Some years ago, in Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity, I wrote, as the ninth argument, that "to celebrate an abnormal behavior makes things worse, not better, for those inclined to engage in it."
I believe that that statement, right now, would be quite uncontroversial in any other area of human choice but the sexual; though it is precisely the sexual that illustrates its truth most clearly, as we see in our midst, so obviously that only our own moral compromises, or a kind of ideological idolatry, can prevent us from telling ourselves what we do see.
For back in 2014, those halcyon days at what most people thought was the floor of a crater below which we could not continue to fall, no one thought that drag queens in see-through garb would be encouraging little children in public libraries to stick dollar bills in their underwear, or that a photo of a little Dutch girl surrounded by "bondage" men in black leather underwear would win an award for being "iconic" and "inclusive."
Try, dear reader who may still be unwilling to follow a premise to its conclusion, try to imagine uttering the previous sentence to any but the most depraved human being on earth, anywhere, in 2010, or 2000, or, dear Lord, in 1990, when, if we are to judge by the mad accusations madmen make against the few remaining people in the West who do not parade along with the madness, the world was peopled by "theocrats" and knuckle-dragging, right-wing, snake-handling fundamentalist Christians, rather than ordinary people with some residual sense of shame and some guilty reservations about the sick world into which they were sending their children.
Mere garden sins bring boredom. We must rouse the spirit to more and more outrageous wrongs.
There is a good reason why things get worse and not better for them who celebrate the abnormal. It is, as I wrote, that "what compels is not merely the object, but the very wrongness of the object. Mere garden sins bring boredom. We must rouse the spirit to more and more outrageous wrongs." Homosexuals themselves, I said, "admit that they delight in being 'transgressive,' crossing the boundaries of what is decent or even mentionable. It follows that the nature of the transgressing behavior will depend upon where the society draws the line."
Where is that line now? Oh, I hear, people will never go so far as to invite children into their sexual lives, by action rather than celebration. Do not believe it. It is a short step from seeing to touching. The very publicity of it will lend it some cover. And man, ever inventive in the illogic of evil, will find some way to distinguish a "good" kind of pederasty, the kind we see putting forth buds right in our midst, from the "bad" kind, the kind for which the Church's coffers were — justly — rifled.
Sins of intemperance still respect the created order, the order of nature. Wine does gladden the heart, though a man may drink too much of it, or in the wrong place, or at the wrong time. But in sins aimed precisely against the created order, we direct our strengthless swords against the very heart of God, and the more we fail, the more furiously we go on the attack.
You do not have to take my word for it though. Human history abounds in examples. Take St. Paul's word for it. "Claiming to be wise," he says of fallen man ever-falling, "they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles," and "for this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error" (Romans 1:22, 26-27).
We are touching upon what an old colleague of mine, Rene Fortin, called "negative transcendence," an attempt to imitate God in an inverted way, hungering for evil upon evil, and setting the will up as a creator unto itself. "Whilst they adore me on the throne of hell," says Milton's Satan, when he is alone and the devils he deceived cannot hear him,
With diadem and scepter high advanced, The lower still I fall, only supreme In misery: such joy ambition finds.
The crater of evil has, of itself, no floor because of itself it is no thing at all, it is an anti-creative turn toward nonexistence, masking itself as creativity and life; and Hell itself may be the lowest plain below which the merciful God will not permit His creature to fall.
Is it then an accident of history that just at this time we find people eagerly awaiting the day when man will become "transhuman," collapsing beneath the human, to enmesh himself in the toils and traces of the machine? It is as if, to use David Hart's apt jest, when these wild-eyed worshipers of technology were little boys, they dreamed of someday growing up to be robots.
The alternative to the restlessness of those who seek God is the restlessness of those who reject God.
Or is it an accident of history that just at this time, hardly hidden at all beneath the desperate hope that "climate change" will render all the old modes of human life impossible, we find a self-righteous hatred of man, a wish, without Jonathan Swift's satirical irony, that there would be far fewer of "the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth"?
Another accident of history, that some women, again without the slightest sense of irony, should splash themselves in garish red paint for blood, to protest against any retrenchment of their legal permission to splash their bodies and the sanitary towels and the stainless-steel forceps and clippers of the operating room with the real blood of their own children?
Still another accident, that no nation in the cratering West can now replace the dying with the newly alive? That the richest of our urban neighborhoods should resemble Hell in this most significant respect, that people keep as far away from one another as possible, with fewer and fewer inhabitants per household, less and less likely to be married to a human being and more and more likely to be wedded or welded to a job, and a job, at that, less and less likely to promote or protect anything necessary or desirable for the common good?
Hell is a lonely place. And man, for whom it is not good to be alone, seeks to assuage his loneliness not by getting up and saying, "I will arise and go to my Father" (Luke 15:18), but by confirming the very evil that has made him lonely in the first place.
But it does not work. The drink does not satisfy, the drug no longer gives the thrill, mere nudity is dull, the first slimy dandling of the unnatural feels commonplace and "natural," building a brutalist church seems but dry and unimaginative, the unspeakable obscenity now means little more than an ordinary adverbial intensifier, and the throne of Hell is not so glorious after all.
We have been made by God, for God, in His image, and that is why, as St. Augustine says, "Our hearts will never rest until they rest in Thee." The alternative to the restlessness of those who seek God is the restlessness of those who reject God, pitched into a fury of restlessness because they wish to be gods unto themselves, and it is all in vain.
Saintly souls often remain hidden from the eyes of the world and are only discovered by chance. In this way, Mary Ann Long is a source of inspiration in much the same way as Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus. Like the “Little Flower,” Mary Ann provides a valuable lesson that anyone can fully live a Catholic life and die a saintly death by simply accepting God’s will. This is especially true in our present world, where people’s lives are judged by the pleasures they enjoy and where “useless” lives are extinguished before birth or shortened in old age.
