Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Bertone knew of Abication of Benedict and Advent of Francis 7 months before?

Rome, February 19, 2015:  It must be a mistake, or a joke, otherwise its the stuff that will ignite the wildest speculation:  Cardinal Bertone was quoted, yesterday, to have affirmed in an interview that he knew both of the planned resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the advent of Pope Francis months beforehand, and even discussed it with Pope Benedict!

Here is the explosive quote from the Catholic Herald, published today, and cited by us, minutes ago, but which was itself cited verbatim from the interview the Cardinal gave to Andrea Purgatori of the Huffington Post.

How surprised were you by his decision to leave?

I had guessed it, but put it out my thoughts. I knew long in advance, at least seven months before. And I had many doubts. We debated the topic at length after it seemed already decided. I told him: Holy Father, you must bestow upon us the third volume on Jesus of Nazareth and the encyclopedia of faith, before you sign things over to Pope Francis.

This phrase cannot have been said after the the Conclave, or before Conclave, because in the first case Benedict XVI had already abdicated; in the second, Pope Francis had not been elected nor taken his name. As it stands, it seems to signify that months before the election of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Bertone, his secretary of State, knew that Cardinal Bergoglio would succeed him and take the name Francis.

The Huffignton Post, a liberal pro-Obama publication, was notorious some years ago for receiving a $30 million dollar grant, according to reports, from a foundation directed by George Soros to promote its own activities.

For the entire interview see the link to the Catholic Herald above.

 

You margins count for nothing, my margins are very definition of the Faith

CardinalBergoglioRome, February 18, 2015:  Ash Wednesday is by immemorial tradition the day of penance, par excellence, in the Catholic Church.  Catholics can prepare themselves for the advent of Holy Week by returning to a more vivid and faithful practice of the faith.  As the From Rome blog noted, for Pope Francis, however, Lent is a time without sin or repentance, rather it is a time for social work.  An ironic appeal for Lent, if ever there was one, especially since the Holy Father insisted at the beginning of his Pontificate that the Church could not become a NGO, merely a social works organization.

Yet in his homily to the College of Cardinals this Sunday, past, he reaffirmed the same error, when he closed saying:

Dear new Cardinals, my brothers, as we look to Jesus and our Mother, I urge you to serve the Church in such a way that Christians – edified by our witness – will not be tempted to turn to Jesus without turning to the outcast, to become a closed caste with nothing authentically ecclesial about it. I urge you to serve Jesus crucified in every person who is emarginated, for whatever reason; to see the Lord in every excluded person who is hungry, thirsty, naked; to see the Lord present even in those who have lost their faith, or turned away from the practice of their faith, or say that they are atheists; to see the Lord who is imprisoned, sick, unemployed, persecuted; to see the Lord in the leper – whether in body or soul – who encounters discrimination! We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalized! May we always have before us the image of Saint Francis, who was unafraid to embrace the leper and to accept every kind of outcast. Truly, dear brothers, the Gospel of the marginalized is where our credibility is at stake, is discovered and is revealed!

Official Vatican translation, if you can believe it.*

At the same time, the Holy Father, during the entire course of His Pontificate has granted no private audience to any Catholic group or layman noted for his promotion of the traditional Latin Mass.° Or with all those Catholics, whom Pope Francis has considered it urgent to marginalize by his more than 100 insults.

I guess the Holy Father’s message for Lent, in common parlance, would be, “Your margins don’t count for anything, and my margins are the very definition of the Faith”.  I surely hope not, because then he would be a communist organizer of the Leonard Boff type — you know, the kind who is obsessed that we speak as he wants us to speak and to think what he wants us to think, and that we not have anything to do with what is authentically Christian or truthful — not a Catholic, and thus not even worthy to be the Pope.

Oh, and can we stop talking about sinners & the poor with the terms fit for comments on the side of a page? They are, after all, made in the image and likeness of God, not of letters on a page in a book on Marxist political diatribe.

_________________

*  Where the Vatican translators found the word “emarginated”, I do not know, the proper word is in standard usage is “marginalized”.

°  We do not exclude here Cardinal Burke and other of the Hierarchy who do meet with the Holy Father on occasion.

Francis is Presenting Mercy as a justification for breaking the law of Christ

There is an excellent, and detailed analysis, of the Pope’s Sunday Homily to the College of Cardinals, by Megaera Erinyes at the Remnant, which begins thus:

 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Papal Signaling: Pope Francis and the False Dichotomy

A Thumbs-Up for Cardinal Dolan
A Thumbs-Up for Cardinal Dolan, expresses the levity of the current Pontificate

Pope Francis’ homily for the latest consistory of cardinals meeting in Rome this week is being called a re-statement of his programme for his pontificate. Fr. Thomas Rosica, his English language spokesman, wrote on Twitter: “More than anything I’ve heard from (the pope) today’s homily is his mission statement.”

Let us assume for a moment that the pope knows the implications of what he is saying, and that the people closest to him are telling the truth when they say, repeatedly, that the things that are happening are happening at his behest, and examine what this “mission statement” has to say to the Church.

Francis is clearly signaling, again, his intentions for the Synod and the future envisioned at it by the Kasper faction. The question of Communion for the divorced and remarried is never named, but the terms describing the issue are unmistakable. And they are wholly on the side of the Kasperites, adhering without an iota of divergence from the basic presumption in Kasper’s proposal: that the law of God must be overturned or ignored for the sake of extending the mercy of God. A contradiction that is totally incompatible with all of Catholic theology, with logic and natural reason.

What I hope to offer here is not a detailed theological analysis, but merely a point-by-point clarification, given the context of what the pope means. It can only be described as a volley in an ideological war currently being waged at the highest levels for supremacy in the Church. I will go through the text of the consistory homily and try to add some clarification for those who might be in the position now of trying to explain what some of us see as the grave danger being posed by this pope.

(Continue reading, from the Original)

Pope Francis preaches to advance the Heresy of Kasper

Rome, February 15, 2015:  In his homily this morning, at the Vatican, Pope Francis told the Cardinals that “The road of the Church is not to condemn anyone eternally”. In his homily, which was published minutes ago in Italian, he went on to say, that God “embraces and welcomes by reintegrating and transfiguring evil into good, condemnation into salvation, exclusion into proclamation” of welcome.

The discourse as a whole, spoke about the need to go to the peripheries:

Consequently, charity cannot be neutral, ascetic, indifferent, tepid or impartial! Charity is contagious, it impassions, it risks, it co-involves! Because true charity is always unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous! (cf. 1 Cor. 13). Charity is creative in finding a proper language to communicate with all who have been considered incurable and hence untouchable.  To find the just language … Contact is the true communicative language, the same affective language which transmitted healing to the leper.  How many cures we can accomplish and transmit by learning this language of contact!  He was a leper and he became an announcer of God’s love.  The Gospel says:  « But he went off and set out proclaiming and publishing the deed » (Mk, 1:45).

(Translation: our own)

A grave misreading of Scripture

Unfortunately, the healing of the leper by Our Lord, was not what the Pope is proposing.  He was not healed by contact with another human body, or by human words; he was healed by an act of the Will and Power of God Himself, the Incarnate One, and hence the Anointed par excellence, the Christ.

