Pope Francis in conversation with Jesuit priest: I have never been a right-winger…

Pope Francis in conversation with Jesuit priest: I have never been a right-winger…

Pope Francis in conversation with Jesuit priest: I have never been a right-winger...

Click on the photo of Pope Francis to read an “exclusive interview” conducted by a Jesuit priest. The link came to me in an email from a reader down south, with the short and to the point message “Guess you’ve seen this – shocking in parts”

Well, I hadn’t seen it, so thanks for the alert. Another reader emailed a link to The Telegraph, which he described as being “full of Pope Francis” – seems he is very popular with the media, our new pontiff, if not with Catholics of any level of “traditional” leaning. We are increasingly concerned for the health and well-being of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

Are we right to be concerned?

Comments (106)

  • westminsterfly

    Some of the comments in the article – if they have been reported correctly – are truly disturbing. One of the problems arising is that Pope Francis’s public statements are being used by notorious dissenters – enemies of the Church – to justify their dissent. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

    September 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Pope Francis’s Pontificate is truly disturbing. I am gravely worried. He says ‘who am I to judge gay people?’ He is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, he is entitled to say that what do is wrong. To love you must tell the truth, even if it hurts. Benedict XVI was good at this. Then today he says ‘The Church’s moral system will collapse like a house of cards if we do not change’. Change? I don’t feel comfortable with that. Change what? Then he said we must stop talking about abortion, homosexuality and contraception? If the Catholic Church doesn’t do it, who will? The Church is the only Western institution to uphold the sacrament of marriage and preciousness of human life. If the College of Cardinals really wanted to wind us up then why didn’t they go the whole hog and elect Cardinal Godfried Danneels? The thing is, Pope Francis supports liberation theology, or at least a watered down version of it, which is tainted with Marxism. The Jesuits were ok until Fr. Pedro arrupe took over in 1964. No longer were they ‘God’s Marines’, they became infected with modernist namby-pamby theology. I wanted Card. Juan Cipriani Thorne to be Pope, because as he’s Opus Dei, he would be more Conservative and to an extent traditionalist. Opus Dei is good at that.

    When I see Pope Francis, and hear what bizarre things he has to say, I can’t help but think about what Cardinal Francis Spellman (a traditionalist who opposed Vatican II) said about John XXIII- “he shouldn’t be Pope, he should be selling bananas”.

    September 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      The Society had fallen from grace long before the opening of the Council. It was the Jesuits who gave us Tyrrell, Rahner, and worst of all, Teilhard de Chardin.

      September 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    I am not sure how relevant it this to this post, but I found an article in the Mudabor blog. somewhat disconcerting. I was going to comment on it in General Discussion, but since it relates to the Holy Father…

    I am not overly scandalised by what is alleged to go on in these favellas. We’re all used to stories like this. What is most alarming is the alleged permissiveness of the Holy Father, whilst he was Metropolitan.

    What can be said of the truthfulness of these calms? Hearsay? How culpable would the local ordinary be in this situation. Is this even helpful information in attempting to interpret this Pontificate?

    September 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm
  • Constantine the Great

    I’ll wait to see what Bishop Pat Buckley has to say. No doubt Catherine Deveney will have something to say about Keith O’Brien err long.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:05 pm
  • Josephine

    Since “right winger” only means “traditionalist” it’s very concerning to see the Pope saying he’s never been for Tradition. That really is very disturbing indeed.

    September 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm
  • wendy walker




    Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2013 18:53:44 +0000 To: [email protected]

    September 20, 2013 at 9:36 am
    • editor

      Thank you Wendy for this alert. It just beggars belief.

      For years now, I’ve been saying that the pro-lifers are too ready to praise popes and bishops for being pro-life when that is an absolute fundamental: a bit like praising a Maths teacher for saying publicly that 2 + 2 = 4.

      Now, we have a pope who does not appear to grasp the gravity of murder in the womb. OR the gravity of using the word “gay” – let alone appearing to see no problem with that sin, traditionally (like wilful murder) believed to be one of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance.

      Just about everything this pope is doing is screaming “diabolical disorientation. I mean, the Russian President is more outspoken against the grave sin of homosexuality than the Pope! Who would have believed it!

      Our Lady did warn that when things got to a certain state, she would intervene and it would be “sudden”.

      How much worse can things get? A pope who is the darling of the “liberals” for which read dissenters and heretics? And now the darling of the pro-abortion movement as well?

      God help us all.

      Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

      September 20, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • Augustine

    NARAL, the ‘abortion rights’ campaigner has openly thanked Pope Francis for his comments.

    They have always posted the following image on their Facebook page:

    September 20, 2013 at 10:33 am
    • editor


      The headlines on your link above make me want to weep. In other words, we have a pope who makes me want to weep.

      A pope who is popular with the pro-abortionists, the “gays”, dissenters and heretics of every hue.

      I wonder how Pope Benedict XVI is feeling now about his decision to resign?

      September 20, 2013 at 10:50 am
  • Augustine

    Didn’t show. Here is the link to the image: https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1239914_10201491677829842_694045763_n.jpg

    September 20, 2013 at 10:34 am
    • editor


      Thanks for that graphic – and absolutely shocking – illustration of the kind of pope we now have who is NOT ruling the Church. He seems to be more concerned with grabbing favourable (to the world) headlines than with righting the wrongs within the Church.

      The only possible good that can come out of this worsening crisis, is that more and more Catholics will start from scratch to re-examine what has been going on in the Church since Vatican II and its promised “springtime of renewal”. – let’s hope more and more of them make the definitive choice to return to the Faith of our Fathers, Mass, doctrine, everything, lock, stock and barrel.

      And that includes the clergy.

      September 20, 2013 at 10:53 am
  • catholicconvert1

    That blog which Miles posted is truly disconcerting. I sometimes expect the continent that produced Generals Pinochet, Videla and Stroessner to be conservative and almost fascist. It sounds like Pope Francis has spent too long in the slums and brought the filth with him. The word ‘gay’ or at least the use of it by a Pontiff gives leverage to lgbt activists, and his latest speech on an earlier post is also worrying me. The NARAL graphic is interesting given that one of it’s founders, Bernard Nathanson, a Jew, converted to Catholicism and became an anti-Abortion activist. If I was Pope, I would want to be hated, wouldn’t you, because it would mean that I would be speaking my mind. To add salt to the wound, when he was Jorge Bergoglio, he supported civil partnerships in Argentina, but not gay marriage. What’s the difference? CPs are marriages through the back door. An African Pope would have been better. I think history should have been rewritten. In 1958, Giuseppe Siri should have been elected, then when he died in 1989, Alfons Stickler, then when he died in 2007, Juan Cipriani Thorne. That way Vatican 2 etc would never have happened. I think traditionalist should throw their lot in with Opus Dei. St Josemaria Escriva was supportive of the Tridentine Mass, and celebrated it until he died. God knows who’ll succeed Francis, but whoever does, God help us.

    September 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm
    • westminsterfly

      You’ve mentioned Opus Dei in a favourable light a couple of times. Can I just add my two penn’orth about them. To the best of my knowledge – and I am open to correction – not one Opus Dei priest celebrates the TLM in this country, nor have any OD priests or laity been conspicuous in rallying for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.
      Also, look at well-known OD figures – hardly an inspiration – Ruth Kelly (Labour MP), Jack Valero (“Catholic Voices”) etc.
      I am very friendly with a family who have a lot of contact with OD. All the grandchildren are in private Catholic schools run by OD people. A senior member of that family told me – that despite her best efforts – she despairs at the children, as they don’t know their Faith at all.
      The fact that the founder of OD is canonised means nothing. Ignatius of Loyola is a Saint but that hasn’t stopped most of the Jesuits from going off the rails in our days . . . I’m sorry, I am not impressed by them at all.

      September 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm
      • editor

        Westminster Fly,

        Well said. One of the very first people to write to ask to be removed from our mailing list many years ago, was the then director or whatever his title was, of Opus Dei. The very people who should in the front line battling against this crisis, are nowhere to be found – not on letters pages of Catholic press (unless defending Opus Dei, of course) nor via any of the means of modern communication in order to defend the Faith.

        I, too, know a family where the parents felt their children were being alienated from them by Opus Dei. No, I think they are part of the problem in the Church today – not part of the solution.

        September 21, 2013 at 11:49 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Pope Francis has said the Church should accept unmarried and cohabiting couples. OMG.

    September 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    This is shocking. We have a Pope who is bothered by the Church’s obsession about contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and that the Church’s moral system will collapse if we do not change.

    Exactly what system do we change to, if the Doctrines of the Church are not accepted or even believed by the clergy and laity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Our Lord, Jesus Christ said Himself that He will be with us until the end of the world. It seems to me that this is typical abandonment of the Catholic Faith for a secular mess of potage.

    Heaven help us as to what His Holiness will say on October 13th, 96 years after Our Lady appeared to the three children at Fatima. All I can see is that we are heading towards some measure of Divine retribution.

    September 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm
  • Wendy walker

    When you think of the likes of Dear FR PAUL MARX O S B and Scotlands own Fr Canon James Morrow ,and Pope John Paul..men with moral fibre and courage whose calibre is top notch…..and then you read this it is heartbreaking …How the” others” must be rejoicing including Tony Blair …and C F F C ….We now know why he congratulated Killory and L Richardson recently at the St Andrews debacle ……How many more wounds do PRO LIFERS have to take ?…we can cope with the Abortionists who hide behind the pro choice facade but when people you think are on your side come out with these kind of horrific statements it really hurts . Those who choose to supp with satan ultimately do get burnt….. In my 43 years of PRO LIFE work this one really shocks and hurts ,but we have to keep speaking up for truth and right

    September 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm
  • westminsterfly

    The Pope’s interview has sent neo-con blogs and websites into meltdown today, each of them desperately trying to explain what the Pope ‘really’ meant, instead of what they ‘say’ he meant. If the Pope spoke with clarity, there wouldn’t be room for any ambiguity or misinterpretation.

    September 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Surely the Church can’t change anymore after Vatican II? If we change anymore then we’ll be Protestants.

    September 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm
  • Whistleblower

    I think we now have to admit that the current pope is the worst pope in recent times. We have a pope who is more mixed up than Pope Paul VI ever was.

    I wonder if anyone saw the recent request from Fr Gruner? He has asked us to increase our rosaries and to fast one day a week for the intention of the Consecration of Russia. He believes it is still possible for the Pope to Consecrate Russia on 13th October.

    Editor mentioned above that Our Lady would intervene suddenly. Didn’t she say that when the Sacrament of Marriage was under attack, that would indicate Her intervention was close? Well, now we have a pope who is attacking Marriage!

    September 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    Some concerning quotes from the Holy Father thus far:

    “Unfortunately, I studied philosophy from textbooks that came from decadent or largely bankrupt Thomism. In thinking of the human being, therefore, the church should strive for genius and not for decadence.” (On Thomism)

    “Even the dogma of the Christian religion must follow these laws, consolidating over the years, developing over time, deepening with age.” (On doctrinal development)

    “The view of the church’s teaching as a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong.” (ditto)

    “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.” (Concerning the dangers of the Traditional Latin Mass)

    If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. (Those mad perfidious, Pelagian traditionalists)

    September 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm
  • editor

    For your interest, I will be participating in a debate (Have Your Say) on the Pope’s latest interview on BBC World News Service at 6.00PM

    All prayerful support will be appreciated.

    September 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm
    • Augustine

      Blast. I read 6:30 instead of 6:00 and so we were all around the laptop (just like the 40’s) waiting for you to come on. We’ll wait for “listen again”.

      September 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm
      • editor


        Sorry about that – I typed 6.30 originally then realised my mistake and changed it to 6.00pm

        The taxi didn’t arrive to take me to the BBC Scotland studio so I had to speak over the phone – there was just a woman from Catholic Voices (an exceptionally nice, gentle person) and me (anything but nice and gentle!)

        She focused on the fact that the Church’s teaching has not (and will not) change while I focused on the fact that, nevertheless, the Pope is doing damage by misleading people with his comments and giving false hope to the likes of those pro-abortionists who published a poster to thank him on behalf of all” pro-choice” women. I wasn’t at all “nice” about him, completely lacked any deference to his “high office” so anyone of the 200% deferential leaning should make a point of NOT listening, although I’m sure there will be a “listen again” facility*.

        Sorry again for getting the time wrong, which was due to the fact that I was rushing to be ready so that I wouldn’t keep the taxi waiting – you know, the taxi that never arrived.

        * Listen here

        September 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm
      • Constantine the Great

        You sounded like a fishwive.

        September 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm
      • editor

        Thank you, Constantine – although I think you mean “fishwife”.

        September 21, 2013 at 9:58 am
      • Constantine the Great

        Please modulate your tones. Try to emulate Catherine Deveney by watching reruns on youtube. She has Haldane and McGinty in her thrall.

        September 21, 2013 at 7:49 pm
      • Lily

        Constantine the Great,

        Sorry to say it, but I think it’s your tone that needs to be modulated and Catherine Deveney speaks as if she’s got marbles in her mouth so i’ll take it you were joking about emulating her. I think one of her is one too many!

        September 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Constantine The Great,

        There’s a big difference between being straight-talking and being a fishwife.

        September 21, 2013 at 10:30 am
      • Nicky

        There’s no way anyone could compete with Catholic Voices if it’s “image” that matters. I checked out their website and their whole emphasis is on image. They have a list of testimonials from various liberal bishops and laypeople on their homepage.

        Personally, I think the time for keeping cool is long past. We need more people speaking out without worrying about image.

        September 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    I might be wrong but I don’t think the Holy Father used the word “soul” even once.

    September 20, 2013 at 6:06 pm
  • westminsterfly

    When I went into the above link, it wasn’t available yet, but I can well imagine – Jack Valero and Austen Ivereigh trained ‘Catholic Voices’ clones, supporting whatever the party line happens to be today, regardless of perennial Catholic teaching. God bless you Editor CT, for your persistence with these people. I know that I couldn’t do what you do . . .

    September 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm
  • Eileenanne

    There is no problem with the Pope’s belief or teaching. See this:

    IMHO, he just needs a better media adviser so that he stops saying things that are fine if you take the trouble to read them properly, but which give too easy headlines and soundbites to journalists who want to give the impression that the Church is at last conforming to the world.

    September 20, 2013 at 10:40 pm
    • editor


      In other words, the Pope should stop causing confusion and speak plainly. When on EARTH did popes need media advisers before the current madness set in? A Pope who says it’s not his job to judge “gays” – when it jolly well IS his job – to judge objective sin and condemn it? A Pope who thinks we should stop talking about abortion, contraception, and homosexuality so the world doesn’t think we’re obsessed with sex?

      And you think there’s “no problem with the Pope’s belief or teaching”? Really. Could have fooled me. And he definitely fooled those “pro-choice” women who published a poster thanking him.

      September 20, 2013 at 10:44 pm
      • Eileenanne

        The POPE did not fool the NARAL women – the MEDIA fooled them – that’s my point. The Pope is not using the media wisely. He MUST be made to realise that anything he says is liable to be twisted, partially quoted and taken out of context to make it look as if he is going against Church teaching. That’s why he needs a good media adviser.

        When on EARTH did popes need media advisers before the current madness set in?

        Popes and anyone else in the public eye have needed a media adviser since there has been 24 hour news coverage on TV, radio and the internet. With all those hours to fill, journalists are not likely to be too fussy about accuracy when there is a space to fill. If they can damage the church at the same time it’s a double whammy. It is also only in the last 10-15 years that news could go round the world is seconds. As we live in the age of the soundbite, few people will bother to read the article properly – most will think they’ve got the gist from the headline. The social media and news outlets have immense power that can be harnessed for good or allowed to do evil. The Pope needs to not play into the hands of the press by giving them easy, misleading headlines.

        September 20, 2013 at 11:07 pm
      • Lily


        Maybe you’ve not seen this week’s Catholic papers yet but the Catholic Herald front page headline is the Pope saying the Catholic Church is in great shape.

        Would he really need a media adviser to tell him that the Church is not in great shape? I think he really believes everything’s fine.

        I must say, you paint a picture of a very gullible and naïve pope who needs media savvy people around him to prevent him saying the wrong thing. That doesn’t inspire confidence in me, I’m afraid. If he doesn’t want to be reported saying the wrong thing maybe he should take editor’s advice and stay in the Vatican to sort out the Church.

        September 21, 2013 at 12:18 am
      • catholicconvert1


        I wonder if St Pius X had any media advisors? Doubt it. That great man meant what he said.

        September 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm
      • editor

        Exactly, Catholic Convert. And even today, you can pick up anything written by him and understand it without having to email Catholic Voices! Amazing!

        September 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      What about everything else?

      How does that article relate to his illegal (to quote even the Catholic Herald!) restrictions upon the 1962 Mass? That has little to do with media spin, and more to do with his absolute disregard for the universal law of the Church laid down in Quo Primum and reiterated by Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum.

      What about his comments on Islam? Is that media spin as well?

      What about the slurring of a proportion of his flock as having Pelagian tendencies?

      What about his comment on the ‘Church never being so well’?

      What about his comments on atheism and salvation outside of the Church?

      If this is all media spin, then the Holy Father (who has been in office for six months) should have learned by now that his [allegedly] ambiguous comments are susceptible to media spin.

      Thing is, I don’t think there’s that much spin. I don’t also don’t think his comments are that ambiguous.

      September 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm
      • editor

        Miles Immaculatae,

        Well said. Very well said. Indeed.

        September 20, 2013 at 11:06 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I am part way through listening to the radio programme. I heard a caller suggest that you might not be Catholic since the Pope is infallible and you were calling into question his statements. You did very well to keep your cool. It’s hard to be charitable when some people are just so irritating (i.e. Papoloatrists).

        September 20, 2013 at 11:29 pm
      • Theresa Rose

        Miles Immaculatae,

        I agree with you.

        September 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm
      • Lily

        Miles Immaculatae,

        You make great points. I think this pope has some very concerning views, and I don’t believe he’s being misrepresented in the press. Doesn’t the Vatican have its own press office? Surely they would be correcting any misreporting.

        September 21, 2013 at 12:21 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I personally think the Vatican is somewhat reasonably media savvy. They like us to think they are completely inept, backward dinosaurs when it comes to PR, however I am suspicious of how actually truthful that is. Do people here not think they give every outward appearance of handling the press quite well?

        I mean, the Vatican apparatus has been used to arranging extravagant overseas papal visits for over 30 years. They have one of the most organised diplomatic corps in the world. Even though computer technology and the internet is not favoured by the Vatican for security reasons, in spite of this their communications department appears fairly robust and functional. Are they really that thick when it comes to dealing with journalists? Really?

        September 21, 2013 at 12:40 am
    • Whistleblower

      I think it’s clear this lady has lost the faith, if she ever had it in the first place

      September 21, 2013 at 8:22 am
      • editor


        I hope that’s not moi you’re talking about.

        September 21, 2013 at 9:57 am
      • Whistleblower

        Of course…….not!

        September 21, 2013 at 10:15 am
  • catholicconvert1


    I think you’ve had a negative experience with Opus Dei. I have a very good friendship with an OD family and they know Catholic Doctrine to a T. The father teaches a marriage class and a class on the Compendium. It is unfortunate about that family. Tell them to speak to an Opus Dei Priest or Director. You never said if they were members of the Work. I think things would change if they would join it. Escriva and Del Portillo celebrated the Latin Mass even after Vatican II, and many Opus Dei people I know sympathise with and prefer the TLM, but don’t really attend it due to the organisations strong emphasis on obedience to the Pope.

    September 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm
    • editor

      Catholic Convert,

      Your final sentence highlights what I’ve said above in response to Westminster Fly’s concerns about Opus Dei. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution to the crisis in the Church. This craze for false obedience is a dead giveaway. Literally. Bow to it, and your Faith dies.

      September 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm
  • catholicconvert1


    What has the Pope said about Islam? I heard what he said about Atheists, which is bizarre, but what if an Atheist is in a state of Invincible Ignorance, or must you still believe God? I appreciate that very few people abide by the natural law, even if they’ve never heard of the Church.

    September 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm
  • Wendy walker

    WELL DONE PATRICIA .I have just listened to you on on BBC 1..Far from sounding like a fishwife your points were clear ,concise and came from real knowledge and respect for The Catholic Church and its Teachings you mastered each question so well and there was so much Humanity and depth of feeling there also .In any debate when your opponant cannot help but agree with you it is because you have put it over with pure commitment and truth …a joy to listen to and a joy to know ..KEEP UP YOUR BRILLIANT WORK ..FOR AS YOU SAY……. THE TRUTH ..a marvellous allie in the battle against so called contraception ,abortion and all the other” rights” that are in fact wrongs

    September 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm
    • editor


      Thank you sincerely for your extremely kind remarks. You are more than generous in your comments, and I really do not deserve such praise – still, it beats being called a “fishwife” !

