Category Archives: Guest Editorials

COVID-19 & the promotion of Euthanasia

by Elizabeth D. Wickham, PhD

Executive Director, LifeTree

Lest there be any doubt.  Covid-19 is as much political as it is medical. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that a lot of what was once purely medical has become political, thanks in part to the euthanasia movement.  Medicine is being fundamentally transformed to make sure that euthanasia has a primary role in the standard of care for the seriously ill.

Please take time to follow this essay to its conclusion and you should end with a realization that indeed palliative medicine was just the beginning of a major transformation in medicine.  We will end where we begin, with what is happening at the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the National Institute of Medicine.

“Pallative” “Medicine”

The National Academy of Medicine is led by Chinese American-born and pandemic expert Dr. Victor Dzau. The NAM is working on a new era of healthcare delivery known as Precision Medicine. The description uses words such as data, algorithms and precision molecular tools, high value, improving outcomes and decreasing cost. A key element is merging an individual’s health data into an entire community’s data so that they can use artificial intelligence and algorithms to specify a patient’s medical treatment. (See the NAM Sept, 2016 Discussion Paper  “Realizing the Full Potential of Precision Medicine in Health and Health Care:  A Vital Direction for Health and Health Care”  https://nam.edu/realizing-the-full-potential-of-precision-medicine-in-health-and-health-care-a-vital-direction-for-health-and-health-care/).

To understand Dr. Dzau’s role in transforming healthcare is a major project. You might want to listen to Amazing Polly’s video titled “More Public Health Mafia Connections” which is the first video at https://www.amazingpolly.net/videos.html.  She says he is everywhere!

How to establish a pervasive role for palliative medicine now that medicine has been shaken by a serious pandemic is an important task for these people of the Third Path.  A couple of videos might help you understand what evolved rather quickly during these last two months. Both videos feature Dr. Diane Meier of the Center to Advance Palliative Care. The first one is a public webinar of Meier and others including the important Dr. Sean Morrison of the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) and the second is a Diane Meier interview by Alexandra Drane of the Coalition to Transform Advance Care. They help us understand how the palliative model is changing during this pandemic.

The first video takes place at the Center to Advance Palliative Care on March 31, 2020.  CAPC is located adjacent to Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan which was in the epicenter of the pandemic. Attached is a transcription of that video and hyperlink.

1st Video: https://www.capc.org/events/recorded-webinars/briefing-serious-illness-palliative-care-and-impact-covid-19/

(From Video #1):  “…A couple things we thought might be helpful but in fact turned out not to be helpful. The first was, our initial thought was that we could train front line providers in core communication skills and core pain and symptom management skills that would relieve pressure on palliative care teams; that turned out not to be true; that what was seen and what we have seen happening is that Emergency Departments, ICU’s and even Hospital Services are so overwhelmed with patients that people only really have time to manage clinical symptoms, intubate where necessary and provide critical care…”

Hence, Diane Meier and her CAPC members decided to move at least one palliative care professional into every ED and ICU of the Mt. Sinai Healthcare System.

Meier and Morrison talk about getting sufficient numbers of their palliative people into the critical sections of hospitals during the surge. One in ER and one in ICU won’t be enough. Remember, up until this point in time, palliative-trained specialists in hospitals appeared as part of formal palliative care teams (physician, nurse, chaplain, social worker).  Now, with the pandemic riding rough shod on all actions taken within the hospital, the process of deciding on goals of care had to be compressed.

They decided to make a palliative expert who was experienced at “having those conversations” available 24/7 by phone on the front line. A hotline available straight through to someone trained in the palliative philosophy could solve the numbers problem.

Also on video #1 they talk about making available to frontline clinicians palliative care protocols for symptom management (pain, shortness of breath, etc.).

 ” …but what our system has done to try to support non-Palliative Care clinicians that are taking care of sick patients, is put pocket cards with scripts, literally, how do you talk to a family about this and very easy to read and interpret symptom management… almost recipes (14:49). What’s the starting dose of opioids for shortness of breath? What do you have to do if that doesn’t work? When do you increase the dose? So, having those types of resources ready before you need them, would be really helpful. We’ve been scrambling to get them done 3 – 5 days after we needed them and… so… most of those resources are available for… virtually all of them are available for free, for download, on the CAPC website.”

The second video was released last week on CAPC’s blogsite — getpalliativcare.org. You can listen to Sunday in May, 2020 interview of Diane Meier by Alexandra Drane of the Coalition to Transform Advance Care (a policy making organization for the Third Path Euthanasia Movement).  For those who want to study this video more carefully, the transcript of text is attached.  Here is the video hyperlink.

2nd Video:

 

Diane Meier describes the change in palliative care due to the pandemic, especially how the hotline to a palliative care professional now has a bridge-like role. She relates a specific case and how it progresses from her to the clinician and then from her to the family.

Remember, the hotline from the hospital to a cell phone somewhere is manned by a palliative care specialist (e.g. Diane Meier) who is trained in “having family conversations.”

Here’s how it works. The patient arrives and someone at the hospital calls the cell phone number.  The palliative care specialist at the other end of the phone number gets in touch with the clinician (physician) in charge of the patient.  The palliative care specialist asks the clinician to describe the patient’s condition — “how does the patient look”, etc.  Then the palliative care specialist calls the patient’s family and waits for everyone to get on line.  The palliative care specialist relates to the family the conversation he/she just had with the clinician.  Then they probably discuss whether the patient has an advance directive. If there are no directives the palliative person asks the family what the patient would want in the way of medical treatment. Then the palliative person asks the family if the patient’s choice would change should the patient become worse…. Yada, yada, yada.

The stark reality is that the patient whose life is at stake is not a party to either conversation!  Because of the new CMS guidelines for isolating patients with Coronavirus-19 symptoms from their families a new protocol for palliative care is developing.  Now there are cell phone numbers to palliative experts that take  the Coronavirus-19 patient out of the picture.  The palliative professional becomes a bridge upstream to the doctor and downstream to the patient’s family.  They are the bridge Soros built to medical care for patients with Coronavirus-19.

A comment on the death rates due to this virus.  I would venture to say that the death rate due to coronavirus-19 has been inflated  by multiple decisions to give “comfort care only” guided by a Palliative Care Specialist.  These people have a different goal than most of us!!

Monumental Changes in process

Now let me take you back to the beginning of our journey to understand the monumental changes in healthcare and how they are changing with the pandemic.  At the beginning I mentioned Dr. Victor Dzau of the National Academy for Medicine and the NAM initiative to develop what they call “Precision Medicine.” Isn’t it a coincidence that the SUPPORT Study was conducted at 5 medical centers including the one at Duke starting in the late 1980s and ending in the early 1990s. See the part 2 of lifetree’s timeline at https://www.lifetree.org/timeline/part2.htm.

Along the way Dr. Victor Dzau was CEO and President of Duke University Health System and on the Board of Health Governors of the World Economic Forum, chairing its Global Agenda Council on Personalized and Precision Medicine.  He is on the Expert Board of the Imperial College Health Partners, UK which provided some of the outrageous models for mitigating pandemics.

Fast forward to November, 2019. Now we have that same Dr. Victor Dzau co-hosting a symposium event at Duke called “Vital Direction for Health and HealthCare: The North Carolina Experience” with Dr. Mandy Cohen who in the 2010s was in charge of rolling out the Affordable Care Act!  She is now head the NC Dept of Health and Human Services.

I believe “Precision Medicine” is about using Artificial Intelligence and developing algorithmic tools to determine what medical treatments will be given and paid for.  (or not.) “Precision Medicine” is one step beyond Palliative Care which has always been sold as a cost effective medical tool.

Republished with permission of its author

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It is our duty as Catholics to resist COVID-19 Tyranny and the Virus Mass

by Don Elia

A Catholic Priest

All totalitarian regimes, in order to assert their unconditional power, impose on the people a conglomeration of rules that are so absurd as to be ridiculous, so useless and unreasonable; the important thing is that people submit without argument, which can cause very serious trouble.

In the present case, however, there is little to laugh about, given the damage caused by the rules of containment to all areas of individual and collective life: collapse of industrial production, growing poverty, suffocating social control, climate of fear and suspicion, deteriorating relationships, emotional isolation, psychosomatic illnesses… In such conditions the individual ends up feeling helpless, vulnerable, unprotected and is therefore pushed to take refuge in the apparent security offered by an authority which, in reality, no longer operates for its actual good, but only to its own advantage, to maintain power for the benefit, in the final analysis, of those who manoeuvre it from behind the scenes.

Of course, there will still be those who will still label these speeches as a form of conspiracy, but history teaches us that a regime cannot impose itself or maintain itself without the support of a financial oligarchy that feeds it to achieve its own hidden purposes.

Independent information, in such a context, is an indispensable weapon of defense. It is now clear that we are victims of an enormous media manipulation that has exaggerated the problem with the effect of creating panic, but continues to disseminate incorrect data on the health situation, so as to make an objective evaluation practically impossible. The systematic effort to discredit opinions contrary to the official version appears suspicious to say the least, also taking into account the fact that the members of the unquestionable Scientific and Technical Committee certainly do not shine by competence, given that their names occupy very low positions in the H-Index, the ranking that orders the authors according to the impact of their contributions on the scientific literature. It is not at all difficult to explain their appointment with purely political reasons, as soon as one examines their ideological orientations, which have very little to do with science. Those who do not profess the “creed” of the dominant thought (gender, globalism, immigrationism, reproductive health, dignity of dying, etc.) do not have the slightest chance in this system.

In the legitimate and rightful attempt to acquire truthful knowledge of the current situation, however, one cannot avoid vigilance and discernment, in order to avoid falling into the traps set for those who, mistrusting official lies, seek lies elsewhere. Sites are beginning to appear in which nothing but regime propaganda passed off as alternative information is spread, but there is also no shortage of those who spread colossal hoaxes to discredit those who instead work seriously; the documented statements of competent journalists, then, are often deliberately deformed in a tendentious way to undermine their reliability. However, there are facts that are difficult to challenge, if you consider the amount of news about it: from projects of planetary scope called 5G, Bluebeam, ID 2020, to the declared desire to vaccinate the world population (with findings that would modify the human genome, cause cancer and make them all traceable) by a virus created in a molecular biology laboratory and regularly patented. Each of these subjects would deserve its own research.

This investigation, however necessary it may be, in turn hides another trap, this time of a spiritual nature. The danger, here, is to let oneself be sucked into the analysis of earthly reality and lose sight of the supernatural horizon. The masses of information, the laughter of hypotheses, the skein of conflicting opinions are a labyrinth from which one risks never coming out again, forgetting the presence of God in history, who governs everything with His providence and guides events towards the triumph of His kingdom. He extends His invincible Hand to protect those who believe in Him with sincere faith, await with unshakeable hope the fulfillment of His promises and assiduously practice active charity. He sends the Angels to guide them, protect them and watch over them; He wants the intercession of the Saints and welcomes their prayers; He chooses fervent souls who offer themselves to Him to draw graces to others… in a few words, He deploys all His resources to help them with the help of the creatures closest to Him. It is upon this extraordinary reality that we must fix our minds and hearts not to succumb, but also not to do wrong to the Creator.

The correct cooperation between nature and grace requires man to play his part in identifying and avoiding dangers, but he is constantly asking for both the inner light to recognize them with certainty and face them in the right way, and the supernatural force to successfully oppose threats. Although the cardinal virtues cannot be treated in depth here, it seems clear from the available data that the first decision to be taken will be the rejection of the announced vaccine and swabs, which are far from safe and easily exploitable means to make huge profits from the health crisis. It is neither lawful nor legal to force citizens to undergo a particular medical treatment; moreover, it makes no sense to do so with those who have not shown any symptoms. Serological testing for plasma donation by cured people cannot be carried out except on a voluntary basis, either.

