Category Archives: Book Reviews

‘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.

The Review continues below

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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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“True or False Pope?” — Book Review

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

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Click image to go to official Promotional site for this book.

In my many years, since college, I have rarely come upon a book written by a modern author, of which I can say, that its value will endure long after I am dead.  There are books which are very well written and even those which refute current errors, but of few of them can it be said that they will have anything other than a timely usefulness.  But of this new book by John Salza and Robert Siscoe, which deals not only with a timely issue — the moral and doctrinal error of Sedevacantism:  the error of judging by one’s self, who is or is not a legitimate pope today — but does so in a perennial manner (by searching out the founts of Catholic Theology and Canon Law and applying them not only to the specific problems presented by the Sedevacantists, but by addressing the Catholic solution to those problems, in the same manner that Catholics have done for 2016 years), one can truly proclaim: “It shall endure the ages as a monument of Catholic Theology and be sought out by Catholic Librarians for centuries to come,” — so well written, researched and organized it is.

For this reason, “True or False Pope?” is a book which I believe merits to be on the bookshelves of every Pope, Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, Deacon, Religious, Theologian, and learned Layman, not just in the hands of those afflicted or attacked by, or tempted to the error of Sedevacantism and its adherents.

But even more so, due to the present crisis brought on the Church by Team Bergoglio and the Kasperian thesis it has intentionally, deceitfully and maliciously promoted in all its actions, “True or False Pope?” is a book which needs to be read by all Catholics and the perennial Catholic teaching which it contains, put into practice: not only by those who confront Sedevacantists, or who are tempted by that error, but by every Theologian, Religious, Deacon, Priest, yes even Bishop and Cardinal, who has a duty to represent, though in different manners, the true teaching of the Faith and the right praxis of it, on questions of “Can the Pope be a heretic or schismatic?” and “What the Church and Bishops ought to do about it, if it should happen.”

For this reason, I wholeheartedly recommend each Catholic buy this book and give as many copies of it as a present to other Catholics, as they can, as its good effect in all the Church is something which we can not only expect in our present age, but be certain of through the generations to come which have the blessing to find a copy.

To order a copy and/or read more about this Book, go to: http://www.trueorfalsepope.com/

The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope

As many as 30 Cardinals implicated in Vote-Canvassing Scandal

Per una traduzione Italiana

December 9, 2014:  Now, in the midst of the scandalous affair of “Team Bergoglio”, when the Catholic world is aghast at not only the allegations made by Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his new book, The Great Reformer, but also at the inconsistencies in and contradictions of the denials of his allegations, which denials have issued from the most authoritative sources: the official spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and the Pope’s spokesman, Fr. Frederico Lombardi, S. J., it will be most useful to scrutinize the testimony given by Dr. Ivereigh in his book.

The From Rome blog, having obtained a hard-copy of the American edition of the book, it can now do so; but so as to clarify the legal implications and the probity of testimony, let us proceed in a forensic manner. This will require, that we first consider the acts criminalized, the confession by the head of the conspiracy, and the corroborating evidence which supports the probity of what we shall study from Dr. Ivereigh’s book.

The Papal Decree which criminalizes Vote-Canvassing

In the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1996, there is forbidden under pain of automatic excommunication (i.e. immediately imposed, without necessity of declaration) the canvassing for votes.  The crime is described there thus in the official and original Latin text:

81. Cardinales electores praeterea abstineant ab omnibus pactionibus, conventionibus, promissionibus aliisque quibusvis obligationibus, quibus astringi possint ad suffragium cuidam vel quibusdam dandum aut recusandum.

And, according to From Rome‘s more precise English translation of the official Latin text:

81. Let the Cardinal electors, moreover, abstain from all pacts, agreements, promises and any other obligations you like, by which they might be constrained to give or refuse support (suffragium) for anyone (sing. & plural). 

