Memory & Identity
The danger inherent in ideology is a subject dear to our Holy Father. Understandably so. Closed, amoral, inimical to Catholicism, the ideological mind ignores all rational objections in order to impose its self-serving ends by any means. There is just one problem: Francis conflates ideology with fidelity! By his perverse reckoning, to adhere resolutely to the Faith of our Fathers — to Catholic Tradition, and the time-honoured traditions that reflect and protect it — is to act not like a faithful servant of Christ, but an ideologue.
"Christians who say ‘it’s always been done that way,’ and stop there have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit," he fumed in yet another cranky sermon, delivered on 8 January 2016. "It is the sin of so many Christians who cling to what has always been done and who do not allow others to change." The sin, he said for the umpteenth time, "is a closed [read ideological] heart"; one that "does not hear the voice of the Lord, that is not open to the newness of the Lord, to the Spirit that always surprises us."
It is not a question of God surprising us, of course. Rather, God Himself is surprised, not to say outraged by a pope who passes off heretical and heterodox statements, provocations and self-contradictions as inspired works of the Holy Ghost!(1) As if these Bergoglian surprises were not clearly and completely at odds with the mind and teachings of the Church since Pentecost!
Yet Francis rages on: excoriating righteous critics of his indefensible 'reforms'. We are guilty of "obstinacy" and "The sin of idolatry," he thunders like a modern-day Luther. We are "idolaters and rebels who will never arrive at the fullness of the truth"! We are, in his twisted view of orthodox defenders, "obsessive" ideologues "who do not allow others to change" (— a charge that invests faithful Catholics with coercive powers they do not possess, while seeming to deny CINOs their free will to change for better or worse.)
All these accusations, and many others, are both ludicrous and deeply offensive. During a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, Bishop Athanasius Schneider insisted that we must not take this papal injustice on the chin, as if we had no right to demur and speak out. At the outset of this editorial essay, therefore, to those who object to Christian Order's continuing resolute stance against this Holy Father and his pontificate, here is the Bishop's commonsense Catholic reminder of our baptismal obligation:
In the Church, we are not living in a dictatorship. In a dictatorship, we do not have the courage to contradict the dictator. But when, in the Church, we arrive at a situation where faithful priests and bishops are fearful to say anything, like in a dictatorship, this is not [the] Church. This is not the Church of dialogue, of collegiality, of family. No. In a family, there has to be the possibility to exchange your views.
And sometimes, good parents even allow their children, when they are growing, [to] express themselves. Why not? A good father will accept when his elder son says, ‘Father, this is not so correct.’ Sometimes it happens.
And so, the Holy Father is our father. And when he says to these groups, ‘You must not speak all the time about these [things]’ you can say with all reverence, ‘Holy Father, this is an unjust accusation to us. We are unjustly accused. It is not the case that we speak every time, and all the time, about this [abortion]. We don't speak on this all the time. We speak on the Gospel, we speak about family life, we speak about prayer. So, your judgment, it is unjust to us. Your accusation is unjust. And permit us, in some way, to defend ourselves, and hear our voice.’
That firmly and truly said, let us voice our considered view that all the unjust papal accusations we endure make sense only if we recognise the naked truth: that heterodoxy and heresy are the new 'orthodoxies': the faux magisterial benchmarks of this pontificate.
Thus far, Francis represents the pontifical low point in a long descent: from holy orthodox doctrine and morals rooted in Thomistic objectivity, to the unholy mumbo-jumbo of Teilhardian subjectivity (cf., "The Theological Formation of Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., CO, May 2016). All the post-conciliar popes were guilty of pushing Teilhardism, openly or tacitly (cf. "The Quintessential Evolutionist," CO, Feb. 2009). But Francis actually incorporated his cosmic gibberish into a papal encyclical, Laudato Si, while praising "the contribution of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin." This would include his "contribution" to the godless theory of Evolution, not least his peddling of fraudulent 'missing links' (Piltdown Man and Peking Man); and his associated promotion of eugenics, which he advocated together with renowned evolutionist Julian Huxley, his atheistic patron. But his biggest "contribution", as Teilhard freely confessed, was to establish a "new religion... where the personal God of the past [becomes] the Soul of the World".
