“That’s Not Who We Are Anymore”: Pre- and Post-Conciliar Catholicism Are Not the Same Religion
When I Google “it’s not the same religion” – in quotes – the first result I get is a tweet from Hilary White about Archbishop Gómez of Los Angeles giving communion to the pro-abortion mayor.
When I Google “Novusordoism isn’t Catholicism” – in quotes – I get an entire category of posts from Hilary at her “What’s Up With Francis-Church” blog filed under that label. The most significant of these – a post entitled “To touch the sky: ‘Novusordoist’ New Paradigm isn’t the same religion” – begins with an excellent description of this phenomenon that Hilary and others (myself included) have been trying to explain for some time:
The fact that we don’t really yet have an official name for the New Paradigm (and probably won’t for another couple of centuries) has made it difficult to help clarify what I mean when I say that in effect, most regular novus ordo Mass-going Catholics don’t believe the same religious things as previous generations of Catholics believed. I’ve said it many times, and I’m not alone, that “Novusordoism isn’t Catholicism.” It’s become a bit of a catchphrase. I’ve also often used the term “New Paradigm” to refer to the creation of what is in essence, if not yet in name, the new thing created after Vatican II. I am gratified to see that the Pope’s closest collaborators are starting to promote this term themselves to describe it. Makes things easier.
How do we define it? We’ve talked about the “false floor” of the Novusordoist New Paradigm and the vast “lost city,” full of treasures, of the Catholic Faith that has been suppressed and buried since Vatican II that very very few Catholics know is down there. We’ve talked about how it’s so difficult to explain because of the great success of the NuChurchians at suppressing even the language we use (no, not Latin) to describe the concepts.
For the people who re-booted the Church in 1965, Orwell was taken as a how-to manual, not a warning. A great deal of the content of the Faith has been memory-holed, and a new edifice has been created in the gaps.
They’ve created a kind of bubble or “Matrix” – a whole false new world the very existence of which is unknown to the people living in it.
And when the old world – the one our Catholic grandparents and great grandparents would instantly recognize, in precisely the opposite way they’d feel if they walked into an average suburban parish in 2018 – makes an appearance, the guardians of the false new world seek quickly to tamp it down, to grind it out, to ensure that everyone within earshot knows “that’s not who we are anymore.”
One recent example is that of Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa, who was given a great deal of credit by “conservatives” after he pushed back on some of the machinations during the synods on the family. On Twitter, however, where he is among the more active and engaged cardinals, he has long since put to rest the notion that he is anything but a company man for the Francis Regime. Most recently, this came in the form of his critique of a traditional Mass offered by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami.
“A Mass in extraordinary form,” tweeted a very pleased-looking Archbishop Wenski, “sung at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Feast of St. Michael the Archangel at conclusion of meeting of Society for Catholic Liturgy. Around 500 people attended.”
The photos Wenski included in his tweet show an event looking every bit like the Catholicism that endured for centuries, not the newfangled cheap plastic imitation most of us are used to:
Napier’s riposte to this happy event came like a tactical strike on the joyful hope evident on the faces of the young men standing with the bishop in the final photo. “Looking at this pictures [sic],” he tweeted, “reminds me of my childhood some 70 years ago. That was a time when there was a universe between the Clergy especially Bishops and Lay Faithful! Some might call it the age of supreme Clericalism. To me it’s a reminder of what we should never ever be again!”
“Supreme clericalism.” Something “we should never ever be again.” This is how a voting member of the College of Cardinals thought by many to be a “conservative” describes the beautiful ritual vestments, gestures, and liturgical actions of the Mass of the Ages – a beauty designed to give glory to God, not to elevate the men offering the sacrifice. A liturgy where God, not the “presider,” was the center of attention.
Napier is not the lone prelate in recent weeks to make an overt attack on Catholic tradition. Bishop Felix Genn of Münster – who has been accused of facilitating homosexual indoctrination of children and of not allowing his priests to preach on Catholic sexual morality from the pulpit – was reported to have said in a press conference last month, “I can tell you firmly: I do not want pre-conciliar clerical guys and I will not ordain them.”
