Saturday, August 29, 2015


I'm afraid it has come to this!

From the second Pope Francis emerged on the world stage from the loggia of St. Peter's polarization in the Church accelerated and continues to do so at an alarming pace. At first the polarization centered on traditionalists alarmed at the dismantling of the liturgical legacy of Pope Benedict as well as other aspects of his papacy to include embracing some older trappings of the papacy.

As time went on, it was clear too that the clarity of teachings offered by Pope Benedict was also being dismantled in favor of a somewhat superficial approach to the teaching magisterium of the current pope based upon off-the-cuff remarks and compulsive phone calls to various people in other dioceses  encouraging this, that or the other. At the core of this type of compulsiveness is the weakening of the authority of the local bishop and the priests he has.

Then there was the first synod on marriage--don't need to say any more on that. And we're on our way to the second synod on marriage.

But yesterday, we may have seen a turning point, at least I hope, as to what the current pope himself has created in the sense that people actually believe now that he isn't Catholic. It isn't that he isn't Catholic, he is, but he's created such confusion that many in the world to include the many Catholics think that he is in favor of the following:

1. promiscuity for anyone no matter their sexual preferences
2. Holy Communion for unrepentant adulterers and fornicators
3. marriage for same sex couples
4. bigamy in the Catholic sense (civil marriage after a divorce without an annulment)
5. universalism
6. modernism
7. indifferentism
8. you name it

In other words, the 1970's has returned in a sort of faddish way and with a vengeance. And just like the 1970's not only is the Church affected but the whole of society and one doesn't really understand or know who is causing what and affecting whom. Is the Church affecting the world, and in this case, the pope singlehandedly or is the world affecting the pope and his Church? The same could be asked of the great social turmoil of the 1960's immediately following Vatican II. Did Vatican II cause the worldwide social upheaval or was it simply a victim of it?

But what happened yesterday that might open the eyes of the Holy Father to the confusion that he has single handedly sown in the Church and the world and attitudes toward him and his Church?

The pope was completely a victim of a lower Vatican bureaucrat who sent a kind of form letter to a Lesbian gay activist who had written a children's book promoting acceptance by small children of the homosexual agenda for marriage, non-marriage and unusual families evolving from the homosexual gender ideologies.  The form letter seem to include a blessing for this lesbian's same sex union and her gender ideologies completely at odds with defined Church teachings.

And here is the kicker! Because Pope Francis has painted himself as a populist against traditional Catholic morals, ethics and canon law, the world believed that Pope Francis was endorsing the homosexual agenda and its gender ideologies. Not only did the press believe it, but most rank and file Catholics believe it.

So once again, the Vatican bureaucracy had to clarify that the pope is Catholic. Whose fault is this?

Here is the Boston Globe's Catholic blog CRUX report on this:


The Holy See press office had to set the record straight on Friday after the Italian media interpreted a formulaic blessing (in other words a form letter!) by Pope Francis of a lesbian children’s book publisher and her partner as an endorsement of their lifestyle.

Author Francesca Pardi had written to Francis in June complaining about how her books — some of which deal with children growing up with gay, single, and divorced parents — had been maligned by Catholic groups and politicians.

A half-dozen of her titles, for example, were among the 49 titles that Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro recently banned from public preschools pending a review of their appropriateness because they deal with gender issues.

Thinking that Francis might appreciate the books’ inclusive message, Pardi sent him copies of her 30 titles, explaining that they had nothing to do with “gender theory” or even sex, but merely conveyed a message of tolerance. (This is the problem that Pope Francis has created for himself and the Church--that she thought he'd appreciate her gender ideologies which are not Catholic--this isn't her fault but only the Holy Father's with his populist papacy.)

