Category Archives: Ecclesiology

To what extent is Pope Paul IV’s « Cum ex apostolatus officio » still in effect? — Part II

A collage of images of Pope Paul IV, c/o Corrispondenza Romana
A collage of images of Pope Paul IV, c/o Corrispondenza Romana

Rome, February 24, 2015:  On Wednesday of this week, Rorate Caeli published an interesting article on the possibility of heresy in the Pope, entitled, “Paul IV and the Heretics of His Time – by Roberto de Mattei“, translated by Francesca Romana. The article discussed the importance of the Papal Bull, issued by the same Pope, which bears the Latin title, « Cum ex apostolatus officio », which means, “On account of our Apostolic duty/office”.  The original of Dr. de Mattei’s article was published the same day in Italian by Corrispondenza Romana.

In To what extent is Pope Paul IV’s  « Cum ex apostolatus officio » still in effect?, The From Rome blog examined the intention of Pope Paul IV in promulgating this law, and whether the promulgation of the 1917 Code of Canon Law abrogated it, wherein we argued that it was not abrogated, since it was a law of positive right, exempted by canon 6 of that Code from abrogation  (see revisions of conclusion therein).

Now let us consider..

Whether the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law of 1983 did anything?

The argument which arises as to the perpetually validity of the Papal Law, « Cum ex apostolatus officio » arises secondarily upon the occasion of the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law of 1983 (which we cite it from Intratext), and that due to canon 6 of that code, which reads:

Can. 6 §1 When this Code comes into force, the following are abrogated:

1° the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;

2° other laws, whether universal or particular, which are contrary to the provisions of this Code, unless it is otherwise expressly provided in respect of particular laws;

3° all penal laws enacted by the Apostolic See, whether universal or particular, unless they are resumed in this Code itself;

4° any other universal disciplinary laws concerning matters which are integrally reordered by this Code.

  • § 2  To the extent that the canons of this Code reproduce the former law, they are to be assessed in the light also of canonical tradition.

Here, we must considered, in accord with canon 6, § 1, 2°, whether Paul IV’s papal bull, Cum ex apostolatus officio, is contrary to the provisions of the code of 1983; and whether, in accord with 4° of the same, whether its matters were integrally reordered by it.

There are several ways this could be done, and a complete examination would be prolix for a blog post.  So let us consider whether the new Code of 1983 conflicts with Cum ex apostolatus officio, in that section of the latter which regards the invalidity of a nomination to the office of Cardinal, since this was the basis of the recent petition to the College of cardinals.

The College of Cardinals in the Code of Canon Law of 1983

Let’s take a look at the section of the 1983 code on the College of Cardinals (Canons 349-359: source Intratext):

CHAPTER III : THE CARDINALS OF THE HOLY ROMAN CHURCH

Can. 349 The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church constitute a special College, whose prerogative it is to elect the Roman Pontiff in accordance with the norms of a special law. The Cardinals are also available to the Roman Pontiff, either acting collegially, when they are summoned together to deal with questions of major importance, or acting individually, that is, in the offices which they hold in assisting the Roman Pontiff especially in the daily care of the universal Church.

Can. 350 § 1 The College of Cardinals is divided into three orders: the episcopal order, to which belong those Cardinals to whom the Roman Pontiff assigns the title of a suburbicarian Church, and eastern-rite Patriarchs who are made members of the College of Cardinals; the presbyteral order, and the diaconal order.

  • § 2 Cardinal priests and Cardinal deacons are each assigned a title or a deaconry in Rome by the Roman Pontiff.
  • § 3 Eastern Patriarchs within the College of Cardinals have their patriarchal see as a title.
  • § 4 The Cardinal Dean has the title of the diocese of Ostia, together with that of any other Church to which he already has a title.
  • § 5 By a choice made in Consistory and approved by the Supreme Pontiff, Cardinal priests may transfer to another title; Cardinal deacons may transfer to another deaconry and, if they have been a full ten years in the diaconal order, to the presbyteral order: priority of order and of promotion is to be observed.
  • § 6 A Cardinal who by choice transfers from the diaconal to the presbyteral order, takes precedence over all Cardinal priests who were promoted to the Cardinalate after him.

Can. 351 § 1 Those to be promoted Cardinals are men freely selected by the Roman Pontiff, who are at least in the order of priesthood and are truly outstanding in doctrine, virtue, piety and prudence in practical matters; those who are not already Bishops must receive episcopal consecration.

  • § 2 Cardinals are created by decree of the Roman Pontiff, which in fact is published in the presence of the College of Cardinals. From the moment of publication, they are bound by the obligations and they enjoy the rights defined in the law.
  • § 3 A person promoted to the dignity of Cardinal, whose creation the Roman Pontiff announces, but whose name he reserves in petto, is not at that time bound by the obligations nor does he enjoy the rights of a Cardinal. When his name is published by the Roman Pontiff, however, he is bound by these obligations and enjoys these rights, but his right of precedence dates from the day of the reservation in petto.

Can. 352 § 1 The Dean presides over the College of Cardinals. When he is unable to do so, the sub-Dean takes his place. The Dean, or the subDean, has no power of governance over the other Cardinals, but is considered as first among equals.

  • § 2 When the office of Dean is vacant, those Cardinals who have a suburbicarian title, and only those, under the presidency of the sub-Dean if he is present, or of the oldest member, elect one of their number to act as Dean of the College. They are to submit his name to the Roman Pontiff, to whom it belongs to approve the person elected.
  • § 3 In the same way as set out in §2, the sub-Dean is elected, with the Dean presiding. It belongs to the Roman Pontiff to approve also the election of the sub-Dean.
  • § 4 If the Dean and sub-Dean do not already have a domicile in Rome, they acquire it there.

Can. 353 § 1 Cardinals assist the Supreme Pastor of the Church in collegial fashion particularly in Consistories, in which they are gathered by order of the Roman Pontiff and under his presidency. Consistories are either ordinary or extraordinary.

  • § 2 In an ordinary Consistory all Cardinals, or at least those who are in Rome, are summoned for consultation on certain grave matters of more frequent occurrence, or for the performance of especially solemn acts.
  • § 3 All Cardinals are summoned to an extraordinary Consistory, which takes place when the special needs of the Church and more serious matters suggest it.
  • § 4 Only an ordinary Consistory in which certain solemnities are celebrated, can be public, that is when, in addition to the Cardinals, Prelates, representatives of civil states and other invited persons are admitted.

Can. 354 Cardinals who head the departments and other permanent sections of the Roman Curia and of Vatican City, who have completed their seventy-fifth year, are requested to offer their resignation from office to the Roman Pontiff, who will consider all the circumstances and make provision accordingly.

Can. 355 § 1 It belongs to the Cardinal Dean to ordain the elected Roman Pontiff a Bishop, if he is not already ordained. If the Dean is prevented from doing so, the same right belongs to the sub-Dean or, if he is prevented, to the senior Cardinal of the episcopal order.

  • § 2 The senior Cardinal Deacon announces the name of the newly elected Supreme Pontiff to the people. Acting in place of the Roman Pontiff, he also confers the pallium on metropolitan Bishops or gives the pallium to their proxies.

Can. 356 Cardinals have the obligation of cooperating closely with the Roman Pontiff. For this reason, Cardinals who have any office in the Curia and are not diocesan Bishops, are obliged to reside in Rome. Cardinals who are in charge of a diocese as diocesan Bishops, are to go to Rome whenever summoned by the Roman Pontiff.

Can. 357 §1 When a Cardinal has taken possession of a suburbicarian Church or of a titular Church in Rome, he is to further the good of the diocese or church by counsel and patronage. However, he has no power of governance over it, and he should not for any reason interfere in matters concerning the administration of its goods, or its discipline, or the service of the church.

  • § 2 Cardinals living outside Rome and outside their own diocese, are exempt in what concerns their person from the power of governance of the Bishop of the diocese in which they are residing.

Can. 358 A Cardinal may be deputed by the Roman Pontiff to represent him in some solemn celebration or assembly of persons as a ‘Legatus a latere’, that is, as his alter ego; or he may, as a special emissary, be entrusted with a particular pastoral task. A Cardinal thus nominated is entitled to deal only with those affairs which have been entrusted to him by the Roman Pontiff himself.

Can. 359 When the Apostolic See is vacant, the College of Cardinals has only that power in the Church which is granted to it by special law.

As one can see, there is nothing in the Code regarding the qualifications of office which contradict Pope Paul IV’s bull. The only canon dealing with their eligibility for office is 351 §1, which specifies that they are to be outstanding in doctrine, virtue, piety and prudence in practical matters.  This is the same spirit underlying the prescriptions of Cum ex apostolatus officio.

Furthermore, there nothing in the Code which expressly addresses the invalidity of a nomination to the office of cardinal.

Thus, nothing in Paul IV’s decree, in this respect, is invalidated in virtue of Canon 6 of the present Code.

 

To what extent is Pope Paul IV’s « Cum ex apostolatus officio » still in effect?

A collage of images of Pope Paul IV, c/o Corrispondenza Romana
A collage of images of Pope Paul IV, c/o Corrispondenza Romana

Rome, February 20, 2015:  On Wednesday of this week, Rorate Caeli published an interesting article on the possibility of heresy in the Pope, entitled, “Paul IV and the Heretics of His Time – by Roberto de Mattei“, translated by Francesca Romana. The article discussed the importance of the Papal Bull, issued by the same Pope, which bears the Latin title, « Cum ex apostolatus officio », which means, “On account of our Apostolic duty/office”.  The original of Dr. de Mattei’s article was published the same day in Italian by Corrispondenza Romana.

Readers of the From Rome blog will remember to have encountered this document, when we reported about the existence of a petition to the College of Cardinals, back in December, calling to the investigation into 3 canonical charges made against Jorge Mario Bergoglio, urging them to take action on the basis of this same Papal Bull.

In Dr. Roberto de Mattei’s article, according to the English translation just cited, there is this statement, which the From Rome blog considers worthy of examination (Italics in original):

This Bull re-proposes the Medieval canonical principle almost to the letter, according to which the Pope cannot be contradicted nor judged by anyone, “ nisi deprehandatur a fide devius” unless he deviates from the faith (Ivo di Chartres, Decretales, V, chap. 23, coll. 329-330). There is debate on whether Paul IV’s Bull is a dogmatic decision or a disciplinary act;  whether it is still in vigor or if it has been implicitly abrogated by the Code of 1917; whether it applies to the Pope who incurs heresy ante o post electionem, and so on. We shall not address these issues. The Cum ex apostolato officio is still an authoritative pontifical document, that confirms the possibility of a heretical Pope, even if it gives no indication on the concrete procedure through which he might lose the pontificate.

While Dr. de Mattei avoids the questions of the present validity of this Papal law, on account of the controversy which he says surrounds its legal status, the From Rome blog considers this of such importance, that it cannot be overlooked.

Therefore, let us examine the basis of the validity of this Papal law, and ask, whether it is still valid today, as so many Catholics believe.

The Intention of Pope Paul IV in this Papal Law

First, let us begin, by examining the expressed intent of the Papal law.  We follow the Latin text of the Papal Bull which can be found at Daily Catholic:

Cum ex apostolatus officio Nobis, meritis licet imparibus, divinitus credito, cura Dominici gregis Nobis immineat generalis, et exinde teneamur pro fideli illius custodia, et salubri directione, more vigilis Pastoris, assidue vigilare, et attentius providere, ut qui hac aetate, peccatis exigentibus, propriae prudentiae innitentes scientius, et perniciosius solito contra orthodoxae fidei disciplinam insurgunt, et superstitiosis, ac fictitiis adinventionibus sacrarum Scripturarum intelligentiam pervertentes, Catholicae Ecclesiae unitatem et inconsutilem Domini tunicam scindere moliuntur, ab ovili Christi repellantur, nec magisterium erroris continuent, qui discipuli veritatis esse contemnunt.

1. Nos considerantes rem huiusmodi adeo gravem, et periculosam esse, ut Romanus Pontifex, qui Dei, et Domini Nostri Iesu Christ vices gerit in terris, et super gentes, et regna plenitudinem obtinet potestatis, omnesque iudicat, a nemine in hoc saeculo iudicandus, possit, si deprehendatur a fide devius, redargui, et quod ubi maius intenditur periculum, ibi est plenius, et diligentius consulendum, ne pseudoprophetae, aut alii etiam saecularem iurisdictionem habentes, simplicium animas miserabiliter illaqueent, innumerabilesque populos eorum in spiritualibus, aut temporalibus curae, et regimini commissos, secum in perditionem, et damnationis interitum trahant, nec aliquando contingat Nos abominationem desolationis, quae dicta est a Daniele Propheta, in loco sancto videre, cupientes, quantum cum Deo possumus, pro nostro munere Pastorali vulpes vineam Domini demoliri satagentes capere, et lupos ab ovilibus arcere, ne canes muti videamur nequeuntes latrare, et perdamur cum malis agricolis, ac mercenario comparemur.

Latin translations are usually very poor, but the English text at Daily Catholics is very good, and thus we quote the same opening paragraphs of the Law (bold facing is our own):

By virtue of the Apostolic office which, despite our unworthiness, has been entrusted to Us by God, We are responsible for the general care of the flock of the Lord. Because of this, in order that the flock may be faithfully guarded and beneficially directed, We are bound to be diligently watchful after the manner of a vigilant Shepherd and to ensure most carefully that certain people who consider the study of the truth beneath them should be driven out of the sheepfold of Christ and no longer continue to disseminate error from positions of authority. We refer in particular to those who in this age, impelled by their sinfulness and supported by their cunning, are attacking with unusual learning and malice the discipline of the orthodox Faith, and who, moreover, by perverting the import of Holy Scripture, are striving to rend the unity of the Catholic Church and the seamless tunic of the Lord.

1.In assessing Our duty and the situation now prevailing, We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff, who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fulness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith. Remembering also that, where danger is greater, it must more fully and more diligently be counteracted, We have been concerned lest false prophets or others, even if they have only secular jurisdiction, should wretchedly ensnare the souls of the simple, and drag with them into perdition, destruction and damnation countless peoples committed to their care and rule, either in spiritual or in temporal matters; and We have been concerned also lest it may befall Us to see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, in the holy place. In view of this, Our desire has been to fulfil our Pastoral duty, insofar as, with the help of God, We are able, so as to arrest the foxes who are occupying themselves in the destruction of the vineyard of the Lord and to keep the wolves from the sheepfolds, lest We seem to be dumb watchdogs that cannot bark and lest We perish with the wicked husbandman and be compared with the hireling.

From this introduction, the Pope makes clear that his intention regards the divine duties of his office as Pope, and the very nature and constitution of the Church; also the rights and duties he has as a father to Christendom to protect his household.  He also points out that the dangers are not temporary ones, but those of which Our Lord spoke of, which will arise at the end of time, when the Antichrist would reveal himself.

The nature of the penalties are founded upon Divine Law

There follows in the papal law, Cum ex apostolatus officio, further confirmation that the intention of the lawgiver was to impose a law which was valid until the end of time, because the nature of the penalties regard those classes which by divine law, that is by the teaching of Christ, regard those who by their sins and crimes have excluded themselves from communion with the Church.  Here, let us quote the English translation only, to avoid prolixity:

2 Hence, concerning these matters, We have held mature deliberation with our venerable brothers the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church; and, upon their advice and with their unanimous agreement, We now enact as follows: In respect of each and every sentence of excommunication, suspension, interdict and privation and any other sentences, censures and penalties against heretics or schismatics, enforced and promulgated in any way whatsoever by any of Our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs, or by any who were held to be such (even by their “litterae extravagantes” i.e. private letters), or by the sacred Councils received by the Church of God, or by decrees of the Holy Fathers and the statutes, or by the sacred Canons and the Constitutions and Apostolic Ordinations – all these measures, by Apostolic authority, We approve and renew, that they may and must be observed in perpetuity and, if perchance they be no longer in lively observance, that they be restored to it. Thus We will and decree that the aforementioned sentences, censures and penalties be incurred without exception by all members of the following categories:

(i) Anysoever who, before this date, shall have been detected to have deviated from the Catholic Faith, or fallen into any heresy, or incurred schism, or provoked or committed either or both of these, or who have confessed to have done any of these things, or who have been convicted of having done any of these things.

(ii) Anysoever who (which may God, in His clemency and goodness to all, deign to avert) shall in the future so deviate or fall into heresy, or incur schism, or shall provoke or commit either or both of these.

(iii) Anysoever who shall be detected to have so deviated, fallen, incurred, provoked or committed, or who shall confess to have done any of these things, or who shall be convicted of having done any of these things.

These sanctions, moreover, shall be incurred by all members of these categories, of whatever status, grace, order, condition and pre-eminence they may be, even if they be endowed with the Episcopal, Archiepiscopal, Patriarchal, Primatial or some other greater Ecclesiastical dignity, or with the honour of the Cardinalate and of the Universal Apostolic See by the office of Legate, whether temporary or permanent, or if they be endowed with even worldly authority or excellence, as Count, Baron, Marquis, Duke, King or Emperor.

All this We will and decree.

The key paragraph is the subsection ii, which includes all future violators, and not only heretics or schismatics, but those who provoke either heresy or schism.

All this argues clearly that the intention of the legislator is that this papal law will remain valid until the end of time, and is founded upon the divine and natural law, and hence draws its validity, not so much from a positive act of the Roman Pontiff, but from the very nature of his duties.

What the Code of Canon Law of 1917 abrogated…

The argument which arises as to the perpetually validity of the Papal Law, « Cum ex apostolatus officio » arose principally upon the occasion of the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law of 1917 (which we cite it from jgray.org), and that due to canon 6 of that code, which reads in Latin:

Can 6. Codex vigentem huc usque disciplinam plerumque retinet, licet opportunas immutationes afferat. Itaque:

1º Leges quaelibet, sive universales sive particulares, praescriptis huius Codicis oppositae, abrogantur nisi de particularibus legibus aliud expresse caveatur;

2º Canones qui ius vetus ex integro referunt, ex veteris iuris auctoritate, atque ideo ex receptis apud probatos auctores interpretationibus, sunt aestimandi;

3º Canones qui ex parte tantum cum veteri iure congruunt, qua congruunt, ex iure antiquo aestimandi sunt; qua discrepant, sunt ex sua ipsorum sententia diiudicandi;

4º In dubio num aliquod canonum praescriptum cum veteri iure discrepet, a veteri iure non est recedendum;

5º Quod ad poenas attinet, quarum in Codice nulla fit mentio, spirituales sint vel temporales, medicinales vel, ut vocant, vindicativae, latae vel ferendae sententiae, eae tanquam abrogatae habeantur;

6º Si qua ex ceteris disciplinaribus legibus, quae usque adhuc viguerunt, nec explicite nec implicite in Codice contineatur, ea vim omnem amisisse dicenda est, nisi in probatis liturgicis libris reperiatur, aut lex sit iuris divini sive positivi sive naturalis.

