Tuesday, July 7, 2015


“Christ can take what seems impure, scandalous or threatening, and turn it into a miracle”

Even if a pastoral proposal for helping a Catholic family with problems seems scandalous at first, it is possible God could use that proposal to bring healing and holiness, Pope Francis said.

Encouraging and celebrating family life during a Mass July 6 in Guayaquil, Pope Francis asked people to pray for the October Synod of Bishops on the family, and he tied the synod to the Jubilee of Mercy, a yearlong celebration that will begin in December.

The synod will be a time for the church to “deepen her spiritual discernment and consider concrete solutions to the many difficult and significant challenges facing families in our time,” the pope said.

Celebrating Mass with as many as 1 million people gathered under the hot sun in Los Samanes Park, Pope Francis asked them “to pray fervently for this intention, so that Christ can take even what might seem to us impure, scandalous or threatening, and turn it — by making it part of his ‘hour’ — into a miracle. Families today need this miracle!”

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters Pope Francis was not referring to any specific proposal discussed in anticipation of the synod; one of the most common — and most debated pastoral suggestions — was to develop a process or “penitential path” for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who want to receive Communion but have not received an annulment.

The pope, Father Lombardi said, hopes the synod “will find a way to help people move from a situation of sin to a situation of grace.”
You can read the full homily here. 


Anonymous said...

I've got the answer!

I know how the Church can remain faithful to Christ and yet show mercy to those Catholics in adultery as well as sexually active homosexuals, sexually active non married heterosexuals, thieves, murderers, and basically everybody.

Stop committing sin, repent and believe in the Gospel. Why has nobody in the Church ever thought of this......oh wait.

Anonymous said...

Well, if he said that then you can see where the synod is headed. He seems to have moved back again towards Kasper's position, which isn't so strange if what was said about "Team Bergoglio" by Dr Austen Ivereigh in his book 'The Great Reformer' is true. Austen Ivereigh was Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's press secretary.

For those who haven't heard, Austen Ivereigh claims that prior to the conclave Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor contacted the then Cardinal Bergoglio and asked if he would agree to being put forward as a candidate to which Cardinal Bergoglio agreed. Cardinals were then lobbied to vote for Cardinal Bergoglio. Lobbying goes completely against Universi Dominici Gregis which was promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1996 and cardinals are excommunicated for such lobbying.

"Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, confessed to having such confidence, was reported by the Catholic Herald on Sept. 12, 2013; in that same report he admits that Cardinal Bergoglio knew that he was being put forth as a candidate prior to the initiation of the Conclave. He also admits that after the Conclave, Cardinal Bergoglio personally recognized the English Cardinal’s leadership in the campaign for getting him elected. In the said interview, the English Cardinal confesses both knowledge and confidence, which could not have been had, reasonably, except by means of vote-canvassing in the strict sense of the term."

Invereigh claims that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor who was then 80 and no longer with a vote in the conclave, teamed up with the Cardinal Kasper and the two of them lobbied for Cardinal Bergoglio. So if that is the case - and it appears to be - it's not surprising that Kasper has been at the forefront of an attempt to liberalise the Church's teaching on divorce and the Pope has given him the leeway to do that. But any liberalisation will not be acceptable to many in the Church so they are set on a dangerous path.


Vox Cantoris said...

I won't pray for this. I don't know what the Pope intends by this statement. I will pray instead that God's will be done and that the evil men who would attempt to change doctrine by stealth will be confounded!

Anonymous said...


If what you say is true, then guess who isn't really the pope after all.

Paul said...

I would hope that the gist of the report is:

"Why does a good God, permit Evil? To draw a greater good out of it."

I can accept that "a greater good" may take decades, centuries, millennia or even longer. Indeed, many have been on the "path to Christ" for two thousand years. Some have not been on that path.

The Path to Christ eventually leads to the Will of God.

It is my hope that the intentions of our Pope Francis is to help us embrace unconventional ways of thinking in order to help lead those very far astray back to the Path all while keeping the (puzzled?) faithful on the Path.