      However, I do understand why there are people who react negatively to forceful talk – especially from a female. They just don’t like it. It’s not in keeping with the fashion of our age, as George Bernard Shaw once said.

      What George Bernard Shaw actually said was this: “It is difficult, if not impossible, for men to think differently from the fashion of the age in which they live.” He said that, of course, in saner times when everyone understood that by “men”, women were included.

      Anyway, it is very fashionable right now to be very measured, very calm, very polite and very willing to “give and take” a little in discussion. Nobody is ever keen to be seen to be “dogmatic” – perish the thought.

      In a half-an-hour debate about a maverick pontiff in the midst of the worst ever crisis to afflict the Church on the very day of said maverick pontiff’s latest gaffes, however, one can only do the best one can with the limited patience and skills at one’s disposal. Given the short space of time between being invited to participate in the debate (while I was finishing shopping at the local supermarket) and the actual airing, live, it was not possible to ask anyone else to take it on. We do have a willing spokesman ready to help out in these interviews, but he’s in full time employment right now and at the other end of the country, and actually on a break this weekend, so it fell to my unworthy self to participate on this occasion.

      Catholic Truth is not, however, preoccupied with “image”. I did warn that those to whom deference and being “nice” is all-important, would be better not listening. So really, upon their own heads be it if their curiosity got the better of them!

      In any case, for the record, I didn’t apply to join Catholic Voices when they advertised for people willing to be trained for media interviews. Just as well. They soon announced that they’d screened out “the Catholic Taliban” – i.e. some of those “right wingers” mentioned in the latest interview with Pope Francis, the topic of this thread. I’d never have gotten through that screening process, so, my critics, don’t blame moi for being less media-attractive than you think I ought to be – blame Catholic Voices!

      Thanks again, Wendy, for your charity. Much appreciated.

      September 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm
  • catholicconvert1


    How can you say Editor was a fishwife? She was understandable, reasoned and spoke the truth from her heart. She spoke over the other bird because she (the other) was blabbering on and not making sense. If the Pope and Church leaders listened to the Editor and not pigeon-brained liberal morons then the world would be a much better place. Editor should’ve have been a fella, then she could’ve been a priest, possibly more. Editor was the only one who spoke of the evils of Abortion, homosexuality and contraception. It’s not Editor’s fault that Church leaders from the Pope down are complete screwballs. No wonder Mass attendance in Argentina is only 25%. Compared to other countries where Church attendance is around 50%.

    September 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    • editor

      Catholic Convert,

      Thank you for your kind remarks. I was actually participating via the telephone so didn’t always realise I was speaking over Megan. In fact, now that I’ve listened again, I realise that Megan spoke over me a few times and I didn’t even realise that at the time. It’s not ideal participating by phone and the BBC were not happy that we had to do that – now I know why.

      Megan was actually a very nice person (not met her but she sounded very pleasant and was very patient with me when I did interrupt and contradict her) so we have to give credit where it’s due.

      It’s all very sad that we are forced to criticise a Pope in this way but it’s just not good enough to say he hasn’t changed Catholic teaching and we need to explain that – it’s not our JOB to go clearing up the confusion caused by a pope – any pope – after every interview. He should be in the Vatican clearing out the dissent, but then, in his own words, he never WAS a right-winger, so he really doesn’t think there’s anything to clear out. Hence, Archbishop Muller has been confirmed as Prefect at the CDF. Is there any other evidence required that the Church is in a monumental crisis?

      September 21, 2013 at 3:47 pm
  • sixupman

    Pope Franciscus has just made curial appointments: inter alia ++Mueller confirmed; De Noia elsewhere (I think), interest in SSPX Agreement dead. Just as well, after the Franciscan debacle, how long would they have been left alone when within the

    September 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm
    • editor


      Unbelievable. All the hopes that were raised with all the talk of a clear out in the Curia. What a joke!

      September 21, 2013 at 3:48 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    I wonder when the Pope is going to call his first consistory to create new Cardinals. I doubt elevating men to be Princes of the Church fits with the Pope’s new ‘message’ of humility. If he does, i’ll bet you a fiver he doesn’t elevate traditionally minded Prelates such as +Andre-Jozef Leonard or +Salvatore Cordileone as Cardinals. I’ll bet you a fiver also, that if he does he’ll elevate liberals such as +Diarmuid Martin.

    September 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    We liked the debate, too. Megan was nice but a bit over-trained, so Editor’s fervor was a good contrast.

    September 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm
  • Graeme Taylor

    I thought it was a very good discussion, if only a little too short. I thought both speakers were very good, listening to one another and coming back with clear points.At last on the BBC – two Catholics stating the teaching of the Church will not change. Very refreshing!

    September 22, 2013 at 8:14 am
    • editor

      Graeme Taylor,

      Thank you for your very kind words – I agree the discussion was too short. I was just getting warmed up!

      September 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm
  • Petrus

    I have just listened to the radio programme. Editor, you were simply outstanding. I couldn’t believe how clear you were. Poor Megan didn’t stand a chance! If only we had one bishop who could speak like you. Just one would make all the difference. Alas, we don’t even have anyone in the pipeline in this country.

    This pope either hates the papacy or doesn’t understand it. I read a quote in the Scottish Catholic Observer today from Pope Francis, saying that the Jews are to be congratulated for “keeping the Faith”. Since when did a pope ever congratulate followers of a defunct religion for keeping a false faith? The Jews do NOT have the Faith. Not the true Faith. Their religion, whilst not being man made like Islam, is stunted and cannot lead the Jews to salvation. You cannot have a true Faith and deny Christ. Again, this pope is being misleading.

    As for the “humility” – I don’t buy it. It is false humility. If he really disliked the trappings of the papal office he should have said “No” or accepted the papacy, along with the trappings and offered up any personal dislike. It’s amazing how quickly the world got to know about the pope’s “humility”. I don’t think it is very humble to constantly tell people you are humble!

    This pope is a complete disaster. He was a disaster in Argentina. I’d go so far as saying that choosing a non-European was a huge mistake. The crisis in the Church has its origins in Europe and is fundamentally “European”. The last thing the Church needed was a sandal wearing, bus riding, samba drum banging South American who has more in common with Ghandi than St. Pius X!

    September 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    • editor


      You really are determined to move up the pay-scale so now, mission accomplished! You’re right up there at the top, she said unashamedly. Well, it’s Pope Francis who’s claiming to be humble – not moil Never said a word!

      Seriously, thanks for your generous words and for the very good points you raise.

      September 22, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    • Vianney

      “This pope is a complete disaster. He was a disaster in Argentina.”

      A few weeks ago we had an Argentinian family from Buenos Aires at Mass. They said that the didn’t like Francis when he was their Archbishop and like him even less no he’s the Pope. He added that they pray for him but don’t like him.

      September 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    “Unfortunately, I studied philosophy from textbooks that came from decadent or largely bankrupt Thomism. In thinking of the human being, therefore, the church should strive for genius and not for decadence.” (On Thomism)

    Does anyone know the source for this genius?