The only book about this unique little girl titled A Memoir of Mary Ann1was written by the Dominican Nuns who cared for her in Atlanta, Georgia. The only photo shows only the profile of Mary Ann sitting in a wheelchair. The reason why we only see part of her face is where the story of Mary Ann begins.
She was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1946. The Memoir does not mention the day of her birth nor the names of her parents. We only know they were Dollie and George Long because she is buried beside them in Louisville’s St. Stephens Cemetery.
St. Stephens Cemetery in Louisville, where Mary Ann Long is buried with her parents, Dollie and George Long.
At the age of three and a half, she was afflicted with a cancerous tumor on the left side of her face, which required the removal of her eye. The doctors gave her six months to live and told the parents they could do nothing more for their child. This was a particularly heavy blow for Mrs. Long, a mother of three, whose own health was not good. At the doctor’s recommendation, they decided to send Mary Ann to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Free Cancer Home in Atlanta, Georgia.2 It was a painful decision for the parents, but they had no other solution.
The Home in Atlanta received a letter from the Louisville hospital about the girl heading their way.
“This patient,” it explained, “is a very lovable little girl and one who touches the hearts of all who come into contact with her.”
Most Unique Religious Vocation
It is worth noting that neither of Mary’s parents had any religious affiliation. Although Mr. Long was baptized a Catholic, his mother had fallen away from the Faith. This might have been the reason for their unease in sending their ailing daughter to a home run by Catholic Dominican Nuns. Mary Ann had no such fear.
When they arrived at the Home, Sister Veronica, who was the first to see the child, held out her motherly arms. Mary Ann instinctively flung herself into her maternal embrace. One sister wrote down a first impression of the child:
As I entered the ward, I saw just one side of the child’s face. A lustrous sparkling brown eye, clear, bright skin tending toward olive, with a faint flush high on her cheek, a delicate straight nose, all this framed by light brown wavy curling hair, made a symmetrical, clean-cut profile.
She then describes the rest of her face with “a swollen left cheek and closed eye [socket],” but it did not repel her. Mary Ann showed no shyness about her affliction. “She expected to be accepted for herself.”
Mary Ann quickly moved from one patient’s bed to another, spreading sunshine and comforting those with whom she shared the same illness. It was the beginning of a most unique religious vocation. Indeed, before her death at 13, she was admitted into the Third Order of St. Dominic as a Tertiary.
Apostolic Efforts of The Child
Over the next nine years—for a girl who only expected to live six months—Mary was a normal little Kentuckian in every respect. She had a dog named Snappy, loved Dagwood sandwiches, and played hide and seek with her sisters when they came to visit. She was also mischievous, but her pranks were not meant to harm but rather to uplift the spirits of those around her.
Before long, Mary Ann began to ask questions about the Catholic Faith. When told about the True Presence, she longed to be included in the heavenly banquet and wept when she could not receive communion with the nuns. She loved to talk about the “baby Jesus” and was profoundly moved by Our Lord’s Passion and Death.
When one nun first showed her the Stations of the Cross. Mary very closely examined the Second Fall of Our Lord. Moved with pity, she exclaimed, “Oh, poor Jesus!”
She was eventually baptized with the somewhat reluctant permission of her parents. They were bewildered by their daughter’s conversion but even more so with her apostolic fervor.
Mary Ann desired that her sisters convert, especially Sue, who showed openness to the Faith. Sue made frequent visits to the Home and was very impressed with Mary’s fervent devotion, especially for the Eucharist. She, too desired to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Before long, Sue began religious instruction back in Louisville. She was eventually baptized and received her first Holy Communion in Atlanta, among the nuns, while kneeling next to Mary Ann. Winnie, the oldest of the sisters, was also at this ceremony and shortly afterward converted to Catholicism.
Finally, there is the story of a 20-year-old female patient named Charlie Mae. Her maladies were of such seriousness as to leave her bedridden. Mary would do little things like brush her hair and keep her company. One night our little apostle asked Charlie to join her in evening prayers.
“I don’t know how to pray,” said Charlie. Mary immediately offered to teach her, which led Charlie to ask questions about the Faith. Mary could not answer some of her inquiries and pointed her to the nuns. Charlie, too was eventually received into the Church.
Accepting the Way God Made Her
People often tried to downplay her deformed face and hideous looks. Once, a nun, seeing Mary in a new dress, commented how pretty she was. “No, sister,” she gravely responded, “I’m not pretty.” On another occasion, a visitor asked the child why she did not pray to God for a cure. She gently smiled and said, “This is the way God wants me.”
This admirable acceptance of suffering was also manifested when her mother tried to take Mary to a plastic surgeon. Once again, the child insisted she was the way God wanted her to be. However, the Memoir astutely points out that Mary was intelligent enough to know that God might have wanted her to be “less than perfect,” but her family did not.
A “self-styled faith healer” once found his way into Mary’s room.
“The Lord can heal you, Mary Ann!” he yelled. Not getting the response he expected, the healer repeated the same phrase three more times with ever greater insistence.
“I know He can,” Mary sternly replied, “but it doesn’t make a bit of difference if He heals me or not. That’s His business.”
Through all her suffering, Mary found great consolation with thoughts of heaven, the angels and the perfection of the glorified body. “When I get to heaven,” she once said, “I’ll have two good eyes, and I’ll run around heaven and be able to see everybody there at once.”
In September 1958, the first death knell sounded for the valiant youngster. One nun entered her room to check and was shocked to find her bed soaked with blood. The little patient had suffered a severe hemorrhage and was weak from the loss of blood.
Over the next several months, she endured similar episodes until one proved fatal the following January. The Dominican Sisters then gathered around her bed as was their custom when one of their own was dying. They sang the Salve Regina. Mary looked up and was so enchanted that she asked them to repeat it.
