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!

  

Is Pope Encouraging Inter-Communion?

On the plane ride back from his trip to Romania, Pope Francis told reporters that since “there is already Christian unity,” there is no need for the faithful to “wait for the theologians to come to agreement on the Eucharist.” Some progressive Catholics have considered this to be evidence that the pope may be open to granting full Eucharistic communion to non-Catholics. If that is indeed what Francis meant — what else could he have meant? — then he is forcing the Church to address a series of rather difficult and uncomfortable questions.

Not least among them: What is the Eucharist? Is it a tool to be used to facilitate a “Christian unity” that the pope insists “already” exists? Or is it an expression of full communion with the Catholic Church? If the Church reverses herself and contradicts her unbroken Magisterium on the admission of schismatics and dissenters to the sacraments, what happens to her dogmatic integrity on other settled questions of faith and morals? Is the entire canon perpetually subject to the modish preferences of the current and future occupants of the Petrine chair? Most astounding, why is she unwilling to “wait for the theologians to come to agreement” before making a change of such gravity?

Theology, in St. Anselm’s classic formula, is fides quaerens intellectum — faith seeking understanding. If the pope’s goal is to formulate a discipline wherein faith is joined to right reason, there is nothing to fear in allowing rightly disposed “theologians to come to agreement on the Eucharist.” If his goal is to unshackle the Church from her bimillennial moorings, that is another project altogether, one that might not be aided by waiting for a consensus of theological opinion.   Click here to read the rest of this [worrying] report…

Comment:

The author of the above National Review report is manifestly correct in pointing out that: Popes throughout the centuries were undivided in their opinion on the subject. Particularly before the Second Vatican Council, popes were stark in their indiscriminate opposition to intercommunion, considering it a profanation and an abject evil to be avoided. Pope Pius IX put it rather precisely in his encyclical Amantissimus (1862), where he proclaimed that “whoever eats of the Lamb and is not a member of the Church has profaned.” 
Such precision is of little import to the “innovators” that Pope Pius XII warned the faithful about. Give the “innovators” of the post-conciliar Church enough time and they will wiggle their way out of even the Church’s most unambiguous statements of antiquity [emphasis added]. 

It’s getting to the stage where we are all going to have to check with our priests/bishops every time the Pope is quoted in the media, to ask if we are going to see this or that change (in this case inter-communion) in our own local churches, as we did when we learned that he had ordered a change to the words of the Our Father.  Outrageous. 

We must obviously re-double our prayers and use all the means available to us to bring about the spirit of faith that would lead to the Consecration of Russia – see www.fatima.org – and thus an end to this scandalous papacy. 

That’s what we – the humble laity – can do.  What about the clergy, the bishops, though.  Aren’t ANY of the UK bishops and priests remotely concerned, do any of them have a sense of duty that might lead them to DO something about this pope?  Interesting that the National Review report concludes with a quote from Pope St Pius X  – To echo the lament of Pope Pius X, “Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!” Yet, modern priests have embraced novelty.  Why is that?  By speaking out to warn against this Pope’s errors, priests may, of course, lose their position, their parish, their office – but they won’t lose their heads, as did our great martyrs of old.  Come on, there must SURELY be someone in the ordained class who will speak out to warn the faithful about this dreadful pontiff.  Or am I about to wake up in the “real world” again? And what, if anything, in practical terms, can we do if inter-communion is introduced in our parish? 

Interfaith… or Interference with God’s Plan of Salvation: does Church matter?

Below, extract from Archbishop stresses unity during visit to synagogue

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Glasgow

Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow said: “I think it’s important to remember no matter what religion we are loyal to it’s ultimately God that directs and nourishes us in our daily lives and on different perspectives of certain issues, God is talking and guiding us all in our daily lives.

“Ultimately, that is the truth of the matter and it is therefore up to our Churches, Synagogues and Kirk to take that message of a ‘common good’ to the doorsteps of those who don’t believe.

“In a world that has so much devastation we each believe our religion has the truth to finding peace and happiness, but our differences are not the cause of conflict and dispute.

“Here today we are gathered as that witness of a desire for men and women of different religions to promote harmony, especially during Interfaith Week.
“Our role within civic society can help expose people of every class and denomination to a platform in which they can be informed of God’s message of hope and the common good which is a powerful force to unite people.
“As we sit together this morning discussing our Faiths we are grateful for the things we have in common and can be thankful for positive relationships which now exist between different religions and denominations.”  Source – Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO)

Comment: 

Ecumenical and interfaith events such as that described in the SCO report above, make it increasingly difficult to see the point of individual religions.  Are they really nothing more than a group of “peace” movements, at their best when working together to achieve peace, locally, nationally, globally?  Is that what “religion” is all about.   It’s not what I was taught, that’s for sure. I was taught that God has a plan of salvation, and that this plan of salvation is – in accordance with His will – achieved through His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.  Surely, if that is true, the Archbishop has a duty to say so and not make statements to the effect that God is pleased with every religion as long as they are looking after “the common good”, whatever that might be at any point in time.  Share your thoughts…  

25/10: Feast of the 40 Martyrs of England & Wales… So what? 

After King Henry VIII proclaimed himself supreme head of the Church in England and Wales, a violent wave of anti-Catholic persecution began – and lasted over a century. It started with the executions of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, but didn’t end there. Hundreds were killed between 1535 and 1679; the Church recognized the heroism of 40 martyrs from England and Wales in a canonization ceremony on October 25, 1970. (Later, a separate feast on May 4 was created to recognize the 284 canonized or beatified martyrs of the English Reformation.)

The group of 40 martyrs celebrated on October 25 contains a variety of Catholics. The group is composed of “13 priests of the secular clergy, three Benedictines, three Carthusians, one Brigittine, two Franciscans, one Augustinian, 10 Jesuits and seven members of the laity, including three mothers.”

The martyrs were gruesomely tortured before being hanged or killed, but remained steadfast in their faith, refusing to renounce their Catholicism.

Many of the saints were jovial at the prospect of death.

Cuthbert Mayne, a secular priest, replied to a gaoler who came to tell him he would be executed three days later: “I wish I had something valuable to give you, for the good news you bring me…”  Edmund Campion, a Jesuit, was so pleased when taken to the place of execution that the people said about him and his companions: “But they’re laughing! He doesn’t care at all about dying…”

One striking story of heroism under extreme torture comes from the martyrdom of a laywoman, Margaret Clitherow.

She was accused “of having sheltered the Jesuits and priests of the secular clergy, traitors to Her Majesty the Queen”; but she retorted: “I have only helped the Queen’s friends” … On Friday March 25th, 1588, at eight o’clock in the morning, Margaret, just thirty-three years old, left Ouse Bridge prison, barefooted, bound for Toll Booth … Her arms were stretched out in the shape of a cross, and her hands tightly bound to two stakes in the ground. The executioners put a sharp stone the size of a fist under her back and placed on her body a large slab onto which weights were gradually loaded up to over 800 pounds. Margaret whispered: “Jesus, have mercy on me.” Her death agony lasted for fifteen minutes, then the moaning ceased, and all was quiet.

Their resolve in the face of certain death is inspiring. They show us that our life on earth is indeed very short and what truly matters is our faithfulness to God. As St. Thomas More famously said: “I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.”

Here is a list of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, whom we can invoke for their intercession in whatever persecution we may be enduring.

St. John Almond
St. Edmund Arrowsmith
St. Ambrose Barlow
St. John Boste
St. Alexander Briant
St. Edmund Campion
St. Margaret Clitherow
St. Philip Evans
St. Thomas Garnet
St. Edmund Gennings
St. Richard Gwyn
St. John Houghton
St. Philip Howard
St. John Jones
St. John Kemble
St. Luke Kirby
St. Robert Lawrence
St. David Lewis
St. Anne Line
St. John Lloyd
St. Cuthbert Mayne
St. Henry Morse
St. Nicholas Owen
St. John Payne
St. Polydore Plasden
St. John Plessington
St. Richard Reynolds
St. John Rigby
St. John Roberts
St. Alban Roe
St. Ralph Sherwin
St. Robert Southwell
St. John Southworth
St. John Stone
St. John Wall
St. Henry Walpole
St. Margaret Ward
St. Augustine Webster
St. Swithun Wells
St. Eustace White         Source 

Comment: 

So?  Our nearest cousins will be celebrating the Feast of the 40 martyrs of England & Wales on Thursday next, 25 October. So?  They suffered and died for the Faith during the Reformation – centuries ago.  What – if anything – do they have to teach us, today?  We’ve moved on from those days, when people were tortured and killed for their beliefs. We’re ecumenical now, we’re tolerant, we embrace equality and diversity… What on earth do medieval martyrs have to teach us enlightened folk today…  Shouldn’t the Feast days of martyrs be removed form the calendar, as a goodwill gesture, in the name of ecumenical progress?  Seriously?  Or, should that be “satirically”…  😀

The question for discussion really has to be: what is the most important thing the martyrs have to teach us all – north and south of the English border in this modern age? And if you have a particular favourite saint among the 40 martyrs, share that with us…

Earth to Archbishop of Glasgow…Hello!

Our blogger, Gabriel Syme writes:

Look at this jaw dropping story from the Church in Scotland.

Scottish Catholics are “too wishy-washy” about standing up for their beliefs, the Archbishop of Glasgow has warned.
Click here to read entire Herald Scotland article 

While advocating robust, confident Catholicism is admirable, this is hilarious coming from the Scottish Bishops. Their only priority for decades has been to play down Catholicism in order to pander to ecumenism and the secular world.    

The statement also ignores the fact that modern Catholics (including in Scotland) are the most ignorant and poorly instructed in all history. This because they have not been taught the faith properly and deliberately so – because properly instructed Catholics reject ecumenism and the like.

In 13 years at Catholic schools and many years in novus ordo parishes I learned literally nothing about the Catholic faith, beyond the Our Father, Hail Mary and the rudiments of the nativity story. I always knew I had not been properly taught, but even so was shocked at the extent of my ignorance, when (in my 30s) I first held a Baltimore Catechsim No 1 (which is aimed at small children).

I struggled to answer even the obvious and basic questions listed therein. Of course, I knew what a Bar Mitzvah was, and knew some Hebrew Phrases (but not a word of Latin). And I could describe the good work a Protestant minister had done with gangs in New York City. But I could not have given a coherent answer as to why God made me.
(Fortunately, thanks to Catholic Truth and the SSPX I have been able to back-fill much of this missing knowledge).

And so Archbishop Tartaglia can hardly call Catholics wishy-washy, because modern Catholics do not know the Catholic faith, nor are they equipped to defend it.

Another reason Catholics struggle to speak out to defend the faith (even if able) is because should you do so, in a modern parish or Catholic organisation, you can bet on being immediately savaged by other “Catholics” whose lives conflict with Church teaching and do not like being reminded of it. This is one reason I withdrew from participation in modern parishes / organisations – its all a facade, there’s no substance to it.

For example, we discussed St Brides LGBT welcome recently. Who in that parish now would be confident to speak out on (e.g.) sexual morality when it is clear that the Parish Priest does not support that morality and when the local homosexual MP and his ‘husband’ are in the next pew?

I can only conclude that Archbishop Tartaglia is completely out of touch with the results of the non-teaching in the Scottish Church.

Comment:

Gabriel Syme’s insightful assessment of the state of the Scottish Church was underlined by the announcement, on – of all days – the Feast of the Assumption, yesterday, that yet another priest of the archdiocese was leaving active ministry. Only in this case, the priest in question – Father Gerald Walsh – has only been ordained for 6 years. Reflect: a young man like Fr Walsh can go through the entire Catholic education system following the syllabus issued by the Scottish Catholic Education Service, thus approved by the Scottish Bishops, and learn sweet nothing about the Catholic religion. Then, feeling called to the priesthood (although goodness knows how this comes about given the widespread ignorance of true Catholicism is anybody’s guess), a candidate goes on to seminary to be further mal-formed in the Faith.  Little wonder so many abandon the ministry, sometimes after only a handful of years, as in the case of Fr Gerald Walsh, ordained in 2011, his resignation announced on the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, 2017.  More sad than words can express. 

The Mass-goer who contacted us to report Fr Walsh’s resignation after the morning Mass in St James’s Crookston, where the Archbishop himself made the announcement, opined that the Archbishop seemed more concerned with the fact that this latest “ex-priest” now created a situation that meant more work for him and for the priest in a neighbouring parish who would now administer both parishes. 

“Wishy-washy”?  I think the Archbishop needs to look at his own Catholicity, or lack thereof, before labelling the rest of us  “wishy-washy”; from what I hear, he is not exactly setting the heather on fire with his zealous leadership of either clergy or laity.  

The key question for this thread is this:  how on earth is the Church in Scotland EVER going to attract genuine and lasting vocations, if the Hierarchy don’t restore what has been lost of the glorious Catholic religion?  

But, where to begin?  Reform the schools?  Begin teaching the Faith?  Nobody can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as the saying goes, so young men who haven’t been taught a thing about true Catholicism, are hardly going to make terrific priests.  What on EARTH is going to keep them living a single, celibate life in today’s permissive society if they’ve essentially been taught a false religion?

And is it any surprise that the new Mass isn’t keeping young priests? Countless saints not only stayed faithful throughout their lives, but actually GAVE their lives in order to preserve the Mass.  Who’s ever going to sacrifice their lives for this complete break with Catholic Tradition known as the Novus Ordo Missae, which no saint or martyr returning to earth today would recognise as the Mass?  That’s what’s known as a “rhetorical question”…  

Imagine you’re on the telephone line from Earth to Archbishop Tartaglia.  He is keen to have your advice (well, it’s only a pretend game)… What will you say to him – where would you advise him to start, in order to begin to restore the Faith in Scotland? 

13 March: Ecumenical Scandal In Vatican – An Urgent Call To Reparation!

Once again The Fatima Center’s Rapid Response Team has been mobilized to defend the Faith and make reparation for the latest planned sacrilege scheduled to take place within the very heart of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis smiles with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at the end of vespers prayers at the monastery church of San Gregorio al Celio in Rome, on October 5, 2016.

The Vatican is allowing an unprecedented ecumenical prayer service scheduled for March 13, 2017 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, where members of the Anglican church will have a prayer service at the altar of the Chair of St. Peter (symbolic of his primacy and universal jurisdiction). March 13 is the anniversary of Pope Francis’ election as the Successor of St. Peter – yet the Anglican church (the Church of England) was established for the express purpose of usurping papal authority.

Such “ecumenical gatherings” are forbidden and condemned by the constant teaching of the Church because these events expose Catholics to false doctrine and practice, and also imply to non-Catholic participants that there is no need to convert to the one true Church for salvation.

The dogma, extra Ecclesiam nulla salus – “outside the Church there is no salvation” is firmly rooted in the teaching of Holy Scripture, the unanimous agreement of the Church Fathers, the ancient Creeds, and the infallible definitions of Councils and Popes.

Our Fatima Center team will be defending the Faith, distributing our newest leaflet – Ecumenical Madness: Anglican “Vespers” at the Vatican – while doing atonement for this latest and most offensive yet of assaults against Christ’s true Church, coming from within the very heart of the Church.

Please keep our staff members in your prayers and more important, please plan to pray extra Rosaries and Hail Marys in reparation for this planned desecration.  Source

More Information

Chronology of Videos

Distribution of “Ecumenical Madness” leaflet in Rome – Rapid Response Team

Why Catholics are not protesting this Desecration

Coming Desecration of St Peter’s Basilica

Comment:

Catholic Truth received the following email on the above scandal today, with a suggestion for reparation, which we recommend to all our bloggers and readers…

Dear Reverend Fathers and friends,

Tomorrow evening, Choral Evensong (Anglican Evening Prayer) will be sung in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome by an Anglican choir. Recent occurrences of ‘Common Prayer’ between the Holy Father and those belonging to heretic communions have taken place in Lund and recently in the Anglican congregation in Rome. We have seen disturbing images of Justin Welby co-blessing a congregation along with the Holy Father and Bishops of the Church being symbolically sent forth in pairs with Anglican ‘bishops.’ This time, the false ecumenism and joint prayer, the kind of which has been denounced by the Popes, is to take place in the very panting heart of Rome.

As an act of reparation and for the conversion of all of mankind to the one true faith, I would like to invite you to pray Vespers (Catholic Evening Prayer) in your homes tomorrow evening at a time that is convenient. If Vespers is very new to you, perhaps you could pray the Rosary instead.

Feel free to use a familiar form or click this link that will take you to Vespers tomorrow which is in an easy to follow format. 

Click this link and then click Vesperae. The English will be on the right half of the screen.

O God, who guidest that which is gone astray, and gatherest that which is scattered, and keepest that which is gathered together; we beseech thee, mercifully pour forth upon the Christian people the grace of Thy unity; that they may reject the spirit of dissension and unite themselves to the true Shepherd of Thy Church, and may thus be enabled to serve Thee worthily. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. (Roman Missal)

Indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions if recited devoutly every day for a month.(S.P.Ap.,Nov 22 19 34), The Raccolta.

In Jesus,Mary and Joseph,

A Teacher, Glasgow