If the College of Cardinals fails …

The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 20143Conclave
The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 20143Conclave

Rome, January 30, 2015:  Two days following the presentation by the From Rome blog of the apparent canonical crimes committed by “Team Bergoglio” — the name given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, former spokesman for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor to the group of 8 Cardinals who lobbied for Cardinal Bergoglio’s election before and during the Conclave of 2013 — Fr. Frederico Lombardi, the papal spokesman, announced that Pope Francis had called a special consistory of Cardinals, on Feb. 14-15, to name 20 new Cardinals, in the attempt to alter forever the character of the College, from one whose majority was appointed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, to one whose majority is comprised of those named by Pope Francis or who were involved in vote-canvassing for his election.*

The probity of the case against “Team Bergoglio” was demonstrated amply in our article, on January 6, 2015: From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal. And the canonical basis for raising the question of the invalidity of the papal election, during Consistory in February, was explained in our January 17th article, Every Single Cardinal-Elector has right to demand resolution of “Team Bergoglio” scandal.

But what if the College of Cardinals fails?

It is obvious, that if the 20 new nominations by Pope Francis are added to the College of Cardinals, that there will be, de facto, no capacity for that body to investigate the allegations against the validity of Pope Francis’ election, which arise either from Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative of events or Antonio Socci’s investigation in to the irregularities of the proceedure during conclave, as expressed in his book, Non è Francesco, which is a  best-seller in Italy. Both doubts arise from statements made, not by Cardinal Bergoglio’s opponents, but by his supporters who claim to have spoken to Cardinal-Electors (in Ivereigh’s case) or Cardinal Bergoglio himself (in Socci’s case). Testimonies of great probity, therefore.

For a complete Chronology of reports about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, see our Chronology.

Moreover, as of today, 354 Catholics from around the world have petitioned the College of Cardinals to investigate the charges of Cardinal Bergoglio’s heterodoxy and heterodox practice in his personal behavior before and after his papal “election”, on which grounds they believe he should be judged as invalidly elected and deposed as a heretic. How many of the Cardinals know of this petition is unknown.  Though some public response is certainly warranted, even on that.

Catholics the world-over, then, might ask, after Feb. 15th, if the new Cardinals are installed, what will become of the Church?

Cardinal Bergoglio, since the time of the Conclave in 2013, has shown in the clearest and most consistent fashion, for all who have eyes, to see, that he does not hold the Catholic Faith — even though, after speaking spontaneously against it, when it is pointed out, he excuses himself, with the suggestion that he did not mean to deny anything — his consistent expressions of personal belief and consistent impenitence and artificiality in the attempts to mop up after the scandals he provokes, shows that he is merely protecting his claim to the office, so as to further his professed and malign design to overthrow the Church’s adhesion and loyalty to the Magisterium of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God.

Even his followers, such as Cardinal Baldissieri or Cardinal Rodiguez Maradiaga, affirm that he was behind every scandalous action at the recent Extraordinary Synod for the Family and that his intention is to irremediably and irrevokably alter the very nature of the Church.

Anyone who reads the news, knows all of this by now.  Even the Cardinals of the Sacred College.

If they do not act, then, it is clear that they are complicit as a body in the work and intention of Cardinal Bergoglio to overthrow the Catholic Church.  They, then, become, not just suspect of heresy, but most of all of pertinacity in collusion with Cardinal Bergoglio.  They thus lose all right to represent the clergy of Rome, in virtue of canon 194, which reads in Latin as follows:

 Can. 194 — § 1. Ipso iure ab ecclesiastico amovetur:

1° qui statum clericalem amiserit;
2° qui a fide catholica aut a communione Ecclesiae publice defecerit;
3° clericus qui matrimonium etiam civile tantum attentaverit.

§ 2. Amotio, de qua in nn. 2 et 3, urgeri tantum potest, si de eadem auctoritatis competentis declaratione constet.

Which, in our unofficial, but literal English translation reads as follows:

Canon 194 — § 1. By the law itself there is removed from the ecclesiastical state:

  1.  He who has lost the clerical state;
  2. He who has publicly failed from the Catholic Faith or from the Church’s communion;
  3. A cleric who will have attempted marriage, even only civilly.

§ 2.  The removal, concerning which there is mention in nn. 2 & 3, can be prosecuted, only if it be established by the declaration of a competent authority concerning the same.

For it is obvious, that he who conspires to reject the teaching of Christ Jesus, is a heretic and enemy of the Catholic Church. He can no more be considered in communion with Her, than a deadly virus can be considered part of the body which it infects.°  Paragraph § 2, explains that, first, the competent authority judges the facts, and only then it is licit to remove the individual(s) from their offices.

The Divine & Natural Right of the Clergy of Rome

That the competent authority in such a grave matter is the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, is, without question, their divine and natural right. Divine, by the fact that the clergy of every diocese, in questions of the heresy of their own bishop and his collaborators, have the right to expel them from the communion of the Church; natural, since there is no authority in any society to expel except those who retain the nature and form of that society faithfully.

This twofold right of the Clergy of Rome is affirmed by the Catholic Encyclopedia published more than 100 years ago, in its article on the Election of Popes, where it says:

The supreme headship of the Church is, we have seen, annexed to the office of Roman bishop. The pope becomes chief pastor because he is Bishop of Rome: he does not become Bishop of Rome because he has been chosen to be head of the universal Church. Thus, an election to the papacy is, properly speaking, primarily an election to the local bishopric. The right to elect their bishop has ever belonged to the members of the Roman Church. They possess the prerogative of giving to the universal Church her chief pastor; they do not receive their bishop in virtue of his election by the universal Church. This is not to say that the election should be by popular vote of the Romans. In ecclesiastical affairs it is always for the hierarchy to guide the decisions of the flock. The choice of a bishop belongs to the clergy: it may be confined to the leading members of the clergy. It is so in the Roman Church at present. The electoral college of cardinals exercise their office because they are the chief of the Roman clergy. Should the college of cardinals ever become extinct, the duty of choosing a supreme pastor would fall, not on the bishops assembled in council, but upon the remaining Roman clergy. At the time of the Council of Trent Pius IV, thinking it possible that in the event of his death the council might lay some claim to the right, insisted on this point in a consistorial allocution.

In all things, let there be propriety, discretion and conscientiousness

Thus, if the Sacred College fails to repudiate the malign intentions and resolve the doubts as to the validity of the election, the clergy of the Diocese of Rome have the right to adjudicate the matter.  This would include the right to interrogate the parties, whether Cardinal Bergoglio and the other members or co-conspirators in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, or whoever can give testimony to the lack of Catholic Faith among himself or his supporters.

They need only to judge the cases at hand, each of which is sufficient to arrive at a declaration, either in virtue of the papal law UDG 4, that the conclave of 2015 did not conduct a canonically valid election, or that Pope Francis by his personal heresy, manifest in his malign intentions to break from fidelity to Christ regarding any matter whatsoever. In such interrogations, the Cardinals cannot plead that they are bound by the vow of the Conclave, because in judicial proceedings, testimony given in no way violates a vow of secrecy, since the good of the Church is superior to all vows in such matters.

The clergy of the Diocese of Rome includes not only the priests and deacons incardinated, but also the Auxiliary Bishops and all the Archbishops and Bishops and priests and monsignors who are incardinated in the Vatican, which though a separate country in civil law, remain a part of the Diocese of Rome in canon law. In such a trial, Cardinals who are of such an age as not to have participated in the Conclave of 2013 or Consistory of 2015, such as  the Pope Emeritus, “Father Benedict” as he now asks to be called, would have a right to participate as judges, as well as all the retired auxiliary bishops and priests and deacons of the Diocese of Rome who are still incardinated in the Diocese.