She slid into unconsciousness but, upon awaking, saw the lighted candle which the nuns had placed by her bed. Mary Ann reached over towards the soft glow of the taper and repeated again and again, “Dear Jesus, I love you!”
At 3:00 in the morning of January 20, 1959, Mary Ann asked for her rosary. As she slipped the beads through her fingers, she dozed off and died a peaceful death.
Mary Ann Long’s tombstone.
Today we do not appreciate lives like Mary Ann or value her sacrifices. We prefer the frenetic intemperance of a world without restraint.
We will only know in eternity the value of the sufferings Mary Ann Long so patiently endured during her short life. In a world that chases after celebrities and yearns for earthly recognition, this child lived a hidden life and now rests in anonymity. Yet her name and heroic feats are most certainly written in that marvelous Book of Life. Hidden from the eyes of man but precious in the eyes of God.
If they obey and serve him,/ they spend their days in prosperity,/ their years in happiness. (Jb 36:11)
Obedience to God’s law seems an unlikely road to happiness. Indeed, at times it seems to bring us conflict, trial, and great loss. What we lose, though, is far less than what we gain if we do the will of the God who wills nothing less for us than the joy of life everlasting in his presence.
They are happy whose life is blameless, who follow God’s law! They are happy who do his will, seeking him with all their hearts, who never do anything evil but walk in his ways.
You have laid down your precepts to be obeyed with care. May my footsteps be firm to obey your statutes. Then I shall not be put to shame as I heed your commands.
I will thank you with an upright heart as I learn your decrees. I will obey your statutes: do not forsake me.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God 1 Peter 1:22-23
Since you havepurified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a [pure] heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God.
All who inhabit the world shall understand/ That nothing is better than the fear of the Lord,/ nothing more salutary than to obey his commandments. (Sir 23:27)
The Intentional and Malicious Infiltration of the Church
By , Fr. Robert Altier
St. Paul tells us that we have to make the most of our opportunity because the days are evil. We aren’t just simply living in days that are evil, we are living in the days that Isaiah spoke about, the days when they will call evil good and good evil. And we have been brainwashed into thinking that evil things are okay, they’re not.
So, from this point forward, what I am about to relay is completely politically incorrect and if you have young ears that you don’t want to hear it, you may want to take a fifteen-minute walk.
In the last couple of weeks, we have heard some pretty unfortunate things. A cardinal of the Church who abused children and young men, and now in Pennsylvania the grand Jury report 301 priests violated more than a thousand children. And on top of that we have the episcopal cover-up, the word episcopal means bishops, so the cover-up by the bishops. And, it’s not just simply a cover-up, it’s an agenda.
If you’ve listened carefully, since 2002 when all this broke, the bishops keep on coming back to the same point, pedophilia, its pedophilia, it’s pedophilia, its pedophilia. No, it’s not. In fact, the John Jay institute, the group that the bishops themselves hired to look at what was going on, came back and said this is a homosexual problem. 86.6% (if I recall correctly) of all of the abuse cases were on post-pubescent males, and the bishops told them “no you go back, and you rewrite it and you say that it isn’t a homosexual problem.” So, they came back and said well 86.6% of this is all about post-pubescent males, but it’s not a homosexual problem; like really?
So, pedophilia is the violation of pre-pubescent children, less than 3% of all of these cases were pedophilia. Ephebophilia is the violation of post-pubescent children, pederasty particularly, post-pubescent males. That’s what we are dealing with here.
Now we need to make an important distinction, there are some very, very good people who struggle with a homosexual orientation. All of us struggle with different things, that doesn’t mean that we’re a bad person just because we have certain weaknesses. And the Church recognizes that that orientation is not evil, it is the activity which is evil. And so, for these men who want to live a good life and who are trying to fight against those temptations and the struggles, this is a cross. And it is a huge cross that they have to carry. In fact, you can think how much God loves these people if he allows them to carry a cross that is that big; its huge.
Now we need, as again we look at our own selves, we can say alright there are some for instance who struggle with alcohol or people who struggle with pornography, whatever. If they’re really trying to fight against those temptations these are good people with a weakness. That’s different for instance from the drug dealer, or from the guy who is making pornography, or the guy who is trafficking the women or something; those people are pigs. The guy who is struggling and trying to live a good life is a good person with a weakness. And that is the distinction that we need to keep in mind.
And so, the Church is very clear that even for men with a deep-seated homosexual tendency, that they are not to go to the seminary. That’s not because the Church is being discriminatory or hates these people, but rather because the same principle if you look at it and say: would you take somebody who is struggling with an alcohol addiction to a bar? It’s a point of temptation. We don’t allow men into women’s convents because it’s not going to be long before somebody’s going to be having problems. And that’s what the Church is looking at to say this is not good.
Go back to when I was in college seminary. I was having a conversation with another seminarian, in the midst of the conversation he looked at me and said would you ever consider taking a shower in the women’s locker room? I said certainly not. He said well why not? I said well the temptations and the problems… and he said you’re right, now you know what I have to go through when I go into a men’s locker room. I thought oh my goodness…yuck. This is why the Church says even for these good men who are struggling and trying to overcome this, we don’t want to put them in a point of temptation.
So those are not the people that we are having a problem with. The people that we are having a problem with come from two different groups and understand there is an intentional and malicious infiltration of the Church for the purpose of destroying her from within.
This is what you need to understand.
When I was in the seminary, it was one of the worst seminaries in the nation. 1983 is when our seminary was at its absolute worst; I started in ‘85. It was getting slightly better. But these people were so arrogant. I should point out when I was in the seminary if you were not homosexual or a radical feminist you were in big trouble. One of the professors actually was arrogant enough to stand up in front of the class and say “Martin Luther had the right idea, but he did it the wrong way – he left the Church. You can’t change the Church from the outside you can only change it from the inside, so we’re not leaving.”
