusing assent to Vatican I? What of the legacy of those who rejected Vatican I and became schismatics, the so-called Old Catholics?  They are now in “full communion” with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden[xi] and the Anglican Communion[xii] which recently admitted it can’t define what a woman is.[xiii]

Per the Wikipedia article on the “Old Catholic Church”:

In 1994 the German bishops decided to ordain women as priests, and put this into practice on 27 May 1996. Similar decisions and practices followed in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In 2020, the Swiss church also voted in favour of same-sex marriage. Marriages between two men and two women will be conducted in the same manner as heterosexual marriages. The UU allows those who are divorced to have a new marriage in the church, and has no particular teaching on abortion, leaving such decisions to the married couple.[xiv]

They sure sound like winners. To the contrary, it was the rascally “ultramontanes” who took the traditional side at Vatican I. The liberal secular media at the time was wholesale against any definition of infallibility or enshrining traditional teachings on the authority of the pope into a council. In fact they did their best to prevent it. The following is from a piece by Mr. Arthur Marshall in The American Catholic Quarterly Review from 1890 describing the English’s press coverage of Vatican I. Sounds like the precursor to our modern day fake news:

Englishmen who remember the assembling of the Vatican Council, and who watched its progress from beginning to end (though, in truth, it was not ended, but only stopped,  by the political impediments thrown in its way),  will also remember the tone of the English press in regard to its objects and deliberations. The assumption was that  the Vatican Council was originated by the Jesuits for the purpose of imposing a new dogma, infallibility, on the unwilling consciences of the Catholic world. This being taken for granted,  it was next necessary to demonstrate that the Council was "not free in its  deliberations"; the few dissentients who dared to speak their minds being nobly contrasted with the scores who dared not do so. Finally, when the Pope promulgated the dogma, the vast majority of the Council were called timorous, and the few dissentients or inopportunists were praised to the skies — until they also gave an example of obedience.  The English press, being disappointed by this "weak"  submission to authority, was driven to seek consolation outside the Council, and the outbreak of a little schism in Germany caused it unspeakable rejoicing.[xv]

Vatican I

Further, was proclaiming that the pope was not infallible even an option at Vatican I? It is said that no bishop at Vatican I disagreed the pope was infallible, rather those opposed to defining the dogma simply believed it would be inopportune time to do so. Later in his piece, Mr. Marshall describes the absurdity that would have resulted if Pius IX had done what the left wing press and the Protestants wanted him to do at Vatican I:

And now suppose, for the sake of testing the Protestant error, that the Pope had taught  that Popes were not infallible; in other words, that the Popes, when teaching what is the truth (solely, of course, as to the doctrines necessary to salvation), could be permitted by the Holy Spirit, or had been permitted by the Holy Spirit, to teach lies as being the divine truths of Christianity.  What must have been the consequence of that decision? First, there would have been an end of divine faith; since it would have been an absolute impossibility for the human intellect to have divine faith in what was pronounced to be only human conjecture. The Pope not being infallible, and all Councils being divided, the Pope could never have authorized the decision of any Council, and no Council could have taught the Pope what to believe. The head, like the body,  being fallible,  the whole Church would have tumbled down into fallibility. Away would go the teaching, divine Church.  Away would go the primary idea of a revelation;  which is not a revelation of freedom for human opinion, but of obligation to believe only what is divine. The "no " of the Vatican Council would have meant: "The body is not infallible; the head is not infallible; the whole Church is without divine voice or guidance; so believe what you like; create and follow your own doctrines; and let your Christianity be L’Eglise, c'est moi![xvi]

Thankfully for us, that is not what Pius IX did. Instead he wrote the following in Vatican I’s Pastor Aeternus:

6. For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. 

Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Savior to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren. 

7. This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.[xvii]

No, Time to Can Bergoglio

Francis Licit

So, do the above quotes in any way describe Francis? Of course not. In fact, they describe the precise opposite of Francis. So what to do? Do we try to resurrect and rehabilitate the ghost of Gallicanism? Do we try to explain away these paragraphs of Vatican I as the fever dream of silly “ultramontanes” who got a little too carried away with their papolatry? Do we admonish in hindsight these poor clueless Council Fathers who never stopped to ask themselves, “What if a crazed Argentinian Jesuit gets elected to the papacy in the future and starts preaching error like a fire hose? Wouldn’t this mean the Church defected?”

