There is a much talk in recent days about the Requiem Mass offered at at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church for Tony Palmer, the Pentecostal leader whom Pope Francis addressed as “my brother bishop.”
John Vennari has posted an excellent article on the situation at Catholic Family News in which he provides important information about the faith of the Church regarding “Christian unity,” aptly demonstrating how far we have fallen in recent decades. It’s well worth a read if you’ve not already done so.
The flashpoint of the story is the following account offered by Michael Daly, CJ, a member of the “non-denominational Franciscan” group called the Companions of Jesus, based in the UK, who was present at the funeral:
“Father David told us that because Tony [Palmer] was not a Roman Catholic he had to ask his bishop’s permission to celebrate the requiem and though Tony’s wife and children are Roman Catholics, permission still had to be given for the requiem. The bishop agreed but said that Tony could not be buried as a bishop as he was not a Roman Catholic bishop. However, Pope Francis said he should and could be buried as a bishop, and so that put an end to that little bit of ecclesiastical nonsense!”
I must confess some ignorance here as even after some effort I still can’t quite figure out what it means to be “buried as a bishop.”
Bishops, as I understand, are buried in their liturgical vestments, but I couldn’t find any other information about how the rite itself differs from the Requiem Mass of a layman. Perhaps an informed reader can provide some more information.
In any case, what appears to me to be most noteworthy is the treatment found in the 1983 Code of Canon Law:
Can. 1184 §1 Church funeral rites are to be denied to the following, unless they gave some signs of repentance before death:
1° notorious apostates, heretics and schismatics;
2° those who for anti-christian motives chose that their bodies be cremated;
3° other manifest sinners to whom a Church funeral could not be granted without public scandal to the faithful.
§2 If any doubt occurs, the local Ordinary is to be consulted and his judgment followed.
Can. 1185 Any form of funeral Mass is also to be denied to a person who has been excluded from a Church funeral.
By all appearances it would seem that Tony Palmer should have been denied “any form of funeral Mass,” period. Recourse to the judgment of the local ordinary applies only when “doubt occurs.”
In the present situation, can there be any doubt that Tony Palmer, a layman posing as a bishop, was a notorious heretic? As for the public scandal accompanying the funeral that he was eventually granted, nothing could be more clearly evident.
So, where exactly is the doubt that opened the door in this case? (Not that the current crop of hierarchs are prone to adhering to the law, mind you, but let’s just overlook that unsavory fact for the present moment.)
If indeed the account offered by Michael Daly is accurate, could the “doubt” in this case be more accurately described as Pope Francis’ certainty; specifically, his firsthand knowledge that Palmer did indeed express a desire to enter the Catholic Church but was counseled to do otherwise by his mentor Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio?
Does anyone remember the elaborate Requiem Mass for radically pro-abort politician Senator Edward Kennedy? The New Order Church is the Church of No Dogma and No Rules!
The caption under your blog photo could be Bergoglio saying to Palmer:
“So tell me again, why do you want to be Catholic??”
Adding insult to injury, Tony Palmer was laid to rest in the place of highest honor in the Bath Catholic cemetery. His remains were laid to rest in a crypt in the Eyre Family Chapel alongside the Eyre descendants — a family of Recusants.
See full story here.
BTW, Michael Daly who is the original source of the information that Palmer was buried as a Catholic bishop is a very credible source. He was present at the funeral and describes his experience in great detail. He must have had a good reason to say that Palmer was buried as a bishop. Perhaps there were some specific statements made by the priest during the funeral. Only Daly or some other witness can fully clear this up. Perhaps Daly will elaborate on his previous comments….
“… his firsthand knowledge that Palmer did indeed express a desire to enter the Catholic Church but was counseled to do otherwise by his mentor Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio”
If this was the case, Mr. Palmer was done a “mortal” disservice, and the Pope’s soul is in danger, if it wasn’t already
“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition,…Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (CCC 846)”
Has the thought of the possibility of Mr. Palmer being illicitly ordained both a Catholic priest and bishop by now Pope Francis at some point in their past crossed anyone else’s mind?
Thanks for posting this article/information about this happening. I confess there’s a small part of me that wants more credible links that this actually happened and the Pope actually did this, ie, approving that the guy be buried as a Catholic Bishop. No offense to John Vennari and Catholic Family News, nor to Michael Daly (whoever he is), but I’ve tried to find other sources, other reports of it, to no avail, which makes me wonder.
