The Bergoglioism Wars

It cannot have escaped any faithful Catholic's attention that these are stormy times in the life of the Church. Whereas previously Catholics scandalised and confused by prelates at a local level could look to Rome for guidance, this seems no longer to be the case, with Rome itself being the source of much of the confusion. There is confusion as to what are papal words (to which we have to give intellectual assent) and words from the person who happens to be the Pope.

Michael Voris on argues that the Pope is different, as the reason why they will not make public any criticism of Pope Francis. Predictably, Mundabor disagrees, which is not so strange as he seems to have been the target of a communication which went from explaining why they will not criticise the Pope. I respect's stance, and I certainly sympathise with their pain - which is all too visible on Michael Voris' face in the piece. However, though I accept that their conclusion is valid, I am not sure I accept the arguments they put forth - the major argument being that criticising the Pope might lead to some people leaving the Church and others not entering, because like it or not, the Pope is the face of the Church.

That argument does not take account of the fact that the number of people being led astray by not criticising the Pope might be greater (as they may be led into error), and even greater still might be the number of people who are  horrified at joining the Church if it means bending over backwards to accept statements which are obviously false, and where reason goes out the window if the Pope decides to be unreasonable, even though this goes against what the Catholic Church actually teaches. In fact, I have seen several people stating this as their prime objection to joining the Catholic Church. Whatever the case, the very fact that runs this kind of piece at all tells us just how precarious the situation is right now. I do agree with them entirely on one thing, however: The salvation of souls is of the utmost importance. As to which approach best advances that cause, I am not so sure.

What we can't claim however, is that has been silent in the confusion that has accompanied Pope Francis. Whenever a bishop or a priest, or a cardinal has said something scandalous - in line with Pope Francis - they have not been slow to point out what the Church teaches. This is unlike much of the orthodox Catholic media which seems to have given up promoting Catholicism because doing so might seem to be an attack on what the pope has said.

I do, however, resent Michael Voris' use of "left and right" to charaterise criticism of Pope Francis. Criticism of the pope has come mainly from orthodox Catholics, and the Bergoglioism wars seems rather to be between traditionalist Catholics (those who love the Church and all it has held from her infancy) and conservative Catholics (those who accept Vatican II as the re-birth of the Church, like some of its traditions but are always keen to defend innovations if they come from Rome). The heretics and heterodox (those who Michael Voris calls "left") - who do not care much for promoting the teachings if the Catholic Church anyway -in contrast, seem to be very happy with the state of confusion in Rome, with the only criticism being that the Pope is allowing himself to be held back by the more conservative elements in the Vatican. They seem to think he is one of theirs, that he would ring in many more changes if only he did not fear some in Rome. I don't agree with that view (entirely), but it is safe to say that nobody can charaterise Pope Francis as a tradition-loving orthodox Catholic.

In my opinion there is room for both approaches, so long as both keep their mind on the primary objective for all Catholics: The salvation of souls.

As it so happens, I am more in line with, and to the best of my ability, I aim to keep my blog from criticising Pope Francis directly. However, I'll not do contortions to defend everything he does. I made up my mind a long time ago to defend Pope Francis only if he is attacked for defending the Catholic Church with whose stewardship he has been entrusted. I take the words of Pope Francis as I take the words of any man - at face value - and I absolutely refuse to re-interpret someone's words to mean the opposite of what they meant when they were uttered. Such megalomaniacal self-delusion is to be shunned by all peope who profess the Catholic faith.

I cannot help, however, but recall Roberto de Mattei's warning to Radio Maria after they had cancelled his show, that we are deluded to think we shall not be involved in the whirlwind that is Bergoglioism, that "the time will come, however, when one has to take sides". Mario Palmaro certainly took sides, and the pain evident in his writings is there for all to see. No orthodox Catholic takes pleasure in criticising the Pope, but criticise we sometimes must do, lest we be complicit in his scandal.

Although I lean with on this issue (regarding public criticism), I very much appreciate Mundabor's blog - which is pretty much my favourite - and his reasoning. He does not take pleasure in criticising the Pope, but sees his duty as that of a poor blogger trying to defend the faith of his ancestors and the apostles. He seems to be a man who will not let courtesy get in the way of the truth, and I generally seem to think that is the way to go. If...


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