RIP, Vatican II Catholicism (1962-2018)
Among astute observers of the Vatican scene – okay, forget that; among warm bodies with evidence of consciousness – it has been known for several years now that we cannot expect Pope Francis, who is a major cause of the problems the Church is suffering under, to be a major part of those problems’ solution. This includes anything to do with clerical sex abuse and the death grip of progressive prelates. Each passing month, we see that it’s business as usual for the Peronist pontiff.
But, as many writers have pointed out, this pontificate has been, in spite of all the evils, a tremendous gift of Divine Providence to us. Yes, we can truly say this. For Francis has brought to a clarity past any reasonable (or unreasonable) doubt, one might even say has amplified to fever pitch, the utter bankruptcy of “Vatican II Catholicism,” with its lightweight liturgy; its unserious opposition to the world, the flesh, and the devil; and its continual compromise with the reigning forces of liberalism.
Everyone knows what I am talking about. I was once one of those Talmudic scholars who attempted to square every circle in the sixteen documents of the Council. I praised their textual orthodoxy and lamented their neglect or distortion at the hands of hijackers. I knew that the loyal Catholic mentality always began its sentences “if only…”: “If only the new liturgy were properly celebrated…”; “If only the new catechism were widely taught…”; “If only people everywhere could just follow the lead of the great Polish pope” (and later, “the great German pope”).
That’s where I used to live. I have since moved on to a bigger and more beautiful dwelling called traditional Catholicism. I was tired of living in the newly built, supposedly more energy-efficient and environmentally sound but in reality flimsy, drafty, fluorescent, insect-infested, falling-apart building produced by the only ecumenical council that made no solemn definitions and issued no solemn condemnations. I came to see, thanks to detailed studies by such authors as Wiltgen, Davies, Amerio, Ferrara, de Mattei, and Sire, that the hijackers were not the ones after the Council, but the ones inside the Council who cleverly steered it toward the progressivism and modernism they secretly longed for, deliberately planting “time bombs” throughout the documents – ambiguous phrases that could be turned this way or that, and which were turned this way and that in the neverending turf war between liberals and “conservatives” of every stripe, at every level.
I came to see that the problem was the new liturgy – not just in the obviously bad manner in which it was being “celebrated” throughout the world, but in and of itself, in its official books, their texts, their rubrics. The new Catechism, too, in its diffuse verbosity and its glossing over difficult points like the headship of the husband in marriage, was not the magic solution; indeed, it was recently demoted to the status of reflecting pool for the reigning Narcissus, which gives it about as much value as an airplane interview. Above all, I came to see that “just following the pope” wheresoever he may go, on land or sea or sky, is not only not the solution, but a large part of the problem.
And what is that problem? The eclipse, in our times, of any coherent idea of what Catholicism is, has been, and will always be – the willed eclipse, since “men loved darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil” (Jn. 3:19).
The liturgy we were given by Paul VI, courtesy of Archbishop Bugnini and his all-star Consilium, is indeed a lightweight liturgy that cannot sustain the weight of God’s glory or meet the weighty needs of the human soul. Many know nothing else, and their plight reminds me of the black and white photos of long lines of people in Soviet Russia waiting for their crust of bread. This is not what the liturgy of the Church has offered to her people in ages past: it offered them a royal banquet, a king’s delight, a glimpse of heaven, fellowship with the saints and angels. I’m not saying preconciliar liturgy was always perfect, for we know it wasn’t, but the rites of the Church possessed in themselves the density and beauty that made a rich liturgical life always possible and frequently attainable. Catholics today who have gone back to the traditional liturgy often come away with amazement: “They took that away from us?!” Yes, they did: this incomparable school of prayer, this inflexible staff to support our weakness, this comforting beauty to lure our earthbound souls into heaven – this was taken away, and those who did it knew exactly what they were doing, and why.
Earlier I spoke of “unserious opposition to the world, the flesh, and the devil.” This is the mark of postconciliar Catholicism. Oppose the world? No, we have to dialogue with it, understand it, sympathize with it, come to terms with it, make common cause with it, recycle its garbage and adopt its slogans. Out went all the ancient prayers of the Mass that spoke of spiritual warfare, the deceits of the evil one, the need for ascetical violence against our fallen nature. Everything was smoothed over in recognition of the goodness of everything and everyone (if only they knew it).
