Pope Francis: I’m Not The Vicar of Christ or Successor of the Apostles! Titles Mere Footnote

Pope Francis: I’m Not The Vicar of Christ or Successor of the Apostles! Titles Mere Footnote

Pope Francis drops ‘Vicar of Christ’ title in Vatican yearbook
The title ‘Vicar of Jesus Christ’ stems from Holy Scripture where Jesus grants St. Peter the power of the keys in the Church

April 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a surprise move, Pope Francis has dropped the historic and essential title “Vicar of Christ” from the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook, the Holy See’s annual directory, relegating the title to a footnote, calling it a “historical title.”

While previous yearbooks listed the title “Vicar of Christ” and the name of the reigning Pope under that title, this year’s annual directory simply lists the name “Jorge Mario Bergoglio,” the name of the man who became Pope Francis in 2013.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called the change “theological barbarism.”

As the German Rome Correspondent, Guido Horst, reported today for the newspaper Die Tagespost, this new entry has astonished well-informed Vatican experts. He writes that this year’s Annuario Pontificio has “banned” the Pope’s title ‘Vicar of Christ,’ making it a “historical title” that now belongs to a footnote.

The Annuario Pontificio is published every year. It updates statistical data concerning the Catholic Church. Usually, the presentation of the members of the Church’s hierarchy – College of Cardinals, bishops of the world and the Vatican’s dicasteries – starts with the Roman Pontiff, under the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” (“Vicario di Gesù Cristo”). Then follow the additional titles of the Pope, all of which carry a “different or even no dogmatic significance” as does the first title, according to Horst. These are: Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

The title “Vicar of Jesus Christ,” however, “stems from Holy Scripture, in which Jesus has granted St. Peter the power of the keys in the Church,”  Ar these additional titles, there usually then would come the name of the current pontiff, a short biography of him, as well as the dates of his election and inauguration.

However, the new entry about the Pope starts now – instead of the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” – with the following title: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio.” This title is followed by a short biography and the dates of his election and inauguration. Finally – and this after a line indicating that the “footnotes” (in the words of Guido Horst) are now coming – there come, under the subtitle “historical titles”: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

According to Horst, such a change of the presentation of the Roman Pontiff in the Annuario Pontificio “could only have happened upon request by Francis himself.”

In comments to the Tagespost, Cardinal Gerhard Müller points out that in the new presentations of the titles of the Pope, there are mixed together titles with dogmatic significance with those that do not bear such weight and who have a historical background (such as “Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City”).

The German cardinal goes on to speak about the “embarrassment” that the Annuario Pontificio has “demeaned essential elements of the Catholic teaching on the primacy [of the Pope] as mere historical appendix.” He insisted that it is “a theological barbarism to demean as historical burden the titles of the Pope ‘Successor of Peter, Representative of Christ, and visible head of the entire Church.’” He stated that the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, “together with the ‘Successor of Peter, Representative of Christ, and visible head of the entire Church, rule the house of the Living God.” (Lumen gentium 18)

“No Pope or Ecumenical Council,” the German prelate continued, “could, with reference to their highest authority over the Church, do away with the primacy, the episcopacy, or the Sacraments, or to re-interpret them in their essence.”

A commentator quoted by Guido Horst noted that the change in the yearbook denotes a “defective understanding of the office,” pointing out that important titles such as “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” have also been downgraded as mere historical titles.

Professor Armin Schwibach, the Rome Correspondent for the Austrian website Kath.net, commented on Twitter: “It seems that they continue to dismantle everything.”

In 2006, Pope Benedict made a change to the usual presentation of the Roman Pontiff in the Annuario Pontificio when removing altogether the papal title “Patriarch of the West.” At the time, this decision was interpreted as an act of “evidently hoping to eliminate one possible obstacle to ecumenical progress with the Orthodox world.”   Source – Lifesitenews


As the final paragraph reveals, the shedding of the titles indicating papal authority, has its roots in ecumenism.  These top churchmen don’t seem to get it.  Nothing they can do – from destroying the Mass to make it acceptable to Protestants, to chucking out papal titles – will bring about Christian unity.  Christ bequeathed unity on His Church from the beginning, when He prayed: “That they all may be one, as Thou Father in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)

Any “dialogue”, therefore, with our separated brothers and sisters (or should that be “sisters and brothers” 😀 ) must take the tried and tested missionary form of inviting them to return to the Church founded by Christ.  If Pope Francis can’t see that, and instead continues on the senseless path of trying to destroy what is left of Catholicism, we can only reflect on those sobering words of St Paul:  “God will not be mocked.” (Galatians 6:7) 

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!  

