Apostasy in the Vatican – No Question…

Apostasy in the Vatican – No Question…

VaticanROME, March 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This weekend the Vatican formally hosted one of Britain’s most virulently pro-abortion and pro-homosexual writers, as well as the head of an American organization promoting female ordination, at an officially sanctioned event inside Vatican City walls. Organizers spoke to Vatican Radio as well as the secular press, praising the new atmosphere within the Church’s leadership that made the conference possible.

As part of the Vatican’s official observance of International Women’s Day, this Sunday saw two events, one brought in from outside and the other organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture. The latter conference has come under public criticism for its “ham-fisted,” “tone-deaf,” “uncatholic,” and feminist-inspired approach to “Women’s Cultures.”

The presence of the outside-organized event held inside the Vatican is being forthrightly hailed by organizers and the secular media as feminist victory over the traditional stance of the Church. Among the organizers and speakers were Deborah Rose-Milavec, one of the US’s most prominent agitators for female ordination, and Tina Beattie, a British feminist academic notorious for her advocacy for abortion, homosexual relations, and “gay marriage,” and who once compared the Catholic Mass to homosexual sex. [Emphasis added by Editor CT]

Beattie is the Director of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing at the University of Roehampton in London. Her extreme and anti-Catholic positions on abortion and sexuality prompted Bishop Declan Lang of the English Diocese of Clifton to cancel a scheduled lecture in 2012. She continues to write regularly for the UK’s far-left Catholic magazine The Tablet.

The organizer of the “storytelling event,” Voices of Faith, told the New York Times that holding the seminar on Vatican soil was a “hard-fought victory.” Chantal Götz of the Swiss Fidel Götz Foundation, said, “It becomes all the more symbolic when it’s inside the Vatican. It’s a step ahead.”

Götz suggested that the conference participants could form a “de facto think tank” for the pope. “If the pope needs advice, there are women who can provide it,” she said.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Götz highlighted the presence at the conference of a nun who works with women in the parts of the Middle East under threat from the Islamist supremacist group ISIS. She did not, however, mention the presence of Tina Beattie or Deborah Rose-Milavec, and the interviewer did not bring up the presence among the seminar’s speakers of Gudrun Sailer, who has worked for the German section of Vatican Radio since 2003.

Deborah Rose-Milavec, a member of the Voices of Faith advisory board and head of the US group FutureChurch, which campaigns mainly for “women priests,” echoed the suggestion that the seminar could help develop policy for the Church.

On the website of Voices of Faith, Rose-Milavec said the seminar “could be a key agent in providing Pope Francis and others in leadership with both the vision and tools necessary to carry out his desire for a more incisive female presence in the Church.”

“This would benefit all men and women but particularly women who are poor and powerless and who have been left behind economically, socially and politically,” she added.

Despite the single-issue focus of Rose-Milavec’s group, Goetz denied that the seminar aimed at “changing Church policy or doctrine.” To Vatican Radio she said, “We want just to highlight the different experiences of Catholic women and …put more focus on what they are doing for the poor and marginalized.”

“Pope Francis is saying we [women] should take more initiative in general on things and this is what we are trying to do.” “We are proud,” she said, that the seminar was invited to be held within the Vatican.

Joshua McElwee, a journalist with the far-left US paper National Catholic Reporter, said the meeting “saw a remarkably open and frank discussion among women about the limits on their participation in church structures.”

McElwee noted that it “may have been the first such public conversation ever to take place at the center of the Catholic hierarchy.” Using language comparable to that of the feminist “womenpriests” movement, he said the topics discussed included “the need for the church to practice what it preaches about full equality between men and women, to include women in every level of decision-making, and to use inclusive language in its worship.”

He remarked that while the topic of “women’s ordination” was “only discussed tangentially,” nevertheless the speakers “addressed the jarring lack of women in ministry in the church and in leadership positions in the Catholic hierarchy.” He quotes Vatican Radio’s Gudrun Sailer, who said, “It’s about recognizing, realizing that excluding women from the church [does] not conform to the Gospel. It’s not what the Gospel wants.”

The internal event, sponsored by the Vatican’s own Pontifical Council for Culture, while having a less radical agenda, was still criticized for kow-towing to feminist paradigms. Critics expressed concern that the agenda for the meeting contained the jargon-heavy language of academic feminism but little that would mark this officially sponsored Vatican event as Catholic. Topics included, “Between equality and difference: the quest for an equilibrium,” “‘Generativity’ as a symbolic code,” “The female body: between culture and biology,” and “Women and religion: flight or new forms of participation in the life of the Church?” None of the materials for either conference contained a single reference to the Virgin Mary or the female saints or doctors of the Church.

After pulling a video promoting the event in early February that was blasted on Twitter by hundreds of viewers from all sides of the Catholic political divide, the Council posted a photo of a headless, legless and armless statue, bound with ropes. When criticized again for this photo, which many compared with the pornographic film 50 Shades of Grey, the Council posted a note saying that although they acknowledged the criticisms, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi had personally decided the photo would stay. The photo, and the note, have since been removed.

The ongoing close partnership between certain factions within the Vatican and the extreme and blatantly anti-Catholic feminist left has been raising controversy for decades. Some have responded to this latest salvo by saying the Catholic Church is flatly acting against its own interests with its ongoing flirtation with heavily secularist, and politically-charged leftist feminist agenda.

International Women’s Day, a holiday started by the Soviet revolutionaries in the early 20th century, has become an annual showcase for atheistic political feminism in many transnational organizations like the UN and the EU.

Deborah Gyapong, a widely read Canadian freelance Catholic journalist and blogger, spoke to LifeSiteNews of the “partisan agenda” of this weekend’s dual conferences, asking what it had to do with the Catholic religion.

Gyapong said that “even to talk about ‘gender equality’ is to import alien, Marxist inspired ideas into the conversation.” “It means that these views are calling the shots of the conversation, or to use another metaphor, establishing the playing field,” she said.

Gyapong added that while the motive “may have been dialog and inviting diverse points of view,” the lack of balance created a message that these key issues are up for grabs in the Church. She asked where the “clear and articulate” voices defending the Church’s teaching were.

“Would the Vatican hold a conference on the Trinity and invite people who say they are Catholics but who deny there are three Persons in one God?” Gyapong asked. “Women who see the hierarchy merely in terms of power relations and clericalism are unlikely to be less clericalist were they put into positions of power.”

“There are some beautiful, faithful, holy women religious, women theologians, women bioethicists who are not whining and complaining about gender equity,” she added. “As a journalist who has regular contact with cardinals and archbishops, I have never felt marginalized or treated with disrespect.”

The Vatican’s weekend in Rome with the feminists contrasted sharply with the message of Cardinal Raymond Burke who was in the UK at a conference sponsored by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. In a speech in Chester, Cardinal Burke said the time is coming for believing Catholics to be ready to emulate the early Christian martyrs in their defense of marriage and the sanctity of human life.

