Josquin des Prés: Missa Ave maris stella

This week we are featuring a collection of Sacred Music from the repertoire of one of he great vocal composers of the age of Christopher Columbus, to show that the pre-Reformational Church was by no means bereft of things Sacred and was ornamented by great appreciation of both art and music, a thing which the monstrous reformers destroyed in large parts of Europe.

In this composition, Josquin des Prés puts to music the famous Marian Hymn, Ave maris stella, which was chanted during the Divine Office on Marian Feasts, on First Vespers etc.. Here, Josquin has worked the theme into an entire Mass. This Mass is by far one of his most beautiful compositions, even to having converted pagans to Catholicism. Here we hear the entire composition for 6 voices. FromRome.Info strongly recommends you acquire a copy of this production for your home library.

These posts on Sacred Music will appear daily at 5 pm Rome time and at 11 AM New York City time, or at 3 AM Sydney, Australia, time.

Steven O’Reilly, on this, deserves to be heard!

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In war, every ally is a welcome guest. Likewise, in the effort to defend and restore pope Benedict, everyone earnest in the cause, cannot help but praise the sound voices of criticism which are breaking up the controlled narrative of the “Bergoglio is certainly pope. Shut up!” Crowd.

I honestly admit, that more than a year ago, when Mr. O’Reilly attacked me for my Scholastic Question, I never thought he would make such a step. But with the passing of time, he has shown himself to have infinitely more intellectual integrity than many in Trad. Inc..

He has even called for an Imperfect Council in three posts. Which is even more than myself, I think! So, as I always admire my betters, I want to point the readers of FromRome.Info to Mr. Reilly’s excellent post, entitled, If a Catholic protest happens in a forest … does it make a sound. A title suggested by a philosophical maxim of Locke, if I remember correctly, about unobserved causes not being causes or knowable as such.

His topic of discussion, is the private, secret, by invitation only, protest organized in Munich by Dr. Roberto de Mattei, head of the Fondazione Lepanto, here at Rome.

At the beginning of his short essay, Steven O’Reilly writes:

As I understand it, the small protest was invite only (100+), it was organized in secret, and the protesters gathered at the site without even notifying the local archdiocese of their purpose. When I heard this was the general outline of how this meeting came to be and I read Fr. Z’s excellent post (see here) on the Munich demonstration, an old saying came to mind: “if a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one around, does it make a sound?” I don’t know why necessarily, but this morphed into the thought: “if there is a Catholic protest in a forest, and there is no one around, does it make a sound?” Does anyone hear it?  Does it have an impact?

See the rest of his sound commentary at: https://romalocutaest.com/2020/01/21/if-a-catholic-protest-happens-in-a-forest-does-it-make-a-sound/

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a screen shot from the Article discussed above. The quote is taken from the original, in an unmodified form, according to fair use standards.

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The House of Cardinal Re

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Three days after the publication of this article,
Bergoglio named Cardinal Re dean of his college of Cardinals.

It is not easy for Catholics to understand why Cardinals do and do not do what they do. Especially in these times, when the Cardinals should be warning and reproving and taking steps to clean up the mess at the Vatican, which is leading the apostasy of the world.

For this “why” I cannot give an explanation. But understanding where Cardinals come from and to which faction in the Church they may belong, may shed some light on this “why”, however so superficial.

With this in mind, let us examine the Faction of Cardinals which has as its co-consecrator, Giovanni Battista Re, one of the most important Cardinals in the College of Cardinals, which is seen by the fact that Bergoglio selected him to be Vice-Dean of his college of cardinals on June 10, 2017. A position he has weathered despite the unceremonious demotion of the Cardinal Dean of many years, Cardinal Sodano, in December.

Let me begin by saying that Cardinal Re’s episcopal lineage does not descend from Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, the god-father of the St Gallen Mafia. It descends rather from Pope John Paul II.

Second, that Cardinal Re is an impressive Bishop in action. He has participated in over 165 Episcopal consecrations in his life time. A truly remarkable number, which makes him one of the greatest all time consecrators of bishops in the Church. This is due to the fact, that when Pope John Paul II consecrated Bishops, Cardinal Re was normally assisting as a co-consecrator, by some special arrangement of the Pope.

Normally, factions in the Church among Bishops are denoted by lineages of principal consecrators, not co-consecrators. A principal consecrator is the Bishop who presides over the consecration of a man who has been nominated to be a bishop. A co-consecrator is one of two or more Bishops who assist in the consecration of the nominated.