To understand this prohibition, let us note that Pope John Paul II was personally very scandalized by the shenanigans which marked the conclave in which he himself was elected.  To obstruct this in the future, he established a penalty for that most common form of human prudence in elections, vote-canvassing: this is because, as one can see in the papal law, UDG, he insists that the Cardinal Electors proceed in a religious manner and after much prayer to select the man most pleasing to almighty God and useful for the Church in the present hour (cf. the paragraphs which precede and follow, n. 81).

Thus, the Latin text, by which Pope John Paul II describes the activities to be forbidden, contains very important words: the first is all, the next describe the activities pactionibus, conventionibus, promissionibus (pacts, agreements, promises), but the last throw a net around all kinds of human activity by which there is any moral obligation arising:  aliisque quibusvis obligationibus (and any other obligations you like).

Thus, let us consider the moral act of urging the election of a prospective candidate:  First, one must have some confidence that the Candidate is suitable & willing (# 1: the agreement & pact); then, that one must recruit those willing to assist in canvassing (agreement & pact) in such wise that they also pledge support (# 2: promise & pact).  The members of the vote-canvassing team, then, communicate by word or signs with prospective electors to present the reasons why the said candidate merits the electors support or vote (proposal of an agreement); and obtain some word or sign of agreement (# 3: agreement & promise or obligation) that he is worth of the electors’ votes.  Each of these three steps is criminalized by the Papal Law.  Since the Law does not exclude, but rather includes, all kinds of obligations, those which are grave, such as under a vow, or those which are light — which are signaled, for example, by even the wink of the eye — all are forbidden.

Note that since the Papal law is wide in what it forbids, not only is it a crime to promise a vote, it is a crime to join in a conspiracy to canvass for such votes, since this is tantamount to promising to vote for one candidate and not vote for other candidates. However, note that the papal law only penalizes voting Cardinals.  Cardinals too old to vote, are not thus penalized, though they are collaborating in the solicitation of votes.

Once one has canvassed for votes, one has knowledge that the said candidate will achieve such and such in the first ballots, and confidence that he will be successful or not in that. This allows one to tally the votes promised.

The Confession of the Crime

That Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, confessed to having such confidence, was reported by the Catholic Herald on Sept. 12, 2013; in that same report he admits that Cardinal Bergoglio knew that he was being put forth as a candidate prior to the initiation of the Conclave.  He also admits that after the Conclave, Cardinal Bergoglio personally recognized the English Cardinal’s leadership in the campaign for getting him elected. In the said interview, the English Cardinal confesses both knowledge and confidence, which could not have been had, reasonably, except by means of vote-canvassing in the strict sense of the term.

The Corroboratory Testimony & Evidence

Note that the mere fact that “Team Bergoglio”‘s self-confessed and papally-recognized leader was Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, an aged Cardinal who was NOT an elector, argues for the awareness by other members of “Team Bergoglio” of the existence of the penalty imposed in UDG 81.  Also, from the testimony given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, in his BBC appearance on March 12, 2013, at 17:03 PM, we know that Ivereigh and Murphy-O’Connor met beforehand to discuss the affairs of the Conclave; and that Ivereigh knew of the penalties imposed by UGD 81.  Since in recent days, Ivereigh has shown himself unaware of the implications of UDG 81, it can be further suspected that in March of 2013, he had this knowledge of UDG 81 from Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.

The Narrative of the Conspiracy, according to Ivereigh

I strongly suggest you get a copy of Ivereigh’s book, because the testimony it contains will be of momentous historical worth for years to come. Let us now consider that evidence.

From the Chapter entitled, “Conclave” (Chapter 9, pp. 349-367), we have these allegations:

“The had learned their lesson from 2005”, top of p. 355 — Argues for motive and foreknowledge of necessity of making a strong showing for Cardinal Bergoglio in the first vote: but this cannot be accomplished without a vote-canvassing campaign, nor can it succeed unless the forbidden and criminalized activities are engaged in.

