Traditionis Carnifices: Don’t Become A Protestant
In days like this one, even I can understand (emotionally, I mean) the reaction of the people stating that, at this level of evil, this guy cannot be pope.
However, this is exactly that: an emotional reaction. It is like a boy of 6 saying to his father “you are not my father” after the latter deprived him of the bicycle pending better school notes. The fact is: the guy is the father, and Francis is the pope.
Why is the guy the father? Because the law says he is.
Why is Francis pope? Because the entire planet says he is, and there is not even one cardinal, and not even the guy who supposedly should be the real pope, who says that Francis is not pope.
This is the reality under the sun. It sucks. It sucks in what can now be safely described an unprecedented way. But it is what it is. We can’t deny reality because we don’t like it, like boys of six deprived of the bicycle.
Besides, I don’t see much consolation even in the abstruse theory that Francis would not be the pope, but the pope would be a very old guy who approves of everything Francis does.
In difficult times it is, I think, important to keep our feet planted on the ground. Better still, it is important to stay planted in reality, but take refuge in Christ in the middle of the storm.
I am not one of those (mostly converts) strange Catholics who make all Catholicism hinge on the character of a Pope, with the consequence that a bad pope cannot be such, or they would stop believing in the Church. I grew up in Italy, where the fact that there have been very evil popes is known to every well-educated person. That this one here is more evil is a difference in the degree, not in the substance, of the fact.
If you look at the papacy in the decades before and after the Synodus Horrenda, what you see is chaos and corruption. There must have been an awful lot going on. Even if the records are scarce, it appears that the Popes were, largely, the instruments or even the leaders of warring bands and family clans that were little better than criminal organisations. This went on, in various degrees, for centuries. We as Church Militant have been in the manure before; this time it merely stinks more.
So, is Francis evil? The answer to this is, I think, obvious to every properly informed Catholic who wants to look at reality for what it is. Yes, the guy is extremely evil. He is, clearly, a tool of Satan.
But… does this evil… unpope him? No, it doesn’t. Francis may, with his actions, certainly make himself worthy of being deposed. You can question the ways of his election until the cows come home. But it is not you or I who decide whether he is, because of this, pope or not.
Let us go back to Pope Formosus. Formosus has been, after decades of controversies, definitely been condemned by Sergius III, who issued the definitive condemnation of Formosus and the definitive rehabilitation of Stephanus VI, the pope who carried out the synod. Therefore, we have the official stance of the Church: Stephanus VI good, Formosus bad.
Formosus papacy was, by Stephanus, retroactively declared null. Why was this? Because we are not a protestant sect and, until a synod or other official organ declares the pontificate null, the pontificate remains valid.
It’s not for you and me to decide that this horrible man is not pope anymore. What we can hope and pray for, is that such a decision is made by those who have to power to make such a decision. I for myself would welcome a trial of Francis’ after his death. As far as I am concerned, feel free to exhume his corpse and put in on a wheelchair, and I would not mind a bit how gory the details become (In fact, I always thought that Stephanus was what we today call a master communicator; so much so, that his synod survive in the memory today, after so much of that age is covered in darkness. Before newspaper and radio, tv and internet, twitter and facebook, Stephanus knew how to make news travel fast, and hit hard. Quite remarkable, that people don’t get the brilliancy of his policy, and focus merely on the macabre details).
Still, as I write this, the situation is the following one: the evil clown is pope and the church sees him as such. Until that changes, this is the pope we get, exactly as the contemporaries of Formosus got him as pope between 891 and 896, withotu even dreaming of saying: “No” I, the village baker, officially declare that Formosus is not the pope”. I actually think that, no matter how bad the situation is, it is the height of arrogance, and it endangers one’s salvation, to make of oneself a micro pope-maker and decide who is, and is not, the pope.
I would be overjoyed to see Francis toppled in life, for example via an extraordinary council, or excommunicated and declared a heretic after his death.
I would certainly be satisfied with a sensible, but representative minority of Cardinals declaring him a heretic, deposed, and in schism.
I would even, in my obedience to proper Catholic doctrine, believe Francis not the pope if the organisation I trust most in matter of theological decision, the Society of Saint Pius X, were to issue such a formal declaration.
But neither I, nor you, nor bloggers, nor journalists can decide who is, and is not, pope.