He warned, “Even within the Church, there are those who would obscure the truth of the indissolubility of marriage in the name of mercy, who condone the violation of the conjugal union by means of contraception in the name of pastoral understanding, and who, in the name of tolerance, remain silent about the attack on the very integrity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”   Source


Is there anyone within the Vatican walls, who is not an apostate?  Doesn’t look like it. The silence is deafening, so an awful lot of priests and prelates are complicit in the scandalous downward spiral which this shocking conference represents. Comments invited – but take a very deep breath first…

Comments (100)

  • Br. Alexis Bugnolo (@BrAlexisBugnolo)

    Well, let’s see:

    We have a Cardinal Prefect of the CDW who mocks the Holy Spirit


    A pope who denies that faith saves


    And a group of Cardinals involved in a heretical conspiracy to overthrow the Church


    So, I must conclude that you are on to something in this post….

    March 13, 2015 at 7:55 am
    • editor

      Br Alexis,

      It’s not the first headline of its kind on this blog – but this is certainly a landmark event. There have been other disgraceful gatherings within the Vatican walls, but for the likes of Tina Beattie to be given a platform is simply beyond apostasy.

      Will study your links later – thanks for posting them.

      March 13, 2015 at 8:48 am
  • westminsterfly

    Beattie has been at this kind of thing for years in the UK

    March 13, 2015 at 8:35 am
    • editor


      Thanks for posting the article by Patricia Phillips. I’m quite a fan of her writings on feminism – she knows her stuff. She also has her finger on the pulse of homosexual events within the Church. In fact, she features on the front page of our current newsletter, which you can download on the Newsletter page of our website.

      Beattie is notorious which is why there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for the useful idiots within the Vatican walls to have given her a platform.

      March 13, 2015 at 8:51 am
      • westminsterfly

        By the way, I wouldn’t want anyone thinking that Bishop Declan Lang, who cancelled Beattie’s lecture, is sound, simply because the lecture got cancelled. Bear in mind that happened in 2012. Benedict XVI was still Pope and things, although FAR from good, were not quite so comfortable for the bishops of England & Wales, as they are now. Bishop Lang has got form himself for supporting dissident feminist antics:- http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2002/features_dec02.html

        March 13, 2015 at 10:13 am
      • editor


        Thanks for posting that CO article. I LOVED this bit at the end:

        But at least they have memories of how things were once, and should be still. I spoke with one old lady outside afterwards, before I plunged into the rain. “Rather different from the days of Pius XII and the Old Pro.” (The old Catholic Pro-Cathedral of the Apostles which now lies, abandoned and decaying, a few hundred yards away). “Yes,” she said, “but that was the old days. Now we’re all so much more empowered.” That word again. Well, I suppose possessing a gun empowers one to shoot oneself.

        “…possessing a gun empowers one to shoot oneself” Classic.

        March 13, 2015 at 10:58 am
      • Nicky

        The duplicity of bishops like Declan Lang take some beating. That Christian Order article was an eye opener. How can these two faced and faithless bishops hang on to their office, when they obviously don’t believe the faith?

        March 13, 2015 at 2:45 pm
      • westminsterfly

        I see that the National Board of Catholic Women website http://www.nbcw.co.uk/membership.html is back up (it was inactive for some time). Same old, same old, I’m afraid.

        March 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm
      • editor


        I went right through the NBCW website and it’s priceless.

        Notably, very few of the old names are there – Angela Perkins is missing and the Middlesbrough lady, Pat something and others no longer there. Sr Louisa Poole is, hilariously, named at the Environment Committee – could you, I mean, COULD you make this stuff up! She was determined to make me see the feminist light but in those far off days, the “environment” wasn’t an issue so she focused on “liberating” me from my “views” about “Church”. Gimme strength.

        Looks like there’s very few of them these days. If it weren’t Lent, I’d shout “Alleluia!”

        March 13, 2015 at 6:29 pm
    • Frankier

      It’s funny how these feminist groups never complain about the devil being male.

      March 13, 2015 at 8:17 pm
      • editor


        Clever! You really are a wee devil, aren’t you?!* 😯

        March 13, 2015 at 9:53 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    This is very funny, from the SSPX news: I wasn’t sure which thread to put it on but it’s about apostasy, so I hope this is OK.

    “Toward a German Autocephalous Church?

    Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, is President of the German Bishops’ Conference. During a press conference in February he declared: “We are not a subsidiary of Rome.” And concerning the Synod this October that is supposed to discuss the question of divorced-and-remarried persons, he remarked: “We cannot wait for a Synod to tell us how we should conduct ourselves here with regard to marriage and pastoral ministry to the family.” Earlier, in January, the German prelate had asserted in an interview granted to the Jesuit magazine America: “We must look for ways for people to receive the Eucharist. It is not about finding ways to keep them out! We must find ways to welcome them.”

    Cardinal Marx is known for his intemperate progressivism. Moved by an uncontrollable urge to change the Church’s doctrine and discipline concerning the divorced-and-remarried, he is cutting a revolutionary figure. Bearer of a momentous surname, the red of his robes is perhaps not just cardinalatial. Now, in declaring that the Church in Germany is not a branch office of Rome, he appears to think that it could establish itself on its own and become autonomous or, more precisely, autocephalous. Which already prompts some wits to say that the prelate from beyond the Rhine had nothing Roman left but his collar.

    If you know that the hunger for change that torments the German bishops is caused not so much by pastoral solicitude as by economic worries (see DICI no. 309 dated January 30, 2015), then you wonder whether Cardinal Marx might not be a younger cousin of the Marx Brothers… making a cameo appearance in The Gold Rush.
    Father Alain Lorans

    March 13, 2015 at 11:29 am
  • Nicky

    There is definitely apostasy in the Vatican, that is a fact. Just how far does it extend, is what I’d like to know.

    March 13, 2015 at 2:46 pm
    • editor


      “Just how far does (the Vatican apostasy) extend, is what I’d like to know”

      Wouldn’t we all.

      Here’s a report in which Pope Francis says he thinks his pontificate will last only four or five years. I’m afraid my immediate – and very dispirited – response was “that long?”

      I really am a very bad girl. And anyway, even if the Pope reads this, who is he to judge? (I know, I know, that one’s been done to death… 😀 )

      One thing that astonishes me in that report, is the Pope’s claim to pray three rosaries a day. How on EARTH can anyone pray three rosaries a day (or even one) and yet undermine and attack the Faith as he is doing? Incredible.

      Our Lady of Fatima, Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for him…

      March 13, 2015 at 2:51 pm
  • Jobstears

    the seminar “could be a key agent in providing Pope Francis and others in leadership with both the vision and tools necessary to carry out his desire for a more incisive female presence in the Church.” and could help develop policy for the Church. participants could form a “de facto think tank” for the pope. “If the pope needs advice, there are women who can provide it

    We want just to highlight the different experiences of Catholic women and …put more focus on what they are doing for the poor and marginalized.”

    Do these women even know what the Church is? Has any one of them ever opened a children’s catechism book? Are they even remotely aware of Our Lady’s role in the Church?

    Does the Pope really think he will get away with this? Or does he just do outrageous and un Catholic things like this to keep himself in the public view? Who knows, this may lead the modernists who follow him blindly, to finally take the blinkers off. Maybe.

    March 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm
  • escriva

    God knows the answer , and me I don’t know what to say

    March 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm
    • editor


      I was about to say “that makes two of us” but in fact it makes millions of us! Even the neo-Catholics don’t know what to make of Papa Francis!