So, these are people with an agenda. And what are the two groups? The two groups are: number one, a group of predatory homosexuals. They started their infiltration of the Church in 1924. You want to look it up? There is a book called The Homosexual Network written in 1982, so this is 20 years before all of this stuff hit. A man named Enrique Rueda looked at all of this, studied all of their own publications, (they were publishing every year the number of seminarians, priest and bishops they had), he traced it back to when they started, it began in 1924. And then five years later, in 1929, the communists began their infiltration of the priesthood and the two groups did exactly the same thing. You want to read about the communist one? There is a woman by the name of Bella Dodd who was a deep-seated communist who got out of communism and converted to the Faith. She testified before congress in 1953 and in that testimony she said that “we got the instructions from Kremlin in 1929 as to what we were to do,” and she said “we were to take the best and the brightest, the guys who were smart enough to live a double life, good looking guys who were sociable so that they would be noticed by their bishop, and they would get promoted, they would become vocation directors, they would become bishops, they would become rectors of seminaries, they would have influential positions” and she said “we were successful beyond our wildest imagination.” She said: “I am personally responsible for more than 1,200 seminarians, priests and bishops.” And in 1953 mind you, again, now they started in 1929, in 1953 she said: “we already have four cardinals in the Vatican.” That was 1953, it’s way worse today.
So, we have these two groups. If you want to read about her, she wrote a book called School of Darkness, that was published in 1954. You want to understand why all of the promotion, the propaganda, the agenda? You can go back and read another book that was written in 1932 by a man named William Foster. William Foster ran for the president of the United States in 1924, 1928 and 1932 for the Communist Party USA. In 1932 he wrote a book called Toward Soviet America. And in that book, he said “we aren’t being able to get to the Americans because of three things, their morality, their family and their patriotism.” And he said: “so the way that we are going to attack these three things is through homosexuality and radical feminism.” They have been extraordinarily successful.
So, what are we dealing with? We are dealing with a group of predatory homosexuals who became priests not to serve the Church but to destroy her from within. In this, they are at every level. There was – there is an article that just came out from the Catholic Register in which six priests from the Newark diocese were interviewed and they spoke about the homosexual network in their diocese. It’s in all of them, not just in Newark. They cover up for another, they share their victims with one another, they do all kinds of horrible things. It is so wide spread now that there is actually talk on the federal level of using the RICO laws against the Church because of this kind of nonsense that’s been going on.
And people ask, why don’t the good priests speak up? I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, he looked at me and he said: “I’ve known about this for 50 years and you’ve known about it for 40 years.” Yep, it’s about time it’s coming out. So why didn’t somebody speak up? Number one if I would have stood here even a couple of years ago would you have believed what I am telling you? Number two, who were we supposed to go to? It was at every single level all the way to the top. You wanted to be ordained a priest, you couldn’t day a word. And even as a priest you can’t.
Again, these priests that were interviewed in the Catholic Register were interviewed only because of anonymity. It required anonymity because they were afraid of what was going to happen to them if the bishops and the people at the chancery found out who it was that spoke. These people have that much power. And so, we need to realize that. So, again just to tell you a quick story about how bad things were. When I was in the seminary, they would put up their communist propaganda, I would rip it down and every time I would do that there would be an announcement “Whoever is taking the notices off the bulletin board…” When I would put up a notice that says we were going to pray the Rosary, that would get torn down immediately and there was never anything said. Now having said that, thankfully the seminary today is way, way better than it was. These young guys are not having to deal with this trash, but that was the climate at the time.
Now if we just use the McCarrick situation, since that’s been in the news, everyone is disgusted with what this man did to boys and to young men, and rightly so. But anybody, by the way, who thinks that all of this is just great – they’re such nice people and they’re no different – look at what McCarrick did: that is what predatory homosexuality looks like.
These are not nice people who are just like everybody else. But as disgusting as all that is, think about the fact that this man was in the pulpit for 50 years, he sat in the confessional, he was in the bishop’s office making decisions about priests’ lives, about diocesan finances, about the direction of the diocese and so on. He served on Vatican commissions, he was a consultant to the Vatican, he made lots of bishops. What kind of advice do you think somebody struggling with some sexual problem in the confessional would have gotten from somebody like this?
What kind of men do you think might have been elevated to be bishops by somebody like this?
You now understand why all that we get is fluff and stuff instead of good homilies? You understand why there are problems in the world that aren’t being addressed? That’s what it is about. Where is the doctrinal integrity? Where is the moral teaching? Someone that is not living it is not going to teach it. Now there are, after this grand jury report came out a few days ago from Pennsylvania, there are several more states already talking about doing their own grand jury investigation. It will probably go all over the place, so I say that to simply say there is going to be more in the news coming up.
And as sad as this is we have to recognize that it is actually something very good. It is the purification of the Church and that is going to lead ultimately to her crucifixion Not many are going to remain faithful, unfortunately. But when we look at it and say: “well if this is what is going on in the Church what are we supposed to do?” We are supposed to look at Jesus and say exactly what St. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.
Jesus founded one Church and that one Church is the only institution in the world for the salvation of souls. It was founded for that purpose and it will remain to the end of the world for that purpose.
I have spoken with a number of people in the last week or two about what’s going on, prayerful, holy people and they have all concurred on the same point – Our Lady’s work has finally begun. Praise God!
She gave the bishops 16 years to clean up this mess and they did nothing. Now we are hearing from the bishops.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano sheds a disturbing light on the ‘Deep Church’.
“A non-Catholic Pope”? It sounds like a contradiction in terms. But those are the words used to describe Pope Francis by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. In fact, he rarely uses the term “Pope Francis.” He refers to him instead as “Bergoglio” and to his pontificate as the “Bergoglian papacy.”
