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

Pope-Francis1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

«Make your hearts firm» (Jas 5:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the Vatican, 4 October 2014

Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

FRANCISCUS PP.

Cardinal Baldisseri furthers confusion, says pro-family coalition

REPRINTED FROM THE VOICE OF THE FAMILY BLOG

Il testo italiano segue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Italian:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a rumor … but… God help us all.

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

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

UDG 5 and Canon 1530

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

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

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

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

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

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

Canon 1530 guarantees the right to investigate charges

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

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

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

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

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

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

Francis became Pope thanks to Belgian Cardinal Danneels

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

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

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

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

Conspiracy theory

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

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

_________________________

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Verifiable evidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who tallied votes for “Team Bergoglio”?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro
Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

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

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

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

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

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

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

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

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

Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló

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

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

Other alleged members of the Team trace back to Cardinal Gasparri

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

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

Other implicated Cardinals

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

Ivereigh: I am confident of the veracity of my account

and have heard nothing that contradicts it.

Dr. Ivereigh presents his book to Pope Francis: Friday Nov 21, 2014.
Dr. Ivereigh presents his book to Pope Francis: Friday Nov 21, 2014. Screen shot of a Twitter Page viewing his Twitter Feed Time-Line.

Rome, January 9, 2015:  Following the publication of the summary of the case against “Team Bergoglio”, Dr. Austen Ivereigh has confirmed the veracity of his account given in the ninth chapter of his, now famous book, The Great Reformer, in his January 7, 2015 response to Fr. Brennan, S. J., entitled, Setting the Record Straight on Pope Francis, a reply to Frank BrennanFr. Brennan is a professor of law at the Australian Catholic University; he had attempted in his review of Ivereigh’s book to discount the probity of Ivereigh’s testimony.

In  response, Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former spokesman to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor speaks directly of the charges Fr. Brennan makes against the accuracy of his report about the activities of “Team Bergoglio”, saying thus:

Regarding the conclave, Father Brennan is right to highlight the discrepancy between my account and the statement of Father Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, and I am grateful for this opportunity for further clarification.

While I did interview my old boss, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, for the book, I relied on a number of different accounts, some of which were off the record, as well as stitching together anecdotes from different places, which is standard practice for journalistic reconstructions of papal elections. The quotes I use from Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor are ones he has given in different interviews.

I made two mistakes in the phrasing of my account. One was to give the impression that the group of cardinals seeking Bergoglio’s election in some way secured his agreement before the conclave, which they never did; I meant only that they believed that this time he would not refuse. Immediately after that sentence, I wrote: “Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the church no cardinal could refuse if asked.” In fact, that exchange did not take place before the conclave, but during it.(1)

The reason this matters is that conclave rules forbid the drawing up of pacts or agreements between cardinals. (2) But they do not prevent cardinals urging each other to vote for particular candidates – that is how popes get made. When the four cardinals I cited said, through Father Lombardi, that there was no “campaign” to get Bergoglio elected, I assume they mean that there was no such agreement between them and him, and I have been happy to confirm that I never meant to suggest that there was. The issue has been dealt with well by John L. Allen, Jr, at Crux.

Father Brennan asks: “Why will the book still report that ‘Murphy-O’Connor knowingly warned Bergoglio to “be careful,” that it was his turn now, and was told: capisco, “I understand”‘?” Because that is what the cardinal said to Bergoglio before the conclave, and there was nothing wrong with it: such light-hearted yet pointed exchanges are normal in the pre-conclave discussions.

These clarifications notwithstanding, I am confident of the veracity of my account, and have heard nothing that contradicts it – although, as I say in the book, there is still much we are still to learn about that conclave.

with Footnotes & boldfacing added to text by the From Rome Blog

Our Commentary

It is noteworthy that Dr. Ivereigh does not deny explicitly that there was an effort to seek vote-promises, each of which are of themselves violations of UDG 81, and are penalized by excommunication both for the individual soliciting and the individual promising. Nor does he deny that the individuals he mentions played no role at all. What he says in his book, therefore, remains untouched, in our opinion, as regards the intention, nature, and end of the culpable acts. (3)

It is also important to note, that he understands Fr. Lombard’s Dec. 1, 2014 denial as a denial of an agreement between the 4 Cardinals (Murphy-O’Conner, Danneels, Lehman & Kasper) and Cardinal Bergoglio, but not that there was no agreement at all. This was our interpretation from the beginning.

