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If Your Faith is Endangered by Francis…

I see many people looking for a reason to finally commit to the belief that Francis is an antipope. Why? Why does this matter so much to you? Isn’t it enough to know that he is wrong and that he seeks ways — clever ways around the confines of his papal office — to lead the faithful astray?

I responded to such a concern in the comments this morning with something that I will share again here.

Francis is almost certainly a material heretic. Whether he is a formal heretic is not ours to prove. His opinions — not his teachings, since he is very careful not to exert an authentic magisterium that commands assent — do lead people to sin, and eventually hell.

But he is, by every measurable standard, still the pope.

The Christian faith is full of paradoxes, stumbling blocks, and hard sayings. We have had popes in history who had heretical beliefs; others who allowed heresy to flourish, and were thereby complicit. Others who lived such scandalous lives that they certainly — absolutely and without question — led others to sin, and likely to hell.

They were still popes.

Stop trying to solve this yourself. Is this your Church, or is it The Lord’s? Stop thinking that the tempest will sink the Barque, lest you be admonished, like the apostles were, “Oh ye of little faith…”

He can calm the winds and the seas with a word.

God is letting this happen. And God has established an authority structure in the Church that we must be docile to, insofar as we are able within the dictates of a well-formed conscience.

If Francis is really an antipope, how does that change your daily life? Do you cease your prayers? Will you no longer attend Mass? Will you stop your spiritual reading? Will you give up on your faith?

It certainly matters in the long run whether or not he is an authentic but diabolical pope or a false but diabolical pope. But either way, he is clearly in the service of the Prince of this World, not the King of Kings.

Does he scandalize you? Good. He should. If you have faith, you recognize that he wants to destroy it. Whom resist ye, strong in faith.

God. Is. Allowing. This. For. A. Reason. Do we trust Him or don’t we? Is it so important that we know the truth right at this moment to attain salvation?

During the Avignon Papacy, St. Vincent Ferrer backed the wrong horse. He thought Clement was the real pope, where St. Catherine backed Urban (who actually was the real pope.) Either way, both were saints.

Attend to the things of heaven. See to your sanctity and salvation. Stop worrying so much about this man who steals your peace. Yes, we need to know what he’s doing in the name of the Church, but we should not despair. The Scriptures made the fallibility of Peter in all but the authority of his office very clear for a reason. God knew we would face these times. Take heart. Have faith.

249 thoughts on “If Your Faith is Endangered by Francis…”

  1. Thanks Steve. OnePeterFive is a place I go for perspectives on faith and especially on the Catholic Church under this sad, misguided man Francis.

  2. This pope is tormenting me. I have to recognize truthfully that your words are very wise and they bring me some peace.
    However, I just can’t reconcile the fact that he is allegedly infallible in matters of faith and morals with the sacriledge that he is promoting in Amoris Leticia. I just can’t. Is he or not infaillible?

  3. Althoigh an “elected” pope is called the “Vicar of Christ” on Earth, one only has to look at how Almighty God created his first angel….Lucifer, who through pride rebelled against the all holy, all mighty and all powerful and immortal God, thankfully we have been given a conscience and a mindset to pray for discernment and to listen to the stirrings within us from and by the Holy Spirit, and as such can with good conscience REJECT this person called Francis. Do recall that it was within the Society of Jesuits that Liberation Theology was birthed, later severly admonished by His Holiness, the late Great St. John Paul II. And further recall the time of Francis’ ordination as a Jesuit priest, and possibly deduce his earlier training and current thinking today.

  4. Thank you for your wise words!!


    The Pope
    Is the Pope
    In cope
    Ya dope

    But never
    Was there
    Such a Pope
    To cope

    I hope
    This Pope
    Won’t have
    To grope

    When he
    Finally comes
    To his

    The Pope
    Has a head
    Of argentine

    But never
    Was there
    Such a Pope
    Oh nope

    No trope
    Of hope
    He makes
    Me mope

    But he’s
    And not

    The Pope
    Is the Pope
    Not soap

    But never
    Was there
    Such a Pope
    To lope

    His passive
    Pride will
    Make you

    But he’s
    I must

    The Pope
    Throws a rope

    Oh nope
    The Pope

    With Christ
    From this Pope’s

    And pray
    For this
    My friend!

  5. Many good and holy priests and some bishops will be “under the gun”, to promote this heresy.
    Some will fall away and be seduced this, or will be weakened and speak untruth to their parishioners, in this regard.

    Can one not see ahead ,how this is just the beginning of greater acceptance of sin to be accepted?

    I am sorry, but cardinals must decide in short order, how to correct Francis and make this correction public for the faithful as well, including the clergy.
    Let us start there, in speaking Truth. The Holy Spirit will guide and protect.

    • A small point of news in this regard (and it is smile) but I read somewhere a bit from an excerpt of a new-ish interview of Cardinal Burke and he said that he and a number of other Cardinals are currently attempting to convince Pope Francis to write a follow-up document to AL to clarify matters. So it seems that, at the moment, the Cardinals are attempting to give Francis the chance to speak for himself and correct himself. With this latest news I doubt Francis will do so however. So, things are in motion, but I would not be surprised to find the Cardinals in a tough spot, wondering what exactly to do. The Lord always wins though, so have faith. 🙂

      • Thank you for your words. Yes, i am confident Cardinal Burke and a few other cardinals have already spoken to Pope Francis. How could they not?
        Unfortunately, Pope Francis has decided and is firm, and like a fox, will push this change in Catholic teaching without so doing formally. But, nevertheless, damage will be done and this will have so great effect on the priesthood and seminaries and of course many souls.

        Yes, the Lord always wins, but many will be lost and our Lord’s Church will cease to be graced by the Holy Spirit for a time, because of it.

        I have great faith in Cardinal Burke, and I will trust that he will do God’s will in this matter. Yes, let us pray and stay faithful, no matter what.

        God bless.

    • Only traditional church in Orlando, Fl we love so much, after 20 years is gradually gone since the diocese had get rid of one of the wisest pastor. Now weekly Latin mass is no more, female EU has gone up to altar delivering communion and very soon the altar girls, and feminism will be allover. Like PF, diocese bishop never like traditional people. Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio.

        • Now, now, don’t build up a straw man! My point is that at the moment we can’t actually know for sure if he’s an antipope and everything points to Francis being the Pope. I’m not embracing a normalcy bias. I’m as concerned as anyone about what Pope Francis is doing. It’s absolutely awful. But whether or not he’s an Antipope, well, that doesn’t really matter at this point. One day it will be made clear. Until then, we deal with what we CAN know and what we can deal with. We’re on the same side. I’m just saying don’t worry about whether he’s a pope or an antipope; he’s a heretic, that’s plain, so let’s deal with that problem!

  6. This is a good and Catholic article. Some matters should be clarified.. How many persons, and how many find a supportable reason?

    The Barque of Peter will not sink, but those of us, quite few these days, who attempt to man the pumps, should not also stop thinking and on appropriate circumstances calling out the Catholic Faith while we pump.

    Example. Anyone who knowingly declares that those who are in a state of mortal sin, may
    receive Holy Communion, is committing objectively speaking, a grave sin. I say “objectively” since who are we to judge another person.

  7. The bad popes you mentioned have never erred in faith and morals when they taught the faith to the church. Catholic apologists make much of this fact when defending the infallibility of the popes. So your analogy between the bad popes and pope Francis fails to highlight the real issue, which is the contention that following the teachings of pope Francis leads people to hell.

    Your allusion to st Vincent Ferrer is most distressing, because it implies that you believe that the saint would have continued to support the claim of an antipope if that antipope publically taught errors in faith and morals.

    As to how the issues of pope francis’s legitimacy affects your daily spiritual life, I would point you to the mass wherein the faithful assert their communion and submission to the pope. It’s problematic to say that you are in communion with the pope in one breath and suggest that submission to his teaching leads one to hell in the next.

    To say an encyclical published by the pope to teach the whole world about love and family, is not intended to be magisterial is so dubious and far from apparent truth that this presumption requires a strong defense. Francis himself has said that it contains sound doctrine, you even published a story about it!

    I am sorry I don’t mean to be a troll, and I appreciate all of your good work; it’s just the insistence that pope Francis is truly the pope while he publially teaches errors in faith and morals, are more and more reminiscent (to me) of a dead parrot comedy routine.

    For what it is worth, I will continue to hold you and your family in my prayers.

      • No it does not matter, Steve. It is still binding. Let’s just pretend his teachings are not infallible, though I disagree since they are universal acts of the Ordinary Magisterium. Regardless, if you don’t following a teaching that is binding, then it is still a mortal sin for Catholics. The teachings are binding because they touch an faith and morals, taught universally and have the authority of the Vicar of Christ behind them.