Vigano has a following in some Catholic circles but it’s likely that the vast majority of Catholics have never heard of him. Yet the questions he raises about Pope Francis are of great consequence, not just for Catholics but for non-Catholics as well.
Since there are about 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, whoever leads them can have a significant effect on a large segment of the global population. It’s widely thought, for instance, that Pope John Paul II did more to put an end to communism in Eastern Europe than any other individual with the exception of Ronald Reagan. For evidence of the close collaboration between the two men, read historian Paul Kengor’s revealing book, A Pope and a President.
Now we have a new pope and a new president and neither of them seem terribly concerned about the revival of communist power throughout the world. In fact, both men have surrounded themselves with left-leaning advisors and appointees.
In addition, both Francis and Biden have effectively rolled back the agendas of their immediate predecessors. This is obvious in the case of Biden because the reversal has been swift and abrupt. The reversal that Francis has engineered is less noticeable since it has been more gradual, but the resulting change in the Catholic Church has been every bit as radical as the one now taking place in American government and society.
Archbishop Vigano links the two together. He talks of a coup in America and other Western nations led by secular leftist ideologues, and a coup in the Catholic Church led by Bergoglio and the progressive Catholics who surround him.
However, the coup in the Church has been a more silent one. Catholic writers who have studied Francis’s career describe him as a skillful–even Machiavellian–manipulator. According to them, all his actions are shrouded in a deliberate fog. Consequently, most Catholics remain unaware of the magnitude of the changes. It is only when a priest or prelate resists Francis that “the dictator pope” (the title of Henry Sire’s book about Francis) reveals himself. Just as the Biden administration is seeking to purge conservatives from government and the military, Francis seeks to purge traditional Catholics from the Church. And since some of the strongest resistance to Francis comes from adherents of the Latin Mass, he has acted to suppress the Latin Mass. Meanwhile, some conservative prelates find themselves demoted to obscure outposts, and others live in fear that false charges of sex abuse could land them in jail (as happened to Australian Cardinal George Pell).
Moreover, since Francis has been promoting progressive prelates to high posts for nine years, it looks likely that his “anti-Catholic” (Vigano’s term) brand of Catholicism will continue to dominate. Because Francis has carefully packed the College of Cardinals (who elect the next pope) with men made in his own image, we shouldn’t be surprised if the next Pope takes the name, Pope Francis II.
You’ve heard of the “deep state;” Vigano maintains that there is also a “deep church”—a network of progressive prelates who, together with Francis, plan to change the face of the Church beyond recognition. Moreover, the deep state and the deep church reinforce each other: “The deep church and deep state are nothing other than two parallel tracks which run in the same direction and have as their final destination the New World Order, with its religion and its prophet.”
Vigano points out that although Francis is “universally considered as the head of the Church,” he is at the same time a “liquidator” of the Church: “His dual role as pope and liquidator of the Catholic Church allows him on the one hand to demolish it with decrees and acts of governance, and on the other hand to use the prestige that his office entails to establish and spread the new religion over the rubble of the old one.”
The “new religion” which Francis hopes to usher in is, according to Vigano, a humanist and progressive one— “the religion of Mankind, an ecumenical and ecological one.” This new religion will also result in “the legitimization of Evil,” and the persecution of good people.”
If all of this—this notion of a non-Catholic pope who seeks to liquidate the Church—seems outlandish and inconceivable, consider that only a short time ago, the notion of a communist-ruled USA also seemed inconceivable. It seemed inconceivable that Americans would elect as president a man who would immediately set about to demolish American history, values, and institutions. But that is what seems to be happening.
As far as I know, Vigano has never actually said that Francis is not the pope, but he has implied as much. The evidence that he and others present can be divided into four categories:
Evidence that Pope Benedict’s resignation was invalid
Evidence that the election of Francis was rigged
Evidenced of widespread corruption in the Francis papacy.
Evidence that Francis embraces heresy.
Whether or not Vigano makes the case is a subject for another time. The point I want to make here is that, despite the gravity of the charges against Francis, the response has been muted. Neither Francis nor the Vatican has ever responded to Vigano’s explosive “testimony” in 2018 accusing Francis and other prelates of covering up Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s long history of sex abuse. Francis said that he would trust the media to come to the proper conclusion; and the media obliged by ignoring Vigano’s charges altogether.
Likewise, the Francis-friendly media has had little to say about Vigano’s claim that Francis is not a legitimate pope. As a result, the average Catholic is unaware that there is a problem. Most Catholics would be surprised to learn that although Francis has frequently promised to put an end to clerical sex-abuse, he surrounds himself with abusers and enablers and promotes them to high office. Likewise, most Catholics would be surprised to discover that although Francis verbally condemns abortion, he sees to it that prominent advocates of abortion are invited to Vatican conferences, and he sometimes showers them with praise.
Moreover, although he states that abortion is murder, he intervened to prevent the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from voting to deny communion to President Biden because of Biden’s flagrant pro-abortion policy. According to Vigano, Francis is a master of duplicity whose modus operandi is to say one thing to please the pew-sitters, and to do the opposite in order to please the worldly elites.
It should be noted that Vigano has recently been a bit more in the public eye because of two letters he wrote to Donald Trump, and because of Trump’s positive response to them. As a result, some in the liberal Catholic press have mounted a vigorous campaign to discredit him. For example, the Jesuit-run magazine Americadismisses him as just another right-wing conspiracy theorist who ought to be wearing a MAGA hat instead of a bishop’s cap.
The foundation for the conspiracy-theorist charge is that Vigano says what a growing number of Americans believe about a deep state increasingly controlled by global elites intent on reducing average people to the status of worker bees. He speaks disparagingly of the New World Order, and the machinations of the Rockefeller Foundation, The World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, and Bill Gates. Furthermore, in contrast to Francis, he sees the Covid pandemic as an invented crisis which is intended to create a more docile population. Finally, Vigano often talks in apocalyptic terms. He speaks of death and judgement, heaven and hell, Satan’s war against heaven, the Second Coming of Christ, and the “Mark of the Beast.” To the modern ear and to many modern Christians such talk is embarrassing, but through the ages most Christians have regarded such signs and prophesies not as the ravings of extremists, but as the revealed word of God.