A few weeks ago, an official in the Vatican’s secretariat of state, Monsignor Peter Wells, sent her a note in Francis’ name thanking her for the gesture, blessing her and her partner, and encouraging her to continue with her “activities in the service to young generations and the diffusion of authentic human and Christian values.” (This is a low-level bureaucrat who responded in the pope's name to a letter the pope never saw because he can't see, read  or respond personally tothe millions of letters sent to the Vatican or to him directly!)

Pardi says she didn’t take the letter by any means to be a papal endorsement of her lifestyle — she and her partner have four children together — but the Italian media interpreted it as such, prompting the Vatican on Friday to step in. (Don't blame the media, the Holy Father himself has set up this scenario by the lack of clarity both in words and symbol of his populist papal style.)

In a statement, the Vatican’s deputy spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the letter made clear that Francis was encouraging Pardi to pursue activities consistent with Christian values. (This is clearly damage control and the statement should have said that Pope Francis didn't even see the original letter that was sent or the form letter sent in his name!)

“The blessing of the pope at the end of the letter was directed to the person, not at any possible teachings that are not in line with the doctrine of the Church on gender theory, which hasn’t changed a bit as the Holy Father has repeated even recently,” he said. (more silly damage control which doesn't address the crux of the issue, that people are willing to believe the pope isn't Catholic because the pope has created this monster for himself.)

One of the “banned” titles, “Little Egg,” tells the story of an egg about to hatch that goes out in search of a family, and encountering a variety of different ones — two mothers, two fathers, single parents, bi-racial parents, “traditional” parents — concludes that any one of them would be great.

The review of the “banned books” by Venice’s mayor sparked outrage among gay and human rights groups, with sometimes Venice resident Elton John calling Brugnaro “boorishly bigoted.”

My last comments: I am not opposed to ecology or saving the planet. Just as we try to save our own life or the lives of our loved ones who have serious life threatening diseases and go out of our way to offer them the medical care they need for healing or a cure, we should be doing the same for the planet. Jesus sacrifice on the cross is not just for souls, but for bodies (at the resurrection of the dead at Jesus' Second Coming) but not only the human person in his entiriety will be saved but the world, so there has to be concern for the planet and a theology of ecology. The pope is on the right track with this.

But when human ecology is placed on the back burner in terms of sexuality and abortion and the other pelvic issues and in addition to this, the greatest era of martyrdom has descended upon Christians in the world, especially the Middle East and Africa and the Holy Father seems to be less preoccupied by this and more preoccupied by our air conditioners and lack of solar panels on our roof, then we have a pope with priorities out of wack or at least those spinning the pope are making him out to be such.

But is it completely the spinners' fault or devious plan by the world's media? 


Michael (Quicumque Vult) said...

I apologize if this is too off-topic, but you say, Father:

"In other words, the 1970's has returned in a sort of faddish way and with a vengeance."

Remember a week or two ago when I asked for prayers for my parish's new pastor, who was, it seemed, quite 1970's in his views on things? Well, when I wrote that, I had not actually *seen* him offer a Mass yet for myself, but his Masses are ten times more troubling than just getting rid of cassocks and surplices or disliking Sanctus bells. He's very much trained in the "make up your own Mass and do it all as casually as you can" fashion, only rarely saying the prayers as written. I'm still praying for him, and would ask others to do the same, but my family is very seriously considering going to another parish now (a shame, considering we've spent 15 years in total at the present one).

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I deleted a disrespectful comment about Pope Francis and deposing him. But can a pope be deposed. This article written in 2010 prior to Pope Francis seems to indicate no, but if a group of Cardinals tried to depose a pope, another Great Schism would ensue:

Can A Legitimate Pope Be Deposed?

Originally posted 1/18/2010.