        • I think you need to read Pastor Aeternus from the First Vatican Council. The Pope is infallible when he speaks on matters of Faith and Morals only under very specific conditions. Such an act is also an act of the Extraordinary Magisterium, not ordinary. The Ordinary Magisterium is only expressed when the Pope teaches what the Church has always taught. Amoris Laetitia does not teach what has always been taught, therefore it is not an act of the Ordinary Magisterium.

          • Jafin,

            We are not talking about the Pope acting alone. We are talking about an official teaching of the Universal Magisterium. Big difference.

          • The Magisterium relies entirely upon St. Peter and his successors. What magisterial acts are there? There’s the Ordinary Magisterium which is exercised when the Pope (and only he) teaches authoritatively what has always been taught by the Church; there’s ex cathedra statements, an act of the Extraordinary Magisterium, when the Pope solemnly defines a dogma by virtue of his authority (very specific conditions for this); there are pronouncements of Ecumenical Councils when the bishops united with the Pope define doctrine and dogma that is to be binding on the whole church. There are other actions that the bishops and popes may make that are legislative and binding but are not magisterial. Which of these does AL or any of these supposed “official” teachings fall under? None. They don’t. Not magisterial.

        • It’s not binding, and all the wishful thinking in the world cannot make it so. It is impossible to bind the faithful to ambiguity and subjectivity, and AL 2 and 3 make quite clear that the document in no way attempts to be definitive.

          Stop trying to redefine the terms according to your own understanding. It’s people like you who lead the faithful to doubt themselves and despair.

          • I believe the Pope has cleared things up for you and he says the same thing AL says. I am not sure how you can consider this stuff ambiguous.

            You are the one teaching Catholics to ignore Papal teachings and not follow the Vicar of Christ. This is just the opposite of obedience and you are encouraging it. Where is the faithful submission to Mother Church?

          • Is the servant greater than the master? An apostolic successor has no right to contradict Our Lord in the Gospels. AL does this. The theological censures against AL (if you haven’t read them, you should) make clear that this is what the document does.

            Francis is extremely good at putting out his heretical ideas through non-binding, non-magisterial channels. AL was an attempt to look like a teaching document, but even at its outset (paragraphs 2 and 3) we see disclaimers about how it is a document that seeks discussion and clarity, and that it should be applied relative to cultural constructs. In other words: non-binding.

            Francis’ cronies are now trying to paint this as a Magisterial document, but they can no more make it so (and bind the faithful to error) than they can reverse the law of gravity. Merely saying that it is so does not make it so. Reality is not their plaything.

          • Steve,

            People do not get reprimanded and corrected when they don’t do or believe something that is not binding. Based on things since Vatican II, I think you would agree that punishments and corrections have been made. Just think of the SSPX. The same will happen with AL and EG which states that the Old Covenant with the Jews can never be revoked. That is a clear statement of fact and everyone knows what covenant was being spoken of. It is heresy pure and simple. The fact that pretty much no waves were made with the hierarchy of the Conciliar Church, concerning this statement, just shows how far eclipsed the Church really is. Show me a priest who will not do as AL says, and I will show you a priest reprimanded by his bishop for not doing as he was told. There may be an exception here or there but that is not the norm. And show me a bishop who won’t tote the line, and I will show you a bishop looking for a new position soon.

          • Steve, you said the teachings are not binding. I am pointing out that they are simply by the fact that those who disagree are being reprimanded and corrected. If they were not binding, then one would have free liberty to disagree.

          • They are not binding. The faithful cannot be bound to ambiguity and relativity. To which propositions are they bound if even the document itself admits that it is a discussion piece seeking clarity and subject to cultural norms?

            You’re falling into the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. It does not follow.

          • I do not see how an exhortation can unbind a previous encyclical, such as Veritatis Splendor, since an exhortation is lower level teaching than an encyclical.

  8. “I see many people looking for a reason to finally commit to the belief that Francis is an antipope. Why? Why does this matter so much to you?”

    So I can write it in good conscience when I send in my letter of resignation to my bishop…….

    • Hang in there Deacon, hang in there.. I need to spend much more time before the Blessed Sacrament myself. I don’t think we can ever know the abandonment and betrayal that Jesus had to endure, this is a smaller thing. We can’t take our eyes off Christ.

      • Agree absolutely – we can never take our eyes off Christ. But sometimes a stand must be taken for Christ which means saying “no” to one’s lawful superiors.

        • My children correct their father all the time. And I am thankful. You probably deal with some differing egos. My prayers. Hang in there.

        • Deacon Augustine, You will be in our prayers, please stay strong! Fight the good fight as Saint Paul said and if the understanding of scripture of his texts is correct he didn’t have the easy, comfortable life. Neither did Jesus he was betrayed completely by one of the original 12. Remember God never abandons us!

    • Please don’t throw in the towel – that would only delight these Marxist/Masonic/Modernists & we faithful Catholics need all the help & manpower we can muster at this very difficult time in the history of the CC.

      • I don’t mean resigning from Holy Orders – which would be an impossibility anyway what with indelible marks and all that. But as a member of the diocesan curia I can foresee me being called upon to lend some kind of support or put some kind of positive spin on AL even if it involves cherry-picking “the good bits”. I won’t do that, just like I wouldn’t tell my children to pick the good bits out of a poisoned banquet. The whole thing needs to be trashed.

        I will resign from the curia rather than going along with any of this disgusting farce.

        • I’m glad you clarified your situation. No-one should be supporting AL which needs to be rescinded. All the rumours of background meetings of certain Cardinals (Burke inc.) trying to get PF to write a follow-up to AL which would extract the contentious bits need to be dismissed, as nothing but complete binning of this Binding Document will do.

    • Dear Deacon Augustine, Is it not possible to change your parish and bishop? Here in France there are good priests with the same problem however they keep going, it may be the prayers of the parishioners that keep them going, maybe ask your parishioners for prayers you don’t have to say why you need them. Our priest when he arrived here said to a lady at the end of mass “please pray for me” her response was “why are you sick”. (I hope that the humour filters through on her response!

      • Dear Christopher, thanks for your concern and prayers. However, my parish is not particularly problematic and my bishop is one of the best there is – he is one of the good guys. The problem with him being a good guy, though, is that in today’s Church that makes him particularly vulnerable. There are people above him and people below him with knives in hand ready to stick them in his back. This means (like many others) he is only prepared to go so far with battles that cannot clearly be won.

        It is easier for nobodies like me to kick up a big stink and make a scene than it is for a bishop. 😉

  9. God is testing us before the Warning, the greatest act of mercy in 2,000 years when we will see our lives as God sees them.
    After the Warning, the secrets of Medjugorje will be revealed which will change the world as it has never been changed before.

  10. Thanks Steve for bringing clarity to this sad state that we are in. After reading your website yesterday, I was depressed realizing that Pope Francis responded to AL for the Argentinian bishops but refuses to even acknowledge the request for clarification or a retraction of AL.
    But in light of your article today, you have put it into complete perspective, thanks again.

  11. Go Steve!! 🙂

    I would add, don’t let Pope Francis steal your peace! And pray for him! With true charity! Charity isn’t just for the people we like.

    Matthew 5:47
    ‘And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? Do not also the heathens this?’

    1 Corinthians 13:4-7
    ‘Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’

    • I recommend this, which I say in my morning prayers every day:

      Almighty and Everlasting God, have mercy on Thy servant Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with Thy help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to Thee and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

      If he rejects God’s guidance, that’s his problem, not mine. I am asking for it on his behalf anyway.

  12. Francis is indeed a great scandal, but such a scandal doesn’t make me lose faith or peace, but increases it because I must learn my faith better and deeper, thus bringing me closer to the Truth, Jesus Christ. If you aren’t close to Our Lady, who is the *best* way to the Truth, by praying the daily rosary and doing regular Eucharistic adoration, start *now*. We are to obey Truth first and foremost, no matter who it comes from. In these days, the old adage “consider the source” must be practiced, and we must know our faith sufficiently to distinguish lies from truth. Giving Holy Communion to unrepentant adulterers is a lie, even when it comes from a guy wearing white who refuses red shoes. Stick the to unchangeable truths of the Church and refuse all this modernist claptrap. Let that righteous anger drive you right into the arms of Jesus Christ. If you want to better understand how Francis thinks, first read Pascendi Dominici Gregis by St. Pope Pius X and then Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike.

