He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me (Lk 10: 16)
With ever more determination. Some fifty years after Vatican II’s Declaration Nostra ætate, regarding the Church’s relations with non-Christian religions. It’s a train wreck. Going off the rails. Like the train plunging downwards from the exploding bridge on the river Kwai. It’s a shipwreck. In the making now for over five decades. Going asunder. Like the RMS Titanic, which for all her imprudent navigation, at least tried to avoid the iceberg. It’s tragic. It’s epic. It’s unnerving. Mercy!
+Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991), who was a Vatican II Council Father, said in 1987—sometime after the first scandalous inter-religious meeting at Assisi in October 1986: Rome a perdu la foi, mes chers amis / Rome has lost the faith, my dear friends.
Ever wonder why good St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), is never remembered that his love of God’s beautiful Creation was perfectly compatible with his going off on those medieval Crusades to the Holy Land, and whose dialogue with the Muslims consisted of trying to convert them to Christ in the Catholic faith?
Naturally, many progressive-liberals scoffed then at the French Archbishop’s “exaggeration,” due of course to his “rigid adherence” to “outmoded pre-conciliar ways.” Got to go with the new Pentecost (sic), conciliar springtime (sic) “signs of the times!”
But how many Neo-conservatives at that time, who were rightly uncomfortable with all the conciliar and postconciliar novelties being ruthlessly imposed upon the Church, and were beginning their dangerous connivance with it all (i.e., if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em), also distanced themselves from +Archbishop Lefebvre?
Still, given the overwhelming and ever increasing evidence of his terrifying statement—that of Rome losing the faith—particularly with respect to the conciliar praxis of relations between the Holy Catholic Church and other Christian denominations and non-Christian religions, one cannot but wonder, in awe, what the good Archbishop would say today…
And especially after watching the recent Vatican-produced video with Pope Francis expressing his prayer intentions for the month of January, in the year of Our Lord, 2016. At the end of the video he says he confides in our prayer for his idea of inter-religious dialogue. Sorry, Holy Father, but we Catholics cannot—indeed, must not—comply with your specific request.
You see, the Catholic faith and Apostolic Tradition are above the Papacy. But Father—Neo-conservative voices will clamor—we Catholics follow the Pope! Well-meaning but… we follow Christ, actually.
And insofar as the Pope follows Christ, we of course follow the Pope. Now, Neo-conservative Catholics might affirm that this is a schismatic attitude, or even a Protestant attitude. The SSPX is oftentimes unjustly accused of that. But we know that’s not true.
How do we know for sure? Very easy. Just look how the SSPX is treated by some in the Church. If the SSPX were indeed schismatic, heretical, or Protestant, why are they not welcomed with big smiles and open arms, like the schismatic Eastern Orthodox or other heretical Protestant communities?
Among other reasons, this alone offers conclusive proof that the SSPX is just traditional, aka Catholic, you know, like the Church is Catholic…
The truth of the matter is: the Successor of the Apostle St. Peter, and Bishop of Rome, must be Catholic, too. That’s just the Catholic way of things. It’s always been this way. The Pope is nothing less—and also nothing more—than the Vicar of Christ on earth. The Pope is not Christ himself.
As Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary of Astana, so rightly mentioned in a Polish TV interview, sometime during the two nefarious Synods on (aka against) the Family: when Our Lord founded his Church on the rock of the Apostle Peter, it’s the Lord’s Church, not Peter’s. It would behoove all Catholics—but particularly Neo-conservatives—to remember that.
Much as Catholics love, obey, and pray for the Pope—whoever he is and wherever he is from—part of the Catholic identity bundle is that the Pope must be, well, Catholic. But Father—told was I—are you suggesting that the Pope is not Catholic? Oh goodness no, I’m not suggesting it, I’m rather lamenting it, actually!
When Father Linus Clovis gave a great conference on the “Francis Effect” in Rome in May 2015, in his intervention, he mentioned the humorous rhetorical question: Is the Pope Catholic? That’s no longer funny… he said, with a smile and a resounding applause from his listeners. No indeed, it most certainly is no longer funny. Nor—more importantly—is it a mere humorous rhetorical question.