Thus, it is God who will have the last laugh, because by merely naming new Cardinal-electors an uncanonically elected man can never obtain a fait accompli over the Church of  Rome.

__________________________

* 115 Cardinals participated in the 2013 Conclave.  Dr. Ivereigh says that “Team Bergoglio” was comprised of 8 Cardinals (7 who actively participated, 1 who tallied votes promises) and 2 possible co-conspirators, who sought 25 promised votes for the first ballot.  One can assume with a high degree of probability, that if they succeeded in this for the first round of voting, as Dr. Ivereigh says, that they continued this practice after the first round, and that therefore, some of the 53 votes garnered later were also promised.  All of those Cardinals who vote canvassed or vote promised would have been ipso facto ex-communicated; the seriousness of which charge was recently demonstrated on January 6, 2015, when Cardinal Danneels through is spokesman, explicitly denied vote-canvassing for Cardinal Bergoglio. Hence, the 120+ Cardinal electors to be after Feb. 15th, will be a majority of pro-Bergoglio men, unwilling in all probability of hearing any case regarding the invalidity of his election or judging justly about it.

°  Here, one must rightly distinguish and recognize that it is one thing to have sufficient probity to act as if the Roman Pontiff is a heretic or uncanonically elected so as to urge a trial or investigation, quite another to hold that he is such; since the latter requires certitude of evidence in regard to private judgements, and also a forensic act of judgement by a competent authority, in regard to public judgements.  This is why it is a very grave and necessary thing to have a resolution of the “Team Bergoglio” scandal by public judgement, because the Church risks not only the deprivation of the rights of all the faithful to having a legitimate successor to St. Peter, but also a schism between adherents of an apparently false candidate and those who insist upon a legitimate one.

Don’t imagine for a moment you can be saved, if you don’t love the truth zealously

St Michael the Archangel, the First Defender of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ
St Michael the Archangel, the First Defender of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ

Editorial — Ever since Immanuel Kant —who asserted without foundation that the human mind could not know truth, but understood the world by imposing categories upon reality and understanding what it knew according to those pre-existing innate categories — a monstrous and apocalyptic error has spread the spirit of Lucifer, the deceiver, abroad the nations of the Earth: this is the error of voluntarism, that says that a thing is good if I will it, and evil if I do not will it.

So widespread is this error today, that nearly everything is beholden to it.  It is magnified by another demonic error, that of unbridled liberty, which transmogrifies true liberty, “the right to act free from constraint of unjust violence or threat”, into a horrible orc-like caricature, the morality of the libertine, which holds that liberty is “the right to do whatever I want, when I want it, free from constraint of all justice or the will of another”.

Together, along with innumerable other errors, voluntarism and libertinism have spawned the death and destruction of hundreds of millions of little ones in the womb, by surgical or chemical abortion, and tens of millions more in the wars with which nationalists, socialists and communists have striven to overthrow the Christian and natural order of men. But by far their worst consequence is the damnation of billions of souls, for all eternity, in the unimaginable torments of Hell.

And, in our own days, the advocates of both errors have shown great zeal for their error by exalting themselves in the courts of civil law and by dictating therefrom to man and God, saying falsely that it is licit to do every evil, engage in all manner of perversion or monstrous devilry.

In an age of so great a darkness, it is easy to veer into the void of the abyss by even small errors.  And since the abyss of our age calls for the just punishment of the eternal abyss of Hell from God’s Justice which is as inexorable as it is unbending, it behooves us miserable weak men to guard ourselves with the utmost care from veering off into the darkness.

If we do not love the truth, we should not delude ourselves: we are no longer Christians, but wannabe devils working to heap up a foul pile of merits worthy of the everlasting fires of the Inferno.

But if we do not love the truth, zealously, then we should not imagine that we can be saved, either: because being but weak men, not Angels, the course of our interior life, of our spiritual and moral life, is such that every moment takes its departure from the course we have already undertaken.  For this reason, even a small moral error inclines us to great evil; and a lack of continuity in virtue guarantees a fall.

How many who have committed 1 mortal sin, imagine themselves able to rise again when they want, simply with a good confession; when in reality the pride which gave that sin of death birth, lives still and turns their entire moral life into something undead and corrupt, such that they fall again and again in the same mortal sins for the rest of their lives, even with what they image were “good” confessions?

The same is true of the sins of omission.  While sins which we commit are easier to number, because we can remember what we did; sins of omission escape the notice, especially of those who are willfully unaware.  For this reason, Our Lord warns us sternly in the Gospel to “take heed of what you hear”!

The greatest sin of omission in our age is the lack of zeal for the truth which God has revealed to us in Christ; of studying that truth, of putting that truth into practice, of loyalty unto death no matter what sacrifice for that truth.

Without dogmatic faith, that is assent to the truths revealed by the true God, as taught by the God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, it is impossible to please God in the present moment, in life, or in eternity.  That faith requires a zealous love of the truth.  Such a love makes a man noble because it enriches him with a priceless treasure which will last forever: God.

For those who are heeding the seducing calls from Cardinals Bergoglio, Kasper, Marx, Baldissieri and Rodiguez Maradiaga, to compromise with this age of darkness, with its errors, morals and values: don’t fool yourselves. They are the pied pipers of the netherworld, whose zeal is to lead men away from truth, into eternal damnation.

Bl. Emmerich’s prophecy of Schism in the time of 2 Popes

With commentary in Italics by From Rome blog, regarding how it may apply to our own day

May 13, 1820.“Last night, from eleven to three, I had a most wonderful vision of two churches and two Popes and a variety of things, ancient and modern.

“I shall relate, as well as I can, all that I remember of it. My angel-guardian came and told me that I must go to Rome and take two things to the Pope; but I cannot now recall what they were — perhaps it is the will of God that I should forget them. I asked my angel how I could make so long a journey, sick as I was. But when I was told that I should make it without difficulty, I no longer objected. — An odd-looking vehicle appeared before me, flat and slight, with only two wheels, the flooring red with white edges. I saw no horses.

This sound uncannily like the Segway’s used at Rome, to show tourists the city.  Which only came into use in recent years. I myself noticed them in use in 2010.  You can see that some of them are read in color:

Photo by Tripadvisor.com
Photo by Tripadvisor.com

“I was gently lifted and laid on it and, at the same instant, a snow-white, luminous child flew toward me and seated himself at my feet. He reminded me of the Patience-child in green, so sweet, so lovely, and perfectly transparent. He was to be my companion, he was to console and take care of me. The wagon was so light and smooth that at first I was afraid of slipping off; but it began to move very gently of Itself without horses, and I saw a shining human figure going on ahead. The journey did not seem long, although we crossed countries, mountains, and great waters. I knew Rome the instant we reached it, and I was soon in the presence of the Pope.”

— Her “experience” of traveling on this strange mode of transportation, except for the length of the journey, is exactly that of someone riding a Segway for the first time.  This places the time of the fulfillment of her prophecy in our own days.

Pope Boniface IV
Pope Boniface IV

“I know not now whether he was sleeping or praying, but I had to say two things to him, or give him two things, and I shall have to go to him once again to announce a third. — Then I had a wonderful vision. Rome suddenly appeared as in the early ages, and I saw a Pope (Boniface IV and and an Emperor whose name I knew not (Phocas). I could not find my way in the city, all was so different, even the sacred ceremonies; but yet I recognized them as Catholic. I saw a great round building like a cupola — it was a pagan temple full of beautiful idols. It had no windows, but in the dome was an opening with a contrivance for keeping out the rain. It seemed as if all the idols that ever existed were gathered together therein every conceivable posture. Many of them were very beautiful, and others exceedingly odd; there were even some of geese which received divine honor. In the center of the building stood a very high pyramid formed entirely of those images. I saw no idolatrous worship at the time of which I speak, although the idols were still carefully preserved.