Beyond what can be humanly understood, however, the primary resource to resist remains prayer, which is indispensable both to develop the supernatural virtues and to increase the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The more one prays, the more sensitive one becomes to the Divine Voice that resounds in the depths of a pure conscience: Audiam quid loquatur in me Dominus Deus (I will listen to what the Lord God says in me; Ps 84:9). The humble, persevering plea to the Almighty also communicates an invincible strength over human powers: only he who kneels before God knows how to stand before men.

In particular, in the present moment, one must oppose the iniquitous provisions concerning communion. We absolutely cannot give in on what we have most precious of all: not expedit! If we let the Lord be treated in this way, how far will His enemies dare to go? In the Eucharist the Redeemer still surrenders himself to men, but not to be outraged and crucified again, but to feed them for eternal life. I therefore beseech my brother priests not to apply the norms and not to allow themselves to be intimidated by human decrees rather than by divine judgment: we will have to account for much more than others!

Do we really or not believe in the protection that the Lord grants His faithful ministers? And is it not an honor to suffer for Him, if any? “They left the Sanhedrin with joy, for they were considered worthy to be outraged for the name of Jesus” (Acts 5:41). How will we be able, on the day of death, to look up with confidence to the heavenly Judge, if we have feared the earthly judges more? How can we still say: “The Body of Christ”, in delivering it as a despicable object? How can we continue to preach His word pretending to be taken seriously? No, my brethren, we cannot give up on what is so serious. Why not all together, every day, invoke Mary Help of Christians and Saint Michael the Archangel to defend and guard the Church? They will answer us immediately: try to believe. Array of Angels and Saints fight with us against the demonic hordes and their human allies. Learn to celebrate in the traditional rite and you will become warriors of the King of Kings, of that Crucified One who, risen, triumphed by ascending to heaven, having received all power in heaven and on earth.

And you, dear faithful, do not be discouraged, but insist that Holy Communion be given to you in a proper manner: it is your sacred right, which no one in the world can trample on! Prove yourselves worthy of Him who for you has suffered death on the Cross and give Him all the honour you can. If you really cannot obtain what you ask, offer a novena to the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of Mary Help of Christians, so that He may make you find a priest who will communicate to you properly. There are many more of them than appear, but they are scattered a bit everywhere and, out of necessity, discreet, since the first ones to fear are often their superiors. Do not judge priests who do not consent to you, but pray for them, so that they may convert or take courage, even with the supernatural prudence necessary not to be put out of play. Divine Wisdom suggests unthinkable solutions when the sheep invoke it in faith for their Pastors. As a last resort, communion can be given outside of Mass, but the best answer remains, in this case, a necessary resistance, which will be all the more effective the more extensive and generalized.

O Mary, powerful Virgin, great and illustrious defense of the Church! Thou, wonderful help of Christians; Thou, terrible as an army in battle; Thou, who alone destroyed all the heresies in the world; Thou, in anguish, in struggle, in need, defending us from the enemy and, at the hour of death, take us to Heaven! (by St. John Bosco)

Sancte Michaël Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude (Leone XIII).
In Deo faciemus virtutem; et ipse ad nihilum deducet tribulantes nos (In Dio faremo cose potenti; egli stesso ridurrà a nulla coloro che ci affliggono; Sal 59, 14).

Catholic Priest denouces VIRUS Mass!

A COMMENTARY ON THE PROTOCOL
SIGNED BY THE ITALIAN BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE WITH THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT
ON THE RE-OPENING OF CHURCHES FOR MAY 18, 2020

Proud to kick-back!

by Don Elia

Don Elia’s Blog

The Following is an English translation of the Italian Original.

Μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες ἀπίστοις

(Do not yoke yourself with unbelievers; 2 Cor 6:14).

The recent Memorandum of Understanding for the resumption of celebrations with the people, with its sacrilegious and unacceptable provisions, seems to have come out of the extravagant fantasy of a dystopian novelist. Even sticking to considerations of a purely legal nature, one immediately realizes its absolute invalidity, given that it was signed by subjects without any legitimacy: on the one hand the representatives of the Italian government, which has no competence in matters of religious worship; on the other the president of the Episcopal Conference, which has no jurisdiction over bishops. In addition to this it should be added that the executive, once again, omitted to consult Parliament; the ecclesiastical interlocutor, for his part, is not authorized to deal with the State. Even if, at the civil level, the procedure provided for by the Constitution had been respected (for example, with a decree-law ratified by the President of the Republic), the Concordat, which in all this paradoxical affair no one has ever mentioned, almost as if it no longer existed, would still have been violated. Such circumstances make the Protocol a completely illegal act, devoid of any legal value and any compelling force, which is why it must be unconditionally rejected.

Regrettably, the common impression is that a good slice of the clergy is ready to observe the rules that will start on 18 May. In these circumstances it becomes ever clearer why so many “vocations” with homophile tendencies have been promoted in recent decades, not only by inadvertence, but probably also by choice: an aberrant will, motivated either by complicity (a striking case, that of the United States) or by an erroneous conception of mercy, which makes it possible to convert into titles of merit the failings of clement and “understanding” bishops and formators. That is why young people who should never have been admitted to holy orders not only became priests, but also made brilliant careers. Since they are fragile, insecure, influential, ready for acquiescence, often blackmailable because of their scandalous conduct, they adapt easily to any request, thus being perfectly functional to the clerical-world system that uses them for its own perverse purposes with the cover of a substantial judicial immunity, at civil and ecclesiastical level.

If one is surprised by the inertia or ineptitude of many current bishops, one must bear in mind their basic formation, in many cases lacking. Their average age allows us to place them in the seventies and eighties of the last century, precisely when the academic level of theological studies plummeted to an all-time low and the approach to the faith became decidedly Protestant. These factors determined, in a substantial part of the clergy, a showy inability not only to think catholically, but also to reason correctly. This intellectual poverty and the consequent mental deformities, today, mean that the absurd situation in which we find ourselves appears completely legitimate to many and that even the mere hypothesis of passive resistance to the abuses perpetrated by the State takes on the appearance of an unthinkable monstrosity, as if it were the most serious sin of all, an unforgivable attack on the common good and public health. The supernatural level disappeared from the gaze, which flattened on earth; the theological faith died out, replaced by the surrogate of the new Masonic humanism.

The post-conciliar ideal of openness to the world has led the contemporary clergy to a complete assimilation to the world, as if the Church were nothing more than any form of social aggregation or a homogeneous welfare body to civil society and, consequently, submissive like all others to the State, considered supreme (and sole) instance of legislation, judgement and government. There are now all the typical elements of a State Church, led by hierarchs assimilated to civil servants and civil servants; the seeds sown sixty years ago have sprouted and produced their harmful fruits. In this context it was inevitable that total surrender to the dictates of political correctness and the transformation of ecclesiastical institutions into propaganda agencies of the regime would be achieved. This evolution involves a progressive cession of their own areas of autonomy in teaching, worship and jurisdiction, with the production of a body of constitutional priests and bishops, who comply with human provisions, rather than divine ones, because they are in fact maintained by the State: the 8 per Mille (0.8% voluntary income tax to benefit the Church) and the sustenance of the clergy thus proved to be a well-designed trap to obtain absolute subjection from unbelieving and secularized clerics.

The answer we must give is twofold. In general, the Italian Church must be deprived of all economic support until there is a jolt of reaction with which it rejects State interference and claims its independence. In order to fulfill the precept of providing support for the needs of the Church, one can directly help the faithful priests and deserving institutions, a more than legitimate and historically normal way. In particular, then, we are obliged to ignore government decrees and to receive (or give) the Eucharist only in the manner permitted by the sacred discipline established by Tradition, not in a sacrilegious manner. If the priest refuses it, protest energetically, because he is committing a serious abuse; if, however, he does not hear reasons, send a canonical complaint to Cardinal Sarah and, in the meantime, seek a trusted priest who will communicate to you outside of Mass. To give in to the abuse, at this moment, would be to let a gap open that could widen more and more. The situation is already all too compromised because of the C.E.I. officials conniving with the Freemasons; even in the French Revolution it was the clergy who cooperated with the Jacobin maneuvers aimed at annihilating the Church. These prelates either do not know history or want to repeat it; keep in mind, however, that with those of the martyrs, sooner or later, their heads will also fall: the revolution devours its children.

To consent to the illegitimate claims of the government would be like swearing on the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of 1790, which was condemned by Pope Pius VI, albeit late, and rejected by almost all the bishops and two thirds of French priests. Sure, thousands ended up in prison, on the scaffold or in old galleys sunk with cannon fire… but their souls went straight to Heaven, while the fate of the unrepentant collaborators is Hell. I don’t know about you, but I have no doubt about it. The time has come to take a public stand by showing ourselves to be disobedient in public, as did those who wanted to remain faithful to Christ and refused to submit to the yoke of the wicked, to which we are not allowed to submit. It is not a matter of disobeying, but of obeying God by rejecting the iniquitous and unlawful orders of men, which bind us in nothing. The Church, having survived all persecution, will also overcome it, even though the enemy has infiltrated it to place its pawns in its command posts. It is up to us to resist for as long as the Lord will, until He intervenes to punish the child-rapists and reward the believers.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image above is a Pexels.com stock photo and does not represent anyone associated with Don Elia.

Benedict XVI remains on a Mission from God

by Antonio Socci

Originally published by the Libero Quotidiano: May 4, 2020

Authorized English translation by Giuseppe Pellegrino
Reprinted with permission of the translator

Like the Biblical prophets and the great popes of history, Benedict XVI is both hated by the powers of this world and loved by simple Catholic people. And every time that he comes out of his hermitage to speak the truth, he illuminates the darkness of the present situation of humanity and the Church. He is the object of furious attacks – which have been going on ever since his election as pope – that have now come to the point of the distortion of his words and his moral lynching.

This week great controversy has broken out over the anticipation of the release of Ratzinger’s biography written by Peter Seewald, Benedict XVI. Ein Leben, which is being published in German and will appear in Italian [and English] this fall.

In the book, the Pope Emeritus responds to various questions and explains, for example, his dramatic and enigmatic statement in his homily given at the inauguration of his pontificate [on April 24, 2005]: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”

It is a phrase that has taken on enormous significance since February 11, 2013, when Benedict XVI announced his stepping back. What was he alluding to with those words? Is this where we should try to find the reason for his “resignation”? Was he forced to step aside in such a way that it makes that resignation invalid?

And so Pope Benedict, responding to these questions, invites us to reflect on “how much fear can strike a pope.” Many observers – especially after his stepping back – thought that it had to do with the unfortunate episode of Vatileaks, “but the true threat to the Church and thus to the Petrine ministry,” the Pontiff explains, “does not consist in these things but rather in the world dictatorship of apparently humanistic ideologies that oppose anyone who does not conform to the established social consensus. Even one hundred years ago, everyone would have thought it absurd to speak of homosexual marriage. Today those who oppose it are excommunicated from society. Things are similar for abortion and the production of human beings in laboratories. Modern society is formulating an antichristic faith, which you cannot oppose without being punished with excommunication from that society. And thus it is more than natural to have fear of this spiritual power of the Antichrist, and it really takes the prayer of an entire diocese, indeed of the universal Church, to oppose and resist it.”

In these few lines, Ratzinger – as always – manages to condense extraordinary reflections that merit our deep consideration and reflection.

Of course, the Repubblica immediately tried to distort Benedict’s words, reducing his comments to a rant against “abortion” and “gay marriage,” thereby giving the nod to the entire media establishment and unleashing an onslaught on social media against the pope, who has once again been covered in mud. Ironically, by doing this the champions of one-way tolerance immediately proved the truth of Benedict XVI’s words: anyone who does not fall in line with the mainstream is declared to be anathema.