And which, in English, according to our own unofficial translation reads:

Canon 6. The Code for the most part retains the discipline here-to-fore enforce, though it introduces opportune changes.  And thus:

1°  Any laws you like, whether universal or particular, opposed to the prescriptions of this Code, are abrogated unless concerning particular laws something else is expressly exempted;

2° The canons which cite an old law in its entirety, by the authority of the old law, are, for that reason, also to be judged out of the interpretations received among approved authors.

3° The canons which are congruent with the old law only in part, are to be judged according to the ancient law; when they are discrepant, they are to be dijudicated according to their own sense.

4° In doubt whether any prescribed canon is discrepant with the old law, one is not to recede from the old law;

5° What pertains to the punishments, of which no mention is made in the Code, whether they be spiritual or temporal, medicinal and/or, as they say, vindictive, latae or ferendae sententiae, they are to be held as abrogated;

6° If any of all the other disciplinary laws, which were in force up to now, be not contained either explicitly or implicitly in the Code, it is to be said to have lost all force, unless it be found in approved liturgical books, or a law be of divine, positive or natural right.

Here, the key passage is by far n. 6, which exempts from abrogation the laws of divine, positive and natural right. Divine laws are those promulgated by God, natural laws are those which God has included in the natural order of things, and positive laws are those promulgated by the competent authority, which in the Catholic Church is the pope.

That the papal law of Pope Paul IV remained in force after the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law of 1917, is thus morally certain, since the Code of 1917 expressly, thus, excludes Papal legislation from abrogation.

This is confirmed by numerous cases of fact, such as the Papal Bulls regarding religious orders and their privileges.  If these, which are all laws of positive right, were abrogated or abolished by the promulgation of the 1917 Code, then there would have been a world-wide outcry from all religious orders.  This did not happen, ergo, the 1917 Code did not abolish Papal laws previously enacted.  The Papal law, Cum ex apostolatus officio, though not a Divine Law, when considered as a whole, since it was promulgated by the Pope, not by God, yet it is a law of positive right, since it comes into being by a Papal act.  Therefore, it too has not been abrogated.

Moreover, to hold otherwise, namely, that any subsequent Papal law or Code could include in the Church heretics and schismatics such that they had the right to hold office or be elected Pope, is thus as nonsensical as it is contrary to Divine Law.*

But whether this papal law was abrogated by subsequent legislation is another question.

___________________________________

* After the publication of this article, it was brought to my attention, that the Code of Canon Law of 1917, in canon 188, p.47 of the Kennedy & Sons annotated edition of 1918, explicitly cites Cum ex apostolatus officio in footnote 2: which signifies that the author of that footnote, the eminent canonist Cardinal Gasparri, who supervised the revision of the Code, was of the opinion that the code of 1917 was in harmony with — and did not intend to obrogate or abolish  — the terms of that Papal law.

Extra-Ordinary Consistory, Feb 12: Discussion and Critique of Papal Address

Editorial — February 12, 2015:  As part of our coverage of the Extra-ordinary Consistory of Cardinals, which opened today, we have begun with our English translation of the Pope’s opening discourse, and will follow, now, with our discussion and critique of that discourse, in the light of last years events, revealing grave doubts concerning the validity of the papal election itself and the push by “Team Bergoglio” to advance the heresy of Modernism in the Church, which has been criticized by Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Lenga and Bishops Schneider, among many others.

The first and most obvious thing about the Papal Discourse is that it is a highly crafted text, which aims above all to impose the ideological and moral context in which the Consistory is to proceed and thus, a discourse, which attempts to preclude any substantive discussion of the real problems in the Church, in the present hour, as if, by pretending the Church is not in a most grave crisis brought on by the apparent invalidity of the papal election in 2013 and the manifest and public heresies of the Pope and his “Team Bergoglio” members and players, one could proceed to a reform of the Roman Curia under the guidance of men mired in such deeds and words.

This attempt and goal of the discourse is emblematic of the fundamental theological error promoted by Cardinal Bergoglio during his pontificate as Pope Francis and throughout his life, as recently indicated by Jack Tollers, a criminal prosecutor from Buenos Aires, whose interview we published this morning.  This error consists in a sociopathic presentation of the Catholicism, that is, the insistence that “being a Catholic” has nothing to do with the observance of the moral law or the assent of dogmatic faith to the teachings of Jesus Christ, but consists rather in a merely human convention and agreement to go-along and get-along no matter what heresies or immoralities are practiced or promoted by other Catholics.

This insistence is heretical because it presents a notion of faith divorced from truth in the mind and divorced from virtue in the will and senses: it is thus an unparalleled form of atheistic protestantism, in which private judgement wed to a denial of all that is supernatural is exalted as the true faith of Christ.  Nothing more blasphemous and heretical could be supposed.  But yet, this is the personal faith of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and he is doing everything, even in this Discourse, to promote it.

The Pope opens his discourse with the traditional greeting, “Brothers”, because the Popes for centuries have considered themselves in humility the brothers of the Cardinals who have elected them, since normally the Pope is a former cardinal.  The citation from the Psalm which follows (Ps. 133:1) is normative for meetings of chapters in religious houses or of Bishops, but as we can see from the text which follows, is interpreted according to the religion of Bergoglio, of the insistence on communion without faith or morals.

Next, the Pope makes clear who is in charge, by thanking only members of “Team Bergoglio” and their closest collaborators. This is to indicate to the Cardinals assembled that he will not brook any interventions by Cardinals which do not fit his prearranged plan to reform the Curia in such wise as he personally thinks fit.

Second, he states his personal religion in the form of an express statement:

The goal to reach is always that which favors the greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, for the purpose of realizing a more efficacious collaboration in that absolute transparency which edifies an authentic sinodality and collegiality.

In this statement, which has no reference to the Gospel or to Tradition, there is asserted as the goal, ideals which have nothing to do with faith or morals of themselves, but which are merely micro-managing principles which mean only, “Do what I tell you”, and “Pretend that what you are doing is a democratic process of equals”!

You can hear the pope shouting his ideology of a religion without morals or doctrine by his used of the words “sinodality” and “collegiality”, terms which means “working with the Pope as brother bishops” and “working together as equals“.  In other words, “Don’t buck me!” and “Don’t imagine for the moment that you can take the moral high ground and criticize my agenda!”

Next, the Pope explains that the reform is not aimed at the salvation of souls, but about control:

The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to favor a more efficacious evangelization; to promote a more fecund, ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.

Control of everything by himself: control of Christian witness, control of the work of the Church, control of the relations with other “churches” and this for the purpose of promoting friendship (“ecumenical spirit”) and conversation (“constructive dialogue”), code words for “watering down everything to a common denominator” and “shut-up all criticism”.

With this obvious insistence on all which does not regard the supreme law of the Church, the salvation of souls (“salus animarum”) the Pope ends his talk exhorting the Cardinals to work for that.  Quite a contradiction in terms. But a deliberate contradiction to emphasize that he is all about keeping up appearances while tearing down realities.

Se il Collegio dei Cardinali non fa il suo dovere

Traduzione di Antonio Marcantonio dal testo inglese originale
con qualche modifica dell’Autore

Roman_RuinsRoma, 30 gennaio 2015: Due giorni dopo la presentazione, da parte del blog From Rome, di quelli che sembrano essere crimini canonici ad opera del “Team Bergoglio” – così il Dr. Austin Ivereigh, ex-portavoce del Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, ha definito il gruppo di otto Cardinali che hanno cospirato per l’elezione del Cardinal Bergoglio prima del Conclave del 2013 e durante il suo svolgimento – Padre Federico Lombardi, portavoce della Santa Sede, ha annunciato che Papa Francesco ha convocato un concistoro speciale di Cardinali nei giorni 14 e 15 febbraio, per nominare venti nuovi Cardinali: si tratta di un tentativo di alterare per sempre la fisionomia del Collegio, sostituendone una la cui maggioranza di membri era stata scelta da Papa Giovanni Paolo II e Benedetto XVI ad un’altra la cui maggioranza di membri sarà composta da Cardinali scelti da Papa Francesco o che sono stati coinvolti nello scandalo della richiesta di voti per la sua elezione*.

 

Il dovere del Sacro Collegio dei Cardinali

L’attendibilità delle accuse portate nel caso contro il “Team Bergoglio” è stata ampiamente dimostrata nel nostro articolo del 6 gennaio 2015: Da Ivereigh all’abdicazione, i passi canonici resi necessari dallo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”. E i fondamenti canonici che consentirebbero di sollevare la questione dell’invalidità dell’elezione del Papa durante il Concistoro di febbraio sono stati esplicati nel nostro articolo del 17 gennaio 2014, Qualsiasi Cardinale Elettore ha il diritto di richiedere che lo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio” sia chiarito.

Vedi la nostra Cronologia completa sullo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”.

È ovvio che se i venti nuovi Cardinali nominati da Papa Francesco si aggiungono al Collegio dei Cardinali, tale corpo, de facto, non avrà più la capacità di indagare sulle accuse contro la validità dell’elezione di Papa Francesco che emergono tanto dalla narrazione degli eventi da parte del Dr. Austen Ivereigh come dall’indagine sulle irregolarità della procedura osservata durante il Conclave da parte di Antonio Socci, nel suo libro Non è Francesco che è attualmente un best-seller in Italia.

In questo caso, è valida la massima e la regola canonica:  Qui tacet videtur consentire (C. 43 in VI.5.12.).

Entrambe le fonti esprimono dei dubbi che sorgono da dichiarazioni fatte non dagli oppositori del Cardinal Bergoglio, bensì dai suoi stessi sostenitori, che sostengono di aver parlato con i Cardinali Elettori (nel caso di Ivereigh) o con lo stesso Cardinal Bergoglio (nel caso di Socci). Si tratta pertanto di testimoni estremamente attendibili.

Allo stesso tempo, nel momento in cui scriviamo, 354 Cattolici di tutto il mondo hanno inoltrato una petizione al Collegio dei Cardinali affinché esso indaghi sulle accuse di eterodossia contro il Cardinal Bergoglio e sul carattere eterodosso del suo comportamento personale prima e dopo la sua “elezione” papale, elementi sulla base dei quale essi credono che egli debba essere dichiarato invalidamente eletto e deposto come eretico. Non si sa quanti Cardinali conoscano l’esistenza di questa petizione, anche se le dovrebbe essere garantita con certezza una risposta pubblica.

I Cattolici di tutto il mondo, pertanto, dovrebbero farsi la seguente domanda:

Dopo il 15 febbraio, quando i nuovi Cardinali saranno insediati, che ne sarà della Chiesa?

Il Cardinal Bergoglio, già a partire dall’epoca del Conclave del 2013, ha mostrato in modo estremamente chiaro e costante, a tutti quelli che hanno occhi per vedere, di non essere in possesso della Fede Cattolica – anche se ogni volta che parla spontaneamente contro di essa e glielo si fa notare, egli si scusa adducendo il fatto di non aver avuto l’intenzione di negare nulla –; le ripetute espressioni del proprio credo individuale, la costante impunità e l’artificialità dei tentativi di mettere tutto a tacere dopo gli scandali che egli provoca, mostrano che egli sta semplicemente mantenendo salda la sua presa sull’ufficio che detiene, al fine di portare avanti il disegno esplicito e maligno di distruggere l’adesione e la lealtà della Chiesa al Magistero di Gesù Cristo, il Figlio Incarnato di Dio.

Persino i suoi sostenitori, come il Cardinal Baldissieri o il Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, affermano che egli si trovava dietro ogni azione scandalosa al recente Sinodo Straordinario sulla Famiglia e che la sua intenzione era quella di alterare irrimediabilmente e irrevocabilmente la natura stessa della Chiesa.  Pure, il Cardinal Marx afferma che Francesco rigetta la Chiesa come “una chiesa di verità”, perché come tale sarebbe “inutile per il popolo”.

Chiunque legga le notizie lo dovrebbe ormai sapere. Anche i Cardinali del Sacro Collegio.

Se essi non interverranno, risulterà evidente che fanno parte di un gruppo di complici de facto che condividono gli sforzi o le intenzioni del Cardinal Bergoglio di rovesciare la Chiesa Cattolica. In tal caso, essi diventeranno sospetti non solo di eresia, ma soprattutto di pertinacia in collusione sia attiva sia passiva col Cardinal Bergoglio. Essi perderebbero in tal modo ogni diritto di rappresentare il clero di Roma, in virtù del Canone 194, che recita in latino come segue:

Can. 194 — § 1. Ipso iure ab ecclesiastico amovetur:

1° qui statum clericalem amiserit;
qui a fide catholica aut a communione Ecclesiae publice defecerit;
3° clericus qui matrimonium etiam civile tantum attentaverit.

2. Amotio, de qua in nn. 2 et 3, urgeri tantum potest, si de eadem auctoritatis competentis declaratione constet.

Che, nella nostra traduzione non ufficiale ma letterale in italiano, recita come segue:

Canone 194 — § 1. In base alla stessa legge sono rimossi dallo stato ecclesiastico:

  1. Chi ha perso lo stato clericale;
  2. Chi ha disertato pubblicamente la Fede Cattolica o la comunione con la Chiesa;
  3. Un chierico che abbia cercato di contrarre matrimonio, anche solo civile.

2. Si può procedere alla rimozione, nei casi di cui ai numeri 2 e 3, solo se il caso viene stabilito da una dichiarazione dell’autorità competente riguardo la stessa.

È infatti ovvio che chi cospira per la negazione dell’insegnamento di Gesù Cristo è un eretico e un nemico della Chiesa Cattolica. Non è legittimo considerarlo in comunione con Essa più di quanto un virus mortale possa essere considerato parte del corpo che infetta**.

Il paragrafo 2 stabilisce che in primo luogo le autorità competenti devono giudicare i fatti: solo allora è lecito rimuovere dal loro ufficio la persona o le persone coinvolte.

Il diritto divino e naturale del Clero di Roma

seminario romanoIl fatto che l’autorità competente in una materia così grave sia il Clero della Diocesi di Roma si deduce senza alcuna possibilità di obiezione dal suo diritto divino e naturale. Divino, per il fatto che il clero di ogni diocesi, in caso di eresia del proprio vescovo e dei suoi collaboratori, ha il diritto di espellerli dalla comunione della Chiesa; naturale, poiché in ogni società umana gli unici membri che hanno l’autorità di espellerne altri sono quelli che conservano fedelmente la natura e la forma di tale società.

Questo duplice diritto del Clero di Roma viene affermato dall’Enciclopedia Cattolica, pubblicata più di cento anni fa, nel suo articolo sull’Elezione di un Papa, in cui dice:

Come si è visto, la guida suprema della Chiesa è abbinata all’ufficio di Vescovo di Roma. Il Papa diventa pastore capo perché è il Vescovo di Roma; non diventa Vescovo di Roma perché è stato scelto come capo della Chiesa universale. Pertanto, è corretto dire che l’elezione al papato è innanzitutto un’elezione al vescovato locale. I membri della Chiesa Romana hanno sempre avuto il diritto di eleggere il proprio vescovo. Sono essi che hanno la facoltà di poter dare alla Chiesa universale il suo pastore supremo; non viene loro assegnato un vescovo in virtù della sua elezione da parte della Chiesa universale. Ciò non significa che l’elezione debba consistere in un voto popolare da parte dei romani. Per quanto riguarda gli affari ecclesiastici, spetta sempre alla gerarchia guidare le decisioni dei fedeli. La scelta di un vescovo spetta al clero e deve essere limitata ai suoi livelli più alti. Questo è valido per la Chiesa Romana attuale. I membri del collegio dei cardinali elettori esercitano il loro ufficio in quanto gerarchi del clero romano. Se mai il collegio dei cardinali cessasse di esistere, il compito di scegliere un pastore supremo non cadrebbe sui vescovi riuniti in un concilio, ma sui restanti membri del clero Romano. Fu Papa Pio IV, all’epoca del Concilio di Trento, che insistette su questo punto in un’allocuzione concistoriale, temendo che al momento della sua morte il concilio potesse rivendicare tale diritto.

Tutte queste cose devono essere osservate con proprietà, discrezione e coscienza.

Quindi, se il Sacro Collegio si astiene dal ripudiare queste intenzioni maligne e dallo sciogliere i dubbi a proposito dell’elezione, il clero della Diocesi di Roma ha il diritto di fare da giudice. In tale diritto sarebbe inclusa la facoltà di interrogare le parti, tanto il Cardinal Bergoglio come tutti gli altri membri o co-cospiratori del “Team Bergoglio”, o chiunque possa dare testimonianza sulla mancanza di Fede Cattolica in lui o nei suoi sostenitori.

È sufficiente giudicare gli elementi a disposizione per poter emettere una sentenza che stabilisca o – in virtù della legge papale UDG 4 – che il conclave del 2013 non ha svolto un’elezione canonicamente valida, ovvero che Papa Francesco, per sua propria eresia, manifesta l’intenzione maligna di allontanarsi dalla fedeltà a Cristo su qualche materia. Qualora venissero interrogati, i Cardinali non potrebbero avvalersi del fatto di essere vincolati al voto pronunciato al conclave, perché nei procedimenti giudiziari le testimonianze non violano in nessun modo un voto di segretezza e perché in situazioni di questo genere il bene della Chiesa è superiore ad ogni voto.

Il clero della Diocesi di Roma comprende non solo i sacerdoti e i diaconi incardinati, ma anche i Vescovi Ausiliari e gli Arcivescovi, i Vescovi, i sacerdoti e i monsignori che sono incardinati nel Vaticano, che pur essendo per la legge civile uno stato separato, rimane una parte della Diocesi di Roma per il diritto canonico. Avrebbero diritto di partecipare come giudici a un processo del genere anche i Cardinali che non hanno potuto partecipare al Conclave del 2013 o che non potranno partecipare al Concistoro del 2015 – ivi compreso il Papa Emerito, “Padre Benedetto”, come chiede ora di essere chiamato –, così come i vescovi ausiliari, i sacerdoti e i diaconi della Diocesi di Roma in pensione ma ancora incardinati nella Diocesi.

Sarà quindi Dio che riderà ultimo, perché con il mero fatto di nominare nuovi Cardinali Elettori un uomo eletto in modo non canonico non potrà mai imporre un fait accompli alla Chiesa di Roma.

