I don't know you, but when I read the Catholic news I can't think of anything else than the now eagerly awaited correction: will it come? When? Signed by whom? Will it be necessary in the first place?
As already written in the last days, it is reasonable to suppose that such a correction will be made to Francis in camera caritatis first. The issue here is not whether Francis will be persuaded by the Cardinals; the issue is, rather, whether the private warning will be a credible threat, sufficient to persuade Francis to backpedal, or not.
Here is where it gets strange. Francis has certainly surrounded himself with sycophants telling him the Cardinals are isolated. However, the climate of fears the man himself has created will not encourage any bishop or Cardinal to have a word with him in private to try to dissuade him from being stubborn. Therefore, it is likely that whatever the Cardinals tell Francis – for example, “we have three dozen Cardinals and more than one hundred bishop ready to support us when we publicly correct you” – they will not be believed.
I have written on several occasions that if Francis is smart he will prefer to cave in. But the thing is, there are many signs indicating that the man is not smart. He will believe what is friends tell him and think that the silence of the others is, if not approval, at least acquiescence. He would underestimate the menace of orthodox bishops even if such a menace were to materialise. He will see no reason whatever to comply with the request of the Four Cardinals and answer – in the proper way, of course – to the Dubia.
It is, therefore, at this point more likely that the ball goes back in the half of the Four Cardinals. It is for them to now do what they – through Cardinal Burke – do what they say they would and let Francis taste the excrements of his own pontificate.
Alas, this us one who might even like the exercise.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) is one of those rare organisations recognised as a sovereign entity by the international community even if they do not have a territory over which to exercise this sovereignty. The Holy See between 1870 and 1929 was in pretty much the same situation: a sovereign entity without its own territory.
The Order of Malta has its own Ambassadors to other Countries; issues passports with which you can travel just the same as with any other passport; issues currency you can use to actually buy things, and stamps you can actually use to send letters (though I think collectors get most of them). They even have armed forces, consisting of three battalions. This is anywhere between around 1,000 and around 2,500 soldiers. Not bad at all for an organisation counting 13,500 Knights, Dames and Auxiliaries. Actually, it makes sense, as this is – and always was – a military organisation.
You may not know all of this. It is fully understandable. What is less understandable is that… the Pope doesn’t.
Francis, more and more showing himself the very embodiment of your average incompetent South American Bananas’ Republic dictator, decided to create a commission to investigate into the matter of the removal of the Grand Chancellor of the Order.
We do not know the reasons for this: it may simply be that, the Grand Chancellor having been removed for reasons of failing to adhere to Cathoilic doctrine, Francis saw in him a natural ally. It can also be that the chap in question has friends in the Vatican, whom he asked for help after his defenestration. Most likely, though, is that the Evil Clown thought he could slap Cardinal Burke across the hand with a big, fat Argentinian ruler. The decision was hastily made public shortly before Christmas.
The SMOM replied in very terse words, which can be summarised as follows: “hey you nincompoop, we are a Sovereign entity. You don’t get to investigate us more than you get to investigate Barack Obama. But by all means, if you need to let us know anything kindly talk to our Ambassador”.
This is so embarrassing that I am cringing myself on behalf of the old man, so that the Cosmic Cringing does not suffer any serious imbalance. This Bergoglio guy is a man of utter, stellar incompetence, coupled with an arrogance of Obamaesque dimensions. And I don’t even buy that the man was badly advised. It is far more likely that the man was told of the absurdity of his plan and decided to go on anyway, purely out of spite and utter childishness.
The episode is of some days ago, when yours truly was enjoying some well-deserved days in his native Country. But I thought I would report on this at some point, because it once again gives the measure of what goes on in the brain of that, as they say today, “epic fail” called Jorge Bergoglio.
This year, this little effort will not only wish a happy 2017 to its readers, but also give an Award for Man Of The Year 2016 (note the absence of politically correct gender rubbish).
This having been an unbelievable year, yours truly has decided to split the prize in three. All perfect things, they say, come in three.
The first of the three winners is Nigel Farage. I cannot remember, in recent decades, of any one who achieved a result of such importance as Brexit, little by little, for many years, fighting against all odds until final victory; a victory which will have British students having to remember his name for centuries to come. Not only intelligent but well prepared, extremely witty and not prone to being bought by promises of power and influence, Farage is the kind of chap you should feel obliged to like even if you disagree with him. May the Lord bless him and give him, and the other two, abundant blessings in life and a good death.