      March 13, 2015 at 9:50 pm
  • Petrus

    The pope has apparently joked about how proud Argentinians are. He is reported to have asked “How does an Argentinian commit suicide? He climbs to the top of his ego and jumps. How crude!

    March 13, 2015 at 6:06 pm
    • editor


      “The pope has apparently joked about how proud Argentinians are.”

      Some sharp wit might say “well he should know…”

      But not moi. I mean, would I?

      March 13, 2015 at 6:30 pm
  • editor

    Here’s some good news – in The Tablet of all rags…

    I know it’s not a lot of priests, but it shows they’re not all keeping silent. Maybe more will be touched in conscience, who knows.

    March 13, 2015 at 6:41 pm
  • Common Sense

    Tina Beattie is a practicing Catholic and has never questioned the orthodoxy or legitimacy of a reigning Pope. An interesting notion of apostasy is held by those who do such things.

    March 13, 2015 at 7:03 pm
    • Petrus

      But surely you know that questioning the Faith is much more serous than questioning the pope ?

      March 13, 2015 at 7:49 pm
      • westminsterfly


        Common Sense is now supporting Beattie, who is on public record for her dissenting views on a raft of issues, including abortion, homosexuality and women’s ordination. And yet he states she is a ‘practicing Catholic’ As I have said before, he is a troll with an unhealthy obsession with this blog.

        March 13, 2015 at 8:53 pm
      • Common Sense

        I am not supporting Tina Beattie. I have merely pointed out that, as far as I know, she is in Communion with The Catholic Church, and in espousing her views she doesn’t say The Pope, and The Magisterium, are wrong, and that she, not they, is the guardian of truth.

        March 14, 2015 at 6:05 am
      • westminsterfly

        First you make a statement saying she is a ‘practising Catholic’. Now you say ‘as far as I know she is in communion with the Catholic Church’. Perhaps it would be better for you to marshal your thoughts and check your facts before putting finger to keyboard in future. If she openly dissents from Church teaching on things such as women’s ordination, homosexuality and abortion (which she does) then in doing so, she is automatically opposing the Pope and the Magisterium.

        March 14, 2015 at 7:37 am
      • Jobstears


        What makes a Catholic a ‘good’ or ‘practicing’ Catholic? To blindly follow the Pope and bishops who dissent from Catholic teaching that has been handed down to them to safeguard? The Beattie woman is not saying the Magisterium is wrong, because she obviously could not be bothered to find out what it is saying in the first place. She has made up her own rules in defiance of what every pope has taught about Catholic morals. And in your book, that is OK?

        Do you also think the Borgia Popes were right to lead the lives they did and perhaps Catholics should have followed their example too? Please make up your mind, what makes a Catholic, Catholic – blind adherence to every word the Pope utters, unthinking acceptance of everything any corrupt and worldly bishop says or using the God-given intellect to learn the Faith, and being obedient to the Truth? We have been told numerous times- we are not at liberty to accept any teaching (or interpretation and re-interpretation of it) that contradicts what the Church has always held and taught, no matter how convenient it might be for modern man.

        March 14, 2015 at 1:38 pm
    • Athanasius


      Rejection of one dogma of the Faith or dissent from one article of moral teaching constitutes apostasy. If you don’t know that basic teaching of the Church then you really are in trouble.

      March 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm
      • Common Sense

        I am confident that only a Bishop can formally judge issues of heresy or apostasy. I believe few Bishops post here.

        March 14, 2015 at 6:06 am
      • westminsterfly

        And yet you seem to judge virtually everyone else who comes on this blog . . . perhaps you’re a bishop. You certainly write like one (and please don’t take that as a compliment !!!)

        March 14, 2015 at 7:42 am
      • Frankier


        From now on maybe CS should be either addressed as My Lord Bishop or completely ignored.

        Preferably the latter.

        March 14, 2015 at 12:49 pm
      • Petrus

        It’s the bishops who are guilty of these things today so I doubt they will be competent at making such judgements.

        March 14, 2015 at 8:05 am
      • editor

        Well, if you look at the history of the Church, you’ll find your confidence shaken to the core. We had a blog discussion on this very subject in June, 2014, which I’ll link for you here.

        At every time of crisis in the Church’s history, it is the laity who have spoken up and refused to accept novel teachings. You have an unhealthy trust in the clergy and hierarchy, CS. It’s not the Catholic way to treat our leadership as if they are all divinely inspired. That doesn’t even apply to the Pope. As Melchior Cano, theologian at Trent, points out, those who treat the pontiff as if everything he says and does comes from God, actually undermine the papacy – I paraphrase but that’s the gist of it.

        March 14, 2015 at 9:28 am
      • Athanasius


        I think the time has come to state clearly that you are not a person in good faith. You are a determined advocate for Modernism who has little appetite for authentic Magisterial teaching. Indeed, you even reject the infallible dogma ‘Outside the Church no salvation’.

        That you have now descended to the point of the ridiculous with comments supportive of the well-known moral dissenter Tina Beattie, tells me that you, very tragically, do not have the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

        Whether by ignorance or by malice, you have assumed to yourself the role of a champion of liberal Catholicism, a role for which you are educationally ill equipped.

        Misinterpretations of the documents of Vatican II combined with personal opinion and a call to blind obedience to the reigning Pope hardly constitutes a sound and objective response to the many authoritative Magisterial proofs posted here by a number of contributors, proofs which demonstrate beyond doubt that ‘Modernism,” called by St. Pius X “the synthesis of all heresies,” is rampant in the Church today, right up to the highest levels.

        But even if this evidence was insufficient to convince you that the grave errors highlighted by the pre-Vatican II Popes have become a reality in today’s Church, you should at least be troubled by what you observe at parish level. That you do not apparently recognise or acknowledge the tragedy unfolding before your own eyes, even at this basic level, is indicative of an absence of supernatural faith and wisdom.

        Whatever the reason for your blindness, I think the time has come for you to depart this blog. It seems to me that Editor and all the other contributors here have been extremely patient with you for quite some time now, offering, as I said, many proofs that would have made the most stubborn of liberals re-evaluate their position by now (assuming good faith). That you continue to ignore or dance around such in-your-face evidence, even growing bolder in your defence of the indefensible, suggests that you are wasting both your time and ours by continuing here.

        Personally, I have decided not to respond to any further contributions you make. I hope the others will also cut you adrift, shaking the dust from their feet. It’s not as if you have been denied sufficient time and space to enter fully into objective Catholic debate with contributors here, just that your agenda clearly excludes that possibility.

        March 14, 2015 at 1:21 pm
    • editor


      As a blogger said elsewhere: “If Tina Beattie’s a Catholic, I’m a banana”. Read the original blog post below…

      “Completely off-topic, but some people might want to read this comment by Tina Beattie on the Tablet blog. It’s in response to Edmund Adamus’s summary of the findings of the recent questionnaire on marriage and family life. Sorry, but I don’t have time to write an article about it. If she’s a Catholic, I’m a banana.

      Comment by: Tina Beattie Posted: 03/03/2014 16:13:24

      Those of us who tried to answer the questionnaire honestly and in a way that might be helpful to the synod on the family are misrepresented by Edmund Adamus’s ‘reflection’.

