The Next Conclave: A Nightmare Scenario

July 17, 2021 (Steven O’Reilly) – Yesterday, Pope Francis issued Traditionis Custodes, his motu proprio which places significant restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) going forward. I will not comment in great detail on its harsh measures as others have already done so. However, for the ‘pope of mercy’ who speaks often of those on the ‘peripheries’ of the Church, it is clear neither his mercy nor the peripheries extend as far as those attached to the TLM.  

“Irreversible Change

 One of the oddities of Traditionis Custodes is not so much that Francis did what he did; but rather it is when he did it. That is, he did not wait until the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI before attempting to abrogate Summorum Pontificum. I suspect we would have seen something like Traditionis Custodes long ago had Benedict passed away soon after stepping down from the Chair of St. Peter. That Pope Francis could no longer wait for Benedict’s death to issue TC, along with the fact the motu proprio went into effect immediately, clearly suggests an impatience or urgency on the part of Francis.

Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez is said to be very close to Pope Francis, e.g., reportedly being the Pope’s ghostwriter for various documents, such as Amoris Laetitia. There is something he said a few years ago that seems to  explain the impatience and urgency noted above. Archbishop Fernandez has been quoted as saying the following (emphasis added):

“The slow pace is necessary to insure the effectiveness of the changes… You have to realize that he (Francis) is aiming at reform that is irreversible. If one day he should sense that he is running out of time and doesn’t have enough time to do what the spirit is asking him, you can be sure he will speed up.” (Crisis Magazine. “Clerical Machiavellians with Magical Beliefs“, William Kilpatrick, 11/06/2018)

Consequently, perhaps what we are seeing is that Pope Francis, now 84, ‘senses that he is running out of time‘ and therefore he is ‘speeding up.’ Francis wants to hurry to make changes or ‘reform’ which will be “irreversible.” This idea of Francis wanting to make “irreversible change” also shows up in words of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, former Superior General of the Jesuits, of whom Phil Lawler once wrote:

“Father Adolfo Nicolas, the former worldwide leader of the Jesuit order, reported that Pope Francis once told him that he hoped to remain as Pontiff until “the changes are irreversible (see ‘The new cardinals: Pope Francis bids for ‘irreversible change’, Phil Lawler, September 3, 2019).

As far as other attempts at “irreversible” change, only Francis and Heaven knows what is next on his chopping block.  Francis has already endeavored to improve the odds his changes are irreversible through his episcopal appointments, and even more importantly through the cardinals he has created over the course of his pontificate.  More on that in a bit.

Four or Five Years

In researching some of the quotes for the article, there was a curious thing that caught my attention. The Pope has said in various places he expected his pontificate to brief, perhaps “four or five years.” Consider, for example (emphasis added):

In an interview with the Mexican broadcaster Televisa published Friday, the Argentine Pope predicted a “brief” tenure for himself. “I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief: four or five years; I do not know, even two or three,” Pope Francis, 78, said. “Two have already passed. It is a somewhat vague sensation.” (Time Magazine)

Pope Bergoglio has opined a few times his pontificate would be brief, perhaps “four or five years.” This mention of “four or five years,” plus the fact his closest comrades say he wanted “irreversible change” is something very curious, as it echoes precisely a talking point intended to sell his candidacy just before the 2013 conclave.  For one, Andrea Tornielli, at the time a Vatican correspondent (“vaticanista”) and a friend of Cardinal Bergoglio (later to be given a position in the Vatican), published essentially a press release for Cardinal Bergoglio’s candidacy on March 2, 2013 (see here, here, here, and here). Tornielli quoted an unnamed cardinal as saying: “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” In another echo of this Bergoglian theme, ex-Cardinal McCarrick was visited by an “influential Italian gentleman” (see Villanova Speech) who lobbied him to campaign for Bergoglio, saying in part that Bergoglio could change the Church in “five years” (see here, here, here, and here). The same Bergoglian theme bubbled up among other sources at the time.  In sum, it was quoted by at least three separate reporters using two to possibly three separate sources — not to mention its use by McCarrick’s visitor [2]. 

