Gaudete et Exsultate is exactly what we have come to expect from this drearily predictable pontificate. To quote Carl Olsen in : “many good qualities and substantive passages… often overshadowed, or even undermined, by straw men, dubious arguments, and cheap shots.”
Bergoglian pronouncements in general are precisely vehicles for the delivery of straw men, dubious arguments and cheap shots, all invariably directed against orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Expressions of piety are wrapped around crass ecclesiastical demagoguery, a velvet glove for the clenched fist of militant humility so typical of the boorish cant of leftist Latin American clerics.
For the past five years the Pope of “the peripheries” has ignored the peripheries (especially the prelates of Africa) while allying himself with the government-subsidized corrupt German hierarchy in an insane drive to convert the Catholic Church into a kind of Protestant denomination.
Now seven German bishops, five from Bavaria, are attempting to resist the Bergoglian juggernaut by appealing to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against the decision of the German bishops’ conference, led by Cardinals Marx and Kasper, to extend the already-implemented admission of Holy Communion to public adulterers in “second marriages” to Protestants who are married to Catholics in “certain cases,” presumably including those in “second marriages” with Catholics who are civilly divorced and “remarried.”
Bergoglio is the author of this catastrophe. His subversive notion of “discernment,” introduced via Amoris Laetitia, which enshrines the neo-Modernist moral nonsense of Cardinal Kasper, opens the way to “discerning” innumerable “exceptions” to the application of exceptionless moral norms. As the arch-Modernist subversive Cardinal Marx puts it: “We are talking about decisions in individual cases that require a careful spiritual discernment.” In other words, some people are to be deemed exempt from obedience to the moral law, which ultimately means all people, the end of morality in practice, and the reduction of the Ten Commandments to The Ten Ideals.
Now, on the heels of Bergoglio’s reported denial of the existence of hell and the eternal torments of the damned—an opinion he has not in the least rejected or retracted a week after its publication by Scalfari, leaving Greg Burke to issue a slithery non-denial—even Cardinal Burke is admitting that the situation this maniacal Pope has provoked is nothing short of apocalyptic.
During a recent interview (translation by Diane Montagna), the Cardinal finally presents the matter squarely as what it always was: the imperative of direct opposition to a Pope who is spreading heresy throughout the Church. Quoth the Cardinal in pertinent part (paragraph breaks added):
“What happened with the last interview given to Eugenio Scalfari during Holy Week and published on Holy Thursday went beyond what is tolerable.”
“This playing around with faith and doctrine, at the highest level of the Church, rightly leaves pastors and faithful scandalized.”
“The confusion and division in the Church on the most fundamental and important issues — marriage and the family, the Sacraments and the right disposition to receive them, intrinsically evil acts, eternal life and the Last Things — are becoming increasingly widespread. And the Pope not only refuses to clarify things by proclaiming the constant doctrine and sound discipline of the Church… but he is also increasing the confusion.”
“Many people who were baptized in a Protestant ecclesial communion, but then entered into the full communion of the Catholic Church because their original ecclesial communities abandoned the Apostolic Faith… perceive that the Catholic Church is going down the same road of abandoning the faith.”
“This whole situation leads me to reflect more and more on the message of Our Lady of Fatima who warns us about the evil — even more serious than the very grave evils suffered because of the spread of atheistic communism — which is apostasy from the faith within the Church. Number 675 of theCatechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that ‘before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers’ and that ‘the persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception [impostura religiosa or religious imposture, meaning the conduct of an imposter] offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.’”
“In such a situation the bishops and cardinals have the duty to proclaim true doctrine. At the same time, they must lead the faithful to make reparation for the offenses against Christ and the wounds inflicted on His Mystical Body, the Church, when faith and discipline are not rightly safeguarded and promoted by pastors.”
“The great canonist of the thirteenth century, Henry of Segusio, also known as Hostiensis, facing the difficult question of how to correct a Roman Pontiff who acts in a way contrary to his office, states that the College of Cardinals constitutes ade facto check against papal error.”
“It is the essential service of the Pope to safeguard and promote the deposit of faith, true doctrine and sound discipline consistent with the truths believed.”
