The Despotism of Francis
an evil man
the Benevolence of God
do not argue that the Seat of Saint Peter is empty — which is to
say that we are not Sedevacantists (from the Latin
“sede vacante”, “the chair being vacant”)
Indeed, we maintain that the Chair is, in fact, occupied.
That it is presently occupied by a heretic, pantheist
and madman, in no way invalidates the statement that the papacy
is indeed occupied.
Some popes have been saints.
Some have been scoundrels. Jorge Bergoglio, regrettably, is certainly
and most notoriously among the latter.
The “Cathedra Petri”
is not and has never been empty (apart, of course, from the interregnum
between the death of a pope and the nomination of his successor
— the longest of which was 3 years (1268-1271) With Francis occupying
the Cathedra Petri since 2013 however, this position has
become increasingly untenable. At what point does a man — including
a pope — cease to be in communion with the Church? At what point
does he cease to be Catholic? If he does not hold what the Church
teaches, what Sacred Scripture teaches, what Sacred Tradition teaches,
what the authentic Magisterium of the Church has taught for 2000
years — in what sense do we hold him to be in communion with
what he has openly repudiated — even suppressed?
Many Catholics and non-Catholics
have, for some time now, nevertheless asked themselves what was
once an amusing question intended to be a litmus test for the faithfulness
of a Catholic. “How can you possibly question her fidelity to the
Church? She’s as Catholic as the pope!” This, of course, presupposes
that the pope is the paradigmatic Catholic entrusted with preserving
and promoting Catholic teaching, dogma, the Sacred Deposit
of Faith, the authentic and unbroken Catholic Magisterium, and millennia
of Catholic Tradition.
This question can legitimately
be asked — but without anticipating a positive response.
Indeed, under the papacy of Francis, to be “as Catholic as the pope”
is to be an uncertain, uncommitted Catholic, unsure of the credentials
of the Catholic Church and uncertain of the morality historically
predicated of Her and derived from Sacred Scripture. A
non-creedal Unitarian Universalist would be more in keeping
with the mind of Francis than Catholicism as it has been historically
Before we attempt to make
sense of this apparent paradox, there are a few things that
we must be clear about; harsh as they may appear, they are quite
Francis is not a proponent
of Catholicism , but an ideologue whose primary concern
is an elusive and esoteric notion of “encounter” with all
that is alien to Catholicism and most often antagonistic toward
it — a program of assimilating other cultures by repudiating
Catholic dogma and identity. For Francis there is nothing specific
in the way of identity — essentially there is no differentiation—nothing
is unique, nothing idiomatic: it is only sameness expressed
in other terms that can never be incongruent. Uniqueness is anathema
— even if that means sacrificing millennia old Catholic beliefs
inseparable from the unique identity of Catholicism. Catholicism
is an obstacle and if it is not consonant with every other belief
system, it is Catholicism that must yield. Remember the absurd “Encounter
Groups” which proliferated in the 60’s? (not coincidentally the
era of Vatican II) These were even more flexible than Francis’s
obscure — and rigid vision of the notion of Encounter.
Yes, “rigid!” — the very epithet that Francis solely reserves
for Traditional Catholics.
“Faced with cultural,
ethnic, political and religious differences, we can close
ourselves in a rigid defense of our so-called identity
or open ourselves to the encounter with the other and cultivate
together the dream of a fraternal society”,
It appears that for Francis there is no unique “Catholic identity”
that is distinguishable from every and any other social and
religious identity. Each is simply a culturally inflected
iteration of the other.
“fraternal society” (much
as Masons envision) rather than a Communion
of Saints binding every Catholic to every other Catholic
in the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, and the
Church Triumphant in Heaven with the singular goal of reaching
Heaven, rather than “perfecting society on earth”
as the Communists envision? Every member of a “fraternal society” will
eventually perish. But not so for those who cleave to the Body of Christ
(His Church) — and not the World — and who will not perish, but
have everlasting life. (Saint John 3.15)
The Most Compelling
Question is this: Given Francis’s Malfeasance, Why does
God Allow it?
To clearly understand the predicament
into which Francis’s papacy has placed us, we must first
come to terms with what are called:
God’s Active Will and
God’s Permissive Will
Let us look
at paradigms of each.
ACTIVE WILL of God is always, in and of
itself, absolutely good, for it is integral with
God Himself Who is all-Good.
not actively will “relative” goods — that is to
say, goods limited by other considerations and apportioned
only as possibility allows.
• In Himself pure actuality (there is no potentiality
in God: He cannot potentially be “more” than
what He actually is), there is nothing that can
constrain His active willing, as though He were
compelled to will lesser goods within a spectrum
of possible goods to which He is confined.
• God is absolutely free — without limitation or
confinement; for these concepts are impossible to
predicate of God as omnipotent. Each and
every expression of God’s active will is ordered
to the unmitigated good. “God is light, and in Him
there is no darkness.” (1 Saint John 1.5).
• Our first paradigm would actually be two-fold:
the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments:
Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21) and the
Sermon on the Mount (Saint Matthew,
chapters 5- 7) in which we find the Active Will
of God: “This is what I want you to do and to refrain
from doing.” This is God’s express will.
WILL of God
The most succinct
definition of the next paradigm — the Permissive
Will of God — is as follows:
In light of
God’s conferring Free Will on man
(God’s creation of man without this perfection
would consequently be an imperfect creation by an all-good
and all-powerful God, for freedom of will is an incontestable
good — the privation of which results in an
amoral world in which there is nothing meritorious
and nothing blameworthy — much as we understand the
operations of a machine that cannot do otherwise than
its designer intended — a mere automaton to which we
cannot ascribe any moral predicates.
As a consequence,
man, possessing the perfection
of free will, is free to choose what he wills,
good or evil, and not what God wills.
The same freedom may align man to God’s Express Will
(he chooses to do what he knows God commands
him to do — rather than that which he may otherwise
be inclined to do — which is to say that his
own will is freely aligned with the perfect will of
God — before which he can plead no ignorance). What
is more, God cannot revoke this perfect gift of free
will without simultaneously abrogating that singular
perfection with which He endowed man — and then re-create
man as imperfect (without a free will).
Even a Pope I Given the Free Will
to do what he wills — rather than What God
This is the great mystery of
the power of free will. So indefeasible and
necessary to man’s created perfection (as noted above),
God even permits man’s repudiation of God Himself!
It is absolutely autonomous, uncoerced, and
In a word,
it is completely independent, self-referent,
and completely free. However faithfully or unfaithfully
a pope executes his Petrine Office is largely determined
by the man. He may be good or he may be evil. In either
case — even given the exalted office conferred upon
him — he is withal and necessarily exercising
his own free will. Even a pope is free to do what
he wills, rather than what God wills. He can incorporate
and exercise the legitimate responsibilities of his
office, or he can be despotic and utterly ignore them,
and with them, God. It is up to the man.
When the free will is consonant with God’s will
it is holy, for God is holy. When the free will
not consonant with God’s will it is evil
(for there is nothing good apart from God. 4)
It is quite simple, really.
That God may actively or permissively
will the Petrine Office to be occupied by the feckless
despot Jorge Bergoglio as a scourge to a perverse
and faithless generation, a generation which,
unable to make God in their image, contrived
to make His Vicar in their image instead — is
altogether and increasingly likely.
We must equally
remember two episodes, one from the Old Testament, and
one from the New Testament in which we find God
bringing good even out of evil:
In Genesis 15.18-20 we find the Patriarch Joseph thrown
into a dry well to die by his eleven brothers, to whom
he said when they were reunited,
thought evil against me: but God turned it into
good, that he might exalt me, as at present you
see, and might save many people.
believed that it was in his power to crucify Christ
or to free Him — but Jesus responds:
shouldst not have any power against Me, unless it
were given thee from above.”
(Saint John 19.11)
two striking examples of God’s Permissive Will —
not simply respecting the free will He conferred upon
man, but of His power to bring a seemingly impossible
good out of the evil devices of men. Most often we do
not see the end to which his benevolent, Permissive
Will, is directed — and may not in this life at all.
We are left with the assurance by Saint Paul:
know that to them that love God, all things work
together unto good, to such as, according to His
purpose, are called to be saints.”
It is true
that Jorge has uttered some things good and true — but
because one utters some things that are true
and good, we cannot infer that the one saying them is
himself good ... or true.
An Apposite and Frightening Paradigm
paradigm is no one less than Satan, who himself quoted
Scripture in the Temptations of Christ (Saint Matthew
4.1-11) What he said was true in his unsuccessful attempts
to seduce Christ from redeeming the souls of men, but
because he quoted directly from Holy Scripture itself
in no way mitigates his evil.
Some things that Bergoglio (Francis) says are both good
and true (when comprehensible — but far too many
are arrogant, evil and unjust) — and just as Lucifer
can take the form of an angel of light *,
so Francis can take the form of an apostle of
Francis can quote Scripture, too …
such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into
the apostles of Christ. And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth
himself into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 13-14)
definition gives the meaning of a term by specifying necessary and sufficient
conditions for when the term should be used by denoting the properties
that an object requires in order to be understood as a referent of the
term. For example, an intensional definition of the word “bachelor”
is an “unmarried man”.
is the uttering of the same thing twice in different words.
best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the
Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”
(Saint James 1.17)
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
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Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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