Crisis MagazineA Voice for the Faithful Catholic Laity
DECEMBER 31, 2018
Pope Francis, Indifferentism, and Islamization
Two young Scandinavian women who were hiking in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco were found dead in mid-December in their tent. ISIS terrorists later posted a video of themselves decapitating one of the victims.
The mother of one of the women told reporters, “Her priority was safety. The girls had taken all precautionary measures before embarking on this trip.”
“Except,” as Robert Spencer commented in JihadWatch, “that it no doubt didn’t even occur to them that what they thought they knew about Morocco’s religion and culture might be inaccurate and designed to whitewash Islam, leaving them ill-informed about a threat that they actually did end up facing.”
If one depended on European media and European schools for one’s knowledge of Islam, one would indeed come away with a misleading picture of Islam. But the same could be said of Catholics who rely on Church pronouncements about Islam. Ever since the Second Vatican Council, Church leaders have presented a smiley-faced version of Islam which emphasizes the commonalities with Catholicism and leaves out the scary parts.
Over the last six years, the chief proponent of this bowdlerized view of Islam has been Pope Francis. He has reassured Christians that Islam is opposed to violence, advised Muslim migrants to find comfort in the Koran, and has portrayed terrorists as betrayers of true Islam.
More significantly, he has become perhaps the world’s foremost spokesman for an open-borders, let-everyone-in policy toward immigration. Seemingly indifferent to the increasingly dangerous situation created by jihad-minded Muslims in Europe, Francis has encouraged a welcoming attitude toward all while scolding opponents of mass migration as fearful and xenophobic.
In short, Pope Francis has acted as an advocate for Islam. He has portrayed it as a religion of peace, the moral equivalent of Catholicism, and a force for good. A number of people, however, now feel that the pope has seriously misled Christians about the nature and goals of Islam and Islamic immigration. Like the teachers and other cultural elites who left the two Scandinavian women “ill-informed about a threat that they actually did end up facing,” Pope Francis, by whitewashing Islam, has left millions of Christians unprepared for the escalating threat that is now facing them.
The analogy between the misinformed Scandinavian friends and misinformed Europeans does break down in one respect, though. No one forced the young women to travel to Morocco. They went there of their own accord. It’s one thing to invite yourself into the high mountains of Morocco and take your chances. It’s another thing altogether to invite Morocco into Europe and let ordinary Europeans bear the consequences. That is what European elites, with much encouragement from Francis, have done.
The combination of high Muslim birth rates, mass Muslim migration, and European concessions to Islam’s blasphemy laws has set Europe on a course toward Islamization. Islamization, in turn, will spell dhimmitude for Christians. As the Islamic influence grows, Christians will be subject to increasing restrictions on the practice of their faith, perhaps even to persecution. It’s possible that Christianity in Europe will be exterminated.
Is Francis Naïve About Islam?
The pope has done much to promote the cause of Islam—so much so that he has been praised by Islamic leaders for his defense of their faith. The questions that then arise are these: Is Francis aware of the possibility that Islam will become dominant in Europe? Is he aware that this may spell the end of European Christianity? And if he is aware, does he care?
For a long time, I thought that Francis was simply naïve about Islam. His counterfactual statements about Islam and his Pollyannaish view of mass Muslim migration must, I thought, be the result either of blissful ignorance or of bad advice from “experts,” or a combination of both.
Now, however, I have my doubts. The catalyst for these doubts is Francis’s approach to the current sex-abuse crisis. I originally supposed that he was naïve about that also: perhaps he didn’t realize the full extent of the problem or the full extent of the cover-ups; perhaps he wasn’t aware of the numerous lavender networks in seminaries, in dioceses, and in the Vatican itself. But in light of recent revelations, it no longer seems possible to give him the benefit of the doubt. In several cases, he not only knew of the crimes and cover-ups, he took steps to protect and/or promote those involved. Francis seems determined to push through a revolution in doctrine and morals—what he calls “a radical paradigm shift”—and it doesn’t seem to matter that the men he has chosen to help him achieve his goals are the ones most deeply implicated in the scandals. By all accounts, Pope Francis is a “hands-on” pope who knows exactly what he wants, carefully calculates his moves, and leaves little to chance.