Comments (47)

  • Charles Mc Cusker

    TBH I think we have a bit more to worry about in the current climate than what the Pope wants to call himself!!!!

    April 3, 2020 at 12:50 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Charles McCusker,

      It’s not about what Pope Francis wants to call himself. You want to hear what I call him, LOL! It’s about revealing his own lack of belief in the supremacy of the papal office, his standing as Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and the Vicar of Christ, all titles which means that he holds the authority of Christ himself to rule the Church. Obviously, he doesn’t believe that.

      I imagine that you’re not alone among Catholics who don’t realise the significance, though. TBH that is really no surprise, it’s not been taught for over 50 years, so not really your fault.

      April 3, 2020 at 1:45 pm
      • Charles Mc Cusker

        MM please don’t be such a patronising selfriightous numpty
        I am more than capable of discerning what is and is not significant, having been born young enough to have lived through pre and post V2.
        Please do not assume that anyone with a different point of view is ignorant of Holy Scripture or the magisteriam of the church.
        To do so is a serious error on your part

        April 3, 2020 at 3:07 pm
      • editor

        Charles McCusker,

        Don’t be so rude. Your original comment could have come from any sixteen year old product of so-called Catholic education anywhere in the UK today. MM did not treat you in any patronising way, while you are insulting her. If anybody is a self-righteous numpty, it’s your good (and I use the term loosely) self.

        That you dismissed this news about this horrendous pope as being no more important than an announcement that he wanted to be called Frankie, speaks volumes.

        In future, if you choose to blog here, do so with some level of integrity. If you can’t treat this topic with any level of seriousness and concern, then I don’t care if you lived through pre and post TRENT, you’re coming across as about as Catholic as Sadiq Khan’s granny.

        Now, do you honestly not think the Lifesitenews report is important? Really?

        April 3, 2020 at 3:59 pm
      • Charles Mc Cusker

        Please Madame Editor, get a grip. People are dying in their millions and you worry about a name used or not by the Pope, whom everyone knows you despise and loath in a most hateful way. Please grow up and instead of having histrionics about what the Pope may or may not call himself, and spewing vitriol to those who have the temerity to disagree with you, Spend your time praying the Rosary for those who are truly faced with the reality of dealing with the this terrible crisis. You would be better spending time encouraging your readers to pray as much and as often as possible at this time for the Grace of God to help us in this time of crisis

        April 3, 2020 at 4:12 pm
      • Athanasius


        “People are dying in their millions…”

        What are they dying of and why isn’t this killer being talked about on TV? The Coronavirus has killed approximately 54,000 worldwide from over 1 million infections, less deaths even than the 2016/17 flu season in the UK which killed 80,000.

        Are you referring to some other pandemic that the rest of us are unaware of?

        April 3, 2020 at 4:40 pm
      • Charles Mc Cusker

        Thank you Athanasius for correcting me as to the global numbers.
        Editor: the rest of this post removed for vitriol; failure to adhere to the House Rules.

        April 3, 2020 at 5:20 pm
      • Frankier


        You`re doing a first class job of spewing the vitriol yourself. Well done!

        I think if I was near you I would be donning a mask or staying the suggested 2 metres apart.

        How`s that for a bit of vitriol from me?

        April 3, 2020 at 5:20 pm
      • editor


        Don’t let’s go down that road. Who was it said “when they go low, we go high”… O, yes, Hillary Clinton. Scrub that!

        You’ll get my drift.

        Now, tell us what you think about having a pope who is not the Vicar of Christ or the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles? Makes a change, eh?

        Just think of it – a new papal office, to join the new Mass, new catechism, new rosary, new synodal church, blah blah…

        April 3, 2020 at 5:22 pm
      • editor

        Charles, Charles, Charles…

        Well, at least you’re on under your real identity this time, to share your hatred of Catholic Truth with us. I appreciate that, so thank you. Yip, Charles, I know exactly who you are and I knew who you were when you came on to attack us under your other various guises. I’m not just a pretty face you know. Say nothing!

