Christopher A. Ferrara
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.
While Francis sows chaos and subverts the Church, three neo-Catholic figures bicker over whether one of them has become a “radical Catholic reactionary” because he has recognized that Francis is sowing chaos and subverting the Church. If only it were a joke...
Someone has brought to our attention a between Karl Keating and one Dave Armstrong over Philip Lawler’s upcoming book Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock. Therein Lawler, a prominent spokesman of the Catholic “conservative” or neo-Catholic* versus traditionalist** constituency, expounds the reasons for his “reluctant” conclusion that Francis is a “radical [who is] leading the Church away from the ancient sources of the Faith” and is “engaged in a deliberate effort to change what the Church teaches.”
Like every other propaganda theme concocted by the Vatican apparatus since Vatican II, including “the conciliar springtime,” “dialogue with the world,” “the liturgical renewal,” “the ecumenical venture” and “the New Evangelization,” the theme of “Francis the Great Reformer” is a hoax that conceals an underlying, ever-worsening state of ecclesial dissolution whose scope is without precedent in Church history. “Francis the Great Reformer” was supposed to accomplish the mighty work of converting a “self-referential” Church into the “Church of the Poor”—another hoax—with the aid of a Council of Cardinals—yet another hoax—that would help him reform the Roman Curia and decentralize Roman authority in favor of “the peripheries”—still another hoax.
But Francis’s handpicked coordinator of the Council, Cardinal Oscar (“”) Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras, has just been exposed as a financial huckster thriving on the backs of the poor about which he pontificates constantly in the usual manner of a Latin American leftist ideologue. Is anyone surprised? Before discussing the details of the scandal and its significance for the Church at large, a few words about the Cardinal’s background are in order.
"When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself. The true children of Holy Church, at such times, are those who walk by the light of their Baptism, not the cowardly souls who, under the specious pretext of submission to the powers that be, delay their opposition to the enemy in the hope of receiving instructions which are neither necessary nor desirable."
-Dom Prosper Guéranger
The Liturgical Year, Vol. IV
“We elected you to make reforms, not to smash everything!” Thus is Cardinal Leonardi Sandri, a fellow Argentinian and a supporter of Pope Francis at the conclave of 2013, reliably reported literally to have screamed at Pope Francis behind closed doors in the Vatican. Sandri would be one of a number of Bergoglian partisans at the conclave who are now said to be experiencing “buyer’s remorse,” as documented most recently in the explosive best-seller The Dictator Pope.
Of that book, no less than Robert Royal—signaling growing alarm over the Bergoglian Debacle in the Catholic mainstream—has written: “About 90 percent of it is simply incontrovertible, and cannot help but clarify who Francis is and what he’s about.” And the picture that emerges in stark relief in The Dictator Pope, as Life Site News reports, is that of “a power-hungry, manipulative dictator, [who] celebrated the abdication of Benedict XVI” because he knew what it meant: that the plan to give him the Keys of Peter in 2005 would finally come to fruition in 2013.
Introduction (Author's Update)
The following article is my reply to an interview by Catholic World Report of one Kevin J. Symonds, whom I debated recently on the question whether the Vatican has disclosed the Third Secret of Fatima in its entirety. My reply is not motivated by the merits of anything Symonds has to say in this interview. As this article shows, his contribution to the Third Secret controversy is practically nil, despite his inflated opinion of own research into a few matters that are old hat to experts on the subject.
I am motivated, rather, by CWR’s use of this interview as a vehicle to launch yet another round of gratuitous insults and calumnies against traditionalists, including (by name) me and the late Father Nicholas Gruner, with whom I worked closely for more than 20 years.
At this point in the Bergoglian Debacle, the recognition that Francis is a threat to the integrity of the Faith has become so well established in mainstream commentary that even an Anglican theologian, writing in First Things, has sounded the alarm.
“Is the pope Catholic? For at least a century, this was the way we Anglicans joked about anything that seemed too obvious to state,” writes Gerald McDermott, holder of a theology chair at Beeson Divinity School. But, he continues: “Now we must ask in seriousness whether the pope is a liberal Protestant.”
Traditionalists are often derided by neo-Catholic commentators for relying on supposedly apocryphal quotations from Popes or saints bearing on the current ecclesial crisis. But these critics never demonstrate that the oft-cited quotations are apocryphal; they merely assert that they must be, as they seem too probative to be true. This is often done in comment boxes or responses to online queries at neo-Catholic websites, wherein the neo-Catholic commentator professes he can find no source for a given quotation—meaning he hasn’t bothered to do any serious investigation beyond a few Google searches.
By now the whole Catholic world has heard of the publication of a devastating letter to Pope Francis from Father Thomas G. Weinandy. The former head of the theological secretariat of the U.S. Bishop’s conference, Fr. Weinandy has taught at both Oxford and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. None other than Francis appointed Fr. Weinandy to the International Theological Commission and awarded him the Pro Pontifice et Ecclesiae medal, the ecclesial equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor, for his work on behalf of the Pope and the Church. One of the world’s most renowned theologians, Fr. Weinandy is a “man of the Council” and a prominent figure of the post-conciliar mainstream.
The Correctio, of which I am one of the original signatories, identifies “7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments” that have been spreading throughout the Church solely on the basis of the moral novelties of Amoris Laetitia (AL). Chief among these unheard-of propositions is that divorced and “remarried” people may receive absolution and Holy Communion without ceasing their adulterous sexual relations while they “discern” their moral obligation according to “the concrete complexity of one’s limits” (AL 303). In short, situation ethics applied to the exceptionless Sixth Commandment in order to excuse sexual relations outside of marriage, which are intrinsically evil and never permissible under any circumstances. To quote John Paul in Veritatis splendor, whose teaching, in line with all of Tradition, is now being overthrown in practice in one diocese after another:
On the heels of Emmett O’Regan’s blundering attempt in La Stampa to impugn the Filial Correction, La Stampa has trotted out Fastiggi and Goldstein to double down on the ludicrous contention that to object to a Pope’s approval of dissent from the Magisterium is to dissent from the Magisterium.
The headline of their piece declares that “Critics of Amoris laetitia ignore Ratzinger’s rules for faithful theological discourse.” The authors expend 2,000 words (including footnotes) thumping on “Ratzinger’s rules”—which have no application to the Correctio, as discussed below—while egregiously mispresenting the circumstances that led to the Correctio being published.