Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Vatican Delegation Will Travel to China This Month to Finalize Agreement, Chinese Newspaper Reports

Well, Francis's sell out, stab in the back, betrayal, throwing under the bus, or whatever you call it, of the Church in China is complete.

From the Catholic Herald

A Chinese government-backed paper said there are no 'disputes on issues of principle' between the two sides
A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to China “in late September” for a final round of talks before an agreement on the appointment of bishops is signed.
Citing unnamed “sources familiar with the matter,” the Global Times, an English-language newspaper that reflects the position of Chinese authorities, said that “there are no ‘disputes on issues of principle’ between the two sides, and since the meeting between the two sides was previously held at the Vatican, the Vatican delegation will come to China this time for a meeting in late September, and if the meeting goes well, the agreement would be signed.”
“A Vatican source also confirmed with the Global Times last week that a prominent figure from the Holy See would probably come to China in late September,” the newspaper reported.
The Global Times also quoted Wang Meixiu, who is presented as “an expert on Catholic Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,” saying that “China and the Vatican most likely agreed that the future bishops in China should be approved by the Chinese government and mandated by the Pope and the letter of appointment would be issued by the Pope.”
“Before signing the agreement,” according to the Communist party-run Chinese newspaper, “the Holy See would deliver an official document to acknowledge seven Chinese bishops who are regarded as ‘illegitimate’ by the Vatican, including some it previously had excommunicated.”
“The Chinese will receive a Vatican delegation by the ‘end of September’ to take one final step towards an agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Holy See, according to a source close to the Chinese Communist Party,” the newspaper added.
Wang is quoted as saying that “one should not expect to solve complicated problems the Catholic Church in China faces today with one agreement,” and that the two sides “still need further discussions on the complex situation in the different dioceses in the Episcopal selection.”
According to the Global Times, Chinese government sources have “stressed that the ongoing negotiations will stay on the religious level, and will not touch on any diplomatic issue such as the establishment of diplomatic ties between Beijing and the Vatican.”
The Vatican is one of the last 17 states in the world that recognizes the government of Taiwan, an island led by a democratically-elected government since 1949. Beijing considers Taiwan to be a renegade Chinese province.
In previous negotiations, China has insisted that the Vatican cut its ties with Taiwan and promise not to interfere with internal Chinese affairs in order to come to an agreement.
It is estimated that there are about 12 million Catholics currently living in China, half within official state churches in the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the rest in the “underground Church.”
The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association is under the day-to-day direct supervision of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) due to a major change in March 2018 in which the Chinese government shifted direct control of religious affairs to the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department (UFWD).
Some of the bishops appointed by the Chinese government in the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association also serve as members of the Chinese Communist Party’s National People’s Congress.
“We, as citizens of the country, should first be a citizen and then have religion and beliefs,” Bishop Peter Fang Jianping of Tangshan told Chinese media after he voted to eliminate presidential term limits for President Xi in March 2018. Fang was ordained a bishop in Beijing in 2000 without Vatican approval and then legitimized by the Holy See two years later.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has promoted a campaign of “Sinicization” of all religion in China, “a far-reaching strategy to control, govern, and manipulate all aspects of faith into a socialist mold infused with ‘Chinese characteristics,’” according to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom 2018 report.
New regulations on religious practice in China went into effect in February 2018 that codify the increased scrutiny and pressure on religious activities in China. On September 10, the Chinese government placed further restrictions on evangelization, making it illegal for any religious prayers, catechesis or preaching to be published online. This is being enforced via the country’s extensive internet censorship.
Last month, the United Nations voiced alarm over reports that the Chinese government is detaining up to 1 million Uyghur muslims involuntarily in re-education internment camps.
The U.S. State Department has designated China as a “Country of Particular Concern” for religious freedom every year since 1999.

What Passes for Important Today.

Do click on the link and read Fr Rutler's entire essay. It's amusing and disgusting at the same time!

From Fr Z's Blog

Once upon a time, Roman Pontiffs and the Curia they assembled as hired help concerned themselves with the great issues and questions of the day.   Minor issues were left to others to deal with.
These days, in the age of the feckless, a reversal of sorts can be noted.
Head over to Crisis for Fr. Rutler’s tour de force of apposite factoids and dates.  You might make some popcorn.   Here’s a taste…
These days seem to be a “perfect storm” of events which add up to a fourth crisis, and the faithful trust that “through toil and tribulation” the purging of corrupt elements will result in a stronger Catholic witness. Recently, Pope Francis told the press: “I will not say a word” about some of the most serious allegations of decadence in the Church, and he has long declined to respond to the dubia of some cardinals on the spiritual economy of marriage. Some have thought that such reticence is inconsistent with his dogmatic outspokenness on ambiguous matters such as climate change and capital punishment. On the most recent New Year’s Day, he said: “I would once again like to raise my voice” about immigration, and on Palm Sunday he told young people: “You have it in you to shout” even if “older people and leaders, very often corrupt, keep quiet.” That is why there was eagerness to hear him when in these most tumultuous months, on the fourth day of World Prayer for the Care of Creation, he finally spoke—but it turned out to be a warning about plastic debris in the world’s waters.
On September 1, the successor of Gregory I, who saw Latin civilization crumbling, and Leo IX, who grieved at the loss of Constantinople, and Pius V, who pitied souls lost in the heretical northern lands, implored and lamented: “We cannot allow our seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic. Here, too, our active commitment is needed to confront this emergency.” The struggle against plastic litter must be fought “as if everything depended on us.”
I almost spit my coffee on the keyboard when he reminded us of a 2007 of one of the minor dicasteries (which had to produce occasional documents to remind people – including Popes – of their existence to justify their budget):
 The poignancy of such pastoral solicitude inevitably brings to mind the historic document of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People in 2007 which was entitled: “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road.” That was precisely the one thousandth anniversary of the no less important peace treaty with the Vikings signed by King Aethelred the Unready. The world will long remember that pontifical document’s opening line: “Moving from place to place, and transporting goods using different means, have characterized human behavior since the beginning of history.” The guidelines also pointed out (n. 21) that “A vehicle is a means of transport…” and observed (n. 23), “Sometimes the prohibitions imposed by road signs may be perceived as restrictions on freedom.”
In the Online Illustrated Dictionary of the Church, this piece might be linked under the voice: 