Granted, this Pope continues to exceed my limits of what the heck a Pope, let alone a Catholic, would do. But this one seems to stretch even my belief. Still looking for other confirmation 🙂
A statement from Pope Francis was read by Tony Palmer’s widow, Emiliana, at the requiem. Some parts of this statement were reported in the Tablet (08.08.2014):
“We were great friends. His fraternal and filial friendship did me a lot of good. I have the memory of a free man who lived in the freedom of the spirit. Impatient, he searched tirelessly for the unity of the body of Christ which is lacerated and broken because of our sins. His patrimony is precious for everyone. It is a patrimony that is the will of Jesus expressed in John 17. Those of us who love him feel impelled by his zeal to follow in his footsteps, to walk without rest preparing the bride, one single bride, for the bridegroom who will come.”
I was previously unaware of groups like the “Companions of Jesus” (CJ) and the “Order of St. Leonard” (OSL), i.e. groups which promote themselves as ‘non-denominational religious orders’. It would seem these groups are positioning themselves to be the ‘religious’ arm of the New Church.
The “Companions of Jesus” claim the patrimony of St. Francis, but do not follow the Franciscan Rule. Instead, they describe themselves as “active-contemplative free believers”, and – get this – the “New Franciscans”.
Their statement of faith is fundamentally ecumenical: “We believe that All those who love Jesus, believe in Jesus, trust and rely on Jesus for their salvation are already one, united in Christ, no matter what denominational baggage they carry.” Sound familiar? How about this: “There is but One Church! It is not Roman Catholic or Protestant, not Orthodox or Messianic. It is where the People of God love one another and live in the love and unity of the triune God. All who love one another as Jesus has loved us is where Church is lived. It is about relationship and not about form or formula. The institution is not Church, however holy, pious and great it might be.”
It was Pope Francis who said: “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.”
The CJ is not some isolated phenomenon. Other such “ecumenical religious orders” include:
-Augustinians of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
-Companions of Saints Francis and Dominic
-Ecumenical Order of Charity
-Franciscan Community of Mercy
-Franciscans of Divine Providence
-Order of Contemporary Benedictines
-Order of Ecumenical Franciscans
-Order of the Shepherd’s Heart
None of these – to my knowledge – have official sanction from the Catholic Church – yet. Representatives of the OSL are said to be preparing for a meeting with Pope Francis at some point in the near future. But the approach these groups are taking is a perfect fit with the overall strategy of ecumenism as expressed through the so-called Charismatic Movement: the Holy Spirit overshadows both the Father and the Son to the point of eclipse, subjective experience outweighs objective reality, and feeling trumps doctrine.
Dear Elizabeth, You are right to seek the best evidence. However, can anyone believe this particular well-known Pentacostal man could have been given Catholic funeral rites without the sanction of the Pope?
pigg0214….I can’t believe Bergoglio would have done that; not from any compunction about it’s being illicit or sacrilegious, but simply because he wouldn’t see the need or importance in it. He simply doesn’t believe the Roman Catholic Church is a necessity for salvation. He just doesn’t believe it.
Okay so I am confused as to why Bishop Williamson can’t get a high Catholic funeral like this man if he died tomorrow. I mean, as long as people outside the Catholic church can get this honor, why not the SSPX?
So, Pope Francis refuses Tony Palmer’s request to officially convert to the Catholic faith on the grounds that he can accomplish more by remaining Anglican. That, any way you cut it, is subterfuge. Now, if he’s capable of approving of such deceitful action in others, then there is the distinct possibility that he engages in it himself. Think about that for a moment. Imagine a priest – in, say, Argentina – going through an inner conversion to Charismatic Pentecostalism. Taking Pope Francis’ advice, he should remain a Catholic in outward appearance so as to better convert unsuspecting Catholics to his way of believing. Follow that thought through to its logical conclusion.
Plenty to reflect on in the John Vennari article…
Here follows a key extract, which I hope to prayerfully meditate on
We are bound to speak the truth to Catholics and non-Catholics alike that there is only one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation; and that all religious efforts towards non-Catholics must be to guide them into the one true Church of Christ. 
Pope Pius XI and Pius XII reinforced this plain teaching.
Pius XI taught in his encyclical “On Fostering True Christian Unity, “…unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief, one Faith of Christian … There is but one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by fostering the return to the one true [Catholic Church] of Christ of those who are separated from it.”
Likewise Pope Pius XII taught in his 1949 Instruction on the Ecumenical Movement: “True reunion can only come about by the return of dissidents to the one true Church of Christ [the Catholic Church].”
It is worth noting that neither one of these uncompromising Papal Directives are mentioned or footnoted in Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, or in any of the Council’s sixteen documents. As Father Edward Hanahoe warned in 1962, a tactic of modern “Catholic” ecumenists is to shroud inconvenient Catholic truths with ‘significant silence’, and to “pretend the magisterium has not spoken” on certain doctrinal issues that conflict with the new ecumenical program.
Yet right on the eve of the Council, there were clear-sighted theologians who saw the ecumenical propensities among the “new theologians,” and warned that Catholics must not compromise with the new ecumenical spirit.
Dominican theologian Father David Greenstock, cautioning against the modern trends in ecumenism he saw in 1963, stated that true Christian unity can only have one meaning: to “Bring back to the unity of the true Church those who are presently outside of it.”
Father Greenstock further taught, “Reunion to a Catholic must mean unity in [Catholic] faith and worship. To imply the opposite is to destroy the truth and betray Christ.”
Father Edward Hanahoe, a Thomistic Graymoor Friar and expert on the Ecumenical Movement, forcefully reiterated in 1962 that the only definition of ecumenism a Catholic can accept is that of “an enterprise which seeks reconciliation of dissidents with the Church.”
Father Hanahoe also warned of the danger of the contemporary interfaith movement. He noted that modern ecumenism has the effect of “perpetuating the state of separation, serving rather to keep people out of Church than to bring them into it.”
The great Thomistic theologian Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, in the years leading up to Vatican II, repeatedly sounded the alarm that so-called “well-respected” theologians (such as Fathers Hans Kung, Yves Congar and others), were subverting the Catholic doctrine of “outside the Church there is no salvation” to accommodate the new ecumenical approach.
Fenton reiterated in 1962, “Now the statement ‘There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church’ or, as the Fourth Lateran Council puts it, the declaration: ‘No one at all is saved outside’ the Church, is most definitely a Catholic dogma. Time after time, the magisterium of the Catholic Church has insisted on this fact.”
Fenton went on to warn that the denial of this truth is prevalent in our time, yet this does not change the truth of the doctrine.
“In every age of the Church,” Fenton writes, “there has been one portion of Christian doctrine which men have been especially tempted to misconstrue or to deny. In our own times, it is the part of Catholic truth which was brought out with a special force and clarity by St. Peter in his first missionary sermon in Jerusalem. It is somewhat unfashionable today to insist, as St. Peter did, that those who are outside the true Church of Christ stand in need of being saved by leaving their own positions and entering the ecclesia [Catholic Church]. Nevertheless, this remains a part of God’s own revealed message.”
A hundred years prior to Vatican II, Blessed Pope Pius IX thundered against Catholics who have absorbed the false tenet that salvation is possible in any religion (thus, members of those false religious groups need not convert). Pius IX writes:
“We must mention and condemn again that most pernicious error which has been imbibed by certain Catholics who are of the opinion that those people who live in error and have not the true faith and are separated from Catholic unity, may obtain life everlasting. Now this opinion is most contrary to the Catholic faith, as is evident from the plain words of Our Lord, (Matt 18:17; Mark 16:16; Luke 10:16; John 3:18) as also from the words of Saint Paul (2 Tit. 52:11) and of Saint Peter (2 Peter 2:1) To entertain opinions contrary to this Catholic faith is to be an impious wretch.”
Dear Michael Leon,
(side issue) we posted a response to you on Louie’s Blog:
“Did Cardinal Bergoglio tell Tony P. not to convert.”..
under your comment #12. –just so you don’t miss it.
If that were the case, would he not be more likely to say nothing in public about his “deep yearning to receive the Eucharist”, as he did? .
Matthew, I’m unsure of the rules. Can a Charismatic Pentecostal be a Mason?
Maybe we should just call this religious schizophrenia and be done with all the wondering about how a person calls themselves Catholic and then goes on to act and speak directly against what they say they believe?
In this October 2, 2007 presentation of the Aparecida Document, a joint statement of the bishops of Latin America Bergoglio stated on behalf of his colleagues at the time and signed on, regarding abortion and communion:
“we should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated.”