“They first secured his assent. Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked.” (ibid.) — This Jesuitical response is what you would expect from a Cardinal-Jesuit; nevertheless, such a statement is morally equivalent to a sign of will giving consent, and in the context of a proposal to launch a campaign, it is also morally equivalent to a pact.  This is an excommunicatable offense given the context of the offer of a campaign. A conscientious man, observant of the law of the conclave, would have added a sign that he repudiated an organized campaign, if only out of charity for the campaigners, who would thereby fall foul of the papal law.

The probity of what Ivereigh has just alleged, is very high, because no one initiates a campaign without the consent of the candidate; it would be to accuse “Team Bergoglio” of insanity, to hold that they did not ask for a sign to indicate his willingness.  And it is more uncharitable to accuse a sane Cardinal of madness, than of a worldly Cardinal of reasonable prudence.

Then Ivereigh includes in parenthesis, a citation which appears to be lifted from Cardinal-Murphy-O’Connor’s testimony to the Catholic Herald last year.  But the mere fact that these words are in parentheses, preserves the probity of the narrative from claims of hearsay evidence.

“Then they got to work touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man…” (ibid.) — This has been confirmed, in the case of Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor and Cardinal O’Malley, in the Wall Street Journal report from August 6, 2013.  Dr. Ivereigh’s recent denials, do not deny this activity, which he, in retraction, characterizes now as “urging” Bergoglio as a candidate.

“… Their objective was to secure at least twenty-five votes for Bergoglio on the first ballot.  An ancient Italian cardinal kept the tally of how many votes they could rely on before the conclave started.” — This statement which has never been denied or repudiated on point, confirms the charge of a violation of UDG 81, without any wiggle-room, because you cannot tally votes, unless votes have been promised, and if they are promised, then the ones asking have sought them, and both parties have entered into some kind of obligation or pact or agreement to vote for a particular candidate in the first ballot, while not voting for all other candidates.

There you have it, a formal, explicit allegation of a formal explicit violation of UDG 81.

Dr. Ivereigh then speaks of the confidence they had regarding the 19 Cardinals from Latin America, and then adds:

“The Spanish cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of St. Mary Major in Rome and a former nuncio in Latin America, was vigorous in canvassing on Bergoglio’s behalf among the Iberian Iberian bloc.” (ibid.)— This allegation has never been denied by anyone, not even the Spanish Cardinal.

Ivereigh then names other Cardinal collaborators:  Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna and Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris.

He also names other Cardinals in suchwise as appears they participated in promising votes:  Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa and Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Finally, on p. 356-357, Dr. Ivereigh confirms this reading of the testimony he gives, by writing:

For this reason, and because the organizers of his campaign stayed carefully below the radar, the Bergoglio bandwagon that began to roll during the week of the congregations went undetected by the media, and to this day most vaticanisti believe there / was no organized pre-conclave effort to get Bergoglio elected.

Dr. Ivereigh then confirms this statement, that there was an organized campaign, with footnote 10, which reads:

In his Francis: Pope of a New Word (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2013), ch. 3, the leading Vatican commentator Andrea Tornielli says that there were no “campaigns organized in advance” of the conclave for Bergoglio.  There was one.

Numerous Cardinals are implicated

Though, heretofore, there have been publicly implicated 4 Cardinals:  Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster, Danneels of Belgium, Kasper and Lehmann of Germany; the text of Ivereigh has named 3 others as team members: Schonborn of Vienna, Vingt-Trois of Paris and Santos Abril y Castello of St. Mary Major.

A total of 7 Cardinals in the team.

Two other Cardinals as suspect of promising votes, named explicitly: Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa,  and Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

But also, enormously, all the Cardinals of Spain and Latin America as potentially promising votes! That’s more than 20 others! — Not to count the African Cardinals.

In total, perhaps as many as 30 Cardinals, all participated: those who were electors, excommunicated even unto this day! *

Astounding!

More astounding is that key parts of this narrative have not, as of today, been denied by any of or all of the participants. The only facts denied are that the Four Cardinals asked Cardinal Bergoglio for his consent to the vote-campaign, and the narrative presented by Dr. Ivereigh regarding them. Nothing has been denied by the others, and some alteration of the chronology of the timeline presented, might in fact be what is being implicitly affirmed by Lombardi’s denial.  The facts denied however are the those which the evidence presented above shows to have great probity.

