Read the linked article carefully!

Avete viatores et vos omnes qui transitis per viam. Legitote titulum meum.

Every one of you clicking through this blog should STOP for a breath and use this link


and read carefully the linked article.

On this note, I’ve begun reading The Election of Pope Francis: An Inside Account of the Conclave That Changed History by Gerald O’Connell.  US HERE – UK HERE

Something that pops out at me is that this book is an attempt at counter-narrative.  But I have more to read.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I read recently;
    John Paul II understood this process perfectly well. The cardinals “shall abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or commitment of any kind,” he wrote, and they were not supposed to be influenced by friendship, personal animosity, or “the suggestions of the mass media.” But on the other hand the late pope said it was not his intention to prevent “the exchange of views”—thus opening a loophole you could drive through in a Popemobile.

    So the “election” of Francis was quite a coup for the Saint Gallen Mafia.

    My daily prayers are for cardinals with fear in their souls to do the right thing and clean the Church of this filth that has infected it.

  2. rcg says:

    So what can be done? Is the college of cardinals still balanced enough to prevent a repeat election of someone like Pope Francis? Are there enough bishops willing to enforce any orthodoxy?

  3. Spinmamma says:

    I have been waiting for your thoughts on this letter as it has been printed in full elsewhere. Perhaps faithful Catholics will be put to a stand sooner than we thought. But which way is best for Holy Mother Church? As someone, or several, pointed out on another site, even if no action comes of it is is well that this has been said openly and addressed to the Bishops rather than the stony Holy Father, who has already demonstrated how he deals with those he considers his enemies. I still pray almost daily for Archbishop Vigano by name, and every day for our faithful clergy.

  4. JARay says:

    I read all about this letter two days ago on Life Site News. That gave a list of the signatures to that letter. It calls upon all Catholic Bishops to take action if Pope Francis does not recant his heresies.

  5. Eoin OBolguidhir says:

    I don’t see a way out of this. Have the Gates of Hell prevailed? Are we the greatest of fools for our faith in the Gospel promise of Our Saviour to St. Peter? Perhaps there will be a Council that will declare Pope Benedict’s abdication to have been under duress despite his denials, and that Francis is an Anti-Pope, and all his works and words void.

    God help us, who trust in You.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Reading this article didn’t upset me. I feel like I’ve come across enough of this information all along that I’m not surprised. In fact, I don’t think we’ve found out the worst of the South American connections. For instance, don’t just assume we’ve heard the last of Gustavo Vera. I honestly wish we could find out what and who is in the 300-page dossier compiled for Benedict. My guess is they’re figuring most of the men named in it will be dead by the time it’s made public (against their wishes), and that we’ll just assume everything’s ok now – even though the horrendous behavior has continued since the report was written.

  7. richiedel says:

    Now, that’s some real handy detective work those folks over at Crisis have done there.

  8. grateful says:

    Guess what. Millions and I mean millions of people love him.
    Talk about chaos if he were removed.

  9. JonPatrick says:

    Today is the feast day of St. Athanasius, how appropriate. This great saint faced an almost overwhelming opposition from fellow bishops most of whom had gone with the prevailing winds over to Arianism. I am afraid that a similar situation prevails today where most bishops are either in agreement with Modernism or will go along to get along. I don’t expect this will go anywhere just like the Dubia but I think it is important to get it out there. Perhaps there will be St. Athanasiuses in our midst. In the meantime we laity have to keep working at the grass roots to promote authentic Catholic teaching and worship, and to encourage the formation of good priests who one day will become good bishops when the current generation has moved on.

  10. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    There is probably more to the story than even what is written there; there are likely multiple anti-Catholic government individuals involved in the propagation of Pope Francis and his evils. They are in the “blogosphere”, and many even pretend to be “traditionalist”. This is a common tactic of those who infiltrate groups, and it is likely currently occurring within the Catholic Church at the present time.

    There may very well be pseudo-catholic and anti-Catholic persons that are teaming up with one another and attempting to cause disruption, division, and a schism. This includes those that call themselves “conservative” and/or “traditionalists”.