        I don’t appreciate your breaking cover sufficiently, however, to allow you to poison the atmosphere on this blog, so any further comments from you will be previewed by me and only published if they contribute to the discussion. Maybe we should just call it a day now? Say “goodbye” and “sorry it didn’t work out” – you’ll meet someone else, I’m sure of it. 😀

        As in your blatantly trolling days, you entirely ignore the points made to you – notably by Athanasius – and stick to your (insert adjective) belief hat we are making a mountain out of a molehill because the Pope has just effectively denied the authority of the papal office. Again.

        By the way I don’t hate or loathe anyone. I think Francis is a terrible pope, like someone may be a terrible teacher or lawyer (!) – doesn’t mean I hate or loathe you them…

        I take it you believe that Cardinal Mueller is completely wrong in saying that Francis is guilty of “theological barbarism” by dispensing with these titles or reducing them to a footnote? No? You saving your venom for poor old Catholic Truth? Oh well. Just as well we’ve agreed that it’s over now. Sorry it didn’t work out…Still, best to break off now – divorces can be messy… 😀

        April 3, 2020 at 5:20 pm
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        I know not who You are but No One who Calls themselves a Catholic Hates anyone. Just as I hate the Ideology of Islam does not mean I Hate Muslims. I dislike my Local Pakistani Shop not because they are Pakistani but because of their Prices ( never let a Good crisis Economically go to waste) I hate the Institution of The Orange Order but I do not Hate One Orangeman. I hate Freemasonry but I do not Hate one Freemason . Hate my not so educated friend is a VERY strong word and emotion,to use it on here to say that someone Hates another Human Being really shows your extreme ignorance.
        Now going back to [Pope Francis] dropping The Vicar of Christ. If you cannot Biblically see the significance of this and you claim to be a Catholic you are a Fool. This is a Man who accepted being The Vicar of Christ the Leader of Christendom. If he now no longer wanted to be The Vicar of Christ then he should resign The Papacy. Am sure on that note that Both of us would agree.

        April 3, 2020 at 11:05 pm
    • Athanasius


      If you understood the Church and your faith in the supernatural way that you should then I very much doubt that you would have made such a flippant comment.

      To remove the title “Vicar of Christ” as prefix to the reiging Pontiff is like removing “Our Saviour” as postfix to Jesus Christ Himself, relegating that supreme title to the place of historical footnote. You have no conception of how sinister and iniquitous this deliberate obliteration of title actually is, it’s straight from Hell!

      The power of the Keys was given directly to Peter and his successors in the papacy, that’s why he bears the title “Vicar of Christ”. The Protestants have always opposed this God-given power and authority and it will please them no end to read that their counterparts in the Catholic Church, those faithless infiltrators, now agree with them, more or less now denying that the Pope is anything other than the first of the bishops, the Bishop of Rome. He is a lot more than that!

      I am here reminded of the Encyclical of Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi, in which he spoke of the sophisms by which the Modernists in the Church dispense their poison through her very veins, the more deadly because they know her more intimately. To paraphrase from memory: “There is not a single element of the Catholic religion that they do not attack, nothing that they do not seek to undermine”.

      This is what Modernists do, they chip away at every aspect of our faith; the Mass, the Sacraments, the Catechism, the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, the dignity of the clergy and the hierarchy, etc., all is reduced to a natural level to obscure the supernatural reality of the Church. And we all know who the followers of naturalism are, they are Freemasons and Communists.

      The Coronavirus is a walk in the park in comparison with the disease these people are spreading through the veins of the Mystical Body.

      Pope Francis must be aware of this change. If so, assuming he approves of it, then we really should be concerned that such a man sits upon the Chair of Peter in our time. He definitely needs prayers, lots and lots of them.

      April 3, 2020 at 1:49 pm
      • Charles Mc Cusker

        Please see my reply to Editor and apply to self where required

        April 3, 2020 at 4:13 pm
      • Athanasius


        You’re clearly too absorbed with the health of the body right now, so it’s clearly a waste of time trying to debate the more serious spiritual disease in the Church with you. We’ll leave it at that, then, shall we?