    September 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm
    • editor


      The quote you give about Thomism is from the interview with Pope Francis – his words – i.e. the source is the interview although if you mean the source in St Thomas, I’m afraid moi doesn’t know that and moi doesn’t have time to go Googling right now to find out.

      September 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        Neither one, Editor. 🙂
        I was asking if anyone knew who (what philosopher) the Holy Father considers a “genius” after he rejected Thomism. Or does he mean a creative genius derived from the new understanding of the dignity of man that the “Holy Spirit” gave to the Church at Vatican II?
        Anybody know the Pope’s favorite Philosophers?

        September 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm
  • Leo

    Very well done, Editor on your interview.

    I’m sure your words will get a lot of people thinking. And fair do’s to the presenter for letting you speak. Bring on Paxman.

    Here’s something for those who throw the “Taliban Catholic” calumny about:


    September 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm
    • editor


      Thank you for your praise of the debate. I’d dearly love to think that anything I said would get people thinking (about the Church, I mean – as opposed to thinking that I’m a nut!)

      I had a quick look at your link but I would have to be honest and say that right now I doubt if many “traditionalists” consider themselves to be Pope Francis’s best friends. I mean, for instance, he would be well advised NOT to phone me right now – or, indeed, for quite some time!

      September 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm
  • Leo


    I know exactly what you are saying about Pope Francis and “traditionalists”. Unfortunately, at this stage, the Pope’s views are written on the wall in great big letters.

    I don’t know if irony is the right word in relation to the use of the term “best friends”; maybe unappreciated friends is a more obvious term. It’s certainly not a friendship in the same sense as that of Archbishop Mueller and the propagators of Liberation Theology.

    The point, whether it’s widely appreciated or not, is that “traditionalists” are genuinely loyal to the papacy, much more so than many, and are truly helping to build up the Church. Whether that is appreciated or not, is another matter. I would say that there was no more loyal son of the Church and genuine defender of the papacy than Archbishop Lefebvre.

    I don’t mean to upset anyone with the following comparison, but it does make the point. If a child refuses to go to the off license to get another bottle for drunken Daddy, the atmosphere at home mightn’t exactly be one of unrestrained bonhomie. Daddy might just be a bit upset and annoyed, in fact. We can talk about disobedience, but nobody can dispute that child’s best intentions and loyalty and love for their parent.

    I think, in the case of the vast majority of Catholics who hold to Tradition, genuine and proper loyalty to the papacy and the Church is not in question. I think that amounts to a great deal more than friendship, and immeasurably more than the false friendship of the world.

    September 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm
  • catholicconvert1


    Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with you concerning your comments on the Pope hating the Papacy and all the supposed grandeur that comes with it, how can you say that he could have refused it? Surely that would be a rejection of the power of the Holy Spirit? Please tell me who you would have liked to see be elected as the Roman Pontiff? I’m surprised you though the Pope should have been European. Aren’t they all Modernists? The Pope is a disgrace and is an insult to his august predecessors. As for your final line: ‘The last thing the Church needed was a sandal wearing, bus riding, samba drum banging South American who has more in common with Gandhi than St. Pius X!’Love it!!!

    With the greatest of respect to you, you are misleading me as well over your comments on Judaism, Islam and Salvation. You said that these religions are stunted and cannot lead their followers to Salvation, but the Church says they have a basic chance through Invincible Ignorance. Obviously I uphold Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, but how far do you take it? What does the Catechism of the Council of Trent say on Salvation?


    I personally support Opus Dei. It cultivates a wonderful prayer life by encouraging it’s members to pray the Rosary everyday, not to mention the spiritual formation provided at Opus Dei centres. It also helps people to find Christ in their daily work, and offer everything up to God. Whilst I do agree with you to an extent, but you can’t blame Opus Dei for not defending tradition. That’s all part of the general spiritual decay of the Church, and the fault lies with the man who started Vatican II- soon to be Saint John XXIII, and his successor who took things to their dizzy limit Paul VI. There’s nothing Opus Dei could have done to halt the pace of reform, it has no power in the Vatican, and if it doesn’t have influence over the Pope, any attempt to rein things in would be futile. Also, to be a good Catholic, do I have to obey the Pope on everything?

    September 22, 2013 at 9:49 pm
  • Petrus

    Catholic Convert,

    There is NO salvation in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism etc. Salvation can only come through the Catholic Church. No other religion can save. Yes, individual Jews, Muslims etc do have a chance of salvation through invincible ignorance. However, if those who are outside the Church are saved then they are saved BY the Church – in spite of their false religion, not by it.

    September 22, 2013 at 9:57 pm
  • catholicconvert1


    Thanks for that. When you say ‘saved BY the Church’ do you mean that they are Catholic in Spirit, through living according to the Natural Law? This may seem like an unusual statement to make, but if a Jew etc got to Heaven, would they become Catholic in Heaven, in the sense that they are unified with Christ and therefore His Holy Church?

    September 23, 2013 at 11:47 am
    • Petrus

      Catholic Convert,

      We cannot put limits on the mercy of God. However, if someone has true invincible ignorance or Baptism of Blood/Desire and live according to the Natural Law, we can surely hope for their salvation.

      Yes, there are only Catholics in Heaven – those within the visible Church on earth and those united to the Church via the conditions outlined above.

      September 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm
  • catholicconvert1


    After reading this interview by His Holiness again, I don’t think his adherence to doctrine is flawed, I just think he has a different, almost gentler way of propagating it. Read it again: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/09/19/church-needs-new-balance-between-mission-and-moral-teaching-says-pope-francis/


    Thanks for clarifying. Baptism of Blood applies to anyone, not just Catholics who die as a martyr for Christ?

    September 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm
    • editor

      Catholic Convert,

      In that interview, the pope actually speaks sympathetically about people who had “failed marriages” and he goes on to acknowledge their “happy remarriages”.

      So, frankly, I’d say his adherence to doctrine is seriously flawed. Not to say the scandal he is causing, the false hopes he is giving to the divorced and “remarried” given that he has no authority whatsoever to contradict Christ on the indissolubility of marriage.

      September 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm
    • Petrus

      Catholic Convert,

      I’m not certain on this, but I’ve always understood Baptism of Blood to be when someone who has a desire to be united to Christ’s Church is killed before they can be received into the fullness of Communion.

      September 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm
  • catholicconvert1


    I found this on Catholic Culture concerning Baptism of Blood:

    Martyrdom in the case of a person who died for the Christian faith before he or she could receive the sacrament. The effects of martyrdom of blood are the complete remission of sin and the title to immediate entrance into heaven. The expression entered the Christian vocabulary during the first three centuries when many catechumens awaiting baptism and pagans suddenly converted to the Christian faith were martyred before they could receive formal baptism of water.

    Somehow I thought it applied to anyone who died for Christ, including Protestants or other christians regardless of whether they desired to become Catholics. Baptism of Desire is self explanatory.

    September 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    • Whistleblower

      Catholic convert ,

      Why don’t you Google it and see what you can find?

      September 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        That’s probably the Vatican’s new answer when asked about moral questions, “Just Google it!” 😆

        September 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm
      • editor


        Love it!