    Divide and conquer strategy requires two, often pre-planned, sides; one side which promotes and propagates gravely evil heresy and profanity, while the other side calls for schism. Both sides, though, are likely on the same team in that they both likely support one ore more of the “liberal” ideologies: socialism, globalism, homosexuality, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, islam, pseudo-christianity, etc. Pay close attention to certain individuals on the “traditionalist” side, including signatories of the recent letter to the bishops regarding heretical statements of Pope Francis; there are “traditionalists” that support socialism or one of its variants.

    The content of the recent letter is accurate. But it may be that that is what was pre-planned from the beginning – get a known heretical individual elected as pope, and then call for a schism to divide the Church, and particularly the Church in America.

    Open your eyes, folks. It seems clear what is being propagated. It is ultimately a coup against God’s Church, possibly intentionally causing and then taking advantage of a heretical and divisive situation. Schism and deposing the pope is out of the question, though. Learn from history. Don’t let it repeat itself.

  11. G1j says:

    We are seeing first hand the corruption and disregard of our beautiful faith. As laity, we have absolutely no voice or ability to force change outside of cinching the purse strings. Statements are constantly made than Cannon Law prohibits this and that yet no one enforces the laws. Daily we hear of this abuse taking place here and that abuse taking place there, yet nothing is done. I hate to steal another’s quote, but “NOT ONE DIME”. This is going to hurt many, but what other recourse, outside of prayer, fasting, and penance can one do?

  12. robtbrown says:

    grateful says:

    Guess what. Millions and I mean millions of people love him. Talk about chaos if he were removed.

    If that’s so, they don’t seem to be showing up for audiences or Sunday Angelus

  13. Gab says:

    “Millions and I mean millions of people love him. Talk about chaos if he were removed.”

    Reminds me of Hosea Ch.4

  14. michele421 says:

    This statement is interesting but nothing will come of it, if only because it’s a lose-lose situation. If the bishops address this crisis with the same dispatch as they and their predecessors have the other Present Crisis, the Pope has the most secure job in the world. If they do something it will cause even more scandal because they have been so hesitant in dealing with the other Crisis. In addition they would anger a great many persons, some with money and influence. Like the Dubia, this statement will slowly but surely fade into the sunset.

  15. hilltop says:

    No space or time for despair here.
    These are as “a voice(s) calling out in the wilderness”. They must speak and they must be heard. Roman Herodians in scarlet and purple must be called out and the way must be made straight in the desert. The Romans will resist, they will remain and they may behead those who speak, but there is true and good purpose to their speech

  16. hilltop says:

    No space or time for despair here.
    These are as “a voice(s) calling out in the wilderness”. They must speak and they must be heard. Roman Herodians in scarlet and purple must be called out and the way must be made straight in the desert. The Romans will resist, they will remain and they may behead those who speak, but there is true and good purpose to their speech

  17. robtbrown says:

    I read the article though not yet the document.

    There is not a “new wind” in the Church. Anyone whose head was not in the sand was well aware of the undercurrents in the Church. The German Existentialism at the foundation of the project to undermine Catholic doctrine was like a virus
    lying dormant for years.

    The unCatholic ideology of the likes of Danneels, McCarrick, Lehmann, Kasper, Murphy O’Connor et al was no secret. In his memoirs Cardinal Ratzinger described his own awakening when he was a prof at Tubingen. He saw a student, who had previously told him that he had lost the faith, speaking publicly about the need to change the Church.

    No one has more sand in his eyes and ears than Cardinal Sodano. He was the one who protected Maciel. He was Sec of State when McCarrick was promoted to the DC Archdiocese. Sodano, Cardinal Re, and some others were so out of touch they never understood the internal threats to destroy the life of the Church. They thought Ratzinger a radical who exaggerated those threats.

    Sodano and others of his ilk, some in power in the 60s and 70s, took for granted the permanence of the liturgical and doctrinal foundation of the Church. In these post modern times this foundation needs constant defense. They never understood that–until it was too late

  18. cwillia1 says:

    I will have to remember to hold back a penny when I throw the change in the tip jar.