Heavy-duty exorcisms were stripped out of the baptismal rite, where they had been since apostolic times, because of the revealed truth that mankind after the Fall is under Satan’s princedom and the citizens of heaven have to be torn away from his influence. Days of fasting and abstinence were canceled out left and right; instead of renewing ancient tradition (as the talking heads claimed), it was ignored or shrugged off as superstitious. The only direction was downhill: dispensing, simplifying, abbreviating, abolishing.
As for self-control, the sexual morality of the Christian people worldwide, above all in the West, from which the conciliar documents and reforms emanated, is at an all-time nadir – not only because of the unforeseen intensity of the anti-authoritarian revolution of 1968, but even more because of a fundamental loss of faith in the salvific truth and liberating power of God’s commandments.
Today, in 2018, we are reaping the putrid fruits of this loss of faith, this lack of self-control, this stripping away of all asceticism and warfare from the Christian vision of life, this foolish optimism that rippled through the Church of the 1960s and begot the demon offspring of “Nietzschean Catholicism.” It has been a continual compromise with the reigning forces of liberalism, a chipping away at the demands of the Gospel, a suppression of hard truths and the love of God for His own sake and above all things. The end is nothing-worship—the nihilism concentrated in the unforgettable image of a priest, later a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, abusing a boy who happened to be the first person he baptized two weeks after his ordination.
For a long time, I thought John Paul II and Benedict XVI were fighting the good fight against this revolutionary reinterpretation of Christianity, but after a few high-profile interreligious meetings, osculations of the Koran, book-length interviews with dialectical answers to every question, and other such indicators, I lost my enthusiasm for them as pastors, whatever I might have admired in their philosophical or theological writings (which, however you slice it, are not the primary job of a pope). It was a shock to the system to realize that these popes, though undoubtedly well intentioned, were swimming in a lake of Kool-Aid rather than the ocean of Tradition – the only difference being that they were strong enough to keep swimming and occasionally cry out to heaven for help, instead of drowning and sinking to the bottom like a millstone with a cardinal tied around its neck.
The last five years are not a sudden catastrophe that came from nowhere; they are the orange juice concentrate of the past fifty years, the last act in a tragedy that has been escalating to this point. Bergoglio is the distillation of all the worst tendencies in Roncalli, Montini, Wojtyła, and Ratzinger, without any of their redeeming qualities. Francis’s predecessors were conflicted and inconsistent progressives; he is a convicted modernist. Just as political conservatism is liberalism in slow motion, so postconciliar Catholicism is modernism in slow motion. The sooner people see this, the sooner they will reject the whole failed and torturous experiment of aggiornamento in favor of an unequivocal embrace of the Catholic Faith in its age-old and perennially youthful liturgy, its magnificently harmonious and comprehensive doctrine, its all-demanding, life-saving morals.
Let us not forget that John Paul II and Benedict XVI were both involved in the Assisi meetings; that they never questioned the rightness of the “razing of the bastions,” the “turn toward the world” and the embrace of modernity that was the hallmark of Vatican II; that they encouraged feminism with one hand  while trying to restrain it with the other; and that, above all, they appointed and promoted so many of the terrible bishops and cardinals under whom we are suffering today, as this chart shows:
|Prelate||Created Bishop By||Created Cardinal By|
|Theodore McCarrick||Paul VI||John Paul II|
|Angelo Sodano||Paul VI||John Paul II|
|Tarcisio Bertone||John Paul II||John Paul II|
|Pietro Parolin||Benedict XVI||Francis|
|William Levada||John Paul II||Benedict XVI|
|Marc Ouellet||John Paul II||John Paul II|
|Lorenzo Baldisseri||John Paul II||Francis|
|Ilson de Jesus Montanari||Francis||–|
|Leonardo Sandri||John Paul II||Benedict XVI|
|Fernando Filoni||John Paul II||Benedict XVI|
|Dominique Mamberti||John Paul II||Francis|
|Francesco Coccopalmerio||John Paul II||Benedict XVI|
|Giovanni Lajolo||John Paul II||Benedict XVI|
|Vincenzo Paglia||John Paul II||–|
|Edwin O’Brien||John Paul II||Benedict XVI|
|Renato Raffaele Martino||John Paul II||John Paul II|
|Donald Wuerl||John Paul II||Benedict XVI|
|Paul Bootkoski||John Paul II||–|
|John Myers||John Paul II||–|
|Kevin Farrell||John Paul II||Francis|
