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Is Catholic Opposition to Pope Francis Growing?

Is there now a significant Catholic opposition to Pope Francis and his reform agenda or not? This topic has been raised repeatedly in recent days, which is reason enough to present some of the different arguments here. When delivering on 1 June the keynote address about Catholicism in the U.S. and in Europe at a prominent Catholic-secular Austrian conference, John Allen, Vatican specialist and editor of Crux, told his audience that the opposition against Pope Francis from conservatives in the Roman Curia, as well as in the Universal Church, “should not be overestimated,” according to a report on the Austrian bishops’ official website Just as in the case of all the other previous 265 popes, Pope Francis does have – according to Allen – some problems with bishops. However, reports

The purported reports about an existing rift between the pope and his “opponents” are caused by the dynamics of social media, as well as by the general laws of the media themselves, according to Allen. It is simply a “sexy story” when conservative bishops are opposing a liberal pope.

Allen, as a well-connected Vatican specialist, “practically never meets any general resistance against the pontificate of Francis,” even though there are mentioned, sometimes, “reservations about certain substantive topics,” says In spite of this, in Allen’s eyes, Pope Francis is “’the’ religious leader per se” who wisely uses his “soft power” – aiming at a change of attitudes and visions, rather than depending on external power. In Allen’s eyes, Francis can achieve much by showing himself to be “a friend” to certain conflicting parties and thus can help build bridges, such as between Cuba and the U.S., in Colombia and in Egypt.

While speaking in a very affirming way about Pope Francis, John Allen by contrast makes his opinion clear that Pope Benedict had – also due to his Regensburg address which alienated some Muslim authorities and due to his former role as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – a much more unfortunate situation where he was perceived as the “Panzer Kardinal” (“cardinal in armor”) and as a “Darth Vader” of the Catholic Church, even though Allen insists that this description does not at all do justice to Benedict.

As if in direct response to John Allen, two days later, the German news magazine Der Spiegel, on 3 June, published an article entitled: “Resistance against Francis: The Curia Hits Back.” The article is written by the journal’s Italian Correspondent, Walter Mayr, who last Christmas notably had  quoted Pope Francis as saying: “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.[emphasis added] Mayr speaks now about a pope who is “mainly popular among non-Catholics and non-practicing Catholics” (which may well speak volumes in itself). Within the Curia, however, the opposition is strong where there is to be found mainly criticism “of the authoritarian leadership style, the volubility, and the lack of theological steadfastness of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.” In addition to the Roman Curia, Mayr also sees resistance coming out from the group of cardinals who “resist the radical rebukes with which Francis repeatedly approaches them.” The opposition also comes, in Mayr’s eyes, from the side of conservative cardinals “for whom the pope’s willingness to be open toward the excluded people goes clearly too far.” Here the Spiegel journalist mentions Francis’ “publicity-friendly engagement in favor of the homosexuals, the remarried divorcees, and the migrants.” Among the conservative critics, Mayr mentions specifically the four dubia cardinals. As a general theme, the journalist sees that conservatives fear a “’protestantization’ of the Catholic Church,” and an undermining of Catholic integrity and identity – “dogmas, mysticism, and the binding nature of Holy Scripture.”

In addition to the dubia, there has come to Rome “an unprecedented amount of public manifestations of protest against the pope.” Here, Mayr mentions the anti-Bergoglian posters, the faked issue of L’Osservatore Romano, as well as the recent appearance of coarse “street art” in Rome, with President Trump and Pope Francis shown to be engaged in a kiss.

In light of these increasing numbers of external signs of opposition to Pope Francis, Walter Mayr asks what will happen with Pope Francis? He says, as follows:

Francis has repeatedly pointed out that his pontificate will be “short.” Intimate friends of the pope, who is now 80 years old, can well imagine that he will resign as soon as he has the impression that the course for a fundamental change in the Curia and in the elective College of Cardinals has been set according to his own taste.

Here Mayr points further to the future when he adds:

Then there would be the historically unique case that, with Joseph Ratzinger aka Benedict XVI and with Bergoglio aka Francis, two retired popes would live at the side of a new [ecclesiastical] head. As a favorite of the Francis-critics, the 72-year-old African Cardinal Robert Sarah is being discussed, to whose new book, The Power of Silence, Pope Benedict of all people produced the preface. It is not impossible that this is a hint against the all-too-voluble office-holder.

Arguably, also somewhat of importance here could be the fact that Walter Mayr himself is writing for a prominent secular journal with rather left-liberal leanings, and not for a conservative or traditional Catholic outlet.

However, several of our sources in Rome doubt that Pope Francis will likely soon retire. He is, they say, still too much interested in his office, as it might seem, and also too much interested in changing the Church. Moreover, this article does not intend to make any claim or hint about an impending retirement of Pope Francis, but, rather, intends to discuss the weight and nature of the Catholic opposition to Pope Francis.

In this context, it might be worth considering the question as to whether other cardinals are proposing such a step on the side of the pope. As OnePeterFive reported in March 2017, there were rumors about a group of cardinals proposing such a step to Francis, with Cardinal Pietro Parolin proposed as his replacement.

As of a few days ago, Cardinal Peter Turkson, the new Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development (Integra Humana Progressio), was quoted by the Portuguese newspaper Sol as saying that the door for a possible retirement for Pope Francis is always open. That part of the Sol interview with Cardinal Turkson reads as follows:

Sol: Is it possible that Francis will follow the example of Benedict XVI and retire?

Cardinal Turkson: I do not know whether he will do that. That is between him and God. But it is also true that what Benedict has done has become now, in part, an institution. That means: the freedom to do it [to retire] is now always given.

Sol: You mean, even if he does not open the door, the door is always there?

Cardinal Turkson: Definitely. That can happen.

In this context, it might be worth considering two more aspects. First, Sandro Magister, the Italian Vatican specialist, just recently pointed out that there are, in effect, very few bishops conferences as a whole who are in support of the proposed and inchoate Francis reform. With regard to the papal document Amoris Laetitia, Magister says, there are mostly the German, Maltese, and now the Belgian bishops who support Francis, but these three have in common that their own Catholic base is eroding and crumbling away.

Secondly, another Italian Vatican specialist, Marco Tosatti, has just published an article in First Things in which he summarizes the chaotic curial reform thus far undertaken by Pope Francis and his Council of Nine Cardinals. When Tosatti, while presenting in detail the different facets of the defective reform, also quotes two concurring curial members, it becomes clear that there is, indeed, much discontent about Pope Francis in Rome:

So much time has been spent on the reform of the pontifical councils, and so little has been accomplished. We heard by chance a cardinal and an archbishop, both of whom have worked in the Curia for many years: “Such a reform! We could have prepared it ourselves, in the space of one morning, sitting at a table.”

According to Tosatti, it is the Secretariat of State under Cardinal Parolin that seems to have become a sort of doorkeeper between the pope and the different curial institutions, thus making any smooth collaboration even harder. Tosatti explains:

When the cardinals urged reinstating the udienze di tabella [a fixed schedule for meetings with the pope] their idea was clear: to prevent the secretariat of state [under Cardinal Parolin] becoming a gatekeeper through whom all business must pass. Without this regular schedule, the secretariat of state becomes a filter between the pope and the Curia. And so, despite the calls for reform, the secretariat of state is more powerful than ever. So long as that is the case, real reform seems unlikely.

However, as several sources in Rome have told us, there does not yet – despite the murmuring discontent – seem to be any sort of larger organized opposition against Pope Francis from within the Curia. It is now only to be hoped that there soon will be. It is in this light that we should hope that Cardinal Robert Sarah’s own words yesterday – given at  the Sacra Liturgia conference in Milano, Italy – indicate an increase of the opposition among curial members against the disordered Francis papacy.