But the Ratzingerian reflection is much more profound. In perfect continuity with the Magisterium of Paul VI and John Paul II, Benedict XVI has spoken once again to denounce the dominant modern ideology that not only is anti-Christian but is also dramatically opposed to human life.

Like Montini and Wojtyla, Ratzinger captures the apocalyptic connotation of the present moment, in particular that of the “dictatorship of relativism” which opposed him during his pontificate and that today holds power, since it is also widespread within the Church.

Benedict XVI is not afraid to speak of the Antichrist, causing many critics who believe they are enlightened and progressive to rise up against him, but ironically by doing so they simply display their ignorance of the many books and philosophical and theological debate on this topic. There are actually many non-Catholic thinkers who have addressed the theme of the Antichrist in recent years. The Marxist philosopher Mario Tronti said in 2013 after the “resignation” that the pontificate of Joseph Ratzinger was “an heroic attempt hold back the post-modern form of the Antichrist.”

Similarly dramatic reflections have been made by Massimo Cacciari (I refer to them in my new book Il Dio Mercato, la Chiesa e l’Anticristo [The God of the Market, the Church, and the Antichrist]). Among other things, Cacciari declares: “We could speculate that Ratzinger resigned because he was no longer able to hold back the antichristic powers within the Church herself.” But now “the Church finds herself facing, for the first time, the true essence of the Antichrist.” Cacciari also published a more philosophical reflection in 2013, Il Potere che frena [The Power that Restrains]. The essay by Giorgio Agamben is also valuable: Il mistero del male (Benedetto XVI e la fine dei tempi) [The Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and The End Times].

In light of Benedict XVI’s words – “And thus it is more than natural to have fear of this spiritual power of the Antichrist” – we could well be led to believe that he had to flee “before the wolves,” which would render his “resignation” invalid.

But what sort of “resignation” did he make? As he explained on February 27, 2013, he remains pope “forever” and he preserves his papal name and title.

In my book, The Secret of Benedict XVI (Angelico Press, 2019), I demonstrated that, due to the enormity of the Enemy who was facing him – and since he felt his strength diminishing – Benedict XVI humbly made “a step to the side” in order to make space for someone whom he could assist by his prayer and counsel in the task of being the Kathécon (“the one who restrains” cf. 2 Thess 2:6-7). Thus was opened a new and unprecedented era of “collegiality” in the papacy – unprecedented because it is apocalyptic.

But then the cardinals chose the man who had opposed Ratzinger in 2005, who is now the pope beloved by the worldly powers. And so today Benedict XVI finds himself called mysteriously to a task that only God knows. He remains on a mission from God.

Marco Tosatti: The Now uncertain Future of the Order of Malta

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by Marco Tosatti

An English translation of the original Italian, entitled, Ordine di Malta, il Futuro: Nulla è escluso. Anche clamoroso.

Dear friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae we offer you a reflection on the situation that has arisen after the death of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta. With the death of Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, which occurred shortly after midnight on April 29, a not exactly reassuring scenario opens up for the Order of Malta. The disappearance of a leader – who, in this case, is both ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ – is always in itself something which quakes the system, but even more so – we believe – it will be for the Order of St. John who has already been experiencing a deep institutional crisis for at least four years.

Suffice it to say that already in the afternoon hours preceding the official announcement of the departure, there were discordant news (which sources tell us were sent by an imprudent letter signed by Prince Erich von Lobkowicz, powerful president of the German Association of the Knights of Malta) on the Grand Master’s state of health, who was declared dead prematurely, with a very quick update of the Wikipedia page, later corrected, following an official communiqué of the Order and the letter “signed” by the Grand Commander (the Order of Malta’s second office and responsible for religious life), the 80-year-old Portuguese, Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas.

Such a thing would never have happened in other times, not least because it is presumed that news concerning the health of the head of a religious Order who is also – a unicum in the current legal panorama – Head of State must necessarily be filtered through the entourage of close and, hopefully, trusted collaborators.

The late Grand Master had personally announced – in an unusual letter dated 24 February last – that he had health problems linked to a diagnosed throat cancer that would have taken him away from many institutional commitments because of the treatment he would have had to undergo; in that same letter, in a truly anomalous way, Dalla Torre had, among other things, written “The important decisions will remain in my hands”, as if to reassure that no one would take advantage of them. But why write it, we wonder?

All these creaks give the impression of a very frail institution in itself, which seems to forget its almost a thousand years of history of battles and victories for the defense of Christianity.

A very weak government, that of Brother Giacomo Dalla Torre, chosen for his well known bonhomie, for his integrity but also for the undisputed closeness of his noble family to the Vatican world: his grandfather Giuseppe was director of L’Osservatore Romano, while his brother, Giuseppe himself, was for decades (until a few months ago) the influential president of the Vatican Tribunal.

A government that has also shown its flaws and its pockets of incapacity since the lieutenancy that Dalla Torre assumed as a “buffer” to the wound inflicted on the sovereignty of the Order with the expulsion of the former Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing by the now untrusted Teutonic-Vatican maneuver devised by the first hunted and then reinstated Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, who also asked for the head of Card. Raymond Leo Burke, freezing him the office (which still formally exists today) of “Cardinalis Patronus”.

A singular coincidence of dates: Dalla Torre was elected Lieutenant precisely on April 29, 2017 – under the supervision of Msgr. Angelo Becciu (now Cardinal, Prefect of the Congregation of Saints), at the time the most powerful Substitute to the Vatican Secretariat of State and very faithful to Pope Bergoglio, appointed “Special Delegate” of the Pontiff to the Order – and the Lord calls him to himself on the same day, three years later.

Both as Lieutenant and even more so as Grand Master, on May 2, 2018 behind the clear placet of the Transtevere, alongside the undisputed moral and religious qualities of great value, Dalla Torre was never able to show the institutional attitude that contingencies demanded, very often allowing a form of heterodox management of the Order over which he had been placed in charge. It allowed all three Italian Grand Priories (which would be the territorial government bodies which run clinics, welfare facilities, charitable works, and to which the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps [CISOM] is linked) to be managed by “procurators” and not by religious (a form of indirect commissioning). It allowed the Pope’s Special Delegate to block the novitiate for the new “professed” (i.e. those knights who take a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience and become the “first class” of the Order), thus immobilising the Order’s religious life, now reduced to a mere decorative aspect, which, if not reactivated, will be destined to be quickly wiped out. Don’t forget, among others, also the big slip-up of the prohibition in the ceremonies of the Order of the Mass in ancient rite (see here our comment at the time): an act certainly imprudent, probably the result of internal institutional blackmail, but which was also an inappropriate form of plagiarism against a presumed “apostolic” will, almost as if to demonstrate that in the Order of Malta – already badly seen in itself because it would embody (at least in principle) a certain elitist and excessively aristocratic approach to Catholicism – no voice is given to the “traditionalist” seditious people; it was also an indirect attack on the sensibility of the predecessor Festing, notoriously a lover of Tridentine spirituality; in short, it was a testimony to an alignment which probably was not necessary. It seems at least suggestive to consider that Dalla Torre died at the first light of day when the Church, in the calendar of the traditional mass, commemorates the Universal Patronage of Saint Joseph, who is also the patron saint of good death.

Beyond this – which in any case constitutes a “political” consideration of the style of government but is certainly not a moral judgement (which would appear ungenerous, even before being reckless) on the person – now with the death of Dalla Torre there are very problematic scenarios for the life of the Order.

First of all, it should be noted that the death of a Head of State, which occurs in a circumstance such as the one we are experiencing due to the planetary blockade of the pandemic, certainly suffers ceremonial repercussions, starting with the uncertainty about the funeral: Certainly, the Order of Malta is a subject of international law that enjoys, therefore, sovereignty, independence and also extraterritoriality, for which the grotesque measures containing the Italian legislation on the subject would certainly not be applicable; however, objectively, we do not believe that a rite proportionate to the dignity of a “Most Eminent Highness” is conceivable. Probably there will only be a ceremony restricted to members of the Sovereign Council and professed knights; perhaps one could hope for the consolidated practice for which, in the trigesimo of the disappearance, state funerals will be officiated in the presence of heads of state and the diplomatic corps. We shall see; of course it is a pity that the head of a religious order, who is in any case a very pious and devout man, cannot have a worthy moment of extreme greeting with the honours he is due.

But beyond the pitiless protocol problems – although in this world form is substance – the institutional scenario that opens with his death is much more significant.

The Grand Magistry’s communiqué, issued last night around 1.00 a.m., informed that “According to Article 17 of the Constitution of the Sovereign Order of Malta, the Grand Commander … has assumed the functions of Interim Lieutenant and will remain head of the Sovereign Order of Malta until the election of the new Grand Master”.

Now the problem is really big. Already from his Lieutenancy and then, in his Magisterium, Dalla Torre was to conduct and conclude the Order’s constitutional reform. Commissions were organised (in which, however, the professed religious knights were largely marginalised), there were exchanges of documents (all internal acts, nothing public, of course), and then everything fell into oblivion, in a form of acquiescence to the status quo: very imprudent for those who cannot count fifty years of government experience among them.

Everything is now in the hands of the Grand Commander.

Yes, of course, formally that is the case, but it is clear that an 80-year-old Portuguese gentleman (and not exactly sprightly at what one sees and knows), who has remained confined to Portugal, will not be able to manage a complex situation like this on his own, and will therefore need help. There is no doubt that the obscure Grand Chancellor Boeselager will pull the strings… but the first obstacle is the incomplete reform, which is therefore also useless. Because, on closer inspection, the Order is in the same stalemate that led to the election of Dalla Torre.

Art. 13 of the Constitutional Charter of the Order, in force today, prescribes that “The Grand Master is elected for life … from among the Professed Knights, with at least ten years of Perpetual Vows, if they are less than fifty years old; for the Professed Knights of higher age, who have been members of the Order for at least ten years, three years of Perpetual Vows are sufficient”. (paragraph 1), and then continues: “The Grand Master and the Lieutenant of the Grand Master must meet the noble requirements prescribed for the category of Knights of Honour and Devotion.” (paragraph 2). What does this mean?

For non-experts, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta cannot but be an aristocrat (which also seems logical to us for an Order that qualifies as “noble”); and the Constitution provides that the Head of the Order is chosen not “from among the knights of honour and devotion” (who may have been included in this category also with a “motu proprio”, also for particular merits, without having the right to do so heraldically) but that he “has the requisites required to be admitted among the knights of honour and devotion”: 4/4 (= both father’s and mother’s side) of nobility for 200 years, or: 250 years of nobility for the paternal line in addition to 200 years of the other 2/4 in addition to the amnesty for an grandfather, or: 300 years paternal line in addition to 200 years of the other 2/4 in addition to the amnesty for an grandfather, or: 350 years, paternal line in addition to 200 years of another quarter, or: 450 years paternal line.

This was one of the rules that the reform was supposed to modify, at least allowing for the possibility to range among the professed members (called “first class”), perhaps extending (this was the hypothesis) eligibility also to knights of grace and devotion (which would be the step immediately below honour and devotion), but this was not the case. And therefore the rule in force is the one mentioned above.

Given this, who could be elected Grand Master given these rules? Well, the game is complex because, on closer inspection, there is not a wide selection from which to chose. Some are candidates “only on paper”, such as Friar Luigi Naselli of Gela (born in 1930, former Grand Prior of Naples and Sicily, resigned for health reasons) and Friar Gherardo Hercolani Fava Simonetti (born in 1941, also a former Grand Commander, but very ill health); finally there would be Friar Pierre de Bizemont (born in 1944, the only French professed with eligibility requirements). Naturally, the former Grand Master Festing, born in 1949, must be added to these few eligible candidates, and perhaps put before him, for whom technically the great return is not excluded, considering the controversial resignation that followed.