  19. veritas vincit says:

    This is incredible. Is this year 1379 (during the Western Schism) or 2019?

  20. Suzanne says:

    Robtbrown, you said, “Sodano, Cardinal Re, and some others were so out of touch they never understood the internal threats to destroy the life of the Church. They thought Ratzinger a radical who exaggerated those threats.”

    I’m surprised that’s what anyone would think. The more obvious conclusion is that Sodano knew exactly what he was doing and did exactly as he pleased. He understood all too well what he was doing. It’s all intentional.

  21. Chuck4247 says:

    you say that removing Pope Francis would cause chaos.
    I worry that those in power have worried too much about numbers and not enough about the Truth.
    “After this, many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.” John 6:66

  22. Geoffrey says:

    This all seems to come down to “fraternal correction”, which I have always taken to mean one’s peer or equal. If so, who is entitled to fraternally correct the Vicar of Christ? Only bishops and cardinals come remotely close.

  23. robtbrown says:


    I think that way because I spent 8 years in Rome.

    Both Sodano and Re were trained in the Vatican School of Diplomacy. S became a career diplomat, Re a career bureaucrat. Neither has any interest in intellectual or pastoral matters. Instead, they are opposed to anyone who makes waves. Neither backed Ratzinger or Bergoglio.

  24. Lurker 59 says:

    Three Initial Thoughts

    1. The points in controversy are not actually in controversy. They are heretical. What is causing the controversy is that they are coming from the Pope. Thus the issue is how to deal with heretical beliefs when they come from a Pope, and what to do with said, Pope. There is a tendency in moral theology to want to slice and dice things so that moral culpability is reduced or altogether eliminated. This seems to be the way forward for a great many — that such statements are heretical by themselves, but various circumstances make it so that the Pope is not morally culpable for them and thus not a heretic. Are modern Protestants heretics for exposing the heresies of Protestantism? The modern Church wants to say no. The same can be applied in the heresies listed in the document — yes heretical, no the Pope is not a heretic. The minority positions seem to be that the points are not heretical and the Pope is not a heretic while the other position is that both the points and the Pope are in heresy.

    2. There is a certain issue that the Pope is not the author, but just the signatory of A.L. and On Human Fraternity and thus represent heresies that are distinct from the Pope’s own personal teachings. Granted, by signing the documents, they have become the Pope’s own, but this makes them easy to correct in the long run. Correction of deeply held personal beliefs is another matter and can be very difficult. We should greatly prefer correction, rather than throwing someone out of the Church. But sometimes, people won’t be corrected.

    3. It is a serious issue when heresy goes uncorrected. It necessarily has a great impact on the growth and development of one’s spiritual life. The points listed cause spiritual problems and have caused spiritual problems in the Church, which are indicated by the document’s last section. One of the issues that is preventing any movement on the issues that gave rise to the points is a fear of schism. So much of why we are where we are at is over fear of schism. So nothing has been said or done for decades. We are now in a situation where there is a cold schism and any discussion will bring that hidden realty into the open. But a discussion must be had and the bishops MUST act one way or another.

  25. Luminis says:

    I know a good few seminarians in my diocese. They are solid. I have hope knowing this.

  26. samwise says:

    Why is inductive logic concluding that somehow Pope Francis is the ringmaster of the lavender/st Galen mafia? The man is not the mastermind of the whole enterprise, and if anything he is unconsciously exposing all these guys who’ve been around for decades under the radar.
    The deductive logic should be something along the lines of okay, Francis agreed to Bxvi Emeritus publishing his most recent letter naming a number of modernists, in so many words. Now, the followers of those modernists are coming out of the woodwork– the gates of hell will not prevail!

  27. Gab says:

    Francis and mastermind in the same sentence is amusing..