However, Cardinal Re was not the principal consecrator of any Bishop who later became a Cardinal. A fact which means, that no one upon whom his favor rested that much, was ever raised to the dignity of a Cardinal. However, he is the co-consecrator of 18 Cardinals, which is extraordinary. Nevertheless, this seems to be because these future Cardinals were all consecrated by Pope John Paul II, with few exceptions.

Let me list the names of those Bishops and Cardinals, in the order of the year they were co-consecrated Bishop by Cardinal Re. You might recognize someone you know:

Patriarch Michel Sabbah (1988)
Archbishop Marian Oles † (1988)
Archbishop Emery Kabongo Kanundowi (1988)
Bishop Luís d’Andrea, O.F.M. Conv. † (1988)
Bishop Victor Adibe Chikwe † (1988)
Bishop Athanasius Atule Usuh † (1988)
Bishop José Raúl Vera López, O.P. (1988)
Bishop Srecko Badurina, T.O.R. † (1988)
Bishop Luigi Belloli † (1988)
Bishop John Gavin Nolan † (1988)
José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, C.M.F. (1988)
Bishop Giuseppe Matarrese (1989) ###
Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci (1990)
Archbishop Ignazio Bedini, S.D.B. (1990)
Archbishop Mario Milano (1990)
Archbishop Giovanni Ceirano † (1990)
Archbishop Oscar Rizzato (1990)
Antonio Ignacio Cardinal Velasco Garcia, S.D.B. † (1990)
Archbishop Paul Runangaza Ruzoka (1990)
Bishop Marian Błażej Kruszyłowicz, O.F.M. Conv. (1990)
Bishop Pierre François Marie Joseph Duprey, M. Afr. † (1990)
Archbishop Domenico Umberto D’Ambrosio (1990)
Bishop Edward Dajczak (1990)
Bishop Benjamin de Jesus Almoneda (1990)
Archbishop Francesco Gioia, O.F.M. Cap. (1990)
Archbishop Edward Nowak (1990)
Archbishop Giacinto Berloco (1990)
Archbishop Erwin Josef Ender (1990)
Jean-Louis Pierre Cardinal Tauran † (1991)
Vinko Cardinal Puljić (1991)
Archbishop Marcello Costalunga † (1991)
Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla (1991)
Francisco Javier Cardinal Errázuriz Ossa, P. Schönstatt (1991)
Bishop Bruno Pius Ngonyani (1991)
Bishop Francis Emmanuel Ogbonna Okobo (1991)
Bishop Andrea Gemma, F.D.P. † (1991)
Bishop Joseph Habib Hitti (1991)
Bishop Jacinto Guerrero Torres † (1991)
Bishop Bl. Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano † (1991)
Julián Cardinal Herranz Casado (1991)
Archbishop Bruno Bertagna † (1991)
Archbishop Ernesto Maria Fiore † (1992)
Archbishop Rino Passigato (1992)
Bishop Juan Matogo Oyana, C.M.F. (1992)
Bishop Gastone Simoni (1992)
Bishop Iñaki Mallona Txertudi, C.P. (1992)
Bishop Philippe Nkiere Keana, C.I.C.M. (1992)
Bishop Benjamin David de Jesus, O.M.I. † (1992)
Bishop John Joseph Glynn † (1992)
Bishop Petar Šolic † (1992)
Michael Louis Cardinal Fitzgerald, M. Afr. (1992)
Bishop Henri Salina, C.R.A. † (1992)
Archbishop Diego Causero (1993)
Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle (1993)
Elio Cardinal Sgreccia † (1993)
Bishop Henryk Marian Tomasik (1993)
Archbishop Henry Joseph Mansell (1993)
Bishop Jan Kopiec (1993)
Archbishop Alojzij Uran (1993)
Bishop Luigi Sposito † (1993)
Bishop Norbert Klemens Strotmann Hoppe, M.S.C. (1993)
Bishop Elmo Noel Joseph Perera † (1993)
Archbishop Csaba Ternyák (1993)
Archbishop Domenico De Luca † (1993) ###
Archbishop Peter Paul Prabhu † (1994)
Archbishop Peter Stephan Zurbriggen (1994)
Archbishop Jean-Paul Aimé Gobel (1994)
Bishop Julien Mawule Kouto † (1994)
Bishop Edward James Slattery (1994)
Bishop Uriah Adolphus Ashley Maclean (1994)
Bishop Emiliano Antonio Cisneros Martínez, O.A.R. (1994)
Bishop Américo do Couto Oliveira † (1994)
Bishop Christo Proykov (1994)
Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Argüelles (1994)
Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios (1994)
Bishop Paolo Gillet (1994)
Bishop Antoni Józef Długosz (1994)
Archbishop Bruno Musarò (1995)
