Written by Christopher A. Ferrara
At this point in the ever-worsening Bergoglian Debacle, Pope Bergoglio would appear to have no remaining staunch defenders in the neo-Catholic establishment, save a couple of unhinged, vituperative outliers with a penchant for obscene ranting, both of whom finally had to be shown the door by EWTN’s National Catholic Register. This is a papacy only a nutter can continue to defend as soundly orthodox.
The sense of the now almost unanimous non-traditionalist constituency opposing the madness of this Pope is ably summed up by Dr. Douglas Farrow, a theology professor at McGill University, writing for Catholic World Report concerning what he calls “the troubling Bergoglio pontificate”:
The critics are right that the revolution is wrong. This is not reform; it is not even conversion. It is conquest. If it is not stopped, the gates of Hades will prevail against the Church, which will die out everywhere just as it is dying out in the lands of the revolutionaries themselves. We must appeal to Heaven to stop it and be prepared to help stop it, confident in our Lord’s promise that those gates shall not prevail and that his Church will not fail.
One could not find a harsher assessment at a sedevacantist website, yet it appears on the pages of a resolutely “mainstream” publication that could never be accused of the dreaded “radical traditionalism
Farrow’s image of conquest is quite striking. Indeed, we have a Pope who seems bent on conquering the Church in order to level it to the ground and rebuild it according to his own dystopian “dream” of what she should be, which represents the distilled essence of a degenerate neo-Modernist Jesuitism combined with the cunning maneuvers of Argentine-style power politics. Recall Bergoglio’s own statement of intent in Evangelii Gaudium (EG), a sprawling 288-paragraph personal manifesto unlike anything in the history of the papacy:
I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.
That Bergoglio sees an opposition between his “dream” and the Church’s self-preservation evinces more than the evident hubris. As he told his friend Eugenio Scalfari during that infamous interview with La Repubblica, shortly before EG appeared, not nearly enough has been done to remake the Church since Vatican II: “The council fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.” It seems we are dealing with something of a maniac who, having somehow ascended to the Chair of Peter, poses an unprecedented clear and present danger to the Faith.
The furious activity of this Pope, who seems bent on a conquest of the Church which, were it not stopped, would indeed mean, just as Farrow says, that the gates of Hell had prevailed against her and that she would die out everywhere, brings to mind that famous citation from the works of Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Doctor of the Church, in his massive compendium Controversies of the Christian Faith. In Book II of his volume On the Sovereign Pontiff, Bellarmine addresses various objections to the power of the papacy including the following:
It is lawful for anyone to kill a Pontiff, if he invades any territory unjustly: for that reason, it will be much more lawful for kings or a Council to depose a Pontiff, if he should disturb a commonwealth, or endeavor to slay souls by his example.
To which Bellarmine responds as follows:
I respond firstly by denying the consequent, because no authority is required to resist an invader and defend oneself, nor is it necessary that the one who is invaded should be a judge and superior of the one who invades; rather, authority is required to judge and punish. Therefore, just as it would be lawful to resist a Pontiff invading a body, so is it lawful to resist him invading souls or disturbing a state, and much more if he should endeavor to destroy the Church. I say, it is lawful to resist him, by not doing what he commands, and by blocking him, lest he should carry out his will; still, it is not lawful to judge or punish or even depose him, because he is nothing other than a superior. See Cajetan on this matter, and John de Turrecremata.
[Cfr. Controversies of the Christian Faith, trans. Ryan Grant (Mediatrix Press: 2015), p. 303. Cfr. also, Controversies of the Christian Faith, trans. Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J. (Keep the Faith: 2016), Third General Controversy on the Sovereign Pontiff, Book II, p. 835]
Note an aspect of Bellarmine’s judgment often overlooked: that resistance to a wayward Roman pontiff who attacks the Church is not a matter of usurping authority but rather one of simple self-defense. Note also that Bellarmine does not regard as impossible the prospect of a Pope who would “endeavor to destroy the Church.” He says, rather, that no authority would be needed to defend souls or the Church against such a Pope. Quite the contrary, one would have a duty to resist such a Pope and the failure to resist him could would be culpable as what Saint Thomas calls “indiscreet obedience” to a superior, meaning obedience to any command that is “contrary to God or to the rule they [religious] profess, for obedience in this case would be unlawful.” [Cfr. Summa Theologiae, II-II, Q. 104, art. 5].