No, of course they never asked themselves that question because, the answer was obvious to them. If, in the words of Archbishop Vigano, you have a “non-Catholic pope” who is spewing non-stop error, then those same Council Fathers would have said that the man is obviously not a pope, but a wolf. Because, if he were a pope, then he would be protected by the Holy Ghost, “unblemished from any error,” possessing “never-failing faith,” and keeping the whole flock of Christ away “from the poisonous food of error” such as adulterers and pro-abortion politicians receiving sacrilegious Holy Communion, among a list of other things. As Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton stated regarding non-infallible teachings of a pope, they are still supposed to be safe for us to follow and not lead us to perdition:

The magisterium of the Church has been equipped with help from God by reason of which the first sort of teaching gives infallible truth, while the second affords infallible security. Working, not to define, but merely to take those steps it deems necessary to safeguard the faith, it is the auctoritas providentiae doctrinalis. To this auctoritas providentiae doctrinalis and to the teachings it sets forth, the faithful owe the obedience of respectful silence and of an internal mental assent according to which the proposition thus presented is accepted, not as infallibly true, but as safe, as guaranteed by that authority which is divinely commissioned to care for the Christian faith.[xviii]

As St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, said, “it would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she should be compelled to recognize a wolf, manifestly prowling, for a shepherd.”[xix] In other words, the very notion is absurd. The papacy as defined in Vatican I is an all or nothing proposition, and this is the secret a lot of Traditionalists today have not picked up on. Either the man claiming to be pope is pope and has the assistance of the Holy Ghost that protects him (and us) from having to assent to adulterous reception of Holy Communion or else he is not.

So what to do? What to do now, is precisely what Cardinal Burke laid out back in 2007:

Cardinal Burke: If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope. It’s automatic. And so, that could happen...

CWR: Back to this question about the Pope committing heresy. What happens then, if the Pope commits heresy and is no longer Pope? Is there a new conclave? Who’s in charge of the Church? Or do we just not even want to go there to start figuring that stuff out?

Cardinal Burke: There is already in place the discipline to be followed when the Pope ceases from his office, even as happened when Pope Benedict XVI abdicated his office. The Church continued to be governed in the interim between the effective date of his abdication and the inauguration of the papal ministry of Pope Francis.

CWR: Who is competent to declare him to be in heresy?

Cardinal Burke: It would have to be members of the College of Cardinals.[xx]

Thus, what exactly are any Cardinals in Rome who still have the Faith waiting for? First, Francis has preached numerous heresies and has even admitted himself at one point that what he was about to say may be considered heresy, but he he said it anyway.[xxi] We are far past the point of pertinacity, to the extent it has to be proven at all in this case. In fact, any remaining Catholic Cardinals can also make the case that Francis never attained the papacy to begin with, as it is impossible for a public or notorious heretic to become pope if elected. I seem to remember our esteemed friend Francis participating in non-Christian (much less non-Catholic) worship in Argentina as a bishop, as well as preaching heretical statements long before he was elected pope.[xxii] Thus, all the Cardinals would need to do is to cite these statements and acts and apply the Divine Law as expressed magnificently in Cum ex Apostolatus Officio  by Pope Paul IV when he said:

In addition, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity We enact, determine, decree and define:-] that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy:

(i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless;

(ii) it shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has thus acquired validity) through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, of subsequent authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all, nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation;

(iii) it shall not be held as partially legitimate in any way;

(iv) to any so promoted to be Bishops, or Archbishops, or Patriarchs, or Primates or elevated as Cardinals, or as Roman Pontiff, no authority shall have been granted, nor shall it be considered to have been so granted either in the spiritual or the temporal domain; 

(v) each and all of their words, deeds, actions and enactments, howsoever made, and anything whatsoever to which these may give rise, shall be without force and shall grant no stability whatsoever nor any right to anyone; 

(vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and power.[xxiii]

And should a Neo-Catholic apologist object that Cum ex Apostolatus Officio was superseded by some later papal document, then they have clearly missed the point. The principles laid down by Cum ex Apostolatus Officio were not merely temporal legislation of Pope Paul IV, but an expression of the divine law principle that a heretic is not able to hold authority in the Church. This is made obvious by the Catholic Encyclopedia article almost 400 years later which stated, “Of course, the [papal] election of a heretic, schismatic, or female would be null and void.”[xxiv]

BlackSmoke

What the Cardinals Need to Do 

What Cardinal Burke (and any remaining Catholic Cardinals) need to do is to follow up on what he laid out in 2016. They need to officially and publicly declare that Francis has either lost his office through numerous public heresies, or else that he never attained the office to begin with as he “deviated from the Catholic Faith” long before he was elected to the papacy.

As Pope Pius XII stated in Mystici Corporis, “Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith…”[xxv] Francis does not profess the true faith, and has not professed the true faith, but instead professes a false faith. He has been doing so for years now and shows no signs of stopping. To the contrary, his errors are only metastasizing further as can be seen with his Pontifical Academy for Life now openly discussing the moral licitness of intrinsically evil acts such as contraception and artificial insemination.

One example St. Robert Bellarmine gave of Cardinals abandoning submission to a pope was that of Pope Liberius:

Then two years later came the lapse of Liberius, of which we have spoken above. Then indeed the Roman clergy, stripping Liberius of his pontifical dignity, went over to Felix, whom they knew [then] to be a Catholic. From that time, Felix began to be the true Pontiff. For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic.[xxvi]          

This is even stronger evidence that the remaining Catholic Cardinals have the right to withdraw submission from Francis’ authority through a declaration. For in the case of Liberius he was not even a heretic. Nevertheless, by his public acts, he was considered one on account of the peace he made with heretics. Even though this was merely a presumption of heresy based on his acts, it was still justified that authority and obedience was withdrawn from him as the Cardinals were not bound or able to read hearts. However, if they see that someone is a heretic by his external works (Pachamama anyone?) they can judge him to be a heretic pure and simple and withdraw obedience.

Once whatever number of remaining Catholic Cardinals publicly recognize that Francis either booted himself from the papacy or else never attained it (due to his myriad non-Catholic public words and acts before he was elected), they can get on to calling a conclave where they elect one of themselves pope to fill the vacancy. It is important to remember that by taking this action, these Cardinals would not be “judging” the pope, for the First See is judged by no one and inferiors cannot judge a superior. The Cardinals would instead be publicly declaring a fact that has already taken place by divine law, giving Catholics notice so they can move to the next step of a conclave.

What about the remaining Cardinals, you say? They will surely not go along with this and Francis will surely excommunicate those Cardinals who do. I respond, so what? An excommunication from a declared non-Catholic heretic who no longer holds office in the Church would have no effect. As for the other Cardinals loyal to Francis, they would be equivalent, at that point, to Cardinals who recognized and followed antipopes through history, just as there were during the Great Western Schism. They would be schismatics (though many of them in good faith) while the newly elected Catholic pope and his adherents would be the true pope and the true Church.

Dubia

But what about the Vatican, you say? Francis and those who recognize him will not willingly leave Vatican City nor any of the buildings. I respond that there are still some really nice churches and office space in Avignon, France, where seven successive Vicars of Christ resided for a total of 67 years. That will do nicely for now. I also volunteer to start a Give Send Go campaign to finance the move of these Cardinals and hook them up with a French real estate agent if they should take my advice. For as the great St. Athanasius once said:

 "May God console you! ... What saddens you ... is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way ...

"You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

"Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ."[xxvii]

Bring on the Sequel to the Great Western Schism

I will admit to you that I am actually jealous of Catholics during the Great Western Schism. Yes, there was confusion as to which of the three papal claimants were the true pope. But at least all of their choices were Catholic. This is precisely what made the crisis go on for so long. None of the three claimants were out there issuing heretical documents, making heretical statements, or overseeing the worship of an earth goddess outside of their papal basilica. For then it would have been an easy choice.

