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Four Years Later: Reflections on an Unprecedented Pontificate

On March 13, 2013, I sat in my office and watched my screen as a new pope — a man whom I had never seen before that moment — walked out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. I had never heard of him. I did not even know his name. Like most Catholics, I had approached the papal conclave with a sense of hopeful anticipation. But the feeling that came over me when I saw the man the cardinals had elected was shockingly forceful. It was a feeling of icy cold dread. As I looked at him, standing there, staring out at the crowd, I heard seven words distinctly in my mind, unbidden: “This man is no friend of Tradition.”

It was a strange sentence. Oddly phrased. I knew, just as surely as one knows that the voice of someone speaking to them in a quiet room is not their own, that this was not my thought, but some sort of external prompting. It would have been impossible for me to even attempt such an assessment, since I knew literally nothing about the man, this Argentinian cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio.

I am admittedly oblivious to the minutiae of ecclesiastical dress or custom. I cannot, therefore, claim that my feeling was rooted in the observance of some obvious deviation from the protocols of a papal election. I did not notice, for example, that he chose not to wear the papal mozetta. I was not jarred by his unusual greeting of the crowd with a “good evening,” instead of something more spiritually profound. I can’t say I recall hearing, in those first moments, that he was a Jesuit. To be honest, I may very well not have noticed these things even under normal circumstances, but these were not normal circumstances. My impression of the man was something that took place on a visceral level. And the feeling was so strong, it distracted me from everything else.

There was something in his face. In the way he stared down at the gathered crowd. There was something…wrong about his eyes. What I saw — what I thought I saw — was something other, looking out through that unreadable mask. Something triumphant, haughty, contemptuous, leering out at long last from atop the pinnacle of a long and hard-fought battle. It was incredibly strange.

When I look back at the photo of that moment, I can see that there was no discernible expression on his face. What I saw was, I think, not so much something physical but more of a spiritual insight. It struck me, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, as a preternatural experience. I was so unnerved, I had to fight down a wave of nausea.

I alluded to these things months later, when I first began, after trying very hard to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt, to write about why his papacy was already full of warning signs. I was derided by some at the time, as though this were just some fantasy I had conjured up (for what reason I would do such a thing, I couldn’t hope to explain.) But I have since heard from countless others who had the same, bizarre, unexpected initial reaction. From that first moment, even though I tried hard to shove impressions aside and let reason prevail, I knew, as did so many other Catholics in what I have come to think of as a signal grace. A warning from God: this would be a papacy of terrible consequence.

Four years later, I stand confirmed in that knowledge. Not through the persistence of a feeling, but a preponderance of evidence. If 2016 was the tipping point, 2017 is the year the dam broke. Amoris Laetitia raised the stakes of the battle for the soul of the Church to the level that even the most die-hard ultramontanists — the honest ones, anyway — are now forced to admit that we are faced with a a serious problem. If it took something as significant as an arguably heretical apostolic exhortation that lays siege to the sacraments to raise the alarm, there have also been countless less-well-publicized examples of heterodoxy since that fateful night four years ago that it should remove all doubt about the severity of the crisis. Our attempts to document these things here, though incomplete, have spanned hundreds of pages. It is beyond the scope of a single article to attempt a comprehensive summary of the worrisome moments of the past four years, though we will attempt to call some of the more memorable such events to the reader’s attention below. It should, frankly, have been beyond human means to produce so much confusion and distortion in such a short period of time. And perhaps it was. The devil, after all, is not a creature of brute force, but a master of subtlety and seduction, only too happy to make use of willing instruments.

Whatever the provenance of this insurgency within the very heart — and head — of the Church, we find ourselves in a precipitous moment. For those who remain unconvinced, there’s likely no amount of evidence that could change that. Sides have been taken. Battle lines drawn. The initial phase of the engagement has concluded.

The Escalation of an Agenda

One of the most important moments of revelation in the Francis pontificate took place during an interview with close papal friend and ghostwriter Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, in May of 2015:

The pope goes slow because he wants to be sure that the changes have a deep impact. The slow pace is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the changes. He knows there are those hoping that the next pope will turn everything back around. If you go slowly it’s more difficult to turn things back.” The interviewer then proceeded to ask him whether it does not help his adversaries when they know that Pope Francis says that his papacy might be short. Fernández answered: “The pope must have his reasons, because he knows very well what he’s doing. He must have an objective that we don’t understand yet. You have to realize that he is aiming at reform that is irreversible. If one day he should sense that he’s running out of time and doesn’t have enough time to do what the Spirit is asking him, you can be sure he will speed up. [emphasis added]

These comments, made nearly two years ago, provided an early glimpse of the strategy that has driven the agenda thus far. “Reform that is irreversible” is itself a theme that has been repeated by other close papal collaborators. Cardinal Oscar Andres Maradiaga Rodriguez used these exact same words in January of 2015. They have been telling us their intentions. Many have simply been unwilling to believe that they mean what they say. What this “irreversible reform” has turned out to be is nothing less than severe and intentional doctrinal distortion, a heretical approach to the Catholic understanding of sin and the sacraments, the breaking down of existing structures, rules, boundaries, and institutions, and a resulting confusion that is metastasizing in the Mystical Body of Christ with eternal consequences for souls.

One is forced to wonder: if Satan himself were to engineer an assault from within the Church, how would it differ from what we are experiencing today?

Just two years ago, at the time of his interview, Archbishop Fernández spoke of the favorable public response to the Francis agenda:

The pope first filled St. Peter’s square with crowds and then began changing the Church.” When asked whether the Pope is isolated in the Vatican, he responds: “By no means. The people are with him [Pope Francis], and not with his adversaries.”

Already at the time of his comments, however, things were beginning to change. By 2015, papal crowds were already beginning to diminish in size. And while here in America, at least, he’s been shown to have moved the needle on issues like climate change and feelings of liberal favorability toward Catholicism, there’s no evidence that he’s brought people into the Church. Millennials in particular continue to drift away, even when they express affection for the pope’s liberalizing approach to doctrine. And religious life — not healthy by any measure before the election of Francis — appears to be taking even more serious damage. The pope himself has lamented the “hemorrhage” of priests and nuns from the Church, but seems completely unaware of his own role in their departure — a track record that follows him from his native Argentina. As Fr. Linus Clovis of Family Life International said at a conference in 2015:

The Francis Effect is the disarming and silencing of Catholic bishops, priests, and laity.  Holding firm to Catholic doctrine and practise seems like an act of disloyalty to the pope, yet to acquiesce is to betray the Church.

In an op-ed at the New York Times last September, Matthew Schmitz took things further:

[Francis] describes parish priests as “little monsters” who “throw stones” at poor sinners. He has given curial officials a diagnosis of “spiritual Alzheimer’s.” He scolds pro-life activists for their “obsession” with abortion. He has said that Catholics who place an emphasis on attending Mass, frequenting confession, and saying traditional prayers are “Pelagians” — people who believe, heretically, that they can be saved by their own works.

Such denunciations demoralize faithful Catholics without giving the disaffected any reason to return. Why join a church whose priests are little monsters and whose members like to throw stones? When the pope himself stresses internal spiritual states over ritual observance, there is little reason to line up for confession or wake up for Mass.

“Francis has built his popularity,” Schmitz concludes, “at the expense of the Church he leads.” And it seems that now, the reservoir of good will having been expended, this is a reality that has caught up with him.

With years of mounting resistance that has spread from the scattered concerns of of a few concerned laity up to include the highest echelons of the Church, the situation on the ground is far different in 2017 than in was in 2015. Francis is no longer the “breath of fresh air” he was once perceived to be. Instead, his reckless speech in an incessant string of interviews and speeches grate on the faithful. His constant scolding of those simply trying to live their Catholicism devoutly combined with a seemingly boundless energy for innovation, self-contradiction, and change push people who have tried to give him a fair hearing away. Even some of the most patient Catholic commentators have at last reached the inescapable conclusion that this papacy is most aptly described as “disastrous“.

A Shift in Strategy

With the “populist” phase of this papacy now receding from view, there has been a subtle alteration in communications strategy from a Vatican that is nothing if not calculating. The critics of this papacy, once few, have grown significantly in number. Their efforts to resist these institutional errors, foisted as they have been upon the faithful, have become nearly as unrelenting as the papal agenda. The pushback against Amoris Laetitia has included forceful responses from across the spectrum of lay and clerical ranks in the Church. The theological dubia issued by four noteworthy cardinals questioning where the pope stands on traditional Catholic teaching was the most authoritative response, but the theological censures levied against the exhortation by 45 theologians, scholars, and priests was an even more theologically punishing rebuttal. Catholic luminaries like Josef Seifert, Jude Dougherty, and Robert Spaeman have added their own considerable voices to the rising chorus. Blows once easily swept aside by the Vatican apparatus are beginning to land – and sting. Papal boosters in the media such as Andrea Tornielli, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, and Austen Ivereigh have responded by coming out swinging, hoping to put those who refuse to ignore the real man behind the papal curtain in their place.

A more tangible example of how far things have come for the counter-insurgency is found in the appearance of posters that appeared overnight in Rome recently. At The Spectator, Damian Thompson recounts the scene:

On the first Saturday in February, the people of Rome awoke to find the city covered in peculiar posters depicting a scowling Pope Francis. Underneath were written the words:

Ah, Francis, you have intervened in Congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored Cardinals… but where is your mercy?

The reference to mercy was a jibe that any Catholic could understand. Francis had just concluded his ‘Year of Mercy’, during which the church was instructed to reach out to sinners in a spirit of radical forgiveness. But it was also a year in which the Argentinian pontiff continued his policy of squashing his critics with theatrical contempt.

Thompson goes on to say:

Although the stunt made headlines around the world, it is unlikely to have unnerved the Pope. There is a touch of the Peronist street-fighter about Jorge Bergoglio. As his fellow Argentinian Jesuits know only too well, he is relaxed about making enemies so long as he is confident that he has the upper hand. The posters convey impotent rage: they are unlikely to carry the fingerprints of senior churchmen.

But does he have the upper hand? It would seem that as he loses control of the narrative, the advantage is slipping. Francis attempted, perhaps a little to eagerly, to downplay the incident. In a recent interview with Die Zeit, he rather unconvincingly laughed off the spectacle, even giving credit for cleverness to his accusers:

Pope Francis said he was at peace, adding: “I can understand how my way of dealing with things is not liked by some, that is totally in order. Everybody can have their opinion. That is legitimate and humanly enriching.”

When the interviewer followed up asking if the posters were enriching, Francis replied “the Roman dialect of the posters was great. That was not written by anyone on the street, but by a clever person.” The interviewer interjected, “Somebody from the Vatican?” to which Francis quipped, “No, I said a clever person (laughs).”

“Either way, that was great!” he concluded.

So great, in fact, that there is an ongoing Italian criminal investigation into “the conservative circles believed responsible” for the posters. And when a parody edition of L’Osservatore Romano was published the same month as the posters, also lampooning Francis, the Vatican launched its own police investigation into that matter as well. If persistent rumors are to be believed, Francis’ reaction to criticism when he is behind closed doors is far less sanguine than when the cameras are rolling. And as our extensive coverage of the dubia has shown, Francis has no qualms about making use of surrogates to attack anyone who stands in his way.

These reactions tell us something very important: resistance is not useless. It is having an effect.

The reality for Catholics is that we have reached a saturation point — let’s call it Peak Francis — and there is nowhere to go from here but down. This means that for the revolutionaries who have taken control of Holy Mother Church, there is far less benefit at this point in the use of subtlety; little to be gained through coyness or the continued pursuit of popularity; only an agenda already well underway that needs to be firmly cemented into place before this papacy becomes, as it inevitably will, a thing of (unhappy) memory. Fernández warned us that as time grew short, things would speed up. But the pace of change is so breathtaking, even reckless, that it has awoken the faithful from a decades-long complacency. It is perhaps for this reason that those more cautious career churchmen who have dedicated countless years to incremental, permanent ecclesiastical change are now wishing to make Francis go away. They unleashed a weapon they cannot control, and it is damaging their own cause as well as that of their adversaries.

It is, as I said above, impossible to adequately sum up the full litany of problems introduced by this papacy. But to take a top level view, reflecting briefly on some of the major issues in play during Francis’ brief tenure, we will find that they are astonishing in their boldness and scope.

The main thrust of the campaign to remake the Church took the shape of a consistory and two rapid-fire synods that began the process of dismantling the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and the concept of objective grave sin — a process brought to fruition through an apostolic exhortation — Amoris Laetitia — that promotes adultery and the reception of communion (and other sacraments) for those living outside the state of grace.

Meanwhile, other fundamental aspects of Catholic teaching and identity have been simultaneously eroded. We have seen long-established Church teaching on the death penalty and the doctrine of hell usurped by contradictions. We are treated with increasing frequency to questions about the possibility of a female diaconate. Whispers have also begun about relaxing the celibacy requirements of the Latin Rite priesthood. Under the leadership of Francis, the Vatican went so far as to celebrate the legacy of the same Martin Luther it had previously condemned on the eve of the 500th anniversary of that arch-heretic’s rending of Christendom. The pope himself has encouraged, through permissive and ambiguous answers, the reception of Holy Communion by individual Protestants, in violation of both long-standing sacramental discipline and canon law. Along this same trajectory, we now hear frequent rumors of a planned revision to the Mass that will make it suitable as an ecumenical prayer service that can be celebrated in common with Protestants — a possible answer to the more-than-just-rumored growing push within the Church for intercommunion. This is sadly unsurprising from a pope who has demonstrated his opposition to evangelization (proselytism, as he calls it), and who shows an apparent disregard for the Eucharist, before which he is known rarely to kneel. Some have questioned whether this is the fruit of some physical disability, but he has demonstrated that he is able to kneel on other occasions, such as the washing of the feet of Muslims on Holy Thursday. (The most recent example of his strange Eucharistic posture comes to our attention by way of images of his retreat this past week in Arricia.)

The theological musings of Pope Francis include the idea that there is no Catholic God; that atheists are also redeemed; that the miracle of the loaves and fishes was not an actual miracle of multiplication; that Jesus likes it when we tell Him we have sinned and will sin again, that the first and greatest commandment is love of neighbor, and that the Blessed Virgin Mary wanted to accuse God of being a liar — to name but a few.

And then there are the optics of this papacy: Francis’ embrace of communist leaders and symbols and regimes while rejecting those who want to secure their borders and ensure their economic security. His authoritarian approach to governance, from the brutal suppression of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to the burgeoning Dictatorship of Mercy to the gutting of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Pontifical Academy for Life to the attack on the John Paul II Institutes for Marriage and Family to the systematic removal of Cardinal Burke from all positions of curial influence to the dismantling of the sovereignty of the Knights of Malta and the decapitation of their head to the blaming of Burke for the whole affair. See also his embrace of a host of figures involved in sexual deviancy, including but not limited to the alleged homosexual administrator of his papal household, Msgr. Battista Ricca, about whom he famously said, “Who am I to Judge?” His appointment of a priest known for comparing gay sex to the Eucharist as a Consultor for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. His leniency on clerical sex abusers like Fr. Inzoli and clerical sex abuse enablers like Cardinal Daneels. In a similar vein, we are left to wonder at his appointment of Archbishop Paglia to head up the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Rome campus of the JPII Institute for Marriage and Family, a man who has been revealed to have commissioned a homo-erotic mural within his Cathedral church a decade ago and who just this month publicly praised “a radical, leftist atheist who wanted to legalize prostitution and who sympathized with pedophiles.” We are also treated to a conspicuous papal advocacy for unfettered migration amidst his outright denial that Islamic terrorism exists, or that Islam is an ideology that advocates violence; his allowance of the use of the Basilica of St. Peter’s for an ecological light show on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. His multiple points of association with George Soros, his work with UN population control advocate Jeffrey Sachs, his closeness to Italian abortionist Emma Bonino, his invitation to global population control and abortion advocate Paul Ehrlich to speak at the Vatican, and so much more.