So no, Catholics should most obviously not pray for the Pope’s intentions, as shown in this video. Why not? Quite simply, because they are not Catholic intentions, that’s why. This needs to be stressed.
This video makes that very painfully clear. It’s so terrifyingly obvious, it outright slaps one hard in the face. And oddly enough, it still doesn’t awake those who refuse to wake up.
No, Catholics will be much better off praying for Pope Francis himself—not to mention that he will benefit from it—and most certainly not pray for his intentions. At best, Catholics should pray only for Pope Francis’ Catholic intentions… if there are any.
Since the supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls (cf. CIC1983 c. 1752), praying for Pope Francis and only for his Catholic intentions (if any), should suffice for the Indulgences during the Jubilee Holy Year of Mercy. But certainly not pray for his intentions in the usual, general sense.
The Vatican video lasts one minute, thirty-two seconds. And that’s quite long enough. Thank Heaven it doesn’t last one second longer. The more I watch it, the more scandalous it seems. Frankly, it’s unbearable: (in original Spanish with English subtitles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6FfTxwTX34
We hear Pope Francis declaim in a nice tone that the majority of the inhabitants of the planet declare themselves to be believers. And this fact should provoke a dialogue amongst the religions. That we (Catholics?) should not cease to pray for this dialogue, and collaborate with those who think differently.
Then we see four people make a profession of faith. A woman says: I confide in Buddha. A Jewish Rabbi says: I believe in God. A Catholic priest says: I believe in Jesus Christ. A Muslim leader says: I believe in God, Allah.
The way this is represented is rather awkward, since the Jewish Rabbi and the Muslim leader claim to believe in “God,” whereas the Catholic priest merely believes in “Jesus Christ,” which of course is correct.
But in the context of the video, somehow it comes off like: I believe in Jesus Christ, i.e., in some guy called by that name. If the priest had said I believe in Jesus Christ, God made Man, it would have been better. Granted, this may be nit-picking, but together, as a whole, it strikes me as being very awkward.
Then we see and hear Pope Francis say: Many people think differently, feel differently. They look for God or find God in diverse ways. In this multitude, in this variety of religions, there is one certainty for us all: We are all children of God.
The overall impression of apostasy in this video is confirmed by the papal assertion that different people look for God (true enough), but… (and here is the problem) even find God in diverse ways. Which God? Does Francis mean finding different false Gods with false religions? It sure doesn’t look like that’s what he means.
So, does Francis mean that people find, or can aspire to find, the only real God that exists, the One and Triune God, i.e., the Catholic God, in or through diverse religions? It would certainly seem so given the context.
But then, the implied consequence is that there really is no need, therefore, to procure conversion to God—neither by proselytism nor attraction—from these other religions, since each of them can provide “diverse ways” of “finding God.” Thus, by diverse ways, people of different religions end up—or can end up—believing in the same God (sic).
But alas, Francis has even denied the existence of a Catholic God. Indeed, the God of Francis is one of surprises!
In an interview with atheist Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, Francis literally said: And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being. Do you think we are very far apart? (Interview 1 October 2013).
Thus, Francis attributes the existence of a God—not a Catholic God—who is the Father, light, and Creator. But though Jesus Christ is his incarnation—seemingly—he is merely his teacher and pastor, since God is the Father.
Does Francis insinuate that Jesus Christ is somehow not God like the Father is God? Stunning affirmations coming from a Roman pontiff.
But the overall impression of apostasy is likewise accompanied by good, old-fashioned heresy. Francis says quite clearly in this video: In this multitude, in this variety of religions, there is one certainty for us all: We are all children of God.
Yet St. Paul mentions that we are children of unbelief and children of wrath, until we become children of God through the grace of Baptism (Eph 2: 1-5):
And you, when you were dead in your offences, and sins, wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that now worketh on the children of unbelief: in which also we all conversed in time past, in the desires of our flesh, fulfilling the will of the flesh and of our thoughts, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, by whose grace you are saved.