The second of the three ex aequo winner is Julian Assange. This improbable hero of conservatism, once much praised by Leftist milieus when he was leaking material concerning the Iraq operations of the Bush administration, suddenly found himself out of favour when his love for hidden truth extended to the DNC and the Clinton Clan. Alas, Hillary did not get her wish to “drone” him. Unfortunate for her, pretty good for all of us. I am not saying here that Assange was decisive in the election’s outcome (those looking for handouts and easy abortions would have voted her if she had been found to eat children alive, but he certainly contributed to opening the eyes of more than a few), but that his willingness to take up on the Clinton Clan deserves the highest praise irrespective of the influence his work had on the honest electors. It is good that there are people like Assange. It is a strength of the West.
The third winner is, as you all have already imagined, The Donald himself. What this man has achieved has a magnitude only the most retarded among the already brain-challenged Libtards still struggle to grasp. Donald Trump is the best demonstration of the last years that it is not true – as Marxist view of history would have you believe – that economic processes and social conditions unavoidably cause the emergence of people who are, in fact, merely the result and product of what was just there. This is not the case. Some people literally make history by creating events – or, in this case, a movement – few people could even imagine, much less consider inevitable or bound to happen at some point. Donald Trump is the man Providence has given us to create something considered by most soi-disant intelligent observers not only improbable, but laughably stupid.
As this incredible year approaches its end, it is fitting to say a prayer, or three, for the three men who, to various degrees, changed history in 2016.
Your humble correspondent hopes to be able to write such an article, at the end of 2017, about the Four Cardinals. Alas, the latter still have to demonstrate one tenth of the steely determination, clarity of vision and absolute devotion to the cause of the three gentlemen described above. Yet, we should pray for them too, as we enter the year of the supposed big confrontation: that they may fight like Crusaders for the faith, as they are supposed to.
As we all wait for the issuance of the correction, let me state once again how I think things will progress.
1. Correction of the Pope's errors contained in Amoris Laetitia, firstly in camera caritatis.
2. Public correction after Francis has refused to retract. Declaration that some teachings in AL are of heretical nature. Intimation (or supplication, which is the same) to Francis to acknowledge the heresy of his opinions and retract them.
3. Warning to the Pope (again, in a strictly private way) that he will be declared a heretic unless he publicly retracts/answers the Dubia in the only possible way.
4. Public declaration of the Pope as heretic after he obstinately refuses to condemn his heresies.
It seems to me that all four steps follow from the very rationale of the presentation of the Dubia to the Pope. I do not see a way how any of the Cardinals can do anything differently. Please consider that the warnings to the Pope are the necessary premise of his being declared in obstinacy, and the private nature of the first warning is both wise and charitable. Let no one say Francis has been “surprised” by the events, or no one wanted to talk to him.
What happens next is, I think, either a new imperfect Council to declare the Pope deposed as heretic and proceed to a new conclave (if enough Bishops and Cardinals are found for it; I can't imagine four Cardinals and a handful of bishops would be sufficient, and I therefore think this hypothesis remote) or what I call Honorius 2.0.
Pope Honorius was heretic to such an extent, that after his death it was felt an ecumenical concil (a vastly expensive exercise) was needed to rid the Church of the stench emanating from his papacy. But that was, as we all know, after his death. There was, therefore, a time when Honorius was in charge, public heresy and all, as the only legitimate Pope, and no one was publicly convening a council to have him declared heretic and self-deposed.
The questions spontaneously arise: what was happening during the rest of his Pontificate?
Was the See vacant? Of course not.
Not even with a heretical Pope? Not even then, as the See was not declared vacant afterwards; not even retroactively.
Did he appoint bishops in the meantime? Very probably yes.
Did some or all of these bishops take part in the election of the next Pope (no Cardinals or Conclaves then….)? Ask a Church historian, but my take is: very possibly.
How was, then, the election of his successor valid? You would have to ask a theologian here. My take is that the election was valid because clearly happened in accordance with the thinking of the Church. The same Church, mind, which went through unbelievably chaotic times around the years of the Synodus Horrenda and still emerged with a succession of validly elected Popes. The same church who elected Popes, for several centuries, simply by gathering those Bishops around Rome who could be gathered for the task within a reasonable time, without a rigid “instructions manual” as to the exact proceedings, required participation, causes of invalidity of the election, and the like. You trust that the Church will keep being the Church, and the Lord will protect her in such a way that the faithful will always know who is the pope and which is the true church, no matter how bad the times.
And so we come to the most logical step forward: if the first four points all happen and no revolt against the Pope materialises, where are we?
