Wednesday 16 September 2015

Has Pope Francis ‘let drop his mask’ -and indicated the untrustworthy nature of the current Episcopate?

When soon after his election Pope Francis was considered to be a liberal it was quickly declared that he is a loyal son of the Church. One wonders if this loyalty is what is being questioned in the remark that he has ‘let drop his mask’, as reported here by LifesiteNews. It is always possible that Francis is simply allowing dissent to come to the forefront so as to override it in the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

Lifesite, however, records two striking stories around Pope Francis. The first is that the “a seven-page dossier that is now being privately circulated in the Vatican among Curial members who are opposing Pope Francis's recent decision to liberalize the process of marriage annulments” (as linked to above); the second is that a “major appeal by theologians urges Pope to delete ‘seriously defective’ Synod texts on contraception” (see Lifesite News here)

Taken together, these indicate that high-ranking voices are concerned about Pope Francis’s attitude towards immutable doctrine. I cannot help but recall a reaction first voiced in my own living room on the night Francis was elected: “I have a gut feeling that this man thinks that the Church belongs not him as its CEO, not to Christ, and that he will do untold damage to the Faith and the Church”.

When Cardinal Pell defended Francis as a loyal son of the Church it was interesting that the examples he gave were of a pope who is “very, very concerned for the day-to-day life of the people, and for those who are suffering, those not well off and those in difficult situations.” In my opinion the Cardinal’s defence could do little to stem the tide of criticisms of Francis; the two articles linked to above demonstrate a perception by many that Francis is not loyal to The Faith. Unfortunately the picture of Francis as having little regard for the doctrine of The Faith will only be made worse by his ‘selective selection’ of members for the up-coming Synod. As reported by that pinnacle of the Catholic Blogosphere Rorate Caeli, Cardinal Tong Hon seems to have been lied to by the Vatican as to why he is not being invited (age being said to be the reason), since many attending are older than he –including Cardinal Kasper. Meanwhile Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco –a warrior of a Bishop in one of the most sexualised communities in the USA- is exempted for no good reason (other than, like Cardinal Tong Hon, he is likely to hold to the Tradition of the Church).  Truly, Francis has to be careful that he is not leaving to history a picture of himself as a Pope willing to manipulate a Synod to favour his personal agenda rather than the Tradition, using an impression of collegiality to do so. If, as I believe, Truth will win out, it may not be in this Synod but later in the Church’s life. After all, if Francis and the Synod can ditch all that has gone before for 2000 years plus, a future Pope and Synod can ditch Francis and the 2014/2015 shenanigans. Indeed those very shenanigans make this a real possibility, so don’t be too afraid of what happens in October. It will be a noteworthy but impotent blip in the history of the Church –ever heard of the Robber Council? It was the later-condemned Ephesus Council II.

The most disconcerting aspect of these shenanigans is that Francis is able to pick and choose among those who make up the episcopate. It is not sad that a Pope has the power to do this; rather, it is sad –if not alarming- that with the current state of the episcopate it is possible for him to choose between those who will and those who will not hold to the Tradition. We should not, as we currently are, hear folk voicing concerns over who will be attending the Synod: we should be able to trust the episcopate implicitly. Sadly, the ‘selective selection’ of those who will attend the Synod demonstrates that we cannot implicitly trust the episcopate. How sad this must be for those Bishops who are or who desire to be faithful to the Tradition but feel held back by their Episcopal brothers who have a liberalising tendency/agenda. Pray and fast for the Synod; God will reward the effort.

As Archbishop Fulton-Sheen would say, “The truth is the truth even if no one believes it, and error is error even if everyone believes it”. And The Truth will eventually win the fight, even if it loses a round at this Synod, because the Truth is Christ, and he has overcome the world.


  1. If lack of faith constitutes grounds for alleging the nullity of a marriage, then what about its effect on all the other sacraments? It appears that in one fell, unconsidered swoop the Pope has abandoned the principle of "ex opere operato" and now all sacraments could be doubtful.

    If lack of faith nullifies marriage then surely it is also grounds for challenging the validity of papal elections - especially those in which anecdotal evidence of the participants suggest that canon law was broken left, right and centre in order to get their man in. Can an excommunicate be a valid elector in a papal election - can he be a valid Pope?

    An easy solution for the Church's immediate problems would be for a commission of Cardinals to take seriously the reportage of Austin Ivereigh, based on the testimony of Cardinal electors, and launch the necessary procedures to depose the Pope and have another (valid) election for Benedict XVI's successor.

  2. Thank you Fr and I agree entirely with deacon Augustine, investigation into the process of papal selection is required however those who would investigate are not going to investigate themselves!
    God Blss,


  3. You know father i have prayed on this for months now, i became aware of a political change in the vatican around feb march of this year. I have watched global secular politics for a long time (all my adult life) and who can doubt very testing times are with us and coming to all christians globally indeed the secular power is very strong at this time.

    The mission of the vatican is to preserve the faith. What is coming cant be stopped by human intervention but rome i hope is simply trying to preserve the faith by human means. I hope rome is merely trying to accomodate itself into a new political system in order to protect itself and christians from a coming persecution and is trying to submit itself to seemingly unstoppable secular powers which is bad enough in itself.

    there is one final option but it is so horrible to accept that even the previous lack of faith shown by rome is more acceptable... it is either a lack of faith or a very well co ordinated and timed coup d'etat has taken place in the vatican usurping the sea of rome.

    We are well aware of the infiltation of communist and masonic agents into rome it is well documented and admitted. so since the bishop of rome has started promoting comunistic type language it is worrying

    Father if you have not already read i would suggest you read the prophecies of blessed anna emerich, it sheds much light on the confusion we are experiencing a lot of catholic prophecy sheds light on much of todays confusion both secular and ecclisiastical.

    The first option calls for the rest of the church to issue a respectful but powerful admonishment and correction just as st paul did with st peter... however the church itself is divided.

    The second is so great a crisis, i cant even begin to know what should be done.

    Unfortunatly prophecy paints a uncomfortable picture

    "Rome will loose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist" - Our Lady of La Salette

    That unfortunatly is not an isolated prophecy, it is repeated and repeated and repeated throughout the years.

    Even if our faith is weak, it will be ever more strenghend in the lord through such trials

    They may have the building, but we have the faith - st athanasius

  4. Thank you Fr Gary for this post. I have worried about my reservations concerning Pope Francis. To be charitable I consoled myself with the thought that he might be naive but I am very concerned about the report that priests are being urged to bless same sex unions. As you may recall I had thought that same sex CIVIL unions were a protection IN LAW for both partners but your comments about having a simple agreement written by a solicitor disabused me of this thought. Now we have our Pope ENCOURAGING (reportedly) priests to offer a blessing on civil unions (hopefully excluding those who 'married'). With the decision to debar certain prelates from the Synod this does appear to be loading the decision makers in favour of what (presumably) Pope Francis wants.
    Deacon Augustine's suggestion of deposing the pope sounds extreme but, if things continue in this way, perhaps it might be necessary.
    We must trust in God & remember the promise "I will be with you even to the end of the world"

  5. Frankly, when he came into the balcony and said "good afternoon" my heart dropped!

  6. You will see doctrine fall and sin approved under the lie of merciful pastoral practice. You see the hint of this in the new canon law for Catholic divorce. The great schism will result.


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