Emperor Flavius Phocas
A Coin bearing the image of Emperor Flavius Phocas

Visions are often symbolically significant, even in the details they relate. Note that she speaks of a Pope and the city of Rome under pagan influence.  When she had this vision, Rome was ruled by the Popes, but now it is under the pagan domination of the modern Republic of Italy. Note too that she says that she cannot recognize the rituals used by Catholics, they were all different. This is what a Catholic in 1820 might say of the Novus Ordo mass which arose after the Second Vatican Council.  Note too, that “Boniface” is from the Latin for “Good-doer”, it is very similar in meaning to “Benedict”, which means “Good-speaker”.  The emperor in the time of Pope Boniface IV (who reigned from August 25, 608 to May 8, 615) , was Flavius Phocas (d. Oct. 4, 610).

“I saw messengers from Pope Boniface going to the emperor and petitioning for the temple to be changed into a Christian church, I heard the latter declaring distinctly that the Pope should allow the ancient statues to remain, though he might erect therein the cross to which the highest honors should be paid. This proposal, as it seemed to me, was made not wickedly, but ” in good faith. I saw the messengers return with the answer and Boniface reflecting as to how he might in some measure conform to the emperor’s will. Whilst he was thus deliberating, I saw a good, pious priest in prayer before the crucifix. He wore a long white robe with a train, and an angel hovered by his side. Suddenly he arose, went straight to Boniface, and told him that he should by no means accede to the emperor’s proposal. Messengers were then dispatched to the emperor, who now consented to the temple’s being entirely cleared. Then I saw his people come and take numbers of the statues to the imperial city; but still many remained in Rome. Then I saw the consecration of the temple, at which ceremony the holy martyrs assisted with Mary at their side. The altar was not in the center of the building, but against the wall. I saw more than thirty wagon-loads of sacred relics brought into the church. Many of them were enclosed in the walls and others could be seen through round openings covered with something like glass.

It is interesting to note that she speaks of this Pope Boniface who would received and accepted the sound advice of a devout Catholic priest, who dressed in traditional garb, to have nothing to do with the mixing of Catholic rites with idolatry. Which Pope had the courage to confront the civil authorities of his day with the truth, even to the point of risking their disfavor.  In the time of Emperor Flavius Phocas, the capital of the Roman Empire, the Imperial City, was Constantinople, modern Istanbul. It was in Istanbul, during the Apostolic Nunciature of the future Pope John XXIII, that an international assembly of Free Masons called for an Ecumenical Council to reunite all Christians. Note, that the new church, which Bl. Anne sees consecrated, has its altar against the wall, not like the other churches she sees.  The initiation of the restoration of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, ad orientem, facing the tabernacle was the hallmark of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, especially through his decree Summorum Pontificum, which defended the rights of the clergy and faithful to the celebration of the ancient Roman Rite, which Bl. Anne Emmerich knew as the Mass of the universal Church.

“When I had witnessed this vision even in the smallest details, I saw again the present Pope and the dark church of his time in Rome, It seemed to be a large, old house like a town-hall with columns in front. I saw no altar in it, but only benches, and in the middle of it something like a pulpit. They had preaching and singing, but nothing else, and only very few attended it.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

— This aptly describes not only the liturgical architecture but the rituals which prevail in the Latin rite since the time of Vatican II, the many abuses and deficiencies of which Pope Benedict XVI was noted for criticizing.

“And lo, a most singular sight! — Each member of the congregation drew an idol from his breast, set it up before him, and prayed to it. It was as if each man drew forth his secret thoughts or passions under the appearance of a dark cloud which, once outside, took some definite form. They were precisely such figures as I had seen around the neck of the illicit bride in the Nuptial House, figures of men and animals. The god of one was short and broad with a crisp head and numerous, outstretched arms ready to seize and devour all in its reach; that of another was quite small with miserable, shrunken limbs; another had merely a block of wood upon which he gazed with rolling eyes; this one had a horrible animal; that one, a long pole. The most singular part of it was that the idols filled the place; the church, although the worshippers were so few, was crowded with idols. When the service was over, every one’s god re-entered into his breast. The whole church was draped in black, and all that took place in it was shrouded in gloom.

— When the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass becomes a time for celebrating the community, then religion becomes nothing more than the self-affirmation of one’s own personal fancies, vices and idols.  Thus Bl. Anne aptly describes a form of Catholicism which has gone astray from a right and orthodox spirituality.

“Then I saw the connection between the two Popes and the two temples. I am sorry that I have forgotten the numbers, but I was shown how weak the one had been in adherents and human support, but how strong in courage to overturn so many gods (I knew the number) and to unite so many different forms of worship into one; and, on the contrary, how strong in numbers and yet how irresolute in action was the other since, in authorizing the erection of false temples, he had allowed the only true God, the only true religion to be lost among so many false gods and false religions.

Here Bl. Anne critiques the two “churches” which exist among the Catholic faithful: one which which has few members, but great zeal to overthrow false religions and establish authentic Catholic worship, suitable to the rites of many nations — this is the Catholic Church; the other which has many members, but little zeal for defending the true Religion from the false, compromising with the world — this is the Church of Modernists and the Church born of the Aggiornamento.

“It was also shown me that those pagans humbly adored gods other than themselves, and that they would have been willing to admit in all simplicity the only God, the Most Holy Trinity. Their worship was preferable to that of those who adore themselves in a thousand idols to the total exclusion of Our Lord. The picture was favorable to the early ages, for in them idolatry was on the decrease, whilst in our days it is just the contrary.

Here Bl. Emmerich gives us a key for interpreting her vision of Pope Benedict IV as applying to Pope Benedict XVI, because she says, “The picture was favorable to the early ages…” and shows that her vision of the former was a spiritual interpretation of the state of the Church under the latter.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

— Next, she speaks of the Church of the Modernists, who in our day are lead by the followers of Cardinal Martini and Cardinal Kasper, under the aegis of Pope Francis’ protection and promotion:

“I saw the fatal consequences of this counterfeit church; I saw it increase; I saw heretics of all kinds flocking to the city (1). I saw the ever-increasing tepidity of the clergy, the circle of darkness ever widening. — And now the vision became more extended.

At this point in her vision, Bl. Anne seems to speak of things yet to come, an ominous persecution of the Catholic Church by the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the Church of the Modernists:

“I saw in all places Catholics oppressed, annoyed, restricted, and deprived of liberty, churches were closed, and great misery prevailed everywhere with war and bloodshed. I saw rude, ignorant people offering violent resistance, but this state of things lasted not long. Again I saw in vision St. Peter’s undermined according to a plan devised by the secret sect whilst, at the same time, it was damaged by storms; but it was delivered at the moment of greatest distress.

This persecution could refer to Pope Francis’ notable persecution of Catholic Bishops, clergy, religious and laity who attend the ancient Roman Rite: for several Bishops have been removed for promoting this mass, many priests and religious and laity have been denied this mass or persecuted in Italy and throughout the world, at express direction of Pope Francis, for their loyalty to this ancient rite.  Such a persecution, according to Rev. Fr. Matthias of Corona, S.T.D. Paris, A Carmelite of Liège, is grounds for the College of Cardinals to depose the pope.  However, Bl. Anne sees the salvation of the Church by divine means:

“Again I saw the Blessed Virgin extending her mantle over it. In this last scene. I saw no longer the reigning Pope, but one of his successors, a mild, but very resolute man who knew how to attach his priests to himself and who drove far from him the bad. I saw all things renewed and a church which reached from earth to heaven.”

