The week of November 14 to 21st, 2016 will be remembered as the one in which open war was finally declared between the two long-contending factions in the Catholic Church. And while this has caused a lot of wailing and lamenting, the truth is I have never been so happy and contented to be a traditional Catholic than I am under this pontificate of madness. Everything I thought about the modern, post-conciliar Church is being demonstrated to be true every day.
Four senior cardinals revealed to the Catholic world the fact that Pope Francis has refused — in essence — to say whether he is a Catholic or not, or wants to continue to be the pope of the Catholic Church. Francis Bergoglio has refused to answer their five excruciatingly canonically correct questions about the larger implications and interpretation of his bombshell exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.
People are in a panic. But the reality is that in this pope and this document and this conflict, we have, at last and thanks be to God, finally moved past the point where the revolutionaries that have long controlled and manipulated the Church are pretending to be good Catholic men. They have — in just the time since the four cardinals have released their questions to the public — thrown off the mask, and are insisting that from now on their new religion — that they at last openly admit is opposed to Christ Himself — is the only one allowed in the Church. Anyone who doesn’t like it, from Cardinals to pewsitters, are being shown the door. The hard choice is now immediately before us; Christ and the religion He gave the world, complete with its persecutions, or this developing and increasingly triumphant sect that controls the institution of the Catholic Church.
Since November 14th and the Silent Consistory, we’ve had quite the whirlwind, so much that without actually gluing one’s smartphone to one’s head, it would be close to impossible to keep up. Cardinals and newly-created cardinals, bishops and bishops, are contending in open, public conflict over whether the Sacraments can be extended to those in objective states of mortal sin, whether, in essence, the Church still believes and teaches as she has always taught that sin and virtue are not the same, and that there cannot be a comfortable middle ground between them. The sides — that of Christ and that of Belial — are, in short, lining up for war; and indeed, opening salvos have already been launched.
We have had the pope’s chosen men – his proxies – launching sophomoric attacks on Twitter (of all things!); we have seen the newly created Cardinals Cupich and Farrell berating and publicly chastising their seniors for having dared to ask for clarity. In the last couple of days we have had two Polish bishops formally supporting the four cardinals, and a bishop in Germany issue a statement that he would also like the pope to clarify his intentions. Earlier this week, Cardinal Hummes – one of the New Paradigm’s old guard – embarrassed himself publicly by making the outrageous claim that not a single member of the college of cardinals is against the pope’s intentions (whatever they are; he seems to know while the rest of us remain in doubt).
The latest came yesterday; the pope’s underlings dragged out a howitzer in the form of Archbishop Pio Vito Pinto, Dean of the Roman Rota, who told a conference in Spain that the four querying cardinals risk the loss of their red hats for having dared to ask for clarity. At the same time, Archbishop Chaput has joined his name to the small list of bishops formally asking the pope to say once and for all whether priests may or may not give Holy Communion to those in objectively sinful states. Chaput, answering a reporter’s question said, “If the document contains elements that any serious Catholic scholars see as ambiguous, the problems they raise need to be addressed in an honest and straightforward manner.”
So, we’ve got open warfare between men who want to remain faithful to Christ and the teaching of the Church and the pope on a matter of dogma. Pretty much the worst case scenario, previously only speculated on as a theoretical possibility by the greatest minds of the Church. And who knows what is coming tomorrow; with this pontificate, it’s been a laugh-a-minute.
Many, many people are deeply upset by all of this. But I believe their lamentation is ill-placed. In fact, Bergoglio is the pope of my joy — and I believe the best hope we have of ending the de facto schism that has existed in the Church for the last five decades. For the first time since I re-entered Catholic life in the late 1990s, I have some real, concrete hope for the future of the Church. I did not have this hope under the “conservative” pontificates of Benedict XVI and John Paul II.
At long last, the “third way” of comfortable “conservatism” is being demonstrated to be false. “Conservative” Catholic bishops are being handed a long overdue lesson in the third and most neglected of the Laws of Rational Thought: that there can be no third thing between yes and no. It gives me hope that this pope is forcing these bishops out of their conservative no-man’s land. The cloying, mendacious happy face of JPII conservatism has fallen into the mud of battle. Francis is forcing everyone to pick a side, and even the most determined of the nothing-to-see-here episcopate can no longer deny that there is a war.