Unchastity Repentance Card, Great for Parishes

This card is obviously designed for teenagers but certainly appropriate also for adults, clerics and laity!

H/T to Popes, Emeritus Benedict & Francis, and Jesus: God's Face

By Nothing But Prayer and Fasting

A discussion of the Autumnal (Michaelmas) Ember Days in their liturgical context.

From the New Liturgical Movement

Because of the movable date of Easter, and of everything that depends on it, the Ember Days of September can occur within any of the weeks after Pentecost from the 13th to the 19th inclusive. This year, they occur within the 17th week, which is where they are traditionally placed in the Roman Missal [1], but next year, for example, they will fall within the 14th week. This placement in the text reflects a very ancient theme which permeates the Masses of this set of Ember Days, and which seems to be particularly appropriate for our current annus horribilis.

The Collect of the 17th Sunday after Pentecost is a very ancient one, found in different places in the various versions of the Gelasian Sacramentary, but already fixed to the 17th Sunday in the Gregorian Sacramentary by the end of the 8th century. “Da quaesumus, Domine, populo tuo diabolica vitare contagia, et te solum Deum pura mente sectari. - Grant to Thy people, o Lord, to shun (or ‘avoid, escape from’) diabolical contamination, and to follow Thee, who alone art God, with a pure mind.” [2] This is the only Mass Collect of the ecclesiastical year that refers directly to diabolical influence, but the Secret of the 15th Sunday has a similar theme: “May Thy sacraments preserve us, o Lord, and always protect us against diabolical incursions.”

Folio 115r of the Gellone Sacramentary, a sacramentary of the Gelasian type dated 780-800, with the prayer “Da quaesumus...” assigned to the 20th week after Pentecost. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits, Latin 12048)
On the Ember Wednesday of September, the Gospel is St Mark’s account of the healing of a possessed child, chapter 9, 16-28. Apart from Easter and the Ascension, the Roman lectionary traditionally makes very little of use of St Mark, notwithstanding the tradition that the Evangelist was a disciple of St Peter and composed the Gospel while he was with him in Rome. Here, his version was surely chosen for the moving account of the exchange between Christ and the child’s father, which is less detailed in St Matthew’s version.

“And He asked his father, ‘How long time is it since this hath happened unto him?’ But he said, ‘From his infancy, and oftentimes hath he cast him into the fire and into waters to destroy him. But if thou canst do any thing, help us, having compassion on us.’ And Jesus saith to him, ‘If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’ And immediately the father of the boy crying out, with tears said, ‘I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief.’ ”

The lower half of Raphael’s Transfiguration, the story which precedes the Gospel of Ember Wednesday. The possessed child’s father, on the right side in green, presents him to the Apostles; in his expression, Raphael beautifully captures the pleading in his facial expression. The brightness of the figure symbolizes his faith, as it does likewise in that of the possessed child, for devils, as St James says, have no doubts about God. (“Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” 2, 19). The brightest figure, the woman kneeling next to the boy and pointing at him, is an allegorical figure of Faith itself; where the light on these figures expresses their belief, the nine Apostles on the left are wrapped in shadow to symbolize the lack of faith that prevented them from casting out the devil.
At the end of the passage, the disciples ask Christ why they could not expel the devil, to which He replies, “This kind can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” In the Office, these words are sung at Lauds as the antiphon of the Benedictus.

On Ember Friday, the Gospel is that of the woman who anoints the Lord’s feet in the house of Simon the Pharisee, St Luke 7, 36-50. This is one of the very few examples of a Gospel which is repeated from another part of the temporal cycle; it is also read on the Thursday of Passion week, and again on the feast of St Mary Magdalene, with whom the woman is traditionally identified in the West. This identification is partly reinforced by the words of St Luke which come immediately after it (chapter 8, 1-3), although they are not read in the liturgy.

“And it came to pass afterwards, that He travelled through the cities and towns, preaching and evangelizing the kingdom of God; and the twelve with him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who is called Magdalen, out of whom seven devils were gone forth, and Joanna the wife of Chusa, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who ministered unto him of their substance.”

On Saturday, the Gospel is two stories from St Luke, chapter 13, 6-17, the parable of the fig tree, and the healing of the woman “who had a spirit of infirmity… and was bowed together, (nor) could she look upwards at all.” The choice of this Gospel for the Saturday is a very deliberate one, since it takes place in a synagogue, the ruler of which, “being angry that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, answering, said to the multitude, ‘Six days there are wherein you ought to work. In them therefore come, and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” To this Christ answers, “Ye hypocrites, doth not every one of you, on the Sabbath day, loose his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead them to water? And ought not this daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

An ancient Christian sarcophagus known as the Sarcophagus of the Two Brothers, made in the second quarter of the 4th century, now in the Vatican Museums. The healing of the crippled woman is depicted in the upper left.
Each of these Gospels, therefore, refers to the same theme as the Collect of the 17th Sunday, the Church’s prayer to the Lord to protect Her and Her individual members from the malign influence of the devil.

It is a well-known fact that the Ember Days are one of the very oldest features of the Roman Rite. Pope St Leo I (444-61) preached numerous sermons on them, and believed them to be of apostolic origin, as he says, for example, in his second sermon on Pentecost. “To the present solemnity, most beloved, we must also add such devotion, that we keep the fast which follows it, according to the Apostolic tradition. For this must also be counted among the great gifts of the Holy Spirit, that fasting has been given to us as a defense against the enticements of the flesh and the snares of the devil, by which we may overcome all temptations, with the help of God.” (Sermon 76, PL 54, 411B)

Likewise, in his second sermon on the Ember Days of September, he refers to Christ’s words about fasting which are read on Wednesday. [3] “In every contest of the Christian’s struggle, temperance is of the greatest value and utility, to such a degree that the most savage demonic spirits, who are not put to flight from the bodies of the possessed by the commands of any exorcist, are driven out just by the force of fasts and prayers, as the Lord sayeth, ‘This kind of demons is not cast out except by fasting and prayer.’ The prayer of one who fasteth, therefore, is pleasing to God, and terrible to the devil…” (Sermon 87, ibid. 439b)

The collect of the 17th Sunday after Pentecost is one of the more obvious cases of a prayer deemed unsuitable by the post-Conciliar reformers for the ears of Modern Man™, who must never be confronted with any “negative” ideas while at prayer. Despite its antiquity and the universality of its place within the Roman Rite, it was removed altogether from the Missal, along with the Ember Days, most references to fasting, and all references to the devil. In a similar vein, when the pseudo-anaphora of pseudo-Hippolytus was adapted as the Second Eucharistic Prayer, the original version of the section that parallels the Qui pridie, “Who, when he was delivered to voluntary suffering, in order to dissolve death, and break the chains of the devil, and tread down hell, and bring the just to the light, and set the limit, and manifest the resurrection,” was reduced to “At the time He was betrayed and entered willingly into His Passion…”

However, as Fr Zuhlsdorf noted a few days ago, the 2002 revised edition of the Missal contains certain hints of an awareness that the post-Conciliar reform wantonly threw out far too much of the traditional Roman Rite. Among the things which it restored is the traditional prayer of the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, which now appears as an optional collect among the Masses “for any necessity”, raising the total number of references to the devil in the Missal to one.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal contains an exhortation (and no more than that) to the effect that Rogation Days and Ember Days “should be indicated” (“indicentur”, not “indicandae sunt – must be indicated”) on the local calendars, and a rubric (I.45) that it is the duty (“oportet”) of episcopal conferences to establish both the time and manner of their celebration. Unsurprisingly, this rubric has mostly been ignored. In recent days, however, it has become impossible to ignore the hideous consequences of the almost total abandonment of any kind of ascetic discipline in the life of the Church, and the free reign which this seems to have given to the devil. As a result, some bishops have called for the faithful to fast on the Ember Days this year, among them Robert Morlino of Madison and David Zubik of Pittsburgh, along with a number of Catholic commentators. If the Church does not wish this annus horribilis to become a lasting feature of its life, a permanent and universal restoration of the traditional discipline of fasting, including the Ember Days, would be a small but important step in that direction.

[1] In many medieval liturgical books, they are placed after the last Mass of the season after Pentecost, as for example in the Sarum Missal.

[2] The earliest manuscripts read “dominum” instead of “Deum”; the change would have been made since “Domine” is already said at the beginning. Many manuscripts read “puro corde – with a pure heart” instead of “pura mente.”

[3] It is tempting to think of this as proof that the Roman lectionary tradition, which is first attested in the lectionary of Wurzburg ca. 700 AD, was already set down 250 years earlier in Pope Leo’s time. This is quite possible, of course, but it is equally possible that the unknown compiler of the lectionary was inspired to choose this Gospel by reading Pope Leo’s sermon.

The Crisis in the Catholic Church Is a Crisis for Civilisation

I am reminded by this essay of something said, if I remember correctly, by Molnár Tamás (Thomas Molnar) in his 1969 book, The Counter Revolution. He said it would only be in eternity that we learned whether a greater blow was delivered to our civilisation by the loss of the Baltic Republics to the Evil Empire, or the loss of Latin in the Church.

One note. The author says that Stupich claimed to have been quoted out of context in his infamous and idiotic 'bigger agenda' interview. This was written before the release of the unedited video showing he was quoted completely in context.

From A Political Refugee From the Global Village

I was moved by a remark the polymath David Goldman, an observant Orthodox Jew, made on Facebook yesterday.
A note to my many Catholic friends: My prayers are with you in this most difficult time. The Catholic Church is the founding institution of the West and the godmother of all the European nations. Its distress weakens civilization.
I only now see what a great danger the Catholic Church and the world is in because of priests interfering with minors, and how very extensive the evil has been, after reading the report of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's grand jury investigation two weeks ago.

If you didn't read about it, the report alleges that 300 priests interfered with a thousand children over seventy years, in one American state alone. These terrible crimes were kept hidden for many years.

The report of the Royal Commission in Australia, published in December, contained things that are outside the remit of a secular body, like the advice that celibacy for priests should be optional, but much more importantly the absolutely devastating allegation that no fewer than 7% - 7%! - of Australian priests have been guilty of abusing minors. 

Can this really be true?

Catholics (I, at any rate) had imagined that the number of guilty men was a microscopic percentage of priests. I had read Andrew Brown (a careful Guardian journalist who describes himself as 'a very Protestant atheist') saying that the reason so many cases of Catholic priests had come to light was that the Catholic Church was more transparent than other institutions and that child abuse is widespread everywhere.

I no longer think this is convincing and hope it is not true.

Then there is this story, published this week, of nuns in Vermont killing children in the 1950s and 1960s.

Grand guignol, except it is true apparently.
Back in 1995 Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, caused a flurry in the press when he said that 
Christianity might diminish into a barely discernable presence
and might survive only in cysts resembling the kibbutzim of Israel.
The end of Christendom is happening at the same time as the meaning of the sexes, of sex and of marriage is being rethought from first principles and Europe becomes, with Pope Francis's ardent approval, increasingly Muslim.

This is the setting for the seemingly never-ending child abuse scandals.

Europe, and especially Western Europe, is in the midst of a crisis of civilizational morale..The demographics are unmistakable: Europe is dying. The wasting disease that has beset this once greatest of civilizations is not physical, however. It is a disease in the realm of the human spirit ... Europe ... is boring itself to death. Europe's current demographic trend lines, coupled with the radicalization of Islam that seems to be a by-product of some Muslims' encounter with contemporary, secularized Europe, could eventually produce a 22nd-century, or even late-21st-century, Europe increasingly influenced by, and perhaps even dominated by, militant Islamic populations ... it is allowing radicalized 21st-century Muslims - who think of their forebears' military defeats at Poitiers in 732 ... as temporary reversals en route to Islam's final triumph in Europe - to imagine that the day of victory is not far off.
David Goldman went on in 2005 to say
From an institutional vantage point the Church appears weakened beyond repair. Not only the faith but also the faithful are at risk. I hold out no hope for today's Europeans.
My brilliant friend Bunny Sheffield said that people who do not believe in their religion are destined to be ruled by people who believe in theirs. This is much the conclusion of Douglas Murray in his devastating book 'The Strange Death of Europe'.

Now the terrible discoveries about paedophilia, pederasty and the way in which they were covered up have become entangled with what is obviously a well-planned attempt to undermine the present Pope and even force his resignation.

Archbishop Vigano alleged, in a move timed to spoil the Pope's visit to Ireland, that he informed the Pope of allegations of unspeakable crimes committed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. According to the Archbishop, he told Pope Francis that when Pope Benedict XVI discovered the truth he ordered Cardinal McCarrick to leave the seminary where he was living, dedicate himself to penance and avoid public life. In fact, the Cardinal defied the Pope's orders. Despite being told this, Pope Francis nevertheless gave McCarrick an influential position in his circle.

Why did Benedict's attempt to isolate McCarrick (which sources close to the Pope Emeritus apparently confirm) not succeed? I suspect that if we knew we would know why Benedict abdicated.

The reason he gave, that he was too old to travel the world, did not make sense. Popes before Paul VI never left Italy and Paul VI only made nine forays abroad in his 15 year reign.

Archbishop Vigano's motives or his views on the present papacy do not matter - his allegations mean the Pope has lost his authority, unless he can explain his conduct. This he has refused to do.

The innumerable child abuse crimes are also entangled with the discovery that many senior clergymen, in the Vatican and around the world, are practising homosexuals - something that deeply shocks Catholics but no longer necessarily shocks non-Catholics - and the allegation, from conservatives, that most of the cases of paedophilia are in fact pederasty, which is to say sexual activity between homosexual men and adolescents.

That a large proportion of the cases which are spoken of as paedophilia are not paedophilia but pederasty is undoubtedly true.

I have seen it written that in 80% of cases of interference with minors the victims are boys who have reached puberty but I do not know of evidence for this. A priest friend referred me to the John Jay report back in 2004. Looking up that report, I found that in this case the largest group of alleged victims (50.9%) was between the ages of 11 and 14, 27.3% were 15-17, 16% were 8-10 and nearly 6% were under age 7. Overall, 81% of victims were male and 19% female. Male victims tended to be older than female victims. Over 40% of all victims were males between the ages of 11 and 14.

But, of course, only roughly half the children in the age group 11 to 14 would have reached puberty.

The press rarely explains what is meant by sexual assault, a phrase that covers a multitude of sins, but the 2004 report went into detail. 
Priests allegedly committed acts which were classified into more than 20 categories. The most frequent acts allegedly committed were: touching over the victim’s clothing (52.6%), touching under the victim's clothes (44.9%), cleric performing oral sex (26%), victim disrobed (25.7%), and penile penetration or attempted penile penetration (22.4%). Many of the abusers were alleged to have committed multiple types of abuse against individual victims, and relatively few priests committed only the most minor acts. Of the 90% of the reported incidents for which we had specific offense details, 141 incidents, or one and one half percent, were reported that included only verbal abuse and/or the use of pornography.
What is to be done? The Pope's words in Ireland asking forgiveness for the Church now sound pretty disgusting. Are liberals or homosexuals to blame for these terrible crimes or are the old school conservative clergy?

I am not clear, but it is clear that the smoke of Satan is in the Church, as Pope Paul VI said all those years ago.

Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago commented tellingly on the allegations by Archbishop Vigano: 
“The Pope has a bigger agenda. He’s got to get on with other things of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church. We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this. 
"Quite frankly, they also don’t like him because he’s a Latino.”
The Archbishop of Chicago later claimed to have been quoted out of context, but all quotations are out of context and his words deserve a lot of meditating on.

I am sure the Pope will not abdicate over this, though he might abdicate due to old age. In any case, he suddenly has little stature or authority any more, which would make his papacy pointless, were it not for his power to appoint liberal bishops and cardinals.

Can the Church Defend Herself Against Bergoglio?

A fascinating essay by Christopher A. Ferrara. My only comment is to note that I use the original headlines on essays and articles I post. As much as I want Francis gone, he is still Pope. In my own writing and comments, I will use only 'Francis', never his pre-Papal name, but that's just me.

From The Remnant

Some Surprising Answers...
remnant meme pope
I never thought I’d see the day when a preening, Internet-created neo-Catholic doyenne such as Simcha Fisher, as notorious as Mark Shea for her crude and often unprintable invective against traditionalists, would unload on Pope Bergoglio with the following headline:  “Does Francis know he sounds like an abuser?”
Fisher is rightly incensed by Bergoglio’s cunning response, “I will not say a single word on this,” concerning Archbishop Viganò’s damning indictment of Bergoglio’s rehabilitation of the monster once known as Cardinal McCarrick for some five years before adverse worldwide press coverage forced to him to punish that serial homosexual rapist of whose crimes Viganò had personally informed him back in 2013—information of which Bergoglio was clearly already aware at that time, as Viganò testifies.
The scales have fallen from Fisher’s eyes and now, at last, she sees Bergoglio, however grudgingly, for what he is: a power-mad ecclesiastical tyrant. (A tyrant, moreover, who has ascended to the papacy in a manner reminiscent of the ascension of the corrupt Benedict IX, another “disgrace to the Chair of Peter,” following the machinations of a Roman cabal, as I discuss below.) 
Quoth Fisher:
I have a number of friends who have escaped abusive marriages. They tell me that Pope Francis is sounding more and more like the men who abused them. He’s sounding like the men who hid that abuse from the world, who taught their victims to blame themselves, who used spiritual pressure to persuade them and their families that it would actually be wrong, sinful, to defend themselves.
Just listen to him. After responding to a question about Vigano’s very serious accusations, he said point blank, “I will not say a single word on this.”… [F]or the rest of the week and more, he kept up an unmistakable theme of calling for silence, equating silence with holiness, and painting himself as a Christlike victim in his silence. Then he says it’s “ugly” to accuse others of sinning. Then he suggests that healing and reconciliation will only come if we take a hard look at our own flaws….
To the victims of the Church, and to those who love them, it sounds like he is saying, “Who do you think you are? I don’t have to explain myself to you. You’re the guilty one. You brought this on yourself. If you want to be loved, then know your place. I’m the victim, here, not you. If you know what’s good for you, keep your mouth shut.”
This is how abusers talk. They’re not content with power; they have to keep their victims doubting and blaming themselves constantly, so they don’t become a threat. Whether Francis knows it or not, this is how he sounds.
We can overlook the fig leaf “whether Francis knows it or not…”. Fisher knows that Francis knows it, even if she still cannot bring herself to say explicitly what should now be apparent to the entire body of the faithful: that Bergoglio’s very presence on the Chair of Peter is a grave threat to the common good of the Church and the integrity of the Faith. 
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Yet Fisher maintains a sliver of space for deniability in order to maintain that indispensable distinction between her and those loathsome traditionalists: “I don’t have any ideological reason to want to bring him down. I have defended him as long as I could, up until the Chile debacle. And so I am working as hard as I can not to assume the worst, not to believe that this man who promised so much fresh air is really so intent on slamming doors shut before we find out even worse things hidden inside. But he is not making it easy. I am not saying he is an abuser. But he sounds like one.”
That is, Fisher was not concerned about Bergoglio’s relentless assault on traditional Catholic teaching and practice—to her, opposition to Francis on that account is just “ideology”—but only his role in covering up sexual abuse by bishops and priests.  But why is Fisher still “working hard not to assume the worst” when there is no longer anything to assume as the ever-mounting evidence of malintent has been in plain view for years? 
Indeed, why else did Archbishop Viganò risk everything in order to expose this Pope, even to the extent of revealing matters supposedly within the scope of “the Pontifical secret”?  On orders of the Vatican Secretary of State, the Vatican secret police are reportedly scouring the globe in search of Viganò, who has gone into hiding, “in order to prevent more unpredictable damage to the image of Pope Francis and the Holy See on the world stage, but also to ‘prepare the terrain’ for the former apostolic nuncio-turned-whistleblower to be prosecuted” under canon law. 
The Dictator Pope must destroy his most potent critic thus far. Everything depends on it! But it may already be too late to save a regime whose only defense is not truth but raw power. At last count, some 29 bishops have publicly declared Viganò’s allegations against Bergoglio credible and worthy of investigation. 
