Tag Archives: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Sunday Devotional: Beware of scribes decked out in finery

Mark 12:38-40

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
“Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

Accusations of 88-year-old Cardinal McCarrick’s sexual abuse include:

  • Fondling an 11-year-old boy over 40 years ago when McCarrick was a priest in Manhattan, New York. The victim, now a mature man, says the sexually abusive relationship continued for two more decades. (NY Post)
  • Groping and having sex with seminarians: Six priests of the Archdiocese of Newark said that when then-Archbishop of Newark McCarrick visited the seminary, he “would often place his hand on seminarians while talking with them, or on their thighs while seated near them.” One of the priests said McCarrick “had a type: tall, slim, intelligent – but no smokers” and that McCarrick would invite young men to stay at his house on the shore or spend the night in the cathedral rectory in central Newark. Another priest, who was an aide to New York Cardinal Terence Cooke in the early 1970s, said McCarrick’s “reputation” was already well-established by that time, and that a classmate of McCarrick, the dean of a theology school, knew about the rumors and spoke about them with the other faculty and theologians very openly.” So well-known was McCarrick’s reputation that a “standing joke” was that when McCarrick visited the seminary, they had to “hide the handsome ones” before he arrived. Another priest, who worked in close proximity to then-Archbishop McCarrick in the chancery, said: “Priests would tell me ‘he’s sleeping with them’ all the time, but I couldn’t believe it – they seemed like perfectly normal guys.” Seminarians and priests from ordination classes spanning 30 years during the terms of McCarrick and his successor, Archbishop John Myers, said there was an active homosexual subculture of priests and seminarians within Newark’s Immaculate Conception Seminary. (Catholic News Agency)

Despite McCarrick’s well-known reputation of groping and “sleeping with” seminarians, the Vatican promoted him to the cardinalate and to archbishop of Washington, DC, in 2001.

On August 31, 2018, Catholic News Service, the news agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, published a 2006 letter from then-Archbishop Leonardo Sandri confirming that the Vatican had received information in 2000 about the sexual misconduct of McCarrick. Sandri’s letter lends credibility to accusations of a cover-up of McCarrick’s deeds at the highest echelons of the Roman Catholic Church. (New York Post)

Although McCarrick’s pedophilia had been known for some time, Pope Francis covered up for McCarrick, ignored the sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed on McCarrick, and even made McCarrick a trusted counselor in U.S. clerical appointments, including the promotion of far-Left bishops such as Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark to the College of Cardinals.

On July 28, 2018, after shielding Cardinal McCarrick, Pope Francis “accepted” the former Archbishop of Washington, DC’s offer to resign from the College of Cardinals, and ordered the cardinal’s suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, pending “accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.” (The Remnant)

Michael Stone reports for Patheos, Oct. 3, 2014, that police found more than 100,000 child porn videos and photos on the computer of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski in his office at the Holy See diplomatic compound in the Dominican Republic. Wesolowski was the Vatican’s papal nuncio or ambassador in Santo Domingo.

Wesolowski was also accused of raping numerous children in the Dominican Republic and Poland, and suspected of having sexually abused children while serving in other posts during his career — in South Africa, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, India and Denmark.

After being publicly accused of procuring child prostitutes in 2013, Vatican officials secretly removed Wesolowski from his post as papal nuncio in Santo Domingo so as to avoid criminal prosecution. In September 2014, Weslowski was placed under house arrest at the Vatican in response to popular outrage after reports began to circulate that the accused child rapist was free to wander the streets of Rome. Authorities in both the Dominican Republic and Poland — Wesolowski’s country of origin where he has also been accused of sexually abusing children — wanted him extradicted to face criminal charges.

According to Vatican detectives, some of the horrors found on the former Archbishop’s computer included around 160 videos showing teenage boys forced to perform sexual acts on themselves and on adults, and more than 86,000 pornographic photos methodically archived in several category-based folders. At least another 45,000 pictures were deleted, while even more child pornography was found on a laptop Wesolowski used during his trips abroad.

Wesolowski was charged with sexually abusing minors and child porn possession; if convicted, he would face 12 years in jail. Scheduled for July 11, 2015, his trial was postponed because of an “unexpected illness”. On August 27, 2015, Wesołowski was found dead in his residence from a heart attack. (Wikipedia)

The New York Post reports that on June 22, 2017, Australian police charged Cardinal George Pell — Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser and Australia’s most senior Catholic — with multiple counts of “historical sexual assault offenses,” meaning offenses that generally occurred some time ago. Police gave no other details.

Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal, had also been accused of mishandling cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney. He has denied all abuse allegations.

In late June, 2017, Vatican police raided a cocaine-fueled gay-sex party at the apartment of Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, 49. Capozzi is the secretary of one of Pope Francis’ key advisers and president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio.

After neighbors complained repeatedly about constant comings and goings of visitors to the building during all hours of the night, Vatican police raided the apartment and found multiple men engaged in rampant drug use and homosexual activity. Police arrested Capozzi, whom Italian media called an “ardent supporter of Pope Francis,” after taking him to a clinic to detox from the cocaine he’d ingested. Capozzi is now on a spiritual retreat in an undisclosed convent in Italy. Despite his arrest, he is still listed as an active staff member on the website of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts.

Capozzi, who on his LinkedIn page calls himself an “expert in canon law and dogmatic theology,” managed to evade suspicion from Italian police by using a BMW luxury car with license plates of the Holy See, which made him practically immune to stops and searches. This privilege, usually reserved for high-ranking prelates, allowed the monsignor to transport cocaine for his frequent homosexual orgies without being stopped by the Italian police.