My dear friend, Louie Verrecchio, has tried his hand at providing us with another translation of this video. OK, so it’s not a literal one like the one provided in this article, but, though quite humorous, it is a very accurate interpretative translation of what Pope Francis “really means:” https://akacatholic.com/the-pope-video-updated/
This Vatican video will make any true Catholic cringe with brooding dread. Maybe even give you a searing headache, or perhaps even a bleeding ulcer. At the very least, it might well ruin your peaceful sleep with insomnia. Oh yes, it’s that bad, make no mistake.
True enough, not every Catholic will agree with that assessment, of course. Some will not see anything wrong with the video… at all. My goodness. Naturally, these are the same people who see no problem whatsoever with Francis’ calamitous pontificate.
Because it’s not just this one video. It’s his nearly three-year long pontificate: an obsession to grant problematic, off-the-cuff interviews—on land and in the air—along with the customary Vatican Press Office’s Father Lombardi, a posteriori “clarifications” of what Francis “really meant,” ambiguity, mixed signals, mass confusion, creating great expectations of “change” for the progressive-liberal (aka modernist) agenda, who enthusiastically praise him, constant scolding of—seemingly—traditional doctrine and liturgical-minded Catholics, whom he calls Neo-Pelagian, promethean, self-absorbed pharisees… Goodness gracious me!
But for some Catholics—pious, intelligent people, mind you—everything is just fine, as it should be. You know, business as usual with the proverbial British stiff upper lip.
It’s just Francis’ personal, refreshing style that we’re not accustomed to in a Pope. And all the confusion is due only to manipulation of the media. Oh, is that all? Pope Francis has no personal responsibility for this mess? Really??? Amazing, ain’t it?
Some Catholics, far from seeing the slightest inconvenience, even go so far as to actually praise this Vatican video: What’s wrong with it? Why, it’s beautiful! Do they mean the production values? No, of course not! They mean the content of the video is beautiful! Are they serious?
But Father, the Pope doesn’t renounce Christ (oh really?), he doesn’t say anything that goes against Catholic doctrine (oh, is that so?), he only desires inter-religious dialogue among the various believers of the world, to procure peace and justice in the world… ah, but as a first step to converting them (uh, say again)?
Inter-religious dialogue as a “first step” in order to procure their conversion from their false gods, to the Truth, that is, the Catholic faith in Christ, in some ulterior ”second step?” Where on earth do these people get that idea from in this video? Why, that would be proselytizing—aka evangelizing—them, God forbid!
Please, let’s be intellectually honest and serious here. The fact of the matter is that there is absolutely no scrap of evidence whatsoever that supports the idea that conciliar and postconciliar inter-religious dialogue is the “first step” to evangelizing—aka converting to Christ—as the end objective of this abominably apostate Vatican video.
Catholics who claim this, do so only because they want to, because that is their wish, their desire, but most certainly not because there is anything that even remotely hints that this is the plan from what one sees and hears in the video.
This ludicrous idea that evangelization is really a multi-step, end objective of conciliar and postconciliar inter-religious dialogue, is mere wishful thinking. Fifty years of Nostra ætate has made that pretty clear.
And Pope Francis makes it sadly and tragically clear that evangelization is most definitely not the end objective of inter-religious dialogue.
All he says in this video is that different people think differently (so?), that different people feel differently about God, that they look for him and even find him in different ways, i.e., religions (gasp!), and that dialogue between religions should help all of us to come together and procure peace and justice in the world (and that’s it?, really)?
Yes, that is all. There is nothing more. That is all there is here. The video has a self-contained message. Evangelization is nowhere to be found. Not with the strongest magnifying glass would it be discovered. Evangelization shines brightly—a bit of humor here—by its sheer, total, and absolute absence.
Oh yes, all these people in the video say I believe in love, as if to suggest that this is what all of us have in common. Is this meant to imply also that we all believe in the same God, because we all believe in love?
Though St. John, the Beloved Apostle, reveals to us all that, in effect, God is Love (1 Joh 4: 8), this video seems more to present it this way: “All you need is luv,” instead of “All you really need is Love, i.e., God who is Love, i.e., the Catholic God.”
Again: there is no evidence—not even a microbe—of any “first step” to procure conversion to Christ from false religions, in some future “second step.”