Genn, also considered a “conservative” in some circles, will be attending this week’s Synod of Youth. Readers will perhaps remember with some irony that one of the early controversies surrounding this synod took place during its preparatory phase, in which many youth participants in the creation of a synod preparatory document felt that their voices were not heard when they asked for a focus on more reverent liturgy – specifically the traditional Mass. From my report at the time:
“I’m sure by now you’re probably aware,” read an image of one Facebook comment with all the identifying information redacted, “of the dumpster fire that is the 2018 Pre-Synodal document.” “Refreshingly, the VAST majority of responses in the group were demanding greater access to the Tridentine Mass, recapturing tradition, and greater reverence in the Mass (Whether it be EF or OF)”. Nevertheless, the commenter wrote, “many of us were shocked to find there is no mention of this in the final document” and “many young people are not happy with the current way things are going, despite what the Pre-Synodal document would have you believe.”
Why does it so often seem to be the case that the same bishops who are allowing sexual license so much latitude are the very same who find their inner disciplinarian when it comes to the Church’s traditional expressions of worship and piety? These men are not, as is demonstrated by the growing demand for the Church’s venerable liturgy, populists. They are not merely expressing the will of the faithful.
They are giving the faithful what they want them to have, and they’re giving it to them good and hard.
Another recent indication of the desperate attempt to widen the rift between the pre- and post-conciliar Church is the push from Cardinal Schönborn – archbishop of Vienna, famed editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and handpicked representative of the pope’s interpretation of Amoris Laetitia – to allow the ordination of women to the diaconate. In a tweet that was published, then quickly deleted, the cardinal was quoted as saying, “I was only recently able to consecrate deacons again. A great joy. Perhaps I will one day be able to consecrate women to the diaconate…. Dear priests, have the courage for teamwork!”
Despite the disappearing act, it wasn’t long before the tweet was confirmed in a story for the Catholic News Agency (CNA). “Cardinal Christoph Schönborn,” wrote Anian Christoph Wimmer for CNA, “has said that in his view, whether the Church could ordain women as deacons remains an ‘open question.’”
The Archbishop of Vienna was speaking Sept. 29 to 1700 delegates from parish councils and other bodies in St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Reflecting that he recently had ordained 14 men to the permanent diaconate, he added, according to local news agency Kathpress, “perhaps one day also female deacons.”
Schönborn said that there had been female deacons in the Church in times past, and that “basically, this is open.”
In April of this year, Schönborn had made comments indicating that an ecumenical council could change the prohibition against female ordination laid out by Pope John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. “The question of ordination [of women] is a question which clearly can only be clarified by a Council,” the cardinal said. “That cannot be decided upon by a pope alone. That is a question too big that it could be decided from the desk of a pope.” Asked what he meant about women’s ordination, Schönborn clarified that he was speaking of, “deaconesses, female priests, and female bishops.” In June, however, he backtracked – offering what may have been a calculated Hegelian synthesis – saying that for women, only “the diaconate, the first degree of ordination” was on the table. Admitting that “there have never been female priests in the Catholic Church” from “the beginning,” Schönborn conceded that “even Pope Francis has said that this is not foreseen in the Tradition.” But evidently, so long as we’re not making women into priests and bishops, ordaining them to the diaconate is perfectly fine.
Just. Keep. Moving. The Needle.
We hear it again and again – that the reform must press on; that what has come since the council is “irreversible.” Whether it’s the pope saying it about the liturgical “reform” or the cardinal secretary of state saying it about the Vatican II “process” of transforming the Church, this notion of irreversible forward progress away from what the Church was into the thing that they have remade it to be is driven home with such frequency that it becomes taken for granted. The Church is not immutable, resolute, and timeless; she is in a state of constant flux. “It is not possible to go backwards,” the pope admonishes us, referencing liturgical reform, “We must always go forward. Always forward! And those who go backward are mistaken…”
They want us to believe that the past is dead. That our patrimony has been gutted. That we’d better mourn it and move on, because what we have now is all we will ever have – until they change it again, and tell us we’d better like it. The progressive “theologian” Massimo Faggioli tweeted not long ago that he hoped it was not “overly optimistic to assume that Catholics should all agree on the fact that the secular state is preferable to a theocratic state.” He then noted, apparently anticipating a deluge of papal documents supporting just the opposite, “If you quote from the magisterium, try with something published after 1944.” They don’t just move the goalposts. They take them right out of the stadium.