Lord, give us strength.

We Are Church said...

Quit crying, you right wing, backward thinking adversaries. This pope will make alternate sexual lifestyles not sinful, ex cathedra. His silence on the miraculous Irish vote and the great SCOTUS decision speaks louder than words that he approves. Soon, the ridiculous idea that masturbation is a sin will be abolished. Adult erotic entertainment will be seen for what it truly is - beautiful art. Get on the train or be run over by it... wobble over to the dying SSPX. The Church of the people is here to stay. Get over yourselves and your superstitious nostalgia.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5.51 pm, there has certainly been a lot of controversy surrounding the resignation of Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis. It is interesting that Benedict XVI said he had only resigned the working part of the Papal office - Elizabeth Scalia writes about that on Pathos, referring to an essay by Vittorio Messori:

"The way Violi and Messori’s analysis goes, being pope has two basic components: agendo et loquendo — acting and teaching; and orando et patendo — praying and suffering. They believe Benedict laid down the former but never the latter, which explains his continuing residence in the Vatican and his continuing use of papal vestments. In effect, they believe he is continuing in some ways to function as pope, while leaving the work of governance to his successor.

As Violi puts it, Benedict “did not renounce the office, which is irrevocable, but only its concrete execution,” and even then only in part.

Messori argues that Francis may see things the same way, which perhaps helps explain why he prefers the title “Bishop of Rome,” of which he is unquestionably the only one at the moment, to “pope” or “pontiff,” of which there would now be two."

Then we have a book written by Antonio Soccio entitled "Non e Francesco" (He is not Francis). Antonio Soccio of course is not a traditionalist but attends the Ordinary Form of the Mass and sacraments. A rough translation of what the publisher says on

"While the Church is going through a dramatic period of history, of internal crises and violent attacks on Catholics all over the world, the Vatican continues an unprecedented “co-existence of two Popes”, which no one has yet had the courage to think about. In this book, Antonio Socci does precisely this, wondering what the still unknown reasons are for the historical resignation of Benedict XVI and if it can be considered a true papal resignation, as many canonists have raised serious doubts. Questions that are now intertwined with those of the conclave that took place on March 13, 2013, which, according to the author’s sensational reconstruction, violated some of the norms of the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis".

There are now two different groups within the Church for and against Kasper's proposal on communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. If the synod or Pope Francis does approve Kasper's proposal then anything could happen. If the prophecy of Anne Katherine Emmerich is correct then after the storm good days lie ahead:

"May 13, 1820: "I saw the relationship between the two Popes. I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city (of Rome). The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness. Then, the vision seemed to extend on every side. Whole Catholic communities were being oppressed, harassed, confined, and deprived of their freedom. I saw many churches close down, great miseries everywhere, wars and bloodshed. A wild and ignorant mob took to violent action. But it did not last long."

"Once more I saw the Church of Peter was undermined by a plan evolved by the secret sect, while storms were damaging it. But I saw also that help was coming when distress had reached its peak. I saw again the Blessed Virgin ascend on the Church and spread Her mantle [over it]. I saw a Pope who was at once gentle, and very firm . . . I saw a great renewal, and the Church rose high in the sky."


Anonymous said...

We Are Church, if what you say did ever come to pass then you would clearly be in another church that isn't Catholic - just another one of the many breakaway sects that have happened down through the centuries. Bring it on - it will be good to be finally rid of people who do not accept Christ's teaching.


The Greek said...

I can't tell—is the post from "We are Church" supposed to be taken seriously or not?

Anonymous 2 said...

Well, I don’t know about attacks on Catholics and Catholic communities but there sure are a lot of attacks on the Pope, this time from the “right” as opposed to the “left.”

But such attacks are of course completely justified. I have now found an article by Pat Archbold that definitively proves the Pope is a liberal (although I haven’t verified the individual quotations):


The press has been telling us that Pope Francis, in word and deed, is no less than the total renunciation of Pope Benedict's papacy.