  28. samwise says:

    Apparently it’s a practice of C&L to speak around a topic rather than speak bluntly. Somehow, this way of communicating is considered more profound. Ironically, scholastics like Hunwicke are using similar inductive logic by going for Francis’ jugular instead of instigators like Oscar Maridiaga

  29. JesusFreak84 says:

    I do not believe anything will come of this, same as the Dubia, Vigano’s testamony, the previous fraternal correction, etc. etc. etc. However, the individuals involved will have saved their souls, and perhaps that is the primary goal, avoiding going to Hell for the crime of not using what position and influence these men and women DO have to try and right a ship whose captain seems to be aiming for the rocks.

  30. samwise says:

    “Captain aiming for the rocks”

    I disagree that there is some kind of calculated “aim” by the Captain. More so, I think the Hagan Lio! “make a mess” approach is at work. Francis loves our Lord and is certainly not deliberately steering the barque aground. If only he were, and then it could obviously dealt with. Instead, he has stood strong against accepting SSA in seminaries, against transgenderism, against ideological colonization, etc Francis is not an agenda driven ideologue

  31. Lurker 59 says:

    Additional thoughts.

    The point has been raised elsewhere if an individual can be in communion with a heretical bishop/pope.

    There is a colloquial usage of the term heresy and the canonical usage of the term. For the former, it is it tends to be applied to a person who teaches, as truth, a known and condemned statement knowing that the statement is known and condemned. For the latter, it is applied to a person as a juridical ruling by a competent authority as a result of being found guilty of holding that position.

    (It seems to me that what is going on in the document is that the authors are using the colloquial usage and then imploring the bishops to act according to what authority that they have.)

    Can one be in communion with a heretical bishop/pope that has been declared as such by a competent authority? No, of course not because the declaration of such comes with just punishments, namely being that said individual loses their Office. The discussion here is moot on two points — there has been no such declaration and the bishops are not competent authorities to directly judge a pope.

    Can one be in communion with a colloquially heretical bishop/pope? Let us, for the discussion, narrow “communion” down to the minimum that said bishop/pope name is invoked during Mass. There are those who are suggesting that if said bishop/pope is a heretic, then his name cannot be invoked at Mass, else that would be a sin as it would bind the individual to the heresy. There are three issues with this thought: 1.) Practically speaking, it can be the case that one’s local bishop preaches worse heresy than what the current Pope is being accused of, yet no one questions being in communion with these local bishops. 2.) There is a misunderstanding of ‘communion’ here that is of the Donatist heresy. The Donatists believed that clerics had to be perfect in their sinlessness because God couldn’t be in communion with them if they were not and, as such, the sacraments of sinful priests where non-effectious. Thus, a bishop/pope who is sinning or being colloquially heretical does not cause a loss of the need to be in communion with a bishop/pope that validly holds his office. 3.) There is a misunderstanding in the ecclesiology. A cleric holds a particular office but is not synonymous with that office. The office exists independent from the cleric and the cleric is to conform himself to the yoke of the office. A cleric who is not in conformity/communion to his office (by being heretical) is only a statement about the cleric not about the office. When a bishop/pope is invoked during the Mass, the invocation is to the office and to the person in so far as he is yoked to that office. It is not a statement of how perfectly the cleric is conformed to the office, just that he has the office. A cleric is not separated from his office until separated by a competent authority.

    I think where the confusion is entering into all of this is that as the pope cannot be judged by anyone on earth other than a pope, it has been put forward (by Newman and others) that a heretical pope, by being a heretic, judges himself and loses his office. Now if this hypothesis is the case, then, of course, one cannot be in communion with a heretical pope and said pope should not be invoked at Mass. HOWEVER the competent authorities to answer the question of whether or not a pope has judged himself to be heretical, and thus lost the office, are the bishops as an imperfect council. Even if a pope has judged himself, one cannot here and now separate oneself from communion with said pope because there has yet to arise a decision from a competent authority.

    So I would argue yes, one can have a colloquially heretical bishop/pope and still be in communion with him.

  32. TonyO says:

    I disagree that there is some kind of calculated “aim” by the Captain. More so, I think the Hagan Lio! “make a mess” approach is at work.

    I agree that the “Hagan Lio” approach is present here. I disagree that it is an innocent concept or theory of managing the Church.

