Christopher A. Ferrara
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.
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.