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Christopher A. Ferrara

It seems that not a day passes without Pope Francis’s off-the-cuff homilies and remarks producing a theological embarrassment: Mary “perhaps” felt tricked by God when she saw Her son on the Cross (“Lies! I was cheated!”), Christ merely pretended to be angry with this disciples (“Jesus does not become angry, but pretends to”), Matthew clung to his money when Christ called him (“No, not me! No, this money is mine!”), rather than immediately heeding Our Lord’s call as the Gospel records (Matt. 9:9-13)­—and so on and so forth, day in and day out.

Just yesterday Francis, resuming his morning Masses at Casa Santa Marta, opined in yet another improvised homily that “The authority of Jesus­—and the authority of the Christian—comes from this ability to understand the things of the Spirit, to speak the language of the Spirit. It is from this anointing of the Holy Spirit.”

Karl Keating is alarmed. “That way madness lies,” shouts the title of one of his recent Facebook posts in a borrowing from King Lear.

What madness does Keating have in view? Could it be the madness at work in the “destruction of the Roman Rite” (Monsignor Gamber) or the “continuing of process of decay” (Cardinal Ratzinger) that has afflicted the Church since Vatican II? Could it be the madness at work in Cardinal Kasper’s insane proposal, praised by Pope Francis, to admit divorced and “remarried” Catholics to Holy Communion in defiance of the constant teaching of the Church, affirmed by John Paul II, that couples in such adulterous unions must commit to continence? Or could it be the madness that has swept the Church at large over the past fifty years, breeding homosexual predators in the priesthood, the “collapse of the liturgy (Cardinal Ratzinger), “silent apostasy” (John Paul II) and “diabolical disorientation” (Sister Lucia of Fatima) among the hierarchy.

No, this is not an Onion parody of the post-Vatican II “Church of dialogue,” whose absurdities are almost incapable of parodic enlargement. This is an actual news story: Pope Francis is arranging a “soccer match for peace” in the Middle East.

Fox News Latino reports
before the God he himself has just made present on the altar during Mass, even though his Master of Ceremonies and all the altar servers do so).

      
God Incarnate to His disciples:



Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.”
      
Pope Francis to the Asian bishops:



And so, with my identity and my empathy, my openness, I walk with the other. I don’t try to make him come over to me, I don’t proselytize.”




In departing for Seoul, Pope Francis flew in a personal helicopter to a chartered jet embossed with a Vatican logo for the trip. During the flight an Alitalia crew provided first-class treatment to the Pope, who occupied “the first seat in business class with no one next to him,” and his large entourage. The service included a four-course Italian dinner: sparkling wine and salsiccie (diced sausage and olives), fresh cannelloni with ricotta cheese, rocket salad, Italian prosciutto ham and cantaloupe, and “a hearty beef stew.”  On arrival, the Pope walked down a long, red-carpeted airstair, and then a red carpet that appeared to be at least 200-feet-long, at the end of which he was greeted by leading South Korean dignitaries.

First they came for the Roman Rite, which they destroyed. Then they came for the Church Militant, which they disarmed and surrendered to the spirit of the age. Now, at the Synod, which threatens to become Vatican II rebooted, progressivist bishops and their apparatchiks will be coming for the moral law itself under the guise of a search for “pastoral solutions” to “challenges facing the family


The Return of Vatican II Fever


The symptoms are unmistakable: after a period of relative remission during the years of Pope Benedict’s mysteriously self-terminated reign, the postconciliar “process of decay” remarked by the former Cardinal Ratzinger has resumed with a vengeance, like a rebound infection after an incomplete course of antibiotics. The progressivist priests and prelates who are the disease-causing agents of Vatican II Fever are now running amok throughout the ecclesiastical bloodstream. They have been let loose by a Pope who is so fond of publicly staged “surprises,” all tending to the diminution of traditional Roman Catholicism, that Respice in Me (look at me) could serve as the motto of this pontificate.

As we see our Pope high-fiving a Protestant televangelist and prescribing ten rules for right living that Oprah would applaud, not one of which has anything to do with the Catholic Faith or eternal life, we realize that the embarrassing comedy of this papacy is not going to end. Indeed, it appears that Francis is just getting warmed up and that we may be dealing with a bottomless bag of tricks.