It is a completely staggering list. But it is also an undeniable one. Our cultural context is not the same as it was during the Second Vatican Council, or even the promulgation of Humanae Vitae. During those halcyon years (for progressives), the Church was able to utterly control the narrative through the sheer weight of her global stature and gravitas. In 2017, however, sources close to the Vatican have repeatedly told us that the institutional ineptitude in understanding a world dominated by decentralized, social media cannot be underestimated. They do not understand the Internet. And the Internet has been holding them to account.

But the Vatican has fresh blood. Greg Burke, a former Fox News and Time Magazine correspondent took over Fr. Frederico Lombardi’s position as Director of the Vatican Press Office last year. Francis is close to the bishops of the incredibly well-funded and cunning German Church, who have the resources to hire consultants to shore up their weaknesses. Business as usual cannot be assumed in perpetuity.

I’ve mentioned in previous reports that rumor, always the medium of information transfer around the Vatican even in the best of times, has been increasing in scope and importance in these latter days of the Francis papacy. From candid but confidential emails received from well-connected readers to leak-gushing blogs like that of the alleged but anonymous Italian priest Fra Cristoforo, to the tantalizing but short-lived Twitter account of a supposed “Rogue Swiss Guard,” an information-starved Catholic press has an excess of potential material to work with when it comes to click-worthy content. It is also, therefore, a target-rich opportunity for enemies of papal critics to sow false rumors and diminish the credibility of those willing to present them without verification. The 2016 US Presidential election brought to our attention the reality of phony news websites created by the political Left in order to disseminate false information and discredit those who shared it. Recent Wikileaks dumps have indicated that similar strategies may have been deployed on social media sites and in comment boxes, with the purpose of generating confusion and disruption. As more evidence emerges connecting the Vatican to the progressive, global elite — including new claims that these political powers exerted pressure on Pope Benedict to resign — cross-pollination of methodology moves from the realm of speculation to that of probability.

The likelihood of similar tactics used by powerful figures in the Church — waters chummed with “fake Catholic news” to send critics on credibility-destroying snipe hunts  — turns an impossibly rapid news cycle into a veritable minefield. Pope-watchers are being forced to slow down to avoid a major misstep just when the pace of Vatican events is reaching fever pitch.

This is why we must remember that the subject matter of our work is not merely the domain of human affairs. No less a figure than God Himself is marshaling the forces in this battle for the Catholic Church, and if we can’t see through the fog of war beyond arm’s length, we can trust our omniscient commander to give us the necessary marching orders for the fighting that is to come.

Make no mistake: the days of this papacy are numbered — and as it wanes, the danger it represents to the faith will only increase. It will take decades to undo the damage that has already been done. With less to lose and much still to accomplish, Francis and his allies cannot be expected to hold back — particularly when there can be no guarantee of a like-minded successor in the next conclave. The time to cement irreversible change in the Church is now. 

Gone are the days when our primary mission was to convince the Catholic world that there is a problem. The problem has been recognized by those with eyes to see, and as the gloves come off, we must realize that we are David to the enemy’s Goliath. With cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops — and the fundamentals of Catholic belief the subject of contention — the Church as we know it is unlikely to survive in one piece.

Brace yourselves. The real war is about to begin.


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292 thoughts on “Four Years Later: Reflections on an Unprecedented Pontificate”

        • Hi Thomas – If there is something worse than Francis coming, then we might just be approaching the time when the living envy the dead.

          • I have a feeling that the time Francis has is short and he knows it. What I fear is that his successor will try to carry on his agenda and do so more forcely with the memory of his hastily sainted predecessor to impel him and garner sympathy

          • Hi Thomas – That would be a disaster. For the Cardinals who would vote for another and potentially worse version of Francis, it would be a case of fool me once damnation on you, fool me twice damnation on me. It is hard to believe that the majority, let alone two-thirds of the Cardinals would let this happen again. But, it is beyond dispute that they should have been wise enough not to let it happen the first time. One thing is for certain – the Holy Spirit will never inspire anyone to support Francis or his agenda. The other spirit is Francis’ campaign manager.

          • I have read more than once of the “mafia” that worked to get Bergoglio elected, twice. The first time, they were defeated by the election of Benedict. The second time, obviously, they got their way. The Holy Spirit inspires, but man, having free will, can ignore that inspiration…especially if he is acting with purpose to further an agenda.

          • Hi Linda – I wonder if that makes Francis the Successor to Peter chosen by the Holy Spirit. That he isn’t the Vicar of Christ or the Holy Father is plain to see. Was this the conclave where they at first let loose black smoke instead of white when announcing the election of a new Pontiff.

  1. I have to say that, while watching this on television at the Catholic school I where I was teaching at the time, several of us teachers had the same gut reaction.

  2. I had the same reaction the night of the election. I saw a face without joy or any affection for the mob below. Arms hanging limp. Malevolence. And then, asking the mob to bestow their blessing–as they screamed with delight at this display of egalitarianism…

    • I had the same impression of him! The words that formed in my mind while looking at that “face without joy or any affection for the mob below” was: “Just wait till you see what I am going to do to your Church.”

  3. Well done, Steve! You have done us a great service with this thorough yet succinct look at the last four years. I suspect that many of us experienced the same thoughts as you did on that fateful evening when we were first introduced to the new pope. I know I did, and I immediately went to the internet to see what traditionalists experienced at his hand in Argentina while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. I was not encouraged, but I so desperately wanted to give him a chance. After four heart-rending years, however, I have to admit that just the sight of Francis, or the sound of his voice, takes me back to that same sentiment that you verbalized so accurately on March 13, 2013: “This man is no friend of Tradition”. The intervening years have proven this, as we say in Italian, senza dubio.

  4. What do you think? I had a dream a week before Pope Benedict resigned and it took me a while to realize what the end means. I’ll explain after. Here is my dream.

    My family, husband, myself and 4 children AND my parents, who had died before the dream, are having dinner with the pope at the Vatican. Now I don’t’ know which pope it is, because I never see or hear him nor any of the cardinals or bishops that are also at the table. We are sitting at a table like the last supper, where the pope is in the center and all of us around. I am on the right side of the pope at the end of the table with 2 figures that I do see and recognize. The lady across from me is an actress that I perceived as good and gentle and meek. The male actor is at the head of the table to my right and he’s dressed in black and is ominous figure. They are not “playing” themselves; they represent good and evil, possibly an angel and the devil. So, they are bickering among themselves, I don’t’ recall about what, but I am upset and angry at him for yelling at her so I stand up and lean over to him and I start yelling at him about yelling at her. I’m yelling and then I see that he’s not really there, so I stop and am puzzled for a moment. How can I see him here, but he’s not really here? (Perhaps a hologram). So I sit down confused. I think he leaves and then the actress and I start to clean up the crumbs by brushing them into our hands, when the pope (to which I do not hear his voice) tells us not to clean, that they have people for that. She and I continue, because that’s our nature. Well, she goes to leave and I warn her not to go out there, because he (the dark actor/devil) might be out there and attack her. She proceeds anyway and goes into the kitchen, which sure enough he goes in and attacks her. I quickly run to the door and I see he’s choking her. Now my father appears and runs past me and rushes in to fight this figure. He escapes and runs down the hall to which my father chases and catches him, grabs him by his collar, lifts him up and slams him down onto the floor on his back and begins to beat him. My youngest daughter now walks over to see and I call to her to come back. That is the end of my dream.

    Now I knew of Archangel Michael, but never saw his images or statues. I recently had been looking up pictures of him and he’s almost always depicted standing over thrusting a sword to satan that he had crushed under his feet. It wasn’t until I have been telling this dream and seeing the images of Archangel Michael that it dawned on me the significance of my father’s name and the way my father thrusted him down and was standing over him in the same manner. His name is Michael. So, I feel that there is a dark force at play in the Vatican and perhaps influencing our shepherds, but fear not because God is going to send Archangel Michael to come and defeat him yet again. Now since the synod and thinking back on this dream, it has also occurred to me another small detail of the dream or lack there of, that there were no dishes or cups at the table and we never ate. this lack of dinner plates and food at a “dinner” has me suspect, it wasn’t a dinner, but perhaps a synod. But I leave it for your interpretation. Whenever I see the pope do or say things, radical things against God’s teachings, make me think of this dream every time.

    • Nothing to eat, maybe it symbolizes a Eucharist that was not consecrated, by a priest who did not intend “to do what the Church does” and truly consecrate.

  5. My atheist, homosexual stepson likes this pope, enough reason for me to not. As a relatively new convert, I am dismayed, as tradition and orthodoxy brought me to the faith.

      • I think the CCC is truly a source of help for these times. With my Bible,prayer and devotions I’m putting on my armor for the good fight. My greatest weakness is anger & intense dislike of the Bp of Rome which I’ve had to recognize,confess and give over to God. So trying,sometimes.Thank Our Blessed Mother for the Rosary!

        • I share your feelings.
          Perhaps you aren’t aware of the outrage that existed among those of a “Bergoglian” frame of mind when the Catechism was published years back. That element enjoyed the broad field of ambiguity and erroneousness in the post-Vatican II Church until the Catechism. They bristled with disdain, contempt and without respite upon its publication.
          The best review it could obtain.
          Keep it in hand!

          • Dear James,

            Thank you for your encouragement, and for reminding us all that we should be grateful for the publication of a strong Catechism that stands as a defense against many heresies that have threatened our Lord’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church since the Second Vatican Council.

            Unfortunately, the section of the Catechism on homosexualism (paragraphs 2357-2359) is very weak. It strips the condemnation of homosexual behaviour — the ghastly and unnatural sin of Sodomy, which is one of four sins that “cry out to Heaven for vengeance” — of its moral content and hellish consequences, and instead re-frames homosexualism merely in the realm of a psychological “disorder” that can “never be approved”; how effete and unconvincing a characterization this is of the gravely evil vice of Sodomy.

            Indeed, “homosexual persons” are presented almost as a sub-species of the human race — a “type” or “kind” of human being whose homosexual impulses are a pre-defined and immutable aspect of his being and make him part of an identifiable group/community — rather than presenting him realistically: as an individual sinner who needs to be delivered from a particularly odious and tenacious vice that pollutes his identity and God’s image within him.

            This section of the Catechism also surprisingly asserts that homosexualism’s “psychological genesis remains largely unexplained”. Why does this section speak of an “unexplained” origin of this sinful impulse, when we know all impulses toward sin are instigated, ultimately, by the devil? Were the writers of this section ashamed to talk about fallen human nature and the supernatural realities of the battle we all must fight against the evil one? Why did they choose to use (and that rather clumsily and superficially) modern psychoanalytical jargon when addressing so grave a sin? And can we Catholics read those three paragraphs dealing with homosexualism in the Catechism and hear the authoritative voice of the Holy Spirit of God Almighty, who reduced Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes for this grave sin? Or is it rather a worldly, politically-correct, “spirit-of-vatican-2” voice that we hear?

            When I first studied the Catechism, much of it seemed wonderfully inspired and very wise, as guided by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. But if the Catechism is somewhat — or even dangerously — influenced by political and worldly considerations, such influences are no where more apparent than in its altogether insufficient condemnation of the sinful tendency of homosexualism which has, in a few short decades, morphed into fully-fledged Sexual Transhumanism, with multiple “gender identities and expressions” being rammed into the minds of school children by Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and the advent of the Transhuman family through legislative inventions, artificial reproduction, and the state-sponsored kidnapping of children placed for adoption by giving them into the possession of homosexual practitioners. It is nothing less than the psycho-sexual molestation of an entire civilization and of children in particular, whose impressionable young imaginations are polluted, to a greater of lesser degree, with pedophilic delectation by those who would give themselves over to the service of the evil one.

            If you have not already read it, I would highly recommend St. Peter Damian’s expose on the poison of Sodomy among the clergy of his day (11th Century), entitled The Book of Gomorrah. Here’s a brief excerpt:

            “For it is this (Sodomy) which violates sobriety, kills modesty, slays chastity. It butchers virginity with the sword of a most filthy contagion. It befouls everything, it stains everything, it pollutes everything, and for itself it permits nothing pure, nothing foreign to filth, nothing clean.”

            May God help us to look at all people, including ourselves, as He does: with eyes that see beyond the masks, the costumes, the false personas, and the refusal to give up our most cherished sinful practices so as to allow Him to cleanse and heal us. May we always pray that our friends, neighbours, brothers, and sisters who are in the grip of the demons of sexual perversion will come to know that Jesus Christ, who makes all things new, and who has a real, glorious, and holy life for them in His love — a love that is always obedient to the will of our Father in Heaven!

            “Do not fear; only believe.” – Mark 5:36

            Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

          • You are incorrect. The Catechism gives the issue exactly the amount of space it deserves. Two percent of the population shoulder this serious and grievous maladaptation. Given its obsessive-compulsive character, its deep roots in pre-conscious trauma, it requires a wise, prudent and discreet intervention. Almighty God, Creator of all things, the Most Holy Trinity, condescended in Jesus Christ to save sinners. In the sight of His utter Love, Goodness and Purity our sinful and debased nature is at once repellant in its face, and magnetic in its necessity. As co-redeemers with Christ, it is our vocation to be a conduit of conversion, not an aide for damnation. Discouragement is the Adversary’s most common tool. We need always soberly speak the truth without hyperbole.
            Once I was given a “definition” of heresy – “A truth taken out of context and magnified beyond its importance.” The accuracy of this idea might not be exhaustive, but it has much going for it. As is often inferred, we must always distinguish between the human person made in the image
            and likeness of God – willed to exist by Him from before time, with a destiny to be united with Him in eternity – and gross evil and the tragedy of personal sin. When the proper perspective is not maintained we easily fall into scrupulousness which I hold responsible in no small measure for the undermining of the Gospel in society, particularly during the past five hundred years. Its underlying current is found in both the Puritan and the libertine. The reality of sin must be seen as it is within the context of God’s will to redeem in and through the Paschal Mystery. Our Lord’s willingness to endure the most abhorrent suffering in order to liberate us from slavery of sin, to restore His image in us, is the reality that will entice, I would even say “seduce” the most grievous sinner to repentance. We do our Lord’s self-immolation a disservice when engendering inordinate fear and self-loathing in the sinner. We sinners need turn from an inordinate preoccupation with ourselves and our unworthiness and maintain our gaze on the Holy Face of Jesus Christ, our strength, our consolation and our salvation.
            Regard well the teaching of the saints, from the Apostolic Fathers, the desert Fathers, the great doctors such as Sts. Augustine, Gregory, Bernard, Teresa, Francis de Sales, Alphonsus, Therese – their heart and intellect were able to regard at once both the gross truth of human nature and its call to Divine Union. We read in their self-examination their perception of self as debased sinners and we don’t take it seriously. They were actually deeply sinful and knew the reality of personal sin. The shock and awe of their personal sin allowed them to respond to God’s Grace. One sin or another. One sin or two. Sin both constitutional and chosen, original and actual. The scrupulous and the relativist are both engaged in an over preoccupation with self which is in itself self-destructive. We need be able to journey well and chew gum at the same time. The Bergoglian with his presumption is no different than the Jansenist, Lutheran and Calvinist. It’s “all about them” while they scrape the crap off their shoe simultaneously regarding others as one thing or another – Pharisee, rigorist, homo and whore come to mind.
            “Pick up your matt and walk!” We need stand on our two feet, shoulder our personal cross composed of moral, intellectual, emotional weaknesses and raving appetites, shut up, quit whining and listen to our Master’s admonition and emulate His disposition. Knowing the constitution of reality, the Divine Physician was scandalized by nothing, always ready to intervene to restore us to His Image.
            “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.”