Fully committed to this new syncretic/pantheistic/evolutionary faith of his Modernist imaginings, at every opportunity our dictatorial pontiff hammers its First Commandment — Thou Shalt Honour the Soul of the World by Perpetual, Indeterminate Change. Hence his demand that idolatrous ingrates discard their "trust in logical and clear reasoning" (read Thomism), and embrace the "creativity" of a "Church that is unsettled, ... a happy Church, [that we must] innovate with freedom" (read Teilhardism).
Dispensed in November 2015 at a national gathering of the Italian Church in Florence, this freewheeling prescriptive for a "happy" Church echoed his secularising call to Live and Let Live — the Second Commandment of the Teilhardian Counterfeit Church — listed by Francis as his #1 recommendation among the Top Ten tips for a happy life he provided to an Argentinian weekly in July 2014. In Florence, Francis justified his prescription by inferring that answers to "the problems of the Church" are to be found in evolutionary flux (Modernism) not in dogmatic stability (Catholicism). "[I]t is not useful," he told the 2,200 delegates, "to search for solutions in conservatism or fundamentalism, in the restoration of obsolete conduct and forms that no longer have the capacity of being significant culturally."
Here again, Francis was simply channelling the religio-cultural shift dictated by his beloved Teilhard, who declared that "the [evolutionary] stage we have reached religiously and culturally calls for [a pantheistic God of] a new religion." A religion stripped of the sort of conduct and forms Francis clearly had in mind: the Old Mass and associated sacramental rites and devotions; the barring of divorced-remarried adulters and pro-abort politicians from receiving the Body and Blood of Christ; papal condemnations of sodomy; the barring of the homosexuals from seminaries and participation in the public life of the Church; preaching Humanae Vitae from the pulpit... to name just a handful of items considered conservative/fundamentalist/obsolete to Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
In case his audience missed the epochal point of his agenda, Francis concluded his diatribe in Florence with a final nod to the overriding Commandment of Change: "You can say today we are not living an era of change but a change of era."
As noted in our April edition, 'decentralisation' by synodical means is his preferred vehicle to achieve that secular paradigm shift. While Cardinal Burke was publicly lamenting this "man-centred and world-centred perspective, especially in the Church," one which expresses itself in a "secular understanding of the divine realities," Germany's über-Modernist dissident Cardinal Karl Lehman was extolling the Pope's "commitment to a Synodal Constitution of the Church [sic]. I am very glad about this," he told a German daily during an interview published on 8 May:
A new spirit of freedom has entered the Church. I had experienced it [in the past] three times, during previous synods, that a debate about married priests who had proved themselves in marriage and the family – the “viri probati” – had then been suppressed by an interdiction from above. Today, however, the pope says: “A synod is either free, or it is not a synod.” What a change! I hope that he lives long enough in order to make crucial personnel decisions. The new [way and “spirit of freedom” in the Church] needs new people. [1Peter5.com, 13/5/16]
The 'new' way is merely the same old wickedness. For there is nothing 'new' under the heretical sun. Except, of course, the aggregation of all the ancient heresies under one super-heresy; Modernism — embodied in those like Lehman who falsely depict a tyrannical pontificate as a liberating collegial one. Sandro Magister nailed the rank hypocrisy. "In Francis," he writes, "the collegiality of governance is more evoked than practiced. The style is that of a superior general of the Jesuits who in the end decides everything on his own. This can be grasped from his actions, his words, his silences." All of which were on public show throughout his oppressive orchestration and manipulation of the recent synods — to include his now legendary meltdown over criticism of the subversive synodical process by 13 righteous cardinals (against whom he raged, threatening to expel them from the Church! - CO, Feb., 2016, pp. 38-41). All of which revealed, in turn, a thoroughgoing lack of freedom, propriety, due process, and holiness: pontifical earmarks that shame not only the example and spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola, the model of all Jesuit superiors, but that of St. Peter himself.
Infiltration and Occupation
And there's the rub. Elected to protect and hand on the Deposit of Faith unchanged, Francis wars against the nature and function of the very papal office he occupies. Those who oppose his ruinous agenda are labelled reactionary, and worse. Yet his own ideological outlook and methodology, imposed with an iron fist thinly veiled by cynical appeals to 'newness' and 'freedom', has been self-evident since Zero Hour — 13 March 2013.
On that baleful date the dissident time-bombs planted in the verbal maelstrom of Vatican II finally exploded with anarchic papal force. Unpinned by the liberals (to include the moderate Modernists Wojtyla and Ratzinger) and launched into every nook and cranny of Catholic life for half a century, the belligerent brand of Bergoglian Modernism has merely realised the full potential of these grenades, setting them off as never before.
