Wednesday, September 29, 2021


Pope Francis attends his weekly general audience, held in the Paul VI hall, at the Vatican Sept. 1. (AP /Andrew Medichini

There are two articles or commentaries in the National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) that should make Catholics scratch their head about the desire to return the Church to the failed 1970’s approach to Catholicism.

Let’s contextualize this by saying that Pope Francis recently said that His Holiness should have been more forthcoming about his infatuation with Vatican II in the 1960’s and especially once he was ordained in 1969, 11 year before I was. He loved that period of time and it continues to shape him, the late 1960’s and early 70’s prior to Pope John Paul II’s election—this is the crux of the problem that this pope has  created. He is trying desperately to get back to the heyday of his youth and thinks that moving forward, walking together means going back to that heady period of so many Catholics, especially bishops and priests of his age. 

That’s the context.

Then Jesuit Father Reese has a peculiar commentary in the NCR this morning giving five rules to disagree with this pope. Implicit in the five rules and the fact that a Jesuit is writing the commentary tells us that we are in a huge problem with the divisiveness this pope has created throughout his papacy.

You can read the commentary HERE.

But this says it all:

"I personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner," said the pope, "but the church does not deserve them. They are the work of the devil."

He also complained of "clerics who make nasty comments about me." He admitted, "I sometimes lose patience, especially when they make judgments without entering into a real dialogue."

Attacks on popes from clerics and the media are not new. These attacks come from the left or the right depending on who is pope.

While I find it unbecoming for a pope to be gossiping publicly about how poorly he is treated either by Raymond Aroyyo or certain clerics, His Holiness has made extremely nasty comments about priests and others who hold to traditional Catholic teaching and calls them rigid as though he is capable of making psychological assessments of vast groups of people. He has not answered the Cardinals that questioned his theology. He has dumped cardinals from their positions and not given them new ones. 

Has he ever met with traditional groups of Catholics who desire the older form of the Mass and went yearly to Rome and in large numbers and were welcome in St. Peter’s Basilica to celebrate the EF Mass there? No! Never! And His Holiness wonders why people are angry at him!

He has created the mess in the Church which we are now experiencing but he is blaming everyone else for it. That is what is so said. The Holy Father constantly projects onto others what he himself is responsible for causing. 

Then there’s this little ditty in the NCR today, which you can read here, about how unprepared America is for the pope’s self-referential synod on synods of all things as though anyone is really excited by this including aging hippie priests ordained in the 60’s:

Natalia Imperatori-Lee, a religious studies professor at Manhattan College who teaches courses on Vatican II and contemporary Catholicism, told NCR that there are several factors to explain the tensions between Francis' vision of a synodal church and the church in the United States. Among them, she said, is a particular brand of clericalism where priests used to the style of ministry of the late Pope John Paul II effectively "are the ones running the church" in the country.

"Priests are not accustomed to collaborating with laypeople in this country, in part because the way we have tried to garner vocations has been to emphasize how set apart they are, and that’s a legacy of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who continued that," Imperatori-Lee said.

Thus, a major part of the full steam ahead to schism that Pope Francis has created is his repudiation of what Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI tried to accomplish—a correction of the path of the wrong headed 1960’s and 70’s spirit of Vatican II mentality that has and is destroying so much of authentic Catholic identity. No wondering people are so angry at Pope Francis and not just traditionalists. Of course most who are angry are social media nerds who read blogs. 

Then Cardinal Wilton Gregory seems to blame the victims of all of this unnecessary upheaval in the Church caused by the current pope when He says:

At a meeting of U.S. bishops' last June, Gregory spoke against such measures and warned that in his 38 years of being a bishop, he had never seen the bishops' conference so divided.

On Monday, he told NCR he stands by that assessment.

"I certainly do still see the divisions there and they trouble me," the cardinal said. "They sadden me."

The good Cardinal fails to criticize the one causing the divisions and the ones who are the victims of it are the ones who really want a unified Church which was occurring as a result of the last two popes, one who is still living to watch what is happening to that legacy. 


monkmcg said...