Bishop Petko Jordanov Christov, O.F.M. Conv. (1995)
Bishop Antonio Napoletano, C.SS.R. † (1995)
Bishop Zacharias Cenita Jimenez † (1995)
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke (1995)
Bishop Javier Echevarría Rodríguez † (1995)
Bishop Pierfranco Pastore † (1995)
Bishop Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk, O.F.M. (1995)
Bishop Paweł Cieślik (1995)
Bishop Stefan Regmunt (1995)
Archbishop Charles Asa Schleck, C.S.C. † (1995)
Archbishop Luigi Ventura (1995) ###
Carlo Cardinal Caffarra † (1995)
Archbishop José Paulino Ríos Reynoso (1996)
Archbishop Riccardo Fontana (1996)
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli (1996)
Archbishop Jaime Vieira Rocha (1996)
Kurt Cardinal Koch (1996)
Bishop Ārvaldis Andrejs Brumanis † (1996)
Bishop Antons Justs † (1996)
Archbishop Francisco Pérez González (1996)
Archbishop Richard Anthony Burke, S.P.S. (1996)
Bishop Marko Sopi † (1996)
Bishop Rafael Ramón Conde Alfonzo (1996)
Bishop Riccardo Ruotolo † (1996)
Bishop Antal Majnek, O.F.M. (1996)
Stanisław Cardinal Ryłko (1996)
Archbishop Francisco Gil Hellín (1996) ###
Archbishop Luigi Conti (1996) ###
Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto (1997)
Paolo Cardinal Sardi † (1997) Titular Bishop of Sutri, Italy
Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, C.SS.R. † (1997)
Bishop Delio Lucarelli (1997)
Bishop Ignace Baguibassa Sambar-Talkena † (1997)
Bishop Luciano Pacomio (1997)
Archbishop Angelo Massafra, O.F.M. (1997)
Bishop Florentin Crihălmeanu (1997)
Archbishop Jean-Claude Périsset (1997)
Bishop Piotr Libera (1997)
Bishop Basílio do Nascimento (1997)
Bishop Hil Kabashi, O.F.M. (1997)
Leonardo Cardinal Sandri (1997) ###
Mario Francesco Cardinal Pompedda † (1998)
Archbishop Marco Dino Brogi, O.F.M. (1998)
Bishop Peter Kwaku Atuahene (1998)
Bishop Filippo Strofaldi † (1998)
Archbishop Wiktor Paweł Skworc (1998)
Bishop Franco Dalla Valle, S.D.B. † (1998)
Archbishop Angelito Rendon Lampon, O.M.I. (1998)
Bishop Tomislav Koljatic Maroevic (1998)
Bishop Francesco Saverio Salerno † (1998)
Archbishop Alessandro D’Errico (1999)
Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio (1999)
Archbishop Alain Paul Charles Lebeaupin (1999)
Bishop Cesare Mazzolari, M.C.C.I. † (1999)
Bishop Pierre Trân Ðinh Tu (1999)
Bishop Rafael Cob García (1999)
Archbishop Mathew Moolakkatt, O.S.B. (1999)
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (1999)
Bishop José Luis Redrado Marchite, O.H. (1999)
(Layman) Józef Wesołowski † (2000)
Archbishop Giacomo Guido Ottonello (2000)
Archbishop George Panikulam (2000)
Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello (2000)
Bishop Ivo Baldi Gaburri (2000)
Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi, C.S.Sp. (2000)
Bishop David Laurin Ricken (2000)
Bishop Anton Coşa (2000)
Bishop András Veres (2000)
Péter Cardinal Erdő (2000)
Bishop Giuseppe Pasotto, C.S.S. (2000)
Bishop Franco Croci (2000)
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (2000) ###
Fernando Cardinal Filoni (2001)
Archbishop Henryk Józef Nowacki (2001)
Archbishop Timothy Paul Andrew Broglio (2001)
Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino (2001)
Archbishop Tomash (Tomasz) Bernard Peta (2001)
Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo (2001)
Marc Armand Cardinal Ouellet, P.S.S. (2001)
Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi (2001)
Bishop Đura Džudžar (2001)
Bishop Fabio Fabene (2014) ###

Now look at that list again. I have colored in RED the Cardinals who were suspected as members of the group which engineered the election of Bergoglio in the uncanonical Conclave of 2013. They formed a group called by Austen Ivereigh, “Team Bergoglio”. There are at least 3, Cardinal Koch, Bishop of Basel Switzerland might be the fourth.