        September 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm
      • Whistleblower

        I love it too! But really, that’s what the internet is for!!!

        September 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm
      • editor

        I agree, Whistleblower – and to be honest, Catholic Convert, I’ve thought often that you should get Googling rather than torment poor Petrus all the time.

        Whistleblower is to be commended for his charity towards Petrus. When’s it going to be my turn, WB?

        September 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        Petrus should tell him where to Google, though. I like Catholic Convert, he’s never boring.

        September 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm
      • WhistleBlower

        I am very charitable, Editor! Petrus is some guy, but I like to spread the charity around!

        September 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        I was just kidding, I hope.

        I like reading Petrus’ answers, always to the point.

        September 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    What was the pre Vatican II view on Protestants? I knew that Leo XIII said that non-Catholic Christians were our ‘Separated Brethren’. Somehow I don’t think St. Pius X would have been that conciliatory. I know that he once refused to meet Theodore Roosevelt after the President addressed the Methodist Congress in Rome. I know the new Catechism says that they are christians due to their valid Baptism, but that they are stunted and not full members of Christ’s Church, due to their having false beliefs on the Eucharist and invalidly ordained ministers etc. Save to say, the latter does not, and never has applied to the Orthodox.

    September 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm
  • Leo

    “I saw many pastors cherishing dangerous ideas against the Church. . . . They built a large, singular, extravagant church which was to embrace all creeds with equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, and all denominations, a true communion of the unholy with one shepherd and one flock. There was to be a Pope, a salaried Pope, without possessions. All was made ready, many things finished; but, in place of an altar, were only abomination and desolation. Such was the new church to be, and it was for it that he had set fire to the old one; but God designed otherwise.”

    –from Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich, Vol. 2, pp. 352-353

    Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Pontiff. He holds the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. We know with total and utter certainty that he will never impose heresy as requiring to be believed by the faithful. We can have complete assurance and serenity on that matter. Informed Catholics who are not under the spell of papolatry, also know however, that Catholics have the right and at times, the duty to oppose the words and actions of a Pope. We have the witness of theologians, saints, and Doctors of the Church on that, since the time of Saint Paul’s rebuke to Peter (Galatians 2:11) in fact. Loyalty to the papacy, not the cult of an individual personality, is at the heart of the Faith.

    Melchior Cano OP, chief theologian at the Council of Trent sums it up:

    “Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See — they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.”

    To say that this papal interview might just cause massive damage and confusion is a bit like saying Siberia can get a bit chilly. Coming in the train of a constant stream of disturbing statements and actions on the part of the Holy Father since the very beginning of his papacy, the surprise factor can’t be great. And no, we can’t blame the media. This is no collection of off the cuff remarks. Since the interview last month, there must have been ample opportunity for Pope Francis to edit and change any content he was not happy about. A lot of wishful lack of thinking, as well as neocon naivety and self-delusion has just been swept away. Papolatrists can contort themselves until they are unconscious, but I’m afraid this setting out of the Pope’s thinking can’t be seen as anything but a major boost to the modernist, Conciliar kenosis programme. Just how many times are the defenders of doctrine and human life and marriage going to hear about this interview? The chutzpah of the revolutionaries just got turbo boosted.

    The planet is already drenched with the blood of hundreds of millions of victims of the abortion Holocaust, a true sacrifice to satan, the Western powers are implementing the total inversion of the moral order and the destruction of marriage at the behest of the sodomy commissars and the contraception peddlers, and the Vicar of Christ is telling us that we “cannot be obsessed” with, and “it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time”.

    With respect to the Holy Father, we really need him echo the words of one of his truly great predecessors, a magnificent pastor of souls:

    “Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference toward the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being…” – Pope Saint Pius X, Our Apostolic Mandate.

    Or the following words of Saint Augustine:

    “In many things they (the heretics) are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me, the many things in which they are will not profit them” (S. Augustine in Psal. Liv., n. 19).

    “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” Saint Augustine, Contra Faustum 17,3

    The Holy Father was barely off the plane after his return from his recent trip to Brazil, when that country implemented a very significant step in the acceleration of the abortion agenda. Here in Ireland, we could have done with a very loud and clear call from Rome in support of the Divine Law and the defence of the unborn, a few months ago.

    Well here’s what Irish people were treated to by the Irish franchise of Pravda last Thursday evening. By the way, it bears a striking similarity to a New York Times article of the same day.


    The reality is that the only ones “obsessed” with sexual matters are those drowning in the libertine sewer that passes for “culture” in these times, and the enemies of the Church, both outside and inside the walls.

    There really are a great many talking points in this interview. I can’t but think of the disaster of “Aggiornamento” and the words of Cardinal Ratzinger in his 1989 book entitled, The Principles of Catholic Theology:

    “If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) [Gaudium et spes] is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter-syllabus … Let us be content to say here that the text serves as a counter syllabus and, as such, represents, on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789…”

    “The task is not, therefore, to suppress the Council [Vatican II] but to discover the real Council and to deepen its true intention in the light of present experience. That means there can be no return to the Syllabus, which may have marked the first stage in the confrontation with liberalism and a newly conceived Marxism but cannot be the last stage…. The fact is, as Hans Urs von Balthasar pointed out as early as 1952, that the ‘demolition of the bastions’ is a long-overdue task.

    “The Church cannot choose the times in which she will live…. She must relinquish many of the things that have hitherto spelled security for her and that she has taken for granted. She must demolish longstanding bastions and trust solely to the shield of faith.” (– pages 381-382)

    Well, those bastions need to be rebuilt in very quick order, or else we all going to be in the catacombs. The secular, antichrist forces of the City of Man are running wild right now. And no amount of trying to make them “like” the Church of Christ is going to appease the minions of lucifer.

    “If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.” – John 15:19,20

    Finally, the following link is to a magnificent piece of writing by Father Roger Calmel OP. It’s long, and it might be no harm to read in stages, and definitely more than once. Some, no doubt, won’t find themselves in agreement at once. Nevertheless it is still very relevant, forty years after it was first written, in these times of unprecedented crisis for the Church.


    Indeed, we must pray much for the Holy Father.

    September 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm
  • Leo

    Who, amongst the faithful, can fail to dwell on Our Lady’s message at Fatima, where she warned on 19th August 1917 that “many souls go to hell because there are none to make sacrifices and pray for them”. What a pity Pope Francis’ interview didn’t include Our Lady’s message to the children two months later, on 13 October:

    “People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins…They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”

    It might be a very good prayer intention that between now and 13 October, the Holy Father reads the letter of Sister Lucia to Pope John Paul II, on 12 May 1982:

    “Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message”(the Consecration of Russia), “we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc.

    “And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment, In His kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom He gave us; hence people are responsible.”

    We might also pray for the graces of state for Pope Francis, that he will look to the words and example of two Pontiffs who truly did guard the sacred deposit of the Faith and tended to their God given flock:

    “The sacred pastors are not the inventors and composers of the
    Gospel, but merely the authorized guardians and preachers divinely
    established. Wherefore, we ourselves, and all bishops with us, can and
    must repeat the words of Jesus Christ: “My teaching is not my own, but
    his who sent me” (John 7:16)….