Cardinal Gregory is laughable; he lied to his brother bishops (along with Uncle Ted) and has the gall to ask why there is division?! He is a living example of (one of ) the problems. As for the Bishop of Rome: he needs to set in place the canons on papal retirement and then follow them. When the bishops (intentional plural) stopped seeing themselves as protectors of the deposit of faith and instead became manipulators of that deposit, the mess began. When they gave selective obedience to the teaching of the council (V2) the mess began. When will it stop? When those who did so resign/die and are replaced by those who no longer follow those two errors.

Michael A said...

Does anyone else see the connection in what is being said about the Church’s chasm described by His Eminence Gregory and the current state of affairs in politics or is it just me? This is a continuation of the cultural revolution that hit the religious and political realms in the 1960s and as Father said, Francis wants to hold onto the good ole days of the 60s. That’s why many people have little respect for Vatican II because it was concocted in a time period when not much of value was created. It’s recognized as a product of a secular movement that infiltrated the Church rather than a document that was counter-cultural.

Many know Church history far better than I do but I know enough to see that when positive and/or negative movements occur in society they typically aren’t restricted to the secular world. We opened the Church's windows and the trash got thrown in.

Positive movements take much longer to develop because it’s always harder to build something versus tearing something down. That’s why Francis has been able to get us to where we are in 8 years when it took the two previous popes 35 years to partially restore the Church’s health. Is it a surprise that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were St. JP II’s contemporaries? Together they gave us an interval of relief in their respective fields.

His Eminence Gregory sees the same divide that we see in American society. We know that we have irreconcilable differences that are deeper today because one side drifts further from the truth and wants to reimagine it and the more they reimagine the further the divide. In the Church we have those who believe in the Real Presence and those that don’t really care about it and prefer to focus on allowing priestesses and openly gay married priests. Our politics and religion are on parallel tracks to something that probably takes us to a darker place for a while. His Eminence shouldn’t be surprised that the divide is growing because of prelates like him who want to reinvent dogma compared to Catholics who recognize their Shepard’s voice, whose truth is constant. The other side hears the truth and it hurts their ears and they rebel/reimagine.

Thomas Garrett said...

"He is trying desperately to get back to the heyday of his youth and thinks that moving forward, walking together means going back to that heady period of so many Catholics, especially bishops and priests of his age."

Father, if you really believe that, then I think you are, with all due respect, being naive. That's the noise he broadcasts. What we need to listen to is the signal.

This man was put in place to do the job Cardinal Martini's crew wanted him to do. He is liquidating the Church and its patrimony, so that it will be completely transformed. He is preparing the Church to be just another organization that the globalists can use for maintaining social stability, while it sells out to the state. Anything spiritual in nature has no place in this pope's church. His blather about "dialogue" is mere misdirection, as he refuses to "dialogue" with anyone who has not been vetted in advance to blindly agree with his agenda. His complaints and gossip are not surprising. The devil is uncouth and those who serve him will reflect the manners of their master.

Am I wrong? Somebody please convince me. I SO want to be wrong.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think you are mostly wrong about the evil intentions and conspiracy theories about globalism.

I was schooled in the very theology that Pope Francis enjoys. Part of it is about the Church transforming society to allow the in-breaking of God's kingdom here on earth and each Christian has a role in bringing that about--it is about social justice, ending war and allowing all people to have a decent quality of life thus a redistribution of wealth.

It is a utopian theology that was failing and failed in the 1970's and will fail again.

Some of the implications of this from 1970's bishops is the following. Everything and everyone can be fixed and should be fixed including priests who failed in their ordination promises, had severe sexual disorders, abused adults, teenagers and children. The inbreaking of God's kingdom and our bringing it about is to find healing and reintegration for these people.

That is the utopian nature if this theology and it is deadly to say the least and all utopian ideologies fail and harm many people in the process.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In conjunction with that, if you look at the US Bishop's conference in the 1970's and 80's and what was called the Catholic moment, it all swirled around the bishops making profound social justice statements with specifics in mind, be is disarmament to promote peace, a redistribution of wealth for economic justice or allow unbridled and illegal immigration as a matter of concern for migrants.

All of these require political results and politics as we see today is the most divisive thing in our country and it divides the Church when the Church turns to politics to impose a utopian theology.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

One final thought on all of this is related to the pope's desire to have Catholics experience a conversion to ecology to save the planet from global warming. He believes theories that all of the global warming is due to human interactions with the planet which are negative.

Thus for us to change global warming, we have to be converted to the ecology he promotes which also entails political solutions which divide people.

And there is nothing said about the possibility that global warming is divinely intended as a means for the final consummation of the earth.

There might well be natural reasons for global warming and the Church has a responsibility to give people on earth the hope of salvation when nature takes its final course, just as our bodies do!

But again, its up to us humans to save the planet and everyone on it even when God has other plans for that! It's utopian and always a miserable failure.

Laura E said...

My grandmother said this about Bergoglio as he as he stepped up as the new Pope shortly before she passed away; "I don't like this Pope. He's a communist." I thought that was a bit harsh & said I thought we should give him a chance & see. I am seeing she nailed it. The communist party knew they could reach the other denominations easily, but would have to infiltrate the Catholic Church from the inside. And so they did. Bella Dodd's book, School of Darkness details how she helped reach that goal by loading 1100 young communist men into the seminaries back in the 1940s-50s. I highly recommend reading it.
I know the Bible promises us that the gates if hell will not prevail, & that our Lady will defeat the devil, but we must do our part & pray the Rosary daily! After listening to an exorcist say how much the demons & Satan himself hate Latin, I learned the Rosary in Latin & attend the Latin Mass when I can. Why not strengthen my arsenal right? I figure if I can do nothing else, I can pray.

Fr Martin Fox said...

"Priests are not accustomed to collaborating with laypeople in this country, in part because the way we have tried to garner vocations has been to emphasize how set apart they are, and that’s a legacy of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who continued that," Imperatori-Lee said.

I about spit out my coffee all over my desk, monitor and keyboard when I saw that. I would gladly invite Professor Imperatori-Lee to spend some time with me in my parish, where she would encounter:

- The lay staff that plays a huge role in deciding so many educational and faith-building experiences in the parish, whether it's for children or adults, whether it's providing materials for study, organizing events, and the like.

- The finance committee, all lay people, who review financial information (I want them to do it more) and help frame a budget every year.

- The Pastoral Advisory Council, which has been deeply involved in decisions about property maintenance and improvements, long-term planning, and evangelization.

- The many, many activities in my parish that are 100% lay-directed, they don't answer to me, but they seek me out to collaborate with their efforts, and I am happy to do so. I try to keep my involvement such that I don't slow them down, because it's easy for me to get off on something else, and I don't want their good efforts to be derailed because my attention is elsewhere. I'm thinking of the St. Vincent de Paul group, a couple of pro-life efforts, and many groups devoted to prayer and good works.

- The school, which is a local public school, but for various reasons, has a close relationship with the parish. Whenever we can, we cooperate, such as inviting in speakers that are co-sponsored by the school and parish.

This is not collaboration?

Oh, you think this is unusual? Do tell. Parish priests generally face this sort of collaboration, and need it. Otherwise, our ability to do things is greatly limited.

John said...

Laura may be right. However, by my way of thinking he could have been a "red diper baby", his family certainly must have been politically left leaning. He grew up as a Peronist, the seminary and the Jesuits either could not change his mind as it was formed in his youth or made it even more lefty. Lefty ideology engenders radical secularist thinking and acting. Was he a communist plant? Who knows, but disorder followed him even in his religious order and was sidelined there for a while. Then why did Pope John Paul promote him? Why? Making bishops is like eating chocolate from a Whitman's Sampler box: you never know what you gonna get (credit Forrest Gumper, I believe).

He rejects Tradition yet he claims to be Tradition. I just wish he would be faithful to Trent and Vatican I Synods and interpret Vatican 2 in continuity with Tradition. But no.

God works in a mysterious way.

TJM said...

I agree with Father Fox - Natalia is out to lunch, clueless.

Mark said...

Regarding Laura’s claim about Bella Dodd and Communist infiltration of the seminaries, this claim is NOT made in the book. I have, however, managed to track down the following article analyzing the sources for the claim:

In the Conclusion the author states:

“Bella Dodd’s 1961 Detroit lecture presents a challenge for Catholics who believe that she helped infiltrate Catholic seminaries. The challenge forces them to look at underlying presumptions as well as to be critical towards the sources. Those sources have largely rested upon the good reputation of Alice von Hildebrand, herself a titan in Catholic life and thought.