 

Someone whose vocation or avocation is commenting on Church affairs has three ways to approach this unprecedented situation: First, simply ignore Francis entirely while bashing the bishops for following his lead. This appears to be the neo-Catholics’ prescription in keeping with their historical role as enablers of the post-conciliar revolution, which is clearly entering a new and probably terminal phase. Second, raise an objection every time Francis says or does something objectionable, which would be almost every day. (As one wag put it: “If he doesn’t talk he’s not a bad Pope.”) Third, limit one’s objections to papal stunts that have serious theological implications as opposed to being merely ridiculous.

While Francis perplexes faithful Catholics and delights the world almost daily by saying and doing whatever occurs to him as a good idea, a surprising voice in defense of sound orthodoxy has emerged in the midst of the vast confusion this Pope is causing: Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In a book-length interview just published in Spain, Italy, and the United States, Müller has resoundingly reaffirmed his opposition to Cardinal Kasper’s evil proposal to admit a supposedly small number of divorced and “remarried” Catholics to Holy Communion without any commitment to end their adulterous relations. Recall that this blatant attack on the indissolubility of marriage was part of Kasper’s address to the “Extraordinary Consistory on the Family” back in February, and that Francis praised the address as “beautiful and profound.” Recall also that Kasper, with no objection from Francis, is now being identified as “the Pope’s theologian.” Indeed, Francis made it a point to praise Kasper as “a talented theologian, a good theologian” on no less an occasion than his first Angelus address as Pope.

Remember that explosive “interview” Pope Francis gave to the radical Leftist and atheist Eugenio Scalfari? Not the third one, just published in La Repubblica, but the first one, published in that same newspaper on October 1 of last year, featured in L’Osservatore Romano, and lodged on the Vatican website as one of Francis’s speeches, thus seemingly making it part of his rather liquid magisterium.   You know, the one in which Francis is said to have declared that he does not believe in a Catholic God, that everyone should pursue his own vision of good and evil, and other “greatest hits” of what the press delights in calling a “headline-grabbing papacy.”

Recall that after one of the by now routine semi-disclaimers by Father Lombardi—who called the interview “faithful to the thought” of Francis and “reliable in a general sense”­­­—the text was removed from vatican.va in embarrassment. Well, the same interview suddenly reappeared on the Vatican website this week, in both English and Italian, and was included once again among the Pope’s speeches. But, after this stupefying development was noted by Antonio Socci and the Mundabor and Chiesa et Postconcilio blog sites, the “interview” was removed again, and the link provided by these bloggers now redirects searchers to the Vatican home page.

It is time to face reality: The conclave of 2013, following an unprecedented, mysterious, and strangely nuanced “resignation” by a Pope in full possession of his faculties, opened the door to what must be the final stage in the post-conciliar crisis.

If words have meaning, the man whose first words to the Church from the loggia of Saint Peter’s were a resoundingly banal “Good evening,” who referred to himself only as the newly elected “Bishop of Rome,” is the most liberal prelate who has ever ascended to the Chair of Peter. Pope Francis’s endless stream of shocking utterances—he will say whatever he pleases, to whomever he pleases, whenever he pleases—signals a clear and present danger to the Church. The danger is reflected in his progressivist-dominated “Council of Eight” and his insistent praise for the arch-Modernist Cardinal Kasper, now known as “the Pope’s theologian,” who proposes to destroy in practice what the Church, in fidelity to Our Lord, has constantly affirmed respecting the absolute indissolubility of marriage. The moral edifice of the Church would thus be undermined to the point of collapse.

trads

Traditional Catholics attending a Traditional Latin Mass during WWII? 
No, just Catholics attending THE Mass during WWII

 

That today there are Catholics denominated “traditionalist” is a development unexampled in the entire previous history of the Catholic Church. Even at the height of the Arian crisis—the closest analogue to our situation—the Church was not divided between traditionalists and non-traditionalists, but rather between those who had not embraced the heresy of Arius and those who had.

But what exactly is a traditionalist? A look back at the way things once were might convey the meaning of the term more effectively than the usual attempts at a formal definition:

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