Pope Francis Confidence Vote – Yes? No?

Pope Francis Confidence Vote – Yes? No?

The Pope’s Council of Advisors Declares that it supports “His Magisterium”
But what about the Magisterium? Not so much.
by Christopher A. Ferrara
February 17, 2017  
Pope Francis - transgressing the limits of THE Magisterium...
Pope Francis – transgressing the limits of THE Magisterium…

One of Francis’ first acts as Pope was to create a Council of Cardinal Advisors, commonly known as “C9”, to advise him on ecclesial affairs. The “advice,” however, appears to constitute little more than an echo chamber for whatever Francis wishes to say.

To recall, the members of the Council are: Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa; Italian Bishop Marcello Semeraro, secretary to the Council; Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias; German Cardinal Reinhard Marx; Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga; Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello; U.S. Cardinal Sean O’Malley; Australian Cardinal George Pell; and Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya. 

All of the nine, with the exception of Pell, are radical progressives by any historical standard of Catholicism, whereas Pell, a “moderate” progressive, appears to be hanging on to his position by his fingernails.  Meanwhile, he has already been removed from the Congregation for Divine Worship, which oversees the Church’s sacred liturgy, along with Cardinal Burke, the de facto spokesman for the four cardinals who have published the dubia concerning Amoris Laetitia. (Burke has just been shuffled off to Guam.)

The C9 has leapt into action as opposition to Francis’ relentlessly progressive agenda mounts among concerned clergy and laity throughout the Catholic world, including protest posters plastering Rome and a spoof of L’Osservatore Romano wherein “Francis” answers ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to each of the four cardinals’ dubia.  The C9 have issued an extraordinary “vote of confidence” in Francis, as if he were the head of a parliament, in the form of a Note published as part of the Vatican press briefing of February 13. The pertinent portion (my translation from the Italian) is quite striking:

“In relation to recent events, the Council of Cardinals expresses full support for the work of the Pope, assuring at the same time its adhesion to and complete support of His person and His Magisterium.”

“[In relazione a recenti avvenimenti, il Consiglio di Cardinali esprime pieno appoggio all’opera del Papa, assicurando al tempo stesso adesione e sostegno pieni alla Sua persona e al Suo Magistero.]”

Note first of all the curious typography in the Italian original, not present in the Vatican’s own English translation: “His person and His Magisterium.”  In contemporary Vatican usage the pronoun “his” is no longer capitalized even when used in reference to God.  (See, for example, this section of the Catechism at the Vatican’s website.) But the traditional usage in reference to God suddenly reappears in reference to Francis!

More significant is the reference to “His Magisterium.” Why not “the Magisterium,” which is the teaching office of the Church, not of a particular Pope?  The Church does not have a different Magisterium with each Pope, but the same Magisterium to which all Popes are bound. Thus, on the very day he was installed as Pope, Benedict XVI declared his intention to subsume his personal ideas to the Magisterium of all time:

“The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism….”

So, again, why “His magisterium” rather than “the Magisterium”? The answer should be obvious at this point in the crisis provoked by what Antonio Socci has aptly termed “Bergoglianism”: the Magisterium and the teaching of Francis are not one and the same thing.  That is why the four cardinals have posed their dubia. That is why alarm is spreading throughout the Church. That is why protest posters have appeared in Rome, along with the mock edition of L’Osservatore Romano. And that is why the Council of Cardinals has issued its “vote of confidence” in a Pope who is clearly eliciting a vote of “no confidence” from a growing number of the faithful.

The liberal John Allen frets that “one could ask whether such a statement lends a significance to the anti-Francis blowback that heretofore was debatable. From the beginning, most commentators have been cautioning against exaggerating the dimensions of such resistance… By engaging it in such a high-profile way, it’s at least worth mulling whether the cardinals have inadvertently done it a favor.”

Liberals like Allen, along with the members of the C9 echo chamber, would like to bury the “anti-Francis blowback,” which is just a pejorative for “Catholic defense of orthodoxy.” But as Our Lord said when the Pharisees demanded that He rebuke His disciples for praising His “mighty works”: “I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) That is, the truth of the Magisterium cannot be silenced even if the hierarchy fails in its duty to defend it.

As for Francis and “His Magisterium,” in God’s good time it will pass from memory just as surely as the errors of Honorius, who was posthumously anathematized by an ecumenical council and a successor Pope, and John XXII, who was denounced for preaching heresy from the pulpit before he retracted his error on his deathbed. Both of these Popes, though validly elected, nonetheless transgressed the limits of the Magisterium. Much the same thing, but far worse, is happening today at this turning point in the history of the Church and the world.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! 


How would YOU vote, if the faithful were given the chance to show confidence or no confidence in Papa Francis? There’s no shortage of reasons to vote “no confidence”, but if you can tell us the MAIN reason for your decision, that would be interesting.  If, on the other hand, you’d vote “yes, confidence” – choose your words carefully… We’re jes dyin’ to hear from you… 

Comments (109)

  • Cantate Domino

    I have complete confidence in the Pope. For several reasons; but when I draughted a post explaining why, it became too long. Every objection to the Papacy in general, or to this Pope in particular, makes me all the more convinced of the need for complete and sincere submission to the authority of our Holy Father Pope Francis, and of whole-hearted, ready and loving obedience to his will. Precisely because there is ample temptation to object to him, ISTM that it is our duty and our joy to go the other way, and to insist, even against ourselves, on his legitimacy, his authority, and his right to our love, our veneration, our respect, our prayers, and our obedience to him, in thought, and word, and act.

    There will always be ‘reasons’ to reject the Papacy or the reigning Pope; but then, there are always ‘reasons’ to reject God. If we know that there can never be sufficient reason to reject God, how can we imagine that there can ever be sufficient reason to reject Christ’s Vicar ? Whoever said, ‘The Pope is our only link to Christ’, was on to something.

    March 11, 2017 at 12:20 am
    • Athanasius

      Cantate Domino

      Your fidelity to the Pope is admirable, if misguided. The Pope, as the successor of St. Peter, has a duty to uphold and defend the Faith handed down. No Pope is at liberty to place his own interpretation on the Faith and set about confusing truth with error. Popes have personally erred in the past, most notably Liberius and Honorius I, the latter being posthumously condemned and excommunicated by his successors. It is also true that Pope John XXII personally held to a heretical proposition right up to before his death, at which time he recanted.

      So while you are right to say that we should maintain respect for the Supreme Pontiff and pray for him, you are absolutely at odds with the teaching the Doctors of the Church in the matter of blind obedience to the person of any particular Pope.

      We are obliged to resist a Pope who offends against the Traditional teaching handed down and to frustrate his will whenever he attempts to introduce dangerous novelty into the Church. Fidelity to the Pope is not absolute; he must first display fidelity to God and the Faith handed down. Let us not forget that the highest authority is God, not the Pope, who is His Vicar on earth. So if the Pope contradicts the faith or places morals in danger by his departure from Traditional (infallible) teaching, it is not only our right but our duty before God to respectfully resist his errors publicly, lest by obeying men we disobey God. I hope this clarifies matters for you.

      March 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm
  • Athanasius

    Cantate Domine

    Your mistaken belief that Catholics are bound to blind obedience to the Pope is, I think, further corrected by the following extract from an article I wrote on the subject a few years ago. Here are the relevant passages:

    “How far this mistaken belief is from the teaching of the Church, however, is exemplified by St. Paul in Galatians II: 11-13, who recounts how he “withstood Peter to his face because he was to be blamed.”
    Commenting on this Scripture passage, St. Thomas Aquinas writes: “There being an imminent danger to the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith…” (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 33, A. 4).

    St. Robert Bellarmine concurs with St. Thomas in this matter and distinguishes for us between legitimate resistance and forbidden judgment. He writes: “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the soul or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. 2, chap. 29, Opera omnia, Paris: Pedone Lauriel, 1871, vol. 1, p. 418.

    In his Encyclical Letter Pastor Aeternus, Pope Pius IX gives a certain rule by which the faithful may gauge the fidelity of Popes to the primary duty of their sacred office. He writes: “The Holy Spirit has not been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”

    March 11, 2017 at 1:07 pm
  • RCA Victor

    I’ve been thinking about the parallels between Our Lord’s Passion and Death, and what has been repeatedly described as the Passion of the Church, which we are now undergoing, though the Church’s Passion is obviously unfolding on a much slower and broader time scale (one week vs. 50+ years). This is really speculation, but:

    1. Palm Sunday = Vatican II. The Church enters the world in triumph (only to be reviled, condemned and taken down by her enemies).
    2. The Last Supper = The founding of the SSPX in 1970?
    3. The betrayal of Judas = Currently and at its most overt, Pope Francis delivering the Church into the hands of the satanic UN and its agenda. The betrayal actually began before Vatican II, with the shelving of the Third Secret and then the behind-the-scenes collusion of John XXIII with the progressivist Cardinals, who subsequently hijacked the Council and replaced the draft schema.
    4. The Agony in the Garden = the “buyer’s remorse” allegedly experienced by many Cardinals who voted for Francis, and the “dubia Cardinals.”
    5. The condemnation of Jesus by Caiaphas = Francis’ condemnation of doctrine and exp. of those who are faithful to it. We faithful Catholics have blasphemed!!
    6. Sentencing by Pilate – ?
    7. Crucifixion and Death – ?

    It seems we have a ways to go….

    March 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm
  • RCA Victor

    One more comparison to Our Lord’s Passion, based on this famous verse from Isaiah:

    He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.

    I thought of this passage after reading Volume II, Chapter 2 of Atila Guimaraes’ 11-volume set Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani? – called Animus Injuriandi I. This chapter spells out, with numerous quotes and footnotes, how the Conciliar Popes and the theologians of “La Nouvelle Theologie” (i.e. the progressive peritii at the Council) have offended and insulted the Church Militant at and since Vatican II, and rendered her THE CHURCH MUTE AGAINST HER ENEMIES, both within and without.

    (I would highly recommend this set to all the bloggers – Vol. II is every bit as excellent, and damning, as Vol. I. Only 9 2/3 volumes to go!)

    March 12, 2017 at 11:05 pm

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