The same Grand Commander could not be elected, coming from the ranks of the knights of grace and devotion, as well as the Italians fra’ Carlo d’Ippolito di Sant’Ippolito (an energetic Calabrian gentleman born in 1933, former Grand Commander) and fra’ Marco Luzzago (born in 1950, “commendatore di giustizia”, in charge of the castle of Magione), also admitted as knights of grace and devotion. To be excluded, of course, all the other professed from the other ranks.

There would then be hypotheses that would benefit a hypothetical Italian reconquest of Via Condotti, because there could also be another professed knight with the noble requisites provided for in art. 13, paragraph 2, but who is lacking those provided for in paragraph 1, such as the forty-four year old Friulan Fra’ Nicolò Custoza de Cattani (who took the solemn vows in 2016, but would have to wait until 2026 to be eligible). And then there is another Italian, who, however, today is on the verge of achieving the requirements of solemn profession: he is Friar Alessandro de Franciscis from Campania, born in 1955, the current director of the Bureau Médical of Lourdes, who would complete his three years of profession next December. Therefore, in a hypothetical procrastination linked to the contingencies of covid-19, the hypothesis of his election could also materialize. However, de Franciscis is not only a highly esteemed doctor who plays a role of clear prestige in one of the most important Marian shrines in Christendom, but also has a political past among the ranks of the centre-left area (former DC, then Margherita, UDEUR, Democratic Party) which led him to hold the position of president of the province of Caserta in 2005 and to be unpleasantly involved in legal problems inherent in that position, which were then resolved positively for him. Certainly since 2009 he has not been in politics, but it is known that in certain circles certain things never cease to be considered, especially when it comes to electing what, though sui generis, is still a Head of State.

Of course, the whole issue will be played out over time, which will certainly not be lacking given the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. It has to be said, however, that the Code which regulates the life of the Order and in art. 145 sets the time for the convocation of the Council of State (the elective body of the Grand Master, which constitutes a sort of “parliament” of the Order, in which the Grand Priories and national associations are also represented) at a maximum of three months, and therefore the time for hypothetical alliances is not so long; unless an exception to this rule is made, but even this is only a ‘school’ hypothesis.

It is clear, however, that, net of this, the influence of the German management of the Order, orchestrated by the ineffable Boeselager, will not delay in making itself felt. He certainly has almost all the national associations in his grip – a little more recalcitrant than the others – the Italian one, led by the Sicilian Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, to which, although it has more members than the others, was arbitrarily prevented from expressing preference in the last elections in 2018 on the grounds that Italy was already represented by the three Grand Priories (two of which were already commissariats at the time) – and clearly can count on a sprawling system of control based on the management and distribution of economic funds and diplomatic privileges (just think of the choice of all the Order’s diplomats – among whom we recall the son of the very powerful former commander of the Vatican Gendarmerie Domenico Giani, now torpedoed by Pope Bergoglio). The professed (not only those “born noble”), on the other hand, are numerically few and above all appear very disorganized and demoralized; theirs is a stalemate, which seems to have neither breath nor room for action.

It is not excluded, however, that in all this the Holy See, through the special delegate Becciu, can once again extend its paw towards the Order, exercising a leading role in the election procedures, perhaps leading to the choice of a Lieutenant to temporarily hold the Order and ferry it towards the much sought after reform. But also the Lieutenant must have the requisites foreseen for the Grand Master (as we saw before quoting art. 13 par. 2 of the Constitutional Charter), and therefore the problem of the choice is also proposed, but in this case, it would be limited to only one year of government, in order to be able, at the moment of electing the new Grand Master, to range over several candidates. On the other hand, however, if this were to happen, the fracture linked to the consideration of the, albeit peculiar, sovereignty of the Order, which would be in some way vitiated by a form of external interference, would open up again.

In addition, however things go, the question of the “Cardinalis Patronus” comes up again, a position from which Raymond Burke has never been formally removed; the American Cardinal, who certainly does not need captions, elegantly never claimed any role after his ousting, which in fact created a “freeze” of his function, but considering that the rules of the Order assign to his office some tasks related to these phases, an honest definition of the problem would be desirable.

Naturally, these are political hypotheses. But the situation may not be as tragic as one thinks, and on the contrary, trusting in the strengthening of a “resistant” group, the pars sanior of the Order could take advantage of the moment for a change of course towards a more responsible autonomy and a better awareness of its past.

Let us watch.

§ § §

We were told that in our above essay of yesterday there are inaccuracies and incompleteness. We correct them here:

First of all, to the Italians should be added Fra Roggero Caccia Dominioni, Grand Prior Emeritus of Lombardy and Venice, who, however, is over ninety years old and does not enjoy excellent health … ; then it should be noted that both Fra’ Carlo d’Ippolito di Sant’Ippolito and Fra’ Marco Luzzago (who is Commendatore di Giustizia but does not reside at the Castello di Magione but at Villa Ciccolini, in Macerata) were received into the Order as Knights of Grace and Devotion and then integrated the evidence of nobility and have (as they say in technical jargon) “healed the missing quarters”, thus proving to have those requirements to be admitted among the Knights of Honour and Devotion. This practice – which at the time also followed the late Grand Master Fra’ Giacomo – is consolidated within the Order, since genealogical research can often be perfected over time, thus enabling the Order to integrate its process of nobility with new suitable and appropriate evidence.

To the eligible professed already indicated must then be added:

Brother Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein, Austrian, born in 1937, former Grand Commander who was interim lieutenant in the transition phase immediately following Festing’s resignation;

Brother Karel Paar, born 1934, Grand Prior Emeritus of Bohemia;

Fra’ Elie de Comminges, French, born in 1935, who had been missing from the Order’s public life for several years;

Brother Ludwig von Call, Tyrolean, born 1934, professor of chemistry in Innsbruck.

Finally, they point out that although it is true that Friar Alexander de Franciscis will theoretically reach the proportion between years of age and years of profession required by Art. 13 of the Constitutional Charter next December, he lacks another requirement that the same article provides for in a not inconsiderable aside, namely that of being a member of the Order “for at least ten years”, having been received only in 2012.

The circle, therefore, between the old and the wretched, closes on de Bizemont, Luzzago, Paar, von Call… and Festing.

There are also twists and turns… If we were English, we could also place a bet on it.

Meanwhile, a ramshackle obituary informs us that the funeral of the late Grand Master will be held (it is not known when) “in a restricted manner” in the Church of Villa Malta on the Aventine (extraterritorial), announcing the celebration of “a solemn Requiem Mass on a date to be defined”. No mention of State funerals. Boh.

§ § §

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St. Joseph Foundation: The Decision to shut down parishes is contrary to the Gospel & Canon Law

THIS ARTICLE PRESUPPOSES THAT THE PANDEMIC IS REAL, WHICH IT IS NOT

But even if it were, the way the Bishops have closed Churches
is completely contrary to the Gospel:
Anti-Pope, Anti-Church, Anti-Bishops, Anti-Gospel, Anti-Parishes

Pastoral Remedies in Time of the Corona Panic

An excerpt of the Original at Saint Joseph’s Foundation’s website, here in PDF.

By Philip C. L. Gray, JCL

Questions Answered

I turn now to apply the principles noted above and answer some of the questions we have received.

1. Does a diocesan bishop have the authority to cancel “non-essential” activities in a parish, such as Stations of the Cross, CCD, bible studies, etc.?

Generally speaking, no. A pastor is the administrator of his parish. Under jurisprudence, it is the pastor, not the bishop, who can set Mass schedules. I have won and lost cases because of that jurisprudence. That being true, it would be the pastor, not the bishop, who is entrusted with making decisions about what is essential and what is not. He should do so with guidelines from the bishop, but not prohibitions. This is the principle of subsidiarity at work. The pastor should also prudently weigh the circumstances, risks and benefits associated with his decision.

2. What are the canonical issues involved with a bishop shuttering churches and suspending all public Masses?

For a bishop to do this, he must issue a decree that is motivated in fact and specific to the circumstances he is addressing. The decree must be properly promulgated and thereby actionable; that is, open to challenge. More at issue is that the faithful have a Divine Law right to the sacraments. Personally, I do not believe such a directive is legitimate but the circumstances for appeal would be too burdensome and probably not resolved until after the pandemic has passed. For this reason, the Faithful are encouraged to find other, more favorable ways to obtain the sacraments while also petitioning their bishop to provide the sacraments. The Faithful should also use acceptable means to persuade a bishop to allow public Masses with prudent measures implemented.

3. What canonical arguments exist in favor of a pastor continuing to celebrate the sacraments for his people?

See #2 above. The vocation of a pastor is to minister to the spiritual needs of his people out of the Word of God and the Sacraments. Just as a parent’s obligations to children are not suspended when a crisis occurs, neither is a pastor’s. The Faithful have a right to receive the sacraments, and this places an obligation on a priest to provide them. In danger of death, the obligation to provide is extended to those priests who no longer have ordinary faculties.

4. Can a person be required to receive Holy Communion in the hand during the Coronavirus?

No, not legitimately. This will be disputed, and the person refused Holy Communion will likely not see a decision in their case until after the crisis is past. A greater concern is that such refusal will become normative. If a person is refused Holy Communion on the tongue, that person will be faced with a hard decision to appeal or not. The SJF is ready to assist anyone in making that discernment.

5. What is necessary to confect the Eucharist, as opposed to what may be in the rubrics or a part of custom?

As per any sacrament, to confect the Eucharist requires valid matter, form, and intention. For the Eucharist, valid matter is unleavened bread (in the Latin Church and most Eastern Catholic Churches) and pure grape wine. The form is the words, “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood” said at the appropriate time. The priest must intend to confect the Eucharist. The “breathing” on the species during consecration is a beautiful custom but is not obligatory. Consequently, a priest who wears a mask during the celebration of Mass, or distributes Holy Communion with gloves, or uses other precautions that do not affect the matter, form or intention, do not harm the validity of the Mass. Such precautions should be taken in collaboration with the bishop.

6. Can a priest use soap or hand sanitizer during the purification of his hands during Mass?

The rubrics call for water. Adding lemon juice or even isopropyl alcohol to the water as a disinfectant would not, in my opinion, affect the liceity of the act. Doing so would be far less offensive to the rubrics than wearing gloves to distribute Holy Communion, which itself could be reasonable during this crisis.

7. Can extraordinary ministers be used in lieu of the presiding priest so the priest can remain socially distant and lessen the risk of being exposed to the virus? Can extraordinary ministers self-communicate for the same reasons?

Yes to both. These measures should be taken in collaboration with the bishop, but if such collaboration is not possible, a presiding priest can make those decisions in extraordinary circumstances. None of those examples affect the validity of the Sacrament.

8. Should a priest disobey his bishop if his bishop orders that all public sacraments are to cease?

This is a tricky question for some and easy for others. The answer should not be taken lightly. A priest vows obedience to his bishop, so the question behind the question is, “What is the obedience he vowed?” As a virtue, obedience flows from Justice. It is giving to authority what is due that authority. As Christians, all of us must be obedient to lawful authority. It’s part of what we believe. On the other hand, all authority has limits, and the first limits that must be respected are the limits imposed by Faith and Morals. When that authority acts in a manner contrary to Faith or Morals, we have no obligation to obey. He may have the power to act, but such acts are illegitimate insofar as they violate Divine Law, either Positive or Natural. The right of the Faithful to receive the sacraments is a matter of Divine Law. Whether providing them at a particular time is appropriate or not is something the minister of that sacrament must determine at that time. If a bishop prohibits the public exercise of sacraments during this crisis, and a priest has concerns, the priest should prayerfully consider the circumstances of the prohibition as they relate to him and the people under his care. He must consider the norm of Canon 18 and other applicable laws, what faculties the Church provides, what opportunities for grace exist for the people, and what his options are. He should express his concerns to his bishop, even asking the bishop to reconsider if necessary. If he chooses not to obey the directive, he must be certain in his conscience that he is being obedient to God. Put another way, a priest should always obey a legitimate directive from his bishop.

