by the Most Rev. Richard Williamson (original, January 3, 2015 A.D., source: here).
For today’s Church authorities “there is no fixed truth, there is no dogma. Everything is evolving.” So said Archbishop Lefebvre (1905–1991) in 1991 (see last week’s “Eleison Comments”). For at the end of his life the Archbishop saw more clearly than ever what he had been up against in his heroic defense of the Faith. Since then the liberals (unknown to themselves as such?) who took over his Society of St Pius X as soon as he was gone, have still not understood the gravity of the problem as identified by the Archbishop. Therefore let these “Comments” open the New Year by attempting once more to lay open the mortal wound of today’s Church and world.
When Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) erected man’s refusal of God’s reality into a philosophical system, based on his utterly false proclamation that the human mind cannot know the object as it is in itself, then the philosophy department of universities all over the world began to spill craziness into the streets, because people wanted to make freedom their god and Kant offered them the supreme liberation, that of the mind from its object.
Now Catholics not yet contaminated by the Kantian fantasy know that God and his Heaven exist quite outside of, and independently of, their little minds, and so if they want to be happy for eternity their minds had better deal in objective reality and not in subjective fantasy. Therefore for a century and a half a God-given series of anti-liberal Popes stood up to the liberal world going constantly more crazy all around, and these protected the Church from the prestigious and popular subjectivism. But by the 1950’s the Church’s cardinals and bishops were not praying enough to maintain this protection of their minds and hearts from the madness, known within the Church as “modernism,” and so in the conclave of 1958 they elected one of their own, the supposedly “good” John XXIII, a liberal (unknown to himself as such? God knows), who duly launched in 1962 the disastrous Second Vatican Council.
Why disastrous? Because the madness of subjectivism (the refusal of objective reality), instead of being still utterly condemned by the Church’s highest authorities, was now adopted by them and made (consciously or unconsciously? – God knows) into the official basis of Church doctrine and action. The problem could not be graver. The officials of God’s true Church, appointed to proclaim and defend God’s objective truths of salvation, were henceforth filtering these through their subjectivist minds. Imagine having nothing other than filthy bottles in which to store the best of wine. It can only be ruined. Today’s Conciliar Church officials can only ruin God’s truth.
Here is why the Archbishop said in 1991, “We are dealing with people (at the top of the Church) who have a different philosophy from ours, a different way of seeing, who are influenced by all modern subjectivist philosophers. For them, there is no fixed truth, no fixed dogma. Everything is evolving. This is really the Masonic destruction of the Faith. Fortunately we (Traditionalists) have Tradition to lean on.”
But what has happened to Tradition without the Archbishop to guide it? Alas, the authorities at the top of his Society of St Pius X, which for some 40 years spearheaded the defense of the objective Faith, cannot have been praying seriously enough to protect their minds and hearts from being in turn infected by subjectivism. They too have lost the primacy of objective truth, and so they are being played by the Romans like a fish is played by a fisherman. Archbishop Lefebvre, pray for us!
The following essay was published to illustrate the continuity of the problem extending from the reign of Pope Pius XII unto the present. It’s author was consecrated a Bishop by Archbishop of Lefebvre in 1988. While its author intends it as a critique of the Modernists in the Church and the current leadership of the Society of St. Pius X, many Catholics will find in it general norms for resisting the errors of Cardinal Kasper and his allies.
The Franciscan Archive has undertaken the apostolate of publishing in English translation the great Franciscan summa of theology, known as St. Bonaventure’s Commentaries on the Four Books of Master Peter Lombard. Written from 1250-1252 A. D., at the University of Paris, this outstanding work of theology has been hailed by numerous Popes, Saints and theologians, for the brilliance of its insight and fidelity to the Catholic Faith.
This work, heretofore, has never been translated in its entirety in any modern language.
To publish the entire 4 volume work, which comprises nearly 3900 pages, The Franciscan Archive is being assisted by Save Old St. Mary’s Inc., a Massachusetts IRS recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, which just recently published the first volume (click here for more information), which is being distributed to raise the funds necessary to repay the debt for its publication.
The First Tome contained the Seraphic Doctor’s treatise on the Most Holy Trinity. Br. Alexis Bugnolo, editor of the Franciscan Archive, is the sole translator working on this project.
To publicize the publication of the First Tome, SOSM Inc. mailed a sample copy to 278 Faculties of Theology and Religious Studies at Catholic Universities throughout the world.
To publish the Second Volume, which will expound St. Bonaventure’s theology on Creation, Save Old St. Mary’s Inc. is issuing this challenge to the lovers of Saints Francis and Bonaventure throughout the world, to raise the estimated $40000 USD necessary.
This Second Volume will be as a brilliant light in darkness, seeing that it contains the exposition of the Catholic Faith regarding the Creation of the World in 6 days, the Creation and Fall of Angels and Men; topics which are nearly never taught in Catholic Seminaries and Universities in modern times.
For the address and Paypal Link to which to send your donation, click here.
A CASE IN POINT OF ORWELL’S 1984 SCENARIO: WHERE TRUTH IS NO LONGER A STATEMENT ON REALITY, BUT A STATEMENT GIVEN BY SPOKESMEN, NEWS-OUTLETS
Rome — Dec. 28, 2014: Since the news broke about the “Team Bergoglio” Scandal, the From Rome Blog has maintained a Chronology of the News Reports on the scandal for the utility of its readers and of journalists covering the story. A study of that Chronology demonstrates one of the key aspects of a thought-controlled society, depicted in George Orwell’s novel, 1984: namely, how the general public has accepted a new norm of truth.
In a normal human society, truth is a statement which correctly regards and justly describes the reality spoken of. But in 1984, truth is the present content of what spokesmen of the government controlled media say about the news.
These are 2 radically opposed notions of truth. Yet, while many scoff at the idea that the fictitious society posed by Orwell in his book, might, in fact, be coming into existence in our own present age, none can deny from the study of the news regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal that several elements of the George Orwell scenario are central to the news reports and media reaction on that story.
First, because as the From Rome Blog has demonstrated, the content of Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations made in his book is much more extensive than the denials and reports given in the press. This shows that the journalists covering the story have not even bothered to read Ivereigh’s book, which should have been their first object of investigation.
Second, because as our Chronology demonstrates, the chief news reports on the scandal have focused on what “Team Bergoglio”‘s spokesmen have said about the allegations, without any investigation to corroborate these claims by the press.
Fourth, as can be seen by a Google Search, Catholic sites have been content simply to republish their essays or articles aimed at discouraging the layman’s interest in the story of the scandal.
Fifth, one of the most influential “news” sites funded by George Soros has added its voice to that of “Team Bergoglio” by reprinting the story run by one of the “Team Bergoglio” defenders, so as to markedly indicate that those who are interested further in this story should be excluded from polite society.
Nevertheless, the questions remain, and journalists have not done their job. It seems sufficient for those journalists accredited by the Vatican Press Office, that Il Sismografo has spoken and further questions one should not even dare to ask: thus their silence since December 2, when Tosatti and Zenit were the last to mention the story, while other notables have in private communication with the editor of the From Rome blog censured further investigation as “absurd” or “ridiculous”.