    • Just wondering: why are you recommending a book dedicated to the Evil One? I wouldn’t touch Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike with a 10-foot pole.

      I would recommend The Jesuits, Vatican and The Keys of This Blood all by Malachi Martin.

      • Because Bergoglio is also dedicated to the evil one through the same organization – Freemasons. Recall how Freemasons praised the raising of Bergoglio to the papacy. Freemasons have never done that before, especially as the official teachings of the Church strongly condemn that satanic organization.
        Yes, the Jesuits by Malachi Martin is another good but long read to see how Jesuits think in general. That religious Order won’t be around much longer.

  13. I would disagree with “His opinions — not his teachings” since any of the formal documents, even a lower level like AL, are put into the AAS (Acta Apostolicae Sedis), the Official Acts of Holy See. Another example: Laudato Si. These are Francis’ teachings promoted formally, although not infallibly, hence can and do contain errors. I certainly won’t be accepting any of the climate change poppycock and never confess my use of air conditioning. Nor can even a pope order me to recycle plastic (although I do).

    In addition, ambiguity was in V2 documents also, but Francis takes that black art to its ultimate expression.

  14. Good piece, Steve. But I must ask… How do you reconcile this part of the article:

    “God is letting this happen. And God has established an authority structure in the Church that we must be docile to, insofar as we are able within the dictates of a well-formed conscience.”

    …with your republication of Hilary White’s SSPX commentary just the other day? I was extremely disappointed to see you supporting such rhetoric.

    You demonstrate here that you understand the necessity of adherence to the structure of the Universal Church as a fundamental criterion for Catholicity. And yet Hilary’s piece was essentially cheering the SSPX to stay put. Do your words above not directly indict Hilary’s? Which is it, Steve?

    • She actually didn’t say they should stay put. She said that if they chose to do so, they should spring the trap. All she was asking for was the intellectual honesty not to say that it wasn’t a trap.

      I’ve made my position on the SSPX clear multiple times. It hasn’t changed since I wrote this:

      That said, it would be imprudent for the SSPX to have fought so long and so hard to gain concessions that would allow their core mission of preserving the faith and sacraments whole and entire to survive only to walk headlong into the guillotine. What they are fighting for is good. My only problem with it has ever been how they’ve gone about it, and even there, I’m willing to cut some slack because of their perceived state of necessity.

      • To control and undermine the Catholic Church just like NWO wants to enslave the whole world they have to cut down USA first, the greatest nation on earth. The Catholic Church is a like, considered as a public enemy number one, the only true Church keeps fighting the devil and protecting souls in 2000 years. No more tradition the church will be a mess of liberalism, feminism and modernism that reign and we can predict the outcome. Keep praying.

  15. Scandalized by Pope Francis?? Really?

    Shallow Westerners.

    How about the fact that thousands of innocent little girls throughout the Middle East and Asia have been – and ARE being – kidnapped, raped, and forced to “convert” to Islam while their grieving families cry their eyes out EVERY DAMN NIGHT.

    THAT is a “scandal” to anyone who believes in an omniscient, omnipotent, and omni-beneficent God. Dontcha think?

    Grow a pair.

    Pope Francis utters material heresy. No kidding, fool. He’s obviously an evil Pope. But THAT is what makes you “question” your faith? Really?

    Then you are a shallow shadow of a real Christian. Because there are MANY other MUCH more serious questions that should occur to you before that.

    God exists. God is 100% in control. Pope Francis is a heretic.

    But, again, grow a pair, my friend. There are many other “scandals” in the world that should “shock” you more than some Argentinian Marxist who happens to be Pope saying stupid things in Rome.

    Little Christian girls living in Muslim Pakistan and Egypt are REGULARLY abducted, forcibly “converted” to Islam, then “married” to some old Muslim pervert and then forcibly RAPED. Repeatedly. For Years.

    THAT doesn’t scandalize you??? But some old Argentinian Marxist saying “heresies” in Rome does??

    Then you are a [typical] SHALLOW American fool.

    Goodness. Open your damn eyes, man.

    • I understand what you are saying. But I just want to add a bit. As an Australian fool 😉

      Those of us in the West do live very comfortable lives, very often more than we know.
      The people on this website are concerned about the collapse of Catholicism, the collapse of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth (not total, never total, this is not a Catholic belief), which will usher in terrible times. They seek to prevent such atrocities as you describe.
      The voices here are trying to prevent terrible things, not from weakness, though maybe through human weakness poorly and sinfully.

      It is true that it is beyond time for men to be men again, and women women. The path has almost been lost. In a time where Apple applaud that we can now catch Pokemon with a watch, making Pokemon a seamless part of our lives, it seems we are living in a world gone mad. The West in particular is very often in a fantasy state which is now fast becoming a collective lunacy. But the issue here is not so much one of ‘softness of living’, and ‘seeing what counts’, the Kingdom of Christ on Earth more than ‘counts’. But in what it means to be a Christian man or woman. What is it that conforms us to Christ? What is that which does not?

      Our struggle in this life is to become that which God made us to be. We cannot do it apart from learning to carry our crosses with the peace of Christ. It is the challenge of our lives.

      God be with us all! Be our strength! Let us see what is real and what is smoke and mirrors that we may all follow the path to Christ!

      God bless you Joseph!

    • First of all, please lower the decibel level – I could hear you shouting over here.

      Second, I strongly suggest that you get True or False Pope by John Salza and Robert Siscoe

      Only a general Council or a group of Cardinals can declare Pope Francis has severed himself from the Church and that the faithful are absolved from all allegiance to him. So please don’t throw around the statement Pope Francis is a heretic.

      The more you hate the things he says and does, the more you should pray for him. We must hate the sin but love the sinner.

    • Joseph,

      Scandal is defined in the Catholic Encyclopedia as follows:

      According to St. Thomas (II-II:43:1) scandal is a word or action evil in itself, which occasions another’s spiritual ruin. It is a word or action, that is either an external act—for an internal act can have no influence on the conduct of another—or the omission of an external act, because to omit what one should do is equivalent to doing what is forbidden; it must be evil in itself, or in appearance; this is the interpretation of the words of St. Thomas: minus rectum. It is not the physical cause of a neighbor’s sin, but only the moral cause, or occasion; further, this moral causality may be understood in a strict sense, as when one orders, requests, or advises another to commit the sin (this is strictly inductive scandal, which some call co-operation in a broad sense), or in a large sense, as when a person without being directly concerned in the sin nevertheless exercises a certain influence on the sin of his neighbor, e.g. by committing such a sin in his presence (this is inductive scandal in a broad sense). For scandal to exist it is therefore essential and sufficient, with regard to the nature of the act and the circumstances under which it takes place, that it be of a nature to induce sin in another…

      So in fact, what Francis is doing — leading people into sin either by permission or by giving them cause to doubt Christ’s promises and abandon the Church — is still a far more profound occasion of scandal than what is happening in the Middle East.

      Yes, what’s happening there is terrifying. But as Tertullian so famously wrote, “The Blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” The Christians being killed and tortured today are no more a scandal than those torn asunder in the Colosseum. It is a witness to their fidelity, and it should strengthen us in our faith, not lead us away from it.

      Charging those who are suffering serious spiritual doubt because of this papacy as being whiny victims of first world problems helps nobody. In point of fact, Francis represents a legitimate cause of concern. My point in all of this is to admonish those reading to move beyond the feeling of helplessness they are enduring to an understanding that their lack of power is by design: this is God’s Church, and like Christ being scourged, He will endure it until He is satisfied that it must end, no matter the pain it causes.

  16. I still can’t get past the fact when I see Francis that he’s more concerned about Conservation than Consecration! World War III and economic collapse are lurking around the corner, paganism and radical Islam are riding new heights in the West, people seem to be at each others’ throats now more than ever and well at least Pope Francis is ready to obey Jesus and consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to help get us out of this mess!!!

    Oh..wait…he’s not doing that at all is he? He’s more concerned it seems about making sure we put paper and plastic in the right recyclable containers! Yep, global warming, uh I mean “climate change”, is definitely more important I guess. Climate change?? Ladies and Gentlemen, the weather for New York City and its environs some ghastly day between now and say 2020: Temperature in Central Park: 1000 degrees, winds out of the south at 750 mph; weather: mushroom cloudy! Kyrie Eleison Christe Eleison

  17. During the 2000s, many in the hierarchy were exposed as either committing gross sexual sins or knowingly facilitating them. Many of these men remain in power and/or on the Church’s payroll even in cases where they have been removed from ministry. And the laity has stood by and demanded…nothing.

