Christopher A. Ferrara
Introduction: A Matter of Credentials?
Having seen quite enough of Pope’s Francis’ theological wrecking ball in operation, and fearing even worse to come, a number of prominent Catholic academics have issued an Open Letter to the worldwide episcopate accusing Francis of “the canonical delict of heresy” and requesting that the bishops “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation of a heretical pope.” The authors declare: “We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis’s words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church.”
Archbishop Angelelli (left) in a protest march in La Rioja
In June of 2018, Pope Bergoglio approved the “martyrdom” of the leftwing radical Argentine prelate Enrique Angelelli, Bishop of La Rioja, who died in a car crash in 1976. On April 27, 2019 Angelelli and three others who opposed Argentina’s military regime during the Dirty War (1974-1983) were “beatified” as “martyrs” for the Faith at a ceremony in La Rioja presided over by Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
For almost three years the DNC-mainstream media consortium has labored to elevate a fantasy about a non-crime—“collusion” between the Trump campaign and “Russia”—into grounds for invalidating the Presidential election of 2016. House and Senate Committees and a Special Counsel have embroiled the Trump administration from its inception in endless, absurd investigations into the inchoate conspiracy theory that Trump and “the Russians” somehow “colluded” to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.
Whether the Catholic Church is the one true Church of Christ depends entirely upon her infallibility as an organ of truth, for if she were not such then she would not be indefectible, Christ’s promise of indefectibility (cf. Matt. 28:20) would be void and He himself could not, therefore, be what he claimed to be: the God who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller has clearly had enough of the man from Argentina and his out-of-control papal bulldozer. The Cardinal’s Manifesto of Faith appeared in the immediate aftermath, and appears to have been triggered by Francis’ joint declaration with Ahmed el-Tayeb, “Grand Imam of al-Azhar,” in which Bergoglio declares: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”
I will leave it to John Lamont, in this article, to destroy the desperate argument by Bergoglio’s last remaining defenders that he was referring only to God’s permissive will, meaning His toleration of evil in the world—as if el-Tayeb would sign a document declaring that God tolerates the evil of Islam.
Chief Justice John Roberts with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2017, listening to President Trump's maiden speech to Congress.(Photo: Jack Gruber)
A History of Disappointments
In 1987 Ronald Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to replace retiring Justice Lewis Powell, a member of the infamous Roe v. Wade majority (7-2). Kennedy, President Ford’s appointee to the Ninth Circuit, was Reagan’s third choice. A firestorm of Democrat opposition had defeated his prior nomination of Robert Bork. Reagan’s second choice, the “moderate conservative” Douglas Ginsburg, was sunk by allegations of marijuana use during college and while a professor at Harvard Law School.
What we got with Kennedy was a justice whose judicial tenor became generally indistinguishable from Powell’s. Indeed, even Powell might cringe at Kennedy’s infamous dictum on the imaginary right to abortion in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, where he joined a bare 5-to-4 majority in refusing to overrule Roe: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”
Then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, key spokesman for bishops at the summit meeting with JPII on the sex abuse crisis unfolding in the U.S., faces the press at the Vatican on April 24, 2002. The Remnant's Chirstopher Ferrara was there to ask McCarrick the $64,000 question. (Reuters photo)
Introduction: the “Abuse of Minors” Ruse
The homosexual priest and bishop scandal has erupted anew, just as I predicted in an article for this journal seventeen years ago, concerning the useless “pedophile summit” in Rome, presided over by none other than ex-Cardinal McCarrick, the serial sexual abuser of seminarians and altar boys Pope Bergoglio was finally forced to discipline after having rehabilitated him in full knowledge of his past. The 2002 Roman junket for well-fed prelates was cunningly designed to avoid the issue of homosexual activity among the clergy and their “consenting adult” partners in sodomy.
At this point in the Bergoglian Debacle it seems to me that le mot juste for this pontificate is ridiculous. Scandalous, outrageous, blasphemous and even heretical also vie for acceptance, but more substantive adjectives somehow don’t seem appropriate for an occupant of the Chair of Peter who can no longer be taken seriously if we are to take seriously the Faith and the Church that has propagated it for two millennia.
Bergoglio’s theme is consistent: it’s his way or the Catholic way. As he himself has put it in one of the innumerable interviews that belong to his ceaseless attempt to impose his personal opinions on the Church as if they were Catholic doctrine: “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.”
Well, we have checked it out. And it is very clear. Putting aside the occasional expressions of a sound popular piety—almost invariably marred, however, by demagogic digs at staunch Catholics or the rich or some other designated object of opprobrium—it is very clear that this pontificate is a joke. A sinister joke, to be sure, but nonetheless blackly humorous. For what but laughter can be the Catholic response to a mere man who treats the Magisterium as the personal possession of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the name he insists on retaining as reflected in his Argentinian passport? “That’s what I think.” One can only laugh at such monumental hubris unaccompanied by either the charisma or the intellect that would characterize a dictator capable of making himself beloved. What we have instead is boundless ambition in a very small package. Few there are who still cannot see this.