The communists, socialists, environmentalists, homosexuals, progressives and Freemasons are quite satisfied with the Papacy of Cardinal Bergoglio: seeing that they have a dominant control of the mass media in the modern world, there is simply no self-serving political reason to give the “Team Bergoglio” story further attention.
And that is newsworthy of itself, for those who still have any interest in objective truth, transparency or justice in government.
No need to mention, therefore, for those familiar with how Google censors the results of searches,* that from the moment Fr. Lombardi spoke about the “Team Bergoglio” allegations, links from Google’s search engine to the From Rome blog about “Team Bergoglio” have faded or disappeared entirely (you can normally only find them by going to the end of your search results and clicking “repeat the search with omitted results included“). Nor, that Fox News, whose former employee, Greg Burke° works as Senior Communications officer for the Vatican Secretary of State, did 2 news pieces praising Ivereigh’s book and defending “Team Bergoglio” from charges of impropriety.
* In recent years, George Soros has been an important share holder in Google Corporation. Soros is the founder of the Open Society Institute, which promotes liberal progressive democracies; he has also been implicated in voter intimidation and influencing in the USA 2008 election which gave the US Presidency to Barack Obama, a self-declared native of Kenya and son of a Kenyan Commonwealth citizen. Evidently for Soros, manipulating elections is a legitimate means to arrive at an “open society”.
° Burke, a curious fellow, almost never replies to tweets, but on his Twitter timeline he has, in the past, made a point by retweeting a Tweet in which a Google story on the awarding of a certain notable transvestite-singer with a European prize, was lauded with a single word: “progress”!
The From Rome blog wishes A blessed and Holy Christmas to all its readers!
Christmas remains the Primordial Feast which established the Catholic Church as a holy and just family:
For this reason, there is no greater sacrilege to the Church than a scandal which touches Her unity
and adhesion to the visible point of Her unity, the Roman Papacy. Hence, the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” is something every Catholic in the world, this day, should learn more about, and demand answers from the Hierarchy.
Rome — Dec. 25, 2014: Since the scandal regarding Team Bergoglio broke, the From Rome blog has assiduously followed the news and studied what the consequences have been. On that account more than 25,000 visitors from more than 120 countries have visited this blog to find the news that was not being summarized or published elsewhere.
“Team Bergoglio” is the name given by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, former spokesman to His Eminence, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, ex-Archbishop of Westminster, England, to the group of Cardinals who campaigned for Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave.
The Scandalous consequences of the revelations of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, can be summed up thus: Dr. Ivereigh has written a book alleging as many as 30 cardinals did that which is apparently a violation of the papal law on conclaves, on which account they would be ipso facto excommunicated, Cardinal Bergoglio included, and the election of the latter by 2013 Conclave be null and void and of no effect. — As of this date, no substantial denial has been made by anyone of the accused, and Dr. Ivereigh has not substantially withdrawn, changed, or altered what he wrote.
To continue to assist Catholics and journalists world-wide who wish to know more about this scandal, we present here a summary and links through which readers can grasp the basic and detailed facts of the case which has arisen.
First, our article, The Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”, contains the master-list of all the news reports of note and blog posts, videos, audios, tweets, etc. which regard crucial information or analysis of the story: this list is in Chronological order according to the date the information was published or presented.
But since the Chronology has already grown to 8 pages in length, for those wishing to grasp the facts, we suggest the following articles:
The Improbity of the denials by “Team Bergoglio”, which explains just what some of the Cardinals, alleged by Ivereigh to have engaged in vote-canvassing, have and have not denied. An analysis which shows the probability that Cardinal Bergoglio consented to and/or organized the effort.
No, your Eminence, the Church is not a tyranny!, which rebuts the gross indifference of 1 Cardinal of the Roman Church to the scandal and pointedly indicates the grave Crisis into which the Catholic Church has been placed by the undenied allegations.
The other articles which reports facts of lesser interest, though important of themselves, can be found in the Chronology article link above.
Rome — Dec. 21, 2014: Antonio Socci, noted Italian journalist and author of the book, Non è Francesco (a best-seller in Italy, which details the events and facts which he believes invalidate the renunciation made by Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Cardinal Bergoglio), spoke about the “Team Bergoglio” scandal in an editorial published today in the Italian newspaper, Libero (republished on his FaceBook page; reprinted on his blog, Lo Straniero, i. e. The Outsider).
Tearing down walls? Ok, Pope Bergoglio: let’s begin to do away with the “Wall of Silence” in the Sistine Chapel, to reveal the truth of the Conclave
Dec. 21: It was Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, thirty years ago, who proposed the abolition of the secrecy of the Conclave, by which the Cardinal-princes are obliged under oath regarding the election which takes place in the Sistine Chapel. He proposed this because that norm — far from standing guard over the sacred — risked (and risks) becoming a cover for profane things (the Cardinal adjoined, then, in the ’80’s, that one should pray very much for the Conclaves of the future so that no external influence of any sect might intervene therein).
It is paradoxical that a proposal so innovative and democratic would be advanced by a prelate who was considered to be the leader of the “Conservatives”. And that in the 30 years since no prelate, considered to be “progressive”, has taken it up and made it his own.
Today, if Pope Bergoglio were to take it up, that is, abolish the secrecy, he’d have the ability to demonstrate with deeds how much he is truly desirous of transparency and openness in the life of the Church, by liberating Her from obsolete prohibitions.
Will the Pope who has come to be hailed as “revolutionary”, be less an innovator than a “conservative” Cardinal? Will he wish to bolster the “wall of the Sistine Chapel”, after having asked the entire world to tear down all walls (in Cuba and elsewhere)?
Besides, Pope Bergoglio is sounding out every day against those modern “scribes and pharisees” who want to mummify all the old rules and old laws and prohibitions, by opposing change, transparency and openness to the world.
Let’s see if his words are followed with deeds, at least in regard to these norms which are entirely capable of modification, because they are ecclesiastical laws (while not even a Pope could modify the matters discussed in the recent Synod, because they pertain to the Word of God; though they were put into discussion by the Modernist faction).
One feels particularly the necessity of knocking down this “Sistine wall” — and this with urgency — above all in regard to the Conclave of 2013, concerning which rumors and questions grow daily instead of passing away.
THE MYSTERY OF 2013
As the case, which has broken out in England, shows — and from there it has leaped to America and Italy — in regard to the revelations of Austen Ivereigh in his book, “The Great Reformer”.
The book, a biography about Bergoglio, in an entirely positive light as regards the Argentine pope, contains some lines which skin him alive. One has to remember that Ivereigh is not the last man to arrive at the party, he was the spokesman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and has held positions of trust in Catholic Media in England.
He, thus, speaks of the existence of a “Team Bergoglio”, made up, precisely, of Cardinals Murphy-O’Connor, Kasper, Danneels and Lehmann to promote the Argentine prelate to the papacy. The work, which is to have begun after the renunciation of Benedict XVI, would have had the consent of Bergoglio himself. A canonical case arises from this, because there are those who have sustained that all of this might put into doubt the validity of the election on March 13th. There have followed polemics, precisions and denials which have co-involved even Fr. Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman.
In my opinion, the facts cited in the book by the Englishman do not put into discussion, per se, the legitimacy of the election.
Nevertheless, they cause to be revealed that there is something of a battle which was engaged in behind the 5 ballots in the 2013 Conclave (from the renunciation of Benedict to the election of Bergoglio) and who were the protagonists of that.