We do know Bergoglio himself had said he believe he’d be pope for only four to five years, and that he spoke of wanting “irreversible change.” Consequently, it seems quite likely if not probable that Bergoglio was the original source of the statement (i.e., “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things”) – and that Tornielli (who had dinner with Bergoglio on February 27, 2013), and the “influential Italian gentleman”, and other cardinals had heard this papal campaign slogan in some form directly from Bergoglio himself prior to the 2013 conclave.

A Horrid Thought

We know that Pope Francis went into the 2013 conclave with an agenda: irreversible change. The question is from his standpoint, how does he insure it is irreversible? As of now, over 50% of the cardinals were appointed by Francis.  These new cardinals, for the most part, seem to have been picked because they are Bergoglians. Therefore, it appears quite likely, if not probable, that the next conclave will produce a Pope Francis II.  As horrid a thought as this is — barring Divine intervention; another horrid thought came to me: what if these “odds” aren’t good enough for Francis? 

Consider, Pope Francis knows his own election, dependent on cardinals created by Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, was no sure thing.  Indeed, his own election required the aid of the St. Gallen mafia, his own campaigning, the possible help of an Italian vaticanista, the help of the “influential Italian gentleman“, the help of McCarrick (all discussed in The Conclave Chronicles), and a questionably-timed police raid the morning of the conclave that knee-capped the chances of his chief rival for the papacy (see The Forgotten ‘October Surprise’ of the 2013 Conclave; The Forgotten ‘October Surprise’ (Part II): Cui Bono?). If such happy “coincidences” were necessary for his own election; will Francis leave it to chance that his hoped for successor — who he hopes will secure his “irreversible” legacy — will be as ‘fortunate’ in the next conclave?  Or, could Francis do more to improve the odds?

As horrid as it is to imagine it, there is something more Francis could do to virtually guarantee a successor along the lines he wants — at least as far as human agency goes. Theoretically, Pope Francis could alter the laws governing papal conclaves, or scrap them all together. He could, theoretically, enact new papal legislation for conclaves that would restrict the number of qualified Cardinal electors to a small group of Cardinals.

There is something of a precedent for this going back to the time of Pope Nicholas II (see Here) when cardinal-bishops[1] had a leading role in selecting the candidate for the papacy (see also the election of Pope Innocent II and the election controversy involving anti-pope Anacletus). So, theoretically, in hopes of making his reforms “irreversible,” Francis could restrict eligible Cardinal-electors to a trusted set of Cardinals, for example, perhaps those who sit on his Counsel of Cardinal Advisors, at one time totaling eight cardinals but now seven.  Changing conclave rules to protect “reform” is not new.  Pope Paul VI changed the rules so that Cardinals over the age of 80 would be ineligible to vote in conclaves — thus removing a segment of the College of Cardinals potentially in opposition to the reforms of Vatican II.

Perhaps such a scenario is no more than a scary hypothetical.  No more than an improbable nightmare scenario. Then again, this is the Pope who gave us Amoris Laetitia, Pachamama, the Abu Dhabi statement, the Scalfari interviews, and a host of other outrages, most recently Traditionis Custodes. This is a Pope who want “irreversible” change.

Buckle your seatbelts. It will be a wild ride to the end of this pontificate as Francis “speeds up.”  Pray for the Church, and let us pray for Pope Francis that he remembers the Lord’s words to Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at  or (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on Parler or Gab: @StevenOReilly).


  1.  The College of Cardinals is comprised of three ranks of cardinals: Cardinal Bishops, Cardinal Priest, and Cardinal Deacon.
  2. The origin of the phrase — “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things …” — is a curious one. As I discuss in more detail in my original article, “The influential Italian Gentleman,”  Tornielli cites an anonymous cardinal, as indicated above. Gerald O’Connell, in his book, The Election of Pope Francis discusses the famous quote. In it, one of O’Connell vaticanisti colleagues, Mathilde Burgos, quotes Cardinal Errazuriz, using the same line: “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things!” While it is possible Errazuriz used the line with both Burgos and Tornielli, writer Paul Vallely quotes Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor use of the line (see here): “”Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things,” Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, and an old friend of Francis, told me.”  This is curious indeed.  We have Cardinal Errazuriz using the line with a Chilean reporter, and we have either Cardinal Errazuriz or Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor using the same line with Tornielli.  Or was it yet another cardinal that used it with Tornielli? With such an circuitous pedigree, the “four years” line appears to be a pre-packaged, electioneering talking point manufactured to defuse concerns cardinals might have about Bergoglio’s age–and indeed there had been such concerns. We know the line was used with at least three different journalists, and was possibly used by two or even three different cardinals, and by the “influential Italian gentleman.” Yet, given this commonality, one may rightly wonder whether the line was even original to any of them!  There is the real and amusing prospect that Cardinal Bergoglio himself was the ultimate and original source of the pithy phrase.

14 thoughts on “The Next Conclave: A Nightmare Scenario

  1. Dear Mr. O’Reilly. Bergoglio was acting Ultra Vires in abrogating a sacred Rite and his action also calls into question the fullness of truth about The Communion of Saints.

    If uncountable numbers of saints have been sanctified via this sacred Rite how could this Pope take the decision to abrogate it because it is, putatively, divisive and a detriment to unity?

    I will note a much scarier scenario (you are welcome).

    Bergoglio could simply change the entire process of electing his successor and choose him and in doing so he can cite what happened in the early church and claim his change is merely recreating what the early church did.


      1. Mark,

        Just read it now. Thanks for the link. You’ll note, Signor Cionci links at the end of his article to his reply to my initial response to his “Plan B” theory. My article may be found here:

        SIgnor Cionci’s arguments do nothing to make the BiP theory credible. I’ve responded to a whole host of BiP arguments here:

        The notion that Benedict essentially ‘faked’ his resignation is absurd. Signor Cionci is not the first to suggest it…though his article has gotten some play on Tosatti’s site, which is unfortunate as it lends an air of credibility to something which is utterly ridiculous.

        Consider, it is outrageous to imagine a true pope could do such a thing, leaving the flock unguarded, and unprotected for eight years thus far. The idea is absurd on its face. There is no practical, tactical, theological, or moral justification for what would be a heinous act of irresponsibility.

        Signor Cionci’s reply to my article does nothing to change this calculation. I debated whether to even reply at all, as the theory is so ridiculous. But…I’ll probably get around to responding to it, probably this week.



  2. O, and if Bergoglio were to select his successor and vacate the necessity of The Cardinalate voting in a Conclave, he could say it was done on behalf of the poor.

    Because it costs X amount of dollars to fly the Cardinals to Rome and to wine and dine them during the Conclave, Bergoglio could say he has eliminated that now unnecessary expenditure and he could promise to use that money to fund items for his Field Hospital.


  3. Well, darn it. I’ve been beaten to it.

    I’ve been predicting for years that Bergoglio will change the rules and will select his successor, then promptly retire. I also suspect that it will occur as soon as B16 dies or sooner if Bergoglio thinks he himself will die.


    1. John,

      Thanks for the comments.

      I see no real reason Francis would not do it—heaven knows he doesn’t feel constrained by tradition, custom, or decency.

      If he “can” do it…and it makes his “reforms” more “irreversible”…then you can be sure it’s on the table for discussion at Santa Marta; or on a whiteboard in the Pope’s apartment.

      Thanks again.



  4. A quote from our ‘trusted’ friends at ‘wherepeteris’: “Pope Benedict XVI’s decision failed spectacularly in doing what it set out to do: foster unity. Now Pope Francis intends to work towards unity in the Church, with one, unified Rite in the Latin Church.”

    So according to Mike Lewis and co. bending over backwards defending the papacy at any expense (Benedict v. Francis) +Benedict failed and Francis is the good guy, fostering ‘unity’ with a unified Latin church Rite (sic) something that is 60 years old is considered unifying? Feels to me Francis is forcing schism.


