Top 5 Roma Locuta Posts of 2018

December 30, 2018 (Steven O’Reilly) – So…2018 is almost a wrap. The Roma Locuta Est site’s second year (actually, its first full year of existence) is coming to close and it is about to start its third in 2019. Thanks to all our readers.  May you have a blessed and Happy New Year in 2019!

I saw OnePeterFive is closing out the year with its top ten list of 1P5 posts in 2018 (see 1P5’s Top Ten Posts of 2018). That seemed to me to be a good idea to cap off the end of another ‘blog year.’ So, in the spirit of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, and if 1P5 does not mind that I shamelessly borrow the idea; I here post Roma Locuta Est’s top 5 posts of  2018.

The rankings below were determined by total views.

#5.  The Errors of Mr. Walford’s ‘Pope Francis, The Family and Divorce’

Readers may be familiar with the name of Stephen Walford, who is pianist turned lay apologist for Pope Francis. Roma Locuta Est‘s rebuttals of his various articles are compiled in the Summa Contra Stephen Walford.  Mr. Walford recently penned a book entitled Pope Francis, The Family and Divorce which was published in August. This book is a defense of Mr. Walford’s interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. I say Mr. Walford’s interpretation, but to be fair…given the pope’s seeming support of this book, the number of cardinals who assisted the author in one way or another on the project, and the fact a separate essay based on the book was published recently in the L’Osservatore Romano (see What You Gotta Believe…if you believe Mr. Walford); it is clear enough Mr. Walford’s interpretation is endorsed by Pope Francis. This #5 posting is the first of a three part series which rebuts the central arguments of Mr. Walford’s book (Parts 2 and 3 of my rebuttal are Part II: The Development of Mr. Walford’s Errors and Part III: Mr. Walford and the Magisterium).


#4.  The Historicity of Miracles: The case of Julian the Apostate and a lesson for our time

This article considers the case of the Roman emperor known as Julian the Apostate, who in his time was thought by some to be a candidate for the Anti-Christ. When Julian became emperor, he came upon the idea to rebuild the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.  Julian appeared to have had several motives for this great project. Above all these reasons, he intended to discredit the Christian religion by this undertaking.  Julian sought to disprove Christianity once and for all time in one bold move. Knowing of the Lord’s prophecy regarding the temple in Jerusalem of there “not one stone being left upon the other” (cf Matthew 24:2Mark 13:2Luke 21:6),  Julian thought he could disprove the Lord’s words and thus the Christian faith by rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem which had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.  In studying this case, this post suggests there is message of hope and a reminder in dark times such as ours that God is the Lord of history.  He will not forget his promises and his words will not be falsified.


#3.  Hey, ‘Red Hat’ Investigators: How about starting with this former Red Hat…Cardinal Bergoglio?

This article discusses the news that a group of former law enforcement and intelligence officers will create reports on all cardinals (see ‘Red Hat Report’: Should Laypeople Investigate Cardinals?”). According to the National Register article by Judy Roberts, this ‘Red Hat’ group has the following goal:

“Using the services of academic researchers, lawyers, editors and investigators who are former FBI and CIA agents, the group hopes to create dossiers on cardinals by examining their priorities and records of handling sexual-abuse incidents and financial and legal matters.”

The posts makes a couple suggestions for this group such as other topics they might look into, i.e., Cardinal Bergoglio and the Conclave of 2013.


#2.  Curiouser and Curiouser: Who Dispensed Jorge Bergoglio SJ from his vows?

This blog post is an update and expansion of an article first written in August of 2017, and then updated a couple times in 2018. The idea for the article originated within Jesuit circles in the year following the election of Jorge Bergoglio S.J. The issue, in a nutshell, was this: Jesuits profess a number of vows. A couple of these vows certainly appear to be obstacles or at least serve as a speed bumps for a Jesuit who might become a pope – unless the obligations of these vows were dispensed by the proper religious authority.

I was intrigued by the thought there were doubts whether Jorge Bergoglio S.J. had been properly dispensed from his vows. I was also puzzled by the Jesuit writers I’ve come across – and who idolize Francis, but who are at the same time rather clumsy and weak in their attempts to explain the issue of the vow away. It seemed to me there might be an exposed raw nerve here. The relevant Jesuit vow is given here (emphasis added):

“I also promise that I will never strive for or ambitioany prelacy or dignity outside the Society; and I will to the best of my ability never consent to my election unless I am forced to do so by obedience to him who can order me under penalty of sin.” (see here)

If – hypothetically – Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., was still subject to his vows going into the conclave of 2013, he should not have accepted his election–and indeed, it seems, he could not accept it. While his election might have been valid in form and procedure, would his acceptance of the papacy have been null and void because he was not free – per his vows to God – to give it [e.g., “the Lord thy God will require it” (see Deuteronomy 23:21)]? Therefore, looking at the election of Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., to the papacy in the 2013 conclave and wondering who forced him to accept (i.e., to ‘consent to his election‘) the papacy by obedience, the post asks a simple question: who dispensed Jorge Bergoglio SJ from his vows?


#1.  Of McCarrick and Past and Future Conclaves

This post briefly reviews some of the arguments in circulation regarding the 2013 Conclave which would suggest Francis is not a valid pope. It also takes a look at the disgraced former Cardinal McCarrick’s role in the pre-conclave deliberations in 2013. The post concludes with some thoughts on the next conclave.


Again, thanks to all those have read or continue to read this blog. Thank you for your support.  I hope you all have a blessed and Happy New Year!

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives near Atlanta with his wife Margaret. He has written apologetic articles and is working on a historical-adventure trilogy, set during the time of the Arian crisis. He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA).





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