Christopher A. Ferrara
I’m an attorney with decades of experience in sizing up and cross-examining witnesses who are lying or shading the truth in a way that amounts to a lie. And that is why I refuse to watch the circus unfolding on live television as I type these words. It is too painful to endure for someone who knows a witness con job when he sees one.
Although the argument should be clear from a careful reading of my piece on whether and how the Church can defend herself against the onslaught of a wayward Pope such as this one, in order to avoid misrepresentation of my position by certain dishonest commentators I thought it would be wise to stress the following points:
1. The theological writers have not argued, nor have I argued, that a validly elected Pope can be removed from office merely because he is unworthy, as was the case with Benedict IX, described as “a disgrace to the Chair of Peter” by the Catholic Encyclopedia. Popes are not subject to “no confidence” votes.
Rather, the writers (such as Cajetan) address three cases: (1) a clearly invalidly elected Pope, who is thus an antipope; (2) a Pope whose title to office is unclear and must be resolved in some manner; and (3) a Pope who falls into formal heresy and would thereby lose his office, .
2. Church history provides numerous examples of the first two cases, ultimately resolved by synods or councils that declared the deposition of the anti-Pope(s) in favor of the one determined to be the true Pope. But even here the result is not always beyond dispute. Sylvester III, for example, is included in the canon of Popes (the 146th Roman Pontiff) even though he was declared deposed at the Synod of Sutri and is considered by many historians to be a usurper of the papal throne.
Likewise, Benedict IX, also declared deposed at Sutri (having resigned the papacy in 1045 in return for a payment of money from his own godfather, who succeeded him as Pope), nonetheless reigned again twice (in 1045, after reneging on his resignation, and again from 1047-48). He is thus further listed as both the 147th and 150th Roman Pontiff. As the Catholic Encyclopedia in an annotation to its canon of Popes: “He appears on this list three separate times, because he was twice and restored.” In fact, Benedict IX (along with Sylvester) appears in every recognized canon of Popes, including the Vatican’s. That is why Francis is the 266th Pope, not the 264th.
3. As to a Pope who falls into heresy, history provides no case of a deposition. The closest case is the posthumous anathematization of Honorius I for his role in promoting the Monothelite heresy. The absence of historical examples, however, does not mean that should a Pope profess formal heresy he would not lose his office or that the Church, by way of a synod, imperfect council or assembly of cardinals, could not declare him to have fallen from office by his own act, as the theological writers have argued. Based on this permissible theological opinion, Cardinal Burke (who does not accuse Francis of heresy) explains as follows:
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.
Finally, the Cardinals could issue the formal correction long promised by Cardinal Burke, condemning the errors of Francis, including his attempt to overthrow the teaching of Benedict XVI, John Paul II and all their predecessors, going back to Our Lord Himself, on the impossibility of admitting the divorced and “remarried,” who are living in adultery, to Holy Communion under any circumstances, as well as Francis’s truly disastrous introduction of a form of situation ethics into the life of the Church according to which “complex cases” are exempt from application of exceptionless precepts of the divine and natural law.
The formal correction would at least put “Bergoglianism” out of commission even if Francis remains Pope, which, I stress, we must regard him to be unless the Church (in the manner indicated by Cardinal Burke) were someday to declare otherwise—an outcome that is not theologically impossible, however extraordinary it would be.
In no event, however, can the hierarchy simply do nothing to resist this Pope in his relentless effort to impose his erring opinions on the Church.
Some Surprising Answers...
I never thought I’d see the day when a preening, Internet-created neo-Catholic doyenne such as Simcha Fisher, as notorious as Mark Shea for her crude and often unprintable invective against traditionalists, would unload on Pope Bergoglio with the following headline: “Does Francis know he sounds like an abuser?”