As the theological flares and philosophical love beads of the dissident 60s and 70s were washed and ironed or dusted off, the recycled revolutionary intent was just as quickly established by papal confidants: Francis, they insisted, not only wanted to cement the idea of perpetual 'change', but to do so in such a way that his 'reforms' could never be undone. In a wide-ranging interview given to Corriere della Sera on 10 May 2015, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, one of the closest papal advisers and a contributing author of the two encyclicals, was asked: "Aren’t you worried that his pontificate will quickly be tossed aside after he’s no longer pope?" He replied:
No, there’s no turning back. If and when Francis is no longer pope, his legacy will remain strong. For example, the pope is convinced that the things he’s already written or said cannot be condemned as an error. Therefore, in the future anyone can repeat those things without fear of being sanctioned. And then the majority of the People of God with their special sense will not easily accept turning back on certain things.
Firstly, in predicting a Francis-friendly sensus fidelium, His Grace conveniently omits the impact of not a few high-ranking prelates, as well as esteemed clerical and lay commentators, who have, more or less directly, exposed and condemned the spurious teachings and worldly views of Francis. Secondly, even to suggest that such manifest errors and confusion cannot be condemned, corrected and/or clarified by future popes, never mind make that your objective, bespeaks a mind alien to Catholicism: a masonic mentality. Indeed, Archbishop Lenga of Kazakhstan finally resorted to an Open Letter on the crisis in the Church (CO, April 2015) precisely because the ancient boast of the Lodge to secularise the Catholic clergy has been so thoroughly accomplished, that "any other method [of calling prelates to account] would be greeted by a brick wall of silence and disregard." He wrote:
It will not be superfluous to remind my brothers in the episcopacy of an affirmation made by an Italian masonic lodge from the year 1820: "Our work is a work of a hundred years. Let us leave the elder people and let us go to the youth. The seminarians will become priests with our liberal ideas. We shall not flatter ourselves with false hopes. We will not make the Pope a Freemason. However liberal bishops, who will work in the entourage of the Pope, will propose to him in the task of governing the Church such thoughts and ideas which are advantageous for us and the Pope will implement them into life". This intention of the Freemasons is being implemented more and more openly, not only thanks to the declared enemies of the Church but with the connivance of false witnesses who occupy some high hierarchical offices in the Church.
Alice von Hildebrand recently reconfirmed the awful truth of this conquest-by-stealth, and its connection to Fatima. As she relates to Father Brian Harrison herein, decades before Cardinal Ciappi famously admitted the fact, a highly connected Roman priest had intimated to her late husband that the "fearful" content of the third secret given by Our Lady and written down by Lucia, is simply this: “infiltration of the Church to the very top”.
Paul VI said it himself just ten months before he died, during an address on 13 October 1977, the sixtieth anniversary of the Fatima apparitions:
The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.
Based on the evidence of our own eyes and ears, therefore, we can be morally certain that Francis, thus far and at very least, is the most egregious pontifical by-product of masonic (and later communist) conniving we have experienced: the end result, as it were, of two hundred years of relentless turning of ecclesiastical hearts and minds away from a Catholic supernatural outlook focused on God and the salvation of souls, towards a naturalistic secular one focused on man and his social welfare; from the Gospel of Christ, to the Social Gospel. The Holy Father's insistence that the State must be secular, not Catholic, is emblematic (— a view he restated in an interview with La Croix published on 16 May, wherein he also stated that "Confessional states end badly": as if the miraculous socio-political transformation effected by the Ecuadorian Catholic State under President Gabriel Garcia Moreno, for one, never happened! - see "The Greatest Catholic President," CO, May & June/July 2008).
It could hardly be more telling that the Council, convened by John XXIII despite strong and wise curial protestations, turbo-charged the secularising process at the very time Our Lady had asked for the Third Secret to be revealed ("Because then it will be clearer," Sr. Lucia told Cardinal Ottaviani in 1955). "The entire Vatican II revolution," as John Vennari states, "was based on the tactic of the elevation of the 'pastoral' over the 'doctrinal', without explicitly changing doctrine, but nonetheless creating a revolution in Catholic attitudes". In July 2005, when Jorge Bergoglio was but a faceless entity in our worst Third Secret nightmares, an Eastern prelate neatly described the revolutionary outcome:
Rome is "occupied" by men who are hell bent on changing the face and "soul" of Catholicism. ... More ignorant than evil, the ignorance of the "occupiers" does not allow them to grasp the sens Chrétien d’histoire by which the strength of the Catholic Church is based, in part, on her ability to purify and dominate the genius temporis, rather than to be seduced by it to the exclusion of the charms of Tradition.