It is also important to note the indirect statements Dr. Ivereigh makes, “I am happy to report that…”, “The issue has been dealt with”.  This final citation to John L. Allen’s report, in which Ivereigh speculates about the non-meaning of the word “campaign”, reflects the conflict which arose between him and the alleged members of “Team Bergoglio” regarding what he wrote in the ninth chapter of his book. Ivereigh stands by what he wrote, even if he is willing to bend to the vocabulary insisted upon by the Cardinals involved, in their public denials, so as not to give the impression of the imputation of any violation of the papal law, Universi Dominici Gregis.

Their denials and Ivereigh’s explanations demonstrate that the text of the ninth chapter, as written in the original print edition, was of itself, objectively speaking, sufficient to give rise to the imputation of at least some violation of the papal law.  And this has been the position of the From Rome blog from the beginning.

One alleged member of “Team Bergoglio” is Cardinal Walter Kasper, who publicly denied the racially tinged comments he made in the presence of Edward Pentin during the recent Synod on the Family, until Pentin produced a recording of his comments. That public attempt, by a Cardinal of the Roman Church, to gravely damage the reputation of a leading Vaticanista was received with indignation and horror throughout the Catholic world. The case shows how far even Cardinals can be tempted to go to suppress the truth of what they said or did.

Finally, this recent explanation given by Dr. Ivereigh is important for confirming that his source for his information was Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and another Cardinal, as yet unidentified, and that, given the published reports regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal and the various interpretations given to his text by Tweeters and Bloggers and other commentators, he states, “and I have heard nothing that contradicts” what he claims in his narrative. (4)

Perhaps it is no coincidence, then, that yesterday, January 8, 2015, Pope Francis received in audience one of the accused members, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris, and that this morning, he received in audience another member, Cardinal Godfried Danneels.

The Cardinals named in the ninth chapter of Ivereigh’s book are:  Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster, Godfried Danneels of Belgium, Walter Kasper, the Cardinal-Priest of Ognissanti, Rome, Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany, Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, André Armand Vingt-Trois of Paris and Santos Abril y Castello, Cardinal-Archpriest of St. Mary Major, Rome.

____________________________

FOOTNOTES

(1) Here Dr. Ivereigh apparently errs, because Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor in his Sept. 12, 2013 interview, ascribes the mentioned exchange as occurring prior to the call,  Extra-omnes, when the Conclave’s secret sessions began.

(2) Here Dr. Ivereigh errs inasmuch as the papal law, UDG 81, does not limit the penalized activities to only written contracts, but those of any kind of obligation. He also omits that it penalizes even “promises”, not just “pacts” and “agreements”.  These omissions point to the crux of the matter.

(3)  As we have noted in examining the text of the American edition of his book, wherein in ch. 9, we note what he had written and what it seems to signify in canonical terms:

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

(4)  This, however, by no means indicates that Ivereigh is in favor of a canonical punishment of the alleged members. He wrote freely, what he wrote in his book, without any intention of alleging anything, imputing any crime to anyone, nor does he believe that the substance of what he wrote has this signification, which makes his testimony, thus, all the more reliable as an objective narration of the facts and persons.

————-

Updated on Jan. 10, 2015.

From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

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

Rome — January 6, 2015:  On the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, the Catholic Church celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of the Eternal Light over the darkness merited by this world by the sin of Adam, the darkness which is the demerit of sin, the alienation of God, the loss of God’s Light which would have led Adam’s race from its first progeny to a most splendid glory. For on this day, the Church celebrates the revelation of the Eternal Light incarnate in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin, revealed now to the Gentiles who seek Him out; and not all gentiles, but only those who like the Magi of old, seek Him with sincerity and zeal.

This great Mystery which we celebrate today must be echoed in all the choices of life which we make, must be echoed in the entire life of the Church in all the choices She makes, must even be echoed in the governance of the Church by all the choices which the Sacred Hierarchy makes.

A Church which does not observe Her own laws, thus, can never be the Church which proclaims the Mystery of the Epiphany; and for this reason, corruption in the Church is an abominable denial of the truth of all that the Epiphany represents.

Hence, it is most appropriate, once again to affirm that the facts which surround the “Team Bergoglio” scandal and its consequences in law merit in the most extreme and supreme manner the resolution of the doubts and questions raised.