We are, I think, at Honorius 2.0, and we should act in the same way as I think faithful and informed Catholic acted when Honorius kept being Pope after having publicly supported heretical positions: the Pope is still Pope, but he is a heretical one. As long as he is not declared self-deposed as heretic, he is – unworthy as he is – still the chap in charge. He will be refused obedience, but we will have to leave it to Divine Providence to find a way to sort the mess out. It happened brilliantly after Honorius' death, but this was an outcome no one could foresee with certainly in the time we are, basically, living now: heretical pope goes on spreading heresy and appointing cardinals and is not stopped.
Let's say Francis dies ten months after being officially branded a heretic, having appointed (say) 30 cardinal electors before and 12 after the official declaration concerning his heresy. Will we all become Sedevacantists if these 42 Cardinals are allowed to participate to the next Conclave, or even only the 30? I can't imagine that. I will always keep seeing the Church in that organisation that is reasonable for a thinking man, supported by orthodox Catholic organisations, to see as the Church. When the SSPX tells me “twelve Cardinals and 50 Bishops are enough to declare a Pope self-deposed and elect a new one” I will believe it, but until that point I will keep seeing the Church, however polluted by heresy, as exclusively the official and apparent one.
And if – and when – the SSPX were to declare the the Pope is deposed and a new Pope is elected, then the new Pope would have the support of the strongest, most orthodox Catholic body in existence, with around 500 of the best priests you could find, people whose orthodoxy puts Cardinal Burke himself to shame.
But I will not condone, on this little effort of mine, claims of papacy supported by a handful of V II bishops or cardinals without the support of clear beacons of orthodoxy like the SSPX; an event, this “four cardinals and a few bishops meet and elect a Pope” thingy, that I consider extremely improbable in the first place.
We must do like the faithful in the times of the heretical, but still living Pope Honorius: pray for the Church, avoid taking refuge in splinter-MiniMe church fantasies, and trust the Lord that, in His own time, he will allow the Church to emerge from this mess with a strong orthodox Pope and an uninterrupted succession of validly elected Popes.
Unless Francis dies very fast or retracts, there is no way we can avoid posing ourselves extremely strange questions, as at this point even the refusal of the Cardinals to issue the correction would factually make of the Pope a heretic, by the mere fact of his obstinate silence when requested to uphold the truth of the doctrine. Therefore, we must prepare for a time of great trouble knowing that the Lord will never fail to clearly show to us where the Church – however corrupted – is. What we must not do is to decide for ourselves who is Pope and who isn't, lest we degrade ourselves to the level of those funny guys thinking that some chap has been made pope by, I don't know, ten people.
Pray, hope and, if possible, don't worry.
Oportet ut scandala eveniant.
The Church will survive this madness, too.
Former priest, now full-time heretic commie Leonardo Boff said it very clearly: Francis is one of us.
He gives facts and places, too: a meeting not happened because Francis was too angry after the thirteen cardinals letter, and an official request of material written by a heretic for his own opus diabolicum.
What kind of chap Boff is would be clear, to casual observer who does not know him, simply by reading this interview: he states he still “celebrates” every now and then, and talks of women deacon with the same levity with which I talk of Italian football.
Such a man openly claims his vicinity to Francis, a Pope who uses his writings for his own heretical “pastoral” documents.
In sane times, such an interview would cause an immediate, scandalised denial from the Vatican. In this case, you may be sure the reaction will be the usual one: silence, and a “wink-wink” to heresy.
From their friends you will recognise them.
Pretty strong words from Cardinal Burke in a new interview clearly meant to increase the pressure on Pope Francis to at least publicly declare he is Catholic, and avoid worse trouble.
The words that define the interview and send the clear message to Francis are the following ones:
If a Pope would formally profess heresy he would cease, by that act, to be the Pope
Naturally, and pretty much in style, Cardinal Burke goes on reassuring us of how much he likes Pope Francis, & Co. (this always surprises me; an obviously extremely grumpy, cantankerous, nasty, boorish and permanently insulting man appears to be liked by everyone. One wonders…). But the issue here is not of peoples, but of truths.
In another interview, it was indicated that the formal correction of Amoris Laetitia could appear in January, and would remain limited to correcting the document itself, not declaring the Pope a heretic (yours truly reported). Cardinal Burke is now sending a first message about what could happen after that correction.
It is, in fact, difficult to believe that the Cardinals would issue a formal correction of the Pope’s document as clearly heretical and, after a certain time has elapsed, would refuse to draw the conclusion that the Pope who still insists in not condemning the errors is himself a heretic.
Amoris Laetitia is, however you see his magisterial rank (the position of cardinal Burke that it hasn’t any was, of course, negated by the very act of posing the Dubia), a document Pope Francis has signed and for which he must answer. There is no way to deflect the accusations by saying that he doesn’t remember what he has written, or was drinking too much mate, or was in the bathroom when the document was released.
