Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Conservative order of nuns on verge of destruction following Vatican interventions
November 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Almost all of the members of a conservative order of nuns that serve the elderly in French nursing homes have announced that they have asked to be released from their vows following attempts by the Vatican to force them to alter their way of life and to “modernize” their order.
According to their lay supporters, the sisters have been accused of engaging in “too much prayer” and concerns have been expressed that they wear the guimpe, a traditional form of religious head covering used by nuns that is no longer in vogue among the Church’s liberal elite. The sisters say that they are accused of a “deviant authoritarianism,” of being “too classical” in their thinking, and of being guilty of an “immobilism” in their devotion to their institute’s charism.
A total of 34 of the 39 members of the the Little Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer say they want to quit the order after a Vatican dicastery removed their superior general and attempted to impose three “commissioners” on them who were hostile towards their more traditional practices.
The three commissioners are led by a religious sister and theology professor with a short haircut who does not wear a habit, one who defends Amoris Laetitia and whom the sisters have said does not understand their religious charism.
The sisters say that their protests against the choice of commissioners and their request that they receive someone else more suited to their charism have fallen on deaf ears, leading them to the conclusion that they could no longer carry out their vocation within their institute.
“After having acquired the moral certainty throughout this year that the reception of the apostolic commissioner within our Institute would cause serious and certain harm, both regarding the understanding of the charisma bequeathed by God to Mother Mary of the Cross, our Foundress, and the way of living it, after many times proposing solutions of appeasement without any answer ever having been given to us, after consulting with authorized and competent persons, after having prayed much and always with the desire to remain daughters of the Church, wanting to remain faithful and obedient to the truth, it seemed to us that we had no choice but to renounce our vows,” the sisters wrote in a public statement issued on November 7 (PDF here).
“We are therefore 34 out of 39 Sisters who are members of the Institute, who have asked to be relieved of our vows by the Dicastery for Religious,” the sisters add. “We do not make this sacrifice lightly: we desire to remain in full communion with the Church, but we cannot indicate more clearly, nor more painfully, our impossibility, in conscience, to obey what is imposed.”
The Little Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer trace their origins back to 1939 when an organization of women was founded by Mere Marie de la Croix (“Mother Mary of the Cross”), according to the lay organization that defends their cause. It began as an association of the faithful and was given the status of an Institute of Consecrated Life in 1989 by the then-bishop of Laval, Louis-Marie Billé.
According to the French Catholic website Riposte Catholique, the Institute currently includes four communities located in the dioceses of Laval and Toulouse, where they supervise four nursing homes for the elderly in the French departments of Haute-Garonne and Mayenne. They also provide catechesis and training in the spiritual life to Catholic families, and open their convents to parish and spiritual retreat groups. Their service to the Catholic faithful, however, will soon come to an end if no resolution to the conflict can be found.
The Little Sisters’ travails began in 2016, when the Bishop of Laval, Thierry Scherrer, attempted to separate one of the nursing homes of the sisters from the association that administers them, despite concerns that such a reorganization would cost millions of euros and would endanger the financial viability of the home. The sisters opposed the idea, as did the nursing home’s board of directors, who rejectedScherrer’s proposal.
In apparent retaliation, Bishop Scherrer ordered a canonical visit of the sisters, sending two representatives to investigate them in late 2016. The result was a highly negative report, made public in June 2017, that asserted the existence of “problems of governance” in the order, a claim vigorously disputed by the sisters, who have issued strong expressions of satisfaction with their superiors. The sisters have called the report a “caricature” of their order, produced as a “pre-judgment” against them.
Both the sisters and Bishop Scherrer then asked the Holy See to resolve the dispute. The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life responded in September 2017 by removing the superior general of the Institute, Mère Marie de Saint Michel, as well as their mistress of novices, and sending them away from the mother house.
The Congregation then appointed three “commissioners” to oversee the sisters, who refused to accept them on the grounds that they were unsuited to their charism, and asked that other, more suitable commissioners be appointed. When this was refused, the sisters appealed to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest court in the Catholic Church. The sisters say that in August the Tribunal ruled against them without allowing their canon lawyer to present his arguments, which the sisters denounced as unjust.
Meet the new boss: habitless Sr. Geneviève Médevielle, a defender of Amoris Laetitia
The Vatican is attempting to impose on the order Sr. Geneviève Médevielle, the principal among the three commissioners. Médevielle is a religious sister who dresses in lay clothing and wears a short haircut without a head covering. She is a professor of ethics at the Catholic Institute of Paris and the author of the recently-published book “Migrants, Francis, and us.” Médevielle writes in defense of Amoris Laetitia against “conservatives and traditionalists” who criticize it.