    Christ said – in response to some who seemingly wanted all to be sweetness and mild adjustment – “I came to divide”. But Christ’s movement to divide was by way of clarity: He EXPOSED the truth, thus dividing truth from error. He divided purity from impurity (and even from the mess of mixed motives that embrace the impure while enjoying bits and pieces of purity). He divided those who will live for God from those who will live for any other purpose. This pope, however, does not enjoy and does not employ clarity. He uses ambiguity, clouds, mist, dissimulation, and many other tools of doubt and error: these are NOT the tools of Christ and the Church. Christ did not want people to be confused about moral uprightness and spiritual wholeness, he wanted them to apprehend those and be drawn to the light. Confusion does indeed “make a mess”, but it does not do so on behalf of the purposes of holiness and love.

    So, whether the pope’s personal moral state is one of being innocent of the evils that come from the confusion and doubt (and error) that his ambiguity sows, or whether he is complicit, is here irrelevant: he actions and words are the cause of the confusion and error. It is possible that the pope, having only a mediocre intellectual capacity and being damaged by having had a modern jesuitical training, really doesn’t get that intellectual chaos is not at the service of love. That does not, however, change the effects of what he has been doing.

    The same can be applied in the heresies listed in the document — yes heretical, no the Pope is not a heretic.

    It is not completely controlling, for the issue of Church governance, whether the heresies present in the pope’s public documents stems from his (more or less innocent) ignorance of Church teaching, or from a (more or less guilty) knowledge of Church teaching that he wants to un-teach by revolutionary doctrine. If his documents (and his supporting actions) are themselves heretical in content, the damage is being done. A refusal to correct heresy by one whose job it is to so correct, is itself a delict of its own, if I understand it correctly. (I would like to see correction on this, if I have it wrong.)

    About schism: in the effort to avoid a manifest and publicly acknowledged schism, the wishy-washy bishops of the 1950’s through 2000’s bent over backwards to avoid making a sharp, corrective “leave your heresy or get out of the Church, that’s your choice” to the problem children of the hierarchy – but this just means that the real spiritual and moral schism of actual belief and practice has been growing, festering, expanding, like a cancer, swallowing whole sections of the Church unopposed. One cannot fight Satan by accommodating Satan’s ploys. One cannot rid oneself of cancer by teaching “live and let live” to cancer cells. As mentioned above, Christ came to divide; it appears that our options are to do the work set before us of declaring the truth to be true and let the chips fall where they may, or to go on ignoring our duty and let the rot go further until SOMEONE ELSE has an even worse choice before them than we have here. Do not take counsel of your fears alone, but rely on God’s strength to do God’s work. If there must be a publicly acknowledged schism to come from teaching Christ and Him crucified to the modern world, the schism comes not from teaching Christ but from (a) those who stand against Him, and (b) those who refused to do their job decades ago and eradicate the errors that were the tasks set before them. Better the publicly acknowledged schism and doing your moral and spiritual duty, than a hidden and festering one and refusing your moral and spiritual duty.

  33. samwise says:

    This much I agree with,
     “It is possible that the pope, having only a mediocre intellectual capacity and being damaged by having had a modern jesuitical training, really doesn’t get that intellectual chaos is not at the service of love. That does not, however, change the effects of what he has been doing.”

    The rest I think is hastily judged. Again, yes, a purification is necessarily taking place but insisting on the Pope’s resignation, talk of schism, and manifest heresy (that must not be ambiguous but direct) is presuming a lot. Meanwhile Maradiaga does business as usual…

  34. Lurker 59 says:

    @samwise “Francis is not an agenda driven ideologue”

    Pope Francis is though. He has a very clear ideological agenda which can be seen in his soteriology and theology of justification, which the document accuses him of heresy over. Pope Francis’ whole program of “The Mercy”^tm is built upon this ideology.

    It is also a misunderstanding to see “Hagan Lio!” as chaotic, anarchy, or directionless socio-politically. It has a direction and that direction is ‘away’ from that which has come before. The proof that “Hagan Lio!” is not chaotic is seen in the development in China, which can (should) be seen as the full flowering and fruit of what is meant.