Just this weekend, there has been a flurry of articles praising the Pope for his statements on women and homosexuality and a host of other hot button issues and contrasting him with his doctrinaire and unpastoral predecessor.

Pope Francis' papacy is changing everything about the Church and his comments are a direct affront to traditional Catholics everywhere. The John Gehring, in a guest post for the Washington Post put it this way.

"Something unexpected and extraordinary is happening in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is rescuing the faith from those who hunker down in gilded cathedrals and wield doctrine like a sword. The edifice of fortress Catholicism – in which progressive Catholics, gay Catholics, Catholic women and others who love the church but often feel marginalized by the hierarchy – is starting to crumble."

Now, as much as many of us traditional minded churchgoers have tried to spin it as in continuity with Pope Benedict, I think it is time we face facts. The press is right. The Pope is a liberal and I have the quotes to prove it!

The Pope is soft on Islam.

"It is true that the Muslim world is not totally mistaken when it reproaches the West of Christian tradition of moral decadence and the manipulation of human life."

Encourages Homosexuality.

"It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the church's pastors wherever it occurs."

He is focused on the poor:

"Many people today lack hope. They are perplexed by the questions that present themselves ever more urgently in a confusing world, and they are often uncertain which way to turn for answers. They see poverty and injustice and they long to find solutions. "

"Yet if we refuse to share what we have with the hungry and the poor, we make of our possessions a false god. How many voices in our materialist society tell us that happiness is to be found by acquiring as many possessions and luxuries as we can! But this is to make possessions into a false god. Instead of bringing life, they bring death."

He is overtly humble and does not embrace his office:

"The authority of the pope is not unlimited;"

"The cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the Lord's vineyard. The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers."

He makes a point of extolling women and the Church.

“It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity. Through Mary, and the other holy women, the feminine element stands at the heart of the Christian religion.”

On those neo-pelagians that think they can earn their way to heaven through piety instead of charity:

“If in my life I fail completely to heed others, solely out of a desire to be 'devout' and to perform my 'religious duties', then my relationship with God will also grow arid. It becomes merely 'proper', but loveless.”

He cares about the environment:

“Listen to the voice of the earth...”

He even hates Capitalism:

"the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism"


Anonymous 2 said...

So, it is time we face the facts. It is clear that he is a radical departure from previous Popes, in particular his predecessor.

In fairness, I must note that there might be one small problem with my analysis. So small I hesitate to even bring it up. Every quote above is from Pope Benedict. Every one.

Charles G said...

What "We are Church" describes above is simply not Catholicism. Scripture and Tradition as interpreted by the Magisterium includes teachings on sexual morality. If the Pope and the German heretics succeed in changing Catholic teachings to suit the Father of Lies as We are Church wants, then the Catholic Church will have died and been replaced by something different, something utterly diabolical, and the Gates of Hell will have prevailed, in contradiction to the words of Our Lord. Why don't people see the moral evil that is worshipped and glorified now in the broader culture? Why impose the same filth on the Church? Lord have mercy on us all.

Paul said...

It's probably been discussed before in these murky waters...

What if Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI survives Pope Francis? Empty chair? Conclave, election as usual? To me, that would *seem* to be the proper course.

JusadBellum said...

The allusion to the water that became wine is incorrect. The water wasn't impure - it was potable water waiting for use to clean the guests... not "used" and dirty water!

All analogies fail but some more than others.

If the Pope is talking about loosening some discipline and showing where mercy ought to replace disciple - such as happened in the 6th century with changing the disciple around confession and allowing people to confess their sins more than once in their life, that's one thing. But giving communion to unrepentant people in structures of sin with no intention of ceasing their sinful can that be a 'miracle'?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anon 2 - Every one?

Anonymous said...

Just to add to the murky waters, with the caption: "What excuse will they use now?" Church Militant reports - complete with photo:

"VATICAN CITY, July 7, 2015 ( - The Vatican Radio website — an official site of the Holy See — has posted an image of lesbians kissing, accompanied by an article quoting a liberal theologian titled "Church Sexual Morality Is in Motion."