There, was a “serene theology” we could all have slept with.
We happen to trust John Vennari for accurate reporting, but if you want to get to the people closest to Tony Palmer and ask them about it, here is a link to their website:
one internet post says they live-streamed the funeral, so there may be someone there to contact who can answer your questions.
Because, to these post-conciliar Destroyers, Catholic bishops who fully-embrace every single Catholic doctrine and dogma with all their heart are not worthy even of being called “Catholic”, whilst some layman in a halloween costume who happens to be a friend of the pope is a “brother bishop”.
“Woe to those who call good evil and evil good.”
A couple general comments:
John Venarri is a man of serious prudence and absolutely not prone to rash allegations; I consider it highly likely his information accurate.
Are we so sure Palmer [ever] wanted to cross the Tiber when he referred to Catholicism as “the place where faith goes to die” just a few months before his death?
Pope Francis seems to be trying to pull down the old structure of the Church. A picture come to mind of the ruined Church St. Francis saw in his vision, which he was asked to repair. St. Francis did say Jesus would send a destroyer.
This is so reminiscent of the vision of Anne Catherine Emmerich:
I saw two popes … “a concession was demanded ..people were splitting into two camps.
“They were building a great, strange, Church. Everyone was to be admitted in order to be united and have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church. But God had other designs. ”
I saw this just as I saw a movement led by Ecclesiastics to which contributed angels, saints, and other Christians.
“I saw more martyrs, Whole Catholic communities were being oppressed, harassed, confined, and deprived of their freedom. I saw many churches closed down, wars and bloodshed. A wild and ignorant mob took violent action. But it did not last long… ” the small army of the faithful cut down whole rows of enemy soldiers. During the battle, the Blessed Virgin stood on a hill, wearing a suit armor. It was a terrible war. “I cried out to Jesus He said ,this meant that she would seem to be in complete decline. But she would rise again; …the church would conquer again because she does not rest on human counsels and intelligence.
When only the sanctuary and altar were still standing, I saw the wreckers enter the Church with the beast. There, they met a Woman. the Beast could not take but another step forward. .. the woman turned about and bowed down toward the Altar, her head touching the ground. Thereupon, I saw the beast taking to flight towards the sea again, and the enemies fleeing in greatest confusion. Then, I saw in the great distance great legion approaching. In the foreground I saw a man on a white horse. Prisoners were set free and joined them. All enemies were pursued.
Then, I saw that the Church was being promptly rebuilt,
and she was more magnificent than ever before. “
I just noticed that while Anthony passed on the 20th of July, his funeral service was only held 17 days later, on the 6th of August?
That seems unusual to me, especially for a violent death as a “banal” motorcycle accident at home, not even abroad.
Does anyone know why it might have taken that long?
Quite a few people here wondered the same thing. It seems logical to assume they had guests coming from all over the world, and had to work things out with the bishop and all the “permission slips”, and maybe with the cemetery–all firsts? We did a bit of research and found that a well-embalmed body can last a month if kept cool, and it’s not that unusual to go two weeks or more.
Protestants in England often take up to 2 weeks before the funeral and burial. They don’t have the same honouring of the body as Catholics do in our rites and customs, and don’t have the open coffin, generally. Moreover, a post mortem examination of the body with attendant administration would have taken place to determine precise cause of death.
Are any of the above co-ed?
Can one find the source text for these quotes, on the Internet?
If that’s the case then Pope Francis is creating grave scandal by not making this known to the world – by letting the world think he treats a layman in a costume as a bishop with Apostolic authority.
But, that’d be better than what it does seem to be.
Dear Roman Watcher,
Plenty of sites for St Francis’. Here’s one, (which cites the book: http://twoheartspress.com/uncategorized/st-francis-prophecy-of-the-false-pope/ We’re not recommending the site, (it appears to like Garabandal), but blind squirrels and acorns etc.
Regarding Blessed A.C.E., We have a couple of books on her, but here’s the website we copied these from: http://ourlady3.tripod.com/emmerick.htm .
Dear Roman Watcher,
one p.s. /caution on Anne Catherine. We’re not sure where (as it was a long time ago) but we did hear that some people thought there may have been some contamination of her bio and quotes, by it’s author, who had some prejudices they thought he managed to insert into them.–may have been anti Semitism, not sure. Just a heads-up.