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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason


Habemus authentice Catholicus Papa? *

Do We Really Have an Authentically Catholic Pope in Francis?

Do We Have an

Authentically Catholic Pope?


It is typically the prerogative of the Protodeacon of the College of Cardinals who ceremoniously proclaims the election of a new pope with the words “Habemus Papam!” or “We have a Pope” — following a conclave of the Cardinal Electors who nominated him.

With something far more profound and painful than “regret”, we have come to acknowledge what had become increasingly obvious — and which found its clearest expression, its culmination, in the radical “papacy” of Jorge Bergoglio (“Francis”).

The See of Rome is no longer authentically Catholic — in the way that Catholicism had been understood and practiced for the 2000 years preceding Vatican II.

Allow me to explain:

With something far more profound and painful than “regret,” we now encounter the tragic possibility, if not the realization, that the state of the Church under the ruthless pontificate of Francis is one in which it appears not simply to have lost, but to have repudiated her very identity, and ceased to be authentically Catholic. Under the faithless stewardship of Francis, it seems to have devolved into something of a simulacrum of what had once been the Catholic Church for 2000 years — and is no more.    

The Memory of the Odor of Sanctity

Apart from the magnificent architecture of another age, the beautiful art, sculpture, and statuary uniquely and inextricably identifiable as Catholic, the Church has become much more a recalcitrant memory that we cannot, and will not, relinquish; it still possesses the odor of sanctity, as from the incense in a thurible passed before the altar of sacred memories too dear to allow us to say that they are nothing more than memories, reflections on what was was and is no more; something still sacred despite its depredation. Holy Mother Church has suffered much and needlessly under the radical pontificate of Francis.      

Without retreating in the least from the One, True, Holy, and Apostolic Catholic Church to which our forefathers — and the great saints, scholars, composers, and artists of eons past — had cleaved for two millennia, we find the claim at least plausible, if not painfully credible, that,  

The See of Rome is no longer identifiably Catholic, at least as Catholicism had been understood and practiced for the 2000 years preceding Vatican II and most especially under the pontificate of Francis.  

Francis is not, of course, the sole cause of the Churchs dissolution into something ultimately pointless and tiresome, although he has been the single greatest catalyst in this sorry narrative. That concatenation of events began with Vatican II some 60 years ago and culminated in what now appears, to some, to be an imminent collapse of historical Catholicism. Perhaps collapse is too energetic a word: assimilation may be closer to the mark. The Church has been assimilated into — and become largely indistinguishable from — the secular culture against which it defined itself for two millennia. In becoming simply another iteration of the world, it has made itself superfluous. Who needs two Worlds? One is sufficient to strain one’s wits.

If this were not enough in its ecumenical pursuit of an egalitarian anonymity that made it neither offensive nor obtrusive in the City of Man, it resorted to the innocuous, if inane, refuge of religious indifferentism where all gods are God and no contention exists in the realm of minds; where every contradiction is sublated into a synthesis called “ecumenism,” and where logic is banished as fomenting disagreement. In the logical world of the Law of the Excluded Middle, Ecumenism has become the Included Middle, or perhaps more apropos of the times, the Inclusive Middle. And somewhere in this absurd morass, the veritable Roman Catholic Church has been either misplaced or displaced, and no one appears to be clear about which one it is, or if it is either at all! One thing is sadly certain: it is the topic for an argument. And that it is so is a scandal indeed.

What, then, does this say about Francis in the mix?

This is not to say that “Pope Francis” — is not a legitimate pope.

He is a legitimate pope — but he is not an authentically Catholic pope.  As we have stated elsewhere:

The Seat of Peter is indeed occupied ... but 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.


Legitimacy pertains to law or legality — in other words, conforming to canonical standards and requirements — authenticity pertains to the substance, to what is substantive (L. substantia, “the quality of being real”, “the reality of a thing, as distinct from outward appearance”1.) In other words, it pertains to what possesses reality as distinct from appearances, or in the present case, simply meeting criteria to be deemed legal.

An Example May Help

Jack Ma Jun is legitimately the owner of Alibaba, a Chinese technology giant involved in e-commerce, retail, and Internet assets — whose personal net worth is $38 billion dollars — but he is also a member of the Chinese Communist Party. Communism, you may remember, eliminated private ownership of the means of production together with all class distinctionsall property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs. All are equally “comrades” sharing in a wealth commonly generated and commonly distributed.

As a member of the Chinese Communist Party, Jack is legitimately one of the Proletariat, eschewing private ownership, personal wealth, a disproportionate share in the means of common production, and is in the same “Class” as a rice farmer (the average Chinese annual income is approximately $1,375 USD).  Jack Ma Yun is legitimately a member of the Communist Party, although he is indisputably an authentic Capitalist — but he is not and cannot be a legitimate Capitalist — for Capitalism is the antithesis of Communism: it is the Enemy of the People. Even while Jack is overseeing more than 100 Chinese companies, and making 38 $Billion dollars in the process, these companies are, somehow, nevertheless considered “state-run entities” under the central control of government.