But it makes one recall a similar controversy which broke out. Perhaps this is only the tip of an iceberg? Are there any other secrets? Among the various rumors and speculations, for example, remains the as-of-yet unexplained delay of Pope Bergoglio’s salute from the Loggia of St. Peter’s.
In the other half of the essay (not translated here), Socci speaks of other anomalies in the 2013 Conclave and the non-reaction to his book.
Socci’s entire piece was republished by Libero’s blog, on Dec. 22, 2014.
For a complete Chronology of reports and videos regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, seeclick here.That the allegations of Ivereigh are substantial and have grave canonical consequences has been explained here, here and here and here.
Rome — Dec. 21, 2014: Two American prelates, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan and Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, have endorsed Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s new book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.
The endorsements are found on the rear of the jacket to the American edition of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, and read in part:
“… The many fascinating events and challenges recounted in the Great Reformer demonstrate that the key to understanding Pope Francis and his vision for the Church begins above all by recognizing his unfailing faith …”
Timothy Michale Cardinal Donal Archbishop of New York
_ _ _
The next, towards the bottom of the jacket:
“… In a growing list of books on the first Latin American pope, Ivereigh’s is uniquely well informed …”
Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap. Archbishop of Philadelphia
Two other notables also endorse the narrative in the book, in the same place: John L. Allen, Jr., associate editor of the website, Crux, and journalist for the Boston Globe; George Weigel; Fr. Thomas Reese, S. J.; Fr. Thomas Roscica, C. S. B.; and David Gibson, reporter for Religion News Service (RNS).
Presumably all of these read the book before endorsing it. Cardinal Dolan was an Elector in the Conclave of 2013, and knew intimately what went on during the general congregations and final closed door sessions. Dolan is implicated by Dr. Ivereigh in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal to the extent that he says that the American Cardinals were specifically targeted for vote-promises. Allen and Gibson have both done reports on the web defending Ivereigh’s credibility.
Dec. 17, 2014: Many have wondered why, as of yet, the Sacred College of Cardinals has not responded to allegations made by Dr. Austen Ivereigh regarding the activities of “Team Bergoglio”, to whom he attributes the activities of as many as 7 Cardinals in the organized campaign to give Cardinal Bergoglio a strong showing in the first ballot of the 2013 Conclave for pope.
Recently, however, a noted Catholic writer from the United Kingdom, Paul Priest, has pestered his Eminence Cardinal Napier of South Africa on Twitter, to a sufficient degree, as to obtain some response.
Here below are those tweets, faithfully reproduced from the Twitter feeds of Cardinal Napier and Paul Priest (OTSOTA) as well as other tweeters:
Dialoguing with a Cardinal
@OTSOTA Are you not presumptuously assuming without personal evidence that you have the truth, the whole truth, & nothing but the truth?
NOTE: UDG stands for the papal law on conclaves, Universi Dominic Gregis, which in paragraph n. 5, grants to the Sacred College of Cardinals the sole and exclusive right to resolve any questions and controversies arising regarding the interpretation of the rules.
Editor’s Comment: Let us raise our voices against the evil climate inside Twitter corporation! which persecutes Catholics for expressing their faith. Twitter does not only do this against pro-life Catholics, but also against Catholics who express their Faith on other non-politically correct issues. Gangs of political activists lurk on Twitter to falsely accuse Catholics of violating rules, thus precipitating a shut down of one kind or another. Twitter support has been informed numerous times during the last 2 years of how they are discriminating against Catholics by heeding these false accusations, and have done nothing. If Twitter does not change its policies, it might very well be involved in a class action lawsuit for the violation of the free speech rights of their users.
Dr. Bowring writes: Interestingly, St. Faustina wrote in her diary that her “worst day of suffering” where she felt as if she was in Gethsemane (where Jesus was betrayed by Judas) was the SAME EXACT DAY POPE FRANCIS WAS BORN. She writes:
December 17, . I have offered this day for priests. I have suffered more today than ever before, both interiorly and exteriorly. I did not know it was possible to suffer so much in one day. I tried to make a Holy Hour, in the course of which my spirit had a taste of the bitterness of the Garden of Gethsemane.
Feast of Santa Lucia, Rome, Dec. 13, 2014: The crux of the scandal surrounding “Team Bergoglio” — Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s nickname for the group of Cardinals who canvassed for votes on behalf of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio before and during the Conclave of 2013 — is, without doubt, the curious denials of the testimony Ivereigh gives in his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.
These curious denials are what sparked the interest of the Catholic world. And their inconsistencies have fueled, not quieted, the speculation, since they are widely seen not as transparent statements, but as politically motivated misinformation.
The From Rome blog, however, mindful of the duty of objectivity, in all of its reporting regarding “Team Bergoglio” has taken as an a priori presumption, that neither Dr. Ivereigh nor those alleged to be part of “Team Bergoglio” are not telling the truth. For that reason, to round out our coverage, the From Rome blog will now put to scrutiny what these denials say and do not say, so as to weigh their probity.
The denial of Ivereigh given by Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor
The first official denial of Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative came from Maggie Doherty, the spokeswoman for the retired Cardinal-Archbishop of Westminster, England: his Eminence Msgr. Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. That denial, published in the form of a letter to the editor of the Monday Daily Telegraph, on November 25, 2014, can be seen to the right (Note that the Telegraph’s editors have added the lead-title, “Papal plot”).
As the From Rome blog demonstrated yesterday, the most probable reason for the denial, as given, was to specifically negate the allegation of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, on p. 355, which said that the members of “Team Bergoglio”, first of all, sought the agreement of Cardinal Bergoglio to their vote-canvassing campaign.
This is because in Catholic Church law (Codex iuris canonicis of 1983), canon 1329 extends punishment for all acts criminalized with excommunication, to all accomplices of those acts, without which the criminalized act or acts could not be accomplished.
Consenting to a vote-canvassing campaign on one’s behalf is the most culpable act which an accomplice can make in it, since without such consent, the campaigners would never have reasonably considered to have undertaken such a campaign.
Canvassing for votes is specifically criminalized by the Papal Law, Universi Dominici Gregis, (here after UDG), of Pope John Paul II, published in 1996, as this blog has explained in detail in its article, “The Great Reformer”.
The improbity of the First Denial
Improbity refers to the inability of a person or testimony to be considered honest. Of itself, what has improbity is not necessarily false, but in its totality it remains improbable, or, more precisely, aims to affirm what is improbable. What has improbity is not untrue under every aspect, it can merely be an exaggeration or misleading or misdirecting.
Let’s, presume, as stated, that the letter by Maggie Doherty is true in everything it says. We know from Dr. Ivereigh’s twitter feed, that he regards the statement of Maggie Doherty as emanating from Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor. In our previous report, Ivereigh + UDG 81 = A Radical Problem for the Pope, the From Rome blog speculated on the form and occasion and method of this denial. Now, let us consider it from another point of view: what it says and does not say, and whether the Cardinal could reasonably be considered to have given a testimony which has forensic value.
First of all, one must recognize that in denying the narrative presented in Dr. Ivereigh’s book there are several great problems: the first of which is that Dr. Ivereigh is the former personal secretary to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, and if Ivereigh knew anything about the campaign in 2013, the public will presume that he had all this information either from the Cardinal or had it as confirmed by the Cardinal. So in a sense, the Cardinal will appear to many to be denying himself.
Second, one can only give testimony to what one has seen or heard or did.
Third, one denies only what one denies. And when accused of many things, all which has not been denied, is implicitly or tacitly affirmed.
So, let’s examine the text of the Cardinal’s denial. In the first sentence, he states that he is not denying what Ivereigh wrote, only aiming at dispelling any misunderstanding that might arise from reading Dr. Ivereigh’s book. This initial statement greatly weakens the Cardinal’s statement: in a word, he denies nothing of the narrative presented, neither as regards names mentioned or as regards the chronology of events or the acts participated in. He does not even deny the conversation which Dr. Ivereigh attributes to him, in asking Cardinal Bergoglio for his consent to the campaign.
In the second sentence he denies that he, or as far as he knows the other Cardinals, made any approach to Cardinal Bergoglio to seek his assent as a candidate. In this statement, the opposite error occurs, for unlike the first in which he denies nothing and concedes all, in this statement he denies too much. It would have been sufficient to deny with greater precision, but to deny that Cardinal Bergoglio was never asked by any Cardinal regarding his willingness to serve is beyond belief. And since “assent” regards an act of the mind, “consent” to that of the will, and since it is consent that makes one an accomplice, the Cardinal may be saying that he did not seek Cardinal Bergoglio’s assent, but did seek his consent.
Finally, the Cardinal can only deny what he knows: hence, since he cannot possibly know everything which every other of the named Cardinals did or said, his denial in that regard has no forensic value, except to exculpate himself in a conspiracy with Cardinals regarding seeking such a consent. He has not denied that bishops, priests, deacons, laymen or religious or even journalists were used as intermediaries to obtain such consent.
What is the truth? Until the Cardinal is questioned by journalists or fellow Cardinals in consistory, we may never know. But it appears from the second sentence that the Cardinal has affirmed that the campaign was a vote-canvassing / vote-promissing endeavor, because in denying too much in the second sentence, he implicitly affirms Ivereigh’s allegation as to the nature of the campaign.
For these reasons, assuming everything the Cardinal said is true, then one seems constrained to conclude that the Cardinal has denied nothing, but confirmed everything. And this is where the improbity arises, because a denial should deny specifics and the totality of an accusation. One can understand, however, that the Cardinal, being a man of God from his earliest days, would never deny what was true, directly speaking, for that would be dishonest.
The denial given by the Four Cardinals through Fr. Lombardi
In view of what is circulating regarding the recent Conclave, we asked Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office. Here is Fr. Lombardi’s response:
In a book recently published about Pope Francis, written by Austen Ivereigh in English with the title, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope (Henry Holy & Co.), and in Italian as, Tempo di misericordia. Vita di Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Mondadori), there is affirmed that in the days preceding the Conclave, four Cardinals: Murphy O’Connor, Kasper, Daneels e Lehmann, “first secured Bergoglio’s assent” to his eventual election, and “then they got to work” with a campaign to promote his election.
I can declare that all of the four Cardinals, just named, explicitly deny this description of the facts, both as much as regards the request of prior consent on the part of Cardinal Bergoglio, and as much as regards the conduction of a campaign for his election, and (that) they desire to be known that they are stupefied and opposed to what has been published.
The improbity of the Second Denial
In the first part of Fr. Frederico Lombardi’s official denial, he casts a net about too little: because he denies only the activity of 4 Cardinals, when, as this blog has shown, the text itself names 7 and 2 other suspected accomplices, and implicates as many as 30 in the crimes of vote-asking / vote-promising. Therefore, his statement must be understood, authentically, of not regarding the activities of these others Cardinals, nor of any intermediaries they might have used, nor any other details of Ivereigh’s account.
In the second part of Fr. Lombardi’s statement, too little and too much is denied. Too little, because, as this blog has shown, it is not a crime to seek the consent of a candidate to be a candidate. Nor is it a crime to profess willingness to be a candidate. But it is a crime to conduct a vote-canvassing campaign to promote a candidate (this is a violation of UDG 81), and it is a punishable offense to give consent to such a campaign on one’s own behalf, with knowledge that the campaign has this nature. Too much, because it is not a crime to conduct a campaign on behalf of another Cardinal. Since the 4 Cardinals, through Fr. Lombardi, have not denied that it was a vote-canvassing campaign, they implicitly have affirmed it. Since they have not denied that Cardinal Bergoglio gave his consent, they implicitly also affirm that. They have not denied that they were accomplices, only that they were leaders conducting it. They have not denied that they promised votes or solicited the promise of votes.
Furthermore, Cardinal Bergoglio did not have to be asked to give his consent; it is sufficient that he gave it spontaneously, willingly and with knowledge of the nature of the campaign, which nature and its existence none of the Cardinals have denied.
For this reason, this second denial also has great improbity, because it has the form of a denial, but when reasonable interpreted according to the above stated method, it can be considered to be a confession. For, when accused, the accused must rebut the nature of the crime and the acts committed, if he disputes one or the other or both.
In conclusion, it appears from both denials, that these four of the seven members alleged to be part of “Team Bergoglio” are in fact affirming all which is necessary to indict Cardinal Bergoglio for the crime of being an accomplice in the vote-canvassing campaign. They also leave open the possibility that Cardinal Bergoglio, himself, was the ringleader or initiator, though no one has accused Pope Francis of this.
Rome, Dec. 12, 1014: The monstrosity of the allegations made by Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his new book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a Radical Pope boggle the mind. As this blog has noted in its previous report, the text of the narrative in chapter 9 of that book, implicates as many as 30 Cardinal electors in activity which seems likely to violate the papal law on Conclaves, Universi Dominici Gregis (here after UDG), promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1996.
In that law, in paragraph 81, all forms of vote canvassing which include vote promising were punished with automatic excommunication (latae sententiae). Yet canons 1329 and 1331 expand that penalty and indicate the consequences, even if the validity of the Conclave’s vote for Cardinal Bergoglio is not put in question by means of canon 171 §2, as this blog has speculated from the beginning. Let’s take a look then at these 2 canons.
The effects of Canon 1329: not only Cardinal Electors, but all accomplices
The From Rome blog has noted in its reports that the punishment was leveled only against Cardinals who could vote. However, the monstrosity of the allegation grows from the fact that Canon 1329 § 2 extends the effects of the penalty issued in UDG 81.
Canon 1329, § 2 reads, in the Latin:
Can. 1329 — §2. In poenam latae sententiae delicto adnexam incurrunt complices,qui in lege vel praecepto non nominantur, si sine eorum opera delictum patratum non esset, et poena sit talis naturae, ut ipsos afficere possit; secus poenis ferendae sententiae puniri possunt.
The official English translation of this, from the Vatican website is:
§2. Accomplices who are not named in a law or precept incur a latae sententiae penalty attached to a delict if without their assistance the delict would not have been committed, and the penalty is of such a nature that it can affect them; otherwise, they can be punished by ferendae sententiae penalties.
Thus, not only are the Cardinal Electors who sought vote-promises and those Cardinal Electors who promised votes in danger of excommunication from UDG 81, but also all those who assisted in this, such as:
The aged Italian Cardinal, whom Ivereigh alleges tallied the votes, since without his assistance the conspiracy could not measure its success and by means of this count were encouraged to engage in the alleged illicit activities.
A Cardinal-non-Elector, such as the alleged ring-leader, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, since in providing direction and organization for a conspiracy, the head of it assists in a manner in which the crimes could not have been committed as regards specific acts or their numerosity. This is true even if the head of a conspiracy does not do the act which is criminalized.
Any Cardinal, Bishop, Priest, or layman who assisted as messengers or solicitors between those asking for votes and those promising them.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, inasmuch as if he knew of the conspiracy, could have prevented it by signifying his unwillingness to allow such a campaign to go forward, which he could have done by merely threatening to reveal it during the Conclave; for knowledge of a conspiracy from which one benefits along with omission of all acts sufficient to bring such a conspiracy to naught or gravely obstruct it, is complicity before or during the act. And no such conspiracy could succeed, without such at least tacit consent, since every Cardinal Elector upon being asked for his vote, could have confirmed the consent of Cardinal Bergoglio to such a campaign by asking him personally and directly. That the alleged campaign go forward, therefore argues that it had some sort of consent from the Cardinal.
This might explain why in both denials of Dr. Ivereigh’s narrative, the spokeswoman for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and the spokesman for the Holy Father, Fr. Frederico Lombardi, S. J., have explicitly denied that Cardinal Bergoglio was asked by any of the Cardinals for his consent to the vote-campaigning.
The enormity of this implication is seen when we apply the effects of Canon 1331.
Canon 1331 requires that an excommunicated Pope-elect never exercise or hold office
Canon 1331 explains the effects of all excommunications latae sententiae. In the official English version, from the Vatican website this canon reads:
Can. 1331 §1. An excommunicated person is forbidden:
to have any ministerial participation in celebrating the sacrifice of the Eucharist or any other ceremonies of worship whatsoever;
to celebrate the sacraments or sacramentals and to receive the sacraments;
to exercise any ecclesiastical offices, ministries, or functions whatsoever or to place acts of governance.
§ 2. If the excommunication has been imposed or declared, the offender:*
who wishes to act against the prescript of §1, n. 1 must be prevented from doing so, or the liturgical action must be stopped unless a grave cause precludes this;
invalidly places acts of governance which are illicit according to the norm of §1, n. 3;
is forbidden to benefit from privileges previously granted;
cannot acquire validly a dignity, office, or other function in the Church;
does not appropriate the benefits of a dignity, office, any function, or pension, which the offender has in the Church.
Which means, that if Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations are true, and if Cardinal Bergoglio had knowledge of the conspiracy and expressly or tacitly consented to it, then he would be incapable of holding the office of Pope, or making any acts which pertain to that office, such as nominate bishops, call Synods, or name Cardinals!
* That penalties of excommunication which are leveled automatically (latae sententiae) by a general decree are imposed in the very act of the commission of the criminalized activity, can be had from canon 1314. Some canonists wish to restrict the term “imposed” [imponere] only to penalties leveled by a specific written decree naming the individual(s) — but that violates the signification of the Latin verb, which means “to place upon” (in the same sense as we say in English, “leveled”), not “declared or indicated in by a specific decree” — not to mention it also ignores the patent distinction made in canon 1314. In any case, the Church could not endure such a situation, and the Sacred College of Cardinals in a special consistory would have the necessity, in virtue of the authority granted them in UDG 5, of resolving the matter and/or proceeding to a new election.
Yesterday, the Vatican Press office published the Italian text of the Lineamenta (Outlines) for next Year’s Synod on the Family (#Synod15). As this document has shown itself to be stained by the same errors which the From Rome blog highlighted in its own critique of the Final Relatio of this year’s Synod, it will be useful to consider in what ways the committee charged by Pope Francis with preparing for the upcoming Synod next year has embraced the errors contained in that Final Relatio. It is for that reason, that The From Rome blog is honored to publish as a guest editorial, our own English translation of Mrs. Maria Guarini’s, Sinodalità recidiva: “Lineamenta” per il 2015, a critique of the new Lineamenta for next year’s Synod on the Family.
Mrs. Maria Guarini, is the editor and publisher of Chiesa e post Concilio, one of the most influential theological blogs in the Italian language and the only one of its kind in the city of Rome. For several years, Mrs. Guarini has proved her mettle by putting on display the erroneous theological presuppositions of all those who have raised their voices against the perennial Magisterium of the Church. She holds a Baccalareate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure (the Seraphicum) and can be considered one the members of the Roman Theological Circle which sustains faithfully still, the theological heritage of the Roman Church. She lives at Rome with her husband and son.
In our English translation, we have attempted to present the same signification as the original, but frequently on account of the many metaphors unique to modern Italian, we have had to reformulate the syntax and alter the terms to give the equivalent signification in English. In citations, even those to the Lineamenta, we have followed the Italian text quoted by Mrs. Guarini.
Backsliding to Synod15
We note that the “spirit of the Council”, in its own more revolutionary aspects not to mention its negationary semantics (the horrible, deleterious effect of affirming a correct principle conjoined with an erroneous one by means of the conjunction, “but”, which has so stirred the waters of theology that the eddies are now becoming consuming whirlpools) is now transferring its bad influence, little by little, to the upcoming Synod on the Family.
We have already spoken amply about this in our blog-post, Sinodo conciliarista (see here & here).
Now, I will limit myself to the following, essential off-the-cuff reflections, as I have before my eyes the just published document, “Lineamenta” per la XIV Assemblea Generale Ordinaria: La vocazione e la missione della famiglia nella Chiesa e nel mondo contemporeaneo (Oct. 4-25, 2014) which was published on Dec. 9, 2014.
The points which should never even have been put in discussion
If I pause for a moment on these points, it is because the relative questions — among which, of themselves, should not even be put in discussion — have not been approved and nevertheless, since they have, by the will of the Holy Father, been kept in the text of the Relatio which was published, they are thereby put once again into discussion as a result of the confusion mentioned in my premise. Not only this, but the Questionnaire which has been published along with the new Lineamenta has been redacted in such wise as to solicit a certain response, by means of assumptions which have been evidently chosen by the animus which is running the game.
So here we go, again! The Circus begins anew and the swirl of sophistry and nonsense proceeds with its obstinate arrogance. If one were to use the same energetic commitment to fight against error and to reaffirm the perennial Catholic truth, we would not find ourselves in this absurd crisis and on the rim of the abyss which is threatening the entire human race. But all this is because of the obscuring, if not the out-right renunciation, of the universality of salvation which Christ came to give the world through its transmission by the Church, which, instead of being centered on Her Center and Foundation, is going out of Her mind in the worse sense of the term and appealing now to the seductive seeds of the Word which are always called into play and employed in a sophistic and inappropriate sense, in Council or in a non-council. Moreover, the Second Vatican Council is not a Gospel and, additionally, Nostra Aetate, which is cited in the text of the Lineamenta, is only a document of secondary importance, inasmuch as it is a Declaration, and thus a document of the fourth and lowest grade, among those indicated by Msgr. Gherardini [here]:1 the amount of innovations, which cannot pretend to have an infallible and irreformable character, consequently, allows the possibility of a dissent based on faith and reason. A simple Declaration asserts itself as the fundamental principle of this new ecclesiology, based on the whims of newly-exalted barbarians, who use the excuse of praxis to get around doctrine. But Catholic doctrine and discipline are the pre-conditions of authentic encounter with Christ. Again, pastoral praxis reigns over doctrine, and thus right praxis presupposes right doctrine. The reversal of this order carries one easily to the affirmation that with a new reality of pastoral praxis one can develop a new doctrine.
One needs to ask oneself, in regard to n. 22 of the new Lineamenta, “What’s the purpose of the Church valuing natural marriage?” Which soon becomes a “matrimonial and familial reality of so many cultures and non-christian persons”. What’s the point? Do these have, perhaps, something that they can teach to those who alone have the duty to receive and transmit the fulfillment of salvation, which the Church has guarded (or used to guard) for 2,000 years, which salvation Christ worked and with the Apostles revealed and handed down to the Church, and which He continues to work despite our infidelities? The same creation which was conceived in view of Him, awaits the revelation of the sons of God, just as all peoples do, who to be saved, must come to know of and welcome it. In this passage, n. 22, from the Lineamenta, one hears the echo of Gaudium et Spes (nn. 12 & 24) (here). That one is able or that one should enter into dialogue with diverse cultures for political reasons or for the sake of civil concord does not regard the sphere of the Faith or the teaching of morals which flow from It (and not from other sources, those “befouled springs and polluted cisterns”, as the Bible calls them). This is what the Lineamenta says:
The Indissolubility of Matrimony and the Joy of living together
21. The reciprocal and constitutive gift of sacramental Matrimony is rooted in the grace of Baptism which establishes the fundamental alliance of every person with Christ in the Church. In the reciprocal welcoming and with Christ’s grace, the spouses-to-be promise one another the total gift of self, their fidelity and their openness to live; they recognize as constitutive elements of Matrimony the gifts which God offers them, taking seriously their mutual commitment, in His Name and in the presence of the Church. Now, in this bond it is possible to assume the goods of matrimony as well-endurable commitments by means of the help of grace and sacrament. God consecrates the love of the spouses and confirms its indissolubility, by offering them His help to live that fidelity, that reciprocal integration and that openness to life. Moreover, the Church turns Her gaze to the spouses as to the heart of the entire family which in turn turns its gaze to Jesus.
22. In the same respect, making our own the teaching of the Apostle according to which the entire creation was conceived of in Christ and in view of Him (cf. Colossians 1:16), the Second Vatican Council wanted to express its appreciation of natural marriage both through the valid elements present in other religions (cf Nostra Aetate, n. 2) and in other cultures, notwithstanding their limits and insufficiencies (cf. Redemptoris Missio, n. 55). The presence of the semina Verbi (the seeds of the Word) in these cultures (cf. Ad Gentes, n. 11) could apply, in some of its passages, even to the reality of matrimony and family in some forms outside of Christian matrimony — though founded on the stable and true relation of one man and one woman — which in every case, we judge, are orientated to this. With Herr gaze turned to the human wisdom of nations and cultures, the Church also recognizes this family as the basic necessary and fecund cell of human cohabitation.
Will the manipulation continue on in a contrived Synod? 2
In the Questionnaire, sent along with the Lineamenta in several languages to the Episcopal conferences throughout the world, the purpose of which, according to Cardinal Baldisseri is “the deepening of understanding of the questions confronted in the debate, all of them, but above all those which have need to be discussed in a more accurate manner”, there is associated to the above cited, n. 22, this question:
Question 19: The Second Vatican Council has expressed appreciation for natural marriage, renewing the ancient tradition of the Church. To what extent does pastoral praxis in the Diocese understand how to value even this wisdom of the nations, as something fundamental for culture and the common society? (cf. n. 22).
Note the ever-more explicit deceit, contained in this questionnaire. The Question just cited reveals it, by taking for granted both the appreciation of natural marriage and the valuing of the wisdom of the nations; it seeks only to verify the “how” it is to be done … You’d think that it would have been sufficient to limit itself to reorienting disoriented Catholics and in forming rightly those who are deformed.
There is a famine for formation, that is, for teaching
In a recent article published by the Italian-language blog, la Bussola quotidiana, there were proposed several interesting reflections on the expectations which laymen have regarding the openings and promises promoted during the recent Synod (at least as they seemed to progressives), expectations and motives shared by a large slice of those Catholics who are “open to the world”, by means of sleepy consciences and hearts, accustomed to consider in a positive light and according to the norm of what “everyone is doing”, that mode of morality which has always been practiced, which it always finds tiresome. No one remembers any longer that a moral life is possible only with Christ’s grace conveyed by the sanctifying action of His Church, prepared and accompanied by a teaching which gives sense to and makes savory the Divine Commandments founded on imperishable truth. Behold, this is what is at stake. This is what no one seems willing to speak of anymore.
For example, there are many, even among the shepherds, who recall that the indissolubility of Matrimony is derived from the Commandment of the Lord presented in the Gospel — correctly affirmed in paragraph n. 21, though with a following “but” — but they do not break open the delightful reasons which make this Commandment so acceptable to mind and heart, so worthy of being translated into life even if it’s a sacrifice, and a big one, to do so.
One understands and accepts this indissolubility of Matrimony, if one considers that it is linked to a faithfulness which has its fontal origin in the faithfulness of the Lord and Creator to His own creature, as something conceived, willed by, and ordered to Him, and thus in continuous dialogue with Him (and this is the only relationship which saves) by means of an exclusive relationship, which puts the Lord first and causes to descend Therefrom all which is consequent to it in true fecundity: all this because it is a relationship which implies an intimate and profound union, one which is faithful and exclusive, in a word, “spousal”. This kind of relationship does not only regard consecrated souls, who have chosen the better part, but every believing soul, everyone in a different measure and according to diverse situations. One speaks of a relationship which is exclusive in the sight of God, because it implies the rejection of other gods, which can be any one of the lusts of which the world is constantly insinuating and to which the inclination to evil, remaining in us from original sin, makes us neither deaf nor immune. We can not flee from all this except by means of grace and the choices which it enables us to make, out of a sort of second nature rather than a sense of obligation (which could be a starting point, but certainly not the destination of a Christian life).
This exclusivity regards, before all else, our relationship with God, the only one which enlarges our heart and makes it capable of embracing the reality of the other, of giving itself without expecting anything in return: this is the true life, which can only be lived in the Lord and in His Church and which no United-Nations-of-Religions could ever make possible or acceptable.
I speak of this in regard to the anthropological alteration contained in the Lineamenta, expressed in the open by some of the Fathers of Synod 14:
n. 5.The anthropological-cultural change influences, today, every aspect of life and requires an analytic and diversified approach…
And this appears to be the new founding principle for the new praxis. But in the real word, there has been no anthropological change. Man, with his own needs and fundamental questions, is the same man of all times according to his essence. The only thing that he has come to lack, today, is a metaphysical consideration of God and man, and this is what impedes our consideration of the true problem. If we could only succeed in seeing this, we would already have made a great step forwards. We risk becoming what has already been put into praxis, from the mentality which dominates our own day, very often in oblivion of the Council, but most of all of the Church Herself. The true crisis is not other than the crisis of the Church inasmuch as She is a Mystery. The true theological knot leads back to the very loss of the metaphysical concept of participation in the Church as a Mystery. And in such wise, Theology has been reduced to Anthropology. In fact, Theology has been, for some time now, in the process of coining a new language for itself, having put aside, more or less, that metaphysical language of the Scholastics, to make room for one which is more modern, which degenerated from the former — and we are seeing first hand the results — in the adoption of the philosophies of the Existentialists and Phenomenologists.
The epoch-shaking recognition of homosexual tendencies as “rights”
From the points in the Lineamenta which follow nn. 21 & 22, we note the incredible displacement of attention toward elements which are foreign to the Faith and away from the doctrine, which though maintained in the following proposition, notwithstanding the votes to the contrary, takes its point of departure from marginal matters, those “existential” to the heart of the discussion, without omitting putting into play, once more, the “poor nations” and the insistence of international organizations (!?).
But the Church is not a teacher of psychology or sociology, though they are certainly not to be ignored, or, moreover, undervalued as handmaids of theology, if such an expression still has any sense given the novel sense “theology” has today.
It is, in fact, the duty and function of the Church to affirm and teach. She should not recriminate nor be conditioned by pressures of any sort, nor should She pause upon secondary elements or take them as foundations by expressing them after a nevertheless — by means of which one imagines to avoid obstacles by causing to re-enter by means of another door, that which was jettisoned through the window … playing in this manner with words by mentioning what is obvious, like human respect and gentleness, but putting it in the midst of a discussion of the Church as a Church of Mercy, the True Church and not that one unhinged from the Truth and from Justice. But the risk is — and not an improbable one on account of what has already transpired — that the mark of unjust discrimination³ ends up in appearing to be but a legal recognition of homosexual unions. What sense has it, in fact, that we recall this in the midst of such a discussion? And from the rest of the document, already cited, there is sufficiently clear and explicit the difference there is between respect for human persons and the masquerade, behind these words, for the instrumentalized and ideological use of them to tolerate evil, which is is, moreover, something very different from the approbation and legalization of evil itself. It would have been better to begin with that distinction than an existentialist pastoral praxis from which it becomes possible to spin inalienable principles, at the risk of making the document something equivalent to John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio, to which it would have been better to pay attention than to look elsewhere. Here, I am speaking of paragraph 55 of the Lineamenta, which reads:
Pastoral attention towards persons of a homosexual orientation
55. Some families live with the experience of having in their midst persons with a homosexual orientation. In this regard, we are questioned about which kind of pastoral practices is opportune to confront this situation, in reference to what the Church teaches: “There does not exist any foundation for likening or establishing analogies, not even remote ones, between homosexual unions and God’s design for matrimony and the family”. Nevertheless, the men and women with homosexual tendencies should be welcomed with respect and gentleness. “In this regard, one will avoid every mark of unjust discrimination” (CDF, “Considerations on the proposals for legal recognition of the unions between homosexual persons”, n. 4).*
56. It is entirely unacceptable that the Pastors of the Church undergo any pressuring in this matter or that international organizations condition their financial assistance to Poor Countries upon the introduction of laws which establish “marriage” between persons of the same sex.
At this point it is legitimate to ask what ever happened to that infamous secret dossier, compiled by three 007 Cardinals, received by Pope Benedict XVI and consigned by him to his successor, which disclosed the impropriam influentiam (improper influence) which crisscrossed between the homosexual lines in the Curia and those outside the Vatican.
This topic, moreover, as I have already mentioned, is certainly one which needs to be drawn out. But the very fact that that there has entered into discussion those elements which of themselves can never be put in dispute, justifies amply the fears and perplexity which this very thing has caused. And there is no need to lower one’s attention, especially on the part of our Pastors, even those who are not directly involved in the upcoming Synod (see my Exhortation on this here).
A fundamental Question which needs an answer
But, here, do we not need to ask another, more fundamental question, which implies the others? A synod of Bishops, can it be considered a competent organ for treating of questions which touch upon doctrinal points, which by their nature are unchangeable, not only inasmuch as they have been already sanctioned by the definitive living discipline of the Church in the course of centuries and even by the interventions of the supreme magisterium of the Church, but in the case of sacramental Matrimony, which are derived from a Divine Commandment? Even if the last word belongs to the Pope, and it is his duty to pronounce it, for what reason does he persist in putting into discussion such very questions?
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1. Considering the historical context of the moment in which this Document has been published, we understand why the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate have been treated as outcasts and why Pd. Serafino Lanzetta has been sent into “exile”, he who is one of their most learned, clearheaded, and good-mannered members — who have never denied the Council nor have twisted it to demonstrate a non-existent continuity with the past — who has clear ideas on noted controversial points and has documented everything from original sources [here, in the same occasion on which I have cited the intervention of Mons. Gherardini: il Convegno del 2010 sul Vaticano II] e [here, more recently].
2.The term “tarrocato” (contrived) was coined by Marco Tosatti [here], the Vaticanista from the Italian daily, La Stampa.— And at this point, I wish to add a note. The removal of Cardinal Burke, one of the most authoritative opponents of the points raised by Cardinal Kasper, was sanctioned before the Synod but was differed, so that he could participate in the first round of talks, but not so that he could participate in the successive ones, and was consequently removed from the Apostolic Signatura which has jurisdiction over the determination of the nullity of marriages.
3. It is necessary to ask for the reason for this attention to a possible mark of discrimination in regard to homosexuals and those who live in a situation of sin — which mark the Church has always reserved for the error and not the person — and the persistence, with growing force, about the mark of disdain which breaks out in discriminatory persecution of those who love Tradition, whether towards persons (pastors and faithful) or towards their spiritual needs. For example, since October 1st the papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore has defiantly excluded the Missa Antiquior ever since the final celebration there at 7:30 AM on that morning.
* In this regard, Cardinal Burke declared: I refuse to speak of homosexual persons, because no one can be identified by this tendency. One speaks of those who have a tendency, which is a suffering (qui).
Dec. 6, 2014: In a letter to the editor of the Monday edition of the Telegraph, Nov. 25th last, the former Cardinal of Westminster strongly denied that he had asked Cardinal Bergoglio to assent to a vote-lobbying campaign in his favor and the involvement of Cardinals in that effort, known as “Team Bergoglio”.
But, in a stunning revelation, published by Miguel Cullen in the Catholic Herald, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, and entitled, Pope sent greetings to the Queen straight after his election, says cardinal,Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor had already contradicted his own denial, when he confessed to being the ring-leader of what Dr. Ivereigh nick-named, “Team Bergoglio”, and admited that Pope Francis recognized this, just 2 days after the conclusion of the Conclave in 2013.
The key passages of that report read:
The cardinal also disclosed that he had spoken to the future Pope as they left the Missa pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the final Mass before the conclave began on March 12.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “We talked a little bit. I told him he had my prayers and said, in Italian: ‘Be careful.’ I was hinting, and he realised and said: ‘Si – capisco’ – yes, I understand. He was calm. He was aware that he was probably going to be a candidate going in. Did I know he was going to be Pope? No. There were other good candidates. But I knew he would be one of the leading ones.”
The admissions of the Cardinal in that report blow a hole in the hull of the denial, issued by Maggie Doherty, his spokeswoman, just 2 weeks ago, whereby he denied involvement and denied Cardinal Bergoglio knew about the vote-canvassing.
That Pope Francis knew about the Cardinal’s leadership in “Team Bergoglio” is admitted by the Cardinal in the same report, where it says:
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “All the cardinals had a meeting with him in the Hall of Benedictions, two days after his election. We all went up one by one. He greeted me very warmly. He said something like: ‘It’s your fault. What have you done to me?’
For a time-line of reports about “Team Bergoglio” from sources round the world, as well as by this blog, see here.
Rome, Dec. 6, 2014: Since the news that the new book by Dr. Austen Ivereigh, former spokesman for the Cardinal of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, contained allegations that a group of Cardinals canvassed for the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, numerous news outlets the world over have covered the story. The group of 4 to 7 Cardinals, whom Ivereigh nicknames, “Team Bergoglio”, “shocked and disappointed” by the revelations have take the extreme action of having Fr. Frederico Lombardi issue a carefully worded denial through the Italian News Blog, Il Sismografo (published by co-workers from Radio Vaticana).
The probity of Dr. Ivereigh’s testimony concerning the vote-canvassing campaign has been subject to question the world over in the last 2 weeks. For this reason, the From Rome blog considers it important to publish information regarding other sources which corroborate or disprove Dr. Ivereigh’s allegations, to shed further light on which of the two parties Dr. Ivereigh or the Cardinals are telling the truth.
The Church according to the oft declared teaching of Pope Francis, himself, should not be a place where the powerful silence the weak or hide behind their offices like aristocratic princes, concerning whom no action can be questioned and nothing untoward be imputed, regardless of whether it is true. For this reason, the “Team Bergoglio” story, whose history has been chronicled here at this blog (see here), represents one of the greatest challenges to the integrity, transparency and honesty of the Bergoglian papacy, if not its very validity in law.
Ivereigh knew of UDG 81 before the Conclave of 2013 began
That Dr. Ivereigh’s testimony in the print edition of his book has great probity, arises not only from the fact that he is former secretary to the very Cardinal who is implicated as the point-man for “Team Bergoglio” (Murphy-O’Connor), but also from the fact that he personally covered the news of the 2013 Conclave, blogging about it for Our Sunday Visitor and speaking on Television for the BBC. The video excerpt was posted on YouTube by Catholic Voices on February 22, 2014, ostensibly by Dr. Ivereigh himself.
In a telling report, filed by the BBC on March 12, 2013, the day before the Conclave began, Dr. Ivereigh shows himself knowledgeable of the papal rule forbidding canvassing for votes.
The interview took place at 17:03 local time, during the very act in which the Cardinal Electors took their vows to uphold the secrecy of the Conclave. Among which electors is seen Cardinal Bergoglio. Interviewed are Msgr. Mark Langham and Dr. Austen Ivereigh, founder of Catholic Voices.
The BBC reporter starts the conversation with an implication which seems to suggest all which The Great Reformer, the book by Dr. Ivereigh, is saying about “Team Bergoglio”, when the former says at 0:56 minutes: The way that one would want to write about this is to talk about the intrigue and the plotting and the scheming…
At 4:30, Dr. Ivereigh admits that he knows of UDG 81’s prescription that the Cardinals are excluded from canvassing pacts, saying, The norms governing the Conclave make sure that there should be no pacts, no agreements…
And at 12:05, Dr. Ivereigh furthermore admits to having met with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and discussed the pre-conclave affairs.
This interview by Dr. Ivereigh thus confirms, both that he had personal first hand knowledge of the requirements of the Papal Law, as well as personal contact with one member of “Team Bergoglio” in the days in which he now claims in his book, the vote-canvassing campaign was conducted. That makes his testimony on the affair, given in his book, of the highest probity.
Therefore, let us review again, the papal laws by which such a campaign could lead to an invalid election of the Pope.
The Terms of UDG 81, Excommunicate Electors for Voting Agreements
All who participated in the Conclave are by Pope John Paul II’s aforementioned Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis (UDG), paragraph 81 to avoid vote canvassing:
Let’s take a look, then, at the Latin original, to understand better how, not just any specific form of vote canvassing is a crime according to the Pope who “brought down the Wall”:
81. Cardinales electores praeterea abstineant ab omnibus pactionibus, conventionibus, promissionibus aliisque quibusvis obligationibus, quibus astringi possint ad suffragium cuidam vel quibusdam dandum aut recusandum. Quae omnia, si reapse intervenerint, etiam iure iurando adiecto, decernimus ea nulla et irrita esse, neque eadem observandi obligatione quemquam teneri; facientes contra iam nunc poena excommunicationis latae sententiae innodamus. Vetari tamen non intellegimus, ne per tempus Sedis vacantis de electione sententiae invicem communicentur.
The official English translation from the Vatican Website, renders this text, thus:
81. The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition. It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.
This translation is not exact. Here is my own exact translation:¹
81. Let the Cardinal electors, moreover, abstain from all pacts, agreements, promises and any other obligations you like, by which they might be constrained to give or refuse support (suffragium) for anyone (sing. & plural). All of which, if these were to occur, even when having sworn an oath, We decree are null and void, and none of them are to be held by any obligation of observance; those acting against (this), We now, hereby, bind up with the punishment of excommunication latae sententiae. Yet, We do not understand to be forbidden, that they communicate with one another concerning the election, during the time of the Sedevacante.
The Terms of Canon 171, §2 Invalidate elections in which Excommunicated Electors participate
What makes the revelations of Dr. Ivereigh so challenging to the papacy of Cardinal Bergoglio is that Canon 171 invalidates elections in which the number of votes required for victory was obtained by the counting of votes from electors who were excommunicated at the time of the voting. This Canon sanctions not only those who sought votes, but also those who agreed to give them. If the allegations of Dr. Ivereigh are true, then as many as 16 Cardinals, the number reported to have initially voted for Cardinal Bergoglio in the first ballot, would be suspect, and thus the final vote of 78 votes, which is only 2 more than the required 78, would be in doubt as to its validity.
Here is the official Latin text of Canon 171:
Can. 171 — § 1. Inhabiles sunt ad suffragium ferendum:
1° incapax actus humani;
2° carens voce activa;
3° poena excommunicationis innodatus sive per sententiam iudicialem sive per decretum quo poena irrogatur vel declaratur;
4° qui ab Ecclesiae communione notorie defecit.
§ 2. Si quis ex praedictis admittatur, eius suffragium est nullum, sed electio valet, nisi constet, eo dempto, electum non rettulisse requisitum suffragiorum numerum.
Here is the official English translation from the Vatican website:
Can. 171 §1. The following are effected to vote:
1/ a person incapable of a human act;
2/ a person who lacks active voice;
3/ a person under a penalty of excommunication whether through a judicial sentence or through a decree by which a penalty is imposed or declared;
4/ a person who has defected notoriously from the communion of the Church.
§ 2. If one of the above is admitted, the person’s vote is null, but the election is valid unless it is evident that, with that vote subtracted, the one elected did not receive the required number of votes.
That the Apostolic Constitution by Pope John Paul II, Universi Dominic Gregis, regulating papal elections is a decree in the sense mentioned in Canon 171 §1, n. 3, can be had from Canons 29 ff. on general decrees.
¹ In paragraph 81, the term suffragium in Latin has the proper meaning of “support”, but the technical meaning of “vote”. In English, we say that one pledges his support for a candidate, to signify that one promises to vote for him at election time.