More example of coordination from the new catholic Red Guards

More example of coordination from the new catholic Red Guards.

First, a tweet from Massimo “Beans” Faggioli reveals teamwork.

Biggest Beans retweeted Robert Mickens, who was peddling his piece today at liberal La Croix International.   What hilarious about it is that he thinks that Benedict XVI should try to get people not to resist Pope Francis.   Why is that hilarious?  Mickens once was fired from the ultra-liberal Bitter Pill (aka The Tablet) because he calls him “The Rat” and publicly wished that Benedict would dieHERE Hypocritical, much?

Remember, these are cadres of the new catholic Red Guards.   They are pointing out Enemies of the People for harassment and targeting, ultimately with the view of destroying their careers.

Some of Mickens, with whom Beans associates himself:

Pope Francis is a facing a raucous and, at times, vicious opposition from certain groups of Catholics. The increasing hostility they are showing towards the Bishop of Rome is probably without parallel in the modern history of the Roman Church.  [Riiight. Because libs didn’t resist Paul VI’s Humanae vitae or just about everything JP2 and B16 did.  Nope.  They were a quiet as little mice.]
Now there is actually good news, as well as bad news to all of this.
The good news is that, as best one can tell, those who are rowing against the current helmsman of the Barque of Peter are part of a very tiny, if noisy, minority.
The bad news is that they are mostly found among the Church’s ordained workforce – men who serve as priests and bishops.


It is impossible to state the exact numbers. However, we can identify certain discernible traits and trends[Remember what the new catholic Red Guards are doing.  They are targeting undesirables for attack.] For example, opposition to Francis is emanating most energetically from the English-speaking world, certain parts of Europe and in areas of Africa where the pope’s critics tend to be younger (under the age of 50), doctrinally rigid and liturgically “retrodox” members of the clergy.
[Watch the vocabulary.] People in the anti-Francis camp also show tendencies toward a very narrow understanding of the application of Canon Law, a slavish devotion to liturgical rubricism and an outdated Euro-centric view of the world that is rooted in classical Greco-Roman philosophical systems[Hmmm…. so, Mickens would substitute categories of matter and form, substance and accident with…. what?]
It would be troubling enough if the opponents of the pope were only members of the clergy. However, that is not the case.
There are also small groups of the baptized faithful that are also highly critical and even disparaging of him. They demonstrate similar characteristics of the rebellious clergy. They, too, tend to be younger, fundamentalists when it comes to church teaching and promoters of a pre-Vatican II liturgy and ecclesiology[If you are Catholic you understand that there is one ecclesiology.  But that’s not Mickens.]


Massimo Faggioli [The Italian word for tuning in to a radio station is “sintonizzare”, you are attuned, on the same wavelength.] recently described those who are angrily opposing the pope and his moves to renew the Church as the “Catholic cyber militia”.


[Remember… these Red Guards are pointing out the targets to attack.] Most of the opposition to Pope Francis is coming from Catholics who are devoted to celebrating the Tridentine Mass. And many of them are from fringe groups that Benedict, first as a cardinal and then as pope, moved persistently to bring into the mainstream of the Church. [Not so fringe anymore, especially in places like France.  And in these USA, the SSPX has grown so much they have built an enormous new seminary.]
His most monumental act was to issue a papal “motu proprio” in 2007 to normalize the pre-Vatican II liturgy. [“Normalize”.  And yet here he is, on the attack.] He said part of the reason he did so was to bring about “an interior reconciliation at the heart of the Church”. Francis has shown no attachment to the Old Mass, but he has done nothing to restrict it.
Members of these reconciled groups of Tridentine Mass enthusiasts, however, have betrayed Benedict’s intention to “regain reconciliation and unity” in a divided Church. And, instead, by their attacks on the current pope, they have intensified the divisions. [Let me just ask.  Have liberals with power done anything at all to take to heart and implement Summorum Pontificum?  Could that play any part in the division?  Mickens is simply being purposely obtuse, to deceive.]


What can be done to put an end to this?
Just a few days after Benedict announced his resignation from the papacy in mid-February 2013, he told the clergy of Rome that he would “withdraw” to be “hidden from the world” and “secluded in prayer”.
But during these more than four years since he slipped into retirement, he has not been completely hidden or secluded. [Watch this!] Benedict routinely sees visitors at his residence in the Vatican Gardens. And many of them are priests, bishops, and laity – including journalists and writers – who have been prominent critics of Pope Francis[So… Benedict is being… watched?  The names of his visitors recorded?]
The former pope has also sent about a dozen or so written messages (that we know of) [Ooooo!] to various religious gatherings and individuals. He’s given a book-length interview, provided a eulogy for the funeral of one of the cardinals that opposed Francis’ document on marriage (Amoris Laetitia) and has even written an introduction and an afterword for at least two books.
He has every right to do so since no one has imposed silence upon him or prohibited from receiving visitors.