    “Therefore, we are not teachers of a doctrine born of the human
    mind, but we are in conscience bound to embrace and follow the doctrine
    which Christ Our Lord taught and which He solemnly commanded His
    Apostles and their successors to teach (Matthew 28:19-20).” – Pope Pius XII(Encyclical, Ad Sinarum Gentem, October 7, 1954)

    “One of the primary obligations assigned by Christ to the office
    committed to Us of feeding the Lord’s flock is that of guarding with the
    greatest vigilance the Deposit of Faith delivered to the Saints,
    rejecting the profane novelties of words, and the gainsaying of
    knowledged falsely so-called…. We may no longer keep silent
    [against the Modernists], lest we should seem to fail in our essential
    duty.” – Pope Saint Pius X,Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8,
    1907, Sec. 1.

    September 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm
  • Michelangelo


    September 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm
    • editor


      I find the custom odd, to say the least, of posting a link to an article without any personal comment from you. It appears to suggest that this one article proves beyond doubt that Pope Francis is not the liberal he’s portrayed as being. Wrong.

      It would be a courtesy if, in future, you would offer some thoughts yourself on the links you provide.

      September 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm
      • Michelangelo

        Just thought it’d be of interest to the thread! No, I’m not suggesting this – chance’d be a fine thing!

        September 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm
      • editor

        Thanks for your forbearance, Michelangelo – I sounded a bit harsh there, not my usual gentle, soul of charity, slim, glamorous, highly intelligent, witty self – so apologies….

        I think the author of that article is a young convert (I think I’ve seen him on TV) who is always at pains to defend the indefensible but then it’s hard enough for those of us born into the Faith to face up to less than perfect (to say the least) pontiffs but for converts it must be doubly difficult.

        Anyway, thanks again for posting the link and for not going into the huff over my rather sharp reply. You are a star!

        September 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    I really think it’s amazing how much St. Francis has been used in the post conciliar years. From the Asissi meetings to Pope Francis’ vision of divesting the Church and Papacy like the poor, humble St. Francis. I don’t think it’s apparent to the Popes, but I do think they are being tempted to do major damage. It just seems like the devil has a particular hatred toward St. Francis of Asissi.

    September 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm
  • Leo

    Although I haven’t yet read all of the Holy Father’s much talked about interview, the blogosphere has highlighted quite enough very worrying elements.

    Miles Immaculatae has very helpfully brought our attention to some of them on this thread already (20 September, 5.00pm). To avoid readers having to scroll between posts, I’ve copied them here.

    “Unfortunately, I studied philosophy from textbooks that came from decadent or largely bankrupt Thomism. In thinking of the human being, therefore, the church should strive for genius and not for decadence.” (On Thomism)

    “Even the dogma of the Christian religion must follow these laws, consolidating over the years, developing over time, deepening with age.” (On doctrinal development)

    “The view of the church’s teaching as a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong.” (ditto)

    “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.” (Concerning the dangers of the Traditional Latin Mass)

    If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. (Those mad perfidious, Pelagian traditionalists)

    As a compare and contrast it might be interesting to consider the following.

    This is stretching things a bit in trying to think the best, but maybe the Pope is criticising a certain way that Thomism was presented rather than Thomism itself. I don’t know. It doesn’t really appear that way, and more than likely, I’m guilty of lack of realism, or comprehension here. Frankly, it would be more than a bit surprising to find Pope Francis a strong admirer of Thomism. Not so, pre-Conciliar Popes including Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII.

    Pope Saint Pius X identified Thomism as the remedy against Modernism, in Pascendi. Also, “We admonish professors to bear well in mind that they cannot set aside Saint Thomas especially in metaphysical questions, without grave disadvantage.” (Pascendi, #45)

    Pope Pius XI describe Thomism as the “Christian, Catholic Roman philosophy” and “as innumerable documents of every kind attest, the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own” (Studiorum Ducem) and made clear that “no Doctor of the Church is so terrifying and formidable to modernists and other enemies of the Catholic faith as Aquinas.” ( Apostolic letter, Officorum Omnium)

    As is obvious from the above, Thomism is one of the main weapons against the deadly New Theology that has caused devastation since the middle of the last century.

    Pope Francis’ words don’t give grounds for optimism on the matter of doctrinal development either (see quotes copied from Miles Immaculatae’s post). Can we be confident that His Holiness will include the following in a future interview?

    “The Church of Christ, zealous and cautious guardian of the dogmas deposited with it, never changes any phrase of them. It does not diminish them or add to them; it neither trims what seems necessary nor grafts things superfluous…but it devotes all its diligence to one aim: To treat tradition faithfully
    confirmed and defined.” – Saint Vincent of Lerins, Commonitoria (5th Century).

    “Therefore…let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progress strongly with the passage of the ages and the centuries; but let it be solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the same sense and the same understanding” – St Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium primum, 23, n.3

    “This you (the bishops of the world) will do perfectly if you watch over yourselves and your doctrine, as your office makes it your duty, repeating incessantly to yourselves that every novelty attempts to undermine the Universal Church and that, according to the warning of the holy Pope Agatho, “nothing that has been regularly defined can bear diminution, or change, or addition, and repels every alteration of sense, or even words.” – Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari vos 15 August 1832

    The First Vatican Council itself declared that:
    “That understanding of the sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding…”
    Any development of the understanding of a dogma must be “solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the same sense, and the same understanding.” First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Concerning the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4: Dz. 1800

    “For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the Apostles and the new deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth.” Vatican I,Decree Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 4 see Denzinger 1836

    Pope St. Pius X, in , Pascendi Dominici Gregis, stated regarding the false belief of the Modernists that human experience somehow renders a “different understanding” of Catholic truth: “This doctrine of experience is also under another aspect entirely contrary to Catholic truth. It is extended and applied to tradition, as hitherto understood by the Church, and destroys it.”

    Consider the the Oath Against Modernism, which stated :

    “I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers, in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another, different from the one which the Church held previously.”

    The issue of Mass has been addressed plenty of times on this blog. The fact that theological questions, not aesthetics or nostalgia, or liturgical preferences, are the primary issues has been pointed out repeatedly.

    I think most readers know by now that Pope Saint Pius V, by the full force of the Petrine authority, granted “in perpetuity” that “this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgement, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used” and no priest is “obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us.” – Quo Primum

    Everyone in the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculata who is involved in the attack on the Mass might do well to memorize those words. And it looks like someone needs to remind the Holy Father of them, as well.

    And I’m sure Pope Francis would not consider that Saint Thomas was guilty of “ideologization of the Vetus Ordo”.

    “It is absurd and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old.” The Decretals (Dist. Xii, 5) Cited by St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica, II,I, Q. 97, art. 2

    As for “traditionalists”, the point of moral certitude on what the Pope thinks of us was passed some time ago. The initial warning from Bueno Aires has only been confirmed. That doesn’t give grounds for despondency by any means. We only have to consider these words from the Church’s history, and times of crisis.