      Like most other Catholics I know, I respect the Church’s teaching on marriage and parenthood. I also know from experience that marriage and family life can induce agonies of guilt over our inevitable failures and shortcomings. However, I do not experience guilt over deciding in good conscience to use contraception to limit the number of children we had. I do not feel ashamed of my adult children for cohabiting with partners who have enriched our lives by their friendship. I do not feel compelled to pass negative judgement on the loving relationships of my gay friends. I am glad that some of my divorced Catholic friends have found joy in second marriages, and I want to share the sacraments with them. In other words, I’m like the vast majority of Catholics whose answers to the questionnaire have been made public.

      I seek from the Church the formation I know I need most – formation that has to do with love and generosity of spirit, with faithfulness and integrity, with wisdom and discretion, with prayer and discernment. The list is long, but it does not include learning to regard contraception, premarital sex and homosexuality as intrinsically evil, nor does it include regarding divorced and remarried Catholics as people uniquely barred from the forgiveness offered by Christ in the sacraments.” Click here to read source

      Practising Catholic? Yeah right. There’s a key distinction to be made between being a Mass-going Catholic and a practising Catholic. Reflect…

      March 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm
    • Frankier


      They say practice makes perfection so let’s hope she keeps practicing but it looks like she has a long road ahead for her to even get out of first gear.

      March 13, 2015 at 11:44 pm
  • Frankier

    I wonder if the involvement they desire in Church affairs extends to doing some weeding and general labouring works in their church grounds.

    March 13, 2015 at 8:24 pm
    • editor


      What! You want us to risk splitting a nail? Gerrourahere!

      March 13, 2015 at 9:54 pm
      • Frankier


        In Tina’s case it might mean splitting a hoof.

        March 13, 2015 at 11:48 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I wonder how many Catholics are giving up the faith because of scandals like this, the things Pope Francis is saying, the Synod etc? It really is very testing.

    March 14, 2015 at 12:45 pm
  • Spero

    Margaret Mary
    I am not at the point of giving up the Catholic faith, but I do wonder if Pope Francis and certain cardinals ever feel any compassion —– mercy—— for Catholics who have kept the faith through trials, family life problems, difficulties of all kinds.

    Do they ever think of those who enter the Catholic Church, leaving behind another faith, friends, even family; doing so because the doctrines of the Church have won them over? They embrace these hard won truths, and now the princes of the Church are endeavouring to say it was all for nothing.

    With regard to people like Tina Beattie, I have always wondered what motivates them, even years ago, before the present crisis.

    Would a person remain in, say a trade union, if he/she could not absolutely subscribe to the basic tenets of the union? It would be unlikely. People in unions that I’ve known would have had more integrity than that.

    When a person leaves a church because it’s truths are not believed anymore, and enters another church where the doctrine is believed, is it not the honourable thing to do?

    More than that, how is there any alternative? Why belong to an institution whose mission statement and policies are wrong headed in your opinion? Why ?

    We know why of course.

    Now for a long time the agent provocateurs have known their agitation is more effective within the Church whose face they want to disfigure beyond all recognition. And now, at last, with the present Pope, they can show their true colours.

    But the Tina Beatties of the Church, and many women and.men, and many priests —–Cardinals as well——– have been working away, giving silent, and sometimes not so silent approval to the goings on.

    March 14, 2015 at 4:28 pm
    • westminsterfly

      Exactly Spero. The dissident radical feminist Rosemary Radford Ruether was once asked why she stayed in the Church having rejected most, if not all, Church teaching. She replied “I stay because the Church has the Xerox machines, and you need the Xerox machines in order to win the revolution”.

      March 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm
  • Perplexed

    How can there be apostasy in a place that has just announced a special Holy Year centered on Divine Mercy? Isn’t it wonderful news? No longer perplexed, now conviced that Francis is the greatest!

    March 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm
    • Pizza Delivery Man

      Exactly, Perplexed, I agree. Also, how can there be apostasy in a place where the boss will resign because he misses going out for a pizza? I’d offer to deliver his pizzas but I think it’s so cool that he would resign rather than go without his pizzas. Real cool, man!

      March 14, 2015 at 5:37 pm
      • editor

        I was driving into town today when I heard the BBC radio 4 news reporter quoting Pope Francis saying he might resign in a couple of years, that he missed being able to go out anonymously for a pizza and I couldn’t believe my ears. Just when I think I’ve heard it all from the lips of Papa Francis, he shocks again. He also apparently thanked Pope Benedict for “instituting” the “resigning” pope – words to that effect. Beyond – and I do mean “beyond” – belief.

        Here is a man who has made a profession out of causing turmoil in the Church and instead of thinking “I’ll resign because I’m really not good at this, don’t believe it all” thinks “I think I’ll resign so I can go out and buy pizza again…”

        Gimme – and I do mean GIMME – strength !

        Just imagine the Queen saying that: “one would love to go out and buy pizza without anyone recognising one or thinking anything of it. One just may abdicate, one must give it due consideration. First, though, one must remember to ask Philip to drive one to the nearest Pizza Hut. No point in resigning if one is not near a Pizza Hut…”

        Do us all a favour, Papa Francis – to out and buy a pizza. It’d be a less damaging headline that the ones we are getting used to reading…

        Or, (“cool, man” reminded me)… it IS possible to buy some frozen pizzas so maybe someone could tip off the pontiff asap.

        March 14, 2015 at 9:43 pm
      • Michaela

        What the pope actually said about pope Benedict and resigning was extremely important, as he seems to be saying this is the way forward in the future:

        “I think what Benedict did with so much courage was open the door to popes emeritus,” Francis said in the interview broadcast late on Thursday. “Benedict should not be considered as an exception but as an institution.”

        March 14, 2015 at 11:04 pm
      • editor

        Thanks for that – I’ve linked to that MSNBC report on our website now.

        This is insidious, the idea that popes resigning should be the norm, and for what – to go out and buy pizza?

        What if the next pope misses going to MacDonald’s? How long will it be before HE resigns? Gimme strength!

        March 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm
      • Common Sense

        With regards pizza. The issue isn’t actually pizza, but the desire of an humble man to escape the limelight sometimes. True humility from a good Pope. No flamboyant earthly King in a medieval Palace.

        March 15, 2015 at 6:15 am
      • Petrus

        False humility. Refusing to separate the man from the office. He has no respect for the office and is obsessed with his image. Truly humble people don’t go around telling everyone they are humble.

        March 15, 2015 at 10:14 am
      • Common Sense

        I do not think he has claimed to be humble. Commentators, and the media, have spoken of signs of his humility.

        March 15, 2015 at 1:13 pm
      • editor

        Petrus, so true. The minute I found that out, I stopped telling everyone and now I feel so much MORE humble. Honestly… 😀

        March 15, 2015 at 1:46 pm
      • Frankier


        Do you think he would be as keen on resigning if he had to go out into the big bad world and do an ordinary job to earn the pesetas for his pizza?

        March 15, 2015 at 11:48 am
      • editor

        What a headline that would make…

        Pope’s Pesetas Pay For Pizza…

        [Well, it’s late and I’m ready to hit the hay!]

        March 15, 2015 at 11:29 pm
      • Frankier

        Or, Pesetas Pauchled from Peter’s Pence Pays for Pope’s Pizza.