    Now we are *surprised* at this natural consequence of decades (centuries?) of bad behavior? “For this reason God gave them up to their reprobate minds.”

  18. “Whether he is a formal heretic is not ours to prove.” Pope Francis, prior to being elected pope condoned same-sex sexual relationships and thus same-sex sexual acts, as long as these relationships were “private”, did not include children, and were not called marriage. We do not need to prove that someone who condones same-sex sexual acts is no longer in communion with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and thus the election of Pope Francis cannot possibly be valid.

  19. Thank you, Steve. As a candidate in the RCIA I found this very encouraging. There are many times my husband and I have looked at Pope Francis, the sexual abuse within the church, and the slide towards Protestantism and loose morals and said “What a time to be joining the Catholic Church.” Our local Parish doesn’t even seem particularly keen for us to convert. Sometimes I wonder if we are making a mistake. But I keep coming back to this: Where else would we go? I have been convinced the Catholic Church is the One True Church. So we follow Christ. We attend Mass. We teach ourselves the Catechism. We learn to pray the Rosary and begin to know Our Mother. We look forward to receiving the Sacraments. And I thank God that I can access good teaching from the truely faithful online.

    • God bless you and your husband. I’m overjoyed to hear of your conversion.

      My wife and I converted from evangelical Protestantism a few years ago. We knew virtually no serious Catholics (we now know a few more, but they don’t live close). All our knowledge was gathered online. It was a difficult process. But the graces we have been given by being Catholic, by receiving the Very God, Christ Himself at communion, and from the prayers of Our Mother and the saints — these are indescribable. The angels ascend Jacob’s ladder with our prayers, and descend carrying grace upon grace. Our closeness to Christ has much greater depth, breadth and intensity than when we were Protestants. And we know this comes from being, in very truth (not just as a metaphor) part of His Church, His Body, which is the Catholic Church.

      May I take the liberty of giving a little advice? Firstly, pray the Rosary every day without fail. It should be like breathing — you do it no matter how exhausted you are.

      (Obviously you can pray the Rosary before you’re received, but I assume you already know that.)

      Secondly, when a person is on the path of wickedness, the devils seek to encourage and draw him further along this path to destruction. When he is on the path of light, the devils do the opposite: discourage him, distract him, do anything, anything at all, to force him away. So expect discouragement; expect an attack; be ready. I think St Theresa of Avila says somewhere that we must be like people who go to bed armed, eat armed, who are always ready for an attack. Don’t be afraid, but expect something. Say the St Michael prayer daily.

      Which links nicely we my third piece of advice: don’t worry too much about what the hierarchy is doing. It’s not about the hierarchy: it’s about Christ. The hierarchy has a role, and you have a role. Worry about yours. You are better off reading the saints than stressing about what they’re doing in the Vatican. (By all means read the good, traditional sites, but in moderation.) In particular, I would recommend St Therese of Liseux and St Francis de Sales for beginners.

      Fourthly, fulfil the duties of your state in life. That is immensely pleasing to God, a great means of penance and self-denial, and a sure path to salvation.

      Fifthly (and finally!), after you’ve been Catholic for a little while, consecrate yourself and your household to the Immaculate Heart according to St Louis de Montfort. More generally, always go to Mary, for everything. Don’t be afraid of giving Christ less glory by doing so.

      And one more thing: when you’re investigating the Catholic Church, don’t sweat the details. You don’t need to understand every single doctrine. You don’t need to answer every single argument that Protestants throw at you. You don’t need to understand exactly what level of authority such-and-such a pronouncement or teaching has. You don’t need to understand exactly who is and isn’t saved, down to the last iota. You just need to remember the big picture: that Christ, who has all authority in heaven and earth, has given this authority to His Church, and that He wills you to join yourself to this Church.

      I’ve talked enough. You are in my prayers.

      • Thank you so much for your advice! It really helps to hear from those who have walked a similar path. We have come from a Pentecostal church (with some very questionable teaching!) , with a brief stop-over in the Anglican Church. We have no Catholic friends or family. Our learning has also largely been online. We have four children under nine, and our conversion will be hard on them as we change churches and schools.

        I just read your comment to my husband – I think he particularly needed to hear your last paragraph. He’s very academically minded and struggling with the idea of converting without understanding all the nuances of Catholic theology. I, on the other hand, feel I’ve been led to the Church by the Holy Spirit and haven’t had the same struggle. I have been praying the Rosary most days for the last few weeks. I will commit to a daily practise. The Rosary is bringing me so much peace already.

        Thank you again for such a long response! We will take your advice on board, it is a real blessing to us.

        • God bless you for making this decision now! I was received into the Church 6 years ago from evangelical Christianity as well, and my wife (then fiancee!) was received 5 years ago, also from the evangelical world! At that time the abuse crisis was in the news a lot. Let me tell you, there is no better place to be! I was fortunate to have a couple (as in literally 2) faithful Catholic friends at the time, so that did help.

          English Catholic gave some very good advice, the same advice I’d give actually though stated much better than I! I just got home from Mass about 20 minutes ago and I’m just so grateful again for the Lord bringing me home! And I’m so happy to hear you’re coming home too! Welcome, welcome, WELCOME!!!

          You’ve also found a wonderful online community here. I’m not sure where I’d be without it! (None of my much more numerous now Catholic friends have much of a Traditional view… orthodox for the most part, but still in the post-V2 world.)

        • Children adapt very well with the guidance of their parents..The Rosary for me is the most precious gift.Blessed Mary Ever Virgin and St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s spouse on earth will guide you and your children.They will protect you for they will intercede for you to the Lord Our God. Always keep your Rosary at a hands reach, and here is a beautiful prayer to St. Joseph.
          O glorious St. Joseph,

          to you God committed the care

          of His only begotten Son

          amid the many dangers of this world.

          We come to you

          and ask you to take under your special protection

          the children God has given us.

          Through holy baptism

          they became children of God

          and members of His Holy Catholic Church.

          We consecrate them to you today,

          that through this consecration

          they may become your foster children.

          Guard them,

          guide their steps in life,

          form their hearts

          after the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

          May God Bless you and your family.

        • Glad I can help a fellow convert.

          While it’s not necessary to understand every nuance of doctrine, your husband can rest assured that the Faith is in accordance with reason. There is a difference between “the details of this aren’t clear” and “this is illogical”. Sometimes Protestant (and atheist!) apologists will try and confuse the two.

          A person may not always understand how ‘infallible’ a particular doctrine is. There isn’t always a formula for working it out with certainty. But that doesn’t undermine the Catholic claim that Christ’s authority lies in the Pope and bishops; it just means that the acts of this authority aren’t always easy to discern. Two quite different things.

          (Sometimes the acts of the authority _are_ easy to discern though — like when they pronounce an anathema.)

          On the other hand, the Protestant ‘system’ of sola scriptura is impossible from the get-go, because there’s no way even in principle of resolving disagreements on doctrine. Protestants disagree on everything, and they have no way of knowing who’s right, and they never will have any way of knowing who’s right. Christ didn’t intend us to have such confusion.

          One more thing: have you thought about contacting an FSSP/ICKSP priest, if your parish isn’t supportive? Even if you live a long way from one, I’d recommend writing to them. I know they’d be only too pleased to help.

          • I hadn’t thought of contacting a more traditional priest. I live in a town just outside Melbourne, Australia. I know of a church about an hour from us that I think is FSSP, and there is an SSPX church on the other side of Melbourne, but that’s almost two hours drive. (If there are any Aussies reading this who are aware of more traditional parishes in Melbourne or Central Victoria I would love to hear from you!) Are you suggesting I should write to a traditional priest for spiritual direction?

          • Just remembering that they are having Confirmations on Sunday 25th of September. Probably too late for you to join depending on where you are in your preparation, but it would be good to go to to see what happens. It is a big group and they probably won’t have confirmations again till next year.

            God bless!

    • You have both been blessed through the grace of God. You are both being called to follow the One True Church THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. May the Good Lord Bless You Both.

    • Your entering the church and English Catholic’s story give us cradle Catholics hope in a time of concern. Also, Steve’s article helps to keep things in perspective.

    • Grace,

      So very glad that you and your husband are entering the Church! This is an exceptionally challenging time to be converting. But for whatever reason, this is the time that Christ has called you, and so this is the right time.

      I am also a convert from Protestantism. I would encourage you strongly not to join the SSPX out of concern about Francis. Vatican II is not a false Council, and John Paul II is truly a saint, not a Modernist.

      The Church will get through the pontificate of Francis, just as she has passed through many tests and trials before. Do not doubt what you have come to know about the Catholic Church, but hold on to it.

      • …if those are your reasons for dissuading one from the SSPX then they are faulty, Jordan. But time reveals all. And part of the Church’s getting through many tests and trials is often wrapped up in having to correct issues like making an outcast of the likes of St. Athanasius.

        The Society’s holding to the truth about VII is what is helping to facilitate the pulling back the facade of novelty being somehow binding. It isn’t.

        • Part of the enemy’s goal in the present time is to divide Traditionalists from so-called ‘conservatives’ (i.e., those like myself who hold that John Paul II is not a Modernist, and in fact a saint, and that Vatican II is not a false Council). Traditionalists and conservatives, despite real disagreement, are natural allies against what is happening. But we are divided, which serves the enemy’s plan nicely.

          You would say that as long as I refuse to see that V2 is the source of Francis, I won’t be able to effectively respond to the problems. But I would argue that V2 was not the triumph of Modernism, and that Francis is betraying the magisterium of John Paul rather than continuing the same trajectory.

          • Catholics who hold the Catholic faith are supernatural allies. As for JPII, his sainthood is not a matter for me to parse as, despite what his life consisted of, if he received a plenary indulgence or expiated all of his sins prior to death, then, yes, he is a saint.

            In other words, I do not sit in judgement of him, but rather look to the actions that were part of his life. You may not find them to be modernist in nature, others do. And not out of personal opinion, but rather just looking at said actions for what they were. Again, not my place to judge and I wouldn’t want to.

            “…You would say that as long as I refuse to see that V2 is the source of Francis, I won’t be able to effectively respond to the problems.”

            No, I wouldn’t. I would say that VII was a step on the ladder for those with goals to undermine Church teaching. JPII may have tried to mitigate the damage caused by wide open VII novelty doors, but still didn’t shut them. Francis seems to want to take the doors off the hinges and call it all good.

            As for a “false council” nobody is saying that. Vatican II was a pastoral council that resulted in the floating novelty of novelty. That novelty has caused confusion. And Francis continues confusion. Making a mess with a grin.

            If you don’t want to connect those dots, that’s up to you. But that doesn’t pit us against one another. Not in my view. For matters are what they are. And time and patience reveals many things we would have never thought we could believe, but are.

    • Are you attending a Latin Mass parish? Do you know how to find one? It is really important to have a good start especially as you have children. You can see where there are some Fraternity of St. Peter ones here: If they don’t have any close by still contact them and they will be able to help you.

  20. I have basically been to the same Church since I was born. My mum still goes there and my two sisters and (some of their) children go there.

    My two sons went to the school and we were married there. It is our church.

    Every week we have a “as Pope Francis says” bit in Mass. As well as in the newsletter. But also the Church that we occasionally attend on Sunday evening has something similar.

    Going to Mass at either of these Churches, I know that I am going to be annoyed. Even if what on the rare occasion “Pope Francis says” is something reasonable, I know I am going to be annoyed just hearing his name.

    I am going to Mass knowing that I am going to be annoyed. Is that right?

    • Do you have a Traditional parish near you? FSSP? SSPX? ICK? Indult? I would travel a good deal to not be annoyed at Holy Mass on Sunday and have a local shepherd who actually feeds and defends his sheep:+) Look up the websites of the above Trad options…and find a new “our church”. Worth it:+) God bless~

      • Thanks for the advice.

        If I did though, it would be “my Church”, not “our Church”

        The family is split into three.

        (1) Some of those who have been to Catholic School recently (and therefore don’t believe in God at all),
        (2)those who like (or at least don’t dislike PF) and wouldn’t dream of going to TLM (including my mum a Convert, ) and
        (3) me.

        I do occasionally go to TLM (Friday) but I am as likely to be abused for going to that Mass as lauded for going to Mass

        • Dang, you are surrounded on all sides:+( It sounds like you are enduring persecution. Sadly, you aren’t alone in dealing with blood family who are off the reservation, lukewarm etc. If you are being abused for going to the TLM I would see that as a sure sign that the enemy doesn’t want you going thus it’s probably doing you lots of good. So keep going…fight the good fight…it’s tough to deal with the people close to us who the enemy uses to abuse us…but I think you’ll get fed spiritually at the TLM to where you will be able to detach and fight better:+) Just my thoughts:+) Hang in there, k? God bless~

  21. Good stuff Steve. We should recognize the Pope for what he is and do the following:
    –Recognize that much of what he says is confusing and of little use.
    –Know that this has happened before in the Church.
    –Keep the faith.
    –Pray for the Pope.

  22. Anyone who actually cares enough about the Catholic faith to study it, understand it, and love Christ, His Mother, and His Church (that is, those who frequent this site and others like it) aren’t the ones, in general, whose faith is at risk from this pontiff. We know Francis’s limitations (perhaps better than he does), and we are intelligent enough to know that we are not obligated as Catholics to treat Francis as some sort of divine oracle whose every word and deed MUST be considered a Message from God!™

    My concern and prayers, rather, are for those newly-converted Catholics who have entered the mainstream Novus Ordo Church and are thus unfamiliar with traditionalism, as well as for cradle Catholics within the typical Novus Ordo parish (the so-called “conservatives”) who are not apathetic and actually try to live the Faith in their daily lives. For these cohorts, Francis’s papacy is nothing short of a disaster. Having been conditioned by the mainstream Catholic media during John Paul II’s and Benedict XVI’s pontificates to believe that the Pope speaks for God at all times and that novelties introduced into the Church must be accepted without question (e.g., Communion in the hand, female altar servers, “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion), Francis represents nothing more than the inevitable cognitive dissonance that arises from such a mindset.

    Steve said in this piece, “God is allowing this for a reason.” I firmly believe that the reason is so that we can help the people I have described come to true Catholic tradition in order to strengthen the numbers of true believes within the Church. The wheat is being separated from the chaff, and it is our role to ensure that as many people as possible are helped into becoming that wheat. If I can go from a “conservative neo-Catholic” to a “traditionalist”—thanks in large part to the online presence of the FSSP priests in Sarasota, as well as traditionalist blogs and publications—within a year and a half, then so can others.

  23. “But he is, by every measurable standard, still the pope.”


    St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church, wrote:

    “(A) Pope who is a manifest heretic, ceases in himself to be Pope and head, just as he ceases in himself to be a Christian….”

    –St. Robert Bellarmine, On the Roman Pontiff, Vol. 1, Book II, Chapter 30, trans. Ryan Grant [Mediatrix Press, 2015], pp. 304-310.

    • Pope Honorius I was, by all accounts, a manifest heretic, but the Church never said he was not pope. It just anathematized him and called him a heretic. Until the Church itself speaks on the matter, we have no way to truly say if he is Pope or not. Measurable standard. And besides, the point here isn’t whether he’s the Pope or not. The point is that he’s bad either way. And for all intents and purposes, he wields the power of the Pope in the institutional and earthly church. What he binds on earth may not be bound in heaven but it is bound on earth, and earth is where we live.

      • St. Bellarmine argues that Pope Honorius was NOT a heretic. Since he is a declared Doctor of the Church, we must take his teaching over any other who is not a Doctor of the Church.

        • From the Sixteenth Session of the Third Council of Constantinople: “To Theodore of Pharan, the heretic, anathema! To Sergius, the heretic, anathema! To Cyrus, the heretic, anathema! To Honorius, the heretic, anathema! To Pyrrhus, the heretic, anathema!” The Holy Roman Catholic Church in a solemn pronouncement in ecumenical council called Honorius a heretic. I’m not sure where St. Bellarmine argued with an Ecumenical Council, but he’s simply wrong.

      • He was condemned for failing to stamp out Monothelitism (and actually allowing it to flourish by the suppression of theological debate on the matter.) The anathema declared posthumously against him states:

        “We anathematize Honorius, who did not seek to purify this apostolic Church with the teaching of apostolic tradition, but by a profane betrayal permitted its stainless faith be surrendered.” – Third Council of Constantinople

        • True, and I probably should have said material heretic as opposed to manifest. There is some debate over the exact situation but it does seem to be that Honorius did not simply let the matter continue but may have actually encouraged it. Apparently, Honorius sent a representative to a synod in Cyprus in 634 to argue for Monothelitism, after which he suppressed the debate. Regardless, we know what the Church said, and I suppose at this point it’s splitting hairs whether he was actually a heretic or not. He was anathematized by the Church. How much worse for a man who actually spreads, promotes, and teaches heresy as the successor of Peter.

    • So why are the faithful cardinals, bishops, priests, lay people and all real Catholic waiting for. Stand up and fight defending RCC. This will be a right thing to do and God will help.

  24. “Why? Why does this matter so much to you?”
    The question’s final two words attempt to make subjective the entire matter.

    This matter is vital, and one of objective truth.

    Because the members of the body have a right to know which is their head.
    Because two men in Rome use the title Pope, in mutual approval.
    Because two men wear the white that only the one Pope wears.
    Because the fabricated “Emeritus” is accidental and not essential.
    Because the Catholic Church is one.
    Because the Catholic Church is a monarchy.
    Because the Catholic Church is the perfect society.

    Because they are attempting to split the papacy asunder.
    Because they are attempting to create a diarchy, while denying their attempt.
    Because they inflict violence upon the intellect by saying 1 pope = 2 men.
    Because they’ve been at this for 50 years and they will never stop.
    Because they created a different religion. (H/T Hilary White)
    Because they hate the Holy Faith.

    Because compromise is fatal to Catholicism.
    Because the status quo must no longer be defended.
    Because the obvious can no longer be denied.
    Because this sedition cannot be massaged away from the Catholic mind.
    Because now we’re being told it doesn’t matter.

    Because they deepen the confusion of the faithful.
    Because the eternal destiny of souls are at stake.
    Because we have to battle for our Mother with the fullness of Truth.
    Because to battle for the Church we must understand anew their crimes.

      • No problem there, louiseyvette. That is, the laic’s position not having authority to decide is neither in question nor is it the problem. The problem is that the one who must decide and act with clarity, Pope Benedict XVI, will not do so.

        As for the simple laic, I have a right to hear and know from the Pope’s own dear lips, what this situation is and is not. Without clarity from Benedict XVI, I am left to follow my own, duly formed, Catholic conscience. The Church is Holy Mother, is divine, and is impeccable. She cannot deceive me. Neither can she compel me under obedience to submit to violence to my own intellect, that Benedict XVI IS and yet at the same time IS NOT the Pope. She cannot, again by Her Divine origin, bind me to obedience to accept that two men both, mutually approving, call one another THE (singular) Pope. The perfect Mother cannot teach her children that 2 =1. As laic I cannot be accused of wrongdoing by refusing to silently submit to intellectual violence.

          • Well and good, that: praying and thinking. But as the author above suggests, what if this is happening for a reason? What if the reason for this is the impulsion of the Holy Ghost for good Catholics to get off the sidelines and do something? Or does HE command that having prayed and thought, we say and do nothing?

          • Catholic priests are hostages to the novus ordo sect. They must be rescued from their captivity, freed to preach often and in detail about the dangers of Hell, the iniquity of contraception, the vengeance called down upon sins of sodomy. Free to protect the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ from desecration. Freed to do these and many other things. Things that many now fear to do under the current regime.

          • If you have at least one concrete idea, even a poor one, then absolutely favorable. Heck, even if you don’t… whether that’s a major reason for what we’re going through or not!

          • Fair enough. I’d like to see Catholic priests take refuge, for the interim, in the homes of the faithful, preferably those known to them personally, and continue to administer the Sacraments. To put themselves in a position where they can be protected from retaliation for unapologetic Catholicism. Since I wouldn’t ask anyone else to do what I would not, I put myself first in line of lay volunteers. In concept it’s somewhat like the Underground Railroad, with the major exception being that the priest stays in town and spreads the Faith. I believe that there is much more that can be done from there, and that my fellow laics are even now being inspired by the Holy Ghost with other and better ideas. But to take the battlefield and drive back the forces of hell, the Church needs Catholic priests freed to do their jobs.

          • I like this and I am all for it. The only issue I see is this… how do we convince the priests to get out of there? If my parish priest was being punished for teaching the truth I’d happily tell him he can move in and be safe from financial and material punishment. There is still the issue of removal of faculties. He could still validly, though illicitly, administer 3 sacraments (baptism, eucharist, anointing), except in danger of death which would add penance and marriage (I think there’s actually a provision of danger of death for marriage in Canon Law… might be wrong). One could argue as the SSPX does for supplied jurisdiction though that argument is tenuous at best and they do have bishops (though they’re not ordinaries so…) It’s the first step that’s hard… then the faculties issue. But yeah, I’m with you!

          • Jafin, remember, faculties fall into the realm of Canon Law- it has nothing to do with validity. As to the SSPX and dispensing all of the sacraments- every one of them continue in their validity. It is the lawfulness under Canon Law because of the past that is so hard to fix. Also, Pope Benedict lifted the SSPX excommunications. The only thing that remains is “regularizing” the canonical situation the SSPX currently finds itself. One thought I have everyday is that neither the SSPX or those of us faithful who post on this blog ever left the true Church. Rather, it is all the heretical laity and clergy who have (unfortunately this appears to include even Francis). The CC is certainly going to get much, much smaller.

          • One thought I have everyday is that neither the SSPX or those of us faithful who post on this blog ever left the true Church.

            Exactly. If someone, be he priest or layman, simply lives his faith the way Catholics have for century upon century—receiving the sacraments in their traditional form, praying traditional devotions, following traditional Catholic morality—then how in the world can he possibly be accused of “leaving the Church”? Yet that seems to be the only real argument critics of the SSPX seem to have.

            And for those who try to argue that “John Paul II excommunicated the bishops because they were ordained in violation of his command”, one merely has to look throughout Church history to see any number of popes who abused their powers in matters of governance and discipline. I believe it was Davies who wrote somewhere something to this effect (I’m recalling from memory at the moment):

            “If a pope were to command that every high altar in every Catholic church throughout the world was to be smashed into rubble, no Catholic in his right mind would think he was obligated to obey such a command.”

            This is the best analogy I can think of for the situation we now face. The mainstream Novus Ordo Church has smashed the high altars (both figuratively and, in the case of the imposition of the NO liturgy, literally) and is demanding total obedience and subservience to the new paradigm. They may have tolerated traditionalists in the past (as a nuisance they hoped would die off; to their consternation, our numbers are growing) but now it appears, with this papacy and AL, they have declared total war against Church Tradition.

          • Jafin, my dear brother, they can administer ALL the sacraments. We don’t need to be canonists to understand the following. The Church is mother, not judge. A crisis in the Faith begets a state of necessity. When the Church is in a crisis like ours which prevents Her mission’s being accomplished through canonical jurisdiction, the Church herself will supply it. We must remember that the Supreme Law of the Church is the salvation of souls. Heretical crises do not let any solitary one of us off that hook, priest or laic. And the Church, by the command of her Divine Spouse, has everything she needs to accomplish her mission, even at this present hour, by supplying necessary jurisdiction to her priests.

            Supplied jurisdiction is substantial here, I don’t think it’s tenuous.
            I don’t think our Lord is asking us to be infallible in making this call. Let’s look around at the destruction, the insanity, and consult our Catholic consciences: are we going to allow criminals to weaponize the law in order to beat our Mother to a pulp?

            In fact, the novus ordo smoke screen over the question of jurisdiction is the last strand of barbed wire keeping honest Catholics on their gnostic slave plantation. Snap that wire and walk off their reservation. They have no authority to contradict Christ, to make up their own secret rules, or to hold canonical jurisdiction as a gun to the head of priests who intend to obey their Divine Master.

            You perceive the same problem I do. That priests are okay with the novus
            ordo plantation, with its respectability, trips to Rome, houses, cars and
            food. This is a question only faith can answer. But Faith also compels me to get off the sidelines and do something.

            I have created a place where we can hash through problems like these

  25. The question of anti-pope is critical. If Francis is an anti-pope, he does not have the protections about judgment by others like a real pope has. While we cannot judge a valid pope, we can judge an anti-pope. Saying it doesn’t matter is ducking the question.

    Of course neither of those scenarios – a anti-pope promoting lies or a bad pope promoting lies – should cause any real Catholic to lose their faith.

  26. If truth be known, I pray for the Pope. But, I rarely pay attention to what he says anymore. Ditto for most priests and bishops. Such is the Church of Today. We are on our own.

  27. perhaps God allows this to cull the herd, so to speak. Those who are weak in their faith will follow along blindly because it ‘feels good’, kumbaya. It is disheartening, but regardless of what this Pope does/says, I will never give up my faith, daily Mass, my prayer life, etc. because my goal is heaven and the only one I have to ultimately please is God. God has ‘got this’. I read a snippet some time ago, I do not know who to attribute it to, but it goes like this: ‘Sometimes God calms the storm, other times God lets the storm rage, but calms His child.’ May we all find the calm we need.

  28. Wow! If this isn’t confirmation from the Holy Spirit to me (and really many of us) that we need to ‘get a grip’ I don’t know what is! My H gave me the SAME MESSAGE just last night as I was torturing myself over the antics of this Pope. He pretty much sat me down and gave me a good talking to (in love of course) over me spinning my wheels in the face of something only God had control of. ” The ONLY IMPORTANT FOCUS we need to have, he said, is to live our true faith to the best of our ability, receive the sacraments regularly, keep our souls in the state of grace, pray always, and work out our own salvation, and take as many to heaven as possible. In other words
    keep your eye on the prize! God is in control and we’re NOT!” How BLESSED I am to have a spouse that cares so much about my salvation, and tries to knock some spiritual sense into my head when I need it!

    Thank you Steve for being receptive as well to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

  29. Well this is outrageous! I do not think you can accuse the Pope of being “diabolical” without substantiating your claims… What are these sins he is leading us into? I praise the Lord for His wisdom! Pope Francis is the pope we need for these times. Just like Benedict and JPII were before him.

  30. Well said….Steve…..Our job is to discern and be witnesses to the truth so that we can pray and sacrifice for all souls, especially for those in leadership positions. TRUSTING JESUS is a priceless gem of operating in our humanity for HIS GLORY!

  31. “Why does this matter?”

    Because I need to know who is my Father. Because if our Church is being governed by a lie at the foundation, then that is fatal. Truth must be established at the level of premise, before proper conclusions can ever be drawn. The Holy Spirit will only guide the true Pope. If he is not Pope Francis, then that is a huge problem. And it explains all the heresy.

    “But he is, by every measurable standard, still Pope.”

    That sounds assuring, but I don’t see that. Pope Benedict specifically retained his Title (Pope), his honorifics, his Vatcan location, his contemplative Office. He quite carefully and specifically retained it all. He gave up governance. He created something (two reigning Popes: contemplative/active) that is theologically impossible. He added an adjective, “emeritus”, to Pope that is meaningless because it is not Canonical; it is not Scriptural and has never been applied even once in Chirch history. It was invented. It is impossible. By every measurable standard, this was not a free and legitimate resignation. By every measure the resignation was suspect snd illegitimate.

    If Pope Francis is Pope, then Pope Benedict needs to return to Bavaria as Fr. Ratzinger. If Pope Benedict is still Pope, which by every measurable standard he is, then Pope Francis needs to stand Canonical trial.

    Just my opinion. But since you asked why it matters; that’s why. This event shakes the Church to its Foundation, every bit as much as sacrilegious Communion. We cannot pretend it is what it is not.

    • Thirty antipopes. That’s how many the Catholic Encyclopedia lists: Do you not think Catholics during that time wanted to know who their father was? Why should we be special?

      As for Benedict, he clearly accepts his resignation and says that Francis is pope. This idea of renouncing part of the petrine ministry is absurd. Nearly the entirety of the Church accepts Francis as pope; there are not multiple claimants to the throne. However interesting the speculation, I just don’t see how we can take this idea seriously. It’s wishful thinking, and not even that wishful. Benedict hasn’t set up a single obstacle to the Francis rampage, and only treats him with admiration and respect. There is simply no indication that he objects to a single aspect of this papacy.

      I would agree, however, that Benedict should go home.

      And again: the question isn’t why it matters on an objective level, it’s why it matters to the individual Catholic who has no role in ascertaining it and should not be directly impacted by it in his day to day life of faith. Of course it would be better to know than not to know, but not knowing does not block the path to salvation one iota.

      • Yes. They did want to know, and the Church ultimately defined it for them. It took time. But what they did not do was accept the the false claimant, or leave any room for confusion. There was conflict. It was resolved. Now there is revolutionary change, not in accord with Tradition and it is NOT resolved or brought into compliance. Rupture from Tradition is imposed and accepted.

        Yes, Benedict SAYS Francis is Pope. He also says he himself (Benedict) retains a key aspect of the Papacy; an aspect he did not, and will not, resign. The words do not align with the reality; the very essence of Modernist error.

        Arbp Ganswein:

        “Benedict did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine Office in a more appropriate way given his frailty.

        “Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed during his exceptional pontificate.”

        Profoundly; Lastingly; Transformed: Modernism

        By his own words he did not resign a key element of his Office. He clearly stated himself that he retains the “contemplative munus”, while giving up “active governance”. We don’t SEE the “contemplative” side; we may think it doesn’t matter as Pope Francis runs the table. But I contend that is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the Papacy. That is the very side in which Peter and Jesus Christ are directly connected. The other side, “active governance”, is mundane and worldly; necessary, but subordinate to the spiritual connection of Peter with God.

        THAT is what Benedict CLEARLY did NOT resign. That is not ridiculous. It is the fatal error of the resignation. And it is imposed on the Church for all time unless and until it is specifically rejected.

        Again. The Holy Spirit is guaranteed to the Seat of Peter. THAT is why it matters, and has ALWAYS mattered, who IS the legitimate occupant.

        • Yes. The Church defined it for them. AFTER the fact. They had to live with the confusion, just like we do.

          As for the rest, it’s nonsense. The papacy cannot be divided. This is the effect of modernism on the brain. It addles the sense of what is real and what is false to such a degree that concepts like these can be floated as serious ideas, instead of raving lunacy.

          Benedict, for all his odd countersignalling, has continuously insisted that his resignation was valid. He has continuously referred to Francis as the pope. There is no reasonable basis to question that this is what he believes. And by every measure of facial expression and body language, he is quite happy to see Francis in charge.

          • Well, for the first time ever, I have to disagree with you. It is not nonsense. It WAS done, and is BEING done. And as the events play out to unopposed historical conclusion it is being established as precedent for the future.

            What else “can’t ever be done”? Holy Eucharist given to manifest sinners? Gay marriage blessings, or weddings, perhaps?

            And who is there to stop it? Who is there to demand accountability to Tradition:

            Responsible Shepherd to Joseph Ratzinger: “You cannot remain as Pope, contemplative or otherwise, nor reside in the Vatican, be referred to as “Holiness”, or Pope (emeritus) as you walk the gardens in White. You cannot “divide the Papacy”. Your resignation is final and complete. You must now go home as Fr. Ratzinger. Your resignation is accepted and you are hereby returned fully to your prior state.”

            No one will do this. He remains. His claims stand. His actions are denied as real, re-defined to fit our preconceptions perhaps, and thus remain as they are as historical record. Unopposed. Nonsense to you and me. But this is the cold, crazy logic of Modernism in high places predicted by Pope St. Pius X.

            SAY A. DO B. DO R. SAY X. All of it nonsense, confusing. Ever forward! Action under the cover of words. Modernism.

            A lot of things these days “can’t” be done, yet they are. And he clearly said what he said, and is what he is.

          • Yes. Yes. Yes. In my former parish, there have been divorced and remarried couples receiving communion for DECADES. In RCIA (eight years ago) we were told what a wonderful guy Martin Luther was and how he was fighting corruption in the Church. I could go on and on. Bergoglio is simply codifying what happens every day in dioceses the world over. The blinders must come off. It is much better to admit and know him to be an antipope so that people who are poorly catechized or those who are tempted to receive unworthily are hopefully spared hell fire in the world to come. This idea of waiting until the Church formally declares him an antipope seems cruel and legalistic and truly not pastoral. People’s souls are at stake. How many millions have been lost because of the false ideas implemented in parishes over the decades?

        • There was also Belgian Cardinal Godfried Daneel’s admission in his authorized biography published nearly a year ago that he participated in a “Mafia” that plotted Bergoglio’s election in the 2013 conclave. I’m not aware of any follow-up to this, yet I thought such machinations render a conclave invalid and those participating or knowing about the conspiracy automatically excommunicated.

  32. In the history of Holy Mother Church, we’ve had holy Popes, bad Popes, and even no Pope. That said, where else can we go to get back to Our Father in Heaven? He gave us The Catholic Church with Her 7 Sanctifying Sacraments to lead us back to Him for Eternal Salvation. The gates of Hell, shall not prevail. Sadly tho, many souls are being led astray down the wide path to Hell. As St Pio said: Pray, hope and don’t worry. Learn and study the traditional teachings of Holy Mother Church pre v2. Keep the Faith, even if we have to go underground….Kyrie eleison….

  33. I’m a revert to the Catholic church, came back about 11yrs ago and was shocked to see the Catholic church looking so Protestant! I kept searching for a conservative Catholic church and found only one in my city of which is about ten miles away. I make that holy Mass about once a month even though I’ve joined another Catholic church about ten blocks away. I’ve become disenchanted with how the once beautiful holy Catholic church has become but I know now that this is where God wants me. He brought me home and now, I will fight for her, for her Truth, her holiness and her beauty. I saw right through this pope the minute he stepped on to the Vatican Balcony and that dark feeling has not left me since. Thank you so much for this article Steve! I couldn’t have said it better myself! We are the Church Militant!