__________________________

* 115 Cardinali hanno partecipato al Conclave del 2013. Il Dr. Ivereigh afferma che il “Team Bergoglio” era composto da otto Cardinali (sette dei quali partecipavano attivamente, mentre l’altro conteggiava le promesse di voto) e da due possibili cospiratori che hanno raccolto 25 promesse di voto per il primo scrutinio. Se essi hanno ottenuto quanto volevano alla prima votazione, si può presumere con un ragionevole margine di probabilità che – come dice il Dr. Ivereigh – abbiano continuato tale attività anche dopo di essa, e quindi che anche qualcuno dei 53 voti guadagnati successivamente sia stato promesso. Tutti i Cardinali che hanno richiesto e promesso voti sarebbero stati ipso facto scomunicati. La serietà di queste accuse è stata recentemente dimostrata: il 6 gennaio 2015 il Cardinal Danneels, tramite il suo portavoce, ha esplicitamente negato di aver chiesto voti per il Cardinal Bergoglio prima il Conclave. E a partire del 15 febbraio più la maggioranza del Sacro Collegio sarà tanto in favore di Bergoglio, che con ogni probabilità non vorrà sentire nemmeno un accenno all’invalidità della sua elezione né tanto meno emettere un giudizio equo su di essa.

** Bisogna qui distinguere con attenzione e riconoscere che una cosa è avere abbastanza elementi  per esigere un processo o un’indagine per stabilire se il Pontefice di Roma è un eretico o è stato eletto in modo non canonico; altra cosa è averne la certezza: la seconda ipotesi richiede infatti la certezza delle prove a livello dei giudizi privati, e anche un atto forense di giudizio da parte dell’autorità competente a livello dei giudizi pubblici. È questa la ragione per cui la necessità che vengano sciolti i dubbi sullo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio” tramite un giudizio pubblico è di un’urgenza assoluta: perché la Chiesa rischia non solo che ai suoi fedeli venga negato il diritto di avere un legittimo successore di San Pietro, ma anche uno scisma tra i seguaci di un candidato che sembrerebbe essere falso e quanti insistono sulla necessità di averne uno legittimo.

Qualsiasi Cardinale Elettore ha il diritto di richiedere che lo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio” venga chiarito

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)
il Cardinale Jorge Mario Bergoglio emette il voto di segretezza alla apertura del Conclave, Marzo 12, 2014 (BBC, screenshot: From Rome blog, cropped)

L’UDG 5 e il Canone 1530

Traduzione italiana di Sig. Antonio Marcantonio: fonte inglese originale, qui.

Roma, 17 gennaio 2015: Dal momento in cui si sono diffuse le rivelazioni a proposito della campagna organizzata da otto Cardinali per favorire l’elezione del Cardinal Bergoglio al Conclave del 2013 – in cui quest’ultimo è stato eletto come Papa Francesco – si è aperta una controversia pubblica accompagnata da seri dubbi circa la validità dell’elezione. Nella norma papale che regola l’elezione di un pontefice, la Costituzione Apostolica Universi Dominici Gregis, mancano infatti i termini specifici che avrebbero impedito che i fatti dovessero essere interpretati in base alle norme generali del Codice di Diritto Canonico, in modo particolare ai Canoni 171 e 1329.

Nel paragrafo 81 della Universi Dominici Gregis (che abbrevieremo con la sigla UDG), il reato della promessa di voti è sanzionato con la scomunica automatica, in modo tale che un Cardinale Elettore viene scomunicato nell’atto stesso di promettere un voto. In base al Canone 1329, la scomunica automatica si estende alla persona che richiede la promessa del voto, anche se si tratta di un Cardinale Elettore. In base ai termini del primo paragrafo del Canone 171, i voti degli elettori scomunicati, anche quando si tratta di Cardinali in un conclave, non possono essere contati come voti a favore del candidato che essi menzionano sulla scheda; inoltre, in base al secondo paragrafo dello stesso Canone, se i voti degli elettori scomunicati sono conteggiati tra quelli a favore del candidato, in modo tale da fargli raggiungere il numero di voti necessario per la vittoria, quest’ultima viene annullata a tutti gli effetti in conformità con le norme sull’elezione.

La facti species, ovvero l’apparenza dei fatti narrati nel libro del Dr. Ivereigh, Il Grande Riformatore: Francesco e la creazione di un Papa radicale (traduzione italiana del nostro sommario, qui), parla dunque a favore dell’invalidità dell’elezione di Papa Francesco, ossia del fatto che egli non abbia ottenuto il suo ufficio con mezzi leciti, legali o legittimi. Ciò implicherebbe che non solo i Cattolici si possono dissociare dalla comunione con lui, ma hanno anche l’obbligo morale di farlo se non vogliono incorrere nel peccato mortale.

Le accuse, attendibili, concernono quindi un autentico scandalo.

L’UDG 5 offre una semplice soluzione allo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”

Grazie a Dio, Papa Giovanni Paolo II ha provveduto, nella sua legge papale sul conclave, una facile soluzione di cui qualsiasi Cardinale si può servire: tale soluzione risiede nei termini sanciti dal quinto paragrafo della legge papale, l’UDG 5, il cui testo ufficiale in latino recita:

  1. Si quae autem dubia exoriantur de sensu praescriptionum, quae hac Nostra Constitutione continentur, aut circa rationem qua ad usum deduci eae debeant, edicimus ac decernimus penes Cardinalium Collegium esse potestatem de his ferendi sententiam; propterea, eidem Cardinalium Collegio facultatem tribuimus interpretandi locos dubios vel in controversiam vocatos, statuentes, ut, si de eiusmodi vel similibus quaestionibus deliberati oporteat, excepto ipso electionis actu, satis sit maiorem congregatorum Cardinalium partem in eandem sententiam convenire.

La nostra traduzione non ufficiale in italiano è la seguente:

  1. Inoltre, se dovesse sorgere uno di questi dubbi a proposito delle prescrizioni contenute in questa Nostra Costituzione, o a proposito del criterio secondo cui esse devono essere messe in pratica, Noi dichiariamo e giudichiamo che il potere di emettere un giudizio su di essi spetta al Collegio dei Cardinali; conferiamo inoltre al Collegio dei Cardinali la facoltà di interpretare i passi dubbi e/o contestati, in modo tale che quando esso emette sentenze su questioni di questo tipo e/o similari – eccetto il caso specifico dellelezione – sia sufficiente che la maggioranza dei Cardinali riuniti si trovino d’accordo sulla stessa opinione.

In questo paragrafo, Papa Giovanni Paolo II chiarisce vari punti: in primo luogo, il Sacro Collegio ha autorità e giurisdizione su questioni riguardanti il significato dei singoli paragrafi e sul metodo da usarsi per applicarli; in secondo luogo, il Papa stabilisce che siano i Cardinali che devono deliberare in merito a ciò, che bisogna procedere a una votazione e che le decisioni devono essere prese dalla maggioranza dei Cardinali Elettori riuniti.

In altre parole, dunque, la legge papale stabilisce nell’UDG 5 che i Cardinali Elettori riuniti sono i giudici dei casi che possono sorgere a proposito della legge papale stessa. L’unica materia su cui non si possono pronunciare è l’atto stesso dell’elezione,: ossia, non possono giudicare se l’atto abbia avuto luogo o no, bensì possono solamente valutare se si è aderito debitamente ai termini della legge papale e se questi siano stati seguiti. Già nel paragrafo 4 l’UDG stabilisce che ogni inadempimento dei termini rende le elezioni nulle e non valide: non v’è quindi bisogno che i Cardinali giudichino la validità dell’atto stesso.

È pertanto sufficiente che i Cardinali si riuniscano, deliberino in merito al caso dello scandalo del “Team Bergoglio” e lo dirimano. Potranno dibattere sulla veridicità delle accuse e investigare sui fatti chiedendo ai testimoni oculari se l’UDG 81 sia stato violato tramite un accordo sui voti perpetrato dai sostenitori del Cardinal Bergoglio.

Il Canone 1530 garantisce il diritto di indagare sulle accuse

Il Canone 1530 garantisce il diritto di ogni Cardinale e ognuno con interesse, come ogni clerico o laico della Chiesa di Roma, a esigere che si indaghi in un concistoro sulle accuse relative allo scandalo del “Team Bergoglio”. Garantisce infatti al giudice di ogni contenzioso il diritto e il dovere di indagare sui fatti relativi alle controversie e di dirimerle, su richiesta di una qualsiasi delle parti in causa. Il testo del Canone recita:

Can. 1530 — Iudex ad veritatem aptius eruendam partes interrogare semper potest, immo debet, ad instantiam partis vel ad probandum factum quod publice interest extra dubium poni.

La nostra traduzione non ufficiale in italiano è la seguente:

Canone 1530 — Il giudice può – e ancor più, deve – sempre interrogare le parti per scoprire la verità in modo più efficace, quando una delle parti lo solleciti e/o per provare un fatto di pubblico interesse e sciogliere ogni dubbio su di esso.

In questo caso sarebbe l’intero Collegio dei Cardinali Elettori a ricoprire il ruolo di giudice, mentre ogni singolo Cardinale Elettore – insieme a quelli accusati di accordare i voti – può ricoprire il ruolo di parte in causa. Ogni singolo Cardinale può quindi esigere che il Sacro Collegio indaghi sulle accuse. Ciò è possibile solo se si interroga ogni singolo Cardinale di fronte agli altri. Si può fare ogni tipo di domanda. Il Canone 1531 esige che la persona interrogata dica la verità. I Cardinali eserciterebbero in tal modo tutto ciò che è prescritto sui contenziosi nell’edizione del 1983 del Codice di Diritto Canonico (cfr. Canone 1501 e seguenti).

La soluzione è semplice. La questione del “Team Bergoglio” può essere risolta facilmente. Perché dunque non si apre alcun contenzioso? E perché i sostenitori del “Team Bergoglio” si scagliano così violentemente contro l’ipotesi di un’indagine?

If the College of Cardinals fails …

The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 20143Conclave
The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 20143Conclave

Rome, January 30, 2015:  Two days following the presentation by the From Rome blog of the apparent canonical crimes committed by “Team Bergoglio” — the name given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, former spokesman for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor to the group of 8 Cardinals who lobbied for Cardinal Bergoglio’s election before and during the Conclave of 2013 — Fr. Frederico Lombardi, the papal spokesman, announced that Pope Francis had called a special consistory of Cardinals, on Feb. 14-15, to name 20 new Cardinals, in the attempt to alter forever the character of the College, from one whose majority was appointed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, to one whose majority is comprised of those named by Pope Francis or who were involved in vote-canvassing for his election.*

The probity of the case against “Team Bergoglio” was demonstrated amply in our article, on January 6, 2015: From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal. And the canonical basis for raising the question of the invalidity of the papal election, during Consistory in February, was explained in our January 17th article, Every Single Cardinal-Elector has right to demand resolution of “Team Bergoglio” scandal.

But what if the College of Cardinals fails?

It is obvious, that if the 20 new nominations by Pope Francis are added to the College of Cardinals, that there will be, de facto, no capacity for that body to investigate the allegations against the validity of Pope Francis’ election, which arise either from Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative of events or Antonio Socci’s investigation in to the irregularities of the proceedure during conclave, as expressed in his book, Non è Francesco, which is a  best-seller in Italy. Both doubts arise from statements made, not by Cardinal Bergoglio’s opponents, but by his supporters who claim to have spoken to Cardinal-Electors (in Ivereigh’s case) or Cardinal Bergoglio himself (in Socci’s case). Testimonies of great probity, therefore.

For a complete Chronology of reports about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, see our Chronology.

Moreover, as of today, 354 Catholics from around the world have petitioned the College of Cardinals to investigate the charges of Cardinal Bergoglio’s heterodoxy and heterodox practice in his personal behavior before and after his papal “election”, on which grounds they believe he should be judged as invalidly elected and deposed as a heretic. How many of the Cardinals know of this petition is unknown.  Though some public response is certainly warranted, even on that.

Catholics the world-over, then, might ask, after Feb. 15th, if the new Cardinals are installed, what will become of the Church?

Cardinal Bergoglio, since the time of the Conclave in 2013, has shown in the clearest and most consistent fashion, for all who have eyes, to see, that he does not hold the Catholic Faith — even though, after speaking spontaneously against it, when it is pointed out, he excuses himself, with the suggestion that he did not mean to deny anything — his consistent expressions of personal belief and consistent impenitence and artificiality in the attempts to mop up after the scandals he provokes, shows that he is merely protecting his claim to the office, so as to further his professed and malign design to overthrow the Church’s adhesion and loyalty to the Magisterium of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God.

Even his followers, such as Cardinal Baldissieri or Cardinal Rodiguez Maradiaga, affirm that he was behind every scandalous action at the recent Extraordinary Synod for the Family and that his intention is to irremediably and irrevokably alter the very nature of the Church.

Anyone who reads the news, knows all of this by now.  Even the Cardinals of the Sacred College.

If they do not act, then, it is clear that they are complicit as a body in the work and intention of Cardinal Bergoglio to overthrow the Catholic Church.  They, then, become, not just suspect of heresy, but most of all of pertinacity in collusion with Cardinal Bergoglio.  They thus lose all right to represent the clergy of Rome, in virtue of canon 194, which reads in Latin as follows:

 Can. 194 — § 1. Ipso iure ab ecclesiastico amovetur:

1° qui statum clericalem amiserit;
2° qui a fide catholica aut a communione Ecclesiae publice defecerit;
3° clericus qui matrimonium etiam civile tantum attentaverit.

§ 2. Amotio, de qua in nn. 2 et 3, urgeri tantum potest, si de eadem auctoritatis competentis declaratione constet.

Which, in our unofficial, but literal English translation reads as follows:

Canon 194 — § 1. By the law itself there is removed from the ecclesiastical state:

  1.  He who has lost the clerical state;
  2. He who has publicly failed from the Catholic Faith or from the Church’s communion;
  3. A cleric who will have attempted marriage, even only civilly.

§ 2.  The removal, concerning which there is mention in nn. 2 & 3, can be prosecuted, only if it be established by the declaration of a competent authority concerning the same.

For it is obvious, that he who conspires to reject the teaching of Christ Jesus, is a heretic and enemy of the Catholic Church. He can no more be considered in communion with Her, than a deadly virus can be considered part of the body which it infects.°  Paragraph § 2, explains that, first, the competent authority judges the facts, and only then it is licit to remove the individual(s) from their offices.

The Divine & Natural Right of the Clergy of Rome

That the competent authority in such a grave matter is the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, is, without question, their divine and natural right. Divine, by the fact that the clergy of every diocese, in questions of the heresy of their own bishop and his collaborators, have the right to expel them from the communion of the Church; natural, since there is no authority in any society to expel except those who retain the nature and form of that society faithfully.

This twofold right of the Clergy of Rome is affirmed by the Catholic Encyclopedia published more than 100 years ago, in its article on the Election of Popes, where it says:

The supreme headship of the Church is, we have seen, annexed to the office of Roman bishop. The pope becomes chief pastor because he is Bishop of Rome: he does not become Bishop of Rome because he has been chosen to be head of the universal Church. Thus, an election to the papacy is, properly speaking, primarily an election to the local bishopric. The right to elect their bishop has ever belonged to the members of the Roman Church. They possess the prerogative of giving to the universal Church her chief pastor; they do not receive their bishop in virtue of his election by the universal Church. This is not to say that the election should be by popular vote of the Romans. In ecclesiastical affairs it is always for the hierarchy to guide the decisions of the flock. The choice of a bishop belongs to the clergy: it may be confined to the leading members of the clergy. It is so in the Roman Church at present. The electoral college of cardinals exercise their office because they are the chief of the Roman clergy. Should the college of cardinals ever become extinct, the duty of choosing a supreme pastor would fall, not on the bishops assembled in council, but upon the remaining Roman clergy. At the time of the Council of Trent Pius IV, thinking it possible that in the event of his death the council might lay some claim to the right, insisted on this point in a consistorial allocution.

In all things, let there be propriety, discretion and conscientiousness

Thus, if the Sacred College fails to repudiate the malign intentions and resolve the doubts as to the validity of the election, the clergy of the Diocese of Rome have the right to adjudicate the matter.  This would include the right to interrogate the parties, whether Cardinal Bergoglio and the other members or co-conspirators in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, or whoever can give testimony to the lack of Catholic Faith among himself or his supporters.

They need only to judge the cases at hand, each of which is sufficient to arrive at a declaration, either in virtue of the papal law UDG 4, that the conclave of 2015 did not conduct a canonically valid election, or that Pope Francis by his personal heresy, manifest in his malign intentions to break from fidelity to Christ regarding any matter whatsoever. In such interrogations, the Cardinals cannot plead that they are bound by the vow of the Conclave, because in judicial proceedings, testimony given in no way violates a vow of secrecy, since the good of the Church is superior to all vows in such matters.

The clergy of the Diocese of Rome includes not only the priests and deacons incardinated, but also the Auxiliary Bishops and all the Archbishops and Bishops and priests and monsignors who are incardinated in the Vatican, which though a separate country in civil law, remain a part of the Diocese of Rome in canon law. In such a trial, Cardinals who are of such an age as not to have participated in the Conclave of 2013 or Consistory of 2015, such as  the Pope Emeritus, “Father Benedict” as he now asks to be called, would have a right to participate as judges, as well as all the retired auxiliary bishops and priests and deacons of the Diocese of Rome who are still incardinated in the Diocese.

Thus, it is God who will have the last laugh, because by merely naming new Cardinal-electors an uncanonically elected man can never obtain a fait accompli over the Church of  Rome.

__________________________

* 115 Cardinals participated in the 2013 Conclave.  Dr. Ivereigh says that “Team Bergoglio” was comprised of 8 Cardinals (7 who actively participated, 1 who tallied votes promises) and 2 possible co-conspirators, who sought 25 promised votes for the first ballot.  One can assume with a high degree of probability, that if they succeeded in this for the first round of voting, as Dr. Ivereigh says, that they continued this practice after the first round, and that therefore, some of the 53 votes garnered later were also promised.  All of those Cardinals who vote canvassed or vote promised would have been ipso facto ex-communicated; the seriousness of which charge was recently demonstrated on January 6, 2015, when Cardinal Danneels through is spokesman, explicitly denied vote-canvassing for Cardinal Bergoglio. Hence, the 120+ Cardinal electors to be after Feb. 15th, will be a majority of pro-Bergoglio men, unwilling in all probability of hearing any case regarding the invalidity of his election or judging justly about it.

°  Here, one must rightly distinguish and recognize that it is one thing to have sufficient probity to act as if the Roman Pontiff is a heretic or uncanonically elected so as to urge a trial or investigation, quite another to hold that he is such; since the latter requires certitude of evidence in regard to private judgements, and also a forensic act of judgement by a competent authority, in regard to public judgements.  This is why it is a very grave and necessary thing to have a resolution of the “Team Bergoglio” scandal by public judgement, because the Church risks not only the deprivation of the rights of all the faithful to having a legitimate successor to St. Peter, but also a schism between adherents of an apparently false candidate and those who insist upon a legitimate one.

Why does the Lord at times threaten His Church with chastisement?