Implicit in these judgments is the truth that no one on earth, not even a Pope, is an absolute dictator whose will is law merely by the fact of his having willed it. That is precisely the point Benedict XVI made at the very outset of his mysteriously truncated pontificate:
The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope's ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God's Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism. [Cfr. Homily for Mass for Possession of the Chair of the Bishop of Rome, May 7, 2005]
Bellarmine’s judgment is oft-cited in this unparalleled epoch, perhaps worse even than that of the Arian crisis, in which resistance to papal malfeasance has become practically obligatory if one wishes to preserve intact the faith of our fathers. But with advent of Bergoglio and “Bergoglianism,” as Antonio Socci calls it, we are confronted for the first time in 2,000 years with a realization of Bellarmine’s hypothetical Pope who endeavors to destroy the Church—a Pope who openly declares that the Church’s “self-preservation” is of less concern to him than his maniacal dream of “transforming everything.”
The destructive ecclesial transformation Bergoglio envisions includes the unheard-of notion of a “synodal Church” along the lines of schism-ridden Orthodoxy that would literally replace the Church that Christ founded. In his address on the 50th anniversary of Paul VI’s disastrous invention of a “universal Synod” periodically meeting in Rome, Bergoglio spoke of a “commitment to build a synodal Church,” declaring: “I am persuaded that in a synodal Church, greater light can be shed on the exercise of the Petrine primacy.”
Upon this synod Bergoglio will build his church, and the gates of hell would prevail against it were he the absolute monarch he seems to think he is. And what is this “synodal Church” if not merely an elaborately contrived fig leaf to hide the naked exercise of Bergoglio’s will, as we have seen with one manipulated Synod after another?
The just-concluded synodal sham “On Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” culminated in an absurdly verbose Final Document of some 25,000 words, pre-written by Bergoglio’s handpicked drafting committee and laced with subjects the Synod Fathers never discussed, including “discernment” [i.e., excusing adultery and offering Holy Communion while the offender thinks it over], “sexual orientation” and the very “synodality” by which Bergoglio seeks to impose his will. The document was provided only in Italian on the Synod’s final day and was translated orally only at the moment of hurried paragraph-by-paragraph voting by the prelates in the hall—no amendments allowed!—most of whom were unable to read or speak Italian much less ponder the mountain of verbiage they were voting on.
In an interview with Edward Pentin, Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney politely let it be known that the synod was a manipulated joke of a proceeding: “Yes, it [the Final Document] was read so fast the translators struggled to keep up, and the fathers could not take notes in their own language. So, we were not always sure what we were being asked to vote Yes or No to.” Regarding the insertion of “synodality”—meaning the instrument of Bergoglio’s will—into the Final Document, Fisher offered this devastating assessment: “Well, it wasn’t in the working document, it wasn’t in the general assembly discussions, it wasn’t in the language-group discussions, in wasn’t in the reports from the small groups — it just appeared, as if from nowhere, in the draft final document.”
As for the widely reported systematic exclusion of tradition-minded young people from the synodal and pre-synodal proceedings, Fisher had this to say:
But one of the most international of the synod fathers observed that there seemed to be no or few young people of a more “classical disposition” (his words) present to speak for that point of view and that this made the young auditors not entirely representative of their generation....No, I don’t think it was just the more traditionally minded who were shut down: We all were. The fact was that after our initial short speeches, it was almost impossible for bishops to get a hearing again in the general assembly….And then voting on it in a matter of minutes, and under terrible pressure of time, with no opportunity for further amendments. To me, that’s not the way to make doctrine.
But it is the way for Bergoglio to “make doctrine” while claiming he is merely implementing the “decisions of the Synod,” shamelessly depicted as an oracle of “the Spirit.” Hence Bergoglio’s promulgation of Episcopalis Communio (EC), which formalizes the operations of his sham synods of his sham synods as a “process [that] not only has its point of departure but also its point of arrival in the People of God, upon whom the gifts of grace bestowed by the Holy Spirit through the gathering of Bishops in Assembly must be poured out.”
Under the mechanism created by EC, Bergoglio will be able to rubber-stamp the outcomes of the synods he stage-manages from start to finish, label the final documents part of “the ordinary Magisterium of the Successor of Peter” (Art. 18) and then declare the pre-written, predetermined synodal documents he approves as “the outcome of the working of the Spirit…” (¶ 5). In this way, Bergoglio can rig one pseudo-ecumenical council after another without all the fuss and bother of a true ecumenical council at which a stubborn conservative minority might impede his designs.
The Final Document of the last Synod begins with this inadvertently telling quotation from Chapter 2 of the Acts of Apostles, deceptively cropped to hide its context, as is typical with Bergoglian citations to Scripture: “… I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17). The preposterous suggestion—which no one, including Bergoglio, really believes—is that young people, simply by virtue of being young, have the gift of prophesy and receive heavenly visions, and that “This is the experience we had in this Synod, walking together and listening to the voice of the Spirit.” Meaning, of course, the voice of Bergoglio and his inner circle.
But what Bergoglio has hidden in the ellipses is that Peter, quoting the prophesy of Joel, is rebuking his fellow Jews on the day of Pentecost, warning them of what will happen during the End Times:
[And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord,)] I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
Also omitted is the rest of Joel’s prophesy:
And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids will I pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy.And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapour of smoke.The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come.And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you, as you also know:This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain….[Cf. Acts 2:18-23]
Not exactly scriptural support for the laughable claim that young people have an inherent prophetic charism on display during Bergoglio’s Roman stage show. Quite the contrary, in context Peter is not speaking at all of an imaginary charism of prophecy in the young, but rather is exhorting the people of Israel to convert before the Christ they have crucified comes again amidst extraordinary signs most certainly not evident in any of Bergoglio’s works. And three thousand of Peter’s hearers do convert immediately—precisely as a true work of the Holy Ghost acting through the first Pope:
Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren?But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…. Save yourselves from this perverse generation.They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. [Cfr. Acts 2: 22:41]
What does it tell us about Bergoglio that the very first words of the bloated document he rammed down the throats of the Synod Fathers are a blatantly misleading Scripture citation, seemingly plucked at random from the New Testament merely because they say something about young people prophesying? It tells us that he and his collaborators have a less-than-reliable commitment to the truth, but an unshakeable commitment to obtaining whatever result “the Dictator Pope” desires.
A clearly disgusted Sandro Magister writes that Bergoglio has installed “Anything but a synodal Church” and that “[a]fter extolling ‘synodality’ as the preeminent fruit of last October’s synod of bishops”—even though the bishops never discussed it—he “has dismembered the agenda of the plenary assembly of one of the biggest episcopates in the world, that of the United States” by ordering them to take no action on the homosexual priest crisis in which he himself is deeply implicated. Likewise, Bergoglio has “abandoned to themselves, in China, those bishops who are not part of the secret accord signed at the end of September between the Holy See and the authorities of Beijing, meaning the thirty or so bishops called ‘underground’ or clandestine who resist undaunted the regime’s despotism over the Church.”
But Magister—I assume he is merely being ironic—does not recognize that “synodality” has never been anything other than a vehicle for the Bergoglian dictatorship over the Church and that it operates only in Rome, where he is in total control of proceedings that are but a masquerade for his own exercise of power.
Perhaps for the first time in her history, the Chair of Peter is occupied by someone who regards his power as absolute, even in matters of doctrine; who makes a great show of humbly acting to decentralize ecclesiastical authority, but in a way that actually concentrates it as never before in the person of the Pope. Admitting as much, the Bergoglian spokesman Fr. Thomas Rosica, the rabidly pro-homosexual English-language attaché of the Vatican Press Office, exulted as follows:
Pope Francis breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is “free from disordered attachments [quoting Bergoglio].” Our Church has indeed entered a new phase: with the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.
One could not ask for a better description of a Pope who “endeavors to destroy the Church.” Following the advice of Saint Robert Bellarmine, the faithful cannot fail to respond to Bergoglio’s efforts, in ways appropriate to their stations in the Church, “by not doing what he commands, and by blocking him, lest he should carry out his will.” Such is the unprecedented state of ecclesial affairs in this, the final stage of the post-Vatican II crisis in the Church. And such is our lot until Heaven finally grants us the holy and courageous Pope who will restore the papacy and the Church to the order God intended. No doubt that Pope will reign during the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart that Our Lady promised us at Fatima. By then, the reign of the petty tyrant from Argentina, whom God allowed to afflict the Church as our chastisement, will be only a bitter memory.