The photo (partially redacted here) is posted on the German portion of the website, and the article quotes Martin Lintner, president of the European Society for Catholic Theology, who claims that sexuality will be "increasingly perceived in its personal and holistic dimension."

As far as I know, there has been no excuse forthcoming from the Vatican. What can I say to my Protestant friends who are already querying: what is happening with the Catholic Church? I don't know about the Vatican but I have run out of excuses ... nothing would surprise me now.


Anonymous said...


You're not being fair (and I write that as someone who wasn't taken in by your little conceit).

First, most of the criticism of Francis doesn't rise to hatred. Perhaps some people somewhere hate him, but I have yet to read comments such as "F__k the pope" that I read expressly leveled at Benedict. Certainly the orthodox take issue with many of the things Francis has said (and in the encyclical taught), but that's entirely different from hating. And if there are people here who hate him, not everyone who criticizes him does so. As one of those who doesn't, I take exception to your tarring us all with that brush.

To digress a bit, your use of left/right, even in quotation marks, is an inappropriate model. The implication is that there is a spectrum of ideas within or or views of Catholicism, none inherently more privileged or correct than another. The better model is of a target, with a bullseye being truth (revealed, dogmatic, doctrinal, or whatever) and zones progressively farther from the center being more and more erroneous or heterodox. Anyone describing belief within the Church by using the left/right spectrum as a model is being, at least unwittingly, relativistic.

Next, none of the quotations you list contains anything with which an orthodox Catholic could disagree. Francis, on the other hand, _has_ said things that are difficult to square with orthodoxy. I won't repeat them here, but the fact that the apologists are always having to jump in and spin the news (e.g., "What Francis _meant_ to say was . . .", "What Francis was _trying_ to say was . . .", "The proper context for that statement is . . .".
If you have to do that all the time, then something's rotten in Denmark.

If you really want to play the context game, let's take Benedict's statement on capitalism and compare it to Francis's statements in section V of his recent encyclical. Benedict's statement about _unrestrained_ capitalism is general; Francis's statements are indictment of a particular multinational system. And Francis's problem is the opposite of "Only Nixon could go to China:" coming from a poor country inundated with liberation theology subjects him to just criticism for taking this political position.

to be continued . . .

Anonymous said...

continuing . . .

At least since VII, the Church and the popes have published these long, rambling documents that to all appearances invite discussion and comment. Isn't that part of the VII revolution, to engage the laity? Well, when we take up the hierarchy on this discussion thing, the minute we quit sounding like a bunch of yes men, we're accused of being closet (or even out of the closet) Protestants. The only way a 40,000 word document can't be critiqued is if its conclusions demand uncompromising obedience. But if the pope wants that kind of obedience, why not cut to the chase and put the propositions forward in a few hundred words ending in "anathema sit"? You can't have it both ways. Invite discussion/critique and you'll get discussion/critique. It was the pope who chose this means of address.

A@, while I sometimes disagree with you, you tend to be an honest conversationalist, but in this post of yours you've disappointed me.

Jusadbellum said...

I agree with Anonymous here. The Pope and others can't come out with vague, easily misinterpreted sound bytes or long documents with inaccurate language, parables that are open to misuse, "who am I to judge" type slogans and not have a reasonable expectation that the enemies of the Church won't use them to stir the pot and promote dismay among the faithful and glee among the heretics who are always among us as wolves in sheep's clothing.

You can't call for "dialogue" and then get the vapors when your monologue is interrupted. You can't call for the laity to become active but then get upset when the laity take initiative and "hacen lio" (raise hell).

What's desperately needed today is clear, concise, principled leaders in the faith whose language is not so obscure and vague that it could reasonably be interpreted in contradictory ways by all sides. What gain is there in such strategic ambiguity?

Anonymous 2 said...

Father Kavanaugh:

I assume that every quote is from Pope Benedict but I do not know for sure. That is why I was careful to point out that I had not verified the individual quotations. Please also see my response to Anonymous which follows.