For Cardinal Bergoglio, Lent is a time without sin or repentance

Pope-Francis1

Rome, January 27, 2015:  Following the seemingly innumerable occasions in which Pope Francis has spoken in public and given objective scandal by his remarks, which have diverged so much from the manner in which Catholics speak, that not a few Catholics, in books, letters, editorials and blogs, have publicly speculated that he is a heretic, there has been frequent occasions in which Catholics find themselves questioning whether Cardinal Bergoglio is Catholic or has the supernatural habit of faith.

One common criticism, which one finds on the Internet, is based on the observation that in his public discourses the word “faith” is either absent or is emptied of all dogmatic significance.  Even the pope’s own words support this interpretation because he rarely or ever refers to the necessity of the assent of the mind to revealed truth, or the importance of this assent of faith in the daily life of Christians.

Lent is an important occasion for the whole Church to be renewed in Her adhesion to the Lord in faith, hope and charity, by means of repentance, penitence, penance and conversion.  All Catholics know this from their earliest years.

For that reason, it is more than remarkable, that in Pope Francis’ Message for Lent in 2015, published today by the Vatican Press office, he makes no mention of dogmatic faith, sin, repentance, or conversion in the sense of turning from one’s personal sins.

You see, without dogmatic faith, man cannot recognize that his personal moral choices are offensive to or divergent from God’s Will, and thus, without dogmatic faith, there is, in the mind of the individual, no sin, no need for repentance, no need for moral conversion.  The words of the pope on important occasions continue to give the impression that such is his personal conception of the Catholic Religion.

Yet, if for Jorge Mario Bergoglio, faith has not the dogmatic content and significance and obligation which the Church has always taught, it is not a question of whether he is a heretic or not, he would not even be a Christian. Thus, the lack of evidence of dogmatic faith in his public discourses is a true public scandal, in which he is at fault, not bloggers for pointing this out.

But don’t take my word, read the official English translation (source), which has the same deficiencies as the original Italian:

«Make your hearts firm» (Jas 5:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.

When the people of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would like to address in this Message is precisely the globalization of indifference.

Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.

God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded.

God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.

1. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26) – The Church

The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others. This is clearly seen in the liturgy of Holy Thursday, with its rite of the washing of feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others. Only they have “a part” with him (Jn 13:8) and thus can serve others.

Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. For whoever is of Christ, belongs to one body, and in him we cannot be indifferent to one another. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor 12:26).

The Church is the communio sanctorum not only because of her saints, but also because she is a communion in holy things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ and all his gifts. Among these gifts there is also the response of those who let themselves be touched by this love. In this communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own, because with them and for them, we ask God that all of us may be open to his plan of salvation.

2. “Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9) – Parishes and Communities

All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors (Lk 16:19-31)?

In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church in two ways.

In the first place, by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven. The prayers of the Church on earth establish a communion of mutual service and goodness which reaches up into the sight of God. Together with the saints who have found their fulfilment in God, we form part of that communion in which indifference is conquered by love. The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way. Saint Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, expressed her conviction that the joy in heaven for the victory of crucified love remains incomplete as long as there is still a single man or woman on earth who suffers and cries out in pain: “I trust fully that I shall not remain idle in heaven; my desire is to continue to work for the Church and for souls” (Letter 254, July 14, 1897).

We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart.

In the second place, every Christian community is called to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people.

Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every man and woman to the Father. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent. The Church follows Jesus Christ along the paths that lead to every man and woman, to the very ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). In each of our neighbours, then, we must see a brother or sister for whom Christ died and rose again. What we ourselves have received, we have received for them as well. Similarly, all that our brothers and sisters possess is a gift for the Church and for all humanity.

Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!

3. “Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8) – Individual Christians

As individuals too, we have are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?

First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.

Second, we can help by acts of charity, reaching out to both those near and far through the Church’s many charitable organizations. Lent is a favourable time for showing this concern for others by small yet concrete signs of our belonging to the one human family.

Third, the suffering of others is a call to conversion, since their need reminds me of the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters. If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us. We will also be able to resist the diabolical temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.

As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.

It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you.

From the Vatican, 4 October 2014

Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

FRANCISCUS PP.

Cardinal Baldisseri furthers confusion, says pro-family coalition

REPRINTED FROM THE VOICE OF THE FAMILY BLOG

Il testo italiano segue

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri receives the red hat from Pope Francis, Feb. 22, 20 14. A. D.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri receives the red hat from Pope Francis, Feb. 22, 20 14. A. D.

ROME, 25 January 2015: Comments made by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri have further undermined Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage says Voice of the Family, an international coalition of pro-family groups.

An international conference, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Family from 22-24 January, was addressed by Cardinal Baldisseri, organiser of the upcoming Synod on the Family. The expressed purpose of the conference was to provide opportunity for 80 lay groups to assist the PCF provide input into the synod to be held in October 2015.

Baldisseri defended the right of Walter Cardinal Kasper to assert that divorced persons living in unions not recognised by the Church should be permitted to receive Holy Communion. Baldisseri, in response to a concerned pro-family advocate, told delegates that we should not be “shocked” by theologians contradicting Church teaching.  The Cardinal said that dogmas can evolve and that there would be no point holding a Synod if we were simply to repeat what had always been said. He also suggested that just because a particular understanding was held 2,000 years ago does not mean that it cannot be challenged.

Patrick Buckley, international envoy for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, commented: “The Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is founded on the words of Jesus Christ. These words may have been spoken 2,000 years ago but for Catholics they remain nothing other than the unchanging commands of God.”

Maria Madise, Director of Voice of the Family, said: “Cardinal Baldisseri publicly corrected a delegate who protested about attacks on Catholic teaching. It was noticeable that he refused to do the same when the Church’s teaching on contraception was denied a few moments later by a different delegate. The impression given is that the only sin today is to uphold what the Church has always taught.”

Madise continued: “Everything seemed up for discussion at this conference, including questions already clearly resolved by the magisterium of the Church. Such discussion distracts from the task of finding real solutions to the problems faced by real families. Grave evils such as abortion, euthanasia and attacks on parental rights scarcely featured in discussions. These are some of the key issues also omitted from the final report of the 2014 synod. Suffering families are not assisted by the sophistry of professional dissenters, whether clerical or lay.”

Voice of the Family urges everyone to join us in prayer for a clear reaffirmation of Catholic teaching on marriage and family in any outcome document to be produced by the Pontifical Council following this conference.

In Italian:

ROMA, 25 Gennaio 2015: I commenti del Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri hanno ulteriormente minato l’insegnamento della Chiesa riguardo all’indissolubilità del matrimonio, ad affermarlo è Voice of the Family, una coalizione internazionale di gruppi pro-famiglia.

Alla conferenza internazionale, organizzata dal Pontificio Consiglio per la Famiglia, dal’22 al 24 Gennaio è intervenuto il Cardinal Baldisseri, organizzatore del prossimo Sinodo sulla Famiglia. La conferenza mirava espressamente a fornire l’opportunità a 80 gruppi laici di assistere il Pontificio Consiglio per la Famiglia nel fornire suggerimenti per il Sinodo in programma a ottobre 2015.

Il Cardinal Baldisseri ha difeso il diritto del Cardinale Walter Kasper di asserire che i divorziati ricongiuntisi in unioni non riconosciute dalla Chiesa dovrebbero avere il permesso di ricevere la Santa Comunione. Baldisseri, in risposta a un sostenitore pro-famiglia preoccupato, ha comunicato ai delegati che non dovremmo essere “scioccati” dai teologi che contraddicono l’insegnamento della Chiesa. Il Cardinale ha affermato che i dogmi possono evolvere e che sarebbe inutile tenere un Sinodo semplicemente per ripetere quello che è sempre stato sostenuto; ha inoltre suggerito che, per il semplice fatto di esser stato posto 2.000 anni fa, non significa che un paradigma non possa esser messo in discussione.