He goes on about how Benedict should speak up against the people Mickens doesn’t like.

Mickens was pitted 1000% against Benedict when Benedict was Pope. Now?

Another example of coordination from the new catholic Red Guards.

A key to understanding this rubbish is that Mickens has true animus for people who don’t see things his way.   He slyly, like Beans did before, tries to pit Benedict XVI against the critics of Francis.

I only wonder: How soon after Benedict speaks up, does Mickens want him to die?  This time.

On the same day that the La Croix hit piece comes out, so too something is excreted by The Guardian.

The war against Pope Francis
His modesty and humility have made him a popular figure around the world. But inside the church, his reforms have infuriated conservatives and sparked a revolt. By Andrew Brown

Pope Francis is one of the most hated men in the world today. Those who hate him most are not atheists, or protestants, or Muslims, but some of his own followers. Outside the church he is hugely popular as a figure of almost ostentatious modesty and humility. [This is about right.] From the moment that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became pope in 2013, his gestures caught the world’s imagination: the new pope drove a Fiat, carried his own bags and settled his own bills in hotels; he asked, of gay people, “Who am I to judge?” [Not entirely accurate.  However, there are lots of nearly accurate things in this piece.] and washed the feet of Muslim women refugees.

But within the church, Francis has provoked a ferocious backlash from conservatives who fear that this spirit will divide the church, and could even shatter it. [It seems to me that fear of dividing the Church is not a bad thing.  But, no matter. This is just bad writing.] This summer, one prominent English priest said to me: “We can’t wait for him to die. [Could it have been Mickens? Oh, no.  It was a priest, it seems.] It’s unprintable what we say in private. Whenever two priests meet, they talk about how awful Bergoglio is … he’s like Caligula: if he had a horse, he’d make him cardinal.” Of course, after 10 minutes of fluent complaint, he added: “You mustn’t print any of this, or I’ll be sacked.” [THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT.  And that’s why, ladies and gents, the new catholic Red Guards are now sloganeering up and down the internet, pumping their Little Red Books in the air and pointing at the Enemies of the Pueblo.]

This mixture of hatred and fear is common among the pope’s adversaries. Francis, the first non-European pope in modern times, and the first ever Jesuit pope, was elected as an outsider to the Vatican establishment, and expected to make enemies. [Hmmm.  This suggests that those who oppose the Pope, oppose him because he doesn’t belong to the “establishment”.  Is that what you get?  Again, it is hard to tell, because he’s all over the place.] But no one foresaw just how many he would make. From his swift renunciation of the pomp of the Vatican, which served notice to the church’s 3,000-strong civil service that he meant to be its master, to his support for migrants, his attacks on global capitalism and, most of all, his moves to re-examine the church’s teachings about sex, he has scandalised reactionaries and conservatives. To judge by the voting figures at the last worldwide meeting of bishops, almost a quarter of the college of Cardinals – the most senior clergy in the church – believe that the pope is flirting with heresy[If true, and I’m not sure about how he get’s that figure, that would be a cause for concern.  No?]


In 2013, shortly after his election, while he was still surfing a wave of almost universal acclaim for the boldness and simplicity of his gestures – he had moved into a couple of sparsely furnished rooms in the Vatican grounds, rather than the sumptuous state apartments used by his predecessors [Here’s another myth.  The pope’s apartments in the Apostolic Palace were not “sumptuous”.] – Francis purged a small religious order devoted to the practice of the Latin Mass.  [There’s that word again.]

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a group with about 600 members (men and women), had been placed under investigation by a commission in June 2012, under Pope Benedict. They were accused of combining increasingly extreme rightwing politics with a devotion to the Latin Mass. [Remember this.  “Extreme rightwing politics” and “devotion to the Latin Mass”.  THAT is going to be a method of attack we will see more and more of in the future.  It’s the Latin that they hate the most… no, sorry… it’s the people who want Latin that they hate the most, but they will tar them with the brush of  secular politics.  And because they are all Leftists, they will use the political tactics of the Left to destroy coreligionists.] (This mixture, often seen alongside declarations of hatred of “liberalism”, had also been spreading through online outlets in the US and the UK, such as the Daily Telegraph’s Holy Smoke blog, edited by Damian Thompson.)  [See?  Bit by bit they are making their game and the players more apparent.]