In the interview with Eugenio Scalfari quoted above, the Pope is referred to as “revolutionary.” But the Petrine Office has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with revolution. On the contrary, it exists exclusively for the preservation and propagation of the immutable Catholic faith, which leads souls to conversion of heart and leads all humanity to the unity founded on the order inscribed by God in His creation and especially in the heart of man, the only earthly creature made in the image of God.”
The Pope, through the divine will, enjoys all the power necessary to safeguard and promote the true faith, true divine worship, and the sound discipline required…. This power belongs not to his person but to his office as Successor of St. Peter. In the past, for the most part, the popes did not make public their personal acts or their opinions precisely so as not to risk the faithful being confused about what the successor of St. Peter does and thinks.”
“At present there is a risky and even harmful confusion between the person of the Pope and his office, that results in the obscuring of the Petrine Office and in a worldly and political idea of the service of the Roman Pontiff in the Church.”
“Any act of a Pope that undermines the salvific mission of Christ in the Church, whether it be a heretical act or a sinful act in itself, is simply void from the point of view of the Petrine Office. Therefore, even if it clearly causes very serious damage to souls, it does not command the obedience of pastors and faithful.
“We must always distinguish the body of the man who is the Roman Pontiff from the body of the Roman Pontiff, that is, from the man who exercises the office of St. Peter in the Church. Not to make this distinction means papolatry and ends up in the loss of faith in the Divinely Founded and Sustained Petrine Office.”
“A Catholic must always respect, in an absolute way, the Petrine Office as an essential part of the institution of the Church by Christ…. This respect also includes the duty to express the judgment of a rightly formed conscience to the Pope, when he deviates or seems to deviate from true doctrine and sound discipline, or to abandon the responsibilities inherent in his office.”
“If the Pope does not fulfill his office for the good of all souls, it is not only possible but also necessary to criticize the Pope.”
“Some have criticized those who have publicly expressed criticism of the Pope, saying it is a manifestation of rebellion or disobedience, but to ask — with due respect for his office — for the correction of confusion or error is not an act of disobedience, but an act of obedience to Christ and thus to His Vicar on earth.”
Note well the statement that “the College of Cardinals constitutes ade factocheck against papal error.” Is this an indication of impending action by certain members of the College in the form of a demand that Bergoglio retract and make amends for his heterodox pronouncements and machinations prejudicial to integrity of the Faith?
As Antonio Socci reported days ago, “an important cardinal (not Italian) contacted some of his colleagues and then, also in their name, indicated to Bergoglio what that interview [with Scalfari regarding hell] could signify (to profess heretical theses is one of the four causes of cessation of the papal office).”
Was Burke that non-Italian cardinal? Perhaps in a few days, during the summit meeting in Rome being covered by Edward Pentin, we will know the answer. And perhaps, given the attendance of Burke and two other Cardinals at that meeting, we will see at last, from at least some members of the College of Cardinals, a formal correction of the most wayward Pope in Church history.
This much is certain: humanly speaking, there is no way to halt the madness of Bergoglianism besides overt opposition by members of the upper hierarchy. Failing that, the end of this madness will be imposed from on high under the most dramatic circumstances for the Church and the world.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
On Holy Thursday the world awoke to find that during his fifth with his friend Eugenio Scalfari, Italy’s most famous atheist, Pope Bergoglio has denied the existence of hell for a second time, the first being an interview with the same Scalfari . The March 28 interview in La Repubblica, which Scalfari founded, attributes the following words to Bergoglio:
[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?
[Francis:] “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”
[Santità, nel nostro precedente incontro lei mi disse che la nostra specie ad un certo punto scomparirà e Dio sempre dal suo seme creativo creerà altre specie. Lei non mi ha mai parlato di anime che sono morte nel peccato e vanno all'inferno per scontarlo in eterno. Lei mi ha parlato invece di anime buone e ammesse alla contemplazione di Dio. Ma le anime cattive? Dove vengono punite?
“Non vengono punite, quelle che si pentono ottengono il perdono di Dio e vanno tra le fila delle anime che lo contemplano, ma quelle che non si pentono e non possono quindi essere perdonate scompaiono. Non esiste un inferno, esiste la scomparsa delle anime peccatrici”.]
Bergoglio’s denial of hell takes the form of the heresy, which the Catholic Encyclopedia describes as one of the “arbitrary and vain subterfuges, unsupported by any sound reason” by which the dogma of the eternal punishment of the damned is denied. As the Encyclopedia observes of annihilationism: “[I]f men knew that their sins would not be followed by sufferings, the mere threat of annihilation at the moment of death… would not suffice to deter them from sin.”
Bergoglio has made reference to Hell in certain public statements, but these appear to have served the rhetorical needs of the moment. For example, his declaration that members of the Mafia will all end up in Hell if they do not repent of being Mafiosi. The question is whether Francis harbors the private opinion, twice divulged to Scalfari, that there really is no Hell and that the damned simply cease to exist after death, which would mean that his public references to Hell are merely for public consumption.
While Scalfari has admitted that his published interviews of Bergoglio are reconstructions as opposed to verbatim transcripts, this did not stop the Vatican from publishing one of them on the Vatican website, which was later scrubbed even though the Vatican conceded that “the interview is reliable on a general level…” Nor did it stop the Vatican from including two of Scalfari’s interviews in a Vatican-published compilation of Bergoglio’s conversations with various journalists, including the interview in which he declares to Scalfari: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense” and “I believe in God. Not in a Catholic God. A Catholic God does not exist.” (Interviste e Conversazione con i Giornalisti [Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014], p. 109).
At this point it is reasonable to suspect that Francis privately harbors the heretical belief that the souls of the damned are not punished eternally but merely annihilated. The only way to dispel that reasonable suspicion would be to issue, on Bergoglio’s explicit authority, an unequivocal statement that in no way whatsoever did he profess the annihilationist heresy to Scalfari, that the quotation attributed to him is a total fabrication, and that he affirms absolutely the eternal punishment of the damned in Hell. Any sort of equivocal denial, on the other hand, would be a tacit admission that Scalfari’s quotation of Bergoglio on this point is correct at least in substance.
But an equivocal denial is exactly what Vatican press spokesman Greg Burke has just issued in the face of worldwide press reports that the Pope declares there is no hell. The published denial is the Vatican PR machine at its slithery best:
“The Holy Father recently received the founder of the daily La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without however granting him an interview. What is referred to by the author of today’s article is the fruit of his reconstruction, in which the exact words spoken by the Pope are not cited. No quotations in the aforementioned article should therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”
There is no flat denial that the Pope believes in annihilationism. Thus, Burke impliedly concedes that the attributed quotation—the second of its kind published by Scalfari—is correct in substance even if it is not a verbatim transcript.
Consider also the claim that Bergoglio had not granted Scalfari an interview on the occasion in question but was merely engaging in a private off-the-record conversation. That constitutes a damning admission that Bergoglio was expressing privately what he really believes and did not expect it to be published. But any claim of an expectation of privacy must be seen as ludicrous, given that Bergoglio was, for the fifth time, answering questions put to him by the same journalist who had published all such previous conversations in La Repubblica.
From Francis himself there is not a word by way of correction of his friend’s account of their conversation. One would think that the Vicar of Christ would hasten to deny the attribution to him of an heretical opinion that strikes at the very foundations of the Faith, including the dogma of the Redemption the whole Church, at this very moment, is in the process of commemorating.
I will follow up on this piece after the Triduum. By the end of next week, shall we say, we will know whether the Vatican can do any better than Burke’s shifty “denial.” If not, then we will know for certain that we have a Pope who privately espouses an unequivocal heresy. Then it will up to a thus far totally quiescent hierarchy to do its duty by demanding that Francis retract this error, along with the errors by which this wayward Pope is undermining the entire moral edifice of the Church.
May the good God soon deliver the Church from this pontificate.
In the two days that have elapsed since my piece on this subject, the full extent of the Vatican’s doctoring of the letter from Benedict to Archbishop Vigano respecting the “theology of Pope Francis” has been revealed under growing public pressure for full disclosure.
As has so often been the case, has led to a breakthrough. In the hyperlinked column, Magister notes another suspicious circumstance surrounding the letter, beyond the blurring of the first two lines and concealment of almost the entire second page by a pile of the eleven booklets on “the theology of Pope Francis” that Benedict was asked by Vigano to review and endorse. To quote Magister:
The AP catches the Vatican doctoring a crucial photo of a “letter from Benedict” praising Francis. It’s business as usual for the Bergoglian propaganda machine.