Patrick Buckley, inviato internazionale della Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Società per la Protezione dei Bambini Non Nati) ha commentato: “L’insegnamento della Chiesa riguardo all’indissolubilità del matrimonio è fondato sulle parole di Gesù Cristo. Queste parole possono esser state proferite 2.000 anni fa ma per i Cattolici non son null’altro che immutabili comandamenti di Dio”.

Maria Madise, Direttrice del Voice of the Family ha affermato: “Il Cardinale Baldisseri ha pubblicamente corretto un delegato che protestava in merito agli attacchi all’insegnamento Cattolico. È risultato evidente che si sia rifiutato di fare altrettanto quando, pochi istanti dopo, l’insegnamento della Chiesa sulla contraccezione è stato negato da un diverso delegato. L’impressione che si ha avuto è che il solo peccato oggi sia difendere quel che la Chiesa ha sempre insegnato”.

Madise ha proseguito: “Sembrava che a questa conferenza si potesse discutere di tutto, comprese le questioni già chiaramente risolte dal Magisterium della Chiesa. Una simile discussione distrae dal compito di trovare soluzioni reali ai problemi affrontati dalle famiglie reali. I mali gravi come l’aborto, l’eutanasia e gli attacchi ai diritti genitoriali sono stati a malapena sfiorati nelle discussioni. Queste sono alcune delle questioni chiave inoltre omesse dalla relazione finale sul Sinodo 2014. Le famiglie sofferenti non vengono assistite dalla sofisticheria dei dissidenti professionisti, ecclesiastici o laici che siano”.

Voice of the Family esorta tutti a unirsi a noi in preghiera per una chiara riaffermazione dell’insegnamento Cattolico in materia di famiglia e matrimonio in qualsiasi documento che il Pontificio Consiglio produrrà a seguito della conferenza.

The Difference between the Church and a restaurant

IS THE DIFFERENCE  BETWEEN CATHOLICISM AND MODERNISM

The Miraculous Crucifix of Ferla, Sicily
The Miraculous Crucifix of Ferla, Sicily

Editorial:  I heard the most absurd thing today. A journalist was interviewing the new Roman Catholic Bishop, recently appointed by Pope Francis; and the report ended by quoting the Bishop, that he was working to make the Church what it used to be, “a happy place to be” (sic)!

When I was on pilgrimage in France in the winter of 2004, I had the opportunity to beg a ride from a Catholic layman, whose name I do not remember, who after sometime began spontaneously to talk to me of his sorrow concerning the horrible state of morals into which the Catholic Church in France had fallen in recent decades. I asked him, to what he attributed the primary cause of this decline.  He said to me, “Its the bishops! I cannot understand why Rome is appointing the worst of men to be our Bishops!” Then he “confessed” his personal sense of guilt, in having spoken thus, because he considers that as a good catholic, one should not think like that, and asked me what I thought.

I was completely honest with him: I said, “You are telling me nothing different than what the laity tell me wherever I go, whether in North America or in Europe: they all say, the problem is the Bishops; even clergy lament to me, saying, “Where on earth did they find such a man to be the bishop of such and such a diocese?”

It is remarkable, even more so, when the individuals nominated do not even understand the very nature of the Church.  The Church, it should be obvious to anyone who has read the Gospel, is not a restaurant: a happy place to be; which must sell Herself like a commercial operation, pandering to each and every opportunistic proposal or desire of its patrons.

The Church is Christ’s mystical Bride, which He founded and redeemed by His Most Bloody Passion and Death, as the Ark of Salvation for all who want to be rescued from their own perdition, merited by their personal sins and/or the sin of Adam.  The Crucifixion of Our Lord is not a source of entertainment, except for the wicked headed to perdition: for the faithful it is a most serious, grave and sorrowful thing to remember.

Hence it is, that to make of the Liturgy or a church, a “happy place to be” is tantamount to overturning the entire Catholic religion in that place. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, yes, a “Sacrifice”, not a “celebration”. To make it the latter is not to participate in it. To approach and celebrate with the former, is to authentically celebrate.

Let us not delude ourselves: to be at mass in the latter spirit, is to spiritually adulterate the mass, is to spiritually abuse Christ, making of His most Bitter Sufferings, the occasion of my own personal enjoyment, entertainment, satisfaction. That is nothing short of perverse sadism at the highest theological level.

The Church, indeed, every Church, is a place where man rejects sin, purges himself with mortification and penance, receives the reconciliation merited by Christ’s horrible Passion and Death, is nourished by the most perfect participation in that Sacrifice, which is a humbly, contrite, penitential participation in the Sacrifice by a worthy communion and a life lived in the same spirit, in fidelity to the unchanging perennial Faith, taught by Christ, received by the Apostles, handed down in Sacred Tradition.

The trick of the Modernists has been to make us change the words we use to express our Faith, so as to make of forgetful of what the Catholic Faith is all about; and to substitute in its place the sticky-sweet terminology and philosophy of the world: of hedonism, in which personal satisfaction is placed before all other things.

Perhaps, that is why the Bishop who was interviewed by this journalist is so overweight as to no longer even have a neckline.

Why does the Lord at times threaten His Church with chastisement?

Rome, January 21, 2015:  Nearly four years ago, while I lived as a hermit in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Noto, Sicily, I heard of other hermits living on the Island of Sicily, and sought them out for spiritual advice.  In the course of my travels I met a few such hermits, living in obscurity in the mountains of Sicily, and had the occasion to come to know of a vision which the Lord gave one hermit.  At that time, since I do not value private revelations that much, and because I did not know whether this vision was from God or not, I did not put much value in it.  But since that time I have come to see, with the passing events of time, that it was a prophetic vision of the doom into which the Church of Rome would fall.  For that reason, I now recognize it as of God, and for that reason I will publish it here, below.

But since many do not understand why the Lord, at times, threatens the members of His own Church with chastisement, let us first hear what St. Alphonsus dei Liguori, the Doctor of the Church, says on this matter, in his short treatise, entitled, Calamities, Chastisement, and the Love of God, in the first discourse:

CALAMATIES, CHASTISEMENT & THE LOVE OF GOD

FIRST DISCOURSE

by St. Alphonsus dei Liguori, C.Ss.R.

“Heu! consolabor super hostibus meis, et vindicabor de inimicis meis.”

“Ah, I will comfort Myself over My adversaries: and I will be revenged of My enemies.” Isaias 1.24.

SUCH is the language of God, when speaking of punishment and vengeance: He says that he is constrained by his justice to take vengeance on his enemies. But, mark you, he begins with the word Heu, “Ah”: this word is an exclamation of grief by which he would give us to understand, that if he were capable of weeping when about to punish, he would weep bitterly at being compelled to afflict us his creatures, whom he has loved so dearly as to give up his life through love for us. “‘Alas!'” says Cornelius a Lapide, “is uttered by one who is lamenting and not insulting; God signifies by this word that he is grieving, and that he is unwilling to punish sinners.”1 No, this God, who is the Father of mercies, and so much loves us, is not of a disposition to punish and afflict, but rather to pardon and console us. For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction.2

___________________

1 “Heu! dolentis est, non insultantis; significat Deus hac voce se dolentem et invitum punire peccatores.”

2 “Ego enim scio cogitationes quas ego cogito super vos, ait Dominus, cogitationes pacis, et non afflictionis.” Jer. 29.11.

___________________

But some one will say, since such is his character, why does he now punish us? or, at least, appear as if he meant to punish us? Why so? Because he wishes to be merciful towards us: this anger which he now dis- plays is all mercy and patience.