Anonymous 2 said...


I appreciate your vote of confidence that I am an honest conversationalist. I certainly try to be.

Now, as to your disappointment in this particular post, I can certainly understand why you would say that. Let me therefore offer the following points of clarification and explanation.

First, I thought it was clear (but can see now that it may not have been) that everything that followed the line in my post is the text of the article to which I provided the link. This includes the material in the continuation post. In other words, I am not the one offering these quotes. Nor, as I tried to make clear, am I able to confirm their accuracy. By the same token, the conceit was the author’s, not mine, which is not to deny that I did rather like it. =)

Second, this said, I suspect that most and probably all of these quotes are in fact accurate. From what I know of Pope Benedict they sound authentic. For example, in past posts I have quoted Pope Benedict’s statements on the environment (noting that he was popularly known as “the Green Pope”) and on false idols (including money). The point, of course, is the one you make yourself when you say, correctly, that “none of the quotations you list contains anything with which an orthodox Catholic could disagree.” Exactly! And yet, let Francis say something similar and some people are all over him for it. I have also made this point on the Blog before – “Benedict good, Francis baaaad.”

Third, because you identify simply as Anonymous I am unable to know what you have said in the past because I cannot distinguish you from any other Anonymous. However, I certainly believe you when you say that “And if there are people here who hate him, not everyone who criticizes him does so” and when you include yourself among the latter group.

Fourth, I did not actually suggest that those criticizing Francis hate him. As I did not in fact use that brush, therefore, I am a little puzzled by your taking exception to my tarring all his critics with it. Now that you mention it, though, I am fairly sure that some who post here do actually hate Pope Francis and bear him ill will. I have researched some other blogs, including some that “expose” the post Vatican II church and collect the “misdeeds” of the post-Vatican II popes. I will not disgrace this blog by mentioning the names here but I am sure you can easily find such sites with this description. Indeed I would not be surprised if some who post here obtained some of their material from these sites. Not everyone, then, has your good faith and integrity. Some, I suspect, are simply out to destroy the post-Vatican II church, and for such people attacking Francis is like shooting fish in a barrel (pun intended) given the imprecision of some of his remarks.


Anonymous 2 said...

Fifth, and perhaps most important, I am truly exasperated by the unfair attacks on our Holy Father. Just consider how one of our posters at every opportunity insists on repeating the mischaracterization of Schellnhuber’s global warming speech in 2009, despite Schellnhuber’s strenuous denials and my own analysis parsing the New York Times article that reported on that speech conclusively supporting these denials and demolishing the mischaracterization. And now this same poster (who by the way also insists that I must be a woman and cannot really be a member of the legal profession) propagates material purporting to demonstrate shenanigans surrounding the conclave that elected Pope Francis, with the clear implication (explicitly drawn by another poster) that, if true, well, then, Francis isn’t really Pope after all. I submit that posting links to such “attack material” and then repeating them verbatim is not much different from what I did in my post. Another of my reasons for posting as I did, then, is to show just how annoying and unfair it is to do this sort of thing because the material cannot easily be verified or rebutted however inaccurate it might be (I cannot find the book in question on, which doesn’t necessarily mean it is not there, but I_did_find it on one of the websites I mentioned in my fourth point). I am surprised some people haven’t by now demanded to see Pope Francis’s birth certificate!

Anonymous, you must do what your conscience tells you to do. For myself, I want no part of attacking any Pope. Perhaps it would be different if the Pope was poisoning people, fathering children and then appointing them to office, or leading armies into battle. But it is a long time since we have had a Pope do such things. I hardly think that anything Pope Francis has done rises to that level of misconduct. Similarly I will not attack any member of the hierarchy or any priest in the way that some (I don’t mean you) attack Pope Francis. This does not mean one cannot raise questions about what exactly a member of the clergy means by a given statement and seek clarification, or that one cannot challenge in a civil manner an assertion made by him. I have done this myself on occasion. But some of what appears here goes way, way beyond this and can only reasonably be understood as an attempt to undermine the person or office being attacked. And in my view it needs to stop. To pick up another theme addressed in an earlier thread, some may feel righteous anger at what Pope Francis says and does. I feel righteous anger at what to me are unwarranted attacks upon him.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous 2

I agree with most of what you say, but what exactly is this 'post-Vatican II Church' that 'some people' are out to destroy? There is only one true Church, and we have Our Lord's promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. It's quite true that after the Council the Church seemed bent on self-destruction but we must believe this to be merely a passing phase.