Rome, January 21, 2015:  Nearly four years ago, while I lived as a hermit in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Noto, Sicily, I heard of other hermits living on the Island of Sicily, and sought them out for spiritual advice.  In the course of my travels I met a few such hermits, living in obscurity in the mountains of Sicily, and had the occasion to come to know of a vision which the Lord gave one hermit.  At that time, since I do not value private revelations that much, and because I did not know whether this vision was from God or not, I did not put much value in it.  But since that time I have come to see, with the passing events of time, that it was a prophetic vision of the doom into which the Church of Rome would fall.  For that reason, I now recognize it as of God, and for that reason I will publish it here, below.

But since many do not understand why the Lord, at times, threatens the members of His own Church with chastisement, let us first hear what St. Alphonsus dei Liguori, the Doctor of the Church, says on this matter, in his short treatise, entitled, Calamities, Chastisement, and the Love of God, in the first discourse:

CALAMATIES, CHASTISEMENT & THE LOVE OF GOD

FIRST DISCOURSE

by St. Alphonsus dei Liguori, C.Ss.R.

“Heu! consolabor super hostibus meis, et vindicabor de inimicis meis.”

“Ah, I will comfort Myself over My adversaries: and I will be revenged of My enemies.” Isaias 1.24.

SUCH is the language of God, when speaking of punishment and vengeance: He says that he is constrained by his justice to take vengeance on his enemies. But, mark you, he begins with the word Heu, “Ah”: this word is an exclamation of grief by which he would give us to understand, that if he were capable of weeping when about to punish, he would weep bitterly at being compelled to afflict us his creatures, whom he has loved so dearly as to give up his life through love for us. “‘Alas!'” says Cornelius a Lapide, “is uttered by one who is lamenting and not insulting; God signifies by this word that he is grieving, and that he is unwilling to punish sinners.”1 No, this God, who is the Father of mercies, and so much loves us, is not of a disposition to punish and afflict, but rather to pardon and console us. For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction.2

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1 “Heu! dolentis est, non insultantis; significat Deus hac voce se dolentem et invitum punire peccatores.”

2 “Ego enim scio cogitationes quas ego cogito super vos, ait Dominus, cogitationes pacis, et non afflictionis.” Jer. 29.11.

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But some one will say, since such is his character, why does he now punish us? or, at least, appear as if he meant to punish us? Why so? Because he wishes to be merciful towards us: this anger which he now dis- plays is all mercy and patience.

Let us then, my brethren, understand how the Lord at present appears in wrath, not with a view to our punishment, but in order that we may cleanse ourselves of our sins, and thus enable him to pardon us. Such is the subject of our discourse: GOD THREATENS TO CHASTISE IN ORDER TO DELIVER US FROM CHASTISEMENT.

The threats of men ordinarily proceed from their pride and weakness; and so, if they have it in their power to take vengeance, then they will not threaten anything, lest they should thereby give their enemies an opportunity of escape. It is only when they lack the power to inflict their vengeance that they resort to using threats, in order to gratify their passion, by awakening at least the fears of their enemies. Not so the threats of which God makes use; on the contrary, their nature is quite different. His threats do not arise from his inability to chastise, because he can be avenged when he wills; but he bears with us in order to see us repentant, and thus exempt from punishment. You have mercy upon all, because You can do all things, and overlook the sins of men so that they may repent.1 Neither does he threaten from hatred, in order to tor ment us with fear; God threatens from love, in order that we may be converted to him, and thereby escape chastisement: he threatens, because he does not wish to see us lost: he threatens, in sum, because he loves our souls. But You spare all, because they are yours, O Lord, who love souls.2 He threatens; but in spite of this he bears with us and delays in punishing, because he wishes to see us converted, not lost. He deals patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.3 Thus the threats of God are all acts of tenderness, and loving calls of his goodness, by which he means to save us from the punishment which we deserve.

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1 “Misereris omnium, quia omnia potes, et dissimulas peccata hominum propter poenitentiam.” Wis. 11.24.

2 “Parcis autem omnibus, quoniam tua sunt, Domine, qui amas animas.” Wis. 11.27.

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And now, here is what this Sicilian hermit told me he saw:*

Deutsche-Bank-Verantwortung-Responsibility_Villa-Romana

A beautiful house with a fence and garden: and in it there dwelt a most beautiful, immaculate virgin with her spouse.  Then came the day, when her spouse had to go on a long trip, and he left her at home to wait for him. At first, she waited with great fidelity, inside her house, and did not go out; but, as she allowed her impatience to overcome her, she started to look outside through her windows, to see if her spouse was returning; then, moved by greater impatience, she fell into imprudence, and she open the door and looked out on occasion for his return.  Moved by greater impatience and imprudence, and tinged now with the movement of curiosity, she would leave the door open for long hours, and occasionally go out into the yard of the home, to walk along its fence, and look out for her spouse.  But therein she was deceived, because her curiosity betrayed itself to vanity, and she began to take pleasure in going outside her house and spending time in her yard; and then, in looking beyond its fence, ostensibly to see if her spouse was returning, but more and more to enjoy what she saw there.

Then, one day an evil man dressed in the manner of a man of virtue came down the road, and caught her eye. She violated her marriage promise with her own spouse by delaying outside to speak with him. His speech was very pleasing and he praised her with many false words, seducing her with the appearance of virtue, so she betrayed her spouse by allowing this stranger into her house, where shutting the door, she fornicated with him.  He lived with her some time and squandered all the riches of her home on a life of impurity with her, until he died and she died. And that house fell into darkness and great was its ruin …

These are not the exact words, but rather my own attempt to remember what he told me and repeat it succinctly.

This vision is a warning from the Lord, our God; prophetic in the sense that it spoke of what had not yet come to pass, but what would come to pass if men did not repent.

The virgin is the Church of Rome, or rather, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church; the house is the Diocese of Rome.  Who the seducer is, is now obvious to everyone in the world.

_________________

* Here, I add the photo only for the sake of illustration. I heard of this vision in April of 2011, when I traveled to western Sicily to visit various hermits. For the hermit’s sake, I will not identify the hermit. Nor was I told the full import of the vision.

 

Every Single Cardinal-Elector has right to demand resolution of “Team Bergoglio” scandal

UDG 5 and Canon 1530

The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 2014 Conclave
The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 2014 Conclave

Rome, January 17, 2015:  Ever since the revelation of an organized campaign by 8 Cardinals to promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave, which elected him as Pope Francis, there has been a grave public controversy and doubt as to the validity of his election.  This is because the current papal law on elections, the Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, lacked the specific term which would have exempted it from being interpreted according to the general norms of Canon Law: specifically from canons 171 and 1329.

In paragraph 81 of Universi Dominic Gregis (here after UDG), the crime of vote-promising is penalized with automatic excommunication, such that in the very act of promising a vote, a Cardinal elector is excommunicated.  On account of canon 1329, that automatic excommunication is extended to the one asking for the vote promise, even if the one asking is also a Cardinal elector.  On account of the terms of canon 171 §1, the votes of excommunicated electors, even Cardinals in a conclave, cannot be counted in favor of the candidate they name; and on account of canon 171 §2, if they are counted among the number in favor of the candidate in such wise that they cause that number to be sufficient for victory, according to the norms of the election, the election is nullified in all its effects.

Thus the fattispecies, or appearance of facts, in the narrative of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, argue for the invalidity of the election of Pope Francis, that is, that Pope Francis did not obtain his office by a legal, lawful, or legitimate means.  That would mean that Catholics not only could legitimately break off communion with him, but would be morally obliged to do so, under pain of mortal sin.

Thus, the probity of the allegations regard a true scandal.

UDG 5 gives a simple solution to the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Thankfully, Pope John Paul II provided in his papal law on conclaves an easy solution, which any single Cardinal can take advantage of: the terms stated in the 5th paragraph of that law, UDG 5, the official Latin text of which is:

5. Si quae autem dubia exoriantur de sensu praescriptionum, quae hac Nostra Constitutione continentur, aut circa rationem qua ad usum deduci eae debeant, edicimus ac decernimus penes Cardinalium Collegium esse potestatem de his ferendi sententiam; propterea, eidem Cardinalium Collegio facultatem tribuimus interpretandi locos dubios vel in controversiam vocatos, statuentes, ut, si de eiusmodi vel similibus quaestionibus deliberati oporteat, excepto ipso electionis actu, satis sit maiorem congregatorum Cardinalium partem in eandem sententiam convenire.

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

5. Moreover, if which doubts rise up concerning the sense of the prescriptions, which are contained in this Our Constitution, or about the reckoning by which they should be put into practice, We decree and judge that the power to make judgement concerning these is within the College of Cardinals; moreover, We grant to the College of Cardinals the faculty of interpreting doubtful passages and/or those called into controversy, so that, if having deliberated concerning questions of this kind and/or the similar, excepting the very act of the election itself, it be sufficient that the greater part of the Cardinals gathered together agree upon the same sentence.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshot by From Rome blog, cropped)

In this paragraph, Pope John Paul II establishes several specific things.  The first of which is the authority and jurisdiction of the Sacred College over questions regarding the meaning of the individual paragraphs and about the method to be used to put them into practice; second, about the interpretation of doubtful paragraphs and those about which a dispute arises.  Third, he establishes that the Cardinals are to deliberate about these, and that a vote is to be taken, and that the decisions are to be arrived at by a majority of the assembled Cardinal electors.

In other words, then, the papal law in UDG 5 establishes the Cardinal Electors, gathered together, to be the judge of cases which arise regarding the papal law itself. The only matter excluded, is that they cannot judge the very act of the election, that is, they cannot judge whether the act took place or not, only if the terms of the papal law were properly adhered to or followed.  The papal law, in UDG 4 already establishes that any non-compliance with it terms renders the election null and void, so, thus, there is no need for the Cardinals to decide upon the validity of the act itself.

Thus, it is sufficient that the Cardinals gather together, deliberate the matter of the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, and decide the case.  They would discuss whether the allegations are true and investigate them by asking the eye-witnesses, one another, whether UDG 81 was violated by vote-canvassing conducted by the supporters of Cardinal Bergoglio.

Canon 1530 guarantees the right to investigate charges

Canon 1530 guarantees the right of every Cardinal to have the allegations regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal investigated in Consistory.  This is because it grants to the judge of every contentious trial, the right and duty to investigate the facts of the controversy and rule upon them, at the request of any party to the case.  The text of that canon reads:

Can. 1530 — Iudex ad veritatem aptius eruendam partes interrogare semper potest, immo debet, ad instantiam partis vel ad probandum factum quod publice interest extra dubium poni.

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

Canon 1530 — The judge can always interrogate the parties to draw the truth out more aptly, nay he ought, at the insistence of a party and/or to prove a fact which is of public interest, to put it outside of doubt.

The judge in this case would be the entire College of Cardinal Electors, the parties in the case would be any single and all the Cardinal Electors and those accused of canvassing votes.  Thus any single Cardinal could demand the Sacred College to investigate the charges.  This would be done by interrogating collectively each individual Cardinal.  The kind of questions, that could be asked, are any whatsoever.  Canon 1531 requires that all questioned answer truthfully. The Cardinals could do whatever is proscribed for contentious trials in the 1983 Code of Canon Law (cf. canons 1501 ff.).

The solution is simple. The matter of “Team Bergoglio” can easily be resolved.  Why then is there any controversy at all? or Why do the supporters of “Team Bergoglio” argue so angrily against an investigation?

“Team Bergoglio” and the legacy of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro

Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro
Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro

Rome, January 10, 2015:  It has been a little over 111 years ago, since another controversial Conclave met and elected a now famous Pope.  That was the Conclave of August 1903, and the Cardinal elected was St. Giuseppe Sarto, who took the name Pius X.

Several historians, basing themselves on the testimony of none other than Cardinal Merry Del Val and Cardinal Matthieu in the last hundred years have sustained that that Conclave was marked by a remarkable occurrence, the veto by the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef I, against one of the leading contenders, Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro, the Secretary of State of Pope Leo XIII.  The motivation of this intervention has been attributed by Msgr. Jouin and Craig Heimbichner (the latter in his book, Blood and Altar) to the association of Cardinal Rampolla with French Freemasonry.

The curious Conclave of 1903 had a curious consequence: that during the reign of Pope St. Pius X, the followers of Cardinal Rampolla who were raised to the dignity of the episcopate, where ordained by the Pope, and those of the Pope by Cardinal Rampolla.  In the first case, the co-consecrators were either both or at least in one individual, themselves bishops ordained by Cardinal Rampolla.

Does this indicate a sort of compromise in the Conclave itself, by which the Catholic Cardinals and the Cardinals who were Freemasons came to some agreement, not to contest the validity of the election of Pope St Pius X?

Cardinal Rampolla passed away suddenly on Dec. 16, 1913, exactly 23 years before the birthday of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born Dec. 17, 1936.

In any event, it is noticeable that the members of “Team Bergoglio” can trace their episcopal lineage back to Cardinal Rampolla and Pope St. Pius X in such wise as to both seemingly confirm the existence of such a compromise and to mark “Team Bergoglio” as the ecclesiastical heirs of the legacy of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro.

But don’t take my word on it, go to catholic-hierarchy.org and check for yourself.  Here I will summarize what I have found there among the lists of the episcopal lineages of the alleged members of  “Team Bergoglio”.

An episcopal lineage is the list of names of the principal consecrators of each bishop in the line extending from the bishop ordained back to the Apostles.  Episcopal lineages have been traced in the Roman Rite back to the 15th century.  When reading a lineage, the first named is the one consecrated, the next his principal consecrator, the next the principal consecrator of the principal consecrator.  When ordained a bishop, every bishop is ordained by 3 bishops, the principal and 2 co-consecrators, which are normally chosen by the individual to be ordained.  This can, thus, give some indication of the allegiance of the one to be ordained to existing factions withing the Sacred Hierarchy.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

His direct episcopal lineage can be traced thus:  Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a bishop on June 27, 1992, by

Thus, Cardinal Bergoglio is a direct episcopal “descendant” and “heir” of the Rampolla legacy.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

Next, the alleged ring-leader of “Team Bergoglio”, who was consecrated a bishop on Dec. 21, 1977, by

Cardinal Giambattista della Chiesa was the personal secretary and close ally of Cardinal Rampolla, from the time that the latter was Apostolic Nuncio to Spain. Cardinal della Chiesa was ordained a bishop, however, by Pope St. Pius X.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Next, one of the members of “Team Bergoglio”, whom Dr. Ivereigh names in his book, but whom is not one of the 4 who have made public denials, is the Cardinal of Vienna, who was consecrated a bishop on Sept. 29, 1991 by

Thus, Cardinal Schönborn is a direct episcopal “descendant” and “heir” of the Cardinal Rampolla legacy.

Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló

Next, one of the members of “Team Bergoglio”, whom Dr. Ivereigh names in his book, but whom is not one of the 4 who have made public denials, is the Cardinal-Archpriest of Santa Maria Maggiore, who was consecrated a bishop on June 16, 1985 by

Cardinal Giambattista della Chiesa was the personal secretary and close ally of Cardinal Rampolla, from the time that the latter was Apostolic Nuncio to Spain. Cardinal della Chiesa was ordained a bishop, however, by Pope St. Pius X.

Other alleged members of the Team trace back to Cardinal Gasparri

Other alleged members of “Team Bergoglio” are Cardinals Godfreid Danneels, Karl Lehman and Walter Kasper all descend from Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, whose episcopal lineage does not cross Cardinal Rampolla. Similarly, Cardinal André Armand Vingt-Trois of Paris, another named member, who has made no public denials, traces his lineage back to Cardinal François-Marie-Benjamin Richard de la Vergne, who was the principal consecrator of Cardinal Gasparri.

However, Cardinal Pietro Gasparri himself has been accused of being a collaborator with Cardinal Rampolla in opposing the reforms of Pope St. Pius X, in particular, the effort to extirpate the heresy of Modernism among the upper clergy.

Other implicated Cardinals

The text of Ivereigh also implicates Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, and the African Cardinals, such as Cardinal Napier of Durban.  Both of these Cardinals have lineages tracing back to Cardinal Gaetano De Lai, both of whose co-consecrators were themselves consecrated principally by Cardinal Rampolla.

From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screen shot by From Rome blog, cropped)

Rome — January 6, 2015:  On the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, the Catholic Church celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of the Eternal Light over the darkness merited by this world by the sin of Adam, the darkness which is the demerit of sin, the alienation of God, the loss of God’s Light which would have led Adam’s race from its first progeny to a most splendid glory. For on this day, the Church celebrates the revelation of the Eternal Light incarnate in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin, revealed now to the Gentiles who seek Him out; and not all gentiles, but only those who like the Magi of old, seek Him with sincerity and zeal.

This great Mystery which we celebrate today must be echoed in all the choices of life which we make, must be echoed in the entire life of the Church in all the choices She makes, must even be echoed in the governance of the Church by all the choices which the Sacred Hierarchy makes.

A Church which does not observe Her own laws, thus, can never be the Church which proclaims the Mystery of the Epiphany; and for this reason, corruption in the Church is an abominable denial of the truth of all that the Epiphany represents.

Hence, it is most appropriate, once again to affirm that the facts which surround the “Team Bergoglio” scandal and its consequences in law merit in the most extreme and supreme manner the resolution of the doubts and questions raised.

For this reason, the From Rome blog will now summarize the Canonical Case against “Team Bergoglio” and show why the validity of the election of Cardinal Bergoglio is ostensibly invalidated thereby, and this with a high probability that the contrary is not true.  A summary of reports on the “Team Bergoglio” scandal as well as those blog posts from the From Rome blog can be found in our Chronology of Reports on Team Bergoglio, which is updated regularly. The facts contained in the articles listed in this Chronology, will now be summarized for the facility of the reader:

The crime against UDG 81

Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former spokesman for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, in the ninth chapter of his biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, says that 8 Cardinals conspired to and did succeed in promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio by means of seeking vote-promises from 25 Cardinal electors to be cast in the first balloting of the Conclave on March 12, 2013.  From the text of Ivereigh, it can be supposed that of the 8 conspirators, 2-3 were not electors.  In accord with the terms of the papal law, Universi Dominic Gregis (UDG) paragraph 81, all pacts, agreements or promises forged under any kind of obligation, however light or strong, merit for the participants who are electors the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae.  The terms of UDG 81 indicate clearly that the excommunication is ipso facto, that is imposed in the very act of the transgression. Dr. Ivereigh, on March 12, 2013 in a BBC broadcast admitted to have met the alleged ring-leader of the campaign, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor; Ivereigh further confesses in the same BBC appearance that all agreements regarding voting are forbidden by the papal law.  The Cardinal in a newspaper interview on Sept. 12, 2013 admitted to being the head of the campaign and that Pope Francis knew this and thanked him for it on the day after the election; the Cardinal also confirmed that as of March 12, 2013 Cardinal Bergoglio knew he was going to be a candidate, and that he would make a strong showing on the first ballot. As regards these claims, none of the Cardinals implicated by name have substantially or totally denied them, since they first came to public knowledge, six weeks ago, on Nov. 23, 2014. (cf. The improbity of Team Bergoglio’s Recent Denials).