Vigano has a good grip on science, finance, and politics, yet he does sometimes sound more like a 19thcentury pope than a 21st century prelate. This is actually quite refreshing because many modern clergymen have learned to talk in a corporate-therapeutic lingo that is devoid of any depth. Take this tweet sent out by the USCCB to prepare Catholics for the upcoming “Synod on Synodality:”
“Here are seven attitudes we can all adopt as we continue our synodal journey together. Which one inspires you the most?”
“Which one inspires you the most?” But these psychobabble buzzwords aren’t meant to inspire, they’re meant to put to sleep—to distract people from the crucial issues that face the Church today such as the issue of “a pope who does not behave like a pope and does not speak like a pope.”
Vigano wants to wake up the sheep and so it seems quite fitting that he uses the strong language of the Bible to arouse people from their slumber. While other bishops babble on about “inclusivity,” “dialogue,” and “open-mindedness,” it’s somehow reassuring that at least one bishop points to the very disturbing signs of the time.
It’s easy enough to dismiss Vigano as a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but let’s not forget that the Bible contains many admonitions to be alert to the signs of the time, and many warnings about “spiritual” leaders who are not what they seem. One of the warnings goes like this: “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Mt. 7: 15.
Of course, it’s not easy to discern a false prophet when he is dressed in sheep’s clothing. It would be more difficult still if he were dressed as a shepherd.
This article originally appeared in the January 25, 2022 edition of Front Page.
‘Opinions of a man,’ not the Church: Cardinal Burke criticizes Pope Francis’ praise for LGBT group leader
The cardinal discussed his 'miraculous' recovery from COVID-19, the attacks launched against the Traditional Latin Mass, and the Pope’s letters of gratitude to pro-LGBT advocate Sister Jeannine Gramick of the controversial New Ways Ministry.
Cardinal Burke interviews on EWTN's The World Over, January 20, 2022The World Over Screenshot
(LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke has openly criticized Pope Francis for his recent endorsement of the pro-LGBT group New Ways Ministry, clarifying that his words are merely the “opinions of a man” and have “nothing to do with the Magisterium of the Church.”
In a wide-ranging interview Thursday on EWTN’s The World Over, the American cardinal discussed his “miraculous” recovery from COVID-19, the attacks launched against the Traditional Latin Mass from the Vatican and high-ranking prelates, and the Pope’s letters of gratitude to pro-LGBT advocate Sr. Jeannine Gramick of the controversial New Ways Ministry.
Alongside his criticisms of Francis’ personal musings, Burke has defended the right of Catholics not to receive the COVID jabs, citing “Catholic teaching” as the basis for rejecting shot mandates while criticizing Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin for implementing a jab requirement.
He added that “forced vaccination is a violation of human rights.”
The former head of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court, also defended the Latin Mass, explaining that its use has “absolutely not” been a cause of disunity in the Church, and that there is nothing “in the documents of the Second Vatican Council that would lead to a banning of the traditional way, of the traditional posture or position of the priest during the celebration of the Mass.”
Regarding the Pope’s praise of the work of New Ways Ministry, Burke maintained that the position taken by previous popes and entered into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis in 1999 still stands, that Gramick’s teaching on homosexuality does “not faithfully convey the clear and constant teaching of the Catholic Church.”
Burke added that Pope Francis’ personal opinions on the matter have “have nothing to do with the Church’s teaching.”
Below follows a full transcript of the interview:
Raymond Arroyo: First of all, how are you feeling? And are you having any lingering effects from the COVID recovery?
Cardinal Raymond Burke: In general I’m feeling very well and I’m returning more or less to a normal pace of life. The lingering effect has been on my lungs. The virus attacked in a very vicious way my lungs and so there’s some healing yet that has to take place and the doctors tell me that they don’t know a lot about this; how long it takes, but that it could take upwards of a year or so. I’m getting stronger all the time, but that’s the one lingering effect. Of course I was on a ventilator for nine days which were nine days lost for me – I don’t have any recollection at all of that –and so when I came out from the from that intubation I couldn’t even stand up and I had to regain all of my ability to stand, to walk, to negotiate stairs, and thanks be to God that has gone well, and that was part of the reason for the long recovery. And then as people who’ve had this will tell you that there was this terrible fatigue that I had. I left the hospital on September 3rd and for about a month I was just tired all the time: it didn’t matter how many hours I slept at night, I would wake up in the morning tired. It’s a terrible thing but that passed too, thanks be to God and yeah, I’m tired a little earlier in the day than I used to but during the day I’m quite fine.
I became ill quite suddenly and then I was very quickly put on the ventilator, but when I came out from that, I think it was on the 20th of August, and I began to read these messages and to learn about all the people who were praying for me, I was really overwhelmed with it and just filled with a profound gratitude. I have to say that when they took the tubing out and I was conscious again, that I had an immediate sense that our Blessed Mother had been taking care of me all the time, and I say this very sincerely. The doctors had informed my good sister Mary that there was really not any hope that I was going to survive this, and that she should put my things in order, and I have no question in my mind that it was all these prayers that were raised up to Our Lord and the prayers that He heard, and saved me for some work now that He has for me to do. But I had immediately that very strong sense and it has remained with me; it really was miraculous, and we should never doubt the power of prayer. But in this instance, I have experienced it in a remarkable way because I knew I was dying and I really wasn’t at all certain that I would survive. When I then gained my consciousness again, I learned about all these prayers that were offered, I understood what had happened.