I have colored in Green, those who were Cardinal Electors in 2013, but whose allegiance in voting is not known. There are 7 of these, not counting Cardinal Koch.

I have colored in BLUE the men whom Bergoglio presumed to name Cardinals. I say presumed, because as an Anti-pope, he has no authority to name Cardinals (To do that you need to hold the petrine munus, which Pope Benedict clearly and textually never renounced.)  There are 2 Cardinals in this category.

Three of the Cardinals on this list are publicly known for having criticized the Bergoglian regime: Cardinal Sandri, who is rumored to have bitterly denounced Bergoglio to his face for attacking the Discipline of the Sacraments; Cardinal Caffara who was renowned for denouncing relativism (God rest his soul); and Cardinal Burke, whose reputation is such it need not be summarized here, after his numerous public statements in favor of the Eternal Faith and in criticism of the policies of Bergoglio, even if he continues to hold Bergoglio as the Pope.

The Cardinals and Bishops whose episcopal lineage descends from Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, are marked with a ### in Black (there are 3); those who descend from Cardinal de Lai, both of whose co-consecrators descend from Cardinal Rampolla, or from Cardinal Gasparri, the secretary of Cardinal Rampolla, are marked with a ### in Red (There are 5, nearly all Sodano men).

I think it is important to note, that in all the cases in which Cardinal Re is not assisting Pope John Paul II as principal consecrator, he is assisting an ally or direct descendant of Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro.

The only reasonable inference that can be made from that, is that Cardinal Re was a member of the St. Gallen Mafia, by adoption. And that would explain why he is now Vice-Dean of Bergoglio’s college of cardinals.

The fact that he was trusted by Pope John Paul II in so many ceremonies of episcopal ordination, shows that he succeed so well in gaining the confidence of the Pope that he served as a sort of minder of his activities during his pontificate. This may imply that Cardinal Re was one of the chief St. Gallen Mafia secret agents in the Vatican for many years, hiding in plain sight.

So the next time you ask why any Cardinal on this list, like Cardinal Burke, may not be doing what you want him to do, read this list and contemplate what it might mean. They might be hedging, so that in the next conclave they elect someone from the House of Cardinal Re, which, alas, might not be a good thing after all.

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Antonio Socci warns of the collapse of Democracy in Italy

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

COMMENTARY ON SOCCI’S EDITORIAL

at TV.LiberoQuotidiano.It

IL “CASO SALVINI” E LA PERICOLOSA INVOLUZIONE DI UN PD TERRORIZATO DAL CROLLO E DI UN GOVERNO IN FUGA DAGLI ITALIANI

on January 19, 2020

Antonio Socci is not just a Vaticanista, or Controvesialist, he is a true Italian Patriot who is a strong and just critic of the Left wing madness in the Italian Republic.

For those who do not know how left, Italy is turning: The Ruling Coalition, who hs only 19% in the national polls, but 54% in Parliament, wants to put Matteo Salvini, who is getting 60% support in the national polls, on trial, for the “Crime” of protecting the borders from illegal immigration, WHILE HE WAS MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR!

Socci opens his Editorial, writing thus (This is our unofficial translation):

In Italy, is democracy itself at risk?  There is no need even to exaggerate, rather there are indeed indications of an about face that might lead to the collapse of the democratic system and which should worry everyone.

Not only because the ruling coalition is comprised of two political parties which are in the minority in the country (the one, which had the worse show at the polls in its entire history in 2018, the other which lost half of its support in the elections for the European Parliament in 2019).

Not only because they barricaded their offices against the Nation, and manifest intentions of never giving the sovereign people back the vote in any case whatsoever (not even if they lose in the regional elections in Emilia Romana, after having lost in Umbria), but also because this spring hundreds of nominations and cushy-chairs are up for grabs.

But the situation is worrisome, also, for the underhanded attempts to tie the hands of their opposition which holds the majority support in the Country. It is known that the health of a democracy is seen, above all, in the extent of liberty granted to the opposition. Yet, what is happening in Italy, today?

There is not only the massive constant attack by the media against the Center Right, the demonization of their leader with torrents of rancor and hostile words. “Cancel out Salvini” is something more than an infelicitous unpleasant headline in the daily, La Repubblica.

This seems to be the intention of the ruling parties and it does – in fact – mean that they want to tie the hands of the opposition, something which they even tried to do in Parliament by omitting the examination of the Budget in the Camera (and which they risked losing in a single month).

It is a situation which should worry everyone. Let us consider the case of “Gregoretti”: the ruling parties expressed their intention to put Salvini on trial, with the accusation of having “kidnapped persons”, by having delayed — in his capacity as Minister of the Interior — the disembarkation of a group of immigrants on the Ship “Gregoretti”, while he awaited certain knowledge of their final destination.

Salvini said: “They are putting me on trial for having defended our borders” (he risks a sentence of 15 years and also the lost of the right to participate actively in politics).

On the proposal to authorize the act, the constitutional expert, Ginevra Cerrina Feroni, said: “There seems to be very little legality in the entire affair, just as Carlo Nordio has argued.”

Then, at the end of his editorial, Socci remarks that Salvini is experiencing a Trump effect, that is, his support is growing daily, the more the Left controlled government attempts to suppress the will of the people:

No political leader in the history of the Republic has ever had such a popular response, let alone in two regions (Umbria and Emilia-Romagna) which should have belonged to the Left.

What is happening on a daily basis – and which Salvini is documenting on social media – finds no response in the Media, but it has literally annihilated the leading position of the Left. Which has decided to defend itself from Italians by barricading itself in its Palazzo.

(To Read the Original in Italian, click the link below)

IL “CASO SALVINI” E LA PERICOLOSA INVOLUZIONE DI UN PD TERRORIZATO DAL CROLLO E DI UN GOVERNO IN FUGA DAGLI ITALIANI

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Frank Walker: Big Groups hunting Bergoglio are better than little groups hunting Germans

Take the red-pill to escape of the fake narrative of the Bergoglian apostates. Frank Walker in his finest, correcting false consciences.

As always, keep Frank going by sending him a donation on his YouTube page, since he has no big money behind him, unlike a lot of pro Bergoglian media.

 

VIDEO: Why Benedict is still the Pope (Arabic Version)

For all Catholics and Christians who speak Arabic, and who are very disheartened by what Bergoglio is doing to promote Islam and downplay Jesus Christ and the Christian Faith, here is the Official PPBXVI Movement Video, now with Subtitles in Arabic.

Please share with all your friends round the world.

News on the “Benedict is still the Pope” Video Production Program

Very soon, this Video will be published again in a Russian Version. And a Polish Version and Afrikans Version are also in the works.

WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR A CHINESE translation, so we can produce a subtitled version in modern Chinese Script, so as to give hope to the 30 Million Catholics in China and to encourage them to resist the heretical Patriotic Church with all their might!

If you can translate this Video text into Chinese, please leave your contact info in a comment  below. It will not be published and will be given only to Brian Murphy, the producer.

Many thanks to Brian Murphy of GodsPlanForLife.org who is doing a wonderful thing for God by producing these videos, without any financial backing at all, for Catholics everywhere, because everyone has the right to the truth about Pope Benedict.

It is time to show what you believe in!

SIGN THE PETITION!

By Andrew J. Baalman

Desiring to promote the Petition to President Trump, for the welfare of Pope Benedict and all the elderly, I wrote to all of the following individuals and organizations, using social media:

Big Pulpit, Father Z, Radical Mothering, Regina Magazine, Alexander Tschugguel, Lifesite News, John Henry Westen, Maike Hickson, 1Peter Five, Stefanie Nichols, Ann Barnhardt, Mike Church, Frank Walker, Pontificator Maximus, Live Action, Marine Le Pen, Wanderer News, Remnant News, John Zmirak, Nick Donnelly.

The only ones which responded on Twitter  were Big Pulpit, Nick Donnelly and John Zmirak who did so by retweeting the Petition Link and liking the tweet.

Those on Facebook who liked it were only Francesco Joseph Dougan, the Scottish Catholic Historian.

The message I shared when sharing the information of the Petition was this:

The serious Pro Life issue not being talked about is protecting the Elderly from Elderly Abuse, even Pope Benedict XVI, which on Thursday January 16th 2020, Archbishop Carolo Maria Vigano confirmed, Benedict is being abused. 

A Protestant on Youtube, from Texas by the name of David Lynn responded saying, and I quote, “Good Morning AJ, old age is not good to many people; but the alternative is worse! Thank you for sharing.”

A Protestant in the comment of the Ordo Militaris Radio Blog Post on the Petition, from John M said, and I quote, “Please protect Pope Benedict the 16th along with all the elderly and unborn.. Pope Benedict is being persecuted buy the Catholic Church he once headed and now is in exile..”

What do I make the faith of the Catholics in wanting to protect the Pope, and protecting the elderly? Not very high at all.

I had more comments expressing concern from the Protestants than from Catholics: even Ann Barnhardt who supposedly believes Benedict is still Pope, does not respond regarding the Petition.

It is a sad state in the Church when Catholics do not physically respond with comments, but only like and share a tweet, and not a post or a video from their own Youtube Channel.

I would say it is time for that question from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade be asked again, “It is time to see what you believe.” Do they, who call themselves Catholics and Profess to be Traditional, even believe the Pope, even a retired Pope, deserves protection from any and all elderly abuse, abuse confirmed by Archbishop Vigano?

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FromRome.Info reported on this Petition earlier this week at: https://fromrome.info/2020/01/18/petition-president-trump-to-speak-out-for-pope-benedicts-care/

We publish this report from A. J. Baalman, to shame the Catholic world into action. It is intolerable that anything get in the way of helping pope Benedict! Let’s have a change of heart and starting soliciting signatures on the petition! The very life of Pope Benedict XVI is at stake!

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‘The Secret of Benedict XVI’ by Antonio Socci (Angelico Press, 2019) 

Is He Still the Pope?

Book Review by Giuseppe Pellegrino
@pellegrino2020

“Total darkness occurs when everyone closes their eyes.”

Antonio Socci opens his investigation into the mystery of Pope Benedict XVI by noting a paradox: “The present crisis has a cause that is searched for in every possible place, while the whole time it is sitting right in front of everyone’s eyes, in plain view.” The cause that no one wants to look at, says Socci, is “a crisis of the loss of faith, of modernism and apostasy that has spread even to the leadership of the Church.” If we are willing to look at what is right in front of us, says Socci, and meticulously analyze the facts and connect them – not as we might wish them to be but as they are, a Church that has “closed its eyes” will begin to see a way out of the crisis that engulfs her.  Socci, a veteran Italian journalist who has already delved into the mystery behind the story of the secrets of Fatima with The Fourth Secret of Fatima and the subterfuge surrounding the 2013 conclave with Non è Francesco, again delivers a highly-detailed investigation of a topic of extreme interest for the Church in the midst of the present unprecedented crisis, inviting his readers to a more deeply spiritual reflection on “the signs of the times.”

9781621384588_cov.inddThe most obvious “sign”, and the central focus of the book’s investigation, is the fact of the enduring presence of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the heart of the Vatican and the Church. Since his resignation on February 28, 2013, “Joseph Ratzinger has remained in the ‘enclosure of Peter’ [the Vatican], still signs his name Benedict XVI, still calls himself ‘pope emeritus,’ still uses the papal heraldic insignia and continues to dress as pope” (p. 62). In contrast to past popes who resigned, Benedict has not chosen to leave the Vatican or to return to the state of a cardinal or bishop. Rather, he has done something unexpected (above and beyond the extraordinarily unexpected act of resignation), resigning without fully resigning, what Socci calls a “relative” resignation: “It is evident that, although he made a relative resignation of the papacy (but of what sort?), he has intended to remain as pope, although in an enigmatic way and in an unprecedented form, which has not been explained – at least not yet” (p. 61).

Stating the above facts will generate myriad reactions in the present ecclesiastical climate, which has clearly entered a new phase of volatility since the announcement on Sunday, January 12, 2020 of the publication of a new book co-authored by Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah defending the wisdom of the Church’s tradition of priestly celibacy. Some observers are convinced that Benedict ought to remain silent, while others express frustration that Benedict has not chosen to say more about the apostasy and confusion that the Bergoglian revolution promotes and encourages in any number of ways. But Socci takes a step back from the cacophony and invites his readers to reflect and contemplate: there is something unprecedented and mysterious going on in the Church in which the Holy Spirit is at work, something which nobody yet fully understands, and which calls for silence, intercession, and prayer as a more effective response to the battle going on in the Church and the world rather than raised voices and critical judgment. The first one giving the example of such a prayerful response is Benedict XVI himself, who has freely chosen (perhaps directed to do so, Socci wonders, by God himself?) to respond to the crisis by offering himself in intercessory prayer for the Church and for the world.

The Origin of the Drama

In Part One of The Secret of Benedict XVI, “The Mystical, Economic, and Political Origin of the Drama,” Socci meticulously documents the facts of the present situation in the Church, in which he observes that, since 2005, there have de facto been two parties struggling for control, those favoring Ratzinger and those favoring Bergoglio. These two parties may be broadly defined as those favoring a revolution in the Church (the party of Bergoglio) and those who oppose such a revolution by calling for fidelity to the Tradition of the Church (the party of Ratzinger). Far from being limited to an intra-Church struggle, Socci observes that there is a movement of “neo-capitalist globalization which is ideologically anti-Catholic” seeking to dominate the entire world, and that it is this anti-Catholic ideological movement which has actively worked to undermine the Church from within by seeking and obtaining the ascendance of Jorge Bergoglio to the papal throne. This “politically correct” secularist ideology, says Socci, was imposed on the world at a new level under “the presidency of Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton”, seeking “the planetary hegemony of the United States and of financial globalization,” and one of the greatest obstacles to this world-wide agenda was the pontificate of Benedict XVI (p. 10). Benedict, who had worked for decades as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith resisting the advance of Modernism within the Catholic Church, became as pope “a huge sign of contradiction with respect to the cultural mainstream, the media, and the designs of worldly powers who were aiming at a true and proper ‘normalization’ of the Catholic Church by means of what they called an ‘opening to modernity,’ that is, a Protestantization, that would sweep away the Church’s fundamental distinguishing marks” (p. 12). Socci maintains that Benedict was aware of the enormity of this global and ecclesial struggle from the moment of his election, and he sought to help the Christian people become aware of it by placing these extraordinary and surprising words in the midst of his homily at his solemn enthronement as Pope on April 24, 2005: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves” (p. 14).

Socci advances the thesis that these wolves were and are far more than hostile elements within the Church, but also include geo-political elements seeking the political ascendance of Islam and also the marginalization of Russia. Benedict got in the way of both of these agendas because of his willingness to challenge Islam to embrace a dialogue based on reason that would cause it to renounce violence (recall his 2006 Regensburg speech) and also his ecumenical overtures to the Russian Orthodox Church. The “wolves” of globalization sought to stir up a revolution within the Church analogous to that of the “Arab spring” in the Muslim world. Just as the United States government actively sought regime change in other nations to advance its political agenda, so the Obama/Clinton alliance worked in coordination with financier George Soros to seek to “change the priorities of the Catholic Church.” Socci also documents other elements which sought the election of Bergoglio as pope, who upon his election as Pope Francis embraced an agenda fully in accord with the secularist agenda of Obama/United Nations globalization: “catastrophic environmentalism (with pollution and global warming replacing the notions of sin and original sin), ideological immigrationism (replacing the new commandment), the embrace of Islam and pro-Protestant ecumenism, the obscuring of doctrine and the attack on the sacraments, the abandonment of non-negotiable principles, and a ‘merciful’ opening to new sexual practices and new forms of ‘marital’ union” (p. 56). It would be difficult to find a more succinct summary and explanation of the agenda of the Francis pontificate than this list given by Socci, complete with geo-political context.

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The Mystery and Paradox of the “Pope Emeritus”

Part Two of Il Segreto is called “That Which Is Not Understood: Benedict Is Pope Forever.” Socci introduces the section with a quotation from the Italian author Gianni Baget Bozzo’s 2001 book L’Anticristo: “The history of the Church is full of states of exception” (p. 58), along with a quote from St. Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to the Ephesians which Benedict XVI used in his preface to Cardinal Robert Sarah’s 2017 book The Power of Silence: “It is better to remain in silence and be, than to speak and not be” (p. 59). It is evident that Socci finds these words to correspond, respectively, to Benedict and Francis.

Socci analyzes in great detail Benedict’s various statements prior to his resignation in February 2013 and notes that Benedict clearly “with full liberty” intended that there would be “a conclave to elect a new Supreme Pontiff,” and yet simultaneously declared, “I wish also to serve devotedly the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer” (p. 68). He further specified on February 27, 2013, that his “yes” in accepting his election as pope was and is irrevocable: “The ‘always’ is also a ‘forever’ – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this.” Benedict also declared: “I have taken this step with full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty” (p. 79). What is this novelty? According to the canonist Stefano Violi, whom Socci cites, it is “the limited resignation of the active exercise of the munus” of the Roman Pontiff (p. 82). This entirely new action by Benedict – which makes his pontificate, in the controversial words of Archbishop Georg Gänswein, a “pontificate of exception” – was necessitated by the emergence of an entirely new situation in the life of the Church. The present crisis – unprecedented in all of Church history – has called for an unprecedented response. Benedict’s “choice to become ‘pope emeritus’ represents something enormous and contains a ‘secret’ of colossal importance for the Church” (p. 85). There is clearly, in Socci’s analysis, something which Pope Benedict is holding back and not saying, “a true and personal call from God,” “a mystery the pope is guarding – that cannot be revealed, at least for now (p. 101). Socci proposes that this “secret of Benedict XVI” is “exquisitely spiritual,” rooted in wisdom “according to God” which the present world – and also the present Church – cannot understand.