The penalties in virtue of Canon 1329 expand to Cardinal Bergoglio

In accord with canon 1329, all Cardinal electors who assisted in suchwise, as the crime could not have not be accomplished without them, are also punished with the same kind of excommunication.  This includes Cardinal Bergoglio, since it is morally impossible that he did not know of the nature of the campaign, when he could have stopped it by merely communicating his abhorrence for the perpetration of a crime.  Dr. Ivereigh in a recent video interview admits that Cardinal Bergoglio came to Rome for the Conclave with the desire to be a candidate. His insistence to purchase undergarments the day after election, may also argue that he was aware that the manner of his election would incriminate him unless he showed himself free of any intention to be elected.  To hold that Bergoglio was unaware of the nature of the campaign would be to hold that he never talked to any of his supporters prior to the closed sessions of the Conclave; that he did not take control of his own election, that he did not seek to obtain the papacy, that he did not expect to be elected.

The election of Cardinal Bergoglio had by 78 votes

According to reports, Cardinal Bergoglio obtained 16 votes in the first round of voting, and won the election on the last ballot of March 13, 2013 with 78 votes, that is only 2 votes more than the necessary 2/3 majority to win (76). The actual numbers are known to the Cardinal Electors and those who assisted them in the Sistine Chapel on March 12-13, 2013, all of whom, however, are bound by oath not to reveal the information, without explicit permission of the Pope. The numbers reported come from apparent indiscretions, made by individuals, following the euphoria of Pope Francis’ election.

Canon 171 invalidates the election by reason of the violation of UDG 81

According to the norm of canon 171 §1, the votes of excommunicated electors cannot be tallied; and if they are tallied as part of the required number for victory, then in accord with canon 171 §2, the election is null and void.  This canon in §1, °3 cites those excommunicated by judicial sentence or decree; canon 20 specifies that all papal laws such as UDG are general decrees; the Latin text of UDG 81 uses the same verb of imposition specified as a condition for canon 171 §1, ° 3 (innodare).  Thus there is no doubt that canon 171 invalidates papal elections in which the number of votes necessary for election (2/3 majority) is obtained by counting 16 votes from excommunicated electors, as appears to be the case in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal.  While it is possible that some of the original 16 votes cast in the first round were not promised, it is morally improbable that less than 2 were.

What must now be done

The case having attained a sufficient level of probity according to its facti species, that is, according to the appearance of the facts, it must be judged by the competent authority.

Since the case regards the invalidity of the election, the validity of such a judgement must itself be secured in such wise that no matter the outcome of the judgement, the result will be obtained by a method in which all parties agree is lawful, legitimate, licit and valid.

If Cardinal Bergoglio was validly elected, then as Pope his authority would be necessary to resolve the matter.  If he was not validly elected, the Sacred College of Cardinals in virtue of the authority granted to them in UDG 5 can resolve the matter.

Hence, to judge the case of the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” it seems wise to propose the following:

  1. That the Pope convoke to consistory all  the Cardinals, both those who were electors and those who were non-electors in the conclave of 2013, with the Cardinals created since the election of Pope Francis in attendance but remaining silent and not voting, by their own free decision.
  2. That the Pope in consistory express, in humility, his willingness to abdicate if it should be found that his election was invalid.
  3. That the Pope in consistory grant to all the Cardinals assembled, release from their vow of secrecy regarding all affairs of the Conclave, so that they might speak freely.
  4. That the Cardinals agree by unanimous vote, that the successor to Pope Francis, in the eventuality of his abdication or invalidation, grant to all Cardinals the same release from their vow.
  5. That the Cardinals be called by the Dean of the College to give individual testimony as to whether they were asked to promise their vote for any specific Cardinal.
  6. That the Cardinals in virtue of the authority granted to them in UDG 5 determine whether the testimony puts in doubt the validity of the election of 2013, and by unanimous decision judge whether the doubt is sufficient to harm the unity of the Church.
  7. That Pope Francis confirm whatsoever they determine.
  8. That Pope Francis, in the case of a positive determination, abdicate his office by written decree in the presence of the entire Sacred College; in the case of a negative determination, publish the findings of the investigation and grant the Cardinals freedom to speak about the entire affair in public, after the consistory is concluded, so as to confirm its authenticity and put all doubts to rest.

If those who know that any of the above facts or canonical interpretations are false or true, now remain silent, they will sin gravely either in regard to a lack of charity for the truth and reputation of those involved, or as accomplices after the fact.  If the competent authority does not judge the undisputed case, the Church Herself will be gravely injured in Her reputation and adhesion to the Mystery of the Epiphany, of the manifestation of the Eternal Light and Truth, incarnate among us.

No, your Eminence, the Church is not a tyranny!

peter

And She has not been such, since that December in Bethlehem!

AN EDITORIAL ON THE TEAM BERGOGLIO SCANDAL

I had the unique privilege and honor, today, to exchange some tweets with a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.  Our “conversation” arose in regard to the scandalous allegations and incomplete denials of the account given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former personal secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, in his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a Radical Pope.

His eminence is taking the news of the scandal very lightly, indeed.  He appears to be of the opinion that the problem is not so much in what Dr. Ivereigh has alleged, but in the way simple Catholics the world-over are reacting to those allegations and their very impartial denials.

I tried my best, to appeal to the simple logic and delicate reason of my interlocutor, thus:

If Mr. Q is accused of doing X, Y and Z; and in response, he says, “I want no misunderstandings to arise: I did not do Z”, that he has admitted, thereby, that he has done X and Y.

In response, his Eminence replied:

Have the feeling we won’t agree on this one…what you need to do is to support the Pope in carrying his heavy burden.

As you may know (if you don’t, then click the 2 previous links in this article), Dr. Ivereigh has alleged that as many as 30 Cardinals in the days before the Conclave of 2013, conspired to fix the election procedure by making the first vote in the Conclave give precedence to the candidacy of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

In response, the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and the spokesman for the Holy Father, Pope Francis, have not denied the substance or extent of the allegations only 2 minor details.

The resulting agreement of the 4 Cardinals and Dr. Ivereigh regarding all the other details is giving rise in the minds of many Catholics to a valid doubt regarding the legitimacy of Cardinal Bergoglio’s claim to the papacy.

Thus, I confess myself, not a little shocked at the Cardinal’s reply regarding Mr. Q.  And thus, wish to publicly state, for the record, my own opinion regarding the affair, and say:

No, your Eminence: the Church is not a tyranny!

The unity of the Church, being founded by Christ in the person of St. Peter and His successors, cannot NOT be injured greatly by the allegations of a violation of paragraph 81 of the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, regarding Papal elections.

This is because, the Sacred College of Cardinals, in its right by positive and customary law to elect the Roman Pontiff, is the crucial link binding the person elected as Pope with the entire Church, in Her duty to recognize the validity of his election.  And, that Sacred College, as stated in the papal law, must elect the Roman Pontiff in according within the terms of that law.  Moreover Canon Law itself, which the papal Law does not abrogate, specifies that excommunicated persons cannot validly vote (canon 171 §1)  or be elected to any office (canon 1331).  Thus, if the Sacred College gives the impression that the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh and their implicit confirmation by 4 Cardinals, are of no import, they will err very gravely and put the Church in a serious crisis.

This is because the Church Herself is not required to accept whomsoever the Sacred College chooses.  And this is confirmed by the papal law itself, which states that the election, if it proceed in any manner which violates the terms established, is null and void.  Furthermore, the Church is not required to hold communion with those who have merited excommunication (canon 1331, §2), nor with a candidate who was promoted to victory by means of illegal vote-canvassing (cf. UDG 81 & canon 171 §2).

This fundamental right of the Church is derived from the liberty of the sons of God, given to each member of the Church in Baptism, which constitutes the Church as a holy and perfect society of laws, not a tyranny of ipso facto acts.

Life-sized 18th c Manger Scene, venerated for centuries at Acireale, Sicily (Photo by Br. Alexis Bugnolo)
Life-sized 18th c Manger Scene, Acireale, Sicily (Photo by Br. Alexis Bugnolo)

To bring an end to this kind of tyranny of sin, Our Lord was born from the Virgin Mary, at Bethlehem, 2014 years ago! Let us not forget His lovingly gentle call to dispossess ourselves of the idols of mendacity and greed and power, so as to do the will of Our Father, Who is in Heaven.

For this reason, just as the Church which would accept the unlawful election of a successor to St. Peter, would Herself lose the credibility necessary to preach the Gospel, and just as the Church’s essential mission is to preach the Gospel of Bethlehem, which is also the Gospel of the Holy Family; it would result that such a tacit acceptance of a doubtful Pope would contravene the authentic conscience of the Church Herself, and dissolve Her obligation of allegiance to such a candidate.

This is not a novel thesis, but one affirmed by notable theologians regarding the doubts had by Catholics during the Great Schism of the 14th-15th centuries. It is taught by no less than a Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, who said, “A doubtful pope is no pope”; hence, it follows that the Sacred College, in justice now, on account of the incomplete denials by the 4 Cardinals and the absence of all denial by the other 25+ accused Cardinals, address this controversy in Consistory and publicly resolve it for the sake of the unity of the Church.

Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations were made public on Nov. 23, 2014.  The special Consistory called by Pope Francis will meet on February 14-15, 2015.

The silence of the College to such grave accusations, therefore, after that date would be tantamount to the assertion of a tyranny: that the Sacred College was above the papal law, above Canon law, above all law: a tyranny the Catholic Church and the Bishops of the Catholic Church are not obliged to accept.

In all this, the fault is not that of simple Catholics who are stupefied by the scandalous accusations regarding “Team Bergoglio”, the fault is that of a very grave omission of the duty of our sacred Pastors to defend the good name of the Church.  Besides, if the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh are false, there is nothing lost, but only gain to be had by putting the scandal to rest. On the other hand, if they are true, then the Church will be greatly strengthened in Her reputation for transparency and justice in Her own most internal affairs, if Cardinal Bergoglio renounces his claim to the papacy and the Sacred College proceeds to a canonical election.

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For a Chronology of Reports concerning the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, click here.

Backsliding to Synod15

Yesterday, the Vatican Press office published the Italian text of the Lineamenta (Outlines) for next Year’s Synod on the Family (#Synod15). As this document has shown itself to be stained by the same errors which the From Rome blog highlighted in its own critique of the Final Relatio of this year’s Synod, it will be useful to consider in what ways the committee charged by Pope Francis with preparing for the upcoming Synod next year has embraced the errors contained in that Final Relatio.  It is for that reason, that The From Rome blog is honored to publish as a guest editorial, our own English translation of Mrs. Maria Guarini’s, Sinodalità recidiva: “Lineamenta” per il 2015, a critique of the new Lineamenta for next year’s Synod on the Family.

Mrs. Maria Guarini, being interviewed by Radio Maria (Sept 12, 2007).
Mrs. Maria Guarini, being interviewed by La Repubblica (Sept 14, 2007).

Mrs. Maria Guarini, is the editor and publisher of Chiesa e post Concilio, one of the most influential theological blogs in the Italian language and the only one of its kind in the city of Rome.  For several years, Mrs. Guarini has proved her mettle by putting on display the erroneous theological presuppositions of all those who have raised their voices against the perennial Magisterium of the Church.  She holds a Baccalareate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure (the Seraphicum) and can be considered one the members of the Roman Theological Circle which sustains faithfully still, the theological heritage of the Roman Church. She lives at Rome with her husband and son.

In our English translation, we have attempted to present the same signification as the original, but frequently on account of the many metaphors unique to modern Italian, we have had to reformulate the syntax and alter the terms to give the equivalent signification in English. In citations, even those to the Lineamenta, we have followed the Italian text quoted by Mrs. Guarini.

Backsliding to Synod15

PREMISE

We note that the “spirit of the Council”, in its own more revolutionary aspects  not to mention its negationary semantics (the horrible, deleterious effect of affirming a correct principle conjoined with an erroneous one by means of the conjunction, “but”, which has so stirred the waters of theology that the eddies are now becoming consuming whirlpools) is now transferring its bad influence, little by little, to the upcoming Synod on the Family.

We have already spoken amply about this in our blog-post, Sinodo conciliarista (see here & here).

Now, I will limit myself to the following, essential off-the-cuff reflections, as I have before my eyes the just published document, “Lineamenta” per la XIV Assemblea Generale Ordinaria: La vocazione e la missione della famiglia nella Chiesa e nel mondo contemporeaneo (Oct. 4-25, 2014) which was published on Dec. 9, 2014.

The points which should never even have been put in discussion

If I pause for a moment on these points, it is because the relative questions — among which, of themselves, should not even be put in discussion — have not been approved and nevertheless, since they have, by the will of the Holy Father, been kept in the text of the Relatio which was published, they are thereby put once again into discussion as a result of the confusion mentioned in my premise.  Not only this, but the Questionnaire which has been published along with the new Lineamenta has been redacted in such wise as to solicit a certain response, by means of assumptions which have been evidently chosen by the animus which is running the game.

So here we go, again!  The Circus begins anew and the swirl of sophistry and nonsense proceeds with its obstinate arrogance.  If one were to use the same energetic commitment to fight against error and to reaffirm the perennial Catholic truth, we would not find ourselves in this absurd crisis and on the rim of the abyss which is threatening the entire human race.  But all this is because of the obscuring, if not the out-right renunciation, of the universality of salvation which Christ came to give the world through its transmission by the Church, which, instead of being centered on Her Center and Foundation, is going out of Her mind in the worse sense of the term and appealing now to the seductive seeds of the Word which are always called into play and employed in a sophistic and inappropriate sense, in Council or in a non-council. Moreover, the Second Vatican Council is not a Gospel and, additionally, Nostra Aetate, which is cited in the text of the Lineamenta, is only a document of secondary importance, inasmuch as it is a Declaration, and thus a document of the fourth and lowest grade, among those indicated by Msgr. Gherardini [here]:1  the amount of innovations, which cannot pretend to have an infallible and irreformable character, consequently, allows the possibility of a dissent based on faith and reason.  A simple Declaration asserts itself as the fundamental principle of this new ecclesiology, based on the whims of newly-exalted barbarians, who use the excuse of praxis to get around doctrine. But Catholic doctrine and discipline are the pre-conditions of authentic encounter with Christ.  Again, pastoral praxis reigns over doctrine, and thus right praxis presupposes right doctrine.  The reversal of this order carries one easily to the affirmation that with a new reality of pastoral praxis one can develop a new doctrine.

One needs to ask oneself, in regard to n. 22 of the new Lineamenta, “What’s the purpose of the Church valuing natural marriage?” Which soon becomes a “matrimonial and familial reality of so many cultures and non-christian persons”.  What’s the point?  Do these have, perhaps, something that they can teach to those who alone have the duty to receive and transmit the fulfillment of salvation, which the Church has guarded (or used to guard) for 2,000 years, which salvation Christ worked and with the Apostles revealed and handed down to the Church, and which He continues to work despite our infidelities?  The same creation which was conceived in view of Him, awaits the revelation of the sons of God, just as all peoples do, who to be saved, must come to know of and welcome it.  In this passage, n. 22, from the Lineamenta, one hears the echo of Gaudium et Spes (nn. 12 & 24) (here).  That one is able or that one should enter into dialogue with diverse cultures for political reasons or for the sake of civil concord does not regard the sphere of the Faith or the teaching of morals which flow from It (and not from other sources, those “befouled springs and polluted cisterns”, as the Bible calls them).  This is what the Lineamenta says:

The Indissolubility of Matrimony and the Joy of living together

21. The reciprocal and constitutive gift of sacramental Matrimony is rooted in the grace of Baptism which establishes the fundamental alliance of every person with Christ in the Church.  In the reciprocal welcoming and with Christ’s grace, the spouses-to-be promise one another the total gift of self, their fidelity and their openness to live; they recognize as constitutive elements of Matrimony the gifts which God offers them, taking seriously their mutual commitment, in His Name and in the presence of the Church.  Now, in this bond it is possible to assume the goods of matrimony as well-endurable commitments by means of the help of grace and sacrament.  God consecrates the love of the spouses and confirms its indissolubility, by offering them His help to live that fidelity, that reciprocal integration and that openness to life.  Moreover, the Church turns Her gaze to the spouses as to the heart of the entire family which in turn turns its gaze to Jesus.

22.  In the same respect, making our own the teaching of the Apostle according to which the entire creation was conceived of in Christ and in view of Him (cf. Colossians 1:16), the Second Vatican Council wanted to express its appreciation of natural marriage both through the valid elements present in other religions (cf Nostra Aetate, n. 2) and in other cultures, notwithstanding their limits and insufficiencies (cf. Redemptoris Missio, n. 55).  The presence of the semina Verbi (the seeds of the Word) in these cultures (cf. Ad Gentes, n. 11) could apply, in some of its passages, even to the reality of matrimony and family in some forms outside of Christian matrimony — though founded on the stable and true relation of one man and one woman — which in every case, we judge, are orientated to this.  With Herr gaze turned to the human wisdom of nations and cultures, the Church also recognizes this family as the basic necessary and fecund cell of human cohabitation.

Will the manipulation continue on in a contrived Synod? 2

In the Questionnaire, sent along with the Lineamenta in several languages to the Episcopal conferences throughout the world, the purpose of which, according to Cardinal Baldisseri is “the deepening of understanding of the questions confronted in the debate, all of them, but above all those which have need to be discussed in a more accurate manner”, there is associated to the above cited, n. 22, this question:

Question 19:  The Second Vatican Council has expressed appreciation for natural marriage, renewing the ancient tradition of the Church.  To what extent does pastoral praxis in the Diocese understand how to value even this wisdom of the nations, as something fundamental for culture and the common society? (cf. n. 22).

Note the ever-more explicit deceit, contained in this questionnaire.  The Question just cited reveals it, by taking for granted both the appreciation of natural marriage and the valuing of the wisdom of the nations; it seeks only to verify the “how” it is to be done … You’d think that it would have been sufficient to limit itself to reorienting disoriented Catholics and in forming rightly those who are deformed.

There is a famine for formation, that is, for teaching

In a recent article published by the Italian-language blog, la Bussola quotidiana, there were proposed several interesting reflections on the expectations which laymen have regarding the openings and promises promoted during the recent Synod (at least as they seemed to progressives), expectations and motives shared by a large slice of those Catholics who are “open to the world”, by means of sleepy consciences and hearts, accustomed to consider in a positive light and according to the norm of what “everyone is doing”,  that mode of morality which has always been practiced, which it always finds tiresome.  No one remembers any longer that a moral life is possible only with Christ’s grace conveyed by the sanctifying action of His Church, prepared and accompanied by a teaching which gives sense to and makes savory the Divine Commandments founded on imperishable truth. Behold, this is what is at stake. This is what no one seems willing to speak of anymore.

