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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason


How did it Come to This?

The Papacy of Francis and the Patient that Lived

The Papacy of Francis

and the Patient that Lived


Pope Francis may be the most famous pope both for what he says and does not say. Speech or silence, both are an indictment against him — and well they should be.

When he speaks, he sows confusion. When he keeps silent, he sows confusion.

It may be the case that to speak clearly, unambiguously, and to the point, eludes Francis altogether. But it certainly is the case that to do so is not useful to him.

As we had stated in another essay,1 the value of nuance lies in its ability to provide one with a claim to “plausible deniability,” which is to say that it enables one to state something in such a way that the statement can be as easily retracted as it had been stated — while requiring neither commitment nor responsibility from the one employing it. No indisputable commitment is made and no real or unequivocal responsibility is taken or assumed. It is speech (or text) as duplicity, as eager to run into the arms of an adoring public as it is to flee an angry mob.

One can state something in the public square and allow it to gain traction in public consciousness — but not so unambiguously as to deny having said it ... at least as it had been construed or understood. It is a potent poison, equally effective by the hand or on the tongue. And it is used as such. We see this routinely in courts of law. The prosecutor will state something that he well knows he is not to permitted to say or suggest, and allow himself to be censured by the judge — but only after the horse has left the barn. He has tainted the jury. He has brought to their awareness what they should not have heard … but more importantly, should not have and would not have considered as pertinent to the trial — but once heard, as the prosecutor knew in advance — the jury now cannot “unhear.” However much the judge may admonish the jury “to disregard” what the prosecutor had said — well, you know the rest.

Unfortunately, there is no one to admonish Catholics (and the world at large) “to disregard” what Francis said. Do you really believe that he does not understand this? This is his way of furtively communicating to the world what is not aligned with genuine Catholic teaching. It is, in a word, nuanced — just enough to communicate the clear intent, but not sufficient to convict him of “formal” heresy.

No Stepping Back

What is more, Francis goes one step further: he does not bother to retract what he had said — however scandalous and malignant to the faithful — or even to clarify it; he deliberately leaves it in the “fog of (mis)understanding,” allowing it to be favorably interpreted by those to whom it was “really” addressed, and to whom it is a wink from the pope that the sin most pleasing to them is okay with him — “he’s on their side.” While Francis's PR team at the Vatican is ever ready to “explain” what Francis really meant, Francis himself, we must point out, never steps back from the  scandal he provokes. He very well understood what he said ... and so do we.

Could such a public figure be this brazenly disingenuous? This patently dishonest? Especially a pope, a figure that, at least in the in the historic imagination (and often in fact) has been associated with what is holy, good, and true? He is, after all, supposed to be as Catholic and holy “as the pope” … because he is the pope.

How have things come to this? How has the papacy itself become so corrupt, so duplicitous, so mendacious, so … venal?

Is it a recent and sudden affliction? Or was it long in coming? Is it from a burst abscess that first spilled out its purulence on the Church 10 years ago with the brazenly open machinations by the collusion of prelates in the self-acclaimed “Sankt Gallen Mafia” to bring Jorge Bergoglio to the papacy? We still have not come to the responsible realization after so many, many, years of being told that the Church, following Vatican II, was healthier and holier than it had ever been — when our own perception was quite different. We told ourselves that it was only us, isolated individuals, who had witnessed the abuses, the sacrilege, and the growing secularization of the Church — surely, we were told in one way or another, the problem was personal, with us, and not our perceptions.

A Painful Realization

It is a deeply painful realization that we had been deceived, routinely lied to by the reigning Church hierarchy for 70 years: all the popes, cardinals, bishops, priests and Religious, beginning with Angelo Roncalli (John XXIII) and every pope following him — we were told with ever greater emphasis that “all is well” with the Church (apart from certain malcontents among whom we were numbered). We simply had not accepted, or refused to accept, “the winds of inevitable change that the Holy Spirit was breathing in the Church.” We were inflexible, unable to accommodate ourselves to the clear “sign of the times”; we were stubborn, “rigid”, as Bergoglio is fond of calling us, and we were resisting the Holy Spirit Who was sending us a “New Advent” and Who, we were scolded, was crying out in so many charismatic “Tongues” that we were out of step and out of line.

Francis, Bergoglio, Jorge, whatever you choose to call him, is simply the apex liar in a line of those who lied to us stretching back 70 years, telling all who are not promoting his heretical “ecumenical” agenda and his unique path of “Accompaniment” in sin, that they are the problem, not him. How could he be? He is Francis the “proudly humble” — until you cross his path or call out his radical agenda for what it is: an ecumenism that has manifested itself as nothing less than polytheism. All “gods” are the true god. Christ is an embarrassment; a stumbling block to ecumenism — and an impediment to pansexual freedom.

A Premature Burial. How it came to this

It really had come to this some 70 years ago when ambitious churchmen and theologians of the Nouvelle Theologie, together with disaffected bishops — (the undeniably Modernist and “progressivist” elements in the Church, then and now) — told itself in the conceit of its imagination that the Catholic Church needed a Council to engage a world that was somehow and suddenly more modern that all the “modern” worlds that preceded and accompanied the Church for millennia — and in times no less straitening. The Church, the Body of Christ, however, was not on the Modernist trajectory they had set for themselves, but clung, rather, to antiquated notions of holiness and the equally outdated commission for the salvation of souls as her preeminent responsibility  —  entrusted to her by no one less than God Himself.  But their ambitious plans and God's plans did not coincide: there was no room for social activism, a neo-sexualized society, inclusionism, the environment, and political intrigue; in a word modernity (as understood, of course, by Modernists) which had become synonymous with goodness itself. So they set about planning a premature burial for a Church still very much alive and well. Interment of the Body had been planned for 1965.

Of course, as we have painfully learned, the “progressives” had diagnosed an illness that did not exist, and because they subsequently found that it did not exist — and that they themselves were identified as the pathogens infecting the sound and healthy Body — in a bid to rehabilitate their now compromised integrity, they did what they were by now adept at doing: they lied again.  Desperate to justify their catastrophic misdiagnosis, they declared the Church dead, and then performed a needless autopsy — on a Body that never died — in order to dissect it, and having planned beforehand to identify it as sick, declared in 1965 that it had long been in need of “doctors” and medicine which only they could have applied — with no less ghastly a result as any vivisection.

The good news is that, despite their best efforts, the patient lived — and is still in recovery, and although the infection is severe, a full recovery is expected. The bad news is that the same doctors are still in charge. And among them is the Chief Resident.


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

March 31, 2023

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1  language-as-an-agendum-the-abuse-of-language-in-the-church.htm 

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.
(Apocalypse 3.8)

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