The Holy Office is no more.
His Holiness has laid the final nail in its coffin.
And so it passes like the many other great institutions of Christian Romanitas after the Council.
After Pope Francis.
When the Protestant heretics tore apart Europe and Christendom, the Vatican created the Holy Office in 1542 as an extension of the Inquisition to do one thing: protect the sheep from the wolves worldwide.
Cardinal Ottaviani was once the secretary of the Holy Office. Then Cardinal Ratzinger. Then the other German bulldog, Müller.
We might quibble over these later two men did (or did not do) but we can’t deny that all three had one thing in common: a pious zeal to guard the deposit of faith from the wolves.
I remember reading some quote somewhere from Ratzinger that he said the job of the Magisterium was to protect the faithful from theologians. The academics get on their high horse of hubris, like Professor Martin Luther, and commit spiritual abuse against the souls of vulnerable men, women, and children.
What we’ve seen under the pontificate of the Dictator Pope is that this pope – God save his soul from hell! – has let the wolves run loose again in the Church, dismantling the sacred depositum fidei and wrecking the faith of countless Catholics by spiritual scandal.
After Müller was forced out by His Holiness (and a brief stint by Cardinalised Ladaria who promoted his errors about the death penalty for the New New New Catechism), the pope reorganised the congregation as a mere “dicastery” and finally found the man who would head this doctrinal watch dog: an erotic poet named Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández.
Just call him Tucho “Heal me with your Mouth” Fernández.
Under Benedict in 2011, he was unable to take a post that then Cardinal Bergoglio gave him in Argentina due to his dubious orthodoxy. According to the Register he also got some great publicity from some of the people who care most about Catholic doctrine:
Incarnated Spiritual Theology (2004), a book [by Fernández] that was featured in the Argentinian soap opera Esperanza Mía, [is] about an illicit love affair between a priest and a nun.
It’s quite clear that this is an old buddy of the Dictator Pope, and the Peronist Successor of Peter is playing the dictator again. At this point Catholic parents should look realistically at the Vatican and say that the Tridentine era has now come to a close. The Holy Office is no more. A new, orthodox pope will not save us (unless he has the muscle to sack everyone in the Vatican and the Vatican Bank!).
Thanks be to God, every Catholic parent must reclaim his or her role as the true Holy Office. Indeed, as Lumen Gentium itself says, “parents are the first preachers of the faith to their children” (11). The Holy Office, that glorious office against the heretics, is now dead and gone.
Jesus Christ Himself founded His Church without a Holy Office. He founded it upon the Apostles and the chief thereof, yet in a different, and complementary way, He founded it upon parents. And he was baptised and all his household (Acts xvi. 33).
In the face of two hostile empires with huge armies (the Roman and the Persian), Christ planted the mustard seed and confidently entrusted the depositum fidei first to parents, and secondly to “those who watch over” (Greek meaning of bishops), and if the first two didn’t work, the Petrine office of Rome could judge definitively and infallibly.
Don’t worry, brother. Our children’s children will see the triumph of Holy Mother Church.
Timothy Flanders is the editor-in-chief of OnePeterFive. He is the author of City of God versus City of Man: The Battles of the Church from Antiquity to the Present and Introduction to the Holy Bible for Traditional Catholics. His writings have appeared at OnePeterFive and Crisis, as well as in Catholic Family News. In 2019 he founded The Meaning of Catholic, a lay apostolate dedicated to uniting Catholics against the enemies of Holy Church. He holds a degree in classical languages from Grand Valley State University and has done graduate work with the Catholic University of Ukraine. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.