Meanwhile, Msgr. Dario Vigano, Vatican Communications/PR chief launches the SuperPope Tee.
Five years after Benedict XVI fled the Chair of Peter, allowing “The Dictator Pope” to occupy it—thus accomplishing the temporarily thwarted objective of the St. Gallen “mafia”— Benedict now declares in a purported letter from him that “there is an internal continuity” between his pontificate and the Bergoglian dictatorship. Addressed to Msgr. Dario Vigano, Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, the letter has all the earmarks of a public relations ploy to restore confidence in a papacy even commentators of the neo-Catholic mainstream are finally compelled to recognize as “disastrous.”
Tellingly, the purported letter is addressed to the head of the Vatican’s PR department in response to a letter from Vigano, who must have solicited Benedict’s reply. The letter praises a series of eleven booklets by various authors on “The Theology of Pope Francis”—not to be confused with the theology of the Magisterium. In the portion of the letter made public by the Vatican Press Office we read the following:
Would the Bergoglian Juggernaut Undermine the Case for the Infallibility of Canonizations by Raising Paul VI to the altars?
[This article appeared in the February 28 issue of The Remnant Newspaper. To see what else was in that issue, subscribe today!]
Introduction: A Perennially Smoldering Debate Reignited
Pope Bergoglio’s rapid-fire canonizations of John Paul II and John XXIII have understandably contributed to growing concerns among the faithful about the reliability of the “saint factory” put into operation during the reign of John Paul II. John Paul canonized more saints, including large batch canonizations, than the previous seventeen Popes combined, going all the way back to 1588, when Sixtus V founded the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. While Benedict XVI made some effort to slow the output of the factory, it has ramped up production again under Bergoglio, who in five years has cranked out 885 saints, including a batch of 800 Italian martyrs, as compared with 483 saints during John Paul’s entire 27-year reign. Five of these Bergoglian additions have been declared saints without even one verified miracle being attributed to them.
This article appeared in the last print edition of The Remnant. To see what else was in that issue, subscribe today!
Long in the making under the Vatican Secretary of State’s policy of Ostpolitik—the Vatican’s diplomatic accommodation of communist regimes, which begin with Vatican II’s shameful silence on the evils of Communism—the Vatican-engineered destruction of the visible Catholic Church in China appears to be entering its final stage. Bergoglio, who has never uttered a critical word against communist or socialist dictator but freely declares that Trump is “not a Christian” if he builds a border wall, seems determined to finish the job already begun during the reign of John Paul II under the administration of Cardinal Angelo Sodano. Sodano is the same corrupt bureaucrat who was covering up the Father Maciel scandal at the same time he was trotted out as the Oracle of Fatima concerning a ludicrous “interpretation” of the Third Secret we are supposed to believe Our Lady imparted to the Church as a riddle to be solved by him.
The conventional wisdom is that “this disastrous papacy” lies on a continuum of post-Vatican II ecclesial decline on which Francis represents but the lowest point yet reached. This is true, but only superficially. If we look more deeply into the phenomenon that Antonio Socci has dubbed Bergoglianism, we see an actual break with the continuum, a quantum leap into the chaotic realm of the mind of one badly formed Jesuit, fascinated by his own disordered thinking.
Francis: It is a sin to base social policy on legitimate, understandable fears concerning the effects of Muslim immigration. But adultery is not sinful in “complex circumstances.”
As this grotesque mockery of a papacy continues with so sign of abatement, we learn that Francis has just bestowed the title of Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great on none other than Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Netherlands, who is one of the world’s foremost promoters of abortion on demand. As Michael Hichborn (a fellow parishioner of mine) reports:
“After US President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, Ploumen launched a new NGO called She Decides to provide mass amounts of funds to organizations that would no longer receive funds from the US government. The Mexico City Policy automatically denies US funding for international organizations which perform or promote abortion.
“Referring to the Mexico City Policy as a ‘Global Gag Rule,’ Ploumen stated that the intention of She Decides was to continue support for existing programs being run by organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International. She said, ‘These are successful and effective programs: direct support, distributing condoms, making sure women are accompanied at the birth, and making sure abortion is safe if they have no other choice. By July of 2017, Ploumen’s program had raised over $300 million."