Let us then, my brethren, understand how the Lord at present appears in wrath, not with a view to our punishment, but in order that we may cleanse ourselves of our sins, and thus enable him to pardon us. Such is the subject of our discourse: GOD THREATENS TO CHASTISE IN ORDER TO DELIVER US FROM CHASTISEMENT.

The threats of men ordinarily proceed from their pride and weakness; and so, if they have it in their power to take vengeance, then they will not threaten anything, lest they should thereby give their enemies an opportunity of escape. It is only when they lack the power to inflict their vengeance that they resort to using threats, in order to gratify their passion, by awakening at least the fears of their enemies. Not so the threats of which God makes use; on the contrary, their nature is quite different. His threats do not arise from his inability to chastise, because he can be avenged when he wills; but he bears with us in order to see us repentant, and thus exempt from punishment. You have mercy upon all, because You can do all things, and overlook the sins of men so that they may repent.1 Neither does he threaten from hatred, in order to tor ment us with fear; God threatens from love, in order that we may be converted to him, and thereby escape chastisement: he threatens, because he does not wish to see us lost: he threatens, in sum, because he loves our souls. But You spare all, because they are yours, O Lord, who love souls.2 He threatens; but in spite of this he bears with us and delays in punishing, because he wishes to see us converted, not lost. He deals patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.3 Thus the threats of God are all acts of tenderness, and loving calls of his goodness, by which he means to save us from the punishment which we deserve.

___________________

1 “Misereris omnium, quia omnia potes, et dissimulas peccata hominum propter poenitentiam.” Wis. 11.24.

2 “Parcis autem omnibus, quoniam tua sunt, Domine, qui amas animas.” Wis. 11.27.

___________________

And now, here is what this Sicilian hermit told me he saw:*

Deutsche-Bank-Verantwortung-Responsibility_Villa-Romana

A beautiful house with a fence and garden: and in it there dwelt a most beautiful, immaculate virgin with her spouse.  Then came the day, when her spouse had to go on a long trip, and he left her at home to wait for him. At first, she waited with great fidelity, inside her house, and did not go out; but, as she allowed her impatience to overcome her, she started to look outside through her windows, to see if her spouse was returning; then, moved by greater impatience, she fell into imprudence, and she open the door and looked out on occasion for his return.  Moved by greater impatience and imprudence, and tinged now with the movement of curiosity, she would leave the door open for long hours, and occasionally go out into the yard of the home, to walk along its fence, and look out for her spouse.  But therein she was deceived, because her curiosity betrayed itself to vanity, and she began to take pleasure in going outside her house and spending time in her yard; and then, in looking beyond its fence, ostensibly to see if her spouse was returning, but more and more to enjoy what she saw there.

Then, one day an evil man dressed in the manner of a man of virtue came down the road, and caught her eye. She violated her marriage promise with her own spouse by delaying outside to speak with him. His speech was very pleasing and he praised her with many false words, seducing her with the appearance of virtue, so she betrayed her spouse by allowing this stranger into her house, where shutting the door, she fornicated with him.  He lived with her some time and squandered all the riches of her home on a life of impurity with her, until he died and she died. And that house fell into darkness and great was its ruin …

These are not the exact words, but rather my own attempt to remember what he told me and repeat it succinctly.

This vision is a warning from the Lord, our God; prophetic in the sense that it spoke of what had not yet come to pass, but what would come to pass if men did not repent.

The virgin is the Church of Rome, or rather, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church; the house is the Diocese of Rome.  Who the seducer is, is now obvious to everyone in the world.

_________________

* Here, I add the photo only for the sake of illustration. I heard of this vision in April of 2011, when I traveled to western Sicily to visit various hermits. For the hermit’s sake, I will not identify the hermit. Nor was I told the full import of the vision.

 

Gagliarducci: There’s a rumor that Francis is considering calling Vatican III

Rome, January 19, 2015:  Andrea Gagliarducci, a Roman journalist, who gathers his stories from the bars and restaurants around the Vatican, where the curial officials go after hours, writes in his Monday at the Vatican blog, yesterday:

This concern for the peripheries is the reason behind the rumor of papal trip to Erbil, Iraq: to meet Christian refugees. The upcoming encyclical on ecology – which the Pope made clear he will strive to complete in March – will certainly be filled with references to a missionary Church. Meanwhile it is also rumored that a first draft for the announcement of a Third Vatican Council is circulating, but no source has confirmed the report. However, other sources acknowledge the possibility of a papal document that would increase the limit of Cardinals voting in a conclave (i.e., Cardinals under the age of 80) from 120 to 140, thus increasing by 20 the limit that Paul VI established.

Father Z, a popular internet-blogging Catholic priest, very knowledgeable about all things in the Church, responded publicly on his blog to this “news”, thus:

It’s a rumor … but… God help us all.

From the Rome blog asks:  “Why the rush? What about first resolving the scandal of Team Bergoglio? which impinges upon the very validity in law of Cardinal Bergoglio’s papacy.”

Every Single Cardinal-Elector has right to demand resolution of “Team Bergoglio” scandal

UDG 5 and Canon 1530

The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 2014 Conclave
The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 2014 Conclave

Rome, January 17, 2015:  Ever since the revelation of an organized campaign by 8 Cardinals to promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave, which elected him as Pope Francis, there has been a grave public controversy and doubt as to the validity of his election.  This is because the current papal law on elections, the Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, lacked the specific term which would have exempted it from being interpreted according to the general norms of Canon Law: specifically from canons 171 and 1329.

In paragraph 81 of Universi Dominic Gregis (here after UDG), the crime of vote-promising is penalized with automatic excommunication, such that in the very act of promising a vote, a Cardinal elector is excommunicated.  On account of canon 1329, that automatic excommunication is extended to the one asking for the vote promise, even if the one asking is also a Cardinal elector.  On account of the terms of canon 171 §1, the votes of excommunicated electors, even Cardinals in a conclave, cannot be counted in favor of the candidate they name; and on account of canon 171 §2, if they are counted among the number in favor of the candidate in such wise that they cause that number to be sufficient for victory, according to the norms of the election, the election is nullified in all its effects.

Thus the fattispecies, or appearance of facts, in the narrative of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, argue for the invalidity of the election of Pope Francis, that is, that Pope Francis did not obtain his office by a legal, lawful, or legitimate means.  That would mean that Catholics not only could legitimately break off communion with him, but would be morally obliged to do so, under pain of mortal sin.

Thus, the probity of the allegations regard a true scandal.

UDG 5 gives a simple solution to the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Thankfully, Pope John Paul II provided in his papal law on conclaves an easy solution, which any single Cardinal can take advantage of: the terms stated in the 5th paragraph of that law, UDG 5, the official Latin text of which is:

5. Si quae autem dubia exoriantur de sensu praescriptionum, quae hac Nostra Constitutione continentur, aut circa rationem qua ad usum deduci eae debeant, edicimus ac decernimus penes Cardinalium Collegium esse potestatem de his ferendi sententiam; propterea, eidem Cardinalium Collegio facultatem tribuimus interpretandi locos dubios vel in controversiam vocatos, statuentes, ut, si de eiusmodi vel similibus quaestionibus deliberati oporteat, excepto ipso electionis actu, satis sit maiorem congregatorum Cardinalium partem in eandem sententiam convenire.