For this reason, the From Rome blog will now summarize the Canonical Case against “Team Bergoglio” and show why the validity of the election of Cardinal Bergoglio is ostensibly invalidated thereby, and this with a high probability that the contrary is not true.  A summary of reports on the “Team Bergoglio” scandal as well as those blog posts from the From Rome blog can be found in our Chronology of Reports on Team Bergoglio, which is updated regularly. The facts contained in the articles listed in this Chronology, will now be summarized for the facility of the reader:

The crime against UDG 81

Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former spokesman for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, in the ninth chapter of his biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, says that 8 Cardinals conspired to and did succeed in promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio by means of seeking vote-promises from 25 Cardinal electors to be cast in the first balloting of the Conclave on March 12, 2013.  From the text of Ivereigh, it can be supposed that of the 8 conspirators, 2-3 were not electors.  In accord with the terms of the papal law, Universi Dominic Gregis (UDG) paragraph 81, all pacts, agreements or promises forged under any kind of obligation, however light or strong, merit for the participants who are electors the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae.  The terms of UDG 81 indicate clearly that the excommunication is ipso facto, that is imposed in the very act of the transgression. Dr. Ivereigh, on March 12, 2013 in a BBC broadcast admitted to have met the alleged ring-leader of the campaign, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor; Ivereigh further confesses in the same BBC appearance that all agreements regarding voting are forbidden by the papal law.  The Cardinal in a newspaper interview on Sept. 12, 2013 admitted to being the head of the campaign and that Pope Francis knew this and thanked him for it on the day after the election; the Cardinal also confirmed that as of March 12, 2013 Cardinal Bergoglio knew he was going to be a candidate, and that he would make a strong showing on the first ballot. As regards these claims, none of the Cardinals implicated by name have substantially or totally denied them, since they first came to public knowledge, six weeks ago, on Nov. 23, 2014. (cf. The improbity of Team Bergoglio’s Recent Denials).

The penalties in virtue of Canon 1329 expand to Cardinal Bergoglio

In accord with canon 1329, all Cardinal electors who assisted in suchwise, as the crime could not have not be accomplished without them, are also punished with the same kind of excommunication.  This includes Cardinal Bergoglio, since it is morally impossible that he did not know of the nature of the campaign, when he could have stopped it by merely communicating his abhorrence for the perpetration of a crime.  Dr. Ivereigh in a recent video interview admits that Cardinal Bergoglio came to Rome for the Conclave with the desire to be a candidate. His insistence to purchase undergarments the day after election, may also argue that he was aware that the manner of his election would incriminate him unless he showed himself free of any intention to be elected.  To hold that Bergoglio was unaware of the nature of the campaign would be to hold that he never talked to any of his supporters prior to the closed sessions of the Conclave; that he did not take control of his own election, that he did not seek to obtain the papacy, that he did not expect to be elected.

The election of Cardinal Bergoglio had by 78 votes

According to reports, Cardinal Bergoglio obtained 16 votes in the first round of voting, and won the election on the last ballot of March 13, 2013 with 78 votes, that is only 2 votes more than the necessary 2/3 majority to win (76). The actual numbers are known to the Cardinal Electors and those who assisted them in the Sistine Chapel on March 12-13, 2013, all of whom, however, are bound by oath not to reveal the information, without explicit permission of the Pope. The numbers reported come from apparent indiscretions, made by individuals, following the euphoria of Pope Francis’ election.

Canon 171 invalidates the election by reason of the violation of UDG 81

According to the norm of canon 171 §1, the votes of excommunicated electors cannot be tallied; and if they are tallied as part of the required number for victory, then in accord with canon 171 §2, the election is null and void.  This canon in §1, °3 cites those excommunicated by judicial sentence or decree; canon 20 specifies that all papal laws such as UDG are general decrees; the Latin text of UDG 81 uses the same verb of imposition specified as a condition for canon 171 §1, ° 3 (innodare).  Thus there is no doubt that canon 171 invalidates papal elections in which the number of votes necessary for election (2/3 majority) is obtained by counting 16 votes from excommunicated electors, as appears to be the case in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal.  While it is possible that some of the original 16 votes cast in the first round were not promised, it is morally improbable that less than 2 were.

What must now be done

The case having attained a sufficient level of probity according to its facti species, that is, according to the appearance of the facts, it must be judged by the competent authority.

Since the case regards the invalidity of the election, the validity of such a judgement must itself be secured in such wise that no matter the outcome of the judgement, the result will be obtained by a method in which all parties agree is lawful, legitimate, licit and valid.

If Cardinal Bergoglio was validly elected, then as Pope his authority would be necessary to resolve the matter.  If he was not validly elected, the Sacred College of Cardinals in virtue of the authority granted to them in UDG 5 can resolve the matter.