And so we arrive at the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia [AL], the latest exercise in Catholic identity theft by secular seduction. In his keynote address at the Roman Life Forum in Rome on 7 May 2016, where he called on Francis to withdraw AL before it does irreparable damage to the Church and souls, John Smeaton of SPUC and Voice of the Family highlighted several concerns, all of which positively scream 'Infiltrators at Work!':
Speaking at the same conference, where he mercifully stated that Amoris Laetitia is not magisterial, but rather a "personal reflection" of the pope, Cardinal Burke warned participants of an interpretation of Catholicism, in particular on marriage and access to the sacraments, that leads to "confusion" since it is not based on the truth of the faith:
The mundane vision, which, because it is not true, leads to confusion and division within the Body of Christ, ends up by denying the fundamental principle of right reason, called the principle of non-contradiction, namely the law that a thing cannot be and not be in the same respect at the same time.
For example, it cannot be that the Church professes faith in the indissolubility of marriage, in accord with the law of God written upon every human heart and announced in the word of Christ, and at the same time admits to the Sacraments those who publicly live in violation of the indissolubility of marriage. If a person who is living publicly in violation of his or her marriage bond is admitted to the Sacraments, then either marriage is not indissoluble or the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is not the Body of Christ and the encounter with Christ in the Sacrament of Penance does not require the firm purpose of amendment of our lives, that is, obedience to the word of Christ, "sin no more"....
Although the Cardinal did not mention Amoris Laetitia explicitly, referencing denial of the principle of non-contradiction speaks directly to Bergoglian 'pastoral methodology' in general, and AL in particular. The many commentators who prefer to praise the sweet sections of the Exhortation rather than condemn the pastoral poison it injects into the Catholic bloodstream, blithely ignore the blatant bait-and-switch tactics of Francis: a textbook Modernist whose purposeful incoherence sets orthodoxy alongside heterodoxy and heresy, and clarity beside ambiguity.
The tactic was confirmed by Archbishop Forte; the papal propagandist for a "positive" view of fornication and sodomy, who Francis personally chose to be special secretary of the infamous synods. During a presentation of AL in early May, Forte claimed that during the synods, Francis told him to dissemble on the question of admitting remarried divorcees to Holy Communion because by speaking plainly (... you'll be expecting this ...) they would only "make a mess"! He quoted the Holy Father as saying:
If we speak explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried, you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly, do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusions.
The same Modernist duplicity is apparent in the Pope's plea not to focus on single sentences in Amoris, but rather to consider it as a whole. Appalled by the document, renowned German philosopher Robert Spaemann, an adviser and friend to John Paul II and Benedict XVI, was having none of it. "Concentrating on the stated [heretical] passages is fully justified in my eyes," he told a German news agency. "It cannot be expected in a papal exhortation that people will rejoice in a pleasant text and ignore decisive sentences, which change the teachings of the Church. There is actually only a clear yes or no decision: to give Communion or not. There is no intermediary between them."
The Holy Father demurs. To his Modernist mind, black and white are foreign concepts. Incomprehensible. In his gradualistic universe where all cats are grey, the only clarity is the modus operandi itself: namely, imprecision and ambiguity. As he told Archbishop Forte "we won't speak plainly."
"That’s just what Francis does," observes Sandro Magister:
He never says everything that he has in mind. He just leaves it to guesswork. And he lets the interpretations run, even the most disparate, over what he says and writes.
That this approach should be used in private conversations is understandable. But Jorge Mario Bergoglio exercises it systematically in public, in his official acts of magisterium, even when everyone is expecting him to add it all up and give a clear and definitive response.
With respect to the magisterium of previous popes, carved in stone, polished word by word, unmistakable, that of Francis is an epochal transformation.