While a legitimate Communist Party member, Jack Ma Yan nevertheless remains authentically a Capitalist. The two do not coincide.

An Enormous Crisis of Identity

The authentic Catholic Church ceased to be identifiably and authentically Catholic following that calamitous consistory known to us as “Vatican II” which occurred between October 11, 1962 until December 8, 1965. Since that initial and unprecedented defection from Sacred Tradition 2 by Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli “John XXIII”, and Giovanni Montini, or Pope Paul VI who concluded the Council. These two pontiffs, in collaboration with what appears to have been a body of disaffected cardinals 3 who nominated them, sought to implement what had basically become little more than a Modernist agenda with many of the implicitly heretical ideologies that defined it — and which Saint Pope Pius X had clearly enumerated in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis in 1907, stating that Modernism is the “synthesis of all heresies”, and therefore unequivocally antithetical to the One, True, Holy Catholic Church of the preceding 2000 years.

As a matter of public record and verifiable assertions, Jorge Bergoglio appears to be the de facto “pope” of what has became, in significant aspects, a possibly new religion altogether; a secularized religion that superficially resembles the authentic Catholic Church as it existed prior to 1962 — which it has largely denounced — while choosing to retain a simulacrum of it. It is a church that has been laboriously articulated through a secular lens and then framed in terms largely acceptable to Protestantism and inseparable from it, the new evangel of Ecumenism  —  rather than promoting the Gospel through the unparalleled missionary zeal that had accompanied the Church for millennia.

In other words, Jorge is, essentially, an actively and legally presiding High Priest — but of a deeply infected “Conciliar Church” that is, in many ways, distinct from, and in significant ways opposed to, what we have understood as the “Holy Roman Catholic Church” for 2000 years. The conclave that elected Francis appears to have been overwhelmingly compromised even if it was canonically lawful. The Electors possessed the legitimate faculties to elect — but obstinately remained in an ideological encampment both inimical and antithetical to the historical Catholic Magisterium (See Saint Gallen conspiratorial group). They in fact possessed the legitimate (the legal) right to vote in a papal conclave, but that legal right of itself does not and cannot ensure that their votes will be exercised in diligent conformity to, and not in defection from, established and indefectible Magisterial teaching. While they are morally bound to do so, something verging on a bankruptcy of morals has also, sadly, infected the episcopacy itself.

The formal papacy of Jorge Bergoglio is unquestionably the most perfidious and destructive in the 2000-year history of the Catholic Church. We do not “judge” the man — that is reserved to God. We do, however, examine his public statements and actions in light of the Sacred Deposit of Faith and Tradition (Tradere: “to hand down, to pass on” 1) entrusted to Holy Mother Church by God — and find them irreconcilable with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Depositum Fidei, and the canons of logic.

The question now is, where are we to find the One, Tue, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church from time immemorial? It is and ever will be. Christ promised as much. But if the “First See” can no longer be found in Rome, where is it? Where is the “authentic” Chair of Saint Peter rather than its legal simulacrum? And if we can discover it, who occupies it? — if anyone! If we hold that “the Chair is empty” in light of the repudiation of orthodox Catholic canons— are we to be understood as “Sedevacantists” ... or simply “orthodox”?            

God by any other name ...

Is, then, being an orthodox Catholic, or even a Sedevacantist (who holds that the Chair of Saint Peter is temporarily vacant) more scandalous than a “Post-Conciliar Catholic” who maintains that there is no inconsistency in worshipping Pachamama idols together with Jesus Christ, or who holds that the God of the Catholic Saints and Martyrs is the same god as Islam’s Allah (a concept no Muslim would tolerate)? Or, for that matter, that the Sixth Commandment against adultery is not incompatible with divorce, and that, moreover, cohabitating adulterers can receive Holy Communion in good conscience — no matter what God said! Are “Post-Conciliar Catholics” more in keeping with the mind of Christ in promoting “Accompaniment” (in sin, more often than not) as more vital than conversion to the end of the salvation of souls— indeed, that the efforts of Missionaries to proselytize pagans into the one true Faith is, really, just so much “solemn nonsense”, as Jorge describes it?

We believe, rather, that we must be understood simply as orthodox Catholics must always be understood: as faithful to the Sacred Deposit of Faith and the authentic Magisterium of the Church articulated over the two millennia preceding “Vatican II”, and the widely vaunted “Aggiornamento” that resulted in the unmitigated abdication of Catholicism as a clearly distinguishable, uniquely identifiable, and, in the economy of salvation, the indispensible religion  —  an inevitable abdication resulting from the pursuit of Ecumenism and the Hydra it spawned as we watched in horror as it ineluctably mutated into something verging on pantheistic.

Largely secular issues such as discrete national states, politics, economics, environmentalism, commercial ventures, social justice, global warming, immigration, sovereign borders, aboriginal cultures, plastic in the ocean — to mention a few — have no place in an institution established solely to the end of the salvation of souls. Their strident advocates are many and broadly strewn throughout the “City of Man”. Only one institution — the Holy Catholic Church — is the sole advocate of the “City of God” to which it calls all men to eternal salvation and everlasting happiness.