Hence, to judge the case of the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” it seems wise to propose the following:

  1. That the Pope convoke to consistory all  the Cardinals, both those who were electors and those who were non-electors in the conclave of 2013, with the Cardinals created since the election of Pope Francis in attendance but remaining silent and not voting, by their own free decision.
  2. That the Pope in consistory express, in humility, his willingness to abdicate if it should be found that his election was invalid.
  3. That the Pope in consistory grant to all the Cardinals assembled, release from their vow of secrecy regarding all affairs of the Conclave, so that they might speak freely.
  4. That the Cardinals agree by unanimous vote, that the successor to Pope Francis, in the eventuality of his abdication or invalidation, grant to all Cardinals the same release from their vow.
  5. That the Cardinals be called by the Dean of the College to give individual testimony as to whether they were asked to promise their vote for any specific Cardinal.
  6. That the Cardinals in virtue of the authority granted to them in UDG 5 determine whether the testimony puts in doubt the validity of the election of 2013, and by unanimous decision judge whether the doubt is sufficient to harm the unity of the Church.
  7. That Pope Francis confirm whatsoever they determine.
  8. That Pope Francis, in the case of a positive determination, abdicate his office by written decree in the presence of the entire Sacred College; in the case of a negative determination, publish the findings of the investigation and grant the Cardinals freedom to speak about the entire affair in public, after the consistory is concluded, so as to confirm its authenticity and put all doubts to rest.

If those who know that any of the above facts or canonical interpretations are false or true, now remain silent, they will sin gravely either in regard to a lack of charity for the truth and reputation of those involved, or as accomplices after the fact.  If the competent authority does not judge the undisputed case, the Church Herself will be gravely injured in Her reputation and adhesion to the Mystery of the Epiphany, of the manifestation of the Eternal Light and Truth, incarnate among us.

Canon 171 can invalidate a Papal Election

So Says noted Canonist, Jesús Miñambres

Rome — January 5, 2015:  In previous reports made by the From Rome blog, we have speculated (here & here) that the actions alleged by Dr. Austen Ivereigh as done by the group of Cardinals who promoted the candidacy of Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave might well fall under those penalized by the papal law on elections, Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81 (hereafter UDG 81, cf. canon 1329 which expands its penalties for accomplices), and thus render the election invalid on account of the stipulations of canon 171 §1 & §2.

Now, we can report that the noted canonist, Fr. Jesús Miñambres, JCD — currently an Professor in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce, in Rome; and consultor for the Congregation for the Clergy — in his published commentary on the papal law, entitled, “Commento alla Costituzione Apostolica Universi dominici gregis”, supports this canonical possibility.  We cite his commentary as cited in the Italian text of Geraldina Boni, herself a canonist, presented by Sandro Magister at Espresso Online:

«N. 68 La prescrizione di questo numero è più esigente della norma generale applicabile ad ogni elezione canonica (cf. can. 173 § 3 CIC e can. 955 § 3 CCEO), per quanto il numero delle schede potrebbe non corrispondere a quello degli elettori sia per eccesso che per difetto. Pare escludersi in questo modo la possibilità dell’astensione […]. La norma del numero seguente prevede, però, un caso nel quale, dopo un primo conteggio che sembra regolare, il ritrovamento di una quantità maggiore di schede riguardo a quella degli elettori al momento dello spoglio non annulla la votazione.

«N. 69. La nullità di uno o più voti non rende invalida l’elezione, giacché al momento dello spoglio non è più in gioco la validità della votazione ma soltanto quella dei singoli voti; il caso delle due schede piegate in modo strano non è che un’esemplificazione. Infatti, in mancanza di regolamentazione più precisa è applicabile anche all’elezione del romano pontefice il principio generale per le elezioni canoniche stabilito dal CIC: i requisiti di validità del voto vengono elencati nel can. 172 CIC, mentre quelli riguardanti la validità dell’elezione sono ripresi nei cann. 166 § 3, 169 e 170. Il can. 171 § 2 stabilisce l’unica fattispecie in cui la nullità di un voto fa invalidare l’elezione, quando uno dei votanti fosse inabile a norma del § 1 dello stesso canone e, tolto quel voto, l’eletto non avesse riportato il numero di preferenze richiesto» (7).

Our unofficial English translation of which is as follows:

N. 68.  The prescription of UDG 68 is more exacting than the general norm applicable to every canonical election (cf. canon 173 § 3 of the Codex Iuris Canonicis of 1983 and canon 955 § 3 of the Codex for the Oriental Churches), inasmuch as the number of ballots might not correspond to that of the electors whether by excess or deficiency.  In this manner, it seems to exclude the possibility that an elector might abstain from voting … The norm of this number provides, however, for the case in which after a first count which appears regular, that the finding of a greater quantity of ballots than the number of electors, at the moment of the emptying of the box, does not invalidate the votation.