"Amoris Laetitia is glaring proof of this," says Magister, noting how the Pope's "most trusted interpreter of the post-synodal exhortation," Cardinal Schönborn, plays the same game "to perfection, with explanations also in the style of Bergoglio, all to be interpreted anew, on the ambiguous border between doctrine presented as unchanged and pastoral applications that must be new and changing." The slippery semantics are destabilising the Church:
By bringing back into discussion what appeared definitive before him, he has opened a process that gives equal citizenship to the most irreconcilable opinions, and therefore also to the most fiery reformers.
The unparalleled example of this inventiveness of Bergoglio’s may have come last February, when he went to visit the Lutheran Church in Rome.
A Protestant married to a Catholic asked him if she too could receive communion, together with her husband. And he replied to her with such a roundabout yes, no, and I don’t know as to give no understanding, in the end, what conclusion to draw, if not this:
"It is a problem to which everyone must respond."
Let us not forget that this Bergoglian modus operandi was condemned long before St. Pius X. In his 1794 Bull Auctorem Fidei, Pope Pius VI, too, lambasted the tactics of equivocation and confusion employed by the innovators of his day: proto-Modernists who used deliberate vagueness and ambiguity to spread lethal errors; who did not shy away from contradicting themselves in order to appear to be confused rather than determined in their rejection of Catholic teaching.
Like Pius X's Pascendi, it is impossible to read Auctorem Fidei without thinking of just about anything Francis has written, said or done. Red flags and alarm bells flap and sound at every line, as with this extract:
In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, the innovators sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous manoeuvres by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith that is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation....
Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up to the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.
Effectively, Pius VI then sums up the cornerstone of the Francis pontificate —'plausible deniability' — with a most unflattering comparison:
... [The heretic Nestorius] expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.
"Chaos raised to a principle"
A master of this studious deceit, when cornered on Amoris by journalists, Francis even played the Alzheimer's card: saying he could not recall an explosive footnote in his own Exhortation! LifeSiteNews summarised the offending item:
Footnote 351 comes at paragraph 305, where the pope says that despite an "objective situation of sin" it is possible that a person "can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end." There he includes the footnote, which states, "In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments," followed by references to both Confession and the Eucharist.
In other words, by saying it is possible to love God and be in a state of grace even while living in mortal sin (a Lutheran notion condemned by the Council of Trent — see James Larson herein), he swings wide open the hitherto bolted gate to sacrilegious Communions. All the usual suspects seized on the footnote and happily drew the same obvious conclusion. It "seems clear" the Exhortation allows Communion for divorced/remarried in some cases, smirked Cardinal Kasper. One journalist even speculated that footnote 351 may go down as one of the "most famous" footnotes in papal history. Yet in mid-April, on his return-flight press conference from the island of Lesbos, Francis preferred to bluster about "bigger problems" ignored by the probing scribes, before pouting:
Yeah, right, I hear you all sigh. As if.
Yeah, right, agrees Cardinal Kasper — a papal confidant in no doubt about the papal strategy and intent, which he duly related to a German regional newspaper shortly afterwards. As reported by onepeterfive.com on 23 April:
Kasper speaks about the further Church-reform plans of Pope Francis and his intention "not to preserve everything as it has been of old." ... When asked whether there is also a new tone within the Church, Kasper answers: "Yes, a new tone." He also responds in a more positive way to the question as to whether the [schismatic/heretical] German Bishops’ Conference now have a "tail wind" and says: "Certainly."
He continues, in the context of the question about "remarried" divorcees, by saying that Pope Francis has agreed with him about making some "humane decisions." The German cardinal recounts how he once told Pope Francis about a priest whom he knew who had decided not to forbid a "remarried" mother to receive Holy Communion on the day of the First Holy Communion of her daughter. Cardinal Kasper himself concurred with that priest’s decision, saying: "That priest was fully right." About his further conversation with the pope, he added these words: "I told this to the pope and he confirmed my attitude [with the following words]: 'That is where the pastor has to make the decision'." Kasper concludes: "There is now a tail wind to help solve such situations in a humane way."
On the looming decentralisation, intended to multiply these sacrilegious "situations" now supercharged by AL, Cardinal Kasper added a final devilish twist by coopting the 'pro-choice' slogan: "Here [in Germany]," he concluded, "something can be permissible which is forbidden in Africa. Therefore, the pope gives freedom for different situations and future developments."