________________________

FOOTNOTE

* Though, if any did not vote for Bergoglio in the first round of votes, one might argue that they did not oblige themselves.

===============

For a complete list of our coverage on Team Bergoglio and a list of reports from major news outlets the world over on it, see here.

Dogma’s Terrible or Radiant Tomorrow

A Book Review of Enrico Maria Radaelli’s book, Il Domani Terribile o Radioso? del Dogma. 261 pp., Edizione Pro Manuscripto, Aurea Domus, 2013. Italian. 35€ (to acquire seen End of Article)

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Introduction

To those in the English-speaking world, the name Enrico Maria Radaelli is not a familiar one.  Therefore, some introduction is necessary.

One of the most famous Italian philosophers of the last century was Romano Amerio.  Born in Lugano, Italy on January 17, 1905, he graduated with a degree in Philosophy from the Università Cattolica di Milano in 1927, and again in Classical Philology in 1934.  He taught Latin and Greek and Philosophy from 1928 to 1970 in the Cantonal High-school of Lugano.

AmerioHis intellectual acumen and loyalty to the faith was such, that he was a consultor for Msgr. Angelo Giuseppe Jelmini, Apostolic Administrator of Lugano, Switzerland, from 1935-1968 A.D..*

Amerio, was a Catholic intellectual with a mind ennobled by the faith.  His criticism of the events of the Council was founded, not upon his personal sentiments, but upon his adhesion to the Magisterium of Bl. Pope Pius IX (Quanta Cura) who condemned masonic-liberalism, of Pope St. Pius X (Lamentabile Sane Exitu), who condemned modernism, and of Venerable Pope Pius XII (Human Generis), who condemned neo-modernism.

Cast aside by the progressivist movement in Italian ecclesiastical circles during the pontificates of Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II, he was “rehabilitated” as a thinker of note, during the pontificate of Benedict XVI, by no less than the widely influential but very liberal, Jesuit journal, La Civiltà Cattolica, in 2007.

His most famous book, is easily recognized by many in the English-speaking world was  Iota unum (1985), the subtitle of which in Italian translates, A Study in the variations in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century.  In it, by means of a philosophical analysis of the relations between Truth and Life, Amerio strongly criticized the destabilizing changes introduced into ecclesial life by the means adopted to implement the reforms advocated by the documents of the Vatican Council.

When, at the close of his life, Amerio, by then half-blind, sought someone to help him publish the sequal to Iota unum, Stat Veritas (which was published only postumously in 1996), he sought the assitance of Enrico Radaelli.

Enrico Maria Radaelli, the author

Dr. Enrico M. RadaelliLike Amerio, Radaelli is a philosopher in the tradition of St. Thomas, though the latter has devoted his studies in particular to the relations between Truth and Beauty.  Professor of Aestetic Philosophy, and Director of the Dept. of Æstetic Philosophy at the Associazione Internazionale “Sensus communis” (Rome), he collaborated in the chair dedicated to the Philosophy of the Conscience:  Antonio Livi, at the Pontifical Lateran University.  He is the editor of the Opera Omnia of Romano Amerio, and has published several articles in L’Osservatore Romano on the relations of Beauty and Sacred Art. (for a complete list of his publications, see his website).

Il Domani Terribile o Radioso? di Dogma, the Book

Radaelli’s book is prefaced by the English Philosopher Roger Scruton, and by commendatory letters from the Most. Rev. Mario Oliveri, Bishop of Albenga, Italy, Alessandro Gnocchi, Mario Palmaro, and Msgr. Brunero Gherardini, one of the most prestigious Roman theologians of the last 40 years.

You can read Gherardini’s introduction to Radaelli’s book, in an unofficial English translation at http://centreleonardboyle.com/Radaelli.html

Having myself labored for the last decade on an English translation of Bonaventure’s Commentaries on the Sentences of Lombard, I found Radaelli’s book to be a delightful and yet, extremely profound meditation on the nature of Holy Mother Church.