Much, much, more remains to be said — so much of authentic Catholicism remains to be articulated against the hyphenated-Catholics:       

  • Neocathechumenal Way “Catholics”
  • New-Age Catholics
  • Charismatic-Catholics
  • Neo-Catholics
  • Progressive-Catholics
  • Traditional-Catholics
  • Orthodox-Catholics
  • Liberal-Catholics
  • Progressive Catholics
  • Conservative-Catholics
  • Trad-Catholics
  • Neo-Trad Catholics
  • “Recognize and Resist” Catholics      

So much remains to be re-acquired because it has not been taught for 60 years. It has been forgotten, contemptuously dismissed, suppressed, and ridiculed by Jorge Bergoglio as “rigid” by which assessment we must also account Christ as the paradigm of “rigidity,” for He was absolutely inflexible in His teachings!

Grains of Incense

  • Joseph Ratzinger (“Benedict XVI”)
  • Karol Józef Wojtyła (“John Paul II”)
  • Albino Luciani (“John Paul I”)
  • Giovanni Montini (“Paul VI”)
  • Angelo Roncalli (“John XXIII”) the Proto-New-Age-Pontiff with the clarion to “throw open the windows of the Church”      

Each of the above shamefully offered more than “a grain of incense” to false gods on the altar of Ecumenism in Assisi and elsewhere. The kissing of the Koran by nominally Catholic popes was not simply scandalous, but treasonable to the Catholic Faith and to Christ Himself to Whom alone allegiance and latria is due. Jorge’s claim that virtually all religions worship the same God is a blatant abrogation of the very First Commandment: “Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.” (Exodus 20.3). There are far too many instances to enumerate in which the One, True, Holy Catholic Faith is either attenuated, ignored, or dismissed altogether by every pontiff since Pius XII.

Of course, we understand that such insistence on authentic Catholicism, on the factual rendering of the Gospels and Epistles, the Church Fathers, the Sacred Deposit of Faith, and Tradition, will be greeted with much hostility, contempt, ridicule, and disdain. We can certainly count on this from Francis alone whose undisguised contempt for traditional Catholics is well known. However, it has ever been the conviction of the saints that a faithful Catholic cannot be on mutually good terms with the World and God. Saint James was clear about this: “Know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God?” (St. James 4.4)

So was St. John:

If the world hates you, know that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (Saint John 15.18-19)

It remains to be said that the reluctant position into which we find ourselves forced is not of our own choosing; it was, and remains deeply painful. Obedience to the pope was the sine qua non of every orthodox Catholic. It was unthinkable that a pope would openly contradict God, Holy Scripture, the Sacred Deposit of Faith, and Tradition. Indeed, to defend all four was, as we say, his “job description” — even to the point of the shedding of his blood. He was the faithful shepherd when all others fled. He laid down his life for his flock — as Christ did for him. He did not lead them into strange and foreign pastures, nor did he open the gate of the sheepfold to flocks that were not his own. Should a wolf in sheep’s clothing attempt to enter, his staff was ready and swift. After all, the sheep were entrusted to him, to do his master’s will — not his own. When this obligation to obedience, however, became obedience to sin and false gods, we flee the false shepherd who urges us to “accompany” him in implementing the priorities of the world, rather than the evangel of Christ.

We never left the sheepfold and never will — it was the shepherd who fled the fold to bring in recreants to mingle with and adulterate the faithful, and we can no longer call him our own — who belongs to these strange others as well. Yes, Francis is our legitimate pope — but he has nothing in common with the sheep. To use his own idiom, it is he who “does not smell like the sheep.” In the absence of a true shepherd who is one with his sheep, if we must bar the gate ourselves, and at so great a cost to ourselves, bar it we will until the one with the Key arrives at the time of God’s choosing.

Geoffrey K. Mondello   
Boston Catholic Journal

January 8, 2024   
Feast of the Epiphany


* “Do we have an authentically Catholic pope?

1 The Latin Oxford Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1968

2 traditio:” ‘the transmission of knowledge, teaching; the handing down of knowledge; an item of traditional knowledge, belief, etc. from “trado” to” hand or pass over (to a person to hold)’. The Latin Oxford Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1968.   
In this regard, it is important to see the word tradidi”, together with its context, in
I Corinthians 11.2 in the ancient Latin Vulgate.

 3 Cardinal Josef Frings, Fr. Henri de Lubac, S.J., Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J., Fr. Gregory Baum, Fr. Bernard Haring, CSsR, Father John Courtney Murray, S.J., Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P., Fr. Hans Urs Von Balthasar, S.J., Fr. Hans Kung, and Fr. Annibale Bugnini who was responsible for the destruction of the entire liturgy. Bugnini was the secretary of the Pontifical Preparatory Commission on the Liturgy, that would become the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy. He was described by Fr. Louis Bouyer, a peritus for the liturgy at Vatican II, as “a man as bereft of culture as he was of basic honesty.”

Geoffrey K. Mondello   
Boston Catholic Journal

January 8, 2024
Feast of the Epiphany

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