Bergoglio would not have been my choice, but then I'm not one of the Cardinal electors. As for pre-Conclave politicking, it's bound to happen if you have an electoral system (the alternative, an hereditary system, is not on the cards). I don't underestimate CMOC's capacity for mischief-making but it should be remembered that his predecessor, Basil Hume, organized a 'stop Siri' campaign in 1978.

Francis is Pope whether or not he signs himself as such. I preferred Benedict for a number of reasons, but to make ad hominem attacks on the Pontiff and to publicly insult him is bang out of order, and undermines any serious argument one might otherwise have. History will judge his pontificate, as it has done for all his predecessors.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2, I do find it extremely hard to believe that a lawyer couldn't check a link and find said book on Amazon. Maybe you were a bit flumoxed because the quote on the website is in Italian. But let me help you out. Google Translate will translate it for you in 0.23 seconds flat and you will find - much to your consernation, I'm sure - that the quote is indeed on Amazon.

No one would consider Elizabeth Scalia on Pathos hateful or anti-Pope Francis.

The prophecies of Blessed Anne Katherine Emmerich can be read in the book The Life of Anne Katherine Emmerich, which is available for purchase on Amazon. She had visions of a large church being built without the help of the angels or the saints and all religions being brought into the church before it is destroyed.

Blessed Anne Katherine Emmerich was a mystic and had the stigmata. She was made Blessed by St Pope John Paul II The Great in recent years and so, of course, there is much interest in her life and in her prophecies, which appear to be for our time. The movie The Passion of the Christ was based on her visions titled the Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And Bishop Athanasius Schneider said after the synod: "In the sections on homosexuality, sexuality and “divorced and remarried” with their admittance to the sacraments the text represents a radical neo-pagan ideology. This is the first time in Church history that such a heterodox text was actually published as a document of an official meeting of Catholic bishops under the guidance of a pope, even though the text only had a preliminary character. ...

In fact the bishops who support Holy Communion for “divorced remarried” are the new Pharisees and Scribes because they neglect the commandment of God, contributing to the fact that out of the body and of the heart of the “divorced remarried” continue to “proceed adulteries” (Math 15: 19), because they want an exteriorly “clean” solution and to appear “clean” as well in the eyes of those who have power (the social media, public opinion). However when they eventually appear at the tribunal of Christ, they will surely hear to their dismay these words of Christ: “Why are you declaring my statutes and taking my covenant in your mouth? Seeing you hate instruction, and cast my words behind you, … when you have been partaker with adulterers”.

So we are indeed in unchartered waters and as Bishop Schneider points out: "in Church history that such a heterodox text was actually published as a document of an official meeting of Catholic bishops under the guidance of a pope". A very serious situation indeed and so it is not at all surprising that people are commenting on the path Francis is leading the Church on.


Anonymous 2 said...

Anon. Jan:

I was referring to a book by Antonio Soccio “None e Francesco” (“He is not Francis”) for which you provided the following link:

When I entered that link in my search box I got this:

There are only four results. When I clicked on them nothing about a book on Amazon appeared, just nonsense. I also searched the Amazon website and still could not find the book. I now speculate that this is probably because the English speaking Amazon website does not access books in Italian. I did find the book discussed on one of the “exposing Vatican II websites.”

Today I clicked on the same link after pasting it into this post above and the book did indeed come up on Amazon in Italian.

I have no explanation for why the computer behaves in this way and why nothing about the book came up when I pasted your link into the search box but the book did come up after pasting the link into this document and then clicking on it. However, I have admitted on this blog several times that my internet research skills are not refined. I teach at a law school and was the last faculty member to use a computer (in 2010). I have an IT department, a library, and student assistants to help me with internet research, but not so much in the summer.

Regarding additional personal details, I am an English barrister, but have taught at a law school in the United States for 35 years. I am not a woman, but an old white guy. I am not gay, but married with children. I was born and raised in England, but I am a naturalized U.S. citizen. I was baptized in the Church of England, but became a Catholic in the late 1970s. Just so you know.

And the question remains: Why do you draw our attention to so much material that attacks Pope Francis? Much of what you write seems consistent with what I see on the “Exposing Vatican II” websites. Do you too regard all the post Vatican II popes as illegitimate as they seem to do? In other words, are you a sedevacantist?

Anonymous 2 said...


Of course, I agree with you that the one true Church has continued up until the present time. Technically, I suppose sedevacantists hold the same view, except they say that none of the post-Vatican II popes has been legitimate (indeed, they have been heretics) and thus the Holy See has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958 or perhaps Pope John XXIII in 1963. One assumes, further, that those who believe this regard themselves as the only true Catholics and the rest of us also as heretics and presumably destined for hell. All in all, they sound like a right cheerful bunch. I am not too worried about this (although I may be worried about some other things that have more to do with my own sinfulness) because, even if they are correct (which I don’t think they are), the God I believe in is much bigger and more merciful than their/our small minds can contain or comprehend.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2, if you read my posts you will see that I refer often to St John Paul II The Great and also that I have referenced what Bishop Athanasius Schneider says about the hetrodox report of the synod. Are you going to say now that Bishop Schneider is a sedavacantist and doesn't accept any popes since Vatican II?

What you don't seem to accept is that there are a large body of faithful Catholics who are not secavacantist, who do not belong to or follow the SSPX, who are cradle Catholics and catechised prior to the 70s and who have trouble with this Pope. The fact that you are a convert and came into the Church in the late 1970s makes a vast difference to what you will understand of Church teaching to how those of us who were brought up in the Church prior to the 70s understand Church teaching. If you read Fr McDonald's post where he mentions how bad the seminary was in the 70s it may give you some idea.

For example, a friend of mine brought into the church in the 1970s was handed a paper cup and sissors and told to cut it into the shape of the church he would like to see. The fact that he is so strong in the faith at all is because he literally catechised himself through study and reading. A very large number of converts do not understand the faith. They were never even told that they have to accept the dogmas of the Church and so many of them do not see the dangers of where the Church is being led but the emptying pews tell the story. Many Catholics have not been taught the Faith properly and have had nothing to cling on to and so they leave. In many ways you can't blame the sedavacantists for thinking the way that they do.

Also, there are many former Church of England converts who are now saying that they left the Church of England to join the Catholic Church because of Her moral teachings, only to find they think the Church is becoming like the Anglican Church. If you do a search on Google these sorts of comments aren't hard to find and they are not sedavantist.


Anonymous 2 said...

Anon. Jan:

I realize all that and I did notice that you referred to St. John Paul II the Great and Bishop Schneider. However, there is nothing logically inconsistent between being a sedevacantist and endorsing criticism of various aspects of the post-Vatican II Catholic Church made by adherents of that Church. In fact, it is very consistent. And using the honorific titles of Popes and Bishops could be similar to the way most Catholics refer to clergy of other Christian denominations by their honorific titles.

And I became very well acquainted with the sentiments of pre-Vatican II Catholics. My mother was one. She was very sad to see the end of the TLM. She hardly ever attended Mass when I was growing up. Of course, she was excluded from communion because she married my father outside the Church in 1947. Nor did she attend Anglican services, because my father was not a churchgoer. By the same token, I almost never went to church, although I did attend a short daily Anglican service at the beginning of each school day, thank God. My parents did not get married in the Church because of friction with my father’s parents (my paternal grandparents), who were quite upset that their son was marrying a German (the War had only just ended two years earlier), and a Catholic to boot. Instead, they were married by the British Army of Occupation in Germany and said their vows privately together before God in a nearby Catholic church. Only thirty or so years later, when my father also became a Catholic, at about the same time I did, was my parents’ marriage blessed by the Church and my mother was once again permitted to receive.