    1. Sam, thanks for the feedback. Of course as you clearly know, Francis is a living, saintly Oracle per WPI. They will do as many back flips as they deem necessary to defend whatever action of his. They saw no problem with Pachamama…so no surprise to see the WPI reaction you note.

      As to schism…Francis doesn’t seem to care in this case; indeed his actions seem calculated to cause it. He once said he may very well go down in history as one who split the Church. Seems to be his goal.




  5. When the romanticist Pope Paul VI figuratively decapitated the Cardinals by making them retire at, what was it, 75 years old ? it was only a matter of time before a Pope began to be viewed as a Catholic CEO who, when he began to get tuckered-out, would retire.

    If Bergoglio retires before Father Ratzinger shuffles off this mortal coil, will Bergoglio join him in the Old Popes Home in Rome of will he return to the slums?

    Either way, the idea of an Old Popes Home in Rome makes complete sense because The 60s Synod opened itself up to the world and that is the way the world treats its corporate leaders.


    1. VC, thanks for the comment.

      What Paul did was awful — a transparent attempt to move the ‘old guard’ out, so to speak. My fear, expressed in the article, is that Francis may try his own variation on this in order to ensure his “reforms” stick.

      But, the above said, should we ever get a “good” pope again — or when we do; I think he will need to purge the College of Cardinals of the modernists for starters.

      Should Bergoglio resign, I hope a “Bergoglio is (still) Pope” cottage industry does not spring up around that; perhaps with “Where Peter Is” versions of some of the leading luminaries of the “Benedict is (still) Pope” (BiP) movement.



  6. Dear Mr. O’Reilly Included is a copy and paste that is a bit lengthy but helps set the stage for the catholic audience shocked by these events:


    …Even before this, however, another meaningful occurrence which might
    be very useful for the research I have suggested, should be mentioned. I quote
    from the Spanish What’s Up (Que Pasa?) magazine, Vol. VII, No. 363, of
    December 12, 1970:

    The famous and “regretfully” octogenarian Cardinal Ottaviani does not
    conceal his bitterness.

    In its issue of Thursday, November 26, in three columns on the first and
    second pages, The Messenger (It Messagero) from Rome, published a sensational
    interview with His Eminence Alfred Cardinal Ottaviani. The report is
    accompanied by a large photograph of this venerable prince of the Church. . . .

    According to the Pope’s November 24 Motu Proprio, beginning next
    January no eighty -year-old cardinal will be able to participate in the election of
    the Pontiff. Presently, these persons amount to twenty-five. Among them is
    saintly Cardinal Ottaviani, who celebrated his eightieth birthday on October 29,

    Question: What does His Eminence think about this decision of Paul

    Answer: More important than my personal opinion, which could be
    deemed biased because of my age, I should like to convey the feelings of
    canons, prelates, and even renowned hierarchs who are unaware of the
    current problems of the Church. Undoubtedly they all are impressd by this
    unusual and expeditious way of enacting this grave disruption in the high
    ecclesiastical hierarchy. This radical change was implemented without
    previous consultation with experts and specialists, at least to observe the
    formalities to a certain extent.

    Question: Why did Your Eminence say “unusual?” Perhaps because
    no one expected such a big upsetting decision?

