Current Pontificate: Crisis Worsens

by Christopher A. Ferrara
January 27, 2017

Pope Francis celebrates the Assumption Day mass in the Castelgandolfo's central square on August 15, 2013. AFP PHOTO / POOL/ ALESSANDRO BIANCHI (Photo credit should read ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

From this Fatima perspective, the rising crisis of the current pontificate brings not surprise but recognition. Have we not known for quite some time that, as Cardinal Ciappi revealed, the Third Secret of Fatima pertains to an apostasy that “begins at the top“?

For too long, however, recognition of the reality of our situation has been largely confined to circles unjustly derided as “Fatimist” or “traditionalist.” Under Francis, however, there has been a radical change for the good as more and more members of the “mainstream” Catholic press are coming to recognize what is indisputable: the current pontificate represents a clear and present danger to the Church.

Perhaps these new voices have yet to recognize that Francis merely represents the end point on a downward trajectory that began after 1960, the year the Third Secret was to have been revealed because, as Sister Lucy said, “it will be clearer then.” But it is imperative that these new voices of the “mainstream” be heard because their awakening will provoke the awakening of vast numbers of Catholics who might otherwise have remained asleep. 

Consider, for example, Phil Lawler’s just-published column on “The Ideological Purge at the Vatican,” appearing on the website of catholicculture.org. This was a subject I had already aired repeatedly on these pages, as one can read here, here and here, but Lawler’s contribution is worthy of note and praise.

Writing in the wake of Francis’ brute-force intervention into the affairs of the Knights of Malta, effectively destroying its centuries-old status as a sovereign political entity, Lawler rightly warns that “the unprecedented papal intervention into the affairs of that venerable body fits into a pattern that should, at this point, worry all faithful Catholics.”

The pattern to which Lawler refers is not a purge of wayward theologians who undermine the doctrines of the Faith, of which the Modernists loudly complained during the reigns of John Paul II and Benedict XVI even though the purge never really happened.  Rather, the purge now in progress is something quite the opposite: “Now a crackdown really is occurring — instigated by the Pontiff who famously asked, ‘Who am I to judge?’ And the objects of the current crackdown are not theologians who question established doctrines, but Catholics who uphold the traditional teachings of the Church.”

Consider the implications of this assessment, coming as it does from a commentator who can hardly be dismissed as a “Fatimist” or “radical traditionalist.”  Lawler now recognizes that the current Roman Pontiff is actually conducting a purge of the orthodox. It began, Lawler notes, with “Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was exiled from the Roman Curia soon after Pope Francis took office, and given a mostly ceremonial post as patron of the Knights of Malta. It is ironic — and perhaps not coincidental — that the latest incident involves his new charge.”

In addition to the forced resignation of the Knights’ head, Matthew Festing, Lawler mentions the following stages of the purge already discussed on these pages:

“The wholesale replacement of the prelates on the Congregation for Divine Worship: another unprecedented move, producing an entirely new panel that will be more friendly to the preferences of Pope Francis, and less supportive of the tradition-minded prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah.

“The abrupt dismissal of three clerics on the staff of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. No explanation for the firings was given, and according to published reports, the Pope made a point of saying that he was not obliged to give an explanation. But reliable Vatican sources explain that the clerics had been accused of making unflattering comments about Pope Francis — not in public, but in private conversations with colleagues.

amoris-laetitia-main-site“The contemptuous treatment of the four cardinals who submitted dubia about Amoris Laetitae, by people who are perceived as surrogates for the Pope. And for that matter, the Pontiff’s own studied refusal to answer questions from prelates who should be his trusted advisers.”

Lawler is clearly angry, and justly so. For his is the righteous anger of a faithful Catholic who can no longer remain silent while our beloved Church is scourged in this manner.  His conclusion could not be stronger:

“All these incidents have occurred in a Vatican where the climate has already been formed by the Pope’s tongue-lashings of the Roman Curia, by the blatant manipulation of the Synod of Bishops, by the Pontiff’s daily denunciations of ‘doctors of the law’ and ‘rigid’ clerics. A clear picture emerges: of a Roman Pontiff determined to impose his own will on the universal Church.”

Nothing I have written here is any harsher than the truth Lawler so courageously enunciates from a position in the so-called mainstream — from which it is much more difficult to speak frankly.

Lawler ends on a note that should be echoed by every Catholic worthy of the name.  Noting the arch-liberal Fr. Thomas Reese’s frank admission that he would have been outraged if John Paul II or Benedict XVI had stacked the College of Cardinals as Francis is now doing, Lawler remarks:  “Outrage would have been a reasonable response then, if those earlier Popes had restricted promotions to men who shared their personal opinions [as opposed to sound orthodoxy]. It is a reasonable response now.”