And though we are all called to have the charity to help the sick and the outcast, we cannot heal or love in the same manner God does.  For God first loves a thing, and only then does it come into being; and when He finds moral depravity, He first wills to cure it and then the immoral person if he accepts the grace, becomes good.

We on the other hand cannot command the power of God or the grace of God or the mercy of God and apply it to whomsoever we wish, or to whichsoever category of sinner we want.

That is why Christ commanded the Apostles to preach, first, faith and penance, then to lay hands upon those who believed.

This point needs to be emphasized.  There is absolutely no case in the entire Gospel where a non-believer was cured by Our Lord.

This point needs more emphasis.  There is absolutely no case in all of Scripture where God has revealed, said, promised or declared that He has any desire to heal or cure the impenitent.

A False Gospel leads to a False Pastoral Practice

The error of thinking that these 2 points are not important leads directly into the error and heresy of Cardinal Kasper, which Pope Francis has done everything to promote.  Even in this homily to the newly created Cardinals he cannot conceal, as much as a Jesuit can, his malignant intent.

For this reason the Church has never allowed public sinners to approach the Sacrament.  She has always taught, and Her laws have always held, that public sinners must be excluded.  Only if they repent, can they be readmitted.  In the ancient Church Lent came into being as the time for which public sinners would do public penance, before being readmitted for Easter though the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist.

In later centuries, when the Catholic Faith embraced the whole of society, the practice of public penance was only reserved for greater public crimes, such as that of kings or rulers.  For nearly 1000 years, Catholics have done their penances in private after going to confession.

Thus, Holy Mother Church has defended the Infinite Dignity of the Immaculate Son of God the Father, present in the Eucharist, from the defilement of a sacrilegious communion.

This does not mean that many clergy, even bishops or popes or cardinals never gave communion to public sinners.  For the sins of individuals do not constitute the Church’s praxis. Rather, all who did so merited justly everlasting damnation in the fires of Hell.  And all who do so today, will merit the same, if they do not repent.

For this reason, it is Cardinal Burke, who is the most charitable of all the Cardinals, since it is he, nearly alone, who has publicly defended, even at personal cost, the duty of sacred pastors to refuse communion to those in irregular situations, such as divorced, cohabiting, etc. or practicing sodomites. He is more charitable, because true charity seeks the true salvation of the sinner; a salvation which cannot be obtained without the sinner being told he is a sinner and worthy only of condemnation, and that penance and a change of morals is the only way to be worthy of the free gift of God’s saving mercy.

It is actions like those of this Cardinal, not homilies of the Pope, which reflect faithfully the teaching which the Church has received from Christ and the Apostles.

Needless to say, to twist the plain sense of scripture for heretical purposes, is itself a grave sin of sacrilege, meriting eternal damnation not only for those who do this, but for those who consent to such evil use.

Commentary on Papal Discourse for Public Consistory of 2015

Pope Francis emphasizes again & again a Faith without Doctrine or Morals

Rome, February 14, 2015:  During his address to the College of Cardinals, this morning, Pope Francis emphasized over and over the importance of fraternal charity and of not-rocking-the-boat.  His exhortation expressed the same personal religion of his, which the From Rome blog detected and criticized in his analysis of Pope Francis’ opening speech to the Extra-Ordinary Consistory on Thursday, namely:

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 morningThis 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.

You can read the Pope’s entire discourse, in its official English translation, here.

False Humility

imagesIt is often said that true humility consists in depicting oneself sincerely; but true humility, in the Catholic sense, is much more than that. It consists in taking and tending to the place where God has willed one to be.  As a baptized Christian, a  Catholic is obliged by true humility to unswerving faith, hope and charity for God above and beyond all else, and to love his neighbor as himself.  False humility, however, puts on the display of self-effacement, but in fact refuses to remain in the place which God has willed for it.

Take for example the teaching of the Apostle St Paul in 1 Cor. 11:26-27.  Therein, the Apostle of the Nations condemns those who approach to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar without first examining themselves as to whether they are in the state of mortal sin or not: those who are, are not to receive because otherwise they commit another mortal sin, the one most horribly punished, that of sacrilege.

Now, a humble man who is Catholic accepts this teaching of St. Paul as well as all the others, especially that on true fraternal Charity, which was the subject of the Pope’s Discourse to the Cardinals this morning, which at the beginning, includes these words of the Pope:

All of us, myself first and each of you with me, would do well to let ourselves be guided by the inspired words of the apostle Paul, especially in the passage where he lists the marks of charity.

But it is the epitome of false humility, to cite the discourse of St. Paul on Charity, and work all the time to undermine the continued teaching and practice of refusing communion to adulterers and public sinners, as the Church has ever done for the last 2000 years, faithful as She is to this teaching of St. Paul.

That the pope is working to overturn this teaching of St. Paul has been loudly decried and openly manifested in the recent Extraordinary Synod for the Family, the secretary appointed to which, Cardinal Badlisseri, himself has confirmed that the Pope was behind every scandalous moment and document which it issued.  He even directed the Cardinal in the minutiae of the actions which the Cardinal made during the Synod, sending him, as is reported, frequent notes about what to do.

That’s false humility of a most outrageous kind, the heretical one.

Now lets consider the Pope’s discourse and show how he is reading St. Paul in a heretical light, that of his own personal faith, which is not the Catholic one:

False Charity

When the Pope spoke about charity this morning, he began by explaining what he means (Boldfacing our own):

Saint Paul tells us that charity is, above all, “patient” and “kind”. The greater our responsibility in serving the Church, the more our hearts must expand according to the measure of the heart of Christ. “Patience” – “forbearance” – is in some sense synonymous with catholicity. It means being able to love without limits, but also to be faithful in particular situations and with practical gestures. It means loving what is great without neglecting what is small; loving the little things within the horizon of the great things, since “non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo divinum est“. To know how to love through acts of kindness. “Kindness” – benevolence –means the firm and persevering intention to always will the good of others, even those unfriendly to us.

Here the Pope has radically mischaracterized what “catholicity” is about.  In its proper sense, “Catholic” is from the Greek, “catholicos”, which means ‘universal’.  As such, it is used as the proper adjective for the Church which Christ founded for the salvation of all peoples in all times.  It does not, in any sense of the word, mean “patient”.  In fact, there is much which is proper about our faith which has nothing to do with patience, but rather with impatience.

We must be impatient to hear and believe and accept the word of God as preached to us by Christ and the Apostles and faithfully handed down to us through the Fathers, Doctors and Saints and the infallible Magisterium of the Church.  We must be impatient to repent of our sins and go to confession; we must be impatient to do what is right and fulfill our daily obligations of our state in life.  In all these things, “being catholic” means ‘being impatient’.

Contrariwise, it is evil to be patient when we should not be patient.  For example, it is evil to be patient in enduring the unjust persecution of others; in enduring the false presentation of facts, in tolerating the unjust deprivation of the human rights of others. That is evil, and evil which can come from many causes, such as sloth in the good, cowardice in the face of the difficult, malignity in the love of the suffering of others.

For these reasons, St. Paul couched his discourse on charity in the context of personal relationships in the local church, and did not intend what he wrote regarding matters which regard other issues.

But the Pope has taken St. Paul’s words out of context and uses them as a template under which “catholicity” itself is to be practiced.  This is no less a counterfeiting of the faith that the counterfeiting committed by the defrocked communist priest, Leonard Boff, the Brazilian theologian of whom Pope Francis has spoken so highly off.  In his infamous book on St. Francis, Boff attempted to depict the Saint as a Marxist all the while claiming that the values of Marxism were the authentic values of St. Francis.

For those of poor instruction, Boff’s book was a tool to transform the authentic catholic piety of the poor in Latin America into a zeal for supporting communist infiltration and takeovers throughout the continent.  And it succeeded for the most part, as history itself is the witness today.

For Pope Francis to attempt this as pope, does not surprise, therefore, because he is merely rehashing the method of Leonard Boff.  As anyone in the West can recognize, that the Communists and Socialists have always insisted on disarming their opposition by advocating to excess the virtue of the qualities of passivity and toleration and pacifism in the face of mortal threats. This attempt of the Pope is seen clearly when he said, this morning:

Charity, Saint Paul says, “is not irritable, it is not resentful”. Pastors close to their people have plenty of opportunities to be irritable, to feel anger. Perhaps we risk being all the more irritable in relationships with our confreres, since in effect we have less excuses. Even here, charity, and charity alone, frees us. It frees us from the risk of reacting impulsively, of saying or doing the wrong thing; above all it frees us from the mortal danger of pent-up anger, of that smouldering anger which makes us brood over wrongs we have received. No. This is unacceptable in a man of the Church. Even if a momentary outburst is forgivable, this is not the case with rancour. God save us from that!

It is simply stunning that Pope Francis should have the gall to read these words to the Cardinals, since he himself is notorious for his brutal verbal outbursts by which he terrorizes everyone who is not doing what his whims suggest.  I myself can indirectly testify to this, since in the Fall of 2013, I had the occasion to speak with a Bishop recently ordained by the Pope, and at my suggestion that for the sake of a small justice, he speak to the Pope about it, he began to shudder with great fear, saying, “You just cannot go into Santa Marta and request to speak with the Pope, he does not allow that!”

For more on our coverage of the agenda of the Pope, see our reports on the heretical spirit of “Team Bergoglio” and the schismatic intentions for which they are working.

If you want to see the fear on the faces of the Cardinals attending this weeks consistory, you need look no further that the video Report from Rome Reports.

The Public Consistory of Feb. 14, 2015 A.D. : Pope’s Discourse

The Official English translation, by the Vatican Press office:

Discourse of the Holy Father

Dear Brother Cardinals,

The cardinalate is certainly an honour, but it is not honorific. This we already know from its name – “cardinal” – from the word “cardo”, a hinge. As such it is not a kind of accessory, a decoration, like an honorary title. Rather, it is a pivot, a point of support and movement essential for the life of the community. You are “hinges” and are “incardinated” in the Church of Rome, which “presides over the entire assembly of charity” (Lumen Gentium, 13; cf. IGN. ANT., Ad Rom., Prologue).

In the Church, all “presiding” flows from charity, must be exercised in charity, and is ordered towards charity. Here too the Church of Rome exercises an exemplary role. Just as she presides in charity, so too each particular Church is called, within its own sphere, to preside in charity.

For this reason, I believe that the “hymn to charity” in Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians can be taken as a guiding theme for this celebration and for your ministry, especially for those of you who today enter the College of Cardinals. All of us, myself first and each of you with me, would do well to let ourselves be guided by the inspired words of the apostle Paul, especially in the passage where he lists the marks of charity. May our Mother Mary help us to listen. She gave the world Jesus, charity incarnate, who is “the more excellent Way” (cf. 1 Cor 12:31); may she help us to receive this Word and always to advance on this Way. May she assist us by her humility and maternal tenderness, because charity, as God’s gift, grows wherever humility and tenderness are found.

Saint Paul tells us that charity is, above all, “patient” and “kind”. The greater our responsibility in serving the Church, the more our hearts must expand according to the measure of the heart of Christ. “Patience” – “forbearance” – is in some sense synonymous with catholicity. It means being able to love without limits, but also to be faithful in particular situations and with practical gestures. It means loving what is great without neglecting what is small; loving the little things within the horizon of the great things, since “non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo divinum est“. To know how to love through acts of kindness. “Kindness” – benevolence –means the firm and persevering intention to always will the good of others, even those unfriendly to us.

The Apostle goes on to say that charity “is not jealous or boastful, it is not puffed up with pride”. This is surely a miracle of love, since we humans – all of us, at every stage of our lives – are inclined to jealousy and pride, since our nature is wounded by sin. Nor are Church dignitaries immune from this temptation. But for this very reason, dear brothers, the divine power of love, which transforms hearts, can be all the more evident in us, so that it is no longer you who live, but rather Christ who lives in you. And Jesus is love to the fullest.

Saint Paul then tells us that charity “is not arrogant or rude, it does not insist on its own way”. These two characteristics show that those who abide in charity are not self-centred. The self-centred inevitably become disrespectful; very often they do not even notice this, since “respect” is precisely the ability to acknowledge others, to acknowledge their dignity, their condition, their needs. The self-centred person inevitably seeks his own interests; he thinks this is normal, even necessary. Those “interests” can even be cloaked in noble appearances, but underlying them all is always “self-interest”. Charity, however, makes us draw back from the centre in order to set ourselves in the real centre, which is Christ alone. Then, and only then, can we be persons who are respectful and attentive to the good of others.

Charity, Saint Paul says, “is not irritable, it is not resentful”. Pastors close to their people have plenty of opportunities to be irritable, to feel anger. Perhaps we risk being all the more irritable in relationships with our confreres, since in effect we have less excuses. Even here, charity, and charity alone, frees us. It frees us from the risk of reacting impulsively, of saying or doing the wrong thing; above all it frees us from the mortal danger of pent-up anger, of that smouldering anger which makes us brood over wrongs we have received. No. This is unacceptable in a man of the Church. Even if a momentary outburst is forgivable, this is not the case with rancour. God save us from that!

Charity – Saint Paul adds – “does not rejoice at the wrong, but rejoices in the right”. Those called to the service of governance in the Church need to have a strong sense of justice, so that any form of injustice becomes unacceptable, even those which might bring gain to himself or to the Church. At the same time, he must “rejoice in the right”. What a beautiful phrase! The man of God is someone captivated by truth, one who encounters it fully in the word and flesh of Jesus Christ, the inexhaustible source of our joy. May the people of God always see in us a firm condemnation of injustice and joyful service to the truth.

Finally, “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. Here, in four words, is a spiritual and pastoral programme of life. The love of Christ, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, enables us to live like this, to be like this: as persons always ready to forgive; always ready to trust, because we are full of faith in God; always ready to inspire hope, because we ourselves are full of hope in God; persons ready to bear patiently every situation and each of our brothers and sisters, in union with Christ, who bore with love the burden of our sins.

Dear brothers, this comes to us not from ourselves, but from God. God is love and he accomplishes all this in us if only we prove docile to the working of his Holy Spirit. This, then, is how we are to be: “incardinated” and docile. The more we are “incardinated” in the Church of Rome, the more we should become docile to the Spirit, so that charity can give form and meaning to all that we are and all that we do. Incardinated in the Church which presides in charity, docile to the Holy Spirit who pours into our hearts the love of God (cf. Rom 5:5). Amen.

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.

Pope Francis opens the Extra-Ordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals, Feb. 12-13, 2015

Rome, February 12, 2015:  Catholics the world-over have waited with much anticipation for the Consistory of Cardinals convoked by Pope Francis for 2015, which opened this morning at the Vatican.  And this, for the reasons and doubts raised both by the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” and the facts uncovered by Antonio Socci, as published in his book, Non è Francesco, showing that the election of Cardinal Bergoglio is doubtful as to its validity.  In session, the Sacred College of Cardinals has rights to address these issues openly and directly.  From the public announcements, the From Rome blog will attempt to discern what is going on behind closed doors.

As our first installment of coverage, we publish our unofficial English translation of the Italian text of the official Vatican Press communique, which was itself published only minutes ago:

+ + +

The Extra-ordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals
February 12-13, 2015

[B0115]

The Consistory of the College of Cardinals (Feb. 12-13, 2015) began this morning at 9 A.M., in the Hall of the Synod of Vatican II, which Consistory saw the College of Cardinals in meeting with the Holy Father, Francis.  The work of the Consistory — part of which will include the creation of Cardinals in the ordinary public session this Saturday — will be undertaken in 2 days, today and tomorrow, with sessions at 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. (Rome time).

This morning, after the recitation of Terce and the opening salutations of the Cardinal Dean, Angelo Sodano, the Pope addressed the Cardinals present with the discourse which we now cite:

The Discourse of the Holy Father

Dear Brothers,

« How beautiful it is and how sweet that brothers live together » (Psalm 133:1).

With the words of the Psalm we give thanks to the Lord that He has convoke us and given us the grace to welcome in this assembly the 20 new Cardinals.  To them and to all, I address my cordial salute.  Welcome to this communion, which is expressed in collegiality!

I thank all of those who have prepared for this event, in particular, His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Deacon of the College of Cardinals.  We thank the Commission of Nine Cardinals and His Eminence Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, its coordinator. We also thanks His Eminence Marcello Semeraro, the secretary of the Commission of Nine Cardinals: it is he who presents to us today the synthesis of the work undertaken in these recent months to elaborate the new Apostolic Constitution for the Reform of the Curia.  As we know, this synthesis there has been per-arranged on the basis of so many suggestions, even on the part of the heads and responsables of the Dicasteries, not to mention of experts in these matters.

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.

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.  The reform, urged in a lively manner by the majority of the Cardinals in the course of the first general Congregation of the Conclave (of 2013), will have to perfect the identity of the Roman Curia itself ever the more, that is, of co-assisting the Successor of Peter in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and the service of the universal Church and of the particular Churches: an exercise with which the unity of the faith and the communion with the people of God are reinforced and the proper mission of the Church in the world is promoted.

Certainly, to arrive at such a goal is not easy:  it requires time, determination and above all the collaboration of all.  But to realize this, we must, before all else, entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who is the true guide of the Church, imploring in prayer for the gift of authentic discernment.

With this spirit of collaboration our meeting begins, which will be fecund thanks to the contribution of each of us will be able to express with parresía, fidelity to the Magisterium and conscientiousness for all which is concordant with the supreme law, that is with the salus animarum. Thank you!

[00260-01.01] [Testo originale: Italiano][B0115-XX.01]

Bl. Emmerich’s prophecy of Schism in the time of 2 Popes

With commentary in Italics by From Rome blog, regarding how it may apply to our own day

May 13, 1820.“Last night, from eleven to three, I had a most wonderful vision of two churches and two Popes and a variety of things, ancient and modern.

“I shall relate, as well as I can, all that I remember of it. My angel-guardian came and told me that I must go to Rome and take two things to the Pope; but I cannot now recall what they were — perhaps it is the will of God that I should forget them. I asked my angel how I could make so long a journey, sick as I was. But when I was told that I should make it without difficulty, I no longer objected. — An odd-looking vehicle appeared before me, flat and slight, with only two wheels, the flooring red with white edges. I saw no horses.

This sound uncannily like the Segway’s used at Rome, to show tourists the city.  Which only came into use in recent years. I myself noticed them in use in 2010.  You can see that some of them are read in color:

Photo by Tripadvisor.com
Photo by Tripadvisor.com

“I was gently lifted and laid on it and, at the same instant, a snow-white, luminous child flew toward me and seated himself at my feet. He reminded me of the Patience-child in green, so sweet, so lovely, and perfectly transparent. He was to be my companion, he was to console and take care of me. The wagon was so light and smooth that at first I was afraid of slipping off; but it began to move very gently of Itself without horses, and I saw a shining human figure going on ahead. The journey did not seem long, although we crossed countries, mountains, and great waters. I knew Rome the instant we reached it, and I was soon in the presence of the Pope.”

— Her “experience” of traveling on this strange mode of transportation, except for the length of the journey, is exactly that of someone riding a Segway for the first time.  This places the time of the fulfillment of her prophecy in our own days.

Pope Boniface IV
Pope Boniface IV

“I know not now whether he was sleeping or praying, but I had to say two things to him, or give him two things, and I shall have to go to him once again to announce a third. — Then I had a wonderful vision. Rome suddenly appeared as in the early ages, and I saw a Pope (Boniface IV and and an Emperor whose name I knew not (Phocas). I could not find my way in the city, all was so different, even the sacred ceremonies; but yet I recognized them as Catholic. I saw a great round building like a cupola — it was a pagan temple full of beautiful idols. It had no windows, but in the dome was an opening with a contrivance for keeping out the rain. It seemed as if all the idols that ever existed were gathered together therein every conceivable posture. Many of them were very beautiful, and others exceedingly odd; there were even some of geese which received divine honor. In the center of the building stood a very high pyramid formed entirely of those images. I saw no idolatrous worship at the time of which I speak, although the idols were still carefully preserved.

Emperor Flavius Phocas
A Coin bearing the image of Emperor Flavius Phocas

Visions are often symbolically significant, even in the details they relate. Note that she speaks of a Pope and the city of Rome under pagan influence.  When she had this vision, Rome was ruled by the Popes, but now it is under the pagan domination of the modern Republic of Italy. Note too that she says that she cannot recognize the rituals used by Catholics, they were all different. This is what a Catholic in 1820 might say of the Novus Ordo mass which arose after the Second Vatican Council.  Note too, that “Boniface” is from the Latin for “Good-doer”, it is very similar in meaning to “Benedict”, which means “Good-speaker”.  The emperor in the time of Pope Boniface IV (who reigned from August 25, 608 to May 8, 615) , was Flavius Phocas (d. Oct. 4, 610).

“I saw messengers from Pope Boniface going to the emperor and petitioning for the temple to be changed into a Christian church, I heard the latter declaring distinctly that the Pope should allow the ancient statues to remain, though he might erect therein the cross to which the highest honors should be paid. This proposal, as it seemed to me, was made not wickedly, but ” in good faith. I saw the messengers return with the answer and Boniface reflecting as to how he might in some measure conform to the emperor’s will. Whilst he was thus deliberating, I saw a good, pious priest in prayer before the crucifix. He wore a long white robe with a train, and an angel hovered by his side. Suddenly he arose, went straight to Boniface, and told him that he should by no means accede to the emperor’s proposal. Messengers were then dispatched to the emperor, who now consented to the temple’s being entirely cleared. Then I saw his people come and take numbers of the statues to the imperial city; but still many remained in Rome. Then I saw the consecration of the temple, at which ceremony the holy martyrs assisted with Mary at their side. The altar was not in the center of the building, but against the wall. I saw more than thirty wagon-loads of sacred relics brought into the church. Many of them were enclosed in the walls and others could be seen through round openings covered with something like glass.

It is interesting to note that she speaks of this Pope Boniface who would received and accepted the sound advice of a devout Catholic priest, who dressed in traditional garb, to have nothing to do with the mixing of Catholic rites with idolatry. Which Pope had the courage to confront the civil authorities of his day with the truth, even to the point of risking their disfavor.  In the time of Emperor Flavius Phocas, the capital of the Roman Empire, the Imperial City, was Constantinople, modern Istanbul. It was in Istanbul, during the Apostolic Nunciature of the future Pope John XXIII, that an international assembly of Free Masons called for an Ecumenical Council to reunite all Christians. Note, that the new church, which Bl. Anne sees consecrated, has its altar against the wall, not like the other churches she sees.  The initiation of the restoration of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, ad orientem, facing the tabernacle was the hallmark of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, especially through his decree Summorum Pontificum, which defended the rights of the clergy and faithful to the celebration of the ancient Roman Rite, which Bl. Anne Emmerich knew as the Mass of the universal Church.

“When I had witnessed this vision even in the smallest details, I saw again the present Pope and the dark church of his time in Rome, It seemed to be a large, old house like a town-hall with columns in front. I saw no altar in it, but only benches, and in the middle of it something like a pulpit. They had preaching and singing, but nothing else, and only very few attended it.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

— This aptly describes not only the liturgical architecture but the rituals which prevail in the Latin rite since the time of Vatican II, the many abuses and deficiencies of which Pope Benedict XVI was noted for criticizing.

“And lo, a most singular sight! — Each member of the congregation drew an idol from his breast, set it up before him, and prayed to it. It was as if each man drew forth his secret thoughts or passions under the appearance of a dark cloud which, once outside, took some definite form. They were precisely such figures as I had seen around the neck of the illicit bride in the Nuptial House, figures of men and animals. The god of one was short and broad with a crisp head and numerous, outstretched arms ready to seize and devour all in its reach; that of another was quite small with miserable, shrunken limbs; another had merely a block of wood upon which he gazed with rolling eyes; this one had a horrible animal; that one, a long pole. The most singular part of it was that the idols filled the place; the church, although the worshippers were so few, was crowded with idols. When the service was over, every one’s god re-entered into his breast. The whole church was draped in black, and all that took place in it was shrouded in gloom.

— When the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass becomes a time for celebrating the community, then religion becomes nothing more than the self-affirmation of one’s own personal fancies, vices and idols.  Thus Bl. Anne aptly describes a form of Catholicism which has gone astray from a right and orthodox spirituality.

“Then I saw the connection between the two Popes and the two temples. I am sorry that I have forgotten the numbers, but I was shown how weak the one had been in adherents and human support, but how strong in courage to overturn so many gods (I knew the number) and to unite so many different forms of worship into one; and, on the contrary, how strong in numbers and yet how irresolute in action was the other since, in authorizing the erection of false temples, he had allowed the only true God, the only true religion to be lost among so many false gods and false religions.

Here Bl. Anne critiques the two “churches” which exist among the Catholic faithful: one which which has few members, but great zeal to overthrow false religions and establish authentic Catholic worship, suitable to the rites of many nations — this is the Catholic Church; the other which has many members, but little zeal for defending the true Religion from the false, compromising with the world — this is the Church of Modernists and the Church born of the Aggiornamento.

“It was also shown me that those pagans humbly adored gods other than themselves, and that they would have been willing to admit in all simplicity the only God, the Most Holy Trinity. Their worship was preferable to that of those who adore themselves in a thousand idols to the total exclusion of Our Lord. The picture was favorable to the early ages, for in them idolatry was on the decrease, whilst in our days it is just the contrary.

Here Bl. Emmerich gives us a key for interpreting her vision of Pope Benedict IV as applying to Pope Benedict XVI, because she says, “The picture was favorable to the early ages…” and shows that her vision of the former was a spiritual interpretation of the state of the Church under the latter.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

— Next, she speaks of the Church of the Modernists, who in our day are lead by the followers of Cardinal Martini and Cardinal Kasper, under the aegis of Pope Francis’ protection and promotion:

“I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church; I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds flocking to the city (1). I saw the ever-increasing tepidity of the clergy, the circle of darkness ever widening. — And now the vision became more extended.

At this point in her vision, Bl. Anne seems to speak of things yet to come, an ominous persecution of the Catholic Church by the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the Church of the Modernists:

“I saw in all places Catholics oppressed, annoyed, restricted, and deprived of liberty, churches were closed, and great misery prevailed everywhere with war and bloodshed. I saw rude, ignorant people offering violent resistance, but this state of things lasted not long. Again I saw in vision St. Peter’s undermined according to a plan devised by the secret sect whilst, at the same time, it was damaged by storms; but it was delivered at the moment of greatest distress.

This persecution could refer to Pope Francis’ notable persecution of Catholic Bishops, clergy, religious and laity who attend the ancient Roman Rite: for several Bishops have been removed for promoting this mass, many priests and religious and laity have been denied this mass or persecuted in Italy and throughout the world, at express direction of Pope Francis, for their loyalty to this ancient rite.  Such a persecution, according to Rev. Fr. Matthias of Corona, S.T.D. Paris, A Carmelite of Liège, is grounds for the College of Cardinals to depose the pope.  However, Bl. Anne sees the salvation of the Church by divine means:

“Again I saw the Blessed Virgin extending her mantle over it. In this last scene. I saw no longer the reigning Pope, but one of his successors, a mild, but very resolute man who knew how to attach his priests to himself and who drove far from him the bad. I saw all things renewed and a church which reached from earth to heaven.”

For Cardinal Bergoglio, Lent is a time without sin or repentance

Pope-Francis1

Rome, January 27, 2015:  Following the seemingly innumerable occasions in which Pope Francis has spoken in public and given objective scandal by his remarks, which have diverged so much from the manner in which Catholics speak, that not a few Catholics, in books, letters, editorials and blogs, have publicly speculated that he is a heretic, there has been frequent occasions in which Catholics find themselves questioning whether Cardinal Bergoglio is Catholic or has the supernatural habit of faith.

One common criticism, which one finds on the Internet, is based on the observation that in his public discourses the word “faith” is either absent or is emptied of all dogmatic significance.  Even the pope’s own words support this interpretation because he rarely or ever refers to the necessity of the assent of the mind to revealed truth, or the importance of this assent of faith in the daily life of Christians.

Lent is an important occasion for the whole Church to be renewed in Her adhesion to the Lord in faith, hope and charity, by means of repentance, penitence, penance and conversion.  All Catholics know this from their earliest years.

For that reason, it is more than remarkable, that in Pope Francis’ Message for Lent in 2015, published today by the Vatican Press office, he makes no mention of dogmatic faith, sin, repentance, or conversion in the sense of turning from one’s personal sins.

You see, without dogmatic faith, man cannot recognize that his personal moral choices are offensive to or divergent from God’s Will, and thus, without dogmatic faith, there is, in the mind of the individual, no sin, no need for repentance, no need for moral conversion.  The words of the pope on important occasions continue to give the impression that such is his personal conception of the Catholic Religion.

Yet, if for Jorge Mario Bergoglio, faith has not the dogmatic content and significance and obligation which the Church has always taught, it is not a question of whether he is a heretic or not, he would not even be a Christian. Thus, the lack of evidence of dogmatic faith in his public discourses is a true public scandal, in which he is at fault, not bloggers for pointing this out.

But don’t take my word, read the official English translation (source), which has the same deficiencies as the original Italian:

«Make your hearts firm» (Jas 5:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.

When the people of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would like to address in this Message is precisely the globalization of indifference.

Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.

God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded.

God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.

1. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26) – The Church

The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others. This is clearly seen in the liturgy of Holy Thursday, with its rite of the washing of feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others. Only they have “a part” with him (Jn 13:8) and thus can serve others.

Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. For whoever is of Christ, belongs to one body, and in him we cannot be indifferent to one another. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor 12:26).

The Church is the communio sanctorum not only because of her saints, but also because she is a communion in holy things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ and all his gifts. Among these gifts there is also the response of those who let themselves be touched by this love. In this communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own, because with them and for them, we ask God that all of us may be open to his plan of salvation.

2. “Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9) – Parishes and Communities

All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors (Lk 16:19-31)?

In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church in two ways.

In the first place, by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven. The prayers of the Church on earth establish a communion of mutual service and goodness which reaches up into the sight of God. Together with the saints who have found their fulfilment in God, we form part of that communion in which indifference is conquered by love. The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way. Saint Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, expressed her conviction that the joy in heaven for the victory of crucified love remains incomplete as long as there is still a single man or woman on earth who suffers and cries out in pain: “I trust fully that I shall not remain idle in heaven; my desire is to continue to work for the Church and for souls” (Letter 254, July 14, 1897).

We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart.

In the second place, every Christian community is called to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people.

Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every man and woman to the Father. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent. The Church follows Jesus Christ along the paths that lead to every man and woman, to the very ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). In each of our neighbours, then, we must see a brother or sister for whom Christ died and rose again. What we ourselves have received, we have received for them as well. Similarly, all that our brothers and sisters possess is a gift for the Church and for all humanity.

Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!

3. “Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8) – Individual Christians

As individuals too, we have are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?

First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.

Second, we can help by acts of charity, reaching out to both those near and far through the Church’s many charitable organizations. Lent is a favourable time for showing this concern for others by small yet concrete signs of our belonging to the one human family.

Third, the suffering of others is a call to conversion, since their need reminds me of the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters. If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us. We will also be able to resist the diabolical temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.

As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.

It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you.

From the Vatican, 4 October 2014

Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

FRANCISCUS PP.

Gagliarducci: There’s a rumor that Francis is considering calling Vatican III

Rome, January 19, 2015:  Andrea Gagliarducci, a Roman journalist, who gathers his stories from the bars and restaurants around the Vatican, where the curial officials go after hours, writes in his Monday at the Vatican blog, yesterday:

This concern for the peripheries is the reason behind the rumor of papal trip to Erbil, Iraq: to meet Christian refugees. The upcoming encyclical on ecology – which the Pope made clear he will strive to complete in March – will certainly be filled with references to a missionary Church. Meanwhile it is also rumored that a first draft for the announcement of a Third Vatican Council is circulating, but no source has confirmed the report. However, other sources acknowledge the possibility of a papal document that would increase the limit of Cardinals voting in a conclave (i.e., Cardinals under the age of 80) from 120 to 140, thus increasing by 20 the limit that Paul VI established.

Father Z, a popular internet-blogging Catholic priest, very knowledgeable about all things in the Church, responded publicly on his blog to this “news”, thus:

It’s a rumor … but… God help us all.

From the Rome blog asks:  “Why the rush? What about first resolving the scandal of Team Bergoglio? which impinges upon the very validity in law of Cardinal Bergoglio’s papacy.”

Antonio Socci speaks on “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Antonio Socci
Antonio Socci

Rome — Dec. 21, 2014:  Antonio Socci, noted Italian journalist and author of the book, Non è Francesco (a best-seller in Italy, which details the events and facts which he believes invalidate the renunciation made by Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Cardinal Bergoglio), spoke about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal in an editorial published today in the Italian newspaper, Libero (republished on his FaceBook page; reprinted on his blog, Lo Straniero, i. e. The Outsider).

Here is our unofficial English translation of the first part of that blog-post, entitled, Abbattere tutti i muri? Va bene, Papa Bergoglio, cominciamo a spazzar via il “Muro di Silenzio” della Sistina, facendo emergere la verità sul Conclave….  A full translation in the German Language is available from Kirche & Realitat!

_ _ _

Tearing down walls? Ok, Pope Bergoglio: let’s begin to do away with the “Wall of Silence” in the Sistine Chapel, to reveal the truth of the Conclave

Dec. 21:  It was Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, thirty years ago, who proposed the abolition of the secrecy of the Conclave, by which the Cardinal-princes are obliged under oath regarding the election which takes place in the Sistine Chapel.  He proposed this because that norm — far from standing guard over the sacred — risked (and risks) becoming a cover for profane things (the Cardinal adjoined, then, in the ’80’s, that one should pray very much for the Conclaves of the future so that no external influence of any sect might intervene therein).

It is paradoxical that a proposal so innovative and democratic would be advanced by a prelate who was considered to be the leader of the “Conservatives”.  And that in the 30 years since no prelate, considered to be “progressive”, has taken it up and made it his own.

TRANSPARENCY

Today, if Pope Bergoglio were to take it up, that is, abolish the secrecy, he’d have the ability to demonstrate with deeds how much he is truly desirous of transparency and openness in the life of the Church, by liberating Her from obsolete prohibitions.

Will the Pope who has come to be hailed as “revolutionary”, be less an innovator than a “conservative” Cardinal? Will he wish to bolster the “wall of the Sistine Chapel”, after having asked the entire world to tear down all walls (in Cuba and elsewhere)?

Besides, Pope Bergoglio is sounding out every day against those modern “scribes and pharisees” who want to mummify all the old rules and old laws and prohibitions, by opposing change, transparency and openness to the world.

Let’s see if his words are followed with deeds, at least in regard to these norms which are entirely capable of modification, because they are ecclesiastical laws (while not even a Pope could modify the matters discussed in the recent Synod, because they pertain to the Word of God; though they were put into discussion by the Modernist faction).

One feels particularly the necessity of knocking down this “Sistine wall” — and this with urgency — above all in regard to the Conclave of 2013, concerning which rumors and questions grow daily instead of passing away.

THE MYSTERY OF 2013

As the case, which has broken out in England, shows — and from there it has leaped to America and Italy — in regard to the revelations of Austen Ivereigh in his book, “The Great Reformer”.

The book, a biography about Bergoglio, in an entirely positive light as regards the Argentine pope, contains some lines which skin him alive.  One has to remember that Ivereigh is not the last man to arrive at the party, he was the spokesman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and has held positions of trust in Catholic Media in England.

