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With the Synod, there is a lot of blame to go around October 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.

I’ve seen a fair amount of talk on the Catholic intrawebs about a recent video that casts blame for the Synod at the feet of Pope Francis’ predecessor.  The argument is this: Pope Benedict, by choosing the incredibly novel route of abdication (whatever the threats against him were, and they appear to have been legion), paved the way for the election of Pope Francis and everything that has come in its train.  It’s nice to see this apostolate recognize publicly, if belatedly, that yes, this pontificate is seriously off the rails. It’s also good to see that they recognize that criticism of the papacy does not mean the instant mark of damnation, but that’s beside the point.KARDIN~1

Look, folks, anyone who has studied recent Church history knows there is TONS of blame to go around at all levels of leadership and going back at least 100 years. Before I begin, bear in mind I am speaking in the broadest of brush-strokes and am ignoring many valid arguments for reasons of brevity.

Pope Benedict XV dropped the ball severely by failing to follow-up on Pope St. Pius X’s demands to his successors to continue his searching
vigilance against the modernists, many of whom Pius knew had simply gone underground.  Of course, Pope BXV did have a little thing called WWI, or the suicide of Christian Europe, to distract him, but he is not widely known as a fiercely orthodox pope along the lines of Gregory XVI, Pius IX, or Pius X.  Pius XI greatly accelerated the process started under Leo XIII of recognizing liberal “democratic” government as legitimate, seeking an accommodation with same, and even undermined the traditional Catholic reaction in Spain, Mexico, and other locales in many ways.  He did, of course, give us the great gift of Quas Primas and the solemn proclamation of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, whereby Christ must be seen as the visible head of every government (and all government submitted to His Truth), but Pius XI also started a trend of seeking an accord with the entrenched Revolution.

Pius XII was a great leader in many respects, but he allowed modernism to come out from underground and began the liturgical revolution.  Again, he was focused on events like WWII and stopping Western Europe from falling to communism after the war, and achieved a very great deal to those ends.  But he set the stage for what followed.

Bl John XXIII 4Which brings us to John XXIII.  Much like Pope Francis and Pope Paul VI, the election of John XXIII was orchestrated by a modernist cabal, many of whom were promoted to positions of great influence by Pope Pius XII, with the plain end in mind that the new pope of 1958 would call an ecumenical council, and that council would be the vehicle for the unleashing of modernism on the Church.  Cardinals Suenens, Alfrink, Dopfner, and Bea, among others, were all involved in this plot.  They knew John XXIII would be a short term caretaker pope, to be followed by a younger man who would consolidate the and entrench the gains expected at the Council.

I don’t think I have to go into detail on Paul VI.  This post may help.  He was a truly unprecedentedly novel pope in many, many respects.  He introduced the gravely problematic ideals that came from Vatican II into the Church, and even more, waged a veritable war against Tradition and especially the Traditional Mass.  There was no real reason to pretend to abrogate the TLM, save the fear that doing so would prevent the success of the liturgical revolution.  This, in spite of heavy criticism from the bishops and a good number of cardinals.

John Paul I served so briefly as to have no effect.

John Paul II, however, while in many ways more conservative than Paul VI, also embraced the post-conciliar ethos with great gusto, giving it a Pope John Paul II Kissing Koranpatina of orthodoxy and ensuring the progressive caucus in the Church would persist – and advance – for decades.  Most of the men who just voted for the synod’s final document, with all its myriad problems, were appointed by JPII.  With regard to the novelties he introduced, one cannot pass over Assisi, kissing the Koran, taking ecumenism and interreligious dialogue to a whole nother level, and causing the papacy to be turned, in may respects, into a sort of mass media sensation and furthering the papal cult of personality, which this current Pope has exploited to great effect.