They even have a photo of Card. Burke with the caption:

Cardinal Raymond Burke (centre), one of Pope Francis’s most prominent enemies. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Read the rest there.  It’s really long.  And the writer goes to extraordinary lengths.

Mark my words, friends.  They are on the march against the Four Olds!

¡Hagan lío!

Pò sì jiù!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TonyO says:

    For example, opposition to Francis is emanating most energetically from the English-speaking world, certain parts of Europe and in areas of Africa where the pope’s critics tend to be younger (under the age of 50), doctrinally rigid and liturgically “retrodox” members of the clergy.

    Wait…what? I don’t get it.

    On the one hand, Pope Francis and the squishy side of the Church have been on an “all (‘new’) Evanglization all the time” kick for a long time, where anything good in the Church must be “evangelization” and anything that isn’t evangelization isn’t good – like plain old support for plain old in-the-pew believers who don’t need to convert to Christ so much as keep on getting up after each fall.

    On the other hand, when the “new” evangelization (whatever was wrong with the old evangelization that went on in Peter’s time, and Paul’s, and Isidore’s, and Clement, and Patrick, and Boniface, and …?) actually brings new people into the Church, these libs don’t want to hear from them! “Sit down and shut up” is what they are told…because the new converts are “too conservative”.

    And when whole new areas of the world are brought into the Church, in Africa, these libs don’t want to hear from THEM, either! Because the converts from places like Africa, where the Church is young, are “too rigid”.

    So, are these people just climbing out on a limb and then sawing at it as hard as ever they can? What the heck? Do they only want to talk about evangelization, but not actually do it? Or do they want to do it, but not want the results of having new converts? Or – the real kicker question – would they reject these new converts and oppose them coming into the Church if the converts told them up front “we are going to be ‘true believers’ in the orthodox faith”?

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    “He has every right to do so since no one has imposed silence upon him or prohibited from receiving visitors.”
    He’s making a suggestion here, hoping somebody further up the food chain makes it happen. Hey, these people, the people on the Left, are simply being true to themselves. Since the election of President Trump, they have revealed themselves in their totalitarian glory, and they aren’t really trying to hide it. To these people, might makes right, and if you have an opponent, you censor him or you silence him, however you have to do it. These are Communist strategies, the godless ideology that has moved into mainstream Western thinking. They are doing exactly what you said Fr. Z., isolating the target, and identifying that target for others to follow suit. What small, evil, worldly little men. A Yiddish curse comes to mind, “may you grow like an onion with your head in the ground”.

  3. Rich says:

    With all the claims of how Thomistic Amoris Laetitia is, I find Mickens’ objection to classical Greco-Roman philosophical surprising. He forgets he may be lumping Pope Francis among those who oppose Pope Francis.

    I found F.X. Durrwell’s attempt to explain the Eucharist apart from using Aristolelian categories to be substantive and convincing – yet a bit more convoluted – than the traditional substance/essence-accidents method.

  4. JabbaPapa says:

    The Guardian : (This mixture, often seen alongside declarations of hatred of “liberalism”, had also been spreading through online outlets in the US and the UK, such as the Daily Telegraph’s Holy Smoke blog, edited by Damian Thompson.) [See? Bit by bit they are making their game and the players more apparent.]

    I was a member of an organised group of mostly Traditionalist Catholics on that blog, fighting against the extreme attempts to enforce online censorship of any views but the most insipid “café catholic” liberal quasi-Protestant ideologues.

    The astonishing thing about this though, is that the blog in question and our activities there ended YEARS ago — yet we’re still being slandered in public as “the enemy” by these same quasi-heretics !!

    Probably the finest achievement of our little group was to have coordinated and organised a resistance movement against the dissident UK group ACTA, and to have uncovered a plan that they had to actively try and destroy the Church (we had evidence in writing, in their own hand), by trying to get dissident laymen into seminaries to try and create a rebellious priesthood, organising the active slandering of faithful priests and orthodox Catholics, promoting homosexuality and wymmyn priestesses, and so on, though their ultimate goal was to try and abolish the priesthood entirely !!

    I did much of the research work into these heretics myself, and yes, as a result of these activities we all came under attempts of personal attack (it’s why I will ALWAYS use this pseudonymous internet handle), up to and including false accusations of crimes and attempts to destroy people’s careers …


    We were however able through contacts and friends to bring to the attention of several Bishops personally what the purposes and ideologies of this ACTA were — and as a result, ACTA were formally banned from using Church premises nor resources in many English dioceses, and effectively, we broke their back, as they seem to have completely lost whatever influence it is they once had. I’m convinced that this is the purpose for which God brought our little online group, including a couple of priests, together.