As if answering the smug Kasper on all our behalves, Robert Spaemann foresaw not liberating "developments" but chaos:
The consequences are already foreseeable: uncertainty and confusion, from the bishops' conferences to the small parishes in the middle of nowhere. A few days ago, a priest from the Congo expressed to me his perplexity in light of this new papal document and the lack of clear precedents. According to the respective passages from Amoris laetitia, not only remarried divorcees but also everyone living in some certain “irregular situation” could, by further nondescript “mitigating circumstances”, be allowed to confess other sins and receive Communion even without trying to abandon their sexual conduct — that means without confession and conversion.
Each priest who adheres to the until-now valid discipline of the sacraments, could be mobbed by the faithful and be put under pressure from his bishop. Rome can now make the stipulation that only "merciful" bishops will be named, who are ready to soften the existing discipline. Chaos was raised to a principle by the stroke of a pen. The Pope must have known that he would split the Church with such a step and lead toward a schism — a schism that would not be settled on the peripheries, but rather in the heart of the Church. May God forbid that from happening.
Spaemann's cataclysm, however, is Kasper's opportunity. For a Modernist wrecker like Comrade Walter, you see, chaos and schism are mere means to a non-negotiable end; a purifying phase in the struggle against the reactionary forces of Tradition. After all, his own German Church has been in de-facto schism for decades. Nor is he fazed by Curial resistance to a passé revolution now being recycled with ferocity: "If in your editorial office everything was [suddenly] turned upside down," he chuckled, "there also would be some resistance." He then returned to the all-important "new tone"; the sly means by which Francis seeks to remould the Catholic mind, and so Catholic identity:
He [the Pope] changes many things – but not only structurally. He aims especially at the mentality. Only if that [mentality]changes, will structural reforms bear fruit. But that takes time. Francis is working on it.
This recalls the methodology of Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci, who sought victory by cultural infiltration rather than violent revolution. But it also smacks of the papal fruit of long-term masonic and communist infiltration, as suggested by Archbishop Lenga, and recalled herein by Alice von Hildebrand. Naturally, Cardinal Kasper disagrees. He presents this insidious push to change "the mentality" as a noble desire by Francis "to change the face of the Church — not its essence. He wants a more humane, a merciful face of the Church." This specious portrayal of wholesale protestantisation/secularisation was quickly shot down by a scholar, who pointed out that
The defiance of traditional orthopraxy is also an attack on orthodoxy, for every principled change of practice necessarily entails a change in principles.
Cranmer's liturgical revolution exemplified both the axiom and its logical consequence: viz., that changing principles amounts, in turn, to changing religion: Catholic identity theft, no less. In fact, as Kasper knows, "the mentality," in large part, has already changed beyond Catholic recognition. He himself is hierarchical Exhibit A. While among the rank and file, the liturgical, catechetical, and ecumenical 'renewal', sparked by Vatican II and foisted on them, has institutionalised the Modernist heresy.
The historical precedent is often referenced. If, however, the heretically-conditioned Catholic world of the fourth century "groaned and marvelled to find itself Arian," as St Jerome famously put it, the average hapless layman today does not even know what he's lost, never mind what he's become and who he is.
Raised from cradle to grave on a hermeneutic of discontinuity — preached openly or tacitly at school, from the pulpit, in pastorals and diocesan weeklies — the post-conciliar generations are now comprised overwhelmingly of those unaware of the falsehoods they have imbibed like mother's milk, and carry in their own souls. Catholics in name only, they have been slowly conditioned by the post-conciliar partisans of error to forget the 'pre-conciliar Tridentine church' of merited/conditional Grace and the Four Last Things. The social gospel of (unmerited/unconditional) cheap grace, false mercy, and universal salvation is all they know. That is their hapless heretical memory — all 51 years of it! Hence their claim to be Catholic despite 1,965 preceding magisterial years that belie their counterfeit faith. Hence their 'Catholic' ID: as fluid and perverse as the sexuality of the LGBTXYZ crew.
Often it's the little things that tell the corrupting tale. Such as the large signs outside two Catholic primary schools recently observed by the present writer, both of which omitted the major feast day (the Ascension) that fell on the school enrolment date advertised. So much for "teach ye all nations" the Catholic faith; something a Catholic school might be expected to do at every opportunity. No chance. As if to further underline the mental shift desired by Francis, one of the signs found room to trumpet "Mother's Day" instead. Even older Catholics who should know better have assumed the secular outlook of their hireling shepherds. The self-confident, counter-cultural Church Militant of their youth is now discredited; emblematic of the 'bad old days' of arrogant, one-true-Church triumphalism; a post-conciliar meme Francis never tires of reinforcing — most recently thus:
[W]hen I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones. [La Croix, 17/5/16]
Clearly, it is not just Catholic memories but the secular memory of Catholic Europe that Francis seeks to erase! In any event, the collective loss of what it means to be a Catholic, and what to avoid to remain one, provided Francis with a walk up start to launching his frontal Identity Assault. It may also explain why neo-conservatives continue to excuse this inexcusable pontificate. In a hostile world, perhaps they are just worn out and happy to tailor their Catholic ID according to the demands of a secularising pontiff? On the other hand, they may simply be confused, misinformed, or cowed by human respect? Who are we to judge?