    What can make things unclear is that the German/French/Latin American “Spirit of Vatican II” Aggiornamento axis differ in its approaches.

    @michele421 @JesusFreak84

    This pontificate is not a duck — water doesn’t roll off its back. So there will be further developments.

    We are though in the middle of the story, and what may come isn’t yet known, but what comes from this is that the issues keep getting talked about because the core issues under all of this are, who is Christ?, what must I do to be saved?, and what is the Church?

    These three things are why the issues at play need to be kept being poked until the Church as a whole (laity, clergy, and religious alike) of the present time returns to the answers to those questions that have always been taught and handed on through the Faith. The development that will come out of this is the continuation of poking by an increasing number of person.

  35. The original Mr. X says:
    Crying “wolf” was a mistake by the letter writers

    Personally, if I hear one more piece of this “But it’s possible to interpret these remarks in continuity with magisterial teaching!” sophistry, I’m going to scream. It’s obvious to everyone that Francis is spreading heresy, whether or not you can torture his prose enough to make it produce an orthodox meaning. There’s being charitable, and then there’s wilfully blinding yourself to the evidence. Catholicism isn’t about desperately trying to pretend that obvious facts don’t exist, and the toadying conservatives who spend all their time peddling the noble lie that Francis agrees with Benedict or JP2 really ought to grow a sense of self-respect.

  36. TonyO says:

    The rest I think is hastily judged. Again, yes, a purification is necessarily taking place but insisting on the Pope’s resignation, talk of schism, and manifest heresy that must not be ambiguous but direct) is presuming a lot.

    Samwise, I wasn’t judging. I was supporting the notion of each Catholic doing his duty. In my estimation, this document points out and calls the bishops to do their duty, which is to EXAMINE and DISCERN whether the pope has been issuing heretical documents – which is different from whether the pope is a heretic. The bishops have no authority to levy their own punishments on a pope, even one who is a heretic, but they have the authority to discern whether the Pope’s documents contain heresy. Thus they have a positive role here: the evidence of possible heresy in the pope’s public words is now (as this testament shows) so strong that it cannot be shoved under the rug as a non-issue. They have a duty to consider it.

    It would be nice if this pope were to resign, but the bishops cannot MAKE him resign. What they can do, however, is determine that his teaching documents have heresy, and then let the chips fall where they lay by speaking the truth. According to some very smart people, if the bishops declare that the pope has been teaching heresy, he would lose his office by an inherent feature from the nature of the papacy itself, or by God acting to remove authority from His vicar-on-Earth. Personally, I doubt that the bishops of the Church have the moxy to do anything en masse, but I also believe it’s worth doing (for the minority of bishops who still have spines enough for the task) regardless of the fact that no majority will undertake the investigation and discernment. Maybe the next pope will expel any bishop who hadn’t sufficient faith and willingness to attend to duty to tackle the problem?

    I did not mention “manifest heresy”, but “manifest schism” which is distinct from the existing but not-manifest schism that runs rampant through several parts of the Church. I don’t see a huge benefit from not acting in a way that will cause the “manifest” schism to come out when that very non-acting is leading the existing-but-not-manifest schism to grow by leaps and bounds. Yes, schism is very bad, but IT’S HERE. Worrying that it will become publicly, explicitly manifested is a foolish worry.

  37. robtbrown says:

    1. I don’t know of anyone who thinks Francis orchestrated his own election. Those who build a coalition/consensus for a papabile assess him before, knowing that after election he will be independent.

    2. When Francis was elected, I knew the surname Bergoglio but no specifics of the man. In so far as he was a Jesuit of a certain age, however, I thought it likely that certain change were on the way.

    Jesuit theology around the time of the pope’s priestly ordination had two main features. First, there was an attempt to make it all but impossible to consider illicit sexual behavior mortally sinful–and to distinguish the gravity among the various acts: Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality are all thrown into the same category.

    The second feature was the desire to decentralize the Church to the point of serious mitigation of Roman authority. This is not merely a structural change. Jesuit theology has historically been Ecclesiocentric and abandoning that approach has serious consequences in SJ Sacramental theology.

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