“We have come to the point that even simple people with little knowledge of doctrinal issues understand that we have a non-Catholic pope, at least in the strict sense of the term.”
Simple people understand that “we have a non-Catholic pope.” And yet “every human creature must be subject to the Roman Pontiff” if they wish to be saved. How can we possibly reconcile these realities short of rejecting Francis as the pope? We know that God, in His loving Providence, permits this, but what does it mean to the Church? Is Francis merely a bad pope or an antipope? In either case, how can we be subject to him as he leads the Church away from Catholicism?
As Fr. Matthias Gaudron describes in The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church, submission to the pope “obviously does not imply an unlimited obedience.” On this point, Fr. Gaudron cites Cardinal Thomas Cajetan’s commentary on the Summa Theologica:
"If someone, for a reasonable motive, holds the person of the pope in suspicion and refuses his presence and even his jurisdiction, he does not commit the delict of schism, nor any other whatsoever, provided that he be ready to accept the pope were he not held in suspicion. It goes without saying that one has the right to avoid what is harmful and to ward off dangers. In fact, it may happen that the pope could govern tyrannically, and that is all the easier as he is the more powerful and does not fear any punishment from anyone on earth.”
The keys to this analysis are a “reasonable motive” for holding the pope in suspicion and the readiness to “accept the pope were he not held in suspicion.” No one can rationally deny that there are reasonable motives to hold Francis in suspicion. And most Catholics who refuse to follow Francis in his attempts to destroy the Church would readily “accept the pope” if he became Catholic and acted accordingly.
Once we understand that Bergoglio is attempting to destroy the Church, all of his words and deeds make much more sense.
As we await his unlikely conversion or God calling him to his eternal reward, there are a few realities we need to consider if we hope to minimize the damage Francis does to the Church and the world:
Francis is a Destroyer. With each new anti-Catholic statement or action from Francis, some well-meaning Catholics wonder how the pope thinks he is helping Catholics. So with Traditionis Custodes we saw numerous commentaries suggesting that Francis must not realize the true value of the Tridentine Mass; others argued that he must not realize how many faithful Catholics he would hurt. Alas, the problem is not that Bergoglio fails to see how much damage he is doing; the problem is that he desires to destroy the Church and sees very clearly the best ways to do it. Once we understand that Bergoglio is attempting to destroy the Church, all of his words and deeds make much more sense.
St. Robert Bellarmine described what Catholics must do when faced with a pope who seeks to destroy the Church:
“Just as it is licit to resist a pope who attacks the body, so also it is licit to resist him if he attacks souls or disturbs the civil order or, above all, if he tries to destroy the Church. I say it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will.”
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre expanded on this in a 1988 statement:
“Now our disobedience is motivated by the need to keep the Catholic Faith. The orders being given us clearly express that they are being given us in order to oblige us to submit without reserve to the Second Vatican Council, to the post-conciliar reforms, and to the prescriptions of the Holy See, that is to say, to the orientations and acts which are undermining our Faith and destroying the Church. It is impossible for us to do this. To collaborate in the destruction of the Church is to betray the Church and to betray Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now all the theologians worthy of this name teach that if the pope, by his acts, destroys the Church, we cannot obey him . . . and he must be respectfully, but publicly, rebuked.”
If we cooperate with the destruction of the Church we betray Jesus Christ. Necessarily, then, we must accept God’s grace to resist Francis.
An Overdue Scourge for Church and World. Until we began to experience the global chaos set in motion soon after Francis introduced the world to his Pachamama in October 2019, many of us did not appreciate the full extent to which his papacy was a scourge for the Church and the world. Almost everything he did from his election to that point was anti-Catholic, but it was easy enough to tune out and seldom caused disruptions in the practice of our Faith. Now, with each passing week, it becomes more clear that Francis’s role in the Church is a scourge permitted by God. Does this prompt us to ask what we have done to deserve it?
Even if we applaud many of Pope Benedict XVI’s initiatives, the fact remains that he was unable or unwilling to rid the Church of the wolves preying on his flock.
One way to think about this is to consider that we have had astounding problems in the Church for decades. After all, the cardinals who elected Francis were appointed by popes cherished by many conservative Catholics. The beloved St. John Paul II gave us the Prayer Meeting at Assisi and a list of Cardinal appointments that includes: Joseph Bernadin, Godfried Danneels, Henri de Lubac, Carlo Maria Martini, Bernard Francis Law, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Yves Congar, Walter Kasper, Theodore McCarrick, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Karl Lehmann, and Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
On top of this, one may add any number of signs that the Church’s leaders have been overseeing the demolition of the Church since Vatican II. For instance, even if we applaud many of Pope Benedict XVI’s initiatives, the fact remains that he was unable or unwilling to rid the Church of the wolves preying on his flock. It is tempting to fall back on the argument that a pope is powerless these days — but if Francis could do so much damage harming the Church with Traditions Custodes, why do we think the Holy Ghost would not assist a pope in restoring the Church?
In addition, many conservative Catholics complain of the “abuses” of the Spirit of Vatican II but reject the best antidotes available: the teachings of the pre-Vatican II popes, especially St. Pius X. Why would we expect God to send us a truly Catholic pope if we fail to have recourse to the teachings of the good popes He gave us to warn against the current evils?
Who is in the best position to know the dangers of Bergoglio? Surely it is faithful Catholics, just as it would be the passengers in a hijacked vehicle.
As our thoughts turn to those who have been most faithful to tradition, it is more difficult to assign real blame for the current state of the Church. After all, many Traditional Catholics bear fruits that should be greatly rewarded. And yet “unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required” (Luke 12:48). In any case, if the lives of the saints are a guide, those who are doing the most are likely those who believe most ardently that they ought to be doing even more. This scourge will likely continue until enough Catholics give all they can to the effort of restoring the Church.
Two Edges of the Infallibility Sword. Some Catholics have argued that Vatican I’s declaration on papal infallibility has led, at least indirectly, to the situation in which nominal Catholics follow Bergoglio’s teachings even when they are clearly against what the Church has always taught. While there is likely some truth in this line of thinking, we can surmise that many (perhaps all) of those who embrace Bergoglio’s anti-Catholic novelties are less concerned with his apparent authority than the charm of his message. Those who follow Francis do so because their itching ears like what they hear. If they woke up tomorrow to find a pope like St. Pius X they would go back to questioning and resisting everything the pope said, even if he actually spoke infallibly.
The more significant impact of the Vatican I declaration on papal infallibility has been that Francis knows that he can say virtually anything so long as he does not invoke papal infallibility. In the world’s eyes, his words represent the position of the Catholic Church, whether he is speaking ex cathedra or in an airplane aisle. Avoiding the four conditions of papal infallibility thus provides him with a blueprint for how to promote error while escaping the critical level of theological scrutiny that would potentially lead to his removal.
Accordingly, as many of us go about insisting that he might actually be the pope because he has not tried to invoke infallibility, he congratulates himself of being able to destroy the Church because he is clever enough to avoid invoking papal infallibility.
Now that we know Francis is in the process of weaponizing the Church against the world we are (or should be) considerably less patient.
True Harms of Bergoglio. Given that no rational Catholic will follow any of Francis’s novelties, it may seem that Francis’s destruction is effectively limited to his coercion of bishops to limit the Tridentine Mass. Such a limited view would ignore the grave scandal to the Church and world given by the spectacle of an apparently non-Catholic pope. For many people, such a situation calls into question the Church’s indefectibility. Indeed, this is a primary reason sedevacantists believe that Bergoglio (and some of his predecessors) cannot possibly be a true pope.
Bergoglio’s scandal to Catholics and potential converts is indeed grave, but we have seen an entirely different harm emerge in recent years: Francis has hijacked the Church much like the 9/11 terrorists hijacked airplanes. We now see him steering the Church’s moral authority to support various Great Reset objectives that threaten the entire world: reshaping our lives to “save the environment,” worsening capitalism, embracing LGBTQ values, reducing religions to their lowest common denominators, and vaccinating the world population. By analogy, we were perhaps content to wait out the bumpy ride while we thought he was simply an awful pilot; now that we know he is in the process of weaponizing the Church against the world we are (or should be) considerably less patient.