Indeed it is.  It is, in fact, the only reasonable response for a Catholic who cares about the state of the Church today. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Comments invited… 

58 responses

  1. Right from the begining of his Papacy I remarked that Pope Francis was a disaster. And so he is. There is no doubt in my mind that he really is the Pope but what kind of Pope he is, is another matter. I pray for him. I pray that he will actually answer the five Dubia in a faithful manner which is true to the perennial teaching of the Church and I also pray that he will vacate that position without much delay and goes out into retirement. He is a complete disaster for the entire Church. The damage he is doing will take quite some time to remove.

    • John R,

      I agree with you. What a disaster Francis is. I don’t think he will answer the dubia. It’s highly unlikely now, I think.

  2. There is no chance of this man resigning. I and others have said,rightly so,that he admires the limelight to much . The power of his Humility has gone completely to his head . I know that’s a contradiction but that’s what this man is he most certainly wants and is putting us on a worse road than his Hero Martin Luther . Our Church is really in crisis and he looks to be the straw that will break the Camels back .

  3. And again I will say that a Personal Prelature for the SSPX from Pope Francis is totally worthless as all the above demonstrates.If he can pull a stunt like this with Knights of Malta, he is prepared to do anything. Uses the word “Pope” when it suits him (justifying vicious behaviour) and poor humble “Bishop of Rome” when the media is about to be used again to his advantage. This is sociopathic behaviour.And finally it seems that Malteser International was also in the business of not only distributing condoms but also abortifacients..check this out on Mattei website and Lepanto Institute where you can even see the delivery notes of the consignments to various countries! Horrific. So much for The Culture of Death. I WILL judge this man !

  4. I just read on Sandro Magister’s Blog “Settimo Cielo” that the next head on the chopping blog of the Knights is indeed Cardinal Raymond Burke. What a surprise!!! This whole business has been all along about Pope Francis attacking Cardinal Burke for his attack on the Pope over Amoris Laetitia and the submission of the five Dubia. Pope Francis is a nasty, vindictive man.
    What a great disaster he is! the sooner he is gone the better!

    • I keep repeating this and I see people blathering on about judging this character and so on, but we have a “Pope” who wants to use a Catholic Organisation as an NGO to promote contraception INCLUDING that which causes a chemically induced miscarriage (abortificients) and invites Paul Ehrlich the promoter of many population control plans, including forced abortions and sterilisations to speak at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.This is pathetic in the extreme and what grinds me up is the number of people on this blog who honestly believe that Bishop Fellay of the SSPX can in reality extract any meaningful treaty from this Pope.

    • Yep, read that and looks like a foregone conclusion with regards to Cardinal Burke. Think about this as well..Cardinal Patron of a catholic organisation with a humanitarian branch which we all now know has been distributing contraception to the Third World.

      • I’m reading a lot of intemperate remarks on this thread that are not conducive to the maintaining of charity and respect towards the person of the Pope.

        Yes, Pope Francis is a great threat to the Church, and yes, his methods appear to betray his projection of himself as a merciful and humble Pope after Our Lord’s own Heart. This seeming hypocrisy gives rise to anger and anger in turn engenders bitter zeal, which leads to unrestrained mouthing off and numerous sins of the tongue.

        We have a duty to point out the grave failings of this Pontificate and to do all we can to frustrate Pope Francis’ dangerous initiatives, but let’s do it with a little more patience, charity and respect. You won’t hear Bishop Fellay or any other objective religious person speak of Francis as “not my Pope” a “psychopath” or a “megalomaniac”. Why, then, do we feel free to sound off in this way?

        Come on folks, gerragrip and keep the conversation reasonable. Pope Francis is indeed a disaster for the Church, no question about it. But he is the Pope until God decides otherwise and so we have to just hang on in there with trust that God will amply redress the errors and injustices of Francis in His own good time. In the meantime, let’s leave Bishop Fellay to decide whether or not the SSPX can trust the Pope in the matter of a Personal Prelature.

        • Sociopath t’was, (subtle difference) ! Also check out the latest stuff on Rorate Caeli Athanasius with regard to the matter of a Personal Prelature….tres interessant n’est ce que pas !!!

  5. When even Catholic Culture and Phil Lawler are speaking out, that is serious. Thank heavens people are waking up at last. Even the trolls have stopped bothering us on Catholic Truth, LOL! I think most people are coming to their senses at last.

    • Laura,

      I think most people are coming to their senses at last.

      Yes, I think a greater awareness is slowly permeating through the wider Church.

      I think the article by District Superior, Fr Robert Brucciani, in the latest Ite Miss Est is absolutely first class and I wonder if it would be possible for Editor to publish his article in full on the blog, to help bring this awareness to blog visitors of a non-traditional background.

      Here is an excerpt of the fantastic piece:

      In 2016, the new religion that was
      inaugurated by the Second Vatican
      Council revealed itself to many
      as a being something other than
      the Catholic Religion. Despite this
      new religion laying waste to the
      Church for the last fifty years, it
      was only in 2016 that the first of its
      prelates appeared to come to a full
      understanding of the reality of its
      existence.

      The project of “renewal” that subverted
      the entire hierarchy of the
      Church and made them complicit
      in an unprecedented collapse of
      vocations, practice of the faith,
      religious education and morals has
      now reached a point where it can
      no longer hide in the fog of ambiguity.
      It is a new religion and it is a lie;
      and like all lies, it cannot deceive
      forever.

      All that can be achieved by ambiguity
      has been achieved: confusion
      of the natural and supernatural
      orders, disorientation of the entire
      liturgy of the Church, destruction
      of the religious life, false ecumenism,
      unconditional religious liberty,
      divorce by annulment, effective tolerance
      of contraception and more.

      But now, the path to further “progress”
      lies across the open ground
      of the natural law.

  6. Someone told me today that the Pope is talking about calling a Third Vatican Council, has anyone else heard this?

  7. I consider Bergoglio’s obvious attempts to engineer the Church into the rayon-carpeted, hairy, bell-bottomed paradise of his own hippie imagination as clear evidence that neither he not the coterie of heretics around him have any belief in the Church’s divine foundation.

    • Well said and further if you speak French you will see in the video that Bishop Fellay admits to being almost there with an agreement with Rome,basically just awaiting the rubber stamp. The SSPX craves recognition from Bergoglio and his retinue.

      • Lupine22,

        I also crave their recognition, LOL!

        I can’t see the point of them not taking advantage of this pope’s keenness to give them a prelature, which would protect them from local bishops’ control and if it doesn’t work out, then back to the drawing board. I honestly can’t see what there is to lose. What’s the point of waiting until the crisis is over before being regularised? I just can’t see it.

        I think the only people who can see it, to be honest, are the ones called “rad trads” who just don’t want things to be normal again. They are happy with the status quo, they like being on the sidelines, IMHO because it is less challenging. Archbishop Lefebvre worried about a “schismatic spirit” entering in to the Society if the situation was prolonged, and I think, according to friends of mine who attend the Society, that is the case now. Some do have a schismatic spirit, not all, but the ones who think they’re the real “rad” trads. It’s a great pity.

        • I see your point, but they might be protected from the control of a local bishop as you say, but NOT from total control of the current Pontiff and if you compare the Knights of Malta and the way the CDF have been treated DIRECTLY by this Pope recently then having a Personal Prelature ain’t worth a toss if Francis can, on a capricious whim, come down on them like a ton of bricks.A Personal Prelature granted to those he condemns as “Mentally Ill”…seems very curious to me.

          • Lupine 22,

            That is all true but that would only make the SSPX stronger and get more support if they were then a group from the inside taking a stand against the Pope if he did something like he’s done to the Knights of Malta or the FFI. I think it’s a win-win situation for them. I think anyway Bishop Fellay will have thought of that and maybe have some kind of cast iron guarantee or whatever, but in the last resort, they can just make another stand and this time many more would probably follow.

  8. I am very much in favour of the SSPX coming in now. It will thus act as a lifeboat for the countless millions who actually do want to remain Catholics as, faster and faster, the anti-Church that currently holds Rome like some Hunnish or Germanic barbarian horde turns over and then sinks without trace.

    As Pope Harmonius IV I can guarantee that Vatican II will be declared a false Council on Day One. What a first one hundred days it will be! Excommunications here, laicisations there, dismissals from the College of Cardinals everywhere.

  9. This is on the SSPX US website: nothing to fear!

    “But a certain number of conditions are necessary, and for us the essential condition is our survival…”

    In an interview with an independent French television station, Bishop Fellay commented on the current status of relations between Rome and the SSPX.
    During a 20 minute interview with TVLibertés on January 29, 2017, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), commented on the crisis of the Church after the Second Vatican Council, the reaction of the clergy to today’s confusion, the Rosary Crusade, and Pope Francis.
    Bishop Fellay commented also on the Personal Prelature offered to the SSPX:

    “I think we do not have to wait for everything to be resolved in the Church, for all the problems to be solved. But a certain number of conditions are necessary, and for us the essential condition is our survival. So I have told Rome, very clearly, that, just as Archbishop [Marcel] Lefebvre used to say in his day, we have a sine qua non condition: if this condition is not met, then we will not move. And this condition is for us to be able to remain as we are, to keep all the principles that have kept us alive, that have kept us Catholic.”

    • Thank you for that, Margaret Mary.

      It’s what I would expect – nothing will be agreed that compromises the freedom of the Society to “keep us Catholic”!

  10. Francis has some new targets to “crack down” on.

    As of yesterday, (1st Feb), the Confraternities of Catholic clergy – from each of the USA, Australia, Ireland and England – (4 organisations in total) issued a joint statement regarding Amoris Laetitia.

    They thank the 4 Cardinals for raising the dubia and describe the for clarity as “an act of filial love”.

    Here is the statement below (copied from Fr Z)

    Statement of the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy

    01/02/2017

    As members of the International Confraternities of Catholic Clergy we believe there would be great value in an authoritative interpretation of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia in line with the constant teaching and practice of the Church. This statement comes in light of continuing widespread divergence of understanding and growing divisions in practice. A clarification is clearly needed to correct the misuse of the Apostolic Exhortation to undermine sacred Tradition. We therefore thank the four eminent Cardinals who have recently submitted their dubia to the Holy See, requesting such clarification. The Confraternities recognise that this action has been taken out of love for the Church and concern for the salvation of souls. As the Cardinals themselves have made clear, this step has been taken with deep respect for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and should not in any way be used to foster divisions in the Church. The grave danger to the unity of the Church due to increasing moral relativism must be honestly faced and clearly remedied.

    As pastors of souls, we are well aware of the many challenges facing the men and women of today. We strive to help our people, often living in complex situations, to hear the call of Christ and his Gospel. This task is made easier when the Church expounds her teaching boldly and clearly. It is also essential that the Church’s discipline must always follow her dogmatic teaching. In particular, since at the present time there is much confusion, it is necessary to make clear that Holy Communion cannot be given to someone choosing to live in a sexual relationship with a person other than their validly espoused husband or wife. Those who find themselves in this situation are of course deserving of pastoral support and must be helped to play as full a part in the life of the Church as their circumstances allow. In connection with this, it is important to state that conscience is not a law unto itself replacing the holy law of God with private judgment, but rather an echo of the voice of the Creator. The dignity of conscience must be assisted to overcome all ignorance and protected from becoming ‘practically sightless as a result of habitual sin’ (Gaudium et Spes, 16)

    Requesting such a clarification, which reiterates the perennial teaching of the Church, is an act of filial love by faithful sons of the Church who turn to our Supreme Shepherd seeking his paternal guidance. It is our desire that this elucidation will enable us and other Catholic priests and deacons to carry out our ministry in ways that are faithful and effective. We hope that this request for clarification may be an occasion for the Holy Father to feed and tend the flock entrusted to him by the Lord and to support us, the clergy, in doing the same.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      As you say, some new targets for Pope Francis to crack down – so why not go further than a mere clarification and ask for the suppression/withdrawal of AL? No clarification will undo the damage done so far. Only an outright admission that this document is a complete contradiction of Christ’s teaching on marriage, will even begin to put things right.

      As for recognising that people in irregular (adulterous) situations “must be helped to play as full a part in the life of the Church as their circumstances allow” puzzles me. Since the core mission of the Church is to save souls, and such couples are themselves in great spiritual danger, what possible “part in the life of the Church” might they play?

      It is, of course, always good news when churchmen, at any level, stand up to defend the teaching of the Church under attack, but it’s a pity that the majority seem willing to settle for the lowest common denominator, instead of raising the bar, at least a bit.

      • Also which other Mortal sins will become sins no more? The word sacrilege is never mentioned. And what of the poor maligned adulterers of yore, do they get a posthumous pardon?

          • yes and misguided but unrepentant serial killers, bank robbers, members of the SS and so on. It was just so unfair to ever say such people were going to hell in a hand basket as this was so unmerciful.

  11. Good news, the colombian priest who was suspended by his Bishop – for criticising Amoris laetitia and remaining faithful to Church teaching about divorce and the sacraments – has now been reinstated.

    Apparently, the priest had put the proverbial boot into Francis and Cardinal Schonborn, saying Schonborn’s interpretation of Amoris laetitia – which Francis described as “authentic” – was garbage.

    It seems the Bishop later read Schonborns interpretation for himself and agreed with the priest!