    • Dear Doomsdae, A revert here too. It took many years of searching to try and escape the Kumbaya mentality being the main focus of the mass.

      Thank God, he delivers sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, however he always delivers the desires that are made from a contrite heart. Disenchantment is the devil himself and discouragement is pride, what works for me is sticking to fundamentals of the faith such as mass, confession, prayer and adoration.

  34. Francis isn’t trying to bind anyone to his errors, following that well-worn Vatican II path. Novelties remain novelties, and novelties are passed by, by the well-formed Catholic, with nary a second glance. Ignore the fender-bender on the shoulder and stay the course; it’s a long way to Albuquerque.

    And, there’s this: The fact that he is not attempting to use his authority to promulgate new teachings that require a level of assent without exceptions* is excellent evidence in itself of two things:

    – He’s a valid pope
    – The Holy Ghost is protecting the Church, as always

    We think Francis is bad – and he is – but an antipope would know no bounds. An antipope could issue a supposedly ex cathedra definition morally justifying Catholic divorce, homosexual genital activity, or anything else he pleased. We know that Francis will not do this. We know that Francis cannot do this. (Of course, we don’t exactly know that Francis would not *like* to do this.)

    It seems to me that a supreme pontiff pushing frantically right against the bounds of the Holy Ghost’s protection of the Church’s infallible teaching office would look an awful lot like – this. It wouls look like what we have right now. Rather than being unsettling, it’s reassuring.

    I’m often reminded of that American missionary who wrote to Rome to inquire as to the identity of the present supreme pontiff, so that he could inform his faithful. Formal adherence to Peter is a requirement for Catholics, but beyond that, we’ve had horribly bad popes numerous times in the past – even if this case is certainly unique in many ways and a crisis worse than any precedent. The Church has always survived and will always survive. (In fact, after she achieved moral universality, meaning, essentially, worldwide visibility, it is a theological certainty that she will never lose it. It is a permanent property.)

    Intellect over will, people.

    *As quoted in Michael Davies’ “Pope John’s Council”, Dom Paul Nau. O.S.B., “cites a number of authors regarding the attitude Catholics should have towards statements of the Ordinary Magisterium: ‘…that of inward assent, not as of faith, but as of prudence, the refusal of which could not escape the mark of temerity, **unless the doctrine rejected was an actual novelty of involved a manifest discordance between the pontifical affirmation and the doctrine which had hitherto been taught**.'”

    • Perhaps one could think of it this way: Francis is “unbinding” people, allowing them enough rope to hang themselves, so to speak. I understand the difference between one having the ecclesial authority to declare the Bishop of Rome an antipope, versus a lay person having made such a determination based on facts and circumstances (using their noggin). I cannot help but think the penchant to in effect say, “Nothing to see here. Move along,” is an emotional defense mechanism on the part of some. It is legalistic, dare I say Pharisaical, and it is using a sort of PC pressure on fellow Catholics to determine a certain direction in the discourse. I prefer the clean fresh air of Truth, regardless of the implications. Of course we adhere to Peter. The problem is there is plenty of factual evidence that points to two Peters.

      • You’ve changed the subject, incidentally, as neither the article nor I was dealing with the “Two Popes” issue.

        I don’t think anyone’s saying merely, “move along here.” Yes, reflection is called for when faced with such a spectacle, but there is still a clear answer.

        “Plenty of factual evidence” doesn’t count – only the judgement of the Church does. The theologians who have spoken on the matter are unanimous in their teaching that the public acceptance of a pontiff by the Church at large is infallible evidence of his validity.

        “That the man that the Cardinals elect as Pope is the true Pope is a dogmatic fact, and the legitimacy of his election is only a theological conclusion drawn from that dogmatic fact.” That’s a quote from someone I know who’s regarded as an expert on this topic by everyone from the Neo-Catholic Conglomerate to the SSPX. That’s the way it is: the Holy Ghost will not allow a moral unanimity of the Church to be deceived as to the identity of a pope. At the least, anyone must acknowledge there is no counterexample. In the cases of anti-popes there were several *public* claimants to the papacy.

        • You said “novelties.” I would say a Pope and a Pope Emeritus, an active and a contemplative, is a “novelty,” among other things. So, don’t think I changed the subject.

          Next, one could certainly extrapolate that the sentence, “Ignore the fender-bender on the shoulder and stay the course; it’s a long way to Albuquerque,” is akin to “Nothing to see here. Move along.”

          Authorizing adulterers to receive Holy Communion is not a “fender bender” to be ignored. It is heresy. The faithful, whose souls are at stake, need to know the truth of who this man is, so they are able to make cogent decisions regarding their eternal destiny and how to remain Catholic in these trying times.

          Again, people seem to have a blind spot here. As a layperson, I have the right, indeed the privilege and duty to study the issue, using reason and discernment–and prayer–to make a determination about the man calling himself Francis, the Bishop of Rome. I have the right to speak about it, too. That right is separate from the administrative, hierarchical processes of the Church. It is a function of free will. To the best of my knowledge, having studied, discerned, prayed, Jorge Bergoglio is not a pope, active or contemplative.

          You yourself just undercut your own argument regarding antipopes, saying, “In the cases of anti-popes there were several *public* claimants to the papacy.” We do indeed have two men claiming authority within one papal ministry. One public, one private.

          Yes, it is the purview of the Church hierarchy to determine for the record whether or not he is pope. I do not contest that. Stop conflating my individual right to make a determination that affects my life and the life of those I love, and the right of the Church to formally declare Francis a pope or antipope.

  35. Thank you so much for these wise words. I needed this so badly.I was worrying so much about about the changes taking place within the Vatican and the evil in this world, that I was not praying and thanking the Lord that we are his followers and his will be done, and that he will come again to judge us all.We must remain faithful to the end.I will give my life for him.Even though Satan is continuously at my doorstep waiting for me to fall, I will fight him with St. Michael, Our Most Beautiful Archangel and protector and The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary my sword,Thank you Lord Jesus Christ and thank you Steve.

  36. A great article on – On the Current Antipapacy, the SSPX and Other Totally Non-Inflammatory Topics

    Covers what is being talked about here with no beating about the bush.

  37. Steve, I appreciate your words. Jesus rode on an ass for a reason. Only by grace can nature be lifted up. Pray. Trust. Be Faithful in our vocations. Amen.

  38. “But either way, he is clearly in the service of the Prince of this World, not the King of Kings.”

    Well, he answered the 45 theologians didn’t he?

    Very sad, and his document from hell “AL” will lead souls into hell!
    I wish we can do more than waiting for him to die.

    Maybe, we’ll see more evil stuff in Lund.

  39. Matthew 28:20

    Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

  40. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just read Hilary White’s piece on Vultum Dei Quaerere today and I nearly had a conniption… I needed to read this.

  41. Thanks Steve for the encouragement. At least you are acknowledging the truth, unfortunately for church militant, they can slam all these other guys including pope Bennidict but not say anything about the Pope because it may make weak souls worse or the tender faith of some weak. Well, not letting all this stuff out about this Pope is making them weak because they may follow him and be led to hell. I know he is the Pope, and we have had bad Popes before, we have to pray to get through this. God is allowing this for a reason. To see who will stand by him. I am glad I found your site. God bless you. God help us!

  42. My faith in the Faith remains the same. My faith in the Church institution to be a beacon of Truth is, I believe reasonably, badly shaken.
    The bishops echo what Francis spits out. The priests mimic their bishops.
    Our pastor is very likely gay. Our bishop did not say one official word on the Supreme Court gay “marriage” ruling. So there you have it. Trust is gone.
    Lambs to the slaughter, if Clinton wins.

  43. “Is this your church, or is it the Lord’s?”

    Neither. It is not the Lord’s, and therefore it is not mine. The leaders of the Lord’s Church would not promulgate the things that have been promulgated since mid last century. It is time to tell the truth and admit that, Steve.

  44. No Catholic in their right mind can assert that the Holy Ghost would allow a true Pope to destroy Catholic faith, morals, worship, and discipline – even in his authentic, non-infallible magisterium and government. The visible head of the Roman Catholic Church must necessarily be Catholic in his public magisterium (faith) and promulgation of laws and pastoral practices (government). I – for one – cannot attend Mass in communion with a doubtful pope. If others can do so, so be it.


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