With the Synod, there is a lot of blame to go around October 27, 2015Posted 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.
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.
Which 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 patina 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 do 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.