That’s Enough! — End the Shutdown Today, or else!

by Karl Denninger

Reprinted from Market-Ticker.org

It’s over folks.

With more than 19.4 million people residents, the preliminary results indicate that at least 2.7 million New Yorkers have been infected with Covid-19.

The official data is that 257,000, roughly, NY State residents have had it.  The real number is 10x higher or more.

This in turn means the fatality rate is 10x lower or more.

And that, in turn, means that:

  • The risk of death is no greater than that of a bad seasonal flu.  This makes all of the lockdown and other suspension/mitigation measures worthless, as they were unjustified in fact and in law.  There is no basis for continuing any of them for even one more day.  That includes masks, “social distancing” restrictions or anything else.
    .
  • The capability to “track and trace” is a literal zero since 90% or more of the cases will never be recorded by anyone.  Therefore all claims of “track and trace” or anything related to it are not only unjustified they’re criminally insane or intended for other purposes.

Folks, the game’s over.  This is not the first such study but it’s the largest and in one of the “hot spots” — in fact, the hot spot.

The scientific facts are now in.  There is no scientific reason for any governor to support or allow any lockdown or suspension of any sort to continue for even one more day.  There is no reason predicated on science for any citizen to follow any such direction for even one more day.

IF the governors do not immediately lift, and our President does not immediately demand the lifting of all such orders right here, right now, within the next hour then the government at both State and Federal levels is entirely illegitimate, it is now committing felony kidnapping and there is just cause for it to be removed and replaced by any means necessary.

The debate, on the science, is over.

Warrior nun: now the tables are turned on those who turned on us

FromRome.Info publishes here its English translation of a letter by an anonymous Catholic nun, here in Italy, interpreting the signs of the times. It was sent to Aldo Maria Valli, and you can read it in Italian at his site.

Dear Doctor,

I have read with lively interest your interview of Father Alfredo Morselli. Truly, it is a great insight, on his part, to have known how to find that, in the language of Dante, one might see a counterpoint in every happening.

Father Morelli, in his reply to one of your questions, says: “See: Communion was given to all, even if in the state of sin, and to the Lutherans in Germany, and now no one can make Holy Communion. Worship was given to idols in the Vatican and in Saint Peter’s, and now Saint Peter’s will not have the rites for Holy Week with the faithful. The Church in China was betrayed and sold to the Chinese regime, and from China has come the virus. With the Synod on Amazonia, nature was glorified and considered even a source of theological doctrine, and now she is showing — on account of the original sin — that she is not a tiger who is easily ridden.  A plot was begun to give wives to priests, and now priests are without their spouse, their parish. Is it not as if there is coming to pass what is said in the book of Wisdom, “…  That they might know that by what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented.” (Wisdom 11:17)

For my part, to the list made by Father Morselli, even though with great reluctance (and with that prayer with which those called by God see and comprehend), I would add two other aspects.

They obligated all the nuns to leave their beloved cloisters with the most extreme threats, and now they are subject to cloister with the most extreme threats against anyone who leaves it.

In recent days, they made decisions by administrative process concerning matters which required the power of a legislator, and now the Italian government, falling into the same abuse, is deciding with administrative acts who, how, where and in what manner one may worship God.

God help us!

Signed,

the warrior nun

The Wuhan Virus has torn the masks off the world elites

AccademiaNuovaItalia.it

The Corona Crisis in Italy

by Francesco Lamendola

FromRome.Info’s English translation of the original Italian article, entitled:

Ora, Almeno, Le Cose Diventano Chiare

PUBLISHED ON MARCH 24, 2020

We must “thank” the Coronavirus because, in this emergency situation, finally things have become much clearer: it is in moments of crisis, in fact, that the naked truth of people emerges and you can see who is made of wax and who is made of flesh and blood.

We thought we were living in a democracy. Now we have discovered that a Mr. X can close Parliament with a stroke of the pen and lock up sixty million people at home, and no one dares to say “Bah!”: no one, from the President of the Republic downwards. Not even Mussolini had gone that far. We observe, incidentally, that if Salvini had still been in government, those same people who now invoke the state of necessity, dura lex, sed lex, would have started squawking like ducks, denouncing with loud shouts and fiery words his attack on democracy and establishment of a dictatorship.

We thought we had a public health service at European level, for which we pay top taxes, and we discovered that we had a Third World health service, with a number of beds, intensive care equipment and even antibacterial masks for medical and nursing staff, ridiculously inferior to the needs of an emergency situation. Which objectively is not particularly dramatic: we are not in the presence of a pestilence, but of a slightly worse influenza than usual and which spreads faster. So the drama is not the virus, but the total unpreparedness of our health machine, dismantled by two decades of frenzied cuts. It’s like discovering that when war breaks out, the army has the troops and even the cannons, but not the bullets. It is called lack of foresight and it is not the fault of the Holy Spirit.

We believed that science would tell us what to do and how to evaluate an epidemic, but now we see scientists arguing furiously with each other and threatening to sue each other because of what they say, because of the assessments they make about the health emergency. It has been understood that in the final analysis they are in charge, it is they who make the decisions for the good of the Italian people, in their unquestionable judgement, and not politics; but there is discord among them, and so we ask ourselves: to which of them should we lend faith? It is impossible to find an answer: if disagreement reigns among the technicians, what can we understand, that we are not technicians?

We believed that the forces of law and order and the army existed for our protection and for the defense of our vital interests; that their institutional purpose was to protect our security against criminals and against possible external aggression. Now we find that they can be used to control us, to fine us, to denounce us, to treat us as criminals for committing the terrible crime of leaving home to go for a half-hour walk, or to go shopping with our wife who, perhaps because of her age or for other reasons, does not have enough strength in her arms to take home bags that are too heavy or a box of food. We discover that it is also a crime to take the car to pick up our daughter at the airport, who returned from abroad after a thousand difficulties, with a special flight organized by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but remained blocked due to the absence of trains, physically and psychologically exhausted by the total lack of information and the closure of hotels, which forced her to spend a night in the open air: that the Carabinieri can stop us, impose a huge fine and trigger a criminal complaint against us.

We believed that the Catholic Church existed to give us spiritual comfort, to administer the Sacraments, to strengthen the faith in us, especially in times of particular difficulty; and we discover that she has been able to tell us absolutely nothing comforting, she has left us without Holy Mass, without the Eucharist, without Confession and even without funerals, all on the grounds that we must protect public health by avoiding mass gatherings. In this way we discover that the clergy has declared faith in God useless and totally commits themselves to science in order to seek salvation. We also note, in passing, that the same pope, the same bishops and the same priests who were preaching to us every day with their prayers of welcoming migrants, not to mention the environment, climate, plastic and biodiversity, have not been able to say a single good word to us, a single spiritual word, nor have they been capable of the smallest gesture of welcome and mercy towards us, the sheep of Christ’s flock, dazed and frightened under the hail of psychological state terrorism.

We believed, because we had been told to boredom, that borders are a very ugly thing, that we must let in anyone who wants to, break down walls, build bridges, embrace the Chinese and toast with an aperitif that Milan is not stopping, and so we would have shown those racists, nationalists and populists who talked about quarantine and closing borders; but instead we have found ourselves immersed in a nightmare of which we can not see the end, in which the other has become a danger, a contagion, a enemy to be kept at a distance, to be treated only with gloves and a mask. Now they no longer speak of kisses and hugs: these have become an attack on public health and a provocation to doctors who are committed to the point of exhaustion to wring death from hospital patients. It was not well understood when the change of course took place and when, for example, those governors who minimized and were astonished because some of their provinces had been included in the initial “red zone”, and announced that they would demand the revocation of these measures, began to preach and invoke ever more rigorous, ever more draconian measures, and sting the government because it does not do enough, is not strict enough, does not multiply the prohibitions and does not tighten the sanctions for transgressors. The fact is that this radical change has taken place, and it has taken place under our noses: but with such a suddenness, with such dexterity, that perhaps not even a magician or an illusionist would have been able to do better.

We thought we had a government that could not have been worse: unelected, unwanted, largely minority in the country, morally and politically discredited from the beginning for the cynicism with which it was done, putting together two parties that hate each other and that until the day before had spilled over avalanches of mutual contempt; but to have, on the other hand, a strong and constructive opposition, of centre-right parties, with clear ideas and two young leaders full of determination and initiative, capable of interpreting the true feelings of the Italian people (let us not speak of the third, the living corpse [Editor’s Note: Berlusconi] that insists on scheming for the interests of the ECB, as well as its own, like a Trojan horse); and to have, moreover, a gentleman in the role of President of the Republic, to act as an honest referee in the unpleasant and rigged game that is played between government and opposition. We have discovered, instead, that there is no opposition, because the self-styled opposition has, if anything, started to compete with the government, showing itself to be more realistic than the king and calling for even tougher emergency measures and police measures: as for the rest: no difference in method and approach to problems; no ideas, no grit, no nothing. As for the President, we have discovered that he is not at home.

We believed that the European Union would show, at least on this occasion, some of the cohesion and solidarity that we have always been promised and magnified, but which we have rarely seen at work; that at least this time there would be, on the part of the other Member States, some cooperation with our own, invaded first and most strongly by the virus; that negotiations would be suspended for the much controversial ESM, that the ECB would promptly grant a soft loan to Italy, or at least that it would hasten to cut the interest on the loans it will need to face the blockage of its economic activities and much of its industrial production. Instead, we have seen France insulting us and mocking us with outrageous and racist videos; Germany withholding medical supplies for itself and even requisitioning Chinese masks already purchased by an Italian company, in transit through its territory; Austria closing the Brenner Pass with the army and Slovenia interrupting the transit of Alpine crossings with stone barriers on the road; and as icing on the cake, the President of the ECB calmly declaring that it is not her job to keep the bond spread low, and automatically unleashing, with such words certainly not said at random, furious financial speculation that in a single day has burned 70 to 100 billion euros on our stock exchange.

We also believed we had, despite the overall disorganization, some of the brightest, freest and most original intelligences in the world, both in journalism and in culture and science. Instead, we discovered a flatness, a conformism, a disconcerting mediocrity in each of these fields. Journalists and intellectuals have literally competed in laying down on the most banal opinions and, coincidentally, on the indications and recommendations of the government, unconditionally approving the line of rigor and repression, adopting the opinion of the most alarming biologists, and contributing to spreading panic among the population with the utmost zeal. It is also true that only the politically correct points of view have found and find space in the mass media of national importance: if someone dares to express an opinion considered heterodox, he is immediately silenced and marginalized, as we have seen in the case of Vittorio Sgarbi, who is not used to be intimidated. And yet, perhaps by turning to the social media, we would have liked to see at least some of the great names in journalism and culture asking the power the uncomfortable questions we all want to ask: is it logical to quarantine sixty million people to protect a small part of them? Would it not have been more rational and easier to quarantine the latter? And does it make sense to impose the same restrictions and limitations on the municipalities most affected by the virus and those who do not register a single suspicious case? And why does the Prime Minister systematically choose the hours of the night to announce any new package of anti-accounting measures, while always remaining vague and never giving precise indications and a clear time limit? We are the only country in the world, including China, to have adopted such a line of containment and prevention, which means that national life is almost completely blocked: are we really the best and the most intelligent of all?

