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Critical Catholic analysis - Boston Catholic Journal

Boston Catholic Journal

Today’s Martyrology



in the Twilight of Reason

Mary, Conceived without Sin, Pray for us who have Recourse to Thee


Mary, Conceived without Sin,

pray for us who have recourse to Thee



We Cannot Call This Man

Holy Father

... for he is neither

Jorge Bergoglio "Francis" fist clenched in anger


Nor can we call today’s sterile, Modernist, “Worship Spaces” 1 ... Catholic Churches:

Cathedral of St Mary of the Angels in Los Angeles outside Cathedral of St Mary of the Angels in Los Angeles inside

Cathedral of St Mary of the Angels in Los Angeles

“The house of our holiness, and of our glory, where our fathers praised Thee,
is burnt with fire, and all our lovely things are turned into ruins.”
(Isaiah 64.11)


We wish to make one thing clear in light of our criticism of the ever-evolving, ever-increasing defection of Jorge Bergoglio from the One, True, Holy, and Apostolic Catholic Church to what is theologically understood as Religious Indifferentism (any and every religion is sufficient to the attainment of salvation, however much each stands in reciprocal contradiction to one other) — we ourselves are not Sedevacantists, despite the ample and otherwise compelling reasons that Francis routinely provides.


The Seat of Saint Peter is, indeed, occupied ...

That it is occupied by a madman — Jorge Bergoglio — appears to be of little consequence to those who hold that merely occupying the Seat of Saint Peter by any means — of itself necessarily corroborates his fidelity to the Catholic Faith and in some unfathomable way equally attests to his sanity — despite 10 years of what appears to be recurring manic episodes (think the Roman Emperor Caligula who proclaimed his divinity, nominated his horse, Incitatus, as consul, and routinely conversed with the moon) to say nothing of patently illogical utterances (“spaces and power are preferred to time and processes”, “Space hardens processes * ) — coupled with his unpredictable and often incomprehensible behavior (think “Pachamama”).

We do not maintain that the Roman Catholic Church of our forefathers no longer exists, nor that the office of the pope is vacant — we simply argue that it miraculously exists despite its extreme attenuation following Vatican II and the manifold repudiation of sound Catholic teaching by the post-Catholic conciliar church that succeeded it — but did not, and cannot, supplant it.

We do, however, question the human integrity of the process that culminated in its present and often incoherent occupant, his faithfulness to the Sacred Deposit of Faith, and his recurring excursions into the periphery of human understanding. Moreover, we take issue with those who, in obeisance to prevailing ecclesiastical “correctitude” (here think the on-going cover-up of predatory homosexual priests/bishops/cardinals by Jorge-and-Friends together with the rampant corruption in the Vatican Bank) — or simply though lack of intellectual perspicacity, find it convenient to facilely “categorize” those in disagreement with them under various labels, all of them pejorative. As a category-of-a-person rather than a person himself, such a “categorized” person can presumably be put aside, mocked, ridiculed, and marginalized and with him, the “category” he instantiates. The problem with this dismissive attitude is that while the categories are quite small in number, the individuals populating them are not. Indeed, they are growing.

You are, no doubt, familiar with the phrase “the Holy Father” referring to the man who sits upon the Seat of Saint Peter and is eo ipso the pope of the Catholic Church. It was, for nearly 2000 years, a title of due reverence to the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth — and was associated with holiness in person, or at least integrity of character. He was always understood as a man who defended the teachings, doctrines, and dogmas of the Holy Catholic Church. The “post-Catholic conciliar church  of Vatican II however, beginning with John XXIII and promoted by each pope in unbroken succession — to the point of popes routinely canonizing their predecessors — placed increasing emphasis not on “the Salvation of Souls”, but on rapprochement with the world. This intensified exponentially under Jorge, and regrettably the Church, as a consequence became only parenthetically “Holy” (and if truth be told, no longer “Catholic” in a way that would be comprehensible to Catholics and prelates alike prior to 1960).

In reality the “post-Catholic-conciliar-church” of Vatican II effectively resulted in a simulacrum, a caricature, of the once “Holy Roman Catholic Church” whose name it arrogated even as it threw the pearls of Her holiness under the cloven hooves of pigs. Do you believe such an assessment harsh? Christ Himself warned us against it —  and the consequences to those who would be so profligate:

“Give not that which is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before the swine, lest they trample them with their feet, and turning round rend you. (Saint Matthew 7.6)

I recognize that this sounds severe. It is meant to be.