          • incorrect about what? In my world conduit is what electrical wire goes through and doing dirty nasty things is still sinful. The Saints don’t call the Devil the “king of excrement” for nothing. The Penny and the Baltimore Catechism are useful. The latest block of wood put together by Cardinals Law and Schonborn is so ambiguous its only value is to use it to discuss things in the rectory and play Catholic. If the Good Lord wants to send me to Hell as a tax cheat just as quick at he sends Fr. Loose Loafers it is really his call. This whole Mercy dialogue thing is one big hoax like Medjugorje. Its culpability baby, culpability. Being tormented by our own wretchedness and sin is part of the Catholic trip or at least it used be. Wringing you hands on the way to the brothel isn’t virtue. ‘Grievous maladaptation’? Its that kind of approach that leads to shuffling deviants like jokers in a deck of cards. Why elevate the widespread dirty malady that has infiltrated the church? – it is a dirty sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. Always was, always will be.
            I read your post over –
            Whoa … pre-conscious trauma? Pre-conscious trauma eh? I smell the ‘God made me a sodomite’ rat. No way. You are mistaken. Own it. 2%? Real estimates of Catholic clergy are at 50% at the low end.

          • “Incorrect about what?” My response to clintoncps was intended to
            highlight what I believe to be inadequacies in his lengthy comment. Undoubtedly and most specifically “incorrect” was offered to his objection to the quality and amount of coverage offered the issue of homosexuality in the Catechism. Given the fact that two percent – some say four percent — of the human population grapples with this complex disorder, the Catechism, which seeks to cover the broad range of Catholic belief, gives the issue sufficient coverage. There are specifics works of moral theology providing depth coverage. If you need to know more, read one. A very readable work of 120 pages on the topic is “Christian Anthropology and Homosexuality” published by L’Ossevatore Romano” in 1997.
            I then went on to give a critique of what I believe is unmerited concern over the issue of homosexuality. Roman Catholicism is about answering and fulfilling Christ commission to save souls. We are about the business of redemption, freeing individuals from slavery to sin. We are not about the multifaceted discipline of sexology, sexual disorder and sexual dysfunction. That stuff isn’t our job unless these facets of human experience present an impediment to an individual’s salvation.
            In regard to your gripes:
            As for the magnified concern lavished upon the issue of same sex attraction, I am left somewhat perplexed. The hysteria, the feigned moral outrage that some individuals bring to this topic bespeaks a concern, which for whatever reason, appears to impact them.
            The range of moral issues we all confront, including homosexuality, in attempting to live out our call to follow Jesus Christ are best shouldered with confidence in Christ and a sober perspective – which ultimately for Christians is a supernatural perspective. Christ desires all men to be saved. Tragically not all men will be saved. A firm corrective offered to others with respect, understanding and prayer is often all we can do for anyone enslaved to a moral vice. It is the least we can do. But be sure not to be a stumbling block to another sinner, or you might share in his tragic consequence, God forbid.
            The Catechism:
            Cardinals Law and Schoenborn were not the authors of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
            Pope John Paul II appointed a commission, much to the outrage of leftist “Catholics,” to produce a Catechism that would buttress the
            faithful in their understanding of the faith in the wake of the disorder
            engendered by the hijacked council of 1962-1965. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith, was the head of a commission that included:
            William Cardinal Baum, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
            Bishop Felipe Santiago Benitez Avalos of Paraguay
            Archbishop Coadjutor Isidore de Souza of Benin
            Archbishop Henry Sebastian d’Souza of India
            Archbishop Neophytos Edelby of Syria;
            Antonio Cardinal Innocenti, of Italy
            Bernard Cardinal Law, of Boston
            Cardinal Simon D. Lourdusamy of India
            Titular Archbishop Jan. P. Schotte of Belgium
            Archbishop Jerzy Stroba of Poland
            Jozef Cardinal Tomko of Czechoslovakia.

            Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn served as an editor, one of several.

            The commission was assisted by a committee consisting of seven diocesan bishops, experts in theology and catechesis. The text was subject to wide examination by the world episcopate.
            You might go to Pope John Paul’s Apostolic Constitution and read what he had to say about the Catechism
            It’s difficult to know what to say beyond this. But a couple of things come to mind.
            Reading is more than word recognition. The “block of wood” might serve you a purpose if you approached it in small bites like most of us have to do, and digested the rich fare it has to offer, which is the Deposit of Faith. Is it offered perfectly? Surely, no. Is it offered adequately – fairly so I’d say. It is, at the very least, a treasure in a dark, dark epoch. Believe me, the Bergoglians would prefer it never existed.

          • In my diocese I can’t swing a cat by the tail without hitting a homosexual priest. I’m the guy in the back row who prefers to receive on the tongue because my hands are frequently dirty. I prefer the Latin Mass because it keeps the prancing about to a minimum. Of the 13 clergymen involved in your CCC brick, some suggest 60% are active homosexuals that would be 7. Like I said, in black and white it says “homosexuality MAY be a burden for some”. All this intellectual gymnastics on the matter is a cover for the sin. Everybody knows the mechanics of sodomy and its gross. I believe the ordination of unrepentant sodomites is invalid – riddle me that. There is a conspiracy. The secret is out. Your high brow prattle will no longer discourage the Faithful from uncovering the Truth. Ya, Sure the Modernists ‘hated’ the new CCC. It is an exercise in nailing jello to the wall. I’ll read the writings of Saint Pius X again, thanks.

          • There is nothing high brow about anything I said, Stephen. I understand your anger and your disappointment. You don’t have a monopoly on disappointment with the clergy, nor of being scandalized by sinful behavior. Keeping things in proportion and perspective can be difficult, but it serves you better if you can pull it off.
            I had to laugh at “I prefer the Latin Mass because it keeps the prancing about to a minimum.” You hit that on the head. Unfortunately it is not an option where I live.
            We agree on far more than you realize.

          • Complex disorder? No, dirty habit. Your bishop is required to supply the extrordinary form. They have conspired to deprive you of it.

          • In the west the distances can be vast. It would be a sixty mile round trip. My small parish does have a good pastor. He actually says mass “ad orientem” but in English. He is reverent. He is conservative. I don’t know how I’d survive with a Bergoglian — they are everywhere. He is prone to some comic relief which is employed far too frequently. As you say, too much prancing and from my point of view way too much yapping. They just can’t be still.

          • Indeed. The first edition of the ‘doorstop catechism’ states; “homosexuality may be a burden for some”. May be a burden? How about a ticket to hell? This man Francis has used the clinical term for the eating of feces in a public interview. In what possible context could that be normal and NOT evil? He is Pope Nope as far as i am concerned. I’m still stuck at “Pope Benedict XVI did What?” The 3rd secret is out the rear view window at this point.

          • Your comments remind me of Fulton Sheen’s answer to the question, “How can one be a popular preacher?”

            “Preach about the sins they don’t commit.”

            Sodomy is a disgusting sin, and most people experience absolutely no temptation to commit it. It is not necessary for preachers–or the Catechism–to rail at length against it, or to rant about how it comes from the devil IN SOME SPECIAL WAY among all sins.

            The number of people who seem to experience some special gratification from elaborating, at enormous length, on the special Satanic genesis and the revolting physical and moral consequences, of sodomy, seems to be significant.

            The Catechism lays out the truth. Purple prose is not needed.

          • Honestly, I have never read through the entire body of the “Catechism of the Council of Trent.” What I have read is firmly grounded and articulated, both illuminating and inspiring to this challenged intellect. It is vitally important to remember that the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” is not meant to supersede that of Trent. Proper application of the perennial Magisterium of the Church would be loath to support such a notion. Saying that, I inadvertently highlighted the foul error of the Bergoglian perspective, which perceives and displays itself as having a superior “wisdom” which overrides that upon which the Church stands. Bergoglianism is the quintessence of hubris and as such is entirely debased.
            The CCC and the CT emerged out of different circumstances and addressed different audiences. CT was a produced in a far less literate age, a more narrowly educated populace (though they were better educated than we are in significant ways), new to wide availability of printed material, and was a finely honed response to the unthought-of cultural upheaval known as the protestant revolt.
            The CCC, emerged out of the poor construct of a “pastoral” council of the 1960’s, and sought to corral the erroneous notions generated by the council itself. It was offered to a culture that had devolved into a kind
            of practical atheism overnight, in no small measure due to that same council. It was placed in the hands of a populace that was essentially not only uncatechised, but was deeply hostile to Christianity – let alone, the Roman Catholic Church. They were dealing not with illiterates, but the catechetically ignorant, a culture subsumed in licentiousness. The book had to be readable by those who regarded themselves as educated, but were not comfortable with sophisticated theological abstractions.
            Two texts, written in different circumstances with the result they have a different character. They had to be very different books. I do not even address issues such as developments in the sciences, civic, economic and sociological realities.

  6. Stunning. The dots have been connected and the picture is malevolence itself. I think most of us have known but couldn’t bring ourselves to believe that this was possible, that it really could be true. This Pope has done so much damage but I hope, but cannot foresee how, a schism can be avoided.

  7. I was a new convert when Pope Benedict decided to resign. The day he resigned I woke up in the middle of the night with great anxiety then heard my phone sound a new message about Pope Benedict was resigning. I remember crying and feeling both fearful and sad. I had no idea why. Now I do!

  8. Unprecedented pontificate? Was also said about JohnXXIII, Paul VI, JPI, JPII and BenXVI. Is it going to take another 6 popes just like the current and last 5 popes to maybe consider you’re wrong?

    • You are correct. Francis is just a repackaging of the blight that has infected the Papacy for the last 50 years. Each Pope appears to have certain areas of exasperated weakness which directly fuels of the crisis of faith. With Francis, we now have it touching moral doctrine and that is why everyone is reacting so badly.

      Through Paul VI, John Paul II of Unhappy Memory, up until Francis, the Popes have been solid on moral doctrine; this is why the neo-cons circle the wagons around JPII (for example) against all reason and against the Catholic faith. Suddenly, we have a Pope who is now causing a crisis in moral doctrine, which has never happened within the last century or two, and only now do some of them wake up. It’s simply more of the same, just repackaged, at a sped up pace and focusing on moral doctrine instead of merely soteriology, ecumenism, ecclesiology, and the like.

      I suppose in a certain sense it is unprecedented, but in another it’s more of the same crisis.

  9. This is an excellent summation of Francis’ Papacy and is actually quite astounding to finally have the indictment of the man and his Papacy before us in one well written and comprehensive article. It is hard to believe that this much has occurred in such a short time. And I have to congratulate the author for not using the term “Coprophagia”, not even once. The battle is indeed joined, but we should recognize that Francis will grow increasing dangerous as he realizes that his opposition has real bite, and could do serious damage to his agenda. Let’s hope he doesn’t further advance his tendency to adopt totalitarian tactics when confronted. I fear that when we reflect on this article, two years from now, we might be memorializing those who have fallen in the course of the battle, and be left weeping at the condition of the once beautiful Church that has been turned into a bloody, grotesque battlefield by Francis and his merciless marauders.

  10. Well done.
    Not known for being in any measure precognitive even to myself, I knew on February 11, 2013 what was to come. Mid-afternoon, March 13, 2013 there was a live shot of an ecclesial 9/11 on the loggia of St. Peter’s. I did not know the man — wish I still didn’t — and wept. I won’t belabor the rest of that first hour of ecclesial perdition, nor the weeks, months, years since. We all know.
    We are enduring a kind of ecclesiastical Black Death, mirroring the biological pestilence endured by Europe in the 14th century. Rodents and their vermin are everywhere. The bodies are piling up. The graveyard is bursting at the seams. Disposing of cadavers is regarded “reform,” yet for something to be regarded as “reformed” it needs to have been actually “improved and enriched”– a staged crime scene for nefarious purposes is not reform.
    The tragic enterprise presently underway is nothing other than malevolent deconstruction, and we know it can indeed by remedied by by cooperation with Grace. No matter what they do, it can be reversed. If the dead can rise, the perpetrators of this sacrilege will not triumph. We will see the reversal of the maneuvers of Bergoglio, Maradiaga, Fernandez and their legion. No matter what this maggotry erects in the Temple, Christ’s Bride, His Church will be restored.
    The very stones will shout.

    • Overall the above article is informative. The part on critics of papal critics planting false information in pseudonymous blogs and comment boxes seems a bit out of place, though.

      The reality is that there is a great need for more pseudonymous priests and prelates to leak more information on Pope Francis.

      For example, are there indicators that Pope Francis engages in gravely evil behavior at Santa Marta or not? Is there another reason that he and McCarrick are good friends? Is there another reason why the pope lives at Santa Marta?

      • Sufficiently grievous is the masterful undermining of Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the perennial Magisterium of the Church.
        The Pope like most people tends to keep close to those with whom he shares a perspective, although this human trait is rather dangerous in those with consequential positions of leadership. His confreres, as mother was fond of saying, say much about him.
        The move to Santa Marta was impelled by his “micromanagement style.” Some said it is a sign of healthy engagement, others that he is a tyrant.
        Further, to paraphrase the man himself, “I’m a people person. I’d go crazy without people.”
        Some individuals require more than one safety net.

      • I have always wondered about why PF lived at Santa Marta – indeed, is there another reason why the pope lived there?

  11. The last instance of the Black Death, the Plague, occurred in Marseilles, France. It was stopped by a divine intervention, through devotion, public, reparational, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
    Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come!

  12. I had the opposite reaction. I was initially quite enthusiastic about Pope Francis because of his supposed evangelical poverty. Within days of the election I saw a youtube of a children’s mass in a stadium in Buenos Aires with Archbishop Bergolio that brought about in me a feeling of deep sadness. Still, after the initial reaction I prayed to accept the pope, and hoped that being pope, the Holy Spirit would guide and change him. I shrugged off unfavorable comments initially, including some information that reached me about the Synods. I was beginning to have reservations about his papacy, but I felt in the end the Holy Spirit would protect Pope Francis from going against church teaching in the new papal document that was to be released. When it came out, I was crushed and confused. That is when I discovered a few helpful websites like this one. It was also very helpful to me that Cardinal Burke came out and said that Amoris Laetitia was not infallible. Who could have imagined that things could have become this bad this fast.