Which brings us to Pope Benedict. Certainly, Pope Ratzinger desired to return the papacy and the Church to more historic norms.  He knew from the start he would encounter vehement opposition from the deeply entrenched, probably majority progressive elements.  He asked for prayers not to flee the wolves. In the end, under what was probably  unprecedented pressure, he may have done just that.  Knowing what we novamissado of the horrific St. Gallen group of modernist cardinals, we know there was a similar cabal operating to that which resulted in the elections of John XXIII and Paul VI.  We can very strongly suspect that this scheming was the direct cause of Vatileaks, the threats to leak dossiers on the nocturnal activities of the priests of the Diocese of Rome to the press, and the virtual shutdown of the Vatican’s finances (among other things, I’m sure).  In the end, instead of taking his cause to the people, trusting in their faith in him and their outrage at his persecutors, he chose, probably after being falsely told that a like-minded replacement was assured, to leave the office of the papacy in a truly unprecedented fashion, which act led directly to where we are today, after Synod II, The Deathening.  Yes yes, he was old, he may have been sick, he probably DID feel that the persecutions he was enduring were beyond him, that he could no longer effectively govern the Church……and yet the fact remains he was the first man to so abdicate in 700 years, and only the second in the history of the Church.

And I haven’t even touched on the dread effects of too many cardinals, bishops, and priests to list.

I generally agree with Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton……the Church has been cursed with sub-par popes since Pius X.  Vatican II didn’t just happen.  It wasn’t exactly a “surprise.”  And, of course, Russia remains unconsecrated.

Until Russia is consecrated, and the problematic aspects of Vatican II start to be formally refuted, or at least replaced with formal pronouncements of an orthodox nature and contrary to Guadium Et Spes 24 or pretty much all of Dignitatis Humanae (and much more!), the Church will not be restored.  I tend to think this is going to occur as a bottom-up rebuilding of a much, much smaller Church after the current generations of modernists pass from the scene.  Or, it could occur through a particularly charismatic, orthodox, faithful, unconcerned-with-the-world future pope who acts with strength and decision.

I know it is uncomfortable to take a critical eye to the effectiveness of various papacies.  But I firmly believe that if the Church is to be restored – aside from the Grace stemming from prayer and penance that are the bedrock for all hope in the Church – we’re going to have to come to grips with the recent history, and failings, of much of the Church’s leadership.  Without a clear understanding of how all this has come to pass, it will be very difficult to undo any of it.  We need to understand clearly that there have been failures in leadership in confronting the most diabolically motivated, organized, and effective enemies the Church has ever faced.  We need to be willing to recognize that these failures in leadership have played a substantial role in how events have unfolded over the past 100 years.

We must do this, in fact, if a future generation is going to be equipped with the knowledge and will to effect real, lasting change. Anything else, really, simply helps perpetuate the status quo and insure that millions of souls will remain mired in misery in a Church which is not herself.




1. Joseph D'Hippolito - October 27, 2015

Frankly, I’d so glad people are beginning to criticize JPII’s legacy. It’s not only about time, but long since overdue!

2. Woody - October 27, 2015

These current crop of cardinals, even the “conservative” ones, all bought into the sixties lingo in one way or another. Too many pacifists. We really need a kick ass pope, a rambo type or ex Navy Seal chaplain. Someone on the line of St. Nick. Maybe even Don Carleone. Someone who will go to the mattresses. Just thinking out loud. Wishing.

Tantumblogo - October 27, 2015

But will he find his Luca Brasi?

Brian E. Breslin - October 28, 2015

But Tantum, it was no joke when Luca walked into that bar.

H-town - October 28, 2015

Luca cum piscibus dormit.

H-town - October 28, 2015

How about an outsider like Fr. Cassias Folsom, O.S.B.?

3. DJR - October 27, 2015

“We really need a kick ass pope, a rambo type or ex Navy Seal chaplain. Someone on the line of St. Nick. Maybe even Don Carleone. Someone who will go to the mattresses…”

A pope that goes to the mattresses would not be a good thing. We’ve already had several of those. LOL.