    Answer: It is unusual that, through a Motu Proprio, without previous
    advice, the pages of the constitution Vacante Sede Apostolica and those of
    the Code of Canonical Law, which regulated the position of the cardinals,
    both as to the cooperation they owe the Pontiff for the rule of the world
    Church, and as to their most important ministry as top electors of the Head
    of the Universal Church, are suppressed. This Motu Proprio then, is an act
    of abolition of a multicentennial tradition. It rejects the practice followed
    by all ecumenical councils. Regarding the age limit [the Most Eminent
    Cardinal spoke calmly and composedly, without any sign of uneasiness],
    should old age be respected, we would be able to sow the seed whose fruits
    you yourselves would harvest. But here respect was laid aside. … It is
    precisely the motivation of age which the Motu Proprio invokes to justify
    such a grave regulation. In fact, along the centuries, a principle was always
    deemed immutable, namely, that old people are a firm safeguard of the
    Church and its best advisors, for they are rich in experience, wisdom, and
    doctrine. If, in a given case, these gifts were not present, it sufficed to
    examine the circumstances concerning this particular person to determine
    whether disease or mental disturbance made him inept, this check
    belonging to skillful experts. In Holy Writ,” [the Most Eminent Cardinal
    was astonishingly bright], “the value of age and the aged are often
    mentioned. This shows how constructive are the cooperation and
    guarantee of advanced age in the administration of holy things and in right
    and efficient pastoral administration. In addition, let us not forget the
    glory of Pontiffs, who, in their old age, enlightened the Church with their
    wisdom and sanctity. Finally, when we cardinals are in our eighties, to our
    credit is a curriculum vitae full of merits, experience, and doctrines at the
    service of the Church. The Church cannot afford to lose these advantages
    by accepting only the cooperation of younger and less-experienced people.

    Question : Eminence, could not this discrimination of octogenarian
    cardinals by chance affect the Pontiff himself someday?

    Answer: Certainly, for the same criterion must be analogically
    applied to the case of the sovereign Pontiff, be he an octogenarian or be his
    acts questioned due to age.

    Question : Finally, Eminence: What was your impression about this
    decision of the Pope?

    Answer: You will see. I felt flattered each time Paul VI, verbally or
    in writing, called me u il mio maestro ” (“my master”), but now this act of
    laying me aside completely is openly contradictory with his autographed
    letter of October 29. In that, he congratulated me for my eightieth
    birthday, using affectionate phrases and flattering felicitations for my long,
    faithful, everyday services to the Church.


    According to the November 27, 1970 issue of La Croix , 86-year-old
    Cardinal Tisserant, who enjoys full mental clarity and excellent physical health,
    answered questions on Italian Television (First Network). I quote La Croix:

    Rarely had an interview attained such importance and contained such
    interesting information. In just three minutes, the audience was informed about
    the Pope’s critical health condition (“he had to be held up on the way out of his
    Wednesday audience”), about the Cardinal’s excellent state of health, about
    Christ having founded His Church under the form of a monarchic state , and
    about the collegiality of the bishopric about which we have heard so much (“The
    more it is mentioned, the less it is exercised”).

    Apropos of Paul Vi’s decision to keep the election of the Pope in the hands
    of less-than-80-year-old cardinals, Cardinal Tisserant said he did not know the
    grounds thereof (though the Pontifical document stated them clearly), and that,
    undoubtedly, the Pope wanted to please young people , since “now, everybody
    wants old people to disappear

    Wednesday afternoon. Professor Alessandrini categorically denied the
    Cardinal’s words regarding the Pope’s health condition.


    When Fr. Raymond Dulac was asked his opinion of Paul Vi’s decision to
    take away the right of voting in papal elections from cardinals 80 years and
    older, he made these statements:

    This decision taking away the right of voting in the papal election from a
    whole category of cardinals, is an enormous decision. Until now, the most
    important part of their function was this right. It commands and effects their
    beheading in the most accurate sense of this word; they keep their hats, but their
    heads are chopped off. This is what the ancient Romans called diminutio capitis,
    a lessening or amputation of their civil rights and, of course, of their personality.

    Let us not forget that the statute creating the cardinals’ right to elect the
    Pope dates back to the year 1059; that during the arduous course of this
    thousand-year period of history this rule was never questioned; that the
    “impediment” of advanced age has never prevented the creation of a cardinal or
    the continuing of a Pope once he became 80 years old, that it is contrary to the
    Catholic spirit and the Roman Tradition to suspend a law supported by such a
    time-honored custom without most grave reasons; and that this type of change,
    affected by the Pope in 1970 in such a sudden, personal, and suspicious way, will
    increase most people’s feelings of insecurity, instability, and the alienation which
    has contributed to de-sacralizing the Church and loosening its customs.

    Let us forget the inhuman, vain, vile aspects of this decision concerning
    the age of men whose sacerdotal ordination had separated them from mortal
    mankind as far as powers and dignities are concerned.

