And Despair is for losers…

by Br Alexis Bugnolo

I recently shared an article on the importance of turning to Our Lady in the times of darkness, because Her example of Faith and Charity are a light for all the faithful when all other lights go out.

But today, I want to point out another great truth, that cannot be left unsaid, but which has been left unsaid for much too long.

That Our Lady is our most powerful example of Hope.

You see, those addicted to sin and all the workers of evil cannot preach about Hope in the world to come, because they have already despaired. For as the Saints teach, one cannot turn irrevocably over to evil, to the dark side, without the terrible sin of despair, which is always mortal.

The danger of despair is more prevalent than we think. It is one of the chief errors spread by both Islam and Marxism. Both systems of thought are fatalistic, because neither knows the path to God.

For Christians, Hope began long before the salvation of each of us, and we hope precisely because God created a Path to Heaven, When He descended to Heaven. That path is Mary. This is the teaching of Saints Louis Marie Montfort and St Maximilian Mary and all the great devotees of Our Lady who are saints.

Yes, Jesus is our Hope, because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. But because sin separates us from God and the experience of this separation is what the Devil uses to inspire souls to spiritual sloth, which is the mother of despair, the crucial medicine against Despair is Our Blessed Mother, whom on account of being our Spiritual Mother in Heaven is a path back to God in a way God can never be, because God the Son, as God, was never alienated from God the Father or God the Holy Ghost.

OUR BLESSED MOTHER is also a great example of Hope against despair, because She never lost hope even when it appeared that evil had completely triumphed over Her Son and His work. Even when Her own people persecuted the Church She prayed more fervently for the conversion of sinners, and, as the Saint say, obtained the conversion of Saint Paul, the Great Apostle to the Gentiles.

Without such hope, man tastes a bitter alienation, because his sins separate him from God and the life in God.

And man from the beginning has known this alienation. Yet, as the Fathers teach, just as man became alienated from God in the beginning THROUGH A WOMAN, so did God in the end times provide that man, who is alienated, come back to Him THROUGH A WOMAN.

This is why,

All the Devil needs to purchase your soul, is Despair

Despair is the price of souls, who are damned, just as Hope is the price of souls to be redeemed.

This is because no sin paralyses a soul completely but despair. Without despair, a soul knows there is a possibility of salvation for it IF IT JUST collaborate with grace enough to be moved CLOSE ENOUGH TO GOD to be saved.

Despair prevents the following good works which are necessary for salvation of the individual soul:

  1. Prayer for the grace to repent.
  2. Works of penance for sin.
  3. Avoidance of sin, for souls in the state of mortal sin.
  4. Asking God, Saints and fellow men for help to over come sin and bad habits.
  5. Confessing one’s sins.
  6. Encouraging others in the life of virtue.
  7. Worthy reception of the Sacraments.
  8. Good works necessary to save sinners.

For this reason, the agents of darkness know well that the worst thing they can do is to preach against Despair. They work to spread despair by announcing all their evil triumphs. They promote despair by doing nothing against them. This is the sign of every false Apostle. Sound familiar?

But the worse despair is that which despairs even of seeking the help of Mary, who is our great example in every virtue and who is especially quick to heed the cries of Her children in every need!

Despair, thus, by its very nature cuts the soul off from all hope for redemption, salvation, improvement. This is why…

Despair is like a snake, it does not jump upon you, it slithers into your soul

by means of spiritual neglect. This neglect is called sloath. First you omit one good work, then another, then this or that prayer, then another. Then you stop frequenting Church, you leave off reading Catholic books, or the writings of the Saints. Or if you do you read only prophecies of doom and destruction.

And the next thing you know, you are preaching despair to those around you, because it is the best excuse for doing nothing and allowing the world to go to Hell.

And without realizing it, you have just become an Apostle of Damnation and a card-holding member of the underworld on Earth.

The Danger of Despair is too great

Unfortunately, on Social Media there are an abundance of such false Apostles. That is the chief reason I refuse to publish comments, when they are laced with despair. There is  nothing more against the virtues of Faith and Charity and Hope than to preach that nothing can be done, evil cannot be opposed, the conquest of the wicked is inevitable.

And the really wicked trolls attempt to attack Catholics on social media precisely on this point.

Despair has a more wicked Twin Sister

Despair, I like to say, has an evil Twin Sister: Presumption.  Presumption is the habit of thinking God will give something when you do not merit it. Satan attempted to introduce Presumption twice into the Church. The first time he was crushed by the disciples of Saint Augustine, when he tried to get men to believe that salvation was in their power, they did not need Christ. That was the heresy of Pelagian.

The second time, he succeeded in damning hundreds of millions of souls, through his servant, Luther, who taught that a man is holy, the more he presumes the grace of God. Luther called his vice of presumption, “Faith” to conceal its poison. But those who bought the lies of Luther quickly fell to despair because the system of Presumption, in not having recourse to all the Sacraments, to the Communion of Saints, to Penitence for Sin, most importantly, quickly leads one to realize it cannot achieve holiness except through pretense. This is why protestant churches are always splitting. It is their last attempt for hope. Except they never get rid of Despair’s Evil Twin Sister, and so Despair soon returns to their house.

Catholics need to slap themselves in the Face…

If you accept the presumption of Protestants, or the fatalism of Muslims, then pretty soon you will no longer believe that it is necessary for your own salvation that you do anything to protect others from evil. And with that error embraced by more and more Catholics, the Church would fail.

That is why the truest sign of a true Catholic is that they are dedicated both to prayer and to good works to save others! Because prayer without works is a vain exercise, which God will not answer. And works with out pray is presumption, that God is not or does not have to be in the equation.

And the worse kind of despair and presumption is found among those who believe the Church will be overcome by the wicked. The second, is that “I” personally do not need to do anything to achieve the victory, I can wait and watch for it to happen, as if the Book of the Apocalypse were a TV program or something!

No, the truth is, all those who stand around watching, are already part of the Mystical Body of Satan, because sloth is a mortal sin! Presumption of victory is a mortal sin! And Despair that you can do anything to contribute to the victory is a mortal sin!

Remember, Victory is only attained by those who fight for it

Somehow, I do not know how, but somehow a good number of Catholics got the crazy notion, that the Church in the end will triumph over Satan and the wicked, and that “I” will share in that victory, even if I do not fight.

The problem with this CRAZY IDEA of making salvation history into a sort of soccer or football game which I can watch and still participate in the victory of the winning team is this:

IN MATTERS OF SALVATION, THERE ARE NO ONE IN THE BLEACHERS OR ON THE BENCH.

Everyone is one the field. So if you are watching, you are already on the wrong side of the field, because you are in the League of the Devil. And despair is for losers….

Thus, You can only participate in the final victory, if you are playing on — not cheering for — the right team, NOW, TOMORROW AND FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

The Church of Rome alone is guaranteed the Victory

And if you want to be on the winning side, then you need the Office of Saint Peter, because of all the graces God gave for victory, there is ONLY ONE, the office of St Peter which He promised would never be overcome by the forces of Darkness.

This is why asserting the renunciation of Pope Benedict is valid is SO PURELY AND HELLISHLY DIABOLICAL.

It is diabolical because it leads inevitably to despair through presumption, as if the Church can exist with a heretical pope, or prevail against the Darkness with an Office of Peter which does not produce victory.

But others err in another direction. Namely, they believe that somehow the Anti-Christ will conquer the Church of Rome and that the papacy will cease.

If you have not noticed, Christ promised that His Church would never be overcome. And He gave to His Church the office of St Peter. And that office the Apostle Saint Peter left as an inheritance to the Church of Rome. Hence, the Church of Rome will endure until the end of time and share in the victory. But not every other local Church, for many will be overcome by darkness.

This is why all the Saints had confidence when they fought on behalf of the Pope or the Church of Rome. They knew the means for Victory were there, if they could just put them to use or put them back in working order.

This is what we Catholics who know that Benedict is still the Pope are doing. This is the great merit of being on the winning side and knowing how to achieve the Victory. This is why it is not presumption or foolishness to fight for the Faith at Rome. And this is why I write this Blog.

This is also why winning here, at Rome, for and with the true Pope, Benedict, is so essential for winning everywhere else in the world.

O IMMACULATE CONCEPTION,
OUR HEAVENLY MOTHER AND OUR GREAT SIGN OF HOPE
for when mankind was sunk in the depths of his sins,
God the Holy Spirit worked His greatest miracle of grace:
the creation of your soul!

O Mother of Our Redeemer and most beloved daughter of the Eternal Father,
look with all the tenderness of thy Maternal Love on me
a wretched sinner,
and vouchsafe to once again touch my soul with HOPE,
so that I might return to the zealous practice of the Faith
to which God imbued me in Baptism,
anointed me in Confirmation,
and wants to restore me in Holy Confession.

HELP ME TO REMEMBER ALWAYS

That this is not a battle in which I can remain on the bleachers. Because, you want me to be with you on the winning side, a victory I cannot share in unless I fight for it.

AMEN.

_________

CREDITS: My photo of the Sepulchral Monument to Pope Leo XIII at Saint John Lateran, at Rome. When, with the Papal States ended, all spoke of the imminent disappearance of the Church of Rome, Pope Leo guided the Church in the greatest expansion of faith the world had ever seen, by sending missionaries to all corners of the world and increasing the total Catholic population by several fold.

 

 

In Her tears, the Church can find salvation from the Apostasy

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Many things in the Church are left unsaid, but should not be. Most of them which come to mind are evil things, horrendous sacrileges and scandals.

But there are many things which are left unsaid, out of neglect, or a lack of appreciation. And most of these are good things, wonderful things, treasures coming down from Heaven.

In this post, I want to talk about the most precious of these gifts: the tears of Our Lady. I speak here of the gifts with a little, “g”, not of the “Gifts” with the capital, which refer to the Eucharistic or Divine Miracles.

If you have not noticed, Our Lady has been crying a lot lately.

First of all, this is Scriptural: that Our Lady endured the most intense sorrow at seeing Her Son rejected by the High Priests and condemned to death by the Roman Authority and rejected by most of Her own people, crucified and executed as vile criminal. This is a matter of faith, “A sword of sorrow shall pierce your own soul” (Luke 2:35), as was prophesied to her by St. Simeon, the day Our Lord was presented in the Temple as a babe.

But whether Our Lady cried at Calvary, is debated among the saints, with some saying She did, others saying She did not, because of the immaculate perfection of Her humanity allowed her to hide her suffering out of humility. The Holy See weighed into this controversy around the time of the Council of Trent, I think, and outlawed images of Our Lady which showed Her overcome by sorrow, collapsing at the foot of the Cross or fainting away, as contrary to Scripture, which says clearly, “Standing at the foot of the Cross was Mary the Mother of Jesus….” (John 19:25-27)

But in the ages after Pentecost many an image of Our Lady has wept: tears of water or human tears, tears of oil of crisim and even of human blood.  During the Reformation a sold white marble Statue of Our Lady wept tears of blood or water 5 times at Ficarra in Sicily. It is thought Our Lady worked this miracle to show Her profound sorrow at the loss of so many of Her children to the evil lies of the Reformers. I had the great honor to walk in the procession of Our Lady, at Ficarra, in 2011. The devout do it with bear feet on the hot pavements of August.

In 1846 on Sept 19, Our Lady cried at La Salette, France, in the French Alps, saying the sins of mankind were now so heavy She could not avert the wrath of God. This was the first of Her great modern Apparitions. It says a lot, that in the first one She show us Her tears. At La Salette She revealed the corruption of the clergy and the downfall of Rome and the rise of the Antichrist. La Salette is the most beautiful setting Our Lady has ever chosen. I can still vividly remember my visit there in 2004. Make sure to get some of the waters from the spring, which confer the grace on many a soul to repent of their worst sins.

Our Lady of Siracuse

Then, in 1953, from August 29 to September 1, there was the extraordinary weeping of a tiny image of the Immaculate Heart at Syracuse, Italy. A shrine stands there to commemorate the miracle.

I have visited this shrine several times in 2010 and 2011, and can assured you, though the Church is horribly ugly, that Our Lady grants tremendous graces of penitence in this Church and other special graces to guide one in the fidelity to their daily duties and vocation. — It is generally thought in Italy that this prodigy was a warning of the tremendous disaster which would occur at Vatican II. Indeed, in 1953 the Freemasons in the Church began their plan to overthrow the Church from within, because they could not endure the Dogmatic definition of the Assumption of Our Lady body and soul into Heaven, to take the seat of their lord, the cast-down Lucifer.

There have been many other occasions of such prodigies: Statues of Our Lady of Fatima, of the Mystical Rose, even of Our Lady of Guadalupe. One image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in New Mexico, USA, which began to weep tears of Chrism on the Solemnity of Pentecost in 2018: a sign I believe refers to Her sorrow that so many unworthy men are being ordained priests and consecrated Bishops.

Another image of Our Lady wept human tears for several years at Fresno, California, beginning about the time of the first Synod on the Family: I sign I think refers to Her tremendous sorrow at the bishops allowing divorce and giving the Most Blessed Sacrament of Her Son to public adulterers.

IF YOU KNOW OF OTHER WEEPINGS, please include a link to information about them in the comments below, so this post can become a treasury of such for Her children who love Her the most.

Why does Our Lady show us Her tears?

The reasons are many. First of all, there is nothing more evocative to a human being than to see their Mother cry. All faithful children want to do whatever they can to assuage the sorrow of their mother.

So we can be sure, since Our Lady is body and soul in Heaven, that She works these prodigies by the grace of God to send us the strongest message possible: that She is horrendously saddened by sin.

Sorrow for sin is not necessarily salvific. It can be if it leads to repentance. If it is just moved by remorse at suffering on account of our sins or not achieving the crimes we wanted to achieve, it is actually worthy of damnation.

But Our Lady’s Sorrow for sin is co-redemptive, because by it She united Herself perfectly to Jesus on the Cross and contributed Her sorrow and Her offering to that Salvific Sacrifice. This is why the Popes call Her, “Corredemptrix”, because by it all that Jesus Merited for us, She also merited for us. Christ merited much more, and in not all of that did She merit, but as far as we are concerned She is most worthy of the title of collaborater in the work of the Redeemer, which in Latin is, Corredemptrix.

By these tears, however, Our Lady’s purpose is to encourage us, too, to weep for sins.

First for our own sins. And with tears of penitence. With a deep and fiery sort of sorrow which plunges our thoughts to how we merited the horrendous eternal punishments of hell, and how we sinned with such disregard for God’s goodness, for the gratitude we own our Creator, Savior and Redeemer, and in utter disregard for all the good things God and the Saints have done us in our lives.

This kind of burning sorrow washes away the punishment of sins (if we are in the state of grace) and disposes us to make a good Sacramental Confession (whether we are in the state of grace or not). It is the kind of sorrow which makes Confession effective. Without this sorrow, our Confessions rarely are, though many presume they are. That is why so many keep confessing the same sins. They confess without the sorrow which goes down into the soul.

In Her tears the Church Herself can find Salvation from the present Apostasy

Everyone is wondering why no one is doing anything about the horrific pontificate of Bergoglio other than saying that we should shut up and endure it.

This is because so many souls have shut the doors of their hearts to sorrow for sin!

Making reparation for sins is good. But you should start with your own sins, and if you were sincere you would have little time left for others’ sins.

The perfection of sorrow of sins is the source of new life in the Church: it drives souls into religious life to do penance. It makes men realize how important it is that they become priests to save souls. It repairs broken marriages, broken vows, broken friendships. It makes reparation for all kinds of sins.

We need to cry at the horror of our own sins. We need to ask for this grace of tears. The great Saints had it. And if we pray to Our Lady to experience this sorrow, whether we cry tears or not, we are doing a good work, because we all could use a lot more sorrow for sin in the Church.

We need to pray in addition that this grace comes upon the Clergy, from Pope Benedict down to the last seminarian in the Church. The clergy have been pretty much doing their own will for 60 years and they have ruined the Church by it. Only if they begin to weep, will they find the way back to God.

For having tasted true sorrow for sin, the soul is made a warrior against sin. And only with such a rebaptism can we fight the Apostasy and the Apostles of Sin.

These tears are most powerful. For they are in a way a sharing in the tears of the Co-redemptrix, as powerful as the Blood of Christ for us, according to the efficacy of their power to bring us back to God when we have spurned the Blood of Christ. — That is why the Agents of Apostasy hate Her under this title, Corredemptrix, and fear Her tears so much. That is also why they so often deny that it is She who is crying.

O My God,
I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee,
and I DETEST my sins
not only because by them I have merited Thy just punishment in Hell,
but most of all because by them I have offended Thee,
Who art the infinite Good and worthy of all my love.

Therefore, trusting in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
I firmly resolve to sin no more,
to avoid the near occasions of my sins,
and to do penance for them. Amen.

CREDITS: Images of Our Lady are, in order of their appearance: Our Lady of La Salette, Our Lady of Syracuse, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hobbs, NM, USA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The International Mantel of Our Lady + the Prudence of St. Athanasius

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Knowing how to achieve victory is the greatest morale booster for troops preparing for battle. For that reason I wish to focus here on

the FORMULA for victory:    M + A = V

Here is the explanation:

“M” Stands for …

Our Lady does nothing in vain. Being the Queen of Heaven and Earth and the Queen of the Elect, as She worships God Her Son, She sees in Him the entire future and each one of us. So She knows well in advance what needs to be done and how to prepare for it.

Now, I am going to make an educated guess what Our Lady’s grand strategy for defeating the Anti-Church is, inasmuch as it involves our collaboration.

I get this idea from watching a film on the Apparitions at Montechiari, in the province of Bergamo, by Our Lady under the title of the “Mystical Rose”. In one of those apparitions at Fontenelle, a natural spring outside of Montechiari, among the fields of wheat, Our Lady said it was Her desire that the wheat of these fields be gathered together to make hosts which would be used in Communions of Reparation at Fatima and at Rome.

What Our Lady was exactly referring to, I cannot say. I am not an expert in the apparitions of Our Lady Mystical rose.