For example, there are many, even among the shepherds, who recall that the indissolubility of Matrimony is derived from the Commandment of the Lord presented in the Gospel — correctly affirmed in paragraph n. 21, though with a following “but” — but they do not break open the delightful reasons which make this Commandment so acceptable to mind and heart, so worthy of being translated into life even if it’s a sacrifice, and a big one, to do so.

One understands and accepts this indissolubility of Matrimony, if one considers that it is linked to a faithfulness which has its fontal origin in the faithfulness of the Lord and Creator to His own creature, as something conceived, willed by, and ordered to Him, and thus in continuous dialogue with Him (and this is the only relationship which saves) by means of an exclusive relationship, which puts the Lord first and causes to descend Therefrom all which is consequent to it in true fecundity:  all this because it is a relationship which implies an intimate and profound union, one which is faithful and exclusive, in a word, “spousal”.  This kind of relationship does not only regard consecrated souls, who have chosen the better part, but every believing soul, everyone in a different measure and according to diverse situations.  One speaks of a relationship which is exclusive in the sight of God, because it implies the rejection of other gods, which can be any one of the lusts of which the world is constantly insinuating and to which the inclination to evil, remaining in us from original sin, makes us neither deaf nor immune.  We can not flee from all this except by means of grace and the choices which it enables us to make, out of a sort of second nature rather than a sense of obligation (which could be a starting point, but certainly not the destination of a Christian life).

This exclusivity regards, before all else, our relationship with God, the only one which enlarges our heart and makes it capable of embracing the reality of the other, of giving itself without expecting anything in return:  this is the true life, which can only be lived in the Lord and in His Church and which no United-Nations-of-Religions could ever make possible or acceptable.

I speak of this in regard to the anthropological alteration contained in the Lineamenta, expressed in the open by some of the Fathers of Synod 14:

n. 5.The anthropological-cultural change influences, today, every aspect of life and requires an analytic and diversified approach…

And this appears to be the new founding principle for the new praxis.  But in the real word, there has been no anthropological change.  Man, with his own needs and fundamental questions, is the same man of all times according to his essence.  The only thing that he has come to lack, today, is a metaphysical consideration of God and man, and this is what impedes our consideration of the true problem.  If we could only succeed in seeing this, we would already have made a great step forwards.  We risk becoming what has already been put into praxis, from the mentality which dominates our own day, very often in oblivion of the Council, but most of all of the Church Herself.  The true crisis is not other than the crisis of the Church inasmuch as She is a Mystery.  The true theological knot leads back to the very loss of the metaphysical concept of participation in the Church as a Mystery.  And in such wise, Theology has been reduced to Anthropology.  In fact, Theology has been, for some time now, in the process of coining a new language for itself, having put aside, more or less, that metaphysical language of the Scholastics, to make room for one which is more modern, which degenerated from the former — and we are seeing first hand the results — in the adoption of the philosophies of the Existentialists and Phenomenologists.

The epoch-shaking recognition of homosexual tendencies as “rights”

From the points in the Lineamenta which follow nn. 21 & 22, we note the incredible displacement of attention toward elements which are foreign to the Faith and away from the doctrine, which though maintained in the following proposition, notwithstanding the votes to the contrary, takes its point of departure from marginal matters, those “existential” to the heart of the discussion, without omitting putting into play, once more, the “poor nations” and the insistence of international organizations (!?).

But the Church is not a teacher of psychology or sociology, though they are certainly not to be ignored, or, moreover, undervalued as handmaids of theology, if such an expression still has any sense given the novel sense “theology” has today.

It is, in fact, the duty and function of the Church to affirm and teach. She should not recriminate nor be conditioned by pressures of any sort, nor should She pause upon secondary elements or take them as foundations by expressing them after a nevertheless — by means of which one imagines to avoid obstacles by causing to re-enter by means of another door, that which was jettisoned through the window … playing in this manner with words by mentioning what is obvious, like human respect and gentleness, but putting it in the midst of a discussion of the Church as a Church of Mercy, the True Church and not that one unhinged from the Truth and from Justice.  But the risk is — and not an improbable one on account of what has already transpired — that the mark of unjust discrimination³  ends up in appearing to be but a legal recognition of homosexual unions.  What sense has it, in fact, that we recall this in the midst of such a discussion?  And from the rest of the document, already cited, there is sufficiently clear and explicit the difference there is between respect for human persons and the masquerade, behind these words, for the instrumentalized and ideological use of them to tolerate evil, which is is, moreover, something very different from the approbation and legalization of evil itself.  It would have been better to begin with that distinction than an existentialist pastoral praxis from which it becomes possible to spin inalienable principles, at the risk of making the document something equivalent to John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio, to which it would have been better to pay attention than to look elsewhere.  Here, I am speaking of paragraph 55 of the Lineamenta, which reads:

Pastoral attention towards persons of a homosexual orientation

55. Some families live with the experience of having in their midst persons with a homosexual orientation.  In this regard, we are questioned about which kind of pastoral practices is opportune to confront this situation, in reference to what the Church teaches:  “There does not exist any foundation for likening or establishing analogies, not even remote ones, between homosexual unions and God’s design for matrimony and the family”.  Nevertheless, the men and women with homosexual tendencies should be welcomed with respect and gentleness.  “In this regard, one will avoid every mark of unjust discrimination” (CDF, “Considerations on the proposals for legal recognition of the unions between homosexual persons”, n. 4).*

56. It is entirely unacceptable that the Pastors of the Church undergo any pressuring in this matter or that international organizations condition their financial assistance to Poor Countries upon the introduction of laws which establish “marriage” between persons of the same sex.

 At this point it is legitimate to ask what ever happened to that infamous secret dossier, compiled by three 007 Cardinals, received by Pope Benedict XVI and consigned by him to his successor, which disclosed the impropriam influentiam (improper influence) which crisscrossed between the homosexual lines in the Curia and those outside the Vatican.

This topic, moreover, as I have already mentioned, is certainly one which needs to be drawn out.  But the very fact that that there has entered into discussion those elements which of themselves can never be put in dispute, justifies amply the fears and perplexity which this very thing has caused.  And there is no need to lower one’s attention, especially on the part of our Pastors, even those who are not directly involved in the upcoming Synod (see my Exhortation on this here).

A fundamental Question which needs an answer

But, here, do we not need to ask another, more fundamental question, which implies the others? A synod of Bishops, can it be considered a competent organ for treating of questions which touch upon doctrinal points, which by their nature are unchangeable, not only inasmuch as they have been already sanctioned by the definitive living discipline of the Church in the course of centuries and even by the interventions of the supreme magisterium of the Church, but in the case of sacramental Matrimony, which are derived from a Divine Commandment?  Even if the last word belongs to the Pope, and it is his duty to pronounce it, for what reason does he persist in putting into discussion such very questions?

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FOOTNOTES

1. Considering the historical context of the moment in which this Document has been published, we understand why the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate have been treated as outcasts and why Pd. Serafino Lanzetta has been sent into “exile”, he who is one of their most learned,  clearheaded, and good-mannered members — who have never denied the Council nor have twisted it to demonstrate a non-existent continuity with the past — who has clear ideas on noted controversial points and has documented everything from original sources [here, in the same occasion on which I have cited the intervention of Mons. Gherardini: il Convegno del 2010 sul Vaticano II] e [here, more recently].
2.The term “tarrocato” (contrived) was coined by Marco Tosatti [here], the Vaticanista from the Italian daily, La Stampa.— And at this point, I wish to add a note.  The removal of Cardinal Burke, one of the most authoritative opponents of the points raised by Cardinal Kasper, was sanctioned before the Synod but was differed, so that he could participate in the first round of talks, but not so that he could participate in the successive ones, and was consequently removed from the Apostolic Signatura which has jurisdiction over the determination of the nullity of marriages.
3. It is necessary to ask for the reason for this attention to a possible mark of discrimination in regard to homosexuals and those who live in a situation of sin — which mark the Church has always reserved for the error and not the person — and the persistence, with growing force, about the mark of disdain which breaks out in discriminatory persecution of those who love Tradition, whether towards persons (pastors and faithful) or towards their spiritual needs.  For example, since October 1st the papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore has defiantly excluded the Missa Antiquior ever since the final celebration there at 7:30 AM on that morning.
* In this regard, Cardinal Burke declared:  I refuse to speak of homosexual persons, because no one can be identified by this tendency.  One speaks of those who have a tendency, which is a suffering (qui).

4 Ways the “Team Bergoglio” Revelations undo Francis’ papacy

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)

Editorial — Rome, Dec. 7, 2014:  The scandalous and shocking revelations regarding the manipulation of the electoral process during the recent conclave, which elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Roman Pontiff, have cut and the very heart of confidence in the papacy of Pope Francis.  While this blog, From Rome, has refrained for 2 weeks from editorializing on the news, in this post, on the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, it seems proper to draw out the moral and political consequences of Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s revelations for the Catholic World.

As we recalled yesterday:

The Church according to the oft declared teaching of Pope Francis, himself, should not be a place where the powerful silence the weak or hide behind their offices like aristocratic princes, concerning whom no action can be questioned and nothing untoward be imputed, regardless of whether it is true.  For this reason, the “Team Bergoglio” story, whose history has been chronicled here at this blog (see here), represents one of the greatest challenges to the integrity, transparency and honesty of the Bergoglian papacy, if not its very validity in law.

Yet, as that chronicle details, the revelations and denials and the alterations of the narrative published by Dr. Ivereigh, for the reasons Ivereigh gave on his twitter feeds and in recent reports, belie that image.

First of all, because the foundation of popular confidence in any modern government is the fulfilled expectation of fairness in the highest levels of government.  Catholics the world-over, especially those from the more influential, affluent West, who keep the Vatican supplied with funds in the form of alms, have a deep conviction that the selection of the Pope should follow the rules and seek a candidate in an honest manner.  A short-cut of those rules, by a cleverly manipulated maneuver destroys that confidence.  The point is not so much whether such things happened in the past: the whole tenor of ecclesiastical politics since Vatican II has been to break with the traditions of the past, in the name of greater conformity of the Gospel. A return to the carnal machinations of medieval times, thus, will only redound to a loss of respect and confidence in the Papacy of Cardinal Bergoglio.

The disgust at such politic-ing prior to the Conclave was most eloquently expressed by one anonymous commentator, days ago, when he wrote:

A former member of a religious order with American and European members told me that everyone was instructed not to caucus before the order’s elections, and the Americans dutifully complied. Oddly enough, even though the Americans were a majority, the leadership elected was always European. After he left, another former priest who was French confided that the Europeans ALWAYS caucused.

Thus, if the papal law on elections of the Roman Pontiff, known by its Latin title, Universi Dominic Gregis (UDG), specifies that there is to be no vote canvassing of any kind in n. 81 of that document, the advantage had by those who do canvass for votes, is immeasurable, so long as every penalty which could arise from such a high-crime can be avoided.

And it is just that, which every “Team Bergoglio” apologist who has come out of the wood-work in recent days, has advocated:  total impunity for violation of the rules of the Conclave.

This impunity would arise, if UDG 81 imposed a penalty which had no effect as regards the general ecclesiastical law expressed in canon 171, which would otherwise nullify elections in which those penalized by UDG 81 with excommunication participated under the conditions it details.  For if the rules when violated infer upon the guilty no canonical effect, then there are the greatest motives to violate the Conclave rules by all means possible and necessary to get your candidate elected.  Something equivalent, in a perverse sense, to the addage, the victor takes all.

Rules will always be observed by the conscientious; therefore, a just and orderly society must punish severely those who do not follow the rules, for otherwise, the criminal will be advantaged by the mere existence of rules not enforced. And this is diametrically opposed to end for which rules and laws are promulgated.

Second, the discrepancies in the carefully worded denials of Dr. Ivereigh’s claims makes it appear that the claims are true.  This is simple logic.  What Dr. Ivereigh recounts in his book on Pope Francis, The Great Reformer: the Making of a Radical Pope, is given in a straight-forward, matter-of-fact manner, without any intention or motive to make Cardinal Bergoglio appear to be anything other than he is.  It is for that reason a book to be valued for all future historians who wish to know Bergoglio the man.  And for that reason, the testimony of Dr. Ivereigh has a high probity to it.  This probity is the higher in the case of the “Team Bergoglio” allegations, because, as this blog has demonstrated, Dr. Ivereigh was present in Rome for the Conclave in 2013, both before and afterwards, and during that time he confessed to have met with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, the alleged head of “Team Bergoglio”.  Even the Cardinal himself, as reported here at the From Rome blog, admits to having lead the effort to get Bergoglio elected, and to have had confidence in that effort as of March 12, 2014.

Thus the claim by the English Cardinal, issued by his spokeswoman, Maggie Doherty, in the form of a letter to the editor, in the Nov. 25 Monday edition of the Telegraph newspaper is beyond belief for its form and content.  In it, Doherty declares that the English Cardinal did not obtain the assent of Cardinal Bergoglio to campaign for him.  Who is there, in the entire world, who thinks that Cardinals of the Roman Church, renowned for their sense of propriety and good-manners, would ever canvass for votes prior to asking the prospective candidate for his consent? Why would a Cardinal spend so much time organizing such an effort, if the candidate himself had not expressed formal explicit consent?  And why would any Cardinals cooperate with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor in such a campaign, if he had told them that Cardinal Bergoglio had not given his consent.  There were no restrictions on movement during the Conclave: any Cardinal could have confirmed with Cardinal Bergoglio his views on such a matter.  If Cardinal Bergoglio did not give his assent by word or sign, the campaign would never have gotten off the ground. For these reasons the denial given by Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, if it is not entirely false, must be wholly misleading:  consent must have been given, those asking for such a consent and those giving it, therefore, must either be those denied for having done so, or intermediaries which they chose for this purpose, so as to provide a plausible deniability to the affair.

The carefully worded denial, issued by means of unofficial channels by Fr. Frederico Lombardi leads to the same conclusion.  That denial, in our own unofficial English translation from the Italian, declared in Fr. Lombard’s name:

I can declare that all of the four Cardinals, just named, explicitly deny this description of the facts, both as much as regards the request of prior consent on the part of Cardinal Bergoglio, and as much as regards the conduction of a campaign for his election, and (that) they desire to be known that they are stupefied and opposed to what has been published.

For it is morally impossible that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor by himself could have conducted such a campaign, as he and the Pope both admitted to (reported in the Wall Street Journal article from August 6, 2013) without the assistance of other Cardinals.  And as the English Cardinal admitted in his interview with the Catholic Herald last year, he was recognized by the newly elected Pope for having been chiefly responsible.  The claims, therefore, by his former secretary, who admitted publicly to having had meet with his former boss, “the other day”, in his March 12, 2013 BBC appearance, that he did organize it in company with other Cardinals cannot be dismissed.  Especially since another report, by journalists of the Wall Street Journal, published in August of 2013, expressly names Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and another alleged member of “Team Bergoglio”, Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, USA, as having attended a dinner for the express purpose of discussing candidates for the Papal Throne in the days prior to the Conclave’s opening on March 12th.  Thus, one arrives as the same conclusion as before:  the denial given by Fr. Lombardi must be discounted as either entirely false, or wholly misleading.  The manner in which it was given, though a blog, rather than in the presence of journalists accredited to the Vatican, makes it appear also, as being given to squelch further inquiry, rather than to truthfully put a false controversy to an end. Finally, no denials have been issued regarding other alleged members of “Team Bergoglio”: Cardinals O’Malley and Santos Abril y Castello.

Third, since the very nature of the Catholic Church is a society internally bound together by the mutual and voluntary commitment of it members, the consequences of grave and substantial doubt, as has been raised by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal will be the diminishing of and/or unraveling of such unity of moral commitment.  This is because, before God, Catholics believe deeply that they are not obliged to obey a superior who does not hold his office legitimately, in accord with the fundamental rules of the Church, known as Canon Law.  This is especially true, when a superior commands something which subjects believe or recognize as incoherent with the Catholic Faith.  The revelations of Dr. Ivereigh add to this, since the whole purpose of his book is to show that the former Cardinal Archbishop of Buenas Aires has spent his entire ecclesiastical career promoting a concept of faith which is completely at odds with that which has been taught by the Catholic Church for 2000 years:  a non-dogmatic pratical approach, which would promise salvation to all without any —or at least much less — necessary discipleship to Christ Jesus as teacher of truth, doctrine or morals.

Fourth, since as much as the Catholic faithful, especially clergy and religious come to believe that the results of the 2013 Conclave are invalidated by the machinations of “Team Bergoglio”, expressly penalized with excommunication by UDG 81, the more opportunity will arise for outright rebellion and schism in the Church against the rule of Pope Francis.  For if he is not validly elected, and if the members of “Team Bergoglio” are excommunicated, then Catholics must refuse communion with them all.

For all these reasons, we believe that the truth of the “Team Bergoglio” affair needs to be revealed and a most severe punishment needs to be leveled; and all doubt as to the validity of Pope Francis’ election must be removed.  And there seems no way to do that, in a manner that would be acceptable to all, unless as UDG n. 5 lays out, the College of Cardinals is convened in special consistory, into which Pope Francis enters with the humility necessary to abdicate if necessary.  For there is no greater love, than to lay down one’s papacy for the sake of the salvation of the consciences of the weak little lambs in Christ’s Fold.

For a complete list of our coverage on Team Bergoglio and a list of reports from major news outlets the world over on it, see here.

Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for the Pope

AustenPresentsBook
(Screen shot, of Dr. Ivereigh’s twitter timeline: Nov. 21, 2014 A. D.)

Rome, Nov. 27, 2014:  Last Friday, His Holiness Pope Francis had the occasion to receive from Dr. Austen Ivereigh, a copy of his new book, the Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a Radical Pope which unbeknownst to both men, would within a week be the cause of great consternation for them both.

As John Bingham, a reporter for the Telegraph, in the UK, reported the next day, Dr. Ivereigh’s book contained the stunning revelation that certain supporters of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio — whom he names, “Team Bergoglio”— canvassed for his support in the days prior to the Conclave of 2013.

The Curious denial of Ivereigh

A key fact alleged in the book, namely, that Cardinal Bergoglio expressly consented to the work of Team Bergoglio, was denied in a letter published on the Daily Telegraph Letter’s Page, print edition, by Maggie Doherty, the press-secretary to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.  The text of that letter reads:

Denial

As I surmised, yesterday, here at the From Rome blog, in my article entitled, If Ivereigh is to be believed, was Bergoglio’s election invalid?, the version of events reportedly asserted in Ivereigh’s book, presents the opportunity of a grave canonical challenge to the validity of Pope Francis’ election to the office of Roman Pontiff.

