Pope Francis has elevated immoral men in order to change the Catholic faith
Brendan Michael Dougherty has written a piece on National Review entitled The Case Against Pope Francis. I am always surprised when this is sent to me by so many priests at how quiet they all are publicly about this papacy, but when you look at the sickening fawning of the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales on display in their recent ad limina statement, perhaps you can understand why:
As we spoke with Pope Francis we realised, more and more, that he simply radiates this joy and peace. He is indeed gifted with a unique grace of the Holy Spirit of God.This dreadful overwrought style is increasingly common when bishops speak of Pope Francis (just read Cardinal Ouellet's open letter to Archbishop Viganò), like some desperate over-compensation for what is happening; is this all they can do to reassure the faithful? It puts one in mind of a bishop covering up for an abusive priest, where the only defence is to make up things about how incredible saintly the individual is, even though such praise starkly contradicts all the evidence!
Even in this time of turmoil, the Holy Father is so clearly rooted in God and blessed by God. His peace is secure. His life is serene. We know, because he showed us his heart. It is the heart of a loving father.
Considering this is a team who likely comprise of the immoral men Brendan alludes to in his article, or at least aspire to be them, perhaps it is no wonder that more priests don't speak out. We recently discovered that +Arnold, ++Nichols & Westminster Diocese failed to follow the national investigation protocols, The Cardinal actually lobbied Pope Francis to stop an investigation into his predecessor.
Canon Lawyer, Ed Condon covered the story in this Catholic News Agency report:
Nichols is scheduled to testify in November before the Independent Inquiry in Child Sexual Abuse, a panel established by the British government in 2014, charged with reviewing sexual abuse and institutional response in the country’s Catholic dioceses, the Anglican Church, and other British institutions.
In his most recent letter, released to media on Sept. 27, former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano alleged that Pope Francis was responsible for halting “the investigation of sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor.”
Sources close to the case have told CNA the investigation was marked by procedural irregularities long before it reached Rome, and before the election of Pope Francis.
“It was deference, plain and simple,” one Church official in Britain told CNA, alleging that the matter was not handled according to established Church procedures because it involved a senior Church figure.
A source familiar with the case told CNA that the government inquiry might also solicit files from British dioceses in order to get clarity on that charge.
“If IICSA wanted to go into the matter properly and see who did what when,” a source familiar with the case told CNA, “they could do worse than ask for the files from all the dioceses involved. I suspect they would find a pretty clear picture of who was asking Westminster to act, and how little was done in response.”
Those files would most likely be solicited from the Diocese of Westminster and the Diocese of Portsmouth, which are reportedly most connected to the case.To be clear, the story is not that the claims against Cormac Murphy O'Connor were necessarily credible, it is the fact that the investigation was not treated in accordance with the Church in England & Wales' own procedures and deference was shown because Cormac Murphy O'Connor was Cardinal.
I have to think back to the episode of the Soho "Gay" Masses which Cormac Murphy O'Connor established with no insistence on the project's agreement to Church teaching.
The controversial Soho Masses were a source of grave scandal for some time before Vincent Nichols was honoured with the title "Cardinal". Not because they were a point of evangelism to a marginalised community, but because it was clear that they weren't. Instead the Masses were transformed into something else. Political rainbow flags were displayed, bidding prayers expressed things at variance with Catholic teachings, in short, the Masses had been transformed into protests against the Church’s teaching. For this reason they were, and are, hugely inappropriate.
Ultimately, Cardinal Nichols was called to Rome where the head of the CDF, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller took action to ensure they stopped. This was also reported in The Catholic Herald who wrote that the then Archbishop Nichols:
...said today that, while the Masses will stop, pastoral care of the community will continue at the Jesuit Farm Street church in Mayfair on Sunday evenings.The reality was that there were so many complaints made and so little action was, as ever, forthcoming, that the CDF felt it had no alternative but to take action. This lack of clear leadership seems characteristic. As Fr. Ray Blake reported in 2012, the problem arose as a result of:
...the CDF turning a Nelsonian eye to the whole matter under Cardinal Levada when Bishop Longley, acting on behalf of Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, negotiated the community's move from an Anglican Church. To be fair the impression given at the time was that these Masses would be carefully overseen and regulated, subsequently of course Bishop Longley was moved to Birmingham and following Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's retirement, Archbishop Nichols took over at Westminster and things have been left drift.These Masses were designed to give pastoral care to particular group who sort help from the Church instead people who attended, vulnerable people, some of my parishioners have been there, they found a lobby group for dissent against the Church's teaching "and rather spiritual than help, a gay dating agency", as one said.However, it became very obvious, very quickly, that Cardinal Nichols had no intention of stopping the Masses, he simply moved the venue. What about dealing with the Pastoral issue? Surely he did that? Well, the Masses are followed by a "social" organised by LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council. Their lack of fidelity to Christ and His Church is written all over their Facebook Page here. These are people who self-identify as LGBT, who think the Church is wrong in what it teaches, and who want to change the Church to suit their own sexual predilection.
The real problem has been a very serious lack of leadership and pastoral oversight. This, and the grave dissent is presumably what Archbishop Müller will want to deal with.It was rumoured that the change was one of the "boxes" that Nichols needed to "tick" before he was given his red hat.
The point is that Nichols followed the path set out by Pope Benedict when he was Pope and to many appeared orthodox. The same is true of many of these men. Now Francis is pushing in a different direction we are seeing a new bravado in those modernists who seek change. I had a fairly good inkling about some of them, but I have to admit to feeling quite shocked at the apparent abandonment of supernatural realities, and the embracing of problematic ideologies I see on a daily basis.
As Doughety puts it:
While trying to please the progressives who elected him, Pope Francis has plunged the Church into acrimony and confusion...It is a theological revolution that not only threatens the coherence of the Catholic faith but has the potential to affect all Christians.Like today's Canonisations, Francis' direction damages the Church's credibility. In a world that believes reason to be a victim of belief, we had Fides et ratio, we had a philosophical platform from which to argue. The era of Francis chucks all that out the window and replaces it with....nothing substantial I can see. Mercy?
As for Francis' mandate to clean the Aegean stables of the Vatican:
As for reform? Forget it. Nearly half of the members of Pope Francis’s reformist team have been pulled into sexual-abuse scandals themselves. Cardinal George Pell has returned to his native Australia to face charges of fondling children. Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga has been accused of protecting churchmen who fostered a culture of sexual predation in the seminaries of Honduras. The German cardinal Reinhard Marx was revealed to have been negligent in investigating an abusive priest when he was bishop of Trier. American cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, who heads the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, has been exposed as having passed the buck when a priest tried to inform him of the serial sexual predation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick against seminarians.Dougherty points out the evidence those of us who have been following all this have been shocked by: Francis' love and promotion of compromised clerics:
There is a type of churchman that Francis seems to favor: the morally compromised and the doctrinally suspect. The archbishop of Bruges, Jozef De Kesel, was known to promote the ordination of women and the making voluntary of priestly celibacy, and was credibly accused of knowingly appointing a pastor who had molested a child. Francis made him a cardinal. There was the archbishop of Stockholm, Anders Arborelius, who ignored calls to investigate a pedophile priest for years. The victim was told to go see a therapist instead. Arborelius is sympathetic to the idea of creating a female version of the College of Cardinals. Francis made him a cardinal, and Arborelius speculated that his elevation was a way for the pope to honor Sweden’s commitment to refugees. There’s also Giovanni Becciu, who was working for the pope’s secretary of state. When the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers began uncovering financial fraud in the Church, Becciu suspended its audit. The auditor general from PwC later said he was forced out on trumped-up accusations; Becciu accused that accountant of being a spy. Francis then made Becciu a cardinal. Another cleric, Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, is set to stand trial in France for his role in covering up a child-sex-abuse scandal in Lyon. Francis made him the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which adjudicates abuse cases.Despite this clear factual reality, I have still seen Catholics on social media denouncing this as lies. Surely to be Catholic means to love to good and the pure and the holy, to see the possibility for redemption in all and to WANT them to be redeemed, to renew their lives? Under Pope Francis it seems bad is good and good is sanctimonious and "rigid". Unless we wake up to what's going on, we will never be able to fight against it.
Or consider Monsignor Battista Ricca, reportedly Francis’s “eyes and ears at the Vatican Bank.” Ricca was widely known for engaging in affairs with men at different posts during his clerical career. He was attacked in an area of Montevideo known for cruising, and he had to be rescued from an elevator in which he was trapped with a rent boy. (It was a question about Ricca that Francis made the occasion of his headline-grabbing statement “Who am I to judge?”) And finally there is the man known as the “vice pope,” Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, the one being charged by seminarians in Honduras with allowing a culture of predation to flourish. Rodríguez Maradiaga first became famous across the Catholic world for saying that the Church scandals in Boston in 2002 were the invention of Jewish-controlled media who were avenging themselves on the Catholic Church for “confirm[ing] the necessity of the creation of a Palestinian state.”