However, when hearing of this desire of Our Lady, the thought struck me, that Our Lady may have had a long term plan in all Her apparitions on Earth, and that She was not only appearing to Her children, but preparing places of devotion to Her Son and to Herself which would be FORTRESSES of spiritual power and places of the formation and salvation of souls in the End Times.

As I wrote the other day, Franciscan Saints were convinced that the 12th Chapter of the Apocalypse had to do with Our Lady’s triumph over the Anti-Church at the end of Time. Great Marian Saints such as St. Louis Marie de Montfort were convinced of the same thing.

It follows logically, therefore, that if Our Lady was coming down from Heaven to promote devotion to God through Herself, that She might have also been preparing PLACES which would be the HUBS of Her power-network among Her children in the Final Days.

The thought struck me then, that perhaps we Catholics can best fight the Anti-Church by building an international alliance of Marian Shrines and Marian Faithful.  I think the Enemy realizes the great danger of these places too, because I just saw reports that Bergoglio not only attacked the title of Our Lady, “Corredemptrix”, but that he is preparing to dismantle Fatima!

This international alliance of Marian Shrines is what I call the INTERNATIONAL MANTLE OF OUR LADY. This is what the “M” in the formula of victory stands for.

At each Shrine the faithful would found a Seminary for the formation of priests. It might have to start in secret, to avoid open persecution. But what better places to learn to be an Ambassador of Jesus Christ? These seminaries should be places that the faithful enrich with donations of sound Catholic Books, religious artwork, and all that is necessary to train and outfit future priests. Then as men are trained, when faithful Bishops visit, they can ordain these men and send them out to the local dioceses. These can also be the places they consecrate new Catholic Bishops to replace the apostates who have seized local dioceses.

The “A” stands for …

Now, the “A” stands for the prudence of Saint Athanasius. Saint Athanasius was the first Bishop venerated as as Saint who was not a martyr. That is because of all the Saints of his age, and in a way of all the Saint in the entire history of the Church, this man had his head on straight! He understood that Divine Law trumps all positive law, even the laws of the Church, which if observed in a time of crisis would lead to the destruction of the Church at the hands of Antichrists.

We know from the historical record that Saint Athanasius regularly did the following, without hesitation or scruple:

  1. He left his own diocese to travel the world so as to encourage the faithful in other dioceses.
  2. He ordained Bishops and Priests in other dioceses, where the churches had been taken over by Heretics.
  3. He wrote letters to the Bishops of the world with authority urging them to hold fast to the faith.
  4. He disregarded any calls for him to stop any of the above, even when they came from the Pope or Emperor.
  5. He recognized that the State had no authority to suppress the true Catholic Faith, and was eminently discrete with civil authorities who were allies of heretics.

He went so far, as some historians say, that he was excommunicated by Pope Liberius. But he did not care one wit. He knew that in the just cause of opposing Apostasy, he was in the right.

He remembered that Christ Jesus railed constantly against the religious authorities of His own day who observed man made laws to such an extent that they destroyed souls or deprived them of saving truth.

Saint Athanasius, of all the Saints, was the one who understood Our Lord best of all in these matters. THE SALVATION OF SOULS is the highest rule.

At the same time, Saint Athanasius was an eminently pro-Catholic Church man, that is, he did not consecrate bishops or ordain priests to form a private club, but always for the dioceses so that they might keep the faith and provide the sacraments for ALL CATHOLICS who refused the heresy of Arian.

There is just no Saint in the history of the Church who was so darn virile and chaste at the same time. Every member of the clergy today should read his life and then lower his head in shame for his lack of zeal in defending the truth as Saint Athanasius did: NO MATTER WHAT THE PERSONAL COSTS, NO MATTER WHAT THE RISK OF REPUTATION, FAME, WEALTH, HOME, COMFORTS!

We can see a kind of courage like this in the many priests who were and are viciously persecuted for the Faith since the time of the Council and who had to take refuge in a private chapel and being an apostolate on the periphery of the Church. They got very little support. And if they did not say the Old Mass they probably even got even less support.

We need Bishops like this to restore the Sacred Hierarchy by ordaining men devoted to Jesus and Mary.

M + A = Victory

We need to pray that Bishops are infused with this prudence of Athanasius, and that the laity devoted to Our Lady are infused with the zeal to take what She had given and in gratitude now put it to work. In this way we can achieve victory, inasmuch as it is our duty to collaborate with Our Lady in the Victory which She has promised, but which will not exclude our collaboration.

We urgently need to make Marian Shrines the new seminaries of the clergy of the True Catholic Church and trained to fight the Anti-Church. We may have victory over the Anti-Church soon, but the world might be much more hostile for the rest of time. Having seminaries up and functioning, will greatly encourage faithful Bishops to act and ordain new clergy.

The Victory over the Anti-Church, however, may NOT include that we recover the great centers of Christianity from the Anti-Church. This maybe the warning contained in the message given to Melanie at La Salette, that “Rome will become the Seat of the Antichrist…. What falls at Rome will never arise again”.

But the Church will continue until the end of time, and what more spiritually sound example than Saint Athanasius can there be for the clergy? What more spiritually strong fortresses for formation, than the Marian Shrines of the World, where Our Lady appeared?

These are my thoughts. I may be wrong. I claim no authority for them, but common sense and guess work. I confide them, however, to Bishops and to the souls devoted to Our Blessed Mother in the End Times.

Nunc est “Ora et labora!”

And so, to this end, to not leave a suggestion without putting good works into practice, we need to recognize that, Now it is the time for “Prayer and work”.

First, a prayer. Prayer cannot hurt, because God answers good prayers and knows when not to answer improper ones. May He inspire us always to pray good prayers.

LET US PRAY:

ALMIGHTY AND ETERNAL WORD OF GOD, Who out of Thy infinite Mercy descended into the Virginal Womb of the Blessed Mary to save us wretched sinners and to establish Thy True Church upon Earth, for the salvation of all souls, LOOK PROPITIOUSLY upon Thy servants who cry unto Thee, that under the Mantle of Thy Immaculate Mother, Thou might deign now in this terrible battle in which we find ourselves, to Send forth Thy Holy Ghost TO STRIKE THE HEARTS of Bishops with repentance and tears and to open their minds with the gifts of heavenly grace, especially with a share in the prudence of Thy faithful Bishop, Saint Athanasius, that they might have the zeal to go throughout all the Earth like the Apostles of the last days, ordaining for Thee new ministers of God for the salvation of Thy Remnant; and deign to INSPIRE those souls devoted to thy Ever Faithful Mother to organize and found centers of formation for faithful priests, so that Thy Vineyard, which is Thy Mystical Body on Earth, might not be without workers for the harvest, before That Great and Terrible Day, which will soon be upon us! We ask this in Thy Blessed Name, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Second, Action:

Contact souls devoted to Our Lady, wherever you can find them and exercise an apostolate to inspire them to support the formation of priests who reject the Apostasy of Freemasonry, Idolatry, Sodomy, Marxism etc.. There are few souls today willing to do anything, and all of those who are for Pope Benedict XVI are devout servants of Our Lady. So it is prudent to look for more among Her children.

So, if you are able, found a non profit in your area, under the title of Our Lady and work to found a house of formation near a Marian Shrine in your nation. There are also many devout Catholics who have purchased properties near Marian Shrines who would love to help in such a holy project by donating their property or allowing its free use. Search them out.

Be confident that Our Lord will back your efforts: build and they will come! — If you are not able, encourage others to do the same. We cannot allow the Avalanche of Apostasy to overwhelm us without taking action! Prayer is NOT enough!

POST SCRIPT

While I have written about the Apocalyptic implications of remaining in communion with the Head of the Anti-Church, as regards what Saint John said in the Apocalypse, and what the laity need to do, and here suggesting a way forward, I was informed this morning that already a group of Priests in Spain 4 weeks ago began such an effort. The Holy Spirit is truly at work!  Learn more via this video in Spanish. We all need the zeal to begin to do the same! And we need to stop heeding the voices that advocate “Recognize and Resist”, “Do nothing”, “Wait for God and Our Lady to intervene”.

CREDITS: La Virgen de las Cuevas, by Zurbaran, 1645-55, in the public domain, retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bellas_Artes_Sevilla.jpg

Saving Souls in the time of Apostasy

The Statue of Saint Michael the Archangel, at the top of the Castello San Angelo, Rome (click for image credits).

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Today I want to confront and address the most urgent and crucial problem for the lay Catholic: the problem of apostasy among the clergy of one’s own local area.

This problem is crucial because without the Church we cannot be saved. And thus without Catholic Clergy we cannot have the sacraments and guidance we need to be saved.

I know of this problem first hand, since I am not a priest, nor do I have any particular talent at convincing priests of anything.

What I say here is for those of you who do not know your local priest well, or who are going to attempt to speak to a priest whom you do not know. For those of you who have a close friendship with a priest or your pastor, you might be able to undertake the core argument (see below) immediately after mass, because he knows you and trusts you already. So do not take my advice as some sort of scrupulous book of rules to follow. It all depends on the priest and your relationship to him AND whether he sincerely and ardently believes the Holy Faith.

Spiritual Warfare: Preparation & Armor

We live in dark times. And the workers of darkness have achieved already notable successes in deluding nearly everyone on earth in one or more error. This is especially true of the Clergy whom we know, nearly all of whom were ordained after Vatican II. Since the Council there has been an organized effort to turn priestly formation into a mind control process whereby, whatever priest who does survive, more likely serves the Club first and is willing to sacrifice God, Church, souls and you and your family for the Club.

Therefore, above all the first weapon we must use is spiritual discernment. And to have this we need first of all to put ourselves in the grace of God by a good confession and firm resolution to take the side of God and to collaborate with Saint Michael the Archangel in everything he may direct us..

This does not mean that he will start talking to us, but if we have confessed ourselves sincerely and show ourselves to be walking on the path of virtue and not of sin and hypocrisy, he will assist our guardian angel to give us little inspirations which lead to greater ones..

I recommend as essential spiritual-military preparations for the prospective spiritual soldier in the legion of Saint Michael, that, in addition to Confession, you do the following:

  1. Consecrate yourself to Our Lady, especially under Her title as Corredemptrix, which She merits on account of her perfect collaboration with the Redeemer in meriting all the graces for us which He merited for us (cf. Fatima Prayer, “O Most Holy Trinity”), a title given to Her by Catholics for more than 800 years and which shows clearly that we have a way back to God when we spurn the graces of Christ; a way back, which He Himself established in His Infinite Mercy for sinners; a way back which was merited by Her surpassing humility and sorrow for sins, the two virtues which are key and essential to the personal conversion of every soul.
  2. Make a pact with Saint Michael to never look upon what is impure and to ask him to protect you from near occasions of sin.
  3. Ask forgiveness of your Guardian Angel for having ignored him throughout your entire life, for having disregarded so many of his good counsels, for having lived your life as if you were to live it on your own and not at God’s direction, for having claimed so many good ideas as your own, when it was he who inspired them, and for having disregarding so many good counsels to avoid sin and to practice virtue. As penance promise to obey his advice in every occasion from now on, and to mortify your mind of all idle thoughts by stop listening to music or the radio all day long, and by spending time each day in daily meditation in silence, keeping a spirit of prayer, by conversing with Jesus, Our Lady, the Saints and your guardian Angel throughout the day, in the silence and sanctuary of your mind.
  4. Say 5 decades of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary daily.
  5. Receive communion worthily when possible.
  6. Offer alms to the truly poor in reparation for your sins. Do works of mercy to which you are invited or see the need as you see the need, but without neglecting your duties first to your family (parents, children, siblings etc.) and work (as contractually required, avoid the excess of making your job your life, as Christ is your real boss).
  7. If your health can bear it, to fast on Fridays for your own sins, especially for following your emotions, passions and vices into sins. Fasting means eating less and less frequently in humble penance for sins. If you have had a bad habit of mortal sin, and are still tempted, make a clean break with your past life by a rigorous series of fasts, several days or every day of the week, for several weeks or months or years. This is especially needed for those who have given themselves up to gluttony, which is a very common vice in the developed countries of the world.

Spiritual Warfare: Ammunition

Now since the battle at hand requires that we achieve victories by delivering souls from the delusion of error, it is necessary that we prepare ourselves intellectually to explain how lies are lies and errors are errors.

The regular readers of my blog have a good head-start, because the whole purpose of my blog is to give this kind of information, which both orientates you, explains what is going on and gives some counsel on how to react to it.

But you need to also make a list of the biggest problems in the Church right now, because such a list is an excellent way to prepare talking points with priests. I will not suggest what you should put on the list, because it is best that you make up your own, because those issues you think most important are the ones you are apt to be able to speak about most sincerely and from the heart.

As for printed information, for priests I believe that not all information is needed or necessary or useful. But I do believe that the information at ppbxvi.org is the essential: The Canonical Argument, the Scholastic Question and the text of the Academic Conference. Having a copy printed out, with you, when you speak to priests is an easy way to leave something to continue the conversation, if he shows signs of openness to the truth. But to orientate yourself for any eventual discussion and to prepare yourself for any eventual objection, I recommend reading all the Article on the Index to Pope Benedict’s Renunciation.

This is because our Ammunition in this spiritual warfare is Truth about what really happened, what the Code of Canon Law really requires, and how the problem of the invalid resignation is not a complaint generated by faithful who dislike Bergoglio, but a real objective error of interpretation which puts those who accept the error in objective separation from the communion of the Church.

Spiritual Warfare: Strategy

In the science of War, there are two aspects which must be kept in mind and developed in a way that pertains to the realities on the ground: Strategy and Tactics. Strategy is the overall goal and plan for conquest. Tactics are the rules for conducing individual battles so that each can be won without dissipating or destroying allied forces, which are needed for other battles.

STRATEGY:  The strategy in this battle is to save the local Church. This requires that we convert Catholics to the truth of what is going on. Now since every military force which is not adept at war is green and needs experience before tackling the most formidable opposition, the best way to start is to chose battles which are easy to win and which, if one fails, will not damage your own forces. Then having learned how to fight by trial and error in small and easy battles, the trained warrior can move on to the more difficult battles, assisted by experience gained and allies won in the first battles. Thus the most difficult battles, that of winning over your Bishop, for example, or getting your entire Diocese to reject the Apostasy, cannot be obtained initially without these preliminary battles. And the best way to practice this warfare, is not to start with priests, but with fellow laymen and laywomen.

INTELLIGENCE GATHERING: The local Church is a society. This society has a structure and way of operation. There are links between persons and persons, between institutions and institutions, of friends to friends and of work associates with work associates. This is the terrain of our warfare. Only Catholics who have lived their lives in the local Church can know of this. And to the extent that we do not know of it, we need to inform ourselves through our personal contacts with faithful Catholics who know better than ourselves. Essential to this initial battle preparation is intelligence gathering of such information. Try to find out who are the best and closest friends of the priest with whom you are going to speak, or which priests he admires most or were instrumental in his own vocation. There are some priests who on account of their learning, piety and sociability are respected by more priests than others are. Approaching a contact first, before approaching the priest, will help you understand whether he will be open to the truth, and will help you acquire, possibly, an ally in the approach, who might recommend to the priest that he speak with you, or recommend to you how to approach him.

The most influential priests in your diocese should be considered the most crucial and important battles to win. You do not want to start the spiritual battle with such a priest unless there is very sound grounds you are going to win it, because the results of a loss will be more devastating, as the enemy will be assisted greatly by recruiting such an ally.

Spiritual Warfare: Tactics

Tactics regards the rules of fighting individual battles of any kind. There are things to be done before initiating combat, things to be done at the start, middle and end of each battle and things to  be done after the fight is won or lost.

BEFORE COMBAT

Prepare yourself spiritually and bring along plenty of ammunition, either in printed form or in memorized information. Essential intelligence gathered should have already indicated that the priest with whom you are about to speak is able to understand what you are going to say and willing to accept hearing it from you, at the time you ask, and in the manner you present it. Your intelligence gathering should already have assured you that this priest will not be afraid of you, or have heard calumny about you, so as to be on the defensive as soon as you approach him.

Pray to his guardian angel and to your guardian angels, to Saint Michael, the patron saints of you and the priest, and to the patron saints of the Parish and Diocese and Church, and those famous saints of your land our country. Explain to these Saints and Angels your intention and how important this fight will be and how you cannot succeed without their intercession and participation.

It makes a big difference, too, whether the priest is a pastor, or merely an assistant pastor: whether he be a diocesan or member of an institute. Some dioceses or institutes are mind-control societies and no free thought is allowed. Some priests are more independent and courageous and are willing to stand for the truth or for their own personal opinions. Do not try to win on a battle field which is unwinnable. If the priest is merely a robot, pray for him. If the priest is manipulative, avoid him. If he does not have a reputation for being faithful to the Church, go on to another priest, because the conversation you need to undertake would be too much for a weak or errant or non-thinker.

STARTING COMBAT

Never do what is done in real warfare: never use surprise. This is because in spiritual warfare, truth enters the soul when the person is relaxed and in the mood to accept information and use his reason. It is important therefore that the time of conversation be one in which the passions and emotions of the priest are lulled, that he has time to speak with you,  and that your presentation does not seem to be too burdensome to him. So never sneak up on a priest for such a weighty conversation as this. Ask to speak with him at a time comfortable to him.

I would, therefore, recommend, that if you know the priest, to approach him at such a time. But if you do not know the priest, to arrange a meeting by asking for an appointment. Be sincere and say that all the scandals in the Church are causing many Catholics to think of leaving the Church and you would like to speak about some of these things to get some priestly advice. If a priest does not accept such a request, then do not nag him. Another way to approach, is if he is hearing confessions, then you can do this during your visit, though make sure not to start an actual confession, because if you do, you will bind him by his priestly duty not to speak or act upon whatever you may say.

When to start speaking to a priest about these things is, thus, more an art of knowing the individual priest, than a fixed rule. Due to the diverse dispositions and work of each priest, when to do this might be in entirely different situations, times of the day, days of the weeks, or locations, whether on parish grounds, or perhaps over a dinner at your house or a restaurant. Most priests are overworked and appreciate an invitation and friendly conversation.