N. 69.  The nullity of one or more vote-ballots does not render the election invalid, since at the moment of the emptying of the ballot box the validity of the election is not put in question, but only that of the individual votes; the case of two vote-ballots folded in a strange manner is not an exception.  In fact, in absence of a more precise regulation there is applicable even to the election of the Roman Pontiff the general principle for canonical elections established by the Codex Iuris Canonicis of 1983:  the requirements for validity for a vote are listed in canon 172, while those regarding the validity of the election are cited in canons 166 §3, 169 and 170.  Canon 171 §2 establishes the unique fatispecie under which the nullity of a vote causes the invalidity of the election, when one of the voters might be incapable according to the norm of §1 of the same canon, and with his vote removed, the elected would not have obtained the number required for election (7).

The footnote (7) in Geraldina Boni’s text reads as follows:

(7) Jesús Miñambres, “Commento alla Costituzione Apostolica ‘Universi dominici gregis'”, in Legislazione sull’organizzazione centrale della Chiesa, a cura di Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Javier Canosa, Jesús Miñambres, Giuffrè, Milano, 1997, pp. 79-81; nello stesso senso Mario Francesco Pompedda, “Commento alla ‘Constitutio Apostolica'”, cit., p. 354.

It is precisely this possibility which the From Rome blog has averred to from the start, which establishes the validity of our analysis from the beginning.

Sandro Magister speaks about the invalidity of the 2013 Conclave

La traduzione italiana segue

First, an excerpt from our Chronology of reports regarding “Team Bergoglio”

January 5, 2015:  Espresso Online, publishes Sandro Magister’s, He is Pope. Elected by All the rules, which contains as an addendum citations from an study by a canonist Geraldina Boni, in which the thesis of Antonio Socci is rebutted, incompletely (full text of Boni in Italian is published simultaneously here); since, Socci says rightly that no more than 4 ballots can be made in 1 day, but Boni states that if 1 ballot was nullified on account of there being 1 extra blank vote-ballot (UDG 68), then no violation of the rules (UDG 63) took place, which is to merely counter’s Socci’s assertion with an assertion.  The article also makes passing comment regarding “Team Bergoglio” but ignores any substantive consideration of UDG 81.  That Sandro Magister considers the arguments regarding the invalidity of Cardinal Bergoglio’s election worthy of rebuttal is astounding of itself.

Our Critique

As for Sandro Magister’s argument, set forth in his article at Espresso Online, it is worth no more than Boni’s argument.

But, Geraldina Boni’s argument fails in this, that she builds her argument upon the assertion that the re-do of the votation on account of an extra-ballot is of itself not a violation of UDG 63, which specifies that 4 ballots a-day are alone permitted.  She fails to recognize that in the fulfillment of every section of UDG, no violation of UDG 63 can be made or excused.  It is preposterous to assert what she asserts, because on account of what is said in the text of UDG’s Promulgation, at its very end, there is declared null and void anything and everything done contrary to the terms set forth in the papal law.

The authentic dispute regards the meanding of the Latin text in UDG 68, in which the Latin text reads:

Quodsi schedularum numerus non respondet numero electorum, omnes comburendae sunt, et iterum, id est altera vice, ad suffragia ferenda procedatur; si vero schedularum numerus numero electorum respondet, subsequitur publicatio scrutinii, quae hoc modo fit.

Our unofficial English translation is as follows:

Wherefore, if the number of vote-ballots does not correspond to the number of electors, all are to be completely burnt, and one is to proceed to take, again, that is, another time, the ballots; but if the number of vote-ballots corresponds with the number of electors, there follows the publication of the count, which is to be done in this manner:

Because in Latin, the phrase means that there follows another vote, which is not made on the basis of the first one being considered as if it was never done, as Boni holds (tamquam non esset), but as the second of two, for in Latin “another” can be signified in 2 manners: with the word, alia, and then one means another without relation to the first; and altera, which is always said in relation to the first, in the sense of something to be counted as a second.  The Latin text, lacking the specification that Boni would have it contain (the “tamquam non esset”, i. e., as if the first never took place), must be read in the strict sense of a redo, and thus another scrutiny.

That Socci’s argument is more probable can be seen from the text of UGD 63, 64, and 65, where a scrutiny is defined precisely as the entire process of voting (suffragia ferenda), sorting, counting, publishing.  That there are only 4 of these suffragia, means that when it says in UDG 68 that one is to proceed to taking the suffragium again, that the suffragium is to be counted as one of the 4 allowed.  This argument of Socci is more probable; that of Boni appears based on the meaning of the Italian word, “altra”, which does not have the precision of the Latin, “altera”.