Let this sink in: in the name of Pope Gregory the Great, a wayward successor on the Chair of Peter has conferred the dignity of a papal knighthood on a woman who declares publicly her undying commitment to “making sure abortion is safe if they have no other choice.” Let no one object that Francis merely provided a pro forma papal blessing to a ceremonial honorific. He surely knows the worldwide scandal this has caused, but just as surely will never revoke the honor. Message received!
Meanwhile, the entire Church is expected to hang on Francis’s every word concerning this or that matter which preoccupies him, for as he has made clear in one of his multitude of infamous interviews: “I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium.” Constantly indeed! And this constant stream of “magisterium” includes the obsessive repetition of Francis’s opinion on the imaginary moral duty of European nations to welcome their invasion by endless waves of “migrants” and “refugees” the large majority of whom are military age Muslim males.
The most recent example is a sermon on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
Like the politician he clearly wishes to be, on this occasion Francis spoke out of both sides of his mouth, the better to advance the result that one side of his mouth has never ceased advocating: the effective Islamicization of Western Europe. Quoth Francis:
In today’s world, for the newly arrived, to welcome, to know and to recognize means to know and respect the laws, culture and traditions of the countries in which they are welcomed….
So far, so good. But of course we know what is coming next from our bitter experience with the maddening Bergoglian two-step: exactly the opposite thought, which is the real point of the sermon. Thus, Francis continued:
It is not easy to enter into the culture of others, to put ourselves in the shoes of people so different from us, to understand their thoughts and experiences. And so often we give up the meeting with the other and raise barriers to defend ourselves. Local communities sometimes fear that newcomers disturb the established order, “robbing” something that has been painstakingly constructed. Even the newcomers have fears: they fear confrontation, judgment, discrimination, failure.
These fears are legitimate, based on doubts that are fully understandable from a human point of view. Having doubts and fears is not a sin. Sin is to let these fears determine our responses, condition our choices, compromise respect and generosity, feed hatred and rejection. Sin is to renounce the encounter with the other, the encounter with the different, the encounter with others, which in fact is a privileged opportunity to meet the Lord.
To summarize this double-talk: (a) “migrants” and “refugees” (i.e., basically hordes of well-fed, military age Muslims) should respect the laws, culture and traditions of the European nations into which they are swarming; (b) fears that millions of Muslim “migrants” and “refugees” will not respect “laws, culture and traditions” of European nations, particularly in local communities, are legitimate and fully understandable; but (c) civil authorities would sin if they based their immigration policy decisions on legitimate and understandable fears about the effects of Muslim mass migration.
Or, more simply: there must be no restriction on Muslim mass migration, and certainly no “barriers” such as those “sinfully” erected by Poland and Hungary in order to “renounce the encounter with the other.”
So, according to Francis, calling a halt to mass Muslim migration, or even sharply restricting it, would be sinful. But living in a state that the Catechism of John Paul II calls “permanent and public adultery” is not sinful for many in that state, nor is it any impediment to their reception of Holy Communion, given their “complex circumstances.” No “complex circumstances,” however, would justify halting or restricting Muslim mass migration, even based on legitimate and understandable fears about its effects.
Confronted with rising opposition to his novelties, Francis has dared to affix the label Authentic Magisterium® to his approval of Holy Communion for public adulterers, even though it introduces “a discipline alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith.” Doubtless he would, if he deemed it expedient, apply the same label to his view that the “welcoming” of an indiscriminate number of “migrants” and “refugees” is a moral imperative of nations and that its rejection is sinful.
The label as applied by Francis deserves the mockery of the registered trademark symbol because, by standing in opposition to all his predecessors on a matter as fundamental as the sin of public adultery and its consequences respecting the discipline of the Sacraments, Francis himself forfeits any claim that his personal brand of thought can be identified with the perennial Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church. With each passing day of “this disastrous pontificate,” the distinction between what Francis thinks and what the Magisterium teaches impresses itself ever more deeply on the Catholic mind.
Beware of “moral theologians” in pastel blue...
As Pope Francis continues his five-year-long tirade against the imaginary Catholic Pharisees who defend the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the integrally related Eucharistic discipline—he is still at it as of yesterday (January 9)—he and his collaborators are busily engineering neo-Pharisaical escape hatches from the negative precepts of the divine and natural law emanating from the Sixth Commandment.