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

5. Moreover, if which doubts rise up concerning the sense of the prescriptions, which are contained in this Our Constitution, or about the reckoning by which they should be put into practice, We decree and judge that the power to make judgement concerning these is within the College of Cardinals; moreover, We grant to the College of Cardinals the faculty of interpreting doubtful passages and/or those called into controversy, so that, if having deliberated concerning questions of this kind and/or the similar, excepting the very act of the election itself, it be sufficient that the greater part of the Cardinals gathered together agree upon the same sentence.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshot by From Rome blog, cropped)

In this paragraph, Pope John Paul II establishes several specific things.  The first of which is the authority and jurisdiction of the Sacred College over questions regarding the meaning of the individual paragraphs and about the method to be used to put them into practice; second, about the interpretation of doubtful paragraphs and those about which a dispute arises.  Third, he establishes that the Cardinals are to deliberate about these, and that a vote is to be taken, and that the decisions are to be arrived at by a majority of the assembled Cardinal electors.

In other words, then, the papal law in UDG 5 establishes the Cardinal Electors, gathered together, to be the judge of cases which arise regarding the papal law itself. The only matter excluded, is that they cannot judge the very act of the election, that is, they cannot judge whether the act took place or not, only if the terms of the papal law were properly adhered to or followed.  The papal law, in UDG 4 already establishes that any non-compliance with it terms renders the election null and void, so, thus, there is no need for the Cardinals to decide upon the validity of the act itself.

Thus, it is sufficient that the Cardinals gather together, deliberate the matter of the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, and decide the case.  They would discuss whether the allegations are true and investigate them by asking the eye-witnesses, one another, whether UDG 81 was violated by vote-canvassing conducted by the supporters of Cardinal Bergoglio.

Canon 1530 guarantees the right to investigate charges

Canon 1530 guarantees the right of every Cardinal to have the allegations regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal investigated in Consistory.  This is because it grants to the judge of every contentious trial, the right and duty to investigate the facts of the controversy and rule upon them, at the request of any party to the case.  The text of that canon reads:

Can. 1530 — Iudex ad veritatem aptius eruendam partes interrogare semper potest, immo debet, ad instantiam partis vel ad probandum factum quod publice interest extra dubium poni.

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

Canon 1530 — The judge can always interrogate the parties to draw the truth out more aptly, nay he ought, at the insistence of a party and/or to prove a fact which is of public interest, to put it outside of doubt.

The judge in this case would be the entire College of Cardinal Electors, the parties in the case would be any single and all the Cardinal Electors and those accused of canvassing votes.  Thus any single Cardinal could demand the Sacred College to investigate the charges.  This would be done by interrogating collectively each individual Cardinal.  The kind of questions, that could be asked, are any whatsoever.  Canon 1531 requires that all questioned answer truthfully. The Cardinals could do whatever is proscribed for contentious trials in the 1983 Code of Canon Law (cf. canons 1501 ff.).

The solution is simple. The matter of “Team Bergoglio” can easily be resolved.  Why then is there any controversy at all? or Why do the supporters of “Team Bergoglio” argue so angrily against an investigation?

Francis became Pope thanks to Belgian Cardinal Danneels

Cardinal Godfried Danneels was a part of Team Bergoglio, a group of cardinals that got the Argentine elected as pope in 2013 :  a new biography about pope Francis claims. — “If that is true, the election might be invalid,” says Vatican expert Tom Zwaenepoel.

by Michaël Temmerman of Nieuwsblad.be —  (English transl.; original Flemish article: source)*

Godfried Cardinal Danneels, retired Archbishop of Brussels, Belgium & Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Anastasia al Palatino
Godfried Cardinal Danneels, retired Archbishop of Brussels, Belgium & Cardinal-Priest of Sant’Anastasia al Palatino

If it’s a short conclave, Bergoglio will be elected pope. You can be sure of that.” Those words were whispered by the British cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor just before the start of the 2013 conclave. He was talking to Austin Ivereigh, his spokesman at that time. Those words are now repeated in The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, a recently published biography about pope Francis written by that same Austin Ivereigh. The author of the book claims that those words prove the existence of Team Bergoglio, a group of five cardinals who would have canvassed for votes in favor of the Argentine. “And the Belgian cardinal Danneels was among those five cardinals,” says Vatican expert Tom Zwaenepoel. “He is mentioned seven times in the book.”

Conspiracy theory

According to the book, the team not only lobbied for Bergoglio in 2013 but also in 2005. “I suppose some of it is true. But how much?” says Zwaenepoel. “Propagandizing and recruiting votes for a specific candidate are illegal and would make the election invalid.  But there’s a big difference between lobbying for someone and expressing sympathy for a certain candidate in an informal talk. According to the book Bergoglio knew about the lobbying in 2013 and would even have given his permission for it. But those statements are being retracted from the newer versions of the biography. Because they aren’t true or because the Vatican pressured the author to do so? We will probably never know for sure.”

Less than two days after the book hit the shops, the Vatican already stated that the accusations were all lies. Toon Osaer, spokesman of cardinal Danneels, also doesn’t believe in a conspiracy theory. “If you see how glad Danneels was after the conclave, you can be sure that Francis was his favorite candidate. But that doesn’t mean there was some sort of a master-plan to help the Argentine to the papal seat. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the cardinal didn’t canvass for votes for Bergoglio in the days and weeks before the conclave.”

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The Flemish original was published on Jan. 6, 2015, p.  10, by Nieuwsblad, a Belgian newspaper in Antwerp. — Note that Belgian copyright law extends to this English translation (done for the From Rome blog), neither of which can be reproduced for commercial ends. — Michaël Temmerman is a staff reporter for the Nieuwsblad.

Cardinal Napier says there is no evidence for “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Rome, January 15, 2015.  His Eminence Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban South Africa, spoke today regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, affirming that there is no verifiable evidence and that it is not on the agenda for the upcoming Consistory of Cardinals to be held in February.  His comments were made during a Twitter dialogue with the editor of the From Rome blog, which began after the Cardinal insisted on the recognition of the hierarchy of rights. A hierarchy which the author of the From Rome blog zealously recognizes.

Here is a transcript of that conversation.  Note that the tweets of each participant are repeated to authenticate the thread of tweets.

 

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555655157162442753

(Ed. note: Here the Cardinal is referring to the importunity of being Twittered on the “Team Bergoglio” scandal in the past, by the editor of this blog).

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555712244554940416

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555716301818437632

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555716513714696192

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555716792451358721

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555717082403590144

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555717275299627010

https://twitter.com/BrAlexisBugnolo/status/555717546176159744

This is no joke. To ignore the scandal, would be to mock the Catholic Faith.

The Verifiable evidence

Here we must recognize a fundamental, threefold distinction in every forensic consideration regarding the probity of evidence.

  1. the probity of evidence necessary to impute a crime to an individual or group,
  2. the probity of evidence necessary to investigate a crime,
  3. the probity of evidence necessary to prove the crime imputed,

What is had via the published text of Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s book, regards the first; the analysis of that evidence along with published statements, documents, interviews, etc., regarding the implicated individuals, regards the second; the findings which the Sacred College would obtain by an inquiry in Consistory, regard the third.

Regarding the first 2 kinds of probity, we have the verifiable evidence, published thus far, which can be found as reported in the following 3 articles by the From Rome blog: the testimony of Dr. Austen Ivereigh, regarding the activities of “Team Bergoglio”, in our analysis of the text of the 9th chapter his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, and his recent reaffirmation of that narrative’s veracity, in Ivereigh: I am confident of the veracity of my account; the canonical implications of what Dr. Ivereigh recounts are summarized in, From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal.

And all reports, by news agencies around the world, including our own posts, can be found in our Chronology of Reports regarding “Team Bergoglio”, which is updated regularly.

Ivereigh’s claims appear to be verified by the endorsement of his book by Cardinal Dolan of New York City, an elector during the 2013 conclave, by the 2 Cardinals whom Ivereigh on Jan. 6th, 2015 claimed were sources for his information, and by 3 of the 7 accused Cardinals who have not denied that they canvassed for votes, though they deny asking Cardinal Bergoglio for his consent to do so; not to mention by the other 4 Cardinals who are named by Ivereigh, but who have denied nothing since the book was published on Nov. 25, 2014.