In many reports of your illness you were portrayed, Your Eminence, as a vaccine denier and skeptic. Even the pope made reference to you as a denier on the papal plane returning on his trip from Slovakia in September. He said: “Even in the college of cardinals there are some deniers and one of those, poor guy, is hospitalized with the virus: the irony of life.” What did you think when you heard those comments that you were a denier and a skeptic of vaccines? Are you?
Well, no, I have never said to anyone that he or she should not be vaccinated. I have insisted that the question of having the vaccination is a personal decision, it’s an exercise of a fundamental human right, and that I’m absolutely opposed to forced vaccination, to these mandates. But I have not taken a position of being against the vaccine. On the other hand, we have only one Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ: we put ourselves in His hands, and vaccinating the whole world is not going to save the world. and that there is this kind of rhetoric today where people think that if that if everyone were vaccinated everything would be just fine; that isn’t correct thinking for a Christian.
And scientifically invalid I might add as events have proven particularly with this omicron variant. The Vatican however, Your Eminence, is currently mandating vaccines for all employees. It’s been encouraging that everyone, including children, be vaccinated. Several members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard have lost their jobs for not receiving the jab. There are no numbers of reporting on other jobs that have been lost so far, we just don’t know. Your reaction to the Vatican’s vaccine mandate especially now, when as we mentioned it’s been widely reported the vaccine’s not effective against omicron, and several European countries have now – namely England and Spain – have lifted their vaccine mandates?
The Vatican’s position on this is very severe, there’s no question about it. You cannot enter for instance the apostolic palace or other offices of the Vatican unless you can demonstrate that that you are vaccinated and this is a very severe policy. I understand – I don’t know personally but I understand – that that there are a number of people who cannot come to work because they’re not vaccinated, and of course their absence from work is classified as unjustified and therefore they aren’t paid: and also, I have heard that a number of the Swiss Guards had to leave the service of the Guards because they chose not to be vaccinated. As I said before I believe that the forced vaccination is a violation of human rights, and also there are normal precautions which can be taken with regard to the spreading of any kind of illness and those precautions should be taken; but it’s correct: there are a lot of people who have been vaccinated who now have contracted seemingly this omicron variation. To me the bottom line is that the vaccination, as it is, is an experiment. We don’t have the necessary experience with the vaccine, and so people who take the vaccine are accepting to be part of an experiment.
Yes, and as you mentioned there have even been Vatican officials who’ve now contracted COVID, many of them triple vaxxed in some cases. Tell me how this squares though with Catholic teaching because the CDF document of last year, of last December, said you can in good conscience and as a good Catholic decide not to take these vaccines, and that’s perfectly licit, but now we seem to be getting a different message, at least in word, from the Vatican, to say nothing of these mandates they’ve dropped on employees.
What the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith said is Catholic teaching. A forced vaccination of people is no part of Catholic teaching and that’s all I can say: this has never been in the Church’s teaching, in the document of the Congregation. The CDF was clear about that and I thought that it was understood. But then the Vatican itself has taken this position which really doesn’t square with that teaching and it’s causing a great deal of suffering.
Your Eminence, I want to move on to another topic: the continued support of and attacks upon the traditional Latin Mass since Pope Francis’ motu proprio “Guardians of Tradition” that was released in July. In the archdiocese of Chicago where the Latin Mass has practically been banned – Cardinal Blase Cupich issued rules last month on Christmas day that banned the use of the traditional liturgy on Christmas, Easter Sunday, and the first Sunday of each month and other holy days; now Cardinal Cupich explains his reasoning for these new rules is the following: “To foster and make manifest the unity of this local church as well as to provide all Catholics in the archdiocese an opportunity to offer a concrete manifestation of the acceptance of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and its liturgical books.” Cardinal Burke, what is the fear of the Old Rite based upon, and is the ongoing celebration of the Latin Mass a challenge in your mind to the Second Vatican Council or the liturgical books that came out of it?
Absolutely not. In many dioceses now for many years, some of the faithful have been assisting at the celebration of the Holy Mass, especially on feast days, according to the more ancient usage, the usus antiquior, the extraordinary form as it’s called today. That hasn’t been any cause of disunity. In fact I served in two dioceses and it was a great blessing to have these communities who were following those ancient rites as they’ve been handed down to us from the time of pope Gregory the Great and even before, and I don’t want to talk about them as if they’re simply antiquities, not at all! The sacred liturgy is a living reality: it’s Christ himself acting in our midst to sanctify us, and the Holy Mass in the most wonderful way possible by His renewing His sacrifice on calvary sacramentally, and then nourishing us with His own Body and Blood. And this remains the reality, so that the form of the Mass as it was set forth after the Council of Trent but as it had existed for centuries before is a living reality, and you can’t deny that. With regard to the Second Vatican Council many things that happened after the Council with regard to the sacred liturgy have no foundation whatsoever in the in the documents on the sacred liturgy, and intelligent people who have studied these matters know well that there were many abuses following the Council – the so-called spirit of the council, and the whole way in which the liturgy was reformed, the rites were reformed. So there are legitimate questions. Some of them have been addressed, some need yet to be addressed. But Pope Saint John Paul II for instance, in the last years of his pontificate, was continually insisting on the need to address the sacred liturgy and to restore the transcendence of the liturgical action: namely that it’s Jesus Christ Himself who acts in our midst, comes into our midst through the sacred liturgy. And, of course, Pope Benedict XVI was a wonderful teacher in that regard, and Summorum Pontificum, his motu proprio by which he made more accessible the celebration of the extraordinary form, as he called it, was a great gift and was proceeding in the exercise of that gift. The use of that gift was a great gift in the church. I don’t understand this. I have a lot of contact with the oratories and parishes that celebrate the extraordinary form, and with priests, and it’s all positive. They don’t think of themselves as being the real Church or better Catholics than anyone else: they simply find a tremendous spiritual nourishment through these ancient rites, the traditional form of the mass. And why should that be denied to them?