In contrast, we are in an even more pitiable condition than they were, as in the words of St. Robert Bellarmine, “it would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she should be compelled to recognize a wolf, manifestly prowling, for a shepherd.”[xxviii] In our sad case, we get to choose between recognizing a wolf as pope or nobody. I say, give us an actual choice. If the remaining Catholic Cardinals do as I say above, they will give us that choice and the newly elected pope would be the only Catholic choice. Sure, whichever of them were elected pope would start with a small following, but I am certain it would soon grow exponentially with actual Catholics, not complete impostors like Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Cupich, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and an entire list of post-conciliar frauds who were never Catholic to begin with. At that point, the schismatic sect of Bergoglio will start to bleed all of the members who, till then, had no other option. Eventually, Francis will end up talking to an echo chamber of James Martins, Austin Ivereighs, Massimo Faggiolis, and Melinda Gateses, all the actual Catholics having left him. 

What Do We Do in the Meantime?

 There are two historical precedents that I think demonstrate what we can do as true Catholics as Francis sprays out heresy like a lawn sprinkler.  The first has to do with Nestorius, a bishop who started preaching heresy in his diocese. Later, the pope, Pope St. Celestine, excommunicated Nestorious. However, he said the following:

'It is evident that he [who has been excommunicated by Nestorius] has remained and remains in communion with us, and that we do not consider destituted [i.e. deprived of office, by judgment of Nestorius], anyone who has been excommunicated or deprived of his charge, either episcopal or clerical, by Bishop Nestorius or by the others who followed him, after they commenced preaching heresy. For he who had already shown himself as deserving to be excommunicated, could not excommunicate anyone by his sentence.'[xxix]

Similarly, Francis, who has already shown himself worthy of being removed from office (even if the Cardinals have not yet made the declaration that he has lost it) can not take legal action against any Catholic priest who says the Latin Mass, cannot bind us to error in his disciplinary law, or demand our assent to any disciplinary decree. So much for Traditiones Custodes.

Also, there is the example of St. Vincent Ferrer. St. Vincent Ferrer lived in the time of the Great Western Schism and recognized the papal claimant Benedict XIII as pope.  Fr. Stanislaus Hogan, O.P. writes in his 1911 book, “St. Vincent Ferrer”:

We must not forget that in the eyes of St. Vincent and Ferdinand, Benedict XIII was the true Pope, hence their difficulties and embarrassing position. But at last, when all efforts had proved unavailing, Ferdinand asked St. Vincent to decide the question finally. St. Vincent replied that since Benedict XIII had resisted all attempts to procure the union that was so necessary, and since his conduct gave scandal to all the faithful, they were justified in withdrawing their obedience to Benedict. This decision was confirmed by the assembly of Bishops convened by Ferdinand and representing the obedience of Avignon. On 6 January, 1416, the Feast of the Epiphany,

St. Vincent sang Mass, and preached to some 10,000 persons. After the sermon, he read in the presence of the King, Ambassadors, and people, the act by which all those who had been of the Avignon obedience withdrew their allegiance to Benedict. The Emperor was notified of this; and the Fathers of the Council of Constance sang a Te Deum in thanksgiving. Gerson wrote to St. Vincent; But for you this union could never have been accomplished. The Schism was at an end.[xxx]

Notice the words “since his conduct gave scandal to all the faithful, they were justified in withdrawing their obedience to Benedict.” Notice Benedict wasn’t even so much as accused of heresy. He was a Catholic, but his actions gave scandal to the faithful. As such, the faithful were justified in withdrawing obedience from him. 

PachamamaLikewise, a man who oversees the worship of a pagan earth goddess, states repeatedly that it is a sin to convince one of your Faith, that the death penalty is inadmissible, that atheists can go to Heaven and that souls are annihilated instead of being punished in Hell, has precisely ZERO authority to ban the Latin Mass or to punish a single priest who says it. Instead we should treat his immoral and illicit commands with as much authority as the laity did Bishop Nestorius from the moment they first heard him preach heresy from the pulpit. Note that the fact that the laity were correct in not recognizing Nestorius’ excommunications, was later confirmed by Pope Celestine, but that the people withdrew obedience to Nestorius before Celestine confirmed it. Likewise, we are entitled to withdraw obedience to Francis before any Cardinals eventually declare the fact that he either lost (or never attained) his office due to his many scandalous acts of heresy, apostasy, and blasphemy.