However, the most bitter and unpleasant surprises, let’s be honest, are not those that come from outside, but from ourselves, both psychologically and spiritually. Psychologically, we thought we were discreetly prepared to face the difficulties and the unforeseen events of life, and above all to come to terms with the idea of our mortality, and instead we discovered that we were totally unprepared and totally, irrationally terrified of the possibility of getting sick and dying: even if the numbers say that, so far, practically nobody has died only of Coronavirus. We have locked ourselves indoors, and we call for even stricter measures, and we watch our neighbor go out for a walk with his little dog, not so much because we are afraid of the fine and legal penalties, but because we are afraid to die. It is true that television, our almost only resource in times of quarantine, does its best, or its worst, to terrorize us, attacking us around the clock with an obsessive hammering on the epidemic and using hysterical and distressing tones. We, however, were prepared to let ourselves be influenced to the maximum, because we had unconsciously developed a sort of claim to immunity from disease and death. Which, without a doubt, reminds us not only of the lifestyles of diabolical consumerism, but also of the betrayal of the former Catholic clergy, who have long ceased to preach to us. Remember, man, that you are dust and in dust you will return, to milk our ears with much more melodic and soothing refrains, made of goodness and mercy at a kilo, in the style of the former Argentinean bouncer indecently absent from the chair of St. Peter. Spiritually we have realized the weakness, not to say the inconsistency, of our faith, if Catholic, and of our lay points of reference, if not believers. We have realized that we are fragile and frightened like children: because when the knots come to the comb, one discovers what a man is made of; and we have realized that we are made of wax.

Who knows what good may come from all this. It will not be an automatic thing: the hashtag #ItWillBeAllRight is nonsense, if understood as an automatically effective incantation. Trials do not make people better, if anything worse, if they are not lived with the right disposition of spirit. We must reconvert our lives from frivolity to seriousness, from unconsciousness to awareness, from superficiality to reflection. We have to go back to wondering who we are and what we are doing in the world, why we are in this world.

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I am sick to my stomach watching these unnatural men who run the Church

 GUEST EDITORIAL

by John Bronston

These are the days that have been foretold to us through Scripture, countless Saints, and numerous Marian apparitions. If we are not aware, it is because of our own ignorance and lack of desire to understand what our Faith is truly about. The Corona virus fear that has gripped the entire world is without a doubt a demonic plot to control the minds and hearts of the people of this world. But why is the Church and so many of the lay faithful going along with the world? We are not called to live as people in the world live. We are Christians and we are called to live as Christ lived.

We do not look to the world for answers or for hope in times of crisis. We should be picking up our rosary and bible and looking towards God for answers. If we aren’t doing that it means we are putting our faith in the world by absorbing the messages that are being given to us through the secular media, which is always atheistic and anti-God.  The world can not tell us anything that will help us save our souls. It despises us because we are followers of Christ. We know Satan is the ruler of this world and yet we look to the world for information. This is a classic example of insanity! The Father of Lies runs the world and we want to listen to him and his minions? No, we should open our bibles and let God speak to us here and now.

God’s word is alive and eternal. The Truth never changes and what was written 2,000 years ago under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (God) is full Truth. In fact, you will learn more about the reality of things today by reading that living word of God than you could ever learn through the news and media reports that come from the world every second of every day. It is sheer chaos and hysteria being spread by the world and the Devil. There is NO truth in them! We need to regain our senses and understand that God is in control of all things and figure out what His plan for us is in this current moment. He is not asking us to be afraid of a virus that can infect our bodies. He is more concerned with the spiritual virus, that is Sin, that is infecting our minds, hearts, souls and the Church!

This is all the more reason that we should not be accepting the closing of the masses by our Bishop(s)! If they had even an ounce of supernatural Faith they would not agree to go along with this diabolical agenda of the world and would resist until the point of death.  We the laity must protest this horrific abuse with all our might. We must write emails, plan protests, rally outside of our churches, depose unfaithful clergy, whatever it takes! It amazes me that so many Catholics on social media are celebrating this atrocity as a prudent decision by the Church. The Catholic Church is not what you think it is. It is not just the hierarchy who get to make decisions and the rest of us just blindly accept it even to our own eternal detriment. This is not using our God given intellect and will.

We do not follow faithless men. We, the Church of light who are called to be the salt of the earth for the rest of humanity, must retain our zeal! If we have lost that, then we are no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (cf. Matthew 5:13-16).

I am sick to my stomach watching these unnatural men who run the Church telling us, the faithful, what we must do. They use your ignorance of the Faith and of your rights as Christians, to lie to get you to agree to things that no Christians in the history of the world would ever have agreed to.  The true Church does not take its marching orders from the State (Satan). It takes its orders from Christ and those who are in communion with Him. This means those who are in a state of Grace and who reside in the Truth.

We must despise all forms of lying in our own lives if we ever wish to be able to see the Truth as it clearly is. The sin of lying obstructs us from being able to see when others are lying to us. The current hierarchy of the Church is filled with immoral men who can lie with an unsettling ease that is impossible to detect unless you have trained your eyes and ears to only seek truth. Christ is the truth we must seek right now and always if we are ever going to be able to live as he has called us to live in this world.

Fear of God is the only respectable form of fear. If we are afraid, because the world has caused it in us, then we are not exhibiting true faith. If you tell me I cannot receive the most precious and holy Eucharist because of fear of contracting a cold virus then you are doing the devil’s work and you have cut yourself off from the true vine that gives life.  Please understand that your Church is being ripped away from you and if you’re ok watching mass on television and not receiving the most blessed Sacrament than I feel sorry for you. If this is not ok with you than let us, the militant Church, do something about it right now.

Stay away from people who are not followers of the Lord! Can someone who is good get along with someone who is evil? Are light and darkness the same? Is Christ a friend of Satan? Can people who follow the Lord have anything in common with those who don’t? Do idols belong in the temple of God? We are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).

​“Who’s going to save our Church? It’s not our bishops, it’s not our priests and it is not the religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that the priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and the religious act like religious.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

“Anyway, they are no more than false apostles and dishonest workers. They only pretend to be apostles of Christ. And it is no wonder. Even Satan tries to make himself look like an angel of light. So why does it seem strange for Satan’s servants to pretend to do what is right? Someday they will get exactly what they deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

“For the shepherds are stupid, and do not inquire of the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.” Jeremiah 10:21

“It is an easy matter for many to be shut up in the hands of a few: and there is no difference in the sight of the God of heaven to deliver with a great multitude, or with a small company: For the success of war is not in the multitude of the army, but strength cometh from heaven. They come against us with an insolent multitude, and with pride, to destroy us, and our wives, and our children, and to take our spoils. But we will fight for our lives and our laws: And the Lord himself will overthrow them before our face: but as for you, fear them not.” 1 (Maccabees) 3:18-22

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a photo of Cardinals Kasper and the last Daneels, two prominent members of the St. Gallen Mafia, who promoted Bergoglio to supreme power. It is used here in accord with a Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 unported license, as described here.

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Open Letter to the Bishops who have shut down their dioceses

by Andrew J. Baalman

Blogging at Ordo Militaris Radio Blog

Your Excellencies,

By your lack of Faith and Trust In God and His Divine Providence, you have gone with what all secular and Anti-Christian Governments want and those in the Democratic Party want, to limit or close our churches and Dioceses out of fear, panic and hysteria.

You do a great dis-service to the People of God in taking away the Sacraments and even the Last Rites, Anointing Of The Sick:

annointing

You have removed the shepherds from the flock and now the roaring lion that never sleeps as Saint Peter warns us about the Devil, has free reign against us without the protection of the Sacraments! We need God, His Holy Church and the Sacraments He gave us to fight and combat all this evil! I assure you, this virus and where it is hitting, it is due to what happened in the Vatican with the Idolatry Worship of the pagan idol!

Not only are our priests who are going along with your decree to stop all Masses and Sacraments and closure of our churches acting like cowards, but also dishonoring the numerous Holy Priests who gave their own lives to be with their flock:

father-aloysius-schmittAs on the battle fields of Pearl Harbor when Japan attacked,

like Father Aloysius Schmitt (see here to the right)

who died saving lives at Pearl Harbor

when Japan was bombing Battleship Row!

Or,

father-emil-kapaunlike Father Emil Kapaun,

Medal Of Honor Recipient, POW

and Korean War Hero,

(seen here to the right):

Chaplain Francis Duffy, World War I
Chaplain (Maj.) Francis P. Duffy poses in an undated photo. Duffy, a Catholic priest, is one of the most celebrated chaplains from World War I.  (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School)

Father Francis P. Duffy

of The Fighting 69th Irish Brigade

New York,

The Most Highly Decorated Chaplain

in U.S.  Military History!

“He accompanied litter bearers into battle to help recover the wounded and received the Distinguished Service Cross, among other awards, for his bravery under fire.” (US Army Chaplain Center)

So, are you so scared of an illness and buying the hype and hysteria that you risk your flock’s souls? You are to be ashamed of yourself in calling yourselves shepherds, these men who risked their life for their flock on the battlefield are true shepherds!

To those who are not canceling Mass, the Sacraments and not closing your diocese, BRAVO! You are also true shepherds!

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Is The Conclave That Gave Us Pope Francis Valid and All The Appointments?

Seventh Anniversary Of Conclave

by Andrew J. Baalman

In this article I will be going through Universi Domini Gregis by Pope John Paul II to see if the laws of the Conclave that gave the world Francis, were broken and if he was not validly elected.

INTRODUCTION

It is seven years since we had the conclave that gave us Pope Francis, with all this craziness and madness that has happened ever since, and then the worship of Pagan Idols in the Vatican Garden and Basilicas, all our worries and concerns seem to not matter and when we want to investigate or do these reports, certain groups of Catholics say it is not necessary and just obey and not worry what is going on.  But I am with many who think there needs to be an investigation and here we will look at what news reports said those fateful days after the conclave and all the breaking news.

Let us look at some dates and newspaper reports gathered from the Chronology Of Team Bergoglio

Nov. 22, 2014:  John Bingham, reporter for the Telegraph, writes his report, Pope Francis: how cardinals’ Conclave lobbying campaign paved way for Argentine pontiff, which appears on the online edition at 8:15 PM London time.  It is in this report that the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh, regarding vote canvassing are first made news.  All the subsequent reports will react to this. (On Nov. 26, this article was published, with later information, in a Spanish translation by Secretum Meum Mihi Blog, here.)”

Nov. 23, 2014: A report by John Bingham, entitled, “English Cardinal ‘lobbied for Pope’“, is published on p. 16 in the Sunday Telegraph, UK, regarding Dr. Ivereigh’s book and the allegations concerning the vote canvassing by Cardinals in days preceding the Conclave of 2013 (according to Maggie Doherty’s Letter to the Editor in the Daily Telegraph, Nov. 25). An image of page 16 of the Sunday Telegraph is subsequently published by a Spanish blog on Dec. 1 (here)”

Nov. 24, 2014:  Libertà e Persona, publishes Lorenzo Bertocchi’s, La “squadra di Bergoglio”, which exposes the story for the first time in the Italian language. (This link discovered & added to chronology on Dec. 15).”

Nov. 25, 2014:  In a Letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph, Maggie Doherty, the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor denies that Cardinal Bergoglio was approached by Cardinals or consented to the work of “Team Bergoglio”. (See here for an image of that letter).

“Nov. 25, 2014:  The From Rome blog reports the events known and speculated about the canonical implications of UDG 81, in “If Ivereigh is to be believed, was Bergoglio’s election invalid?

“Nov. 26, 2014:  The From Rome blog adds an addendum concerning the implications of canon 171 to its previous report.