Your Eminence, a priest in the Chicago diocese asked to be allowed to use the ad orientemposture, facing the East during mass: he was denied. When he protested, he was charged with inciting disobedience against the diocesan bishop. Has the ad orientem posture been abrogated, forbidden by the Council or the Church and what does the all of that have to do with the Latin Mass?
Any mass can be celebrated facing the Lord or facing the east ad orientemversus Dominum, and in fact many people tell me, and it makes perfect sense, that it’s a very beautiful thing to have the priest at the head of the congregation offering the Mass when everyone is facing Our Lord, so this makes it clear that the sacrifice is Our Lord’s sacrifice. We worship in spirit and truth in Our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s true that that the more ancient usage was certainly to celebrate Mass facing the Lord, facing the east, but I don’t find anything in the documents of the Second Vatican Council that would lead to a banning of the traditional way, of the traditional posture or position of the priest during the celebration of the Mass; and why this is now being brought forward I don’t understand.
Your Eminence, the practical effect of this, I think people haven’t given due consideration in Rome, what I’m hearing is so many of these Catholic communities – and again these are small groups of Catholics but they’re fervent, the church is packed for these traditional Latin Masses – many of them are now going over to these Society of Saint Pius X chapels. Is the intention here on the part of some in Rome to drive those Catholics attached to this rite to the Society of Saint Pius X and then declare them all schismatics at some later date? Why create this division while talking of accompaniment?
I don’t know. I’ve been told that too, that the thinking of some is that that anyone who is attracted to the more ancient usage should simply go over to the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, but that’s absolutely wrong because the more ancient usage is an integral part of the life of the Church it has been along all the centuries. Even after the introduction of the Novus Ordo, as it’s called in the more recent usage, the Church has always permitted to individuals and to groups the possibility of the use of following the more ancient usage. And so this idea that somehow if you are attracted to the usus antiquior you’re a schismatic, I mean this is simply wrong and it’s wrong to drive people in that direction. But Our Lord is with us in the Church: He told us he would remain with us always in the Church, and so we have to stay in the Church and fight to preserve and to promote and cultivate the liturgical life of the Church, also through the extraordinary form. And so I tell people we don’t have a choice. Saint Athanasius was exiled, he was excommunicated, he suffered so many humiliations for defending the truth of the faith, but he never left the Church. Padre Pio is another example more recent: he suffered a great deal at the hands of the Vatican and yet he remained faithfully in the Church, and this is what we have to do. Our lord isn’t going to permit – I know this – Our Lord is not going to permit that this beautiful gift of the more ancient usage, the beautiful gift of these rites will be lost. It’s clear that He hasn’t permitted it and since the time of the Council there’s been a continual growth and interest in the more ancient usage. I know so many lay faithful and also priests who have told me that being able to assist at the Holy Mass according to the usus antiquior has so helped them to deepen their understanding and their appreciation and their participation in the Holy Mass.
I’ve had a number of priests tell me it wasn’t until they either assisted or celebrated the old rite that they fully understood and then brought a new sacrality and devotion to the new one, because one feeds the other, it stands on the back of the other. But it is as you mentioned, Your Eminence – and I would add Mother Angelica’s name to that list of martyrs for the faith fighting and being abused by authorities at times over the liturgy, let’s face it – it is curious and bizarre to me that at the same time that the Vatican is inviting protestants and Anglicans to walk with the Roman Catholic Church in this synod, we are basically treating very faithful Catholics of a living beautiful tradition of the church as if they’re lepers and saying there’s no room for you at the inn. George Weigel called Traditionis custodes “theologically incoherent, pastorally divisive and unnecessary.” Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence is calling on the Church to support those attached to the old rite. Do you think this is going to be an ongoing struggle here, and how best to fight it?
It will be, and my counsel to people is: continue to do what you’ve been doing. This is nurturing your faith, this is nurturing your closeness to your bishop and your closeness to the whole Church, and that is the way that we can best fight this battle, and then to vindicate our rights in the Church, to make recourses when injustices are done to legitimate communities of the faithful. And, of course, there are also institutes of the consecrated life or societies of apostolic life whose particular charism is the celebration of the liturgy according to the roman rite according to the more ancient usage, and to promote that. It’s their right to do that. So I believe that there will continue to be a very strong response to the situation and God willing – and I’m sure that Our Lord will bless it – that we will return to a regular free usage of the more ancient usage of the Roman rite.
In the meantime, it’s going to be very difficult when many of these priests are not allowed to celebrate the Latin Mass in a parish setting, so I guess this goes underground like as it was in days gone by and in Communist China, I guess that’s where the whole world is now.
Your Eminence, in December pope Francis wrote a letter praising the work of sister Jeannine Gramick, the head of the very controversial New Ways Ministry, a group condemned by the Bishops’ Conference in the US and two previous pontificates. The Pope praised her work for her outreach to LGBTQ Catholics. His letter fully contradicts John Paul II and Ratzinger’s 1999 admonition against her work. What are your thoughts on this letter and the message it sends to the Church and the wider world?
Well, the church’s response to the New Ways Ministry, and at that time he was still alive, father Nugent, and sister Jeanine Gramick is found in a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that was published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official organ of communication of the of the Church, in 1999, and you can read it there, and what’s written there is as true today as when it was written. What these personal acts of the pope are, are exactly that: these are acts that he is taking on personally, but they have nothing to do with the Church’s teaching as far as I’m concerned. What I read that was quoted in the media of the letter – or letters, I’m not sure – which is written to Sister Jeanine, these are simply the opinions of a man, but they have nothing to do with the Magisterium of the Church. That’s found very carefully set forth in that document: when a document is published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis this is very significant: it indicates to us that it is in a particular way an expression of the Church’s doctrine and discipline.