However, that the contrary of Socci’s argument seems probable, is from the plural used in the same phrase, ad suffragia ferenda (one proceeds take the ballots, suffragia), because the Latin could have said, ad alterum sive alium suffragium ferendum, that is, “to take a second or another ballot”, but it uses the plural, which at least in Cardinal Napier’s mind (see his Twitter feed), means the taking of the votes (suffragia), not an entire scrutiny (scrutinium).

The papal law itself, should, in our opinion, be corrected to read:  and within the same scrutiny, one is to proceed to another taking of the ballots, as if the erroneous balloting never was (et iterum infra idem scrutinium ad suffragia ferenda procedatur tanquam prima mendosa non illata sint).

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La traduzione italiana, a cura di Antonio Marcantonio

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Sandro Magister si esprime sulla nullità del conclave del 2013

Cominciamo con un estratto dalla nostra Cronologia dei reportage sul “Team Bergoglio”.

5 gennaio 2015: Espresso Online pubblica l’articolo di Sandro Magister È lui il Papa. Eletto in piena regola, che contiene in appendice la citazione di uno studio della canonista Geraldina Boni, in cui la tesi di Antonio Socci viene contestata in modo insoddisfacente (il testo completo della Boni in italiano è stato pubblicato contemporaneamente qui), dato che l’affermazione di Socci secondo la quale non si possono fare più di quattro scrutini al giorno è corretta. In realtà, affermando che – qualora uno scrutinio fosse stato annullato per via della presenza di una scheda bianca in sovrannumero (UDG 68) non si sarebbe verificata alcuna violazione delle regole (UDG 63) – la Boni non fa altro che contestare l’asserzione di Socci con un’altra asserzione. L’articolo fa anche dei vaghi riferimenti al “Team Bergoglio”, senza tuttavia dedicare una consistente attenzione al paragrafo 81 della UDG. Il fatto che Sandro Magister consideri degni di oppugnazione gli argomenti che sostengono la nullità dell’elezione del Cardinal Bergoglio è comunque in se stesso sorprendente.

La nostra critica

L’argomentazione espressa da Sandro Magister nel suo articolo su Espresso Online non è di maggior valore di quella della Boni.

L’argomentazione di Geraldina Boni non è valida perché si fonda sull’affermazione secondo la quale la ripetizione dello scrutinio dovuta a una scheda addizionale non sia in se stessa una violazione del paragrafo 63 della UDG, in cui si specifica che sono consentiti solo quattro scrutini al giorno. La canonista non ammette – come dovrebbe – che affinché si compia l’osservanza completa di tutte le sezioni della UDG, nessuna violazione della UDG 63 può essere fatta o giustificata. La sua affermazione non ha senso: in ragione di quanto è espresso nel testo della Promulgazione della UDG (nella parte finale del documento), si dichiara del tutto privo di valore tutto ciò che venga attentato contro i termini stabiliti dalla costituzione papale.

Il vero nucleo della disputa risiede nell’interpretazione del testo latino del paragrafo 68 della UDG, in cui si legge:

Quodsi schedularum numerus non respondet numero electorum, omnes comburendae sunt, et iterum, id est altera vice, ad suffragia ferenda procedatur; si vero schedularum numerus numero electorum respondet, subsequitur publicatio scrutinii, quae hoc modo fit.

La nostra traduzione non ufficiale è la seguente:

Pertanto, se il numero di schede non corrisponde al numero degli elettori, esse devono essere tutte bruciate, e bisogna procedere di nuovo, vale a dire, un’altra volta, alla raccolta dei voti: ma se il numero delle schede corrisponde al numero degli elettori, si procede alla pubblicazione del conteggio, che deve essere fatto in questa maniera.

Il significato della frase latina lascia ben intendere che la votazione che segue è una nuova votazione e non – come vorrebbe la Boni – una votazione fatta come se la precedente non fosse mai avvenuta (tamquam non esset). È evidente che si tratta della seconda di due votazioni, poiché in latino l’espressione “un’altra” si può esprimere in due modi: con il termine alia – che significa “un’altra” che non ha relazione con “la precedente” – o con altera, termine la cui accezione implica sempre una relazione con “la precedente” e che esprime l’idea di qualcosa che deve essere contato come secondo rispetto all’anteriore. Dato che nel testo latino manca la specificazione erroneamente menzionata dalla Boni (quel “tamquam non esset” che significherebbe “come se la prima non avesse avuto luogo”), esso deve essere letto nel suo significato corretto di una ripetizione, e pertanto di un’altra votazione.

Il fatto che l’argomentazione di Socci sia più cogente è dimostrato proprio dal testo dei paragrafi 63, 64 e 65 della UDG, in cui uno scrutinio viene definito con precisione come l’intero processo costituito da: voto (suffragia ferenda), mescolamento e conteggio delle schede, spoglio dei voti. Dato che solo quattro di questi suffragia sono consentiti, il dettame del paragrafo 68 della UDG secondo il quale bisogna procedere a una ripetizione del suffragium implica che il suffragium che viene ripetuto deve essere contato come uno dei quatto permessi. L’argomentazione di Socci è più attendibile; quella della Boni sembra basarsi sul significato della parola italiana “altra”, che non ha la stessa precisa accezione del latino “altera”.

L’apparente attendibilità della confutazione della tesi di Socci deriva dal plurale utilizzato nella stessa frase, ad suffragia ferenda (si procede alla raccolta dei voti, suffragia): il testo latino, infatti, avrebbe anche potuto dire ad alterum sive alium suffragium ferendum, vale a dire “fare una seconda o un’altra votazione”, ed usa invece il plurale, il che – per lo meno secondo l’interpretazione del Cardinal Napier (vedi il feed del suo profilo Twitter) – significherebbe solamente la raccolta dei voti (suffragia), non l’intero processo di scrutinio (scrutinium).

La norma papale in sé, a nostro avviso, dovrebbe essere corretta come segue: “e all’interno dello stesso scrutinio, si deve procedere a un’altra votazione, come se la votazione errata non si fosse mai svolta” (et iterum infra idem scrutinium ad suffragia ferenda procedatur tanquam prima mendosa non illata sint).[1]

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 [1] Con le ultime due frasi l’autore, da me consultato in proposito, non vuole di certo ritrattare quanto detto prima, bensì specificare che – qualora si vogliano in futuro evitare ulteriori dubbi sull’interpretazione – il testo in latino andrebbe a suo avviso formulato con più chiarezza. Eventuali perplessità in merito nascono dalla differenza tra la schiettezza dello stile discorsivo anglosassone e la ridondanza di quello italiano. – N.d.T.

 

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In seguito, un’ anonima (Anna) ha pubblicato come commento al Blog, Chiesa e post Concilio, quest’analisi seguente

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La Boni scrive “Essendosi quindi applicato del tutto legittimamente il n. 68, tale quarta votazione dal punto di vista giuridico è incontestabilmente “tamquam non esset”, non andava quindi inclusa e computata fra quelle effettive, cioè giuridicamente valide e complete”.

Oltre alla obiezione fondata sul dato letterale del testo, che costituisce il primo criterio di interpretazione della norma (“..altera, termine la cui accezione implica sempre una relazione con “la precedente”….), potrebbe anche farsi riferimento alla ratio legis, cioè allo scopo che la norma intende raggiungere, l’interesse che tutela.

Se lo scopo del limite massimo di quattro votazioni al giorno è, come dice Socci (e non contestato dalla Boni), evitare un’elezione avventata, viziata da stress e stanchezza dei cardinali elettori, allora il numero da conteggiare per determinare il limite massimo giornaliero dovrebbe essere riferito alle votazioni, quali che siano, e non alle sole votazioni valide.

Le votazioni annullate, infatti, stressano allo stesso modo delle votazioni valide. La formula “tamquam non esset” certamente non è idonea a cancellare, con effetto retroattivo, la stanchezza degli elettori ed il tempo trascorso (cioè la votazione come fatto storico avvenuto), riferendosi piuttosto essa solo agli effetti giuridici e che un atto invalido è inidoneo a determinare.

Tra l’altro l’interpretazione proposta dalla Boni comporterebbe la improponibile conseguenza di consentire non solo cinque ma un numero indeterminato di votazioni nello stesso giorno, nel caso di ripetute violazioni delle norme elettorali, e dunque di ripetute votazioni” tamquam non esset”.

Va poi considerato che l’art. 63 prescrive un numero massimo di votazioni e non già di votazioni valide, quindi andrebbe ritenuta irrilevante la validità o meno della votazione al fine del conteggio del numero massimo di votazioni effettuabili in un giorno ( “Ubi lex voluit dixit, ubi noluit tacuit).

Non mi pare convincente nemmeno la ritenuta applicabilità del n. 68 – che prevede che se durante il conteggio delle schede lo scrutatore incaricato verifica, prendendole in maniera visibile una ad una dall’urna, che il numero delle schede non corrisponde al numero degli elettori, bisogna bruciarle e procedere ad una seconda votazione – invece che il n. 69 – che sancisce che se nello spoglio dei voti gli scrutatori trovassero due schede piegate in modo da sembrare compilate da un solo elettore, se esse portano lo stesso nome vanno conteggiate per un solo voto, se invece portano due nomi diversi, nessuno dei due voti sarà valido, ma in nessuno dei due casi viene annullato lo scrutinio – al caso in questione, in cui “durante l’estrazione delle schede dall’urna per la conta, lo scrutatore che prende una scheda alla volta e la mostra a tutti, prima di deporla nell’altra urna si è accorto che una di queste ne conteneva un’altra, per errore un porporato aveva deposto due foglietti nell’urna, uno con il nome del suo prescelto e uno in bianco, che era rimasto attaccato al primo”. La Boni fonda infatti le sue conclusioni unicamente sul fatto che tale scheda doppia sarebbe stata rinvenuta nella fase di conteggio (disciplinata dall’art. 68) e non in quella dello spoglio (disciplinato dall’art. 69) e, benché il caso (due schede piegate) fosse identico a quello previsto in modo specifico dall’art. 69 quest’ultimo non sarebbe applicabile perché le norme andrebbero applicate come suonano e non interpretate.

Non convince perché quella che viene proposta come applicazione della norma è in realtà una interpretazione di essa, al pari di quella di Socci.

Il caso in questione infatti è anomalo e non risulta disciplinato da nessuna delle due norme.

L’art. 68 disciplina il caso in cui il numero delle schede al momento del conteggio siano di numero diverso dal numero degli elettori, cioè, poiché , le schede sono introdotte nell’urna ripiegate e non vengono aperte al momento del conteggio, riguarda il numero dei “pieghi” introdotti nell’urna , mentre la seconda norma riguarda l’ipotesi di “pieghi” di numero uguale agli elettori (e infatti solo in questo caso si procede allo spoglio), che, una volta aperti, in uno o più casi, presentino “due schede piegate in modo da sembrare compilate da un soloelettore” .

Nel caso in questione un piego invece che essere conteggiato come tale è stato aperto e conteggiato due volte perché contenete due schede attaccate. Si tratta dunque di una ipotesi a cavallo tra le due norme, le quali vanno pertanto interpretate per stabilire quale delle due applicare ed in particolare se sia prevalente l’elemento della fase (conteggio invece che spoglio) o l’elemento dell’oggetto (non già numero di pieghi diverso dal numero degli elettori bensì due schede piegate in modo da sembrare compilate da un solo elettore.

La Boni ritiene di che non ci sia nulla da interpretare e dunque non spiega per quale ragione prevarrebbe il dato della fase rispetto a quello dell’oggetto. Socci invece argomenta, prevedendo peraltro l’obiezione mossagli, e tali argomentazioni non sembrano infondate.

In sostanza Socci ritiene che gli artt. 68 e 69 assumano come criterio di giudizio non il “quando” si è trovata la scheda in più ma il “come”. Diversamente i due articoli darebbero due soluzioni opposte al medesimo problema (una scheda in più) e sarebbero in totale contraddizione.

Inoltre le due norme intenderebbero al contempo impedire che un elettore possa votare due volte e salvaguardare il più possibile la validità della votazione, impedendo eventuali azioni di sabotaggio.

L’annullamento della votazione in caso di pieghi in più sarebbe necessario perché non potrebbe risalirsi alla coppia di schede gemelle cioè al singolo cardinale che avrebbe votato due volte, mentre tale soluzione drastica non occorrerebbe ove si trovassero le due schede fossero trovate piegate insieme, nel modo anzidetto. In questo caso l’art. 69 prevede infatti che se il voto è identico si conteggia una sola volta mentre se è diverso si annulla il voto, ma mai si annulla la votazione.

Unhooked from the object, minds go very bad

Church and Society have both gone mad.

by the Most Rev. Richard Williamson (original, January 3, 2015 A.D., source: here).

Pope Pius XII and his Apostolic Delegate Marcel Lefebvre.
Pope Pius XII and his Apostolic Delegate Msgr. Marcel Lefebvre.

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.

Kant_fotoWhen 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.

Pope John XXIII and Archbishop of Lefebrve:  On On June 5, 1960, His Holiness appointed the Archbishop to the Preparatory Committe for Vatican II
Pope John XXIII and Archbishop of Lefebvre: On On June 5, 1960, His Holiness appointed the Archbishop to the Preparatory Committee for Vatican II

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!

Kyrie eleison.

© Msgr. Richard Williamson, 2015.

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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.

BONAVENTURE CHALLENGE

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