In an essay on the liturgy for Commonweal, Faggioli again focuses on the division between the pre- and post-conciliar Church. He laments that in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI created a “fait accompli” resulting in a “new ‘bi-ritualism’” in the Roman Rite – the bringing back of an old liturgy when a new ersatz one has taken its place – which Faggioli amusingly sees as itself a violation of tradition. He also notes the role reversal of those who support the new liturgy and the old:
This new bi-ritualism is not, for the most part, an accommodation for those who grew up with the old Latin Mass; it’s aimed at a new generation of traditionalists, born after 1964, who grew up with the novus ordo. The disputes between the advocates of the liturgical reform of Vatican II and advocates of the extraordinary form are – another paradox – disputes between an older generation advocating the new and a younger generation advocating the old. These disputes have wounded the sense of communion between Catholics. The rancor of this conflict in the United States was a painful surprise for me when I first moved to this country.
They are terrified – terrified – that the revolution has very little appeal to future generations. And so they must do all they can to subvert their interest in bringing back the Church’s sacred treasures and traditions, or the doom of all they have worked for will be the real fait accompli.
One needn’t look only to the heterodox ideologues in the Church to find the tension between historical Catholicism and the present. In a discussion about a public tiff between Bishop Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin and the fiery Catholic journalist and author George Neumayr, a friend familiar with the diocesan situation in Wisconsin related that the bishop, known as one of the greatest friends of tradition in the American hierarchy, allows the old Mass, but only by priests who will also offer the Novus Ordo. There are, to my knowledge – and I’ve been asking around – no exclusive TLM chapels in Madison.
If this is true, it would be entirely unsurprising. The same is the case in the much-touted diocese of Arlington, Virginia, which has no fewer than half a dozen Sunday TLMs (and probably more) each week at various parishes. Many see that diocese as the “mecca” for traditionalist Catholics, but if you want a Mass every day of the week in the old form, you’ll have to bounce from parish to parish day by day – or else it’s the SSPX, or you leave the diocese altogether for neighboring West Virginia. This is the daily reality – and dare I say it, the schizophrenic nature – of the post-conciliar Church. Even as demand for tradition grows, even as love for tradition blossoms, our hierarchy remains inextricably chained to a mode of Catholicism that is a manifest failure. It has not retained the faithful; it has not produced vocations; it has not held off the forces of secularism; and as has become painfully clear, it has not even successfully maintained clerical celibacy and holiness. And yet, every faithful bishop and priest is forced to offer his pinch of incense to the council, to the new Mass, to the low-expectations motif of just how valid and probably not heretical it all is.
But it is wholly, woefully insufficient to sustain the faithful. That has continued, and does continue, and will continue to be made clear as the people filling the pews of every non-traditional chapel continue to diminish, or simply fill the space for other reasons while having no intention of actually honoring what the Church teaches.
But ask a priest who has had the opportunity to learn the old Mass after knowing only the new, or has immersed himself in the old theology, or has performed a couple of old-rite baptisms, and the majority of time you’ll hear, through a nervous smile, or a serious look, that the experience was transformative for him. That once he partook of the incredible richness of the Church’s extraordinary and fathomless stores, he no longer felt that they can continue to offer merely what is now considered “ordinary” – or at the very least, that doing so makes him deeply uncomfortable. Such priests recognize that the treasures that enliven their vocations, nourish their flocks, and act as a bulwark against a hostile world are right there at their fingertips, so how can they continue to treat them as though they are merely a matter of taste or preference?
As the faithful begin to arise from their slumber, awakened by scandal after scandal, and look with new, critical eyes at how we got to where we are, I suggest that they also take a hard look at all that began changing in 1965, and the birthright that was stolen from them. Many of our readers here have already taken this journey, and they know how difficult it can be to discover that the “hermeneutic of rupture,” as Pope Benedict called it, is in fact very real. Many of the faithful will now be making it anew. I ask that in particular our community here not shun or scorn those new to these discoveries, but welcome, mentor, and teach. Be patient and kind. Recognize that people will be surprised and angry at what they discover. If you’re anything like me, you didn’t always have these answers, either. If you’re anything like me, you resisted accepting the hard truth about the hijacking of our Church by men who had anything but the best interests of the souls entrusted to her care in mind.
We’ve got a lot of work to do, but more and more people are becoming invested in restoration every day. If that’s not a sign of hope, what is?
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