Now even the distinguished canonist Edward Peters, who is no less than a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, declares that if Viganò’s allegations are true then Bergoglio must go:
Of what was said above concerning resignation from Church office in general, what would not apply to a pope, of all office holders, if he, as alleged by Viganò, from the first months of his papacy knowingly protected and favored a cardinal who was [pick a disgusting verb]-ing seminarians?
By what possible stretch of the imagination would such an occupant be suited for the Chair of Peter? Does the historical fact that some pretty bad popes held on to office despite committing various offenses justify other popes acting badly in shirking even the minimal gesture of resigning?
Viganò is unquestionably in a position to know, and claims to know, whether his central allegation that Francis’ was covering for McCarrick, big time, for years, is correct. Believing, as he does, that his claims are correct, Viganò, in calling for Francis’ resignation, has done nothing more or less than exercise his right under canon law “to manifest to the sacred pastors [his] opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make [his] opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful…” 1983 CIC 212 § 3.
I have not called for Francis’ resignation because I do not know (with the degree of certitude that a lawyer seeks) whether Viganò’s key allegations against Francis are substantially true; most assuredly, however, if I reach the conclusion that they are true, I would say, without hesitation, that Francis should resign.
Bergoglio will not, of course, resign.  He will cling to power with his last breath in order to carry out the many other acts of ecclesial subversion he clearly has in mind.  The only remedies for the plague of Bergoglio are his natural death or deposition. 
Yes, deposition.  Canon212 has linked to an interesting and timely piece on the role of the Synod of Sutri, near Rome, in 1046, which dealt with the problem of three rival claimants to the papacy, each installed by a Roman faction: First, the execrable Benedict IX, mentioned above. Second, the interloper Sylvester III, installed in the Chair of Peter after Benedict had been driven from Rome.  Third, the well-intentioned but dimwitted Gregory VI, whose election was tainted by a seemingly simoniacal negotiation with Benedict, who had returned to Rome in 1045 and ousted Sylvester, according to which Benedict would receive a generous pension if he resigned the papacy, which Benedict did only to rescind his resignation.
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The Synod was convoked by Henry III, the German king and soon-to-be-crowned Holy Roman Emperor, a pious and austere Christian and an exponent of the Cluniac spirit of reform. The Synod declared that Benedict IX (who had refused to appear) was deposed notwithstanding his attempt to undo his resignation. As for Sylvester, the Synod declared that he be “stripped of his sacerdotal rank and shut up in a monastery.” Gregory was also declared deposed, either by the act of the Synod itself or by Gregory’s own voluntary resignation in view of the Synod.
At Henry III’s designation, the German Bishop of Bamberg became Clement II, but he died after only a year, whereupon Benedict reasserted his claim to the papacy for the third time in 1047, only to be driven from Rome again by Imperial troops in 1048.  Damasus II, another German bishop designated by Henry, reigned for a mere three weeks before dying, whereupon Pope St. Leo IX succeeded to the papacy, reigning until 1054.  Leo, as John Rao observes, was the first in a line of Popes who “took charge of the movement of innovative Christian restoration” which included a breaking of the dominance of Roman nobility over papal elections. (Rao, Black Legends, 147-148).
As the cited article on the Synod of Sutri notes, although the scurrilous Benedict IX objected to his deposition by the Synod, “the Church has always accepted his deposition as valid. The King of Germany then appointed Clement II as Pope, who promptly crowned the King, Holy Roman Emperor. Benedict IX, after the death of Clement, claimed the papacy again! The Church to this day recognizes Clement II as a true Pope.” 
Moreover, Benedict IX himself is recognized as a true Pope—a valid but deposed Pope—during three separate periods listed as three distinct pontificates in the canon of Popes. This was possible owing to the lack of any set canonical form for papal elections; a Pope could gain or regain the office by various machinations.  Indeed, even the Vatican’s own website states that Benedict was Pope from 1047-1048, the very year of his third ascension to the office from which he was finally driven by force.
Only with the ascension of Pope Nicholas II in 1059 was it established that henceforth the cardinal-bishops would elect the Pope, with the other cardinals having the right to confirm or veto the nominee.  By 1100 what we now know as the College of Cardinals, embracing all the cardinals of different titles, had the exclusive right to elect a Pope, and the members of the College “have held it ever since.” (Eric John, The Popes, 181).
These lessons of history should suffice to dispel the pious fable, never a teaching of the Magisterium, that every Pope is chosen by the Holy Ghost to lead the Church. This theological error, which Bergoglio has exploited to the hilt, is a key element in the related error of papalotry, which elevates the person of the Pope above the office he occupies and makes of him the leader of a personality cult everyone is commanded to “love” (in the superficially emotional sense) and obey no matter what he says or does, rather than a custodian and defender of the Deposit of Faith whose lovability, personality and opinions are utterly irrelevant to the exercise and scope of his office. 
As Pope Benedict has observed, when it comes to the election of a Pope “the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he [sic] dictates the candidate for whom one must vote….There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!”  Bergoglio is undeniably one of them.
