Pope Francis: I’m Not The Vicar of Christ or Successor of the Apostles!

Pope Francis drops ‘Vicar of Christ’ title in Vatican yearbook
The title ‘Vicar of Jesus Christ’ stems from Holy Scripture where Jesus grants St. Peter the power of the keys in the Church

April 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a surprise move, Pope Francis has dropped the historic and essential title “Vicar of Christ” from the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook, the Holy See’s annual directory, relegating the title to a footnote, calling it a “historical title.”

While previous yearbooks listed the title “Vicar of Christ” and the name of the reigning Pope under that title, this year’s annual directory simply lists the name “Jorge Mario Bergoglio,” the name of the man who became Pope Francis in 2013.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called the change “theological barbarism.”

As the German Rome Correspondent, Guido Horst, reported today for the newspaper Die Tagespost, this new entry has astonished well-informed Vatican experts. He writes that this year’s Annuario Pontificio has “banned” the Pope’s title ‘Vicar of Christ,’ making it a “historical title” that now belongs to a footnote.

The Annuario Pontificio is published every year. It updates statistical data concerning the Catholic Church. Usually, the presentation of the members of the Church’s hierarchy – College of Cardinals, bishops of the world and the Vatican’s dicasteries – starts with the Roman Pontiff, under the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” (“Vicario di Gesù Cristo”). Then follow the additional titles of the Pope, all of which carry a “different or even no dogmatic significance” as does the first title, according to Horst. These are: Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

The title “Vicar of Jesus Christ,” however, “stems from Holy Scripture, in which Jesus has granted St. Peter the power of the keys in the Church,”  Ar these additional titles, there usually then would come the name of the current pontiff, a short biography of him, as well as the dates of his election and inauguration.

However, the new entry about the Pope starts now – instead of the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” – with the following title: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio.” This title is followed by a short biography and the dates of his election and inauguration. Finally – and this after a line indicating that the “footnotes” (in the words of Guido Horst) are now coming – there come, under the subtitle “historical titles”: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

According to Horst, such a change of the presentation of the Roman Pontiff in the Annuario Pontificio “could only have happened upon request by Francis himself.”

In comments to the Tagespost, Cardinal Gerhard Müller points out that in the new presentations of the titles of the Pope, there are mixed together titles with dogmatic significance with those that do not bear such weight and who have a historical background (such as “Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City”).

The German cardinal goes on to speak about the “embarrassment” that the Annuario Pontificio has “demeaned essential elements of the Catholic teaching on the primacy [of the Pope] as mere historical appendix.” He insisted that it is “a theological barbarism to demean as historical burden the titles of the Pope ‘Successor of Peter, Representative of Christ, and visible head of the entire Church.’” He stated that the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, “together with the ‘Successor of Peter, Representative of Christ, and visible head of the entire Church, rule the house of the Living God.” (Lumen gentium 18)

“No Pope or Ecumenical Council,” the German prelate continued, “could, with reference to their highest authority over the Church, do away with the primacy, the episcopacy, or the Sacraments, or to re-interpret them in their essence.”

A commentator quoted by Guido Horst noted that the change in the yearbook denotes a “defective understanding of the office,” pointing out that important titles such as “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” have also been downgraded as mere historical titles.

Professor Armin Schwibach, the Rome Correspondent for the Austrian website Kath.net, commented on Twitter: “It seems that they continue to dismantle everything.”

In 2006, Pope Benedict made a change to the usual presentation of the Roman Pontiff in the Annuario Pontificio when removing altogether the papal title “Patriarch of the West.” At the time, this decision was interpreted as an act of “evidently hoping to eliminate one possible obstacle to ecumenical progress with the Orthodox world.”   Source – Lifesitenews

Comment: 

As the final paragraph reveals, the shedding of the titles indicating papal authority, has its roots in ecumenism.  These top churchmen don’t seem to get it.  Nothing they can do – from destroying the Mass to make it acceptable to Protestants, to chucking out papal titles – will bring about Christian unity.  Christ bequeathed unity on His Church from the beginning, when He prayed: “That they all may be one, as Thou Father in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)

Any “dialogue”, therefore, with our separated brothers and sisters (or should that be “sisters and brothers” 😀 ) must take the tried and tested missionary form of inviting them to return to the Church founded by Christ.  If Pope Francis can’t see that, and instead continues on the senseless path of trying to destroy what is left of Catholicism, we can only reflect on those sobering words of St Paul:  “God will not be mocked.” (Galatians 6:7) 

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

  

Trump: Truth & Lies in Politics – Whistleblower or Blowhard?

Comment:

The anti-Trump news commentators here in the UK are in their element reporting on (and hoping for)  Nancy Pelosi’s threatened impeachment of Donald Trump in the wake of the (entirely contrived) “Ukraine scandal”.  But why?  Why do they hate him so much when, by objective standards, he seems to have done quite a bit to improve life for the American people.  What’s behind it all? 

Take a look at the video clip below and ask yourself – is this what’s behind it all? 

Abortion: Time to End “Woman’s Right to Choose” … Let Public Choose – Now!

Comment: 

Daily, we hear the mantra that we need a second BREXIT referendum because we know so much more now that we did in 2016 when we voted to leave the EU. 

Well, if that is true about BREXIT, it is true, also, about abortion because there is no question that we know MUCH more about life in the womb today than we knew when the Abortion Act was passed in 1967.  

If Rachel Riley’s comments in the above interview about the behaviour of her baby in the womb don’t convince you, check out the several 3D videos available on YouTube where you can see for yourself the activity of unborn babies.  Very busy little people, no question about it! 

For the record, I saw Rachel Riley interviewed on this subject on Sky News where the female interviewer was clearly – it seemed to me – taken aback by her remarks, and none too pleased, realising, no doubt, the implications for the “pro-choice” lobby of what Rachel Riley was saying.  However, try as I have done, I can’t find it on YouTube.  Thus, the above clip from the BBC news will have to suffice for now. 

So, what, now?  Should there be a national debate –  and a referendum – on the concept of the woman’s right to choose, now that we have SO much more information about life in the womb than we did back in 1967, when there were actually campaigners claiming that the foetus (Latin word for “offspring”) isn’t human at all.   Of course, gradually that position was dropped in favour of the “pro-choice” – the woman’s right to choose to kill her baby if that is what she decided – argument , with that right set to be extended until the moment of birth or immediately after birth (infanticide) which is already legal in the USA.   The pro-abortion MPs in Parliament are pushing for that here, using the euphemism “decriminalisation” of abortion.  They are among the anti-BREXIT MPs demanding a second referendum “because we know so much more now than when we voted to leave the EU in 2016.” I’ve written to a number of them putting the same argument for a national abortion debate and, needless to say, not one of them has replied. 

Over to you – are we justified in calling for a referendum on abortion, now that we can actually see for ourselves that there is a truly human life in the womb, more active than certain folk outside the womb… (think lazy teenagers!)   

USA: Dramatic Loss of Belief in Real Presence – What About UK Catholics? 

Transubstantiation – the idea that during Mass, the bread and wine used for Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ – is central to the Catholic faith. Indeed, the Catholic Church teaches that “the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’”

But a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”

In addition to asking Catholics what they believe about the Eucharist, the new survey also included a question that tested whether Catholics know what the church teaches on the subject. Most Catholics who believe that the bread and wine are symbolic do not know that the church holds that transubstantiation occurs. Overall, 43% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also that this reflects the position of the church. Still, one-in-five Catholics (22%) reject the idea of transubstantiation, even though they know about the church’s teaching.

The vast majority of those who believe that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ – 28% of all Catholics – do know that this is what the church teaches. A small share of Catholics (3%) profess to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist despite not knowing the church’s teaching on transubstantiation.

About six-in-ten (63%) of the most observant Catholics — those who attend Mass at least once a week — accept the church’s teaching about transubstantiation. Still, even among this most observant group of Catholics, roughly one-third (37%) don’t believe that the Communion bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ (including 23% who don’t know the church’s teaching and 14% who know the church’s teaching but don’t believe it). And among Catholics who do not attend Mass weekly, large majorities say they believe the bread and wine are symbolic and do not actually become the body and blood of Jesus   Click here to read more...

Comment: 

This latest research (which confirms previous similar studies in the USA) reveals lots of things, notably the failure to teach the Faith in Catholic schools and pulpits.  This failure is every bit as true here in the UK as it is – manifestly so – in the USA. 

Catholics who reject the dogma of Transubstantiation show ignorance of Sacred Scripture because it was Christ Himself who said:  “For My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink….”  (John 6:56)  He did not even mention “symbols” of His Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity.  He gave us Himself as real food and real drink to sustain us on our spiritual journey and, from the very beginning, this was the belief of all Christians.  

How can this state of affairs be put right, then?  You can’t force someone to believe something but maybe somebody in authority should tell unbelieving Catholics that they are not free to reject any dogma of the Faith and still call themselves Catholics.  That might be a start?  

Since none of us is above temptation, we ought to frequently reflect on the glorious miracle that is Transubstantiation.  Feel free, then, not only to offer your comments on the Pew Center Research findings – especially as it relates to the UK – but post, as well, meditations on the Real Presence, quotes from the saints, favourite hymns and prayers, all with the aim of deepening our awareness and understanding of this wonderful gift from God, which, all too often, as we approach for Holy Communion, we may tend to take for granted.  Do we actually treat the Blessed Sacrament as a mere symbol?  Worth thinking about…