The Despotism of Francis
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 an apparent heretic, pantheist and
madman, in no way invalidates the statement that the papacy is indeed
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
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 understood.
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 nearly
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
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”, Francis pleaded.”
A “so-called” Catholic
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.
A “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
Compelling Question is this: Given Francis’s Malfeasance, Why does God
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
Let us look at paradigms
ACTIVE WILL of God is always,
in and of itself, absolutely good, for it is integral with God Himself
Who is all-Good.
God does 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
PERMISSIVE WILL of God
The most succinct definition
of the next paradigm — the Permissive Will of God — is as
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).
(not “intentionally”) tautologous.
A Pope — as with all
men — is given the free will to do what he wills — rather than
what God wills
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.”
Pilate surely believed
that it was in his power to crucify Christ or to free Him — but Jesus
“Thou shouldst not have any power against
Me, unless it were given thee from above.”
(Saint John 19.11)
These are 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:
“And we 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.
and Frightening Paradigm
Here our 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 Christ!
Like Satan, Francis
can quote Scripture, too …
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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