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It Shouldn’t Be Up to the Laity to Try to Save the Church…….. September 21, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, shocking, Society, the struggle for the Church, Virtue.

……but, apparently – at least publicly, which is really what matters – it is.

The Remnant and Catholic Family News have published what promises to be the first installment in a lengthy accusation and denunciation of Francis and his pontificate.  It was published Monday, but unfortunately I only saw it today.  I am also about out of time, but may cover this more tomorrow.

As Steve Skojec noted, when one starts to catalog Francis’ apparently heterodox statements, dubious pronouncements, grave prudential errors, and general assault against the Faith all in one place, it quickly becomes stupefying.  Even with a first installment of 2300 words, so much more could have been said, which is all the more terrifying. On almost a daily basis, Francis says or does something to cause grave scandal and  undermine the Faith as practiced for centuries.  In terms of undermining of Doctrine and giving scandal to millions, Francis is, most likely, the single most damaging pope in the history of the Church.

One particularly revealing portion of the accusation, which may be its most important part, was the noting of the manifest failure of the Catholic episcopacy to publicly challenge some of the more egregious actions of this pontificate and the effect they are having on Holy Mother Church. We seem sheep without shepherds, a crew adrift in a raging hurricane with all the officers not only distracted and incompetent, but with many in a deranged lunacy deep in the bowels of the ship pulling out the scuttlecocks!  I excerpt a few bits from the introduction to the accusation below, but the whole thing is worth reading.  If you’ve do read it, or already have, bear in mind so very much more could have been included.  That fact alone gives us a very clear idea of just what we are dealing with.

My emphasis:

Your Holiness:

The following narrative, written in our desperation as lowly members of the laity, is what we must call an accusation concerning your pontificate, which has been a calamity for the Church in proportion to which it delights the powers of this world. The culminating event that impelled us to take this step was the revelation of your “confidential” letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires authorizing them, solely on the basis of your own views as expressed in Amoris Laetitia, to admit certain public adulterers in “second marriages” to the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion without any firm purpose of amending their lives by ceasing their adulterous sexual relations.

You have thus defied the very words of Our Lord Himself condemning divorce and “remarriage” as adultery per se without exception, the admonition of Saint Paul on the divine penalty for unworthy reception of the Blessed Sacrament, the teaching of your two immediate predecessors in line with the bimillennial moral doctrine and Eucharistic discipline of the Church rooted in divine revelation, the Code of Canon Law and all of Tradition.

You have already provoked a fracturing of the Church’s universal discipline, with some bishops maintaining it despite Amoris Laetitia while others, including those in Buenos Aires, are announcing a change based solely on the authority of your scandalous “apostolic exhortation.” Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of the Church. [Not even the protestant revolt cum heresy or the Arian heresy were this severe.  Never before in the 2000 year history of the Church has a reigning pontiff so publicly, so repeatedly attacked and undermined the Sacred Deposit of Faith in anything remotely like so comprehensive and relentless a manner]

……….Yet, almost without exception, the conservative members of the hierarchy observe a politic silence while the liberals exult publicly over their triumph thanks to you. Almost no one in the hierarchy stands in opposition to your reckless disregard of sound doctrine and practice, even though many murmur privately against your depredations. Thus, as it was during the Arian crisis, it falls to the laity to defend the Faith in the midst of a near-universal defection from duty on the part of the hierarchs.

Of course we are nothing in the scheme of things, and yet as baptized lay members of the Mystical Body we are endowed with the God-given right and the correlative duty, enshrined in Church law (cf. CIC can. 212), to communicate with you and with our fellow Catholics concerning the acute crisis your governance of the Church has provoked amidst an already chronic state of ecclesial crisis following the Second Vatican Council.

Private entreaties having proven utterly useless, as we note below, we have published this document to discharge our burden of conscience in the face of the grave harm you have inflicted, and threaten to inflict, upon souls and the ecclesial commonwealth, and to exhort our fellow Catholics to stand in principled opposition to your continuing abuse of the papal office, particularly where it concerns the Church’s infallible teaching against adultery and profanation of the Holy Eucharist.