4. richardmalcolm1564 - October 27, 2015

Hello Tantum,

It is good to see the narrative drawn back, such that it becomes clear that the Revolution did not spring ex nihilo in 1962-65 – that going back to 1958 (even if we could do it) doesn’t get the Church back to a healthy situation.

But I do think you’e not being quite fair to Pius XI, a very good pope who made serious efforts, despite the frequent resistance of his secretaries of state (Gaspari and Pacelli), to back Catholic resistance in Mexico and Spain.

The withdrawal of support for Action Francais in 1926 is a complicated question. Led by a man who was openly agnostic (Maurras) made it a difficult proposition in any case; but three quarters of a century after the collapse of the French monarchy (and even that the watered down form of the House of Bourbon-Orleans) really did raise the question of futility. The Third Republic was rarely a friend of the Church, of course, but the Bourbons had too often a far more problematic “ally” than most like to remember, and in their final years, all too inept. Notwithstanding all this, Pius XI remains the closest heir that Pius X has had since his death. His teaching documents are superb, vigilance against modernists increased, he firmly resisted liturgical reform pressures, and he fought a generally heroic battle against very long odds against various new tyrannies on the rise around the world.

5. DM - October 28, 2015

Excellent, excellent post, Tantum. I really wish you would consider writing a book on all this. I for one would buy it. This is truly an accurate summary of the situation and the causes.

I agree that it’s important to be honest about the popes of the last century, especially the ones between Pius X and John XXIII, who many neo-trad and ‘orthodox’ Catholics consider to be basically perfect Popes. While I don’t dispute all the good things and that they were great men, I think Pius XI and XII are underrated for how important they were in preparing the stage for the revolution, especially from the steps toward the destruction of the liturgy that happened under them, like the Dialogue Mass and the ruin of Holy Week, to the restoration of the “Chinese Rites” in 1939. The origin of that controversy in the 17th century in particular I consider to be the point at which the Jesuit order finally lost their way, and have gone downhill ever since. Indeed I think a future Pope needs to and will suppress them.

While important, I think that the restoration of the Church from the bottom-up, by itself is going to simply be too little, too late. Yes it will take a badass, outstanding, holy, powerful Pope in the line of Gregory I, VII or XVI, Innocent III, Pius V, IX, or X who will take bold steps to turn the Church around, unless we want it to take centuries while the Church all but dies. It will be up to God to raise up this man. I don’t exactly think the current crop of cardinals has someone of that calibre.

H-town - October 28, 2015

What’s wrong with a dialogue Mass?

6. Guest - October 28, 2015

Sedevacantism is a possible theological explanation that DOES NOT contradict doctrine. http://www.protestanterrors.com/pope-heresy.htm

*”Now when [the Pope] is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church must either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See.”
St. Francis de Sales, “The Catholic Controversy” (16th century)

*”…a pope who is a manifest heretic by that fact ceases to be pope and head, just as he by that fact ceases to be a Christian and a member of the body of the Church; wherefore he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the judgement of all the early fathers, who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.”
St. Robert Bellarmine, “On the Roman Pontiff” (16th century)

*”If God permitted a pope to be notoriously heretical and contumacious, he would then cease to be pope, and the Apostolic Chair would be vacant.”
St. Alphonsus de Liguori, “The Truths of the Faith” (18th century)

*”A pope can only be deposed for heresy, expressed or implied, and then only by a general council. It is not strictly deposition, but a declaration of fact, since by his heresy he has already ceased to be head of the Church…”
A Catholic Dictionary, 1951. Pope, Deposition of a

7. c matt - October 28, 2015

Like any heresy, Modernism is a weed in the garden – if you don’t constantly yank it out by the roots, it will soon overtake everything. The biggest contribution post Pius X “conservative” popes have made to modernism’s flourishing is naively thinking “truth will win” without actively suppressing modernism. JP II and B XVI were particularly bad at this (the only thing I can think of that they actively addressed was liberation theology).

8. TF - October 28, 2015

I think it will take fire falling from the sky to turn things around. I’m not joking.

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