Continuing the analogy, who is in the best position to know the dangers of Bergoglio? Surely it is faithful Catholics, just as it would be the passengers in a hijacked vehicle. We understand the significance of his secular-oriented actions but also have the most reliable view to his specifically anti-Catholic actions. We are the ones who should be warning others about his true intentions. This appears to be why he and his globalist partners need nominal Catholics to stay in their seats and avoid sounding the alarm. This silence about Francis’s anti-Catholic agenda also allows him and his collaborators to further marginalize and demonize those who are outspoken in their defense of actual Catholicism.
In this light, how should we view Traditionis Custodes? In many parishes we can already see that the bishop is willing to permit the continued use of the “Extraordinary Form” — but in those situations it will often mean that the faithful must stay in their seats and avoid any criticism of Francis or the “Spirit of Vatican II.” How could it be otherwise? Francis will thus gladly buy the silence of many Catholics who were beginning to protest too loudly. Besides, he knows that what he exchanges for silence today — access to the Tridentine Mass — can be stolen tomorrow when there is nobody left to listen to the cries of those who made their shortsighted bargain.
What Our Enemies Want. Generally speaking, we can divide our enemies into two categories at this point: Satan and his true followers on the one hand, and the globalists on the other. Although their interests are aligned for practical purposes, each has their own distinct goals.
Clearly Satan seeks to send souls to hell and insult God and His Church — these are his primary targets. He also seeks to establish a perverted hell on earth that would corrupt all of God’s creation. Satan does not want Catholic martyrs — for they give great glory to God and merit the beatific vision — but sees them as a necessary cost of doing business.
Like Satan and the globalists, Francis seeks to transform the Church into something other than what it has always been.
The globalists do not particularly care about Satan’s primary objectives as they generally believe neither in hell nor in the concept of insulting God. Even so, they recognize that a healthy Catholic Church is an obstacle to their dreams, whereas a hijacked Catholic Church is a tremendous asset. They want to establish perverted hell on earth, though not for the same reason Satan does.
What does Bergoglio want? The globalists appear to adore him and treat him as a crucial ally. He was also the darling of the St. Gallen Mafia that conspired to elect him to the papacy because they saw in him something that aligned with their designs. In his Dictator Pope, Henry Sire wrote about the way in which one of the St. Gallen Mafia’s allies, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, viewed Bergoglio:
“In an interview with the Independent after the Conclave, Murphy-O’Connor also hinted there was a particular program laid before the seventy-six-year-old Argentinian that he was expected to accomplish in about four years. The English cardinal told journalist and author Paul Vallely, ‘Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.’”
So, like Satan and the globalists, Francis seeks to transform the Church into something other than what it has always been. If four years would have been enough to “change things,” the eight years since his election have been enough to change almost everything.
We may learn at some point that Jorge Bergolgio was never the pope, but even if we knew now that he is not the pope there would be little change to how we must act.
It seems that neither Satan nor the globalists could have hoped for more, but Francis shows no signs of stopping until he has inflicted the most damage on the Church that God will allow. Fr. Alvaro Calderon identifies the ultimate consequences of this damage in his Prometheus: The Religion of Man:
“If the hearts of men are not elevated to God by the truth, upheld by the Magisterium, and by grace, infused by the sacraments of the Church, they necessarily fall into selfishness and are ruled by Satan. And what is true for the individual, is also true for society.”
At this point, no Catholic can justifiably follow Francis in his attempts to change the Church, for we know that change is truly a destruction that leads souls to Satan rather than God. Moreover, with current composition of the college of cardinals (the majority of whom have been chosen by Francis), it appears that there can be no restoration without God’s intervention. As such, we cannot simply wait for another pope. Help is not on the way, unless God intervenes.
We may learn at some point that Jorge Bergolgio was never the pope, but even if we knew now that he is not the pope there would be little change to how we must act. Until God intervenes, we must do what we can to deserve His assistance and minimize Francis’s destructive efforts. Accordingly, it seems that we should renew our efforts to:
- Recognize that God is permitting this great trial so we can turn to Him
- Humbly turn to God with prayer and penance
- Defend and promote the unadulterated Catholic Faith
- Accept God’s grace to live truly Christian lives, to draw others to the one true Faith
- Help others to understand that, despite appearances, those who promote errors are not speaking for the Catholic Church
In all of this, may the Immaculate Heart of Mary guide us to do God’s will. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!