    “Only one offense is now vigorously punished, an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.” – Epistles of Saint Basil, n. 243

    “But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even in the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy had wished to unsettle it, but has not been able.” Saint Athanasius, Festal Letters 29, 330 AD

    “And if some new contagion should seek to poison, not only a little part of the Church, but the whole Church at once then his (the Catholic’s) greatest care should once again be to adhere to antiquity, which obviously cannot be seduced by any deceitful novelty. “ Saint Vincent Lerins, Commonitorium, Chapter 3, section 7.
    “In the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold the faith, which has been believed, everywhere, always and by all.” Ibid, chapter 2

    “It is necessary to obey a Pope in all things as long as he does not go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, he need not be followed.” Pope Innocent III, De Consuetudine

    And so we continue to pray for Pope Francis, the Supreme Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, whether he regards us as “legalists” or not. For some reason, I thought judgement was now out. As for “restorationist”, I’ll take that as a compliment.

    At this stage, can we please have no more neocon spin about the media spinning the Pope.

    September 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm
  • Leo


    I think the devil certainly does have a hatred towards Saint Francis, and with very good reason. Here are a few words of the great Saint that mightn’t have been heard too much over the last five decades.

    “See you blind ones, you are deceived by your enemies: by the flesh, the world, and the devil; because it is sweet to the body to commit sin and it is better for it to serve God;… And you have nothing in this world or in the one to come.
    The body becomes sick, death approaches, and this man dies a bitter death. And no matter where or when or how a man dies in the guilt of sin without doing penance and satisfaction, the devil snatches up his soul from his body with so much anguish and tribulation that no one can know it unless he has experienced it. And they leave their substance to their relatives and friends, and these have taken and divided the inheritance among themselves. Worms eat the body. And so they have lost body and soul in this passing world, and both will go down to hell, where they will be tormented without end.”
    – 2nd Letter to the Faithful

    September 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm
  • Thurifer

    Leo, what an awesome quote of St. Francis of Assisi! I never knew he said such hard-hitting words. If only the pope would live up to his namesake.

    September 24, 2013 at 12:51 am
  • 3littleshepherds

    I wish the Holy Father would be like the real St. Francis, too. Most likely he won’t be. We’ll have to wait to see what he does for any future Asissi meetings.
    I like reading your posts. The spiritual battle interests me most of all so I appreciate your quotes from prophecy , Saints and the disoriented. It gives a good overview and puts everything into focus.

    September 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm
  • Leo


    Those words of Saint Francis of Assisi are pretty strong alright. They are probably as good and as concise an expression of the Church’s teaching on the Four Last Things as it is possible to get.

    Not much hinting at universal salvation there!

    I don’t expect that we will be hearing a whole lot either about the time that Saint Francis went on Crusade and crossed the lines to go and convert the Moslems and challenge the imams to trial by fire. Not quite VII dialogue. Needless to say, the great saint didn’t believe in showing “respect” for Islam or talking about the “spiritual fruits” of Ramadan.

    In the Conciliar craziness, he would probably be seen as a “restorationist” or a “triumphalist”, or judgemental.


    Thank you for your very kind and flattering words. I know I have to make more of an effort to keep from going on a bit. It’s not intentional. It’s just that the cut and paste function is great. It’s then a matter of trying not to say anything stupid in between.

    We really are in a massive spiritual battle right now, alright, so it’s as important as ever to be able to call on the Church Triumphant, and in particular, the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady. That’s why spreading the message of Fatima and Quito, as per the latest thread, is so vital.

    September 25, 2013 at 9:45 am
  • gabriel syme

    The Pope Franci interview received a rather withering response from a conservative Catholic Spanish journalist, in the Spanish ABC newspaper. Here are the last three paragraphs, with added emphasis (see the link for more):

    I who am the most senseless man in the world spent many years delivering myself joyfully into martyrdom, in a battle with the world that left me in shreds, with my literary career thrown in the wastebasket and turned into the laughing stock of all my colleagues; and I made this daily exercise of immolation joyfully, because I considered that my obligation was not to please the world, but to fight it until my last breath.

    Where there were nests yesteryear there are no birds this year, Don Quixote tells us, when he comes back to his senses. I am unaware if I was insane before; but today, reading a certain interview that kicked up a dust cloud, I felt that I played the fool during all these years.

    And, following the example of the distinguished interviewee, I will dedicate myself from this day forward to pleasing and flattering the world, in order to avoid its condemnation.”


    September 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm
  • crofterlady

    I’ve been away for almost a week and have just caught up with the blog. I listened to Editor’s radio input in “Have your say.” I thought she did a great job and I don’t understand (Constantine the Great) why you think she sounded like a fishwife; she was only being her natural self!

    September 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm
    • editor


      Talk about mixed signals! I can only reply: “Thanks and watch it!”

      I’m posting today’s Voris video on the homepage – he’s discussing this “new tone” coming out of the papal office and I think it’s very good indeed. Nobody could accuse him of being a fish-husband. Well said Michael!

      September 26, 2013 at 12:00 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        He makes an excellent point:

        Apparently, we Catholics should stop being obsessed about abortion and contraception.

        Wait a minute! How many Catholic bishops and priests have you heard preach obsessively about abortion and contraception? If only!

        The obsession comes from the media, as he says, not the Church.

        The recent blog in Eye of the Tiber satirises the point quite effectively in the post titled Doctor tells patient to stop being obsessed about his cancer.

        On a positive note though, maybe Steven Fry will now think the Catholic Church is now a force for good in the world? Him thinking that can only be a good thing.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm
  • crofterlady

    Editor: You and Michael would make excellent and productive fishmongers… Yes, it’s a marvellous clip.

    September 26, 2013 at 11:14 am
    • editor


      Thank you for your kind comments about the debate.

      I’ve just read this latest crackpot defence of the Pope’s words and couldn’t help imagining the reaction of the gentleman who rang me earlier, JUST having read the interview and Mgr Basil Loftus’s delighted take on it in the (anything but) Catholic Times.

      That gentleman assured me that he is no sedevacantist but insisted on two things:

      1) this pope is not a Catholic
      2) if he really is the pontiff who is to consecrate Russia, then Our Lady will have to work a massive miracle.

      Anyone care to disagree with him – on either count?

      September 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Well, I would agree on the first count because he is seriously separating himself from the Church on the Church’s moral teachings. Just look at his comments on gays, abortion, contraception and cohabiting couples. It’s not in sync with the teaching of his predecessors. Even the mixed up Paul VI issued ‘Humanae Vitae’ which condemned artificial contraception. It’s really galling for me personally because I uphold all, and I mean all, of the Church’s teachings, and yet the Pope comes out with this tripe and gets away with it. One hundred years ago, during the Pontificate (with a capital P) of St Pius X, Francis would have been reported to the Holy Office for heterodoxy, or worse heresy. He epitomises what the Jesuit Order has become. You wouldn’t have seen an Opus Dei Pope saying any of this, because they obey the Magisterium to the point of obsession. Believe me I know. Maybe the pope should, to echo Pope Innocent III’s words to St Francis, ‘go roll in the mud with the pigs’ to learn obedience.

    September 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm

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