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/suspension-divinis-of-first-martyr-of.html

    • Wonder how the Archdiocese of Glasgow would deal with truculent priests who might refuse to be “trained” in the finer points of AL. Again we never did get to find out who voted what post synod did we ?

      • And teachers…. Archbishop Tartaglia organised “training” in AL for the teachers of the archdiocese. I’d have pulled a “Diane Abbot” (“sickie”) that day!

        • Does anyone out there have the guts to just tell Tagliatelle to simply “consult his nearest taxidermist”?

  12. Has anyone seen the open letter to Trump from Chris Ferrrara, Michael Matt, Elizabeth Yore et al asking Trump to open an investigation in to the use of the US Intelligence services to work with the St Galen mafia to rig the Bergoglio election !!!! Alleges Clinton and her buddies were trying to jump start a “Catholic Spring” and sorely needed the services of Bergoglio……quite a staggering letter and to have Christopher Ferrara’s name on it surely adds some gravitas.

  13. On the Remnant website dated 22nd January, there is an appendix and one of the appendices is a wilkileaks email detailing how to damage the Catholic Church. This stuff is astonishing.

    • Lupine,

      Would help if you posted the links. Points deducted from your Easter bonus! I think I did see the open letter but not the appendix. Will check later.

      • 1st appendix is a copy of a wikileaks email. I am not au fait with posting links and all that clever techo stuff !

        • Lupine, this is what you see at the top of this page, where the blog address is https://catholictruthblog.com/2017/01/28/current-pontificate-crisis-worsens/#comment-48886

          So, all you do on any blog page, or website page, is what I just did: check out the top of the page where you see the address (https:// etc) and place your curser in there at the end of the address. It will then colour (blue I think) and all you need to do is right click to select “copy” and then take it to where you want to share it, right click in the comments box and select “paste” and it will appear like this
          https://catholictruthblog.com/2017/01/28/current-pontificate-crisis-worsens/#comment-48886

          Click “enter” so that it appears on the page as a link, easy for readers to reach the page you want to share.

          Hope this is NOT as clear as mud. If it is. let me know and I’ll happily give up!

          Feel free to do a few tests here and I will delete them if we don’t need them. Why not try it on the Remnant site first. Find the page you are telling us about and then conduct the experiment, following the steps I’ve given above. Don’t worry if you get it wrong. That’s how some of us (myself included) learned how to paste the smiley faces and pictures. Testing, testing, testing, with me deleting, deleting, deleting! We got there in the end! 😀 (just to prove it!)

  14. It is like a footnote kind of things with references at the bottom of the open letter and worth a browse.The first one is a real eye opener.

  15. Rorate reports that residents of Rome woke up to find the City covered in posters critical of Pope Francis.

    The posters have a picture of Francis, looking typically grumpy, and the caption:

    Ah Francis, you have intervened in Congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored Cardinals… but where is your mercy?

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/02/unheard-of-since-papal-states-fell-rome.html#more

  16. Thought I would try some new techie stuff and post a link as above Madame Editor. Wotcha think folks !

    • Brilliant, Lupine! You did it.

      And I have just found this – which I guess must be reporting the content of the open letter to which you refer above…

      Note: to get a youbube video to open here, as a film, you just right click on the actual video when you are watching it, and select “copy embed code” – then come here and right click to select “paste”. Feel free to test it here, using the above video. I’ll delete it when I see it later.

      You’ll be an expert techophile in no time!

      • It is indeed and I think this is so big it will need a thread of it’s own. This is a giant can of worms…Regime change in the Vatican.It is all beginning to make sense (to me anyway)!

        • Lupine,

          Now that we have this Pope Francis thread and only 49 comments so far, I think we can make do and mend with this thread to discuss this very serious news.

          A gal needs a break some time!

  17. Does not come much more serious than this. If there is any truth in this then it certainly helps to join the dots.

  18. Dear Madame Editor, took your point and experimented, this will be my nomme de plume from now on which will match the avatar, I hope !

    • Wonderful! After suggesting “Michael” I remembered that we already have a “Michaela”, so groaned as I thought of the confusion ahead – you have saved the day. Welcome, St Miguel!

      • I (hopefully) got rid of the little white box around the avatar, which makes it look a bit neater and will now go forward with the new avatar and public name. Buonne Giorno!

    • Helen

      That is shocking. Note this nugget:

      “…cases of priestly abuse in Rome are now known to have two sets of distinctions. The first is guilty or innocent. The second is “with cardinal friends” or “without cardinal friends.”

      His tough talk on child abuse isn’t matched by his actions. Incredible.

%d bloggers like this: