August 21, 2020

Unwillingness to Make Even Rudimentary Efforts to Consult Context or to Understand a Pope’s Overall Thinking

Shortly I will document how truly outrageous and absolutely groundless this flat-out lying about Pope Benedict XVI is. But I’d like to note at the outset, how this confirms several of the elements regarding radical Catholic reactionaries, that I have been pointing out for many years now:

1) Part and parcel of the reactionary mindset and mentality is antipathy towards Vatican II.

2) The hostility towards popes preceded, and extends far beyond Pope Francis. I’ve documented this over and over. Here we see once again that the reactionaries will trash and slander Pope Benedict XVI: whom they used to consider their hero, darling, and champion. But since he dared to not implement their agenda in toto, had the gall to resign, and (above all) to not condemn and trash his successor (quite the contrary), they have thrown him out into the garbage, and it’s now open season: as evidenced by this very calumny. And this is also true of Pope St. John XXIII, Pope St. Paul VI, and Pope St. John Paul II: all of whom committed the “unpardonable sin” of being advocates of Vatican II. If one points out that they are saints, then the reactionaries will simply attack the validity of their canonizations.

3) I’ve often noted how reactionaries think like both Protestants and Catholic dissidents / liberals. Most prominently is the “either/or” mindset. For the reactionary, Vatican II simply can’t be regarded as in “continuity” with tradition (Pope Benedict’s own constant emphasis). It has to be seen as “revolutionary” or in “rupture” with that tradition. Because Pope Benedict’s view is the polar opposite of that, he had to be discarded. It was inevitable. At first it was reluctant, and with mixed feelings, but now it’s all-out war.

4) Reactionaries (as is utterly obvious by now) seem to be almost constitutionally unable to fairly represent their theological opponents. If one must lie about opponents and misrepresent their thinking (create straw men to war against), and the facts of the matter, in order to bolster their own opinions, then the latter must not be worth very much. This exhibits (perhaps surprisingly, but truly) a marked lack of self-confidence.

5) As I’ve been noting in several recent articles, Abp. Viganò has become increasingly unbalanced, irrational, unhinged, and conspiratorial. The present instance is yet more evidence of that. His credibility is virtually zero at this point, in my opinion.

The current farce and fiasco occurs in the pages of the good ol’ reactionary rag The Remnant, in the article, “Archbishop Viganò: On Vatican II & Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire” (Michael J. Matt, 8-15-20). Matt temporarily exhibits a rare ecumenical, irenic attitude as regards Bishop Barron: “I have benefited from some of his lectures in the past and do not wish to call into question his sincerity.” That’s more than a former pope gets from Abp. Viganò. Then Matt goes after a recent initiative by Bishop Barron to defend Vatican II:

[I]t does strike me as a not-so-veiled attempt to disqualify (if not vilify) traditional Catholic resistance to the disastrous and non-binding novelties of the Second Vatican Council.

Matt then decided to write to the illustrious archbishop for his thoughts. Words of Abp. Viganò below will be in blue.

I will focus . . . on the introductory passage from Benedict XVI:

To defend the true tradition of the Church today means to defend the Council. […] We must remain faithful to the today of the Church, not the yesterday or tomorrow. And this today of the Church is the documents of Vatican II, without reservations that amputate them and without arbitrariness that distorts them.”

The Holy Father states apodictically that “to defend the true tradition of the Church today means to defend the Council” and that “we must remain faithful to the today of the Church.” These two propositions, which complement one another, find no support in the Tradition, since the Church’s present is always indissolubly linked to her past.

. . . there is no Church only of today, in which yesterday is now irremediably past and tomorrow has not yet happened: what Christ taught yesterday, we repeat today and His Vicars will profess tomorrow; what the Martyrs witnessed to yesterday, we guard today and our children will confess tomorrow

Then there is another proposition that “we must remain faithful to the today of the Church, not the yesterday or tomorrow,” which significantly was adopted by the proponents of Vatican II precisely in order to erase the past, affirm the conciliar revolution in the today of that time, and prepare the crisis of that tomorrow in which we now find ourselves. And the Innovators who wanted that Council, carried it out precisely with “the reservations that amputated” the uninterrupted Magisterium of the Church and “the arbitrariness that distorted it” — paraphrasing Ratzinger’s words.

I do not see why what the Innovators accomplished with Vatican II yesterday, to the detriment of Tradition, cannot apply to them today: those who, in the name of being pastoral, did not hesitate to demolish the doctrinal, moral, liturgical, spiritual and disciplinary edifice of the old religion – as they call it – in the name of the Council, today would dare to claim for their daring innovations, that obsequious submission and that defence that they did not want to apply to two thousand years of infallible Magisterium. And we are to show unconditional support not for Tradition, but for the only event that has contradicted and adulterated that Tradition. It seems to me that this line of reasoning, if only from a purely logical point of view, doesn’t have much credibility, and limits itself to reaffirming that self-referentiality of the conciliar church, in rupture with the uninterrupted teaching of the Supreme Pontiffs who preceded it.

Moreover, it seems to me that Benedict XVI’s quotation is also in contradiction with that hermeneutic of continuity, according to which the Council should be accepted not as a rupture with the Church’s past, but precisely in continuity with it: but if there is no Church of yesterday, to what does the continuity of the supposed conciliar hermeneutic refer? . . . 

[U]nfortunately, defending Vatican II is more important than defending the perennial depositum fidei.

Do you see what he is attempting to do here? He wants to make out that Cardinal Ratzinger (this was a citation form his Ratzinger Report in 1985) thinks Vatican II was a more-or-less complete revolution, which did away with the prior existing tradition of the Church. Nothing could be further from the truth, and if Abp. Viganò (achieving the scholarly standards of a sharp sophomore in college) had simply read more context, he would see that. But instead, he would rather cynically second-guess a pope’s words, and give them a meaning that never crossed then Cardinal Ratzinger’s mind.

Bishop Barron, in the document under consideration, “Vatican II FAQs” already refuted this fallacious, defamatory interpretation (“8. Is Vatican II in continuity with tradition, or a rupture?”):

These terms originate in an address given by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. In that speech, he contrasts two “hermeneutics,” or ways of interpreting, Vatican II. On the one hand is “the hermeneutic of discontinuity or rupture,” the idea that Vatican II is a split or break with Catholic tradition. On the other hand is “the hermeneutic of reform,” or continuity, the idea that Vatican II is consistent with Catholic tradition.

Both those on the extreme “left” and the extreme “right” have interpreted Vatican II as a rupture—a good rupture and a bad rupture, respectively.

But Pope Benedict XVI championed the hermeneutic of continuity, saying: “The Church, both before and after the Council, was and is the same Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, journeying on through time.” Vatican II was not a break or rupture; it must be interpreted in continuity with the tradition that came before.

I have myself, highlighted for many years now, Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1985 statement (The Ratzinger Report, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1985, 28-29, 31) that Vatican II has precisely the same authority as the Council of Trent. The Ratzinger quotation above was part of my larger citation. One Rod Halvorsen, in the combox of Matt’s article, ran across my citation, which I pasted into another article of mine, where I was defending Vatican II against reactionary Paolo Pasqualucci. Here is the quotation. Readers can readily see that the future Pope Benedict XVI was not running down sacred tradition in the slightest (my bolding added):

It must be stated that Vatican II is upheld by the same authority as Vatican I and the Council of Trent, namely, the Pope and the College of Bishops in communion with him, and that also with regard to its contents, Vatican II is in the strictest continuity with both previous councils and incorporates their texts word for word in decisive points . . .

Whoever accepts Vatican II, as it has clearly expressed and understood itself, at the same time accepts the whole binding tradition of the Catholic Church, particularly also the two previous councils . . . It is likewise impossible to decide in favor of Trent and Vatican I but against Vatican II. Whoever denies Vatican II denies the authority that upholds the other two councils and thereby detaches them from their foundation. And this applies to the so-called ‘traditionalism,’ also in its extreme forms. Every partisan choice destroys the whole (the very history of the Church) which can exist only as an indivisible unity.

To defend the true tradition of the Church today means to defend the Council. It is our fault if we have at times provided a pretext (to the ‘right’ and ‘left’ alike) to view Vatican II as a ‘break’ and an abandonment of the tradition. There is, instead, a continuity that allows neither a return to the past nor a flight forward, neither anachronistic longings nor unjustified impatience. We must remain faithful to the today of the Church, not the yesterday or tomorrow. And this today of the Church is the documents of Vatican II, without reservations that amputate them and without arbitrariness that distorts them . . .

I see no future for a position that, out of principle, stubbornly renounces Vatican II. In fact in itself it is an illogical position. The point of departure for this tendency is, in fact, the strictest fidelity to the teaching particularly of Pius IX and Pius X and, still more fundamentally, of Vatican I and its definition of papal primacy. But why only popes up to Pius XII and not beyond? Is perhaps obedience to the Holy See divisible according to years or according to the nearness of a teaching to one’s own already-established convictions?

Pope Benedict is — far from being an opponent — in fact, an enthusiastic, zealous defender and upholder of the sacred tradition of the Catholic Church. No one who reads the above could possibly deny that. Many other similar statements could easily be produced to bolster these. But it is an insult to my intelligence and that of every orthodox Catholic to even consider doing such a thing. The above is sufficient to nail down the point.

But Abp. Viganò prefers to do what every heretic and Catholic dissident and (well-meaning but mistaken) Protestant does to Holy Scripture: he yanks one statement out of context that only appears at first glance to support his own prior position; then ignores all context and all other related thoughts. This is unconscionable, and in fact is the mortal sin of bearing false witness against another: in this instance, a pope.

Abp. Viganò also scathingly condemned Vatican II in a letter published on 8-10-20 in The Remnant:

If it is possible for this Pope to be “for all practical purposes schismatic” – and I would say also heretical – why could not that  Council also have been so, despite the fact that both one and the other were instituted by Our Lord to confirm the brethren in Faith and Morals? I ask you, what prevents the Acts of Vatican II from deviating from the path of Tradition, when the Supreme Pastor himself can deny the teaching of his Predecessors? And if the persona Papae is in schism with the papacy, why could a council that wanted to be pastoral and abstained from promulgating dogmas not be able to contradict the other canonical councils, entering into a de facto schism with the Catholic Magisterium?

It’s true that this situation is a hapax, a case that in itself has never been seen in the history of the Church; but if this applies to the papacy – in a crescendo from Roncalli to Bergoglio [see how it is all popes since Pius XII?] – I do not see why it could not apply for Vatican II, which precisely thanks to the recent popes has set itself as an event in itself, and as such has been used by its proponents? . . . 

Vatican II is both an ecumenical council and a “devil council” [conciliabolo], it retains the appearance of being a single Council, when in reality there are two. And I would add: one council was legitimate and orthodox and was aborted from birth with the subversion of the preparatory schemes, and one council was illegitimate and heretical (or at least favens haeresim) and is the one to which all of the Innovators refer, including Bergoglio, in order to legitimize their doctrinal, moral and liturgical deviations. . . . 

[T]he “container-council” was used to give apparent authority to a deliberately subversive event, exactly as today, right before our eyes, the Vicar of Christ is used to give apparent authoritativeness to a deliberately subversive operation. In both cases, the innate sense of respect towards the Church of Christ on the part of the faithful and the clergy is being used as an infernal stratagem – a Trojan horse introduced into the Sacred Citadel – in order to dissuade every form of dutiful dissent, every criticism, every legitimate denunciation.

This outlook is also manifestly hypocritical and pharisaical. Abp. Viganò and his fellow reactionaries falsely accuse Pope Benedict XVI and non-reactionary orthodox Catholics of supposedly  thumbing our collective noses at all sacred tradition prior to Vatican II; in other words, of espousing one period of Catholic tradition and doctrinal development and ignoring another time period.

But in fact, this is mere projection of exactly their own error: they reject and ignore the recent period of Catholic doctrinal development (Vatican II and the popes of the last 60-odd years), while accepting past development: as if the Holy Spirit decided in 1958 to no longer guide the Catholic Church and protect her from doctrinal error (and that is precisely the error of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time). This is absurd, and what Pope Benedict in particular has vigorously opposed.

Shame on him. And shame all the more on all those who continue to uphold Abp. Viganò as some kind of reactionary champion or hero, because he attacks popes, Vatican II, the ordinary form Mass, and ecumenism (all four classic marks of the reactionary).

But Abp. Viganò was not always of this mind. Sometime in the last seven years he underwent a radical change of mind. He had — apparently — gotten hold of the material of the usual reactionary suspects and started being influenced by them. We are what we eat. On 11 November 2013 in an address to the USCCB Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, he unreservedly sung the praises of Pope Francis:

Certainly, my brothers, no one can dispute the clear fact that our present Holy Father himself, as the Supreme Teacher, is giving us by, his own witness, an example of how to live a life attuned to the values of the Gospel. While each of us must take into consideration our adaptability to the many different circumstances and cultures in which we live and the people whom we serve, there has to be a noticeable life style characterized by simplicity and holiness of life. This is a sure way to bring our people to an awareness of the truth of our message.

He was also almost ecstatic in his praise of Vatican II, and the three pope-saints: John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II:

All of us who have been called to the ministry of bishop by Pope John Paul II, and many who have been ordained by him, are looking forward to his canonization, as well as the canonization of Pope John XXIII this coming April.

There was already, by that time, plenty of criticism towards Pope Francis from the reactionaries, but Viganò seemed completely immune to it or unaware of it. My book in defense of Pope Francis was published just two months later, and it dealt with nine different trumped-up controversies in as many chapters. In July 2013, for example occurred the thoroughly distorted and unjust accusations regarding homosexuality and Pope Francis saying (taken wildly out of context, of course), “who am I to judge?” This was what helped turn Phil Lawler and Patrick Coffin against the pope, and to become pope-bashers.

Almost exactly a year later, in another address to the same assembly, Abp. Viganò was still an avid fan of Francis and the other “conciliar” popes:

Indeed, this is the year of the three popes, marked by the recent beatification of Blessed Paul VI and previously the dual canonizations of St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II. We who had the privilege of knowing them recognize how inspiring their lives were for our vocation and for our ministry. . . . 

The morning after his election as pope, our Holy Father Francis, in speaking to the Cardinals, said: “Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With every movement in our lives, let us build!”  His vision is obviously one of renewal. Perhaps in ways to which we are not accustomed…not just holding on to conventional modes of evangelization, but primarily by evangelizing through a ministry of personal conversion, forgiveness, compassion and healing.

And again in November 2015 to the same gathering of bishops, Abp. Viganò (back when he still thought and spoke like an obedient, orthodox Catholic) highly praised Pope Francis:

All of us here are still amazed at the incredible recent visit of our Holy Father in the United States. . . . 

On every occasion when he spoke, His Holiness gave a significant message that left a deep impression on the minds and hearts of his listeners.

Note that Abp. Viganò has claimed that he had informed Pope Francis “in 2013 about McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct with priests and seminarians.” This was the ostensible reason he became disenchanted with him. Yet the address cited above in 2013 probably occurred after this confrontation, and the 2014 and 2015 addresses certainly did. What gives? Something just ain’t right there; something doesn’t add up. Something very significant and tragic happened since that time.

But in any event, the wisdom of Pope Francis in ignoring this man’s constant (Satan-like) false accusations is manifest all the more every day. I think he knew he would self-destruct and implode over time, as the fanatical, hysterical, conspiratorial reactionary that he turned out to be. And indeed, it is happening right before our eyes. The pope simply understood his glaring, serious faults before all of us, who have seen them gradually unfolding in his ever more ludicrous, ridiculous “statements”: issued — paranoid — from some secluded, unknown basement (perhaps in Michael Matt’s house, for all we know).

Revelation 21:8 (RSV) But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”

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Photo credit: book cover image from Amazon page for the book.

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July 14, 2020

Many traditionalists (and the more radical reactionary Catholics) seem to think that Abp. Viganò is just a good old-fashioned orthodox Catholic who is making some desperately needed (and of course well-intentioned) criticisms of Pope Francis. I think my post of yesterday, Abp. Viganò: Fanaticism, Extremism, and Conspiratorialism (Summary from August 2019 Until July 2020: Alarming, Increasingly Quasi-Schismatic Spirit), demonstrates that the situation is far, far beyond that.

Yet no doubt there are many traditionalists and reactionaries who don’t see at all that Abp. Viganò is on the brink of possible schism, or has even already crossed over the line in some fashion or in spirit (see the Sermon on the Mount), as my friend, Dr. Robert Fastiggi effectively argued in a recent article. They’ll argue, for example, that he hasn’t denied the validity of the pontificate of Pope Francis or of Vatican II.

But reactionaries (by my carefully developed definition) never do either thing, as I’ve noted for many years. The pope is pope, but he is criticized a billion times (death by a thousand cuts). Likewise, the Second Vatican Council is valid but it’s worth cow manure, or should be ignored or forgotten (death by a thousand cuts again). One might say that this is a distinction without a [practical] difference. This is the game that reactionaries (and also too many legitimate traditionalists) habitually play. I wrote about this characteristic on 4-15-20:

Radical Catholic reactionaries love to habitually go up to the “line” but not quite go over it. The ordinary form Mass is still valid, yet it is trashed all the time and regarded as “objectively inferior.” And Catholics who attend it are despised and looked down upon, as second-class Catholics. Vatican II is a valid ecumenical council, yet it is trashed all the time and regarded as fundamentally less authoritative than Vatican I and (especially) Trent: even though Pope Benedict XVI (the bitterly disappointing former darling: because he resigned), writing in 1985, made it clear that Vatican II and Trent have precisely the same authority. The pope is a valid pope, but only worthy to be bashed and lied about week in and week out. No particular deference is due to him (think “Protestant”). You get the picture. See the pattern there?

And again on 2-26-14:

I would emphasize again that the radical Catholic reactionary position is characterized precisely for bashing the Novus Ordo constantly, while not denying its validity; the same is done with Vatican II and popes (JPII and Francis, but not, of course, Benedict, who is their hero and darling, even though he expressly disagrees with them on this point, as I have been showing). . . . It’s all about going right up to the line that ought not be crossed, and playing with it: almost like jumping over it and back.

And on 12-3-12:

I define “radical Catholic reactionaries” as a rigorist, divisive group completely separate from mainstream “traditionalism” that continually, vociferously, and vitriolically (as a marked characteristic or defining trait) bashes and trashes popes, Vatican II, the New Mass, and ecumenism (the “big four”): going as far as they can go without technically crossing over the canonical line of schism.

Just for the record, I have never said that Abp. Viganò was in schism, but rather, that his views are “quasi-schismatic” (which could mean possibly on the brink of schism). But he exhibits all four hallmarks of the radical Catholic reactionary: several of whom will eventually move into the SSPX or sedevacantism (if the past is any guide at all). More often, though, they stay in the Church and wreak havoc (which the devil loves even more, and is likely in Viganò’s case for that reason).

Or it’s said that Abp. Viganò hasn’t denied any Catholic dogma. But he has virtually repudiated the dogma of the indefectibility of the Church, as I repeatedly demonstrated in my lengthy paper yesterday (see the first section after the introduction). He has also rejected the sublime magisterial authority of an ecumenical council, to which we are obliged as Catholics to give assent and certainly not publicly disagree with.

Abp. Viganò shows many signs of a continuing sad descent into more and more extreme reactionaryism, leading to a POSSIBLE Döllinger / Lefebvre-like schism. My job as an apologist is to see the signs and show the wrongness of the rhetoric and to warn people about such divisive, harmful figures. These are the Pharisees of our times: always “learning” but never arriving “at a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:7).

One thing leads to another. To not be concerned about these sorts of extremist excesses would be like saying, “lust is no big deal, unless it actually leads to literal adultery.” Jesus thought differently, by saying that “he who lusts has already committed adultery in his heart” and “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.” (Matthew 15:18-19, RSV).

Is it permissible and rational to say, “if John keeps lusting after Betsy, he may act upon it and commit physical adultery [or fornication, as the case may be]”? Of course it is, according to Catholic moral theology. One thing [often] leads to another, in other words. Thus a priest (in the confessional or out of it) can properly and helpfully advise someone, “if you keep lusting after this woman, you may engage in sex with her; so stop now“. This is straight from the sermon on the mount; also to do with avoiding the occasion of sin, or deeper sin.

Likewise, we say, “if Abp. Viganò keeps falsely accusing the pope and lying about him, and doing the same with Vatican II and the New Mass, he may reject all three and go into schism or near-schism” (whatever SSPX is deemed to be: “irregular” I think).

The nonsense that Abp. Viganò is spewing doesn’t necessarily prove that he will go into schism, but the same sentiments are almost always indicated by those who did do so. Therefore, it is proper to warn of possible schism, based on the analogy of actual schismatics. Dr. Fastiggi argued (and I totally agree) that in effect, Viganò has renounced Pope Francis, since he thinks he is an inveterate liar and deceiver and proponent of a religion other than orthodox Catholicism (pantheism / gnosticism / relativistic one world religion, etc. ad nauseam). It’s pretty tough to believe all that rotgut and still follow a pope as one’s leader and guide, ain’t it?

He and others who follow him may possibly descend into schism, and so need to be warned not to do so. Some already have made the journey. They might go Orthodox or Protestant or SSPX or sedevacantism (denial of the reality of a sitting pope). One sin leads to another. Luther and Calvin believed lies about the Catholic Church and that led them to both heresy and schism. Luther basically started with rejection of the infallibility and authority of ecumenical councils, just as Viganò has.

That’s — incidentally — how sola Scriptura began (at the Leipzig Debate in 1519): upon which the entire authority structure and rule of faith in Protestantism is based. Luther was forced into a corner by his rhetoric about ecumenical councils erring and supposedly contradicting one another, and so he opted for a “Bible Alone [as an infallible authority]” position on the rule of faith, which was entirely novel.

So — as always — Catholic reactionaries pick and choose and reason like both Catholic liberals and Protestants. It’s always the case. No exceptions. Furthermore, all reactionaries and many traditionalists can see in all this is canonical legalism, and miss the entire spirit of the thing; miss the forest for the trees. What Abp. Viganò has actually done (and written) is already outrageous and unconscionable. Schism isn’t the only possible sin or spirit; calumny and gossip and lying, regarding the pope and ecumenical council, is a mortal sin as well. He has done that already. Here is one example of many from my paper yesterday:

The tragic story of this failed pontificate advances with a pressing succession of twists and turns. Not a day passes: from the most exalted throne the Supreme Pontiff proceeds to dismantle the See of Peter, using and abusing its supreme authority, not to confess but to deny; not to confirm but to mislead; not to unite but to divide; not to build but to demolish. Material heresies, formal heresies, idolatry, superficiality of every kind . . . “demythologizing” the papacy . . . With Pope Bergoglio — as with all modernists . . . he . . . demolishes the most sacred dogmas, . . . (12-20-19)

Some pope, huh? I could get more correct Catholic dogma from a bear in the woods . . . Contrast Abp. Viganò’s lying, pathetic attitude towards the Holy Father with St. Paul, even concerning the Jewish high priest:

Acts 23:1-5 (RSV) And Paul, looking intently at the council, said, “Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience up to this day.” [2] And the high priest Anani’as commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. [3] Then Paul said to him, “God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” [4] Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” [5] And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, `You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

Or look at how David was always extremely deferential to wicked King Saul: not wishing to harm “the Lord’s anointed” in any way, shape, or form (even when Saul was seeking to kill him).

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Photo credit: Saul’s anger at David, by Antoni Brodowski (1784-1832) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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July 13, 2020

Summary from August 2019 Until July 2020 (Alarming, Increasingly Quasi-Schismatic Spirit)

For background, see my previous related articles and those of my friend, 100% orthodox Catholic theologian Dr. Robert Fastiggi:

Bishops Viganò & Schneider Reject Authority of Vatican II [11-22-19]

Viganò, Schneider, Pachamama, & VCII (vs. Janet E. Smith) [11-25-19]

Abp. Viganò Descends into Fanatical Reactionary Nuthood (. . . Declares Pope Francis a Heretical Narcissist Who “Desacralized” & “Impugned” & “Attack[ed]” Mary) [12-20-19]

Dr. Fastiggi: Open Letter Re Abp. Viganò, Pope Francis, & Mary [2-22-20]

Abp. Viganò, the Pope, & the “Vicar of Christ” Nothingburger (with Catholic Theologian Dr. Robert Fastiggi and Apologist Karl Keating) [4-6-20]

Is Archbishop Viganò in Schism? [Dr. Robert Fastiggi, Where Peter Is, 6-13-20]

Archbishop Viganò On the Brink of Schism. The Unheeded Lesson of Benedict XVI (Sandro Magister, L’Espresso, 6-29-20)

All words following will be Archbishop Viganò’s own (linked to the documents where they are found, so context can be consulted), with the exception of my headings and links to related material in brackets, and the occasional textual clarification, also in brackets:

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Church, Catholic: Apostasy / Defectibility of

In fact, the figure of Christ is absent. The [Amazon] Synod working document testifies to the emergence of a post-Christian Catholic theology, now, in this moment. (8-2-19)

Pope Bergoglio thus proceeds to further implement the apostasy of Abu Dhabi, . . . (Letter #62, November 2019)

For more than six years now we have been poisoned by a false magisterium . . . Thus, over these last decades, the Mystical Body has been slowly drained of its lifeblood through unstoppable bleeding: the Sacred Deposit of Faith has gradually been squandered, dogmas denatured, . . . Now the Church is lifeless, covered with metastases and devastated. The people of God are groping, illiterate and robbed of their Faith, in the darkness of chaos and division. In these last decades, the enemies of God have progressively made scorched earth of two thousand years of Tradition. With unprecedented acceleration, thanks to the subversive drive of this pontificate, supported by the powerful Jesuit apparatus, a deadly coup de grace is being delivered to the Church. . . . The result of this abuse is what we now have before our eyes: a Catholic Church that is no longer Catholic; a container emptied of its authentic content and filled with borrowed goods. . . . The Church is shrouded in the darkness of modernism . . . (12-20-19)

. . . the darkening of the faith that has struck the heights of the Church.  (3-14-20)

The Pope, the Hierarchy, and all Bishops, Priests and Religious must immediately and absolutely convert. This is something the laity are calling for, as they suffer because they have no firm and faithful guides. We cannot allow the flock which Our Divine Lord has entrusted to our care be scattered by faithless mercenaries. (3-29-20)

It is disconcerting that few people are aware of this race towards the abyss, and that few realize the responsibility of the highest levels of the Church in supporting these anti-Christian ideologies, . . .

It is no accident: what these men affirm with impunity, scandalizing moderates, is what Catholics also believe, namely: that despite all the efforts of the hermeneutic of continuity which shipwrecked miserably at the first confrontation with the reality of the present crisis, it is undeniable that from Vatican II onwards a parallel church was built, superimposed over and diametrically opposed to the true Church of Christ. This parallel church progressively obscured the divine institution founded by Our Lord in order to replace it with a spurious entity, corresponding to the desired universal religion that was first theorized by Masonry. (6-9-20)

. . . the disastrous situation in which the Church finds herself and the many evils that afflict her, long discourses among “specialists” appear inadequate and inconclusive. There is an urgent need to restore the Bride of Christ to her two-thousand-year Tradition . . . (6-14-20)

No one could have believed that, right under the vaults of the Vatican Basilica, the estates-general could be convoked that would decree the abdication of the Catholic Church and the inauguration of the Revolution. (As I have already mentioned in a previous article, Cardinal Suenens called Vatican II “the 1789 of the Church”).

. . . recognizing the infiltration of the enemy into the heart of the Church, the systematic occupation of key posts in the Roman Curia, seminaries, and ecclesiastical schools, the conspiracy of a group of rebels—including, in the front line, the deviated Society of Jesus—which has succeeded in giving the appearance of legitimacy and legality to a subversive and revolutionary act. . . . It will be for one of his Successors, the Vicar of Christ, in the fullness of his apostolic power, to rejoin the thread of Tradition there where it was cut off. (6-26-20)

. . . the crisis that has afflicted the Church since Vatican II and has now reached the point of devastation. (7-3-20)

[for the refutation, see:

“Could the Catholic Church Go Off the Rails?” (Indefectibility) [1997]

Indefectibility of Holy Mother Church: Believe It Or Not [2002]

Indefectibility: Does God Protect His Church from Doctrinal Error? [11-1-05; abridged and reformulated a bit on 2-14-17]

“The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail” Against the Church [11-11-08]

Indefectibility of the One True Church (vs. Calvin #9) [5-16-09]

Indefectibility & Apostolic Succession (vs. Calvin #10) [5-18-09]

Dialogue with a Lutheran on Ecclesiology & Old Testament Indefectibility Analogies [11-22-11]

St. Francis de Sales: Bible vs. Total Depravity (+ Biblical Evidence for the Indefectibility of the Church, from the Psalms)  [11-24-11]

The Bible on the Indefectibility of the Church [2013]

Michael Voris’ Ultra-Pessimistic Views Regarding the Church [7-3-13]

Critique of Three Michael Voris Statements Regarding the State of the Church [7-3-13]

Indefectibility, Fear, & the Synod on the Family [9-30-15]

Salesian Apologetics #1: Indefectibility of the Church [2-4-20] ]

Catholic Church, Conspiracies to Overthrow (Masonic and Otherwise)

What leaves one truly scandalized is seeing how the top levels of the Hierarchy are openly placing themselves at the service of the Prince of this world, adopting the demands made by the United Nations for the globalist agenda, Masonic brotherhood, Malthusian ecologism, immigrationism… What is being created is a single world religion without dogmas or morals, according to the wishes of Freemasonry . . . (5-29-20)

That the Masonic octopus clutches the Catholic Church in its tentacles is neither a rumor nor a secret. Right in the Vatican, the very stronghold of the Catholic Church, Masonry has armed itself with diabolical patience and waited until it reached the levers of power and command. The heart of Catholicity, which by divine mandate must be a beacon, has long been home to a pomp and pretention that decays it. (6-2-20)

What the world wants, at the instigation of Masonry and its infernal tentacles, is to create a universal religion that is humanitarian and ecumenical, from which the jealous God whom we adore is banished. And if this is what the world wants, any step in the same direction by the Church is an unfortunate choice which will turn against those who believe that they can jeer at God. The hopes of the Tower of Babel cannot be brought back to life by a globalist plan that has as its goal the cancellation of the Catholic Church, in order to replace it with a confederation of idolaters and heretics united by environmentalism and universal brotherhood. . . .

[O]n March 13, 2013, the mask fell from the conspirators, who were finally free of the inconvenient presence of Benedict XVI and brazenly proud of having finally succeeded in promoting a Cardinal who embodied their ideals, their way of revolutionizing the Church . . . (6-9-20)

Mass: Ordinary Form Mass (of St. Paul VI) is a Bad Thing

[T]he conciliar disaster of the Novus Ordo Missae is undergoing further modernization . . . This is a further step in the direction of regression towards the naturalization and immanentization of Catholic worship, towards a pantheistic and idolatrous Novissimus Ordo. The “Dew,” an entity present in the “theological place” of the Amazonian tropics — as we learned from the synodal fathers — becomes the new immanent principle of fertilization of the Earth, which “transubstantiates” it into a pantheistically connected Whole to which men are assimilated and subjugated, to the glory of Pachamama. And here we are plunged back into the darkness of a new globalist and eco-tribal paganism, with its demons and perversions. From this latest liturgical upheaval, divine Revelation decays from fullness to archaism; from the hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit we slide towards the symbolic and metaphorical evanescence proper to dew which masonic gnosis has long made its own. . . . worship secularized and gradually profaned, morality sabotaged, the priesthood vilified, the Eucharistic Sacrifice protestantized and transformed into a convivial Banquet . . . (12-20-19)

If we have a liturgy that is Protestantized and at times even paganized, we owe it to the revolutionary action of Msgr. Annibale Bugnini and to the post-conciliar reforms. (6-9-20)

. . . the Holy Mass – horribly disfigured in the name of ecumenism . . . (7-1-20)

[for the refutation, see:

“New” / Ordinary Form / Pauline Mass: a Traditional Defense (with Massive Historical Documentation, + Summary of Vatican II on Liturgical Reform) [6-18-08]

Reactionary & Traditionalist Reaction to Summorum Pontificum [6-23-08]

Peter Kwasniewski, Fr. Thomas Kocik and a Growing Chorus Disagree with Pope Benedict XVI Regarding the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass (Or, Reports of the Death of the Reform of the Reform are Greatly Exaggerated)  [+ Part Two] [2-26-14]

Who’s Defending Pope Benedict’s  Summorum Pontificum Now? [2-26-14]

You Prefer the Tridentine / EF Mass? Great! You Prefer Novus Ordo / OF (like me)? Great! [8-14-15]

Two Forms of One Rite (Pope Benedict XVI) [11-4-15]

Critique of Criticisms of the New Mass [11-5-15]

Worshiping the TLM vs. Worshiping God Through It [12-16-15]

Traditionalist Misuse of Ratzinger “Banal” Quote [12-17-15]

Chris Ferrara vs. Pope Benedict XVI (New Mass) [12-18-15]

Vs. Pasqualucci Re Vatican II #12: Sacrosanctum Concilium & Liturgical “Creativity” [7-22-19] ]

 

Pope Francis: Deceiver & Liar / Deliberately Ambiguous

His action seeks to violate the Sacred Deposit of Faith and to disfigure the Catholic Face of the Bride of Christ by word and action, through duplicity and lies, through those theatrical gestures of his that flaunt spontaneity but are meticulously conceived and planned . . . His action makes use of magisterial improvisation, of that off the cuff and fluid magisterium that is as insidious as quicksand . . .  that seeming and ostentatious devotion . . . Once again, the Pope’s words have the scent of a colossal lie . . . it is impossible to seek clarity [with Pope Francis], since the distinctive mark of the modernist heresy is dissimulation. Masters of error and experts in the art of deception, . . . And so the lie, obstinately and obsessively repeated, ends up becoming “true” and accepted by the majority. Also typically modernist is the tactic of affirming what you want to destroy, using vague and imprecise terms, and promoting error without ever formulating it clearly. This is exactly what Pope Bergoglio does, with his dissolving amorphism of the Mysteries of the Faith, with his doctrinal approximation . . . (12-20-19)

And it should be said that what the innovators [in Vatican II] succeeded in obtaining by means of deception, cunning and blackmail was the result of a vision that we have found later applied in the maximum degree in the Bergoglian “magisterium” of Amoris Laetitia. (7-3-20)

Pope Francis: Evangelism and Missionary Work (Alleged Antipathy to)

[T]he current Papacy has completely eliminated any form of apostolate, and says the Church must not perform any missionary activity, which it calls proselytism. (3-29-20)

[for the refutation, see:

Did Pope Francis just say that evangelization is “nonsense”? 8 things to know and share  (Jimmy Akin, National Catholic Register, 10-1-13)

Pope Francis on “Proselytism” (Jimmy Akin, Catholic Answers blog, 10-21-13)

Did Pope Francis just diss apologists? 9 things to know and share (Jimmy Akin, National Catholic Register, 3-9-14)

When Pope Francis rips ‘proselytism,’ who’s he talking about? He really may not be talking about, or to, Catholics at all (John L. Allen, Jr., Crux, 1-27-15)

Dialogue: Pope Francis Doesn’t Evangelize? [4-29-16]

Pope Francis Condemns Evangelism? Absolutely Not! [10-17-16]

Is Pope Francis Against Apologetics & Defending the Faith? [11-26-19]

Debate: Pope Francis on Doctrine, Truth, & Evangelizing (vs. Dr. Eduardo Echeverria) [12-16-19]

Francis: Evangelize by Example, not Pushing Your Faith on Others (Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, Through Catholic Lenses, 12-23-19)

Dialogue: Pope Francis vs. Gospel Preaching & Converts? No! (vs. Eric Giunta) [1-3-20]

Abp. Viganò Whopper #289: Pope Forbids All Evangelism (?) [4-8-20]

Pope Francis vs. the Gospel? Outrageous & Absurd Lies! (Anti-Catholic Protestant James White and Catholic Reactionary Steve Skojec Echo Each Other’s Gigantic Whoppers) [5-26-20] ]

Pope Francis: Heretic / Modernist

Christians expect a clear answer from the Pope himself. The thing is too important; it is essential: Yes, I believe that Christ is the Son of God made Man, the only Savior and Lord. . . . All Christians await this clarification from him, not from others, and by virtue of their baptism have the right to have this response. (10-10-19)

[Jimmy Akin refuted this outrageous ludicrosity: Clarity is Next to Godliness (Catholic Answers Magazine, 10-10-19) ]

Pope Bergoglio thus proceeds to further implement the apostasy of Abu Dhabi, the fruit of pantheistic and agnostic neo-modernism that tyrannizes the Roman Church, . . . (Letter #62, November 2019)

The tragic story of this failed pontificate advances with a pressing succession of twists and turns. Not a day passes: from the most exalted throne the Supreme Pontiff proceeds to dismantle the See of Peter, using and abusing its supreme authority, not to confess but to deny; not to confirm but to mislead; not to unite but to divide; not to build but to demolish. Material heresies, formal heresies, idolatry, superficiality of every kind . . . “demythologizing” the papacy . . . With Pope Bergoglio — as with all modernists . . . he . . . demolishes the most sacred dogmas, . . . (12-20-19)

In his Abu Dhabi declaration, Pope Francis said that God wants all religions. Not only is this a blatant heresy, it is also a very serious apostasy and a terrible blasphemy. Saying that God wants to be worshipped as something other than how He revealed Himself means that the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Savior are completely meaningless. It means that the reason for founding the Church, the reason for which millions of holy Martyrs gave their lives, for which the Sacraments were instituted, along with the Priesthood and the Papacy itself, are all meaningless. The Pope, . . .  must immediately and absolutely convert. (3-29-20)

[the pope has clarified (on 4-3-20) that he referred to God’s permissive will (“why does God allow many religions? God wanted to allow this: Scolastica theologians used to refer to God’s voluntas permissiva.“), not perfect will. See further clarification]

[I]t is obvious that Bergoglio, along with those who are behind him and support him, aspires to preside over this infernal parody of the Church of Christ. (5-29-20)

[for the refutation, see:

Documentation: Pope Francis is Orthodox, Pro-Tradition and Against Modernism (Dan Marcum, Catholic Answers Forum, 1-9-15)

Can a Pope Be a Heretic? (Jacob W. Wood,  Crisis Magazine, 3-4-15)

Is Pope Francis a Heretic? (+ Part II) (Tim Staples, Catholic Answers blog, October 3-4, 2016)

Is Pope Francis a Heretic?: Options and Respectful Speculations on the Synod on the Family, Amoris Laetitia and Practical Applications [12-13-16]

The Heretical Pope Fallacy (Emmet O’Regan, La Stampa / Vatican Insider, 11-12-17)

Pope Francis On . . . [31 different issues] (Mark Mallett, The Now Word, 4-24-18)

Papal Critics Concede: No Proof of Canonical Papal Heresy [5-10-19] ]

Pope Francis: Idolater (So-Called “Pachamama”)

The enthronement of that Amazonian idol, even at the altar of the confession in St. Peter’s Basilica, . . . the synodal event, which marked the investiture of pachamama in the heart of Catholicity . . . idolatrous statues of rare ugliness, . . . (12-20-19)

They have even committed acts of unprecedented gravity, such as we saw with the adoration of the pachamama idol in the Vatican itself. . . . What we must do is ask forgiveness for the sacrilege perpetrated in the Basilica of Saint Peter’s, and reconsecrate it before the Holy Sacrifice of Mass can be said there. . . . he himself brought off a terrible sacrilege before the eyes and ears of the whole world, before the very Altar of the Confession of Saint Peter, a real profanation, an act of pure apostasy, with those filthy and satanic images of pachamama. (3-29-20)

. . . Bishops carrying the unclean idol of the pachamama on their shoulders, sacrilegiously concealed under the pretext of being a representation of sacred motherhood. . . . the image of an infernal divinity was able to enter into Saint Peter’s . . . we see an idol of wood adored by religious sisters and brothers, . . . If the pachamama could be adored in a church, we owe it to Dignitatis Humanae. (6-9-20)

[for the refutation, see:

Biblical Idolatry: Authentic & Counterfeit Conceptions (2015)

Our Lady of the Amazon – 2018 Video Footage Emerges (Dr. Pedro Gabriel, Where Peter Is, 10-17-19)

“Pachamama” [?] Statues: Marian Veneration or Blasphemous Idolatry? [11-5-19]

“Pachamama” Fiasco: Hysterical Reactionaryism, as Usual [11-8-19]

Pachamama – the missing piece of the puzzle (Dr. Pedro Gabriel, Where Peter Is, 11-10-19)

“Pachamama” Confusion: Fault of Vatican or Catholic Media? [11-12-19]

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It was clearly idolatry! [“Pachamama” controversy] (Dr. Pedro Gabriel, Where Peter Is, 12-1-19)
*
*
Fr. Pacwa and divine signs [“Pachamama” controversy] (Dr. Pedro Gabriel, Where Peter Is, 12-16-19)
*
Is “Mother Earth” a Catholic Concept (Church Fathers)? (Rosemarie Scott, hosted at Biblical Evidence for Catholicism, 12-17-19)
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*
*
Dr. Fastiggi Defends Pope Francis Re “Pachamama Idolatry” (hosted at Biblical Evidence for Catholicism, 3-3-20) ]
*

Pope Francis: Mary & Catholic Mariology (Alleged Antipathy to)

Pope Bergoglio once again gave vent to his evident Marian intolerance . . . The Pontiff’s intolerance is a manifest aggression . . . After having downgraded her to the “next door neighbor” or a runaway migrant, or a simple lay woman with the defects and crises of any woman marked by sin, or a disciple who obviously has nothing to teach us; after having trivialized and desacralized her, like those feminists who are gaining ground in Germany with their “Mary 2.0” movement which seeks to modernize Our Lady and make her a simulacrum in their image and likeness, Pope Bergoglio has further impugned the August Queen and Immaculate Mother of God, who “became mestiza with humanity… and made God mestizo.” With a couple of jokes, he struck at the heart of the Marian dogma and the Christological dogma connected to it. . . .

To attack Mary is to venture against Christ himself; to attack the Mother is to rise up against her Son and to rebel against the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. . . . Pope Bergoglio no longer seems to contain his impatience with the Immaculate . . . [he] deserts the solemn celebration of the Assumption and the recitation of the Rosary with the faithful . . . nothing less than a declaration of war on the Lady and Patroness of all the Americas, . . .  he . . . demolishes the most sacred dogmas, as he did with the Marian dogmas of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. (12-20-19)

[He makes] doctrine malleable, morals adaptable, liturgy adulterable, and discipline disposable. (6-9-20)

[for the refutation, see:

Is Pope Francis Guilty of Blasphemy and Departure from All Catholic Mariological Tradition in His Comments on the Possible Momentary Temptation of Mary at the Cross? [1-19-14]

Yes, Virginia, the Pope Believes Mary is Immaculate [12-29-18]

Pope Francis vs. the Marian Title “Co-Redemptrix”? (+ Documentation of Pope Francis’ and Other Popes’ Use of the Mariological Title of Veneration: “Mother of All”) [12-16-19]

Abp. Viganò Descends into Fanatical Reactionary Nuthood (. . . Declares Pope Francis a Heretical Narcissist Who “Desacralized” & “Impugned” & “Attack[ed]” Mary) [12-20-19]

Pope Francis’ Deep Devotion to Mary (Esp. Mary Mediatrix) [12-23-19]

Pope Francis and Mary Co-Redemptrix (Robert Fastiggi, Where Peter Is, 12-27-19)

Pope Francis and the coredemptive role of Mary, the “Woman of salvation” (Mark Miravalle & Robert Fastiggi, La Stampa, 1-8-20)

Dr. Fastiggi: Open Letter Re Abp. Viganò, Pope Francis, & Mary [2-22-20] ]

Pope Francis: Mentally Ill / Delusions of Grandeur

. . . in those ethereal spaces that can highlight a pathological delirium of illusory omnipotence, . . . (12-20-19)

Pope Francis: Narcissist

. . . through which he exalts himself in a continuous narcissistic self-celebration, while the figure of the Roman Pontiff is humiliated and the Sweet Christ on earth is obscured. . . . always in the spotlight of the cameras . . . (12-20-19)

. . . in his umpteenth interview. (3-29-20)

Pope Francis: Pantheist

Pope Bergoglio thus proceeds to further implement the apostasy of Abu Dhabi, the fruit of pantheistic and agnostic neo-modernism that tyrannizes the Roman Church, . . . (Letter #62, November 2019)

Vatican II: Heretical / Modernist / Apostate

. . . pantheistic and agnostic neo-modernism that tyrannizes the Roman Church, germinated by the conciliar document Nostra Aetate. We are compelled to recognize it: the poisoned fruits of the “Conciliar springtime” are before the eyes of anyone . . . the teachings that preceded Vatican II have been thrown to the winds, as intolerant and obsolete. The comparison between the pre-conciliar Magisterium and the new teachings of Nostra aetate and Dignitatis humanae — to mention only those — manifest a terrible discontinuity, . . . (Letter #62, November 2019)

. . . a sort of extreme synthesis of all the conciliar misconceptions and post-conciliar errors that have been relentlessly propagated, without most of us noticing. Yes, because the Second Vatican Council opened not only Pandora’s Box but also Overton’s Window, and so gradually that we did not realize the upheavals that had been carried out, the real nature of the reforms and their dramatic consequences, nor did we suspect who was really at the helm of that gigantic subversive operation, which the modernist Cardinal Suenens called “the 1789 of the Catholic Church.” (12-20-19)

The religious relativism which was brought in with Vatican II led many people to believe that the Catholic Faith was no longer the only means to salvation, or that the Blessed Trinity was the Only True God. (3-29-20)

I believe that the essential point for effectively conducting a spiritual, doctrinal and moral battle against the enemies of the Church is the persuasion that the present crisis is the metastasis of the conciliar cancer: If we have not understood the causal relationship between Vatican II and its logical and necessary consequences over the course of the last sixty years, it will not be possible to steer the rudder of the Church back to the direction given it by her Divine Helmsman, the course that it maintained for two thousand years. (5-29-20)

. . . the presumed legitimacy of the exercise of religious freedom that the Second Vatican Council theorized, contradicting the testimony of Sacred Scripture and the voice of Tradition, as well as the Catholic Magisterium which is the faithful guardian of both. . . . causal link between the principles enunciated or implied by Vatican II and their logical consequent effect in the doctrinal, moral, liturgical, and disciplinary deviations that have arisen and progressively developed to the present day. . . . Attempts to correct the conciliar excesses – invoking the hermeneutic of continuity – have proven unsuccessful: . . . from the moment it was theorized in the conciliar commissions, ecumenism was configured in a way that was in direct opposition to the doctrine previously expressed by the Magisterium. . . . the progressives and modernists astutely knew how to hide equivocal expressions in the conciliar texts, which at the time appeared harmless to most but that today are revealed in their subversive value. It is the method employed in the use of the phrase subsistit in: saying a half-truth not so much as not to offend the interlocutor (assuming that is licit to silence the truth of God out of respect for His creature), but with the intention of being able to use the half-error that would be instantly dispelled if the entire truth were proclaimed. . . . And it is surprising that people persist in not wanting to investigate the root causes of the present crisis, limiting themselves to deploring the present excesses as if they were not the logical and inevitable consequence of a plan orchestrated decades ago. If the pachamama could be adored in a church, we owe it to Dignitatis Humanae. . . .

The Council was used to legitimize the most aberrant doctrinal deviations, the most daring liturgical innovations, and the most unscrupulous abuses, all while Authority remained silent. This Council was so exalted that it was presented as the only legitimate reference for Catholics, clergy, and bishops, obscuring and connoting with a sense of contempt the doctrine that the Church had always authoritatively taught, and prohibiting the perennial liturgy that for millennia had nourished the faith of an uninterrupted line of faithful, martyrs, and saints. Among other things, this Council has proven to be the only one that has caused so many interpretative problems and so many contradictions with respect to the preceding Magisterium, while there is not one other council – from the Council of Jerusalem to Vatican I – that does not harmonize perfectly with the entire Magisterium or that needs so much interpretation.

. . . a form of pan-ecumenism that reduces the Truth of the One Triune God to the level of idolatries and the most infernal superstitions; the acceptance of an interreligious dialogue that presupposes religious relativism and excludes missionary proclamation; the demythologization of the Papacy, pursued by Bergoglio as a theme of his pontificate; the progressive legitimization of all that is politically correct: gender theory, sodomy, homosexual marriage, Malthusian doctrines, ecologism, immigrationism… If we do not recognize that the roots of these deviations are found in the principles laid down by the Council, it will be impossible to find a cure: if our diagnosis persists, against all the evidence, in excluding the initial pathology, we cannot prescribe a suitable therapy. (6-9-20)

Regarding the possibility of making a correction to the acts of the Second Vatican Council, I think that we can agree: the heretical propositions or those which favor heresy should be condemned, and we can only hope that this will happen as soon as possible. . . . From a legal point of view, the most suitable solution may perhaps be found; but from the pastoral point of view – that is, as regards the Council’s usefulness for the edification of the faithful – it is preferable to let the whole thing drop and be forgotten. . . . The mere fact that Vatican II is susceptible to correction ought to be sufficient to declare its oblivion as soon as its most obvious errors are seen with clarity. (6-14-20)

I do not think that it is necessary to demonstrate that the Council represents a problem: the simple fact that we are raising this question about Vatican II and not about Trent or Vatican I seems to me to confirm a fact that is obvious and recognized by everyone. In reality, even those who defend the Council with swords drawn find themselves doing so apart from all the other previous ecumenical councils, . . . It is painful to recognize that the practice of having recourse to an equivocal lexicon, using Catholic terms understood in an improper way, invaded the Church starting with Vatican II, . . .

[W]hen we commonly speak of the spirit of an event, we mean precisely that it constitutes the soul, the essence of that event. We can thus affirm that the spirit of the Council is the Council itself, that the errors of the post-conciliar period were contained in nuce in the Conciliar Acts . . . And again: if Vatican II truly did not represent a point of rupture, what is the reason for speaking of a pre-conciliar Church and a post-conciliar church, as if these were two different entities, defined in their essence by the Council itself? (6-26-20)

I have never thought and even less have I affirmed that Vatican II was an invalid Ecumenical Council: in fact it was convoked by the supreme authority, by the Supreme Pontiff, and all of the Bishops of the world took part in it. Vatican II is a valid Council, supported by the same authority as Vatican I and Trent. However, as I have already written, from its origin it was made the object of a grave manipulation by a fifth column that penetrated into the very heart of the Church that perverted its purposes, as confirmed by the disastrous results that are before everyone’s eyes. Let us remember that in the French Revolution, the fact that the Estates-General were legitimately convoked on May 5, 1789, by Louis XVI did not prevent things from escalating into the Revolution and the Terror (the comparison is not out of place, since Cardinal Suenens called the conciliar event “the 1789 of the Church”). . . .

As I pointed out in the analogous case of the Synod of Pistoia, the presence of orthodox content does not exclude the presence of other heretical propositions nor does it mitigate their gravity, nor can the truth be used to hide even only one single error. On the contrary, the numerous citations of other Councils, of magisterial acts or of the Fathers of the Church can precisely serve to conceal, with a malicious intent, the controversial points. . . . we can no longer deny the evidence and pretend that Vatican II was not something qualitatively different from Vatican I, despite the numerous heroic and documented efforts, even by the highest authority, to interpret it by force as a normal Ecumenical Council. (7-1-20)

I am aware that having dared to express an opinion strongly critical of the Council is sufficient to awaken the inquisitorial spirit that in other cases is the object of execration by right-thinking people.  . . .

I do not find anything reprehensible in suggesting that we should forget Vatican II: its proponents knew how to confidently exercise this damnatio memoriae not just with a Council but with everything, even to the point of affirming that their council was the first of the new church, and that beginning with their council the old religion and the old Mass was finished. You will say to me that these are the positions of extremists, and that virtue stands in the middle, that is, among those who consider that Vatican II is only the latest of an uninterrupted series of events in which the Holy Spirit speaks through the mouth of the one and only infallible Magisterium. If so, it should be explained why the conciliar church was given a new liturgy and a new calendar, and consequently a new doctrine – nova lex orandi, nova lex credendi – distancing itself from its own past with disdain.

The mere idea of setting the Council aside causes scandal even in those, like you, who recognize the crisis of recent years, but who persist in not wanting to recognize the causal link between Vatican II and its logical and inevitable effects. . . . I do not hesitate to say that that assembly should be forgotten “as such and en bloc,” and I claim the right to say it without thereby making myself guilty of the delict of schism for having attacked the unity of the Church. (7-3-20)

[for the refutation, see:

Dialogue: Vatican II & Other Religions (Nostra Aetate) [8-1-99]

Cdl Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI): Vatican II Authority = Trent [5-20-05]

Dialogue on Vatican II: Its Relative Worth, Interpretation, and Application (with Patti Sheffield vs. Traditionalist David Palm) [9-15-13]
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Photo credit: Ordercrazy (12-28-13) [Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication]

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April 8, 2020

In the latest of a relentless, ever-more-extreme series of unhinged, reality-denying slanders of the Holy Father, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in an interview on 29 March 2020 with the rabidly reactionary Remnant (it should have been three days later on April Fools’ Day), stated:

We must realize that when the new regime helps the poor, it does so with absolutely no reference whatever to the supernatural. All we are seeing is works of corporal mercy, whereas works of spiritual mercy have been utterly wiped out. Nor is this all: the current Papacy has completely eliminated any form of apostolate, and says the Church must not perform any missionary activity, which it calls proselytism. We can only provide food, hospitality, and health care, but nobody provides food, hospitality, or care for the souls of those who so desperately need it. . . .

I think the decision to turn churches into refectories or dormitories for the needy is proof of this basic hypocrisy which, as we have seen with ecumenism, takes an apparently good thing (such as feeding the hungry or sheltering the homeless) – and exploits it to help the grand masonic plan for one world religion with no dogmas, no ceremonies, no God. . . . Let me go back to what I was saying and repeat that all this sacrilege is the underlying cause of the current pandemic. . . .

The religious relativism which was brought in with Vatican II led many people to believe that the Catholic Faith was no longer the only means to salvation, or that the Blessed Trinity was the Only True God.

This has been decisively refuted so many times (I’ve done it five times myself: not including this article), that it is is an insult to my intelligence, and that of virtually all who will read this, to have to repeat the documentation of the refutations. But here we go again (maybe a few poor, confused, misguided souls will benefit):

Dialogue: Pope Francis Doesn’t Evangelize? [4-29-16]

Pope Francis Condemns Evangelism? Absolutely Not! [10-17-16]

Is Pope Francis Against Apologetics & Defending the Faith? [11-26-19]

Debate: Pope Francis on Doctrine, Truth, & Evangelizing (vs. Dr. Eduardo Echeverria) [12-16-19]

Dialogue: Pope Francis vs. Gospel Preaching & Converts? No! (vs. Eric Giunta) [1-3-20]

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Did Pope Francis just say that evangelization is “nonsense”? 8 things to know and share  (Jimmy Akin, National Catholic Register, 10-1-13)

Pope Francis on “Proselytism” (Jimmy Akin, Catholic Answers blog, 10-21-13)

Did Pope Francis just diss apologists? 9 things to know and share (Jimmy Akin, National Catholic Register, 3-9-14)

When Pope Francis rips ‘proselytism,’ who’s he talking about? He really may not be talking about, or to, Catholics at all (John L. Allen, Jr., Crux, 1-27-15)

Francis: Evangelize by Example, not Pushing Your Faith on Others (Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, Through Catholic Lenses, 12-23-19)

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Photo credit: Dave Armstrong with Steve Dawson: founder of St. Paul Street Evangelization (July 2013). I edited many of the tracts that they pass out.

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April 6, 2020

With Catholic Theologian Dr. Robert Fastiggi and Apologist Karl Keating

On 3 April 2020, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: Pope Francis’ biggest critic among the bishops, issued a statement called “You Have Said So.” Here is the bulk of it (my bolding added):

On March 25, the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook was published with a real novelty. It may seem like a typographical trifle, in the part dedicated to the reigning pontiff, but this is not the case. Until last year, in fact, Francis’s titles were listed at the top of the page, beginning with “Vicar of Christ”, “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” etc., and ending with his birth name and a very brief biography.

In the new edition, on the other hand, the secular name JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO stands out in large letters, followed by the biography, the date of election and the beginning of his “ministry as universal Pastor of the Church.” Separated by a dash and the words, “Historical titles,” all the titles of the Roman Pontiff are then listed, as if they were no longer an integral part of the Munus Petrinum that legitimizes the authority which the Church recognizes in the Pope.

This change in the layout and content of an official text of the Catholic Church cannot be ignored, nor is it possible to attribute it to a gesture of humility on the part of Francis, which is not in keeping with his name being so prominently featured. Instead, it seems possible to see in it the admission — passed over in silence — of a sort of usurpation, whereby it is not the “Servus servorum Dei” who reigns, but the person of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has officially disavowed being the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and the Supreme Pontiff, as if they were annoying trappings of the past: only mere “historical titles.”

An almost defiant gesture — one might say — in which Francis transcends every title. Or worse: an act to officially alter the Papacy, by which he no longer recognizes himself as guardian, but becomes master of the Church, free to demolish it from within without having to answer to anyone. In short, a tyrant.

. . . [He] releases himself from his role as Vicar to proclaim himself, in a delirium of pride, absolute monarch even with respect to Christ.

Moreover, it’s reported that Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican’s former doctrinal chief, writing for the German weekly Die Tagepost, contended that the section marked “historical titles” included “Vicar of Christ” with other titles that “have nothing to do with primacy and have only grown historically but [have] no dogmatic meaning, such as ‘Sovereign of Vatican City State’. . . . It is a theological barbarism to devalue the Pope’s titles ‘Successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ and visible head of the whole Church’ as a mere historical ballast.”

Words fail me, I must confess (and that’s a rare thing). Blessedly, my friend, Dr. Robert Fastiggi has responded to these accusations, and has given me permission to post his thoughts (written to various people) on my blog:

I agree with him that it would have been better not to list the titles of the Pope as “historical titles.” I think, though, that he and others are reading too much into this than is warranted. These titles are historical, but this does not mean they are not still actual titles. As Catholics, we are obliged to seek to give a favorable interpretation to what our neighbor says or does (CCC, 2478). Archbishop Viganò, though, not only gives an unfavorable interpretation, but he goes so far as to compare Pope Francis to Judas. This is similar to his reaction to Pope Francis’s Dec. 12, 2019 homily in which he compared Francis to the serpent tempting Eve. This strikes me not only as hyperbole but as supreme disrespect to the Holy Father. I know some people regard  Archbishop Viganò as a hero. I also was grateful for his demand for an explanation with respect to the influence of  Theodore McCarrick. Unfortunately,  Archbishop Viganò’s rhetoric in recent months has become hyperbolic. I noted this in a letter to Inside the Vatican, which has not yet been published but was posted by my friend, Dave Armstrong on Patheos. I really believe  Archbishop Viganò needs prayers (as does Pope Francis).

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Thank you for sharing this story. I had not heard of this change before. It seems, though, that most of the significant papal titles are listed as “historical titles.” To call them historical does not mean that they are not valid today.
I noted this passage in the story:
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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.
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Actually, the title “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” might be the most significant because Vatican I anathematized those who denied that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of Blessed Peter (Denz.-H, 3058).  It also should be noted that Vatican II applies the title “Vicar of Christ” to bishops as well (LG, 27). The Roman Pontiff is the supreme Vicar of Christ on earth, but he’s not the only “Vicar of Christ” according to Vatican II.
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As you might recall, there was some controversy over the dropping of the papal title “Patriarch of the West” in 2006 in the Annuario Pontificio. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity subsequently  came out with an explanation for this change (see Denz.-H 5106). I really think the main reason was that Benedict XVI didn’t want the Eastern Orthodox to have the idea that the Roman Pontiff’s authority is only over “the West.”
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I don’t think the LifeSite story is fake news, but I think some people are reading more things  into the reference to “historical titles” than are really there.
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We don’t really know if Pope Francis doesn’t like the title Vicar of Christ. This is the questionable inference that Viganò and others have made on the basis of a minor editorial change in the Annuario Pontificio.
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I looked again at the Italian page of the Annuario. At the end of the biographical section it mentions March 19, 2013 as the “solemn initiation of his ministry as Pastor of the Universal Church.” To be “Pastor of the Universal Church” is certainly the supreme responsibility of the Roman Pontiff. This does not suggest any distancing from the role of being the Vicar of Jesus Christ.
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The other titles are under the heading “historical titles.” As I’ve noted, to say these titles are historical does not at all mean that they are not applicable today.
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The titles listed as historical are:
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Vicar of Jesus Christ
Successor of the Prince of the Apostles
Primate of Italy
Archbishop and Primate of the Roman Province
Sovereign of Vatican City State
Servant of the Servants of God
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Some of these historical titles are rooted in the deposit of faith, and others are more recent. For example, “Sovereign of Vatican City State” would apply only since the 1929 Lateran Treaty. Perhaps this is the reason why these titles are listed as historical. Some of them might not apply in the future. As you know, the title “Patriarch of the West” was dropped in the Annuario in 2006 (and there was some controversy at the time).
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Perhaps Pope Francis wanted these titles listed as “historical” out of humility, but that’s simply speculation. The title “Pastor of the Universal Church” is not listed as historical and that title flows from the fact that the Pope is the successor of St. Peter and the supreme Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth.
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Viganò and others are making conclusions based on questionable inferences. This is similar to the whole idolatry accusation. It’s unjust and uncharitable to draw conclusions without evidence.
The article in Catholic Herald, drawn from Catholic News Agency, allows the Vatican to explain:

Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See press office, told the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire that the yearbook was not declaring that the title Vicar of Christ was merely of historical significance.

If that were the case, Avvenire reported, the title would simply have been removed. Bruni cited Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to drop the title “Patriarch of the West” from the Annuario in 2006. This was widely understood to be an ecumenical gesture aimed at healing the centuries-long breach between Catholics and other Christians.

Bruni said that the titles were classified as “historical” because they are tied historically to the title bishop of Rome. A new pope acquires them the moment he is elected in a conclave. [italics for proper names added]

Lastly, Catholic apologist Karl Keating has chimed in as well, on his public Facebook page (4-4-20):
Some people have made far too much of this, as I have commented on some Facebook threads. But no one of stature, so far as I know, has gone as far as Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. . . .
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It doesn’t “seem possible” to see in the change that the pope is disavowing being the Vicar of Christ and so on. It would be one thing to assert that the editorial change had no particular justification and should have been left undone. It’s something else to say the pope is, in effect, denying being the pope. (If a pope denies being the Vicar of Christ, he pretty much is denying that there is a papacy.)

I have appreciated much of what Archbishop Viganò has said over the last few years, without necessarily agreeing with his phrasing, but this goes far too far.

Keating added in various comments underneath his post:
[Abp. Vigano’s opinion is] going to hold less weight if he keeps saying cockamamie things like this.
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He didn’t misspeak. He wrote out a statement that he issued to the press.
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Viganò claims that the pope “has officially disavowed” being the Vicar of Christ, which must mean that he has disavowed being the pope–and has done so officially. Viganò isn’t claiming Francis to be a heretic. That would be a different claim.
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“The Pope has denied being Pope”? Show us exactly where. You’re jumping from legitimate criticism of some of his actions to conspiratorial nonsense. It’s bad for the Church and bad for you.
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He isn’t “refusing” to acknowledge his titles.They’re right below his biography!
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I’m sure it wasn’t a printer’s mistake. I think the most likely reason was to make the pope’s entry in the yearbook be in the same format as the other entries, which all begin with the bishop’s name.
As so often in these matters, it’s claimed that Pope Francis denies something or other; then it is easy enough (via the Vatican website, that has a very good search engine) to find him asserting the thing he supposedly denied (or in this case, he uses one of the titles of the popes). In fact, Pope Francis has referred to “Vicar of Christ” at least three times:
I received with great joy the kind letter you sent me, on your own behalf and on behalf of the Society of Jesus, on the occasion of my election to the See of St Peter. In it you informed me of your prayers for me and for my apostolic ministry, as well as of your total willingness to continue serving the Church and the Vicar of Christ unconditionally, in accordance with the precept of St Ignatius of Loyola. (Letter to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, 3-16-13)
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The Pope is a bishop, the Bishop of Rome, and because he is the Bishop of Rome he is the Successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ. There are other titles, but the first title is “Bishop of Rome” and everything follows from that. To say, to think that this means being primus inter pares, no, that does not follow. It is simply the Pope’s first title: Bishop of Rome. But there are others too … (Airplane Press Conference, 7-28-13)
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The Institutions to which you belong — formed into a Consortium by Pope Pius XI in 1928 — are entrusted to the Society of Jesus, and share the same desire “to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross … and to serve the Lord alone and the Church, His spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth” (Formula, 1). (Address to the Community of the Pontifical Gregorian University et al, 4-10-14)
If someone objects (rather desperately, I would say) that “he only did it three times!” I reply that many other popes only used it just a few times, too:
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Ven. Pope Pius XII used it eleven times; Leo XIII, six; Pius XI, five; St. Pius X, three; and St. John XXIII, just twice.   Others used it more: Pope St. Paul VI, 24; Pope St. John Paul II, 63; but then the use was reduced quite a bit with Pope Benedict XVI (19). Clearly, there is no requirement to use it a lot. Pope Francis is simply similar in this respect to four other popes: two of them saints, and one (St. Pius X) particularly renowned for his traditionalism and opposition to modernism; and he referred to it only three times, just as Pope Francis has.
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Popes exhibit all kinds of non-dogmatic differences of emphasis amongst themselves. For example, Pope St. John Paul II wrote a considerably greater amount of material about the Blessed Virgin Mary than Pope Benedict XVI did. Does this “prove” that the latter pope loved Mary less, or held to a heterodox Mariology? No, not at all; he simply didn’t write about her as much, and when he did, he was relatively less expressive and “flowery” than St. John Paul II. Possibly, he may not have written as much, precisely because his predecessor had done quite a bit, and there were many other topics to be addressed, as always. Different strokes . . .

So once again, the current anti-Francis “controversy” (only the latest of an endless wrongheaded supply) is a tempest in a teapot, much ado about nothing; a nothingburger. This is my 168th time defending the Holy Father, and I must say that it has been pretty easy to do, too (such is the utter weakness of the attempts to discredit him), in all but a very few cases. Back to your regularly scheduled program . . .

Related Reading
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Bishops Viganò & Schneider Reject Authority of Vatican II [11-22-19]

Viganò, Schneider, Pachamama, & VCII (vs. Janet E. Smith) [11-25-19]

Pope Francis vs. the Marian Title “Co-Redemptrix”? (+ Documentation of Pope Francis’ and Other Popes’ Use of the Mariological Title of Veneration: “Mother of All”) [12-16-19]

Abp. Viganó Descends into Fanatical Reactionary Nuthood (. . . Declares Pope Francis a Heretical Narcissist Who “Desacralized” & “Impugned” & “Attack[ed]” Mary) [12-20-19]

Pope Francis’ Deep Devotion to Mary (Esp. Mary Mediatrix) [12-23-19]

Dr. Fastiggi: Open Letter Re Abp. Viganò, Pope Francis, & Mary [2-22-20]

Radical Catholic Reactionaries vs. Catholic Traditionalism web page

The Papacy and Infallibility web page

Pope Francis Defended: Resources for Confused or Troubled Folks [347 articles]

Replies to Critiques of Pope Francis (Dave Armstrong) [168 of my own articles]

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Photo credit: from the article, “Words We’re Watching: ‘Nothingburger'” (Merriam-Webster).

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February 22, 2020

[Letter to Inside the Vatican: February 11, 2020; published here with the express permission of Dr. Robert Fastiggi]

Dear Editor,

I was happy to see Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò refer to Mary as the “Coredemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces” in his December 19, 2019 letter published in your January 2020 issue.  I was also pleased to see an excerpt of an article by Dr. Mark Miravalle from the National Catholic Register, which emphasizes “the central truth of Mary being the spiritual Mother of the Church and of all peoples.” In contrast to Archbishop Viganò, however, neither Dr. Miravalle nor I believe Pope Francis’ 2019 homily for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe was an expression of an “evident Marian intolerance.” We explain this in an article we co-authored [link] entitled “Pope Francis and the coredemptive role of Mary, the ‘Woman of salvation’” that appeared in the English and Italian editions of La Stampa’s Vatican Insider (January 8, 2020).  In this article we show that Pope Francis has a profound awareness of Mary’s central role in the work of redemption. In fact, in his January 1, 2020 homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Holy Father says, “From her, a woman, salvation came forth and thus there is no salvation without a woman.”  He also refers to Mary as “the woman of salvation” (Donna della salvezza). 

I certainly respect Archbishop Viganò’s episcopal dignity and his many years of service to the Church. His most recent statements, though, come across as hyperbolic, intemperate, and in many cases inaccurate. For example, he claims Pope Francis “deserts the solemn celebration of the Assumption and the recitation of the Rosary with the faithful.” This, though, is not true. The Holy Father faithfully observes the Solemnity of the Assumption, and on August 15, 2014 he celebrated Mass for the Assumption in a large stadium in Korea. Pope Francis also has led multiple public recitations of the Rosary. On August 25, 2016, he led 11,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the recitation of the sorrowful mysteries for the victims of the earthquakes in Italy the day before. Archbishop Viganò also accuses Pope Francis of making a “declaration of war” on Our Lady of Guadalupe by enthroning the “Amazonian idol” of the pachamama in St. Peter’s Basilica. He seems unaware that St. John Paul II—in a homily given in Cochabamba, Bolivia on May 11, 1988 [link] —referred to pachamama as the ancestral name given to the earth, which produces food as a reflection of divine providence and the work of God. 

Archbishop Viganò believes that Pope Francis is guilty of “material heresies, formal heresies, idolatry,” and “a false magisterium.” The Archbishop also says the reference to the ‘dew” in Eucharistic Prayer II is “a further step in the direction of regression towards the naturalization and immanentization of Catholic worship, towards a pantheistic and idolatrous Novissimus Ordo”— a sign of “a new globalist and eco-tribal paganism with its demons and perversions.” The ‘dew,” though, is found in the Latin of Eucharistic Prayer II, which reads: Hæc ergo dona, quæsumus, Spíritus tui rore sanctífica, ut nobis Corpus et  Sanguis fiant Dómini nostri Iesu Christi.” “Rore” is from “ros, roris,” the Latin word for dew. The change made in the Italian translation from “sanctifica con l’effusione del tuo Spirito” [sanctify with the effusion of thy Spirit] to “santifica questi doni con la rugiada del tuo Spirito”[sanctify these gifts with the dew of thy Spirit] is hardly a regression to pantheism and idolatry. It is merely a change that seeks to   reflect better the original Latin of Eucharistic Prayer II. 

Archbishop Viganò is to be admired for his deep Marian devotion. The tone and rhetoric of his recent statements are, I believe, a cause for concern. Let’s keep the Archbishop in our prayers.

Sincerely,

Robert Fastiggi

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Related Reading

Bishops Viganò & Schneider Reject Authority of Vatican II [11-22-19]

Viganò, Schneider, Pachamama, & VCII (vs. Janet E. Smith) [11-25-19]

Pope Francis vs. the Marian Title “Co-Redemptrix”? (+ Documentation of Pope Francis’ and Other Popes’ Use of the Mariological Title of Veneration: “Mother of All”) [12-16-19]

Abp. Viganò Descends into Fanatical Reactionary Nuthood (. . . Declares Pope Francis a Heretical Narcissist Who “Desacralized” & “Impugned” & “Attack[ed]” Mary) [12-20-19]

Pope Francis’ Deep Devotion to Mary (Esp. Mary Mediatrix) [12-23-19]

Pope Francis and Mary Co-Redemptrix (Robert Fastiggi, Where Peter Is, 12-27-19)

Pope Francis and the coredemptive role of Mary, the “Woman of salvation” (Mark Miravalle & Robert Fastiggi, La Stampa, 1-8-20)

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Photo credit: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, congratulates [now disgraced] then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington at a gala dinner sponsored by the Pontifical Missions Societies in New York in May 2012. PHOTO: CNS / republished at Catholic Weekly, 8-30-18.

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December 20, 2019

. . . Declares Pope Francis a Heretical Narcissist Who “Desacralized” & “Impugned” & “Attack[ed]” Mary

The reactionaries are again wetting themselves in glee and adulation today, after Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has issued yet another “declaration” of his own insanity, in opposition to Pope Francis. Good ol’ reactionary junk site, Lifesite News, released the English translation (done by Diane Montagna) almost exactly an hour ago, as I write. She entitles her article, “Abp Viganò’s defense of Virgin Mary in response to Pope Francis (FULL TEXT)”. Michael Voris’ Church Militant also offered up damnable lies, in the title of its article, covering the same “news”: “Viganò Champions Virgin Mary After Pope Francis Smear.” And reactionary Chris Ferrara chimed in: “Pope Francis not only rejected but mocked as “foolishness” the concept of Mary as co-Redemptrix . . .” And of course, Dr. Taylor Marshall jumps on the bandwagon as well, with one of his videos, entitled, “Co-Redemptrix: Why Pope Francis Rejects it?”

This is what passes for reactionary Catholic “journalism” these days: flat-out lies. Now the pope supposedly is at war against the Blessed Virgin Mary. As usual, it’s based on a complete misunderstanding [most charitable take] or a wholesale deliberate, conscious distortion [more plausible take, in my opinion] of what he stated in a homily on 12-12-19. I already covered the topic four days ago in my post, “Pope Francis vs. the Marian Title “Co-Redemptrix”? (+ Documentation of Pope Francis’ and Other Popes’ Use of the Mariological Title of Veneration: “Mother of All”).”

An article in Crux (normally a much more careful venue / periodical) on 12-13-19 held that the pope called a future dogmatic declaration of Mary as co-redemptrix “foolishness.” That was incorrect, as I showed in my paper, citing two actual Marian scholars: Dr. Mark Miravalle and Dr. Robert Fastiggi, who has written articles about Marian coredemption, and was president of the Mariological Society of America from 2014-2016. Yet Diane Montagna writes today that Pope Francis “called the doctrine of Mary as co-redemptrix ‘nonsense’ ” (my italics and bolding).