How few those who with clarity and courage denounce this manifest and unmitigated distinction! Both clerical and lay are unwilling to call what is manifestly counterfeit nothing less than ecclesiastical forgery and fraud out of  fear of persecution — of being marginalized, being labeled a “rigid” or “Traditional Catholic” — the very type Catholic whom Bergoglio ridicules and apparently detests! Has the unreasoned fear of this crude and petulant pontiff so paralyzed the once courageous Catholic witness in the world that none dare defy him for fear of ... fear of ... what?

Do you fear that you will be “excommunicated” from this grotesque mutation that has lost all continuity with the real Catholic Church which it parodies — this pathogen that requires a host to survive even as it destroys the host? Why would you wish to be part of what has become a travesty? Better an orphan than a bastard. Oh, yes, you will have great difficulty finding a genuinely Catholic parish that worships the True and Living God in the “Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” before the post-Catholic-conciliar-church banned and criminalized it —the Mass that nurtured and mothered all the great Saints preceding the Post-Conciliar Church — with the sole exception that you, at the same time, acknowledge and give credence to the farcical Liturgy accredited and mandated by the Council Fathers and cruelly imposed on the Faithful.

In these days fraught with heresy and apostasy, pan-paganism and atheism, this new Post-Catholic-Conciliar-church spawned by Vatican II has made it quite clear that the monolithic Catholicism which preceded it is, indeed, in need of extreme atteCuation, and exsanguinated of piety. Before being a “Catholic” required a conditional, and factional antecedent (“Conservative Catholic”, “Liberal Catholic”, “Progressive Catholic”, “Charismatic Catholic”, “Vatican II Catholic”, “Pre-Vatican II Catholic”, “Sedevacantist Catholic” —  that is to say, when a Catholic was simply a non-nuanced Catholic — and not a “kind” of Catholic, there simply was no confusion in being Catholic. Everything was quite clear and definite: matters such as morals, dogmas, millennia-imbued teaching, theology, marriage, sexuality, having children, and those now-quaint concepts of “obligations” and “certitudes”.

With Vatican II and the inauguration of the Post-Conciliar Church, kinds of Catholics” emerged and quickly began to divide the Church, splintering the One Body into separate — and separated — “ideological” ghettos; once again, prior to which the world could understand and reasonably predicate of you certain beliefs and practices (or at least of what you should have be, and what you should have believed) as a Catholic.

The Anvil

This, of course, is no longer so. Antagonism within the highest levels of the Church, now disparage, ridicule, and separate themselves from the mere Catholic who believes and cleaves to “the Faith of His Fathers” with its 2000 years of credentials. Such a Catholic is now dismissed as “backward” and “rigid” by “the Holy Father” (Bergoglio) of the post-Catholic-conciliar-church (once again, not to be confused with the authentic Roman Catholic Church of 2000 years). Jorge has much to say about this … most of it incoherent and disparaging ... when he is not pontificating about the Amazonian Face of the Church, the environment, plastic in the ocean, politics, economies — and yet strangely says nothing relevant to his job-description as Pontiff concerning salvation, Jesus Christ, the Conversion of Souls, and Hell itself (which he famously dismissed as a fiction).

It is vital to understand that Jorge Bergoglio (Francis) is a Modernist. Among the primary tenets of Modernism are the following: all religions are equally efficacious for salvation; religion is primarily emotive; a matter of feelings, not doctrine and dogma (think the Charismatic movement); doctrine evolves with human and historical understanding; etc. This is not to be understood frivolously; it is a reproach to him. We must clearly understand this indictment: St. Pope Pius X (1907), in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis — On the Doctrines of the Modernists, condemned Modernism as the Synthesis of all hersies. Reflect on that a moment. It is not just a heresy, but the Synthesis of All Heresies. This cannot be overstated. However, we must equally, and in all honesty, acknowledge that this newly-and-poorly-minted “church” was usurped long before Francis, beginning with the first ruminations of that most unfortunate event called Vatican II. We may consider Modernism the anvil upon which Vatican II was forged by no less than six successively extirpative hammer strokes:

  • Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (John XXIII) through whom the Church lost its sacred language (Latin), was deprived of the Mass as a Sacrifice.

  • Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (Paul VI)

  • Albino Luciani (John Paul I)

  • Karol Józef Wojtyła (John Paul II)

  • Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (Benedict XVI)

  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio (a.k.a. Francis)

Some of the above, I recognize, are esteemed “heroes” of the Faith by many Post-Conciliar-Church Catholics — especially Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) on whose watch the USSR crumbled and even Josef Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) who “restored” to “legitimacy” (what was never abolished nor can it ever be)  the ancient Tridentine Mass (which is actually much, much older) but only under the condition that it be understood as a perquisite, a bone tossed to the (Traditional) dogs who were obligated to acknowledge the “validity” and superiority of “the New Mass”. The Tridentine Mass — so spiritual, other-worldly, and rife with “superstition” was an embarrassment to the New-Age enlightened liturgists who relegated the Mass of the Ages to the mere effluence of the “Usus antiquior” — “the ancient usage” also undertood as the “Vetus ordo” (the “old order”) —  each suggesting that its validity suffers from a lack of contemporaneity (it is no longer in current use) and obsolete (having been supplanted by the Novus Ordo, or “New Order” Mass of increasingly bizarre experimentation and imbecility). Ratzinger merely re-stated what was never denied.


But it was precisely Karol Wojtyla and Josef Ratzinger who vigorously promoted not just the absurdity of Ecumenism, but nothing less an affront to God as Pantheism. The inter-religious meeting and worship at Assisi under the auspices of Karol Wojtyla (JPII) was blasphemous and the sin of sacrilege no less than three times: 1986, 1993 and 2002. Josef Ratzinger pursued Ecumenism with no less vigor in 2011. And Jorge (Francis) is the culmination of this sacrilege by apotheosizing the Earth, the Environment, and the “Amazonian-Face” of Pachamama solemnly borne into the Basilica of Saint Peter and worshipped before him and his prelates in the Vatican Garden.

Each, in turn, as we have seen, alienated himself from the Church that preceded him for two millennia, successively and increasingly infecting the Body of Christ, defiling Her as The Bride of the King, and committing adultery against her with every other “belief system” on the face of the Earth. Francis will see this done, — and abjure, divorce, and leave desolate the once Beautiful Bride brought to shame by the Groomsmen.

The “Mass” presently used at every parish throughout the world is not just “different from” the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass prior to Vatican II: it is unrecognizable as the Mass that  Catholics had offered for two millennia (2000 years) prior to the Post-Catholic-Conciliar-church. The language is different (no Latin, but roughly 6,500 different vernacular languages in place of the one which everyone understood in every part of the world). There is no Altar because it is no longer understood as a “sacrifice” — it is merely “a table”. The priest is now merely a “presider” — not an alter Christus confecting the Sacrament of Salvation. There are no Communion Rails because everyone simply walks up to “the Table of the Lord”, hands out: “gimme”.

Saint Paul and the Prophet Daniel saw it coming long before it arrived, and torments us:

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. ... When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation (abominationem desolationis), which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that reads let him understand. (Saint Matthew 24.11-15)

Let us recognize what has come upon us — and call it the “Abomination” that it is!


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

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Further Reading on the Papacy of Francis:




 The Reality of Mortal Sin and the Need for Holy Confession

The Antidote of Death


First, Mortal Sin ...

Our excuses are numberless. In fact, they are as numberless as our sins, none of which are now deemed by us (and, for sorrow, by many priests) grievous enough to preclude our receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion. Most often they are reducible simply to this: “I have not committed any mortal sin.”


For Catholics who have never been taught the difference between Mortal and Venial sin — which is to say, the entire last generation of Catholics — we must be clear about the notion of sin — especially the distinction between two kinds of sin, before we can proceed to even understand the necessity, as well as the inestimable value of Holy Confession.       

Only one analogy suffices to make this distinction clear in a way that is particularly accessible to Western society (I do not say “civilization,” for that has ceased). Let us look at the matter somatically, or, through our bodies, or more likely than not, the bodies of others upon which we are, in one way or another, sexually fixated. Perhaps this will provide a visual cue, some imaginative element, to an otherwise immaterial reality:

The distinction between a Mortal Sin and a Venial Sin is akin to the difference between a minor wound ... and death-dealing blow.

In other words, you may accumulate many minor wounds and still live, although each is an impediment to your health and, while small, if left unattended, may yet contribute to something more serious, something more debilitating. It is a small laceration ... awaiting infection.

Mortal wounds, on the other hand, may be many, but any one of them alone will bring you to death. It is not the case that, inflicted with a mortal wound, you may die —the wound is called “mortal” precisely because, as a consequence of it, you in fact do die. We most often understand a mortal wound in a posthumous context, that is to say, in the past tense: the person is already dead, and that is why his injury was called “mortal”.       
It is of the nature of wounds that they are either the one or the other, although the non-mortal wound may be sufficiently grievous to cause lasting deformity or mutilation even if it does not culminate in death.

Physics, Bodies, and Bullets

Clearly, we wish to avoid both, but failing this we immediately tend the wound, see a physician, and apply the recommended remedy. The medicine may be bitter, or the therapy arduous, but we do not curse the doctor for that, still less the laws of physics brought to bear upon human anatomy, in the way, say, of projectiles and the like. Bullets do those things. We do not like it, and we would that bullets behaved otherwise, but the reality is that, however regrettable the result, we cannot, for that reason, alter the path of the bullet nor make it less fatal to the body. The consequences of this unfortunate concatenation of events are not within our will to change. I believe that we will all agree on this. We may argue that the bullet ought not have been shot, but having been shot we understand the inevitability of the result given laws inherent in physics, bodies and bullets.

That the trajectory of a projectile corresponds to a given amount of energy expended over a given distance — and intersected by the human tegument through which it subsequently passes causing death, is a terrible occurrence to be sure, but not one, in and of itself, that we are likely to imprecate. We do not rage against the laws of physics. Indeed, we would find such indignation ... odd, to say nothing of futile.

The laws inherent in physics and the constitution of the human body, are simply not amenable to our will, and we recognize this. We do not despair over it, but become terribly practical given this recognition: we avoid bullets. However great our outrage, we will not find a sane individual disputing it.

The reality we wish to avoid — the reality avoided at all costs at the pulpit — is that Mortal Sin is deadly. You die as a result of it. You will breathe and move and the world will applaud your posthumous existence. But you die to God — your life in God ceases. The fact as little pleases us as it pleases our preachers — sin has real, most often empirical, and always inevitable consequences. The ability of sin to harm, and yes, even kill, is as real and as indifferent to our wishes as the laws of physics that impinge on our bodies.

In our post-enlightened, post-modern pretension to sophistication, we frankly find such a notion abhorrent to our effete sensitivities ... social sensitivities that we have so delicately honed upon the touchstone of correctitude.

On the one hand, we morally concede to the correlation between crime and punishment — and deem it “just” — but somehow never quite attain to any legitimate correspondence between sin and condemnation on the other. We attenuate our clemency in the courts of men, given the gravity of the crime, but do not attain to that same rigor in the tribunal of sin ... given the gravity of the sin. There are, apparently, no capital offenses in the City of God, even as they abound in the City of Man. A mortal life is held to be forfeit for a crime, but life immortal is not held forfeit for a sin.

It is an odd state of affairs that few of us believe that we can abolish crime, while most of us appear to believe that we have virtually abolished sin.

Crime, of course can in fact be abolished.

“How?” you ask.

It is simplicity itself. Legitimize what is criminal. Account nothing a crime and you abolish the notion of crime itself — even as you leave the consequences intact.

“But that is absurd!”, you exclaim.

In very deed ...

A cursory review of civil legislation over the past 30 years reveals that, not only is it not absurd, but attains to policy:

·         Abortion

·         Sexual Deviance (homosexuality, lesbianism, transsexualism, transgenderism)

·         Homosexual “marriage”

·         Cohabitation (Living together unmarried, and in fornication)

·         Pornography

·         Prostitution (England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, offhand)

Few of us, I assume, would seek recourse to such a solution and for good reason. Legitimizing crime does not indemnify us against it — however much we hold ourselves to have abolished it. Yes?

We can say as much of sin.

In fact, we have said as much. Unlike the immediate consequences of crime, the consequences of sin — even temporally — are often deferred, less immediate ... and because we apprehend them as remote, as distant, as impending only, we dismiss them, for we fail to immediately see the terrible consequences they entail, consequences so terrible, so far-reaching, so much beyond our ken, that they have become effectively mythical, brooding like demons on some distant bourne that we obscurely perceive and never quite forget; an escarpment lost in light and shadow where life quite suddenly drops off that abrupt precipice to death. We know it ... because we know that we dance on the dead.

And now, Holy Confession …     

I will now state something with which you are likely to disagree, and for good reason:

My parish Church is the holiest in all of Christendom; not just in the Archdiocese of Boston, but in all Massachusetts; very likely all New England — perhaps even the entire world.

You will disagree.

In fact, you know your own Catholic parish to be the holiest, perhaps the most sinless parish in the world, and we will both appeal to the same reasons for making this remarkable statement: during Holy Communion the pews are literally emptied.

There is not a sinner among us; at least no sinner guilty of Mortal Sin which prevents our going to Holy Communion, since — as Catholics should know — we add the tremendous sin of sacrilege to whatever mortal sin we carry if we receive Holy Communion while not in a state of grace — which is to say, free of mortal sin.
But as I ponder the empty pews, the stigma of being the sole sinner in the parish weighs heavily upon me as many look askance at my kneeling while all others scramble to make their way to communion — I at least wonder. Do Catholics, do all Catholics, do most Catholics, do at least some Catholics, even know what a mortal sin is anymore? Do they know the difference between a mortal sin that sunders the soul from God, and a venial sin that merely impedes its union with God?

Since the entire congregation have had at least eight years of Catechism, or Religious Education eight to ten years, mind you! — surely so simple, so basic, so fundamental a concept as the difference between serious sin and sins far less grievous in nature, is clearly apprehensible.

A very ready analogy may be to the point: in the civic world, all of us know (probably because the penalty is clearly comprehended, immediate and forthcoming) the difference between grievously unlawful, or capital offenses such as murder and grand larceny, and misdemeanors, like receiving a speeding ticket or maliciously destroying a neighbor’s property. It is a no-brainer. We understand that there are sanctions and penalties involved with such behavior. It is, we are told, the means by which we maintain a “civil”, a mutually responsible, society.

We acknowledge the concept of justice and understand very clearly why it is maintained and what penalties are incurred if it is violated. We have no problem with that. After all, the law is not some gratuitous abstraction, and you are a fool if you think that you can trifle with it and walk away. If the breach is serious enough you are clapped in irons, removed from the community, and deprived of your liberty until justice has exacted its tribute, until you have “paid your debt to society.” By and large we are grateful for the severity of the law, even as its rigors make us uneasy.

We all recognize that our own behavior has not always been unimpeachable ... if not clearly actionable. We do not personally legislate parallel laws that contravene the laws of the state and hold, at any point of divergence, the private interpretation of the law to abrogate the public law. It is the opposite which is true. We may find the laws of the state repugnant to us, unamenable to our own inclinations, even contrary to our own convictions — in which case we are confronted with three clearly distinguishable alternatives: we can absent ourselves from the polity and choose to live elsewhere under a constitution that more closely corresponds with our desiderations and convictions, if such exists; we can continue to enjoy the collateral benefits in the present state that constrains us to abide by the laws through which it is defined and by which it is governed — or, we can seek to amend the law through the venues afforded us by the state.

What we cannot do is to enjoy the prerogatives of the state while either acting in defiance of it, or while subverting it. We understand this, and in fact underwrite it through maintaining our citizenship within it. We understand this broadly as a “pledge of allegiance.”

In any event, we cannot construct a private and parallel universe of statutes and anticipate that the public universe of affairs will recognize, respect, and honor our privately legislated laws. If we choose to abide only by those laws of the state that we do not find disagreeable to us we have not attained to personal freedom, but to arbitrary license; not to civility, but to anarchy. We become both legislator and law. In such a solipsistic “society” the legislature and the corpus of law are as numerous as the individuals legislating them.

Well and good.

But what of God’s Law?

Why, we must ask ourselves, is God’s Law somehow less important, less pertinent to our behavior? Why does it have less bearing upon our responsibilities and our choices — and, most especially — within Church? Is the Divine Law, are the laws of the Church, no more than pious and ultimately indolent sentiments — rather than clearly articulated precepts with very real corresponding sanctions and responsibilities — in other words, coherent laws?      

Do we give tribute to Caesar but withhold it from God? Is the Fasces mightier than the Cross?

We are indeed a generation which had been nurtured on defiance to authority — only seeing now, in our own children, the fruit of that unbridled defiance which we nurtured in them even as we pretended to “deplore it.” Our children were ... "independent” ... not defiant, and we were proud — until we began to detoxify them, to rehabilitate their behavior, to trade notes with our neighbors on “good analysts.” And our kids still get the keys to the car, no matter how grievous their transgression ... their money for the mall — just as we still get Holy Communion, no matter how grievous our offenses against God. We are as blind to our sins as we have made our children blind to their own. After all, a “good parent” “spares the rod” and does not descend to “primitive behavior” such as punishing the child, no? And if we are such “good” parents — how much “better” God? Surely, there is no sin, no offense so grievous, or so trite, as to offend Him ... nothing we can ever do or say such that we would ever forfeit our “right,” not to the keys of the car but to the Kingdom of God, through the Bread of Angels ... Holy Communion — that you as arrogantly insist is as much your right as the keys to the car ...

Still pondering the empty pews, it would seem so. Perhaps it is the case that all the parishioners are in fact guiltless of civil crime, however petty (for these, too, are the stuff of Holy Confession) — as well as sin.

The truly defining question appears to be this: to whom, we must genuinely ask ourselves, do we owe more — to God or man? To the City of God or to the City of Man?

On your blithe way to Holy Communion, ponder this — especially given the ultimate sanction placed before us by no less an authority than Saint Paul:

“Whosoever shall eat this bread or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord.”  (I Cor. 11:27)

... are you prepared to add sacrilege to your sins?

Or has the notion of sacrilege itself gone the way of mortal sin ... also?

Go to Confession. You must go. It is the only antidote of Mortal Sin, and thus “the antidote of death.” (St. Ignatius of Antioch,135 A.D.)


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

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To the Editor:

Just read ‘Mortal Sin and Holy Confession’. Another great reminder of what it means to be an orthodox Roman Catholic. I to, hope the empty pews can only mean that all who are receiving the Body and Blood of Christ are knowledgeable enough to know the difference between being in the state of grace and not being in the state of grace. I fear, like you, that our Vat II Catholic Church has miserably defeated its own purpose by not helping us to know the difference. I can only thank the good Lord that I was privileged to have a true Catholic education for 16 years and pray that I remember all that I was taught, Deo Volente, and I'm sure He is.
Keep up your encouraging work. Those of us in the trenches out here depend on your words of instruction and encouragement.


Dear JT,
I agree with you about the lamentable state into which our Holy Mother the Church has been brought — and not so recently. It has been metastasizing like an aggressive cancer spreading to every tissue in every part of the Church, the Body of Christ — and it appears that very, very, few will call it out for what it has undeniably been, the state of denial in which it is in, in and what it is becoming. You may find the following article interesting in this regard, Jim:  Subsequent generations, I am convinced, will look back upon these grim years with not just sadness, but revulsion — and sorrow at the calculated loss of Faith by through so many who refused to pass it on (L. tradere), and at what cost to so many unfortunate souls? I will no man perdition, but I fear that very many are deserving of it … who have chosen the “wide and easy way.” However much they are admonished, they persist. The word “stupid” derives from the Latin “Stupidus:” to be struck, as with the hand, and made senseless. Regrettably, this is the cause, not the cure.

There is a cure for sin called Sanctifying Grace. But there is no cure for stupid.

Boston Catholic Journal




The Greatest Pope that should have Been

Pope Benedict XVI on balcony with Crozier and the faithful during his pontificate

Pope Benedict was undoubtedly one of the great intellects and luminaries of our age — a brilliant mind only exceeded by his genuine humility. He embraced all his children ... in stark contrast to Francis who embraces only those who find favor with him, who share his ... ideology.

In this sense Pope Benedict XVI was a father to all his spiritual children. Gentle, kind, and courteous in a way foreign to this age; in this respect he was an exemplar to all of us.

This is not to say that his pontificate was flawless. On the one hand, he gave us the motus proprio Summorum Pontificum that restored to us the Mass of the Ages as it had been celebrated in Latin for 2000 years. That it had been torn from us in a fiat by Pope Paul VI and Vatican II was, in our estimation, tantamount to ecclesiastical suicide; if not, then at the very least a criminal and sectarian coup by Modernists.

Summorum Pontificum

Restoring what had been illegitimately taken from us was an act of justice. That it would later be torn from us yet again by Francis was an unconscionable act of pontifical pillage. It was unjust and remains unjust. But after the madness and the almost universal desecration of all things historically and intrinsically Catholic, it was for a brief time the restoration of sanity to the Mass. And how it thrived! But this was to the consternation of Francis ... who famously argued that his predecessors had failed to vigorously implement the effluence (no, not influence) of Vatican II, and that he alone “had the humility and ambition to do so” — failing to recognize that humility and ambition are  not compatible.

The gift was great but not irrevocable.

What is more, Pope Benedict had fallen into the same ecumenical nonsense that his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, had fallen into on Oct. 27, 1986, as we witnessed, yet again, the pan-ecumenical scandal in Assisi on June 19, 2011.


Two years later, we would be astounded to find that Pope Benedict had tendered his resignation from the papacy on February 11, 2013, and his subsequent — and never-before-conferred title as “pope-emeritus” — was both baffling and disheartening for many, many Catholics. To further confuse the faithful, he was still addressed as “Your Holiness” the title reserved for a reigning pontiff. For the first time is history since the Avignon papacy and the Great Western Schism in the 14th century when there were two claimants to the papacy, we apparently had two popes living in Rome. The confusion and disappointment was compounded each year — for 10 years — by Benedict’s remaining a “pope-emeritus”; time he could have spent correcting the wayward course of the Church instead of abandoning it (and her children) to what he surely must have known would be a Modernist successor. And when that successor — Francis —emerged from the shadows of the dark logia there was, according to more than a few who witnessed it, an almost instinctual aversion to what appeared.

After many, many, episodes in which Francis found himself contradicting historical Church teaching — and Holy Scripture — and subsequently bringing scandal upon the Church, Benedict apparently did nothing to correct him; something many had seen as a dereliction of duty, especially in light of St. Paul’s example in correcting St. Peter when he failed to be forthright, and temporized with the Jews in Jerusalem 1. The only other pope in history to voluntarily abdicate the Seat of St. Peter was Pope Celestine V in 1294, over 700 years ago. In a word, it was unthinkable —and apart from Pope Celestine, unheard of.

Many see it, in some sense, as “Throwing the Church to the Lions” when she was most in need of defending. Pope Benedict certainly had the mental acuity, and, as we have seen, the physical stamina required by a Defensor Fidei (a Defender oif the Faith) but for reasons unknown to us, chose drop the sword and leave the arena.

Francis and Fixation: the Denouement

That his reckless successor (Francis) deliberately disdains to be called “the Vicar of Christ” — or even the “Patriarch of the West,” says much about the concept of the “hermeneutic of continuity” so often bandied about in today’s post-Modern Church. Instead, Francis chose to be listed merely as “the bishop of Rome” (in what Cardinal Gerhard Müller, called an act of “theological barbarism.)” in what is known as the Annuario Pontificio, as Catholic Culture pointed out. He eschews every identifiably Catholic title attached to all his predecessors, including “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the Vatican City-State.” Why such a disdainful break with the pontifical history of the 265 popes before him? The Vatican’s explanation is entirely in keeping with the present papacy, and the 4 papacies that preceded it? In their words, doing so “could prove useful to ecumenical dialogue.”  The much-vaunted notion of the concept of the “hermeneutic of continuity” (which purportedly connected the Church present with the Church past — and failed to do so) is, apparently, no longer in favor. “The pope? Oh, you mean the guy down the street?”  It has become barbaric, indeed.

It may have been otherwise for the Church, but God in His inscrutable wisdom — which does, in fact, exceed our understanding — in His permissive will has allowed this. Even from a merely human perspective, we are deserving of Francis, a man after our own hearts and minds, ever cleaving more closely to the world ... and other things. We wanted holiness without sacrifice, a god conformed to our image and articulated in terms of the lowest common denominator — terms equally accessible to children and adults with cognitive impairment. We have dumbed down even Dumb. We wanted to sit in the pews with our arms lazily draped over the the back of the pew (or perhaps stroking the back of a loved one) as though only tolerating what was otherwise extraordinarily stupefying — because it was. We wanted to wear our athletic uniforms, our team-shirts, our shorts and “distressed” (torn-to-the-flesh) jeans to Mass because, after all, we are not there for God, but God is there for us ... and only at our leisure.

All this was a direct consequence of the perilous course that Vatican II would subsequently take; a course for which — in collaboration with the dissident theologians Rahner, Küng, Schillebeeckx, and de Lubac — then Father Ratzinger was also responsible as an influential and “progressive” Peritus, or Theological Consultant. Often in a business suit and tie, in many ways he embodied the Nouvelle Theologie (new theology) together with the failed project, Ressourcement (“a return to the sources”) then in vogue, which attempted to “invigorate” what all five theologians saw as a stale Church in need of “updating.”

The Peritus as (Mr.) Ratzinger, Vatican II

Mr. Joseph Ratzinger and Karl Rahner Vatican II
(Fr.) Ratzinger and Dissident Theologian (Fr.) Karl Rahner

On the other hand, it was also entirely consistent with Benedict’s own contribution to the replacement of the Latin Mass during Vatican II. This may come as a surprise to many who saw in Pope Benedict a champion of the “Tridentine Mass” and Tradition. Regrettably, he was not. Indeed, in 1967 Ratzinger wrote the following in his volume  Problemi e risultati del Concilio Vaticano II in the Journal of Italian Theology: 2

  • “Additions [to the liturgy] of the late Middle Ages … was linked to a set authority, which worked in a strictly bureaucratic way, lacking any historic vision and considering the problem of the liturgy from the sole viewpoint of rubrics and ceremonies, like a problem of etiquette in a saint's court, so to speak.”

  • “There was a complete archeologization of the liturgy, which from the state of a living history was changed into that of pure conservation and, therefore, condemned to an internal death. Liturgy became once and forever a closed construction, firmly petrified. The more it was concerned about the integrity of pre-existent formulas, the more it lost its connection to concrete devotions.”

  • “The solemn baroque mass, through the splendor of the orchestra's performance, became a kind of sacred opera, in which the songs of the priest had their role as did the alternating recitals. .... On the ordinary days that did not allow such a performance, devotions that followed the people's mentality were often added to the mass.”

By the time he became pope, however, and well into the aftermath of Vatican II, he apparently glimpsed the devastation it wrought — but by then the horse was already out of the barn; indeed, as we have recounted, he had been instrumental, much earlier, in building the barn and opening the door.

In many ways, Joseph Ratzinger was the surpassing and ultimately heroic pope ... that should have been.

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.



Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

   Printable PDF Version


1 Galatians. 2.11-15

2  Our grateful acknowledgement to Tradition in Action for the translation into English (


Martyrology for Today

Semen est sanguis Christianorum (The blood of Christians is the seed of the Church) Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50



Sunday March 26th in the Year of Grace 2023

Season of Lent

This Day, the Twenty-Sixth Day of March

At Rome, on the Lavican road, St. Castulus, martyr, chamberlain in the palace of the emperor. For harboring the Christians, he was three times suspended by the hands, three times cited before the tribunals, and as he persevered in the confession of the Lord, he was thrown into a pit, overwhelmed with a mass of sand, and thus obtained the crown of martyrdom.

In the same city, the crowning of the holy martyrs Peter, Marcian, Jovinus, Thecla, Cassian, and others.

At Pentapolis, in Lybia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Theodore, bishop, Irenaeus, deacon, Serapion and Ammonius, lectors.

At Sirmium, the holy martyrs Montanus, priest, and Maxima, who were cast into a river for the faith of Christ.

Also, the holy martyrs Quadratus, Theodosius, Emmanuel, and forty others.

At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Eutychius and others, who died by the sword for the Catholic faith, in the time of Constantine, under the Arian bishop George.

The same day, St. Ludger, bishop of Munster, who preached the Gospel to the Saxons.

At Saragossa, in Spain, St. Braulio, bishop and confessor.

At Treves, St. Felix, bishop.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis.(“All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us”, from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

. Thanks be to God.


Semen est sanguis Christianorum” — Tertullian

Roman Martyrology by Month

Why the Martyrs Matter

Each day we bring you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom — and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.

They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church, and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short time longer (even the lapsi only postponed their death — and at so great a cost!)

What would motivate men, women, even children and entire families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?

Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when the first flame licked at their feet, after the first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state? What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered without conviction, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are merely placating the state with empty gestures …

Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess that we do not?

Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant belief.

We are the Martyrs to come! What made them so will make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown to the world, but known to God. Catholics living in partibus infidelium, under the scourge of Islam. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses because they would not flee God, the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small, sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but whom the world does not know.

“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”, Christ said to His Apostles: “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.

  • A Martyr is one who suffers tortures and a violent death for the sake of Christ and the Catholic Faith.

  • A Confessor is one who confesses Christ publicly in times of persecution and who suffers torture, or severe punishment by secular authorities as a consequence. It is a title given only given to those who suffered for the Faith  —  but was not  killed for it  —   and who had persevered in the Faith until the end.

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs for an in-depth historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.


“Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people:
You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23.1-2)


Boston Catholic Journal

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.
(Apocalypse 3.8)


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