    • Poverty is sweating it out over a bill.
      He never sweat over a bill in his life. And he wants to keep it that way.
      And remember well, poverty is an evil. Evangelical poverty is the right use of things in proper proportion for the love of God.

    • I too was initially excited for his apparent spirit of poverty although his much vaunted humility started to wear thin very early on

  13. I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt there was something wrong when the current pope stepped onto the balcony. I had a gut feeling that there was something just not right about the man.

    • Me too. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time but something in my spirit was uneasy, disturbed. Now, four years on, I know why.

      • That’s how I first ‘met’ Steve at his old website and many of us found comfort sharing our dread.We all were so careful because it was so looked-down-upon in 2013.

        • I found him the same way. Steve’s crew on FB have kept me sane and in The Church. My doubts about all of it were getting to me. I guess being Catholic was just too easy before PF. I needed support which is not found in my diocese. My parish fell within a year of PF, as well. Steve and his friends were the rudder I needed.

          • That’s sweet! I’m sorry about yr parish though. Reminds me of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’. If we can just keep our heads when everyone else is losing theirs…heh. Steve is a good guy, indeed. It’s odd but through this as a convert I’ve found great support from cradle Catholics. They know how to hunker down and dig in,whereas so many converts are used to just leaving when the going gets tough. I’m generalizing, but I’ve found so many of those giving advice on radio etc aren’t dealing with this well…and I don’t mean just the usual suspects.God help us all. Keep praying that rosary.?

  14. Oh, I have to comment !! I cannot believe this !! That was the exact reaction that I had !– I remembered the incredible joy that I had felt when Pope Benedict appeared. I had loved him for so long. So this time I was literally shaking, crying , and saying to my two year old grandson, whom I had I had awakened from his nap for this—-“This is so incredible, Jack !!!!” ( I am sure he cared—) So, there I was shaking and crying. When Pope Francis walked out—I was thunderstruck with numbness and horror ! Without knowing why, I, like you, felt sick–my arms felt numb. I will never forget it as one of the most sickening , dead moments of my life.

    • Benedict is a weak Pope. His weak faith allowed him to be bullied into “resigning,” which led to this current mess. It is debatable if he really believes the “two-headed papacy” garbage he spewed in the not so distant past. He (Benedict) had started to slowly repair some of the damage when the acting pope. However, it was damage he contributed a great deal to. He was not, in any way, in the conservative camp during the debacle known as VII.

  15. I was a traditionalist at the time so my reaction was also one of disappointment. But now I don’t pretend I don’t know why. He came out without the traditional papal mozzetta and stole. I actually used to think things like that were important.

  16. I know a number of people that had that same reaction when he was elected. All have been proven correct— there is no kindness in his face, no piety, nothing holy, he appeared as a man with an ungodly agenda. Excellent commentary–thank you Steve!

  17. What a consolation to read your powerful words, Steve. Your impressions of Pope Francis from the moment he first emerged from the conclave up to the very present are absolutely identical to mine and. I dare say, to those of many millions of suffering Catholics. This man has in effect instituted divorce and remarriage in the Catholic Church in blatant contradiction of the command of Christ, the unanimous belief and practice of the Church throughout the ages, and the defined dogma of the council of Trent. This he has done in the most underhanded and surreptitious and deceptive manner possible. Marital fidelity and indissolubility are the source of all Christian sexual morality. If you destroy this primal sacrament, the whole of it will come tumbling down. This is obviously the ultimate goal. Just read the eighth chapter of Amoris Laetitia as I did over and over. This man is a heretic – no question. A heretic cannot be pope.- If a major prelate stated this directly from the pulpit, the dam would break..

  18. “Our cultural context is not the same as it was during the Second Vatican Council, or even the promulgation of Humanae Vitae.”

    Actually I think it is the same context; only that initial rift between Church teaching and the lack of conviction of the faithful (“faithful”?) to follow that teaching is rapidly turning into a chasm. Dissent on contraception, which was and is nearly total, ushered in dissent on a host of other issues: women’s ordination, abortion, gay marriage, IVF, and probably others we haven’t even thought of yet.

    The question is what to do about this gap between the Church and the Church’s teaching. There are three choices: 1) ignore the gap and hope it goes away; 2) force a confrontation and probable schism; and 3) accommodate Church’s teaching to the majority view. Clearly, the prior two papacies chose #1, while watching the situation only worsen. Pope Francis has clearly chosen #3.

    Pope Francis has picked his first battle masterfully (Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried) and I think he will likely succeed. Why? First, as the Pope is pointed out, decades of rulings by marriage tribunals have eroded doubt on the validity of most Catholic marriages to begin with; many Dioceses in the U.S. and Europe have already practiced the type of “internal forum” contemplated by AL for a long time; the practice of Orthodox Churches have long departed from the Catholic practice, so there is a sort of “precedence” that doesn’t exist with other issues.

    Protest against this move has been anemic and Pope Francis has demonstrated that opponents are fairly easily tainted and discredited (e.g. Cardinal Burke and the Knights of Malta debacle); which will discourage further opposition.

    Does the Pope think that he will usher in something like women’s ordination in his lifetime? Clearly no. BUT, once he is successful on Holy Communion, he knows that he will catalyze future changes in other aspects of Church teaching. He has opened the door.

  19. I knew something was wrong when Francis failed to mention Jesus Christ in All of his speeches in Philly ,DC and Cuba. Odd ommission from the supposed Vicar of Christ. Contrast Francis speeches with Mother Theresa yrs ago in NYC and DC etc. She mentioned Jesus Christ in All paragraphs in all her speeches by contrast…………. Now we have Paglia, Cupich , McElroy antics throughout the faith.In view of clear indication of Bergolio inaction in father Invlio and deaf Children shelter abuse scandal in Buenos Aires while he was in charge bodes Ill for the RC faith to say the least.

  20. Best article yet in this age of the Church. I truly feel, more than ever before, the Army of the Lord is real and present as to, the Army of the fallen one.

  21. Excellent article and the comments are very well thought out. I feel the same way but I keep asking myself the same question each day…..What do we do? I know prayer has to be first and foremost but what else? Will writing to the Pope do anything? Will it bring unwanted attention on me as an individual? Will it ultimately affect my diocesan Bishop or parish priest? Do I start just tweeting anonymously to the Pope? I see all these things the Pope and his cohorts are doing but I do not know what I can do.

  22. My first reaction? “There’s something wrong. There’s something wrong”. Round and round and round in my head. Hilary White nailed for me when she said “The unthinkable had happened. Sauron had got hold of the Ring” (Apologies if I’ve paraphrased it)

  23. Father Luigi Villa was asked by St Pio to investigate freemasonry in the Vatican I believe. The infernal plan was for Freemasonic infiltration of the Catholic Church to be pursued vigorously, relentlessly and covertly at all levels extending to the very top of the hierarchy. The “Cult of Man” was to be worshipped rather than Almighty God. The ultimate plan is the removal of Jesus Christ and His replacement by Lucifer. To this end ‘conscience’ rather than the Law of God was to be made paramount as the supreme arbiter of good and evil, NOT God. ‘Dialogue’ rather than evangelisation was to be promoted. Social justice and temporal wellbeing were to be sought rather than the promulgation of the Gospel. The ‘rights’ of man, rather than of God were to be the focus. The construction of a veritable heaven on Earth with man at the centre, not God was the aim, all under the banner of ‘social justice’. Progress became the watchword. Tradition, namely the cleaving to Christ was intolerable. Everything is promised, peace, prosperity, economic and social justice just so long as God is denied. Just as with communism. This plan began to be implemented under the cover of Vatican II. Subtle but soon to prove devastating spiritual dynamite was smuggled in and planted. The stage was set for a Luciferian takeover.

    So called enemies of this new Church had somehow to be vanquished. But how to do so? By sowing confusion and a process of demoralisation. But it had to be done subtly and gradually lest the controlling hand be seen and the game given away.

    It is chilling just how far and how deep the agenda of the enemy has been promoted. The faithful are told that this is all in the name of mercy, peace and progress and in keeping with the will of God “who is love”. Surely no reasonable and loving person could be opposed to mercy, peace and progress? To be concerned about the direction of this new church allows its architects and agents to paint the opposition as lacking in mercy, intolerant, pharasaical, rigid and too wedded to the Law. This is how it will all play out going forward growing steadily more confident and brazen. Like Communism, it promises everything, if only one will deny God. All is now open to interpretation, even the very words of Our Lord in the service of the advancement of this New and “improved” gospel. Anyone who dissents is smeared as a ‘rigid’ block to this progress.

    We have been warned by Malachi Martin, Bella Dodd, Papal condemnations of Freemasonry and Our Blessed Mother Herself. What Satan and his servants, human and angelic cannot and will not accept is that despite their best efforts and seeming ascendancy and promise of victory, that in the end their infernal and diabolical machinations will ALL come to naught because of Our Blessed Lord and His and our Most Holy Mother and all the company of Saints. With God with us, who can be against us?

  24. So, Comrade, I was not the only one to feel that a haughty and alien presence had stepped onto the loggia four years ago. You too were affected.

    I too experienced a sense of dread and a physical reaction in my guts – a warning from one’s Guardian Angel or the Catholic sense kicking in.

    It seemed to me that a devil surveyed the crowd in St. Peter’s, not a man.

    I think myself that the man is likely possesed.

        • That’s a good point…although I’ve often wondered if true, hardcore Satanists are actually possessed, since they already belong to Satan, does he really have to go that far with them?

        • I’ve often wondered if true, hardcore Satanists are actually possessed. It seems to me that demonic possession is a claim Satan makes on the bodies of those who have unwittingly given some kind of authority to Satan over their lives and bodies by, for example, using ouija boards or having magic spells cast. Whereas Satanists willingly gives themselves over to Satan, so I don’t think he’d have to make any sort of claim on them

          • This is not an area I know a whole lot on but I’m thinking the simplified version is probably something like this:

            Unwitting = Demons coming in through a crack
            Satanist = They’ve thrown the doors open with a welcome sign.

            Fr Ripperger’s website is a good place to learn more. I tend to avoid those talks though! Gives me the creeps!!

    • I am not Catholic.

      I just adored Benedict. My exact thoughts on the appearance of Francis–“A Wolf”– and every thing I saw or read after that day was a variation of “he gives me the creeps”

      • I have to say Comrade Banjo that the Politburo’s view of Joseph Ratzinger is not as positive as yours. A theological half-Modernist until the end, the appointer of some very dodgy Bishops, and in human terms at least a rank coward for fleeing the wolves when he had the authority to throw them out of the Church.

        • Benedict never made my skin crawl the way Commie Frankie does.

          As I said, not a Catholic. My expectations are different for a Pope than a Catholic’s. I thought Benedict a decent enough preacher.

        • I think you are a bit harsh. Pope Benedict was an academic, a quiet, modest man, not egotistical, not pushy. Being like that, to implement many plans required cooperation of a signififcant number. Dont you suspect he was being undermined continually. Heck! We hear this frequently. But as we have learned in these past years, the Vatican has many determined men with worldly plans and objectives; We can forgive saintly men for being innocent and perhaps a bit naive. It was important that he not lose his peace. It was always uplifting to see Pope Benedict no matter what he was doing. He projected peace.

          • “saintly” men do not resign themselves to evil. You are very spiritually “naive”. Saintly men and women fight to the death to protect the church from the wolves. If Benedict chose “peace” of mind over serving Christ, at any cost, then he will soon answer to Christ and be found wanting, if he does not repent.

            He is a Modernist through and through and his intellect and will compromised. “No man can serve two masters…for either he will hate the one and love the other…ye cannot serve God and mammon.”. Matt 6:24

          • Pope Benedict had come from the CDF. One of the CDF’s roles was to deal with sexual abuse. As soon as he was Pope, he had power to deal with hundreds of cases of proven abuse and we know he defrocked over 800 priests, and immediately dealt with a very well known predator. There had been obstacles in the time of JPii posssibly because his health was crippling his ability to govern – this is just being realistic so a major predator was removed (Maciel Marciel). The CDF was loyal to him and he knew the system and acted without hesitation. But in his character, he had requested retirement from JP2 previously to go back to Germany and write/study. I believe saintly people know their limitations when they are surrounded by radicals.There would have been many who wrote him off.

          • Well said, “…saintly people know their limitations…”, except you don’t really get it. Benedict put his trust in his own “needs” and limitations. He took the easy way out. The sin of intellectual pride, the most common sin amongst intellectuals. A saintly pope, bishop, priest, nun, lay man or women would already have deep deep spiritual understanding of the interior crisis destroying the church and would beg the Holy Spirit for the sanctifying graces, the strenght to do everything possible to save the church including the determination to overcome “timidity” and whatever other ordinary human limitations he would be well aware he had. He or she would NOT pass the buck. Because holiness means great humility, and radically humble men and women are ruthlessly honest with themselves.

            Benedict was so compromised by that worst of all heresies, Modernism, so compromised by “optimism” and the promises of the modern world, that his Catholic faith was undermined, and like the other conciliar popes, and that includes JPll, he had forgotten the power of Original Sin over our souls, the souls of humanity. The man I had seen as humble in 2005, turns out to be humility impoverished who put his trust in his own brilliant intellect rather than in the Holy Spirit’s Will for him which was to die a martyr’s death if necessary to save our beloved Catholic Church from betrayal by vast numbers of clerics – popes, theologians, scholars bishops, priests and nuns.

            Today, it’s hard for us in the west to conceive of Catholics who would never settle for serving Christ in “half measure”. Because life has gotten very cushy. Think St. Padre Pio who bore the stigmata for 50 years with all the attendent suffering. Which he bore gladly for Christ and His church’s sake. Think Ste. Therese de Lisieux, who for the last 18 months of her life lived in spiritual darkness(the Dark Night of the Soul)tormented by Satan, and without any consolations while her body was being devoured by metastisizing tuberculosis. No consolations. No pain killers. She bore it all for love of Christ and His church.

          • Benedict put his trust in his own “needs” and limitations.

            And how do you know that for a fact? How do you know that your discernment of how he should act is the one guided by the Holy Spirit?

            You are too full of hubris to be sensible.

          • Do you think the Carmelites and cloistered orders choose “peace of mind” over serving Christ?

          • Good point, but you’ve not proven anything even though you’ve deepened the conversation.

            If those cloistered orders were living lives radically committed to holiness, Ste. Therese de Lisieux is a great example, then it’s obvious “peace of mind” meant something radically different for her than it did for the other sisters who did not recognize her holiness. They had settled for ordinary peace of mind. Observant Catholics. Following the rules laid down by their founder St. Teresa of Avila. Ste. Therese’s peace of mind came from her holy soul. She avoided the ordinary comforts the others valued.The other nuns had the normal peace of mind that is associated with the world. One’s physical, spiritual and psychological needs taken care of. Even though there were daily hardships and demands.

            If you object – how do I know this?? Then this conversation is pointless.