What clearer or more sickening example of Francis' promotion of evil could there be than the rehabilitation of abusive monsters like McCarrick & Danneels (who I have reported on here and here before)? Of Danneels, Dougherty states:
Danneels was Belgium’s leading bishop from 1979 to 2010; as it did in Ireland and Quebec, secularization seemed to come almost overnight in Belgium, and Danneels has occasionally been a cheerleader for these changes. He wrote a private letter to his prime minister, Guy Verhofstadt, praising the government’s decision to allow same-sex unions. It was a position he would reiterate emphatically years later, telling two newspapers that the Church “has never opposed the fact that there should exist a sort of ‘marriage’ between homosexuals, but one therefore speaks of a ‘sort of’ marriage. But it is not true marriage, that between a man and a woman, therefore you have to put another word in the dictionary. But that it is lawful, that the law can legitimately provide for it, that’s something about which the Church has nothing to say.” In a major public scandal, Danneels was revealed to have pressured the victim of sex abuse by a Catholic bishop, the victim’s uncle, to remain silent. He was enduring a quiet and disgraced retirement, but after pushing for the election of Bergoglio, he appeared on the loggia next to the new pope. He was also invited by Francis to contribute to the Synod on the Family.
That is why it is easy to credit the allegations against Francis. He’s done it all before.Dougherty's article ends with a really good summation of the situation Catholics find themselves in:
The logic of transforming commandments that one must obey into ideals that one more or less, but never fully, approximates is to turn all sins into semi-virtues. And the implications of this revolutionary change become obvious when applied to other moral matters. Some Canadian bishops read the pope’s teaching as licensing them to offer the Last Rites to people before euthanasia. After all, who are they to judge whether the soul before them fully understands and is culpable of the sin of suicide? What do you expect them to do, start instructing them in the faith?
It may seem crazy to focus on the footnotes in a mostly unread and forgettable document, but the theological revolution at work can spread across all Christianity. Under Francis the Church now teaches that sometimes God’s commandments are simply impossible to follow, that it would be cruel to urge someone to obey them, and that it would be foolish to tell people that God will generously grant them help in actually obeying them.
Cardinal Kasper had occasionally defended this understanding by saying that following the Church’s teaching on marriage required “heroism” in certain circumstances, but that “heroism is not for the average Christian.” Francis was widely reported to speculate privately that perhaps half of all Christian marriages are invalid because modern man is so morally deformed he cannot be expected to understand what a marriage is. This is a kind of B-school Christianity, for moral mediocrities. It is a place where God’s love stops short of transforming your life. It’s a mercy where, in the name of inclusion, the Church blesses the sins that break up families and create orphans.
Ultimately the vision Francis has promoted presents a God who is not merciful but indulgent, even lazy, and indifferent. It is God as a Baby Boomer parent. He expects less of you, and you can expect less of Him. In this new religion, where our faults become semi-virtues, salvation itself is changed. Instead of a free gift from God, it becomes a debt owed to us. Christ is not moved by an act of love to sacrifice himself as a propitiation for sinners. Instead, he dies on the cross because our human dignity, revealed in our semi-virtues, obliges him to do so.
What Francis is slowly instituting is a religion of presumption. A religion of “good enough,” where our misguided efforts put God in our debt. Communion becomes a participation trophy. And by freeing the Church from its preoccupation with outdated sins such as adultery, Francis can refocus the Church on the things he likes to denounce, such as the building of border walls, or air conditioning.
And no wonder, then, that the Vatican itself is filled with moral mediocrities, with men who are sexually and financially compromised. No wonder the Vatican investigates and inveighs against whistleblowers immediately but waits decades to investigate predator bishops. Believing in sin is now worse than sin itself. No wonder this church has a pope who refuses to wear red shoes. They symbolize martyrdom. That’s for heroic Christians, not for men like Pope Francis.
No, we DON'T "deserve" a bad pope and gay bishops because we're unworthy of better. Sicker patients don't "deserve" lazy or crooked doctors. Fallen mankind NEEDED a spotless Savior, and we NEED faithful pastors. Not abusive fathers. Screw Catholic Stockholm Syndrome. Get mad.— John Zmirak (@JZmirak) October 13, 2018