    After this blow and all the others of the past five years designed to
    naturalize and laicize the clergy, how could one have the heart to keep on telling
    the ordained young priests: ”7u es sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem
    Melchisedech ?” Priest for all eternity? Of what order? Not of the carnal Levitical
    tribe, but of the order of that astonishing, unique, ageless personage,
    Melchisedech, whose mystery is revealed in the Epistle to the Hebrews, verse 3
    of Chapter 7: “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having
    neither beginning of days nor end of life, but likened unto the Son of God,
    continueth a priest forever.”

    This all being over, today’s priest is just like an official who, in due course,
    is “retired,” with a life pension, like a Swiss guard.

    Since Paul VI, without much of a preamble, has nullified a millenary
    legislation, it is important to know whether his Motu Proprio was not in fact, a
    Motu alieno.

    This most unusual act is an act of personal might on the part of a Pontiff
    who, so far as others are concerned, keeps on covering himself with the curtain of
    collegiality. We are sure this act has not been free. Should it be proven that it was
    free, there will be no need to nullify this act; as a matter of right, it will be null
    and void

    “For behold … the Lord of hosts shall take away from Jerusalem, and
    from Juda . . . the strong man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet,
    and the cunning . . . and the ancient. The captain over fifty, and the
    honourable . , . and the counsellor . . . And I will give children to be their princes,
    and , . . the child shall make a tumult against the ancient ; and the base against the
    honourable (Is. 3:1-5). He who is able to understand let him understand [italics

    This is Paul VI, living contradiction. On the one hand, he affirms; on the
    other, he denies. Many times, without even preserving appearances, he destroys
    with facts what he has built with words. Let the reader remember what the
    Pontiff wrote in his brief to Cardinal Lercaro when the Cardinal was almost
    eighty years old, wishing him a long life in the service of the Church. Then let
    him read the Motu Proprio, whereby he deprives octogenarian cardinals of their
    legitimate rights on grounds of age, not because of incapacity. Paul’s dialectics
    are incomprehensible and plainly destructive.

    Applying these dialectics, regulating our criteria by the principles of this
    Motu Proprio , we must conclude that the octogenarian Pontiff, John XXIII,
    was an inept pope, and his council was no real council, because, according to
    Pope Montini, one’s reason quits functioning when one is eighty years old, and
    one is no longer able to receive the light of the Holy Ghost.


    In order to decipher the enigma of the current Pontiff, I believe it to be
    extremely important to quote the courageous statements of Cardinal Siri,
    Archbishop of Genoa. He did not speak directly about Paul VI, but I believe
    that what he said can be applied to Pope Montini:

    1. Opinions Replace Truth .

    In this world the first and fundamental doctrine of power consists of an
    affirmation that there is no truth. Saint Augustine said that the difference
    between the city of this world and the city of God consists of the former having a
    thousand opinions, while the latter has only one truth. The basic difference
    between both cities, therefore, is not based on the content, but on the very
    existence of truth. It suffices to remember the dramatic dialogue between Jesus
    and Pilate.

    What is most grave is that there is a technique to replace truth by opinions.
    This technique exists and is very useful. It suffices to look at present religious,
    literary, and philosophical productions. Opinions can be so cautiously expressed
    that it is impossible to get to know what the author’s thesis is, or even more
    paradoxical, doctrines that are mutually contradictory are juxtaposed as if they
    were consistent.

    Let us look at the words, “God is dead.’ 1 If the slogan were denial ,
    everybody would be able to understand. However, here we have a subtly
    sophisticated idea through which “theologians” want to convey the deceitful
    impression they are preserving the most assayed and chemically pure idea of
    God . . . through its “identification” with the most profound reality of man.

    Even the ambiguous terms “conservative” and “progressive” conceal the
    relativistic technique, which leads every doctrinal issue in the direction of right
    wing and left wing. Thus everything becomes relative; everything becomes a
    matter of opinions and an instrument of power. Relativity of truth and doctrine is
    the actual goal of these arbitrary developments of the Church’s present problems.