The Alternative: Crippling the Papacy

Instead of the course laid out above, many of my Traditionalist friends seem headed in another direction. Ignoring or dismissing the fact that Francis has long since been worthy of being removed from St. Peter’s for his ongoing cavalcade of errors and scandal, they seek to change the Catholic teaching on the papacy, or otherwise reinvent or “rediscover” it, in order to accommodate Francis’ absurd acts and teachings. In response, I would say that those Traditionalists “re-thinking” Vatican I are like William Roper in A Man for All Seasons, as they would have us cut down all law regarding the papacy in order to get after Francis:

“William Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!”

Sir Thomas More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”

William Roper: “Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!”

Sir Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake![xxxi]

 

Likewise, the Church laws on the papacy laid down at Vatican I are laws for our own safety’s sake. If we cut down all of the laws regarding the papacy in order to accommodate Francis and become Neo-Gallicans (if such were even possible) where are we left? What chance of a restoration do we have? We would have cut off the only God given future means to one. We would then be at the mercy of an impotent, democratized, and collegial church. The Devil would have us trapped.

For instance, let’s say we give our sincere anti-Vatican I Traditionalist friends what they want. Let’s say we changed the laws of the papacy (if such a thing were possible) in order to constrain Francis. From here on, the pope can be summarily ignored unless he is declaring a doctrine infallibly, his canonizations can be ignored and challenged, any teaching on faith and morals from his authentic Magisterium can likewise be ignored, and each Catholic is to put on his Sherlock Holmes hat to discern for himself what is Catholic and what isn’t in each papal encyclical and is free to reject all that he determines is not. The pope’s liturgical laws can be freely disobeyed as can his disciplinary laws. Let’s say that this is the new paradigm of the papacy we set up moving forward.

Let us also say that by some miracle, at the next conclave a true Traditional Catholic is elected pope and immediately sets about restoring the Church. Yet, what power does he now have? The Blaise Cupiches, the Walter Kaspers, the James Martins could all then quote the anti-Vatican I Traditionalists as justification for completely blowing off the new Traditional pope as, in their minds, they have a good faith basis to do so. They will use the new papal paradigm of the neo-Gallican Traditionalists to say that the new Trad pope is contradicting Francis’ teachings which were a legitimate implementation of Vatican II, a general ecumenical Council of the Church and therefore, need not be obeyed. Stripped of almost all of the divine powers that were recognized as given to him in Pastor Aeternus, what are we left with as our pope? A figure head monarch such as the Queen of England? What power or moral authority would such a papacy have to tell these new dissenters to get in line, after having jettisoned so much papal authority to protect us from obedience to Francis?

Another irony is that the very Traditionalists who rail against Vatican II’s teaching on collegiality, who mock the admittedly absurd “Synod on Synodality,” and say that the bishops and bishops conferences have too much power, would like to weaken the papacy to the point that the Church becomes, for all intents and purposes, like a collection of squabbling territories with a president at the head possessing limited powers. In fact, we already have some who are reveling in the fact that, in their eyes, Holy Mother Church has become nothing more than a political game where two opposing sides scheme and maneuver for power. In an absurd piece in The Catholic World Report, Christopher Altieri, after comparing the Church to gangland Chicago and blowing off the Amoris Laetitia controversy, smugly writes:

To parse not only this pontificate, but the present moment in the life of the Church, we need a political heuristic. Part of building that heuristic will be recovering the core of theology as an essentially political enterprise, that is to say, one that is of its very nature necessarily concerned with “the things of the city” that is the Church.[xxxii]