Liturgical Memory Hole
During one of his summer seminars at Castel Gandolfo, John Paul II spoke of "remembering and forgetting as two important and mutually opposed forces that operate in human and social history. "Memory," he said, "is the faculty which models the identity of human beings at both personal and collective level. In fact it is through memory that our sense of identity forms and defines itself in the personal psyche." That being the case, we can understand why Rome used the centenary of the death of Pius X as an opportunity to whitewash his legacy; presenting Pascendi as a harsh product of its time, and Pius X's war on the Modernists as unrepresentative of his better (read compromising) self.
It goes without saying that the deepest darkest corner of the post-conciliar memory hole is reserved for the truth about the New Mass; the major formative influence on replacing a Catholic "mentality," as Archbishop Cranmer well understood. Unlike readers of this magazine, most Catholics have no idea, for example, that this liberal contrivance (mercifully patched up here and there under Benedict) was developed under the guiding hand of a masonic prelate, Annibale Bugnini, who infused it with his self-professed secular spirit. They are also blissfully unaware that he laid waste in Cranmer-like fashion to symbols, prayers and actions that reflected and protected the Faith of our Fathers. Nor do they realise that in 1967 his liturgical concoction was rejected outright or with reservations by a large majority of 176 voting bishops, yet imposed universally several years later regardless.
Among the vast majority, knowledge of such fundamental perfidies — which speak to the irreverence, indifference, sacrilege and/or disobedience of the average parish Mass — is utterly lacking. While we care enough to know and remember, they prefer not to know and to forget. And since, as John Paul put it, "remembering and forgetting" are "mutually opposed forces" in the shaping of identity "at both personal and collective level," is it any wonder that those of us who have loved the Faith sufficiently to stay informed, now live as Catholic strangers among our own CINO families, relatives, and friends?
Moreover, relationships can only worsen now that a reigning pontiff himself is openly escalating the secularisation of faith and morals. Why he would knowingly foment schism in this way, as Spaemann states, is a troubling question. Regardless, it is happening. Right in front of us. So, do not fall for his bait-and-switch tactics (long condemned by his predecessors). And beware the soundbites touting dialogue, openness, tolerance, mercy, and all that. Behind the slogans, the spirit is dictatorial and implacable; the 'live and let live' agenda, alien. As Sandro Magister writes: "No to barred gates, no to revolutions. But the third way conceived by Francis is anything but unyielding. Just the opposite."
Indeed, it is the way of Antichrist. And that is why, in a short while, we should expect the "remnant" of Romans 11:5 — that little flock "chosen by grace", its Catholic memory and identity still intact — to become smaller still; ever more derided and despised.
"The Holy Spirit will remind you..."
We need to stand firm. Pray always, especially for faith and perseverance. And see through this catastrophic pontificate. For Holy Mother Church goes on! Once asked to comment on the alleged "need for the Church to adapt to new cultural realities" in a changing world, and the "urgent question of the Church's identity [and] the elements of this identity," John Paul responded:
The Church's memory grows as the Church grows, principally through the witness of apostles and the suffering of martyrs. ... The technical term to describe it is Tradition. This word refers to the active function of remembering by handing on. What else is Tradition but the task assumed by the Church of transmitting (in Latin, tradere) the mystery of Christ and the entirety of His teaching preserved in Her memory? It is a task in which the Church is constantly sustained by the Holy Spirit. ... "He will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you" (John 14:26). The Church when she celebrates the Eucharist, which is the 'memorial' of the Lord, does so in the power of the Holy Spirit, who from day to day awakens and directs her memory. To this marvellous and mysterious work of the Spirit, the Church, from generation to generation, owes her essential identity. And this has already lasted two thousand years.
It will outlast Jorge Bergoglio, too.