Socci observes the many ways that Benedict’s present life and witness is bearing great fruit for the Church during the “Bergoglian epoch.” First and foremost are the rich texts of his papal Magisterium, which remain a guiding light for the Church because they are in union with the unbroken Tradition of the perennial Magisterium (the appearance of the new book, From The Depths Of Our Hearts, only underscores Socci’s point). There is also of course his unceasing prayer for the Church offered within the “enclosure of Peter.” But Socci further avers that Benedict’s restrained silence has done far more to prevent the Bergoglian Revolution from doing all that it would like to than most people yet realize. Socci likens Benedict to the figure of Christ silent before Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, saying that “the same silent presence…has averted the most serious doctrinal rifts” from taking place within the Church, because as long as Benedict is alive the Bergoglian revolutionaries know that one word of condemnation from the Pope Emeritus could de-legitimize Francis in the eyes of much of the Church (p. 116). Benedict has chosen, not to abandon the flock to the wolves, but rather to resist the wolves with the logic of the Gospel, with “the weakness of God” that is “stronger than human strength” (1 Cor 1:25), aware that this is an historical moment when, as he observed at Fatima in 2010, “the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church” (p. 128).

The Connection to Fatima

Socci concludes his work with Part Three entitled “Fatima and the Last Pope.” He draws on his prior extensive study of the message of Fatima, seeing it as a key to understanding the present moment in the Church, and reminding his readers that the message of Fatima emphasized the strong link between the intercession of the Mother of God and the protection of the pope. At the center of the vision of Fatima there are two persons: “the ‘bishop dressed in white’ and an old pope,” and Socci ponders whether perhaps this vision could refer to the present situation, noting that on May 21, 2017, while visiting Fatima, Pope Francis called himself “the bishop dressed in white.” Socci sees in Benedict a figure similar to the pope in the children’s vision: “half trembling, with halting steps, afflicted with suffering and pain crossing a great city half in ruins” (p. 141). Socci undertakes a detailed examination of overlooked words of the children of Fatima, stating that the Blessed Virgin told them that if humanity did not do penance and convert, “the world will end” (p. 152). Sister Lucia declared in an interview in 1957 that “Russia will be the instrument chosen by God to punish the entire world, if we do not first obtain the conversion of that disgraced nation” (p. 155). Implicit in Socci’s analysis and reflection is the sense that the outcome of the present crisis is of the utmost importance for the fate, not only of the entire Church, but also of the entire world.

Socci’s final observation is that the medieval “Prophecy of Malachy,” which proposed to give a mysterious title to each future pope, ends with Benedict XVI.  After this pope it mysteriously says that there follows “the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church” and the figure of “Peter the Roman”. When asked in 2016 whether this prophecy could mean that he is “the last one to represent the figure of the pope as we have known him up until now,” Benedict mysteriously replied, “Everything is possible [Tutto puo’ essere].” Further asked if this would mean that he would be seen as the last pope of the old world or the first pope of the new world, Benedict replied, “I would say both. I don’t belong to the old world any more, but the new world isn’t really here yet” (p. 166). Socci understands these astonishing comments to mean that both the world and the Church is on the cusp of epochal upheavals, inviting his readers to further reflection on the various prophecies in Scripture of the destruction of the Temple and on paragraphs 675-677 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the final trial of the Church.

Socci writes with an engaging and dramatic style, inviting the reader to understand that something far greater than has yet been understood is at work in the life of the Church and in human history. He offers a thoughtful proposal, and an invitation to pray and reflect and ponder, not certainty or legal explanations. This book, with its meticulous journalistic analysis and spiritual reflection, offers hope to a discouraged Church and an invitation to prayerfully believe that perhaps more good is at work in a hidden way than the obvious evil which currently is so active within both the Church and on the global stage. Socci offers his work as a gift of love for the Church, broken and battered, to reflect upon and ponder. “It is not power which redeems,” said Pope Benedict in his inaugural address, ‘but love.” It is this same love which Socci says Benedict is daily offering to the Church by his unprecedented and heroic, albeit widely misunderstood witness: “He is the great sentinel of God of our time. It is he who has raised a great wall of defense for all of us in the time of the mysterium iniquitatis” (p. 147).

Lies and deception got us into this mess. The truth of the facts will get us out

May this book inspire many to pray ever more incessantly and fervently for and with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still The Pope? (Angelico Press, 2019).

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Benedict-XVI-Still-Pope/dp/1621384586

(The title was changed from the original Italian “Why He Is Still Pope”)

Follow Giuseppe Pellegrino on Twitter @pellegrino2020

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