Note how the pitiable rhetoric and polemics have now been fanatically ratcheted up. Rather than (in several of these cases) stating that the pope opposed a new particular declaration (something Pope Benedict XVI also does, and I myself — for what it’s worth — do), now the pope — if we are to take article titles at face value — is supposedly engaged in a full-scale attack on the Blessed Virgin Mary herself, thus bringing the heroic Abp. Viganò out from under his rock again to “defend” her. And Church Militant, in all its infinite and unfailing wisdom, declares a “Pope Francis Smear” of Our Lady. These are despicable, damnable lies.

As I documented in my paper, Pope Francis prefers the Marian title, “Mother of all”, which carries the strong implication of Mary’s mediation, and was used also by, for example, Pope Benedict XVI (encyclical letter Deus caritas est, 12-25-05, section 42), Ven. Pope Pius XII (encyclical Ad Sinarum Gentem, 10-7-54, section 29), Pope Leo XIII (encyclical Quamquam Pluries, section 3), Pope St. Paul VI (apostolic exhortation Signum Magnum, 5-13-67, Introduction), and Pope St. John Paul II (Angelus, 8-15-93).

Pope Francis has a very strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, truth be told. Several articles have documented this (one / two / three / four / five). For example, in 2018 he even established a new feast day for Mary “Mother of the Church” which will now be celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost. In October 2019 he also added the feast of Our Lady of Loreto to the liturgical calendar (December 10th).

Furthermore, he has a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Untier of Knots, and has promoted this relatively obscure devotion. It grew particularly as a result of a painting in Bavaria around 1700 by Johann Georg Schmidtner, but was based on a statement from St. Irenaeus (c. 130-c. 202): “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith” (Against Heresies, III: 22). In a remarkable homily delivered on 1 January 2016, Pope Francis stated:

Composed by an unknown author, it has come down to us as a heartfelt prayer spontaneously rising up from the hearts of the faithful: “Hail Mother of mercy, Mother of God, Mother of forgiveness, Mother of hope, Mother of grace and Mother full of holy gladness”. In these few words we find a summary of the faith of generations of men and women who, with their eyes fixed firmly on the icon of the Blessed Virgin, have sought her intercession and consolation. . . .

For us, Mary is an icon of how the Church must offer forgiveness to those who seek it. The Mother of forgiveness teaches the Church that the forgiveness granted on Golgotha knows no limits. Neither the law with its quibbles, nor the wisdom of this world with its distinctions, can hold it back. The Church’s forgiveness must be every bit as broad as that offered by Jesus on the Cross and by Mary at his feet. There is no other way. It is for this purpose that the Holy Spirit made the Apostles the effective ministers of forgiveness, so what was obtained by the death of Jesus may reach all men and women in every age (cf. Jn 20:19-23).

The Marian hymn continues: “Mother of hope and Mother of grace, Mother of holy gladness”. Hope, grace and holy gladness are all sisters: they are the gift of Christ; indeed, they are so many names written on his body. The gift that Mary bestows in offering us Jesus is the forgiveness which renews life, enables us once more to do God’s will and fills us with true happiness. This grace frees the heart to look to the future with the joy born of hope.

The words below in regular black are all Abp. Viganò’s, from his statement, “Mary Immaculate Virgin Mother — Acies Ordinata, Ora pro nobis,” (omitting the initial citation of Isaiah 42:5-24). My interspersed “fisking” comments will be in blue. If ever there was an appropriate time for fisking, this is certainly it.

*****

“Is there in the heart of the Virgin Mary anything other than the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ? We too want to have only one name in our hearts: that of Jesus, like the Most Blessed Virgin.”

The tragic story of this failed pontificate advances with a pressing succession of twists and turns. Not a day passes: from the most exalted throne the Supreme Pontiff proceeds to dismantle the See of Peter, using and abusing its supreme authority, not to confess but to deny; not to confirm but to mislead; not to unite but to divide; not to build but to demolish. [how melodramatic!]

Material heresies, formal heresies, idolatry, superficiality of every kind [that bad, huh?; why not go all out and declare him antichrist? Maybe that will be — for all we know — in the next mad tirade]: the Supreme Pontiff Bergoglio never ceases stubbornly to humiliate the highest authority of the Church, “demythologizing” the papacy — as perhaps his illustrious comrade Karl Rahner would say. His action seeks to violate the Sacred Deposit of Faith and to disfigure the Catholic Face of the Bride of Christ by word and action, through duplicity and lies [it’s refreshing, at least, that Viganò asserts deliberate lying]: something that fellow pope-bashers Marshall and Lawler also do, in the final analysis, but in a very subtle, two-faced way], through those theatrical gestures of his that flaunt spontaneity but are meticulously conceived and planned [premeditated!], and through which he exalts himself in a continuous narcissistic self-celebration [oooh: the “narcissist” charge; how often we apologists often have to be the target of that one; now Viganò wants to play armchair psychiatrist as well as lying, divisive, quasi-schismatic archbishop], while the figure of the Roman Pontiff is humiliated and the Sweet Christ on earth is obscured.

His action makes use of magisterial improvisation, of that off the cuff and fluid magisterium that is as insidious as quicksand [seems to me, this is what antichrist would do. Viganò needs to take his polemics to the next logical level], not only flying at high altitude at the mercy of journalists from all over the world, in those ethereal spaces that can highlight a pathological delirium [more psycho-babble] of illusory omnipotence, but also at the most solemn religious ceremony that ought to incite holy trembling and reverent respect.

On the occasion of the liturgical memorial of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Pope Bergoglio once again gave vent to his evident Marian intolerance [it’s not “evident” at all], recalling that of the Serpent in the account of the Fall, in that Proto-Gospel which prophesizes the radical enmity placed by God between the Woman and the Serpent, and the declared hostility of the latter, who until the consummation of time will seek to undermine the Woman’s heel and to triumph over her and her posterity. The Pontiff’s intolerance is a manifest aggression against the prerogatives and sublime attributes that make the Immaculate Ever-Virgin Mother of God the feminine complement to the mystery of the Incarnate Word, intimately associated with Him in the Economy of Redemption.

After having downgraded her to the “next door neighbor” or a runaway migrant, or a simple lay woman with the defects and crises of any woman marked by sin, or a disciple who obviously has nothing to teach us; after having trivialized and desacralized her, like those feminists who are gaining ground in Germany with their “Mary 2.0” movement which seeks to modernize Our Lady and make her a simulacrum in their image and likeness, Pope Bergoglio has further impugned the August Queen and Immaculate Mother of God, who “became mestiza with humanity… and made God mestizo.” With a couple of jokes, he struck at the heart of the Marian dogma and the Christological dogma connected to it. [absolutely outrageous and groundless accusations]

The Marian dogmas are the seal placed on the Catholic truths of our faith, defined at the Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus and Chalcedon; they are the unbreakable bulwark against Christological heresies and against the furious unleashing of the Gates of Hell. Those who “mestizo” and profane them show that they are on the side of the Enemy. To attack Mary is to venture against Christ himself; to attack the Mother is to rise up against her Son and to rebel against the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. [Pope Francis hasn’t “attacked” Mary in the slightest. But for Viganò to savage him is a direct disobeying of St. Paul’s recalling (Acts 23:5) of Old Testament law: “You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.” (Ex 22:28). Paul adds: “be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work, . . . speak evil of no one”: Titus 3:1-2; all RSV ] The Immaculate Theotokos, “terrible as an army with banners” (Canticle 6:10) — acies ordinanata — will do battle to save the Church and destroy the Enemy’s unfettered army that has declared war on her, and with him all the demonic pachamamas will definitively return to hell.

Pope Bergoglio no longer seems to contain his impatience with the Immaculate [armchair kooky psychoanalysis . . .], nor can he conceal it under that seeming and ostentatious devotion which is always in the spotlight of the cameras [right. It’s all just a duplicitous, deceitful act. In this way, any good and orthodox thing he says or writes can be immediately dismissed as mere subterfuge. Classic conspiratorial paranoia . . .], while deserts the solemn celebration of the Assumption [this is a lie; he celebrated it in St. Peter’s Square in 2019, and in a stadium in South Korea in 2014] and the recitation of the Rosary with the faithful [he did this on, for example, 5-31-14 and endorsed and recommended the Rosary many many times], who filled the courtyard of St. Damascene and the upper loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica under St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

Papa Bergoglio uses the pachamama to rout the Guadalupana. The enthronement of that Amazonian idol, even at the altar of the confession in St. Peter’s Basilica, was nothing less than a declaration of war on the Lady and Patroness of all the Americas, who with her apparition to Juan Diego destroyed the demonic idols and won the indigenous peoples for Christ and the adoration of the “Most True and Only God,” through her maternal mediation. And this is not a legend! [this is complete mythology and nonsense, as I and others have now shown in many articles]

A few weeks after the conclusion of the synodal event, which marked the investiture of pachamama in the heart of Catholicity [it didn’t involve “Pachamama” at all. Viganò merely parrots and regurgitates what is now accepted reactionary mythological “dogma”], we learned that the conciliar disaster of the Novus Ordo Missae is undergoing further modernization [the obligatory reactionary attack on the Pauline Mass, which Pope Benedict expressly declared to be on the same level as the extraordinary form Mass; but reactionaries no longer care what he thinks, or declared, either], including the introduction of “Dew” in the Eucharistic Canon instead of the mention of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity.

This is a further step in the direction of regression towards the naturalization and immanentization of Catholic worship, towards a pantheistic and idolatrous Novissimus Ordo. [pantheism now, huh? Is that on the docket next?] The “Dew,” an entity present in the “theological place” of the Amazonian tropics — as we learned from the synodal fathers — becomes the new immanent principle of fertilization of the Earth, which “transubstantiates” it into a pantheistically connected Whole to which men are assimilated and subjugated, to the glory of Pachamama. [Oh! I see — insert Twilight Zone music here . . . ] And here we are plunged back into the darkness of a new globalist and eco-tribal paganism, with its demons and perversions. From this latest liturgical upheaval, divine Revelation decays from fullness to archaism; from the hypostatic identity of the Holy Spirit we slide towards the symbolic and metaphorical evanescence proper to dew which masonic gnosis has long made its own. [It’s all over. The gates of hell have prevailed against the Catholic Church; precisely what could never happen, for those of us who, by grace and in faith, continue to adhere to the old-fashioned, quaint notion of indefectibility]

But let us return for a moment to the idolatrous statues of rare ugliness, and to Pope Bergoglio’s declaration the day after their removal from the church in Traspontina and their drowning in the Tiber. Once again, the Pope’s words have the scent of a colossal lie [he employs the Alinskyite / leftist tactic of calling others what one is himself; projection . . .]: he made us believe that the statuettes were promptly exhumed from the filthy waters thanks to the intervention of the Carabinieri [Italian police]. One wonders why a crew from Vatican News coordinated by Tornielli, and Spadaro of Civiltà Cattolica, with reporters and cameramen from the court press, did not come to film the prowess of the divers and capture the rescue of the pachamamas [probably because the pope wasn’t interested in cheap media stunts, like the Austrian idiot who staged the dunking for the You Tube cameras. Who’s the “narcissist” now?]. It is also unlikely that such a spectacular feat did not capture the attention of a few passers-by, equipped with a mobile phone to film and then launch the scoop on social media. We are tempted to pose the question to the person who made that statement. Certainly, this time too, he would answer us with his eloquent silence.

For more than six years now we have been poisoned by a false magisterium [really? Isn’t that defectibility? What the hell is it, if not that?], a sort of extreme synthesis of all the conciliar misconceptions [this is the obligatory dig at Vatican II; standard reactionary talking-points, gotten from SSPX and sedevacantist] and post-conciliar errors that have been relentlessly propagated, without most of us noticing. Yes, because the Second Vatican Council opened not only Pandora’s Box but also Overton’s Window [seewhutimean?], and so gradually that we did not realize the upheavals that had been carried out [the frog in the boiling water routine!], the real nature of the reforms and their dramatic consequences, nor did we suspect who was really at the helm of that gigantic subversive operation, which the modernist Cardinal Suenens called “the 1789 of the Catholic Church.” [It’s all over! Let’s all go Orthodox: the folks who think there is no supreme head of the Church, no ecumenical councils, divorce is fine and dandy, and contraception has been promoted from grave sin to “a matter of private choice for each couple”. Sounds just right for fanatics like Abp. Viganò]

Thus, over these last decades, the Mystical Body has been slowly drained of its lifeblood through unstoppable bleeding: the Sacred Deposit of Faith has gradually been squandered, dogmas denatured, worship secularized and gradually profaned, morality sabotaged, the priesthood vilified, the Eucharistic Sacrifice protestantized and transformed into a convivial Banquet… [right . . .]

Now the Church is lifeless, covered with metastases and devastated [exactly what could not possibly happen, with the Holy Spirit guiding and protecting her . . . But when one is in the cloud of madness and self-delusion, it seems like it is a reality, because of a loss of supernatural faith, through disobedience and disbelief. This is the despair that that leads to. Take note, all, and beware!]. The people of God are groping, illiterate and robbed of their Faith, in the darkness of chaos and division [he dares to talk about division with a straight face?! That’s too ironically precious . . .]. In these last decades, the enemies of God have progressively made scorched earth of two thousand years of Tradition. With unprecedented acceleration, thanks to the subversive drive of this pontificate, supported by the powerful Jesuit apparatus [oooh! That’s a conspiracy for sure . . .], a deadly coup de grace [death blow] is being delivered to the Church. [defectibility, folks! You heard it right from the horses’s mouth]

With Pope Bergoglio — as with all modernists [note that he hasn’t proven this extraordinary charge; hasn’t come within a million miles of doing so. Reactionaries always merely assume, or distort and lie, to the extent that they attempt any proof at all] — it is impossible to seek clarity, since the distinctive mark of the modernist heresy is dissimulation [as I noted: this is how they can dismiss anything stated or done by Pope Francis or anyone else whom they hate, that is “orthodox”; it’s just a “fooler”]. Masters of error and experts in the art of deception [seewhutimean?], “they strive to make what is ambiguous [ooh, there is a great reactionary code word] universally accepted, presenting it from its harmless side which will serve as a passport to introduce the toxic side that was initially kept hidden.” (Fr. Matteo Liberatore SJ). And so the lie, obstinately and obsessively repeated, ends up becoming “true” and accepted by the majority. [exactly what is happening among reactionaries, and increasing multiple thousands who are being taken in by their lies and tactics and relentless divisiveness and quasi-schismatic mentality]

Also typically modernist is the tactic of affirming what you want to destroy, using vague and imprecise terms, and promoting error without ever formulating it clearly. [more of the same tired charge] This is exactly what Pope Bergoglio does, with his dissolving amorphism of the Mysteries of the Faith, with his doctrinal approximation through which he “mestizos” and demolishes the most sacred dogmas, as he did with the Marian dogmas of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. [really? Document, please; note how he gives not even one link-evidence. He merely declares it. Meanwhile, I find Pope Francis referring to “the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, most rightly referred to as Theotokos, who shines forth as the ideal Mother of Mercy” (8-15-15)]

The result of this abuse is what we now have before our eyes: a Catholic Church that is no longer Catholic; a container emptied of its authentic content and filled with borrowed goods. [what is it, then? Anglican? Was it not the essence of Anglicanism and Orthodoxy — not to mention Lutherans and Calvinists — to reject both the papacy and ecumenical councils?: i.e., precisely what Abp. Viganò is doing?]

The advent of the Antichrist is inevitable; it is part of the epilogue of the History of Salvation. [I say he ought to declare Pope Francis the anti-christ. It will inject some much-needed humor and fun into this ongoing reactionary farce and debacle] But we know that it is the prerequisite for the universal triumph of Christ and his glorious Bride. Those of us who have not let ourselves be deceived by these enemies of the Church enfeoffed in the ecclesial Body, must unite and together face off against the Evil One, who is long defeated yet still able to harm and cause the eternal perdition of multitudes of souls, but whose head the Blessed Virgin, our Leader, will definitively crush.

Now it is our turn. Without equivocation, without letting ourselves be driven out of this Church whose legitimate children we are and in which we have the sacred right to feel at home, without the hateful horde of Christ’s enemies [and who are those, I wonder?] making us feel marginalized, schismatic and excommunicated.

Now it is our turn! [to go mad, conspiratorial, and to make complete asses and fools of ourselves!] The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary — Coredemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces — [Pope Francis stated on 9-10-17: “May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for the world’s needs and for every one of her children.” and on 7-24-13: “We have a Mother who always intercedes for the life of her children.” Does he deny the doctrine of Mary’s co-redemption? No, for he made reference to “the role of Our Lady in redemption, a role that so often the so-called ‘modern’ theologies forget” (10-25-19). He also stated: “we are called to establish a true communion with Jesus . . . May the Virgin Mary help us in this. . . . we invoke her as ‘Mary Gate of Heaven’, a gate that traces the form of Jesus precisely: the door to God’s heart, a demanding heart, but one that is open to us all” (8-25-19). Mary distributes grace: “Let us ask the Immaculate for the grace to live this way” (12-8-18). She is the “Mother of grace and mercy” (12-8-17). He said, “let us invoke Mary Auxiliatrix” (6-21-15). This term seems to have been used as a synonym of “Mediatrix” in Lumen Gentium, III, 62] passes through her “little ones,” who are certainly frail and sinners but are absolutely opposed to the members enlisted in the Enemy’s army. “Little ones” consecrated without any limit whatsoever to the Immaculate, in order to be her heel, the most humiliated and despised part, the most hated by hell, but which together with Her will crush the head of the infernal Monster.

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort asked: “But when will this triumph take place? God knows.” Our task is to be vigilant and pray as St. Catherine of Siena ardently recommended: “Oimè! That I die and cannot die. Sleep no longer in negligence; use what you can in the present time. Comfort yourselves in Christ Jesus, sweet love. Drown yourselves in the Blood of Christ crucified, place yourselves on the cross with Christ crucified, hide yourselves in the wounds of Christ crucified, bathe yourselves in the blood of Christ crucified” (Letter 16).

The Church is shrouded in the darkness of modernism [not a single dogma has been thus modified, yet this is how he describes Holy Mother Church], but the victory belongs to Our Lord and His Bride. We desire to continue to profess the perennial faith of the Church in the face of the roaring evil that besieges her. We desire to keep vigil with her and with Jesus, in this new Gethsemane of the end times; to pray and do penance in reparation for the many offenses caused to them. [he needs to pray for his own outrageous offenses, and pray that God doesn’t hold him accountable for the many thousands that he is leading astray in his lying and devilish counsel of despair]

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Photo credit: depiction of the face of antichrist, Orvieto Cathedral (1501), by Luca Signorelli (c. 1450-1523) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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November 25, 2019

On 11-22-19, I posted my article, Bishops Viganò & Schneider Reject Authority of Vatican II (And Abp. Viganò Appears to Have Lost His Mind; Denies Indefectibility, Spews Ridiculous Tin Foil Hat Conspiracies).  Renowned Professor of moral theology, Janet E. Smith (whose work — especially regarding Humanae Vitae — I have greatly admired for years), cross-linked it on her public Facebook page, with her original caption: “What some people think.” The usual “feeding frenzy” (personal attacks from others) ensued, and then I attempted dialogue with her and (briefly) with one other person. Her words will be in blue; those of James Russell in green.

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First, the purely personal attacks that commenced (just a few examples of some of the worst):

Brian Williams: D. Armstrong fell into the category of irrelevancy years ago. Much like Shea and other professional Patheos “writers”.

Matthew Francis: It is really fools like these: Armstrong, Eden, Shea, Ivereigh along with those clerics supporting a Church of Nice that excludes Christ and his teachings who are creating a de facto schism through their progressive Church.

Matthew Francis [to Mark Wilson]: I think DA is disingenuous and uncharitable in his critique. Vigano and Schneider have criticized the ambiguity in the documents when have led to the issues of today. 

I commented about this on my Facebook page:

She knows better than this. And now she is sitting there allowing bald-faced lies to spread about me that she knows [i.e., that I’m some flaming liberal] are not true.

Technically, she just posted my paper, and allowed the insults and ad hominem against me and others to fly on her page. But to me that is almost as bad. If one sits by and lets known lies be lobbed, then how is that much better than simply lying by yourself?

Then I started to interact with Janet herself:

What is it you think about all this, Janet? You must know that I’m no flaming liberal: I’m as orthodox as I can be (as much as you, I dare say). So why do you allow all this hogwash here, making out that I am, because I defend Vatican II?

Defending VII is one thing; attacking very good men with false charges is another. That article is intemperate, to say the least.

For instance you say Bishop Schneider rejected the authority of VII. He did no such thing – he spoke of confusion and ambiguity.

But the language you use and the insults you hurl! Yours is no measured critique of men who deserve our respect. Their critique of some of what the Pope has said and done is measured. Why are you going in the direction of an unhinged screed rather than a judicious analysis?

Isn’t it amazing how anything and everything is permitted in talking about the pope. None of that is ever “intemperate”: but let someone dare critique all the rotgut and we are “intemperate” and “attacking” persons, etc. I stand by every word of this post of mine. It wasn’t written in a rage; I was calm as a cucumber, as I am 99.9% of the time.

The point of my article was that opposition to Pope Francis goes much deeper than just any issues that are said to be about him: to a reactionary attitude that is against or too critical of Vatican II and the ordinary form Mass, and ecumenism.

I contend that Abp. Vigano has “dissed” Vatican II (I don’t think anyone here has even denied that; only denied that Bp. Schneider did), and that he has gone off the deep end with goofy conspiracy theories now, a la Taylor Marshall and Henry Sire. It’s now fashionable to make Vatican II the boogeyman for every problem in the Church. That’s what is chic and fashionable and oh-so-trendy.

I was defending Pope St. John Paul II 20 years ago (I was online back then, too). Then I defended Pope Benedict XVI against folks like Bob Sungenis and (later) Michael Voris. Now I defend Pope Francis when I think he is subject to bum raps and outright calumny. I haven’t changed one whit. Many of the people who go after the present pope also don’t like Vatican II and the ordinary form Mass, or ecumenism. And (in many cases) they didn’t like those things long before Francis became pope. I’m not just speculating. I’ve documented it several times now. It will only get worse. I’m trying to sound the warning.

There is a world of difference between what and how you write in opposition to the critics of the Holy Father, e.g., Burke, Vigano and Schneider and how you speak of and to them — tinfoil hats, rot gut, clowns, spewing out garbage. If you can’t see that, you are far gone. Calm or not.

You guys write your jeremiads against Pope Francis, that I think are wrong and wrongheaded and expressly against biblical injunctions of how to treat rulers (and I can back it up: having written 144 in-depth defenses of Pope Francis to date), and I write mine against his critics (including bishops), whom I think are wrong and wrongheaded (including now advocating various wacko conspiracy theories). Goose and gander.

The rightness of a jeremiad depends on whether what it is criticizing is actually worthy of criticism. There is nothing wrong with the literary form itself: provided it is necessary and appropriate in a given situation. Jesus and Paul did it; so did prophets in the Old Testament (including mockery and satire). If a bishop trashes a pope unfairly, he is certainly worthy of being the target of a hard-hitting jeremiad. And that’s what I did.

Do we need a refresher course in the history of how Dante placed many bishops and priests in hell, and how Cardinal Newman talked about the bishops during the Arian crisis or Belloc’s treatment of the cowardice of the English bishops during the so-called English “Reformation”?

Karl Keating stated on his Facebook page that all of the bishops should resign. Is that “intemperate”? Was that “far gone”? I say that it’s ridiculous. I criticized (yes, very strongly, because they deserve it) two inveterate critics of Pope Francis. They are entitled to be scrutinized, just as they would say the pope is. You (meaning everyone here) can attack me in this thread all you like. It doesn’t faze me in the slightest. So far it is three main accusations:

1) I’m a modernist (a demonstrable and damnable lie).

2) My rhetoric was over the top (at least arguable, unlike #1; I strongly deny it, for reasons expressed here).

3) Bp. Schneider in fact did not diss Vatican II.

No one says a word about the ridiculous conspiracy theories that Abp. Vigano is now setting forth. Perhaps it’s embarrassment, since he has been so lionized. Perhaps it’s a case of the emperor with no clothes. So I point it out, and all the ire gets directed towards me. But not one person has tackled that issue in this thread. Am I to believe, then, that y’all believe all of the ludicrous nonsense that he wrote about, that I cited in my paper?

And you want to complain about my tone? Do you really want me to go and pull out 200 statements of extreme trashing and bashing that have been made about this pope? I could put together quite a collection from your words alone, Janet. [this portion was later alluded to in a revised introduction to Janet’s OP: “Dave Armstrong makes the charge in the comments below that he could put together “quite a collection of quotations by me that would qualify as “extreme trashing and bashing” of the Holy Father”: but my intended meaning was distorted, as I clarify below]

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I will only respond to Janet Smith from now on, due to my immense respect for her work (minus her views on the pope for some time now).

I appreciate your expression of respect. I too have respected your work but this article, as I have stated, is beyond the pale. It is a rant, not an interpretation or response to critics. Your limitation of responding only to me, however, is not in the spirit of my FB threads. I enjoy seeing what others say and in the responses: it often saves me a lot of time and I learn from it. So if you won’t engage others here, I am bowing out as well.

It’s a jeremiad, as explained (which Merriam-Webster defines as “a prolonged lamentation or complaint”). So the issue is whether it is deserved or not. There were several indefensible pure personal attacks. Here are two examples p[see above]

You may think that is “dialogue.” I do not; sorry. You allowed those comments to pass without comment. Did you “enjoy” or “learn” from those? I was happy to dialogue with you, but it takes two. I do thank you, in any event, for allowing me to fully express myself without censorship, and wish you all of God’s blessings always.

Oddly, I looked for the part in your piece where Vigano and Schneider explicitly reject the authority of Vatican II–I did not find any such explicit rejection. I expected such a serious charge to be supported by incontrovertible evidence, but it wasn’t….did I miss something?

Yes you did. Read it again. It’ll come to ya. It may take a few times. Just imagine them saying this about any portion of Trent or Vatican I.

[T]he topic here is schism–you are publicly accusing Churchmen of schism, when their right to a good reputation in this regard is just as sacrosanct as the Holy Father’s.

Which is why you should have more than “interpretation”–you should have direct and incontrovertible objective proof–before claiming successors of the Apostles are in schism…

I have accused no one of canonical schism. I specifically call these positions “radical Catholic reactionary”: a term that I myself coined (as you may know). Reactionaries routinely attack four things:

1) Popes (since Ven. Pope Pius XII).

2) Vatican II.

3) The ordinary form / Pauline Mass.

4) Ecumenism.

To my knowledge, I have never said anyone was in “schism” for saying these things (contemptible though they are). At most, I will say “quasi-schismatic attitude” and suchlike, because it could lead to that. I say it about sedevacantists and (kinda sorta) about SSPX, but never about reactionaries. In this paper, I alluded to “schism” twice:

1) “The big danger now is schism, not syncretism.” [i.e., potentially, in the future] The pope is often accused of potentially causing this, but let no one dare to suggest that his accusers might be the ones to do so.

2) “quasi-schismatic buffoonery”.

The double standards in this whole debate are wider than the Grand Canyon (which I just visited again in October).

Okay–glad you are making this distinction. But it raises a fundamental question–so a bishop can reject the authority of an ecumenical council (which is what you claim is happening here in your post), but by that fact not be in schism?

I said I’m done. Not gonna keep going round and round. Janet said she’s done, so I am too. I was willing to have an extended dialogue with her. She said no. I’m supposed to wrangle with everyone here . . .

I always have made this distinction. For you to think I did not shows me that you understand little about my writings concerning reactionaries (and I thought you did). It’s tough when one’s heroes are criticized, but someone’s gotta do it once in a while. Be well.

There’s severe irony in your last sentence, my friend–as it applies not only to Vigano and Schneieder, but to Pope Francis as well…I wish you weren’t quite done, as thoughtful readers might benefit from hearing a response to the question I posed. But it’s FB and it’s late. You’re a good and faithful man and I’m glad we’re brothers in Christ. Thanks again for the conversation.

Thanks for your cordiality and kind words. I appreciate it. He’s not my hero, he’s my pope. My hero is St. John Henry Cardinal Newman: and he has been since 1990.

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I have written no Jeremiads against the Pope. The views on this thread are diverse and should not be lumped together. I don’t think you need to interact with everyone — I certainly don’t but I also don’t exclude people from the conversation. Those who object to Jeremiads should not engage in them. They should raise the tone, not lower it.

It’s simply common sense to interact with one person (the one who runs the site, and in this case, a renowned professor, whom I respect), as opposed to trying to argue with literally ten or more people at once.

This is my standard policy, even if there weren’t the usual personal attacks that you decided were perfectly fit to appear and remain in this combox. The ten-against-one scenario is a thing I have objected to as long ago as 2003, when I quit Internet forums, for this and many other reasons.

So to insist that I must interact with other people, or else you’re not interested in dialogue, is, I confess, a stance that is utterly incomprehensible to me. I haven’t lumped everyone together, and in fact, I said I would interact with Fr. Stephen, and also did (albeit briefly) with James Russell.

As usual, possible constructive (and cordial) discussion was over before it even began. And this is part and parcel of what is wrong with Internet discussion. Only the devil wins when all these polarized factions that we have in the Church today refuse to even talk to each other.

There is no way I can comment on all the comments on my thread. You know that. And as you know I haven’t censored you in any way.

You can condemn and/or censure / delete ones that are unworthy of a Christian venue. But very few do, and this is why Internet discourse of such a poor quality overall. The insulters will always bring the quality of the overall discussion down.

[to someone else] The whole article [mine] is unsubstantiated and the substantiation given doesn’t exist.