Though a philosopher, Radaelli has recaptured, in my opinion, the ethos of the theology of the High Middle Ages, by his philosophical analysis of what the Church is and must be.

For Radaelli it is not insignificant, but absolutely essential, to Her Nature, to be a spouse, and Her relationship with Her Creator and Redeemer, Christ Jesus, characterizes every aspect of Her being, whether that of the primum esse (the first act, in which essence and existence conjoin) or that of secundum esse (the second act, in which all that is implicit in the first act, is manifested).

As the immaculate Spouse of Him who is the one Master of All, Radaelli argues throughout that it is the inherent and perennial quality of Holy Mother Church to speak in dogmatic language, and that this constitutes the fundament of the beauty of that form of language which is proper to Her.

The scope of the book is to seek an approach to the problem of the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council which would go to the roots of its novelty and explain in principle the necessary consequences of the effects its implementation.

He calls his approach a metaphysical one, or more exactly an estetical one, in the metaphysical sense.  In this analysis, he begins and returns, in a cyclical movement from the transcendentals of being, the good, the true and the beautiful; remarking that the modern habit among intellectuals of glossing over the third transcendental of being, has had a profoundly negative effect on their ability to appreciate the first two.

For Radaelli, as for any philosopher or theologian in the Scholastic tradition, there is no divorcing of the consideration of the transcendentals of being, without dire consequences in the development of human thought, action, or societal organization.

It is for this reason, that the beauty of the Church’s own proper and obligatory manner of speaking, must be a dogmatic one.  Form for Radaelli is the both the language of substance and the substance of language; and hence the form of language both reflects and molds the substance of those who employ it.

From this profound metaphysical principle, Radaelli draws out the deleterious effects which necessarily must follow, if the Church would abandon Her unique, perennial and exclusive devotion to dogmatic language.  And having expounded upon this, he applies his considerations to the documents of the Second Vatican Council, considering them in the light of the effect of the implementation of the reforms as that implementation was enacted and conceived by those who formed their minds and judgements upon an a-critical reading of the documents.

Finally, Radaelli closes his book with an impassioned admonition to the Sacred Hierarchy: if the Church does not return to speaking dogmatically, She will in short time cease to exist in the hearts and minds of men. The “wooden” language of the Council, as Radaelli characterizes it, is one deprived of beauty, and hence of vivifying, truth. A dead thing, which when implemented, must necessarily include some destructive effect in the Church, founded by and wed to Life Himself.

In my opinion, with Il Domani Terribile o Radioso? del Dogma, Radaelli has made the most significant contribution to Ecclesiology in the 21st century, and has mapped out intellectually, the road to resolve all the conflict which the implementation of the Second Vatican Council has been the occasion for engendering in the Church universal.  Radaelli has made an eloquent argument which can serve well both theologians and members of the Hierarchy and Roman Curia in their work of reconciling faith and reason, and ecclesiastical discipline with faith.

The book is a delightful read; uniquely coherent to its own principles, in that it is printed in a form equated to the golden dimension of proportions, famously employed by artists and architects of the ancient world, and rediscovered in the Renaissance. While reading its pages you will taste and hear intellectually the conviviality of faith and reason and how beautiful indeed is their marriage in the mind of one of Italy’s pre-eminent Thomistic philosophers.

Finally, The book is served by a very useful index of persons and places, and a list of Radaelli’s other published works.

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To acquire a copy of this book: Goto Hoepli Bookstore, Coletti Bookstore, or Ebay Italy

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* Many thanks to Enrico Raedelli, for his help in correcting the historical error, found in the online biography, regarding Amerio’s participation at the Council. He was not a peritus, but was a consultor to Msgr. Jelmini. Also, he was never officially condemned, and so “rehabilitated” is only used above, in the sense of being un-blacklisted by the liberal, ecclesiastical press.

Finally, I am honored, that Raedelli, on his own initiative, posted an Italian translation of this review at his own website. You may click here to read it. Thank you, Doctor!