Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Question Isn't, Anymore, Whether the Pope is a Heretic; It's What Do We Do About It

Will you be there with them?

Rorate Caeli has translated a recent Eugenio Scalfari piece where he reports the Pope's intentions towards communion for the divorced and remarried. Rorate correctly notes that we are long past the point where anyone could reasonably doubt the basic veracity of the Pope's favorite journalist writing in the Pope's favorite newspaper.
It is true -- Pope Francis answered -- it is a truth and for that matter the family that is the basis of any society changes continuously, as all things change around us. We must not think that the family does not exist any longer, it will always exist, because ours is a social species, and the family is the support beam of sociability, but it cannot be avoided that the current family, open as you say, contains some positive aspects, and some negative ones. ... The diverse opinion of the bishops is part of this modernity of the Church and of the diverse societies in which she operated, but the goal is the same, and for that which regards the admission of the divorced to the Sacraments, [it] confirms that this principle has been accepted by the Synod. This is bottom line result, the de facto appraisals are entrusted to the confessors, but at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask will be admitted.
But this is merely confirmation of what we already knew. The Pope's behavior at the Synod should have left no doubts in anyone's mind as to what side he was on. Communion for the divorced and remarried was advanced by a powerful minority, all of whom were close friends or allies of the Pope. Some of them were handpicked by him to attend the Synod at the last minute. A two-thirds majority narrowly approved paragraphs of the final Relatio containing language that will move the heresy forward--the narrow approval a function of his handpicked attendees. And needless to say, far from condemning his heretical allies, the Pope gave a final address where he bitterly attacked those who had attempted to defend Church teachings.

We are still awaiting an official English translation of the Relatio, and sources claim that the Pope himself will pen a concluding exhortation on the matter. My prediction is that the Pope will not directly endorse the heresy--it is in the nature of his strategy and of the heresy itself that it is often not directly endorsed. But it will advance the cause. And communion for the divorced and remarried will become the quasi-official practice within the Church.

I have written many critical pieces on this Pope. I'm not sure whether I have explicitly called him a Modernist--an adherent of the Modernist heresy--although he clearly is one. But like the hyper-evolving alien in that horror movie, the heresy of Modernism itself regularly metastasizes into different forms.

Michael Lofton at OnePeterFive identifies one current form of Modernism as Kasperism--the view that dogma is to be left intact in theory, but may be contradicted in practice. (the name is in honor of Cardinal Walter Kasper, its most well-known proponent). I think that gets it exactly right. And like all forms of Modernism it is disingenuous and slippery, although particularly so in this case.

The Modernists or Kasperites sense impending victory, but they are probably clever enough to not overplay their hand. The idea is to leave enough ambiguity to lull their potential opponents--of whom even now there are many--into continuing silence or inaction. No one wants to stick their neck out first and engage the enemy, for they believe they will merely be accused of creating one. In this way, the heretics believe they will win without a shot being fired.

What to do?

Let me first speak of rank-and-file Catholics. Most faithful Catholics are probably not aware of what is happening or especially and most importantly the Pope's role in it. They are busy simply being Catholics--worshipping God through His Church as faithfully as they can--not reading blogs or debating on Facebook. No doubt they will continue in this until the real fireworks start. I won't address them since they wouldn't be reading this anyway. That's okay, of course.

Catholic journalists, bloggers and interested readers and thinkers are another story, and so I will address them directly: You pride yourselves on being informed, so you cannot now plead ignorance. If at this point you defend Francis and attack his opponents, you are doing the Devil's work and have become collaborators in the destruction of the Church. Whatever it is--an obstinate naiveté, pride, fear, money or an exaggerated fetish for charity, now almost certainly being used as a cover for one of the latter three--get over it. Give it up. You have put yourselves on the path to hell, and your statements and actions will have the effect of helping to bring others along with you. Stop and do the right thing. For your own souls, at the least.

Faithful priests, bishops and cardinals: The Church now needs a public champion. Someone must be the first to rebuke Francis to his face, for without a first there will be no others. It will probably be a thankless task, at least in this life. You will be slandered and vilified, called an "extremist" and a "schismatic". Your name may not go down in human history, at least in any major way, in part because the victory will not be won so quickly. Someone fifty or a hundred years from now may get the recognition and applause. But of course, as much as it seems to matter to so many of us, it shouldn't, and you of all Catholics should know that.