So what can be done to defend the Church against Bergoglio?  That the mode of papal election by cardinals has persisted for nearly a thousand years has led to the general impression that it pertains to the irreformable divine constitution of the Church, but it certainly does not.  As to matters of purely ecclesiastical law such as this one the Church has always allowed for departures from traditional practice in cases of emergency or grave necessity. And just as a synod was employed to address three rival claimants to the papal throne in 1046, declaring at least two of them deposed, so today might it be possible for reform-minded cardinals and bishops, comprising an imperfect council, to undo the incalculable damage caused by the cabal that lobbied for Bergoglio’s election before the last conclave—a cabal that included none other than McCarrick, whom Bergoglio rewarded by rehabilitating that monster despite the massive evidence of his unspeakable crimes.
What would be the grounds for a declaration of deposition at such a gathering of prelates?  One could readily point to the evidence that a faction that included Bergoglio himself had agreed upon his election before the conclave, and that all those involved, including Bergoglio, were thereby excommunicated latae sententiae in accordance with Article 81 of John Paul II’s Universi Dominici Gregis, which provides:
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.
To quote Cajetan on this point (citations taken from the linked article by Robert Siscoe), deposition by an imperfect council is appropriate “when one or more Popes suffer uncertainty with regard to their election, as seems to have arisen in the schism of Urban VI and others. Then, lest the Church be perplexed, those members of the Church who are available have the power to judge which is the true pope, if it can be known, and if it cannot be known, [it has] the power to provide that the electors agree on one or another of them.”
I am not saying that such a case has been proven. Rather, what I am saying is that this hypothetical imperfect council could determine that it has been proven and act accordingly, and that the Church would judge any resulting deposition of Bergoglio in the same manner it judges the deposition of Benedict IX.
Another ground for deposition—as determined by the imperfect council, not any of us—would be that Bergoglio has deposed himself by promulgating heresy, fracturing the Church’s universal discipline respecting marriage and the Eucharist, and undermining the teaching of even his own immediate predecessors on matters of fundamental morality upheld by the Magisterium for two millennia. Surely the Church cannot be without any remedy for a Pope who relentlessly attacks her very foundations!  To quote Cajetan again: “Indeed the Church has the right to separate herself from an heretical pope according to divine law. Consequently, it has the right, by the same divine law, to use all means of themselves necessary for such separation; and those that juridically correspond to the crime, are of themselves necessary”—meaning the resort to an imperfect council.
If a synod was able to declare the deposition of a pope in 1046, why not an imperfect council today—or, for that matter, another synod? It will be argued that such a deposition would provoke massive schisms in the Church.  But that would not be the first time that defense of the Church’s common good has done so, as the Great Western Schism demonstrates. And are we not in the midst of schisms already, provoked by none other than Bergoglio himself, whose insane drive to shatter the Church’s bimillennial discipline has produced the totally unprecedented situation in which what is still considered mortally sinful in one diocese is an imperative of “mercy” in another?
In any case, this much is certain: barring Bergoglio’s conversion and reversal of course, the Church cannot abide this pontificate any longer. One way or another, the Church will have to repel an attacker at her very summit. Either the human element of the Church will act according to the means which seem possible, however extraordinary, or Heaven itself will intervene in a manner that might well involve a divine chastisement due to the negligence of time-serving pastors who left their sheep completely undefended against the wolves who preyed upon them, including the wolf the cardinals improvidently elected Pope.
Some four months before Archbishop Viganò’s testimony  Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, the Archbishop of  Utrecht, Netherlands, perhaps the most liberal territory in the entire Church, protested that Bergoglio’s blatant nod to intercommunion with Protestants in Germany means that “the bishops and, above all, the Successor of Peter fail to maintain and transmit faithfully and in unity the deposit of faith contained in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture” and that the situation reminds him of Article 675 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which refers to the Church’s “final trial” before the Second Coming, “that will shake the faith of many believers… [a] ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.
What can the Church do when confronted by a Pope who, as a prominent cardinal declares to the whole world, “fail[s] to maintain and transmit faithfully … the deposit of faith contained in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture” and is leading “an apostasy from the truth”? It seems absurd to argue that she can do nothing but exhort the faithful to pray and do penance while a papal malefactor, treated as if were an absolute dictator, is allowed to continue wreaking havoc upon faith and morals to the detriment of countless souls, without the least impediment, for so long as he shall live.
No, Bergoglio must go.  The successors of the Apostles, the only ones in a position to end his rampage, must demand his resignation and, should he refuse as expected, act in this unprecedented emergency to declare his removal from the office he has criminally abused and whose very credibility he threatens to destroy. May God give them the grace to do what must be done and what history will vindicate as a rescue of the Church during the height of the worst crisis in her history.

Off the Menu: Episode 33 - Feelings About People

Originally uploaded 11 September 2017.

A pretty simple episode. The Chevalier is asked his opinion of a number of figures. I'm not in agreement on all of them, but, as they say, if we all agreed on everything, it would be a boring world!

1.) Jacob Rees-Mogg 1:54 2.) Leon Degrelle 3:22 3.) Girolamo Savonarola 5:10 4.) King John I 7:43 5.) King Henry II and St. Thomas a' Becket 9:52 6.) Nicholas of Cusa 13:35 7.) Vladimir Putin, Alexander Dugin, & Russia 21:16 8.) Antonio Rosmini 29:58 9.) George Bernanos 31:54 10.) Edgar Cayce 36:00

Another Reminder!

Episcopalis Communio is The Next FrancisFraud

Mundabor's take on Francis's latest attack on the Divine Constitution of the Church of Christ.

Pretending that nothing is happening, Francis has released a new Apostolic Constitution regulating the way synods work. The new Papal Excrementation is called Episcopalis Communion. (EC)  

As is to be expected in the case of a tool like the disgracefully reigning Pontiff, it is a subversive document 

The most important aspect (and, again, typical of Francis’ arrogance) is the idea that a synodal document, once released and published, should now be considered part of the Ordinary Magisterium. In a word, Francis is trying to confer more authority to the heretical blather that is sure to come out of the two next synods.

The problem with that is that no heresy can ever, pace Pope Francis, be part of the Ordinary Magisterium. The man is basically ordering the Catholic world to believe that 2+2=5  once he has published the new addition on the Osservatore Romano. 

The thinking reflects the same attitude we see in everything Francis does: ignore the criticisms, pretend everything is fine and go on full steam towards the wall. 

It will not fly.

One small obstacle for Francis is that EC introduces a new, dangerous element in the next papal heresies, and no Cowardinals a’ la Burke will be able to say that the new document is only a private reflection of the Pope without any demand that magisterial value be assigned to it. This will require of Burke and Co. to invent new excuses for their unavoidable, practically already guaranteed inaction. I am sure they are already working on it, and I trust they will find something the Pollyannas who still support them will be only too happy to believe. 

A much bigger obstacle is the fact that as Francis goes deeper into obvious heretical territory, he makes is more likely that his “teaching” will be blatantly ignored by most bishops, and rapidly put aside when he (please, Lord!) finally croaks. The fact is, you can’t just impose heresy on one billion Catholics and thousands of bishops. They will be too weak to oppose him, but they never be strong (or interested) enough to enforce obvious heresy. I am, I am sure, not the only one who notices that the current Pope seems to be the most ignored in the V II era in the homilies at mass, with every half decent priest busily trying to make you forget who is the current Pope. 

The biggest obstacle, though, will not come from the inside of the Church. It will come from the small army of prosecutors about to reduce this Pontificate into very finely chopped mincemeat. When the synods take place, the outcry from the current investigations will completely drown any heretical cacophony coming from the Evil Clown and his cohort of demonised homoprelates. 

Only an incompetent ass like Francis can believe that the current scandal is soon going to die. What will happen is that it will gather even more strength in the months to come, creating a tidal wave that will cover this pontificate in mud in such a way that this will be the only thing seven billion people think whenever they hear the words “Pope Francis”. 

The man has put himself squarely against every true Catholic on the planet and almost all anticlerical forces in the press. Some will try to minimise his troubles, but there is no way they will resist the outcry caused by the violation of the last taboo (paedophilia) coupled with the greatest temptation for the press (attacking the Church). 

If Francis had a properly functioning brain, he would reflect that the world press hated Trump to a man, and still could not avoid giving him a huge resonance box. There is no way Francis can escape the tsunami, and it does not matter how much he pretends that all is fine. 

Nuns At Work (1965)-British Pathe

A few days ago, I posted a video from 1962 of nuns of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood at Ladywell Convent, Godalming, Surrey being clothed in the habit and taking their vows. Here is one from 1965 showing the nuns of the convent at work on their farm.

The Most Humble Man in the World

A new 'official portrait' of the Most Humble Man in the World has been done. It is by Igor Babailov, a Russian-born American painter and portrait artist, known for his commissioned portraits of global leaders, celebrities and distinguished individuals.

Here are the comments of the blogger Restore DC Catholicism on it (my comments will follow the blasphemy.)

Notice how he's standing in the light, in the center of the thing, while the Holy Family is shoved into a corner, partially obscured by shadows?  And why are his hands folded in a manner that hides his pectoral cross?  I also can't help but notice the rainbow; is that a nod to the cabal that seems to control the Vatican?

“The sign that we are far from the Lord is hypocrisy. The hypocrite does not need the Lord, he is saved by himself – so he thinks – and he disguises himself as a saint.”
“What makes people hypocrites?” he asked, observing that “they disguise themselves, they disguise themselves as good people: they make themselves up like little holy cards, looking up at heaven as they pray, making sure they are seen – they believe they are more righteous than others,” but really “they despise others.”

When I first saw it, I missed his hands covering the Cross of Our Lord, but I caught the 'Gay Pride' rainbow. What struck me was something Restore DC Catholicism doesn't mention. He does mention the light enveloping Francis and placing the Holy Family in the shadow, but he neglects the detail of the dove.

Am I the only one who is reminded of the Baptism of Our Lord by John in the Jordan? In the Synoptics (Matthew.3:13-17;Mark.1:9-11;Luke.3:21-23) we are told that 
And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Luke).
Many artists, even in modernistic genres, have included a beam of light emanating from the Dove of the Holy Ghost:

Now that it has been made clear that Francis considers himself free of the strictures of Scripture and Tradition, is he being placed on the level of the Son of God himself? 

Two notes: 1) A H/T to my good friend Vox Cantoris for the quotes bracketing the blasphemy who titled his post on this as, Francis' little holy card - a hypocrite? who me?, and 2) here is the link to Babailov's official website with much more information on the portrait.