        April 3, 2020 at 4:50 pm
      • Prognosticum


        Your post reminds me of a comment made to me by a traditionalist priest not very far into Francis’s pontificate. ‘Here begins,’ he said, ‘the flagellation of the Church.’ He was right about the flagellation, but wrong in saying that it began with Francis. Its roots are much older and go back essentially to Judas himself.

        Judas is the paradigm for all those who in every Christian generation would infiltrate the Church, offering themselves as priests and religious, glibly reciting creeds and making professions of faith while all the time working to undermine the Mystical Body by doctrinal or moral deviancy. Often cloaking their actions in the guise of reform, such as these triumph when they fail to meet shepherds well versed in the art of spiritual discernment.

        I am convinced that our present predicament, as complex and wide ranging as it is, has its roots in the collapse of the prayer life of priests and religious before and especially after Vatican II. Thus the object of their attention became less and less their personal holiness, but the Church as an institution which had to be remodelled along prevailing socio-political lines, effectively attempting to dissolve her in the world and forgetting the real reason for her being which is the salvation of souls. Francis often reproves the clergy for worldiness, but who is more worldly than one who seeks to annul any meaningful distinction between the Church and the world?

        April 4, 2020 at 4:17 am
      • Athanasius


        I agree with your every word but would add this: Francis is different in a number of ways from his Modernist predecessors, not least by his apparent Socialist bent.

        The post-conciliar popes prior to Francis were certainly Modernist innovators who did great harm to the faith by their doctrinal and liturgical heteroxdoxy, but the one thing they all maintained was a strong position on the Church’s moral teaching. Francis is the first to undermine that infallible teaching and that makes his Pontificate uniquely deviant even amongst Modernists.

        April 4, 2020 at 11:08 am
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        I agree with your assessment of the Church since Vatican 2 . One of the reasons being ( silly me ) I actually thought that Priests in Seminary were taught to speak Latin Fluidly which of course is not so. And it was only recently that I actually found out . There were two incidents which told me this . One especially was the Interpreter Present when Jimmy Martin met Pope Francis. The other was when our own Priest first said that he was going to another Parish to Offer up The Traditional Latin Mass as the Local Priest couldn’t do so .
        While am on I apologise Ed for saying Jorge Bergoglio instead of Pope Francis. But in my limited understanding of him renouncing the title Vicar of Christ I assumed ( obviously wrongly) that he just wanted to be called plain Mr Bergoglio. God Bless and Keep Safe .

        April 4, 2020 at 5:02 pm
      • Josephine

        Faith of our Fathers,

        I think you’re right that Pope Francis probably does want to be known as Jorge Bergoglio or Mr Bergoglio, but that’s the point – he can’t get away from the fact that he is not Mr Bergoglio, that’s what he’s trying to do by putting his titles aside. We can’t let him get away with that, even though we want him gone, LOL!

        April 4, 2020 at 5:35 pm
      • Lily


        LOL! LOVE it!

        April 4, 2020 at 5:36 pm
    • Prognosticum


      In other words, ‘The ship is sailing through a storm, so let’s forget about the fire in the engine room.’ Your comment just doesn’t hold water, if you’ll forgive my labouring the maritime analogy. ‘Unum facere et alium non omittere’, as the ancients would have said. (There is nothing new, as you can see, in multi-tasking.)

      Your, if I may say so, rather pedestrian comment points to an ignorance of the faith which is endemic amongst the vast majority of Catholics today. It is precisely this ignorance which stands at the heart of our inability to hand the faith on to our children, for, unlike our friend the coronavirus, the faith requires knowledge and personal credibility for its effective transmission. Not only, but methinks you have not read the documents of the Second Vatican Council or the Missal of Paul VI, or have done so only superficially.

      Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, ‘Lumen gentium’, speaks of the Pope as the Vicar of Christ at least twice (18 & 22), as indeed does the famous Nota Esplicativa Previa (3) with Paul VI felt he had to preface to the Constitution in order to protect the doctrinal integrity of the Petrine Ministry. The same document speaks of the and of the bishops generally as ‘Vicars of Christ’ (27). I would remind you was promulgated not in 1165, but in 1965. It does not require a degree in theology to realise that are dealing here with some very serious doctrinal matters which go to the heart of the sacramental nature of the Church on which the Catholic faith stands or falls.