“The facts, as they presently stand, indicate that the claims of Dr Alice von Hildebrand and Johnine and Paul Leininger are not necessarily contradicted by Dodd’s 1961 Detroit lecture. We must, however, reconsider some underlying presumptions that have grown up around the facts. The best way to do this is by informing ourselves of the facts and understanding the larger historical picture while acknowledging that there is much yet to be discovered. Until more is known about Dodd and she is better understood, interested persons would be wise to exercise good judgment.”

Mark said...

Correction—Please replace “Regarding Laura’s claim about Bella Dodd and Communist infiltration of the seminaries,” with “Regarding the claim about Bella Dodd and Communist infiltration of the seminaries that Laura mentions,”

Thomas Garrett said...

Ah yes, all of the intellectuals can "pooh-pooh" any suggestions of infiltration or sabotage of the Church's mission and dismiss such assertions as the misguided rantings of "conspiracy theorists".

And why not? We are all better-educated now. We no longer buy into such childish notions as "spiritual warfare" or some mythological idea of legions of demons under the command of Satan, with destruction of souls and the destruction of the Church as their top objectives. Come on, now--we've all outgrown that.

Well, most of us. Frankly, I have not and I don't care what you call me. The entire cosmic situation of eternity is a conspiracy of good v. evil. Anyone with eyes to see and a memory can easily see that the very nature of the Catholic Church has been gently (and sometimes not so gently) transformed for the last few decades to change the way Catholics pray, think, believe and view their lives. The average Catholic from just about any previous century would not recognize what we call our Church today. We've been softened up and fattened up for the kill. This current pope was elected to put the finishing touches on the liquidation of the Church's spiritual mission. Before he is finished, our Church will be bland, flavorless, homosexualized, neutralized, apostasized and schismatized. Bergoglio knows it and the only emotion he ever shows in public is laughter and sarcasm. Oh--one thing DOES make him angry--Catholics with a memory of what the Church is supposed to be. That will NOT be tolerated.

TJM said...

Well, I do not know if Communists infiltrated the Church, but certain clergy did their bidding. Here is an account from a Hungarian regarding the removal of Cardinal Mindszenty as Primate of Hungary by Paul VI.

"Peter Hargitai: The Vatican made a deal with Janos Kadar, the Hungarian communist premiere: Kadar insisted that he would allow Mindszenty to leave Hungary providing his voice remain miuted in exile; when Mindszenty was about to publish his memoirs, Pope Paul VI acted by stripping the archbishop and Prince Primate of his office -- even though he had been tortured by both the Nazis and the communists for not doing their bidding. In a single stroke, the Pope accomplished what the enemies of Christianity could not -- to strip Mindszenty of his office. In the same year, Pope Paul VI receiced the communist dictator Janos Kadar. If this is Vatican "Ostpolitic," it is neither diplomatic nor Christian. I was nine years old during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and heard a recently freed Mindszenty address his people on the radio. He sounded non-judgmental, humble and to me Christlike. As a Hungarian and a Catholic, I was deeply hurt by the Vatican's action. I can only imagine what that tortured soul must have felt. "Abba, Abba, lama sabbachtani."

So a courageous, fearless prelate who defended the Catholic Faith against the communists was removed by a man not fit to tie his shoelaces, whom PF made a saint. No wonder people are voting with their feet.

TJM said...

Hey "prolife" Democrats, here's one for you:

The archbishop of San Francisco is calling for a "massive and visible campaign of prayer and fasting" for the conversion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's heart as she pursues what pro-lifers have called "radical" abortion legislation.

"Witness the House of Representatives’ passage of HR 3755, which would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy," Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said of the California Democrat in a statement Wednesday.

Personally denying her Holy Communion and a threat to not be accorded a Catholic funeral might get her attention more since it would hurt fundraising from the dupes who believe in the Party's "prolife" bona fides.

Michael A said...


Thank you for the informative post. I was unaware of the Cardinal's full story, especially the role of the pope at the time. I do hope that a complete review of the Francis papacy will be conducted and decisions like the one making Paul VI a saint are reversed. The condition in which he left the Church makes his canonization highly questionable.

BTW, would you recommend Hungary as a sanctuary for Americans seeking freedom? I'm planning my escape but I need the right destination. Hungary seems to be at the top of the list. I'm wondering what the current state of Church affairs is there? Do they in general have more devote priests and bishops or are they getting modernized too?