        March 16, 2015 at 12:28 am
      • Petrus

        Personally, if he’s going to resign, I wish he would hurry up and get on with it!

        March 15, 2015 at 7:01 am
      • Vianney

        Why can’t he just phone up and get the pizza delivered like any normal person??

        March 15, 2015 at 10:39 pm
      • editor


        Excellent point. After all he’s phoning just about everyone else!

        March 15, 2015 at 11:27 pm
    • Common Sense

      An interesting observation.

      March 14, 2015 at 6:50 pm
    • Athanasius

      “No longer perplexed.” But obviously still insane!

      I suppose that Holy Year centered on the Divine Mercy will culminate in the Synod on the Family being railroaded into accepting Communion for the divorced and remarried and a lighter view taken of the sin crying out to heaven for vengeance. Me thinks it will be a year more Holey than Godly, all things considered!

      March 14, 2015 at 7:24 pm
      • Perplexed

        Why do you sometimes preface, garnish or conclude your legitimate and interesting reactions to (some) bloggers with puerile and superficial Language?

        March 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm
      • Athanasius

        I really don’t know why I do that. My suspicion is that even I have been tainted to some degree by the “spirit of Vatican II”. You want to read through some of those Modernist Church documents, they’re replete with the puerile and the superficial!

        March 14, 2015 at 8:53 pm
      • editor

        Goodness, Perplexed – we gotta have SOME fun 😀

        March 14, 2015 at 9:34 pm
      • Perplexed

        LOL, Ed and touchè, I do like your sense of humor, God bless!!!

        March 15, 2015 at 10:15 am
    • editor

      Me, too. The greatest threat to Catholicism since Martin Luther.

      March 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm
  • Spero


    Because I think in the first instance that this is a Machiavellian ruse to predispose the mind of good Catholics towards the overarching concept of ——–mercy. Mercy is what we hope for, pray for and revere as a Christian virtue. So in the Year of Mercy how can Catholics deny any policies, relatios, that propound the quality of mercy as being the end game? All that matters.

    I have to hand it to him / them. It is Jesuitical, big time!

    March 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm
    • Athanasius


      Exactly right! I don’t suppose there will be much mercy being dished out from Rome to the likes of Cardinal Burke and the Franciscans of the Immaculate. We may be about to witness mercy being used as a cloak for malice!

      March 14, 2015 at 7:34 pm
  • Spero

    And it does not matter when the year of mercy actually begins because
    Catholics the world over have already assimilated the buzzword/concept/ focus.
    We are to be all about mercy, no matter the cost.

    March 14, 2015 at 6:35 pm
    • editor


      This “mercy” mantra drives me nuts. As Athanasius has already pointed out, there’s no mercy for Cardinal Burke and anyone else who dares to challenge the Kasper Camp.

      At one time, we only had Holy Years at (I think it was) 25 year intervals. Now, there seems to be one every five minutes. Or is it ten… You’ll get my drift.

      March 14, 2015 at 9:37 pm
      • Common Sense

        In what way has cardinal Burke been denied mercy? He is a Priest/Bishop/Cardinal and has and honorary role that should give him time to get back in touch with The Church, and his faith. He is no doubt living in a fairly luxurious place, and probably flies first, or Business, Class to speak for extensive fee’s whilst staying in Five Star Hotels, Many people of a similar age are still working, can travel little, and struggle to pay their bills, and have to tend to their faith in addition to their many other duties.

        March 15, 2015 at 6:11 am
  • John Kearney

    In the 80 s in England Feminists ruled the roost. They had the backing of the English bishops and their own Conference of Women which met regularly under the patronage of the Catholic Bishops. But they were not there just for women ordination and this became very clear. They were not religious people but were led by Academics who were determines to change the Catholic Church into a secular organisation. I remember when they took over La Sainte Union in Southmpton, a Rosemary Radford-Ruther was invited to give a talk there. She was a leading member in the secular Womans Liberation movement and in respect of equality of pay and anti discrimination they did achieve but they made a decision to expand their movement into the Church. Led by academics such as Tina Beattie priests and bishops fell at their feet, But things changed almost overnight, suddenly their excesses and scorn for the Church woke the Bishops up. Declan Lang is interesting he was auxiliary to Bishop Hollis of Portsmouth who had invited Mary Grey to feminise the diocese. Yet even he turned down Tina Beattie although Roehampton was the recognised place to study in the Portsmouth Diocese. What was sad was that when Pope Benedict visited it was to Roehampton he was brought to show Catholic Education at work. There was an interesting exchange there between some students and the Pope which many would have not understood. The students stated they were going to grow up to be scientists, doctors, or some other profession. The Pope replied that he hoped they would grow up to be Catholic scientists, doctors, etc. It may seem a small point but they had been taught that holiness consisted in doing ordinary things extraordinary well, a misquote from a Bishop Challoner. Prayer and fasting and even charity has nothing to do with it. That is the secular agenda within the Church. Tina Beattie holds a homosexual conference at Southampton ever summer. She also believes that Christ is against families because as she once said he told us to hate our fathers and mothers The Editor from her time in Portsmouth Diocese could prabably tell as many horror stories as I can.

    March 14, 2015 at 6:36 pm
    • editor


      I was only in Portsmouth Diocese for a year but could write the proverbial book. Don’t tempt me. Ranked as one of the worst dioceses in the UK then, so Heavens knows what it must be like now.

      March 14, 2015 at 9:38 pm
  • Spero

    Even worse then than the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh was?


    Cardinal Burke was removed in 2013 from the Congregation for Bishops.
    He has now been removed as head of the Apostolic Signatura, a post he loved and was well able for( he is still only 64 or thereabout).
    Copies of the book to which he was a major contributor,” Remaining in the Truth of Christ ” were not allowed the right of passage to the other bishops but were confiscated/ squirreled away/ whatever.

    The present Pope and his band of brothers will brook NO person nor order successful in the promotion of a traditional conviction.

    It is as it is.

    Now, it may be,CS, that you are of pope Francis’ persuasion. That is your choice. All the evidence, even in the secular press, admit Pope Francis is not a friend to tradition and anyone who contends that stance. At least admit such people get short shrift from him ie no ………. Mercy!

    March 15, 2015 at 9:12 am
    • Common Sense

      I believe the “banned” book can be easily purchased. (Didn’t the current Head of The CDF, appointed by Pope Francis, contribute to the book?)

      If any person, in any role, is not up to it, or suited to it, justice demands they are moved, and given to someone more suited. The jobs are, rightly, in the gift of The Pope, and any one who needs to be moved should be.

      The membership of every Vatican Body is changed over time, and often with a new Pope. It revitalises them, or at least that is the hope.

      The current Head of The C.D.F. is noted for his traditional views, and has been spoken of warmly, in that light, on self proclaimed “Traditional” Blogs. He was appointed by the man who moved the Burke from the Congregation of Bishops, and The Signatura.

      The current man overseeing Liturgy is an arch-conservative, but strangely his views are rejected by Trad’s as he emphasises the Teaching, of the Arch Conservative, Pope Benedict on The E.F..

      It is strange that. some Tradition is too “Traditional” for self proclaimed “Traditionalists”, who preach down to every else about loyalty and orthodoxy.

      I am in the camp of The Holder of The See of Rome, as any Catholic in Communion with Rome should be.