So, am I correct in inferring that you are not a sedevacantist?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2, what I wrote above "What you don't seem to accept is that there are a large body of faithful Catholics who are not secavacantist, who do not belong to or follow the SSPX, who are cradle Catholics and catechised prior to the 70s and who have trouble with this Pope" refers to Catholics, such as myself and many others who I know are very troubled and worried by Pope Francis. Those who are sedavacantist are quite happy to state that they are sedavacantist, so if I were one of those I would be quite happy to say so but I am not.

There is much conjecture on this Pope because there are a number of prophecies that point to two popes and a non-canonically elected pope. For example, the prophecy of St Francis refers to:

"A SHORT time before the holy Father's [St Francis] death he called together his children ...

The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order [Franciscans], and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death."

This prophecy is taken from the Works of the Seraphic Father St Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882 pages 248-250

The whole book is on line and you can read it here where St Francis talks about schism in the Church, etc:

Catholics that I know [who are not sedavancantists] are conjecturing whether, in light of what is reported in "He is Not Francis" and other reports, that this prophecy of St Francis may refer to the present Pope. Whether you like it or not, these prophecies do exist and while we have things happening in the Church that are unsettling to the faithful then the faithful will conjecture that these prophesies are for our time. We have La Salette, Fatima, Akita, all approved visions, where Our Lady warned of events that would take place in the Church and the world because people have turned away from God. Those catechised prior to the 1970s are very familiar with these visions as they were spoken of by nuns and priests at the time, but you won't hear them from the pulpit these days, and many consider that these prophecies are now taking place.


Lefebvrian said...

Anonymous 2, here's a general tip, if someone is referring to "St. John Paul the Great," they are not a sedevacantist... I wouldn't even say that such a person is a "Traditionalist" since thinking that John Paul II is "the Great" wouldn't be a popular opinion amongst Traditionalists. Even referring to John Paul II as "St." is something I've not seen among known Traditionalist writers.

I'm not writing this to knock Jan, whose posts here I appreciate very much and almost always agree with. I'm just saying that writing "St. John Paul the Great" is a strong indication of where Jan stands on things.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anon. Jan:

Thank you for clarifying explicitly that you are not a sedevacantist. I am glad to hear it.

John Nolan said...

Pre-Vatican II Catholics and post-Vatican II Catholics. Is this a distinction based on when one was born, or does it imply that a radically different Church came into being in 1965? The latter is hardly tenable since the Church transcends time and consists of the Church militant (on earth), the Church suffering (in purgatory) and the Church triumphant (in heaven).

A cogent argument can be made that Vatican II has done more damage to the Church than did the Protestant Reformation. Fifty years on where is the evidence of renewal, as opposed to novelty, which is not the same thing? Compare this with the state of the Church fifty years after the Confession of Augsburg (1530).

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lefebvrian, what you say is absolutely correct that St Pope John Paul II The Great is not popular among "Traditionalists", most of whom I believe question his canonisation, and Sedavacantists would no doubt have a frothy fit at my using that title.


George said...

John Nolan:
"Pre-Vatican II Catholics and post-Vatican II Catholics. Is this a distinction based on when one was born..."

Pre-Vac=where the Church was in need of being cleansed of its detritus (accretions), it's aggregation of superfluous traditions and ecclesial cobwebs accumulated over the previous centuries.

Post-Vac= where the Church has been purged of its unneeded and supernumerary fetters, constraints and fastings and its irrelevant liturgical language, chants and rubrics in order to usher in a bright new world of ecumenical promise.

(Of course this is just a humorous comment on a certain progressivist view.)