Fisher is rightly incensed by Bergoglio’s cunning response, “I will not say a single word on this,” concerning Archbishop Viganò’s damning indictment of Bergoglio’s rehabilitation of the monster once known as Cardinal McCarrick for some five years before adverse worldwide press coverage forced to him to punish that serial homosexual rapist of whose crimes Viganò had personally informed him back in 2013—information of which Bergoglio was clearly already aware at that time, as Viganò testifies.
Leave the homosexual clerics in place. Fear the young neo-traditionalists. Stop the restoration...
Francis the Silent... for once.
This article was first written to address the neo-Catholic commentator Massimo Faggioli’s attempt, following the Pennsylvania grand jury report and the fall of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to minimize the homosexual crisis in the Church and blunt the correlative rise of what he derides as “neo-traditionalism.” As my piece was about to go to press, however, EWTN’s National Catholic Register broke the explosive story on the written testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States (2011 to 2016). Faggioli’s propaganda piece now becomes merely illustrative of the points to be made here in light of this astonishing and indeed providential development.
In his eleven-page account, affirmed under oath, the Archbishop, marking a turning point in Church history, declares that senior Vatican officials, including former Secretaries of State Angelo Sodano and Tarcisio Bertone as well as Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, coordinator of Pope Bergoglio’s “Council of Cardinals”, covered up McCarrick’s decades of sexual predation and that Bergoglio himself continued the coverup.
The Revolutionary Fellowship of Pope Montini,
Jacques Maritain and Saul Alinsky
This article, adapted from a presentation given at the 2018 symposium of the Roman Forum at Lake Garda, examines the origin of the current unparalleled crisis in the Church at its origin: the neo-Modernist uprising during the Interwar Period, culminating in that catastrophe known as the “opening to the world” at Vatican II.
The conciliar “opening to the world” was assisted mightily by two deluded “conservative” visionaries whose roles were absolutely decisive: Jacques Maritain and his disciple Pope Montini, whose relationship and mutual connection to none other than Saul Alinksy are the focus of this piece.
While Francis orders the Catechism of John Paul II “revised” to pretend that his errant personal view of the death penalty is Church teaching, the Catechism’s original error concerning the homosexual condition remains on its website.
UPDATED (See below)
Following the hasty publication of an English version of the Catechism of John Paul II in 1994, before the official Latin text was ready in 1997, the Vatican was forced to make numerous changes to the English text after the Latin text was promulgated. This resulted in a “second edition” of the Catechism in English and other languages, with the English second edition appearing in 1997.
The Latest Addition to the Bergoglian Pseudo-Magisterium...
For the past five years the Church has suffered under a Pope who actually believes that the Magisterium is literally whatever he thinks. To quote his own admission in this regard, made during one of his infamous interviews: “I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out; it’s very clear.”
Trump and Putin at a press conference in Finland. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
The increasing exposure of a Deep State conspiracy to cover up the crimes of Hillary Clinton and undermine the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump with concocted allegations of the non-crime of “collusion with Russia” has produced a state of delirium in the Deep State-DNC-Media complex (DDM). The behavior of the DDM’s operatives is suggestive of something like a vampire’s exposure to sunlight.
What should we think of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS)? My view is that we should be just short of jubilant. His judicial record on the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit makes it clear that he will be rock solid on religious liberty for Catholics and Second Amendment liberty for gun owners. As for Roe v. Wade, his statement during his prior confirmation hearing to the effect that he would be bound by it as a Circuit judge—he could hardly overrule it from that bench—is no indication that, as an Associate Justice of SCOTUS, he would not vote to cut back the infamous decision in ways that would amount to an abrogation if not an outright overruling.
On April 22, 2018, Good Shepherd Sunday, fifteen priests from around the world published an open letter entitled “A Pastoral Appeal to the Bishops for an Apostolic Reaffirmation of the Gospel.” Among the signatories is EWTN commentator Father Gerald Murray, a doctor of canon law, whose appearances on EWTN with “the Papal Posse” (along with Raymond Arroyo and Robert Royal) have been instrumental in alerting the Church at large to the dimensions of the growing catastrophe of this pontificate.