Maggie Doherty’s statement is remarkable for several reasons.

The first of which, is that Dr. Ivereigh is, himself, a former secretary to Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, a close confident as any Cardinal could have, someone who would be de officio familiar and friendly with all the friends and colleagues of the Cardinal the world over, seeing that it would have been his duty to interact and communicate daily with each and every one of them.  From such experience, Dr. Ivereigh could have legitimately acquired a vast network of contacts from which he could have first hand information of all which regarded the events prior to the Conclave of 2013; information which could be freely offered him, since the Apostolic Constitution regarding the elections of the Roman Pontiff (Universi Dominici Gregis), penalizes only the divulging of information regarding affairs which occurred in or during the conclave itself.

The second of which, I mentioned yesterday, is that if there were no adverse consequences of the facts presented in Dr. Ivereigh’s book, the Great Reformer, then there would be no need for Maggie Doherty to issue a denial, let alone in the form of a letter to the editor!

The third remarkable aspect of her letter is that it speaks only of Cardinal Bergoglio, and denies only that he was approached or consented to the canvassing of votes.  This denial makes it appear that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was acting, in divulging it, to protect the reputation of the Pope, perhaps, even on the request of the Vatican Secretary of State.

The fourth remarkable aspect is that she denied only the activities of Cardinals, and said nothing regarding the activities of Bishops or priests or others who may have been involved.

The fifth remarkable aspect is that Maggie Doherty says, “What occurred during the Conclave … is bound by secrecy”.  This is grammatically and canonically not correct.  All who participated in the Conclave are by Pope John Paul II’s aforementioned Apostolic Constitution are bound to keep secrecy. (Cardinals promise this in n. 12; all participating are bound to secrecy in n. 47; there is an entire Chapter, the fourth, on it; and in n. 47).  And in n. 58 of that document, the penalty of excommunication is imposed for its violation. But if the Pope permits, this secrecy can be broken. So it is not the events that are bound, but the persons.  Her statement is remarkable in this respect, because it speaks of an undue haste in its composition, without the counsel, at least, of an expert in canon law to review it. (This argues for the possibility that she wrote the letter at the personal request of Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, which we shall now see, Ivereigh would confirm).

The Thicket into which Ivereigh fell on that account

Dr. Austen Ivereigh, hours after the publication of Doherty’s letter to the editor — and after the publication of my own questioning blog post (If Ivereigh is to be believed, was Bergoglio’s election invalid?, which drew out and explicated the canonical problem resulting from the reported claims of his book) —  retracted what he said on his Twitter Feed, at 3 AM on Nov. 25, writing in reference to the print edition of his book, already on sale in the USA/UK:

“They secured his assent” (p. 355) shd have read “They believed he wd not oppose his election”. Will amend in future eds.

Which is Twitter abbreviated speak, I surmise and explicate, for:

Where I wrote, “They secured his assent” on p. 355, it should have read, “They believe he would not oppose his own election.”  I will amend this in future editions of my book, The Great Reformer.

In another tweet, Dr. Ivereigh included the image of Doherty’s letter, with the message:

+CMOC clarifies in today’s Daily Telegraph letters page

Which lets us know that Doherty acted at the express direction of the Cardinal; somewhat reluctantly admitted, with the positive spin therein, by Dr. Ivereigh.  All this within the first week of the books publication!

All this, so far, by way of introduction. Now, I will cut to the chase, as it were:

Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for the Pope

What Ivereigh has, nevertheless, alleged and yet not denied, and what Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has not yet denied, as far as I know, is that votes were canvassed.

And paragraph 81 of John Paul II’s law, Universi Domini Gregis, makes that an excommunicatable offense.  Yesterday, I erred, when I said “certain” form of canvassing was prohibited. Today, looking at the Latin original of the law, it appears rather than all forms of vote canvassing are prohibited.

Let’s take a look, then, at the Latin original, to understand better how, not just any specific form of vote canvassing is a crime according to the Pope who “brought down the Wall”:

81. Cardinales electores praeterea abstineant ab omnibus pactionibus, conventionibus, promissionibus aliisque quibusvis obligationibus, quibus astringi possint ad suffragium cuidam vel quibusdam dandum aut recusandum. Quae omnia, si reapse intervenerint, etiam iure iurando adiecto, decernimus ea nulla et irrita esse, neque eadem observandi obligatione quemquam teneri; facientes contra iam nunc poena excommunicationis latae sententiae innodamus. Vetari tamen non intellegimus, ne per tempus Sedis vacantis de electione sententiae invicem communicentur.

The official English translation from the Vatican Website, renders this text, thus:

81. The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition. It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.

 This translation is not exact.  Here is my own exact translation:

81. Let the Cardinal electors, moreover, abstain from all pacts, agreements, promises and any other obligations you like, by which they might be constrained to give or refuse support (suffragium) for anyone (sing. & plural).  All of which, if these were to occur, even when with a foreswearing, We decree are null and void, and none of them are to be held by any obligation of observance; those acting against (this), We now, hereby, bind up with the punishment of excommunication latae sententiae.  Yet, We do not understand to be forbidden, that they communicate with one another concerning the election, during the time of the Sedevacante.

Now, the problem which arises for Pope Francis, from this, I have pointed out in my blog post yesterday, namely, that an election in which those who might fall under excommunication for violation of this law, expressed in n. 81, might be contested as to its validity.  This on account of the general norm of Canon Law (canon 171,  § 2), which expressly declares invalid the elections of those who obtained the required number only in virtue of votes of those who were  excommunicated at the time of the election (cf. 171, § 1, 3°).

Such excommunication could be by special or general declaration, of a superior or by a law.  Thus, the papal Law on Elections.

The sticky wicket, as it were, is that the common objection one hears to such formerly hypothetical discussions is that paragraph n. 35, of the Apostolic Constitution withstands this interpretation.

Let’s quote that here, for the importance that it is due.  The text of this paragraph was slightly altered by Pope Benedict XVI, in his decree, Normals nonnullas, just a month before the conclave of 2013.  The modified text reads:

No. 35. “No Cardinal elector can be excluded from active or passive voice in the election of the Supreme Pontiff, for any reason or pretext, with due regard for the provisions of Nos. 40 and 75 of this Constitution.”

(The small addition of the citation to n. 75, is all that was made.)

Any objection on the basis of paragraph 35, which would counter the claim of an invalid election on account of excommunicated voters, seems very probable at first inspection, but fails the test of a strict reading of papal law.

Because, if paragraph 35 excused doubt of the validity of an election in which excommunicated Cardinal electors participated, as a similar provision in the law of Pope Pius XII did do, then, there would have been no need for Pope John Paul II in his own law, which abrogated all the terms of previous papal laws specifically regarding Papal Elections, to state in n. 78 (see yesterdays report for text) the necessity of indulging an election, in which simony was involved, with validity, to remove all such doubts arising from a general norm of canon law or a specific penalty regarding simony. And thus, if there is a general norm or specific penalty which invalidates elections for other reasons, then one must presume it remains in force (cf. Canons 20 & 21).

Moreso, because paragraph 35 does not regard specifically the validity of elections, only the right of the Cardinals to vote  But Canon 171, § 2 does not deny the right of excommunicated electors to vote, only the validity of elections in which they participate. These are 2 separate things; and according to the norms of canonical interpretation, the distinction must be recognized as that which was intended by the legislator.² This interpretation seems more probable, because of Canon 164, which applies the entire section of canons regarding elections to all ecclesiastical elections,³ and because of the norm of canonical interpretation, that laws which do not expressly or directly conflict, are not to be understood as doing so. Thus, the failure to explicitly include the words “or excommunication” in paragraph 35 of UDG, lends to the credence that it does not abrogate Canon 171, § 1, 3°, the validity of the election in which such voters participating, being apparently annulled in some such cases, consequently, in virtue of Canon 171, §2.

Thus, the allegations of Ivereigh + the terms of Universi Dominic Gregis, n. 81 = a Radical problem for the legitimacy of Cardinal Bergoglio’s claim to the Papacy.

_________________________________

FOOTNOTES

¹ And this without any apparent reference to Canon 171.  For just as it seems incredible that Pope John Paul II in UDC would allow the mad (Canon 171, § 1, 1°) or the schismatic (4°) to vote; hence, similarly, neither those mentioned in 3°, the excommunicated. Thus, it seems more probable that paragraph 35 in UDC is reaffirms the right of the Cardinals not to fall under of Canon 171, § 1, 2° by any claim that might arise during the Conclave from other Cardinals’ accusations.

² However, I remain in the opinion, regarding these matters, as one who is a mere student of Canon Law, not an expert, and certainly not as one whose opinion on how to read it, is anything probative of itself.

³ Including Conclaves: cf. the commentary contained in Codice di Diritto Canonico, a cura di Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Colletti a San Pietro 2004, p. 163.

(Updated Nov. 29 15:15 Rome time)

If Ivereigh is to be believed, was Bergoglio’s election invalid?

Denial

London, Nov. 25, 2014 — A remarkable letter to the editor, if ever there was one. A denial, which draws more attention, than the matter would otherwise merit.  In today’s Daily Telegraph Letter’s Page, print edition, Maggie Doherty, the press-secretary to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, denies a key fact in the reporting by Austen Ivereigh, a British journalist who just published a book exposing a concerted effort among Cardinals of the Roman Church to canvass for votes on behalf of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in the days prior to the Conclave of March 2013, which elected the latter as successor to Pope Benedict XVI.  The on-line edition of the Telegraph has a short story about this, by John Bingham, which opens thus:

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, helped to orchestrate a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign which led to the election of Pope Francis, a new biography claims.

The Election of Pope Francis has seen a great deal more publicity than any in modern times, especially concerning the remarkable novelty of revelations coming from Cardinals themselves — remarkable, since according to papal law, to make such revelations is punished by automatic excommunication!

The papal law is Universi Dominici Gregis, promulgated by Pope John Paul II on the Feats of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22, 1996 A.D..  The key paragraphs regarding this excommunication are as follows:

  1. Those who, in accordance with the prescriptions of No. 46 of the present Constitution, carry out any functions associated with the election, and who directly or indirectly could in any way violate secrecy — whether by words or writing, by signs or in any other way — are absolutely obliged to avoid this, lest they incur the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae reserved to the Apostolic See.
  2. In particular, the Cardinal electors are forbidden to reveal to any other person, directly or indirectly, information about the voting and about matters discussed or decided concerning the election of the Pope in the meetings of Cardinals, both before and during the time of the election. This obligation of secrecy also applies to the Cardinals who are not electors but who take part in the General Congregations in accordance with No. 7 of the present Constitution.

However, today’s denial regards another requirement of the papal law, regarding Conclaves: the express prohibition of canvassing for votes prior to the commencement of the Conclave.  John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution of 1996 makes that a high-crime, punishable by automatic excommunication.

  1. The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition. It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.
  2. I likewise forbid the Cardinals before the election to enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate. These promises too, should any in fact be made, even under oath, I also declare null and void.
  3. With the same insistence shown by my Predecessors, I earnestly exhort the Cardinal electors not to allow themselves to be guided, in choosing the Pope, by friendship or aversion, or to be influenced by favour or personal relationships towards anyone, or to be constrained by the interference of persons in authority or by pressure groups, by the suggestions of the mass media, or by force, fear or the pursuit of popularity. Rather, having before their eyes solely the glory of God and the good of the Church, and having prayed for divine assistance, they shall give their vote to the person, even outside the College of Cardinals, who in their judgment is most suited to govern the universal Church in a fruitful and beneficial way.

The Reason for the Press-Secretary’s Denial is now manifest

If Maggie Doherty had not gone to the lengths of issuing a denial in such language, I would never have taken notice.  But now that she has, having consulted the papal law on Conclaves, it appears manifest why she has.  If Austen Ivereigh’s book contains verifiable evidence that any of the Cardinals who voted for Jorge Mario Bergoglio canvassed for votes in the manner forbidden, especially if he tacitly consented to this, then by that very fact (ipso facto) they fell under the penalty of excommunication in the same moment they agreed to do such and/or did such. And, if Bergoglio tacitly agreed (that is, had knowledge, and consented without opposing what they were doing), then he, too, would have been excommunicated prior to the Conclave.

Does this mean that the Papal election was invalid?

But if what  Austen Ivereigh alleges, did happen, would the election of Pope Francis be null and void?  The grounds for this are entirely different from those alleged in Antonio Socci’s best-selling book in Italy, Non è Francesco, (He is not Francis: i.e. he should not be called Pope Francis), which is based on the fact that on March 13, 2013, Bergoglio was elected by 5 votes, when the papal law only allows 4. Or the challenge now being brought in the Petition to the College of Cardinals, which regards 3 canonical questions which arise from the violations of the penalties imposed by the Second Council of Nicea, the Council of Trent, and Pope Paul IV.

Let us take a look at the papal law, again.  It is very important to note, what Pope John Paul II says in the previous paragraph, n. 78:

78. If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.(23)

Paragraph 78, regards the buying or selling of votes; which does not seem what Ivereigh has alleged; for when votes are bought and sold, then the validity of the election which would otherwise be worthy of doubt or challenge, is, according to Pope John Paul II’s law, free from ever being so challenged (which he does with the words: “I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision”). Simony is the crime of buying or selling spiritual things, in this case, of votes, with the promise of monies paid in advance.

However, as regards, however, the excommunications leveled for canvassing, Pope John Paul II does not remove the nullity or invalidity of the election.

This leaves the question, whether the election of Pope Francis could be challenged now?

It seems at least possible, since it is not a question of the invalidity of an election on the basis of the fact that Cardinals were excommunicated on account of vote canvassing, but on account of a certain sort of coercion of the process to elect the Pope, which process must guarantee the liberty of the Cardinals to chose a Pope in a manner free from the deceits and maneuvers of worldly politics.

This doubt of the validity of the election is what seems to be implied by the Press-Secretary’s denial.  Because, if it were only a question of a Cardinal’s excommunication for violating secrecy or canvasing votes, he could easily appeal to Pope Francis to be pardoned and the excommunication lifted.  Indeed, what victorious candidate, now Pope, would not pardon the Cardinals who helped him get elected, if they did canvass for votes?  Thus, it certainly seems to the thoughtful reader, that there may be some more urgent reason for the denial. …  Cui prodest?

Addendum of Nov. 26, 3PM GT

I had a look at the general norms in the 1983 Code of Canon law regarding canonical elections and found some confirmatory information.  There in Canon 171, there are these stunning requirements for a valid election:

Can. 171 §1. The following are effected to vote:

1/ a person incapable of a human act;
2/ a person who lacks active voice;
3/ a person under a penalty of excommunication whether through a judicial sentence or through a decree by which a penalty is imposed or declared;
4/ a person who has defected notoriously from the communion of the Church.

§2. If one of the above is admitted, the person’s vote is null, but the election is valid unless it is evident that, with that vote subtracted, the one elected did not receive the required number of votes.

The importance of this Canon, I opine, is thus:  if what Ivereigh alleges in his book, is true, and the manner of canvassing votes is that penalized with automatic excommunication, then the Cardinals who did this, and Cardinal Bergoglio — if he expressly consented, as Ivereigh’s print edition says he did — would be excommunicated prior to the begining of the Conclave; and the election would be null and void, on the grounds that the 32 votes Bergolio received in the first round of voting (as reports allege, which votes are presumably nearly or mostly those who participated in the vote canvassing) would be null and void, coming as they did from excommunicated electors. That would make the 78 votes which Cardinal Bergoglio got in the final 5th vote, to be insufficient to elect him. (I am no canonist, so this is my opinion, though I have studied the tract on Canonical Censures at a Pontifical Instititute at Rome).

Postscript

Having carefully read the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, of Pope John Paul II, and that modification of Pope Benedict XVI, Normas nonnullas, I find it very curious that neither specifies explicitly who is eligible to be elected Pope. Even the 1983 code is silent. This is a serious deficiency, since the Bull of Pope Paul IV does specify this, and thus, if this matter is not included specifically in modern legislation, the terms of Pope Paul IV’s, Cum ex apostolatus officio, seem to remain in force. (If any canonists know, please leave a comment below, Thanks!).

FOLLOW UP REPORTS:

Nov. 27, 2014: Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for Pope Francis

Catholics petition the College of Cardinals to judge validity of Pope Francis

imagesEditor’s note:  Here at the From Rome Blog, I have stated that it is not my interest to cover news articles.  Yet, being born and raised in the United States, I have a great appreciation for the right of citizens, subjects and the faithful, to make known to their superiors what they believe is for the common good of the society they belong to.  This is a natural right in every human society, from the family to the State, and even in the Church.  For that reason, I consider it a duty, as the editor of the From Rome Blog, and as a member of the Diocese of Rome, to make known to my fellow Catholics the existence of this petition. I also believe, that I have a grave duty to make known to the princes of the Church of Rome, our Cardinals, who are the chief members of the clergy of my Diocese, the existence of this petition.

Here is the link to the petition, where you can see how many have signed it, as of the present, and read something more about the motives and purpose of the petition.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition2CardinalsReFrancis

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Note: I previously published the text of the petition on this blog, but from my stats, it seems that many are confusing my blog post for the petition. The link contains the petition. This post is only reporting its existence.

Tactics of Manipulation used by Modernists against Catholics

2004-passion-of-the-christ-7I do not claim to be an expert. I am sure that there are many Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Religious and Laymen who have better knowledge of such things than myself. But in my nearly 30 years of personal experience in Ecclesiastical institutions or as a religious/hermit, I have noticed some patterns of deception and manipulation, which I believe in conscience I am obliged to name, explicate, so that Catholic Faithful at Rome and around the world might take guard against them.

“Manipulation”, in the dark sense of the word, is a way of misleading, maneuvering, deforming, altering, etc., the mind, actions or even words or reactions of another, to serve one’s own goals.  When the victim is a faithful Catholic and the perpetrator is a modernist, you have a very evil and wicked malice at work.  Yet, to those who know anything of the history of the Church during the last 100 years or more, the Modernists have honed to perfection many methods of manipulating Catholics to serve their own abominable conspiracy to overthrow the true Church of Christ, from within, using the very institutions and offices of the Church, established by Christ and by ecclesiastical tradition, against Her.

Having studied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Florida, I was trained in the methods of participant observation, which is a way of learning about a subculture’s mores, rules, ethics, behaviors, by sharing or keeping company with them.  I never consciously used this method, but now, after many years of fighting against Modernists, I will take a moment to step back and analyze and categorize some of the methods of manipulation I have seen or learned first hand against faithful clergy, religious and laity.

 The Church, being the perfect society founded by the Incarnate Word of God, enjoys an order of society which enables Her to achieve the end which God have Her, the honor and glory of God through the worship of God and the salvation of Souls.  This being the case, the Modernists, who believe in no God, but only in the god of personal sentiments, thus have an upward battle if they are to use the very things of the Church to overthrow the Church from within.

Alas, however, since many modernists have been members of the clergy, and this throughout the last 180 years or so, they have had the ability to use all the forms of clerical and moral corruption, known beforehand, to their end.  They have also had the assistance of the general moral degradation which has been promoted by the Free Masons in the West (and not only in the West), which has led many a Catholic to be disposed to be easily deceived about what constitutes Christian virtue and ecclesiological justice and honesty.

In former ages, we read of the heroic and saintly Bishops who did not hesitate to threaten unfaithful Catholics, Kings, Dukes, Princes, Mayors, Scholars, even the Pope, with excommunication if they did not stop from their pubic sins or injustices.  There are cases, where immoral bishops, were taken outside of the town walls and hung from a tree by the Catholic faithful, to rid the local church of their vile depravities.  There are cases where laymen shot corrupt priests dead for the crimes they perpetrated against children or families.

In the modern age, with all our institutions of civil and ecclesiastical justice, we are apt to look down upon the Catholics of former ages, who understood that in some cases, waiting for lengthy procedures would only endanger the public good the more. They understood that after some point, the depravity of a man could be such that he merited no longer the customary due process accorded to the merely suspected of a crime. They also understood that obedience to an evil command did not absolve from the sin of collaboration or participation in the evil commanded.  Former ages enjoyed a sense of personal honor and manliness that is rarely admired and even more rarely tolerated in modern times.  Indeed, corrupt and evil men have all kinds of words to lambast such honorable men.

The decline of morals in the West did not begin with the Age of the Enlightenment, yet, Rationalists of that age started a trend which has been greatly exploited by Modernists (even though Modernists are sentimentalists not rationalists): that trend is the use of deprecatory language to subvert the sentiments of Catholics away from admiration of virtue, especially away from admiration of heroic virtue.

You can see that effect palpably in the common and vulgar opinions some men, even clergymen, have of the Saints of old.  The most striking example I know of personally, is the comment made by a priest, now deceased, who remarked to me one day, after he read a very short life of Saint Francis of Assisi, that if anyone did such penances today, he should certainly be locked up in a mental asylum. To which I replied, with not a little shock, “Do you mean that just today, or is Saint Francis any less suspect for having done them long ago”. He replied that he was no less suspect, and added, “I have great difficulty understanding why such a man was ever made a saint”.  (This priest, by the way, died of being too overweight by about 200 pounds.)

 Ah, what has happened to that age of chivalry and honesty, where even a sloucher or glutton admitted that the diligent and abstemious man was virtuous? Is modern man so ignorant, as to not understand, that it is one thing to be virtuous, another to admire virtue; and that if you are not at least the first kind of man, that you can at least save your honor by being the second?

God forbid, however — as the Modernists think and consider the matter — that there even exist in the Church the second kind of man, the man who actually admires the heroic virtue of the Saints of old!

And here we have the first tactic in the tool box of manipulations, used by Modernists:

1. Denigrate what is best, and make it the enemy of all the rest.

You see, if the Modernists are to prevail in the Church, they must put into practice some of the general tactics of the fallen angels, because the Church, being principally a spiritual society, Her strength lies principally in spiritual things.  Now there is nothing more principally spiritual in a believer than his virtue, and the prince of all virtue is the virtue to the heroic degree.  Consequently, to shut out all possibility of this most spiritual enemy of Modernism, the first and prime spiritual goal is to ostracize and exile heroic virtue.  And this is done chiefly by denigration.

Denigration of what is best is the first tactic to employ, because when the best is no longer seen as the best, the soul and the society no longer strives to reach the proper goal by the only methods which can attain that goal. Giving up the only tools to arrive at that goal, one guarantees in the very first instance, that the Catholic side of the battle will not and will never win; and that the battle will continue interminably, without victory for the Catholic party.

This denigration has gone on for many generations now: Rationalists did this by debunking the lives of the Saints, debunking the authenticity and authority and veracity of Scripture; by debunking the normalcy and authority of Tradition; by debunking the sanity of heroic virtue, by recourse to modern false sciences of psychology and psychiatry as the “true” authorities on human behavior.  This could not be done without despising and denigrating Scholastic Theology and Philosophy.

The result of such a campaign of denigration, is a Catechism of Denigration, induction to which is common place in Catholic Seminaries today, throughout the whole world; and especially so in the Pontifical Universities at Rome, where the majority of professors believe education means debunking every historical, theological, moral, ethical, religious, liturgical ideal which a seminarian might bring with him to Rome.

Simultaneous, to this work of denigration, is the work of substitution.  After railing against the ideals which the Church has from Christ, the Apostles or from the Holy Spirit in the Saints, it is necessary but easy to suggest and laud the ideals and criteria which prevail in modern times, and this, in the name of being “acceptable”, “up to date”, “normal”, “middle of the road”, etc.. Thus to virtue, we have sound & healthy psychology; to faith in scripture, the critical historical method of rationalistic interpretation; to Christian charity, social justice work; to preaching, neutralizing rhetorics; to worship of God, worship of self or of man; to Tradition, the modernist reading of Vatican II (holding that it is obligatory and dogmatic just like, nay, better than Vatican I) etc..

2. Identify and root out the “non-compliant”, “intransigent”, “rigorists”, those who take the Faith “too seriously”.

The work of denigration provides the best context for the second method or tool of manipulation: identifying those who have such virtue as to resist or oppose the denigration of the best. Social cohesion and the insistence that one not be divisive, not jeopardize approval of superiors who hold the keys to the formation process, are powerful emotional threats used to cajole acquiescence to the program of denigration.  If this fails, then one moves easily to accusing the resistant of being “rigorists”, “ideologues”, “intransigent”, simply because they resist the process of denigration.  Few, in such an emotionally charged atmosphere as the Seminary or Pontifical University where denigration has replace formation and information, have the spiritual balance to notice that it is precisely in this personal attack of those who resist, that there becomes manifest the actual ideals of the denigrators; ideals which are contrary or opposite of those which Catholics should hold. Many, beholden to a “follow the group”, “don’t rock the boat”, ethic, easily succumb to such an attack, those who don’t, thus, are then easily isolated and separated from the group, when the attacks move from opposing ideals of the Faith, to denigrating those who show loyalty to them.  With all the filters Modernists now have in society and in ecclesiastical institutions today, it will be few vocations who show such fortitude and resistance, it is thus easy then to divide them from the group and from others in the group who would give moral support.

This separation is a necessary part of the re-education program of the Modernists.  Insistence on attending certain Pontifical Universities is a sure sign that re-education is the goal.  It is not that re-education is the necessity, but a seminarian or religious has to be very knowledgeable and virtuous beforehand, to survive without being scathed.  Such a man is a rare breed today, though.

One effective tool in this work of weeding out the virtuous, is the system of falsification of formation and formators.  In seminaries the Modernists most capable of appearing Catholics and most knowledgeable in how to flip a Catholic to a Modernist, or at least to a complaint do-nothing, are placed in the roles of Confessors, Spiritual Directors, and Vocation Directors, Rectors, or other formators.  This is important so that not only the gate-keepers but the counselors of the victims conscience are compromised, so that if he seeks help and guidance, he is guaranteed to get  advice that will do him in; either by advising compliance, silence, or excesses which will guarantee expulsion or exclusion, or serving as pretexts for such.  Indeed, a common tactic, is to propose friendship and sympathy for the victim, with the condition that he compromise in something, which will only prologue his ordeal and wear down his resistance.

These two tactics, Denigration and Identification/Segregation regard individuals. Now, let us consider the cases of groups.

3. Disfavor initiatives aimed at promoting the Faith in a non-compromised manner

In regard to groups, distinct but similar tactics must be employed.  In the age following the diffusion of the errors of voluntarism and totalitarianism, many a person has come to accept in principle that obedience to a superior is never wrong, even when a superior commands to be done that which is wrong.  A whole host of excuses is given, but to the group which is poorly formed in the Faith and immeshed in the errors of the present age, the power of the accusation of disobedience to a superiors commands or disfavor in regard to superior’s wishes is never to be discounted. How many holy initiatives, works of the Holy Spirit’s suggestions, have come to naught since Vatican II simply because someone whispered, “The Bishop won’t like that”, or “the current Pope does not favor that”, etc..!

Mind you, the Catholic Faith aims to please God alone; when a superior’s wishes diverge from what God has revealed to be pleasing to Himself, either in scripture, or throughout the course of the ages in the Saints’ and their works, then the faithful should have the common sense to ignore his wishes, no? You’d think so; but, alas, this sense of integrity is rare today.  Only when Catholics by long years of good works come to understand the profound connection between them and the  Faith which comes from Christ, do they have any interior conviction to question such an evil suggestion as, “the Bishop won’t like that” holy proposal.

The errors of voluntarism and totalitarianism have become so widespread, that many Catholics no longer hold their pastors or Bishops’ to be their shepherds, they now consider them to be their “heads” and “hearts” proper! Content with the satisfaction of their daily lives and common pleasures, and rarely prepared by modern culture to have a sense of personal dignity which is founded in loyalty to Christ first and foremost, few initiatives, even holy initiatives, of Catholics, whether laymen or clergy or religious, withstand a concerted or long process of Modernist manipulation tactics.  The fortitude is simply lacking; the clarity of judgement too poor; the heroic virtue, not something they have every prayed the Lord to give them.

4. Accuse of Disobedience, especially after unreasonable or unlawful requests

Accusations of disobedience are a grave matter, since the Code of Canon Law especially identifies these as a grounds for imposing censures or penalties.  Most Catholics when accused, do not have the clarity of mind or knowledge of the faith to distinguish a just command which should be obeyed, from an unjust or unreasonable one which should not or could be ignored.  The mere stigma of not doing what a superior has commanded, is so strong in modern times (despite the false exaltation of liberty) that nearly no group escapes from such an accusation.  What results is disintegration, internal divisions, which render the group non-effective in its holy proposals, or so divided, as to dissolve; in any event, the mere accusation when leveled is sufficient to guarantee that a group be exterminated from the life of the Church, if the Bishop should so wish, or even, to obtain complete acquiescence to the Modernist agenda in the Church as the penance necessary to remove the stigma.  This is why a reasonable or just request, refused, need not be the basis of the accusation.

Now let me adjoin some commentary on the so-called negotiations which have been required of Catholic groups since the Council, which have “dared” to resist the Modernist reformulation of the Faith.

5. Require negotiations for reconciliation

I have always wondered just why some groups are required “to be reconciled” so as to obtain favor or approval from superiors, where it is rather the superiors who have been known for years, decades, even their entirely priestly lives, for deviations from the Faith or right ecclesiastic practices.

The reason may be, that the opportunities to be had from negotiating the reconciliation of such groups provides a powerful social-psychological force for demanding and obtaining compliance.  Social-physchology is the study of how groups behave and interact in such wise as to influence the behavior of individuals and individuals of groups. The mere announcement of an offer of reconciliation makes the imposition of the requirement of negotiations all the more noteworthy, the object of much emotion and speculations.  The hope that persecution and justice will be granted, is combined with the natural desire of the victim to exit the suffering imposed so unjustly.  It is a powerful magnetic force, therefore, to propose to the abused a negotiation with the abuser to stop the abuse.  It also sets up the context where any discussion of the injustice or abuse appears not to be useful to obtain the needed reconciliation.

For this reason, I ask, just why is it that some groups, and not all groups or all Catholics, are required to accept by written signature the legitimacy, authority, or doctrines of the Second Vatican Council?  If the Fathers of the Council had the liberty to choose to sign or not to sign, and if the  Council did not in any anathema or canon obliged its acceptance or the acceptance of any of its pastoral proposals, why is it then that such written acceptance is required?

I believe the reason is, that such a written document, can serve very ably in coercing and guaranteeing compliance, and in shutting off the ways of escaping from further abuse, when the malice or perfidy of one party might later become evident.  After all, that is the reason for every peace treaty between disputants, is it not, to guarantee compliance of the weaker party?

Thus, if the Modernists simply falsely accuse their opponents of being schismatics, or in danger of schism, as has frequently and recently been done by some Bishops, it becomes very easy to propose reconciliation as a condition for being pardoned of the false charges.

In truth, Catholics need not compromise, reconcile or negotiate with Modernists; they need only to refuse false obedience and false acceptance when and wherever it is offered. Rather, it is Catholics who should preach and demand repentance of the Modernists, their resignations and their removal from office, howsoever high it be.

—————

Just hours after the publication of this Article, Pope Francis directed AB Parolin, his Secretary of State, to publish a Rescript in which he claims the right, in Art. 5, thereof, to depose any bishop for any reason after a fraternal dialogue.

Cf. http:// press.vatican.va / content / salastampa / it / bollettino / pubblico / 2014 / 11 / 05 / 0821 / 01739.html

To use the link, simply remove the spaces before and after the / symbols.

Bergoglio’s Past Catches up with him, with a vengeance

I have intently watched the Papacy of Pope Francis, from the first day of his election as Roman Pontiff.  Though I am a resident in Rome, I did not go to St. Peter’s square to see who would be elected, since I had a chest cold, and did not want to make it worse.

But, I confess to be one of the many who were enthused by his election, especially of his name selection, “Francis”, after the saintly founder of my Order, St. Francis of Assisi.  So much was my confidence, that I am among the first to write him a letter, which he received on the first day of his Petrine ministry, and which one of his secretaries confirmed by calling me — Though I never got a response to my request.

With the loud and clamorous and scandalous happenings at Synod 14, I became more certain that if there were anything about his background which was untoward, that some journalist would reveal it.  Indeed, from the first day of his election, the media have been exceedingly supportive of Bergoglio, and thus there have been almost no reports about his background, childhood, family, upbringing.

Today, on October 14, Sandro Magister, one of the leading Vaticanistas (that is, journalist who reports on Vatican affairs), published a very telling exposé of Pope Francis, with specific reference to the kind of pastoral practice he promoted at Buenas Aires as Archbishop.  You can read the official English translation of that article, here.

The really damning evidence is referred to in this paragraph of Magister’s report (Bold Facing and Coloring not in the original):

On communion for the divorced and remarried, it is already known how the pope thinks. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he authorized the “curas villeros,” the priests sent to the peripheries, to give communion to all, although four fifths of the couples were not even married. And as pope, by telephone or letter he is not afraid of encouraging some of the faithful who have remarried to receive communion without worrying about it, right away, even without those “penitential paths under the guidance of the diocesan bishop” projected by some at the synod, and without issuing any denials when the news of his actions comes out.

The entire affair is outrageously sacrilegious and offensive.  Because to put Our Lord, Who is truly, really, and substantially present in the Sacrament, into the hands or mouth of someone in mortal sin, is to crucify Him anew.  And to order such a thing done, is a horrendous monstrosity.

But, I am particularly troubled that Magister seems to have indicated, in the text I have highlighted in red, that this was done with the omission of any encouragement to attend confession, nay, with the apparent implication that omitting confession was encouraged.

This is particularly grievous, because such a doctrine and teaching such a practice was condemned by the infallible and Ecumenical Council of Trent, in its 13th session, and XI canon, which is found here, the text of which is:

CANON XI.-lf any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.

I do not see how Bergoglio as Archbishop could habitually conduct such a practice in his Archdiocese if he did not teach or preach to his clergy at least, that such a practice was licit, allowed, or proper, all of which would have put him under the pain of excommunication from the day he first began to teach such an omission of penance before reception of communion by public sinners.

Obviously this needs to be investigated and the testimony of the faithful in the Archdiocese needs to be heard.

Also, experts in canon law need to be questioned, whether this excommunication imposed by Trent is latae sententiae or ferendae, that is, whether one falls immediately under this punishment when committing the act condemned, or whether the Pope would have to impose it.

This is important, because in the decree of Pope Paul IV, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, an Archbishop who was under the sentence of excommunication could not be validly named a Cardinal, and such a Cardinal could not be validly elected Pope (cf. in particular, n. 2, especially in its final paragraph; n. 6).

It is another, thornier question, whether a Pope saying that communion can be given to impenitent public sinners, without the requirement of confessing their sins and repenting, would be excommunicated by the excommunication handed down in Trent, Session 34, Canon XI.  If he has counseled this even over the telephone, then he would, according to the norms of canon law, certainly be subject to suspicion for its violation.  But the canon established by Trent regards discipline, the mere practice is not heretical, but makes one suspect of heresy, because if one were to do such, either he does not believe in the dogma of transubstantiation or he does not believe in the ecclesiological and theological necessity of faith and penance as prerequisites to receive a Sacrament, any of which is heretical.

 

The Prophecies of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

“I saw again the new and odd-looking Church which they were trying to build. There was nothing holy about it… People were kneading bread in the crypt below… but it would not rise, nor did they receive the body of Our Lord, but only bread. Those who were in error, through no fault of their own, and who piously and ardently longed for the Body of Jesus were spiritually consoled, but not by their communion. Then, my Guide [Jesus] said: ‘THIS IS BABEL.’ [The Mass in many languages].”

“I saw deplorable things: they were gambling, drinking, and talking in church; they were also courting women. All sorts of abominations were perpetrated there. Priests allowed everything and said Mass with much irreverence. I saw that few of them were still godly, and only a few had sound views on things. I also saw Jews standing under the porch of the Church. All these things caused me much distress.”

“The Church is in great danger. We must pray so that the Pope may not leave Rome; countless evils would result if he did. They are now demanding something from him. The Protestant doctrine and that of the schismatic Greeks are to spread everywhere. I now see that in this place (Rome) the (Catholic) Church is being so cleverly undermined, that there hardly remain a hundred or so priests who have not been deceived. They all work for destruction, even the clergy. A great devastation is now near at hand.”

“Among the strangest things that I saw, were long processions of bishops. Their thoughts and utterances were made known to me through images issuing from their mouths. Their faults towards religion were shown by external deformities. A few had only a body, with a dark cloud of fog instead of a head. Others had only a head, their bodies and hearts were like thick vapors. Some were lame, others were paralytics; others were asleep or staggering.

“I saw what I believe to be nearly all the bishops of the world, but only a small number were perfectly sound. I saw a number of people looking quickly right and left, that is, in the direction of the world.

“Then, I saw that everything that pertained to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence. Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of the destruction.

“In those days, Faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only, in a few cottages and in a few families which God has protected from disasters and wars.”

“I see many excommunicated ecclesiastics who do not seem to be concerned about it, nor even aware of it. Yet, they are (ispso facto) excommunicated whenever they cooperate [sic] enterprises, enter into associations, and embrace opinions on which an anathema has been cast. It can be seen thereby that God ratifies the decrees, orders, and interdictions issued by the Head of the Church, and that He keeps them in force even though men show no concern for them, reject them, or laugh them to scorn.”

Source: The Life of Anne Catherine Emmerich – Carl E. Schmoeger