Read the Christmas issue of the Remnant Newspaper right now!
On and on he goes, telling us whatever he thinks, as if the faithful could possibly accept that one Pope has the power to overrule all the others in matters of faith and morals: excusing violations of exceptionless precepts of the natural law based on the “complexity of one’s limits,” admitting public adulterers to Holy Communion in “more complex circumstances”; approving contraception as a “lesser evil” to prevent the spread of the Zika virus—thus allowing that evil may be done that good may come of it, the error that is the death of all morality; proclaiming that Luther was right about justification; pronouncing the death penalty immoral while accusing his predecessors, many of them saints or beati, of “ignoring the primacy of mercy over justice,” and even attempting to put over the incredible whopper, based solely on his own opinion, that “the Magisterium of the Church understands that life sentences [las penas perpetuas], which deny the possibility of moral and existential redemption of the condemned and of the community, are a form of death penalty in disguise…”. What’s next, a Bergoglian motu proprio specifying maximum sentencing guidelines for capital crimes?
The laugh track of this pontificate is also triggered by Bergoglio’s blundering interventions into politics—not for the repeal of human laws that contradict the divine and natural law, but rather to call for the adoption of measures invariably in accord with the platforms of the radical Left in Europe and America. Such as: worldwide abolition of the death penalty, with never a call for worldwide abolition of abortion; the elimination of border walls or barriers—while he lives in a walled enclave surrounded by armed guards; the unrestricted mass migration of military-age Muslim males and other “migrants” according to an imaginary “right to migrate”—a right not recognized by the Vatican city state; and all the crackpot schemes and burdens on the common man to reduce carbon emissions while Bergoglio and his fellow climate change fanatics jet all over the world to lecture us about how we must air-dry our clothes and use public transportation. Bergoglio has even seen fit to weigh in against the Scottish and Catalonian independence movements, because “all division worries me.”
The height of Bergoglio’s inane politics is his encyclical on environmentalism wherein, ignoring the apostasy of an entire civilization as it sinks into an abyss of depravity, he deplores “sins against creation,” “the disappearance of ecosystems sustained by mangrove swamps,” “the extinction of part of the planet’s biodiversity” and the “increasing use and power of air-conditioning,” relegating to paragraph 117 respect for the “human embryo” as “part of reality.”
Just how much of a joke this pontificate has become is seen in this interview, broadcast on December 6 by the Italian bishops’ TV station. In response to a leading question by one Father Marco Pozza, suitably attired in a sports jacket, polo shirt, chinos and sneakers, Bergoglio blithely declares that the words of the Our Father recited by the faithful for 2,000 years are “not a good translation” and that “even the French have changed the text to translation that says ‘Don’t let me fall into temptation’—that I’m the one who falls.”
Have the French done it? Say no more!
Revealing the shallowness of his theological formation, such as it is, Bergoglio exhibited laughable incomprehension of the true sense of our Lord’s petition “and lead us not into temptation…” Said Bergoglio to Pozza: “But it’s not him [God] who throws me into temptation to then see how I have fallen. No, a father doesn’t do this. The one who leads us into temptation is Satan.” Once again imposing his uninformed opinion, Bergoglio had already demanded that the Italian bishops abandon the traditional translation (“e non ci indurre in tentazione”) in favor of “and do not abandon us in temptation” [“e non abbandonarci nella tentazione”].
Sandro Magister notes that during an extraordinary session of the Italian bishops’ conference (CEI) called to consider Bergoglio’s demand—under the President he had handpicked to control the CEI—“[t]he ‘old’ version was not even put to a vote, so that it was impossible to defend it.” As the increasingly contemptuous Magister observes of this latest Bergoglian farce: “Logically, if God cannot ‘lead’ us into temptation, we don’t see why he is allowed to ‘abandon’ us to it. For two millennia the Church has never dreamed of changing that difficult word of the Gospel, but rather of interpreting and explaining it, in its authentic meaning.”
In an interview with Life Site News, the Swiss linguist and Bible scholar Father Reto Nay, joining the swelling ranks of orthodox Catholics who have had enough of this circus, makes short work of Bergoglio’s junk theology: “The text of the Our Father is passed down to us in the New Testament, which was written in ancient Greek. The phrase ‘and lead us not into temptation’ is contained both in Mt 6:13 and Lk 11:4 with identical wording: καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν. This means that the wording of the petition in question cannot be blamed on a transmission error or misunderstanding.”
As Fr. Nay further explains:
The Roman Church may have used the Greek original in the beginning. But it quickly changed to Latin: “et ne nos inducas in tentationem” which is a literal translation of the Greek. So is the English version “and lead us not into temptation,” or the Italian “non ci indurre in tentazione.”
These versions are the result of translating the verb εἰσφέρω/εἰσενέγκῃς (= to lead into, to bring into) and the noun πειρασμός (= temptation, putting to proof). The original text does not offer the possibility of an alternative translation. I am not aware of any period in Church history when this translation was questioned. There is simply no grammatical or syntactical reason to do so.
