One of the big Catholic news items making its rounds on social media today concerns comments that allegedly were made by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Cardinal Christophe Pierre, to Bishop Joseph Strickland at a USCCB meeting several years.
During a video podcast published on Saturday, November 11, the same date on which news of Bishop Strickland’s removal was made public, journalist Terry Barber revealed the following:
I was at the Bishops’ conference in Baltimore three years ago and Bishop Strickland communicated to me that Cardinal Christophe Pierre confronted Bishop Strickland and said, “Look, the Holy Father is watching you. You need to stop talking about the deposit of faith. There is no deposit of faith.”
For the record, I do not doubt the veracity of Barber’s report. Before commenting further, however, a correction should be made.
The USCCB did not meet in Baltimore three years ago (November 2020), in fact, the bishops cancelled both their Spiring and Fall assemblies due to concerns over COVID-19. This was perhaps a wise decision given the preponderance of high-risk, bloated, overweight windbags in their ranks. (If the first image that just came to your mind was that of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, #MeToo)
I suspect that Barber meant to refer to the 2021 USCCB Fall Assembly, but the truth is that the specific date matters little. The salient point is that these comments were made several years ago, which raises some curious questions:
Why are we just now hearing about it? Did Strickland tell Barber this story in confidence, asking him not to reveal it publicly? If so, did he give Barber the go ahead to report it on Saturday? Did Barber go rogue?
One suspects that Strickland will be asked for confirmation by someone in Catholic media. If so, hopefully he will be asked why he kept the details of the incident to himself, including during his interview with John-Henry Westen after his removal.
As mentioned in the previous post, Westen asked Strickland why he thought he was removed. This seems like it would have been an opportune time to say, I have been vocal in my public commentary about my commitment to the deposit of faith, but…
In any case, LifeSite News published an article calling attention to Barber’s revelation. So too did Gloria TV. Both outlets even quoted the Conciliar Catechism of the Catholic Church – as if such was necessary – to refute Pierre’s assertion that there is no deposit of faith. I found that amusing.
The Council itself actually mentions the deposit of faith several times, and it does so in a way that is traditionally defensible. That said, don’t be fooled.
This same Council shamelessly attacks said deposit on several fronts, e.g., in its treatment of religious liberty, the Jews, the heretical and schismatic communities, to name a few. So, clearly, this phrase, “deposit of faith,” as invoked by the revolutionaries at Vatican II and beyond, does not mean and does not demand what the Church had always taught leading up to that time.
This is modernism in action, which, according to Pope St. Pius X, is known for “perverting the meaning and force of things and words.”
Every post-conciliar claimant to the Chair of St. Peter has also mentioned the deposit of faith, including Francis.
For example, in his Introductory Remarks to the 2015 Synod on the Family, which ultimately led to Amoris Laetitia, a blasphemous text that in numerous ways cannot be reconciled with the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine, he said:
I should mention that the Synod is neither a convention, nor a “parlour”, a parliament nor senate, where people make deals and reach a consensus. The Synod is rather an ecclesial expression, i.e., the Church that journeys together to understand reality with the eyes of faith and with the heart of God; it is the Church that questions herself with regard to her fidelity to the deposit of faith, which does not represent for the Church a museum to view, nor just something to safeguard, but is a living spring from which the Church drinks, to satisfy the thirst of, and illuminate the deposit of life.
One must appreciate Jorge’s candor: The deposit of faith is not something to safeguard!
So, Yes, Virginia, there is a sacred deposit of faith in the conciliar church.
Far from being “Sacred Scripture and divine Tradition, entrusted to the Teaching Authority of the Church by Christ Our Lord to be preserved, guarded and interpreted” (cf Pius XII, Humani Generis 11), however, it is whatever the “God of Surprises” happens to propose at any given time.