    Is not this measure, proclaimed even by bishops and cardinals among us,
    absurd and most unjust, as if it were an ideal to place us halfway between truth and

    2. Is Gnosis Reappearing?

    [To name the current errors in the Church, one speaks about a new
    Modernism and also the Protestantization of the Church, but the Archbishop of
    Genoa prefers to use the term Gnosis.]

    Let it be remembered that Gnosis, with its appeal to science and higher
    speculation, with its eagerness to understand mystery and to naturalize the Faith,
    was, during the second century, perhaps the worst danger in all the history of the
    Church. I believe that the complex of errors circulating today can be called
    Gnosis , systematically speaking. But … do many people know what they are
    talking about? This is terrible, but they do not!

    One does not act on rational grounds, but on one’s excessive desire to
    adapt oneself to the world. Worldly power, however, has its own philosophy, and
    fashionable theologians translate fashionable opinions into theological language,
    not because they accept a doctrine as such, but because they accept these
    doctrines that flatter the powers of this world.

    The present times are grave, not because it is no longer a question of
    opposition or contrast between truth and error, but between truth and non-truth,
    between the order of truth and the dictatorship of public opinion. People believe
    they are free because this appears in juridical texts; as a matter of fact, this
    deceiving belief is evidence of their servitude.

    Is the Church also under the despotism of public opinion? Perhaps not the
    Church, but certainly many people within the Church are. The Church could not
    be deprived of its freedom without the Holy Spirit’s provoking powerful
    reactions. . . .

    The altercation around the Council was not intended by John XXIII, who
    suffered profoundly as a result of it; of this I am a personal witness. The real
    Christian greatness of John XXIII consisted of the serene Christian manner by
    which he humbly accepted his cross up until his death, fully realizing the
    tremendous gravity of the problems.

    3. What is Most Urgent?

    The most urgent work is to restore the distinction between truth and error
    in the Church. We have reached a point where any exercise of ecclesiastical
    authority is considered an abuse of freedom, as if authority were a denial of
    freedom! A thousand illegitimate powers severely and systematically curtail the
    conscience and liberty of people at a superficial level, while at the deepest level
    they detach them from the truth contained in the sources of revelation and
    Magisterium, I hope that just and authorized distinctions will be forthcoming.
    Pastoral authority is no art of compromise and concession, but the art of saving
    souls through the truth.

    This truth is many times obscured by abusive liturgical deformations.
    Today dangerous losses are discovered in the essential. Not only is the rite
    sacred, but also the presence in the rite of the meaningful reality. Once the rite is
    mythologized the meaning of its contents is lost. No wonder that the Eucharist
    becomes for some a mere feast of human unity where God is just a spectator. This
    is no longer heresy, but apostasy.

    Right. The present situation in the Church is one of the most grave in its
    history, for this time the challenge does not come from outer persecution, but
    from inner perversion. This is very grave. But the gates of Hell will not prevail.


  7. A Copy and Paste from Amateur Brain Surgeon about Benedict not being Pope

    Benedict XVI is not Pope. Francis is the Pope

    Can. 16 §1. The legislator authentically interprets laws as does the one to whom the same legislator has entrusted the power of authentically interpreting.

    In The Catholic Church, the Pope is the Supreme Legislator, thus, it is canonically ineluctable that Benedict XVI resigned in a proper canonical way because he resigned as he did knowing that resigning that way was in compliance with Canon 322.2 as he construed it.

    In effect, had he desired to do so, Benedict XVI could have resigned by semaphore standing on an aircraft carrier fiddy five miles off the coast of Italy and that would have been proper because, as SUPREME LEGISLATOR, it is the Pope, not Ms. Ann Barnhardt, who decides what actions are in sync/compliance with Canon Law.

    In deciding whether or not he was in synch/compliance with Canon Law when he resigned, who was the Supreme Legislator who had authority to take that decision?

    What it Pope Benedict XVI?

    Was it you, Disciples of Ann (D.O.A.) ?

    Was it you, Lieutenant Weinberg?


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