|Seán O’Malley||John Paul II||Benedict XVI|
|Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga||John Paul II||John Paul II|
|Blase Cupich||John Paul II||Francis|
|Joseph Tobin||Benedict XVI||Francis|
|Robert McElroy||Benedict XVI||–|
|Edgar Peña Parra||Benedict XVI||–|
|John Nienstedt||John Paul II||–|
|Jorge Bergoglio||John Paul II||John Paul II|
(Source: Unam Sanctam)
It is not all Francis’s fault; indeed, he is grimly reaping what they have sown, even while he is tearing down much of what they built. In the end, there are only two reasons we had a conclave of cardinals who voted for Bergoglio: Wojtyła and Ratzinger. More generally, they are the reason we have a worldwide episcopacy made up of a tiny minority of traditional bishops (by which I mean bishops who believe, preach, teach, and enforce the Catholic Faith as taught, inter alia, by the Council of Trent) and a huge majority of ferocious liberals, toothless conservatives, and pencil-pushing bureaucrats. If John Paul II had spent less time globetrotting and writing massive, dense, and now mostly forgotten encyclicals (with Veritatis Splendor as the glowing exception) and more time on his single most important duty, that of vetting and choosing bishops of proven doctrinal orthodoxy, moral probity, and commitment to the sacred liturgy, men without the slightest hint of liberalism or laxity, the Church might be in a dramatically different place today. The same could be said of the beloved but largely ineffectual professor-turned-pontiff Benedict XVI. That he had a retiring personality turned from a forgivable quirk into a nightmare on February 11, 2013.
These two popes also knew – as we now see in ever greater detail – about wicked behavior in high places and seldom took decisive and severe measures to uproot it. Bergoglio celebrates unnatural vice, and his predecessors tolerated it. Bergoglio shamelessly promotes those enemies of Catholicism whom his predecessors were too afraid to fight.
* * *
Can we say, at last, that practicing and believing Catholics generally have been awakened from their dogmatic slumber?
Would that it were so. Alas, the capacity of the human mind to ignore reality even when it is crashing around one’s head is all too real, and the capacity for ideology to blind the eye and deafen the ear is no less notorious. But for those with eyes open to seeing and ears open to hearing, the truth has emerged into broad daylight: the Catholic Faith as our forefathers believed and lived it, the Catholic Faith as a vast cloud of witnesses knew it and loved it, this Catholic Faith is something utterly different from what is being peddled by the Vatican today. What the new regime offers is ephemeral, fragile, and self-contradictory, held together only by force.
The alternative is equally clear: the complex but internally consistent religion taught by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church; savored by monks and mystics; authoritatively proclaimed by the great councils; unanimously codified in hundreds of catechisms; and, above all, luminously, exultantly embodied in the great liturgical rites of East and West, the common heritage of all orthodox Christians who worship the thrice-holy Trinity in an unbroken tradition.
This, this is Catholicism. Nothing else. Do not look for it where it cannot be found. Do not strain or break your neck trying to find a way to look at the novelties as if they were tradition, for it cannot be done. Do not strain the gnats while swallowing the camels. Hearken again to the one true Faith that missionized the globe in the Old Evangelization.
What will it take to free every last Catholic from the last illusions about the supposed “new springtime” of Vatican II? I do not know. It may be that only death will rescue some from the jealous clutches of the new paradigm, but there are certainly many signs that the charm – or perhaps more accurately, the mirage – is vanishing as many find their way back to the divine religion of Christ.
The Vatican II period that officially began in 1962 officially ended with l’affaire McCarrick and Viganògate in 2018. Fifty-six years of alternately riotous and lazy living gave heart disease to this human similitude of the Church, and it died from sudden cardiac arrest. Let us bury it in unconsecrated ground, with the fond wish that it may rest in the silence of the tomb and never rise.
 For example, by ensuring that the Catechism contained no reference to the headship of the husband, in spite of the fact that this is taught more frequently in the New Testament than many other doctrines of our faith, and by approving the use of female altar servers, and or by continuing the custom of female lectors at Mass, contrary to 2,000 years of universal tradition in churches of apostolic descent.
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