He, thus, speaks of the existence of a “Team Bergoglio”, made up, precisely, of Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor, Kasper, Danneels and Lehmann to promote the Argentine prelate to the papacy.  The work, which is to have begun after the renunciation of Benedict XVI, would have had the consent of Bergoglio himself.  A canonical case arises from this, because there are those who have sustained that all of this might put into doubt the validity of the election on March 13th.  There have followed polemics, precisions and denials which have co-involved even Fr. Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman.

In my opinion, the facts cited in the book by the Englishman do not put into discussion, per se, the legitimacy of the election.

Nevertheless, they cause to be revealed that there is something of a battle which was engaged in behind the 5 ballots in the 2013 Conclave (from the renunciation of Benedict to the election of Bergoglio) and who were the protagonists of that.

But it makes one recall a similar controversy which broke out.  Perhaps this is only the tip of an iceberg? Are there any other secrets? Among the various rumors and speculations, for example, remains the as-of-yet unexplained delay of Pope Bergoglio’s salute from the Loggia of St. Peter’s.

———————–

In the other half of the essay (not translated here), Socci speaks of other anomalies in the 2013 Conclave and the non-reaction to his book.

Socci’s entire piece was republished by Libero’s blog, on Dec. 22, 2014.

For a complete Chronology of reports and videos regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, see click here. That the allegations of Ivereigh are substantial and have grave canonical consequences has been explained here, here and here and here.

The Monstrosity of the Allegations against “Team Bergoglio” = Cardinal Bergoglio is not the Pope

Rome, Dec. 12, 1014:  The monstrosity of the allegations made by Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his new book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a Radical Pope boggle the mind.  As this blog has noted in its previous report, the text of the narrative in chapter 9 of that book, implicates as many as 30 Cardinal electors in activity which seems likely to violate the papal law on Conclaves, Universi Dominici Gregis (here after UDG), promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

In that law, in paragraph 81, all forms of vote canvassing which include vote promising were punished with automatic excommunication (latae sententiae).  Yet canons 1329 and 1331 expand that penalty and indicate the consequences, even if the validity of the Conclave’s vote for Cardinal Bergoglio is not put in question by means of canon 171 §2, as this blog has speculated from the beginning. Let’s take a look then at these 2 canons.

The effects of Canon 1329: not only Cardinal Electors, but all accomplices

The From Rome blog has noted in its reports that the punishment was leveled only against Cardinals who could vote. However, the monstrosity of the allegation grows from the fact that Canon 1329 § 2 extends the effects of the penalty issued in UDG 81.

Canon 1329, § 2 reads, in the Latin:

Can. 1329§2. In poenam latae sententiae delicto adnexam incurrunt complices,qui in lege vel praecepto non nominantur, si sine eorum opera delictum patratum non esset, et poena sit talis naturae, ut ipsos afficere possit; secus poenis ferendae sententiae puniri possunt.

The official English translation of this, from the Vatican website is:

§2. Accomplices who are not named in a law or precept incur a latae sententiae penalty attached to a delict if without their assistance the delict would not have been committed, and the penalty is of such a nature that it can affect them; otherwise, they can be punished by ferendae sententiae penalties.

Thus, not only are the Cardinal Electors who sought vote-promises and those Cardinal Electors who promised votes in danger of excommunication from UDG 81, but also all those who assisted in this, such as:

  1. The aged Italian Cardinal, whom Ivereigh alleges tallied the votes, since without his assistance the conspiracy could not measure its success and by means of this count were encouraged to engage in the alleged illicit activities.
  2. A Cardinal-non-Elector, such as the alleged ring-leader, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, since in providing direction and organization for a conspiracy, the head of it assists in a manner in which the crimes could not have been committed as regards specific acts or their numerosity.  This is true even if the head of a conspiracy does not do the act which is criminalized.
  3. Any Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, or layman who assisted as messengers or solicitors between those asking for votes and those promising them.
  4.  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, inasmuch as if he knew of the conspiracy, could have prevented it by signifying his unwillingness to allow such a campaign to go forward, which he could have done by merely threatening to reveal it during the Conclave; for knowledge of a conspiracy from which one benefits along with omission of all acts sufficient to bring such a conspiracy to naught or gravely obstruct it, is complicity before or during the act.  And no such conspiracy could succeed, without such at least tacit consent, since every Cardinal Elector upon being asked for his vote, could have confirmed the consent of Cardinal Bergoglio to such a campaign by asking him personally and directly.  That the alleged campaign go forward, therefore argues that it had some sort of consent from the Cardinal.

This might explain why in both denials of Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative, the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and the spokesman for the Holy Father, Fr. Frederico Lombardi, S. J., have explicitly denied that Cardinal Bergoglio was asked by any of the Cardinals for his consent to the vote-campaigning.

The enormity of this implication is seen when we apply the effects of Canon 1331.

Canon 1331 requires that an excommunicated Pope-elect never exercise or hold office

Canon 1331 explains the effects of all excommunications latae sententiae. In the official English version, from the Vatican website this canon reads:

Can. 1331 §1. An excommunicated person is forbidden:

  1. to have any ministerial participation in celebrating the sacrifice of the Eucharist or any other ceremonies of worship whatsoever;
  2. to celebrate the sacraments or sacramentals and to receive the sacraments;
  3. to exercise any ecclesiastical offices, ministries, or functions whatsoever or to place acts of governance.

§ 2. If the excommunication has been imposed or declared, the offender:*

  1. who wishes to act against the prescript of §1, n. 1 must be prevented from doing so, or the liturgical action must be stopped unless a grave cause precludes this;
  2. invalidly places acts of governance which are illicit according to the norm of §1, n. 3;
  3. is forbidden to benefit from privileges previously granted;
  4. cannot acquire validly a dignity, office, or other function in the Church;
  5.  does not appropriate the benefits of a dignity, office, any function, or pension, which the offender has in the Church.

Which means, that if Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations are true, and if Cardinal Bergoglio had knowledge of the conspiracy and expressly or tacitly consented to it, then he would be incapable of holding the office of Pope, or making any acts which pertain to that office, such as nominate bishops, call Synods, or name Cardinals!

______________________

* That penalties of excommunication which are leveled automatically (latae sententiae) by a general decree are imposed in the very act of the commission of the criminalized activity, can be had from canon 1314. Some canonists wish to restrict the term “imposed” [imponere] only to penalties leveled by a specific written decree naming the individual(s) — but that violates the signification of the Latin verb, which means “to place upon” (in the same sense as we say in English, “leveled”), not “declared or indicated in by a specific decree” — not to mention it also ignores the patent distinction made in canon 1314.  In any case, the Church could not endure such a situation, and the Sacred College of Cardinals in a special consistory would have the necessity, in virtue of the authority granted them in UDG 5, of resolving the matter and/or proceeding to a new election.

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.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Conner admits Pope Francis recognized his leadership of “Team Bergoglio”

Catholic Herald, Sept 12, 2014: Online edition (Screen Shot by From Rome blog)
Catholic Herald, Sept 12, 2014: Online edition (Screen Shot by From Rome blog)

Dec. 6, 2014: In a letter to the editor of the Monday edition of the Telegraph, Nov. 25th last, the former Cardinal of Westminster strongly denied that he had asked Cardinal Bergoglio to assent to a vote-lobbying campaign in his favor and the involvement of Cardinals in that effort, known as “Team Bergoglio”.