Marcel Mignot, president of the Association of Support for the Little Sisters of Mary, told the French publication La Croix, “The Little Sisters are reproached for praying too much, and they also want them to change their habit. They want to modernize them and make them evolve by taking them away from their roots.”
Médevielle denies the claim that she wants to transform the Institute, responding to La Croix, “I want to respect them, not to transform them! If there are changes, they absolutely will not concern their charism.”
However, according to the sisters’ Association of Support, “the commissioners have likewise announced the general outline of their project of reforming the congregation. The Little Sisters, have, in effect, clearly seen the evolutions that await them, towards a supposed modernity, made of progressive trivialization if they allow Sr. Medevielle take the reins of their institute, with the support of the Dicastery.”
“The latter has stated, following a meeting, ‘We won’t touch your charism at all, but rather your way of living it.’ That says it all!” the sisters’ lay supporters add.
“The goal that is sought is not to establish the truth and to allow the Little Sisters to continue their mission for the benefit of all, with respect for their charism,” the sisters’ supporters write. “The only goal of Rome is to complete the project of Bishop Scherrer: to gain control over the Institute to make it evolve in accordance with his views, whether it be in defiance of the truth, whether it be in defiance of the rights of the defense, whether it be by recourse to lying. It is, at least, unworthy of the values promoted by the Holy Father whenever he speaks publicly.”
In the meantime, the commissioners insisted that they would conduct a visitation, despite the appeal, and threatened to remove the sisters from the Institute if they refused to allow them entrance. They dismissed the fact that the sisters were in the process of appealing the commissioners’ appointments, claiming that it did not provide them any legal relief from the obligation to obey. The sisters then relented and allowed the visitation, which seemed to confirm their worst fears.
‘Intimidation, threats, and manipulation’
According to the sisters’ Association of Support, the three commissioners sought to meet with each sister individually to pit the sisters against one another, suggesting that if they cooperated they could have positions of importance in the new reorganized Institute.
“The visits have been carried out under duress, in the form of an individual interview with the Little Sisters, who were alone facing two commissioners…the latter, based on the profile of the sisters, would try to reassure some, while seeking to lure others with ‘good positions’ within the future organization of the congregation…As if the principal objection of this operation were to open a breach within the unity of the Little Sisters, in the hope of dividing them, while there prevails a beautiful communion among them.”
“The methods used, a mix of intimidation, threats, and manipulation, feel like moral harassment to many sisters,” they add.
Sisters exonerated – but Vatican refuses to lift penalties
Following the visitation by the commissioners, a new report was issued on the state of the Institute in June of this year. According to the sisters’ Association of Support, the second report recognized that “many important elements in the first report of the canonical visit of 2016, on the basis of which the sanctions would be imposed, did not reflect reality.”
“They admit that the sisters constitute dynamic communities and that the spirit that reigns is positive. They only highlight some some rather banal criticisms, which don’t compare to the complaints made in the initial report,” the sisters’ supporters write.
Despite being vindicated in the second report, however, the sisters have been told that the sanctions placed on them by the dicastery will not be lifted. “The Little Sisters are stupefied!” writes the Association of Support. “They do not cease to express their indignation in the face of this fallacious report, demanding that justice be done for them, that all of the baseless and degrading sanctions be lifted.”
The sisters complain that while the accusation against their superiors of being too heavy handed is contradicted by the testimony of the sisters themselves, the Vatican itself has been extremely authoritarian in the way it has treated the sisters.
“Even though the superiors would be accused of a ‘deviant authoritarianism,’ as the first report says, here is obedience suddenly brandished as a duty without appeal, without the concern of a right conscience having a say in it, without ever having been explained to us the least objective foundation of all these Roman measures,” the sisters write in their most recent public statement. “So would there be two weights, two standards in this affair?”
In addition, the nuns write that one of their houses in southern France has been targeted by the Archbishop of Toulouse, Robert Le Gall, who has prohibited them from attending their more traditional form of Mass in their community chapel. This appears to be the same house that has refused to participate in Le Gall’s Mass at the local nursing home, presumably because of differences over liturgical practice. The house is located in Castelnau-d’Estrétefonds, to the north of Toulouse, in Haute-Garonne, and is led by Sr. Marie-Liesse Laplace.
Vatican sends ultimatum: submit or be dismissed
Finally, in September, the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, João Braz de Aviz, sent an ultimatum to the sisters, requiring them to accept Sr. Geneviève Médevielle as their authority “without reserve” or face dismissal from the Institute. The vast majority have asked to be released from their vows, rather than submit to Médevielle. No announcements have yet been made regarding the response of the Holy See.
The sisters passed through a similar trial in the 1970s, when officials of the Holy See attempted to force them to join other institutes. The sisters resisted and expressed their preference for losing their status as religious rather than entering another institute, according to the Association of Support. However, their congregation survived the ordeal.
The sisters have stated publicly that they wish to see the public alerted to their situation, and to come to their aid in resisting what they regard as a grave injustice against their institute and its charism of aiding the suffering at the end of life. Contact information for those interested in supporting and defending the Little Sisters can be found at the bottom of this article.
The apparent persecution of the Little Sisters has garnered much media attention in France, and has been covered on television as well as in print media. The mayor of Saint-Aignan-sur-Roe, where the mother house of the sisters is located, is publicly supporting the sisters.
“I have trouble understanding this power struggle,” Mayor Loïc Pène told the newspaper Haut Anjou. “The Sisters have my full support because I know what they represent for the town. They are well integrated and it is of local interest that they remain present. I am well aware of everything they bring. All they do besides, they do well. I only hope for a happy ending to this conflict and that the nursing home does not end up being weakened.”
A representative of the Diocese of Laval told the same newspaper that the sisters have caused their own suffering by resisting the authority of Rome. She also claimed that the reform measures the commissioners are seeking to impose were already in the works years earlier.
“The situation is difficult, it is true, so much so that it is now in the hands of Rome. But from the beginning we have been involved in adjustments and recommendations and not at all in conflict or grievances,” said diocesan spokeswoman Véronique Larat. “The adjustments, by the way, had already been proposed by Bishops Billé and Maillard, the predecessors of Bishop Scherrer. He simply took a position in continuity with them.”
“The Sisters are very troubled by this situation due to [their] disobedience, [and] many people are suffering,” Larat added. “We are still calling for reconciliation and for them to allow the pontifical commissioner appointed by Rome to join them.”
Commenting on the impending destruction of the order, Risposte Catholique wrotein September: “Everywhere these nuns are very much loved by the clergy and the people. What will become of the forty or so nuns who will no longer be? What are we going to do with their retirement homes, the elderly they welcome, the staff who are employed there? We thus see bloodless dioceses amputate their last living forces, in a sort of self-annihilation of moribund churches.”
Institute of Franciscan friars destroyed in a similar way
The destruction of the Little Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer follows a pattern similar to the Vatican-induced collapse of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI), an order of Franciscans that followed a more traditional pattern of community life and that made free use of the traditional Latin Mass in accordance with the rites prevailing in 1962. Although the friars were within their legal rights to use the traditional form of the Mass in accordance with the papal motu proprio Summorum pontificum, their order came under attack for such practices by Bishop Braz de Aviz and others who frowned upon them. Among them, it seems, is Pope Francis himself.
Just as in the case of the Little Sisters, Braz de Aviz brought about the removal of the superiors of the FFI from their positions, and even the founder, Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, was sent into house arrest at the age of 81. Five years later, he remains under house arrest. Other superiors were sent to remote houses of the order.
Likewise, a commissioner was placed over the order, Fr. Stephano Volpi, who seemed implacably hostile to the order’s charism and its works in general. Under his leadership, the FFI’s seminary was completely shut down, as was its book publishing service. A majority of the brothers left and were incardinated in other dioceses, and at least 15 cloisters of the order reportedly have closed their doors. The Traditional Latin Mass was only permitted by special permission from the commissioner.
Moreover, just as in the case of the Little Sisters, the members of the FFI never were given any specific reason for the imposition of the commissioner, except vague hints that they were too “traditional” for the tastes of the Vatican authorities, including, presumably, Pope Francis, who has refused to accept appeals from the order’s members. Within a few years, a thriving and beloved institute of Franciscans had become a shell of its former self.
Association of Support for the Little Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer
Main webpage in English: https://www.soutienpsm.com/severedifficulties
(You may also select French, Italian, or Spanish at upper right of webpage.)
Chez Mr Marcel MIGNOT
1 Avenue de Montréal
Résidence Montréal 2
72000 Le Mans
To sign the petition of support: https://www.soutienpsm.com/signer-la-petition-anglais
Click here for links to coverage by the French blog Riposte Catholique (can be translated to English easily with Google Translate – in Chrome browser right click on webpage and select “Translate to English”).
TWELVE VALID CARDINALS, i.e. CARDINALS APPOINTED BY POPES BENEDICT XVI AND SAINT JOHN PAUL II, MUST ACT SOON TO REMOVE FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL FROM THE THRONE OF SAINT PETER BEFORE HE DAMAGES THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH EVEN MORE THAN HE HAS ALREADY DAMAGED IT.
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