Nov. 27, 2014:  Returns to the topic of “Team Bergoglio” in, Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for the Pope, which discusses both the letter by Maggie Doherty and the canonical reasons why it appears that the election of Cardinal Bergoglio may now be open to a challenge. This article was republished in a rather good Italian translation by Chiesa e post Concilio, on Dec. 2.”

These and all the reports gathered show how the news about the invalid conclave was being reported around the world, but there is something even more, a book by Cardinal Danneels which admits exactly what is going on, but was not given permission to publish it in Italian by the Vatican. Lifesitenews reported on this on September 25th 2015, and this quote explains what is going on currently:

Continue reading at A. J.’s Blog: Ordo Miltiaris Radio

What does it mean, “To be loyal to the Pope?”, if we do not care who is the pope?

English translation of Italian Original

Che vuole dire, “Essere leale al Papa”,
se non ci sentiamo obbligati a conscere chi è il vero papa?

ChiesaRomana.Info

What does it mean, to be loyal to the Pope,
if we do not consider ourselves obligated
to know who is the true pope?

It is already clear that the whims of politicians has substituted any desire for the truth, and that the Dictatorship of Relativism has exalted itself unto the heavens. Hence, it is necessary duty that we Roman Catholics distinguish now between falsehood and truth.

The criterion of truth differs according to different subjects. In a vote, political truth consists in the final count of the votes. In the empirical sciences, scientific truth consists in what can be observed and demonstrated by repetitive experimentation. In matters of faith, the truth is the teaching which God has revealed. But in questions of who is and who is not the true pope, the truth consists in Canon Law, because the law of the Church regulates whose claim to the papacy is valid and legitimate, and whose is not.

As everyone knows, it is neither whim nor popularity nor a poll which confirms that a man is the Pope. A man becomes pope solely when he is elected in a Conclave. But to be more precise: a man becomes the pope when HE ACCEPTS his canonical election in a legitimate conclave. And a legitimate conclave is a Conclave which observes the papal law of Pope John Paul II, Universi dominici gregis, on the convening of conclaves during a vacancy (sede vacante) of the Apostolic See (see the Latin or English text at Vatican.va).

Obviously, therefore, even if all the Cardinals say the Pope is a man, who was not elected in a conclave which observed the norms of that papal law, he is NOT the pope, because even the Cardinals are obliged to observe the Canon Law of the Catholic Church! In fact, canon 359 says expressly that the Cardinals have no decision making power when the Apostolic See is vacant.

Therefore, to know who is the true pope, it is not sufficient to recognize him who has been elected in Conclave. Every Catholic also has the duty to verify if there was a sede vacante. This, however, is not a problem when a Pope dies, because there is a corpse.

But, how about when a Pope renounces?  There a problem can arise. In fact, Pope John Paul II expressly foresaw the possibility of a invalid renunciation in paragraph 3 of his law on Conclaves, Universi dominici gregis, and indirectly in paragraph, n. 37

Pope John Paul II also foresaw the possibility of an invalid renunciation in the Code of Canon Law which he promulgated in 1983, because in Canon 332 §2, it speaks in these terms regarding a Papal renunciation:

Canon 332 §2 — Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validiatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur, non vero a quopiam acceptetur.

Which in English means:

Canon 332 §2 — If it happen that the Roman Pontiff renounces his munus, for validity there is required that the renunciation be freely made and be duly manifested, but not that it be accepted by anyone whomsoever.

In many translations of this canon, the Latin word munus (which is employed in the dative form, muneri) is translated as office, in accord with the terms of canon 145 §1, which defines every ecclesiastical office (officium) as a munus. This way of translating munus, however, is not faithful, because an ecclesiastical office per se is merely an ecclesiastical dignity. But the munus of the Successor of Saint Peter is a supernatural dignity, an evangelical duty, and a charge imposed by Jesus Himself, by reason of which the law of the Church reckons it as an ecclesiastical office according to the norm of law.

At this point, we need to recognize that in every discussion of canon law, the Latin text of an act is normally the only text which has juridical authority. On this account, Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013, in Consistory with the Cardinals, expressed himself in the Latin tongue, saying in the first person singular (as Joseph Ratzinger) the following:

Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commisso ​renuntiare ita ut  a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 20, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse.

A Papal Renunciation is a special kind of juridical act

A papal renunciation of munus is a special kind of juridical act.  As Mons. Arrieta, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legal Texts, in his meeting with Br. Alexis Bugnolo, on December 11, 2019, affirmed, a papal renunciation is not subject to interpretation by anyone, that is, no one in the Church has the legal right to interpret it. Not even the Pope. Because if the renunciation was valid, then he is no longer the pope. And if it was not valid, his interpretation cannot make it valid. “It has to be certain in itself”, as Mons. Arrieta affirmed.

Hence, as can be seen from the official Latin text of the renunciation, quoted above, Pope Benedict XVI renounced the ministerium (ministery). Hence, it is not legitimate for anyone to say that he renounced anything else. In particular, it is not permitted that anyone say that he renounced his munus or ecclesiastical office, for such an affirmation would be an interpretation which substitutes officio (office) or muneri (munus) where Pope Benedict XVI said ministerio (ministry).

Hence, Pope Benedict XVI is still the Pope. There never was a sede vacante.

The Haste and Imprudence of the Cardinals on Feb. 11, 2013 was historic and extraordinary

According to Mons. Arrieta, there never was, as far as he knows, any meeting of expert canonists to examine the Declaratio of Pope Benedict XVI, before Father Lombardi gave the go-ahead to Giovanna Chirri, an ANSA pool report, to tweet out to the world that Pope Benedict had resigned from the papacy.

Obviously, then, no one in the Church is obligated to follow Father Lombardi or Mrs. Giovanna Chirri or even the Cardinals in their error. Rather, we are obliged by the Divine and Catholic Faith to give our loyalty still to Pope Benedict XVI, as the Pope.

Pope John Paul II took precautions against errors of this kind in his Code of Canon Law of 1983, because in that Code, he as the supreme legislator of the Church, changed the canon which regarded the renunciation of the Roman Pontiff. He did this because, for more than 20 years, theologians had put in discussion the possibility of separating the papal government from the papal office, by means of a sharing of the papal dignity among two or more persons, one charged with the papal munus, and the other with the papal ministerium. He put a stop to any such future possibility by adding the words muneri suo as the object of the verb “renuntiare” (to renounce) — the Code of Canon Law of 1917 has no object to the verb.  Moreover, he impeded the possibility of renouncing by renouncing anything else, through canon 188, which declares every renunciation irritus — invalid or never to have existed — which contains a substantial error as regards what is to be renounced.

Thus, even if Pope Benedict XVI wanted to renounce only the ministry but not the munus, he could not do it. Moreover, Mons. Arrieta affirmed — likewise in his meeting with Br. Bugnolo — that such a renunciation, so as to share the papal dignity with two persons, would be contrary to the Divine law itself.

A Divine obligation for all

Everyone in the Church is obliged to follow the true pope. A man, elected in a Conclave which was convened during the lifetime of a canonically elected pope, is obviously not the pope!  Canon 359 formally forbids the Cardinals to elect another pope during the lifetime of the reigning Pope. And the reigning Pope remains pope until he either dies or renounces in accord with the terms of Canon 332.

If the Clergy has hastily followed the opinion of a journalist or Vatican spokesman who were not qualified in Canon Law, their error obliges no one. If the Cardinals, in haste and without due discretion, presumed the renunciation of ministerium was a renunciation of the papacy, their error obliges no one.  Even if Pope Benedict XVI, with his advanced age, though that he could renounce the power and office of the papacy, without renouncing or even intending to renounce the munus, because he wanted to retain the papal dignity afterwards, this error obliges no one. It obliges no one, because not even Pope Benedict XVI has a power or authority which extends over the papal office.  Only the Creator of that office, Jesus Christ, has that power. Hence, not even the intent expressed in the act (that of vacating the Apostolic Throne) can repair the error of not renouncing the petrine munus.

What are we to do now?

We must insist with our sacred pastors that they stop naming the man, who never received the petrine munus, as  pope in the Canon of the Mass, and return to naming Pope Benedict. Each priest needs to employ canon 41, which gives him the authority to read the text of the Renunciation and to declare it null.

We need to do everything we can to convince the Cardinals to recognize their error and to return their loyalty to Pope Benedict XVI. Finally, we need to insist that the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenas Aires returns home to Argentina.

This is a solemn duty for every Catholic. We can not do otherwise, if we want to attain Heaven, because to obey an Anti-pope is the worst sin of disobedience possible in the Church on Earth.

Note, in this English translation, some of the terms and phrases were rendered according to the custom of English, rather than literally, and some Italian expressions which are clear in the Italian context, were expanded or made more precise, for clarity in English.

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Resigned to the Papacy: Does Benedict still claim he is Pope?

At the request of the author, who was cited incompletely in Edward Pentin’s report, yesterday, FromRome.Info publishes the full essay with its original title

by Dr. Edmund J. Mazza

Ph.D. Medieval History

It’s a safe bet that even if seventy-three-year-old President Trump’s physical stamina suddenly caved, he would still seek re-election rather than allow his Democrat opponent to seize the oval office and reverse all his gains and policies. It is a curious question then why another incumbent Conservative, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned seven years ago citing the frailty of his eighty-five-year-old frame, certain in the knowledge that his successor would be a Leftist ideologue bent on undoing, not only his own legacy, but two thousand years of Catholic tradition. (Benedict may even have been reasonably sure that it would be Jorge Bergoglio, himself, since the Argentinian cardinal came up just shy of the votes needed to unseat Benedict back in 2005.) As George Neumayr writes in the The American Spectator:

In one of his last speeches before abdicating in 2013, Pope Benedict XVI decried the liberalism that had seeped into the Church after Vatican II. To this liberalism, he traced “so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy was trivialized.” But he then proceeded to hand the Church to the very liberals responsible for these problems and to a successor set upon liberalizing the Church even more. (1)

The recent release of Netflix’s The Two Popes, the seventh anniversary of Benedict’s abdication and the firestorm over his co-authorship of a book advocating the retention of the celibate priesthood—a seeming slap in the face of Pope Francis—all conspire in calling for a reexamination of the infamous resignation. Indeed, ever since February 11, 2013 speculations have circulated that Benedict’s renunciation may have been invalid, that he—in some way—still retains the papacy. These allegations were fueled in part by Benedict’s own rather bizarre measures after formally stepping down, such keeping his name “Pope Benedict XVI,” his title “His Holiness,” his white cassock, imparting his “Apostolic Blessing,” and lastly—never departing the Vatican.

These claims even received an unexpected boost thanks to a speech by Benedict’s Personal Secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household. At Rome’s Gregorianum in 2016, Gänswein declared “he has not abandoned this ministry at all. Instead, he has complemented the personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, as a quasi-shared ministry.”  Gänswein adds: “He has not abandoned the office of Peter, a thing which would be completely impossible for him following his irrevocable acceptance of the office…” (2)

Then in 2017, Last Testament: In His Own Words, was published in which journalist Peter Seewald conducted a lengthy interview with Benedict. At one point, Seewald pointedly asks His Holiness: “Is a slowdown in the ability to perform, reason enough to climb down from the chair of Peter?” Benedict replies:

One can of course make that accusation, but it would be a functional misunderstanding. The follower [successor] of Peter is not merely bound to a function; the office [munus] (3) enters into your very being. In this regard, fulfilling a function is not the only criterion. (4) (Emphasis mine)

What “misunderstanding”? A simple “yes,” would do.