    It’s exactly why some people, even so many years later, are still filled with such powerful hatred against us. Without the “block user” function in Disqus, I would still be subjected personally to these sorts of expressions of diabolic hatred on a daily basis. One of our friends is in a deep crisis of Faith because of the grotesque degree of hatred that he was personally subjected to … Pray for him !!

    The spiritual warfare on the front lines can get very VERY messy, and it is not for the faint of heart, nor the doubtful in spirit — you WILL be attacked, you WILL be slandered, and they WILL try and do you real harm in your real lives and those of your families if you fail to protect yourself against them by whatever appropriate means — they spent YEARS trying to uncover my real identity.

    None of this of course has anything to do with Pope Francis — he’s just being used by these people in an attempt to create an ideological trojan horse to try and get their absurd & heretical proposals through the Gates.

    They will not prevail.

  5. JabbaPapa says:

    Here BTW is an example of what these Apostates of ACTA are teaching (WARNING — the following link leads to teachings from a formally excommunicated ex-priest heretic) —

    Each parish community would choose from among themselves maybe three people of mature years and character, be the women or men, and they, having been approved by Church authorities, would do a shortened course of study, and be ordained as priests specifically and only for their own community. They would not, of course, be expected to be celibate, and would continue with their normal life, be it in work or retirement.

    And etc. ad maximam nauseam.

  6. Archlaic says:


    I think you may be on to something with your line of thought regarding evangelization. We think of it as an action directed “ad extra”, to the heathens and the lukewarm… these folks – they seem to prefer being called “progressives” appear to be completely preoccupied with convincing others already inside the Barque to remold the Church and the Faith so that it is more palatable to the world. At that point, presumably, traditional evangelization will barely be necessary since the world will beat a path to our door…

    Hey, it has worked so well for the Anglicans, right?

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Mickens wrote: “…an outdated Euro-centric view of the world that is rooted in classical Greco-Roman philosophical systems.”

    For the Socialist Utopia and the New Church to appear the Jerusalem-Athens-Rome heritage must be discredited and the masses re-educated.


    Why use a slogan when a loaded word will do. Perhaps this is an echo of the July Spadaro-Figueroa La Civilta Cattolica article attacking conservative Catholics and Evangelicals.

    The use of this word parallels an October 27 article in the leftist Washington Post by Elizabeth Bruenig titled: “Evangelicals and Catholics made their peace. Catholics are paying the price.” And sub-titled: “Some have begun to realize they traded orthodoxy for political expediency.” That article is a slick piece of propaganda. If I could add, there is alot going on in Bruenig’s article and it is worth a look.


    This might be a “twofer” by Mickens: associating Catholics with an image of a mob, and undermining the Second Amendment. If so, nice try.

    “…betrayed Benedict’s intention…”

    The accusation of “Traitor!” was popular during Communist Show Trials. It didn’t matter how or why the accused were labelled as traitors, having them perceived as traitors was the key. The masses would blame the Traitors, not the Vanguard, for any social or economic problems.

    “What can be done to put an end to this?”

    Mickens’ article is also titled: “It’s time to call off the dogs.” Maybe that quote and title stem from Mickens’ frustration, maybe this is his authoritarianism on display, maybe his desire to dehumanize Catholics slipped out (maybe the title was the editor’s choice not Mickens’). Regardless, Mickens does not seem comfortable with the First Amendment.

    By the way, in 1902 a frustrated and authoritarian Lenin wrote a book titled “What is to be Done?” The “Vanguard” concept seems to have originated there.

    “He has every right to do so since no one has imposed silence upon him or prohibited from receiving visitors.”

    A bit odd here. Perhaps, Mickens is looking for the Will of the People or the Will of the Bureaucracy to silence Benedict XVI if he does not “cooperate.” Or he could have poorly worded whatever he was trying to express.

    This article by Mickens, that Washington Post article, the La Civilta Cattolica article agitate against Catholics, the U.S. Constitution, and Western Civilization. That’s quite the agenda.

    Deo Volente, these “progressives” will take a closer look at the 20th century and realize that their agenda has been tried many times in many countries and failed miserably each and every time. And it’s still failing miserably today in numerous countries.