      Likewise, the Missal of Paul VI, in the Preface of the Apostles: ‘Te, Dómine, supplíciter exoráre, ut gregem tuum, Pastor ætérne, non déseras: sed per beátos Apóstolos tuos, contínua protectióne custódias: Ut iísdem rectóribus gubernétur, quos óperis tui vicários eídem contulísti præésse pastóres.’

      So what is Pope Francis up to here? Is it just the ignorance of a man who is evidently to theology what a plumber is to cardiovascular surgery? Is it a variation on false humility? Is he just badly advised? Does he actually seek advice? Is he going through a crisis of faith? Has he actually lost the faith? All perfectly legitimate questions to which I don’t have the answers. But what I would say, especially to those who have been deeply scandalised by this news, is fear not and keep calm. All of this is providential because, yet again, it marks Francis out as a foreign body in the Petrine succession. For it will not be lost on believing Catholics — the only ones that matter — that the Pope who taught the legitimacy of giving communion to those in a state of mortal sin and that non-Christian religions are by divine providence is also the Pope who tried to reduce the title ‘Vicar of Christ’ to a historical curiosity.

      But if he is not the Vicar of Christ, what right has he to rule the Church which he does with a rod of iron? And if not from Christ, from where does his authority come? Like the man in a tree obliviously sawing off the branch on which he is seated, Francis is unconsciously establishing himself as a dictator, the foundation of whose throne is not righteousness and justice (Psalm 89), but coercion, fear and cunning. By doing so he is setting himself up for a spectacular fall from which his seeming adulators in the mass media will not be able to save him.

      That said, it gives me no pleasure to see Francis cutting an increasingly sad and divisive figure. His scowling face and his constant moralising denote a priest who is deeply unhappy both in himself and in his vocation. As he himself never tires of telling us, he needs our prayers which, as faithful Catholics, we offer up willingly:

      Orèmus pro Pontìfice nostro Francisco: Dòminus consèrvet eum, et vivìficet eum, et beatum fàciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicòrum eius.

      April 4, 2020 at 2:51 am
      • editor


        “For it will not be lost on believing Catholics — the only ones that matter — that the Pope who taught the legitimacy of giving communion to those in a state of mortal sin and that non-Christian religions are by divine providence is also the Pope who tried to reduce the title ‘Vicar of Christ’ to a historical curiosity.”

        Absolutely on the button. Crystal clear. Thank you for that.

        April 4, 2020 at 10:30 am
  • Ed of Ct. Usa

    [Ed: suggested title removed…] He is a disgrace to the clergy, the Jesuits and the Holy See. Resign already.

    April 3, 2020 at 4:04 pm
    • Prognosticum


      As far as the Jesuits are concerned, I beg to differ. Francis is a truly worthy representative of this order as it is presently constituted.

      April 4, 2020 at 3:15 am
      • Athanasius


        Your observation is spot on. The Jesuit order, that once-great Catholic bulwark of orthodoxy against Protestantism, is now the leading purveyor of heterodox Modernism in the Church. The order should have been disbanded by the Popes way back in the middle of the 20th century when it was becoming ever clearer that it was compromised by the enemy of souls.

        April 4, 2020 at 10:54 am
  • RCAVictor

    I perused the comments under the original article until I arrived at one that said “Or, he’s admitting to something.” I’m afraid this latest self-destructive, Church-destroying subterfuge by the Pope will only result in more blogosphere furor over whether he is a real Pope, Benedict is still Pope, etc. etc. etc.

    Or, as Yul Brynner once put it:

    But I thought this comment was especially helpful, from someone named “Bronx61” … must be a very smart person since he – or she – shares my birthplace… 🙂

    “Sorry, Your Holiness, that you were once named “Jorge Mario Bergoglio” is the “historical’ relic, not the sacred title Vicar of Christ. St. Peter was chosen as the Vicar of Christ in Mt. 16:18, when Jesus named him the Rock on which the Church of Christ is anchored.

    When you took the name “Pope Francis” — not when you were baptized “Jorge Mario” back in the day — you became the Successor of Peter as “Prince of the Apostles” — a title you still openly claim — precisely because as Pope you are also Vicar of Christ. You cannot be either Pope or Prince of the Apostles or Vicar of Christ. If you are the one then you must also be the other, otherwise you are none of the above. All three go together as a timeless, scripturally-based reality; indeed, of the three, Vicar of Christ is the most important, it is the Rock-of-the-Rock, if you will, the one title on which the others depend. So, Your Holiness,you cannot cease to be the Vicar of Christ and yet still remain Pope Francis, Successor of Peter, Prince of Apostles. For unless you represent Christ the Head on what is your papal authority over His Church based?”

    April 3, 2020 at 5:14 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Excellent comment. You should plagiarise more often 😀 Kidding!

      My one disappointment, is that I was expecting to be treated to a clip from the King & I, scene “Shall we dance?”

      I’m not only a very bad girl, I’m a very worldly girl as well. 😀

      April 3, 2020 at 5:35 pm
  • RCAVictor

    On this malicious strategy of making his title a footnote, it strikes me that Francis’ M.O. seems to favor that surreptitious approach to confusion. It was a footnote in Amoria Laetitia that did the most damage to the Sacrament of Marriage, after all, and I seem to recall that Francis’ response to one of his cabal’s concerns about contradicting Church teaching was to joke that he would put it in a footnote!

    April 3, 2020 at 5:43 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers

    On another big Question. If Francis doesn’t want to known as The Vicar of Christ ( which he doesn’t) does that then mean that really he has Abdicated From the Line of St Peter . So does Benedict take back the reigns. It is theoretically interesting .

    April 3, 2020 at 11:15 pm
    • Athanasius


      No, this does not equate to a Papal abdication. Francis would have to make a formal delcaration if he wanted to abdicate, and he has no intention of doing that. Dropping the title “Vicar of Jesus Christ” is simply the latest in a line of hits on the dignity of the Papal office by Francis, beginning the very night he was elected through his moving into Casa Santa Marta, travelling around in cheap little cars, etc. It’s a gradual process of chipping away at the Petrine dignity without actually renouncing it.

      April 4, 2020 at 12:23 am
      • Theresa Rose

        This article from the Remnant Newspaper from Archbishop Vigano, on 2020 Pontifical Yearbook:
        ‘Did Pope Francis abandon the title Vicar of Christ?”


        Athanasius, I agree with you.

        April 4, 2020 at 9:39 am
      • editor

        Theresa Rose,

        Thank you for that link – it actually leads to a letter from Archbishop Vigano, so I’ve copied it to paste here, in case anyone is tempted to skip the link and return later (then forget! Which I am guilty of doing, myself, on occasion)…

        So, below, the text from The Remnant page, but note, we still need to visit the link to see the graphics…

        “YOU HAVE SAID SO”

        “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

        And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another,
        “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me.

        The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!

        It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

        Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?”

        He said to him, “You have said so.” (Mt 26, 20-25)

        On March 25, the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook was published with a real novelty. It may seem like a typographical trifle, in the part dedicated to the reigning pontiff, but this is not the case. Until last year, in fact, Francis’s titles were listed at the top of the page, beginning with “Vicar of Christ”, “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” etc., and ending with his birth name and a very brief biography.

        In the new edition, on the other hand, the secular name JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO stands out in large letters, followed by the biography, the date of election and the beginning of his “ministry as universal Pastor of the Church.” Separated by a dash and the words, “Historical titles,” all the titles of the Roman Pontiff are then listed, as if they were no longer an integral part of the Munus Petrinum that legitimizes the authority which the Church recognizes in the Pope.

        This change in the layout and content of an official text of the Catholic Church cannot be ignored, nor is it possible to attribute it to a gesture of humility on the part of Francis, which is not in keeping with his name being so prominently featured. Instead, it seems possible to see in it the admission — passed over in silence — of a sort of usurpation, whereby it is not the “Servus servorum Dei” who reigns, but the person of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has officially disavowed being the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and the Supreme Pontiff, as if they were annoying trappings of the past: only mere “historical titles.”
        In 2019 (left), the page on reigning pontiff opens with words: “VICAR OF JESUS CHRIST.”

        2020 edition (right) opens with “JORGE MARIO BEGOGLIO” and lists “Vicar of Christ” under “historical titles” below.

        An almost defiant gesture — one might say — in which Francis transcends every title. Or worse: an act to officially alter the Papacy, by which he no longer recognizes himself as guardian, but becomes master of the Church, free to demolish it from within without having to answer to anyone. In short, a tyrant.

        May the significance of this most serious act not escape pastors and the faithful, for by it the sweet Christ on earth — as St. Catherine called the Pope — releases himself from his role as Vicar to proclaim himself, in a delirium of pride, absolute monarch even with respect to Christ.

        We are approaching the sacred days of the Saviour’s Passion, which commences in the Upper Room with the betrayal of one of the Twelve. It is not illegitimate to wonder whether the understanding words with which Bergoglio tried to rehabilitate Judas on June 16, 2016 were not a clumsy attempt to exonerate himself.

        This chilling thought is further confirmed by the terrible decision to allow an almost universal ban of the public celebration of Easter, for the first time since the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

        “The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!” (Mt 26:24)

        + Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
        Friday in Passion Week 2020
        [Official English Translation]

        Editor: Chilling, is the word. It strikes me, really for the first time, that the “rebellious” Archbishop Viganò is actually fighting for the Pope’s soul. We should do likewise, and pray harder than ever for him.

        April 4, 2020 at 11:01 am
  • Frankier

    What about the bishops of the Church? Do they lose out too?

    Did Pope Francis accept apostolic succession when he was made a bishop?

    To me, the kindest thing that you could say is that he is a very naughty boy.

    April 4, 2020 at 2:48 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      He’s a lot more than “a naughty boy” but I think the only thing we can do for him now, is to pray for him. He seems too prideful to take notice of pleas to stop attacking the Church. I keep thinking that surely there will be someone in the Vatican who is talking to him about what he is doing, and if so, that person is having no success, so we can only pray for him.

      April 4, 2020 at 4:55 pm
      • Frankier

        Margaret Mary

        I agree!

        I wonder what Pope (?) Benedict thinks of all of this. You feel that he would be duty-bound to
        make comment, being one of the very few persons ever to have been previously in the same position.

        April 4, 2020 at 5:45 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        I’m not sure. Pope Benedict wasn’t that strong himself. I remember Editor quoting something which I’ve never forgotten because it stunned me – he said he would never use his “infallibility”. So, I think they are really singing from the same hymn sheet. They’re as bad as each other.

        April 4, 2020 at 6:02 pm
  • Michaela

    This won’t please Pope Francis – there’s been a 10% increase in the number of traditional Masses across the world.

    April 4, 2020 at 5:10 pm
  • Lionel (Paris)

    I think that Pope Francis devalues ​​the pontifical function to establish a new exclusively humanist religion: a great universal fraternity from which the true God would be excluded…
    It is a sacrilegious utopia and this idea comes from the Second Vatican Council; it is the SAMUD (“SPIRITUAL ANIMATION MOVEMENT OF UNIVERSAL DEMOCRACY”) about which the Abbé de Nantes spoke a lot!

    April 5, 2020 at 10:20 pm
    • editor


      You are totally correct. He has, indeed, set about establishing or giving his blessing to, an exclusively humanist religion. God help him at his judgment.

      May 15, 2020 at 10:35 pm
  • The Catholic of Honor

    I will continue to call Pope Francis the Vicar of Christ whether he likes it or not. That is what he is.

    May 15, 2020 at 9:20 pm
    • editor

      The Catholic of Honour (TCH)

      Well said. He’s not a good Vicar of Christ, but that’s a separate issue.

      May 15, 2020 at 10:34 pm
      • The Catholic of Honor

        Indeed. It seems we have more respect for his office than he does himself. Is “TCH” an acronym for my username?

        May 16, 2020 at 12:57 am
      • editor

        Yes, on both counts. Is TCH OK – if you object, I’ll write your username out in full. I try to cut down the longer usernames but if it causes offence, just say the word.

        May 16, 2020 at 10:15 am
      • The Catholic of Honor

        TCH is fine. I certainly am not about to get offended about the shortening of a username I came up with a couple months ago. I think COH might make a little more sense because T stands for “the”, but either is fine.

        May 16, 2020 at 1:31 pm
      • editor

        COH it is – thank you! And congratulations on your avatar – impressive.

        May 16, 2020 at 3:47 pm
      • The Catholic of Honor

        Thank you. It wasn’t actually that hard. It was only a crusader’s shield plus words at the bottom.

        May 16, 2020 at 6:24 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: