Every time Blaise Cupich speaks, he sounds more like a corporate chieftain than a successor of the Apostles. The mystery is: has he been given complete freedom by Rome to control the USCCB conference the way he sees fit, or is he consulting every step of the way and checking in with Rome frequently?

SOME GOOD GUYS, BUT NOT ENOUGH

And one really bad one.

November 16, 2018  

Church Militant

TRANSCRIPT

I’m Michael Voris wrapping up our coverage of the bishops’ sex abuse meeting here in Baltimore, or rather what was supposed to be a meeting about clerical sex abuse — which is mostly homosexual clergy sex abuse.

But it didn’t exactly turn out that way once the gay mob in Rome abruptly ordered the U.S. bishops to cancel their planned vote on trying to get to the bottom of things. After that happened, not much else did.  

There were speeches and grandstanding and controlling of events by Rome’s waterboy, Cdl. Cupich, and as an aside, what a frightening thought that he may very well be voting on the next pope — him and quite a few others.

But some things did happen that were a cause for hope. A number of the less big-name bishops didspeak out and assert Catholicism, which must have been shocking to some of their fellow prelates. Bishops Strickland of Tyler, Texas; Daly of Spokane, Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois; Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis; and McKnight of Jefferson City were the few who publicly insisted on fidelity to the Church’s teaching.

And thank God for them. Privately, a number of other bishops were also applauding them but, because they haven’t quite gotten up the nerve yet, remained in the background. They need to change that — and fast.

But no doubt about it, the entire meeting was dominated by what Abp. Viganò correctly labeled the homosexual current so dominant in the hierarchy. Cupich has clearly emerged as the conductor of this gay orchestra, and the bishops here know it.

At one point, a vote was taken to recommend the Vatican make public the entire file of McCarrick. Cupich seized control and made known — for a bunch of politically motivated reasons dressed up to appear reasonable — that the bishops should vote down any such measure.

They dutifully compiled by a vote of roughly 130-80 — no transparency needed. When Cdl. O’Malley suggested what many consider to be a change in the definition of “vulnerable adults” when categorizing sex abuse victims, it was again Cupich who seized control and said things would be complicated involving priests having sex with adults if the adults were consenting.

Every time the man speaks, he sounds more like a corporate chieftain than a successor of the Apostles. The mystery is: has he been given complete freedom by Rome to control the conference the way he sees fit, or is he consulting every step of the way and checking in with Rome frequently?

At this rate, it is far less than the conference of U.S. bishops, it would be more accurate to describe it as the Cupich Conference and some other bishops just hanging out. Current president Daniel DiNardo has effectively been removed from any serious power or authority. That was evident by the smackdown he received from Francis in August when the Pope told him to take a hike when he asked for an investigation into the McCarrick affair.

Cupich is beyond doubt in control of the U.S. hierarchy, just as his successor Joseph Bernardin — also from Chicago — was in control. And he is in control because Rome — the homosexualist current in Rome — has anointed him to be so.

Cupich has been the one parading around the world announcing a revolution in the Church, a paradigm shift in the Church — all his words. For a papacy claiming to be so down with the idea of local control, it appears that’s the desire — until it’s not.

Cupich is Rome’s man in America and the instrument by which Rome will control everything it can in the United States in the continuing effort to advance modernism.

James Martin will still romp around the nation declaring sodomy is a gift from God and all who oppose it are mean.

Thomas Rosica will go on saying which sites are the only approved sites in Catholic social media and all others are to be not trusted.

And Cupich will continue to assert his will, which is the will of the homosexual current, whenever he feels the need to flex his muscle.

In closing, we bumped into Cupich in the hotel lobby and asked him why he says active homosexual couples should be allowed to receive Holy Communion.

Here’s a very brief clip of the end of our very brief visit.

I asked the question, and he scurried up the escalator.

Yep, got to get to that meeting — very important meeting, got to get to the meeting.

We asked another bishop if he believed what Cupich says about active homosexuals being able to receive Holy Communion, and he said no, he doesn’t agree with that.

When we pressed him and said, “Well then, why don’t you say something to Cupich and challenge him?” he answered back, “Well, he didn’t ask me.”

There are a few good men here. Their ranks need to swell and swell soon if there is any hope for the Church in America. U.S. Catholics have had enough wimps wearing miters.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


THE 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.


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 PlumeUn ami des Papes

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THE REGISTER’S TAKE ON THE BALTIMORE FIASCO

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Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaks during a press conference at the conference's annual gathering Nov. 12 in Baltimore.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaks during a press conference at the conference’s annual gathering Nov. 12 in Baltimore. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)NATION |  NOV. 15, 2018Baltimore Bombshell: Vatican Vetoes USCCB’s Planned Abuse-Prevention ReformsAn eleventh-hour Vatican directive blocks a much-anticipated vote on bishop-accountability reforms, but the USCCB president vowed to press for changes.Joan Frawley Desmond

BALTIMORE — Five months after Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s suspension from public ministry sparked an unprecedented crisis that has alarmed, angered and demoralized lay Catholics and clergy alike, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall assembly in Baltimore Nov. 12-14 was supposed to signal a sweeping course correction with new reforms designed to prevent future cover-ups.

Atop the agenda were two proposals that would be put to a vote during the three-day meeting: a draft “Standards of Conduct” for bishops and creation of an investigative commission that would receive accusations made against bishops and include lay specialists.

But that plan was upended as Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the president of the USCCB, dropped a bombshell on the first day of the gathering.

Facing an auditorium packed with hundreds of bishops, he announced that an eleventh-hour directive from the Holy See barred the assembly from voting on the critical proposals.

The decision, he told his brother bishops, was made at “the insistence of the Holy See” and reached him the previous evening.

Later, he explained that the directive had come from the Congregation for Bishops, and he was told the Holy See wanted to delay votes on such measures until the conclusion of the February 2019 meeting in Rome that Francis has called to address the global clergy-abuse crisis.

“I am sure that you have concerns about this, as I do myself,” Cardinal DiNardo told the assembly, as he encouraged conference members to take their concerns to prayer and repeated his apologies to abuse victims who had gathered to address the bishops.

“The faithful and the clergy do not trust many of you. They are angry and frustrated, no longer satisfied with words and even with prayer,” said Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, in a presentation on the board’s findings to the bishops. “They seek action that signals a cultural change from the leadership of the Church.”

Outside the Marriott hotel where the assembly had gathered, protesters carried signs calling for the “reform” of the Church.

Clearly worried that the unexpected order from Rome would stir further frustration and anger, Cardinal DiNardo made clear that the USCCB leadership was undeterred.

“We remain committed to the program of episcopal accountability,” he stated emphatically. “Votes will not take place, but we will move forward.”

The assembly’s subsequent deliberations, often passionate and occasionally painful, and augmented by public comments during press conferences, provided a window into the troubled souls of the assembled shepherds.

Most striking of all, perhaps, was Cardinal DiNardo’s repeated pledge of obedience to Pope Francis.

“We are Roman Catholic bishops in communion with our Holy Father in Rome,” said Cardinal DiNardo when asked to explain why he hadn’t set aside the Vatican directive and moved ahead with the scheduled votes. When the Holy See transmits its decision, he said, “we respond.”

Wide-Ranging Discussion

During a wide-ranging open-floor discussion that touched on the need for reforms, but also explored options that were already available within existing Church practice and the Code of Canon Law, Bishop George Thomas of Las Vegas said Catholics in his diocese were “rightfully” angry that the votes on the proposals were put on hold.

“The perception is that justice delayed is justice denied,” he said, expressing hope that the assembly would move forward with a largely symbolic “advisory vote that reflects the gravity of the issue at hand, the urgency of the matter, the depth of the breach of trust … affecting so deeply the living Body of Christ.”

Canon law already gives metropolitan archbishops oversight responsibilities, and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, echoed calls for metropolitans to be given greater authority over the bishops in their province along with the power to conduct their own inquiries.

“We have an existing structure, but it needs to be empowered,” said Archbishop Naumann.

Bishop Andrew Cozzens, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, noted that bishops were already free to engage in fraternal correction, but suggested that few were prepared to do so.

“I dream of a day when we as brothers are strong enough to say, ‘We think you should resign,’ even if he’s not ready to hear that,” he said. “Those are difficult conversations to have, nobody wants to have them, but they can be very important.”

McCarrick’s Misconduct

The pointed exchanges regarding fraternal correction exposed the wounds that Archbishop McCarrick’s alleged history of abuse and misconduct had inflicted on his victims. Reportedly, many Church authorities had heard rumors about him, and others received reports or signed off on settlements but did not try, or did not succeed, in removing him.

The record of failure was indisputable. And one or more teenage boys were allegedly damaged for life, as well as seminarians and young priests under his authority. Now, as he lives in a secluded Kansas friary, those he left behind sought to explain what had gone wrong, even as multiple investigations in the U.S. and Rome could result in further disgrace for sitting or retired U.S. Church leaders who tolerated his actions.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, asked whether those who shrugged off Archbishop McCarrick’s behavior still held to Catholic moral teaching.

“It’s part of our deposit of faith that we believe homosexual activity is immoral,” said Bishop Strickland. “How did he get promoted if we are all of one mind that this is wrong? Do we believe the doctrine of the Church or not?”

Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, said the scandal prompted an extended examination of conscience.

“Have we lost sight about what our mission is truly all about?” he asked. “Our mission is to sanctify the world,” and genuine, lasting reform “begins with us individually.”

Cardinal William Levada, who served as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when McCarrick was appointed archbishop of Washington, D.C., in 2005, suggested that the Vatican might have handled his case differently if strong investigations were routinely conducted before bishops were transferred to new dioceses.

Cardinal DiNardo, for his part, squarely addressed the importance of ongoing investigations into Archbishop McCarrick’s record that are underway in the Vatican and four U.S. dioceses, though no reports have been issued. “This … needs to be addressed,” he agreed. “It’s just bad for our people.”

Meanwhile, bishops also raised concerns about the presence of an alleged homosexual subculture in the Church and the role it may have played in Archbishop McCarrick’s advancement — remarks that were greeted by bursts of applause from the assembly.

The Archbishop McCarrick scandal has “provided clarity,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told the Register.

“It brought things to light that were in the shadows about the need for this kind of accountability.”

He acknowledged the bishops’ disappointment with the Vatican’s decision to block the vote on the two proposals, but he emphasized that they remained unanimous in their support for further reforms that would strengthen bishops’ accountability.

