On June 10, several handpicked “traditional movement” media outlets simultaneously published the latest from Archbishop Viganò, an essay that focuses primarily on rumors that Jorge Bergoglio (stage name, Francis) is about to place limits on Summorum Pontificum in order to suppress the Traditional Roman Rite.
“Through the words and wisdom of Archbishop Viganò,” gushed Michael “Unite-the-Cons” Matt, “God is giving us the great gift of clarity and sound Catholic leadership.”
Is that so?
Before we seek an answer, note very well where credit is due according to Mr. Matt; it’s Almighty God Himself providing His Church with clarity and leadership through Archbishop Viganò!
Mike Matt has a history of heaping effusive praise upon neo-con clerics (e.g., fawning over “our hero” Bishop Schneider, assuring readers that Cardinal Caffarra is looking down from heaven “trying to save the Church from the Modernists”), but to my knowledge this is first time he’s suggested that a celebrity cleric is an oracle of divine revelation!
In any case, let’s take a closer look at what God… I mean, Viganò, had to say.
Viganò does indeed have his moments of clarity. For example, he says that “the true intent of the Council” was to be “disruptive” and “subversive,” and he declares that “the immutable Faith of the Holy Church … is alien to the conciliar ecclesiology, to its liturgy, and to the doctrine it presupposes and conveys.”
He also writes, “The Second Vatican Council was also in a certain way a Great Reset for the ecclesial body.”
Much of what is stated here rings true, but are we really to believe that a valid ecumenical council of the Holy Roman Catholic Church launched a three-pronged offensive against the immutable faith? Are we likewise to imagine that a true pope is presently spearheading this offensive? Is the Catholic Church really subject to just such a reset?
Archbishop Viganò evidently thinks so.
Nor can we be surprised: those who do not come from God are intolerant of everything that even remotely recalls an era in which the Catholic Church was governed by Catholic pastors and not by unfaithful pastors who abuse their authority; an era in which the Faith was preached in its integrity to the nations and not adulterated in order to please the world; an era in which those who hungered and thirsted for Truth were nourished and refreshed by a liturgy that was earthly in form but divine in substance.
Consider carefully what Viganò has stated. As he sees things, the very purpose of the Council was to oppose the Catholic faith; it was a “reset” that resulted in a takeover whereby the Church is no longer governed by Catholics, and not only that, he supposes that these men possess real authority in the Church, they simply abuse it.
So, how are the scoundrels getting away with it?
The archbishop explains, saying that the Council was “clothed in noble intentions in order to convince the faithful and the clergy to obey;” in other words, the entire operation thrives on deception.
To a large extent, he’s right once again; the overwhelming majority of “the faithful” [sic] have been duped into treating the Council, the papal claimants who labor to implement it, and the institution that they lead as if they are actually Catholic and, therefore, constitute an authority that must be obeyed.
In spite of this correct observation, Viganò does little to actually open the eyes of the blind much less urge them to respond appropriately; in fact, he does the opposite.
When speaking of unfaithful, non-Catholic pastors, it is obvious to all that Viganò is alluding to “Francis” first and foremost, but where does he go from there? He leads the innocent to believe that Bergoglio is “the supreme authority of the Church” who possesses “the Apostolic authority and the power of the Holy Keys.”
The inconsistencies in these allegedly divine musings are astounding!
Sorry, folks, but it must be said yet again: The simple fact of the matter is that the “conciliar church” is a society unto itself, very much unlike – nay, opposed to – the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Based on the citations provided above, it seems as if Archbishop Viganò knows as much but simply cannot bear the obvious implications.
For those as yet unsure, it may be useful to consider exactly what constitutes a unique society.
According to eminent theologian, Fr. E. Sylvester Berry (see The Church of Christ, An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise) the following conditions must necessarily be present in order for an enterprise to be considered “a society”:
a) a number of individuals;
b) a moral union, i.e., a union of wills;
c) a common end to be attained;
d) suitable means to attain that end;
e) adequate authority.
In this, Fr. Berry was making a case in support of the notion that the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church, is indeed a society. I’ve little doubt that Archbishop Viganò would concur with Fr. Berry’s explication.
But what if we applied that same criteria, along with Archbishop Viganò’s observations, to the conciliar church? Would we discover that it’s merely a malignant movement within the society known as the Catholic Church, or would it qualify as a society unto itself?
a) The conciliar church is comprised of many individuals, including “pastors” whom Viganò rightly identifies as not being Catholic.
b) There exists a union of wills among these individuals that centers around the effort to carry forward the “reset” identified by Archbishop Viganò, namely, the implementation of Vatican Council II regardless of any arguments over how to do so rightly.
c) The common end to be attained, according to its members, is “salvation” – not according to Catholic teaching and the mission given to His Church by Christ – but rather as set forth in the text of Vatican II, an ecumenical, anthropocentric endeavor whereby “all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown.”
d) The conciliar church’s means of attaining that end were well identified by Archbishop Lefebvre when he spoke of “its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new liturgy, already condemned by the Church in many official and definitive documents.” All indications are that Archbishop Viganò would concur.
e) Lastly, it is an incontestable fact that the conciliar church is guided by an authority that is adequate relative to its end, the same having been described by Archbishop Viganò as not Catholic.
So, does Viganò really not understand that the conciliar church is a non-Catholic society unto itself, or is he simply unwilling to give voice to that reality along with the obvious implications that follow, to say nothing of accepting the personal consequences that will necessarily come with it, like falling out of favor with the “trad movement” crowd?
I suppose it’s anyone’s guess, but in speaking of “the Innovators,” Viganò appears to give us the answer:
Their distorted vision of the Church … is not a perfect society instituted by God for the salvation of souls but [rather] a human society in which an authority that is corrupt and subservient to the elite it favors steers the needs of the masses for vague spirituality, denying the purpose for which Our Lord willed it, and in which the good Pastors are constrained to inaction by bureaucratic shackles which they alone obey. [Emphasis added]
Based on this alone, it seems that he does understand that the conciliar church is a society unto itself and merely a non-Catholic counterfeit! And if this be so, then obviously its head, Jorge Bergoglio, really does not possess the power of the Holy Keys!
And yet, inconsistent as ever, he equates the “good Pastors” with those who “obey,” and this just paragraphs after correctly stating that the conciliar institution relies on deception “to convince the faithful and the clergy to obey” their program.
To be clear, I do not mean to suggest that fully embracing the undeniable fact that the conciliar church is not the Catholic Church, and willingly accepting the implications that derive therefrom, will make the current ecclesial crisis disappear. It will not, nor will it make life any easier for those who wish to remain Catholic, in fact, on the contrary.
That said, “the truth will set you free.”