CONDUCTING THE BATTLE: Opening salvos

At all times remain calm, friendly and polite. The objective is to spread truth and this only happens in a climate of trust and respect. If what you say or the way you say it cause the priest to be offended, apologize for upsetting him and explain you are only a layman who is not familiar with how one speaks of such things with priests. Also, make it clear that you are discussing this with him in private. Do not imitate me in my conversations with the Curia, because what I am doing at Rome is for the good of the whole Church to inform everyone. Your battles remember have the strategy of winning over your own diocese, and your tactics have to target individuals and secure victories. Keep your victories a secret and do no publish them. The objective, remember, is that the clergy of your own diocese publicly take a stand on their own initiative and as they think best.

As I suggested, have prepared a list of the major or most serious scandals in the Church today, as you see them. Gently move the conversation to one of these, and point out how damaging it is for the faithful who have increasingly more and more reasons to stop going to Church and stop trusting priests. Ask in a spirit of desiring to understand better and engage the priest in doing something to bridge this confidence gap.

If the priest expresses himself as a believer and as someone who is concerned about the truth and about the imminent destruction of the Church, then begin to point out that as Catholics our faith requires us to be consistent. We cannot believe in private and act as pagans in public. This is particularly true in Church. If we continue to pretend that the Church is communion with those who reject Jesus’s authority, then the faithful will just leave and seek Jesus elsewhere. If we continue to treat Jesus in the Sacrament as a candy to be given to everyone regardless of whether they are His friends, by being in the state of grace, or not, we teach in practice that Jesus does not exist and the the Faith is a joke and a farce.

At this point a priest will make it absolutely clear whether he cares or not. If he does not care, move the conversation on to something else or end it, and express your disappointment gently and with respect. For such priest, ending by saying something like, “I believe in Jesus, I want Jesus, and I do not know where to find priests who love Him as I do.” But chose words the way you speak. You want to make the most of every lost battle by leaving in a way that allows another encounter in the future. For priests such as this, who care not so much about truth, but sentiments, you need to show that he has failed in his conversation with you.

If the priest does make it clear he wants to save souls, then point out to him how important it is for him publicly and in his actions and words to take a stand. Explain that the laity only respect priests when they speak the truth, take a stand for truth, and encourage them to do the same. Many priests have forgotten, by the hum drum daily work they do, repetitious, that the laity want leaders in the path of God.

If he responds positively to this line of conversation, point out how in the past clergy have been heroic leaders in times of crisis. They did not fear to speak and they did not fear to pray publicly and preach publicly in accord with the truth. Point out how in today’s world, it is not infrequent that the battle for souls depends on truth and that journalists and a lot of others are habitually inclined to misrepresent the truth. The very ones who daily decry the Nazis are often the very ones who use his tactic of the Big Lie to deceive the masses. That is why priests who defend the truth are so needed today.

If he does not want to be heroic, ask him about how he feels when he does and says one thing in public, and another in private. Does it not cause an interior conflict or depression at having to pretend to go along with lies against the Faith, but personally believe the truths of the Faith? You can talk about all the hot topics in your diocese, such as ecology, woman priests or deacons, support of persons who are enemies of the Church in their politics or personal life. You can ask him what the final result will be of a life of the priesthood spent saying one thing and believing another, publicly promoting or go along with falsehood but being personally opposed. Point out that the prudent thing is to be consistent and if he wants to save souls to be a leader and preach the truth, not just believe it. Act on it, not just say it.

Don’t sound preachy. Speak about your own life and how important God, Jesus, the Church, the Faith is to you and how it has saved you from so many troubles, how Eternal Life is the prize you are seeking and how you want to know which priests really want to save souls, so you can support them.

If the priest passes these thresholds of faith, continue, otherwise wind down the conversation, or move it to other topics. Leaving a conversation respectfully and politely is much much better than leaving it with open conflict. However if a priest begins to defend error, heresy, immorality or apostasy in your presence you need to respond with faith, truth and believe and point out that he is wrong.

For the priest who passes these thresholds, you might want to continue the conversation on another day, if you have already talked at length. Most priests cannot take too much in at a time, they have do many duties and you are just another faithful talking about problems in the Church which he has talked to in the last x years of his ministry.

But if he seems sincerely eager to speak, since many priests cannot speak about these things with priests, this is the time to open up the discussion of how controversial and scandalous the Renunciation of Pope Benedict was and how the Catholic Church seems to be transforming into another religion under the direction of “Pope Francis”. If the priest begins to defend or excuse Francis, move the conversation back to the resignation. If he does begin to criticize Francis, also move the conversation back to the resignation, and point out the discrepancies.

CONDUCTING THE BATTLE: The core fight

The chief things to speak about in the core fight are these, in regard to the Renunciation:

  1. It took everyone by surprise, so it is understandable that the shock put everyone in a state of mind in which they were not paying attention to the details of what happened.
  2. No pope had resigned in 7 centuries, so it is understandable if no one was prepared to react properly.
  3. Pope Benedict is a theological genius, and it is not surprising if his way of speaking was not precisely understood for what it really meant.
  4. Point out that the Secretary for the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Bishop Arrieta recently affirmed that a Papal Resignation cannot be interpreted by anyone, since no one has the right to do that; that it must be clearly a renunciation of the office, otherwise it is invalid.
  5. Point out then that in this matter the opinion of no one binds the opinion of no one, that what is binding is the requirement of Canon Law, because when the man who is the pope resigns, it is the man who separates himself from the Papal office not the Office which separates him.
  6. Point out that even John Paul II admitted that a papal resignation can be invalid, and that the law refers to this in the Papal Law for Conclaves, and that Canon 332 §2 speaks of this explicitly.
  7. Explain that like every moral or legal act, there is that which is done and that which is the object of what is done: there is thus a verb and and object of the verb. Canon 332 says the verb is “to renounce” and the object of the verb is the Petrine “munus”, which is the canonical and theological term for the Papal Office.
  8. Affirm that common sense holds that you cannot declare something about anything unless you name the anything about which you are making the declaration.
  9. Thus, when Pope Benedict said he was renouncing the ministry which he had received rather than saying he was renouncing the petrine munus, there is a clear problem which many missed, namely, that no one in the Church has a right to interpret that renunciation as a renunciation of office. This is because, to interpret is to explain a verbal expression using OTHER words.
  10. Thus, the principles of law require us to hold that the Pope renounced His ministry, but do not signify that he renounced the Papal munus or Office.
  11. Our status in the Church, indeed the status of everyone in the Church, even of the man renouncing, does not grant us the right to impose upon what was said a meaning other than the plain meaning of the words.  If it was the intention of Pope Benedict to do something else, he should have done that, he could have done that and the Church has the right to tell him so.
  12. In nearly 7 years, Pope Benedict has never said it was his intention to resign the petrine munus, even though in the Act of Renunciation he mentions this munus twice in the Latin text.
  13. The Vatican has known this problem for nearly 7 years, because they published translations of the Act of Renunciation which hide that Pope Benedict mentioned both munus and ministerium, but only renounced the ministerium.
  14. Canon 41 gives every priest the right to examine the Act of Renunciation to determine if it is an act of renunciaton of the munus, and to NOT act on it, if it is NOT. No one in the Church has the right to interfere or block a priest on this.
  15. There is no solution to this problem other than that Catholics recognize that the Act of Renunciation did not effect the loss of the office. Pope Benedict XVI cannot fix this unless he redoes the Renunciation properly.
  16. Since the Office of Saint Peter is not merely useful but necessary for the salvation of souls, and since who is pope is the touchstone or core of the Communion of the Church, those who are not in communion with the man who holds the petrine munus are in formal schism from the Pope and from Christ and From the Church.
  17. The sign of communion and the practice of communion reach their highest apex and summit at Mass when the priest names the man in communion with whom he is offering the Sacrifice. This is the greatest and most important duty of a priest.
  18. A priest cannot avoid this controversy without putting himself and his entire flock in risk of eternal damnation, because those who knowingly remain in schism are in mortal sin and cannot be saved, because by being separated from the Mystical Body of Jesus, they are separated from the Only one Who can save them!
  19. The sin of Schism does not consist in erroneously naming the wrong man as pope in the Canon of the Mass, because you were mislead, but it does consist in naming the wrong man as pope in the Canon of the Mass once you are informed who still holds the munus.
  20. No canonical penalty can be imposed upon a priest who names Benedict in the Canon of the Mass, precisely because anyone who would move to do such would thereby formally and publicly manifest that he is in schism from the Christ, from the Catholic Church and from the man who has never renounced the petrine munus according to Canon 332 §2.
  21. Salvation is not possible for anyone who rejects submission to the true pope (cf. Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam).

Be ready to answer all objections. And be ready to explain the practical consequences.

A faithful and courageous and prudent priest will not need advice on what to do next. And it would be impolite to offer any. A young priest might need some advice.

Basically, the best way a priest could react, would be to investigate everything you said, and study the facts and original documents and law. Then being convinced of the truth, preach about it one Sunday to everyone and explain how the Catholic thing to do in such a controversy is to keep naming Benedict as the Pope for now. Then the faithful will support him and he can name Benedict in the Canon without scandal.

But a priest who does not have the courage to preach the truth, might benefit from advising him merely to name the Pope, without a proper name, because no one will really notice. Especially if he says that part of the canon not directly in front of a microphone or in a subdued voice. If he asks what he will say to others about this, advise only one course, to say exactly what you said to him. The truth.

CONDUCTING THE BATTLE: Clean up operations in victory, retreat strategies in defeat

The best outcome is that a priest agree with all these points and agrees to stop naming Bergoglio as the Pope. But nearly all priests will consider these things in private and no immediately disclose their next course of action. Be thankful that the priest heard you out. And promise to pray for him and support him to do the right thing.

The worst outcome is that a priest will interrupt or allow you to arrive at n. 21 but then violently disagree, by pretending it is all meaningless or by revealing himself as an ally of darkness. How you respond here has more to do with your sense of honor and tact. I cannot advise you. As a hermit I am obliged to say certain things a layman is not obliged to say. And I am expected to say them bluntly, because that is my vocation. But for a layman you have the right to leave the conservation by making some polite excuses but always do so in away that does not make it appear that these 21 points were motivated out of politics or hatred. Make it clear that you believe that God exists, that Jesus is really God, that Canon Law is upheld by Jesus and that objective reality is the world in which we must live. Never concede that anything true is up for grabs or that logical conclusions draw from facts are only opinions.

If you win the priest over to Pope Benedict, know that you will merit your own eternal salvation, because this is the greatest act of charity for a priest as a priest. Offer up the merit of the victory or of the defeat born patiently to obtain the graces needed for the next battle.

The best possible outcome is that you convert the priest to join you in this spiritual warfare. The worst possible outcome is that you make of him an ardent enemy who will zealously oppose the truth and warn priests not to speak with you.

If you do not have the reputation to speak with priests on account of such an evil counter-attack, devote your battles to winning over laymen and laywomen with the objective of turning them into front line fighters in the next battles. Teach them to avoid doing the things that did not work for you, and to do the things that did work.

REMEMBER: If you have failed, do not write off the priest. Catholics tried for years to convince me, and only after 5 years did I pay enough attention to read the original texts in Latin, and thus I instantly saw the problem. If you have failed, try to employ another layman or priest whom you have recruited to the cause of Benedict to try again. Sometimes only in numbers does a priest realize that it is something he should pay attention to and think about. If a whole crowd of parishioners approached him at the same time, or over several days and weeks, that would obviously impress him more than someone he does not know asking for a one time appointment.

Finally, the GREATEST STRATEGY for victory is to devote yourself to forming a local group of warriors to do all of the above and meeting from time to time to improve moral, discipline, strategy and tactics.

May God grant you Victory in this His Cause, and may Saint Michael be with you!

_________

NOTES: The most common attack you will receive in this work is that the Devil will send you a soul whom he has convinced  to despair to such an extent that they have become an apostle of despair working to destroy the Church. They will say that this will not work, you should stop. They will flip categories of truth and say that speaking the truth is hurting the Church, that truth is a lie and that lies are truth, and that preaching the truth is evil. Pity these souls and ignore them and walk with them no more, just as you would block a troll on social media. Despair is the worst of all sins, because it most effectively blocks the work of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Our Lady. Despair is a child of pride, because the person who despairs places himself over the entire order of mercy and providence and declares that God will not help those who do works of mercy.

 

 

 

It’s the Great Apostasy, let’s stop the denial

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A Medieval Illumination, showing the Adoration of the Beast by the false Catholics of the end times.

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The beloved disciple and faithful son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostle Saint John warned us a little less than 2000 years ago: In the end, a Great Apostasy would sweep away many Christians.

Saint John tells of the Great Apostasy in the Twelfth Chapter of his Book of the Apocalypse, also known as the Book of Revelations. I will put in red text the interpretation of this chapter given by Franciscan Saints* and I will use the English text of the Douay Reims Bible for the scriptural citation:

12 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: (Heaven here refers to the Catholic Church, which is Heaven on Earth. The appearance of the woman refers to the Dogmatic Declarations of the Magisterium about Our Lady, as Ever Virgin, Immaculate Conception, Assumed into Heaven, Queen of Heaven and Earth. The twelve stars refer to the affirmations by the Church of Our Lady’s 12 privileges)

And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. (This refers to the struggles in the Church among theologians and believers against the faithful Catholics who are true children of Mary and know that the most authentic and certain path to God is through Mary to Jesus.)

And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: (This refers to the Satanic plot of Freemasonry and other nefarious groups to establish the Mystical Body of the Antichrist in the Church and thus prepare the world for the coming of the AntiChrist)

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. (This refers to the Great Apostasy which will occur after Our Lady is declared Assumed body and soul into Heaven. It will entail the near total apostasy of all the Clergy, who are as the stars in the Heaven of the Church, and it indicates that they will submit to the Father of Lies and give themselves up to the most horrible vices and errors)

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne. (This refers to the Rise of the true Church in war against the Anti-Christ. This true Church will be faithful Catholics consecrated to Our Lady and embracing the whole doctrine of God, and who by their fidelity will be raised up to form a renewed Sacred Hierarchy to replace the old which has apostatized)

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days. (This refers to the true Catholic Faith which in the end times will have to take refuge in lowly and humble places, because the wealthy and powerful will give up their souls to the rule and domination of demons)

And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: (This refers to the war between the sons of God vs the sons of the Devil, that is, the war between the true Church and the Anti-Church. The Leaders in this war will be led on each side by men inspired and devoted to Saint Michael and Lucifer, respectively)

And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. (This refers to the victory of the true Church over the false AntiChurch).

And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (This refers to the definitive excommunication of the AntiChurch and its members from the Catholic Church).

10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night. (This refers to the future pope of great virtue who will preside over the renewed Church and condemn the AntiChurch)

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death. (This shows that the victory will be obtained by faithful Catholics who risk everything to defend the true Faith, putting their trust in the Blood of Jesus, Who already overcame the world, flesh and the devil).

12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time. (This refers to the joy Catholics will have in those days seeing the Church delivered from this monstrous cult of satanists, pedophiles and sodomites, but warns the world, since being cast out of the Catholic Church they will seek to rule over and weaponize the world against the Faithful).

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child: (This refers to the ensuing attacks of the godless against the true Faith until the end of time, for the whole world led by the AntiChurch will attack Our Lady who defeated them)

Obviously, the teachings of the Franciscan Saints about these matters is not binding in faith, but so far their predictions have turned out to be very accurate. The hatred of the Catholic Faith and the plot to destroy the Church, while brewing for ages, broke out in the Church after the Dogmatic Definition of the Assumption of Our Lady, body and soul into heaven. The wicked clergy could not stomach this dogma which countered their lusts, impiety and fake religious pretensions. They engineered a Council which ushered into the Church the “smoke of Satan” (as Pope Paul VI said):

The pope, concerned, writes:

“… We would say that, through some mysterious crack—no, it’s not mysterious; through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God. There is doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest, dissatisfaction, confrontation.

“The Church is no longer trusted. We trust the first pagan prophet we see who speaks to us in some newspaper, and we run behind him and ask him if he has the formula for true life. I repeat, doubt has entered our conscience. And it entered through the windows that should have been open to the light: science.”

Storm clouds

The post-conciliar wounds make themselves felt:

“… It was thought that, after the Council, sunny days would come for the history of the Church. Nevertheless, what came were days of clouds, of storms, of darkness, of searching, of uncertainty … We tried to dig abysses instead of covering them …”

(Source: “What did Paul VI mean by saying the “Smoke of Satan has entered the Church”?”, citation from Aleteia article from 2018)

This Satanic Smoke has progressively blinded the eyes of the Clergy and Sacred Hierarchy, and even of many of the religious orders, into inclining more and more away from the perennial columns of Faith and Devotion, Hope and true Charity which the Church established from of old in Her Sacred Liturgies, Canons and Disciplines. It was under this Smoke that the good were persecuted and driven out, the wicked and perverse introduced into the high places. This was a necessary preparation for the Great Apostasy, because to achieve their goal the servants of the Father of Lies needed to prepare a whole generation of clergy who either loved falsehood or who had not the manliness to fight it.

This was achieved by introducing the God of the Club, which was initially proposed as merely a form of extreme clericalism but transmogrified to be a true idolatry upon the altar of which 10s of thousands of young people were sacrificed to sexual predators and only those who kept it quiet were promoted to the status of Bishops.

However, without a doubt this “striking out of heaven of a third of the stars” refers to a moment when nearly all the Clergy are separated from the Church (heaven). This, in my opinion, is adequately and perfectly described by the apostasy of the clergy from Christ’s true Vicar by following the lie of the MSM and wicked clergy that Benedict had resigned the office of the papacy, when in truth he never did anything of the kind. By no longer naming Benedict in the Canon of the Mass they show and seal their schism from Christ, from Benedict, and from the Church. They become fallen stars and are swooped up into the work of the great Dragon who is Satan.

Because, in the Greek, the word Apostasy means a falling away. It does not have the technical meaning we attribute to it in Canon Law today as a complete intellectual denial of the Catholic Faith.

As we are now in the full swing of the Dragons tail, we have to stop denying what is going on. All those Bishops who teach heresy and promote sacrilege by giving the Sacraments to public sinners, by condoning wickedness and teaching it, plus all those Bishops who do not oppose this, are all part of the Apostasy. There are even a few very wicked men, who agree with the apostasy but want to raise money by pretending to criticize it even as they insist you remain in communion with the leader of the Apostasy.

In this battle, we cannot afford to pretend any longer, nor to compromise. As Our Lady lamented at Akita, the Church in this battle will be filled with those willing to compromise, especially among clergy and religious.

The Pachamama worship was no accident. The adoration of the Andean Dragon Demon of the underworld is not a coincidence. This was not a political decision, it was an intentional act to involve everyone in the worship of Satan.

We must join the battle (See, Saving souls in the time of Apostasy) and urge the bishops and clergy to condemn the heresies of the Anti-Church and to break off communion with Bergoglio. (See the Article: Every Priest has the Right etc.) So long as the False Prophet and AntiChurch is recognized as having authority they will use it to destroy the entire Church world wide. Those who insist on recognizing their authority therefore must be presumed to be deceived by some sort of devil, because they are giving power to the Beast, who hungers to damn all souls to Hell so he can reign over and torment them for all eternity.

The wicked know what they are doing. They might try to gaslight you into not seeing what they are doing or in not doing anything to oppose them, but they know what they are doing. — I see this on a daily basis at Rome. As soon as you put a value judgement on heresy, apostasy, immorality or show canonically that the Renunciation is invalid, they lose all composure and snap at you like mad devils, a torrent of lies and abuse coming from their mouths. Their faces warp with the most nasty and biting expressions. They cannot endure your presence and run off. — Though this is not new. When I was studying at Rome 7 years ago, I found the same spirit, though confined, to certain faculties of theology in the Pontifical Institutes. But now this spirit reigns, it has captured the Vatican by guile and treachery.

Finally, I want to emphasize that, when Saint John says a third of the stars, I believe he means nearly all of them in that age, because in the night sky you can only see about a third of the visible sky on any one night.

And we have entered the night…. and it is WAR!

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, o Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, thrust down into Hell Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls!

Saint Michael the Archangel, First Defender of the Kingdom of Christ, pray for us!

,________

* I heard this explanation from an old Franciscan priest, when I became a Franciscan. I no longer remember the Saints he cited. And he has now passed from this life.

It’s like mentioning “Therapy” on the streets of South Boston

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by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

When I began living my traditional franciscan vocation more than 20 years ago, I was invited by two zealous Catholic laymen to join them in their apostolate of street-evangelization on the streets of South Boston.

Their apostolate only had one goal: seeking the salvation of souls.

No one appointed them to this apostolate. They did what they did out of love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And they were organized. They had times and places where they knew there were more souls to catch. They had purchased in bulk — and even printed their own — tracts explaining the Catholic Faith or urging the practice of virtue. They had tracts against suicide, alcoholism, sodomy etc..

It was a courageous apostolate, standing outside in all kinds of weather and enduring with patience all the nasty things that those who hate God, Jesus or the Catholic Faith are wont to say.

Generally speaking, however, those not interested in hearing the Gospel simply would ignore us.

But no one reacted with greater disdain and anger that those with not normal inclinations on the streets of South Boston, when you offered them a tract on “How to cure yourself”.

These laymen did not mince words. And in those days you still could speak like a Catholic without risking jail. Here at WordPress, I dare not be so frank. But I am sure you understand what I am trying to say.

The reason why I mention this is that here at Rome, when I hand out information about Pope Benedict’s Renunciation I see a similar reaction, and it is very disturbing.

Yes, the Catholics of Italy, South America, Africa and the Orient all receive the information with joy and gladness. By “all”, I mean about 85%. That is a great sign of hope for the Church!

But the Catholic men of the United States who are seminarians immediately express the most cold disdain. Of them only about 5% accept the information, the rest refuse.

I think Catholics in the United States of America should take great care to warn their Bishops about the kind of men they send to Rome. If they do not care about truth, nor about who is the true pope, then what will they care about in the Church of the next generation when these seminarians become Bishops?

This disdain I believe is the fruit of the “recognize and (and not really) resist (except to raise money)” lunacy which has gripped all those clergy and talking heads who make money off speaking authoritatively in the Public Forum about the Faith.

It is  not surprising that men who act like Protestant Ministers should be supporting notions which lead to the separation of Catholics from the Pope and from the Catholic Faith, or engaging in daily attacks on the Papacy as if it were the whore of Bablyon.

To call good evil and evil good is the sin against the Holy Spirit. As Our Lord taught, however, one incurs this sin precisely when one calls His Authority the source of evil and attributes to His Authority the workings of the Devil.

Catholics need to wake up and start asking what kind of spirit is behind the news outlets and talking heads they read on-line. Because it is the same spirit I see on the streets of Rome and which I saw on the streets of South Boston: hatred for the truth.

We know by Divine and Catholic Faith that a true Pope will never teach error. If the man we think is the pope does teach error, then we better examine the reasons why we think he is pope, because we are certainly deceived on some point.

_______

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My Meeting with the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

I write this post to publicly thank Mons. Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, Titular Bishop of Civitate, who was appointed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts.

I met with him this morning at 9:45. The meeting lasted about 75 minutes. I did not record the meeting, but want to share with everyone what I remember of it, because of its great importance to the life of the Catholic Church.

I began by saying that I had come to discuss the interpretation of law (interpretatio iuris) or more specifically the right to interpret canonical acts (ius interpretandi). Bishop Arrieta is an expert on this matter, having served in the capacity of a Professor of Canon Law since 1984 at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce, and from 2003 to 2008 at the Preside of the “St Pius X” Institute of Canon Law at Venice, and as Canonist to the Apostolic Penitentiary. Since February of 2007, he has served in the Pontifical Council as its Secretary. This title does not mean he is a secretary, but rather, the Vice President as it were to the Council.

I want to remark on the gentleness and noble demeanor of the Bishop, who never used any hominems, never lost his patience and showed himself willing to discuss the most impolitic issues, from the point of view of canon law, in the Church.

I began my questions with a preface, and with the Bishop’s permission read to him my entire article, entitled, ¡Viva Guadalajara! which was published, here, at the From Rome Blog, this morning.

During the reading, the Bishop could not hide his amusement at the fictitious story, but as I moved to my comments on how this story applies not only to the first moments of a papacy but also to the last, that is, to a Papal renunciation, the amusement on his face disappeared instantly. — Nevertheless, he continued to be polite.

He confirmed for me the following facts:

  1. To his knowledge, there was no meeting of canonists in February of 2013 which discussed the validity of the Act of Renunciation, nor whether a renunciation of ministerium effected a renunciation of munus.
  2. To his knowledge, Pope Benedict XVI never explained himself to any Cardinal or canonists in private as to whether his act effected a renunciation of the petrine munus or office.
  3. To his knowledge, no act of interpretation of the Renunciation was ever promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI.
  4. Bishop Arrieta did admit that he was asked questions regarding the Renunciation, on Feb. 11, 2013, but no question regarded the use of the term ministerium instead of munus.

He also confirmed for me these points of law:

  1. If anyone heard Pope Benedict XVI in February of 2013 explain or officially interpret his Act of Renunciation as an act of renouncing the munus, and left a sworn testimony to the fact, this would have no juridical value whatsoever. That is it would not make or alter the signification other than it is.
  2. An act of papal Renunciation is not subject to the interpretation of anyone in the Church. That is, no one has the right to interpret it.
  3. An act of papal Renunciation, therefore, must be certain in itself. If it is not certain, it is invalid.
  4. There is no Canon in the Code of Canon Law which predicates the term ministerium of an ecclesiastical office.
  5. What Ganswein said at the Gregorian University in 2016 A.D. — he admitted he had not read the text of Ganswein in full or in the original — is impossible, since the Papal Office is theologically incapable of being held by more than one man at a time.
  6. It is canonically impossible that two persons hold he Petrine Munus at the same time.
  7. The Roman Curia shares in the Petrine Ministerium, but not the Petrine Munus.
  8. There can only be one pope.
  9. The Pope is subject to Divine Law and cannot split the office.
  10. Canon 1331 §2, n. 4 does allow an excommunicated person to hold a ministry in the Church, but that there is a reform of the Penal Code in the works and that this is something that will be addressed.
  11. Canon 332 §2 requires a verbal renunciation, not a renunciation which is signified by gestures or after the fact statements.
  12. The supreme theological and legal principle for interpretation of canonical acts is the teaching of Jesus Christ, where He said, “Let your yes be Yes, and your no, No, anything else comes from the Devil” (Mt. 5:37)

Now Bishop Arrieta did not agree with me in everything. He made it clear to me that he holds the following positions:

  1. The Renunciation of Pope Benedict was certain and clear.
  2. The Renunciation clearly signified the renunciation of the office of the papacy.
  3. It is morally impossible in the judgement of Bishop Arrieta, based on his knowledge of the man, Ratzinger, that Pope Benedict intended to deceive anyone by pretending to resign one thing instead of the other.
  4. Canon 332 §2, as regards the requirements of liberty and due manifestation, is not talking about a renunciation of the petrine munus.
  5. The necessity in a papal renunciation is a renunciation of the papal office, not of the petrine munus, which is a canonical term which does not adequately reflect the theological reality.
  6. In the Code of Canon Law there is no clear distinction between munus and ministerium.

Regarding this 4th position of the Bishop, I must say I tried to get a word in edgewise to object to such a patently false statement, as if conditions for validity for an act of renunciation of munus only regard the act of renouncing and not the object which is to be renounced. I think the Bishop just said this out of desperation because it is logically absurd on the face of it, as you cannot read part of a sentence which regards conditions for validity and ignore what was said as the fundamental condition for the occurrence or discernment of the occurrence of the act in question!

Regarding the 5th position, I disagree, because Pope John Paul II, the Vicar of Christ, by promulgating the Code imposed upon the whole Church the canonical obligation of understanding it in accord with Canon 17, not as defective in anything. Therefore, an interpretation of canon 332 §2 which implies a defect, cannot be authentic.

I won’t respond here to n. 6, since I have devastatingly refuted it in the recent Academic Conference at Rome, the excerpt of which I published on this very topic, here.

What left me unsatisfied about our conversation is that I asked a lot of questions, but Mons. Arrieta could not give me answers. Here are some of my question, not verbatim, but according to their sense, that the Bishop did not or could not answer:

  1. If it is clear that Pope Benedict resigned his office, can you explain to me canonically how he did that if he never mentioned the office or the Petrine Munus?
  2. If Canon 41 gives to every priest the discretion and right to evaluate the Papal Act of Renunciation before deciding to stop naming Benedict in the Canon of the Mass, as the Pope, why it is canonically wrong if he exercise this discretion, judge the act nullus and continue to name Benedict?
  3. If no one has the right to interpret the Papal Act, how can you explain why nearly everyone in the Hierarchy holds that it effected a renunciation of the Papal Office, if nowhere in the Act did Pope Benedict say I renounce the office or the munus? Is that not an interpretation?
  4. While I am willing to concede out of respect for Pope Benedict that he did not maliciously intend to deceive, is it not possible he was in substantial error when he resigned one thing and not the other?
  5. Does not our loyalty to Jesus Christ, Who bound Himself to observe Canon Law, require us to consider as possible that the Pope be in error in thinking he can resign part of the papal prerogatives and keep the rest? or was wrong in desiring to bifurcate the papacy?
  6. Does not the historical facts that 1) Pope Benedict XVI before his elevation to the Papacy knew of the desires of many German theologians to split the papal office along the lines of the petrine munus and the petrine ministry, and 2) the strange way of renouncing the ministry, but not the munus, coupled with 3) the testimony of Ganswein his personal secretary, who should know the mind of the Holy Father, produce the most sound forensic testimony that the Pope did intend to bifurcate the Papal Office and should be corrected by the Church, even if we personally hold that he had no such intention by way of supposition and respect for his person?

The Bishop closed by remarking that my approach to the reading of the Act of Renunciation was strange to him, that he has never considered this problem before, that he has never read about this controversy, but that I had given him “much to think about”.

CONCLUSION

The sum of what Mons. Arrieta told me leads me to conclude the following:

  1. The Act of Renunciation was presumed from the start to be a renunciation of the Papacy, without any consideration of the discrepancy of renouncing the ministerium instead of the munus, as if the Code of 1917 were operative, and not the Code of 1983.
  2. There has never been any canonical reflection on the canonical value of the Act of Renunciation by anyone known to Bishop Arrieta.
  3. There are no canonical arguments for the validity of the renunciation to effect a loss of the Papal Office, because the interpretation is simply a presumption based on an extrinsic method of reading the act (as I point out in my previous article), which is the most unauthentic and error-prone method of interpretation.
  4. The opinion of No Cardinal or Bishop or Priest on this matter constrains anyone in the Church to accept it, because no one has the right to say that the Papal Act means something other than it expressly says.
  5. Thus, the Renunciation of Pope Benedict DID NOT effect the loss of the Papal Office. He remains the Pope, the Successor of Saint Peter, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Pontiff and the Roman Pontiff with all rights and privileges, all prerogatives and powers, graces and carisms, BECAUSE IF YOU DO NOT RENOUNCE THE PAPACY BY WORDS, YOU HAVE NOT RENOUNCED THE PAPACY!*

Finally, I do want to thank the Bishop for his patience. Several times in the 75 minutes we spent discussing this most important matter, he remarked he had other duties, but stayed anyhow when what I said was substantial and presented a line of argumentation which he felt necessary to respond to.

____________

* For those not familiar with the technical language, in this controversy, “papacy” here refers not to the Vatican, nor to the Papal State(s) or Territory,  nor to the government of the Vatican, but to the Office of the Roman Pontiff. And I use this term here in the linguistic sense, not in the sense of the thing, but of the thing as named. For example, a husband refers to his wife by either one of her proper names, first, middle, last, or improper names, such as honey, dear, sweetie, or by a pronoun standing alone or followed by a subordinate phrase, such as, “the one who does the dishes”. If he says, I am going to get rid of the dish-washing, the bathroom-cleaning, the meal-preparation and the warm bed, he has not referred logically nor verbally to his wife, because the actions which his wife does or the effects of which she is the cause are not her, they are effects or actions under her power, and by naming them, one does not name necessarily or determinatively the one who is his wife. — So likewise, when Pope Benedict renounced the ministry but not the Papal Office, he did not renounce the Office, because he did not name it, he only referred to that which might be construed as the ministry which flows from it. The intellectual incapacity or inability to recognize this common law of human language and signification is at the heart of the reason why so many think Benedict resigned the papacy, when in reality he did nothing of the kind. However, why he did what he did, is besides the point (praeter rem), because whatever his motives, the act remains invalid, null.

 

¡Viva Guadalajara!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In the conclave of 2243, the Cardinals of the Roman Church, in their final votation, elected a Spaniard.

So, according to the rules established by Pope John Paul II, on February 22, 1996, in the document Universi Dominici Gregis, n. 87, the Cardinal Deacon, the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and the Master of Cerimonies for Pontifical Liturgies approach the Spanish Cardinal and ask him in these solemn words if he will accept his election:  Do you accept your canonical election as the Supreme Pontiff?

Silence.

Then the Cardinal Deacon signals with his eyes to the Elected Cardinal, asking for an answer.

The Cardinal Elect, smiles, then extends both hands to each side and forms the V sign. With that he says in a clear voice: ¡Viva Guadalajara!

The Spanish Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel, familiar with the jocularity of the Elected Cardinal, giggle. The Cardinal from Barcelona says to himself, “What a joker! But this is not a time for laughs!”

The Secretary of the College gives a stern look at the Cardinal Elect. He is not amused at this kind of levity. So he turns to the Cardinal Deacon, who is perplexed, and whispers: “Let’s ask him again”.

So the aged Cardinal Deacon, turns to the Cardinal Elect, and asks again, this time in Spanish: ¿Acepta su elección canónica como Sumo Pontífice?

Silence.

Then, the Cardinal Elect, answers: raising both his right and left hand as before, and making the V sign with each, he says: ¡Viva Guadalajara! — This time with an even bigger smile on his face.

At this point, the Cardinals break their silence, and mixed mutterings of insouciance and consternation.

The Cardinal Deacon, now impatient, says to the Cardinal Elect: “This is no time to make jokes. Please answer the question with a Yes or a No”. Then recomposing himself, he repeats the canonical question, this time in Italian: Accetti la tua elezione canonica a Sommo Pontefice?

And again, the Cardinal Elect responds in the same manner.

At this point, the Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel break out in small groups of conversation. Everyone is trying to figure out what the Cardinal Elect means to say. The Spanish Cardinals approach the Elect and attempt to reason with him. But he says nothing futher. All he does is keep smiling and raising his right and left hand now and then with the V sign, for victory.

So in accord with the Papal Law on Conclaves, UDG, n. 5, the Cardinal from Paris asks that the College discuss and decide what is to be done, since the Papal Law says nothing about the manner in which the Cardinal Elect is to accept the office, whether it be by a Yes or No or by some other sign.

Two factions arise among the Cardinals. On the one side, a minority hold that the Cardinal Elect, by the words used has not accepted his election and must be considered either in error or mad. On the other side, the position taken is that of the Cardinal of Mexico City, who reasons this way: There is no more certain a manner of indicating that one has accepted the dignity of a prince than to respond in a manner which requires his listeners to acquiesce to his authority. Now by responding in this manner, does not the Cardinal Elect clearly show his intent to act like a prince? And therefore, his intention to accept the election? Is he not just putting our loyalty to the test? I for one will not fail in my loyalty to the Supreme Pontiff in this his first act of office!

This line of reasoning wins over the majority and they vote to regard the manner of speech chosen by the Cardinal Elect as meaning, “Yes, I accept”.

The Cardinal Deacon, then approaches the Cardinal Elect and asks him by which name he wants to be known. He replies, “Ignazio I”.

And years pass. And there is nothing controversial in the pontificate of Ignatius the First. Not in the least.

Except for this one thing.

Every time journalists manage to get an interview with him, and they ask him about the moment of his election as Pope, they ask him what he said, and he says: ¡Viva Guadalajara!

About 6 years into his reign as pope, one journalist, by the name of Marco Tosatti III, wanting to understand this better, asks a very specific question of Pope Ignatius I, during a plan trip.

Tosatti III: I know, your Holiness, has been asked this same question many times. And we are all impressed by your talent for humor and your jocundity, which is so unique among the Popes. But the day of your election, if I may ask again, can you tell just what you said, when the Cardinal Deacon asked you if you would accept your canonical election?

Ignatius I: I said, ¡Viva Guadalajara!

Tosatti III: Is that all you said?

Ignatius I: Yes.

Tosatti III: Did you not say, Yes?

Ignatius I: No, I never said Yes or No. I simply said, ¡Viva Guadalajara!

Marco Tosatti III publishes his interview and it goes round the world. The Pope never said yes.

A few days later, another Italian Vaticanista, by the name of Sandro Magister V, obtains an interview with the aged Cardinal Deacon, who confirms the story: Yes, he never said, yes. In fact there was a controversy in the Conclave, and now that Pope Ignatius I has abolished the pontifical secret on his election, I can reveal that we held a vote in accord with Universi Dominici Gregis, n. 5, and we determined that canonically speaking, this phrase, ¡Viva Guadalajara! would be taken to mean, “yes, I accept”.

Magister V also publishes his interview, which causes even more of an uproar and travels round the world.

About two weeks later, an old lady from the suburb of Madrid, Spain, where Pope Ignatius I grew up, flys to Rome and enters the Piazza of St Peter with a sign, saying, “He is not the Pope!” The Gendarmerie, the Vatican Police, attempt to take the sign from her, there is a scuffle and they end up punching her and she punching them back. Eventually they take both her and the sign away.

But the pilgrims in the piazza photograph and video record the entire travesty and these images go world wide on all social media platforms.

The next day in all the majors newspapers and MSM sites the one topic is why they beat up this poor old women. And the journalists who are allowed to interview her in the Vatican jail all receive the same statement, prepared by her attorney: In my suburb of Madrid, where I grew up with Pope Ignatius I, the phrase, ¡Viva Guadalajara! has always meant, “You got to be kidding. I would no more agree to that than support the team from Guadalajara, by shouting ¡Viva Guadalajara! at a soccer match with our own team!”

At this news, journalists flock to Madrid, Spain and interview all those they can find who knew the Pope as a child or youngster. And they all agree that what this old lady said is the absolute truth.

And these journalists report what they find. And, the next day, Ignatius I gives an interview and says: You see, there is nothing I hate more that arrogance and sycophantry. So when I saw that there were no worthy candidates for the Papacy, I determined to do what I could to delay as much as possible the Conclave, so the most unworthy ones would be taken by the Lord or not be able to vote, having reached the age of 80. So I contrived the deception I used to fool everyone. And it worked. But now that my purpose has achieved its goal, I willing admit that I was never pope, because I never accepted my election as the Supreme Pontiff. Therefore, I will now stop pretending to be pope and go back to Madrid and enjoy my final years of life by drinking cerveza and watching the Madrid Soccer team. Good-bye and Adios!

_____________

The Limits of Discretion

So ends the fictional canonical case I have created. As you can see, strange things can happen if the discretion which we Catholics traditionally accord to the Cardinals goes beyond all limits. There are just some things they cannot do even if they want to.

One thing they cannot do, even if they want to, regards the interpretation of verbal texts. As a translator of medieval texts, I understand well that there are 3 ways of determining the meaning of any obscure phrase. The first is intrinsic, the second extrinsic and the third is referential.

Intrinsic methods look to the meaning of the words used and their grammatical structure. Extrinsic methods look to the context in which the phrase is used and impose a theory about what the intent was in the author’s mind in using the obscure phrase. Referential methods look for other occurrences of the same obscure phrase in the writings of the same author, his contemporaries or those authors he read or cited.

And as a translator, I have learned the hard way, that the worse method of interpretation is the extrinsic method. The intrinsic method can be used but it requires great discretion and a good knowledge of the author one is reading. The referential method is the most certain but one has to take into account that every author might use standard phrases slightly differently.

¡Viva Guadalajara!

As can be seen from the fictional case I have constructed, grave error can arise when the ones who should be interpreting the meaning of things said by the Pope use the extrinsic method, by adopting the context of the phrase and some theory of what the intention was of the one saying it, and from these two data points extrapolate the meaning of the phrase.

This has been no idle study. And though you may find this story humorous, that is not my intention. Because though it regards what could happen regarding the very first moment an man becomes the Pope, the same interpretational problem can arise in the very last moment a man is the Pope, that is in an Act of Renunciation.

Because, when a man renounces the papacy, Canon 332 §2 requires that he say something that signifies, In my capacity as Roman Pontiff, I renounce the munus which I received in the Apostolic Succession from Saint Peter, the day I accepted my election as Supreme Pontiff by the College of Cardinals.

The words do not have to be the ones I just wrote, but they have to signify essentially the same thing.

If you say, however, I declare that I renounce the ministry which was entrusted to me through the hands of the Cardinals, the day I was elected, then you have a problem. Because no where in the Code of Canon Law, nor in Canonical Tradition, nor in the mind of Pope John Paul II do we find any clear equation or predication of munus by ministerium. To hold that Pope Benedict’s renunciation of ministry means a renunciation of munus is an interpretation, unfounded in the law. Moreover, the Cardinals and Bishops and Clergy who hold this interpretation have no authority in the law to interpret the Papal Act in this manner.

We need to be adults and admit this problem of interpretation.

And the ones who committed this error have to grow up and stop insisting that we follow them in it. After all, religious extremism does not consist in refusing an error of interpretation. Religious extremism consists in insisting, like ISIS, that we accept their errors of interpretation or else.

CREDITS: the image of the Cathedral of Madrid is taken from the Wikipedia article on the Facade of the Cathedral of Madrid and is used under the wiki commons license described there.

 

A Pilgrim’s Visit to the Arch-Basilica of the Most Holy Savior

popularly known as

Saint John Lateran

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Last Friday, I had the grace to make a pilgrimage to the Arch-Basilica of the Most Holy Savior, popularly known as Saint John Lateran, the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Rome.

It is called an Arch-Basilica, because of all the Churches in the world it is the Chief and Head and Most important, being the very Cathedral of the Vicar of Jesus Christ. It is called a Basilica, from the Greek word for royal, because it was placed under the protection of the Roman Emperor, Constantine, during whose reign it was built. So important was this Church in the history of Christianity, that all the Churches in the world, named “Christ Church” bear a name which traces originally back to this structure.

The land on which the Basilica was built was originally a Fort of the Imperial Cavalry bodyguards, and then passed to the Laterani family. It came into the possession of the Roman Emperor Constantine through his marriage to Fausta, the daughter of Maxentius.

After his victory at the Milvian Bridge, Constantine donated it to Pope Militiades sometime before or during 313 A.D. At that time, there was a palace on the site, which had belonged to Fausta. It was converted into a Catholic Church.

The Basilica was consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I, who made the adjacent palace his personal residence. Here the popes resided for centuries. It was here Saint Francis met Pope Innocent III and received verbal approval for his first Rule. Even, to this day, alongside the Basilica one finds the Curia, or Chancery, of the Diocese of Rome, as one can see in this photo to the right.

In the 10th Century, the Basilica was rededicated to Saint John the Baptist, by Pope Sergius III. Saint John was the archetype of all Christian holiness (cf. Luke 7:28) and especially of hermits and prophets. So a great number of Churches were dedicated to him throughout Christianity.

In the 12th Century, Pope Lucius II rededicated the Basilica to Saint John the Apostle, taking into account the growing understanding of the holiness of this Saint and protector of the Blessed Virgin. Today, the Arch-Basilica bears the full name: Arch-Basilica of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist at the Lateran.

The facade, or front, of the Arch-Basilica is an imposing structure. On Top, at the Center, there is a wonderful statue of Jesus Christ holding His Cross. On each side are statues of great Popes and Saints.

As you can see, the front of the Church has pillars which support a large upper balcony. This is called the Loggia of the Basilica. Both Saint Mary Major’s and St. Peter’s also have loggias. When a new Pope is elected, he normally greets the faithful from the Loggia of St. Peter’s and from the loggias of the other Basilicas during his first visits.

Basilicas according to Church law are directly subject to the Roman Pontiff, being considered as churches belonging to the Diocese of Rome. The symbol for a Basilica, therefore, is the Papal Umbrellino and Keys, as you can see in this bass-relief at the base of one of the pillars of the facade of the Arch-Basilica.

The wreath strewn below the keys is a traditional symbol of honor and dignity, being a depiction of a wreath made of laurel leaves as used by the ancient Romans for festive occasions.

The Lateran Palace, immediately adjacent to the Basilica was the residence of the Popes from 313 to 1309, or approximately the 1000 year reign spoken of by Saint John in the Apocalypse. A fire damaged the site in 1307 and 1361. Pope Clement V, who was a Frenchman, moved his official residence to Avignon in 1309, which began the long Avignese Capitvity, against which Saint Catherine of Sienna railed during her lifetime: the idea that the Bishop of Rome should be residing hundreds of miles away in France was a scandal to Christendom, and represented the extreme dissonance of the medieval notion of princely power, able to do what it liked, with that of the spiritual authority of the Pope.

The second fire so damaged the Basilica and residence, that when the Popes returned to Rome, they never again resided at the Lateran.

As you enter the Portico of the Facade of the Arch-Basilica, if you look to the left, you can see the Statue of Constantine, the founder of the Church, on account of his donation of the land. He is depicted in imperial style in a manner aping the pose of the first imperator, Augustus Octavian.

The Portico is decorated with elaborate marble flooring and beautiful friezes and imagery. The only ghastly ugliness is the Holy Door which is closed except for the Holy Years. It is made of case bronze by some wicked and demented artist, and was so ugly, I decided not to photograph it.

This reminds us, that Roman Basilicas are like history books, they record the events in the life or death of the Church down through the ages. The Arch-Basilica is no different, as it contains within numerous funerary monuments to Cardinals and Noblemen who greatly assisted the Church of Rome in their ages, and whose dying wish was to be buried or remembered in the Cathedral of the Eternal City.

As you can see, the Arch-Basilica is not as large as the Basilica of Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls, which I showed you two weeks ago, but it is stupendous in its own way. The floors are covered with inlaid marble of many colors, in the style popular in the late Middle Ages. The pillars on each side of the Nave each feature an enormous statue of one of the 12 Apostles, in imitation to the decorative style at the Vatican Basilica of Saint Peter’s.

The Ceiling is magnificently ornamented, as you can see in these two photos:

And, here:

The center piece, of course, is the High Altar, which appears to have escaped the desecrations of the Aggiornamento, for the most part (ironic, since after the Council the Bishops of Rome allowed the desecration of altars throughout the world, but protected that of their own Cathedral).

In the above photo, one is looking directly at the side altar of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the distant background. In the foreground, to the left, is the High Altar, which free stands at the head of the Nave of the Church.

In the photo above, a close up of the high altar of the Archbasilica. Medieval high altars often had canopies built over them, to prevent birds from leaving dirt upon the altar, if they happened to enter the Church when the doors were open.

In this photo, seen above, you can see the entire Canopy above the High Altar. Throughout the ages, various legends arose about why this canopy was so large. On my first visit to Rome in 2004, I was told by a guide that the relics of Saints John the Baptist and John the Apostle were kept above the altar, to protect them from the medieval devotion called, “relic theft”. In the middle ages, the Canons of this Basilica often claimed that the Ark of the Covenant was kept at the High Altar. This was not true, however.

Of all the funerary monuments in the Arch-Basilica, the most famous of them all is found to the left of the High Altar, on the back wall of the Church. It depicts Pope Leo XIII in all the vigor and triumph of his spirit.

Here is a close up of the statue of this great Pope.

This, without a doubt, is what a pope should look like and dress like.

Unlike Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls or Saint Peter’s Basilicae, this Arch-Basilica puts on display no great relic of any Saint. A pilgrim can obtain a plenary indulgence by visiting, and the mere opportunity to stand at the center of the Catholic Church, as one does, in this Church, is a worthy enough pilgrim’s goal.

May we all never forget and every foster a deep and profound sense of gratitude and reverence for the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. And may we dedicate our lives, fame and fortunes to ever defend Her from all enemies, both outside and within, so long as we live.

 

May She be a light for you in dark times, when all other lights go out

Behold your Mother!

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

These words of Our Divine Redeemer echo throughout the ages. They resound from Mt. Golgotha, from the pages of Sacred Scripture, in the memories of St. John the Evangelist, in the preaching of the Apostles and first evangelists. They are recalled in the divine liturgies of the Church, are meditated upon by the prayers of the Saints, explained in their writings, emblazoned in art and music, in churches and paintings and frescos and statues. They have become the call to arms of saintly founders and are the mottoes of monasteries, convents, priests and bishops and cardinals.

Beautiful words, consoling words, words of confidence and words of hope. I personally think that in their own way, these words of Jesus from the Cross are the most beautiful in all the pages of the Bible — the most encouraging among all the words men have or shall ever hear.

I remember reading a study on the Shroud of Turin, which explained the exact manner in which, according to this holy relic, the Body of Jesus hung from the Cross, and the exact manner of His Death. The study pointed out that when Jesus in the moment of death shouted out and laid down His Most Sacred Head, He did so in a very telling manner. This final position of Our Lord’s Head is recorded in the blood and sweat stains of the Sacred Shroud.

What made this description so poignant was what the author observed about these facts in his summation — namely, that Our Lord Jesus Christ in the very final moment of His earthly life did a thing which remained the only thing He could do: that is lay down His Head in a very significant manner. In such a manner as would enable Him to look straight down to the right hand side of the foot of His Cross.

As I wondered why this was, there came to me a wonderful and most consoling realization. Have you ever noticed paintings of the Crucifixion? I would dare say that most of them depict Our Blessed Lady standing at the foot of the Cross with St. John and Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross. But Mary is nearly always under Christ’s right arm, that is to say, on the right side of the Cross.

A conclusion presses itself upon our devotion: that in the last moment of His Life, Christ Our Lord made a decisive effort to make sure that the very last gaze of His mortal life would be filled with the vision of the sorrowful and most compassionate face of His Mother, Mary.

I don’t think we Christians can think of this long without being very much touched at heart by it, and even brought to tears by it, especially if you have made it the habit of meditating on the Passion, as all the Saints recommend us to do, or have at least been awakened to this holy exercise by Mel Gibson’s recent and literally stunning film, “The Passion of the Christ.” I think, weak creatures that we are, that this is especially true if we have had the personal experience of being at the death bed of a mother or father or son or daughter. The reality of how ephemeral our existence is inescapable in such moments. And it is only natural and fitting that we should burst out in tears at such tragic separations – something which is not unfitting, since as our Holy Religion teaches us, death is unnatural – and Jesus Himself cried at such occasions.

Of course being God Almighty, Jesus had no need of consolations in the Hour of Death. Indeed many a Saintly author speculates that to drink the very dregs of the bitterness of His Passion, He forced Himself to look upon the woeful suffering of His Mother in that last moment of His Life, so as to offer the merit of a Son’s Heart torn open at the sight of a Mother’s suffering, as the very last and final oblation to the Father for our salvation.

Yes, I do believe, that in that last moment, Christ received the compassion of His Mother, received Her Sacrifice of Himself, and looked upon Her in His death as if to say, “Look! Since I go now to the Father, I receive and take from Thee all that Thou has borne for My Sake with Me here and throughout all Thy life up to this day, and throughout all Thy life until I call you hence to be with me! I take it with Me to the Father, to offer it to Him forever in union with My Own Sacrifice.”

I think too many of us forget that the very last moments of Christ’s Passion were very Marian. The Holy Spirit Himself teaches us this, when the Evangelists cite the fact that Christ did not say, “It is consummated!” until first He said, “Woman, behold Thy son; son behold thy Mother!”

These marvelous words are, as it were, the “Ite Missa Est” of Golgotha. With them, Christ the High Priest completes and finishes His Sacrifice, and lays down not only His Head but now His whole human Life, accepting death and allowing His soul and body to be split asunder in the Holy Sacrifice of the Cross.

Now just as the Passion of Our Lord is the most central Mystery of our divine Religion, so the final moments and words of Our Lord from the Cross ought to be something very central to our interior life of prayer and meditation. For if Our Lord went to such lengths as to ensure and enable our remembrance of Him by promulgating the Holy Mass and ordaining the Apostles with His own powers as High Priests, saying, “Do this in memory of Me!”, how much must He want that we remember that which He did for us, and especially the very crowning moment of that Salvific Event!

Of course there are many graces, especially of consolation and encouragement for anyone who mediates on Sacred Scripture, and most of all, who meditates on the life of Jesus and Mary. And this is a very exquisite consolation that few find or enjoy in this life, trampled and trammeled as we are by the hubbub of daily life and the plethora of the modern means of mass communication. How sad and tragic, that so many, for example, make it a daily ritual to read the news, yet give not a thought to spending some quite time alone, with the doors of their room shut, or in some solitary place, meditating on all that Jesus and Mary did and said and suffered for our sake.

One of the great truths which we can mine from these final words of Our Lord, by means of meditation, is that which will teach us something of the magnitude of how much confidence we ought to have in the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

If we but consider that “before the foundation of the world” God had been considering and pondering from eternity all the details of creation — not as an architect who draws up plans and changes this or that, perfecting the project day after day, right up and even often during construction, but as the Infinite Eternal, Omnipotent and Most Wise uncreated Intelligence, Full of Charity and Truth, conceiving in the depths of His Divine Heart the most wonderful and stunning manifestations of His Divinity — we must certainly stop and ponder once again, and more and more, these words of Our Lord, “Behold thy Mother!” For in them are hidden great treasures of grace.

If we but recall the reason why God became Man, that it was to save our sorry souls from the eternal perdition of Hell, to which we all would have voluntarily wandered to by the end of our lives, born as we are, bereft of sanctifying grace, of faith, hope and charity for God, we can taste in mind something, however so small, of the savoriness of the remedy of these words: “Behold thy Mother!” “Thy” here means “you and I”, “each one of us”, “all of us”, “believers and those yet to believe”: “all of us in need of salvation and redemption”, howsoever much grace we have already received.

And since this is why Christ came and suffered and died: this final proclamation of the King of the Ages must have everything to do with the revelation of the ultimate means of salvation.

I believe Our Lord gives us His very own infallible commentary on this passage in the same Gospel of St. John, as He speaks with Nicodemus under the cover of night. “Unless you be born of water and the Holy Ghost…” He says. It is Our Lord Himself who uses the metaphor of birth for justification. It follows that being newborns in grace, we need a Mother.

This conclusion is inescapable, when we consider that the One who uses this metaphor is the Same as the One who created all living things, and who made us male and female, establishing some of us father or mothers for others of us: who in short preordained the human family within the original and individual necessity of our corporal being.

We must ask ourselves, then, “What was Our Lord thinking of when He spoke those wonderful words at the crowning moment of all that He would merit for us?” In His human mind, all the saints tell us that He knew all about creation, past, present, and future; foresaw all of us and all of our sins and good deeds, foreknew all of our thoughts and feelings and all of the movements and inclinations of our hearts. But just as importantly, as Our Divine Master and Teacher, in that final moment He considered all the pious questions of all His faithful who would beg him in prayer to explain something more to them about the meaning of His Life, Suffering and Death, especially at this final moment.

And so, these words, “Behold thy Mother” are without doubt the Answer of Christ to all our questions regarding the meaning and significance and importance of His Passion.

“Have confidence, I have overcome the world!” says Our Lord to the Apostles at the Last Supper. These words find their historical consummation, without doubt, in the Passion and Death, and point to the meaning of these words He speaks to St. John, “Behold thy Mother!” They indicate to us that all that Christ would do would be both truly victorious, and hence that the remembrance of it should be a source of confidence for us.

And we can draw much confidence from these words of Our Lord to St. John. Yes, Christ has died and is Risen, and yet though He has ascended into Heaven, to sit at the Right Hand of the Father, and with Him, at the end of Her earthly life, His Mother, to intercede for us before the Face of God the Father, it nevertheless remains no less true, that He has given His Blessed Mother to us, to be our Mother! Our sweet Mother!

If we but consider the greatness of Mary’s holiness, the spotlessness of Her purity, the inviolability of Her Virginity, the excellence of Her Faith, the magnitude of Her Charity, the strength and firmness of Her Hope, and every other virtue which is Hers beyond the measure of men and angels, and if we but consider that this Wonderful, most Splendid and beautiful of women is now Our Mother! I say, who cannot be encouraged, who cannot be moved, who cannot be warmed at heart, stirred to a sweet delight, stirred to reach out in spirit to Her, to embrace Her and kiss Her and enfold both body and soul in Her embrace, embracing Her with soul and body likewise – to bury, as it were, oneself in Her Maternal Bosom, as a little child does, when seeing its Mother after a long absence, it runs swiftly and immediately up to Her, jumping into Her arms and hugging Her with every affection!

But if we consider even more, that this Woman, is not only Our Mother, but the very Mother of God, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Daughter elect by the Father, the Queen of Angels and men, the Mediatrix of Grace, the Co-redemptrix of the Universe, I say, who cannot be stirred to confidence, seeing that in Her are the treasures and means to obtain every good thing, every medicine of soul and body.

But what is most consoling and encouraging about the Blessed Virgin, being Our Mother, is that She is always listening to and observing and watching over us, and She is very able and powerful and willing to grant us our pious wishes and prayers, if we but ask with great confidence.

Perhaps you have seen little children who are brothers and sisters vying with each other for their mother’s affection or intercession. If one receives some special favor, the others are not slow in asking, begging, insisting, demanding the how and why of how they obtained it from her. How zealous they are! How innocent! And How Simple! Should not we be similar, when we hear of what Our Lady has done for some of Her children!

Yes, I am sure you have heard at least once of how Our Lady helped some saint: but it is more encouraging, I believe, to consider how She has helped some sinners, even more so than some Saints.

One such wonderful story is that which Our Lady did to a poor mule driver in Spain some 400 years ago. He was a very poor man, and not learned at all. I do not think he could even read or write. All he could do for a living, was lead his mule along the mountain paths nears his village, carrying cargo over the mountain pass for various merchants in the locale. He would rise very early in the morning, pack some food for the journey, load up his burrow, and walk up the mountain, arriving at the end of the day on the other side, where, having unloaded the same animal, and rested at a friends house, he would eat and sleep and rise the next day, to do the same thing, on the return trip.

And so he lived his life and scratched out a meager living for his wife and son and father and mother who lived with him in his two room shed.

But one day, the mule slipped as it clopped its way along the mountain path. And to save it and its load this poor mule driver ran quickly to the other side and did all he could to prop up the animal so that it would not slip and fall. But though he had done this successfully on many occasions, this time he failed, and the animal and all its cargo came crashing down upon him, knocking him to the ground.

He screamed, Oh how he screamed in agonizing pain!

Very soon the other peasants leading their own animals along the way, came running to help him, and succeeded in getting his animal up. It was then he discovered that he could not stand – he had badly injured his leg. The villagers came and took him in a stretcher to his home and to bed.

As the days passed it go no better. And when the local priest came to visit him, he assured him that it would not get better, and that the only hope was to arrange to be carried to the University Hospital at Salamanca.

It was a long a costly journey, but his best friends and relatives did him this favor.

Needless to say, by the time he arrived, gangrene had set in and there was nothing the doctors could do, but cut off his leg at the mid of the thigh.

For a mule driver, this was little better than death, for it meant that he could not work at his trade: and no work meant no pay, and no pay meant that he, though the only bread winner at home, could no longer support his family.

His friends and relatives bore him home and left him at home in his bed. And to add upon all his sufferings, as soon as they had left his home, his wife and parents turned on him with the most bitter and disgusting insults, saying: “What good are you to us now! It is all your fault! We are all going to starve on your account! Did you return home thinking we are going to take care of you!”

And with that this poor man pulled up his blanket, prayed desperately to Our Lady, and went to sleep, filled with the most bitter remorse and sorrow, bereft of any hope and overcome by the pains of sorrow and betrayal no less painful than the surgery wounds of his leg.

But this, thanks be to God, is not where this poor man’s story ends, but rather where a most consoling story begins. For that night, as he slept, he dreamed.

And in that dream, he saw Our Blessed Mother.

And this is what he dreamed: he saw himself sick in bed, and into his room stepped the Blessed Virgin, covered in a shining blue mantle, and looking upon him with such a tender compassion, as if She had come to him, on a sick call. And as he rejoiced at heart to see Her loveliness, She opened Her mouth and said to him, encouraging him as She touched his legs, “Be healed!”

In the morning, the man awoke, and as he had not yet opened his eyes, for it was dark still, he called to mind the dream that had given him such confidence. And he said to himself in his heart with the simplicity of a child, “O, how good you are to me, Blessed Virgin! I prayed to you, when I had no other hope, to help me! And you in your kind charity have given me such a consoling dream to lessen all my sorrows when I have suffered such a tragedy as this!” And so he reposed, until the sun had arisen, and his wife has gotten up and gone out.

After she left, he tried to make himself comfortable in bed. He suddenly felt so odd. The doctors had said that, although they cut off his leg, that it would feel that it was still there for some time still. And so it was: under his covers he could still feel his leg!

But as he looked down the bed, what he saw was all wrong. He saw not one, but two bulging points where his foot should be.

Two?, he thought to himself: Yes, I can still feel my leg, as the doctors said I should on occasion, for it is a trick of the nerves, but I should not still see two feet!

At that the memory of his dream came back to him and he ripped his covers of the bed to find TWO perfectly healthy legs!

He jumped from the bed and began to scream with joy: A Miracle! A Miracle!

Soon the whole village was gathered around his house and word spread far and wide of what the Blessed Virgin did for him.

And for our confidence, it happened that this story came to the ears of the King of Spain, who sent a commission of royal investigators to record and interview all the facts and testimony. They even went to the University of Salamanca and interviewed all who had assisted at the amputation of the peasant’s leg. They even unearthed the coffin in which it was buried. And they found it empty, but for the blood stained wrappings which once bound it fast!

Today, on the sight of the poor man’s bedroom, stands a magnificent Basilica to commemorate this miracle of confidence.

Let us therefore, have great confidence in the Blessed Virgin, who is in truth and has been made so forever, Our Mother! That She does and will and wants to grant us the things of which we or our loved ones, or some poor soul, is truly in need of.

We don’t need to be saints to receive Her favors. We just need to ask with humility, sincerity!

Therefore, let us pray and beseech Her everyday with unbounded confidence! And lest us offer up such prayers as this:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known,
that anyone who fled to Thy protection,
implored Thy assistance,
or sought Thy intercession,
was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence,
we fly unto Thee, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother!

To Thee do we come; before Thee do we stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in Thy gracious mercy hear and answer us. Amen.

CREDITS: The Image of our Lady, is known as the Theotokos of Jerusalem, and is found at the Church of Her Domition in Jerusalem. See https://medium.com/@ierosolhmitissa/the-true-story-of-the-uncreated-and-miraculous-holy-icon-of-the-most-holy-theotokos-b25e9cfebca5. The title of this post is an adaptation of a line from J. R. R. Tolkein’s, Two Towers.

A Meditation on Proverbs 16 is the cure for the failed Renunciation

Book of Proverbs: Chapter 16

(Latin text is the Clementine Vulgate. The English translation of each paragraph by Br. Bugnolo)

[1] Hominis est animam praeparare, et Domini gubernare linguam. [2] Omnes viae hominis patent oculis ejus; spirituum ponderator est Dominus. [3] Revela Domino opera tua, et dirigentur cogitationes tuae. [4] Universa propter semetipsum operatus est Dominus; impium quoque ad diem malum. [5] Abominatio Domini est omnis arrogans; etiamsi manus ad manum fuerit, non est innocens. Initium viae bonae facere justitiam; accepta est autem apud Deum magis quam immolare hostias.

1. It belongs to man to prepare the soul, and to God to govern the tongue. 2. All the ways of a man lie open to His eyes; a weigher of spirits is the Lord. 3. Reveal to the Lord thy works, and thy thoughts will be set aright. 4. Each and every thing has the Lord wrought for Himself; the impious, too, for the evil day. 5. An abomination to the Lord is every arrogant (man); even if it be done hand in hand with others, he is not innocent. The beginning of the good way is to work justice; it is, moreover, more accepted before God than the sacrifice of holocausts.

[6] Misericordia et veritate redimitur iniquitas, et in timore Domini declinatur a malo. [7] Cum placuerint Domino viae hominis, inimicos quoque ejus convertet ad pacem. [8] Melius est parum cum justitia, quam multi fructus cum iniquitate. [9] Cor hominis disponit viam suam, sed Domini est dirigere gressus ejus. [10] Divinatio in labiis regis; in judicio non errabit os ejus.

6. By mercy and truth is iniquity redeemed, and in the fear of the Lord does one turn away from evil. 7. When the ways of a man are pleasing to the Lord, He also converts his enemies to peace. 8. Better is a little with justice, than the enjoyment of much with iniquity. 9. The heart of a man arranges his own way, but it belongs to the Lord to direct his steps. 10. Divination is on the lips of the king; in judgement there shall not err his mouth.

[11] Pondus et statera judicia Domini sunt, et opera ejus omnes lapides sacculi. [12] Abominabiles regi qui agunt impie, quoniam justitia firmatur solium. [13] Voluntas regum labia justa; qui recta loquitur diligetur. [14] Indignatio regis nuntii mortis, et vir sapiens placabit eam. [15] In hilaritate vultus regis vita, et clementia ejus quasi imber serotinus.

11. Weight and balance are the judgements of the Lord, and His works all the weights for the measure. 12. Abominable the kings who act impiously, since the throne is made firm by justice. 13. The will of kings, just lips; he who speaks upright words shall be loved. 14. The indignation of the king, the messengers of death, and the wise man shall placate his wrath. 15. In hilarity, the face of the king, life, and his clemency as an evening downpour.

[16] Posside sapientiam, quia auro melior est, et acquire prudentiam, quia pretiosior est argento. [17] Semita justorum declinat mala; custos animae suae servat viam suam. [18] Contritionem praecedit superbia, et ante ruinam exaltatur spiritus. [19] Melius est humiliari cum mitibus, quam dividere spolia cum superbis. [20] Eruditus in verbo reperiet bona, et qui sperat in Domino beatus est.

16. Take hold of wisdom, because she is better than gold, and acquire prudence, because she is more precious than silver. 17. The paths of the just turn aside evils; the guardian of one’s own soul keeps his own way. 18. Pride precedes destruction, and before a ruin the spirit is exalted. 19. Better is it to be humbled with the meek, than to divide spoils with the proud. 20. The learned in word shall find good things, and he who hopes in the Lord is blessed.

[21] Qui sapiens est corde appellabitur prudens, et qui dulcis eloquio majora percipiet. [22] Fons vitae eruditio possidentis; doctrina stultorum fatuitas. [23] Cor sapientis erudiet os ejus, et labiis ejus addet gratiam. [24] Favus mellis composita verba; dulcedo animae sanitas ossium. [25] Est via quae videtur homini recta, et novissima ejus ducunt ad mortem.

21. He who is wise in heart shall be called “prudent”, and the one sweet in speech shall perceive greater things. 22. A fountain of life, the erudition of the one possessing her: the doctrine of fools is fatuousness. 23. The heart of the wise man shall teach his mouth, and shall add grace to his lips. 24. A comb of honey, well ordered words; the sweetness of the soul, the health of one’s bones. 25. There is a way which seems right to a man, and his last steps on it lead to death.

[26] Anima laborantis laborat sibi, quia compulit eum os suum. [27] Vir impius fodit malum, et in labiis ejus ignis ardescit. [28] Homo perversus suscitat lites, et verbosus separat principes. [29] Vir iniquus lactat amicum suum, et ducit eum per viam non bonam. [30] Qui attonitis oculis cogitat prava, mordens labia sua perficit malum.

26. The soul of the one laboring labors for itself, because his own mouth compels him. 27. The impious man digs up evil, and on his lips a fire burns. 28. A perverse man incites arguments, and the verbose sows division among princes. 29. The iniquitous man milks his own friend, and leads him through a way which is not good. 30. He who with stunned eyes thinks of depraved things, as one biting his own lips perfects evil.

[31] Corona dignitatis senectus, quae in viis justitiae reperietur. [32] Melior est patiens viro forti; et qui dominatur animo suo, expugnatore urbium. [33] Sortes mittuntur in sinum, sed a Domino temperantur.

31. A crown of dignity the old age, which is found upon the ways of justice. 32. Better is the patient one to the strong man; and he who dominates his own spirit, than the victorious besieger of cities. 33. Lots are cast into the lap, but they are sorted out by the Lord.

______________

There is more than ample doctrine here to put in proper perspective how evil it would be to presume to dispose of the Petrine Munus in a divided or bifurcated papacy, and how such an act of pride would bring destruction upon everyone in the Church. Also, how humility does NOT consist in being patient with the evils one has brought upon the Church, but rather in undoing the evil done and returning to the example of all previous popes, who served until death, or resigned the whole papal office and ministry, keeping nothing for themselves.

For more information about what I speak, see Ann Barnhardt’s post on Ganswein’s talk at the Gregorian University.

CREDITS: Latin text, from the Clementine Vulgate, online. Photo from https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/monastic-views-lectio-divina-2162 an article on Lectio Divina, showing a Benedictine monk of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, Silver City, NM.

Pope John Paul II admitted that a Papal Renunciation could be invalid

AAC Chair Throne Pope John Paul II

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Don’t let anyone tell you to shut up, when you point out that some are saying the renunciation of Pope Benedict was or could be invalid.

Don’t let them coerce you by telling you that it is absurd to suppose that a Papal act be invalid.

Don’t let them get away with such a claim!

Why?

Because, no less that Pope John Paul II declared that a papal resignation could be invalid!

First, the FACTS of the Laws

And not only declared, but he enshrined the possibility into the Papal Law on Conclaves: Universi dominici gregis, n. 3, where it says in Latin:

3. Praeterea statuimus, ne Cardinalium Collegium de iuribus Sedis Apostolicae Romanaeque Ecclesiae ullo modo disponere valeat, nedum de iis sive directe sive indirecte quidquam detrahat, quamvis agatur de componendis discidiis aut de persequendis factis adversus eadem iura perpetratis, post Pontificis obitum vel validam renuntiationem.(14) Curae autem sit omnibus Cardinalibus haec iura tueri.

Which in good English is:

3. Moreover, We establish, that the College of Cardinals not be able to dispose in any manner of the rights of the Apostolic See and Roman Church, much less to detract anything from them either directly or indirectly, even though it be done concerning the resolution of disputes or the prosecution of deeds perpetrated against the same rights, after the death and/or valid renunciation* of the Pontiff. (14) Moreover, let it belong to the care of all the Cardinals that these rights be watched over.

* The reference to a “valid renunciation” is to Canon 332 §2, which lays down 2 reasons for an invalid renunciation (lack of freedom in renouncing the petrine munus, and lack of due manifestation of the renunciation of the petrine munus).

Some would like to have it that Canon 332 §2 is merely laying down the requisites to be observed in a papal resignation, and that it does not exist to be used by anyone, let alone a layman, to discern or determine when a resignation is valid or not.

The assertion is a perfect form of gas-lighting: You cannot let the masses use the Code of Canon Law, you cannot let them read the Papal Law on Conclaves, but if they do, you must convince them that what they see does not mean what it says or that what they read there is something they cannot use in an argument or apply to any particular case! Thus might be the counsel of any modern day Screwtape to his Trad inc. minions.

This objective is supported by the absurd arguments being used to attack those who are examining the resignation, such as that argument evinced by Mr. Sammons the other day:

Evidently, if we take Mr. Sammons at his word, he must rail against Pope John Paul II, against the Papal Law on Conclaves and against the Code of Canon Law of 1983, all which admit the possibility of an invalid renunciation! — Evidently railing against Popes is o.k., so long as you recognize that they are popes. — This seems to be the new dogma of Trad Inc. Even though Catholic Tradition holds that in nothing can a pope be judged but faith.

Having seen this form of gas-lighting, we must begin to ask ourselves, “Whom we should listen to or obey? A Layman or Pope John Paul II?”

After all, to turn Mr. Sammon’s rhetoric against him: What does it matter what Mr. Sammons wants?

Second, the Implications of the Law

As it has been amply proven that Pope John Paul II held that a papal renunciation could be invalid, we should use the intellects God gave us to use and think about what that means. We should not let the gas-lighting false apostles, out there, stop us from thinking.

First, if a papal renunciation could be invalid. That means that objectively speaking it could be invalid. That means that it can be recognized by men who are capable of knowing objective reality. That means that men should recognize it if it be, and should NOT harken to any propaganda to ignore the problem. Because, obviously, if Pope John Paul II wanted us to listen to propagandists who do not want us to see that a resignation was invalid when it was invalid, he would never have mentioned that there could be an invalid resignation.

Second, that means that the Church has the duty to recognize an invalid resignation is invalid, since the Code of Canon Law binds everyone in the Church. The Papal Law on Conclaves binds the Cardinals, and so they are also obligated to recognize an invalid resignation is invalid.

Third. Now how is anyone to do that? Pope John Paul II shows us how in canons 40 and 41, where everyone in the Church who has an office is obliged to examine the administrative act of his superior to see if it is effective and authentic. Though canon 41 speaks only of acts which are null or inopportune, clearly an invalid resignation is both.

That means it was the duty of all the Cardinals as of 11:45 AM, February 11, 2013, when the Consistory ended (approximately, as I do not know the precise minute of termination) until today to examine the act. If the act was invalid, they were obliged to omit the Conclave, and if they find now that it is invalid, they are obliged to say the conclave was invalid.

CONCLUSION

So you see, now, how wrong Cardinal Burke was, when he condemned a whole category of Catholics as “extremists” if they doubted that Bergoglio was the pope. Because if that doubt arises from an invalid resignation, then they are not only NOT extremists, they are the most faithful Catholics in the Church, and they are doing what all Cardinals should have done and still refuse to do!

No, your Eminence, there are No Extremists here, but there are a lot of Presumptuous Princes!

Now almost no one in the Church is a canon lawyer, but a good number of the Cardinals are. And if you have studied canon law or civil law, then you know a general principle of law which is applicable in this case:

A cessation of power is never to be presumed!

As I mentioned previously, this general principle of law is enshrined in Canon 21 (and implied in many other canons, such as canon 40). It is really a summation of common sense. Because if one presumed the cessation of power, then the rule of law would break down, because presumption has a way of inclining to disorder and chaos, in particular, to the kind of disorder and chaos we have seen in the Church for nearly 7 years.

Now a papal renunciation pertains to a cessation of power, as the learned and eminent Canonist I spoke with recently admitted. Therefore, we cannot presume a pope has validly resigned. The presumption, rather, is that he has not resigned. Presumption here refers to the inclination of our judgement prior to seeing the facts and evidence.

Now Canon 332 §2 says that a pope resigns when he resigns his munus.

But Pope Benedict in his act of Feb. 11, 2013, renounces the ministerium he received.

Therefore, at this point, before any further study, each and every Cardinal had the duty to presume that the renunciation was invalid. He had to presume this, because, the presumption of law requires that he hold that there has been no cessation of power, when a pope renounces ministerium instead of the required munus.

Canon 17 then requires the Cardinals to examine the Code of Canon Law (as I did here) to understand the proper sense of terms, or the canonical tradition (as I did here), or the mind of the Legislator (as was done by Father Walter Covens here).  But all of these conclude the renunciation of ministry does not effect a renunciation of the papacy.

So who is the extremist now? The Catholic who holds, as he should, to what the law presumes? Or the Cardinal who did not do his duty nor his homework but rails at Catholics who have done what he neglected to do? Presuming against the very presumption of the law.

It almost seems as if the Cardinals were already inclined to rid themselves of Pope Benedict, and so, whether he was in error or not, whether he wanted to  bifurcate the papacy or not, whether the renunciation was valid or not, they did not bother one iota to due their due diligence before convening in Conclave. — If there ever was a reason to doubt the validity of the Conclave of 2013, this is the first and prime of them all!

Third, Action Item:

Ask your favorite priest, Bishop or Cardinal, when did he apply canons 40 and 41 to the Papal renunciation?

Because in those 2 canons, all who hold an office in the Church — even the simple priest who is no longer mentioning Benedict in the Canon of the Mass, where the name of the Roman Pontiff is named — all, I say, had the duty to examine the Latin text of the Renunciation and determine whether it fulfilled the requirements of the Latin text of Canon 332 §2. So ask them, “On what day and hour, in what place and with what books and references did you do your duty specified in canons 40 and 41 as regards the declaration of Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 11, 2013, called, “Non solum propter”?” — You have every right to ask this question, before listening to anything they say about the renunciation, because obviously, if they never did their duty, they have no moral right to tell you anything about what the Act of Renunciation means, let alone, to regard anyone else as the Pope, other than Benedict.

(For more information about Canons 21, 40 and 41 and what should have been done on Feb. 11, 2013, after Pope Benedict XVI read his Act of renunciation, see here).

______

CREDITS: The image of the Pope is from https://agrellcarving.com, who carved the Throne on which he is sitting and which produces other fine products of furniture (This is not a paid advertisement, but the image is copyright by Agrell Carving).

“Reformer”, ever the by-word for “Shepherd of Apostasy”

IMG_20191205_090427284
An Example of Pop Art on the Streets of Rome.

Who was the real John Knox? And why does it matter today?

To answer this question, The From Rome Blog republishes, with permission the Essay by Frank Dougan, on Edwin Muir’s Knox: an exposé of the person and life of the “Reformer” of the Catholic Church in Scotland in the 16th century.

Edwin Muir’s, John Knox.

by Frank Dougan

I found a copy of Edwin Muir’s book ( John Knox ) at The Andersonian Library within Strathclyde University where I was studying Scottish History.

I tried to obtain this book from City of Glasgow Libraries to no avail.

First published by Lowe and Brydone Ltd. London in 1929 “The Life and Letters Series No. 12.” ( John Knox: Portrait of a Calvinist. ) I find much of Muir’s work sympathetic to Knox, Robert Burns is quoted on the opening pages as writing; ‘Orthodox ! orthodox, wha believe in John Knox, Let me sound an alarm to your conscience’.

Edwin Muir wrote his preface;

‘For this biography I have gone chiefly to the writings of Knox himself, and to the usual contemporary records. The Reverend Dr. M’ Crie’s and Professor Hume Brown’s Lives have also been of help, but my particular gratitude is due to Andrew Lang’s ( John Knox and the Reformation ) the one biography I have found which attempts to be critical.

My reading of Knox’s life disagrees with that of most of his other biographers since M’Crie. It is on the whole supported, however, by the eighteenth century estimate represented by David Hume and Burns.

If I show bias it is not, at any rate, theological bias.

The object of this book is somewhat different from that of the biographies which I have mentioned: it is to give a critical account of a representative Calvinist and Puritan.

The temper in which I have attempted this may perhaps best be described as realistic; I have attempted to tell in contemporary terms how a typical Calvinist and Puritan lived, felt and thought.

With the historical figure I am not particularly concerned’.

As one may note the date of publication was similar to D. H. Lawrence’ banned book and at the height of Catholic persecution in Scotland at the hands of John White the Church of Scotland’s sectarian and racist moderator.

I will relate to a few examples from Muir he writes about Knox;

‘Between 1540 and 1543 we find him engaged as an ecclesiastical notary, and up to March of 1543 he was certainly in the Catholic Church.

Of the life he led during this time his fellow reformers tell us not a word, but the Catholics maintain that he was notorious for his immorality, and even assert that he was guilty of committing adultery with his step-mother ( his father’s second wife ). Such is the early Knox as history and scandal disclose him.

Archibald Hamilton claimed that Knox was distinguished as a young man by his licentiousness; that he had always three whores at his heels; and that moreover, he committed adultery with his step-mother.

There is finally the question whether or not Knox had any hand in the Rizzio murder. The evidence that he had is once more contained in one letter from Randolph to Cecil. In this letter Randolph gives a list of the accomplices of the murderers, and another marked ‘ all at the death of Davy and privy thereunto’.

At the bottom of this is written ‘ John Knox, John Craig, preachers’. It has been adduced as a confirmation of Knox’s guilt that he fled from Edinburgh on the same day as the murderers’.

Muir describes what was a new development in the life of Knox;

‘ At Berwick, too, one of those friendships with women began, which were to play such a great part in Knox’s life. In his congregation was a certain “ Mrs. Bowes”, the wife of Richard Bowes of Norham Castle, a fort about six miles up the Tweed.

She was the mother of five sons and ten daughters.

Her husband was not in favour of the new doctrines; her family, too, were in the main cold.

Her fifth daughter, Marjory, (13) came with her to hear the sermon, and presently the preacher ( Knox ) and the young girl became engaged.

She ( Mrs. Bowes ) was probably about fifty when Knox became intimate with her, till then Knox had thought that no creature had ever been as tempted as he; the beloved mother ( of fifteen children ) pursued him wherever he went with vivid descriptions of her fleshly weaknesses’.

I know I have related to these subjects on earlier passages by other writers though I feel that I must introduce Muir’s work and perhaps draw some conclusions as to why the Church of Scotland’s appointed fault finder Harry Reid takes pain to advise readers of (Outside Verdict) not to read Edwin Muir’s ( John Knox ) biography.

Harry Reid was a director with the Sunday Herald’s ‘Book Review’.

Strangely one has to search for this book as there doesn’t seem to be many copies around Glasgow libraries perhaps the publishers should re-print and let the world see why the former editor of the Glasgow based broadsheet the Herald advises censorship.

Edwin Muir writes about letters from Knox to Mrs. Bowes and vice-versa:

‘ When he was deprived of the comfort of her ‘ corporal presence’ Mrs Bowes fulfilled the conditions to perfection. She was older than he, she was already his prospective mother-in-law. His pride would have recoiled from an intimacy in which he received reassurance and gave none. He could luxuriate in the voluptuous relief which her weakness provided’.

The Protestant Church, that Knox founded, chained people by the neck and castigated them in the most horrendous manner for sexual discrepancies…. yet Scotland’s greatest hero as Harry Reid calls him….

Muir continues his examination of Knox’s correspondence:

‘ My wicked heart loveth the self, and cannot refrain from vain imaginations’.

Writing to Mrs. Bowes that his heart was ‘ infected with foul lusts’ she was beset by the recondite sins of Sodom and Gomorra, was a strange repository for Knox’s imperative confessions.

Fear was to become an instrument in his hands, an instrument which he rarely laid aside, and which sometimes got beyond his control.

He threatened when he could make good his threats; he threatened still more wildly when he could not. He threatened his friends when they disagreed with him; he threatened his enemies when they could afford to laugh at him. He threatened Mary ( Tudor ) of England when he was flying from her; he threatened Elizabeth when he hoped to get a favour out of her. Where insensibility was shown in his threatenings, he took refuge in hatred.

Three women, Mary of England, Mary of Guise, and Mary Stuart, were unimpressed by his lightenings; he revenged himself by slander and prophecies of plagues where he could not by civil wars’.

The more I research the life of John Knox I continuously have to reassure myself that Protestants and Presbyterians really believe that this man was a Christian?

Muir goes on:

‘ Ever since he had met Wishart nine years before Knox had been in the habit of prophesying. He prophesied on grave and on trifling occasions; he prophesied reasonably and unreasonably; he prophesied above all wherever he could not get his own way; he prophesied against Sir Robert Bowes because Sir Robert would not accept him as a suitor for 13 year old Marjory’s hand.

The prophecies arose to wild heights of fantasy; in ideal conditions he contemplated an orderly and exhaustive slaughter of the Catholics. Then the prophet had become the man; now all the passions, all the envies, the hatreds, the cruelties of the man were triumphantly subsumed in the prophet. These passions, envies hatreds, cruelties, by the same transmutation became the passions, envies, hatred, cruelties of God.

His search for God and for comfort, his perplexity over why he had fled ( from England ) his rage of resentment tipped him sheer into abysses of self-deception touched with Sadism which no other reformer had plumbed.

At their most grandiose his prophecies about the future of England were almost like the ravings of a madman.

Edwin Muir was an academic, novelist, poet, Norton Professor of English at Harvard University, he had also been Director of the British Council at Prague in 1946 and Rome in 1949, he has a long list of distinguished works to his credit with major book publishers which can be viewed on the web.

His book on John Knox should be read by anyone wishing to investigate Reformation history particularly the mis-doings of Knox’s philosophies.

Professor Muir wrote:

‘ The instrument ( Knox ) had cursed Mary Tudor ( the Queen of England ) and had publicly advised her assassination, Calvin and Bullinger, however, had refused to back him’.

He narrates about Knox at Frankfurt then moves to 1556 Knox had been in Scotland to marry Marjory for the purpose of concealing his affair with her mother Sir Robert Bowes was hunting for them.

Muir goes on:

‘ He arrived in Geneva with Mrs. Knox, Mrs. Bowes a servant, and a pupil called Patrick. He was now married to Marjory, and accordingly we hear nothing more of her, except that she bore him two children, ‘ and then she died’. The same silence henceforth covers the irrepressible Mrs. Bowes ?’

It seemed that Knox had found a safe haven in Geneva with his wife and her mother for a while:

‘ Yet, in spite of all this, in spite of his power in the congregation and the solace of Mrs. Bowes and Mrs Knox’s company, he still longed for the comfort which only other men’s wives, it seemed, could give him in full measure.

‘Ye wrote that your desire is earnest to see me’ he said in a letter to Mrs. Locke in London, a few months after he had settled in Geneva with his family.

‘ Dear sister, ( he addressed Marjory the same in his letter to her ) if I could express the thirst and languor which I have for your presence, I shall appear to pass measure. Yea, I weep and rejoice in remembrance of you; but that would evanish by the comfort of your presence, which I assure you is so dear to evanish by the comfort of your presence’.

What was the comfort which he longed for so earnestly ? It was the same which he had found once in Mrs. Bowes’ friendship, a friendship which, it was clear, however, no longer quite satisfied his needs. His urgent necessity during these years, in fact, seems to have been to surround himself with mothers. He secured Mrs. Bowes already; to secure another a trifling relaxation of principle would surely be justifiable’.

Unfortunately for the millions who have been indoctrinated into Presbyterianism who have had to suffer severe consequences over hundreds of years for any relaxation of principles, as this was a luxury only for their great leader and his disciples.

Muir continues:

‘Mrs. Locke came to Geneva in the following May, in spite of the opposition of her ‘ head’ who was left behind in London. She appeared with her son Harry, her daughter Anne, and a maid called Katherine. The adventure began disastrously. Anne died a few days after arriving’.

Knox was about to write his book ( The first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of women ).

Professor Muir quotes him:

‘ How abominable before God is the empire and rule of a wicked woman, yea, of a traitoress and bastard’.

In this passage Knox is referring to Mary Tudor the Queen of England obviously he saw her as illegitimate. Actually Mary Tudor’s mother was Catherine of Aragon the first queen of Henry V111, she had previously been married to Henry’s elder brother, Prince Arthur, in 1501 ( the marriage allegedly being unconsummated ) and on his death in 1502 she was betrothed to Henry and married him on his accession to the throne in 1509.

Of the six children she bore only Mary survived, desirous of a male heir Henry divorced Catherine contrary to the law of the land regardless if it was also the law of the Church.

Perhaps Knox is referring to Henry and Catherine’s marriage as illegitimate because she had been married to his brother which was also illegal then and the only legitimate heir to the English throne was Mary Stuart whose grand-mother was Henry’s sister.

Professor Muir describes some of Knox’s views on women from his book:

‘ Knox began to look about him anxiously for all those proofs of woman’s infamy which the exordium promised. Man, he found, drawing on his knowledge, was strong and discreet. Woman, on the other hand , was mad and phrenetic. Was it reasonable that the passionate should rule the calm and the strong? Women, moreover, had been known to die of sudden joy, to commit suicide, to betray their country to strangers, and to be so avid of domination that they murdered their husbands and children. Knox reasoned ( about women ) ‘ where there was no head eminent above the rest, but that the eyes were in the hands, the tongue and mouth beneath the belly, and the ears in the feet’.

These are the writings of John Knox if a modern day psychiatrist were to examine these works and not know who the writer was, he could easily be seduced into thinking perhaps this was Adolph Hitler’s ‘struggle’.

Edwin Muir continues his narrative:

‘ Knox’s attitude to woman, it will be seen, sometimes changed with extraordinary rapidity. On Mary Tudor’s accession to the throne he had begged God to illuminate her heart with pregnant gifts of the Holy Ghost and to repress the pride of those who would rebel; after his flight his prayer was to send a Jehu to cut off her days.

When Mary of Guise was behaving with great toleration to the Protestants in Scotland she had been ‘ a princess honourable, endowed with wisdom and graces singularly,’ but now that he had heard about the pasquil she, like all other queens was a monster.

His mother had perhaps died when he was young; he had ‘ known’ his stepmother.

Two mothers were at present waiting for him in Geneva. Mrs. Bowes and Mrs. Locke ( and his child bride ) were obviously not real mothers. Mary of England and Mary of Guise ( and later Mary Stuart ), he was equally convinced, could not be real queens’.

It seems quite clear that Knox betrayed everyone around him including his own father by having an affair with his stepmother and anyone that he came into contact with including Wishart who he was with on the night of his capture, Knox was carrying his sword, Cardinal Beaton, Rizzio, Lord Darnley, Mary Stuart and the women who surrounded him in a Charles Manson maniacal devotion.

Calvin was also betrayed by him on the publication of the ‘First Blast’ as Knox had it secretly printed in Geneva with no writer or publisher’s names Calvin was outraged as condemnation poured upon reformers in Europe.

Professor Muir goes on to report the ideology of ‘Der Fuhrer’ of Scotland’s Presbyterian’s:

‘ Any Protestant had obviously, therefore, the right to kill any Catholic; it was the collective duty of the Protestants, however, to exterminate the Catholics ‘en masse’. His letters from Dieppe showed an ungovernable temper and an imagination delighting in cruelty. His Appellation from Geneva could only be the work of a mind corrupted by a monstrous doctrine. His letter showed not merely an extreme insensibility to human sufferings; it lingered sickeningly in a delighted contemplation of them. To the powerful he counselled violence and cruelty’.

After some months in Dieppe, Knox returned to Scotland when Elizabeth had taken the English throne after Mary Tudor died, and he found himself in the midst of turmoil.

Muir creates a vivid picture of the nobles who were to work with Knox, the professor wrote:

‘ If one were to accept the description of the sexes in ‘The First Blast’, she (Mary of Guise) might stand as the masculine type and Knox himself as the feminine. In the battle between them calmness, self-control, reason, dignity were all on Mary’s side….. frenzy, vituperation and back-biting all on the side of Knox who was a man of notorious probity’.

Muir goes on about the destruction of the Catholic Churches and monasteries after Knox’s return to Scotland he wrote:

‘ The destruction of the religious buildings and works of art in Scotland has been debated by ( Protestant ) historians, antiquarians and theologians at length and with acrimony. Two examples, showing the fluctuations of opinion among Knox’s admirers, may be cited.

Dr. M’Crie’s apology is perhaps the most extra-ordinary.

He begins by treating the matter with elephantine facetiousness.

‘ Antiquarians,’ he said, ‘ have no reason to complain of the ravages of the reformers, who have left them such valuable remains, ( ruins ) and placed them in that very state which awakens in their minds the most lovely sentiments of the sublime and beautiful by reducing them to-ruins. The liberty which the Protestants demanded from the Regent ( Mary of Guise ), in fact, was twofold; they asked leave to worship as they liked, and to pull down monasteries and churches.

By open profession they considered both these claims equally legitimate.

It was only by the grace of God that British Protestants especially Scottish Presbyterians never ruled Italy, France, Spain, Prague, Austria, Russia, Greece etc. with all their wonderful ancient monuments and churches which would have been obliterated and destroyed by the serial Protestant-culture-wreckers who make the Barbarians and Huns look like pacifists.

Professor Hume Brown wrote about the desecration of Scotland’s heritage:

‘ In these blind outbursts, ‘ he said, ‘there was no expression of real religious feeling; it was simply the instinct of plunder, the natural delight in unlicensed action which in ordinary times is kept in check by the steady pressure of law’.

Muir disagrees with Hume Brown by writing;

‘ ( Hume Brown ) contradicts himself in another passage, for those blind outbursts had, he admitted, Knox’s ‘cordial approval’.

The destruction, then was essentially a policy rather than a blind outburst.

It began as early as 1540; it was continued by Paul Methuen, the first man in Scotland to set up a purified Church, Knox set the work going on a large scale.

Andrew Lang says bitterly: ‘The fragments of things beautiful that the Reformers overlooked were destroyed by the ( deranged ) Covenanters’.

A monument to Robert the Bruce among other things was destroyed in the religious frenzy.

Knox was the only reformer of great reputation who encouraged a general destruction of works of art, and he felt his isolation.

Calvin was severe enough in his reprobation of beauty, but robbery and pillage, even of Catholic property, his orderly mind could not abide’.

Professor Muir pursues the Knoxite desecrations:

‘ In his letter to Mrs. Locke he told, as we have seen, how the ‘ brethern had sacked the religious houses in Perth and threatened the priests with death. In his ‘History’ the priests were not threatened, and the looting was the work of the ‘rascal multitude’, not of the brethern. His mind refused to rest under such a monstrous accusation; the whole business in Perth now seemed more confused than ever, but the probability steadily grew that the mob had destroyed the monasteries. When he took up the pen they had destroyed the monasteries’.

The examination of the works, deeds and mind of Knox has baffled Scottish historians on how they could best present a picture of the ‘demented one’ into a picture of a responsible and Christian man whom so many of them depend upon as the founder of the Scottish Presbyterian movement, that they have staked their reputations on because of their involvement within Protestantism and the bitterness and hatred that it requires to keep its leaders in their mansions and palaces that they inhabit, not to forget their dedication to nepotism.

Edwin Muir explains about the (Book of Discipline) and some of his findings he wrote:

‘ Its most fundamental idea was the corruption of man’s nature, and its policy had necessarily, therefore, to be a policy of espionage and repression.

Its sole instrument for keeping or reclaiming its members was punishment.

It was to show its dual qualities to the full in the next century of Scottish history, with its ‘prophets’, its sadistic Kirk Sessions, its instances of intrepid constancy, its intolerance, its murders smiled on, its deeds of moderation execrated, its array of villains and of martyrs, but, above all, its stiff-necked blindness to the more spacious ideas which were moving mankind.

It is symbolical that the Book opened with a command to persecute, and almost closed with a plea for the extension of the scope of Capital punishment, its faults were a lack of understanding, an incapacity for human charity, and, above all, a consciously virtuous determination to compel and humiliate people for the greater glory of God’.

I ploughed my way through mountains of reference books and documents while attending Strathclyde University with other ‘mature’ students of various religious persuasions, I was shocked to hear that in the year 2003 many reasonable Protestants have been led to believe even in recent years that Roman Catholics had an inferior education, and many thought that was the reason why so many Catholics were refused employment with Protestant employers.

One could easily point the finger at Rangers Football club and the many world class Scottish Catholic footballers who were forced to ply their trade in England and abroad, who could have been performing and passing their talents on to Scottish kids, many of these great’s such as Billy Bremner, Joe Jordan, Lou Macari etc. would have been a bonus to Scotland if sectarianism was wiped out not only on sporting arenas, but in the general society where there are countless highly intelligent and well educated Catholics.

How can any nation on earth be successful when a large percentage of its population are discriminated against we have seen the brain drain from Scotland for centuries and the nation is impoverished in so many walks of life.

Professor Muir continues;

‘ As idolatry and adultery became feebler in Scotland, however, adultery rose in importance.
In the next few years there is scarcely a remonstrance of the ministers which does not contain a despairing injunction to Parliament to punish adultery with death’.

There is something that Muir wrote that intrigues me, he wrote that Knox arrived in Geneva with a student named Patrick on another page he writes this statement by John Knox:

‘ That great abuser of this commonwealth, that poltroon and vile knave Davie ( Rizzio ), was justly punished ( stabbed to death in front of 6 months pregnant Mary. Queen of Scots) for abusing of the commonwealth and for his other villainy, which we list not to express, by the council and hands of James Douglas, Earl of Morton, Patrick, Lord Lindsay, and the Lord Ruthven, with other assistors in their company, who all for their just act, and most worthy of praise’.

Was this the Patrick who was with Knox at Geneva that he congratulates for the heinous murder of Rizzio, who as one can clearly see from Knox’s pen that even after Rizzio was dead, the venomous hatred boiling and spitting from the mind of Knox.

If this was the same Patrick then this verifies Randolph’s letter to Cecil over Knox’s guilt in the murder. Muir concludes his biography of Knox and notes these items after he explained his last days he wrote:

‘ The man ( Knox ) who in England proclaimed that subjects were bound to obey their prince; who in Dieppe incited subjects to murder their prince; who in Geneva exhorted the faithful in Scotland to depose their prince; who in Scotland helped to drive one prince after another from the throne while loudly proclaiming his loyalty; who maintained that two brutal murders were admirable in the sight of God, and that a third, less brutal, must be wiped out by the execution of an unfortunate woman ( Mary Stuart ) who had no direct part in it, and whose guilt could not be proved; who pursued that woman to disgrace and destruction.

This man was clearly not that model of consistency and strength which history and his biographers have set before us.

He was rather a man who, when his object required it, was always ready to contradict himself, and used any means which suited him’.

Edwin Muir’s biography of John Knox is not well known in Scotland but thanks to Harry Reid highlighting his name in ( Outside Verdict ) and my determination of finding the copy that I have scrutinised from the Andersonian Library at Strathclyde University.

Professor Muir goes on;

‘ Another thing which may be reasonably attributed to Knox is the Kirk Session.
To describe the sordid and general tyranny which this fearful institution wielded for over two hundred years would be wearisome and would take too long.
It is only necessary to say that the time-honoured Scottish tradition of fornication triumphantly survived all its terrors’.

I have endeavoured to describe the sordid and general tyranny which the fearful institution wielded over Scotland for over four hundred years, along with the lies and propaganda that they have perfected to art form.

On the last pages of his informative biography Muir questions about the first hundred years of Presbyterianism in Scotland he writes that:

‘The ‘nearest-lying country’ could show Shakespeare, Spencer, Jonson, Marlowe, Donne, Milton, in poetry and the drama; Bacon, Browne, Taylor, Claredon, in prose; the beginnings of modern science; and music, architecture, philosophy, theology, oratory in abundance’.

Caustically Muir asks:

‘ Was it the influence of Calvinism which preserved Scotland from that infection’ ?

The infection of culture, arts, academia and every form of human enjoyment and liberty had been obliterated from Scottish society except for those who maintained the evil philosophies such as the leaders of Presbyterianism who are still trying to enforce these doctrines of oppression.

Edwin Muir continues with his conclusion:

‘ Calvinism, in the first place, was a “faith” which insisted with exclusive force on certain human interests, and banned all the rest.

It lopped off from religion music, painting and sculpture, and pruned architecture to a minimum; it frowned on all prose and poetry which was not sacred.

Calvinism in short, was a narrow specialised “kind of religion”, but it was also a peculiar religion- a religion which outraged the imagination, and no doubt helped, therefore, to produce that captivity of the imagination in Scotland.

Looking down on the island of Great Britain in the century which followed Knox’s death, the Almighty, it seemed, had rejected Shakespeare, Spencer, and Donne, and chosen Andrew Melville, Donald Cargill and Sandy Peden ( John White, Ian Paisley and Jack Glass ).

And if His choice was restricted to the godly, it was equally strange, for He liked the translators of the Scots version of the Psalms, and rejected Herbert, Vaughan and Crashaw’.

Trying to understand Calvinists is a difficult chore especially in the 21st century where it is the Catholics that have all the pressure upon them over divorce, abortion, the birth pill and celibacy yet these issues are enshrined within the Catholic faith, and I don’t notice droves of Catholics flocking to join Protestant Churches which allow all of these questions to be freely accepted, while the Roman Catholics have to deal with the consequences of their conscience.

Protestantism is a follower of fashion and we all realise that there are so many different fashions and tastes as can be witnessed by the hundreds of Protestant sects who claim to be Christian and no doubt the ‘latest’ Jedi-Knights will soon be demanding recognition.

Professor Muir continues:

‘How could the country have avoided its fate of becoming for over a century an object-lesson in savage provincialism?
Hume, Burns, and men like them, it is true, lifted it from its isolation for a time during the next hundred years.What Knox really did was to rob Scotland of all the benefits of the Renaissance.
Scotland never enjoyed these as England did, and no doubt the lack of that immense advantage has had a permanent effect.
It can be felt, I imagine, even at the present day’.

The quotes from Dr. Muir’s biography of John Knox were written during the 1920s when Catholics were being persecuted on the streets of Scotland therefore I feel confident to credit him with first hand on site experience.

The work of Edwin Muir terrifies Presbyterian’s such as Harry Reid even though it was written during the 1920s, this shows the desperation that people such as he and his collaborators are in, because they know that their evil tyranny and subjugation of the Roman Catholic faithful, is about to be trampled into the annuls of extinction.

 

A Father of Lies cannot be the pope

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaC1dHZL4EY

A Father of lies cannot be pope, because, since Christ prayed for Peter that his faith not fail, a man who is pope could not give himself up to perpetual lying about matters of faith and morals and everything else. Therefore, either one must call Christ a liar, in His claim to be God and the beloved Son of God, or one must hold that Bergoglio is not the pope. There is no middle ground.

The safer ground is to hold that Christ told the truth, and that the Cardinals, who hold Benedict’s resignation to be valid, are in error. As a rule of practical conscience, one must chose always that which is not evil, even if your peers consider it is politically incorrect. You may not particularly care if Christ is God, but on the chance that He is, you better not call Him a liar. Likewise, no one ever taught that the Cardinals are infallible on anything, so why believe their novel claim?

Unfortunately, after Feb. 11, 2013, a legion of false apostles sprouted up, or might I say, a legion of devils took possession of a lot of men’s minds and hearts.

There are a lot of false voices out there. Unlike Mr. Walker, in the video above, they want to gaslight you into not believing in what you see and hear on a daily basis, and they want you to idolize the Cardinals in their judgement of a canonical act, wherein the Cardinals have no more authority to judge than you or I do, and then they want you to draw the conclusion that Bergoglio is not the worst pope ever by comparing him with some evil man of he past (such as Dr. De Mattei recently attempted), so that you remain in communion with a public idolater, blasphemer, heretic and apostate. Because, as Mr. Walker says of these false apostles, to them “Nothing is more important than being in communion. …. Sounds like Hell, doesn’t it!”

I say, there is nothing more ignoble in a man, than that he be a boot-licker. Because such men to not worship God or Christ, they worship their career or their visible superior. And that is a sin of idolatry, even when your superior is or seems to you to be the pope.

As it stands, Bergoglio was never the pope, because Pope Benedict never resigned the papal munus, nor has he ever indicated that he has ever intended to resign it, because he considers the munus to be the grace and vocation of the Papal Office, to which he gave his irrevocable “yes”, never to be taken back (cf. Final Address, Feb. 28, 2013).

 

Pope Benedict’s Renunciation is invalid for 6 Canonical Reasons

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As Catholics begin the effort to make known to the clergy that they were defrauded of their loyalty to Christ’s Vicar on Feb. 28, 2013, it is important to have at hand a short summary of the canonical problems in Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration of Feb. 11, 2013, Non solum propter. (Official text here at Vatican website)

Here is such a short summary.

6 canonical errors in the Act of Renunciation

  1. In the Act, the Roman pontiff renounces “the ministry committed to him through the hands of the Cardinals” on the day he was elected. But canon 332 §2, in the official Latin text of that canon, requires that the renunciation be of the petrine “munus”, that is the Papal Office (cf. canons 331, 333, 334, 749). Therefore, the act is NOT a renunciation of the papacy. Thus, in regard to canon 332 §2, the act is an ACTUS NULLUS. And if it  be said or thought to be an act of renunciation of the papacy, then the assertion or estimation is false by reason of Canon 188, which declares IRRITUS any renunciations of office vitiated by substantial error, that is by an error which touches the substance of the act (which, in this case, is constituted by the essence of the act as an act of renunciation of the munus, not of the ministerium).*
  2. In the Act, the Roman Pontiff does not name the office by any proper canonical term, and thus the act is also an ACTUS INVALIDUS by reason of the requirement of canon 332 §2, that the act be duly manifested (rite manifestetur), since that which is not named is not manifest.
  3. In the Act, the Roman Pontiff’s liberty regards that which he does, not that which he does not do, which, since he does not do it, whether he be free to do it or not, is not expressed. Therefore, the act is an ACTUS INVALIDUS by reason of the requirement of canon 332 §2, that the act be freely executed (libere fiat).
  4. In making a declaration of renunciation, instead of renouncing, the act is also an ACTUS NULLUS, because canon law does not regard declarations to be canonical acts. They are merely announcements. (cf. Penal section on announcements regarding persons who have incurred latae sententiae excommunications ipso iure).
  5. In making what appears to be a renunciation of the papacy, without naming the papal office as required by Canon 332 §2, the man making the declaration, inasmuch as he is the man, who received the office and who is attempting to separate himself from the office, had need to obtain from the man who is the Pope, an express derogation of the terms of canon 332 §2, in virtue of canon 38, and since he did not, since no concession of derogation of that requirement is mentioned in the act, then by reason of canon 38, the act, which is both contrary to the law of Canon 332 §2 and gravely injurious of the right of the faithful to know who is the true pope and when he has canonically resigned, is an ACTUS SINE EFFECTU, that is an act which lacks all effect.
  6. Finally, in renouncing “the ministry”, the Roman Pontiff posits a legal act which is not foreseen in the Code of Canon Law, since no canon therein speaks of a renunciation of ministry. Therefore, the act is an ACTUS NULLUS according to the norm of law. Therefore, in accord with canon 41 no one with an office in the Church has any duty to recognize it.

__________

* I do not include substantial error as one of the canonical errors in the Act, because the act was never one of a renunciation of the papal office. The argument that substantial error vitiates the act, technically, has more to do with the mis-perceptions or false claims made about the canonical value of the act, than with the act itself. Speaking of substantial error is thus necessary when discussing it with someone who is operating under the false premise that the Pope renounced the papacy, but eventually one must talk about the reality of what the Pope actually said on that day, and distinguish that reality from the misperception which was published to all the world.

POST SCRIPT: Note that in the title of this post I use the word “invalid” in the common sense of an act which does not effect what one thinks it effects, but properly speaking the term should be “vitiated” or “erroneous”, because as you can see from the list of 6 canonical errors, 3 regard nullity, 2 regard invalidity, and 1 regards being without effect.