  8. rbbadger says:

    I loved the line in the Guardian piece about Pope Francis’ “ostentatious modesty and humility”. St. John Paul II actually was a man of modesty and humility. Benedict XVI is as well. The postulator for the cause of St. John Paul II mentions how he had very few possessions, despite being the Pope. He had what he needed, but certainly did not go in for the kinds of show that his successor does, such as when he went shoe shopping or when he paid his hotel bill. Those who are humble have no need to show it.

  9. JabbaPapa says:

    rbbadger :

    I loved the line in the Guardian piece about Pope Francis’ “ostentatious modesty and humility”

    Trouble is, the author most likely thought he was just making a clever joke, rather than pinpointing a real issue.

  10. TonyO says:

    The astonishing thing about this though, is that the blog in question and our activities there ended YEARS ago — yet we’re still being slandered in public as “the enemy” by these same quasi-heretics !!

    JabbaPapa, I recall something similar. About 25 or 26 years ago, I was known to a small Catholic magazine group for about 2 years, but I did not end up agreeing with their direction, and told them so in very definite terms and never re-visited. Some 13 years later, I found that they were accusing a completely different person (online) of being me, and effectively using my name as a swear word! After 13 years of not one syllable of contact with them! I found it more humorous than offensive, to imagine that they were putting all that effort into detesting me for all those years, without it having a shred of effect on me. How futile!

    Funny enough, the person they were accusing of being me did in fact know me, but we had not had any contact for fully 10 years before the magazine got started and for the 13 years after until the accusation that he was me masquerading under an assumed name.

  11. Ben Kenobi says:

    I keep being reminded of Celestine, although he only lived a year and a half after resigning the papacy. Benedict’s life after resignation is unprecedented, aside from Benedict XI who was pope three times, and lived for 12 years after his first resignation, and 8 after his last.

    The Red guard will probably attempt to kill him. It’s been done before.

  12. rbbadger says:


    Trouble is, the author most likely thought he was just making a clever joke, rather than pinpointing a real issue.

    True enough. However, Pope Francis’ humility is certainly ostentatious! He may actually be humble. One cannot judge the state of another’s soul. However, it seems, at least to me, that he tries too hard to appear to be humble. I suppose I am too cynical sometimes. But he doesn’t come across to me as humble. Affable, yes. I’ve met him. Humble? Who can say?

  13. JabbaPapa says:

    ah yes TonyO, good jolly old “mercy”, “forgiveness”, and “turning the other cheek” in action there …

    … certainly no spite, vindictiveness, nor blame games to be found among these friendly, warm, open-hearted “spirit of vatican II” “Pope Francis catholics” eh ?

    What splendid “bridges” these men and women have built !!

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    The two photos in that Guardian article are telling. First, there is a photo of The Joyful Pope Francis with The World’s Youth. Then there is the photo of the Grim Conservative Cardinal Burke on His Way to Kick a Puppy. No doubt the Guardian’s photo editor selected the Cdl. Burke photo for the ethnicity, body language, and facial expressions of the other clergy in the photo.

    As for the Cdl. Burke photo caption “one of Pope Francis’s most prominent enemies” the Guardian is simply employing the Big Lie tactic used by other leftist and ‘c’atholic media today (a tactic also used by Lenin and Hitler, but I digress).

    Interestingly, the very first sentence of the book “Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ” reads: “As soon as you enter the apartment of Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, your glance is drawn to a good-sized picture of Pope Francis.”

    Fr. Z wrote: “Mark my words, friends. They are on the march against the Four Olds!”

    Yep. They also appear to be determined, like the “unsound reasoners” of Wisdom chapter 2, that “no meadow escape our riot” and “let our strength be the law of justice.”

    Of course, the preferred method here is that they step through a Confessional door.

    Wisdom ch. 2:

    2:4 And our name in time shall be forgotten, and no man shall have any remembrance of our works.

    2:5 For our time is as the passing of a shadow, and there is no going back of our end: for it is fast sealed, and no man returneth.

    2:6 Come therefore, and let us enjoy the good things that are present, and let us speedily use the creatures as in youth.

    2:7 Let us fill ourselves with costly wine, and ointments: and let not the flower of the time pass by us.

    2:8 Let us crown ourselves with roses, before they be withered: let no meadow escape our riot.

    2:9 Let none of us go without his part in luxury: let us everywhere leave tokens of joy: for this is our portion, and this our lot.

    2:10 Let us oppress the poor just man, and not spare the widow, nor honour the ancient grey hairs of the aged.

    2:11 But let our strength be the law of justice: for that which is feeble, is found to be nothing worth.

    2:12 Let us therefore lie in wait for the just, because he is not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law, and divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life.

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