Father Munkelt is a New York City-based priest who is as intelligent and well-read as anyone I’ve known, and he wrote most of this essay for Takimag under my byline. (Journalists are expert cheaters and plagiarizers, but when it comes to a man of God, I cannot speak with forked tongue.) I asked the good father why the Catholic Church is in such turmoil and about the sex scandal. Since the end of the classical pagan world, the Catholic Church has been the most important and formative institution of Western civilization, according to Father Munkelt. Yet it is now the most vilified, and hardly a day goes by without an attack against it by that most malignant and subversive of newspapers, The New York Times. (The sex scandals perpetrated by Hasidic rabbis in New York against children are, of course, ignored by the Times.)
Basically the Church is under attack for two reasons: First, the Church at its core naturally opposes the soi-disant establishment from whence anti-Christian modernity sprang. After the Second Vatican Council, contrary to its essence, the Church has gone through an orgy of liberalism, a concomitant breakdown in discipline and teaching, and homosexual-fueled scandals that are the perfect expression of the Vatican-inspired efforts to rebrand the Church as a nice, effete, and welcoming group.“It’s time for the Church to stop trying to curry favors with an age that basically hates Christ and his message of true love.”
Regrettably, the debauched within the Church of Christ have in practice brought the Church to its knees before the world. After brilliantly dissecting the errors of modernism for over 100 years, the Vatican lost its nerve and cravenly embraced the enemy. In practice, that is. For the Church retains a doctrinal tradition that is fundamentally anti-modern. While it does not reject technological progress, it absolutely dismisses moral progress. Mind you, there is moral teaching and immoral practice, and the vile New York Times equates the two when attacking the Church. The present moral decay of the West is the direct outgrowth of the modern detestation of the moral order of nature. (Same-sex marriage must be anti-nature, no matter what Elton John or some Hollywood types tell us.) From the beginning, that order has been the foundation of the Church’s ethics. But then it was watered down until ethics began to collapse, and now we have to seek our own good and pleasure, but not injure others.
Under the guise of human (not natural) rights, Western elites have become purveyors of fiat rights, rights based on demands, no matter how perverse, of noisy interests and their liberal anti-Christian backers. It’s time for the Church to stop trying to curry favors with an age that basically hates Christ and his message of true love. And in my opinion—Father Munkelt kept quiet on this one—the Pope should resign and stop telling us to open our borders to everyone. We already have, and our own poor do not enjoy the comforts of the Vatican but experience firsthand the crime the Pope’s favorites bring us. More Father Munkelts, less Argentine Popes is my message. Have a very happy Christmas, all of you Takimag readers.
Deep State, Complicit Media, Soros and Why didn’t Francis Question Pell’s Secret Trial?
Why is the complicit media, such as The New York Times, Reuter and others, attempting to cover-up for George Soros’ “conniving”?
The United Kingdom magazine Christian Order in its August/September issue on the Deep State and the “controlled press” said:
“Occasionally, media scrutiny and/or public prosecution of global criminal scams… provide a glimpse like the Bank of Credit and Commerce International during the 1970s/80s and currently the Clinton Foundation… the first-tier all hold so much dirt on each other that mutual protection and continuing is assured.”
“As for whistle-blowers, the lower-level variety are either bought off, blackmailed, ruined, or murdered with impunity. Exposure and defiance at the highest levels by uncontrollable presidential forces like JFK, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, sometimes leads to assassination… but more usually is handled by a controlled press.”
“President Putin’s complaint at the recent Helsinki summit of a massive swindle involving the transfer of $400 million… to Hillary Clinton’s election campaign, for example, was either totally ignored, or mentioned but not pursued… [as was] Putin’s further pointed reference to the transnational conniving of Hillary’s nefarious backer, George Soros.”(Christian Order, “Deep State Armageddon,” August/September 2018)
Everyone who has read or seen on YouTube internationally respected investigator and attorney Elizabeth Yore’s detailed research knows that not only Hillary, but Pope Francis’s Vatican is in bed or in alliance with Soros. Yore revealed:
“George Soros operatives are embedded in the Vatican. They have drafted Vatican documents that set up the Soros agenda which mirrors the Francis agenda.” (YouTube, “An Unholy Alliance: the UN, Soros, and the Francis Papacy,” February 21, 2017)
The Christian Order article, moreover, showed that apparently Francis’s collaborator Soros and his ally the Obama/Clinton Deep State don’t just have the “controlled press” working for them, but the intelligence agencies:
“As George Neumayr commented… ‘Obama via Brennan, did the equivalent for Hillary’… namely, by turning CIA HQ at Langley, Virginia, into the Clinton War Room.”
“… For [Trump] his tenure is a providential opportunity to face down the Washington vermin; to thwart their occult designs. So let us pray that he [Trump] traps and eradicates them before they trap and eradicate him – or it’s criminal game, globalist set, and godless match to the dirty rats.” (Christian Order, “Deep State Armageddon,” August/September 2018)
Apparently, the complicit media is in bed with the Deep State, Francis and Soros in applying “pressures [to] governments to adopt high immigration targets and porous border policies” not just in Trump’s United States, but in Australia according to NewsMax:
“The network of billionaire lobbyist George Soros, who ‘pressures governments to adopt high immigration targets and porous border policies’ through his Open Society Foundations, has influence in Australia though GetUp!, as Jennifer Oriel wrote Monday for The Australian.”
“Oriel chronicled GetUp!’s involvement as the Australia arm of Soros’ transnational network.”
“‘GetUp! has engaged in an effective reframing of politics by rebranding conservatives as the hard right while recasting the left as moderate or progressive,’ she wrote. ‘Many sections of the media have uncritically adopted GetUp!’s rhetoric, which effectively divides the Coalition by aligning conservatives falsely with a range of hard-Right views that they abhor.’” [https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Soros-Australia-networks/2016/08/21/id/744504/]
As journalist Oriel showed “the Australia arm of Soros’ transnational network” has been “effective [in] reframing” how the Australian complicit media covers the news including it appears its complete non-protest against the denial of freedom of the press by the country’s court system in the worldwide important secret trial of Cardinal George Pell on sex abuse accusations.
Doesn’t the Australian media know that “the principle of ‘open justice’… dates back to Magna Carta“ and “[s]ecret trials have been a characteristic of almost every dictatorship of the modern era“?
– “The UK’s justice system rests on several important principles, including the principle of ‘open justice’. Openness means that the public generally has an interest in knowing about matters of significance, such as the arguments in and results of trials. This principle dates back to Magna Carta. It ensures fairness and confidence in the whole justice system. Justice is not only done, but seen to be done.” (Human Rights News, Views & Info.org, “What Are ‘Secret Trials’ And Do They Violate Human Rights?,” 2nd August 2016) [https://rightsinfo.org/secret-trials-what-are-they-do-they-violate-human-rights/]
As Catholic journalist Phil Lawler reported the Australia court system and it appears the non-protesting Australian complicit media are apparently against “open justice” and freedom of the press and therefore want “to keep things secret”:
“… [I]t’s not the cardinal who wants to avoid public scrutiny at a trial. On the contrary, Cardinal Pell has consistently indicated that he wants a chance to clear his name. It’s the prosecution that has asked for a secret trial.”
Gloria.tv thinks the Australian “secret mock trial” of Cardinal Pell is a “kangaroo court” that might “take revenge on the Cardinal” if it publishes news of trial:
“On September 20, under this URL a [truthful] piece of news about the ungoing secret mock trial against Cardinal George Pell was published. The news were based on first hand information.”
“On September 21, 03:59:07 GMT Gloria.tv received an email from Nevena Spirovska, a public affairs manager of the County Court of Victoria, Austrialia, who claimed that ‘this article likely constitutes a breach of the suppression order issued by His Honour Chief Judge Kidd on 25 June 2018.'”
“Spirovska asked Gloria.tv to “immediately remove the article in question”. She added Kidd’s Proceeding Suppression Order as an attachment.”
“It is unlikely that Kidd’s order may lawfully raise the claim of a worldwide jurisdiction. Nevertheless Gloria.tv complies with it, not because it has respect for the Australian judical system that has compromised itself through the kangaroo court against Cardinal Pell, but because there is a real danger that this system will (again) take revenge on the Cardinal.” [https://gloria.tv/article/2tBJkXnLyxSB3EKwTVJYa7nYK]
The final question is why didn’t Pope Francis call for “open justice” and question as well as protest against the secret trail of Pell?
The answer may be the following:
Ganesh Sahathevan is a Fellow at the (American Center for Democracy) ACD’s Economic Warfare Institute.
The ACD/EWI team specializes in economic warfare, purposeful interference in civilian infrastructure, including the financial markets, transnational criminal and terrorist organizations. ACD fellow Sahathevan said Pope Francis’s closest collaborator has “an illegal slush fund financed by George Soro”:
“Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, the so-called “Vice Pope” given his close association with Pope Francis, has refused to answer questions concerning his work with a number of NGOs funded by billionaire George Soros.Cardinal Oscar has also refused to answer queries concerning any funding he, or entities associated with him, may have received from Soros…”
Financial expert Sahathevan, also, reported that the most powerful official in Francis’s Vatican, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, apparently knew that funds not appearing on “official balance sheets”could be illegal and he may be covering up illegal slush funds and asked Francis & Parolin to “come clean”:
“In the above story it was concluded that Oscar appears to be in charge of a slush fund financed by George Soros, which is intended to be used for purposes Oscar sees fit, which may include financing of a ‘Catholic Spring.'”
“While that story was the result of an independent investigation by this writer it does seem that the Vatican’s Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, may have uncovered the existence of similar financial structures, even if he did not quite understand what it is he had uncovered.”
“In late 2014 Pell announced that he had ‘discovered that … some hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts (of departments within the Vatican ) and did not appear on the Vatican’s balance sheet.’
“..It does seem as if there is some concern within the Vatican that slush funds such as that which appear to be controlled by Cardinal Oscar, that ought to have been reported and accounted for as required by Canon Law, remain secret. Wikileaks and in time other publications are going to make that task near impossible, and hence it is best that all concerned come clean.” (realpolitikasia.blogspot.com, “Vice Pope” Cardinal Oscar’s Soros funding-Has the Vatican Bank acted as conduit , is it in breach of international AML,CTF and KYC regulations?,”February 14, 2017), [http://realpolitikasia.blogspot.com/2017/02/vice-pope-cardinal-oscars-soros-funding_14.html?m=1]
Sahathevan could have predicted that Francis’s chief adviser later in 2017, again, would be accused of financial corruption as reported by Edward Pentin:
“One of Pope Francis’ chief advisers on Church reform has rejected allegations of financial corruption made in an Italian publication this week, but questions remain over diocesan accounting procedures…Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga… The documents, which the Register has obtained, show general figures denoting gross income for the archdiocese and spending running into millions of dollars, but with no particulars.”
What financial expert Sahathevan apparently didn’t know was that Parolin and Pell were in a power struggle when he reported the above. Cardinal Pell was suppose to reform the Vatican corruption including the Secretary of State’s finances. Parolin according to the Catholic Herald in a “series of power struggles” ended the outside audit and Vatican financial reform “even before” Pell was forced to return to Australia on old sex-abuse allegations. (“How Cardinal Parolin won the Vatican civil war,” November 9, 2017)
In the Pell power struggle shady and suspicious actions were taken by a employee of Parolin (Archbishop Angelo Becciu) on former Auditor General Libero Milone. The Auditor suspecting that he was being spied on brought in a external contractor who “determined” his computer was “infected with file copying spyware” according to LifeSiteNews.com in its September 28, 2017 article “Former Vatican auditor accused of spying says ‘shady games’ going on in Rome.”
The website The Eye Witness reported on shady and suspicious spying done on Pope Benedict and Pope Francis before and after the last conclave:
“Bergoglio ‘ had been a person of interest to the American secret services since 2005, according to Wikileaks’ it said.”
“The bugged conversations were divided into four categories: ‘leadership intentions’, ‘threats to financial systems’, ‘foreign policy objectives’ and ‘human rights’, it claimed.”
“Why the American Secret Service considered Cardinal Bergoglio a person of interest for the past eight years is an interesting question although the Secret Service like all other US agencies is widely believed to have been corrupted, so it remains unclear as to how one should assess this piece of information or what it was about the activities of the Cardinal that prompted their extreme interest. Still it is curious to say the very least…”
One reason why the NSA could reasonably have been spying on Pope Benedict and Cardinal Bergogliowho would become Pope Francis at that conclave could be that the spy agency was corrupted by the Obama administration.
It is not unreasonable to assume that the administration wanted Bergoglio to replace Benedict.
Fred MartinezFred Martinez is a widely published Catholic writer and former TV broadcaster who has been a pro-life activist, speaker and Board member/adviser with various organisations for many years. In 1985 he founded the Juan Diego Society through which hundreds of babies under threat of abortion were saved. Praise for Fred Martinez’s The Hidden Axis : “[T]horough piece of journalism.”- Dale Ahlquist, EWTN host and American Chesterton Society President, “[N]ecessary reading.” – Ginny Hitchcock, National pro-life leader and longtime colleague of Fr. Paul Marx, “[A] moral tour de force that is must reading .”- Chuck Morse, radio talk show host, WROL-Boston, “[O]ne incredible, thought-provoking book.” – Tony DiGirolamo, Executive Producer of the Culture Shock television show, “[P]rofoundly important.” – Dr. Pravin Thevathasan, Catholic Psychologist, “[T]renchant expose.” Click here for “Hidden Axis”: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1410746186/qid=1099936755/sr=11-1/refView my complete profile
U.S. President George H. Bush gestures while talking to Attorney General William Barr in the Oval Office of the White House May 4, 1992, in Washington. The president met with top domestic cabinet officers to tackle long-range problems pushed to the forefront by the deadly riots in Los Angeles. (AP photo/Marcy Nighswander)
NATION | DEC. 14, 2018President Trump Nominates William Barr as Attorney GeneralThe veteran Catholic lawyer’s résumé of government service includes a previous two-year stint as U.S. attorney general.Joan Frawley Desmond
WASHINGTON — When President Trump named William Barr as his nominee for U.S. attorney general, the news brought a sense of relief to Republican lawmakers eager for a seasoned leader at the helm of a troubled Justice Department.
Barr, 68, is an experienced corporate lawyer and a committed Catholic who served from 1991 to 93 as U.S. attorney general under President George H.W. Bush. Earlier in his government career, he worked on domestic-policy issues for the Reagan White House, and then, under President Bush, he led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, before moving up the chain of command to deputy attorney general and then the top job in the department.
“Barr is a person of tremendous distinction and accomplishment,” said Leonard Leo, the executive vice president for the Federalist Society, the legal organization that has played a major role in the Trump White House’s recruitment of originalist jurists to the federal bench.
As a former U.S. attorney general, Barr “will enter the Justice Department with an awful lot of credibility and respect for the role he previously played,” Leo told the Register.
“He has a candid and no-nonsense management style, which is something the department could benefit from.”
Barr is expected to be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. And Republican Party lawmakers are reportedly very keen for him to take up the reins of the Justice Department during a turbulent period that witnessed the forced resignation of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in early November and legal challenges to the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general on the grounds that he cannot lead the department without being confirmed by the Senate.
But Democratic lawmakers and their progressive allies have raised questions about the nominee’s record and public statements on executive power, immigration and separation of church and state, among other issues. They note that Barr has publicly critiqued the special counsel investigation department, and they are worried that he won’t stand up to an autocratic president.
“Mr. Barr must commit — at a minimum — under oath before the Senate to two important things: first, that the special counsel’s investigation will proceed unimpeded and, second, that the special counsel’s final report will be made available to Congress and the public immediately upon completion,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said after Barr’s nomination was announced.
Meanwhile, liberal commentators have described the nominee’s beliefs — some culled from speeches that date back a decade or more — as “extreme.”
“Theocracy alert: Trump’s Attorney General Pick William Barr is a Catholic conservative who rejects the separation of church and state, calls secularists ‘fanatics,’ and blames secularism for ‘moral decline,’” warned Michael Stone, who blogs at “Progressive Secular Humanist” on Patheos.com, citing Barr’s 2011 address criticizing the impact of secularization in public schools.
The campaign to present Barr’s legal opinions as outside the political mainstream reflects a strategy by Democrats and their progressive allies, who have sought to make the Obama Justice Department’s policies on immigration, religious freedom, abortion and other hot-button issues the established standard by which Trump’s agenda should be measured and judged.
“William Barr’s nomination sends a message … [that] the Trump administration will continue to use the Department of Justice to rollback our fundamental rights,” warned NARAL Pro-Choice America in a statement that cited Barr’s past critique of Roe v. Wade.
Defender of Executive Power
John Malcolm, a legal specialist at the Heritage Foundation, agreed that the nominee’s public views on a range of topics, along with his previous tenure as U.S. attorney general, were legitimate subjects for his confirmation hearings. But Malcolm also noted that the attorney general was appointed by the president to implement his agenda.
“Barr has, in the past, espoused the view of broad executive power,” Malcolm told the Register.
“But he has also said that his fidelity is to the Constitution and not the president” when a serious conflict between the two might arise.
“The U.S. attorney general[s] will often try to defend the president whom they serve, but they have to be able to make a good-faith statutory or constitutional argument.”
Barr’s defense of executive power dates back to the late 1980s, when he led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel under Bush.
“I think Bush felt that the powers of the presidency had been severely eroded since Watergate and the tactics of the Hill Democrats over an extended period of time when they were in power,” said Barr in a 2001 oral history cited by The New York Times.
Barr will be asked to detail how he would likely apply his expansive view of executive power to a very different president beset by a slew of legal and political challenges. Likewise, he will be asked to explain his record on another controversial matter: his campaign as attorney general to restrict the flood of asylum seekers from Haiti, where a violent 1991 military coup forced tens of thousands of Haitians to flee their country.
Initially, the U.S. government directed the Coast Guard to intercept the refugees at sea and evaluate whether they met the criteria for political asylum. When that strategy proved unmanageable, they were sent to the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Haitians infected with HIV faced additional scrutiny, and the policy was later challenged in court and blocked in 1993.
Immigration advocates, already angered by Trump’s efforts to block and discourage the flow of migrants at the southern border, have lashed out against Barr.
“The new attorney general nominee has a record in line with this administration’s hard-line immigration views and policies,” Kevin Appleby, senior director of international migration policy for the Center for Migration Studies of New York, told the Register.
The two and a half decades that bridged the Bush and Trump administrations have also witnessed the increased politicization of social issues, from abortion to newfound sexual rights, and U.S. presidents have sought to advance or restrain these shifting norms.
In 2014, for example, Obama Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the Justice Department to incorporate gender identity in federal civil-rights protections against sex discrimination in employment, thus strengthening the rights of Americans who identify as transgender. Last year, Sessions rolled back that interpretation of federal law.
Based on his previous writings and public remarks, Barr can be expected to defend and advance Sessions’ policies, including the expansion of conscience rights for religious believers and pro-life Americans. Indeed, during his 1991 confirmation hearing for attorney general, Barr argued that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. He said the scope and limits placed on legal abortion should be left to state legislatures.
Roe v. Wade “foreclosed any kind of role for society to place regulations on abortion, and I don’t think that opinion was the right opinion,” Barr told the Senate in 1991.
At that time, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., congratulated Barr for his candid presentation of his views on Roe, in contrast to nominees who sought to skirt the issue. Now, Barr will likely face a much more hostile interrogation by Senate Democrats, in the wake of the acrimonious confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
But if Schumer and abortion activists are eager to challenge Barr’s credentials as the nation’s top law enforcement official, pro-life and religious-freedom advocates are celebrating his nomination.
Gerard Bradley, a professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Law, told the Register that Barr’s nomination was “welcome news,” and he singled out a key speech he gave two decades ago that “spoke frankly about matters of culture, morality and law.”
Barr “criticized the Supreme Court’s ‘wall of separation’ as a judge-made doctrine tantamount to secularism. He was quite right,” said Bradley.
“Barr also criticized the ‘wall’ as a departure from the Founders’ constitutional design, which was to promote religion in order to help the churches cultivate in citizens the virtue necessary to sustain a free society.”
Groups opposing his nomination believe that Barr should “repudiate” his unfashionable opinions, said Bradley, but he hopes that Barr will retain his clear-eyed diagnosis of the problems that beset American culture and the rule of law.
Said Bradley: “It is precisely because he sees so clearly the decay in our culture and the distortions in much of our law that he will make a fine attorney general.”
After Windsor or Obergefell, I cannot remember which, it occurred to me that our best strategy, if only it would not cause scandal or offend truth, might be to extend the reasoning of those decisions and advocate for the most outrageous rights to show the absurdities to which the logic, or illogic, of those decisions leads.
Let us take up the cause of the man who would marry his horse, or place ourselves on the side of those who would marry themselves—after all, we are told, they are merely being true to themselves, and if man is free to marry whomever he likes let him marry whatever he likes. If he is free to ignore Nature let him change Nature; let him do as he likes and be as he likes.
Perhaps then, when all sorts of nonsense ensues, the Common Man will at last shake off his slumber and stop this madness.But even if we were allowed to dissimulate and do evil that good may come, perhaps it would no longer avail us.
Only the other day I read of a “sologamist” who “married” herself—or, as she put it on her “wedding” invitation, her “higher self”—in a fairly well-attended ceremony protested only, it seems, by her longsuffering Catholic parents. If she is not insane, her wickedness may exceed even that of the man who marries an animal or an armchair. At least this man’s choices allow him to go outside of himself to find himself, whereas our poor young solipsist goes no further than herself.
But if this woman has carried the New Nonsense to its extreme in marriage, Emile Ratelband, the Dutch “positivity trainer,” leads a vanguard into new territory. In an effort to date more woman and avoid “discrimination,” Ratelband has argued in court that, although he is sixty-nine, his legal age should be reduced by twenty years because doctors have told him he has the body of a man in his forties. And the astonishing fact is that, thus far, he has lost his case. Astonishing, not because his argument should prevail, much less gain a hearing, in a sane world, but because, on our insane world’s insane principles, he clearly should have won.
If he had argued, instead, that he should be allowed to change his gender because doctors have told him he is really a woman, few would have gainsaid him. Nor can I perceive a meaningful difference between the two cases; nor, it seems, could Mr. Ratelband, who argued: “We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?”
He is correct—if the principles on which the New Nonsense are based are to have any consistent application.Yet in rejecting his arguments, the court was in one respect consistent with those principles, or at least with a foundational principle. That principle is that there is nothing given in Nature that cannot be, and should not be, changed by man. Remaining true to this “first principle,” the court did not reject Ratelband’s arguments by holding that, whatever he might want based on however he might feel, his relief simply could not be granted: that, absent an impetration by Joshua, the sun cannot be arrested, much less reversed, in its course. In other words, the court did not decide that Ratelband’s age could not be changed because that is impossible. If the court had done so, the whole towering, tottering edifice of the New Nonsense would have toppled. For surely one’s sexual organs are given by Nature and may not be ignored or altered—just mutilated—by man.
In any event, the court avoided this misstep but, in doing so, exposed the illogicality of the New Nonsense nonetheless. In tongue-in-cheek language, the court reasoned that “Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” but legally changing his age would result in “undesirable legal and societal implications.” Now, I feel quite confident that we who have opposed same-sex “marriage” or gender ideology have argued that recognizing the former and fostering the latter would have “undesirable legal and societal implications,” but our claim was brushed aside with contempt or condescension.
Apparently, then, some such implications are worth bothering about and some are not.I suspect that, if we look for a basis to distinguish between which implications are desirable and which are undesirable, we will find not a principle but power. And since the New Nonsense is made possible by man believing he has complete mastery over Nature, I find C.S. Lewis’s words apt: “What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.”
Evidently Ratelband was not powerful enough to win now, but given time he or his successors may. After all, one of the grounds the court gave for rejecting his claim is that not enough people are asking for his relief yet. Well then, Ratelband has his solution. Gather enough votaries, or at least like-minded people, and he will be able to pick up more chicks soon enough. As for the “all kinds of legal problems” troubling the court—such as what to do about driver’s licenses or marriage licenses—these will be solved by technology or creativity or fiat. Or they need not be solved at all as Ratelband suggested when he observed that he is free to change his name
And what if the courts retreat to the castle keep, and admit at last that perhaps man cannot really overmaster the sun? Ratelband should argue that using the sun as a reference is merely the result of millennia of prejudice, and specifically of religious prejudice (remember his audience), beginning perhaps with the worship of Ra. And if that fails, he should just reiterate that he feels younger than he is, and remind the court that his feelings are not idiosyncratic but grounded in medical science; after all, there are doctors who would agree.
Ultimately, Ratelband should not worry, for by the time he is before the court again, reason will not matter, as it did not several years ago in our own country.I should not be so flippant, for even if there were more solid grounds given by the court but overlooked by the media, there is still a deeper concern and a deeper power at work here. What I have labeled pejoratively as the New Nonsense perhaps could be better called the New Paganism. While Belloc had something different in mind when he used the phrase, his observation still applies with equal force: “the New Paganism, foolishly expecting satisfaction, will fall, before it knows where it is, into Satanism.” For the New Nonsense, or the New Paganism, has at least three marks that seem to be hallmarks of our Ancient Foe: hatred for life, and especially for the bringing forth of new life; aversion for any suffering, unless inflicted by its adherents; and pride.
The first two marks I have touched on elsewhere in Crisis, and do not enter here. But the last is on display in Ratelband’s argument and in the spirit and foundation of the philosophy that made it possible for him to be taken seriously. When man believes he has not dominion but domination over Nature, when he thinks he may do as he likes with Nature regardless of its immutable laws and its unalterable facts, when he thinks creation is manipulable at his will, then does he say in deeds what his unseen master said in words: I will ascend into heaven… I will be like the most High. It turns out, then, that a fundamental tenet of the New Nonsense is nothing new at all. It is simply the creature once again proclaiming himself the Creator.
But let us have done and not fret overmuch. The Common Man may not have abandoned reason entirely; the cases, even the case of the sologamist, given in this essay should not lead us to hasty generalizations. And even if the Common Man’s common virtue is gone or is smoldering without a saint to rekindle it, such that we can no longer share Chesterton’s uncommon faith in the man-in-the-street, still we should be at peace. Because of their embrace of contraception, the proponents of the New Nonsense are as sterile as their philosophy, and in a generation or two they, and their thinking, will be gone.In the meantime, fear, indeed, for them, and, in the short-term, for our civilization. But take a long view and do not fear for the future. Ratelband may prevail someday, but his victory will last but a day, and in the epochs of history it will seem short, like his life, whether that life is measured in solar or “Ratelband” years.
My favorite religious writer is John Henry Newman (1801-90), whom I first discovered in my mid-twenties when I read his The Idea of a University. Every so often I go back to Newman and binge-read him for a few weeks. I am currently in the midst of one of those binges.
Newman wrote and delivered an immense number of sermons in both the Protestant half of his life and the Catholic half. The other day I happened to read one of his Catholic sermons, titled “Faith and Private Judgment.” He argued there that Protestants don’t have faith in the sense in which Catholics have faith.
Catholics, he said, are docile. They receive the doctrines of the Church as true, without reserving the right to judge these doctrines; without reserving the right to decide for themselves whether or not these doctrines are true.
This is not to say that Catholics exercise no judgment. No, they have to decide for themselves whether or not the Catholic Church (that is, the Roman Church headed by the pope) is the true Church originally created nearly two millennia ago by Jesus Christ. But once they decide, as Newman himself decided when he was in his mid-forties, that the Church of Rome is the true Church, they renounce any right to judge the doctrines of the Church. From that point on, they listen and receive.
Protestants, on the other hand, believe they have the right to judge the doctrines of Christianity; the right to decide if these doctrines are true or false. This is the famous Protestant principle of Private Judgment, a principle that appeared in the Christian world at the time of the Reformation.
Protestantism had rejected the teaching authority of the pope and his bishops, replacing this rejected authority with the authority of the Bible – “the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible,” as somebody later put it. But this gave rise to a new difficulty. Granted that the Bible is an infallible teacher, who is to decide authoritatively what the Bible actually says?
It cannot be, as it was for Catholics, the pope and bishops, for Protestants had rejected them.
Theoretically, the authoritative interpreter of the Bible might be a future Church Council. But in practice there would never again be a Council that Protestants could accept. Trent was an all-Catholic Council, no Protestants in attendance. And there has never been an all-Protestant Council. How could there be, given the fragmentation of Protestantism?
Perhaps kings and other rulers could give the authoritative interpretation of the Bible? But this was too obvious an absurdity for anybody really to believe it. For how could a king be expected to know the meaning of the Bible better than any sincere minister or layman?
In the end, Protestantism had no choice but to allow individual persons to decide for themselves what the Bible says. Catholic critics pointed out an obvious problem that would arise from this principle of Private Judgment: if twenty people read the Bible, they might well come up with twenty different interpretations. This principle of Private Judgment would lead to the fragmentation of Christianity – as indeed it has.
Over the centuries, efforts have been made by Protestantism to prevent or hinder or mitigate or correct this fragmentation. In particular, three strategies have been tried.
Persecution: For example, in Geneva, Calvin burned Michael Servetus. In England, Queen Elizabeth persecuted Catholics and Puritans. In New England, the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay persecuted Roger Williams, Ann Hutchinson, and the Quakers.
Ecumenism: Denominations toned down their hostility toward one another; or co-operated in various ways; or actually merged.
Christian morality: Doctrine was downplayed in order to emphasize what all Protestants agreed on, morally; and it was held that morality is the essence of Christianity while doctrine is of secondary, if not merely ornamental, importance.
None of these strategies worked, including the last, the collapse of which we have witnessed in our lifetime. In the Protestant world of the USA today, there is some universal agreement on morality. But not much.
For instance, all Protestants agree that it is wrong to rob banks or to hit your grandmother with a baseball bat. But when it comes to sexual morality and abortion, liberal Protestants and conservative Protestants are in radical disagreement. They couldn’t be further apart.
Conservatives still adhere to the ancient Christian teachings that, e.g., fornication, unmarried cohabitation, homosexual sodomy, and abortion are grave sins. Liberals, by contrast, hold that (at least in many circumstances) none of these is sinful.
But when conservatives accuse liberals of disregarding the Bible, liberals reply: “Not at all. As good Protestants we have the right of Private Judgment, just as surely as Luther, Calvin, John Knox, and Cotton Mather had that right. As we interpret the Bible, we understand that the great New Testament injunctions ‘love your neighbor’ and ‘judge not’ nullify all the old taboos. Jesus is saying that today’s Christians should endorse abortion and same-sex marriage. Jesus is up-to-date, and so are we – and you poor conservatives are not.”
If Private Judgment is the distinctive characteristic of a Protestant, then most American Catholics today are de facto Protestants. It is the increasingly rare Catholic who receives the teachings of the Church the way Newman held to be the correct way, the way of faith, the way of docile reception.
Just like non-Catholic Americans, Catholics claim the right to think for themselves about all things – including religious truth. Hence tens of millions of American Catholics, practicing that good old Protestant thing, Private Judgment, disagree with the Church when it comes to contraception, premarital sex, abortion, and same-sex marriage – and (I’d guess, but I’m not quite sure) the Divinity of Christ, the Real Presence of the Eucharist, the Virgin Birth, and the Resurrection.
To a very great extent, American Catholicism has become a form of Protestantism. And worse still, a form of liberal Protestantism.
*Image:The Apostle Paul explains the tenets of faith in the presence of King Agrippa, his sister Berenice, and the proconsul Festus by Vasily Surikov, 1875 [Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow]
One of most uniquely ridiculous things about living in our staunchly atheistic world is just how much dark-age dogmatism is at heart of popular anti-Christian tropes.
From the anti-science “it’s not a child it’s a clump of cells” to the resolute refusal to recognize that sex is binary at the genetic level, politically correct culture all-too-often seems dead set on not hearing anything that counters the narrative — the facts be damned.
Which is why I found it so fascinating — and not a little amusing — to read that researchers have discovered evidence that Sodom and Gomorrah was actually wiped off the face of the earth by a meteor strike so intense that the heat from it actually turned clay pottery into glass:
According to the theory, the meteor exploded at low altitude with the force of a ten megaton atomic bomb at an altitude of about one kilometer over the northeast corner of the Dead Sea, and obliterated all of civilization in the 25-kilometer-wide circular plain that constitutes the “Middle Ghor.”
The researchers presented preliminary findings on the subject at this year’s annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in November, and have been developing the theory since at least 2015. They state that the evidence from radiocarbon dating indicates that a group of civilizations flourished in the area for over two millennia, until approximately 1700 BC, when the mud-brick walls of the buildings in the region simultaneously disappeared and only the stone foundations remained.
At the same time, the pottery in the settlements was heated into glass in the space of milliseconds, according to the results of an analysis of the Zircon crystals formed in the process, indicating that they were briefly exposed to temperatures of approximately 4000 to 12000 degrees Celsius, comparable to the temperature of the surface of the sun.
The explosion rained down platinum as well as molten lava on the region, according to two of the archeologists, and this further confirms that a meteor was the source, given that platinum is found in higher concentrations in meteors than on earth.
Approximately 40,000 to 60,000 people living in the region were killed, and a 500-square kilometer area was rendered uninhabitable for 600 to 700 years, the researchers estimate. They believe that the area was stripped of its topsoil, and that salts from the nearby Dead Sea were spread over the land, destroying its fertility.
The settlements that were annihilated in the event include the principal excavation site, “Tall el-Hammam,” which the archeologists believe is the city of Sodom, whose destruction is recounted in the Book of Genesis, chapter 19. The approximate date of the annihilation also matches the time period corresponding to the event in Genesis, according to archeologists.
It’ll be interesting to see how fast the excuses come to explain this one away.
Dear Dinesh The question of reparations for slavery – but only that of America – is raised by Democrats. 1 Who should pay? a The African warring tribes would today be impossible to identify, so we can forget them. b The Muslim Arabs who bought them and sold them to American ships have no excuse. Their heirs inhabit Saudi Arabia, although there are no descendants of slaves there for medical reasons. The Saudis should pay. c The merchants who brought them to America, and the slave owners should pay. We can identify them today as Democrats. They also should pay. d Those countries who have slaves today should pay. These are all Muslim countries, such as Mauretania. But of course they have no money. The unspeakable truth about slavery in Mauritania
2 Who should receive the reparations? a The descendants of the slaves. b But these descendants owe a debt of gratitude to the Republicans, who spent lives and treasure to free them. c The Royal Navy, who intercepted the slave ships on the high seas and returned the slaves to their homes, and those allies who worked to end slavery. 3 How much money should be paid in compensation? a The cost of a slave varies with the markets. Slaves cost between $100 and $50 000. Let us take a figure between the two, closer to the lower figure, say $10 000. b There were about 4 million slaves at the time of the Civil War. c The total value of slaves in America would be $40 billion. 4 What will be the result of this payment? a If this debt is shared equally between Saudi Arabia and the Democrats, each would be responsible for providing $20 billion. b If the amount is shared among the Republicans, the Royal Navy and campaigners against slavery as one group, and the descendants of slaves as the other, each group will be entitled to $20 billion. c. Of the 40 million blacks in America, perhaps half are descended from slaves brought to the US. Many others may be descended from slaves in the Caribbean or other parts of the American continents, and others again are more recent migrants. d Each eligible black thus will be entitled to $1 000. 5 How will the guilty pay? a Saudi Arabia should be required to hand over $20 billion in cash. Failure to accept responsibility should result in sanctions. b There are 40 million registered Democrats. Each would be required to pay $500 000. A not unreasonable sum since they are the beneficiaries of those who lived off the work of others (a bit like white privilege). 6 How to collect. All Democrats registered at the end of the year to provide a list of assets, including homes. Collection to be placed in the hands of the IRS.
As has so often been the case in the past year or two, an important report has surfaced on the Italian traditionalist blog, Messa in Latino (Mass in Latin). In it, the authors reveal that at the recent Italian Bishops’ Conference meeting in Rome (Nov. 12-15), an attack was mounted on the 2007 Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum. That papal instruction affirmed that it is “permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.”
The attack was led by Archbishop Redaelli of Gorizia, who argued that the Mass was, in fact, abrogated (in direct contradiction to Pope Benedict) and that it can thus not be considered to be universally permitted.
Earlier this week, 1P5 contributor Hilary White, who lives in Italy, offered more insight into what the liturgical landscape looks like in Italy, and how this move might be interpreted. She says that the Traditional Mass “is barely surviving” in Italy “due to the blind, insane hostility of the Italian bishops to the Catholic religion.” She also argues that Francis has effectively taken over the Italian Bishops’ Conference, imposing his own candidate in Perugia and parachuting “a bunch of his toadies into key positions around the country to start softening up the local Church to his ideological platform planks.” Hilary continues, saying of Francis:
I’d bet money this is his idea made to look like theirs and he will acquiesce reluctantly to the overwhelmingly unified decision of the bishops – synodality, dontcha know. It will probably take a couple of years – one needs chronological distance in order to maintain plausible deniability – but it will probably show up as a “key principle” after one of the Synods. Something that one or two bishops will complain was “never talked about” in the discussions in the aula.
She expects that locally, there will be a push to kill off whatever TLMs have managed to survive the already hostile landscape. Over the past half decade, availability of traditional Masses has “plummeted,” Hilary writes, and that became clear to her when trying to find a place to live with access to the Mass after the town of Norcia, where she was an oblate at the Benedictine Monastery, was destroyed by earthquakes and she was forced to find a new home.
Twenty months ago, when I was looking for a place in Umbria my first priority was finding a place within a reasonable communing distance from a Mass. But I spent a month traveling up and down and back and forth visiting ALL the Mass centre locations listed by the traddie websites, and of the five regular Mass centres (not including SSPX) only three were barely hanging on – one of which was the monastery at Norcia. If they do manage to formally restrict the Mass again, it will be in the nature of a mop-up job.
Traditionalists are treated by the Italian clergy and hierarchy like people with a contagious mental disease.
The blow struck by the Italian Bishops against the Mass of the Ages does not appear to be decisive. To my knowledge, no concrete action has been taken to repeal Summorum Pontificum in Italy — which, if it were to happen, would begin a domino effect in hostile dioceses around the world. We may not see the next step yet, but make no mistake: this is a portentous event, and it isn’t the last we’ll hear of it.
As she so often does, Hilary cuts to the heart of the matter when she concludes:
One thing this does demonstrate, however, is that it is only the Traditionalists and the rabid revolutionaries in robes we still call bishops who fully understand the importance of the ancient liturgy. They need to kill it in order to kill the Faith it embodies.
In a followup post, she notes that Archbishop Redaelli recently refused “to back up one of his parish priests who objected to having an adult male scout leader of the parish who was in a same-sex “civil union”.” This refusal ultimately led to the priest’s resignation while the gay scout leader remained.
“I merely add all this,” she says, “as a helpful illustration of what I mean by the hatred of the traditional liturgy always goes along with the hatred of the Faith it embodies.”
The full translation of the Messa in Latino post is below, courtesy of 1P5’s Giuseppe Pellegrino:
Italian Bishops’ Conference: The Traditional Mass Should be Abrogated, Benedict XVI Was Mistaken
The reports that had come to us have been confirmed: in Rome, at the Meeting of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), an attempt has been made to attack the motu proprio of Benedict XVI [Summorum Pontificum], and also Benedict himself, he who was so fond of that reform, so much so that he fearlessly faced opposition to it.
Archbishop Redaelli, Bishop of Gorizia (whom we know received a degree in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University) has asserted that the  Missal of John XXIII was abrogated by Paul VI (contrary to what Benedict XVI said in the motu proprio), and thus, because the juridical premises on which Summorum Pontificum is based are in error, is without efficacy in the part in which it affirms the continuing validity of the  Missal and its unchanged vigor today. For this reason, the motu proprio is a “nonsense” law and the “Tridentine” liturgy was not legitimately re-established by the motu proprio and it cannot presently be considered to be universally permitted.
The consequence, hoped for by the most hostile bishops, is a total cancellation (without appeal) of all of the centers where the TLM is offered and flourishing since September 14, 2007.
To which we respond, based on the opinion of professional canon lawyers, not simply doctors of the law in other matters like His Excellency [Archbishop Radaelli], even if the premise of the motu proprio that the ancient liturgy was numquam abrogata is wrong (which it is not, as is evidenced, apart from other things, by the pre-existing faculty [prior to 2007] to celebrate the TLM under the Indult), the essential datum is that Summorum Pontificum expresses an irrefutable ratio legis: namely that the Extraordinary Form is henceforward freely to be used; always permitted for private Masses, and on the request of a stable group of the faithful for public Masses. Therefore the criticism of Archbishop Radaelli, even if it was well-founded (and it is not) would have no impact at all on the force of canon law in effect since 2007.
To this unconvincing intervention is added the even more hostile intervention of Girardi, Rector of the Institute of Pastoral Liturgy of Saint Justina of Padua (one of the epicenters of post-conciliar aberrations), filled with the worst ideology of the “aggiornamento.”
Devoid of legal knowledge but full of liturgical arrogance (the famous joke that circulates in the Vatican is that the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist is that with the latter, usually, one can negotiate…), Girardi explained that Summorum Pontificum is pernicious from the point of view of pastoral care, because it is contrary to the conciliar indications of the Fathers who demanded (according to him) a radical change to the  Missal. This is by no means true, as evidenced by the reading of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which for example does not direct that the priest should be turned towards the people, and at n. 36 categorically prescribes: “The use of the Latin language, except for particular laws, is preserved in the Latin rites.”
A bishop from Puglia also spoke in support of this liturgist, Bishop Brambilla of Novara, who, although he spoke in a more elegant manner, also struck a harsh blow against the motu proprio.
Of course, after having been worried [at their meeting] about changing the long-standing translations of the Gloria and the Our Father, without anyone feeling it was necessary (and yet obviously the “for you and for all” has still not been modified, which is clearly in contrast with the original version, or rather with the very words of Our Lord, who said “for you and for many”), why would Their Excellencies waste any time analyzing the true causes of the grave crisis of faith which the Italian Church is living through (empty seminaries, abandonment of the cassock by many priests, the collapse of Catholic practice, terrible incidents of homosexual and pedophilic abuse, altars of severed heads, to cite just a few examples.)
Instead, the urgent matter of the moment was, apparently, lashing out at the ancient liturgy and calling for its banishment.
There is something sinisterly psychopathic in all this, and it is the envy of those who are bankrupt: in the collapse of their utopias, in the cold winter which the radiant ‘conciliar spring’ has turned into, it is too painful to face reality and honestly admit their mistakes. Instead they try to destroy the little that still works, like the zeal and decorum of the celebrations of the ancient rite and the flourishing of vocations in traditional religious institutes. The case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the hatred of the immemorial liturgy are a clear example of this insane frenzy of crazy castaways, who try to turn over the few rafts that still float, rather than thinking of climbing into them or building new ones.
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S drive to reduce immigration is not letting up. Its latest vehicle: proposed regulations enlarging federal authority to reject applications for citizenship, green cards, or visa renewals by immigrants who cannot support themselves without turning to welfare.
Immigrants take the oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2017.
On the surface, the new rules simply enforce a requirement that has been part of US immigration law for more than 135 years. The Immigration Act of 1882 barred from entry into the United States “any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.” But welfare wasn’t the temptation in 1882 that it has become today.
It is reasonable to expect immigrants to be able to support themselves without relying for their daily bread on taxpayer subsidies. That expectation was easily enforced before the rise of the modern welfare state, which provides access to a wide array of welfare benefits: cash assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, public housing, Medicare drug subsidies, and more. It may not be true that immigrants come to the United States in order to go on welfare — the overwhelming majority of foreigners who move to America do so with the intention of working hard and making good — but it is undeniably the case that many immigrants, once here, have ended up collecting welfare of one kind or another.
Federal law, in other words, pulls in opposite directions. On the one hand, it bars immigrants deemed likely to become dependent on welfare. On the other hand, it allows legal immigrants to collect most kinds of welfare once they have been in the country for five years.
Under the law’s vague standard — would-be immigrants are inadmissible if they are “likely” to become a public charge — the executive branch has enormous discretion to deny legal status to foreigners it determines will be a burden on the taxpayers. Existing guidelines, drafted during the Clinton administration, define “public charge” as anyone primarily dependent on cashwelfare. But the guidelines exempt all non-cash benefits, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and Section 8 housing vouchers. The Trump administration and its supporters contend that that ignores most forms of welfare, including the kinds of benefits immigrants tend to collect.
Trump’s proposal goes to the other extreme. It would deny visas and green cards not only to foreigners primarily dependent on welfare, but also to foreigners barely dependent on public benefits — as little as $2.50 per person daily for a family of four, according to the Cato Institute. Moreover, it would authorize consular officials to rely on numerous nonfinancial “negative factors” in rejecting an applicant on likely-public-charge grounds. Anything from having a large family to suffering from a medical condition to being older than 61 could be invoked as evidence that an applicant should be rejected.
Kirstjen Nielsen, the US secretary of Homeland Security, announced new regulations that will lead to more applications for immigrant visas and green cards being rejected on the grounds that the applicants are likely to become a “public charge” if admitted to the United States.
There’s not much doubt that the Trump administration is motivated less by the desire to curtail welfare dependence than by a wish to curtail immigration. It can only do so, however, because of the statutory incongruity that allows immigrants to collect welfare while barring immigrants from becoming a public charge. It would make far more sense for Congress to bar noncitizen immigrants from welfare entirely, and thereby silence once and for all those who rail about immigrants leeching off the state.
That’s the objective of a bill introduced by Representative Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, under which only citizens would be eligible for means-tested welfare benefits. If such a law were enacted, legal immigrants could enter the country without having to prove that they wouldn’t become public charges, because immigrants would no longer have access to welfare-state largesse. Only by becoming a naturalized citizen could any immigrant collect a dime of welfare.
Grothman’s legislation would amount to walling off the welfare state so more immigrants could be admitted, to quote Reason magazine’s Shikha Dalmia — as opposed to walling off the country to keep more immigrants out, which is the purpose of Trump’s proposed new rule. America needs more self-reliant immigrants and America needs less welfare addiction. This bill, not Trump’s toxic proposal, is the path to both.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).
A long-time observer of the modern ecclesiastical scene wrote to me to share his perspective on the broader significance of the McCarrick scandal. With his permission, I here publish his thoughts, which have been slightly edited for publication.
Most commentators do not begin to understand the true nature of the problem.
The ring of criminal Nancy Boys is the same ring that has been sedulously working for decades to undermine the integrity of the doctrinal, moral, sacramental, liturgical Church. These men – McCarrick, McElroy, Wuerl, O’Malley, Mahony, Cupich, Tobin, Farrell, Lynch, Weakland, Paglia, Maradiaga, their lovable mouthpiece James Martin, Thomas Rosica, and far too many others, including ones who have passed on to their eternal fate, such as Lyons, Boland, Brom – are the same ones who have destabilized and adulterated catechesis, theology, liturgy, and most obviously the Church’s commitment to the unchanging moral law, as we saw in the Amoris Laetitia debacle and all that surrounded and succeeded it. We must connect the dots and not pretend to be shocked when we see, for example, attempts under way to “re-interpret” Humanae Vitae through a false teaching on conscience, or to do away with clerical celibacy, or to introduce female deacons.
To treat the sins of this ring of conspirators as nothing more than a recrudescence of the sex scandals of the past would be to lose sight of their real enormity. These are not just men of bad moral character; they are apostates, and they are trying to remake the Church in the image of their own apostasy. The Church has been smashed up in front of our eyes in slow motion for decades and few can even begin to admit that we are now faced with a Church in actual smithereens. The Nancy Boys have conducted their campaign of demolition with a kind of imperial sway. It is not this or that aspect of the Church that is corrupt; the rot is now everywhere. It is a rot on which the McCarrick Ring still sups, like maggots feasting on a corpse. For this reason, to hear well meaning people say Bergoglio must impanel some investigative body to set things right is Alice in Wonderland lunacy. It’s like putting Himmler in charge of Nuremberg.
We do not need bishops engaging in public penance (although it’s a good idea for their souls and long overdue); we do not need episcopal investigations; we do not need new procedures and new policies. These are all cries for exculpation. Bishops beating their breasts and then going back to doing nothing about the manifest apostasy at the very heart of the Church will not solve matters. We need the apostates identified, denounced, and removed. We need a reaffirmation of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith. To clean up this mess, we have to clean up more than the scandal of homosexuality, with all of its attendant horrors. We have to denounce and reject the apostasy that powerful and influential homosexuals and their friends have insinuated into the Church over decades.
Take one example that can stand for many others: Rembert Weakland. The man who paid half a million dollars to a former male partner in litigation, who said sexual abuse reporters were “squealing,” who shredded reports about such abuse and claimed in his autobiography that he did not know that abuse of children is a crime – this was the same man who worked against traditional sacred music (chant and polyphony), calling for modern styles and liturgical dancing; who, according to a source living in Rome at the time, induced a hesitating Paul VI to push forward the Novus Ordo Missae; who criticized the CDF’s document Dominus Jesus that reaffirmed Catholic dogma on the necessity of faith in Christ and membership in the Church for salvation; and who utterly devastated the historic cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee with a wreckovation that can be described only as satanic.
It is a package deal. This, above all, is what people need to see. The moral depravity, the doctrinal heresy, the liturgical devastation – all of it goes together. If you have the courage to follow each thread, you will find that any attack on one part of the Church, one aspect of her life, one component of her tradition, already is or will soon be bound up with an attack on the other parts, too. The real “seamless garment” is Catholicism taken in its totality. Either you have the whole or you can’t have any.
Living the devout life – the life of grace enjoined by Christ – is not a mere “option” for the Catholic faithful, even less for Catholic clergy. Living the devout life is a solemn obligation before Almighty God, before the Church, and before one’s own conscience. Those who reject or seek to travesty that life will necessarily fall into apostasy. Allof us will, not just the homosexuals.
The difference with the clerical sodomites is that they become professional apostates. It is not enough for them not to believe in the sacraments; they must make others not believe in them as well. They will not stop twisting and mutilating the Church until she blesses their sin, along with many other sins. To achieve their goals, they must wreak havoc on every last aspect of the Church. This is what the faithful must stop – forget about the contemptible bureaucracy of the USCCB with its well heeled lawyers and slick marketeers. We begin to stop the havoc by calling its source by its real name. McCarrick was not just a predatory sodomite, but an apostate, and all of his “brother bishops” who knew about the double life and still got their pictures taken with him, laughing away at the latest wool pulled over the people’s eyes – you know, the ones who are putting out videos about how unfortunate this is, what a mess, and, you know, it isn’t as bad as people are making it out to be – these are all apostates, too. They’re company men with company cars, driving in a long line to their own burials at the ecumenical cemetery.
One would think the collaborationist bishops would think twice before leaving their bunkers. Yet, as recent tweets, videos, and articles have demonstrated, they are oddly reckless – proof that they underestimate the extent to which their “narratives” (such as they are) no longer persuade or even matter. The tide is turning against the privileged clerical elite and their lavish lavender lifestyles.
One has to marvel at the farcical tenacity of so much denial on so many sides, and the ridiculous lengths to which people will go in the attempt to explain away obvious problems. When did Catholics become so delusive, so resistant to reality, so willing to do anything rather than look at the wreckage staring them in the face? Why do so many of us have a problem with calling a spade a spade? The only solution is when heads roll, many heads, rolling freely. Let the filth be mucked out, and let fresh air and sunlight in.
The Catholic Church is being rocked to its foundations by a scandal of Modernist apostasy of staggering proportions. We are in “2+2 = 5” territory, and the “conservative” apologists have no real response to that, which is why they insist on treating the McCarrick business as a sex scandal. They are more concerned about a mendacious, ramshackle, unaccountable episcopate than they are about the deposit of the faith under daily assault, as it has been ever since the progressive European bishops maneuvered into control of the Second Vatican Council, strewing ambiguities and half-truths in its documents and dominating its implementation, particularly in the liturgical sphere – all of which has led us straight into the cesspool of iniquity and heresy in which we are stewing.
We have a colossal problem on our hands, yes, but it is not insurmountable. The above analysis may seem hopeless, but I am not one of those who believe that ecclesial doom is just around the corner. The papacy can be set right with a worthy pope. The episcopacy can be strengthened if that worthy pope takes action to depose and defrock bishops across the globe and replace them with men worthy of their offices. The seminaries can be reformed. The Mass of Ages can be restored. Catholic education can be revived. Catechesis can be regenerated (but not, needless to say, with the latest version of the Catechism).
You may well say: All this, any of this, would be a miracle, heaps of miracles! And I say: Yes, that’s right. Miracles do happen, and we need them now more than ever. With man, it is impossible; with God, nothing is impossible – not even the reform of the papacy, the episcopacy, and the college of cardinals.
Reform begins where it always does in the history of the Church through the ages: with faithful laity, faithful priests and deacons, faithful religious brothers and sisters, faithful bishops – men and women absolutely committed to Our Lord and to the Catholic Faith He has given us, in all of its doctrinal integrity, moral strength, and liturgical fullness.I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem – and so should you, and every layman, religious, and cleric whom God in His Providence has put into the world at exactly this time, so that we can be part of the solution. No one needs to strut off into permanent opposition or lock down in motionless despondency. It is time to pray for divine intervention like never before, and work with all our strength and skill to make ready the coming of the Lord.
TWELVE VALID CARDINALS, i.e. CARDINALS APPOINTED BY POPES BENEDICT XVI AND SAINT JOHN PAUL II, MUST ACT SOON TO REMOVE FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL FROM THE THRONE OF SAINT PETER BEFORE HE DAMAGES THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH EVEN MORE THAN HE HAS ALREADY DAMAGED IT.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CARDINALS OF THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND OTHER CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL IN COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE
Recently many educated Catholic observers, including bishops and priests, have decried the confusion in doctrinal statements about faith or morals made from the Apostolic See at Rome and by the putative Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Some devout, faithful and thoughtful Catholics have even suggested that he be set aside as a heretic, a dangerous purveyor of error, as recently mentioned in a number of reports. Claiming heresy on the part of a man who is a supposed Pope, charging material error in statements about faith or morals by a putative Roman Pontiff, suggests and presents an intervening prior question about his authenticity in that August office of Successor of Peter as Chief of The Apostles, i.e., was this man the subject of a valid election by an authentic Conclave of The Holy Roman Church? This is so because each Successor of Saint Peter enjoys the Gift of Infallibility. So, before one even begins to talk about excommunicating such a prelate, one must logically examine whether this person exhibits the uniformly good and safe fruit of Infallibility.
If he seems repeatedly to engage in material error, that first raises the question of the validity of his election because one expects an authentically-elected Roman Pontiff miraculously and uniformly to be entirely incapable of stating error in matters of faith or morals. So to what do we look to discern the invalidity of such an election? His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, within His massive legacy to the Church and to the World, left us with the answer to this question. The Catholic faithful must look back for an answer to a point from where we have come—to what occurred in and around the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 and how the fruits of those events have generated such widespread concern among those people of magisterial orthodoxy about confusing and, or, erroneous doctrinal statements which emanate from The Holy See.
His Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis) which governed the supposed Conclave in March 2013 contains quite clear and specific language about the invalidating effect of departures from its norms. For example, Paragraph 76 states: “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”
From this, many believe that there is probable cause to believe that Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio was never validly elected as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter—he never rightly took over the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and therefore he does not enjoy the charism of Infallibility. If this is true, then the situation is dire because supposed papal acts may not be valid or such acts are clearly invalid, including supposed appointments to the college of electors itself.
Only valid cardinals can rectify our critical situation through privately (secretly) recognizing the reality of an ongoing interregnum and preparing for an opportunity to put the process aright by obedience to the legislation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in that Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. While thousands of the Catholic faithful do understand that only the cardinals who participated in the events of March 2013 within the Sistine Chapel have all the information necessary to evaluate the issue of election validity, there was public evidence sufficient for astute lay faithful to surmise with moral certainty that the March 2013 action by the College was an invalid conclave, an utter nullity.
What makes this understanding of Universi Dominici Gregisparticularly cogent and plausible is the clear Promulgation Clause at the end of this Apostolic Constitution and its usage of the word “scienter” (“knowingly”). The Papal Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis thus concludes definitively with these words: “. . . knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.” (“. . . scienter vel inscienter contra hanc Constitutionem fuerint excogitata.”) [Note that His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, had a somewhat similar promulgation clause at the end of his corresponding, now abrogated, Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo, but his does not use “scienter”, but rather uses “sciens” instead. This similar term of sciens in the earlier abrogated Constitution has an entirely different legal significance than scienter.] This word, “scienter”, is a legal term of art in Roman law, and in canon law, and in Anglo-American common law, and in each system, scienter has substantially the same significance, i.e., “guilty knowledge” or willfully knowing, criminal intent.
Thus, it clearly appears that Pope John Paul II anticipated the possibility of criminal activity in the nature of a sacrilege against a process which He intended to be purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual, if not miraculous, in its nature. This contextual reality reinforced in the Promulgation Clause, combined with: (1) the tenor of the whole document; (2) some other provisions of the document, e.g., Paragraph 76; (3) general provisions of canon law relating to interpretation, e.g., Canons 10 & 17; and, (4) the obvious manifest intention of the Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, tends to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the legal conclusion that Monsignor Bergoglio was never validly elected Roman Pontiff.
This is so because:1. Communication of any kind with the outside world, e.g., communication did occur between the inside of the Sistine Chapel and anyone outside, including a television audience, before, during or even immediately after the Conclave;2. Any political commitment to “a candidate” and any “course of action” planned for The Church or a future pontificate, such as the extensive decade-long “pastoral” plans conceived by the Sankt Gallen hierarchs; and,3. Any departure from the required procedures of the conclave voting process as prescribed and known by a cardinal to have occurred:each was made an invalidating act, and if scienter (guilty knowledge) was present, also even a crime on the part of any cardinal or other actor, but, whether criminal or not, any such act or conduct violating the norms operated absolutely, definitively and entirely against the validity of all of the supposed Conclave proceedings.
Quite apart from the apparent notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated with the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” other acts destructive of conclave validity occurred. Keeping in mind that Pope John Paul II specifically focused Universi Dominici Gregis on “the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors” such that “the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit,” even certain openly public media broadcasting breached this seclusion by electronic broadcasts outlawed by Universi Dominici Gregis. These prohibitions include direct declarative statements outlawing any use of television before, during or after a conclave in any area associated with the proceedings, e.g.: “I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself.” Viewed in light of this introductory preambulary language of Universi Dominici Gregis and in light of the legislative text itself, even the EWTN camera situated far inside the Sistine Chapel was an immediately obvious non-compliant act which became an open and notorious invalidating violation by the time when this audio-visual equipment was used to broadcast to the world the preaching after the “Extra Omnes”. While these blatant public violations of Chapter IV of Universi Dominici Gregis actuate the invalidity and nullity of the proceedings themselves, nonetheless in His great wisdom, the Legislator did not disqualify automatically those cardinals who failed to recognize these particular offenses against sacred secrecy, or even those who, with scienter, having recognized the offenses and having had some power or voice in these matters, failed or refused to act or to object against them: “Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, ¶55]
No Pope apparently having been produced in March 2013, those otherwise valid cardinals who failed with scienter to act on violations of Chapter IV, on that account alone would nonetheless remain voting members of the College unless and until a new real Pope is elected and adjudges them.
Thus, those otherwise valid cardinals who may have been compromised by violations of secrecy can still participate validly in the “clean-up of the mess” while addressing any such secrecy violations with an eventual new Pontiff. In contrast, the automatic excommunication of those who politicized the sacred conclave process, by obtaining illegally, commitments from cardinals to vote for a particular man, or to follow a certain course of action (even long before the vacancy of the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ), is established not only by the word, “scienter,” in the final enacting clause, but by a specific exception, in this case, to the general statement of invalidity which therefore reinforces the clarity of intention by Legislator that those who apply the law must interpret the general rule as truly binding. Derived directly from Roman law, canonical jurisprudence provides this principle for construing or interpreting legislation such as this Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. Expressed in Latin, this canon of interpretation is: “Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.” (The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.) In this case, an exception from invalidity for acts of simony reinforces the binding force of the general principle of nullity in cases of other violations. Therefore, by exclusion from nullity and invalidity legislated in the case of simony: “If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.”
His Holiness made an exception for simony. Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis. The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave. Comparing what Pope John Paul II wrote in His Constitution on conclaves with the Constitution which His replaced, you can see that, with the exception of simony, invalidity became universal.
In the corresponding paragraph of what Pope Paul VI wrote, he specifically confined the provision declaring conclave invalidity to three (3) circumstances described in previous paragraphs within His constitution, Romano Pontfici Eligendo. No such limitation exists in Universi Dominici Gregis. See the comparison both in English and Latin below:Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77. Should the election be conducted in a manner different from the three procedures described above (cf. no. 63 ff.) or without the conditions laid down for each of the same, it is for this very reason null and void (cf. no. 62), without the need for any declaration, and gives no right to him who has been thus elected. [Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam uno e tribus modis, qui supra sunt dicti (cfr. nn. 63 sqq.), aut non servatis condicionibus pro unoquoque illorum praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida (cfr. n. 62) absque ulla declaratione, et ita electo nullum ius tribuit .”] as compared with:Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam haec Constitutio statuit, aut non servatis condicionibus pariter hic praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida absque ulla declaratione, ideoque electo nullum ius tribuit.”]Of course, this is not the only feature of the Constitution or aspect of the matter which tends to establish the breadth of invalidity.
Faithful must hope and pray that only those cardinals whose status as a valid member of the College remains intact will ascertain the identity of each other and move with the utmost charity and discretion in order to effectuate The Divine Will in these matters. The valid cardinals, then, must act according to that clear, manifest, obvious and unambiguous mind and intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, so evident in Universi Dominici Gregis, a law which finally established binding and self-actuating conditions of validity on the College for any papal conclave, a reality now made so apparent by the bad fruit of doctrinal confusion and plain error. It would seem then that praying and working in a discreet and prudent manner to encourage only those true cardinals inclined to accept a reality of conclave invalidity, would be a most charitable and logical course of action in the light of Universi Dominici Gregis, and out of our high personal regard for the clear and obvious intention of its Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Even a relatively small number of valid cardinals could act decisively and work to restore a functioning Apostolic See through the declaration of an interregnum government. The need is clear for the College to convene a General Congregation in order to declare, to administer, and soon to end the Interregnum which has persisted since March 2013. Finally, it is important to understand that the sheer number of putative counterfeit cardinals will eventually, sooner or later, result in a situation in which The Church will have no normal means validly ever again to elect a Vicar of Christ. After that time, it will become even more difficult, if not humanly impossible, for the College of Cardinals to rectify the current disastrous situation and conduct a proper and valid Conclave such that The Church may once again both have the benefit of a real Supreme Pontiff, and enjoy the great gift of a truly infallible Vicar of Christ. It seems that some good cardinals know that the conclave was invalid, but really cannot envision what to do about it; we must pray, if it is the Will of God, that they see declaring the invalidity and administering an Interregnum through a new valid conclave is what they must do. Without such action or without a great miracle, The Church is in a perilous situation. Once the last validly appointed cardinal reaches age 80, or before that age, dies, the process for electing a real Pope ends with no apparent legal means to replace it. Absent a miracle then, The Church would no longer have an infallible Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ. Roman Catholics would be no different that Orthodox Christians. In this regard, all of the true cardinals may wish to consider what Holy Mother Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶675, ¶676 and ¶677 about “The Church’s Ultimate Trial”. But, the fact that “The Church . . . will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” does not justify inaction by the good cardinals, even if there are only a minimal number sufficient to carry out Chapter II of Universi Dominici Gregis and operate the Interregnum. This Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, which was clearly applicable to the acts and conduct of the College of Cardinals in March 2013, is manifestly and obviously among those “invalidating” laws “which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is effected” as stated in Canon 10 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. And, there is nothing remotely “doubtful or obscure” (Canon 17) about this Apostolic Constitution as clearly promulgated by Pope John Paul II. The tenor of the whole document expressly establishes that the issue of invalidity was always at stake. This Apostolic Constitution conclusively establishes, through its Promulgation Clause [which makes “anything done (i.e., any act or conduct) by any person . . . in any way contrary to this Constitution,”] the invalidity of the entire supposed Conclave, rendering it “completely null and void”. So, what happens if a group of Cardinals who undoubtedly did not knowingly and wilfully initiate or intentionally participate in any acts of disobedience against Universi Dominici Gregis were to meet, confer and declare that, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Monsignor Bergoglio is most certainly not a valid Roman Pontiff. Like any action on this matter, including the initial finding of invalidity, that would be left to the valid members of the college of cardinals. They could declare the Chair of Peter vacant and proceed to a new and proper conclave. They could meet with His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and discern whether His resignation and retirement was made under duress, or based on some mistake or fraud, or otherwise not done in a legally effective manner, which could invalidate that resignation. Given the demeanor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and the tenor of His few public statements since his departure from the Chair of Peter, this recognition of validity in Benedict XVI seems unlikely. In fact, even before a righteous group of good and authentic cardinals might decide on the validity of the March 2013 supposed conclave, they must face what may be an even more complicated discernment and decide which men are most likely not valid cardinals. If a man was made a cardinal by the supposed Pope who is, in fact, not a Pope (but merely Monsignor Bergoglio), no such man is in reality a true member of the College of Cardinals. In addition, those men appointed by Pope John Paul II or by Pope Benedict XVI as cardinals, but who openly violated Universi Dominici Gregis by illegal acts or conduct causing the invalidation of the last attempted conclave, would no longer have voting rights in the College of Cardinals either. (Thus, the actual valid members in the College of Cardinals may be quite smaller in number than those on the current official Vatican list of supposed cardinals.) In any event, the entire problem is above the level of anyone else in Holy Mother Church who is below the rank of Cardinal. So, we must pray that The Divine Will of The Most Holy Trinity, through the intercession of Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Graces and Saint Michael, Prince of Mercy, very soon rectifies the confusion in Holy Mother Church through action by those valid Cardinals who still comprise an authentic College of Electors. Only certainly valid Cardinals can address the open and notorious evidence which points to the probable invalidity of the last supposed conclave and only those cardinals can definitively answer the questions posed here. May only the good Cardinals unite and if they recognize an ongoing Interregnum, albeit dormant, may they end this Interregnum by activating perfectly a functioning Interregnum government of The Holy See and a renewed process for a true Conclave, one which is purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual. If we do not have a real Pontiff, then may the good Cardinals, doing their appointed work “in view of the sacredness of the act of election” “accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit” and provide Holy Mother Church with a real Vicar of Christ as the Successor of Saint Peter. May these thoughts comport with the synderetic considerations of those who read them and may their presentation here please both Our Immaculate Virgin Mother, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.N. de Plume Un ami des Papes