Task Force Created

Denied a consequential vote on the two proposals, Cardinal DiNardo took two further steps, one practical and one a largely symbolic gesture, to help shore up the bishops’ credibility.

First, he announced the creation of a task force — composed of himself and all the former USCCB presidents, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky; and Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta — that would work with conference committees to examine the substance and possible mishandling of abuse reports and present its findings at the bishops’ June 2019 meeting.

Second, amid lingering questions about the outcome of the Vatican’s archival review of documents related to Archbishop McCarrick’s case and whether relevant materials would be made available to the USCCB, a final vote was designed to “encourage” the Vatican to share the documents related to its investigation of McCarrick.

Yet even this small gesture was challenged by Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, and other conference members who framed the measure as a sign of disrespect toward the Holy See. The measure was defeated in a 137-83 vote.

Still, Cardinal DiNardo put the best face possible on the assembly’s proceedings, and he did that by straddling what looks like two increasingly divergent responses to the Church’s unprecedented crisis.

First, he affirmed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “loyalty and devotion” to the Pope “in these difficult days.”

“I am sure that, under the leadership of Pope Francis, the conversation that the global Church will have in February will help us eradicate the evil of sexual abuse from our Church,” he said. “It will make our local efforts more global, and the global perspective will help us here.” 

Then he promised his brother bishops that their shared goals for reform would be a “springboard for action” by the global Church and that the USCCB’s plan to secure reforms was still “on course,” despite the increasingly visible rift between the Vatican and the USCCB leadership. 

Likewise, Archbishop McCarrick’s dark legacy and the ongoing struggle to investigate and identify the corruption that cloaked his predation has exposed and deepened tensions within the conference that demand prudent leadership if the campaign for reform can begin to move forward, protect the faithful from other would-be McCarricks and rebuild the lost credibility of America’s Catholic shepherds.

Joan Frawley Desmond is a Register senior editor.

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TWELVE VALID CARDINALS CAN END THE PRESENT CRISIS OF THE CHURCH UNDER FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Pope Francis is the Greatest Crisis in Church History: How can he be Removed?

http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2018/11/we-are-in-greatest-crisis-in-history-of.html?m=1

We are in the greatest crisis in the history of the Church because we appear to have a pope and his pro-gay bishops network who make the Borgia popes and their inner circles look like choir boys.

The Mundabor blog summed up the situation in the United States: 

“Now, everyone with an IQ bigger than the size of his shoes knows that the Bishops aren’t avoiding to release information so that they can investigate more thoroughly than the public could do. No, they are keeping information away from you so that they can a) protect the vast number of people implicated in the protection and enabling of Cardinal McCarrick, b) avoid the unearthing of a vast, vast homosexual clerical net inside and outside of the Vatican,  and c) pretend that they are acting against clerical abuse when they are, in fact, consolidating it and helping it to fester inside and even at the very heart of the Church.”

“If you thought that the US Bishops would put themselves at the head of the movement (not because of concern for the victims or desire to do Christ’s work; but merely in order to avoid the donations drying out) curb your enthusiasm, because I don’t think that this is going to happen. These people are, evidently, too compromised to risk any degree of openness.”

The solution, at this point, is the handcuffs. I hope AGs all over the Country will soon start to treat the US Bishops like the organised criminal ring they are. Let them feel the cold metal on their wrists, and see whether this helps to, as they say today, “facilitate” a change of attitude.”
[https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/make-purple-the-new-orange/]

This is part of the solution, but as a good priest recently said even if we can get the state or Church to remove all the bad bishops, Pope Francis is only going to replace them with worse bishops. 

Of course, we must continue to work for the removal of Francis’s immoral pro-gay bishops network, but the only way we are going to begin a real restoration of the Church is to remove Francis as well as all his controllers and collaborators.

The only way to end the greatest crisis in the history of the Church is to remove Pope Francis and his collaborators!

How do we do this?

The Vatican is a sovereign state so no government is going to put Francis in handcuffs and even if they did he would still be Pope.

If putting the Pope in handcuffs along with his pro-gay bishops network and collaborators “organised criminal ring” is not the answer then what is?

Theologian Msgr. Nicola Bux , a former consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Benedict XVI, is pointing in the direction we must take:

“‘More useful’ than a fraternal correction, he said, would be to examine the ‘juridical validity’ of Pope Benedict’s XVI’s resignation and ‘whether it is full or partial.’ Jesus, he said, did not give the keys of heaven to Peter and Andrew but ‘said it only to Peter.’ Such an ‘in-depth study’ of the resignation, he said, could help to ‘overcome problems that today seem insurmountable to us.'”
[http://edwardpentin.co.uk/monsignor-bux-pope-francis-must-urgently-issue-profession-of-faith/]

The problem with even Msgr. Bux’s solution is that even if a non-cardinal “juridical” examination is done to see if Francis is a anti-pope or if he acts like an anti-pope most faithful Catholics are not going buy it as the American Catholic website showed:

“Cardinal Joseph Zen… wants to talk to the Pope again, but he told an Asian Catholic media website that ‘this may be the last time.’”

“On November 8, the Shanghai-born Cardinal told the Union of Catholic Asian News (ucanews.com) that “underground clerics have cried to him” since the Vatican signed a deal with China on the appointment of bishops.”

“’They said officials have forced them to become open, to join the (schismatic) Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and to obtain a priest’s certificate with the reason that the pope has signed the Sino-Vatican provisional agreement,’ Cardinal Zen told the media group.”

“Go here to read the rest.  To repeat, PopeWatch does not believe that the Pope is an Anti-Pope, but if he were, what would he do differently from what he is doing?”
[http://www.the-american-catholic.com/2018/11/15/popewatch-anti-pope/]

The only answer is the Bishop René Gracida solution. 

Bishop Gracida said:

“ONE CAN SAY THAT FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL IS A HERETIC [or a anti-pope] UNTIL ONE DIES BUT IT CHANGES NOTHING. WHAT IS NEEDED IS ACTION… WE MUST PRESSURE THE CARDINALS TOACT. SEND THAT LINK TO EVERY PRIEST AND BISHOP YOU KNOW”: https://wp.me/px5Zw-95e.

The link goes to his Open Letter which shows that there is strong evidence that Francis may be a anti-pope. But only the cardinals can validly make that Church juridical declaration. 

Onepeterfive’s anti-Open Letter Steve Skojec on May 7 rejected Bishop Gracida’s call for the cardinals to judge if Francis’s election to the papacy was valid calling the validity question itself a “potentially dangerous rabbit hole.”
(Onepeterfive, “Cardinal Eijk References End Times Prophecy in Intercommunion,” May 7, 2018)

At the time, Skojec referred back to his September 26, 2017 post where he said:

“JPII has removed the election-nullifying consequences of simony… nowhere else in the following paragraphs is nullity of the election even implied.”
(Onepeterfive, “A Brief note on the Question of a Legally Valid Election,” September 26, 2017)

Bishop Gracida shows that Skojec is wrong in his legally crafted Open Letter quoting Pope John Paul II’s Universi Dominici Gregis’ introductory perambulary and paragraph 76:

-“I further confirm, by my Apostlic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process [the above which Gracida clearly shows in his Open Letter was not maintained thus making the conclave and Francis’s papacy invalid according to the Bishop].”
(Introductory perambulary)

-“Should the election take place in a way other than laid down here not to be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void.”
(Paragraph 76)

Gracida’s Open Letter, moreover, shows that Skojec is wrong above:

“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.”

On top of all that, Skojec ignores paragraph 5 and contrary to what canon lawyer Edward Peters has said about Universi Dominici Gregis when he suggests canon lawyers have a role in interpreting the John Paul II Constitution, the document says:

“Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution, or concerning the manner of putting them into effect. I [Pope John Paul II] Decree that all power of issuing a judgment of this in this regard to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points.”
(Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5)

Later in the paragraph it says “except the act of the election,” which can be interpreted in a number of ways.

The point is, as Bishop Gracida says and Universi Dominici Gregis said, only the cardinals can interpret its meaning, not Skojec or canon lawyers.

The Bishop is saying what the document says: only the cardinals can interpret it.

He, also, says put pressure on the cardinals to act and interpret it which both Skojec and Peters appear to prefer to ignore.

Moreover, Bishop Gracida’s Open Letter and Pope John Paul II’s document make a number of points which neither Skojec, Peters or anyone else to my knowledge have even brought up or offered any counter argument against.

They are both wrong if they ignore this important Open Letter of Bishop Gracida.

If Skojec and Peters as well as the conservative and traditional Catholic media are ignoring Bishop Gracida because he isn’t a cardinal and retired, remember that St. Athanasius wasn’t a cardinal (that is involved in the selection or election process of the pope of the time) and was retired.

During the Arian heresy crisis, Pope Liberius excommunicated Athanasius. You don’t get any more retired than being excommunicated.

Skojec gave blogger Ann Barnhardt’s analysis of the papal validity a long article. The only bishop in the world (besides Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano) contesting Francis in a meaningful way deserves as much.

Skojec, Peters and all scholarly Catholics need to answer Gracida’s theologically clear and precise arguments and either clearly and precisely counter them or put pressure on the cardinals to put into action the needed canonical procedures to remove Francis if he was “never validly elected” the pope or else remove him from the Petrine office for heterodoxy.

Francis is not orthodox so there are only two things he could be:

1. A validly elected pope who is a material heretic until cardinals correct him and then canonically proclaim he is a formal heretic if he doesn’t recant thus deposing him (See: “In-depth Explanation of Dubia Consequences for Pope Francis including ‘Removing him from Office'”: https://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2016/12/in-depth-explanation-of-dubia.html?m=1)  or

 2. a invalidly elected anti-pope who is a heretic.

The point is whether you think using all the information available 1. is the objective truth or 2. is the objective truth you must act. 

You must as the Bishop says put: “pressure on the cardinals to act” whichever you think. 

Gracida is calling on pressure to be put on the cardinals to “[a]ddress… [the] probable invalidity” due to a invalid conclave or a invalid resignation by Pope Benedict’s XVI before they attempt to depose him from the Petrine office for heterodoxy. But, just as importantly he is calling all faithful Catholics to act and not just bemoan Francis’s heresy.

There are many ways to put pressure such as pray and offer Masses for this intention, send the Gracida link to priests, bishops and cardinals, make signs and pray the rosary in front of their offices as we do in front of abortion clinics. Use your imagination to come up with other ideas.   

But, the best way to put pressure on the cardinals to remove Francis is the rosary. The solution to the greatest crisis in the history of the Church is the rosary as it was for the Austrians.

The way to victory for the Austrians to defeat the Russians according to Fr. Pater Petrus was “a tithe: that ten percent of the Austrians, 700,000, would pledge to say the rosary daily for the Soviets to leave their country. 700,000 pledged” as told on the Santo Rosario website:

“At the end of World War II, the allies did a nasty thing: they turned Catholic Austria over to the Russians. The Austrians tolerated this Soviet domination for three years, but that was enough. They wanted the Soviets out of their country. But what could Austria do: seven million against 220 million?”

“Then a priest, Pater Petrus, remembered Don John of Austria. Outnumbered three to one, Don John led the Papal, Venetian, and Spanish ships against the Turks at Lepanto, and through the power of the rosary miraculously defeated them. So Pater Petrus called for a rosary crusade against the Soviets. He asked for a tithe: that ten percent of the Austrians, 700,000, would pledge to say the rosary daily for the Soviets to leave their country. 700,000 pledged.”

“For seven years the Austrians prayed the rosary. Then, on May 13, the anniversary of the apparition at Fatima, in 1955, the Russians left Austria.”

“Even to this day military strategists and historians are baffled. Why did the Communists pull out? Austria is a strategically located country, a door to the West, rich in mineral deposits and oil reserves? To them it was an enigma.”

“Al Williams, former custodian of the National Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, heard me tell this story once. He said to me, “You know, Father, I am Austrian. Well, three months before Therese Neumann died, I visited her (June 18, 1962). One question I asked her was, ‘Why did the Russians leave Austria?’ She told me, ‘Verily, verily, it was the rosaries of the Austrian people.’ ‘ “

“In other words, Our Lady’s rosary did what the Hungarian Freedom Fighters could not do with a bloodbath of 25,000 people. John Cortes, brilliant writer and diplomat of the 19th century wrote: ‘Those who pray do more for the world than those who fight. If the world is going from bad to worse, it is because there are more battles than prayers.'”[http://www.santorosario.net/power.htm]

Pray an Our Father now that a Fr. Petrus be risen up by God in the United States and all countries to bring about a tithe: that ten percent of the faithful American Catholics as well as faithful Catholics in every country say the rosary daily for the cardinals to remove Francisand his collaborators. I am going to start praying one of my rosaries everyday for those two intentions.
Extra article by Work of the Angels also known as Opus Angelorum:http://www.opusangelorum.org/Formation/Holyrosary.html

The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I. THE POWER OF THE ROSARY

“If I had an army to say the Rosary,” Pope Pius IX once said, “I could conquer the world.” And he said this because the Rosary, next to the Mass, is the most powerful weapon in the Church’s arsenal.

Now most people are aware that the Christian Navy defeated a large Moslem fleet, against overwhelming odds, at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. And most people are aware that this victory was won because Pope Pius V organized a Rosary procession to pray for the success of the battle. However, most people are unaware of the many amazing victories won through the power of the Rosary in the Twentieth Century. And so it is fitting to study some of these miraculous and divine interventions because this will help us to strengthen our faith in Mary’s intercession and to deepen our trust in the power of her Rosary.

One of the most amazing miracles in history occurred at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima, Japan. At that time the Americans dropped the first atomic bomb, and it landed just eight city blocks from the Jesuit church of Our Lady of the Assumption. A half million people were killed instantly when the bomb hit, and homes and buildings for miles around were instantly leveled. Yet the Jesuit church and rectory as well as the four Jesuit priests inside it were undamaged and unhurt. Why? Because the priests prayed the Rosary daily.

This miracle, as great as it was, however, was just the beginning of the many wonders that Mary would work through her Rosary in the second half of the twentieth century.

First, there was Austria. After WWII the communists of Russia took over Austria. To shake off this yoke, a Franciscan priest, Fr. Peter Pavlicek, organized a Rosary crusade in 1948. It began on September 12, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary. Fr. Peter asked for a tithe of Rosaries. He asked that ten percent of all the Austrians pledge to say the Rosary daily until the Soviets left the country. The people of Austria responded generously. They prayed for seven years, and then on May 13, 1955, the Soviets mysteriously just packed up and peacefully left.

The Soviets, however, did not give up on their plans to take over western countries. Five years later Nikita Krushev visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and boasted that he would bury the United States and the Western world. And to emphasize his point, he took off his shoe and pounded it on top of the table.

The West seemed in danger of a Soviet takeover. But Pope John XXIII had read the third secret of Fatima, and so he had authorized the Bishop of Leiria (Fatima) to write to all the bishops of the world, inviting them to join with pilgrims of Fatima on the night of October 12-13, 1960, to pray the Rosary for peace and for Russia’s conversion. About a million pilgrims responded to the request and spent the night outdoors in a bone-chilling rain before the Blessed Sacrament praying the Rosary. And in addition to this, over 300 dioceses throughout the world joined them.

The Rosaries and sacrifices of millions obtained another astonishing intervention. For that same night the Soviets’ new long-range A-bomb missile unexpectedly blew up during a test, killing three hundred top military leaders and scientists. This set back Russia’s nuclear program twenty years.

Shortly after this happened, Dona Amelia Basto organized a Rosary campaign in Brazil to save the country from a communist takeover. She managed to recruit 600,000 women in 1962 to say the Rosary in Sao Paulo for peace. And through this demonstration of faith and prayer, the country was spared a communist dictatorship.

Something similar happened in Portugal in 1975. The communist government in that country was peacefully overthrown after a national Rosary crusade for peace was launched.

All these wonders, however, were surpassed on March 25, 1984, when Pope John Paul II called for a Rosary crusade because of the grave danger to world peace at that time. In response to his request, a major “Rosaries for peace” crusade was launched by the Blue Army and other Marian organizations. There was a magnificent response. And on May 13, 1984, one of the largest crowds in Fatima history gathered at the shrine to pray the Rosary for peace. And that very day an explosion at the Soviets’ Severomorsk Naval Base destroyed two-thirds of all the missiles stockpiled for the Soviets’ Northern Fleet. The blast also destroyed the workshops needed to maintain the missiles as well as hundreds of scientists and technicians. Western military experts called it the worst naval disaster the Soviet Navy had suffered since WWII.

Besides this, the Soviet Defense Minister, the mastermind behind the invasion plans, suddenly and mysteriously became seriously ill and then died in December of 1984. Four years later, during the night of May 12, 1988, as thousands prayed the Rosary at Fatima, another mysterious explosion wrecked the only factory that made the rocket motors for the Soviets’ deadly SS 24 long-range missiles, which carry ten nuclear bombs each.

Now all these events, it should be noted, are understandable and explainable only in light of the Fatima apparitions of the Blessed Mother. For when Mary first appeared at the Cova da Ira on May 13, 1917, she said to the children: “Pray the Rosary everyday in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.” And at each of the other five apparitions, she said: “Pray the Rosary every day.” Also, it should be noted that the Blessed Mother expressly asked for prayers for the conversion of Russia and that she also prophesized that this nation would endanger the peace and security of the entire world if her words were ignored. In the third apparition on July 13, 1917, she warned: 

If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated. 

And so by making this prophecy, Mary made the Rosary the indispensable and necessary condition for world peace. In other words, there will be no peace in the world–there can be no peace in the world–until the Rosary is prayed on a wide scale.

Before going further, it should be stressed that the Rosary is not only the best protection for countries and societies, but it is also the best protection any individual person could ever hope to have. For St. Louis de Montfort states in his classic book, The Secret of the Rosary: 

If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory. For even if you are now on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil…sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and save your soul. If–you say the Rosary devoutly every day of your life. 

There are several reasons why this is so. “First, the Rosary leads us to meditate on all the major mysteries in the life of Christ and therefore to adore and thank God for his love and mercy, which is the principal duty of all the faithful. Second, this prayer takes place through the mediation of Mary, which is most pleasing to God, since she is our spiritual Mother.” Third, the Rosary puts us into contact with the holy angels. For St. Alphonsus Liguori says that at each Hail Mary the angels are attracted to us, while the devils are repelled. And Pope Leo XIII states that “each time we meditate on the mysteries of our salvation in the Rosary we in some way imitate the sacred duties once committed to the angels. For they revealed each of the mysteries in its due time; they played a great part in them with expressions of joy, of sorrow, and of triumphant exultation.” What then, he asks, “could be greater and more delightful than to mediate and pray with the angels by saying the Rosary?” 

II. THE POPES ON THE POWER OF THE ROSARY

The popes, then, of modern times beginning with Pius IX, have stressed and explained the power of the Rosary and the need for saying it often. Leo XIII is especially noteworthy in this respect, for he wrote no less than twelve encyclicals on the Rosary, more than any pope before or since. “There is no question, then, that his influence on the Rosary and its development was the most significant to come from a pope.” And much of what he said led to “the greatest popularity which the Rosary enjoyed during the high period of its popular development in the first half of the twentieth century.” For this reason, it is important to examine some of his statements on the Rosary. First of all, he directed that the Rosary be recited every day in the cathedral of each diocese and on feast days in all parish churches.

Most importantly, however, he explained the power that the Rosary can unlock. For he said, “the Rosary, if devoutly used is bound to benefit not only the individual, but society at large.” In addition to this, he went so far as to state that “the Rosary is our best hope, since it can more than anything else implore from God the help that we need.” And interestingly, he added, “the Rosary is the best prayer to help the cause of Christian unity.”

To sum up his approach to the Rosary, then, he wrote, “There are, of course, more ways than one to win Mary’s protection by prayer, but as for us, we think that the best and most effective way to her lies in her Rosary.” 

Pope Pius XII echoed Leo XIII’s confidence in the power of the Rosary. He believed its recitation is the key to peace and happiness in our age. For he wrote, “We put great confidence in the Rosary for the healing of the evils that affect our times.” In fact, he said, “there is no surer means of calling down God’s blessings upon the family and especially of preserving peace and happiness in the home than the daily recitation of the Rosary.”

Later on, Pope John XXIII helped to develop our understanding of the Rosary in new directions. In one document he spoke about the Rosary as “a prayer of love breathed from the heart.” And in another he gave us new insights about how to use the Rosary as a form of meditation. He wrote: 

The true substance of the well-meditated Rosary consists in a three-fold element that gives unity and cohesion…to the episodes in the life of Jesus and Mary… For in each decade of Hail Marys there is a picture, and for each picture a three-fold emphasis which is simultaneously: mystical contemplation, intimate reflection and pious intention. 

Now it should be noted here that John XXIII had a great love for the Rosary and that he used to recite the entire fifteen decades everyday with all of the papal household.

Pope Paul VI carried on the papal tradition of adding new insights to the Rosary. In a sermon to some children who were members of the Living Rosary Association, he explained how the Rosary can improve social life on earth and also help the poor souls in purgatory. “Through your Rosary you can succeed in giving comfort to the sick, in saving the dying, in converting sinners, in helping the missionaries, and in freeing souls from purgatory.” 

Besides this, he also strongly recommended praying the family Rosary. “There is no doubt,” he wrote, “that the Rosary should be considered as one of the best and most powerful prayers in common that the Christian family could recite.”

Now everyone is aware of Pope John Paul II’s great love for the Rosary. For he leads the Rosary every First Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica, and he has been widely quoted as saying that “the Rosary is my favorite prayer.” And so he has, in line with the other popes of the Twentieth Century, strongly promoted devotion to the Rosary. He has stated not only that the “Rosary is a privileged means of averting the danger of war and of obtaining the gift of peace from God,” but also that the Rosary “dispels the seeds of family disintegration.” For this reason he has urged all Catholics, especially families, to pray the Rosary every day. And he has also urged priests to pray the Rosary and to teach their people how to pray it as well.

From the miracles worked through the Rosary in this century and the endorsements given to it by the popes, we can learn something, then, of the great power contained in the Rosary beads.

III. HOW TO SAY THE ROSARY

Now that we have discussed why we should say the Rosary, it is necessary to explain how we should say it, for there are many misconceptions among good Catholics on the best and most effective way to say–or to pray–the Rosary. Fr. Hardon, in a talk given to the Institute For Religious Life a few years ago, offered several interesting, original, and helpful suggestions on how the Rosary might be prayed. In fact, he stated that there are thirty-four different ways in which the Rosary can be said. Most of what follows is adapted from his conference. Not all, however, of the thirty-four different ways are discussed but just some of the more salient points.

1. Frequently. We should try to say the Rosary as often as possible and not just when we feel like it. Otherwise, we will get out of the habit of saying it altogether.

2. Regularly. This means that there should be certain set times in our lives when we pray the Rosary, for example, every morning or evening, every time we drive a car or take a walk, or before or after mass.

3. Intentionally. We should always have an intention in mind when we say the Rosary. In other words, we should always say it for someone or for some specific need.

4. Privately. We should be able to say the Rosary as easily by ourselves as with other people. Some people get into the bad habit of only saying the Rosary with others. And so because of this, they become unable to say it by themselves. The Church, however, encourages individual recitation by granting a plenary indulgence to anyone who says the Rosary in a church, even if it’s done by him or herself alone. 

5. Corporately. Some people have the opposite problem, and they dislike saying the Rosary with others, so we must learn to do it both ways. Again, the Church is our guide here because it grants a plenary indulgence to those persons who pray the Rosary together in a group, that is, two or more persons, inside or outside of a church.

6. Meditatively. This is one of the more important aspects of praying the Rosary. It is most fitting to consciously think about what we are doing and meditate closely on the mystery proposed for each decade. For without doing this, says Pope Paul VI, the “Rosary is merely a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and of going counter to the warning of Christ, who said, ‘in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will win a hearing by their many words.’”

For this reason, the very nature of the Rosary, states Paul VI, stresses a “quiet rhythm and a lingering pace…for in this way the unfathomable riches of the mysteries are unfolded.” Further on this point of method, St. Louis de Montfort says that “it is not so much the length of the prayer, but rather the fervor with which it is said that pleases Almighty God and touches his heart. For one single Hail Mary that is said properly is worth more than 150 that are badly said.”

It should be noted, however, that the Rosary meditation need not be a prolonged reflection. Rather a simple and attentive glance at the mystery is all that is required. A detailed analysis of the mystery and the corresponding prayers is not necessary, for the Hail Marys and Our Fathers should be seen as a kind of background music that gently induces contemplative prayer.

Now before going further, it is helpful if we know exactly what a “mystery” of the Rosary is. The mysteries, quite simply, are merely fifteen different scenes selected from the life of Christ. For these scenes have been found, over the centuries, to have a unique ability to help us understand the most significant events in the life of Christ. And so we can penetrate the truths of the faith more deeply, then, and also learn how to speak the language of God and His angels better by meditating on the fifteen mysteries.

7. Scripturally. From time to time it, it is helpful to say the Scriptural Rosary. “The Scriptural Rosary follows the old medieval custom of assigning a different little thought to each Hail Mary bead. The thoughts are arranged so that the story of each mystery unfolds, bead by bead, in ten consecutive steps. And most importantly, the Scriptural Rosary draws its Hail Mary thought directly from the Old and New Testaments.”

8. Attentively. We must resolve to make a serious effort to keep our mind focused on the mystery on which we are supposed to be meditating. For it is very easy to give into distractions and lapse into daydreaming if we are not vigilant. And so before beginning the Rosary, we should, first of all, put ourselves in the presence of God. Also, it is important to be aware on this point that just by looking at the Rosary beads from time to time is often enough to bring us back to reality.

To help us pray with attention, St. Louis de Montfort recommends “that we imagine that not only God is watching us and that our guardian angel is standing at our right hand, taking our Hail Marys, if they are well said, and using them like roses to make crowns for Jesus and Mary–but also that at our left hand is standing a devil who is ready to pounce upon every Hail Mary poorly said, so that he can accuse us before the Judgment Seat of Christ after our death.”

9. Instinctively. Our motto should be as follows: “When in doubt, say the Rosary.” And so if we are faced with some insurmountable obstacle and do not know what else to do–or if we just have time on our hands because our plane is late or because we are forced to wait extra long for an appointment–then we should instinctively reach for our Rosary beads and begin to pray.

10. Liturgically. It is a good idea to begin the liturgy with a Rosary, for it is an excellent preparation for the Mass as well as an excellent means of thanksgiving afterwards. The Rosary, however, should never be said during any liturgy, especially during the Mass. Elaborating on this point, Pope Paul VI states, “Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary can be an excellent preparation for the celebration of those same mysteries in liturgical action and can also become a continuing echo of them afterwards.” However, he stresses, “it is a mistake to recite the Rosary during the celebration of the liturgy, though unfortunately this practice still persists here and there.”

11. Ecclesiastically. There are associations approved by the Church that increase the graces we receive from praying the Rosary. Two in particular should be mentioned.

The first is the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. This is an organization of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world who join their prayers with others through the recitation of the Rosary. Each member promises to pray at least fifteen mysteries of the Rosary once a week, but this promise does not bind under the pain of sin. Further, each member includes the intentions not only of all the living members of the association, but also of all the deceased members as well. And so because of this, it is as if you had hundreds of thousands of people praying the Rosary for you throughout the world. This led St. John Vianney to say: “If anyone has the happiness of being in the Confraternity of the Rosary, he has in all corners of the world brothers and sisters who pray for him.” And St. Alphonsus Liguori said: “After the Mass, the best means of helping souls in purgatory is to join the Confraternity of the Rosary.”

In addition to these benefits, the Dominicans, who oversee the Confraternity, admit all members to a share in the Masses, prayers, penance, and apostolic works of all the Dominican Fathers, brothers, sisters, cloistered nuns, and third-order members throughout the world.

Next, there is the Living Rosary Association. Again, this is a Dominican-sponsored organization. It is administered by the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary in Fatima. Members of the Association promise to spend one hour on the same day of each month praying and meditating on the fifteen decades of the Rosary. The hour is called the “Hour of Guard” and constitutes a place among the royal guard of Mary’s great Rosary family.

12. Apostolically. We should try to become Apostles of the Rosary by getting other people to say it. To do this, we must explain the power of the Rosary and the wonders Mary can work through it. To this end, it is helpful to learn something about the lives of the great saints who specialized in promoting the Rosary, such as St. Dominic and St. Louis de Montfort. Also, it would be helpful to know something about the life of Fr. Patrick Peyton, the great modern Apostle of the Rosary. His life and experiences are described in his autobiography, titled All for Her.

13. Expectively. Expect, that is plan, to say the Rosary at specific times and places and for specific intentions. Unless this is done, it is unlikely that our daily Rosary will be prayed.

14. Promisingly. Get into the habit of promising to say the Rosary for others. We must not, however, promise to say more than we can say in a reasonable period of time. 

15. Giftfully. Give Rosary beads as a gift to others, especially on first communions, confirmations, and marriages. These are ideal times to introduce or reintroduce people to the Rosary. Also, give Rosaries on birthdays and anniversaries. Most good Catholics have Rosaries, but they can always use another.

16. Needfully. The Rosary is meant to meet all our needs. We should not hesitate, therefore, to concentrate on certain mysteries and associate them with particular problems we may be experiencing in our life. In other words, we should try to relate the specific mysteries of the Rosary to the specific needs of our life.

17. Openly. We should not be shy or ashamed about saying the Rosary in public or holding it in a crowd, for simply walking around with a Rosary in our hand is a kind of evangelization and a witness to the faith. And so on this point we should always keep in mind the words of Christ: “Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels (Mk 8:38).

IV. CONCLUSION
Now to conclude, we can do no better than to end with the words of Pope Pius X, speaking of the Rosary: “Of all prayers the Rosary is the most beautiful and the richest in graces; of all it is the one which is most pleasing to Mary, the Virgin Most Holy. Therefore love the Rosary and recite it everyday with devotion.”

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THE 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.


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 PlumeUn ami des Papes

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THE WISDOM OF THE DOUBT EXPRESSED YEARS AGO BY THEN CARDINAL RATZINGER ABOUT THE VALUE OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES WAS MANIFESTED THIS WEEK IN THE WAY THE USCCB FAILED MISERABLY TO ACHIEVE THE GOAL IT HAD SET FOR ITSELF IN THE JUST CONCLUDED BALTIMORE MEETING, A FAILURE DUE IN LARGE PART TO THE ROLE PLAYED BY CUPICH AS THE SPOKESMAN FOR FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL.

The Bishops In Their Labyrinth
THE FEDERALIST

The Bishops In Their Labyrinth

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore this week hoping to address the sex abuse crisis. Instead, they made things worse.

John Daniel Davidson

By John Daniel DavidsonNOVEMBER 16, 2018

BALTIMORE, Maryland — The one thing the bishops of the American Catholic Church had to do this week at their biennial gathering was to make it clear to a watching world that they take the sexual abuse crisis seriously. They needed to convey that they understand the anger and outrage caused by the alleged sexual misdeeds of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and by the abysmal response of many other bishops to similar allegations. They needed to take action—any action—to ensure that something like the McCarrick case never happens again.

Somehow, they failed to do this.

Not only did they fail, but they managed to convey nothing so much as confusion and impotence in the face of an unimaginably ham-fisted intervention by none other than Pope Francis himself. No sooner had the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops convened Monday morning in the swanky ballroom of the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel, than conference president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo announced that he’d received a letter from the Holy See the day before. It instructed them to delay consideration of two proposals that would have formed the basis for a substantive response to the sexual abuse crisis: a new code of conduct for bishops and the creation of a lay commission to investigate bishops accused of misconduct.

The letter, which came from a powerful office in the Roman Curia called the Congregation for Bishops, explained that the Vatican wants the American bishops to wait until February, when Pope Francis will convene a synod about the sexual abuse crisis in Rome with the heads of bishops conferences from around the world. (It is a testament to Rome’s disconnection from the reality of events in the United States that the Holy See didn’t think this delay, announced in this way, would cause outrage and scandal among the laity in America.)

The bombshell visibly upset many of the gathered bishops, most of whom had no idea such a directive from Rome was coming. After the church’s “summer of shame”—McCarrick, the Pennsylvania grand jury report, the Viganò letter, reports of abuse and harassment in seminaries—approving these two measures, while by no means a cure-all, was supposed to be a turning point for the U.S. church hierarchy. It was more or less the entire purpose of the conference.

However, two American bishops in particular almost certainly must have known beforehand that an intervention from Rome was coming, because they were appointed by Francis to the Congregation for Bishops, which sent the letter. One is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who stepped down as archbishop of Washington D.C. last month after the Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed his weak and inconsistent response to sexual abuse claims when he was bishop of Pittsburgh.

The other is Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, a Francis ally who made headlines in September when he told a reporter that the pope shouldn’t get distracted by the letter from former high-level Vatican official Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claiming that Francis knew for years about McCarrick but did nothing. “He’s got to get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the church,” Cupich said. “We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this.”

Immediately after DiNardo made the announcement, Cupich rose to inform his brother bishops, “It is clear the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously.”

Except that it is not clear at all. Francis ignored requests from some U.S. prelates to cancel the synod on youth and instead hold a synod on bishops that addresses clergy sexual abuse and the accountability of bishops. Instead, Francis ordered the American bishops to attend a weeklong spiritual retreat in Chicago in January. He also refused DiNardo’s request for a papal representative to be sent to the conference in Baltimore. Perhaps Francis really is taking all this seriously, but he clearly doesn’t want the bishops to take action on their own.

In the end, the bishops failed even to pass a resolution urging the Vatican to release documentation related to the McCarrick investigation. After hemming and hawing over the resolution’s wording, a few bishops began to grumble that the resolution was unnecessary and inappropriate. Cupich questioned what it would even mean to release documents and later told his fellow bishops to just trust that Francis will do the right thing: “The successor of Peter has said he’s going to be truthful about this, and it seems to me we need to take his word on it.” The McCarrick resolution failed by a vote of 85 to 137.

Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth unwittingly summed up the entire conference when, complaining about the resolution, he said it “appears like we’re doing something when in fact we’re not.”

U.S. Bishops Are Products Of A Broken System

As a group, the American bishops of the Catholic Church are not very impressive. When they meet together in one place, as they did this week, you don’t get the sense of awe that their titles and vocations would suggest. After all, Catholics believe that cardinals and bishops—eminences and excellencies, as they’re formally called—are the actual successors to Christ’s apostles, imbued with supernatural faith and spiritual authority. They are the guardians of a deposit of faith that’s been handed down intact for 2,000 years and will survive until Jesus Christ returns and makes all things new.

So why is it that but for the collars and black suits, a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops might well be mistaken for a conference of insurance adjusters? Why do the assembled bishops, the vicars of Christ, come off like bland administrators or any other professional organization going about its banal and insular affairs—even in the face of something as grave as the sexual abuse crisis?

Part of it is institutional decay. Meeting an American bishop for the first time is like meeting a general for the first time. You think the man is a general because he is the best, perhaps because he has distinguished himself in battle. But you soon realize that in most cases he is a general simply because he has survived the system long enough.

Often, it’s the same with bishops. That’s not to say there are no good bishops (or generals), but simply that bishops are products of the system that produced them. In America, that system has been compromised for at least a half-century. Many current American bishops, now in their 70s and 80s, were shaped in their youth by the sexual revolution and a “culture of dissent” in the American church that rejected traditional moral teaching on issues like birth control, marriage, and homosexuality.

As a result, some bishops lost sight of moral truth, as well as an understanding of what they are and what their role is in relation to the laity. There’s a reason bishops refer to one another as “brothers” and that parishioners call their priests “father.” For Catholics, those terms reflect the theological reality that priests are living icons of Christ, true spiritual fathers to the faithful. It’s no wonder that McCarrick, in his depravity, referred to his favorite seminarians as “nephews” and told them to call him “Uncle Ted,” rejecting his role as father and shepherd for something vague, confused, and utterly false.

It’s also no wonder that so many bishops, including the pope, now want to quarantine the issue of sexual abuse of minors from the larger question of sexual infidelity in the priesthood, specifically, violations of celibacy with consenting adults. During the conference, there was some discussion of whether the proposed lay review board should examine claims of sexual offenses against minors as well as adults. Cupich was quick to urge that they be kept separate, saying that it’s a “different discipline,” and that, “In some of the cases with adults involving clerics, it could be consensual sex, anonymous, but also involve adult pornography. There’s a whole different set of circumstances.”

As a matter of policy, or the scope of duties for a lay review board, perhaps Cupich has a point that they should be kept separate. But Cupich and the other progressive-leaning bishops, who wield enormous power because of their closeness to Francis, have shown zero interest in confronting the problem of priests violating their vows of celibacy with consenting adults. Indeed, there is a clear divide between the bishops who think the crisis is rooted in the collapse of traditional morality and those who don’t see the connection at all.

At one point in the conference, Archbishop Emeritus Michael Sheehan, who dismissed dozens of priests for sexual misconduct when he became bishop of Santa Fe in 1993, said the crisis was rooted in three facts: 1) celibacy isn’t always easy, 2) the sexual revolution of the 1960s affected the entire world, including the church, and 3) after Vatican II, some priests and lay people “got wobbly” on faith and morals, gave up on prayer and confession, and some priests fell into the abuse of minors. As he was speaking, a number of other bishops were shaking their heads in disagreement.

Conservative Catholics Are Done Being Deferential

A growing number of conservative Catholics are now making noise about the crisis being rooted in the loss of traditional morality, although the role of rabble-rouser is new for many. Sixteen years ago, conservatives tended to be more deferential, reluctant to voice outrage at the church hierarchy for its failures. Liberal groups like Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) were front and center in 2002, when the sexual abuse crisis first broke. In some cases, advocacy groups coupled calls for accountability with calls for sweeping reforms that would open up the priesthood to women, married people, and homosexuals.

Although members of SNAP did protest during the conference in Baltimore, standing in small groups outside the hotel with signs and sometimes shouting at bishops as they came and went, conservatives formed the bulk of the opposition. On Tuesday, more than 500 people gathered at a large pavilion just a stone’s throw from the conference hotel for a rally dubbed “Silence Stops Now,” featuring a slate of conservative Catholic speakers like Matt Walsh and Alan Keyes. The rally was organized by Church Militant, a conservative Catholic media organization headed by the incendiary commentator Michael Voris, one of the most outspoken critics of Pope Francis and what Voris calls the “homosexual mafia” in the Vatican and the American hierarchy.

As far as rallies go, it was unusual. The attendees came from all over the country, some of them large families with young children, and they were about as orderly and respectful as the conference of bishops whose resignations they were demanding. To be sure, the rally itself featured fiery speeches and chanting and sign-waving, but it began with the Rosary at noon, paused again for the Rosary at 3 p.m., and ended with a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

The attendees were nearly unanimous in their disgust with the bishops. “They’re not listening to us,” said Christine Arndt, a woman in her fifties from Sterling, Illinois. “They’re destroying our faith like the political parties are destroying our country, and they’re supposed to be our shepherds.” Fr. Chris Walsh, a priest in northwest Philadelphia, drove down to attend the rally with a group of parishioners. “People aren’t shocked that some priests abused children,” he told me. “It’s the lack of honesty about what’s happening that shocks them.”

The only bishop who ventured out of the hotel to greet and pray with the rallygoers was Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, who is widely known as a conservative cleric unafraid to speak plainly about sexual morality, abortion, and traditional marriage. Scores of attendees recognized him and asked for blessings and prayers (and selfies) as they filed past. Earlier in the day, Strickland had exhorted his brother bishops to remember that the church is above all about saving souls and converting people to holiness, and that in order to do that the bishops themselves must strive for holiness and speak clearly about sin.

I asked Strickland about that, and he told me the root of the sexual abuse crisis now facing the church is confusion about sin. “And where does that sin come from? It comes from not really deep down believing this is wrong, what a priest has done to abuse a little boy or a girl—or a teenager or an adult,” he said. “It’s pretending that it’s really not wrong.”

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THE 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.


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 PlumeUn ami des Papes

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After extolling “synodality” as the preeminent fruit of last October’s synod of bishops, and after promising since 2013 more autonomy and powers for the episcopal conferences, including some “authentic doctrinal authority,” Pope Francis dismembered the agenda of the plenary assembly of one of the biggest episcopates in the world, that of the United States, which today concluded its meeting in Baltimore.

Settimo Cielodi Sandro Magister 

15 nov 18

Synodality Up in Smoke. Exercises of Pontifical Monarchy in the United States and China

Francesco

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Anything but a synodal Church. After extolling “synodality” as the preeminent fruit of last October’s synod of bishops, and after promising since 2013 more autonomy and powers for the episcopal conferences, including some “authentic doctrinal authority,” Pope Francis has dismembered the agenda of the plenary assembly of one of the biggest episcopates in the world, that of the United States, which has been meeting in Baltimore since Monday, November 12.

And at the same time he has abandoned to themselves, in China, those bishops who are not part of the secret accord signed at the end of September between the Holy See and the authorities of Beijing, meaning the thirty or so bishops called “underground” or clandestine who resist undaunted the regime’s despotism over the Church.

At the Vatican they deny that this is the pope’s intention. But that the clandestine Chinese bishops feel he has abandoned them is a real fact, which Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun took pains to express in an impassioned letter-appealwhich he personally put into Francis’s hands one morning at the beginning of November.

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In effect, with the bishops of the United States Francis has acted like an absolute monarch. On Saturday, November 10 he received in audience in Rome Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the congregation for bishops, and the nuncio in the United States, Christophe Pierre, and tasked the former with communicating to the president of the American bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, a ban on voting on two crucial points of the assembly’s agenda, both of them concerning the scandal of sexual abuse: new “standards of accountability” for the bishops and the creation of a lay body to investigate bishops under accusation.

In his dejected announcement of the twofold ban, Cardinal DiNardo explained that Francis demands that the American bishops not go beyond what canon law already prescribes in the matter, and above all that they not preempt what will be decided in Rome by all the presidents of the episcopal conferences of the world, convened by the pope for February 21-24.

Francis’s “diktat” prompted strongly negative reactions in the United States, even in those who tried to find reasons for it.

In the case of the Chinese bishops, conversely, what hits home is the staggering silence that accompanies their “via crucis,” on the part of the highest authorities of the Church. A silence that is not only public, which could be justified by demands of a prudential character, but also devoid of any act of fellowship and support carried out by private means. Moreover, enveloped in the no less deafening silence of much of the Catholic media, especially that which is closest to Pope Francis.

This is what has been decried by Fr. Bernardo Cervellera of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, director of the agency “Asia News,” in the editorial reproduced below, which takes its cue from yet another arrest made in recent days, of one of the bishops who has been the most heroic in refusing to submit to the Chinese communist regime.

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Shame over Msgr. Shao Zhumin, the bishop kidnapped by police

by Bernardo Cervellera

We had expected it. The news of the umpteenth arrest – the fifth in two years – of Msgr. Shao Zhuyin, bishop of Wenzhou, has passed in silence. With the exception of some Spanish and English media, and some rare Italian websites besides AsiaNews, it seems that dragging a bishop, well known in China as a courageous and honorable man, to submit him to dozens of days of indoctrination as in the times of the Cultural Revolution, it is not a news worthy of note, or rather is a nuisance, which is worth silencing.

I wonder what would happen if a good Italian bishop, for example the kindly Msgr. Matteo Zuppi from Bologna, were kidnapped by a group of Islamic fundamentalists to indoctrinate him and make him Muslim, of course: without a hair on his head being touched, as is the case for Msgr. Shao. I imagine that it would make global headlines. In the case of the bishop of Wenzhou it is not a question of Islamic fundamentalists, but of “independence” fundamentalists: they want to convince the bishop that membership of the Patriotic Association, which wants to build a Church that is “independent” from the Holy See, is good for him, for the Church and for the world.

From the point of view of dogma, what Benedict XVI said in the Letter to Chinese Catholics is still true: the status of the PA is “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”. And several times in the past, Pope Francis has stated that Benedict XVI’s Letter “is still valid”.

Thus membership of the PA limits the life of a bishop: Surveillance 24 hours a day; checks and requests for permits for pastoral visits and for meeting guests; requisition for weeks and months to participate in indoctrination conventions on the goodness of Beijing’s religious policy.

I believe that the media silence – especially the Catholic media – is above all born from shame. A few months ago, on September 22nd, their acclaim of the agreement between China and the Holy See had been such it gave the impression that from now on everything would be downhill. Instead, the fact that the problem of persecution persists in the Church in China is such a heavy knockback that – and it is understandable – it is difficult to confess.

If we then add the closed and sealed churches, the destroyed crosses, the domes razed to the ground, the demolished sanctuaries, the police enforced ban on  minors under 18 years attending church or catechism, we then realize that the agreement on the appointment of bishops – as we have said in the past – is good because it avoids the rise of schismatic bishops, but leaves intact a situation in which the PA and the United Front believe themselves to be the true leaders of the Catholic Church in China (and not the Pope). This is confirmed by the lessons that the two bodies are carrying out in many regions of China, in which priests and bishops reiterate that “despite the Sino-Vatican agreement”, the Church must continue to be “independent” (from the Pope and the Holy See).

Unfortunately, the unpublished and secret “provisional” agreement gives China free reign to interpretation. The United Front and the PA force priestsand bishops to join the “independent” Church, saying that “the Pope agrees with us”, so much so that several underground Catholics bitterly suspect that the Vatican has abandoned them in the blizzard.

Some of the so-called “experts” on China, minimalize the facts of persecution, saying that it only happens in “a few places”. In reality there are persecutions in many regions: Hebei, Henan, Zhejiang, Shanxi, Guizhou, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Hubei… And certainly there will be other places where the news has failed to come to light.

Another “reduction” is to say that these things happen in the peripheries, but in the center, in Beijing, we really want the agreement to work. The fact remains that since last October, after the Communist Party Congress, the United Front and the PA are under the direct control of the Party: it is virtually impossible that the center (Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Party) does not know what is happening in the peripheries, with such striking cases that even shake the international community.

In addition to shame, I believe that there are two other reasons push to silence.

The first is a kind of “papolatry complex”: since Pope Francis is a supporter of the agreement with China and a courageous advocate of dialogue with Chinese culture, it seems that highlighting the persecutions is an offense to the Pontiff. Apart from the fact that Pope Francis has always emphasized that he loves sincerity and not adulation, he has always said that dialogue is between two identities, not silencing your own identity  and if your identity is made of martyrs, this cannot be hidden. […]

The second reason could mainly concern the so-called “secular” media, for a “marketolatry” complex, the divinization of the Chinese market. It is silent on persecution and arrests because they are deemed “insignificant” compared to trade war between China and the US and the future of the superpower of the Middle Empire. The media and bookstores are full of articles and books that hail Beijing, or demean it, depending on whether you are destined for China or the United States. In this case, the religious freedom of a country is not understood as a sign of its “goodness”.  Last November 5, meeting the World Congress of Mountain Jews, Pope Francis said that “religious freedom is a supreme good to protect, a fundamental human right, a bulwark against the totalitarian demands”. Therefore, those who really want freedom of trade in China should primarily defend religious freedom. Large Chinese entrepreneurs who, even if they want to trade and invest abroad, must obey the central government restrictions, know something of this. Bishop Shao Zhumin is therefore not “insignificant”, but the sign of how China is evolving.

One last point is worth mentioning: Msgr. Shao Zhumin is the bishop of a now unified Church, where there is no longer the division between official and underground Catholics, exactly what Pope Francis hoped for in his Messageto Chinese Catholics and the World, published a few days after the agreement. Still, the PA, in addition to kidnapping the bishop, has in these days banned “official” priests from going to pay homage to the tombs of “underground” priests and bishops. And this is the sign that the division in the Chinese Church is not intended primarily by Catholics, but by the Party. This policy – which has lasted for 60 years – does not seem in favor of the evangelization of China, but – as mentioned so many times in the past by the same PA – is a step towards the suppression of all Christians.

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THE 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.


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 PlumeUn ami des Papes

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FATHER MARK GORING HAS A LOT OF COMPANY


Preview YouTube video This might get me fired – Fr. Mark Goring, CCThis might get me fired – Fr. Mark Goring, CC

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Review Board Chairman Says Some Bishops “Must” Resign Over Abuse. Francesco Cesareo, the chairman of the USCCB’s National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, said that some bishops must resign “to restore trust and allow the deep wounds caused by the current crisis to heal.”

USCCB Review Board Chairman Says Some Bishops “Must” Resign Over Abuse

Steve Skojec

Steve SkojecNovember 14, 2018

OnePeterFive

Today at Catholic Culture, Phil Lawler brings to light something most of us missed in the proceedings during the US Bishops’ (USCCB) annual fall meeting. Francesco Cesareo, the chairman of the USCCB’s National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, said yesterday that some bishops must resign “to restore trust and allow the deep wounds caused by the current crisis to heal.”

The Review Board is an organization which traces its origins to 2002, when the first major wave of the American sex abuse crisis began breaking with stories out of Boston, Massachusetts. We’ll return to Cesareo’s comments in a moment, but first I want to take a brief look at the Review Board itself, and some recent comments of other prominent former members. The original roster of the Board included, according to an official history of the body, “Frank Keating, Governor of Oklahoma” and “Anne Burke, a justice of the Illinois Court of Appeals”. Both Burke and Keating have recently been in the news because of their views on the abuse crisis.

Burke, who left the Review Board in 2004, made headlines again this October when she quit the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in protest after its leadership tried to “silence her criticism of the pope on sex abuse.” (The Knights of Malta, as they are more commonly known, suffered an internal coup at the direction of Pope Francis in late 2016/early 2017, our coverage of which can be found here.) In a letter to the Order’s American head, Peter J. Kelly, Burke wrote, “I feel that I cannot remain silent and I no longer wish to be a part of a Catholic organization that is unwilling to take a stand on these issues.” Earlier this year, Burke told the Chicago Sun Times that she “wasn’t shocked” “at all” when the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report came out:

“I think every state should convene a grand jury into this culture of secrecy that protected offenders at all costs,” said Burke, who was once interim chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops study on nationwide clerical sexual abuse in 2002.

“It was happening in Chicago, but we had to rely on files the bishops were willing to give us — and we knew there had to be more, but we had no subpoena powers,” said Burke. “We had no government authority!”

“We did a lot of research, but a lot was kept from us and we knew it,” she said.

“And shockingly, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops charter our National Review Board was appointed under did NOT include investigating the BISHOPS! Or even penalizing the bishops or Cardinals for transferring these priests,” she said.

Burke went on:

“[B]ecause trust has been so eroded due to the way the church has handled what is definitely a moral catastrophe, the just announced U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plan to restore trust will fail if it’s not independent and if they only choose the experts, laity and the Vatican,” she said.

“They will be sadly mistaken not to involve the expertise, authority and independence of a grand jury to open secret files in order to restore the trust and healing the church so desperately needs.”

This was, of course, before anyone knew the Vatican would try to stop even the meager plan the USCCB was putting together.

Also weighing in before the latest compounding of the bishops’ scandal by the Vatican was founding Review Board member Frank Keating, who previously compared the bishops to the Mafia and resigned without an apology in 2003. Keating told Rod Dreher this summer about his reaction to the McCarrick news:

The McCarrick thing was stunning and shocking to me. Surely people knew about it, but no one talked. That was the cosa nostra, not my church. I found that incredible that that could occur. Priests that were misbehaving were outed, but not bishops, not the cardinal? That’s hypocrisy at its worst level. My view is that if you have done something like that, you say, okay, I have sinned exceedingly, I’m going to resign from the priesthood, I’m going to go live in a monastery, I’m going to scrub floors for the rest of my life. But to do evil things like McCarrick did and just pass on by is an outrage. Judas Iscariot is walking the earth, and is among the council of bishops.

When I was leading the National Review Board, if I had had any idea that McCarrick had done these things, I would have gone right for the throat. I’m from a conservative, orthodox Catholic past, but I was radicalized by hearing the parents of a victim tell us on the board about what happened to their son. I asked them where he was, thinking he would have come with them to talk about his experience. They told us that he had committed suicide. That radicalized me.

Keating concluded:

“The Catholic Church is a faith community. It’s a religious institution. It’s not la cosa nostra. Not my church,” Keating reiterates. “After this McCarrick thing, if the senior prelates of the Catholic Church look the other way, then the lay community should demand they look back. This is outrageous!”

Which brings us back to Cesareo. Lawler notes that Cesareo said that the Review Board

still wants action on the items that had been on the USCCB agenda until the Vatican intervened. He says that bishops who have betrayed their responsibilities should be called to account, since “it remains clear that some bishops have escaped the consequences of their acts of omission regarding abuse, and that little is being done to address this injustice.”

Cesareo then goes on to say that Archbishop Viganò’s accusations must not be neglected:

Archbishop Vigano’s allegations must be addressed. No stone must remain unturned. Ignoring these allegations will leave a cloud of doubt over the Church, as questions will linger. To that end, the NRB supports the USCCB’s call for a full investigation, involving laity, into the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick. Such an investigation by a lay body must be independent if its findings are to have credibility among the faithful and society in general.

Then — and most importantly — Cesareo says:

On September 19th, Bishop Robert Morneau, retired bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, took full responsibility for his failure to prevent abuse and asked to withdraw from public ministry, stating his intentions to spend his time in prayer for all victims of sexual abuse and perform corporal works of mercy as reparation for his failures. A grand jury report or canonical proceeding did not force him to withdraw. He did so because his conscience dictated such action.

Bishop Morneau’s actions exemplify those that some of you must take to restore trust and allow the deep wounds caused by the current crisis to heal. We know this will be difficult but it is necessary to restore trust and reconciliation with survivors of abuse. May God give you the courage, humility, and fortitude to do the right thing for the sake of his Church.

Reading this, I can’t help but wonder if Cesareo has anyone in particular in mind. But the force of his words — an imperative, not a suggestion — should not be ignored.

It’s obvious that some prominent members of the bishops’ Review Board, past and present, understand what a serious issue we’re facing. It’s also obvious that they do not think the bishops have done nearly a good enough job addressing the crisis. In that respect, at least, it seems that the bishops did their job (however inadvertently it may have been) in the creation of such a board, but some bishops clearly still don’t get it. Bishop Wenski of Orlando, Florida, spent time during this week’s meetings complaining about how “outrage has become an industry.” According to J.D. Flynn of CNA, he went on:

“Life in the Church is moving on. If you’re not reading the blogs and you’re not watching TV, this is not front and center for most of our people.” Says he does not mean by that to dismiss the real pain of victims. Says bishops have to continue to be good bishops to regain trust.

This is an incredibly tone-deaf read. A bishop is often the last person to know what the people in the pews are truly concerned about. People act differently around them, and only interact with them rarely. So while “the blogs” may represent a more focused view on these issues than is the general norm, it’s also the case that many people are reading about these issues, and are very concerned.

And then there was Cardinal Cupich, who evidently expressed irritation at being asked to sign a code of conduct, at least according to Bishop Conlon of Joliet, who echoed his “chagrin,” saying that he promised to be celibate when he took his ordination vows. (Remember here that some clerics believe that it is not true that “the concept of celibacy applied to gay men, because celibacy denoted the lack of marital and sexual union between a man and woman.” I am not accusing Cupich or Conley of anything here, only pointing out that this represents a possible mental loophole, and I’m wary of those who think signing a code of conduct that is more specific is burdensome.)

And while a couple of bishops — notably Bishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas and Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco — actually brought the relationship between homosexual clergy and abuse into the conversation, I have little confidence that we’re going to see real forward progress on any of this, especially with the Vatican standing in the way. We also face the continued scandal of having the leader of this entire meeting — Cardinal DiNardo — be among those who have recently been accused of neglect in situations of clerical abuse under their authority.

And there were other indications they still don’t get it. After all, Cardinal Mahoney, of all people, was allowed to speak. And the bishops “failed to pass a motion that would encourage the Holy See to release all legally possibly documentation regarding allegations against McCarrick.”

This whole thing is a mess. A veritable dumpster fire. There’s no denying it. And resignations are certainly in order, but the questions are who and how many? And what then?

I don’t expect answers will be forthcoming any time soon. This is going to be a slow, often grueling process. And I suspect that most resignations, if they happen at all, will come as the result of additional civil investigations, whether at the state or federal level. The real risk that the bishops face, in my estimation, is not “outrage,” as +Wenski so inaptly put it, but apathy. People who get scandal fatigue and see no evidence that solutions are forthcoming won’t just stop giving money — that’s happening now — they’ll stop coming to church at all.

And if the bishops ever had the salvation of souls at heart, that is the thing that should concern them the most. Instead, many of them still appear to be playing CYA.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



THE 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.


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 PlumeUn ami des Papes

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HERE IS A THOUGHTFUL ANALYSIS OF WHAT THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS WE JUST HAD REVEAL ABOUT AMERICA 2018 AND ABOUT AMERICA 2020


Opinion

What did the midterms reveal? A divided America

Henry Olsen

THE GUARDIAN

The US is split into two separate nations, with two different election verdicts – and positive news for Trump supporters

Mon 12 Nov 2018 08.37 ESTLast modified on Mon 12 Nov 2018 16.17 EST

Donald Trump hosts post-election press conference.
 ‘These divides provide an overlooked silver lining for Donald Trump.’ Photograph: Al Drago/POOL/EPA

Last week’s midterms look like a strong Democratic victory. Democrats have gained seven governorships, a minimum of 32 House seats (and more likely closer to 40), and hundreds of state legislative seats. To all appearances, they look to have swept the nation and put Donald Trump and the Republicans on the ropes.

But that’s assuming there was a nation to sweep. In fact, a close look at the returns show that the US is really two very separate nations, with two very different election verdicts to be read. On that view, the election actually contains very positive news for Trump’s re-election hopes.

‘Democrats won the House but Trump won the election’ – and 2020 is next

 

The first nation, the US’s large cities and suburbs, was Democratic before last week and became much more Democratic on Tuesday. A whopping 30 of the Democrats’ 32 current House pickups came in seats dominated by large cities or their suburbs. The second, 0the US’s smaller cities and towns and countryside, was Republican before last week and remained Republican on Tuesday. Both seats picked up by House Republicans, Minnesota’s first and eighth districts, are dominated by the small cities of Rochester and Duluth and rural territory beyond.

This split decision can be seen in the county-level returns in the contested Senate races. In each, we can compare the Democratic percentage in 2012 with that in 2018. In Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota – all states where incumbent Democrats were defeated – the state’s major cities and suburbs backed the Democrat by enough compared with six years earlier to allow the incumbent to win. But the story was different in the small city and rural counties. There the Democrats’ vote share collapsed, giving the incumbents’ Republican challengers more than enough votes to win comfortably.

This pattern was repeated in states that Democrats won, too. In Montana, incumbent Democrat Jon Tester won by 3%, slightly less than his 4% win in 2012. He improved his margin in four large counties that cast nearly 40% of the vote – Missoula, Gallatin, Flathead, and Lewis and Clark – by between 3% and 13%. His margin dropped by only 5% in the three other large counties – Yellowstone, Cascade, and Ravalli – that cast another quarter of the total vote. He nearly lost, however, because his margin plummeted in the state’s smaller counties that the other third of the vote by as much as 15%.Play Video2:54 The trailblazing candidates who have broken barriers in the midterms – video

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema’s apparent victory in Arizona is entirely due to her performance in the state’s primary metro area, Phoenix. Sinema is currently ahead in Phoenix’s Maricopa County, the first Democrat to carry that county in a contested Senate or gubernatorial race in decades. She is also running about as well as the Democratic Senate candidate six years ago, Richard Carmona, in the next two largest counties. Her Republican opponent, Martha McSally, is significantly outpacing the 2012 margins of the man she is trying to replace, Jeff Flake, in the more rural counties of Mojave, Cochise, and Pinal. But unlike her peers in the Midwest, Arizona is dominated by its cities rather than the countryside.Advertisement

This divide extends to the old rust belt industrial counties as well. Indiana’s Joe Donnelly carried four traditionally Democratic counties in the state’s north-west by large margins in 2012. He carried them again in 2018, but by 62,100 fewer votes than six years earlier. The same thing happened in neighboring Ohio. Democrat Sherrod Brown won his re-election by a much narrower than the forecast 6%. One reason for that was dramatically smaller margins than he had received six years ago in the depressed rust belt counties in the state’s north-east, where his victory margins decline by between 8% and 16%. In both cases, these regions were places where Donald Trump surged in 2016.

These divides provide an overlooked silver lining for Trump. The large majority of Trump Democrats voted for their hero’s new party even though he was not on the ballot. One can reasonably presume they will come out in greater numbers and provide larger margins for the man himself two years hence. That suggests that Trump will again be competitive in the Midwestern purple states of Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and perhaps even Pennsylvania where two weak candidates this cycle depressed GOP vote share. Should Trump be able to improve only a small amount on his party’s 2018 results in these states, he will again prevail in the Electoral College even as he again loses the popular vote.

The key takeaways from the midterm election results

The Democrats’ suburban swing, meanwhile, won’t likely move any state in their direction. They fell short in Georgia, Texas, and Florida and only narrowly prevailed in Arizona. As with the Midwest, only the tiniest of improvements over the GOP performance in these states will permit Trump to prevail.

Benjamin Disraeli, the great 19th century British prime minister, spoke of his country’s divide in his novel, Sybil. He spoke of a country divided between rich and poor, but otherwise his description fits America’s class and urban divides. Like in Disraeli’s Britain, we have: “Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets.” 

The midterms show that our two nations have even less in common with one another than they did in 2016. Until that divide is breached, by Trump or his Democratic opponent, our elections will continue to deliver split verdicts and do more to separate than unite Americans.

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WHEN HE WAS PREFECT OF THE CDF CARDINAL RATZINGER PUBLICLY QUESTIONED THE USEFULNESS OF NATIONAL EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES, FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL IS PROVING THAT THEY ARE NOT NECESSARY IN THE CHURCH OF THE FUTURE

Special Report

The Bishops Go Bust in Baltimore

November 14, 2018, 12:05 am

The USCCB’s uselessness as an agent of holiness is on display yet again.

Baltimore

In the early days of Baltimore, if a Catholic leader had proposed a religious gathering at a swanky hotel, he would have been ridiculed. Such a suggestion would have been taken as a mark of spiritual unseriousness. Ascetic, serious-minded bishops might meet in monasteries or religious houses to discuss matters of grave importance to the Church. But a hotel? That practice only became popular after worldly, faux-populist fetishes saturated the post-Vatican II Church.

And so now every November, Catholics in the pews have to pony up hundreds of thousands of dollars for the bishops to enjoy a cushy get-away at such luxury hotels as the Inner Harbor Marriott (where they held it this year), with their creepy entourages and security teams in tow. Far from populist, the behavior of the bishops at the hotels is utterly insular. They spend much of the meeting hiding behind police officers, goons, six-figure mercenaries of one stripe or another, and a battalion of gray-haired ex-nuns turned witchy episcopal aides.

I went over to the lobby and lounge on Tuesday morning at the Marriott and saw some of the bishops shamble in. They almost all projected an unapproachable air of furtiveness. The last thing they wanted to do was talk to members of their flock, especially this year. Indeed, they pay (often non-Catholic) PR flaks, “crisis management teams,” and security goons big salaries to make sure that the faithful stay the hell away from them. Pope Francis once told the bishops that they should get the “smell of the sheep” in their nostrils. At the Marriott, the bishops are more likely to encounter the aroma of Filet Mignon. Cardinal “Joe” Tobin from Newark, by the way, was flanked at a table in the restaurant by staffers from the National Catholic Reporter, a publication known for its rejection of magisterial Church teaching.

All in all, it was a pretty dismal-looking group. An unsmiling Cardinal Sean O’Malley ate alone. So did a slumped-over Cardinal William Levada (the only news that former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has generated in recent years came from a DUI arrest in Hawaii).

These meetings, usually either pointless or damaging, have proven even more dubious this year, owing to a papal directive that the bishops suspend any votes on matters related to sexual abuse. “This year’s meeting is a total bust,” says a source who has attended several conference sessions. “It was worse than I imagined.”

The only news to emerge from the meeting thus far is that the pope has told the bishops not to make any. That fiat was delivered via the Congregation for Bishops to Cardinal DiNardo, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). I had been told several months ago by a source close to the USCCB that the organization had for all intents and purposes stopped functioning. This source said that the bishops and staffs that run the USCCB “had stopped talking to each other.” That DiNardo claims he was taken unawares by the pope’s fiat underlines that dysfunction and lack of communication. Both Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Cardinal Blasé Cupich sit on the Congregation for Bishops. They could have given DiNardo a head’s up, but evidently they didn’t.

Cupich, who is angling to be the next president of the USCCB, defended the indefensible from Francis, of course. I saw him this morning, holding forth at the breakfast table as a mute staffer nodded. Donning cuff links, Cupich sees himself as the next Wuerl, who is not looking well these days. “He has lost weight and his neck can’t fit into his collar,” said a source who sat close to Wuerl at Monday’s session. “He looks like death.” Wuerl used his time at the mike to deliver a characteristically tone-deaf speech about the need for bishops to take “personal responsibility,” a subject about which he knows nothing. San Diego’s ultra-liberal bishop Robert McElroy, a protégé of the Rome-hating San Francisco archbishop John Quinn, offered up some mumbo-jumbo about “synodality,” even as McElroy ran interference for the pope’s violation of it. Notice how the loudest denouncers of “Rome centralism” under Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI have become champions of it under Francis, who, in his ruthless autocracy, makes even the ultramontane popes of the past look like pikers.

“The pope didn’t want the bishops to even hold a meeting this year,” commented a veteran Church observer to me. “The bishops didn’t listen and this is how he retaliated.” (Bergoglio, in fact, had wanted them to “go on retreat” instead of holding a meeting.)

Nothing, of course, prevents the bishops from implementing orthodox and holy reforms within their own dioceses. They don’t need the permission of the USCCB to run their dioceses soundly. The real vote they should be holding is to disband the USCCB, which has no divine mandate and is simply a flaky product of 20th-century ecclesiastical currents.How to Get a Free Sample of the Best Invisible Hearing AidEargo Hearing AidsSponsored by RevcontentFind Out More >

The only hopeful news on Tuesday came from a pavilion across from the Marriott, at a peaceful protest rally organized by the media apostolate Church Militant. There, news was made: Cardinal McCarrick’s primary victim, a gentleman merely named “James” in the New York Times story from earlier this year, spoke and disclosed his last name for the first time publicly. It is Grein. He got a much-deserved standing ovation for an impassioned speech about his fervent Catholic faith despite 18 years of abuse at the hands of Theodore McCarrick. James Grein said what the bishops wouldn’t: “It is not Francis’s church; it is Jesus Christ’s church.”

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as viewed from the waterfront Marriott (Dicklyon/Creative Commons)
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THE 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.


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 PlumeUn ami des Papes

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For many Americans, sad to say, the pope has probably just confirmed what he was forced to admit in Chile: he’s part of the problem.

How Long, Lord?

Robert Royal

THE CATHOLIC THING

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2018

I’ve been on the road and much occupied the past two days; my first glance at the news about the Vatican’s request that our American bishops not vote on steps to resolve the abuse crisis came as I was boarding a plane. It’s been almost twenty-four hours since then, as I’m writing – and trying, on the move, to catch up with this odd development. Second thoughts may follow, but for now, I find it hard to believe that it’s not just a bad dream.

The Vatican knew for months that the bishops would deal with abuse at their regular Fall gathering. The pope asked them to cancel it and hold a spiritual retreat instead until the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world meet in February. It’s hard to say with any degree of precision what Pope Francis fears might happen at such a gathering.

We’re hearing vague claims that decisions by the American bishops might conflict with canon law. But when has this papacy ever been held up by law – or wanted bishops everywhere in the world to follow universal rules – when it really wanted to get something done?

Whatever the fear, to wait until the very day the meeting opened to request no voting take place is almost without precedent. For many Americans, sad to say, the pope has probably just confirmed what he was forced to admit in Chile: he’s part of the problem. That no one convinced him this move would be a public relations nightmare – and would cause more trouble than a frank discussion and voting (which he could alway massage later anyway)  – is a sign of where we are in the Church now.

I hope to get to Baltimore later today and take the temperature in person. But the news reports I’ve seen say Cardinal Cupich stood up while Cardinal DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was expressing disappointment to say, “It is clear that the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously.” Really? If it were that clear, it wouldn’t be necessary to say so.

Or to explain, as Cupich went on to do in remarks that had obviously been prepared ahead of time, why the assembled bishops should accept something clearly unacceptable, as it seems many of them immediately realized. His recommendation, which was clearly a signal from the pope himself, was to hold yet another meeting in March, after the meeting of presidents of bishops’ conferences in February. Survivors of abuse and organizations advocating for them were already not expecting much from this November meeting, which itself comes several months after the new revelations.

In Washington politics, this would be called kicking the can down the road, hoping it will become someone else’s problem – or get replaced with something in a couple of news cycles.

If “the Vatican” were “taking the abuse crisis seriously,” we would have tangible evidence by now. Some of Pope Francis’ defenders have pointed out that he is the only pope in modern times to have forced a cardinal (McCarrick) to resign. True, but only after the Archdiocese of New York determined that he had committed a crime in molesting an underage boy.

[Photo: Max Rossi/Reuters]

Under current policies in the American Church, that crime could not be concealed and had to be reported to civil authorities. Which essentially forced Rome’s hand. And McCarrick is, half a year later, still, inexplicably, a priest.

The other evidence we have about how serious Rome is about the abuse crisis runs in a very different direction. Last December, the Vatican simply allowed the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to lapse. In one way, no great loss because – despite all the praise when it was created – the Commission did little. Several members had quit along the way in protest over inaction.

But to just let it lapse? It was reconstituted, months later, but no one has heard or seen anything from that body suggesting that it will play any role in resolving what is now a global crisis.

People in the English-speaking world will find this hard to believe, but much of the the media in Italy and parts of Europe follow the pope in lacking a sense of urgency about abuse. They seem unaware – or unwilling to see – that there is a crisis at all, other than  a pattern of sinful behavior on the part of a number of priests and bishops.

If you talk with people in and around the Vatican, they tend to think America an aberration (conveniently forgetting similar trouble in Chile, Honduras, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Italy itself, the Vatican itself, and other countries). They say that our bishops have let this thing get blown out of proportion by mishandling it.

At one point Cardinal Maradiaga, the pope’s right-hand man in the Council of Cardinals (himself mixed up in sexual and financial scandals in Honduras) attributed the 2002 revelations in America to Jewish and Masonic influences in the American press that, he claimed, are seeking to destroy the Church. He apologized later – but that’s clearly what he, and no doubt others at the very highest levels of the Vatican, really think.

You can talk yourself blue in the face trying to explain to them the widespread, justified anger among the laity, and large numbers of priests and bishops as well. So far, the way Rome has been dealing with that news – as it has dealt with Archbishop Viganò’s claims – is not to deal with it at all. That leads people – even many faithful Catholics – to suspect – rightly or not – that there’s something fishy here that some very powerful people are trying to keep from coming to light.

You can try to blame this all on the slowness of Vatican bureaucracy, resentments among members the hierarchy, dislike of the pope, the influence of Satan himself. But the simple fact is that people don’t want more talk, meetings, commissions. They want action. And truth.

Instead, what they see is that, even when our American bishops want to take some tentative first steps to deal with a difficult and urgent problem involving not only the protection of innocents but the moral credibility of the Church, Rome says: No, wait.© 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Robert Royal

Robert Royal

Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, published by Ignatius Press.  The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, is now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

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