No. We do not need a “political heuristic” to “parse” this pontificate and “the present moment in the light of the Church.” God forbid! Haven’t we had enough of politics in our own country? Does the state of Western Democracy look like a “heuristic” we want to apply to a Divine Institution? The last thing that we need are more backstabbing political games and machinations from local bishops who will hold all of the power in a future political and decentralized Church. Does the German Bishops Conference seem functional to you? Yet the current mainstream Catholic media is flooded with pompous talking heads who obsessively talk of the Church the same way they do American politics, as if the Church were made up of “conservatives” and “liberals” and the pope is some sort of president trying to see how much he can promote and enact his party’s ideology over the other party. This is nauseating. If the church of the pundits is really nothing more than grand political theater, as they make it out to be, then in the words of Catholic author, Flannery O’Connor, “to Hell with it.” We do not need a “political hueristic,” we need the very opposite of democratic politics. We need our monarch. We need a truly Catholic pope.

 As for this “pontificate,” there is nothing to “parse.” It has simply been a series of scandalous behavior and heretical declarations from a man who was worthy of having lost the office or never even having attained it, long ago. The way the Church works is that a monarch, the Vicar of Christ, who is protected by the Holy Ghost, rules the Church and the bishops and acts as our rule of Faith. The pope is the literal Rock upon which Christ built His Church who we and our children should be able to safely listen to and obey with no qualm of conscience. Instead, when teaching religion to our children we get to teach them all of the wonderful Catholic pre-Vatican II teaching on the papacy, but secretly hope they don’t ask us how all of this applies to the current buffoonish apostate living in the Vatican teaching that adulterers can receive Communion, that shacking up is a “true marriage,”[xxxiii] and likening Christ’s Great Commission with Islamic jihad.[xxxiv]

Truly, how much longer can we cover for and let this state of affairs continue? Who of us can look our children in the eye and answer them when they read Pastor Aeternus and see the evil that Francis constantly spews, and ask us why our pope is a heretic? Ask us why Christ would allow his Vicar to teach evil to us? Ask us if it means the Church has defected? Ask us how we can expect our non-Catholic relatives to convert to such a Church? Ask us if the gates of Hell have prevailed? In response, will my Traditionalist friends pretend to wax poetic to them about “ultramontanes” and “hyperpapalism” ruining things at Vatican I?

In the words of Pius XI:

It follows then that the Church of Christ not only exists to-day and always, but is also exactly the same as it was in the time of the Apostles, unless we were to say, which God forbid, either that Christ our Lord could not effect His purpose, or that He erred when He asserted that the gates of hell should never prevail against it.[xxxv]

Pope Leo XIII states:

Wherefore, as appears from what has been said, Christ instituted in the Church a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium, which by His own power He strengthened, by the Spirit of truth He taught, and by miracles confirmed. He willed and ordered, under the gravest penalties, that its teachings should be received as if they were His own. As often, therefore, as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by every one as true. If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man. “Lord, if we be in error, we are being deceived by Thee.”[xxxvi]

Yes, the Church is true and no the Church did not and cannot defect. However, individuals can most certainly defect and by doing so they put themselves outside of Her. As Pope Leo XIII states:

In this wise, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? without separating himself from the Church? – without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching?...it is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church.[xxxvii]

Can Francis “command in the Church?” Pope Leo XIII lays out the promises of Christ to Peter and what a pope, protected by the Holy Ghost will do: 

These, then, are the duties of a shepherd: to place himself as leader at the head of his flock, to provide proper food for it, to ward off dangers, to guard against insidious foes, to defend it against violence: in a word to rule and govern it. Since therefore Peter has been placed as shepherd of the Christian flock he has received the power of governing all men for whose salvation Jesus Christ shed His blood. “Why has He shed His blood? To buy the sheep which He handed over to Peter and his successors” (S. Joannes Chrysostomus, De Sacerdotio, lib. ii).

And since all Christians must be closely united in the communion of one immutable faith, Christ the Lord, in virtue of His prayers, obtained for Peter that in the fulfilment of his office he should never fall away from the faith. “But I have asked for thee that thy faith fail not” (Luke xxii., 32), and He furthermore commanded him to impart light and strength to his brethren as often as the need should arise: “Confirm thy brethren” (Ibid.). He willed then that he whom He had designated as the foundation of the Church should be the defence of its faith...

 Does this sound like Francis to you? Therefore, I would humbly encourage Cardinal Burke and any remaining Catholic Cardinals to declare that Francis has either lost or never obtained the papacy on account of his many public heresies and acts of apostasy as well as his abject failure to profess the true faith, which Pius XII teaches is a necessary condition for membership in the Church.[xxxviii]

Latest from RTV — THE FRANCIS LAW: Cardinals Gregory, Cupich Implement Ban on Latin Mass

 

[i]      https://www.npr.org/2022/06/29/1108548298/pelosi-vatican-communion-abortion-rights

[ii]     https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-07/pope-francis-condemns-abortion-like-hiring-a-hit-man.html

[iii]   https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-07/pope-francis-condemns-abortion-like-hiring-a-hit-man.html

[iv]    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pontifical-academy-for-lifes-new-book-deviates-from-church-teaching-on-contraception-artificial-insemination/

[v]     https://www.ncregister.com/cna/costa-rican-bishop-suspends-priest-for-saying-novus-order-mass-in-latin-and-ad-orientem

[vi]    https://gloria.tv/post/AGEgsFUYdPdm4PSfgdHUgSAeh

[vii]  https://www.ncregister.com/news/four-cardinals-formally-ask-pope-for-clarity-on-amoris-laetitia

[viii] https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2016/12/19/cardinal-burke-no-i-am-not-saying-that-pope-francis-is-in-heresy/

[ix]    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2016/12/19/cardinal-burke-no-i-am-not-saying-that-pope-francis-is-in-heresy/

[x]     https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/rome-cardinal-burke-has-not-abandoned-idea-%E2%80%9Cfraternal-correction%E2%80%9D-32981

[xi]    https://www.svenskakyrkan.se/bilateral-relations

[xii] https://web.archive.org/web/20100325133000/http://www.europe.anglican.org/partners/partners_incommunion.htm

[xiii] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11000401/Church-England-woman-decide.html

[xiv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Catholic_Church#Liturgy

[xv]   https://archive.org/details/americancatholic15philuoft/page/282/mode/2up?view=theater

[xvi] https://archive.org/details/americancatholic15philuoft/page/278/mode/2up?view=theater

[xvii] https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/teachings/vatican-is-dogmatic-constitution-pastor-aeternus-on-the-church-of-christ-243

[xviii]       http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/encyclicals/docauthority.htm#PART_II

[xix] De Romano Pontifice, Bk II, Chapter 30:

[xx]   https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2016/12/19/cardinal-burke-no-i-am-not-saying-that-pope-francis-is-in-heresy/

[xxi] https://mahoundsparadise.blogspot.com/2015/05/pope-i-feel-like-saying-something-which.html

[xxii] If he was ever validly elected pope in the first place. See St. Galen’s Mafia.

[xxiii]       http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/encyclicals/Paul04/cumex.html

[xxiv]       https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11456a.htm

[xxv] https://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius12/p12mysti.htm

[xxvi]       http://strobertbellarmine.net/bellarm.htm

[xxvii]      https://www.olrl.org/snt_docs/athnasus.shtml

[xxviii]     De Romano Pontifice, Bk II, Chapter 30:

[xxix]       http://strobertbellarmine.net/bellarm.htm

[xxx] http://catholicapologetics.info/library/onlinelibrary/vincentferre.pdf

[xxxi]       https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7515521-william-roper-so-now-you-give-the-devil-the-benefit

[xxxii]      https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2022/07/12/what-is-the-end-goal-of-pope-franciss-governance/

[xxxiii]     https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2016/06/18/papal-comments-on-cohabitation-and-civil-marriage-suggest-a-direction/

[xxxiv]     https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/17/islam-and-christianity-both-have-an-idea-of-conquest-says-pope-francis/

[xxxv]      https://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius11/p11morta.htm

[xxxvi]     https://www.papalencyclicals.net/leo13/l13satis.htm

[xxxvii]    https://www.papalencyclicals.net/leo13/l13satis.htm

[xxxviii]  https://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius12/p12mysti.htm

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