Why, then, should we suppose Francis is completely naïve about the extent of the threat from Islam and from Islamic immigration? It’s difficult to imagine that he isn’t fully aware of the widespread persecution of Christians in Muslim lands. And it’s just as difficult to think that he’s ignorant of the Islamic crime wave on his own doorstep—the escalating incidence of rape, riots, and terrorist attacks in Europe. Does he really believe that such things have nothing to do with Islam?
Unless one assumes that Francis is ignorant of past history and out of touch with current events, one has to entertain the possibility that—to repeat a favorite slogan of his—he wants to “make a mess” in Europe.
But why? Why risk the damage to the Church that would surely follow on the Islamization of Europe? Doesn’t Francis care about the Church? Increasingly, it seems that he doesn’t care. That’s to say that he doesn’t have much use for the “old” Church—the one that was handed down by the apostles, and has now become too narrow and tradition-bound to suit his liberal tastes.
The Fluid Church of the Future
What he does care about is the new Church of the future—a Church of openness, inclusiveness, and fluidity. Led by the Spirit and free of bothersome dogma, this liberated Church would be able to adjust to the changing needs of the times. If one reads between the lines, that is what Francis and those around him seem to desire.
Indeed, one needn’t bother to read between the lines. Here’s Fr. Thomas Rosica, a media advisor to the Vatican: “Pope Francis breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is free of disordered attachments.” Moreover, “Our Church has indeed entered a new phase. With the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”
And here’s Francis himself speaking at a conference on Church closings:
The observation that many churches, which until a few years ago were necessary, are now no longer thus, due to a lack of faithful and clergy … should be welcomed in the Church not with anxiety, but as a sign of the times that invites us to reflection and requires us to adapt.
Translation: Francis is not particularly concerned about church closings. Perhaps he even thinks of them as a blessing: a necessary end to the old order of things that will clear the way for the construction of the new order.
What’s the new order? In many respects, it resembles the new world order envisioned by politicians and academics on the left. Like them, Francis has a dim view of national borders and national sovereignty, and like them, he has an almost unquestioning belief in the benefits of international institutions. One gets the impression that Francis would be quite content to let the UN run the world, despite the fact that the UN is increasingly run by leftists and Islamists. For example, Francis has praised the UN’s Global Compactfor Migration because he believes that immigration must be governed globally rather than by individual nations.
What does this have to do with Christianity and Islam? Just as Francis seems to favor a one-world government, he also seems to be drawn by the vision of a one-world religion. He hasn’t said so in so many words, but he has given several indications that he envisions an eventual blending of religions. This would not be the “one flock, one shepherd” Church that Christ spoke of but something a bit more diverse.
One way to achieve this unity in diversity is by deemphasizing doctrine. Doctrinal differences are, after all, the main dividing line between different faiths. Thus, by downplaying the importance of doctrine—something he has done fairly consistently throughout his papacy—it’s probable that Francis hopes to smooth the path to interreligious harmony. Just as Francis disapproves of borders between nations, it’s likely that he looks upon borders between religions as artificial and unnecessarily divisive.
This is speculation, of course, but it’s not sheer speculation. As George Neumayr points out in The Political Pope, Francis frequently shows signs of indifferentism—the belief that all religions are of equal value. For example, when speaking of the murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel by two jihadists, he drew a moral equivalence between Islam and Christianity, saying “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.”
Other signs of his indifferentism are not difficult to find. In 2014, he told a group of Protestants, “I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community.” One another occasion, he criticized Pope Benedict’s “ordinate” for Anglicans interested in becoming Catholics by saying that they should stay “as Anglicans.” On still other occasions, he has waxed enthusiastic over Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.
Ironically, several examples of his indifferentism can be found in Evangelii Gaudium—ostensibly an exhortation to evangelize. Although the document urges us to spread the joy of the Gospel, it provides a number of reasons why we shouldn’t bother. The main reason is that we already share so many ethical and spiritual values with other faiths that there’s no point in converting non-Catholics.
Thus, Evangelii Gaudium leaves the impression that Jews shouldn’t be evangelized (an impression that was later explicitly confirmed by the Vatican). Moreover, Francis also seems to exempt Muslims from any need to convert. As I wrote previously in Crisis:
After reading Evangelii Gaudium’s positive assessment of Islam, one could be forgiven for concluding that the conversion of Muslims is not an urgent matter. And, indeed, there is no suggestion in the document that Muslims should be evangelized. At the most, Christians should dialogue with Muslims about their “shared beliefs.”
Rather than converting others, Francis seems more interested in learning from them. In Evangelii Gaudium and in numerous talks, he frequently extols the “richness” and “wisdom” of other cultures. Whereas Christ commanded his apostles to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…,” Francis’s message is more along the lines of “Go therefore and learn the wisdom of other cultures.” Francis’s attitude toward evangelization seems to be summed up in something he said to atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense.”
If that’s so, then Pope Francis probably has no desire to convert the Muslims streaming into Europe. After all, like Evangelicals, Muslims also can “find Jesus in their community.” It’s not the same Jesus, but perhaps the resemblance is close enough for someone with scant interest in doctrinal differences. Exactly what, then, does he have in mind by encouraging mass migration into Europe? One possibility, as I suggested earlier, is that he envisions a multicultural-type blending of religions. But in order for that to happen, it would be necessary for the respective faiths to dilute their doctrinal positions. Pope Francis seems quite willing to do this on the Catholic side. He has already made substantial concessions to the Chinese communist government on the appointment of bishops. He seems willing to alter Church teachings in order to build bridges with the LGBT “community” and other sexual revolutionaries. And, in general, he prefers to be guided by the prompting of the Spirit rather than by the teachings of the Church.
Moreover, he seems more concerned with political and humanitarian goals than with the goal of getting to heaven. As George Neumayr has noted in The Political Pope, when awarded the Charlemagne Prize, Francis “used his acceptance speech not to call for the restoration of Christianity, but for the spread of a ‘new European humanism.’” And, as Francis sees it, the main obstacle to achieving these humanitarian goals are fundamentalist Christians who refuse to integrate with Muslim migrants and, in general, fail to adapt to changing times. Perhaps he thinks that a flood of migrants will force fundamentalists to encounter the “other” and come to terms with their “otherness.”
But what about fundamentalist Muslims? A harmonious world religion dedicated to humanitarian ends would require not only a watering-down of Christianity, but also a considerable moderation of Islam. Both in terms of percentages and in absolute numbers, there are far more fundamentalist Muslims in the world than fundamentalist Christians. Francis has acknowledged the existence of fundamentalist Muslims, but he claims that they do not represent “authentic” Islam, and he seems to believe, contrary to much polling data, that they are only a small minority. “All religions have these little groups,” he once said.
A Self-fulfilling Prophecy?
Whether or not he actually believes that fundamentalists are a small minority, he does seem to have a rough strategy for facilitating the emergence of a more moderate Islam. And that strategy is to claim that Islam is already and always has been a moderate and peaceful faith. Most notably, he asserted in Evangelii Gaudium that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” For his considerable efforts in defending Islam as a peaceful and tolerant religion, he has won much praise from important Muslim leaders.
The strategy Francis seems to be employing is referred to by sociologists as a self-fulfilling prophecy. The idea is that if you express high expectations for others, they will endeavor to live up to the expectations and thus fulfill your “prophecy.” But, according to Robert K. Merton, the sociologist who coined the term, “the self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation.” But the false definition or assumption can evoke “a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true.”
Sometimes self-fulfilling prophecies work and sometimes they don’t. A lot depend on the awareness of the subject. Young children are more susceptible to such influence, while adults who understand what is being attempted are less so. I recall reading an article on a radical Islamic website which accused Pope Francis of using just such a strategy. I don’t remember if the author actually used the term “self-fulfilling prophecy,” but he did complain that the pope was deliberately painting a false but pleasing picture of Islam in order to win over Muslims to a moderate view.
In any event, the self-fulfilling prophecy strategy seems an awfully slender reed upon which to stake the future of the world. For decades now, global leaders have been assuring us that Islam means peace, that violence has nothing to do with Islam, and that the vast majority of Muslims are moderate. Yet most of the evidence suggests that the Western “prophecy” about Islam’s pacific nature is not working. With some notable exceptions, moderates have been losing ground, while fundamentalists are in the ascendancy.
Just as he has little anxiety about the wave of church closings, Francis seems to have little anxiety about the Islamization of Europe. Indeed, as evidenced by his encouragement of mass migration, he seems to have no objection to Islamization.
Either because he really believes the false narrative that Islam is a religion of peace, or because he believes that the self-fulfilling prophecy strategy will create a more moderate Islam, Francis seems to be at peace with the fact that Islam is spreading rapidly.
Whatever he has in mind, it seems that Pope Francis is betting against the odds. A few weeks ago, those two young Scandinavian women mentioned earlier took a similar gamble when they embarked on a camping trip in Morocco. They were betting their lives on the assumption that the whitewashed narrative about Islam that they had no doubt learned in schools and universities was the correct one. They lost that “bet.” They had, to borrow a line from Casablanca, been “misinformed” about the situation in Morocco.
Whether Francis has been misinformed about Islam or whether he has adopted a strategy of misinformation, he is taking a huge gamble—not only with his own life, but with the lives of millions. When the religion of Muhammad meets the religion of indifferentism, which seems most likely to prevail?
Editor’s note: This picture above taken on December 21, 2018 shows a combo photo of murdered Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (L) and Nowegian Maren Ueland placed on top of flowers and between the flags of Morocco and Norway as Moroccans, many associated with the tourism industry, pay tribute to the Scandinavian victims. (Photo credit: FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily,and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com
TWELVE VALID CARDINALS, i.e. CARDINALS APPOINTED BY POPES BENEDICT XVI AND SAINT JOHN PAUL II, MUST ACT SOON TO REMOVE FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL FROM THE THRONE OF SAINT PETER BEFORE HE DAMAGES THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH EVEN MORE THAN HE HAS ALREADY DAMAGED IT.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CARDINALS OF THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
AND OTHER CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL IN COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE
Recently many educated Catholic observers, including bishops and priests, have decried the confusion in doctrinal statements about faith or morals made from the Apostolic See at Rome and by the putative Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Some devout, faithful and thoughtful Catholics have even suggested that he be set aside as a heretic, a dangerous purveyor of error, as recently mentioned in a number of reports. Claiming heresy on the part of a man who is a supposed Pope, charging material error in statements about faith or morals by a putative Roman Pontiff, suggests and presents an intervening prior question about his authenticity in that August office of Successor of Peter as Chief of The Apostles, i.e., was this man the subject of a valid election by an authentic Conclave of The Holy Roman Church? This is so because each Successor of Saint Peter enjoys the Gift of Infallibility. So, before one even begins to talk about excommunicating such a prelate, one must logically examine whether this person exhibits the uniformly good and safe fruit of Infallibility.
If he seems repeatedly to engage in material error, that first raises the question of the validity of his election because one expects an authentically-elected Roman Pontiff miraculously and uniformly to be entirely incapable of stating error in matters of faith or morals. So to what do we look to discern the invalidity of such an election? His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, within His massive legacy to the Church and to the World, left us with the answer to this question. The Catholic faithful must look back for an answer to a point from where we have come—to what occurred in and around the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 and how the fruits of those events have generated such widespread concern among those people of magisterial orthodoxy about confusing and, or, erroneous doctrinal statements which emanate from The Holy See.
His Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis) which governed the supposed Conclave in March 2013 contains quite clear and specific language about the invalidating effect of departures from its norms. For example, Paragraph 76 states: “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”
From this, many believe that there is probable cause to believe that Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio was never validly elected as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter—he never rightly took over the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and therefore he does not enjoy the charism of Infallibility. If this is true, then the situation is dire because supposed papal acts may not be valid or such acts are clearly invalid, including supposed appointments to the college of electors itself.
Only valid cardinals can rectify our critical situation through privately (secretly) recognizing the reality of an ongoing interregnum and preparing for an opportunity to put the process aright by obedience to the legislation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in that Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. While thousands of the Catholic faithful do understand that only the cardinals who participated in the events of March 2013 within the Sistine Chapel have all the information necessary to evaluate the issue of election validity, there was public evidence sufficient for astute lay faithful to surmise with moral certainty that the March 2013 action by the College was an invalid conclave, an utter nullity.
What makes this understanding of Universi Dominici Gregisparticularly cogent and plausible is the clear Promulgation Clause at the end of this Apostolic Constitution and its usage of the word “scienter” (“knowingly”). The Papal Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis thus concludes definitively with these words: “. . . knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.” (“. . . scienter vel inscienter contra hanc Constitutionem fuerint excogitata.”) [Note that His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, had a somewhat similar promulgation clause at the end of his corresponding, now abrogated, Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo, but his does not use “scienter”, but rather uses “sciens” instead. This similar term of sciens in the earlier abrogated Constitution has an entirely different legal significance than scienter.] This word, “scienter”, is a legal term of art in Roman law, and in canon law, and in Anglo-American common law, and in each system, scienter has substantially the same significance, i.e., “guilty knowledge” or willfully knowing, criminal intent.
Thus, it clearly appears that Pope John Paul II anticipated the possibility of criminal activity in the nature of a sacrilege against a process which He intended to be purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual, if not miraculous, in its nature. This contextual reality reinforced in the Promulgation Clause, combined with: (1) the tenor of the whole document; (2) some other provisions of the document, e.g., Paragraph 76; (3) general provisions of canon law relating to interpretation, e.g., Canons 10 & 17; and, (4) the obvious manifest intention of the Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, tends to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the legal conclusion that Monsignor Bergoglio was never validly elected Roman Pontiff.
This is so because:1. Communication of any kind with the outside world, e.g., communication did occur between the inside of the Sistine Chapel and anyone outside, including a television audience, before, during or even immediately after the Conclave;2. Any political commitment to “a candidate” and any “course of action” planned for The Church or a future pontificate, such as the extensive decade-long “pastoral” plans conceived by the Sankt Gallen hierarchs; and,3. Any departure from the required procedures of the conclave voting process as prescribed and known by a cardinal to have occurred:each was made an invalidating act, and if scienter (guilty knowledge) was present, also even a crime on the part of any cardinal or other actor, but, whether criminal or not, any such act or conduct violating the norms operated absolutely, definitively and entirely against the validity of all of the supposed Conclave proceedings.
Quite apart from the apparent notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated with the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” other acts destructive of conclave validity occurred. Keeping in mind that Pope John Paul II specifically focused Universi Dominici Gregis on “the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors” such that “the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit,” even certain openly public media broadcasting breached this seclusion by electronic broadcasts outlawed by Universi Dominici Gregis. These prohibitions include direct declarative statements outlawing any use of television before, during or after a conclave in any area associated with the proceedings, e.g.: “I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself.” Viewed in light of this introductory preambulary language of Universi Dominici Gregis and in light of the legislative text itself, even the EWTN camera situated far inside the Sistine Chapel was an immediately obvious non-compliant act which became an open and notorious invalidating violation by the time when this audio-visual equipment was used to broadcast to the world the preaching after the “Extra Omnes”. While these blatant public violations of Chapter IV of Universi Dominici Gregis actuate the invalidity and nullity of the proceedings themselves, nonetheless in His great wisdom, the Legislator did not disqualify automatically those cardinals who failed to recognize these particular offenses against sacred secrecy, or even those who, with scienter, having recognized the offenses and having had some power or voice in these matters, failed or refused to act or to object against them: “Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, ¶55]
No Pope apparently having been produced in March 2013, those otherwise valid cardinals who failed with scienter to act on violations of Chapter IV, on that account alone would nonetheless remain voting members of the College unless and until a new real Pope is elected and adjudges them.
Thus, those otherwise valid cardinals who may have been compromised by violations of secrecy can still participate validly in the “clean-up of the mess” while addressing any such secrecy violations with an eventual new Pontiff. In contrast, the automatic excommunication of those who politicized the sacred conclave process, by obtaining illegally, commitments from cardinals to vote for a particular man, or to follow a certain course of action (even long before the vacancy of the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ), is established not only by the word, “scienter,” in the final enacting clause, but by a specific exception, in this case, to the general statement of invalidity which therefore reinforces the clarity of intention by Legislator that those who apply the law must interpret the general rule as truly binding. Derived directly from Roman law, canonical jurisprudence provides this principle for construing or interpreting legislation such as this Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. Expressed in Latin, this canon of interpretation is: “Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.” (The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.) In this case, an exception from invalidity for acts of simony reinforces the binding force of the general principle of nullity in cases of other violations. Therefore, by exclusion from nullity and invalidity legislated in the case of simony: “If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.”
His Holiness made an exception for simony. Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis. The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave. Comparing what Pope John Paul II wrote in His Constitution on conclaves with the Constitution which His replaced, you can see that, with the exception of simony, invalidity became universal.
In the corresponding paragraph of what Pope Paul VI wrote, he specifically confined the provision declaring conclave invalidity to three (3) circumstances described in previous paragraphs within His constitution, Romano Pontfici Eligendo. No such limitation exists in Universi Dominici Gregis. See the comparison both in English and Latin below:Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77. Should the election be conducted in a manner different from the three procedures described above (cf. no. 63 ff.) or without the conditions laid down for each of the same, it is for this very reason null and void (cf. no. 62), without the need for any declaration, and gives no right to him who has been thus elected. [Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam uno e tribus modis, qui supra sunt dicti (cfr. nn. 63 sqq.), aut non servatis condicionibus pro unoquoque illorum praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida (cfr. n. 62) absque ulla declaratione, et ita electo nullum ius tribuit .”] as compared with:Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam haec Constitutio statuit, aut non servatis condicionibus pariter hic praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida absque ulla declaratione, ideoque electo nullum ius tribuit.”]Of course, this is not the only feature of the Constitution or aspect of the matter which tends to establish the breadth of invalidity.
Faithful must hope and pray that only those cardinals whose status as a valid member of the College remains intact will ascertain the identity of each other and move with the utmost charity and discretion in order to effectuate The Divine Will in these matters. The valid cardinals, then, must act according to that clear, manifest, obvious and unambiguous mind and intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, so evident in Universi Dominici Gregis, a law which finally established binding and self-actuating conditions of validity on the College for any papal conclave, a reality now made so apparent by the bad fruit of doctrinal confusion and plain error. It would seem then that praying and working in a discreet and prudent manner to encourage only those true cardinals inclined to accept a reality of conclave invalidity, would be a most charitable and logical course of action in the light of Universi Dominici Gregis, and out of our high personal regard for the clear and obvious intention of its Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Even a relatively small number of valid cardinals could act decisively and work to restore a functioning Apostolic See through the declaration of an interregnum government. The need is clear for the College to convene a General Congregation in order to declare, to administer, and soon to end the Interregnum which has persisted since March 2013. Finally, it is important to understand that the sheer number of putative counterfeit cardinals will eventually, sooner or later, result in a situation in which The Church will have no normal means validly ever again to elect a Vicar of Christ. After that time, it will become even more difficult, if not humanly impossible, for the College of Cardinals to rectify the current disastrous situation and conduct a proper and valid Conclave such that The Church may once again both have the benefit of a real Supreme Pontiff, and enjoy the great gift of a truly infallible Vicar of Christ. It seems that some good cardinals know that the conclave was invalid, but really cannot envision what to do about it; we must pray, if it is the Will of God, that they see declaring the invalidity and administering an Interregnum through a new valid conclave is what they must do. Without such action or without a great miracle, The Church is in a perilous situation. Once the last validly appointed cardinal reaches age 80, or before that age, dies, the process for electing a real Pope ends with no apparent legal means to replace it. Absent a miracle then, The Church would no longer have an infallible Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ. Roman Catholics would be no different that Orthodox Christians. In this regard, all of the true cardinals may wish to consider what Holy Mother Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶675, ¶676 and ¶677 about “The Church’s Ultimate Trial”. But, the fact that “The Church . . . will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” does not justify inaction by the good cardinals, even if there are only a minimal number sufficient to carry out Chapter II of Universi Dominici Gregis and operate the Interregnum. This Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, which was clearly applicable to the acts and conduct of the College of Cardinals in March 2013, is manifestly and obviously among those “invalidating” laws “which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is effected” as stated in Canon 10 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. And, there is nothing remotely “doubtful or obscure” (Canon 17) about this Apostolic Constitution as clearly promulgated by Pope John Paul II. The tenor of the whole document expressly establishes that the issue of invalidity was always at stake. This Apostolic Constitution conclusively establishes, through its Promulgation Clause [which makes “anything done (i.e., any act or conduct) by any person . . . in any way contrary to this Constitution,”] the invalidity of the entire supposed Conclave, rendering it “completely null and void”. So, what happens if a group of Cardinals who undoubtedly did not knowingly and wilfully initiate or intentionally participate in any acts of disobedience against Universi Dominici Gregis were to meet, confer and declare that, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Monsignor Bergoglio is most certainly not a valid Roman Pontiff. Like any action on this matter, including the initial finding of invalidity, that would be left to the valid members of the college of cardinals. They could declare the Chair of Peter vacant and proceed to a new and proper conclave. They could meet with His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and discern whether His resignation and retirement was made under duress, or based on some mistake or fraud, or otherwise not done in a legally effective manner, which could invalidate that resignation. Given the demeanor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and the tenor of His few public statements since his departure from the Chair of Peter, this recognition of validity in Benedict XVI seems unlikely. In fact, even before a righteous group of good and authentic cardinals might decide on the validity of the March 2013 supposed conclave, they must face what may be an even more complicated discernment and decide which men are most likely not valid cardinals. If a man was made a cardinal by the supposed Pope who is, in fact, not a Pope (but merely Monsignor Bergoglio), no such man is in reality a true member of the College of Cardinals. In addition, those men appointed by Pope John Paul II or by Pope Benedict XVI as cardinals, but who openly violated Universi Dominici Gregis by illegal acts or conduct causing the invalidation of the last attempted conclave, would no longer have voting rights in the College of Cardinals either. (Thus, the actual valid members in the College of Cardinals may be quite smaller in number than those on the current official Vatican list of supposed cardinals.) In any event, the entire problem is above the level of anyone else in Holy Mother Church who is below the rank of Cardinal. So, we must pray that The Divine Will of The Most Holy Trinity, through the intercession of Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Graces and Saint Michael, Prince of Mercy, very soon rectifies the confusion in Holy Mother Church through action by those valid Cardinals who still comprise an authentic College of Electors. Only certainly valid Cardinals can address the open and notorious evidence which points to the probable invalidity of the last supposed conclave and only those cardinals can definitively answer the questions posed here. May only the good Cardinals unite and if they recognize an ongoing Interregnum, albeit dormant, may they end this Interregnum by activating perfectly a functioning Interregnum government of The Holy See and a renewed process for a true Conclave, one which is purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual. If we do not have a real Pontiff, then may the good Cardinals, doing their appointed work “in view of the sacredness of the act of election” “accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit” and provide Holy Mother Church with a real Vicar of Christ as the Successor of Saint Peter. May these thoughts comport with the synderetic considerations of those who read them and may their presentation here please both Our Immaculate Virgin Mother, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.N. de Plume
Un ami des Papes