In his conference talk, Cardinal Sarah is clearly indicating his desire to return to more devout and sacred liturgical gestures, thus insisting upon his own special authority as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. As one example, he mentions St. Teresa of Calcutta’s reverence toward the Holy Eucharist and her trenchant words: “Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive [Holy] Communion in the hand.” [emphasis added] Cardinal Sarah also refers to Pope John Paul II and his own recurrent insistence – until the end of his life and in spite of his serious illness – to “never sit in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.” “He forced his broken body to kneel,” added Sarah. “What more profound testimony could he give to the reverence due to the Blessed Sacrament than this, right up until his very last days.”

Moreover, in a talk at the end of May 2017, Cardinal Sarah made some strong remarks about the “secularization” within the Catholic Church and he rejected the idea of solving problems within the Church with merely secular means. I recently summarized some of his words, as follows:

“But it is problematic that we seek merely human solutions as an answer for our [own quest for our] destination.” In the face of great problems, explains the cardinal, “we insist upon human means instead of lifting up our hearts to God.” [emphasis added] The African cardinal then presents a striking thought: “Sometimes I have the impression that this secularization has entered the Church in order also to reduce our Faith to a human standard.” [emphasis added] A “Faith according to human terms” is being presented to man “which is not any more rooted in the depth of the Revelation of Christ and the Tradition of the Church, but, rather, in the claims and [purported] needs of modern man.”

Does one not feel reminded here of the Francis papacy which seems to aim more at accommodating modern man and searching for merely human solutions (such as methods to avoid climate change), rather than calling him to a deeper conversion?

It is to be hoped that some of the aspects described in this article are signs of a justly increasing Catholic resistance against Pope Francis’ fragmenting reform agenda. May that organized moral resistance now grow among cardinals and priests and loyal laymen.

185 thoughts on “Is Catholic Opposition to Pope Francis Growing?”

  1. I am sorry for saying this, but “Vatican specialist and editor for Crux”, John Allen, is just a mediocre businessman having no real Catholic credibility.

      • run of mill biased liberal journalist…he continued working for N’c’R even after the bishop asked them to remove the name Catholic from their title, that is all I need to know about him

        • Truth. He is an ordinary demagogue.
          He make it obvious here…:
          [quote]: “If Catholics have an Achilles heel, it’s that we believe that the popes and bishops are the cause of and solution to all of our problems,” Allen said. “Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you that that is not how change happens. It happens because creative people in the church realize when a moment is upon them, and they stand up and respond to it.
          “Change isn’t going to happen because Pope Francis rides in on a white steed and cures all that ails us. It’s going to happen because people in this room stand up and respond.”

          And he is apparently advocating heretic’s and therefore heretic himself too.

        • This news story is exactly what I mean by Allen taking Catholics young and old over the cliff with him. It’s exactly what Pope Pius XII means when he says error has no objective right to existence.

          • I see it also that way. That is why I gave it as an example. It is enough just to take one Allen’s statement to get the headache: “in every corner of the world where public opinion can be scientifically measured, this pope has approval ratings that politicians and celebrities would sacrifice their children to pagan gods to attain”.

            Not only that such a comparison sounds diabolical, but Allen didn’t really provide any scientifical support of his thesis. I can immedeately reassure you that in my “corner of the world” the approval ratings of Bergoglio are very low due to his mishandling of canonisation of the Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac. It will be the “highlight of Francis’s papacy” that Croatian people will never forget.

        • “…One of the world’s foremost scholars on …”
          Say much regarding Niagara’s academic criteria.
          “Scholar” appears to now be a synonym for “opportunist.”

    • This is not a personal criticism, but I note this and the remaining critiques of John Allen, and I am troubled by them. I happen to know the man, and though he undoubtedly leans liberal, he is a true journalist, credible and objective, opining when he says he is and reporting when he says he is…..and an astute observer of Church movements, having a long list of contacts, both “sides of the fence,” so to speak, and an honest man. I do not agree with his desires for the Church, in many ways. But the slaps against him here on the board seem to me unfair, given what I know of him. I interacted with him in a professional capacity during sensitive times for tradition while working for a traditional order, and never, ever found him other than direct and honest…..even when he said what I wished were not true. And what he reported to me often proved true! I do think we on the conservative/traditional side of things must not fall into the trap of dismissing anything we don’t want to hear, even “killing the messenger,” simply because what is said does not suit our hopes. Is it not better to know what well-connected persons with strong Church contacts see and hear and understand, even when what they report is not to our liking, than to see and hear and understand only what suits us? I think it is factually dangerous to do less in these volatile days, and simply wrong to dismiss the persons bringing the information.

      • By the way, I did not appropriately thank you, Mrs. Hickson, for this extremely helpful article, your many sources are apparent and as I read I marveled at the kind of mental, material and electronic filing system you must have to keep all your materials and quotes and contacts and such at hand for such seamless writing. 🙂 We are blessed to have your insights.

        • Dear Julia, thank you so much. And thank you also for your personal witness for Mr. Allen. I agree that magnanimity and justice should always be on our mind. I remember reading recently an article by John Allen on the supposed close connection between Cardinal Burke and Steve Bannon which he calmly and objectively refuted in an excellent way. I also remember John Vennari respecting John Allen for his accuracy as a journalist. John Vennari once wrote: “John Allen just spent a week in Argentina to learn who is Cardinal Bergoglio. Though Allen is from the modernist NCR, his reporting is often objective and accurate.”

          • All I can add to that is: shame that John Allen was not so professional, accurate and objective to learn who is the Bishop Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Arabia.

          • Oh, you are very welcomed, Maike, it is much deserved praise for your work! And I very much appreciate your response, in so many ways, regarding Mr. Allen. I like your counsel to “magnanimity and justice” very much. And I’m pleased you find John’s and his work credible and honest, as did Mr. Vennari, may he Rest in Peace. I did not know this, and appreciate knowing. We will all have our various opinions, and sometimes very strong ones, as these Church matters play out, and this is very normal. After all, simply EVERYTHING is at stake! But ultimately, even as we fight for Truth, Charity has to prevail if we are to be His. Thank you and a blessed day to you! Julia

          • So, “Charity” means being kind and helpful only towards those that you personally know or that can somehow become useful to you? Because this is the only”Charity” I can connect to Mr. Allen.

          • From my point of view, it was exchange of divers opinions during which everyone sticked firmly to what he/she believes. Though the pros and contras were expressed according to our diversity (characters and cultures), whole discussion was not about “fighting” at all.

      • No one is “killing the messinger”. My experience tells me that John Allen pretends to be what he is not and my comment goes in that direction, no matter who is his comrade, colleague or protector. Otherwise, I don’t truly care about Allen’s ideology or career. I have just exposed my personal opinion regarding what I saw as glorification of “Vatican specialist” that has no base, believing that everyone is free to juge for him/herself.

        • I left reading articles on the Crux because they favored a liberal slant, then when they selectively protected dissident Catholic comments over reasonable traditional Catholic comments repeatedly, that was it for me, not worth it.

      • I have read conservatives defending this man for years. So-called “fair-minded and ubiquitous”. I never accepted it. His work is left wing even if he tempers it once in awhile. He worked for decades at an anti Catholic paper. Why? Why did he take a paycheck from them?

        It is one thing to accept that hard left wingers can get some facts correct at times, but it is another to pretend a left leaning writer should be accepted as impartial. The K of C should be ashamed to back his organization.

        • The answer seems pretty simple to me: people appreciate honesty and forthrightness, even from their enemies. John Allen may be wrong about a lot of things, but his defenders believe he is sincerely wrong, and not underhanded in his approach. They believe he tries to report fairly on what’s going on, even with his bias.

          Obviously, that’s not as good as being correct, but it does strike me as commendable.

          • OK, well when you state it like that I find it slightly more palatable. Reading him over the years does not lead me to be he is especially fair.

            I guess I find it sad, and troubling, that the best Catholics have in terms of journalists is a left winger who willingly associated himself with an anti Catholic propaganda sheet.