I will go further and say that I think Jorge Bergoglio was God’s own choice for our times. As I have said over and over, another “conservative” pope, one who maintained the false status quo in the post-conciliar Church of happy contradictions and kept everyone comfortable would have been a much greater catastrophe. As the US housing market learned in 2008, not facing up to concrete reality — no matter how comfortable it might make you now — will do nothing more than build up a greater catastrophe later.
Under the “great” conservative pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, denial allowed this festering cancer to grow unchecked in every corner of the Church. The effects of the effeminate terror of confrontation demonstrated by so many churchmen – their decades of refusing to stand up for the Faith out of fear of looking “divisive” – have come home to roost. It is not the so-called “liberals” who have created this situation; it is the good men who have spent fifty years doing nothing.
I am rejoicing because it is clear that the time of painful cognitive dissonance is over. The period in which we tried to smile and pretend that there is no such thing as a contradiction, while the forces of irreligion stamped about trumpeting its evil, is done. Hallelujah! For 50 years, we have attempted to contain within one body both Church and anti-Church; the insane notion of the “big umbrella” that refuses to speak the truth against error. That, and not Bergoglio, was going to be the death of the Church.
It was that corrosion that was destroying the Church, dissolving it like acid. It is Bergoglio the papal wrecking ball who is the solution to this false Nuchurch that we have allowed to grow and almost eclipse the Church of Christ. He is taking these “conservative” bishops by the shoulders and – almost literally – shouting fashionable heresies into their faces and daring them to deny them. The joke is that the things he is asserting every day are nothing more than the same heresies that these bishops have winked and smiled and nodded at for all these years. Bergoglio is simply daring them to either oppose him or oppose Christ, and not allowing them to continue to fudge.
Once, a very long time ago, I went to a bookshop run by the Daughters of St. Paul. On the shelves I saw a mishmash of saints and heretics, all with nice shiny covers. I asked the nun why in a Catholic bookshop there were so many authors on their shelves that contradicted the Catholic Faith. She answered, “Well, we have to give room to every opinion.” This incredible statement perfectly encapsulates the “conservative” approach – essentially a political one – that amounted to an attempt to posit a third neutral thing between “yes” and “no’ and then claim that it represented “balance”.
Essentially, a denial of reality.
It was not the so-called “liberal” Catholic Church that lulled the great majority of lay Catholics into vice and error and indifference. It was these “conservatives,” including popes, who tried to convince everyone that we could all just get along, that reality was something we didn’t have to face, that there could be harmony between Christ and Belial. They were the ones who perpetuated the most dangerous lie of all.
Well, that illusion is now at last being shattered, and Francis Bergoglio has said, in essence, “Tertium non datur.” There is no “third way”; there is only my way or you’re out. At last the true landscape is before us all — plainly and undeniably. To the bishops and priests lamenting the loss of the comfortable John Paul II “conservative” paradigm, I would say, “Gentlemen, welcome to the desert of the Real.” It may not be pretty, but it is only in the Real that anyone can function as a minister of Christ.
I think that really, the only people who are lamenting are the ones who have not been in the war before. For us English, living on short rations in our bomb shelters, it is like hearing that the Americans have finally decided to join in. This battle is simply what it has always been: between Catholic orthodoxy and the “New Paradigm” of Neomodernism. This reality, this misery, will now have to be faced by the only men who have ever had any real power to turn the war around. It means, in short, that it’s almost over, that very soon rebuilding can begin.
Maybe the lamenters are just now starting to understand how little of the Church is left already, and are fearful about what it is going to look like when it’s over. Until now we’ve had the comforting illusion of buildings and art and liturgy that make it look as though the Faith is alive. The wasteland of post-Christian Catholicism is just now becoming clear to them. And it’s ugly. It’s certainly nowhere anyone wants to live.
Very, very soon, however, I believe the long exile of the Catholic religion from the Church that bears its name will be over. The persecution of faithful Catholics by their own bishops will stop. Priests will be able to preach the Faith once more, unobstructed by a Neomodernist hierarchy more interested in currying the favour of the world. Vocations will flourish, the religious life will flower again. These are the prelates and clergy who will go with the Bergoglian sect. The work of the Church to convert the world for the salvation of souls can finally be restarted after half a moribund century of silence and fear. The New Paradigm is about to be defeated, brought down by its own arrogance. I see nothing whatever in this that would prompt me to lament.
After two dream-like years living in Norcia, the cradle of Western Monasticism, Hilary moved unexpectedly with her three cats to the area near Perugia, where she gardens a great deal and tries not to worry too much.