The Pope In The Age Of Madness
How can, it might be asked in these disgraceful times, the Church be true and Francis the Pope?
My answer is another question:
How can the Church be true and allow us to choose who is Pope?
Bad as this crisis is, one thing is sure: we cannot put an end to it with our own private decisions. Not only is this fully un-Catholic, it also leads to absurd consequences.
So I and several thousands Mundaborists decide that Francis is an illegitimate Pope. Three weeks later he proceeds to appoint nine Cardinals. Are they legitimate Cardinals? Obviously not. Then other seven Cardinals are appointed, and after that eleven more. In the meantime, hundreds of dioceses, including a dozen of major world capitals, have illegitimate bishops.
A Conclave follows: how can anyone who questioned Benedict’s abdication, much less anyone who denied Francis’ legitimacy, accept the new Pope as legitimately elected, and be he Pius XIII? And at this point, what happens? This Pope will elect new Cardinals, and the problem will become inextricable.
Now, if we had a formally heretical Pope the matter would be simpler: with God’s grace, the See would be declared vacant and however many Bishops and Cardinals are available to side with Christ would proceed to convocate an imperfect Council, declare the Pope self-deposed, and elect a legitimate one. But again it would be them, not us, who do it. It would be up to them, not to us, to decide that the Pope has deposed himself. There is simply no mechanism within the Church based on which laymen decide who is Pope. If it were so, we would be all Protestants.
The reality is sad, but part of the sadness is this: that we will have to live with obscenely bad Popes for as long as the Lord decides that it is fitting for us to be punished with them. And when the Lord in His Goodness has decided that it is time to put an end to this, then he will let us know through signs that are in conformity with what the Church teaches: for example, the SSPX declaring the Pope a formal heretic and calling for an Imperfect council, which then – by God’s grace – also happens and leads to the Pope’s deposition.
To decide that the Pope is not legitimate and then unavoidably deny legitimacy to everything that happens later is like stabbing the Church in the heart to cure Her (admittedly, very bad) fever. It is, as I have written already, Sedevacantism on instalments. It is just not the way the Catholic Church and the Catholic mind work.
Take Francis as a penance and use this time to pray the Lord that He may, in His Goodness, pave a way out of it; a way which, as we all know as Catholics, will invariably be a Catholic one.