            To get back to Benedict – The sad facts are that he is a Modernist, which is a heresy. I’m not making this up. I used to revere him. Most of what I know about Vatll and the conciliar popes, I’ve learned in the last five years from faithful Catholics who anguish over the catastrophe that has overtaken the church since 1962 even though it started at the end of the 19th century when the heresy of Modernism started to take root in the church. It should go without saying that everything that is wrong with the world started with our First Parents when they chose to disobey God. However, regarding the tragic state of the church today the facts are indisputable, and there’s no way I’m going to pretend it’s not true even though I wish to God it were otherwise.

            The sources I’ve relied on include Trad blogs like 1Peter5, The Remnant, Hilary white, The Fatima Centre, Ann Barnhardt, Canon212, Robert Sungenis, the late Fr. Gregory Hesse, et al. I also rely on Novus Ordo Watch. I assume they are SSPV. They have tremendous respect for facts. I say that even though I’m not a Sedavacantist. It all started for me with ChurchMilitant.Com. Where I learned so much about the vast betrayal of hundreds of bishops. But I no longer subscribe because they remove any comments I make critical of Francis the fake pope.

            Benedict is a Modernist. He wants the church to accommodate herself to the world. As to his “peace of mind”, it’s the peace the world values. He is too selfish. His desires for privacy, to write and play his classical piano. That is unacceptable. The west has become soft and tolerant of any and every abberation. Self sacrifice is viewed as ridiculous. Where would the church be without the ultimate sacrifice of the 12 apostles who with the exception of St. John all suffered horrifying martyrdom. And all the saints and martyrs who for 2000 years have answered the call to radical holiness.

          • My Goodness, you really are full of hubris.

            How do you know for a fact that the other sisters have settled for peace of mind?

          • Joseph Ratzinger is a sophisticated intellect, nobody’s fool, who weathered the ecclesiastical jungle with aplomb for decades. He ain’t the little old professor who can’t boil water. This man makes determined judgements for whatever reason he holds to be the thing to do. Do not be deceived. We had all best consign “Going My Way” ecclesiology to the circular file.
            Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral” — I don’t think so. At least not in 2013.

        • Well said. This may be the only time ever that I’ve agreed with the “Politburo” on anything.

          I never dreamed, when in 2005 Cardinal Ratzinger was elected pope, and I thought the church needs this “humble” man to lead her back to Christ, that I would do a flip-flop. Alas, today I have to accept that Benedict is a Modernist heretic and a spineless coward.

  25. When I first heard of Benedict’s abdication, I didn’t believe it, and was shocked to find out later that it was true. I’d held the man in high esteem though, and so let myself be convinced (by the EWTN types) that he’d acted in good faith, considering his age and state of health, to make way for someone younger and stronger who could continue what he had started (especially in the revitalization of the liturgy). I had high hopes that in the coming conclave, the Holy Spirit would move the cardinals to elect just such a man, and it’s hard to say what I felt when Francis first stepped out on the podium, beyond an unsettled sense that this wasn’t what I’d prayed for, and not what the long-suffering faithful so obviously needed. Not wearing the papal mozetta, and asking the crowd in the piazza to ‘bless’ him before administering his own formal papal blessing struck me as odd. In spite of my misgivings, I wanted to give the man every benefit of the doubt, and let him prove himself as worthy a successor to Benedict as his supporters assured us he would be, and so I was initially put off by the statements of Rorate Caeli and others that his reign would be an unprecedented disaster in the history of the Church. Sad to say, they were proven right in every respect, and then some, and I found myself thinking something like ‘this is the first day of the rest of your life. You’ll be an old man, or long dead, before the Church is healthy again’. I don’t know what the immediate future holds (chastisement, more than likely?); all I know is that I have to persevere in seeking the graces needed to see it through till my own personal end.

  26. “The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world would not have believed, that the adversary and the enemy should enter in by the gates of Jerusalem.” (Lam 4:12)

  27. I distinctly remember not knowing who he was. I had my money on Scola but I was aware of the other papabile and Bergoglio was not a name I recognized. I was mildly annoyed by him not taking the Mozzetta but brushed it off and actually defended it to my father, who was much more thoroughly miffed. I defended Francis quite vociferously for about a year and a half, arguing that his focus on the poor and social justice were exactly what the Church needed and that he would show the world that one could care about the poor and still be orthodox (turns out you can’t)

    The Synods and Exhortation were the breaking point for me. But there was a moment before that that makes a lot of sense in retrospect. My wife and I travelled to Rome for our honeymoon. The highlight of that trip was supposed to be the sposi novelli blessing and meeting the pope after his general audience.

    As it turned out that was a bit of a letdown. He spent a good bit of time talking and laughing with a couple where the wife was already pregnant and clearly far enough along that the child had been conceived out of wedlock. The Holy Father got to us, briefly shook our hands and that was that.

    For me it was what it was. Not everyone gets to shake the hand of the successor of St. Peter on the steps of basilica where St. Peter is buried. But my wife, was very disappointed, to the point of tears. I remember being resentful that he had spent so much more time with the other couple than with us. Now, I see that is just how he operates and whom he favors.

    However, due to a number of circumstances, I’ve often told my wife that the Devil is out to get her on a more personal level than the rest of us. It tends to manifest in people ostracizing or rejecting her for no apparent reason as if diabolically influenced to do so. I wonder if there is not some connection there to why Pope Francis was so brusque when we meet him

    • You should explore Fr. Chad Ripperger’s writings on spirits who do us harm. He’s just released Deliverance Prayers for the Laity to use – it’s very inexpensive. Check it out.

  28. Great article. But the example of atheists being redeemed is questionable as it is Catholic doctrine that everyone has been redeemed. Salvation is another matter…

  29. I wouldn’t be surprised if we do not see some dramatic shift into full gear (so to speak) in the next month. Monday is the fourth anniversary of the Franciscan pontificate but I think it is noteworthy that the fortieth anniversary of Akita, Japan took place seven months into the pontificate on October 13, 2013. April 13 (which is Holy Thursday this year) is three and half years since that point…

    • Very interesting. April 13 is Holy Thursday in both the Catholic and the Orthodox calendars this year (this happens only once every 23 ? years or so).
      April 13 this year is a Thursday (as noted )
      April 13 is a date in the months of March – April – May
      April 13 is a feast of a martyr of the Eucharist (St Hermengild) on the same liturgical date when the Holy Eucharist was instituted.
      Just sayin….maybe this date will come and go just like so many others. Or maybe not.

  30. The Pope is a threat to our families, and it is likely his successor will be more devious, but persue the same path due to the Franciscardinals he has appointed. Who can find a Preist or Bishop to trust? They must be exceedingly few.

  31. Wasn’t there a bolt of lightening (or 2) over the vatican the day that Francis was elected? Surely this signified something??

    • I don’t have the information handy, but the day Pope Benedict announced his resignation the dome was actually struck twice, one was caught by a photographer – but most striking (to me) was that it was the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. The last time the dome was hit, I think it was last year (2016) and it was on October 7th – Our Lady of the Rosary. Please someone check me out, and if I’m wrong please delete this entry.

      • “I am the Immaculate Conception” … to receive Christ a sinless soul is
        The antidote for sacrilegious Communions by others ? The Rosary….
        that may be what the lightening signifies.

        • That is a fascinating allusion. I never thought to make the connection.
          We are blessed with a beautifully conceived and executed tapestry of Scripture, doctrine and tradition — a gift from God — now presently, regretfully, mournfully employed as a drop cloth for Bergoglian protestantism.
          A wonderful insight.
          God reward you.

      • Wasn’t it October 7th when luther was honored at the Vatican? That heretical apostate who committed the sin of schism and started civil wars….there is NOTHING to honor about him.

  32. You have given me a lot to ponder and pray over. I like to use some of Popes Francis’s quotes for some of my writings, I am quite taken by some of them. However, you have perhaps opened my eyes a little more than I anticipated before reading. Let us never despair, nor lose faith in the power of our prayers.

    • Some of the words and sayings of Francis are truly “quote worthy.” And therein lies the problem. Francis’ words are like a bag of M&M’s — ninety of them are chocolate and safe to eat and ten of them are poison and deadly. I pray for all of our wisdom and discernment. We are living in interesting times.

  33. A good summary of Francis’ pontificate. But I would emphasize that the basic problem is not Francis but Vatican II. We have a Church which is filled with modernist prelates. If we didn’t have the devil Francis we would have some another papal heretic now.

  34. The whole of your introduction. It’s as if you have taken the words out of my mouth or read my mind. So, so many of us have said the same thing. An instinctive Catholic sense that something was terribly wrong. And here we are. I’ve said it before: I won’t go as far as saying he’s not the Pope (i just don’t think it’s my call) but I have not once detected the charism of Peter. He’s a destroyer.

  35. I also will not forget the dream about a long cloister with stained glass depicting the Popes, and the current one’s are smashed by a force from nowhere, and from the gap St. Peter and Our Lady emerges, and she asked me to “rebuild Her Son’s Church.”

    We have the same opinion on this.

  36. Excellent analysis and reflection. Thank you. “But does he have the upper hand?” Of course not. Only a fool, such as Bergoglio, would think that a pope has the upper hand. Upper hand belongs to the person who serves the Lord and all those who assist her.

  37. I felt neither joy nor dread at PF’s election. Just a blankness. I knew nothing about him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt his first year, but rapidly felt alienated as the second year progressed. As the world celebrated him, I grew even more removed. If the world celebrates him, then something is wrong.

    Events proved me right.

    • I had already heard of him and his dislike for things of tradition. Within a few months, I knew that he was bad news for the faithful. I could not read his first encyclical although I have many encyclicals from former popes in my bookcase. Then he came against the holy institute of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and I knew that his desire to destroy a faithful, prayerful Order was a sign of things to come. And they keep coming, almost daily.

  38. As good an indictment as could be written, Steve; congratulations. It’s detailed without being the least tedious. Speaking of indictment and legal matters, I’ve had the luck to sit on 10 (yes, TEN!) different juries in my life between state and federal petit, and state grand juries. So I know from experience something about courtroom realities. If this were a court case and you were the prosecutor, the summation you gave above would hit the jury hard. And I know that, once back in the jury room for deliberation, there would be about a two minute silence till one of us spoke up and said, “Do we really need to deliberate before we find Bergoglio guilty?”

  39. Thanks for the great summary. When I was reading about Pope Francis receiving the papacy, I heard distinctly a Voice that was calm, not hating or mad that said, “Francis, you will take down my church.” Guess whose voice that was? P.S., I don’t hear it often enough because I’m a work in progress, but that also should show us the humility of our Good Lord. So He knows, He knows what we’re going through and will go through. Please, please, please, stay with Jesus at your parish that you find a male priest consecrating the host properly. This time will pass and it will be easier if we just always pray the simple ones: Jesus, I love you, Mary, I love you, etc. Afterwards, He will be able to effect an amazing change of Union and Grace with so much more than we can understand now after we are through going into this period of horror of this anti-Christ. I’m thinking that just the air we breath will be full of evil specters because who would ever think to oppose such a wonderful God as we have? Mary is here for us in a big way. This is what has been foretold, we are in the apocalypse for real.

  40. As you know, I too immediately had the same ominous feeling the moment I laid eyes on Pope Francis. His facial expression was not right, it was one of cold calculation. My secretary chastised me for being negative and I felt guilty for judging him (the spiritual gut instinct is rarely wrong.) Furthermore, the night before Pope Benedict XVI abdicated I had just taught my High School class about the papacy, and put emphasis on the life time office and told them why Popes don’t retire like everyone else does…the day before he resigned his office. Talk about awkward!

    This summation is awful indeed, for it is true, and it is only a gloss of the reality of this disastrous Pontificate. The bright side of it is that Pope Francis has awakened many faithful Catholics to the horrible reality of the state of the Church. May many more awaken and choose the Truth of Jesus Christ over the foul winds blowing from this Pope and his wretched sycophant’s mouths.

    Yes his pontificate is waning, yet the war is real and deadly serious. We cannot tire of soldiering for Christ, no matter how taxing the battles are. The Victory is Christ’s: so then, let us be sure that we share it with Him both now and forever, amen.

  41. Lightning striking the Vatican twice after the announced resignation is certainly a sign. It is said that you can read a soul by looking into someone’s eyes, so you saw that clearly. Nausea and dread are more obvious signs. Satan had 100 years to destroy the Church and this is the grande finale, in the 100th anniversary of Fatima. We faithful Catholics need to drain our swamp. This year should be that year.

  42. After the Dubia have gone unanswered there was supposed to be a formal correction. Does anyone know if the correction has ever taken place?

  43. Thank you, Steve
    I’m surprised, and yet not so surprised
    I was homeless at the time, living in my truck. I had just finished praying the Rosary that morning, and upon turning to the radio, for news of the Conclave results.. Within seconds of hearing the familiar, “habemus Papam”, I was overwhelmed by a very sinking feeling, as I felt the blood drain from my face, my jaw dropping on the floor, when I heard a very firm male voice, interiorly say, ‘Here is the false prophet, spoken of by my servant, Daniel…..Follow closely his deeds in the coming days, to understand’. I must say that, after the initial shock, a great peace came over me, as I realized just how close we were to the consummation of the great evil, that has permeated the whole planet, and built layer upon layer. I felt blessed by Heaven, that Our Lady’s Victory must be very close, now, and that, perhaps I might be so blessed, to witness such a time, foretold by the great prophets and Church Fathers etc.
    When I shared with a few friends/relatives, they became very irate. Only, one or two agreed, after pondering and praying for discernment, which I asked them to do, before responding to me.
    Thank you, Steve for allowing me to share. I apologise for not being able to send a donation to date. I will, just as soon as I find full-time employment. Would appreciate your prayers, for such an outcome.

    • Whispering a prayer to St Joseph and Our Lady that you find full time employment. I will make a donation to One Peter Five in your honor Espero. Thank you for sharing your remarkable story about what you heard on March 13th, 2013.

      • @Pearl of York….Thank you so much for your kindness. I am very humbled, indeed. Whenever I look upon BVM, where she is clad in pearls, I shall think of you, as one of her pearls, and say an Ave for you.
        I have been coming to this excellent site, for over a year, and have learned so much more about my faith, thanks to the excellent people who take the trouble to share their wealth of knowledge, thus edifying sinner’s like myself.
        I am grateful to Steve & Family for providing us with this stupendous forum. I will continue to promote this site to all of my friends.
        When I read the article, I felt compelled to share. First time to share publicly. Thank you again.

        • Thank you, Espero. My name on Disqus, Pearl of York, is the appellation given to Margaret Clitherow, one of the greatest English martyrs for the Faith. She was pressed to death with a big stone slab for harboring priests and having Mass said in her home. Her husband was a supportive and sympathetic Protestant. At least one of her sons was a priest in France if I recall correctly.

      • I forgot to mention that when I realized the gravity of what I understood that day, I also realized that this is the one who would abolish the daily Sacrifice, albeit I didn’t know that he would invalidate the Consecration.
        I am tending to believe that the 2nd part of the 3rd Secret of Fatima, refers to a future Pope, who would be under the complete control of the demon. Perhaps, that’s why John XX111 exclaimed upon reading the secret, that it had nothing to do with his papacy. Had to do with a future Papacy. I daresay, we’ve arrived. While I never pray for him at Church, I do pray for his soul, as I don’t want him to join the skulls of other Bishops, which pave the floors of hell, as St. Peter Damian put it.

    • Oh, I pray for Our Lady’s triumph and soon! May Our Lord intervene to save His poor confused sheep as the wolves are having their day.

  44. I copied down the following quote last year to keep as a reminder to myself:

    The Church in the Night of Persecution

    “If you see the Church scattered and smitten with the severest of trials, if its members are beaten with rods, if he who was entrusted with its government is exiled to far distant lands, do not look only at these tribulations themselves.

    Think of their outcome too: the wages, the reward, the prize for the struggle. ‘Whoever endures to the end will be saved.’ is the teaching of Scripture. (Matt. 10:22)

    Our fathers in the Old Testament times saw events contradicting the promises of God, yet they were not shocked or worried. They trusted in a Providence beyond their understanding. Knowing the richness and skill of the Divine Wisdom they awaited the outcome and in the meantime they endured all the adversities, giving thanks to God and singing His praises despite His allowing these trials.

    Compare these events of long ago with what is happening now. You will discover your own weakness. You will see how lacking in strength are the people who are shocked. You will understand how their being shocked stems entirely from the fact that they do not trust in a Providence beyond their understanding.”

    -St. John Chrysostom

  45. Shortly after his election in 1958, Pope John XXIII read the Third Secret of Fatima. We are told that, having read it, he folded it, replaced it its envelope and remarked; “This does not concern my pontificate.” Why the precision? Why mention, specifically, a “pontificate”? Considering the words of Cardinal Luigi Ciappi, that “the apostasy in the Church will begin right at the top”, does the Third Secret describe the current pontificate of Jorge Mario Bergoglio?

    Jesus promised us that “the times will be shortened for the sake of the elect.” Is this why Pope Benedict XVI abdicated? Because, being intimately familiar with the whole content of the Third Secret, and having conceded that it has not all been made known to the whole Church, did he understand that, “to shorten the times” he must step aside to make way for the one whose appointed role is to preside over the climax of this greatest ever crisis in the Church?

    This crisis has been fermenting for decades. Vatican II, so beloved by Bergoglio and the vast ranks of liberals, modernists and ‘reformers’, allowed the wreckers to emerge from the shadows and into the clear light of day. It had to be this way, otherwise they would have carried on their deadly work, unseen like a malignant cancer in the Body of Christ. Under the Bergoglio regime, they have become emboldened as never before, even to the point of, in effect, boastfully anticipating their triumph. This would indicate that time will soon have passed them by, and they must now move swiftly. Enter, stage Left, Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the Liberation Theology Revolution.

    • This makes sense. I love Pope Benedict. He is not a cowardly fool. He knew he had to resign to let the pus come to a head.

      • The pus coming to a head is pretty much the same analogy I use. It is lancing a putrid, festering boil that threatens to fatally poison the Body of Christ. Just as God told Samuel, “It is not you they have rejected; it is me whom they reject.”, so I believe the Holy Spirit spoke to Pope Benedict: “Step aside, and let them have what they want.” It has to be this way, otherwise the rot will never be completely removed.

        • No! It was NOT God’s will for “Jorge the Pretender” to be on the Holy Chair of Peter! His directing will for us is HOLY deeds and NOT what His permissive will sometimes allows us to sin in such a manner. That is why the Lightening came crashing down on St Peter’s, God knowing that Bergaglianism would destroy the painstaking good works of St John Paul the Great AND Benedict. And just before he resigned Cardinal Sodano was shouting at him for running afraid of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. God can PERMIT it, but it was their responsibility to “lance the wound” with the help of St Michael the Archangel and the Intercession of St Joseph WHILE a worthy Bishop sat on St Peter’s Holy Chair. God has bestowed on his servants free will: it is their duty to FIGHT a catastrophe such as Benedict’s replacement by an silver-tongued imposter. Likewise the “Abomination of Desolation” God will ALLOW to happen on account of the wickedness of Babylon, but it will never be what He WILLS. Saul was anointed King: what he did in disobedience God did not WILL, only permit. He had been commanded to do otherwise. Then later He CAN or MAY bring good out of the evil mess we have caused. So I have no ill feeling towards Benedict: these apostate goons might have scared many Popes, but it is never God’s WILL for us to fear them, but to fight with the spiritual weaponry St Paul describes in Ephesians Chapter 5. Benedict’s continued health and sound mind have proved that we could have had 4 more years of his good deeds and never had the evil deeds of Jorge the Pretender.

          • If there is something that is impossible for God, it is to will evil. But all evils in the world, from Adam’s sin until the conclusion of history can only happen by reason of God’s permissive will. The greatest tragedy in the entire history of creation was Adam’s assertion of his human will over the Divine. God did not ‘will’ this, but such is the mystery of free will that God permitted it. We speak of “O happy sin of Adam.” And by this we understand that, had Adam not sinned, that “greatest attribute of God, unfathomable by any intellect, human or angelic”, namely, – Mercy, would never have been witnessed by Creation. The Divine Will has already triumphed over evil, but that triumph is manifested in time. God has not willed the evils in the Church, but has permitted her to come to this point because of the sins of the Church. Of course, Bergoglio currently holds the Petrine Office by reason of God’s permissive Will. Otherwise it would not have happened. We pray that the Blessed Trinity will be glorified i all things. And that includes the inevitable victory over the unprecedented level of evil that now afflicts the Body of Christ on Earth.

    • Pope Benedict fled. I always thought he was a good man, but a weak man. His weakness led him to flee from the wolves. He could have stood up to the wolves, righted the ship, and consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart. He refused the mandate of heaven. That is the mystery of the last six Popes. They had their orders. They refused to trust God’s plan. It didn’t have to be this way. Our Lord said that the Pope would consecrate Russia, but it would be late. The free will decisions of Pope Benedict and the previous pontiffs have led to this crisis and what is to come. It is Christ who will shorten the days of the chastisements due to the sin in the church and disobedience of the Popes.

      • Have you ever considered the possibility that every pope, from Pius XI to Benedict XVI, did not consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in accordance with Heaven’s request, nay, demands, because up to this point, they were not meant to do it. Since the Fatima apparitions, humanity has gone from bad to worse. This is, without doubt, the most wayward and corrupt generation in all of human history; far worse that humanity before the Flood, because for the past two thousand years, we have had the full revelation of Jesus Christ. Prior to the Incarnation, utterly degenerate societies, of which there were many, had no such advantage. But we have set our Christian heritage aside, even treated it with scorn and denied it.
        We see in Russia today a great resurgence of Christianity, but the conversion of Russia, that will be effected by her collegial consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will be one of the most astonishing events in all of history, and all of humanity will know that it was brought about by the irresistible intercession of the Immaculata before the Throne of Grace. The Russian people are now being prepared by the Holy Spirit for their wholesale conversion and restoration to the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the dawning of the promised Era of Peace. At the same time, the peoples of the neo-pagan West have become more degenerate by the day. The stark reality is that we simply do not deserve to be let off the hook so lightly. We must first learn some very, very painful lessons; it will be a truly chastened and contrite humanity that will reap the benefits of the Consecration of Russia.
        Even as the world goes to hell in a hand basket, there remains a great indifference, and even antagonism towards the Message of Fatima on the part of far too may of our bishops. They must be forced to confront the dreadful consequences of their neglect and hostility. They must be brought to a point, along with the whole Church, wherein we will prostrate ourselves and beg for mercy. When that day comes, then the Consecration of Russia, as requested by the Queen of Heaven and Earth, will surely be accomplished. And the re-evamgelistion of the West will, in no small measure, be accomplished by a converted, CATHOLIC Russia.

        • They were meant to do it. That is the whole point. Because they didn’t do it, the world and Church are in the situation they are in. Decades and years of chastisements could have been avoided if they did what God wanted and was expecting them to do. God wanted the last 8 Popes to do it without delay. Yes, the triumph you speak of will happen, but late. It will happen in this century, at some particular year, but the timing of it all is due to the free will decisions of the last 8 Popes. Because of their disobedience, billions of souls have suffered and many will be lost. The conversion of Russia, restoration of the Church, and triumph of the Immaculate Heart will have been delayed by decades because they didn’t do what they were meant to do.

          • I fully understand why you take that position, and I have no doubt that the great majority who share our belief about the current status of the requisite collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate heart of Mary would agree with you. That is, every pope from Pius XI to the present has been missing in action when it comes to the consecration. But frankly, this flies in the face of reason. It is, in my view, an absurd proposal.
            Pope Pius XI understood perfectly well that communism was menace to humanity without equal, far greater than Nazi menace that was scourging Europe at that time. He stated, for instance: “Communism is intrinsically perverse, and no-one who would save Christian civilisation may collaborate with it i any undertaking whatsoever.” (Divini Redemptoris, March 1937).
            Pius XII was no less a thoroughly knowledgeable and zealous anti-communist, and he imposed a late sententiae excommunication on any Catholic who in any way assisted the communists. In 1942, he and a number of bishops carried out a consecration of the world at Sr. Lucia’s request. “His Holiness will obtain an abbreviation of these days, (WWII) if he takes heed of My (i.e. Jesus’) wishes by promulgating the Act of Consecration of the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention of Russia.” In 1943, Sr Lucia wrote to the Bishop of Gurza; “The Good Lord has already shown me His contentment with the act performed by the Holy Father and several bishops, although it was incomplete according to His desire. In return, He promises to end the war soon. The conversion of Russia is not for now.
            We can forget about John XXIII. It seems obvious that he saw the consecration of Russia and the Third Secret of Fatima as impediments to his wretched Council and “throwing open the windows of the Church.”
            Giovanni Battista Montini was sacked as substitute Secretary of State in !954 after Pope Pius XII learned that Montini had been having clandestine, and expressly forbidden meetings with representatives of the Soviet Govt. And after his election as Paul VI, he embarked upon his ‘Ostpolitik’ in which he sought to establish cordial relations and mutual co-operation between the Holy See and the Soviet Union. So, we can right off these two.
            When St. John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in March 1984, he departed from the prepared text when he begged Our Lady to “enlighten the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and enlightening.” According to the late Fr. Gabriele Amorth, Pope St. John Paul II desperately wanted to consecrate Russia specifically but was prevented from so doing by those referred to by Fr. Amorth as “all those politicians”. One may surmise that this would have included the Cardinal Secretary of State, Agostino Casaroli, an alleged Freemason.
            There is circumstantial evidence that Sr. Lucia divulged the Third Secret to Pope John Paul I a year or so prior to his election. When he returned to Rome he was visibly shaken and confided to his sister that “What Sr, Lucia told me; it’s terrible!” Whether or not he would have summoned all the world’s bishops for the consecration, we will never know, since he was ‘removed’ after thirty three days.
            And Pope Benedict XVI allegedly confided to an SSPX priest-friend that, “There are two things I regret. One was Archbishop Lefebvre, but that was my fault. The other is Fatima, but there, my hands were tied.”
            Which brings us to Francis who, at this point, looks like a lost cause as far as the consecration of Russia is concerned. But how can we foresee how he might finally react, with Rome under siege and all about him have fled. How can we possibly know how the Holy Spirit may prevail upon him should such a time as this come upon the Church?
            But to hold Pius XI, Pius XII, John Paul I, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI guilty of gross negligence is, as I suggest, patently absurd. We are not privy to what unseen forces have thus far prevented this consecration from taking place. But it would seem to be more than likely that it will occur when things are at their worst and all hope seems lost. The Church and the world do not deserve to have it any other way.

          • They were the only people on Earth that had the authority to do it and order the bishops to do it. Our Lady gave God’s command to do it in 1929 and God expected it to be done in 1929. He has expected it every year since. God knew in advance the difficulties and pressures from the world, Churchmen, and diabolical disorientation from the devil, the Popes would be under, nevertheless, the graces were there in their office as Vicar of Christ to overcome all this by using their free will to cooperate with God’s grace and fulfill his plan. Because everyone of them knew they were under a command, that they still had their free will and all power as Vicar of Christ, and yet still did not act, they are guilty of negligence. It is negligence for 8 men not fulfill a command for 88 years.

          • O.K. we beg to differ. But in the case of five out of the eight, especially Pius XI, Pius XII and JPII. who were passionately anti-communist and for the very best of reasons, something more powerful than apathy and negligence prevented their compliance, and neither you nor anyone else can convincingly argue otherwise, because neither you, nor I, nor anyone else occupied their shoes. We simply do not know, and we should refrain from condemning as though we do. That could be seen as presumptuousness on our part.

          • Popes Pius XI, XII and John Paul II were under no illusions about the true nature of communism. They understood perfectly well that it is a diabolic, spiritually malevolent ideology that seeks the enslavement and eternal destruction of humanity. Yet you maintain that they had been given the means to consign this monstrous evil to the scrapheap of history and so deliver humanity from a terrible bondage, yet failed to do so through sheer negligence; through apathy or feeble mindedness or whatever. What, all of them? Come on, get real. Something has been preventing this consecration; some power whose interests are threatened by it. It is something that is external to the popes involved. There is simply no other explanation.

          • Yes, and what did the 1930s see? A Soviet bloodbath with 10 million dead from the deliberate Ukrainian Famine and millions more dead in the insanity of the Yezhov and Yagoda purges.

          • Don’t forget Pope Pius XII’s specific consecration of Russia to Immaculate Heart of Mary in Apostolic Letter on July 7, 1952

    • Fatima was conditional based on specific requests. Popes have disobeyed and laity have not listened.

      No excuses here for anyone between Pius 11 – Benedict 16. They all had a part in bringing us to this point.

      Pope Benedict did not “retire” because of the shortened days. I wish it were that noble and insightful. He abandoned the Church like Peter abandoned Christ on that night. Hopefully he comes back around after the third rooster’s cry.

      • Thank you for your response. It is notable that, even when we disagree, we engage in these discussions for one reason only, and that is because we love the Church, and it grieves us to see her being ‘rent asunder’ in this manner. And I’m afraid I must disagree with you. I do not believe, for one instant, that Pope Benedict meekly, pathetically stepped down because he couldn’t take the heat. I have always believed, and still believe that he would have willingly laid down his life for Christ and the Church if that had been what was asked of him.
        By behaving in the cowardly fashion ‘a la Peter’ as you suggest, he would have justifiably earned himself nothing but contempt. And that contempt would be greatly exacerbated by taking upon himself the title ‘Pope Emeritus’ and continuing to wear white. That would indicate a vain and narcissistic nature, as well as a cowardly one. And no-one, as far as I know, has ever leveled such an accusation at Joseph Ratzinger that he is vain and narcissistic.
        No, had he merely ‘done a Peter’ as you, and many others maintain, then Pope Benedict XVI would have, in true humility, reverted to being plain old Cardinal Ratzinger.
        Sometimes, in an idle moment, I wish I could project myself fifty years into the future, (not that I have that long), and read an accurate history of these times. If that were possible, I’m sure the truth would surprise us all. About Benedict/Francis; about Fatima; about many things.

  46. I have said this before and I say this again – he is the tool of the Evil one, the servant of the father of lies.

    But then it is precisely through this that the Church will be cleaned. Now people have to take the stand for or against the Truth.

  47. Whatever Pope Francis or any other like-minded Pope does, he cannot destroy the true Church, since she is protected by her benefactor Christ the Lord from all heresy. When the going goes tough, the tough get going and the prayers of true Catholics will decimate these enemies of the Church. Christ will use the prayers of the faithful Catholics to accomplish such havoc upon the enemies of the true Church that they will not know what hit them when they are made inactive in the Church. Then will come the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which will bring a Holy and righteous Pope on the See of Peter which will make all the wrong done by this Pope and few others before him seem that it never existed. That is the power of Jesus’ promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail upon the Church. All these prelates who are supporting the falsehood of this Pope will find themselves to be nowhere including the present Pope if they do not repent and mend their ways. No one can mock the Father of Jesus and not live to see their own destruction at the hands of the Holy and righteous God who judges the shepherds more harshly than the sheep for every sin that they commit to destroy souls. The loss of every Catholic soul will be upon the head of the false teachers and false pastors, no escape from that. So ask dear Church and receive from the Lord. Ask the Lord to make inactive in the Church and in the world all the wolves in sheep’s clothing, both inside and outside the Church and the Lord will answer.

    • Excellent. Our prayers are spiritual dynamite. We do not know how many tonnes of prayerful TNT we need to offer to the Lord (playing our part) but we can be confident that when sufficient TNT has been laid Our Lord will (playing His part) light the fuse. Then watch the fireworks as the plans of the enemy implode spectacularly, disappearing in a puff of hellish smoke. Keep praying.

      • Love the evocation of spiritual dynamite. We must pray ceaselessly–each of us laying 100 tons. (tonnes for you Brits). Think that’ll do it?

        • I pray it is Pearl. What I know is that all prayers are heard and none are ever wasted. The Rosary is especially powerful. We are so incredibly blessed to have so good a Mother in Our Lady. Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us.

  48. Your summary is well-done, Steve. It is painful to see it all in one article. The breath and the depth of the disaster is plain to see for all who have eyes to see. The photo of Francis on the balcony is chilling; I don’t know why, exactly, but it is. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. This picture speaks ten thousand words and none of them are good. Yes, it has been four years, but there is no cause for celebration.

  49. Quick summary. Pope Francis is Big Brother, inspired by the devil, to separate the wheat from the chaff under the control of God.

  50. After slapping our Mother, the Church, mocking her, spitting on her, humiliating her in front of all to see, the time has come for her crucifixion. This has been one long Holy Friday, more then 50 years. It’s reaching it’s climax at this point. But her resurrection will come, and how glorified she will be, truly worthy of Her Divine Spouse.
    I see in this entire disaster and apostasy on a massive scale the purification of the elect. How glorious they will be in Heaven and how they will shine the glory of God for all eternity. I pray to God to be one of them. Grace abounds in these wicked times, through the intercession of Our Lady. I always remember the words of Our Lord: ‘For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Mt 5,20) So, unless we keep the Commandments faithfully, we are not worthy. Pray the Rosary, wear the Scapular, do reparation and, most importantly, amend your life!

  51. I had to ring my first employer some fifteen years after leaving and I remembered their number.

    Feelings, that’s a different matter.

    I can’t remember or describe in detail. But I do know that I too was unhappy when I saw him. Wow. Was I right.

  52. Isn’t Pope Francis touching a nerve? Isn’t it time for priests to give proper homilies, instead of the same topical sermons against abortion and for Mary for years on end? Ever heard about exposition and the Church Fathers? Isn’t Pope Frank restoring some balance in a disillusioned Church? Look at things realistically: Luther was ten times more of a Catholic than any of the cardinals presently serving in the Vatican, and Calvin was far more orthodox than most if not all professors of theology at 21st century Catholic seminaries. Didn’t PJP2 teach that everyone who was conceived was saved? How was that less heretical than Pope Francis, or Pope Benedict embracing modernism on Genesis or blatantly lying about Fatima with very careful language? It seems that Pope Francis is a lot more straightforward with tons more of integrity. You may not agree, but there is a lot more natural justice and equity. The cardinals with second thoughts on his election show they were never interested in voting for God’s candidate anyway. Holy matters have turned into vile church politics.

    • Hi Astofix – Do you believe those who divorce and remarry, while the original spouse is still living are committing adultery? For that matter is adultery a mortal sin, in your opinion, Astrofix? Do you believe that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil? How about contraception, is it intrinsically evil? The answers to these questions establish whether you, or Pope Francis for that matter, are Catholics.

    • Are we now redefining the words “straightforward” and “integrity” and “orthodoxy” to the exact opposite of their dictionary definitions? Black is white; good is evil; right is wrong. What is unfolding in the Catholic Church is a diabolical deception. I agree with you that there needs to be proper homilies and that holy matters should not be turned into vile church politics. But as for the rest of what you have written, no, I do not agree. Might I suggest that you sound more “Protestant” than you do “Catholic”?

  53. Oh my gosh! I’m so relieved! You have no idea how much reading the words of your inner prompting and the way you read his face, made me feel relieved!! I actually wondered if I was the only one! I too, felt almost nauseous. I had to fight a strong dislike of the man, based mainly on a gut feeling that something was dreadfully horribly wrong. It started with the shock resignation of beloved Pope Benedict, course. And in actual fact, I had a very similar experience with Obama. When he was elected, I ‘felt’ he was evil. I am a really ‘unracist ‘ person but I felt that he was elected merely as a token and not on his integrity or character at all or for any other usual reason, and I felt that this was seriously wrong. And I never have these sorts of opinions of people! I was surprised if not shocked at myself!! How could I feel that way- judging so callously and instantaneously??! That was not how I was raised or have ever felt before! Seems it was more than gut instinct at work.

  54. I’ve said it many times that I had the same type of ‘warning’ when I saw this man emerge onto the Loggia. It was really bizarre as this has never happened to me with any other Pontiff. Obviously it was the Holy Spirit saying: BEWARE!! But at first, I brushed it off thinking “Oh it’s because I didn’t expect this outcome, and I don’t know him.” or………”Maybe he’s just surprised”, he probably didn’t expect it himself”. I also bought the ‘humble me’ impression lock stock and barrel for a time. When the ax began to fall, I started to think back on that moment and reassess my original foreboding.

  55. NB:

    1. This pope is a man of the 1970s. His repeated description of those who embrace doctrine as “rigid” is a throwback to 1970ish accusations made against those studying for the priesthood by liberals in charge of priestly formation. The same is true for his attribution of “insecurity” as the reason for “rigidity”. Forty years ago those who didn’t play the liberal game in formation were accused of having psychological problmes.

    The Fundamental Option/Choice theology behind Amoris Laetitia flourished in the 1970s all but died out in the years afterward.

    2. Although Francis can be justly accused of formally hedging on the question of Marriage and Holy Communion, it should be remembered that St JPII did the same with Capital Punishment.

    3. IMHO, Francis is not a fan of the Neo-Con Church of JPII–strictly Catholic in moral teaching but quasi-Protestant in liturgy.

    4. Whatever objections there are to Francis, nevertheless, it appears that regularization of the SSPX is near. JPII had little interest in it, letting Cardinal Ratzinger handle it. When BXVI was pope, he was unable to deal with the objection of Cardinal Mueller.

  56. This morning I brought my 4yo with me for Holy Mass in the Cathedral. Instead of a homily we were treated to the Marxist Bishop’s letter for Lent. I knew what was coming, so took out the Children’s Bible and started to go through it wth my child.
    As the priest read out the Bishop’s socialist rant, he came to a section mentioning Pope Francis and his concern over global warming, and how Islam is not a violent religion. At exactly this moment I was showing my 4yo the story of Jesus raising the daughter of Jairus from the dead.
    All I could think of at this moment was: These are two different religions.
    Two. Completely. Different. Religions.

      • I live in Germany, so this type of drivel is not unexpected. The sad thing was there was a truly beautiful choir at the same Mass. But the Bishop is a Francis-bootlicker.

        Incidentally there was another ecumaniacal scandal yesterday to commemorate Luther500 when our old buddy +Marx joined hands with a Lutheran heretic in the city of Hildesheim just south of Hannover for a “Service of Repentance and Reconciliation” between Lutherans and Catholics for all the “wrongs done to each other.”
        Some of the heresies from +Marx included:
        – gratitude to God that Luther showed we are saved by faith, not by works
        – gratitude ot God for the evangelical witness of the Lutheran heretics
        – heretical indifferentism
        There were surely others but I could not listen any more.
        This trash was spewed all over Germany by one of the national senders. I nearly threw up.

        • Hi htb – You live in a place far more tenuous for the Soul than the demilitarized Zone which separates North and South Korea. It isn’t to hard to figure out who the German figure who is the equivalent of the North Korean Leader is, I hear he has a healthy bank account and a fancy car too, courtesy of the people. Why is Germany always in the forefront of these global conflicts? By the way my family roots are overwhelmingly German. One thing is for certain, Germany has been blessed with a beautiful countryside.

          • hi lorimav – A long, long time ago, the angels who were cast out of heaven co-existed with those who refused to join their rebellion. And then the battle broke out, a battle without the possibility of a truce, a battle with eternal consequences. Just like now.

          • Angels do not exist in time as we do. Each made a single act of the will at the instant of his creation. Talk of a “battle” in heaven is metaphor.

          • Hi Arthur – Do guardian angels exist now, in time as we do? Did Lucifer serve God at one point in his existence? How were the fallen angels cast out of heaven, was it a voluntary act on their part to end in “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels? Why is “eternal punishment” their fate? For that matter, isn’t the conflict between good and evil for souls, best characterized as a battle for those souls?

        • I think we are hurling in symphony round the globe. How you maintain in that environment is beyond my capacity. It is bad enough here.

          • Well we do try to get value for our tax money!
            In a spiritual desert like this the one advantage is that you can spot the godly priests very very quickly.

    • This was a most profound Lenten intellectual flagellation for you. I know the pain you feel, how abandoned and betrayed. God Keep You and protect that little one from the ravening wolves. Absolutely incredible what our shepherds spew.

    • You are so right. We need to thank the American voters who prevented the most perverted presidency of the most powerful country to continue unabated.

      The Vatican was in step with obamafication and still is… But got derailed by the US voters… But in the near future, by Fall 2017 you’ll need to make a choice to be in the True Catholic Church. After this Mary’s Rosary will defeat all this filth.

  57. It’s the first time that I have read an article on the current pope that puts all of his absurdities together. The thing that I cannot understand is how he has got away with all of these things. I knew near the beginning that he wasn’t exactly traditional because I saw the “tango mass” that he served at when he was a Bishop. At the time my Father tried to encourage me to give the pope “the benefit of the doubt”. However Since then 90 percent to do with what the pope says or does has been Impossible to accept because of his dishonesty and manipulation of the truth of the faith.

  58. I did not have the visceral reaction that Steve and others describe, though Bergoglio was definitely NOT my first (or second or third) choice. In fact, going back to Benedict’s election, I had been hoping and praying for Arinze. Failing that, somebody else from Africa, where the Church is growing and thriving. We don’t need another guy from the sick, decadent, dying West.
    But back to Bergoglio, I was hoping for the best, but the alarm bells started ringing very early and, as Steve documents, have only become louder and louder. The trads peeled away early, and that’s to their credit now. They were right all along. What’s truly notable is that over the last year or so, what you might call the “establishment” conservatives have also bailed on Bergoglio. Better late than never. One can only ignore or rationalize the elephant in the living room for so long.
    I think we have to take the longer view of the Bergoglio disaster. Look at the big picture, so to speak. We are living in historic times — for the Church and for Western civilization itself. In fact, to quote Stonewall Jackson, who made the observation regarding an entirely different, but also world-changing, topic: “He who does not see the hand of God in this is blind, sir, blind.”
    My own humble theory is that Bergoglio is God’s challenge to the Church, to the bishops, to the clergy, and to all Catholics. Let’s face it, the institution Bergoglio was elected to lead was suffering from a spreading internal rot. Hypocrisy, shallowness, phoniness, apathy, ignorance were (and are) epidemic. Large portions of the priesthood and hierarchy were (and are) corrupt. Bergoglio is just Exhibit A of the situation. But Bergoglio is also the line now drawn by God in the cosmic sand. God is bidding His people and His Church to choose on which side of that line they will stand.
    In the end, it may be — in fact, it probably will be — that the majority of the faithful and the hierarchy will stand with Bergoglio on the side of corruption and lies. Personally, as weak and sinful as I am, I’ll still take my own stand on the other side. That’s where the real Church is and will remain. It doesn’t matter whether there are only ten of us there or ten million. Our weapon, and our guarantee of ultimate victory, is not and never has been numbers or the popularity ratings Bergoglio’s pals are constantly touting. No, our (not so) secret weapon is the Truth.
    So let the other side, Bergoglio’s side, have all of what the World counts for power, prestige, wealth, and all of the other counterfeit riches of our False Age. Let them imagine that they can not lose, given their advantages. The fact is, our side has something much more powerful. So hold on, guys. This will likely be a very rough ride, and not all of us may be around for its end. But it will end, and Truth will win, and that’s the most important thing. In fact, that’s the ONLY thing that matters.

  59. My friend had the same experience seeing the newly elected Pope Francis for the first time. Could have been your angel telling you something.

  60. I think you experienced the gift of the Holy Spirit known as “discernment of spirits.” I had the same feeling, less nausea, but more of an ice cold terror in the pit of my stomach, when the new pope walked out onto the balcony. I know even less than you do about the proper protocols, and had never heard of the man before….

    It’s interesting and comforting to read the comments of many who claim the same type of experience on the night of his election to the papacy. It certainly seems as though the Holy Spirit warned many of us.

  61. Excellent article, Steve. And something we can ALL do is live the message of Fatima to help bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She gave us our marching orders: pray the Rosary every day, make the Morning Offering, make the Five First Saturdays of Reparation and make of everything a sacrifice. And as Jesus told Sr. Lucia, “The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My Law. This is the penance I now seek and require.”

  62. Thank you Steve. SO well summed up. I ALSO had the same premonition. In fact I had a dream that night of a coming schism. Many many orthodox Catholics were in the RESISTANCE, well organized and with many good priests becoming manifest thereby. However, in the dream I also attended Holy Mass. I went up to receive, in the usual line, Our God in the Holy Sacrament, but when arriving at the front was told that “Holy Communion was not allowed to be administered.” Instead it was a New Age type “Service” that had, at least officially, replaced it. I had no knowledge of Jorge the Pretender. I had no reason to think we might be headed for schism (in which the schismatics are the ‘Georgie Boys,’ no matter how ‘official’ their ‘services’ are). Just like yourself, I was hoping for the best and did not suspect the Liberals and Modernists would take over. So when I woke up, I felt, contrary to all the cheers for the Pretender’s Election that day, that the Holy Spirit had kindly warned me of turbulence – and the peak of the Great Apostasy was imminent. Thank you for putting eloquently in words a “summary conviction” of the first 4 years of Jorge the Pretender and the Bergaglianisms that have stunned Holy Church. I feel time is of the essence because he keeps appointing the most Liberal and Modernist options for new Bishops, so that the Four Cardinals must have the moral courage to keep on going: the “Correction” is overdue now. Otherwise the population of Modernist, Bergaglian and Freemason Cardinals will swamp the Sistine Chapel: I think we will need to withdraw ourselves from the Whore of Babylon and elect OUR OWN holy Pope who loves Sacred Tradition in the Spirit of Simon Peter the first Pope. I also think the SSPX should remain separate and only reunite when there is a good orthodox Pope on the Chair of St Peter. Otherwise, Jorge the Pretender will make them irrelevant by taking over their leadership and administration. Bishop Fellay: Stay away, stay away from the Apostasy! Archbishop Lefebvre, Memory Eternal, would want nothing less!!