TJM said...

Michael A,

Hungary is a fine, freedom loving country trying to save its culture from corrupt globalists. They have put Soros sponsored organizations out of business there. The Church there has strong leaders and weak ones. They are more favorable to liturgical tradition than most European countries. Hungary would be a great place to consider living. They have lived under Communism so they are under no illusions like spoiled liberals in the US who have no clue of what an intellectually and morally bankrupt a system Communism is. Liberals still slobber over evil men like Castro

TJM said...

The "prolife" Dems are curiously being silent on Archbishop Cordileone.

Mark said...


That is because you cannot spell. The only “profile” Democrats that comment on this Blog are those that exist in your own mind as figments of your imagination as you wantonly and promiscuously attach labels to anyone who disagrees with you about anything.

Have you ever considered that people are weary of being continually baited by you? Why don’t you be “prolife” yourself as in “go and get one.”

Laura E said...

Responding to Mark -
I know I read School of Darkness several years ago, but I clearly remember what she detailed in her book. I recommend you read it rather than relying on another source. It's a good read. You can purchase it on Amazon for about $15.00.
God bless!

Mark said...


Thank you for your response. It is not necessary to purchase the book as it is available online (presumably because the copyright has expired):

As part of my research, I had already done a word search of the book and found no references to seminaries. I have now repeated the word search, using the search term “seminaries” and “Catholic.” I have also scanned the entire book.

Honestly, I think you are misremembering. Having scanned the book, I can see how easily this might have occurred because there is much talk of infiltration of unions and government and a discussion of young Catholic men—college students in the Newman Society—at the very end but this discussion is not in the context of infiltration. Also, I often misremember things myself, as we all do, so it is hardly a sin!

After this exercise and given the other sources that indicate the claim was never made in the book (assuming it was ever made at all), I am confident in my conclusion that there is no claim about infiltrating seminaries in Bella Dodd’s book. But I am always open to correction if you can provide a citation to where she makes that claim.

Laura E said...


You are partially correct. As it was at least 20 yrs ago when I read the book, I did misremember that Dodd gives an account of placing communist men into the seminaries in the 1930s. (I was also wrong about the time frame as well.) I skimmed the book, then flipped to the back cover... And there it was, LOL!
But I wanted to see where she so remorsefully had stated what she had done. So I looked it up.

Ok so i did not see it stated in the book, but School of Darkness is a good read as it details the inner workings & thought processes of the communist party. I don't believe it has changed any more than the devil can change his game plan.

Mark said...


Thank you for following up and for the link.

The more I read about all this, the more troubled I am becoming about the matter.

The linked article refers to Bella Dodd’s testimony in a signed affidavit and it also mentions the 1953 Fordham lecture. In the alleged affidavit she makes the claim about her role in infiltrating the seminaries. In the lecture she “explains what she did while working as a communist.” The article also provides a Youtube link to the Fordham lecture (audio only), which does not work. I have, however, found one that does:

Notice two things, First, the linked article says she made the claim about infiltration in a signed affidavit, but the text appears in the link to the audio of the lecture and is presented as if it were part of that lecture. Second, we cannot actually hear her saying these words, we just see the text, followed by photos of supposed infiltrators, culminating in Pope Francis, with the photos accompanied by “scary” music. Notice, too, that the article says, “the useful part of the video ends at the 8:30 mark; I find the rest of the video vulgar and do not recommend it” (this is the scary music part with the (defamatory?) photos).

The entire thing urges caution. It is difficult to disagree with the following conclusions by someone who read a book apparently including discussion of the same matter:

On the other hand, this person also states that “In her book, School of Darkness she directly contradicts this story of recruitment twice.” I do not recall seeing this in her book. Do you?

Bottom line (for me): The discussions of the “evidence” for the claim are inconsistent; the Youtube audio recording of the supposed statements at the Fordham talk is very fishy and appears to be part of a “hit” job aimed at various prelates, including Pope Francis; someone completely impartial (perhaps a committee or a task force) needs to examine all of the “evidence” dispassionately and thoroughly and produce a report that is reliable and trustworthy; and until then, we need to keep an open mind and not be either too credulous or too skeptical. In sum, case not proven, at least not yet.