Archbishop St. Avitus of Vienne: “How can the Head of the Universal Church be judged by his inferiors? If any one of the other pontiffs stray from the right way, he can be reformed; but when the Pope is arraigned for judgment, it is no longer a single bishop, it is the whole episcopate, which is impugned.”{1}
Bishops of France (Rome; 800), on the charges against Pope St. Leo III of Rome that they had been called to examine: “We dare not sit in judgment upon the Apostolic See, the chief of all the churches of God. It belongs to that See and to its Pontiff to judge us all, being himself subject to no other judgment, according to the traditions of ancient discipline.”{2}
Eighth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople IV; 869-870), Canon 21: “If anyone, strong in the secular power, seek to expel the Sovereign Pontiff from his See, let him be anathema!”{3}

Joseph Cardinal Hergenröther: “No right existed by which the Pope [if really legitimate, see p. 120, note †, supra] could be deposed; if Gregory broke his word, he sinned, but he did not forfeit his Pontificate. If there was no right to depose the Pope there was no right to appoint a new one.”{4}
Dr. Ludwig von Pastor: “Gallicanism, too, had prepared the ground for the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people, since according to the Gallicans, authority to govern is really vested in the universal Church, the Pope and the Bishops only exercising power in its name, so that a General Council may call the Pope to account and even depose him.”{5}
Dr. Warren H. Carroll: “there is no power on earth which may depose a Pope. Any duly elected Pope remains therefore in office until he dies or resigns.”{6}

Anglican scholar J.N.D. Kelly: “The validity of John’s deposition, which violated the ancient principle that the holy see can be judged by no earthly power, has been called in question.”{7}

Notes & References
{1} Qtd. in Darras II:594.
{2} Qtd. in ibid.
{3} Qtd. in ibid.
{4} Hergenröther II:65 qtd. in Pastor I:190-191 n. †.
{5} Pastor XXIV:419.
{6} Carroll, Dr. Warren H. “Anti-Popes.” Eternal World Television Network. 10 Jun. 2010 .
{7} “John XII.” The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. J. N. D. Kelly. with new material by Michael Walsh. Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Fordham University. 6 December 2009 .

Works Cited
*Darras, Joseph-Epiphane. A General History of the Catholic Church, vol. II. New York: P. O’Shea, 1865. .
*Hergenröther, Joseph Cardinal. Handbuch der allgemeinen Kirchengeschichte, vol. II. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 1880. .
*Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, with new material by Michael Walsh. Oxford University Press, 2006.
*Pastor, Dr. Ludwig. The History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages, vol. I. London: John Hodges, 1891. .
*–. The History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages, vol. IV. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Co., Ltd., 1900. .

Anonymous said...

"Can a legitimate pope be deposed?" No but an invalidly elected one can.

To be honest there is a very real possibility that Francis is not canonically elected and therefore has never been pope. Those accusations against the cardinals who actively worked to get him elected and went to Farncis for his agreement with these actions is a serious matter. They need to be investigated. Cardinal Nichols has been accused of masterminding the election of Bergoglio and even Francis himself said to Nichols, laughingly, "this is all your fault".

We have had anti pope's before and the Church has survived.

Hopefully a miracle will happen and the next, if there is a next, pope will be someone who has the courage to start riding the Church of the rot that has been festering. The next pope could very well conclude that Francis was indeed never a valid pope and that everything he has done is invalid. I hope to liveto see that day, with Pope Benedict still alive sitting off to the side.

John Nolan said...

Once he is deposed, his papacy ceases to have ever been legitimate, and he becomes an anti-pope. The situation is a complex one, and the pope might be personally heretical but still be legitimate. But yes, a pope can be deposed.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Theoretically speaking, let's say a living emeritus pope protested he was cohersed into resigning wouldn't that be easier?

Calvin of Hippo said...

Look, we're stuck with this Pope, and we'll never know the truth about Pope Benedict's resignation...just like we'll never know the truth about the Kennedy assassination...unless someone on his death bed decides to tell all before being snatched below by the heels.

Catechist Kev said...

Perhaps the VW "Magic Bus" in the caricature should be replaced with Scooby and Shaggy's "Mystery Machine"? ;^)

Just askin'.

Catechist Kev

Anonymous said...