I don’t think you could find any quotations by me that would qualify as “extreme trashing and bashing” let alone “quite a collection.” That is quite an accusation amounting to defamation. Such remarks may be in articles I post but as those who follow me know I post articles that I agree with and those I don’t — such as yours. No one can be held to agree with all that is said in every article posted.

Technically, I didn’t accuse you of “extreme trashing and bashing.” I was writing generally about all the anti-Francis bashing, and then simply added that I could also collect what you yourself have said, if we are to engage in the issue of comparative “tone”. I wrote:

And you want to complain about my tone? Do you really want me to go and pull out 200 statements of extreme trashing and bashing that have been made about this pope? I could put together quite a collection from your words alone, Janet.

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It’s also fascinating that you posted tweets from Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein here and then when she came to defend herself and interact, you blocked her from your page. You haven’t even done that with me. Why block her but allow me to post here? What did she do that caused her to be blocked?

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Samuel A Schmitt: I’m confused – every heretic is now a schismatic because by their heresy they have rejected the authority of the pope, and every schismatic is a heretic because rejecting the authority of the pope is a heresy. Which one is it?

Hahaha. We are all schismatics now!

As explained to James Russell elsewhere in this thread, I have classified none of the people I have criticized in this instance as schismatics, and call them “Catholics” (as well as bishops and archbishops). I also have accused no one of heresy.

But has the pope been accused of heresy by your heroes (or yourself)? So you and Samuel have a good chuckle and falsely insinuate that I (being the subject of this thread) and/or others who are of my opinion are unjustly or ludicrously slinging around the terms “heretic” and “schismatic” when in fact it is your party which has done so, and with regard to the Holy Father.

The double standard and blindness here is literally breathtaking.

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For further discussion and documentation of Dr. Janet Smith’s seeming recent “drifting” to a traditionalist or (more likely) reactionary position, see my cross-posted Facebook thread.

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Unfortunately, Money Trees Do Not Exist: If you have been aided in any way by my work, or think it is valuable and worthwhile, please strongly consider financially supporting it (even $10 / month — a mere 33 cents a day — would be very helpful). I have been a full-time Catholic apologist since Dec. 2001, and have been writing Christian apologetics since 1981 (see my Resume). My work has been proven (by God’s grace alone) to be fruitful, in terms of changing lives (see the tangible evidences from unsolicited “testimonies”). I have to pay my bills like all of you: and have a (homeschooling) wife and three children still at home to provide for, and a mortgage to pay.
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My book royalties from three bestsellers in the field (published in 2003-2007) have been decreasing, as has my overall income, making it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.  I provide over 2600 free articles here, for the purpose of your edification and education, and have written 50 books. It’ll literally be a struggle to survive financially until Dec. 2020, when both my wife and I will be receiving Social Security. If you cannot contribute, I ask for your prayers (and “likes” and links and shares). Thanks!
*
See my information on how to donate (including 100% tax-deductible donations). It’s very simple to contribute to my apostolate via PayPal, if a tax deduction is not needed (my “business name” there is called “Catholic Used Book Service,” from my old bookselling days 17 or so years ago, but send to my email: apologistdave@gmail.com). Another easy way to send and receive money (with a bank account or a mobile phone) is through Zelle. Again, just send to my e-mail address. May God abundantly bless you.
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November 22, 2019

Abp. Viganò is supposedly the “point man” over against Pope Francis? No thank you. I was willing to hear him out, but now it is manifest that he is yet another hysterical radical Catholic reactionary and conspiracy theorist, who comes very close to denying the indefectibility of the Church: just as we have come to expect from many of the Holy Father’s critics. The big danger now is schism, not syncretism. We have bishops like Viganò and Schneider disseminating ideas like those found in absurd anti-Catholic Jack Chick tracts.

The papal (and Church) critics from within are getting more and more extreme, and are clearly imploding (slowly but surely). This will cause conscientious Catholics who might have been inclined to dislike or diss the pope, to think twice about the sort of men they prefer (to the extent that they submit to anyone) to the Holy Father and the true Mind of Holy Mother Church. I’ve been consistently warning Catholics about this for about five years now.

Sensible, rational Catholics will start to see, I think, how the factions are lining up, and they will have to be for the Church (not just the pope) or against her (and him). In a large sense that’s good. It clarifies things and exhibits a stark contrast which will make it easier for the observant, devout, committed Catholic to see nonsense, hysteria, and quasi-schismatic folly for what it is.

Joshua 24:15 (RSV) [A]s for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (

Here are some remarkable excerpts from Abp. Viganò’s “Letter #62”: “Set out into the deep”):

The building of the House of the Abramitic Family seems to be a Babelic enterprise, concocted by the enemies of God, of the Catholic Church and of the only true religion capable of saving man and the whole creation from destruction, both now and in eternity, and definitively. The foundations of this “House,” destined to give way and collapse, arise where, by the hands of the builders themselves, the One Cornerstone is about to be incredibly removed: Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord, on whom is built the House of God. “Therefore,” warns the Apostle Paul, “let everyone be careful how he builds. Indeed, no one can lay a foundation other than the one already found there, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 3:10).

In the garden of Abu Dhabi the temple of the world syncretistic Neo-Religion is about to rise with its anti-Christian dogmas. Not even the most hopeful of the Freemasons would have imagined so much!

Pope Bergoglio thus proceeds to further implement the apostasy of Abu Dhabi, the fruit of pantheistic and agnostic neo-modernism that tyrannizes the Roman Church, germinated by the [Vatican II] conciliar document Nostra Aetate. We are compelled to recognize it: the poisoned fruits of the “Conciliar springtime” are before the eyes of anyone who does not allow himself to be blinded by the dominant Lie.

Pius XI had alerted and warned us. But the teachings that preceded Vatican II have been thrown to the winds, as intolerant and obsolete. The comparison between the pre-conciliar Magisterium and the new teachings of Nostra aetate and Dignitatis humanae — to mention only those — manifest a terrible discontinuity, which must be acknowledged and which must be amended as soon as possible. Adjuvante Deo (“with God’s help”). (my colored bolding and italics)

Meanwhile, just thirteen days ago, it was announced that Bishop Athanasius Schneider: one of the pope’s most prominent critics, has rejected (at least in part: but this is very typical of the conciliar critics) the supreme authority of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (convened and ratified by two saint-popes, and enthusiastically endorsed by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis) as well.

This comes as no surprise to me at all. As I have been arguing for many years now, those with the reactionary mindset habitually bash popes, Vatican II, the ordinary form Mass, and usually also legitimate ecumenism. And so it has come to pass with Bp. Schneider, with regard to at least three of these four things. Sometimes there are nuances and degrees and “saving qualifications,” especially as a person first moves into reactionary thinking, but the movement in the same direction is almost inevitable once the trend begins.

I was recently asked in person by a friend at a group discussion at my house, if I thought Cdl. Burke and Bp. Schneider were reactionaries. I said I would have to see what they thought about Vatican II and the Pauline Mass. I already knew they were habitual pope-bashers. And then, lo and behold, there I was a mere two days later, having discovered this article in the notoriously reactionary and extreme Lifesite News“Bishop Schneider: Pachamama idolatry during Amazon Synod has its roots in Vatican II Council” (11-8-19). No one could make these things up. This is now fashionable and chic among the reactionary crowd, and many traditionalists as well: to bash an ecumenical council.

The good bishop, states (all quotes from the article now):

Here, Bishop Schneider refers to the Council’s claim that “we adore, together with the Muslims, the one God.”

In the Council’s Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium (16), the Council Fathers state: “But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.”

Bishop Schneider also refers to the attendant idea that “man is the center and the culmination of all that is on earth.”

Furthermore, Bishop Schneider also refers to the Council’s teaching on the “freedom of religion,” the “natural right” implanted in human nature by God to choose one’s own religion. While it is true, he adds, that one should not be “forced,” this new teaching also means that one “has the liberty to choose a religion.”

Here, Schneider points to the contradictions in the conciliar texts. At one place, in its document Dignitatis Humanae, the Council teaches “every person has the obligation to seek the truth, and this is the Catholic Church,” Schneider says, “but then further down it says that you have freedom of religion rooted in your nature.” This teaching is “not clear,” it is “ambiguous,” as the prelate explains, and the consequences after the Council were “that almost all Catholic seminaries and theological faculties, and the episcopate and even the Holy See” promoted “a right of every person to choose his own religion.” . . .

“This is already rooted here [in the Vatican Council],” Bishop Schneider states. “If you have a right by God given to you, by nature, also to be able to choose acts of idolatry – like the Pachamama – when it is rooted in your dignity of man even to choose a Pachamama religion: this is the last consequence of this expression of the Council text,” he explains. The expression of the text was “ambiguous” and needed to be “formulated in a different way” to “avoid these applications in the life of the Church, which we also had in the Assisi meeting of Pope John Paul II in 1986 and the other meetings, where even idolatrous religions were invited to pray in their own manner – that is to say in their idolatrous manner – for peace.” . . .

He says that what we have now in Rome, the formal performance of idolatrous acts in the Catholic Church, in the heart of the Catholic Church of St. Peter, is the triumph of the evil.” (my colored bolding and italics)

Bishop Schneider showed some signs of this negative direction in an interview dated 7-21-17 at the reactionary site Rorate Caeli:

Some of the new statements of Vatican II (e.g. collegiality, religious liberty, ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, the attitude towards the world) have not a definitive character, and being apparently or truly non-concordant with the traditional and constant statements of the Magisterium, they must be complemented by more exact explications and by more precise supplements of a doctrinal character. A blind application of the principle of the “hermeneutics of continuity” does not help either, since thereby are created forced interpretations, which are not convincing and which are not helpful to arrive at a clearer understanding of the immutable truths of the Catholic faith and of its concrete application.

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See also further Facebook discussions on Abp. Viganò and Bp. Schneider.

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Related Reading:

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Dialogue on Vatican II: Its Relative Worth, Interpretation, and Application (with Patti Sheffield vs. Traditionalist David Palm) [9-15-13]
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Series: Vs. Paolo Pasqualucci Re Vatican II
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Unfortunately, Money Trees Do Not ExistIf you have been aided in any way by my work, or think it is valuable and worthwhile, please strongly consider financially supporting it (even $10 / month — a mere 33 cents a day — would be very helpful). I have been a full-time Catholic apologist since Dec. 2001, and have been writing Christian apologetics since 1981 (see my Resume). My work has been proven (by God’s grace alone) to be fruitful, in terms of changing lives (see the tangible evidences from unsolicited “testimonies”). I have to pay my bills like all of you: and have a (homeschooling) wife and three children still at home to provide for, and a mortgage to pay.
*
My book royalties from three bestsellers in the field (published in 2003-2007) have been decreasing, as has my overall income, making it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.  I provide over 2600 free articles here, for the purpose of your edification and education, and have written 50 books. It’ll literally be a struggle to survive financially until Dec. 2020, when both my wife and I will be receiving Social Security. If you cannot contribute, I ask for your prayers (and “likes” and links and shares). Thanks!
*
See my information on how to donate (including 100% tax-deductible donations). It’s very simple to contribute to my apostolate via PayPal, if a tax deduction is not needed (my “business name” there is called “Catholic Used Book Service,” from my old bookselling days 17 or so years ago, but send to my email: apologistdave@gmail.com). Another easy way to send and receive money (with a bank account or a mobile phone) is through Zelle. Again, just send to my e-mail address. May God abundantly bless you.

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(slightly revised on 11-25-19)

Photo credit: Ipankonin (1-25-08). Reverse of the Great Seal of the United States. [Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported,  2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic licenses]

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September 4, 2018

Just to clarify and make it abundantly clear, for the record (and I’ve been saying most if not all of this from the beginning of this mess):
 
People are choosing sides. My view is to wait till all the information we can obtain is in, and make a reasoned judgment. I think we’re far from that and are only in the beginning stages. The two sides of this need to talk to each other. But that rarely ever happens anymore.
 
Holy Mother Church will survive this, as she always has. I’m very sad and angered, and disgusted and dismayed that people will leave the Church because of this tragedy, but I’m not worried or fearful or anxious at all about the Church in the long term. God is in control. I think it’s a time of purging. That is necessary in every generation (just as it was in the time of Moses).
 
Meanwhile, I continue to do my apologetics work, as I always have (though I have contributed quite a bit to these debates, too).
 
I believe it is best for the sake of the Church that the Pope Francis should speak and clarify at length. I hope he does soon. And I’ve said over and over that he should resign if it is proven that he knew about abuse and covered for it. I’ve also said that anyone who abused or covered for abuse should be defrocked, excommunicated, and exposed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They should also be tried as criminals if there is sufficient reason to suspect crimes, and if found guilty, sent to jail.
 
In order to determine those things, intensive and comprehensive, legal-type investigation needs to take place: if not by the bishops and the pope himself, then by serious and objective and as-impartial-as-possible investigative journalists (i.e., the relatively few of those that can be found).
 
These should be confined to the Catholic media. The secular media has never understood the Catholic Church and is way over its head (generally speaking) in such matters (and that’s putting it mildly). The last thing we need is their inherent heavily secular (and increasingly far-left and anti-Catholic) bias confusing things. We have enough biases on all sides within the Church as it is.
 
We should basically ignore the secular media reporting (with a few exceptions here and there: that can always be found), as well as the radical Catholic reactionary venues that lost credibility long ago (prominent among them: Lifesite News, The Remnant, Rorate Caeli, and One Peter Five). Other venues and writers (on both “sides”) exhibit an inordinate bias as well. Those on the far left of the Church spectrum (e.g., radical homosexual activists) cannot be trusted for fairness in reporting anymore than the fanatical reactionaries can. These are serious credibility issues.
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In any event, I have compiled two “Round-Ups” (one / two) where I included equal numbers of “pro-Francis” and “pro-Vigano” articles. My site is one of the few places where you can consult articles from opposing positions. And that’s because I always firmly believe in hearing and pondering both sides of any given serious debate.
I’ve also provided biblical reasons for why this crisis is no reason at all to leave the Catholic Church: that it is nothing new at all, when one becomes acquainted with Church history. And I have examined a particular case of someone leaving the Church over this, showing, I think, that the reasons (like the similar reasons of Rod Dreher) were woefully inadequate.
 
All my articles about this and about other Catholic scandals and the matter of “sin and sinners in the Church” can be found on my web page devoted to those topics.
 
I will continue to observe what is going on, and offer non-hysterical, non-fanatical, as objective and calm as possible analysis. I’m as furious and outraged as anyone else is about this (do not mistake my “coolness” and serious attempts at being as impartial and fair-minded as possible for evidence of a lack of those feelings). But it helps no one to rant and rave. Righteous indignation, where justified, is controlled and rational, not out-of-control and hysterical.
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I will continue to call things as I see them. I have expressed what I call “ultra-zero-tolerance” for any sexual abuse, and I want to see anyone who has engaged in that or who covers for it out of the Church, or at the very least out of any Church offices or positions of influence or contact with potential further victims. See my “Jeremiad” against that, written on 18 August: a week before the Vigano charges surfaced.

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Photo credit: “Lady Justice” [Max PixelCreative Commons Zero – CC0  license]

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