Francis Is Not An Antipope
In the present, very confused situation, I think it is important to put Francis’ papacy in the proper perspective.
An Antipope is – and this is the only meaning the name ever had – a person who claim he is the Pope – and is believed by many – in opposition to one who is generally seen as being the Pope. Basically, an Antipope is someone who has a widely approved claim to the throne of Peter instead of another person generally seen to be the legitimate Pope.
Therefore, for it to be an Antipope there is the need for two men in white, with competing claims: one who is seen as being the legitimate Pope, and claims his right to be Pope; and one who is not seen to be the legitimate Pope, but claims that the first one is not a legitimate Pope and he himself is.
If there were an alternative Conclave in Berlin, and Cardinal Woelki were to be elected “Pope” by this alternative conclave, and were to be seen as the Pope by the clergy of Germany, Austria Switzerland and many others in Catholic gaga land, then Woelki would be seen as an “Antipope”, claiming that not Francis, but he, is the legitimate Pope. Of course, we would call him “Antipope”, but the Austrians and Germans would call him “Pope”, and Francis “usurper” or something like that. Not even in this scenario Francis could be seen as an “Antipope”. Antipope could only be the pretender to the throne, never the man already sitting on it.
Francis can never be an Antipope. There is (barring children playing with toys) no self-styled Pope questioning the legitimacy of Francis to be Pope. Benedict does not question that Francis is the Pope. Gaenswein does not even hint that Francis is not a legitimate Pope. No (sane) Bishop or Cardinal around questions Francis’ role as the legitimate Pope. The SSPX has no doubts as to who is Pope. Even most Sedevacantists say that he is not Pope, but they could never say that he is an Antipope: because they would have to tell us who the legitimate Pope is, and being Sedevacantists they claim that there is no one around.
Francis is the Pope. Unpleasant as the fact is, it is a fact. As they say in the US: deal.
Now, we can create all sorts of fantasy scenarios and conspiracy theories. We can fantasise about Pope Rapunzel. We can create a bespoke fantasy world perfectly suited to our discomfort. But it is just that: fantasy, willed self-deception, and escape from reality.
Francis is Pope. No alternative council and alternative conclave elected a pretender to the throne of Peter. Therefore, there is no Antipope around. Francis is the Pope elected under the normal way, and universally recognised. He could never claim that he (Francis) is not the Pope, and that he (Francis) should be the Pope instead. The only conclusion to that is that Francis is the legitimate Pope, with no competing claim anywhere (among the sane of mind, I mean; the children playing with alternative papal elections aren’t even worthy of the mention).
Now, once we have come to grips with the facts, we must find a way to interpret facts we know in light of the truth we know. This is not difficult. It only requires to stop dreaming, and look at reality instead.
The Holy Ghost has never promised us that the like of Francis would never be Pope. The Pope is elected by the Cardinals. If the Cardinals are stupid, or evil, or faithless, or a mixture of that, it is not unlikely that the Pope will end up reflecting those who elected him. The Cardinal must pray the Holy Ghost for inspiration to elect a good Pope, but there is no guarantee that they will do so, much less that God will force them to do so. Cardinals aren’t remote-controlled toys in God’s hands. Gos respects their own free will. Like everyone of us, they can choose between good and evil and can be more or less pious, more or less inspired in their decisions. God allows evil, and he does so with a providential aim: that out of every evil he allows, good may come out.
God allows evil, and God punishes. Can anyone tell me why the Church as a whole, and we as collective entity, have not deserved Francis? How many have praised all the rubbish of Vatican II for 60 years? Shall we call it, erm, 95% percent? How many call JP II oh so good as a Pope, who allowed Assisi 1986 to happen, nay: to be even thought of? Shall I make you the list of all the ways in which the Church has encouraged heresy and apostasy in the last 60 years? Shall I even begin to tell you all the ways in which the Church has betrayed Her Master in almost all aspects of Catholic doctrine – from the doctrine of war to the doctrine of wealth, from capital punishment to subsidiarity to the social kingship of Christ -? Seriously, there’s no time for that. Buy yourself Iota Unum, and reflect on how much has happened after that and before Francis; and then you will rather wonder how Francis was so long in coming!
The reality is very simple: Francis is Pope, and God is punishing us by giving us exactly the Pope we have deserved. A wise, perfect, all-merciful punishment for our stupidity and arrogance. A punishment so obvious that is astonishes me there are still people who think they are being “duped”, and deprived of a fantasy papacy they think they entitled to. A punishment that allows us to wake up to the reality of serious Catholicism by way of forced, brutal comparison with this obscene clown.
It’s impossible not to see the pattern here. It is as if God would tell us: “You do like heresy, don’t you? Well then, how do you like this? Enjoy the “springtime of the Church” in its full blossoming! Savour the Aggiornamento to the full! Have another serving of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue!”
It’s so obvious, so evident, so brutally clear, that I do not think anyone is authorised not to see it. And the reason Francis has happened is evident every day even three years after the beginning of his pontificate: silent Bishops, silent Cardinals, fluffy priests all around! An obviously heretical Pope is met by nothing more than “discomfort” by most faithful and most bloggers, so devoted to the golden calf of the saintly Pope that they prefer to betray their religion rather than criticise the heretic! Not only has the Catholic world at large fully deserved Francis, but it keeps deserving him day is and day out as almost daily provocations are met with no more than vague mumbling and effeminate claims of “confusion” from the vast majority of the faithful!
God will free us from this scourge – possibly, in form of successors the likes of him – only when we have been punished enough and – very likely – have reacted to the shock with a work of regeneration, rediscovery of Catholicism, and utter refusal of heresy and blasphemy.
Are we there? No. Expect this circus to go on for a while, then.
Do not take refuge in a fantasy world. Do your bit to improve the real one instead.