      • Please God the Blessed Sacrament will not be taken away. What would we do, what could we do, were that ever to happen?

        • We will have to go underground or have masses said in people’s homes with good and holy priests. Make sure you know the words of consecration a priest must say for transubstantiation to occur. This I fear is what will be played with to remove Jesus from the Church. This, too, has been prophesied.

  63. Out of all his writings, St.Alphonsus singled out his treatise on prayer and said, “If it were in my power, I would distribute a copy of it to every Catholic in the world to show the absolute necessity of prayer for salvation.” Well, I feel the same way about this article and its ability to enlighten all its readers with an expert dissection and exposition of the last four years of non-stop disorientation.

    Having said that, the sentence “For those who remain unconvinced, there’s likely no amount of evidence that could change that” most forcefully struck home as tragically accurate. Battle lines may have been drawn and there are now more of the faithful opposing this parody of a pontificate than ever before but we are still largely voices in the wilderness, albeit with God on our side. The vast and overwhelming majority at all levels in the Church remain unmoved and unresponsive and while Francis’s high watermark of popularity has been passed and his regime’s days are indeed numbered, that ‘number’ could easily stretch into the hundreds. I don’t need to spell out what that could mean for the Bride of Christ in the not too distant future.
    Notwithstanding the year 2017 being so heavily laden with momentous anniversaries, I will not be surprised or ultimately too downcast if he’s still in situ for his fifth anniversary. Nevertheless, bearing in mind that the Curé d’Ars said ‘God takes delight in doing the will of those who love Him’ and mindful that St.Bernard went into ecstasy pondering Mark 10:36, I shall continue to plead for a restoration, brought about by divine intervention, preferably of the benign variety but after four years of destruction, I’d also settle for the bold kind.

  64. It was the eyes, Steve. The glazed, glassy, haughty, leering eyes. The eyes looked plain creepy and he was transfixed. Like a junkie who’s staring at a pile of white powder and a needle siting on the table in front of him. He was having an out-of-body experience, so high on adrenaline and drunk with power was he. This was why he could utter nothing more profound than….”good evening”.

    This moment was all about him and not the assembled faithful who were nothing more than walk-on extras in this movie scene of high drama and triumph for the all-conquering lider maximo.

  65. I had exactly the same feeling when PF appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s for the first time – a feeling of fear and dread mixed with a feeling of tremendous sadness. The feeling came immediately, without any previous reflection. I, too, had never even heard of the man. I was even more perplexed that as the days went by the news media lauded PF as the happy smiling pope in contrast to the somber Benedict. All one has to do is to look at the video record of Pope Benedict’s entrance onto that balcony and compare it to that of Francis. Which one is smiling and waving? Which one looks like a cold, hard statue?

    • I too was beset immediately with fear and dread–inexplicable. And I was crestfallen when the vilification of Benedict commenced–so untrue, so unjust.

    • When I saw him come out and what seemed an interminably long time standing there staring, I said to myself “Something is wrong.” Where was the joy that exuded from Benedict and John Paul 11? It was so very odd and discomforting.

  66. Page 141 of Pope Benedict XVI’s “Last Testament” is very interesting. As early as 1967 he was talking of a ‘fog of uncertainty’ and on the same page he acknowledges as correct Seewald’s statement that there was a “new internal split, then beginning within the Church, and basically enduring to this day, to be considered as part of the tragic nature of the Council [Vatican II]”.
    I for one, as an ordinary member of the laity, was unaware of such a split until the 2000s and certainly had no understanding of it until I had to have dealings with certain Bishops who seemed to have abandoned specific teachings of the Church in practice if not in word. I am afraid many of the laity have been equally blind as to what was happening and remain so till to-day. However now, under the present papacy, this deep cancer in the Church has suddenly burst to the surface and is visible to anyone who takes a look. Even now, though, I suspect it is only a minority who are taking a look. Perhaps God’s purpose in this papacy is to make us understand how serious this cancer is.
    I am less sanguine about the future than Steve. Amoris Laetitia does not contain any obvious heresies but merely serves as an invitation or signpost to heresy which some have taken up as in Germany and Malta which may in the very long run become schismatic Churches. The absence of clear heresy in AL means that there are only rather flimsy grounds for a formal correction so I doubt if that will happen. However bad things get, in the matter of discipline and general disorder, I do not see Pope Francis resigning and may be it is the plan of Divine Providence to let matters fester until many more of the laity understand the problem or just fall away. Modernism will act as an acid dissolving much in the Church as many abandon the Faith seeing it as increasingly irrelevant. I therefore do not see anything get better for some time and maybe it will not for many decades. We just have to hand on in believing that many of us will not see any improvement in our lifetime.

    • Oh yes we will see the right changes in the Church if all Catholics pray to God fervently to bring those changes. Presently very few Catholics see that anything is wrong and so are not asking the Lord for a change of Pope. Ask and u shall receive says the Lord. Our prayers are spiritual dynamite that can change even the course of prophecies. But there should be many Catholics who pray for the same thing to happen

  67. I also had a similar experience. The sense was, for me, that the man was false. I didn’t know anything about him, either, but just had such a strong sense that the man was false. And when it was so quickly commented that Francis was such a “humble” man, I felt the opposite, that his show of “humility” was not authentic. But I wanted to like him, to approve of him, because he was our new Papa, so I tried to find things to support that. But the sense of his being false never left, and as time went on, his words and actions proved that initial response I had to him.

    A very sad time. We all love our Papa, it’s just the way it is. But when Papa turns out to be an abuser and a manipulator, the natural love that children have for their father turns into a bitterness and sadness. And the whole family suffers unjustly.

    He talks of joy, and brings sadness. He talks of love, and brings bitterness. He talks of faith, and brings infidelity.

    I remember weeping as I watched the helicopter take Pope Benedict away from the Vatican. It was more than just sentiment or emotion. It seemed that something awful was happening. It didn’t take too long to find out what that “something awful” was.

  68. I have a personal confirmation that this Pope is the devil’s choice. I went on weekend retreat in 2005 soon after Pope Benedict was elected. The priest who gave the retreat–I had been on several retreats with him before–is an exorcist. He told us that at a recent exorcism he assisted at the demons were very angry. When asked why they were angry–they cannot lie when asked questions from a priest during an exorcism–they said they didn’t like this Pope (Benedict XVI) and that they “wanted their man in.”

    The priest offered this because he knows what prophesy says about the few Popes that are left. People who know what’s coming wondered whether the elected pope was the coming false Prophet or (antipope).

    I never forgot his words, yet it was not revealed “who” the demons wanted in. It came back to me immediately when I read about Cardinal Danneels and the Sanct Gallen Group. Danneels stated very clearly–boasted even–that “they” did everything they could in the 2005 Papal election not to have Benedict elected because “they,” the “St. Gallen Group,” of Cardinals met secretly several times to get the person they wanted in.

    They called themselves “The Mafia.” These are very likely Freemasons whose goal is to subvert the Church. They were upset at the time that they did not get “their man in.” The words rung in my ears and I remembered clearly what the exorcist priest said. The same exact phrase Danneels used was used by the demons in this exorcism. Jorge Bergolio according to Cardinal Daneels was “their man.” What does that tell you?

    Pope John Paul II obviously knew their goals and is likely why he changed the rules for Papal elections which is binding and serious. After reading the warnings in this document (Universi Dominici Gregis) and the consequences that would be incurred combined with what Cardinal Danneels revealednmakes one question if said consequences were applied making the election invalid and the Cardinals excommunicated. We may never know. But none of this can be ignored.

  69. By noon Eastern time on February 11, 2013 I had a deep-rooted and fearful conviction that unless something truly apocalyptic was about to happen,no conceivable good could ever occur to counterbalance the shock and confusion done to the Church by the ” renunciation”.
    Nothing from that day to this has altered my mind or that conviction.
    The appearance and demeanor of Bergoglio on the loggia that fateful night ( and I and many others did have a sense of the “minutiae” of papal dress and the contempt shown in the refusal of it) created, like many others also, a deep sense of dread and , shall I dare say it, revulsion.
    That too has only increased with time.

  70. Interesting reading all the comments with the shared conviction of a malevolent aura surrounding the leering figure on the balcony of St. Peter’s.

    My first instinct was similar but not for reasons of spiritual intuition or inner spiritual communication with the Almighty. I just happened to have been surfing the internet and reading about some of the kooks who had declared themselves to be “Pope” in the last 4-5 decades and as soon as I saw Francis step onto the balcony, I was taken with the striking physical resemblance to this man; the self-proclaimed “Pope” Pius XIII (aka Fr. Lucien Pulvermacher).

  71. Just as the sun comes up in the morning, and the moon comes up at night, the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. Religion pure and simple, undefiled, is to keep oneself spotless and help widows and orphans. Soldiers who grumble in the trenches about the decisions of the commanding officers are usually unreliable in combat.

  72. Steve, thanks for a great article.

    Two notes: “The devil… is not a creature of brute force” is only true in certain contexts. In the ancient world, before the Messiah, he very frequently worked through brute force, and he continues to do so now whenever he has an opportunity. Eternal ruin is his central agenda, but he also takes great pleasure in bodily violence and torture. I think we will find that as things progress, brute force on his part (I mean the enemy) is a very distinct possibility.

    Secondly, when I say above “As things progress,” I don’t mean during this pontificate only. I am convinced that this pope is only the tip of the spear. There will almost certainly be more popes following after, along similar lines. A coup in the Petrine ministry is one of the biggest things the enemy has ever done, and it won’t be something that fizzles in just a few years. This is something that he has been plotting for centuries, even millennia. There will be more to it than just this one man, not because I have some knowledge of the future, but because it doesn’t make sense that the enemy’s big move, his coup, would be short-lived. The Church may see a pope who makes Francis seem orthodox by comparison.

    I don’t say these things to be gloom-and-doom, nor to presuppose that I know God’s plans. I’m just trying to think realistically about what it means for the enemy to effect a coup in the Petrine ministry, and what an enormous development that is.

  73. I had the same negative reaction to P. Francis when he walked out on the balcony as the writer and I knew nothing about him!

  74. I was happy and accepted the new Pope; his bowing down to be blessed/prayed over was odd but I did not make a big deal about it. Had is app on my phone and would religiously read daily his homilies. It was not until a year later in Mar 2014 that my eyes were opened. All documented on my blog starting with #CardinalBergoglio washes the feet of an unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires’ Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005., but I continue to respect the man because he is pope, even though he cause in me such a visceral reaction. I consider him the False Prophet of the Apocalypse.

  75. Is it just a coincidence that PF’s birthday was the same day St. Faustina experienced tremendous suffering?

    Or how AL footnote 351 is the reverse of 153, pertaining to the 153 fish in the Gospels, or the number of Hail Marys in a Rosary.

  76. Wow, excellent article. I had the very same reaction that morning of 3/13/13 but dared not tell anyone. For the first time ever a few days ago I posted something about it on my blog, Angels Falling. Hardly anyone commented on it, which made me feel kind of stupid for posting it. And then my sister sent me this article, telling me that she found someone else who shared my sentiments. Now I know I’m not alone.

  77. As a Catholic how do we keep our religion and still have respect for the Pope. I was brought up to respect the head of the Church and it is hard with all I read and hear.

    • We were all brought up to respect the Pope and the Papacy.
      The current pontificate is deliberately designed to undermine that respect.
      The deconstruction of Roman Catholicism is underway. It will not be halted by the naïve or the faint of heart. The nefarious rely on us to be still and to be obedient.

      As stated in the Dogmatic Constitution “Pastor aeternus” of Vatican I (1869-70) – “The Holy Spirit was not given to the Roman Pontiffs so that they might disclose new doctrine, but so that they might guard and set forth the Deposit of Faith handed down from
      the Apostles.”

      Pope Benedict affirmed this on June 2005 at St. John Lateran:
      “…the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form
      of opportunism.
      The Pope knows that in his important decisions, he is bound to the great community of faith of all times, to the binding interpretations that have developed throughout the Church’s pilgrimage. Thus, his power is not being above, but at the service of, the Word of God. It is incumbent upon him to ensure that this Word continues to be present in its greatness and to resound in its purity, so that it is not torn to pieces by continuous changes in usage.”
      We need to pray for the Church and for its pastor’s particularly those not performing their responsibilities.

  78. Pope Francis addressed the UN on 25 Sept 2015… Who’s name did he come in?

    Read John 5:43

    Look it up for yourself. Chilling indeed.

    Pope Francis said I come in my own name. Frightening in light og John 5:43

    Thoughts of others here in this stream.

  79. Just when you think you’ve exhausted talk about the negative impact of this papacy, out of nowhere comes a fresh perspective. There’s news now of a blast directed right at Pope Francis, his homilies, and at the Italian Biblical Association’s conference titled “Israel, people of a jealous God. Consistencies and ambiguities of an elitist religion.” Many Catholics — I’m one of them — resent the pope’s rather expansive use of the word “Pharisees,” and his condemnation of what he sees as insidious pharisaical notions lurking within the Church. Turns out we’re not alone. Rome’s rabbis have been listening to Jorge Bergoglio too, and they are about as happy with his peculiar bête noire as we are, if for different reasons. They accuse the pope of turning back the clock in Christian – Jewish relations and, yes, even of anti-Semitism. (Personally, I’ve long been appalled at the rapprochement between the Vatican and anti-Israeli Muslim terrorists, especially those among so-called Palestinians. In my eyes, this tilt toward Mohammedanism is nothing short of insane.)

    The tables would seem to have been turned somewhat here on Jorge Bergoglio, jovial friend to all the world…. except rigidly orthodox and pharisaical traditional Catholics who for crazy reasons want to hold on to 2000 years of consistent teaching. Evidently, he has enemies in other quarters as well. Read the full explanation at:

  80. Fortuitous or otherwise, every time Pope Francis talks he says the same things as Angela Merkel and George Soros. I doubt that there’ll be any pressures on him to abdicate.

  81. Francis is a gutless bully. If one hasn’t figured that out by now they’ve not been watching. And I’m sorry, but I like many are not convinced he is the Pope. With so much stated about the conclave in light of Universi Dominici Gregis, I have my doubts. Universi Dominici Gregis cannot be ignored because it is inconvenient.

  82. Well, to reminisce I decided to watch the election of Benedict and JPII. What a contrast to the Francis. Makes you want to cry.

  83. The “Who am I to judge?” comment greased the skids for the preponderance of pro-institutional sodomy voters in the historic referendum in Ireland less than 24 months later – on the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland. It was in that two-year window that the bulk of the opinion-forming national debate took place. Irish politicians changed their colors overnight. Righteous anger was suddenly invalidated.

    On a natural level: unforgivable.


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