But Benedict does not give a “yes” or “no” answer to this straightforward question. All the more bizarre since his answer, in fact, must be a “yes,” or otherwise he is contradicting the very reason he gave for stepping down in his official resignation speech:

I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine office [non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum]… strength…has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry [ministerium] entrusted to me. For this reason…I declare that I renounce the ministry [ministerio] of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter

But in his answer to Seewald, Benedict explains that a physical “slow-down” only affects the “functions” or “ministry” of a pope, his day-to-day tasks like any other official. But being Pope, Benedict insists, is not fundamentally about doing this or that, it’s about being. His answer is an ontological one: “the office [munus] enters into your very being,” not the “function” or “ministry,” but the office.

Seewald then observes: “One objection is that the papacy has been secularized by the resignation; that it is no longer a unique office but an office like any other.” Benedict replies:

I had to…consider whether or not functionalism would completely encroach on the papacy …Earlier, bishops were not allowed to resign…a number of bishops…said ‘I am a father and that I’ll stay’, because you can’t simply stop being a father; stopping is a functionalization and secularization, something from the sort of concept of public office that shouldn’t apply to a bishop. To that I must reply: even a father’s role stops. Of course a father does not stop being a father, but he is relieved of concrete responsibility. He remains a father in a deep, inward sense, in a particular relationship which has responsibility, but not with day-to-day tasks as such…If he steps down, he remains in an inner sense within the responsibility he took on, but not in the function…one comes to understand that the office [munus] of the Pope has lost none of its greatness

Benedict again goes to great lengths to contrast the difference between I. “the office of the Pope” and II. the ministry or “function” associated with it. How to “decode” Benedict? By examining the words he has chosen and the ways he has deployed them before.

In October 1977, during the symposium “On the Nature and Commission of the Petrine Ministry” marking the 80th birthday of Pope Paul VI, Ratzinger declared:

In keeping with the three Persons in God, the argument went, the Church must also be led by a college of three, and the members of this triumvirate, acting together, would be the pope. There was no lack of ingenious speculations that (alluding, for instance, to Soloviev’s story about the Antichrist) discovered that in this way a Roman Catholic, an Orthodox, and a Protestant together could form the papal troika. Thus it appeared that the ultimate formula for ecumenism had been found, derived immediately from theology (from the concept of God), that they had discovered a way to square the circle, whereby the papacy, the chief stumbling block for non-Catholic Christianity, would have to become the definitive vehicle for bringing about the unity of all Christians.

2. The interior basis for the primacy: Faith as responsible personal witness

Is this, then—the reconciliation of collegiality and primacy—the answer to the question posed by our subject: the primacy of the pope and the unity of the People of God? Although we need not conclude that such reflections are entirely sterile and useless, it is plain that they are a distortion of trinitarian doctrine and an intolerably oversimplified fusion of Creed and Church polity. What is needed is a more profound approach. It seems to me that it is important, first of all, to reestablish a clearer connection between the theology of communion, which had developed from the idea of collegiality, and a theology of personality, which is no less important in interpreting the biblical facts. Not only does the communal character of the history created by God belong to the structure of the Bible, but also and equally personal responsibility. The ‘‘we’’ does not dissolve the ‘‘I’’ and ‘‘you,’’ but rather it confirms and intensifies them so as to make them almost definitive. This is evident already in the importance that a name has in the Old Testament—for God and for men. One could even say that in the Bible ‘‘name’’ takes the place of what philosophical reflection would eventually designate by the word ‘‘person…

Martyrdom as a response to the Cross of Jesus Christ is nothing other than the ultimate confirmation of this principle of uncompromising particularity, of the named individual who is personally responsible

The Petrine theology of the New Testament is found along this line of reasoning, and therein it has its intrinsically necessary character. The ‘‘we’’ of the Church begins with the name of the one who in particular and as a person first uttered the profession of faith in Christ: ‘‘You are . . . the Son of the living God’’ (Mt 16:16)….

Is Peter as a person the foundation of the Church, or is his profession of faith the foundation of the Church? The answer is: The profession of faith exists only as something for which someone is personally responsible, and hence the profession of faith is connected with the person. Conversely, the foundation is not a person regarded in a metaphysically neutral way, so to speak, but rather the person as the bearer of the profession of faith—one without the other would miss the significance of what is meant…

The ‘‘we’’ unity of Christians, which God instituted in Christ through the Holy Spirit under the name of Jesus Christ and as a result of his witness, certified by his death and Resurrection, is in turn maintained by personal bearers of responsibility for this unity, and it is once again personified in Peter—in Peter, who receives a new name and is thus lifted up out of what is merely his own, yet precisely in a name, through which demands are made of him as a person with personal responsibility. In his new name, which transcends the historical individual, Peter becomes the institution that goes through history (for the ability to continue and continuance are included in this new appellation), yet in such a way that this institution can exist only as a person and in particular and personal responsibility

The English Cardinal expresses it in the same way in another passage: ‘‘The office of the papacy is a cross, indeed, the greatest of all crosses. For what can be said to pertain more to the cross and anxiety of the soul than the care and responsibility for all the Churches throughout the world?’’ Moreover, he recalls Moses, who groaned under the burden of the whole Israelite people, could no longer bear it, and yet had to bear it.34 To be bound up with the will of God, with the Word of whom he is the messenger, is the experience of being girt and led against his will of which John 21 speaks. Yet this attachment to the Word and will of God because of the Lord is what makes the sedes a cross and thus proves the Vicar to be a representative. He abides in obedience and thus in personal responsibility for Christ; professing the Lord’s death and Resurrection is his whole commission and personal responsibility, in which the common profession of the Church is depicted as personally ‘‘binding’’ through the one who is bound . . . . This personal liability, which forms the heart of the doctrine of papal primacy, is therefore not opposed to the theology of the Cross or contrary to humilitas christiana but rather follows from it and is the point of its utmost concreteness and, at the same time, the public contradiction of the claim that the power of the world is the only power and also the establishment of the power of obedience in opposition to worldly power. Vicarius Christi is a title most profoundly rooted in the theology of the Cross and thus an interpretation of Matthew 16:16–19 and John 21:15–19 that points to the inner unity of these two passages. No doubt, another facet of the bondage that in light of John 21 can be described as a definitive characteristic of the papacy will be the fact that this being bound up with God’s will, which is expressed in God’s Word, means being bound up with the ‘‘we’’ of the whole Church: collegiality and primacy are interdependent. But they do not merge in such a way that the personal responsibility ultimately disappears into anonymous governing bodies. Precisely in their inseparability, personal responsibility serves unity, which it will doubtless bring about the more effectively, the more true it remains to its roots in the theology of the Cross. (5)

This 1977 speech is, in fact, the key to deciphering, not only Benedict’s 2017 interview, but his 2013 resignation speech.

In 2017 Benedict says: “If he [the pope] steps down, he remains in an inner sense within the responsibility” he took on, but not in the “function,” or “day-to-day” tasks.  In 1977 Ratzinger says: “this institution [the papacy] can exist only as a person and in particular and personal responsibility…”  He adds: “He abides in obedience and thus in personal responsibility for Christ; professing the Lord’s death and Resurrection is his whole commission and personal responsibility.”

For Benedict, “personal responsibility” is the essence of what it means to be pope. To be responsible not as a public official filled with day to day tasks, but metaphysical responsibility for the flock of Christ. In his interview, Benedict says that although he “stepped down,” “HE REMAINS…WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITY.” Translation: “He remains Pope!”

In 1977, Ratzinger says: ‘‘The office of the papacy is a cross, indeed, the greatest of all crosses. For what can be said to pertain more to the cross and anxiety of the soul than the care and [personal] responsibility for all the Churches…attachment to the Word and will of God because of the Lord is what makes the sedes [chair] a cross and thus proves the Vicar [the Pope] to be a representative [of Christ].” At his last General Audience, Benedict says: “I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord.” Translation: “He remains Pope!”

Dr. Ludwig Ott, famous author of Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, writes: “In deciding the meaning of a text the Church does not pronounce judgment on the subjective intention of the author, but on the objective sense of the text.” But in the objective text of his renunciation, Benedict does not say “I no longer retain the office [munus],” he says instead, “I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry [ministerium] entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry [ministerio] of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter.”

Now weighty matters like papal renunciations are governed by Canon law. And Canon 322 §2 states: “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff renounces his munus, (6) it is required for validity that the renunciation is made freely and be properly manifested (rite manifestatur, i.e. properly according to the norms of law), but not that it be accepted by anyone at all.” However, Pope Benedict did not follow Canon 322—he did not actually “renounce the munus,” but the ministerium, nor did he “properly manifest,” in the objective sense of his text, his intention to renounce the munus, if such was his intention! (7) Legally, it does not matter if everyone believes Benedict has renounced the office of the papacy (or if only one person does), what matters is whether the act was carried out according to the canonical norm, which it objectively was not. Indeed, in his interview with Seewald, Benedict admits his belief in the ontological impossibility of him leaving the office: “the office [munus] enters into your very being.”

To conclude, can there be any doubt that to Benedict’s mind, he retains the essence of the papacy? Why then does he not speak and act plainly—as THE Pope? Quite frankly, this is a subject for a different article. A case can be made, however, that he has outwitted his ideological opponents in much the same fashion as “Superman” in the conclusion of Mario Puzo’s Superman II [SPOILER ALERT]. By entering the crystal chamber, Superman had seemingly been forced by his enemies to strip himself of his powers, when the reverse was really the case! Perhaps Benedict intentionally resigned the “ministry,” and not the “office” of the papacy so that by appearing to all intents and purposes a defeated man, he might actually strip away the validity of every measure Francis takes which departs from Catholic Orthodoxy, of whom Benedict is the Guardian.(8) Why on earth does Benedict not speak and act as THE Pope? Perhaps in defense of celibacy, he finally has.

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FOOTNOTES

1  In the article, The Prisoner of the Vatican, at https://spectator.org/the-prisoner-of-the-vatican/

2  Address at the Pontifical Gregorian University, cited Diane Montagna’s article at LifeSite News: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/did-benedict-really-resign-gaenswein-burke-and-brandmueller-weigh-in

3  In Canon Law, the papal office is called a munus in Canons 331, 332 §2, 333 and 749. And in Canon 145 §1, ecclesiastical office is referred to as a munus. Cf. Munus and Ministerium: A Textual Study of their usage in the Code of Canon Law of 1983, by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, transcript of paper from the Conference on the Renunciation of Pope Benedict, October 21, 2019, Rome, Italy: at https://fromrome.info/2019/10/31/munus-and-ministerium-a-canonical-study/)

4  Peter Seewald, Benedict XVI, Last Testament: In His Own Words, (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2017).

5  “The Primacy of the Pope and the unity of the People of God,” published as “Der Primat des Papstes und die Einheit des Gottesvolkes” in a book Ratzinger edited, Dienst an der Einheit (Service to Unity); it has also been republished in books by Ignatius Press and in Communio Spring 2014.

6  In the official Latin edition of the Codex Iuris Canonicis, 1983, canon 332 §2 reads here: “muneri suo renuntiet

7  “But there is definite uncertainty about the exact meaning of another phrase of canon 332.2 which asserts that a Pope’s resignation has to be ‘properly manifested.’  …In the end, therefore, it wouldn’t really matter, so long as the Pope’s decision was expressed clearly, i.e., neither ambiguously nor secretly.” https://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2013/01/03/can-a-pope-everresign/

8  Cf. https://fromrome.info/2020/01/12/benedicts-end-game-is-to-save-the-church-from-freemasonry/

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CREDITS:  The text of Dr. Mazza is republished here with his kind permission. The Featured Image is a photo of Pope Benedict XVI reading his Declaratio, on Feb. 11, 2013, in the Sala Clementina. Photo by Vatican Press.

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