The great Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, would be utterly incapable of finding the slightest clue to remotely suggest it, even as a possibility. Quite simply, because there is literally nothing to go on. As Porky Pig would say, after stuttering several times: That’s all, folks!
But Father, surely in his internal forum, the Pope secretly prays for the conversion of these people belonging to these other religions! Fair enough, I’ll be generous and will go all out to give Francis the benefit of the doubt…
Even if this were true, we still would have absolutely no evidence, absolutely no indication, to infer that from this video. This is just more speculative wishful thinking.
And given the Pope’s numerous interventions, in the same pastoral line as in this video, with Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and other religions, it only confirms that conversion to Christ in the Catholic faith, is simply not contemplated.
We are nearly three years into his disturbing pontificate, and have been giving him the benefit of the doubt. Quite honestly, there is much more doubt than benefit in doing so…
And if it weren’t already quite bad enough, at the end of this insufferable video, a Baby Jesus is held in view, while the clearly identifiable religious symbols of a little statue of Buddha, a seven-piece Jewish candle stick, and Muslim prayer beads, are shown next to him.
Everything in this video gives the inevitably strong impression of complete equal footing among the four religions. Nowhere is Christ considered nor presented, in any way whatsoever, unique nor even superior. Flagrant apostasy before our eyes. Abominable beyond belief!
At Christmas-tide and Epiphany-tide, the Church’s sacred liturgy celebrates Christ’s birth as the supreme divine revelation to mankind.
The angels proclaiming Gloria in excelsis Deo to the shepherds of Israel (the call to conversion for the Jews), and the star-guided journey to Bethlehem of the Magi Kings from the Orient (the call to conversion for the gentiles, i.e., everybody else). What’s not to understand about evangelization?
But Father, it’s a beautiful video! It makes me wonder if we saw the same video… But, oh yes, it’s the same exact video, all right. Just radically opposed viewpoints from serious Catholics, that’s all. Francis can most assuredly be given credit for one thing: his pontificate is causing great division in the Church, on an unprecedented scale.
But that smacks of a diabolical nature, does it not? The Devil, Satan, Dia-bo-los in Greek, which etymologically means adversary, one that divides and separates from God. A truly frightening prospect, surely. But some well-meaning Catholics resolutely refuse to see any problem. It’s a curious mystery. But not for God.
The Book of Psalms may offer us an explanation. What does the psalmist say? But our God is in heaven: he hath done all things whatsoever he would. The idols of the gentiles are silver and gold, the works of the hands of men. They have mouths and speak not: they have eyes and see not. They have ears and hear not: they have noses and smell not. They have hands and feel not: they have feet and walk not: neither shall they cry out through their throat. Let them that make them become like unto them: and all such as trust in them (psalm 113: 11-16).
But though dark clouds obscure the skies of Eternal Rome (for the time being), here are two luminous quotes from pre-Vatican II Popes. With a clearly different pastoral approach to inter-religious dialogue:
To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name (Pope Leo XIII, encyclical Immortale Dei, 1885).
Hence, Venerable Brethren, springs that ridiculous proposition of the Modernists, that every religion, according to the different aspect under which it is viewed, must be considered as both natural and supernatural. Hence it is that they make consciousness and revelation synonymous. Hence the law, according to which religious consciousness is given as the universal rule, to be put on an equal footing with revelation, and to which all must submit, even the supreme authority of the Church, whether in its teaching capacity, or in that of legislator in the province of sacred liturgy or discipline (Pope St. Pius X, encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis, 1907).
Only our good Lord knows how many victims are lost in this conciliar and post-conciliar liturgical, theological, and pastoral quagmire. And, barring some sort of huge miracle—and I do mean a really big one—there is no reason, humanly speaking, to hope that things are going to get better.
Sorry, no. Quite the contrary, in fact. It has been announced that Pope Francis plans a monthly video in which he will continue to present his intentions…
Fear not! There is a wise and humorous saying that seems so fitting to our seriously worrisome ecclesial situation, which, alas, has gotten dramatically and frighteningly worse under Pope Francis. The eternal pessimist says: No! It can’t possibly get any worse! The eternal optimist more shrewdly says: Oh yes it can!