But, in a stunning revelation, published by Miguel Cullen in the Catholic Herald, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, and entitled,  Pope sent greetings to the Queen straight after his election, says cardinal, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor had already contradicted his own denial, when he confessed to being the ring-leader of what Dr. Ivereigh nick-named, “Team Bergoglio”, and admited that Pope Francis recognized this, just 2 days after the conclusion of the Conclave in 2013.

The key passages of that report read:

The cardinal also disclosed that he had spoken to the future Pope as they left the Missa pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the final Mass before the conclave began on March 12.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “We talked a little bit. I told him he had my prayers and said, in Italian: ‘Be careful.’ I was hinting, and he realised and said: ‘Si – capisco’ – yes, I understand. He was calm. He was aware that he was probably going to be a candidate going in. Did I know he was going to be Pope? No. There were other good candidates. But I knew he would be one of the leading ones.”

The admissions of the Cardinal in that report blow a hole in the hull of the denial, issued by Maggie Doherty, his spokeswoman, just 2 weeks ago, whereby he denied involvement and denied Cardinal Bergoglio knew about the vote-canvassing.

That Pope Francis knew about the Cardinal’s leadership in “Team Bergoglio” is admitted by the Cardinal in the same report, where it says:

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “All the cardinals had a meeting with him in the Hall of Benedictions, two days after his election. We all went up one by one. He greeted me very warmly. He said something like: ‘It’s your fault. What have you done to me?’ 

For a time-line of reports about “Team Bergoglio” from sources round the world, as well as by this blog, see here.

Protestant Minister rebukes Pope Francis for proposing salvation without Jesus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSB25hxBAi0

 

Comment:  If the report which sparked this Video is not true, like the recent report by the UPI, then the Vatican Press Office needs to publicly respond for the sake of the salvation of souls.  And if the Vatican does not have a method for response to current misreporting, then perhaps someone in the Vatican should take notice and urge the Pope to establish something, for scandals destroy souls and obstruct conversions.  The admirable thing in this video that no one can dispute, is the deep conviction Rev. Manning has to the teaching found in the Gospel and respect for the office of the Papacy, to the extent that he understands it.  It is to be very much lamented if the conversion of such souls as Rev. Manning, who has a reputation as a sincere man, was prevented by a lack of ready response from the Vatican, in those cases where the Vatican has the responsibility not to remain silent.

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)

No, Francis, what you just said is heresy…

ANSA699342_ArticoloIn the liturgical changes imposed by Pope Paul VI, today, Nov. 23, 2014, is the Solemnity of Christ the King.  Pope Francis gave a homily today, on the occasion of Canonizing 6 saints.  The official English text is found at Vatican Radio. In it, Pope Francis says (in the sixth paragraph):

The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus’ works of mercy through which he brought about his kingdom.  The one who accomplishes these works shows that he has welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because he has opened his heart to God’s charity.  In the twilight of life we will be judged on our love for, closeness to and tenderness towards our brothers and sisters.  Upon this will depend our entry into, or exclusion from, the kingdom of God: our belonging to the one side or the other.  Through his victory, Jesus has opened to us his kingdom.  But it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now, by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity.  If we truly love them, we will be willing to share with them what is most precious to us, Jesus himself and his Gospel.

Heresy, one must remember, is a post-baptismal denial of a truth revealed by God.  Truths can be revealed by God by explicit affirmations in any text of Scripture, or in implicit ones; since, God speaks in Scripture in a variety of ways.

One of the truths of Scripture is that Faith begins by hearing, proceeds by confession on the lips and lives in good works for the needy.  St. Paul, for example says (in his Letter to the Romans, 10:9):

For, if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

This truth is implicitly taught in the Gospel of St. Luke, when at the Annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel, Our Blessed Mother first believed, then went in haste to her cousin St. Elizabeth; because first She confessed Her assent & consent to the truths revealed by God through St. Gabriel, then She manifested Her consent to the message of salvation in going to St. Elizabeth.

And St. Thomas Aquinas says, in regard to the Question (Summa, II, II, 5, 3), whether one is a heretic who disbelieves 1 article of the faith:

I answer that, Neither living nor lifeless faith remains in a heretic who disbelieves one article of faith.

The reason of this is that the species of every habit depends on the formal aspect of the object, without which the species of the habit cannot remain. Now the formal object of faith is the First Truth, as manifested in Holy Writ and the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the First Truth. Consequently whoever does not adhere, as to an infallible and Divine rule, to the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the First Truth manifested in Holy Writ, has not the habit of faith, but holds that which is of faith otherwise than by faith. Even so, it is evident that a man whose mind holds a conclusion without knowing how it is proved, has not scientific knowledge, but merely an opinion about it. Now it is manifest that he who adheres to the teaching of the Church, as to an infallible rule, assents to whatever the Church teaches; otherwise, if, of the things taught by the Church, he holds what he chooses to hold, and rejects what he chooses to reject, he no longer adheres to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will. Hence it is evident that a heretic who obstinately disbelieves one article of faith, is not prepared to follow the teaching of the Church in all things; but if he is not obstinate, he is no longer in heresy but only in error. Therefore it is clear that such a heretic with regard to one article has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will.

Hence, we can say with absolute certainty, that what Pope Francis said, namely:

The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus’ works of mercy through which he brought about his kingdom. 

Is heretical, because, this proposition denies the salvific merit which accrues from every confession of Christ’s sovereignty. In doing this, it denies that man’s justification begins with Faith, confessed either in mind alone or also on the lips.

This is the direct teaching of St. Paul, the infallible teacher of the nations.  Let us take a look at Romans 10:9 again:

For, if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

In the Greek* we have for “the Lord Jesus”, kurion Ihsoun, a double accusative singular, which signifies not only “the Lord Jesus”, but “Jesus as Lord”.  But to recognize that Jesus is Lord, is to recognize his Sovereignty.   And thus St. Paul links the confession of Christ’s Sovereignty to salvation.  Thus, to explicitly deny that salvation begins with such a confession, directly denies the teaching of St. Paul.  But to deny the truth affirmed in any passage of Sacred Scripture is heretical, the very definition of heresy, for one separates himself from a truth revealed by God, through St. Paul.

Thus, to the homily which Pope Francis uttered today, we must respond:  No, Francis, what you just said is heresy!

But, as St. Thomas says, at the end of the above, quote, merely to say what is heretical does not make one a heretic, unless he is obstinate in his error.

How, then, does a Catholic assist a fellow Catholic from falling into  obstinacy, regarding a heretical doctrine?

First, he should point out to his brother, his sin and the error; then, remind him, that without the truth and authentic Faith it is impossible to be saved.  Third, we should pray for the brother so long as we are not certain of his obstinacy. After that, according to the teaching of St. John the Apostle, we are not obliged to pray for his repentance; however, we may continue to do so, or instead we  may pray to be delivered from him, or for God to punish him for his sin.

Let us, in charity, rebuke the Holy Father for his error, so injurious to the very essence of salvation in Christ.

 

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Cf. the Greek-English interlinear text for Romans chapter ten at

http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/rom10.pdf

 

Cf. Also, the Petition to the Cardinals regarding the Grave Improprieties of Pope Francis

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