All this leads to a great probity which merits the investigation of the allegations.  But this can only be done by the Cardinals in Consistory, behind closed doors, since they cannot violate the vow of the conclave, and since they alone are first hand witnesses.  Canon 1530 and 1531 demand this.

For the record, we note, here, only that Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his book says “Team Bergoglio” targeted the Cardinals from Africa for vote promises. If any of them, such as Cardinal Napier, gave such promises, it would have been a violation of the papal law on conclaves, punishable by automatic excommunication (cf. Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81).

Who tallied votes for “Team Bergoglio”?

German cardinals Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx and Italian Severino Poletto arrive at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals' Congregations on March 4, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by  Franco Origlia | Getty Images Europe — Cropped Screen Shot)
German cardinals Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx and Italian Severino Poletto arrive at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals’ Congregations on March 4, 2013 at the Vatican. (Photo by Franco Origlia, Getty Images Europe — Cropped Screen Shot, not for commercial use)

Rome, January 11, 2015:  Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the author of The Great Reformer:  Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope recently reminded the world that the Conclave of 2013 contains many secrets of which the world has yet to know.  One of the more intriguing mysteries to which he refers to in the ninth chapter of his book, where he describes in detail the organized effort to solicit and obtain the promises of votes for Cardinal Bergoglio — which this blog has shown is a formal violation of the papal law on Conclaves, punished by automatic excommunication for those Cardinal electors promising them, and by the Code of Canon Law, c. 1329 for those soliciting them — is the identity, as yet not revealed, of the aged Italian Cardinal who kept a tally of the votes.

Who this is, is unknown. And one can only make inferences on published facts, inferences which have not much probity.

Since Cardinals attended the open sessions of the Conclave in 2013 at the same time in which from Dr. Ivereigh’s account it appears “Team Bergoglio” was actively soliciting support for Cardinal Bergoglio, it can be presupposed that their closest collaborators were those who were the men most frequently in their company, and in whose company they feared not to be photographed. This conjectural probability is valid in anthropology or sociology, but not in forensics.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that the one aged Italian Cardinal, in whose company one of the leading alleged members of “Team Bergoglio” was seen in that period — according to the photo record — was Cardinal Severino Poletti, retired Archbishop of Turino, Italy, and Cardinal-Priest of San Giuseppe in via Trionfale.

Seen also in the photograph above is Cardinal Marx, one of the more prominent supporters of the theological and pastoral proposals of Cardinal Kasper, rejected by the majority of Bishops at the recent Extra-ordinary Synod on the Family, in October.

For a complete Chronology of reports on the “Team Bergoglio” allegations, from around the world, including our own, see our Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”.

“Team Bergoglio” and the legacy of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro

Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro
Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro

Rome, January 10, 2015:  It has been a little over 111 years ago, since another controversial Conclave met and elected a now famous Pope.  That was the Conclave of August 1903, and the Cardinal elected was St. Giuseppe Sarto, who took the name Pius X.

Several historians, basing themselves on the testimony of none other than Cardinal Merry Del Val and Cardinal Matthieu in the last hundred years have sustained that that Conclave was marked by a remarkable occurrence, the veto by the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef I, against one of the leading contenders, Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro, the Secretary of State of Pope Leo XIII.  The motivation of this intervention has been attributed by Msgr. Jouin and Craig Heimbichner (the latter in his book, Blood and Altar) to the association of Cardinal Rampolla with French Freemasonry.

The curious Conclave of 1903 had a curious consequence: that during the reign of Pope St. Pius X, the followers of Cardinal Rampolla who were raised to the dignity of the episcopate, where ordained by the Pope, and those of the Pope by Cardinal Rampolla.  In the first case, the co-consecrators were either both or at least in one individual, themselves bishops ordained by Cardinal Rampolla.

Does this indicate a sort of compromise in the Conclave itself, by which the Catholic Cardinals and the Cardinals who were Freemasons came to some agreement, not to contest the validity of the election of Pope St Pius X?

Cardinal Rampolla passed away suddenly on Dec. 16, 1913, exactly 23 years before the birthday of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, born Dec. 17, 1936.

In any event, it is noticeable that the members of “Team Bergoglio” can trace their episcopal lineage back to Cardinal Rampolla and Pope St. Pius X in such wise as to both seemingly confirm the existence of such a compromise and to mark “Team Bergoglio” as the ecclesiastical heirs of the legacy of Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro.

But don’t take my word on it, go to catholic-hierarchy.org and check for yourself.  Here I will summarize what I have found there among the lists of the episcopal lineages of the alleged members of  “Team Bergoglio”.

An episcopal lineage is the list of names of the principal consecrators of each bishop in the line extending from the bishop ordained back to the Apostles.  Episcopal lineages have been traced in the Roman Rite back to the 15th century.  When reading a lineage, the first named is the one consecrated, the next his principal consecrator, the next the principal consecrator of the principal consecrator.  When ordained a bishop, every bishop is ordained by 3 bishops, the principal and 2 co-consecrators, which are normally chosen by the individual to be ordained.  This can, thus, give some indication of the allegiance of the one to be ordained to existing factions withing the Sacred Hierarchy.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

His direct episcopal lineage can be traced thus:  Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a bishop on June 27, 1992, by

Thus, Cardinal Bergoglio is a direct episcopal “descendant” and “heir” of the Rampolla legacy.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

Next, the alleged ring-leader of “Team Bergoglio”, who was consecrated a bishop on Dec. 21, 1977, by

Cardinal Giambattista della Chiesa was the personal secretary and close ally of Cardinal Rampolla, from the time that the latter was Apostolic Nuncio to Spain. Cardinal della Chiesa was ordained a bishop, however, by Pope St. Pius X.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Next, one of the members of “Team Bergoglio”, whom Dr. Ivereigh names in his book, but whom is not one of the 4 who have made public denials, is the Cardinal of Vienna, who was consecrated a bishop on Sept. 29, 1991 by

Thus, Cardinal Schönborn is a direct episcopal “descendant” and “heir” of the Cardinal Rampolla legacy.

Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló

Next, one of the members of “Team Bergoglio”, whom Dr. Ivereigh names in his book, but whom is not one of the 4 who have made public denials, is the Cardinal-Archpriest of Santa Maria Maggiore, who was consecrated a bishop on June 16, 1985 by

Cardinal Giambattista della Chiesa was the personal secretary and close ally of Cardinal Rampolla, from the time that the latter was Apostolic Nuncio to Spain. Cardinal della Chiesa was ordained a bishop, however, by Pope St. Pius X.

Other alleged members of the Team trace back to Cardinal Gasparri

Other alleged members of “Team Bergoglio” are Cardinals Godfreid Danneels, Karl Lehman and Walter Kasper all descend from Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, whose episcopal lineage does not cross Cardinal Rampolla. Similarly, Cardinal André Armand Vingt-Trois of Paris, another named member, who has made no public denials, traces his lineage back to Cardinal François-Marie-Benjamin Richard de la Vergne, who was the principal consecrator of Cardinal Gasparri.

However, Cardinal Pietro Gasparri himself has been accused of being a collaborator with Cardinal Rampolla in opposing the reforms of Pope St. Pius X, in particular, the effort to extirpate the heresy of Modernism among the upper clergy.

Other implicated Cardinals

The text of Ivereigh also implicates Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston, and the African Cardinals, such as Cardinal Napier of Durban.  Both of these Cardinals have lineages tracing back to Cardinal Gaetano De Lai, both of whose co-consecrators were themselves consecrated principally by Cardinal Rampolla.