For all of us, I think of that van Eyck painting, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (The Lamb of God), which was the subject of today's Feast of all Saints homily at St. John Cantius. All of the saints are there in that beautiful country, adoring the Lamb. There are priests, bishops, popes (a handful), women religious, monks, soldiers (male and female), hermits, philosophers, married men and women, and the unmarried faithful including not a few children.

When the earthly battle is won in fifty or a hundred years, at the same time virtually all of us will be there in that other country, or at least each of us could be there. Nothing is stopping us. Nothing is stopping you. Literally nothing.

Except perhaps you.

Sign, as it were, your own petition to be on the Church's side. Other people will see it. That's the catch. You might lose a few friends. You might even lose money or position.

Someone might call you a schismatic on Facebook.

Facebook (not so long from now) might block your account.

You think that's tough? Tell that to the martyrs in that painting.

But they're pulling for you and praying for you, even now.

Don't let them down.      


  1. This has been known from March 13, 2013 for those following God's prophetic Word. The great schism must come (Akita), to separate the sheep from the goats. And then "It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. "

  2. Yeah, well, Peter was hardly perfect either, although I personally prefer the lopping-off-of-ears to crap like calling marriage an "exemplary form", as if there are different types of marriage.

    Still, obedience to the office is always demanded. A mediocre captain doesn't excuse mutiny or mean that it's a good idea to jump into the sea, and Francis hasn't done anything explicitly heretical (at least to my knowledge), despite what the media would have us believe.

    1. With respect, that's not good enough any more. And it sort of misses the whole point of the above. "Francis hasn't done anything explicitly heretical..." Well, yes he has. Doing everything possible in his power to advance a heresy seems pretty explicit to me, unless you want to define "explicit" as sitting on the throne and solemnly declaring, "I am a heretic".

      And no, obedience to a mere man (even the Pope) is not always demanded. Catholic tradition and canon law agree on that.

    2. I didn't say obedience to a man, I said obedience to the office.

      I also don't mean to sound passive, Germany has been invaded by Muslims and the government is paying them to be there. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how infuriating this is, especially since Francis doesn't seem to care. On account of this I'm moving to Germany next year...this is war and we have to be some of the loudest Catholics in the Church's history.

    3. Not to beat on a dead horse, but might not obedience to an office require resistance to someone who is abusing it?

      Did you say you're moving TO Germany?

    4. Resistance to the heretical, but not resistance to the hierarchy, after all Martin Luther was certainly justified with a lot of his complaints but his disobedience was inexcusable.

      Yeah, moving to Germany for grad school, hopefully a physical war doesn't break out within a year. Might be sooner if that's the case :-)

    5. But he CAN'T, which is why he doesn't.
      If I wanted to change things, but knew I couldn't do it directly lest I be called out, I might prefer to find another way to accomplish the same thing. It's wonderful! Change doctrine by changing practice. We all know that once it is established, and as liberals like to say "the sky doesn't fall", then, it will be accepted and if someone cares enough to write out a new "doctrine" at that point, they can. But why bother? One and done.

  3. “CANON XII. If any one saith, that matrimonial causes do not belong to ecclesiastical judges; let him be anathema.” – Council of Trent, Session XXIV, 11 November 1543

  4. Listen, the whole problem with all of this is the office of the Pope itself and what it has become over the last 1000 years or so.

    Just become Orthodox and be done with it.

    1. Well, again with respect, you could multiply heresies times 100 with the Orthodox--despite the fact that the Orthodox Faith in that time has included and does include countless faithful Christians and many martyrs. But here I am playing the nya-nya-nya heresy accusation slinging game, which as I've said before sort of misses the point. Forgive me.

    2. How lutheran of you.

  5. M+ Dear Bishop, cardinal, etc
    Before we go any further, (bong! bells go off) we want you to know that unless you correct this situation, we will put our tithing in an escrow account. (Many signatures)
    (Bishop: Holy s....t no salaries, funding, etc)

  6. We could 'force' a champion knight to step forth. Pick one: Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider? Hammer the one we pick with letters, twitters, e-mails, and whatever else we can think of: beg, beg, beg, implore, implore, intreat our pick to please stand UP and lead. As said above millions will fall away, but millions will follow an orthodox Catholic Knight.

    We could start a petition????

  7. Bergoglio was a heretic for that reason Bergoglio can not be Pope.

  8. Pope Paul IV issued a Papal Bull solemnly declaring that the election of a heretic as pope is null and void
    In 1559 Pope Paul IV issued an entire Papal Bull dealing with the subject and the possibility of a heretic being elected pope.
    A heretic cannot be the pope 34
    At the time that Paul IV issued the Bull (quoted below) there were rumors that one of the cardinals was a secret Protestant. In order to prevent the election of such a heretic to the Papacy,
    Pope Paul IV solemnly declared that a heretic cannot be validly elected pope. Below are the pertinent portions of the Bull.
    Pope Paul IV, Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, Feb. 15, 1559: “1… Remembering also that, where danger is greater, it must more fully and more diligently be counteracted, We have been concerned lest false prophets or others, even if they have only secular
    jurisdiction, should wretchedly ensnare the souls of the simple, and drag with them into perdition, destruction and damnation countless peoples committed to their care and rule, either in spiritual or in temporal matters; and We have been concerned also lest it
    may befall Us to see the abomination of desolation, which
    was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, in the holy place. In view
    of this, Our desire has been to fulfill our Pastoral duty, insofar as, with the help of God,
    We are able, so as to arrest the foxes who are occupying themselves in the destruction of the vineyard of the Lord and to keep the wolves from the sheepfolds, lest We seem to be dumb watchdogs that cannot bark and lest We perish with the wicked husbandman and be compared with the hireling…
    6. In addition, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity We enact, determine, decree and define:-] that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the
    Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy:
    (i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the
    unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless;
    (ii) it shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has thus
    acquired validity) through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, of subsequent
    authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative
    enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all,
    nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation;
    (iii) it shall not be held as partially legitimate in any way…
    (vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need
    for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and

    1. So what prevents this from being taken up by our faithful clergy? It is hard for me to imagine, in this culture of excessive politeness and lack of courage, that any of our cardinals would even broach such a topic. Indeed, many blogs of faithful clergy and laity would block you for even mentioning it! There is a very disturbing censorship going on in the blogosphere. It seems to be an effort to avoid "upsetting people", but it's upsetting me by it's refusal to state the truth, or, the facts as they are known. I mean, I understand people are upset and no one wants to upset people, but, if we can't even broach these difficult possibilities, how on earth are we going to do anything about a possible solution.

    2. Kathleen you have put your finger on THE spiritual disease of bloggers...they nearly totally ignored all the evidence in the Team Bergoglio scandal, and even sought out nincompoops in canon law to defend Bergoglio...yes, even the Remnant...

  9. So, I think the good-natured snarking from an Orthodox, a Lutheran and (on the previous thread) my old friend, Andrew, an evangelical, shows that Francis has been murder for any current Catholic attempt to convert non-Catholics. Or so it seems to me. Not that it would be an easy task under normal circumstances. But trying to evangelize for the Catholic Church amidst the wreck of Francis is like trying to run a marathon with a 100-pound fanny pack.

    1. So true! one of the most "sellable" points of Catholicism was it's faithful adherence to the Gospel over time. It's predictability in an unpredictable world.
      We are losing that.

  10. Francis doesn't want people to convert to Catholicism. He's pretty clear on that. And as a convert of 2003, I seriously doubt I would have been attracted to the Church had Frank been pope then.

    Seattle kim

    1. I don't quite think that's fair, I think Francis is encouraging people to seek the Truth, which always leads to Catholicism, without exactly saying Catholicism, but maybe that's way too optimistic. I would guess he's fishing, and showing little regard for encouraging people who are already in the Faith. Maybe he knows something is coming and making one last ditch "mercy" effort.

  11. Not much you can do about it except blog and write a few letters that will probably wind up in File 13.

    Most Novus Ordites are blissfully unaware of any of this and I'm pretty sure the vast majority couldn't care less if Frank changes doctrine. Many would be in favor of it. I am a music director in a conservative Novus Ordo parish and that's the vibe I'm getting there.

    It's only a handful of Trads that are sounding the alarm. FSSP will probably have to make some tough decisions. If the SSPX doesn't defer to Frank, FSSP and SSPX should combine.

    Seattle Kim

  12. My favorite fun-fact regarding krazy Katholic doctrine:

    the previous popes condemned Luther as a heretic, antichrist, worthy of excommunication etc. They proclaimed these things with the very (supposed) authority of God Himself. Then Ratzinger, bless his soul, exonerated St. Martin L. years later. Not sure where Francis stands on all of this...
    Go figure. Oh well. Christ is still Lord.

  13. Kinda makes you wonder about indefectibility thing. How could he be condemned by one pope and exonerated by another.