Every day that Francis avoids answering the Dubia, he digs a bigger hole for himself. He should swallow this bullfrog, lose face, and save what has left of his papacy, truly south-american in the scale of its failure.
What happens now is one of those multiple possibilities with the “inverted tree” diagram I cannot draw here.
The correction is issued, or not. If it is not issued the laity will keep condemning, and the Cardinals will keep shutting up. If it is issued the Pope will have two alternatives: finally answer the Dubia or further refuse to do so. If he answers the Dubia he will most certainly answer them in the proper way, and this particular matter at least will be settled. If he does not answer them the Cardinals will, once again, have the choice between shutting up and declaring him heretical and having “ceased to be Pope”. If the Pope is declared such, either nothing will happen (most bishops and cardinals simply refuse to enter the controversy and simply wait for the heretical Pope to die, as already happened for Honorius) and the not-anymore-Pope remains in office as a sort of Vatican squatter, or the “bishop against bishop” scenario sets in, and we have a number of Cardinals and a greater number of bishops willing to see this to its end. In this last scenario an imperfect, extraordinary council would be convened (say, in a place like Poland; or, more probably, Rome), at the end of which the pope would be declared a heretic in the same way as a murdered is declared a murdered when he is condemned, though in a factual sense he was a murderer the moment he committed the murder. The “inverted tree” can go on for very long, but at this point I think Francis would be told very clearly he either resigns or the cardinals and bishops kick him out with vast majority and physically remove him from office, after which a heresy trial begins.
It is sad to say that, as I write this, the most probable hypothesis still seems to be the first one: the Cardinals do not follow through, and the matter dies here.
The newest development in the matter of the dubia are now on LifeSiteNews. Quote:
“Now of course we are in the last days, days of strong grace, before the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, and then we have the Octave of the Solemnity and the celebrations at the beginning of the New Year – the whole mystery of Our Lord’s Birth and His Epiphany – so it would probably take place sometime after that.”
The cardinal, who is the patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, said the format of the correction would be “very simple.”
“It would be direct, even as the dubia are, only in this case there would no longer be raising questions, but confronting the confusing statements in Amoris Laetitia with what has been the Church’s constant teaching and practice, and thereby correcting Amoris Laetitia,” he said.
Two elements emerge:
- The awaited correction of Amoris Laetitia is scheduled for ” sometime after the Epiphany. I think it’s reasonable, when reading the timeline of events mentioned by the Cardinal as, so to speak, in the way of an earlier declaration, to expect it for sometime before the end of January.
- The correction will (at least at this stage) pertain to Amoris Laetitia only. Therefore, it will not entail a formal declaration that the Pope is himself a heretic. However, it seems to follow from the premises that if Francis, after the correction of Amoris Laetitia, insists in not answering the dubia he will, at some point, have to be declared a heretic in view of his obstinacy.
It is impossible not to see in the interview a further warning to Pope Francis. It is also noticed by more and more people (Edward Pentin already did it, now Ross Douthat agrees) that if not Amoris Laetitia, but the dubia were scandalous we could not save ourselves from a tidal wave of public declarations of solidarity with the Pope and condemnation of the Four Cardinals. Nothing of the sort is happening, and the only ones who have run to defend the Pope were notorious dissenters, perverted Jesuits, and “philosophers” once again licking the boots of those in power, as they have done all life. None of those silent bishops can be called in any way courageous, or even right, as they have the darn duty to defend the teaching of the Church with more than silence. However, I can’t imagine that Francis hasn’t got the message.
Sadly, Francis has already seen that these bishops are very ready, and many of them willing to be strong-armed (the dismal silence after Amoris Laetitia is ample evidence of this), so at this point it requires a healthy dose of optimism to think that Francis will simply cave in. Remember: the dubia have already cut off any possibility for him to waffle himself out of the situation. Therefore, either he or the Cardinals will have to lose face on this.
I had thought that, the Vatican ways being always so slow, Francis would have been given more ample time to reflect on how to organise his defeat, as it seemed not realistic to me that after the Cardinals need five months to decide that Amoris Laetitia is very, very bad, they would not give Francis an even longer time to come to the same conclusion. Still, this correction still appears to be scheduled around four full months after the original letter, and the Cardinals might be trying a last display of determination after having been informed that Francis will not answer the dubia, full stop.
As Christmas approaches, I invite all my readers to set aside the polite fluff and sincerely, openly pray the Lord that he may, in His mercy, rid us of this unspeakable disgrace of a Pope.