This cry of the heart has raised great umbrage in certain quarters (the typical ones).  Whether there have been interventions from the episcopate against Francis privately, with more and more scandals developing weekly, and especially the “interpretation” of Amoris Laetitia that was leaked, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs that virtually the only condemnations – or challenges – to the direction of this pontificate being made public are coming from laity and a few, mostly anonymous, priests. Yes there have been some scattered statements from individual bishops but they have been few and far between, and nothing the kind of categorical “reply” that the situation so desperately merits. Even if – and it’s not an if I think can be fairly granted – but even if, somehow, everyone of Francis’ scandalous actions, statements, and pronouncements could be reconciled with the Deposit of Faith, could somehow be shown to be within the bounds of prudence, there is still the issue of the mass confusion and pain he is causing.  Should not that, at least, merit more public response from those given the great grace, and terrible duty, to shepherd the souls in their charge?

What do you think of this accusation?  Is it the laity’s place to lay such charges?  If the laity doesn’t do it, who will?  Should we simply pray and do penance, imploring God to free us from this man?

I do believe people of good will and solid observance of the Faith can come down differently on these questions.  I tend to support such interventions due to the desperation in which we are mired,as I think someone has to call a spade a spade, and if the bishops are failing in their duty, then it is up to the laity to stand forth and do their best.  I can, however, comprehend how some could disagree

I am truly out of time.  We’ll see what, if any, discussion this sparks.


1. Dennis Hogan - September 21, 2016

It will always be the laity who rescues the Church from excesses, abuses, and grave error.

Tantumblogo - September 21, 2016

Not sure I fully agree with that. The hierarchy successfully led the effort against several heresies, some that were even widespread among the laity. Donatism was one. Jansenism another. The reaction against protestantism was largely led by priests and religious, but did involve many in the hierarchy later.

Tim - September 22, 2016

I agree with you Tantum….we as laity have our role and responsibilities but the Churchmen have the primary responsibility to hand on and defend the Deposit of Faith. We have our duties in our state of life. If the flock is supposed to govern the hierarchy then we’d be caring the staffs. We live in inverted times where our shepherds are by and large guilty of grave dereliction of duty. And many of the laity are guilty of the same crime with there duties in marriage, family, etc. The members of hierarchy will have a more severe judgement than us peons due to their high state and tremendous responsibilities to souls.

2. skeinster - September 22, 2016

Here’s the deal (and there was a good discussion on this in the comments @ 1P5):

If you’re going to do this, then it needs to be a simple recitation of facts: You, Pope Francis, have done this, this, this and this.
Without a lot of editorializing and without mind-reading.
Hot anger gets dismissed as crazy- cold anger might be ignored as well, but is less easily dismissed by bystanders.

As the writers put it in the intro, they’re publishing this primarily to quiet their own consciences. They do not really expect to have much effect.

JorgeThe Jorrible I - September 22, 2016

Why such a funeral face, my brother? Forward, always forward!! Never look back!

Camper - September 22, 2016

Anger is dismissed in the ways you mention, even among bishops, because democracy conduces to the middle way and away from righteous anger.

3. SoccerMom - September 22, 2016

I believe that anyone with a duty to speak ought to speak, regardless of the complete failure on the part of others. This includes the Catholic Media.

All other avenues have been fairly exhausted at this point.

It would be naive to imagine that this “accusation” will have any impact on Francis, except perhaps to add fuel to the fire, but it will help to give courage to Catholics who trying to hold on to the true faith. Whether or not they can “save the Church”, well, God knows, but they still ought to do their best.

4. SoccerMom - September 22, 2016

Maybe the editors at the Remnant could put together 95 Catholic Theses and nail them to the door of St. Peter’s on Oct. 31?

around here - September 22, 2016

LOL — Trick or Treat

I’m no biblical expert, but Jesus “started over” with twelve guys who were members of the laity. At least I don’t think they were of the priestly class. Of course He was “saving” Judaism, not the Church, but you could argue it’s basically the same thing…

5. Baseballmom - September 22, 2016

Archbishop Sheen was quite clear that the laity would have to step up and restore the Church. He said this in the ’70’s I believe.

6. TF - September 22, 2016

This is apropos: http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/c035rpCrusader_1.html

If we truly love Our Lord, we will not stand by indifferently when He is attacked. When those who should speak are silent, it is our solemn duty to speak in their stead. We will not do the job well; we are leaderless, untrained, undisciplined and scattered. But like the women of the Vandee who shamed their husbands into facing the enemy after the death of their general, we must take action. Do we love Our Lord Jesus, His Mother Mary, and His Church or are we content to let the blasphemous Argentinian have his way with them? The Bishops and Cardinals shirk their duty; well, then, I reckon it falls to us.

I fully support the Letter of Accusation. Now is not the time for politeness and nuance. We are the Pope’s good servants, but, God’s first.

7. Karl - September 22, 2016

Jorge should be deposed along will every single cleric who supports him and his beliefs.


8. Branch - September 22, 2016

The first see is judged by no one. If Francis is pope, accusing him is absurd. It’s either sedevacantism or modernism.

c matt - September 22, 2016

Accusing and judging are not the same thing. One points out the absurdities; the other renders a final decision and disposition of the matter.

JorgeThe Jorrible I - September 22, 2016

Thank you, my brother. I have a place for you at the Vatican.

Branch - September 22, 2016

As I said, no one judges the first see. So who is making this “decision” you speak of? Does not a judgement precede a decision in this context? If any Catholic is a heretic, he ceases to be a member of the Church; and if he previously held an office, he ipso facto loses it. Of course, Jorge was probably a heretic prior to becoming ‘pope’ and so he never had the office to begin with.

SoccerMom - September 22, 2016

Branch, I agree with your statement: “If any Catholic is a heretic, he ceases to be a member of the Church; and if he previously held an office, he ipso facto loses it.” and think that it has strong support in the theology manuals from Pre-VII as well as of course, St. Robert Bellarmine’s De Romano Pontifice.

However, it is good to keep in mind that there are other authorities (whether correct or not), such as John of St. Thomas, who claim, “The pope does not cease to be the pope before any ecclesial trial sentence by the fact itself of heresy, and before he is proposed as to be avoided.” The Church has not authoritatively declared which position is correct, nor condemned either opinion, as far as I know, and so we must recognize that there are other legitimate positions to take besides sedevacantism and modernism. While we may find one position to have greater authority and to “make more sense”, there may always be things we don’t see and haven’t considered.

We all reject modernism, I think, whether we find Bellarmine, or John of St. Thomas more convincing on the loss of office question.

Branch - September 23, 2016


I think you’re mistaken. John of St. Thomas has been a crutch for the Salza and Siscoe camp (mistakenly) as explained by Fr. Anthony Cekada here (starting at about the 5 minute mark): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c_JL8_Wa-k

In short, there is really no longer a ‘debate’. By the 20th century, theologians and canonists sided with Bellarmine. It was also confirmed at Vatican I as explained by Cekada in the video.

SoccerMom - September 30, 2016

Hi Branch,

Are you able to point me to the part of Fr. Cekada’s video where he demonstrates that the Church has authoritatively declared Bellarmine’s position to be the correct one, to the exclusion of all others?

Camper - September 22, 2016

Except for St. Athanasius and the SSPX.

9. Tim - September 22, 2016
Tantumblogo - September 22, 2016

Haven’t gotten to it yet, my brother! I’m trying.

10. Joseph D'Hippolito - September 23, 2016

The faith does not belong to the hierarchs. It belongs to all Catholics. The idea that the laity has a “role” (i.e., “pray, pay and obey”) is nothing but an excuse for the episcopocracy to demand blind deference, as it has been doing for centuries.

Well, the feudal era ended, what, 600 years ago?

Lay people have a moral responsibility to fight for the faith, not for the intellectual fashion with which the bishops want to replace it.

Remember, you are ultimately responsible for your own spiritual development and maturity. Don’t rely on your priest or your bishop. They are just men. Besides, the bishops are nothing if not good careerists, if not de facto apostates. Study to show yourself approved by God. Pray for wisdom and guidance. Learn to trust the leanings of the Holy Spirit in your own lives.

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