The Roman Catholic Church worldwide is a complete and utter disaster, save for the F.S.S.P., Institute of Christ the King, and yes the S.S.P.X. Europe, less than 50 years ago Mass attendance in France, Holland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, was at 60% or better, now in all of these countries listed above we are looking at 1% to 10% attendance at best! And this Pope continues to wage open warfare on Capitalism, Traditional Catholics who love the TLM, and anything that is Catholic. If you on this blog are that blinded and cannot even admit this, there is something wrong with you. If BERGOGLIO was a CEO of a company he would have been ousted for not correcting the disaster that sits in his lap. My comments are NOT disrespectful in regards to the Pope, but are cold hard facts and many either do not want to hear them or are perfectly happy about what has happened to the Church since Vatican II. As we see on the news nightly thousand of Muslims continue to pour into the continent with no stopping them, within 20 years the demographics of Europe will be forever changed for the ethnic Europeans do not reproduce at all, it stands at 1.1 child for white Europeans and 6.5 children for the Muslim invaders!!!!

Anonymous said...

I for one will be waiting for His Grace Cardinal Burke to take the seat of Peter very soon lets hope The Holy Ghost feels the same way and correct this mighty ship called The Roman Catholic Church once and for all by returning our TRUE MASS OF ALL TIMES back to us that was ripped from our hearts and souls.

Anonymous said...

From what I read just recently if a Pope makes a public heretical statement it only takes a group of bishops or cardinals to state that he has stated such heresy publicly and then if he commits heresy he is no longer Catholic and can then no longer hold the office of Pope. So, yes, in that sense a pope can be judged.

"The following is taken from Elements of Ecclesiastic Law by Sebastian B. Smith, D.D., Professor of canon law.

“Question: Is a Pope who falls into heresy deprived, ipso jure, of the Pontificate?

Answer: There are two opinions: one holds that he is by virtue of divine appointment, divested ipso facto, of the Pontificate; the other, that he is, jure divino, only removable. Both opinions agree that he must at least be declared guilty of heresy by the church, i.e., by an ecumenical council or the College of Cardinals. The question is hypothetical rather than practical”. (1)

As we can see, the difference between the two opinions pertains to the hypothetical question alone (a question of the speculative order) – namely, when and how a heretical Pope loses his office. On the practical level, both opinions agree that a judgment of guilt and declaration must be rendered – and this judgment belongs to the Church, not to individual Catholics. This is a point that every Sedevacantist I have spoken with, or otherwise corresponded with, has missed.

It should be noted that the aforementioned book by Canon Smith was sent to Rome for review. The Preface of the Third Edition explains that Cardinal Simeoni, Prefect of the Propaganda Fide, “appointed two Consultors, doctors in canon law, to examine the ‘Elements’ and report to him. The Consultors, after examining the book for several months, made each a lengthy report to the Cardinal-Prefect”. Their detailed reports noted five inaccuracies or errors, all of which were corrected in the Third Edition. The citation provided above regarding a heretical Pope was not among the requested revisions. This shows that Rome found no error or inaccuracy in the assertion that a heretical Pope “must at least be declared guilty of heresy by the church, i.e., by an ecumenical council or the College of Cardinals” to be considered to have lost his office. Hence, with the approval of Rome, this teaching remained in the revised Third Edition, which is the edition cited above."


Calvin of Hippo said...

Anonymous at 11:03, I sometimes attend FSSP Masses and love them, but I do not hold the FSSP out as any kind of savior of the Church. FSSP Priests are subject to Bishops, who can tell them they must celebrate NO masses or stop saying TLM's. Also, the FSSP is still under the umbrella of whatever false teaching may be going on in the Church. I suspect, all along, that the Vat II minions saw the FSSP as a sop to bothersome traditionalists whom they hoped it would shut up. As time goes on and things get worse (and they will), we may find that the now scorned SSPX is where the true Church will take up residence.