Of course, Bergoglio doesn’t think he needs a grammatical or syntactical reason to alter the 2,000-year-old translation of the very prayer God Himself dictated in the flesh. Bergoglio doesn’t like it, so it has to go.
But the substitute wording Bergoglio maneuvered to obtain in Italy is theological nonsense, as Father Nay notes:
I have no idea where the “and do not abandon us to temptation” comes from. Deuteronomy 4:31 says, “Because the Lord your God is a merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them” (a similar reference is made in Psalm 94:14). If this is true (and it is), why then should we pray “and do not abandon us to temptation.” It also seems to insinuate that God actually could “abandon” us in temptation which comes close to blasphemy because it puts the blame on God when we abandon him. But 2 Chronicles 15:2 says, “if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”
To the objection that God would not “lead” us into temptation either, Father Nay replies with the obvious point that “the text does not say that God is the originator of the temptation; the devil is or men…. In this sense, Christ is led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit ‘to be tempted by the devil’ (Mt 4:1)…” That is, he is subjected to a trial, in order to show us that trials in the form of temptations are to be expected in keeping with the revealed truth that “all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12),” with temptation being precisely a test of faith under persecution by the devil or his minions—a test we are able to pass if we correspond to God’s grace.
Here I would note that Saint Paul explains this quite precisely: “But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10:13). That is, God will subject us to the trial of temptation, but will also provide us with the means to overcome it. He will not abandon us to temptation, although we may abandon ourselves by rejecting His grace. This datum of revealed truth is obviously lost on Bergoglio, who operates on the assumption that what he thinks “is Magisterium.”
As this article goes to press, we learn the news that of the seven communist puppet bishops whose excommunications Bergoglio lifted under the terms of a secret agreement with the butchers of Beijing, two have concubines and children. The courageous Cardinal Zen, who did everything in his power to prevent what he calls “an incredible betrayal” of the faithful Catholics in China’s Underground Church, notes that “it is for certain, for a long time it’s public knowledge” that Paul Lei Shiyin and Joseph Liu Xinhong are “married” with children. Yet they are now recognized as legitimate bishops by Bergoglio—who nonetheless continues to leave the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X in canonical limbo. Another joke.
Cardinal Burke observes that “If it is true that one or more of the ‘reconciled’ bishops from the Patriotic Church in China are married, the Latin Church, by the recent accords with the government of China, has broken with apostolic tradition which has never permitted Bishops to be married, above all, out of respect for the example of Our Lord, the Great High Priest in whose person the bishop acts in a full way. Such a fact, coupled with the open lack of respect for the authority of the Petrine Office on the part of some of the bishops, calls into question the canonical validity of the lifting of the excommunication which the bishops involved had justly incurred.”
Now that the “official” church and its puppet bishops enjoy Vatican recognition, Beijing exploits its secret pact with the Vatican as a warrant to destroy what is left of the Underground Church in China. Thus does Bergoglio literally abandon his sheep to communist wolves who force women to kill their unborn children. At the same time, however, he calls for abolition of the death penalty and even life sentences for guilty murderers while he deplores Donald Trump’s immigration policy. Still another joke—perhaps the biggest yet in this black comedy of a papacy.
As we celebrate the glorious day of Our Savior’s birth, our Christmas prayer intentions ought to include a merciful end to this ruinous pontificate, failing the miracle it would take to produce a staunch defender of the Faith in Bergoglio. Meanwhile, contrary to the opinion of the current occupant of the Chair of Peter, we can be certain that it is God who has allowed us to be tempted to despair in the midst of the Bergoglian Debacle, but that it is also He who has provided the means by which we will be delivered from evil, if only we heed the admonition of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians, the veritable charter of traditionalist resistance to the madness of the past half-century: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.”
BUY ONE PRINT SUBSCRIPTION, GET ONE E-EDITION FREE!
Have we not seen this before: A reformer using abuse in the Church as an excuse to attack Her and make a name for himself?
Rod Dreher, another shallow Vatican II convert who never really got the Faith, has carved out a nice gig for himself as a professional ex-Catholic. Absurdly enough, he is being lauded and feted by still-practicing Catholics around the world for his book The Benedict Option despite his public declarations that the homosexual priest scandal proves that the Catholic Church has deceived her members by claiming to be the Church that Christ founded with a promise of indefectibility. For : “I was naive about the Catholic institution, and saw in retrospect that I idolized it to a certain degree. Because I believed what the Catholic Church said about itself, I set myself up for a very big fall.”
At this point in the ever-worsening Bergoglian Debacle, Pope Bergoglio would appear to have no remaining staunch defenders in the neo-Catholic establishment, save a couple of unhinged, vituperative outliers with a penchant for obscene ranting, both of whom finally had to be shown the door by EWTN’s National Catholic Register. This is a papacy only a nutter can continue to defend as soundly orthodox.