          • Pentin was excellent during the synod, but I notice he has softened in the last little while – I hope I am wrong.

          • Too bad – I appreciated his honest objective reporting, he seems to have lost his punch. Does he have a blog?

          • I’ve wondered if they are not simply giving him less provocative assignments. He is truly superior.
            I’m far more worried about the integrity of EWTN than I am for Mr. Pentin. That man has a spine.

          • So why are we criticizing Bergoglio? He seems to be just “sincerely wrong” as John Allen is. And not just once or twice… but most of the time.

          • I believe that “sincerely wrong” is just another politically correct term that can be (mis)used in many ways since there is no SMART criteria of what is and what is not “sincerely wrong”. For example, if you look at how often and for how long someone is “sincerely wrong”, or regarding which topic he persists in being “sincerely wrong”, than it leads to “stupidity”, “ignorance”, “nonchalance”, etc… And none of this contributes to the “credibility” that we eager for.

          • He should have found his moral compass by now after thousands of petitions asking him for clarification on issues of faith, as well as the critical dubia by leading cardinals.

            No, he has an agenda, and it is not a good one.

            LePanto Institute, Voice of the Family and LifeSiteNews are good sources :

            Vatican Representative Endorses UN Sustainable Development Goals, “Verbatim”

            Sustainable Development Goals Include Abortion and Contraception


            VOICE OF THE FAMILY –

          • Forgive my ignorance, but I have always been of the opinion that there exists absolutely no doctrinal or moral equivalence between a Catholic journalist whose personal perspective on all things Catholic is not binding on the faithful, and the anointed Vicar of Christ who is the guardian, defender and primary teacher of the faith. We do not owe John Allen our fidelity. But we are raised as Catholics to understand that it is our duty before God to live and, when necessary, proclaim our fidelity to the Successor of Peter. The current pontificate makes this extremely difficult, if not impossible, for many of us.

          • All that would be acceptable, Steve, if we were talking about politics, but we’re not. We’re talking about salvation and damnation. Allen is a sort of media star and has a lot of influence. I wonder how many marginal, uninformed Catholics, young and old, he’s taking over the cliff with him.

            “What does not correspond with truth and the moral law has no objective right to existence, propaganda or action”

            Pius XII, Ci riese, 6 Dec. 1953

          • Your point is the salient point in this discussion: who brought the politicization of the Church? I think the answer if very, very clear. People who hold to 2000 years of doctrinal development and teaching are now called conservatives, fundamentalists and are accused of being rigid.

            The truth is the truth, period. There can be different ways to interpret, say, the creation account in the Book of Genesis. However, there is no means by which can interpret it faithfully without the underlying starting point that God created the Earth. In other words, discussions of application are permissible. What is not permissible, however, is either trying to change the truth of the underlying teaching or the intent.

            For instance, we cannot say Genesis was a yarn for entertainment or that first the universe came into being and then a concept of God led to some orderly creation. I now see so called liberals saying things like “If Christ were alive today” or “If women’s rights were like this in Christ’s time” or reductionist interpretations of the teachings of Christ that imply that love is all that matters without any understanding of how Christ loved, what he said true love is (e.g. telling people the truth no matter what they want to hear)…it goes on and on.

            I’m not interested any more in acting with charity to people who want to be called Catholic (for what I don’t know) while trying to tear down the fabric and teachings of the Church. If you show up to mass every week, pray the Creed (even though you don’t believe in the Church because you disagree with her teachings) and receive the Eucharist (even though you don’t believe in the real presence) then, really, you aren’t Catholic and you are either comporting yourself out of rote or you want to appear Catholic for nefarious purposes. Either case is not good: the lukewarm will be spewed out and those spreading lies will suffer eternal damnation.

            I’d like to John Allen pen a cogent book–underpinned by doctrine and the Bible–which explains how he has come to believe that his positions, many antithetical to the Church, are inline with Church teaching. Short of that, I don’t really know how anybody can consider themselves faithful to the Church–or why one would even be interested in or profess to be part of the Church–if they simply acknowledge that the doctrine is what it is and doesn’t line up with their own view and that they want it to change, to be reinterpreted. Again, why? Why not join one of the God knows how many liberal denominations which exist?

          • I’m not interested any more in acting with charity to people who want to be called Catholic (for what I don’t know) while trying to tear down the fabric and teachings of the Church.

            Respectfully, Brian, I have a hard time believing Our Lord is going to repeat those words back to you, followed by, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

            I understand the inclination. I’m not pre-disposed to being charitable. But who the hell cares how I feel about doing the right thing? It’s my job to find a way to just do it.

          • Let me clarify: I’m responding to what I perceive the notion of charity to be now. Namely, that it is being nice and tolerant of others, even when they’re lying.

            My view of charity is telling John Allen the truth as taught by the Church–not by me. In so doing he can either admit he rejects that truth or he can spend some time in reflection and amend his ways. In either event, it’s charitable because I would tend to believe it would be far worse to have to answer for why one was told the truth and actively rejected it or didn’t do what is charitable (correcting the lie) then it would be to say I didn’t believe that the Church was teaching the truth so I left or, in the event of the “charitably” tolerant, having to admit why I stood by and either abetted lies or kept silent.

            Our views of charity may very well align but based on how I see the terms used nowadays, i doubt it. Paradoxically the Pope certainly agrees with me as he blathers on about charity, collegiality and dialogue all the time while he occasionally says the harshest things imaginable about his critics, rigid laymen and the Cardinals he doesn’t like.

          • I am in favor of your version of charity, Brian and I think we’re in good company>

            “If I say to the wicked man, “You shall surely die.” and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his wicked conduct so that he may live: that wicked man shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death.”
            Ezekiel 3:18

          • Admonishing the sinner is a work of mercy. Trashing them when their name is mentioned just on principle is a violation of the 8th Commandment. Surely, we can strike the right balance here.

          • “In a 2011 Salt & Light television interview with Allen admirer Fr. Tom Rosica, Allen stated of pro-life Catholics, “we realize the sterility of this dead-end street of importing the culture wars into the Church”. In that interview Allen used the demeaning phrase “Taliban Catholics” for pro-life and similar Catholics.”

          • I may be wrong, but it seems that John Allen is being defended above and beyond what he deserves. I’m not an avid reader of his. He has several defenders who make his mistakes seem like child’s play, but it’s not, is it?
            Perhaps he is a friend, and I don’t condemn him, but his responsibility in a position as journalist and editor with Catholicism is pretty weighty, but we do have the grace to discern and that’s what I think I’m doing.

          • I don’t consider him a friend. I consider him a professional colleague on the other side of the ideological divide who, despite his differences, has a higher than average percentage on treating those who disagree with him with fairness and respect.

            All that’s happening here is a return of that courtesy. Obviously, identifying his errors and praying that he wakes up is still completely fair game.

          • We certainly can, Steve as long as we’re clear about what we’re talking about. First, I have not trashed John Allen so I think your remarks above must be for general use. In that case I have read no ad hom remarks against him. Severe remarks about what he has written and spoken and what he has stood for beginning many moons ago, certainly. That’s what this discussion is about.

            ‘Sincerely wrong’ just doesn’t fly in this context because in Allan’s case it’s impossible. He’s smart guy and I bet he has read the Catechism. He’s have to be sincerely brain dead for ‘sincerely wrong’ to have any weight. I contend he knows what Catholic doctrine is in every subject he addresses and he surely knows when he’s taking a position opposed to or in any way deviating from that doctrine. That is ‘intentionally wrong’ and it’s heretical. Have you ever wondered how many naive, unsophisticated and/or uneducated Catholics he’s taking over the cliff with him?

            I stand by my Ezekiel citation. It is precisely intended to admonish the sinner.

          • I think one thing we must be aware of and it is serious and it is from what I can tell a bit endemic, is Satan’s clever way of using our very virtues to cause us to sin. That may sound strange but when we are firmly aligned with the truth and unbending in our fervent devotion to the Church, he comes at us from another angle. It is so diabolic but it is real. And much of it concerns those who are tearing apart the Church. Now anger is righteous in defense of truth but hating our enemies is not. Christ is very clear about that. It is a fine line to walk I grant you, but when in doubt I say err on the side of charity. Good job Steve.

          • There is not much commendable about using one’s intelligence, and abilities to
            promote what is not faithful to the teachings of the Church.
            Yet, if this is what Mr.Allen sincerely believes, and he does so in all sincerity, then
            so be it. But, I do not believe it is commendable what soever.

          • Have any of you engaged in evangelization? I’m talking missionary-style, talk to the unconverted, try to bring them to the Church type stuff?

            You never, ever hammer people over the head with the whole, “You’re wrong and you’re probably going to hell” as your starting move.

            You seek common ground. You find the things you do agree on. You give them credit for understanding what few truths they do grasp. You build on that understanding and move them toward more, and better.

            John Allen is a guy who comes from an ideological perspective, it seems (I’ve never done a deep dive on his beliefs) that is not commendable. Fine. But if he’s honest in his reporting, if he attempts to be fair, if he treats those with whom he disagrees as though they deserve a hearing, etc., those are not vices. They’re virtues.

            We are very used to people on the progressive end of the spectrum being underhanded, dishonest, and malicious. My understanding of the credibility Allen enjoys amongst conservative/traditional Catholics is that he does not do these things. It’s a step in the right direction. It’s common ground. It’s a starting point for something more.

            Nobody is talking about giving him an award or raising him to the altar. They’re saying that as people on the other side go, he’s at least respectable.

            I used to work with a Democratic strategist. Fairly prominent guy, owned his own firm, did lots of high-level consulting on Presidential campaigns and was always going back and forth to the White House. Couldn’t be more wrong about most of what he believed (although a nice guy, and kind to me even though he knew we were diametric opposites.) He loved Pat Buchanan. Pat would argue with him on various shows, and they’d really duke it out, but they had enough mutual respect for one another that they could shake hands afterward, or go out for dinner.

            I’ve never been a big fan of “agree to disagree”. But I also know that an enemy who doesn’t respect you can never be persuaded to become your ally.

            My friend Mike Sirilla always reminds me of how Chesterton would debate with really far-out guys like George Bernard Shaw. “He’d go after their ideas,” he says, “but he did it in such a way that he left them enough room so that if they ever converted, they could do it without having egg all over their face.”

            I see a real value in that approach. Remembering that the other is a human being created in the image and likeness of God whose conversion He desires and who, most likely, retains some good inclinations mixed in with the bad. It’s easy to turn our enemies into soulless caricatures whom we can loathe and detest. It makes it easier to fight them. But God expects more. He wants us not just to oppose the evil they support, but to earnestly desire that they come to the good. That they convert. That they repent.

            I don’t see a problem in looking for the good in others, even those who are working against us, and giving credit where it’s due. In fact, it strikes me as an essentially Christian thing to do.

          • I “upvoted” your reply for being essentially correct. Where I think we have to understand the difference, however, is in regard to whom or what the person in error holds himself out to be. In the case you cited, Chesterton would debate with men like Bernard Shaw who were, as I believe Chesterton would refer to it, sincerely wrong. Fine, I can understand skewering their ideas charitably. I can also understand the slow and deliberate work of evangelizing.

            John Allen is different than both the unconverted or unbelieving. He’s very much viewed as an authority, as being on the inside and he uses his platform to spread lies. Now he may not think he’s spreading lies because he believes what he says. Great, I have no doubt Hitler sincerely believed that Jews weren’t people. I have not doubt that LBGT+ activists think that a man who thinks he’s a woman is, in fact, a woman. But that doesn’t make it true. And when the lie is coming from one’s own house, a very different tact must be taken.

            Put another way, the manner in which I would attempt to assist the errant child of a friend is different than the way I would deal with my own children when they are in error. The reason for the disparate treatment is that my own children will be raised in a household that clearly sets expectations and knows the truth of Christ. When they lie or act against those truths, there will be harsh rebukes and direct discussions. I would hardly rebuke a friends child when he lies or say something that goes against the Church. I might ask questions, including gentle leading questions, to help him see his error. And the reason is perhaps egotistical or vain: I am much more troubled with lies or poor behavior emanating from my house by somebody holding himself out as a representative of my house than I am with the same behavior coming from somebody of another house. Doesn’t mean I am not concerned with sharing the truth or correcting errors no matter the source but the source does matter.

          • I’m starting to wonder if everyone knows something I don’t. If the man is actively deceiving people, by all means, point it out. If he’s malformed and acting from a corrupted understanding, do the same. The people I tend to reserve thrown elbows for are the ones whom I believe know that they are engaged in the work of destruction of the Catholic Faith and pursue it with great gusto.

            They don’t love Catholicism under the false impression of what it is, they know what it is, and hate it, and want to replace it with something else.

            I’ve never put Allen in that camp. If I’m misinformed, I’d like to know.

          • To clarify, I do think he is actively deceiving people but not in a purposefully malevolent way. He spreads lies but doesn’t think he is lying. And no, he may not be trying to tear down the Church but he certainly agitates for the Church to change or at least make the most tortured interpretations of doctrine and scripture. It’s akin to thinking you love somebody while handing them a list of properties which

          • Ok, Steve. Some among your readers think that John Allen is not credible Catholic journalist because he sometimes consciously manipulates the facts and the truth when “taking the Catholic pulse”, but we forgive him since you believe that he doesn’t do it on purpose and since the Catholics should forgive. Moreover, I suggest one prayer for all unsuspected souls leaning on “sincerely wrong” sources, no matter who is their “provider”. May God leads and bless us all.

          • We should always look for the good in others, and expect the good from others, until proven wrong. Yes, I agree Steve. And yes, I have seen conversions to the faith up front and personal, shall we say.

            I do not see Mr. Allen as soulless or an evil monster to loathe and detest, and I doubt others do here as well.

          • John Allen is not Michael Sean Winters–who has his own opinions, his own facts, his own universe, his own Christ.

          • Thanks again, Steve. I’ve just had time to read everything posted since Maike’s and my exchange earlier today. I’m working in hospital tonight. So much suffering. I had no idea that my challenge to dismissal of John as a person, versus rejection of points in error, would trigger such a firestorm. Nor that I of all people would be called politically correct (clearly they don’t know me!) nor that my use of the word “charity” would be so maligned, even willfully misunderstood. It’s left me very sad, to be honest, questioning whether I belong here. Is there no discussion left amongst us? Only attack? No room for a fine-point, only clubbing with a two-by-four? Charity has nothing to do with being nice. It has nothing to do with saying wrong is right. Spare me the parodies. It’s love of God above all and love of neighbor for His sake. And that love is desire for a person’s highest good. Which could mean correction, always means prayer, but never means personal condemnation. I was raised in the truly traditional Catholic Church pre 1960, where it was permissible to allow a person had aligned himself with evil (wittingly or not) but by no means allowed to say a person *was* evil. That was left to God. I deal with death, dying, disease, trauma and tragedy for a living as a chaplain and have myself endured being left for dead in a criminal attack. It takes a whole hell of a lot to make me blink, much less scare me. But many of the comments on this board have done that. What is happening to us?

          • I don’t know, Julia. I am sure you belong here but you can hardly beg for nuance and reasoned discussion and complain of misunderstanding when you seem, on this issue, not to be willing to engage. I can re-read my post and say I didn’t attack John Allen’s person nor yours, certainly. It’s charitable to call a lie a lie. It’s not charitable to call somebody a liar….and I didn’t do that. And I said nothing about you and wasn’t intending to imply anything about your definition of charity but rather the use of that world in general.

            I am sure Allen is a nice enough guy. I listen to his show on Sirius’s The Catholic Channel. I do find it informative and on the radio, it’s great. His written word and his work at NCR, however, are disturbing. And I don’t view it as charitable to he or others to go along with it because he’s sincere.

          • Brien, I believe Julia might refering on my comment. However, I don’t see the reason for such long patetical message (excuse me Julia for this remark) since we were talking about professional credibility of Allen as being Catholic journalist, while Julia took it very personally and started to defend what is indefensible because she knows Allen and he is otherwise a nice guy. No one didn’t speak about his personal but professional striving since he is a popular journalist and often tends to lean on that popularity. However, I had different opinion about his work since he had a chance to show his both his professionalism and charity in the very concrete case, but he deliberatly turned his blind eye on it both, as journalist and Catholic. Therefore my comment on charity has nothing to do with “willful misunderstanding” of the word “charity” to bring down John Allen as a person but with concrete negative personal experience with Allen’s credibility concerning the Catholic matter.

            Besides, it seems to me that many people don’t understand the meaning if the word “parrhesia”, so they easiliy condemn others as “evil” or “malicious”, though their intentions were not of that origine; they were just completely honest and they rejected to accept what is not true. And if we had less political correctness (yes, Julia… this time Maike, Steve and you have tried to be politically correct for whatever reason each of you had) and more parrhesia in today’s Catholic Church, there would be much more clarity in what we consider to be a Catholicism, nor should people feel guilty or ashamed for being who they are… at least not on the Catholic website.

            Therefore, Julia, I can’t apologize for what I said for I consider my attitued to be honest, but I am sorry if what I said hurted your feelings.

          • Thank you very much for your heartfelt comment, I understand. Your words have meant very much to my husband and me. God bless you!

          • Julia, you’re exactly the kind of commenter I want here.

            You know, my wife just had to deal with something very petty at our traditional parish. She volunteered to set up a reception for some sacraments that are being administered, and was willing to go above and beyond, with us doing extra cooking and even paying for additional food, just to make it nice.

            And when she reached out to the women of the parish, she got an earful from one woman. Nothing could make her happy. She didn’t want anything fancy, she didn’t want people to have to clean up, she tried to tell my wife what Father wanted (when my wife had just had a long conversation with father) and was looking for ways to impugn her motives. She questioned my wife’s honesty and said (she’s never met my wife) that she thought she knew who she was, and then went on to describe a woman whom she clearly believed was immodestly dressed.

            I have often pushed back at the caricatures of traditional Catholics found in the wild. It’s not fair to paint us all as dour, “sour-faced Christians” (as Francis would say). But there are certainly some rotten apples, and they can easily spoil the bunch.

            There’s no question that we are living through deeply trying times, surrounded by enemies. I understand frustration, anger, and even to some degree, bitterness. But it’s our job to rise above those things and treat each other, to the best of our abilities, with decency and respect. Not the respect shown, when it comes to our enemies, for the work done, but respect for the person God created who has an intrinsic dignity and whose conversion is willed from on high.

            It’s never been easy to both fight our enemies and love them at the same time. But we have to.

            So frankly, I’ll welcome one commenter like you over a dozen trying to tell you why you’re wrong for showing magnanimity. We need people who have the capacity to convert others far more than those who would prefer to lazily condemn them.

          • Explain….discuss…. condemn….guess those are all the same word. Funny, though, when sincere atheists like Sam Harris or Dawkins or Dennet sincerely argue or argued against Church teaching I am quite certain that you would be fine with gloves off. But when it’s coming from our co-religionist, we should be charitable. Which I guess means just going along with what he says or does it just entail being glib and qualifying every statement with “John Allen is a faitfhful Catholic but…” Or “John Allen is a good and sincere man but….”. Some people just dispense with the qualifiers. Guess that makes them lazy.

          • I think the mandate for charity is most likely universally applicable. I’ll admit my own weakness here, though: I find it far easier to practice when it involves those who show me similar respect in return. When it comes to atheists, that has most often not been the case.

          • Wonderful post, Julia. So well said. You ask “what is happening to us?” To my mind (see my earlier post) it is a very very subtle temptation Satan uses on those of us who are “all in” for Christ and His Church. We can’t be swayed away from the truth so what strategy gets us out of the front lines of the battle? Hating and dividing. It’s so sinister to use one’s very love of truth against them but the evil one doesn’t play fair.

          • In 2009 John Allen was invited by the Irish Catholic newspaper to ostensibly give a broad talk on the then Pope Benedict XVI’s views on Europe and Christianity, or something like that, in the Davenport Hotel, Dublin. It was really about convincing thoughtful Catholics to vote yes in the upcoming Lisbon Treaty referendum imo.

            After a lengthy address the audience was left with the impression that it was all green lights. That referendum, which was ultimately held a second time was critically important to the momentum of the EU project, as according to its own rules a treaty could only be ratified if all member states agreed to it. The Irish elite didn’t want the referendum, but due to an historical Irish Supreme Court judgement they legally had to hold it.

            Check out yours truly trying to hold back the NWO with my question to Allen @2:19 lol! The first questioner was pretty good in this clip.


          • This is me (@2:19) trying to stop the NWO, back in 2009, with a question to Allen after a talk he gave, on the invitation of the Irish Catholic newspaper, ostensibly on the topic of Pope Benedict XVI, Europe and Christianity, or something like that – lol!

            Note: the Irish elite, on the whole, never wanted the referenda in the first place, but due to an historical Irish Supreme Court judgement they legally had to take place. This was all critically important to the momentum of the entire EU project, as by its own rules a treaty could only be ratified with unanimous approval of all member states. “Lisbon Treay 2” in the video title refers to this talk taking place prior to the second referendum, held because the Irish voted no in the first one several months prior. Heady days!


          • I don’t know if I am still aloud to say anything, but I would like to kindly ask just one more question: if there is only one acceptable (let’s call it “Steve’s way”) of evangelization, how than explain the fact that Paul was first knocked off his high horse on his way to Damascus to become able to recognize the God and His love? Was God rude to do that… or any of things that don’t stand in line what some among us lable today as “decency”?

          • I have not read every comment closely, but from what I have read there is nothing that seems malicious so I am perplexed as to why comments taking Allan to task are seen as uncharitable. Every interaction is not about definite evangelization. Most of the time, in cases like this, it is pointing out the grave errors and danger so that people are aware and informed and then can make correct decisions.

            Allan is a known liberal. That does not mean we are judging his soul before God but it does mean we are aware of his ideology and past actions. Forget about what he has said and written, that is bad enough but why is it acceptable that he is part of anti Catholic propaganda sites like NCR and Crux? Why? They have published so much error and propaganda that can influence people that such an association is hardly a minor problem. If a person works for PP or David Duke and wrote some “unbiased” things once in awhile would that make their close association with such evil ideologies something to minimize or look beyond? I would say not.

            And why have so called “orthodox” priests and bishops given him interviews? Is his association with radical anti catholic outlets no biggie to them? I am sure he says please and thank you and love kittens, but that still does not outweigh his formal participation with organizations that promote propaganda that leads others astray.

          • Of course you’re allowed. I disagree with you, but you haven’t broken our rules. What kind of fly-by-night place do you think this is? 😉

            In any case, God gets away with doing stuff we can’t. He can knock you off your horse and tell you to stop persecuting Him or he can strike you dead for touching the ark. Totally his call.

            I’m not above using blunt-force rhetoric if it actually works. In my experience — and I really do have a lot of experience trying to get people to recognize the truth both in person and online — it usually hardens them in their position. You need an incredibly well aimed shot that nevertheless comes across as having come from a place of charity.

            This is why you’ll occasionally hear of a saint doing something like this. But they’re saints, and if you’ve ever met someone really saintly, they have an authority you just can’t argue with. Alas, I’m not among their ranks…

          • Thank you for your answer. It is rare to meet persone who is so dedicated as journalist and Catholic, trying to put up with multiple challenges while having persistance in reaching every single soul and responding to the troubled ones without second thoughts. May God bless you for your effort and patience with both your readers and John Allen; I truly hope that one day this man will find the right path. I wish all the best to 1Peter5!

          • If the people willing to read our website can’t overlook differences and find a way to build some kind of a community centered around our most deeply held beliefs, we’re in more trouble than I thought.

            Also, somewhere along the way I must have asked God for more patience because He sure does give me a lot of opportunities. 😉

          • He is a charming tool of heterodoxy.
            He is duplicitous and propagating lies. The battle underway does not require objective reportage. It requires fidelity to Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the perennial Magisterium of the Church. We are not engaged in a senior seminar on contemporary allegorical Catholicism at some Jesuit cesspool. We are engaged in a struggle to maintain the integrity of the Bride of Christ for the salvation of the world.
            John Allen is a smooth talker, a characteristic of his breed, from Bergoglio to Martin.

          • Then identify his duplicity and out it. But don’t tell people not to show the man respect. These things are not mutually exclusive. Are we no longer playing by Queensberry rules?

          • His duplicity is manifested by a continual promotion of heterodoxy while claiming the mantle of fidelity. One need only follow the musings on “Crux.” There is no need to go further, unless you want to jump into his history at the NCReporter. For fifty-five years we have given the benefit of the doubt, out or charity, to the peddlers of the “oh so reasonable” neukirche.
            There is no longer any reason at all to continue the charade.
            If that reading need be offered to you maybe we really are off the cliff.

          • Who said anything about the benefit of the doubt? We’re talking about not treating everyone who is wrong — even about important things — as deserving of contempt.

          • This is hard to bear in mind at the best of times.

            For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against
            principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this
            darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

            Eph 6:12
            Douay-Rheims Bible

          • That’s right Garrett. That is absolutely right. Many of our brothers and sisters in the Church like Mr. Allen are being held captive in the clutches of a deadly heresy, the synthesis of all heresies, and they don’t even realize it because they are drugged on the spirit of the age. I am not excusing them but I do think we have to remember who our enemy is. As you say, hard to bear in mind at the best of times.

          • As I’ve addressed in a previous, Steve, I believe it’s not possible for Allen to be merely ‘wrong.’ He’s too smart for that. Suppose his objective is to lead marginal Catholics to question their faith and, eventually out of the Church? I’m not saying that’s true, but I’m not saying it isn’t. Given his record, can you say it isn’t?

          • A fair exchange of ideas and a reasonble discussion isn’t too much to ask. But it never came for me, so I stopped reading the Crux. This is my point.

          • And I don’t generally encourage people to read Crux, unless there’s an article there that is of interest (often because of the bias of the author.)

            Just the other day, I got John Allen to publicly admit Crux made a stupid mistake in publishing the image of the graffiti in Rome depicting Trump and Francis engaged in a kiss. I have no problem calling him out. But I also respect the integrity he had to own it. It’s a rare thing.

            Here’s our exchange:


          • It is laudable of you to get that admission out of him. It was duplicious of him to try to wriggle out of it by his “…we made a mistake. Period.”

          • Thanks for sharing this conversation. I didn’t know of Allen until reading the comments here. Owning up to this mistake shows he is honest, if nothing else.

            Thanks again for this and all you do.


          • What an interesting and informative discussion by all above. I tend to a more direct and old fashioned view. The Catholic Faith is absolute and never relative. Catholic doctrine is clearly and infallibly stated. To reject one iota of Catholic doctrine, is to reject it all.
            Is the man speaking Catholic doctrine? If so, all is well. If not, is he a material heretic, i.e. speaking heresy in ignorance of the fact, which is guiltless and subject to correction, or is he a notorious, (public), heretic sprouting heresy intentionally, persistently and knowingly?
            If the latter be the case, his personality, character, feelings etc. are not relevant and he must be condemned and opposed forcefully with political correctness to the wind. Is he talking Catholicism, or modernism – that’s what counts.

            “Have I not hated them, O Lord, that hated thee: and pine away because of thy enemies? I have hated them with a perfect hatred: and they are become enemies to me.” Psalm 138:22
            Haydock Commentary on the same Psalm Ver. 22.
            Christ commands, “Love your enemies;” not those who hate God. (St. Augustine)
            We must love in them what God loves, and detest what He condemns. (Theodoret)
            — Fervent zeal against God’s enemies is commendable.

          • Those who are true journalists truthfully report the actual facts with a neutral tone regardless of their personal inclinations.

    • No need to be sorry for telling the truth. Allen has made a career of straddling the fence and he’s fooled a lot of undiscerning people.

    • I worry about the precedent set by two consecutive popes abdicating. But then again, we need Francis gone

      • Should Bergoglio resign the administrative part of the papacy …we still would have Pope Benedict. If the Cardinals elect another while Benedict lives, the
        electee would not be pope any more than Bergoglio is. The problem arises
        when Benedict dies …and Bergoglio is not living and the Cardinals elect someone worse than Bergoglio…
        that would be a serious problem. Would God let this happen? I don’t know….
        could an out and out heretic be a legitimate Pope? Probably not …….which means we all become legitimate sedevancanists in the end ??

        • So you’re of the mind that Francis is not legit. Got it

          What happens if Francis resigns while Benedict still lives, another pretender is elected, and then Benedict died while said pretender yet lives? At that point the See would be vacant but there would be a man claiming to be Pope

    • If Pope Francis is Pope, then I hope he lives and dies a Pope.

      Or he must be declared an invalid Pope and removed.

      Kings and Popes do not retire. They abdicate. Then they return to their prior state, (Duke of Windsor; Fr. Ratzinger).

      The error at the beginning of this Papacy has not been addressed. It is the source of all subsequent errors.

      His retirement, especially if embraced by conservatives on behalf of a new “conservative” Pope, would be the worst disaster imaginable. We must correct the original error.

  2. I hope Bergoglio keels over with a heart attack or gets run over by an out-of-control Popemobile this morning, today, now, this minute. As long as he is in a state of grace at the time. But always – God’s Will be done, not mine.

    • I pray thusly: God, turn his heart, and if it will not be turned, incapacitate him. And if he will not be incapacitated, annihilate him. But even then, give him the short time needed for a true repentance.

        • God will remove Francis when He sees fit. Clearly, He had permitted the affliction that is this pontificate for some reason. Perhaps this is the painful light that will expose ALL heresy in the Church, not just the blatant stuff

          • And finally to remove the naive exaggerated papalism of the post-Vatican II ” conservatives” who closed their eyes to the diasastrous policies and decisions of the “Holy Father” trusting that somehow ” he knows what he’s doing.”
            It was after all the “Santo Subito” John Paul II who plucked Bergoglio from his well deserved obscurity and made him bishop, archbishop, and Cardinal in a matter of a few years. Not to mention all those Rhenish Cardinals who are the current cast of villains.
            For all Cardinal Ratzinger’s championing of Klaus Gamber’s “Reform of the Reform” Pope Benedict XVI made not one significant alteration to the Missal of the Ordinary Form. Not one retraction of the disastrous Communion in the hand, versus populum altars, standing Communion, those phoney Jewish “Presentation of the Gifts” prayers , etc. He did, to his everlasting credit, free the traditional Roman Rite from its shameful obloquy however for which he is rightfully blessed.

          • What’s “Jewish” about the Presentation of the Gifts? It’s a sacrifice, after all

          • The Offertory prayers of the Roman Mass were replaced by those two “blessed are you” prayers made to sound like the Jewish table grace with some vague references to ‘the bead of life… our spiritual drink”. Read the prayers in the EF Missal. Chalk and cheese.

      • You have to deal with Francis like Lt. Ripley suggested in ‘Aliens’..”nuke’em from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.”

    • Dear Great Stalin, please do not talk in such a manner when commenting upon articles of mine. We resist certain of Pope Francis’s actions where we can, but I do not wish him to get “run over by an out-of-control Popemobile.” I would not wish it to the worst of my enemies. That is unbecoming speech for a Catholic.

      • Dear Ms. Hickson, one of the reasons The Great Stalin is great is because of his unique sense of humor. I do understand that you prefer bonhomie and politeness, but knowing the previous posts of The Great Stalin I believe he didn’t mean it the way you took it, just as he didn’t have any bad thoughts when singing “imagine no Bergoglio”. It is not The Great Stalin’s fault that comments on your article went in an unexpected direction, so it wouldn’t be fair to be hard on him if you feel that we messed up. We should all observe the others from the point of magnanimity, remember?

      • Have you never read Bergoglio’s little book of insults about faithful, orthodox, traditional Catholics who have the temerity to resist his changes?

  3. There is no easy and polite remedy to this disaster in our Church.
    There can be no gentle way around this by prelates.
    We are either for Christ or we are not.
    We shall either defend His Church or we shall not.
    We shall either stay silent and only speak to the choir or we shall speak for all to hear, and that would include Pope Francis, I believe.

    We seem to be in the throes of an Anti Church. And we need a strong, very holy leader to rise up and
    say “NO. NO. NO.” to this false Church and her leaders. Waiting for PF to resign or to die, does nothing.
    The Church will fall back into her comfortable silence once again.
    There must be a witness of the Truth, God’s Truth, found in His Church.
    And it starts with the bishops and cardinals.
    There is no way around that either.

  4. Let us pray that Bergoglio exits the stage very soon.He is awful!His remarks that God cannot exist without Man is rank Heresy and Heretical statements pour from his mouth every day.May his lies and perfidy bring him down ,or, at least bring about his conversion.At any rate Bergoglio please exit the stage.

    • The smoke of Satan is in the Church and Bergoglio is doing his best to dismantle the Church, but we have God’s promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We continue to pray for deliverance from this evil.

  5. This “Faith according to human terms” is driven and boosted by false spirit, aka zeitgeist, which is also a proof that ideology called humanism is nothing else than modern paganism which is a very important tool of the sneaky mind master from Hell.

  6. I think Cd Sarah’s litugical remarks also implicitly highlighted the one who refuses to kneel at the consecration of the Eucharist and rarely if ever kneels before the Body of Christ – namely Pope Bergoglio.

  7. Jorge’s exit will mean the anti-Christ will be invited to head not only the Catholic Church, but all Christian churches the world over. Pray the Most Holy Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily, as these will be the faithful’s saving Graces from heaven. Please read the prophesy of Our Blessed Mother here who explains why the last secret of Fatima was hidden:

  8. The “mafia” is now openly preparing Francis successor in the person of Card. Parolin. Suh an arrogance is unprecedented in the Church’s history.
    Let’s expect that the “God of surprises” will surprise the mafiosi themselves who so skillfuly engineered Card. Bergolglio’s election after they had forced Benedict into resignation.
    Everybody knows the motto: “One enters the conclave as papabile, and one exits like a cardinal”.

  9. No opposition to Francis and his “reform (??) agenda” is not growing. (I hate the term “reform”. It aint reform. It’s destructive). We’ve reached plateau phase. After four years of this malarkey, those who are ever going to understand what’s really going down in Rome have already got the message. The Pollyannas who don’t get it now, never will.

    What may change is the way the opposition is expressed and manifested. There could be a few “sleepers” in the Curia and College of Cardinals who up until now have kept their own counsel but who could, in the future, come out of the shadows and break cover. In any event, if push comes to shove and we head irrevocably down the road to schism, those who oppose Francis and his faithless band of faggots will always be in a minority. The archetypal Novus Ordo, glad-handing Fr. Bob and most of his spiritually moribund parishioners will supinely follow the false prophet into oblivion. The true Church will become smaller, more despised but holier and more evangelical.

  10. Should there remain any honest men among the clergy, how could they not oppose Francis?
    I see a man lowering the ethical standards of a Christ follower to the point, where there is no more Christ, or where Christ is denied to please the most base, common man (such as a tyrant, a fool, a hedonist, a sodomite). Christ’s words are habitually twisted, the following of God’s commandments (all of them? – asks Francis) deemed a bothersome nuisance (but how do you get anything accomplished?!).

    While pleasing the common man, or rather his desire to sin joyously and unrepentantly, Francis bashes the so called populists among our worldly rulers, and is the best friend of communist tyrants – according to him communists are the real Christians. This man considers himself a reformer? How can he reform something he does not comprehend? His anti-intellectualism, his hatred for doctrine (a coherent philosophical system) and gigantic pride (I am the first humble pope, I am the first discerning pope, I am the man of the people!) prevent him from making any progress.

    As he demands repeatedly: Do not look back, move forward!!! – he denies the Word of God an account of moulding God to fit Francis’ vision of himself.

    What is there not to despise and oppose?

    • P.S.
      I would remind Francis, that God Himself told us – if you brake one commandment, you have broken them all. Anything accomplished through braking commandments, allegedly to achieve a constant forward motion, brings about hell on earth. It does not expand God’s Kingdom.

      Francis must be opposed.

    • “The arrogance, the violence of language, the disrespect and the inhuman contempt for Benedict XVI are diabolical and cover the Church with a mantle of sadness and shame,” Cardinal Sarah said.
      “These people demolish the Church and its profound nature,” he added.”

      Very nice to see Cardinal Sarah openly defending Benedict XVl. A start.
      Now, what would be far better, if Cardinal Sarah would substitute the word Christ for Benedict XVl.
      And then substitute ” These people” for Pope Francis, and well, I am afraid, I have not enough or room
      to add all the cardinals and bishops to that list as well.

      But a mere rumble. Means very little to me.

    • I read your post on Breitbart. In Cardinal Sarah we have a great force for good. His defence of Benedict against the modernist ‘liturgist’ Grilli is admirable. I was reading Christopher Ferrara’s post about Francis’ words back in March that alluded to Francis being disturbed (understatement) about Benedict coming out in praise of Sarah. How Francis manages to use scripture as a weapon on an ongoing basis to lash out at his foes is truly hard to hear and observe without feeling ill. Jealousy and fear of losing power and influence is also hard to take.

    • Good evening dear Christopher,

      I am so glad to hear that in France the faithful are becoming aware of the disastrous agenda of Pope Francis. France has an exalted place in the history of the Church, so it has been heartbreaking to hear of trials the Church has been facing in your country. How are people showing their dissatisfaction to Pope Francis?

      Your friend in Christ,


  11. When every I read “Conservative Catholic” I immediately think CATHOLIC IN MIND WORD AND DEED.
    When ever I read “liberal catholic” I immediately think NOT CATHOLIC AT ALL.

    If you are conservative you are trying your best to KEEP the One, Holy and Apostolic Faith. If you are liberal then you are trying to KILL the ONE, HOLY AND APOSTOLIC FAITH.
    Pretty much sums it up for me!

  12. “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.”

    Pope Bergoglio

    Someone should tell this apostate Pope he’s too late. His friend Martin Luther took care of that 500 years ago

  13. Maike, I am always so impressed with your writings. You make difficult and sometimes complex storylines easy to digest. You have done a great service to 1P5 in aiding us to navigate these treacherous waters. You seem able to tell the truths without falling into despair or lack of charity. Thank you for your service to the King!!

  14. Among the more bizarre photos from this papacy is the image, taken from the rear of a church full of bishops and priests on their knees before the Blessed Sacrament while in their very midst, a Dumbo-eared figure in white stands, stiff, erect, proud.

  15. There’s so much in this article to ponder and the conversation gets side-tracked with tallying up scores about Mr.Allen (whose reporting, personally, I can appreciate). To steal from “The Great Stalin”, below, at times “I hope [comment threads] keel over with [. . .] heart attack[s] or get[. . ] run over by an
    [much in control moderator] . . .” . . .[unless the thread exhibits] a state of grace . . .”

  16. May God bless, guide and strengthen all those opposed to PF’s destructive agenda but from my remote and admittedly largely uninformed perspective, opposition to the pope appears to be in turns sporadic, muted, isolated, uncoordinated and equivocal – or in other words, not even enough to keep him awake at night, let alone have a change of heart.

  17. I left the Church over this popes rampant adoration of his own hellish and perverted trinity; he worships Marxism, Globalism, and Islamism. Not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    • There’s been bad popes before and men and women stayed in the Church. St. Thomas More sure did not give his life for Clement VII but for the institution of the Papacy. As they used to say, “I feel your pain” but don’t bail out now.

      • True! Who have not a Church as Mother , he have not God as Father.
        A pope is not the Church. Church is mystical Body of Christ Himself.
        If we are not a part of Christ mystical Body, no matter what, in how difficult times we live, or how heretical pope may be installed for a while, – we cannot be taken to the eternal Home of our Father.

      • i bailed out in early 2016; not coming back unless we get a new Pope Urban II…and we are not getting a Pope Urban II.

  18. Mrs Hickson has obviously been annoyed by some comments to her article here, and one of mine is included in that number. I said that I would be pleased if Bergoglio was the victim of an out-of-control Popemobile, but only if he was in a state of grace at the time. Mrs Hickson responded by telling me not to ” …talk in such a manner when commenting upon articles of mine.” I can say honestly that her comment made me more than angry.

    I will pass over the fact that Mrs Hickson has no authority whatsoever to determine who comments on her articles, or what the content of comments should be, and simply focus on what I wrote and whether it was licit or not.

    The question is, is it licit for a Christian to wish or hope for the death of an enemy of the Faith? I have always been led to believe that it is, as long as there is no hint of hatred of the person himself (or herself), but a righteous anger at the damage caused to Christians or to the Church by that person. But, I thought, ‘Maybe I am completely wrong on this matter and if so, I will delete my comment.’ I have hunted for the answer this evening online and found some relevant material. What follows is my edited version but in no way has the argument itself been amended.

    When discussing the virtue of charity, Saint Thomas Aquinas says one should consider two things in a sinner: (a) that his nature comes from God, and is therefore good; (b) that his sin does not proceed from God and it turns the sinner into an enemy of the Creator.

    While the sinner should be loved for the first of these, in other words, for his nature, “in respect of their guilt whereby they are opposed to God, all sinners are to be hated, even one’s father or mother or kindred, according to Luke 14. For it is our duty to hate, in the sinner, his being a sinner, and to love in him, his being a man capable of bliss; and this is to love him truly, out of charity, for God’s sake.”

    In another part of the Summa Theologica, when discussing the virtue of justice, St. Thomas writes about the virtue of vengeance that is linked to justice. Obviously, this virtue has nothing in common with personal revenge, which stems from a purely personal hatred, but rather with that which flows from a love of justice, as seen in the expression: “a crime (or a sin) that cries out to God for vengeance.”

    Saint Thomas explains that it is not licit for anyone to avenge themselves on their own, for as Holy Writ affirms, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Deut. 32:35; cf. Romans 12:19). However, he adds that Sacred Scripture also says that God Himself will avenge the just: “Will not God revenge His elect who cry to Him day and night?” (Luke 18:7). He explains that this means that vengeance cannot be wrong in itself, seeing that God engages in it. And thus he concludes, “Therefore vengeance is not essentially evil and unlawful.”

    If vengeance, then, is not evil per se, its licitness hinges on the intention of the person who wishes it. Is the intention of he who exercises it good or evil? Thus, St. Thomas says, “if his intention (of the avenger) is directed chiefly to the evil of the person on whom he takes vengeance and rests there, then his vengeance is altogether unlawful: because to take pleasure in another’s evil belongs to hatred, which is contrary to the charity whereby we are bound to love all men.”

    St. Thomas concludes saying that if “the avenger’s intention be directed chiefly to some good, to be obtained by means of the punishment of the person who has sinned (for instance that the sinner may amend, or at least that he may be restrained and others be not disturbed, that justice may be upheld, and God honored), then vengeance may be lawful, provided other due circumstances be observed.”

    Well I am not sure what my intention was to be honest, given that it was very early in the morning when I wrote it; that I do detest Bergoglio, and that I do wish the harm he does should cease immediately. But, despite any possible bad intention (according to St. Thomas’ teaching), I did write that the Popemobile should be out of control, meaning willful murder is excluded; that he should be in a state of grace at the time (meaning that his Salvation would be assured) and that God’s Will be done in the matter, not mine.

    On balance therefore Mrs Hickson, my advice is “wind your neck in” as we say in England, and may the brakes fail as soon as possible.

    • Your comment didn’t violate the rules, so I let it stand. Your explanation here, had it been devoid of the snapping back at the perceived injustice you received by way of Dr. Hickson’s words here would, in fact, have been a good deal more helpful.

      She didn’t tell you what to do, as you’ve selectively excerpted. She asked. She began that sentence with “Please do not”, and she said it because she does not want it thought that she is the sort of person who would ignore such comments and leave them uncontested on something that she wrote.

      As is her right.

      I always give the advantage in disputes here to my writers, and Dr. Hickson is foremost among them in her contributions. The first of our comment policy rules is “1. Refrain from personal attacks and insults; focus your response on the argument, not the individual. Do not insult 1P5 staff or writers.

      You’ve not insulted her, but your tone is approaching insulting. “Wind your neck in”, as I understand it, is equivalent to “get out of my face.” Not exactly a polite rejoinder. Certainly not as polite as she was to you, even if her admonishment chafed you.

      I know that Dr. Hickson has appreciated your forthrightness in other circumstances, as have I. But if your sentiment was understandable (and I do believe you meant the part about a state of grace and God’s will), blurting it out in public was not exactly prudent and arguably rather coarse.

      These questions of how to deal with the way Francis makes us feel are hard things to get our minds around, and I appreciate the research you’ve presented here. You’d have made a far stronger point here if you hadn’t let slip that it was motivated by “more than anger.” Stand down, please, or move along.

      If civility can’t be an organic thing in this space, it will be a cultivated one.

      • Then we disagree Steve. Your translation of the English idiom is first of all incorrect – it means more “calm down” than anything else; and secondly don’t tell me that the tone she used wasn’t uncivil. It was.

        Anyway, it’s raised an interesting topic for further discussion.

      • I suggest that you are incredibly oversensitive this morning. My comment had nothing to do with Dr. Hickson. It related to Mr. Allen.
        Your corrective might be better fielded if my response to you had not been deleted.
        I’ve contributed $153 to this enterprise in the past six months, $103 of it just weeks ago. It appears that I’ve been misguided. Perhaps you will find a way to delete $153 from your ledger. 1Peter5 is deleted from a reasonable and viable source of news for me.

      • Very interesting exchange. Keep up the good work. Agree with all you said.

        Healthy reminder to keep blogs and blogging in their proper place. Spend some time here, then go out and oil your chain saw (as a very helpful commenter named New Elijah advised a few months ago).

        That advice of “Elijah’s” (build more, think less) was worth the price of admission to me. Wish he’d stop chopping down trees and post a few more comments here. They were very good.

  19. Thanks Maike. We can use more of this thinking. It is encouraging. My impression from my Novos Ordo Cathedral that not a whole lot has changed. Pope Francis “theological/ecological/heretical” works are serialized in our weekly church bulletin. And I have never heard a negative word about Pope Francis from anyone in our parish.

    • In my case in my parish there is no word about him at all. We take the old “Get Smart” approach: the “Cone of Silence.”


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