      March 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm
      • Petrus

        Just a shame the occupant of the See of St Peter isn’t there ! Remember, even Archbishop Tartaglia remarked “Francis was there but Peter wasn’t”!

        March 15, 2015 at 2:19 pm
      • editor

        “I am in the camp of The Holder of The See of Rome, as any Catholic in Communion with Rome should be.”

        Hmmmm… We’ll need to mull that one over as we peruse the case of St Athanasius, now Doctor of the Church, who was certainly NOT “In the camp of the Holder of The See of Rome..” blah blah during a certain early major crisis in the Church.

        However, since we’ve pointed out this out to CS over and over and over again on this blog, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll pay any attention this time either. Ach well. That’s life…

        March 15, 2015 at 9:09 pm
  • Spero


    The book” Remaining in the Truth of Christ ” is not “banned”. That would be too honest a declaration of intent. Opting in to buying the book is quite different from that same book being delivered to you, inviting you to study the content. This is precisely what was denied.

    The point you obscure is that the NEED for removal from the posts Cardinal Burke held was not due to the inadequacy of Cardinal Burke. No, the need of which you speak, was the NEED of the Pope and his Cardinals to be rid of the “turbulent priest”.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the Emeritus Pope appointed Cardinal Muller.

    With regard to the latter’s still being in situ, come on, if you sack every one who has “traditional” views, even a Pope becomes too transparent in his intentions. Too soon for that yet.

    To imply that those such as Cardinals Burke, Pell, Sarah and many such men and indeed lay people, do not have the deepest loyalty to the Catholic Church, does not hold any water. Disagree if you must, but grant them the dignity merited by the convictions they hold.

    March 15, 2015 at 7:47 pm
    • editor


      Well said.

      And the fact is, Cardinal Muller was not known to be a “traditionalist” on his appointment to the CDF – very far from it. There was a hue and cry when he was first appointed by Pope Benedict, and we expressed our concerns here about the fact that the then Archbishop Müller was said to be “not a man of secure doctrine”— e.g. he held (holds?) questionable views on the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Eucharist: he suggested we shouldn’t use the term “body and blood of Christ” to describe the consecrated elements and ecumenism… he once declared that Protestants are “already part of the Church” founded by Christ.

      It says something, therefore, when even a “liberal” of some repute like Cardinal Muller has felt compelled to speak out to criticise the conduct of the first part of the Synod on the Family and to put his name to a book defending marriage against the Vatican camp led by the Pope’s favourite “theologian” (dissenter) Cardinal Kasper.

      March 15, 2015 at 9:05 pm
    • Athanasius


      Your comments hit the nail right on the head.

      One point I would like to raise with you, however, is your use of the term “Emeritus Pope” in relation to Benedict XVI. There can be no such thing in the Church as an Emeritus Pope, for then there would be two Popes – one reigning and one retired. Such an innovation is alien to the Catholic Church, contrary to reason and dangerously undermining of the unique authority of the Holy See.

      When Benedict XVI renounced the Papal Throne he ceased to be Pope, simple as that. Now, he may reside in the Vatican and walk around cloaked in white garments using the title “Emeritus Pope”, But in the eyes of God he is merely Cardinal Ratzinger.

      To be fair to him, he did not intend to assume such a title upon his abdication. It was Pope Francis who created the anomaly of the Emeritus Pope and insisted that Cardinal Ratzinger accept it. Francis, as we know, has since gone on to speak of Benedict’s renouncement of the Papacy as something to be admired and imitated; not a sad one off but rather a new “institution” that he himself intends to follow. No one, it seems, has caught on to what Francis is doing. He is quite deliberately attempting to change the office of the Papacy from a uniquely divine office to a democratic board job, from which one may retire at will. No Catholic can accept this disgraceful tampering with a divinely instituted office.

      I will never recognise this false title and would urge all other Catholics to reject it. It is a Modernist ruse intended to alter Church teaching concerning the unique and supreme authority of the Successor of St. Peter. The Modernists tried and failed to change the teaching at Vatican II, so now they make a second attempt by the back door. Once we accept the proposition of a retired Emeritus Pope, the autocratic Papacy of Tradition becomes the democratic Papacy of Modernism.

      March 15, 2015 at 9:20 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        I was very interested to read that Pope Francis insisted on the title pope emeritus. I tried to find that online but all the reports I found just said that he had discussed what his title should be with “others” the I found out that he really wanted to be called just Father Benedict but didn’t want to enforce it, so that supports what you say that he was forced to accept the title of emeritus.

        I don’t recognise that title either and I never use it myself, just “Pope Benedict” and I’m glad to see that most other people on this blog do the same.

        March 16, 2015 at 10:21 am
      • Athanasius

        Margaret Mary,

        The problem with Cardinal Ratzinger is that he has gone along with a situation he knows to be both irregular and dangerous. My problem with this is that I’m not sure if he is going along with it through weakness of character or because he’s fundamentally as Modernist as Francis. Either way, he has caused the Church a lot of anguish by his actions.

        March 16, 2015 at 2:09 pm
  • Spero


    I understand what you are saying with regard to the title ” emeritus”.

    I have thought, along with others, that the present Pope from the moment of his election, has tried to make the Papal office just another “board job”.

    In removing the ” trappings ” of his office from the personal accoutrements, to to the more striking facets, all of which denote the unique nature of his office, the Pope is in the business of ” dumbing down” the papal office.

    At first some decisions were attributed to Pope Francis’ humility, and no doubt he was happy enough to go along with this perception, but as time goes on, it becomes more obvious ( I would have thought ) that the ” sloughing off ” of much that defines the Papacy of Tradition, has the intent of changing the office forever.

    Look, many people will be OK with that. Some will actually welcome it. Some will not. That’s it.

    March 16, 2015 at 9:49 am
    • Athanasius


      Yes, you’re absolutely right to say that Pope Francis is diluting the authority of the Papal office, the phoney emeritus title for Benedict being a major part of that process. I can’t see how any true Catholic with an understanding of the Petrine office could be OK with such a Modernist assault on the Papal office, though. Mind you, I have been amazed to see just how much novelty Catholics have accepted since Vatican II, apparently unaware of, or indifferent to, what these innovations mean for the Church and the Faith.

      What has shocked me the most, however, is the number of so-called Traditional Catholics who use the Emeritus title for Benedict without so much as a second thought about the Modernist deviation they are acknowledging. It’s like those daft conservatives who think they do well by using the term “Extraordinary rite” to describe the Church’s ancient and legitimate liturgy, not realising that they’re being played by the Vatican’s liberal elite who are very proficient manipulators of words and titles to the detriment of the Catholic religion.

      March 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Exactly Athanasius. After Pope Gregory XII ‘abdicated’ in 1415, he did not become ‘Pope Emeritus’, he became instead the Bishop of Frascati, Dean of the College of Cardinals and perpetual legate of Ancona. Likewise, look at this article concerning Pius XII and his possible abdication in the event of his arrest by the Nazis:


        He would have left the Vatican as Eugenio Pacelli, not Pius XII, demonstrating that he would have reverted to being a Cardinal. The One Church must always have One Shepherd. The Church must be one in governance and leadership, and any attempts at dividing and whittling down the supremacy and unity of the papal office must be resisted. I was talking to a Catholic, a Polish lady, as devout as any, who said, without a hint of concern at this state of affairs, ‘oh well, we’ve got two Popes’. I told her my view, and that I pray for Pope Francis and Cardinal Ratzinger. He’s not the Pope no more.

        Were there two Christ’s?

        March 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm
      • editor

        Christopher Ferrara’s article at the time of the resignation, makes very interesting reading: I’ve copied an extract below, with link to the rest…

        Two questions immediately present themselves: Can a Pope resign, that is, abdicate, and why did Pope Benedict do so? The first is easily answered, at least technically. As the Catholic Encyclopedia observes: “Like every other ecclesiastical dignity, the papal throne may also be resigned.” Indeed, “[t]he reasons which make it lawful for a bishop to abdicate his see, such as the necessity or utility of his particular church, or the salvation of his own soul, apply in a stronger manner to the one who governs the universal church.” And while there is no higher earthly authority to which a Pope can tender his resignation, “he himself by the papal power can dissolve the spiritual marriage between himself and the Roman Church.” We can dispense by anticipation with any contrary canonical arguments we can expect hear from the amateur canonists of the Internet. None other than Pope Boniface VIII, that great exemplar of the papal supremacy, decreed the inherent capacity of a Pope to resign his own office, which decree is codified in the Corpus Juris Canonici (Cap. Quoniam I, de renun., in 6).

        So, technically and logically at least a Pope has the capacity to renounce his own office as Vicar of Christ. And the abdication of a Pope, while exceedingly rare, is not unprecedented. There are several examples, including the well-known abdication of Pope Celestine V in 1294. One case is particularly striking: Pope Benedict IX (1033-44), who “had long caused scandal to the Church by his disorderly life, freely renounced the pontificate and took the habit of a monk,” to be succeeded by Clement II. (Benedict IX attempted to reclaim the papal throne after Clement’s death, but evidently failed in the endeavor).

        But the abdication of Benedict XVI appears to be sui generis—a purely discretionary decision by a pontiff who is neither incapacitated nor under some objective duty to resign on account of, say, personal scandal or a contested election that has thrown the Church into turmoil, as we see with the abdication of Pope Gregory XII during the Great Western Schism. Quite the contrary, by all appearances, including the elegant text of his own statement of resignation, the Pope retains to the full his intellectual acuity and suffers from no life-threating medical condition, as the Vatican itself insists. Read more

        March 16, 2015 at 4:51 pm
      • Athanasius


        That was a very interesting, if lengthy, article by Chris Ferrara. Reading again the words spoken by Benedict XVI to the Consistory of Cardinals on that fateful day (February 10, 2013), it is clear that the Pope did not “resign” from office. Rather, he “renounced” the Papacy, which is to say he abdicated. The Modernists in the hierarchy together with their cohorts in the liberal media have since misapplied the word “resign” to Benedict’s action for their own ends, but Benedict by his own mouth did not resign.

        Monarchs “renounce” thrones, they do not “resign” them. That’s why Benedict chose the word “renounce.” He was telling us that the Papacy comes with a throne, not a CEO’s chair. All the more reason why no Catholic should refer to Benedict now as “Pope Emeritus.”

        As for the rest of the article, I was unconvinced with Chris Ferrara’s suggestion that Benedict may have abdicated because he did not want to canonise John Paul II. He seems to forget that it was Benedict XVI who instigated the Cause of JPII, waiving even the statutory 5-year wait time after death. He also seems to have overlooked the fact that Benedict paid his own tribute to JPII when he attended yet another infamous inter-religious gathering at Assisi.

        March 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm
      • editor


        Completely agree about the JP II business. I was amazed that Ferrara said those things. A senior moment or two perhaps? At his age?

        March 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm
  • Nolite Timere

    Just as an aside, a retired Bishop is the Emeritus Bishop of X (it appears there are more Emeriti in Scotland than actual Bishops)

    Benedict was Bishop of Rome (and at the same time Pope) so now he is the Emeritus Bishop of Rome, the logical conclusion follows that he is also Pope Emeritus?

    March 16, 2015 at 8:23 pm
    • editor


      I think Athanasius has highlighted the answer to that one above, in his comment on the Chris Ferrara article from The Remnant – Benedict made clear that he was abdicating – renouncing, not resigning. We didn’t call King Edward Emeritus King when he abdicated, did we (or those of you around at the time, didn’t! And we don’t today, either.)

      March 16, 2015 at 8:30 pm
    • Athanasius

      Nolite Timere,

      You have that the wrong way round! Benedict was the Pope (and at the same time Bishop of Rome). The Papacy always supersedes lesser episcopal offices because it is the highest office, the office of Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.

      Once that confusion is sorted out, we can say that at best Benedict could have been called emeritus Bishop of Rome, but even that would have been a spurious title with no real meaning. I say again, there can be no such thing in the Church as a Pope Emeritus. It’s a complete nonsense. Anyway, emeritus bishops are retired bishops, not abdicated ones. Benedict did not retire or resign, he RENOUNCED the Papacy.

      March 16, 2015 at 8:41 pm
      • Perplexed

        you are SO wrong!! He is pope BECAUSE he is the Bihop of Rome. Church history docet!

        March 16, 2015 at 9:21 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        I think you are referring to the Supremacy of the Bishop of Rome – but nobody says there’ll be a conclave to elect a new Bishop of Rome, do they, with all due respect.

        March 16, 2015 at 10:32 pm
  • Christina

    But remember that after Our Lord had ascended into heaven, and the Holy Ghost had descended upon them, the Apostles dispersed, establishing the apostolic churches of which they were the first bishops. Each of them ordained his successor and in the earliest days, the Bishops of Rome, St. Peter’s successors, received no special prominence. It was only later that the title ‘Pope’ was applied uniquely to the successors of St. Peter as ‘first among equals’ and this claim was one of the causes of the East/West Schism in 1054. What, I wonder, is in Pope Francis’s mind when he claims to be ‘Bishop of Rome’ rather than ‘Pope’? Perhaps he wants the next conclave to elect a new Bishop of Rome! Part of his game plan to destroy the papacy??

    March 17, 2015 at 12:04 am
  • Athanasius


    I have to take issue with you on that. The Bishop of Rome always had special prominence above all other Bishops and was NEVER considered just “one among equals”. That particular heresy was dealt with in Pastor Aeternus.”

    Right from the earliest times the Apostles and their successors recognised in Peter the Supreme head of the Church, as Christ Our Lord had decreed when He said “Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church… To thee do I give the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven… Feed my sheep…” etc.

    I agree that the term “Pope” came into use much later but that does not detract from the fact that all Catholics from the first century recognised in Peter the supreme authority over the entire Church.

    March 17, 2015 at 12:38 am
  • Christina

    Thank you, Athanasius – I will certainly check up on Pastor aeternus again, and will meanwhile withdraw the ‘first among equals’ heresy! However, my point, perhaps badly expressed, was simply to agree with Perplexed, who correctly said, from Church history, that the Pope is the Pope precisely because he is the Bishop of Rome. St. Irenaus, writing in the second half of the of the second century, confirms the pre-eminence of the Roman See, but refers to those who sit upon the chair of Peter as ‘Bishops of Rome’ and compiled a list of those bishops up until his own day. As he was writing against heresies, not all, at that time, did acknowledge the supremacy of the Roman see.

    ….. the bishops of the greatest and most ancient Church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, that Church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the Apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition. [then follows a list of successors to Peter as Bishops of Rome] (Against Heresies 3:3:1-3)

    March 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm
    • Athanasius


      Yes, having read up quite a bit on the Papacy I agree that Perplexed, and Nolite Timere, were right about the Bishop of Rome.

      But what I also noticed during my research is that “Pope” and “Bishop of Rome” along with so many other titles, such as Vicar of Christ, Supreme Pontiff of the Church, Successor of St. Peter, etc., are synonymous with each other so that no matter which one is used, the universal authority of the Papacy remains in tact.

      This having been said, it seems the Modernists prefer Bishop of Rome for no other reason than that it sounds less authoritative and therefore better facilitates false Collegiality, the old “one amongst equals” heresy. That’s why Francis uses the title almost exclusively, as do his liberal cohorts who desire to undermine the authority and dignity of the Chair of Peter.

      The bottom line is that the Pope, using whatever title, is no less the unique and supreme head of the Universal Church, to whose Christ-given authority all Cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and laity are subject. In other words, the Pope has no equal, he is above all in the Church by Our Lord’s own mouth.

      March 17, 2015 at 2:49 pm
  • Nolite Timere

    For once I knew something that Athanasius didn’t!!! It feels like all my Christmas’s have came at once!!!

    March 17, 2015 at 8:36 pm
    • editor


      I hope it’s my turn soon 😀

      March 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm
    • Athanasius

      Nolite Timere,

      And I now have the misery of acknowledging that I am not, after all, infallible. Drat!

      March 17, 2015 at 10:16 pm
      • perplexed


        An interesting and thought-provoking post (above, at 14.29, on 17 March). One element that adds even more weight to your argument concerning the supremacy of the Pope is the fact that, after the voting in the Sistine chapel has produced a “winner”, he is explicitly asked if he accepts his election as Supreme Pontiff (“Acceptasne electionem de te canonice factam in Summum Pontificem? Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?”). Once he gives his assent, he is asked by which name he will be known…as Pope!
        I am interested in your opinion regarding a deliberate attempt to undermine the uniqueness of the Petrine ministry. What purpose would it serve?

        March 18, 2015 at 10:08 am
      • editor


        Athanasius will no doubt respond to you in his own time, but it seems pretty obvious even to a gal of my simple mind, that if the “uniqueness of the Petrine ministry” is undermined, it serves the purpose of undermining the (unique) authority of the Pope in his key role as Supreme Pontiff, supreme teacher. If he’s only first amongst equals, his authority must take account of what his equals think, whereas, even in Lumen Gentium we read that this is not the case:

        “And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith,(166) by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals.(42*) And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment.

        For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*)” (LG # 25)

        March 18, 2015 at 2:57 pm
  • Athanasius


    Sorry it has taken a wee while for me to answer, I have a bit of a Flu-like bug today and so I’m not at my best. Our Lord knows how to administer all the best lenten penances!!

    I’ll begin this response by answering your final question first. The purpose served by undermining the uniqueness of the Petrine ministry is that the authority given directly to Peter by Our Lord gets decentralised to the Bishops, or, as is more common today, the Bishops’ Conferences. What this amounts to in effect is that the autocratic authority instituted by Christ for His Church becomes a democracy, which new system of government not only robs the Papacy of its Supreme legislative power, but also robs each bishop of his individual diocesan authority.

    Here is an excerpt from the 2014 article I had published in the Angelus magazine. It should answer your question with more clarity. The entire article is available somewhere on this blog:

    From Autocracy to Democracy

    ‘Nor is there continuity with the past in respect to Collegiality. In his Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre explains that Our Lord instructed individuals, not a collectivity, to tend His sheep. The Apostles obeyed Our Lord’s orders, and until the twentieth century it remained thus. The pope alone enjoyed supreme power and jurisdiction over the universal Church, and each bishop, subject to this Petrine authority, enjoyed full power within
    his diocese. Then the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium appeared hinting at a new democratic structure of government, according to which the College of Bishops together with the pope exercises supreme power over the Church in habitual and continual manner. It was a novel idea of double supremacy that ran contrary to the definitions of Vatican Council I and to Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Satis Cognitum. Notwithstanding this contradiction, however, and largely dismissive of the footnote of correction attached at the end of the conciliar document in question,
    the post-conciliar Church has since witnessed a universal transformation of National Bishops’
    Conferences from those purely consultative bodies approved by St. Pius X to decision-making entities operating on the principle of the democratic vote and ‘majority rule’; whereby the government of the pope and that of each bishop in his diocese has frequently been trumped in practice by pressure from the presbyterial college. Hence the universal imposition and extension
    against the expressed wishes of the popes of such abuses as Communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the scandal of U.S. marriage annulments that rose from 700 in 1969 to more than 50,000 by 1995, the introduction of doctrinally unsound Catechisms into Holland, Canada and France without corrections ordered by the Holy See having been made, etc. I could quote many such examples, but perhaps the most revealing proof is the letter of explanation Pope Benedict XVI felt obliged to issue to the various Episcopal Conferences in an attempt to soothe a less than favorable reception of his 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. What this letter highlighted was the pressure the popes have experienced since the advent of Collegiality; reducing them to issuing reassurances, suggestions and advice instead of issuing the orders needed to get the Church back on the right track, condemning when necessary, as the popes have hitherto done as primary guardians of the deposit of faith. Well did Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani once observe that the only recording in history of Collegiality at work among the Apostles was when they collectively abandoned Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane! Adding further to the confusion is the teaching of the new Code of Canon Law (1983) that power resides in the “people of God.” This tendency towards what they call bringing the base into sharing the exercise of power can be found all through present structures—synod, episcopal conferences, priests’ councils, pastoral councils, Roman commissions, national commissions, etc.; and there are equivalents in religious orders. So now pastoral councils instruct the priests; the priests’ councils instruct the bishops; the bishops’ vote in the conferences and the conferences dictate to the pope. In effect, it is authority turned on its head so that what was once a top-down structure of Church government has become a bottom-up structure of so many contradictory opinions and methods that it can truly be stated that collegiality of the magisterium has resulted in paralysis of the magisterium.’

    It’s worth noting as an aside that over a number of centuries, from the Protestant Reformation, through the French and Russian Revolutions, it has been a principle dogma of Freemasonry to supplant all autocratic (monarchical) rule with democratic rule in every nation on earth.

    The reason for this determined policy is twofold. First, it eradicates all belief in God-given individual authority. Secondly, it allows for the supplanting of God’s Commandments by cliques of like-minded persons overruling the divine law by popular vote.

    That’s why Cardinal Suenens declared that Vatican II is “The French Revolution in the Church.” When Paul VI renounced the Papal tiara and Lumen Gentium almost succeeded in introducing condemned Collegiality, he knew it was only a matter of time until the autocracy of the Papacy was eradicated. This is why Pope Francis is such a gift to the Church’s enemies, because, more than any of his predecessors, he seems absolutely committed to the Freemasonic ideal for the Papacy.

    March 18, 2015 at 3:58 pm

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