In response to the news of the police raid, Pope Francis decided to “accelerate” the retirement of Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. At age 79, Coccopalmerio is way beyond the age of retirement of 75, but was kept on by Francis. Incredibly, Coccopalmerio had recommended Capozzi for a promotion to bishop, despite Capozzi’s previous alleged drug overdoses.

Coccopalmerio, as President of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts, is the Vatican’s top canonical official and one of Pope Francis’ closest collaborators and ardent supporters. Earlier this year, the Vatican’s publishing house released with much fanfare a book by Coccopalmeiro that defended Francis’s Amoris Laetitia, even though it contradicts traditional Catholic teaching. In a 2014 interview with Rossoporpora, Coccopalmerio said that while homosexual relationships are deemed “illicit” by the Church, Catholic leaders, such as himself, must “emphasize” the “positive realities” that he said are present in homosexual relationships:

“But if I see that the two persons truly love each other, do acts of charity to those in need, for example … then I can also say that, although the relationship remains illicit, positive elements also emerge in the two persons. Instead of closing our eyes to such positive realities, I emphasize them.”

In November 2018, a highly-placed Vatican source with direct knowledge, who must remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, tells LifeSite that Pope Francis knows of Coccopalmerio’s presence at the cocaine homosexual “party”.

In March 2017, reports surfaced that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, in 2007 when he was a diocesan bishop, had commissioned a homosexual artist to paint a gigantic blasphemous homoerotic mural in his cathedral church of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia in Umbria, central Italy.

The mural that covers the opposite side of the façade of the church portrays Jesus carrying nets to heaven filled with writhing naked and semi-nude homosexuals, transsexuals, prostitutes, and drug dealers. The image of the archbishop himself is depicted among those in the nets.

Not coincidentally, Paglia also defended Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia on allowing adulterers and others living in mortal sin receive the Eucharist, which reinforces the suspicion of many that the real intent of Amoris Laetitia ultimately is to legitimate homosexuality.

Meanwhile, the AP reports on February 25, 2017 that, ignoring advice from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.”

Jeremiah 23:1-2

Woe to the shepherds
who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture,
says the LORD.
Therefore, thus says the LORD . . .
against the shepherds who shepherd my people:
You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.
You have not cared for them,
but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.

Jesus, I love You with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, and with all my strength.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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CA Catholic church to install hideous 40-ft $2M statue of Mary to welcome illegal border-crossers and refugees

The Catholic Church is a fifth column that actively works to undermine the United States from within.

Simply put, illegal “immigration” is against the law. But the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on the US-Mexico border in San Ysidro, California, plans to install a hideous 40-ft. statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, “as a symbol intended to welcome immigrants and refugees headed to the U.S.”.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the statue, named “Welcome the Stranger”, is designed by artist Jim Bliesner who says the statue is inspired by Mary, who had fled with her family to Egypt as a refugee soon after the birth of Jesus, and that “it will stand as a beacon of hope and encouragement for people engaged in the struggle of the migrant.”

The $2 million statue will go up on the hilltop parking lot of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. The project is spearheaded by nonprofit San Diego Organizing Project, and already has $1 million from the California Endowment, a private health foundation. On October 5, “community members” convened to kick off a crowdfunding campaign to raise another $1 million to build the statue by early 2019.

Bishop Robert McElroy, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, said the monument and its location will send a strong message about the border: “It is a symbol and powerful reminder that for us, for us as people of faith, for us as America, the border represents not a line of separation, but a line that unites us to Latin America.”

McElroy said the statue will be a reminder that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants who contributed to “help build America.” It also will represent hope for a brighter future for the waves of immigrants and refuges who one day will begin “an arduous journey” to the U.S.

In a 2017 interview with America: The Jesuit Review, the Catholic magazine that withdrew its endorsement of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, McElroy said “in the Diocese of San Diego we have 200,000 Catholics who are undocumented. We simply can’t stand by and watch them get deported.”

According to Church Militant, Bishop McElroy was told of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual predation as early as July 2016, but remained silent.

Richard Sipe, the renowned expert in clerical sex abuse who passed away on August 10, 2018, published his private correspondence with McElroy proving that the bishop had been made aware of McCarrick’s sexual harassment of seminarians.

In a letter dated July 28, 2016, which was “hand delivered” to Bishop McElroy on August 30, Sipe wrote:

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been reported by numerous seminarians and priests of sexual advances and activity. A settlement with one priest was effected by Stephen Rubino, Esq….

Priests or seminarians who speak up about a sexually active superior are threatened with the loss of everything — employment, status, etc. Those who report are greeted with disbelief or even derision if they know but were not personally involved. If they were a partner in the sexual activity and “come out” they become a pariah and labeled a traitor.

I have interviewed twelve seminarians and priests who attest to propositions, harassment, or sex with McCarrick, who has stated, “I do not like to sleep alone.”

One priest incardinated in McCarrick’s Archdiocese of Newark was taken to bed for sex and was told, “this is how priests do it in the U.S.” None so far has found the ability to speak openly at the risk of reputation and retaliation.

The system protects its impenetrability with intimidation, secrecy and threat. Clergy and laity are complicit.

In spite of these detailed allegations about McCarrick’s homosexual predation, McElroy said and did nothing, offering no response to Sipe.

See:

~Eowyn

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Catholic Church in Crisis: Pedophile cardinal; Pennsylvania priests abused 1k children; homoerotic church service

Mark Taylor, the Florida fireman who predicted the presidency of Donald John Trump on April 28, 2011, wrote in “All Roads Lead to Rome,” January 25, 2018:

The Spirit of God says, “The Pope and the Vatican…are not furthering my kingdom but are aiding the kingdom of darkness…. This will be the last Pope, for what I the Lord God am about to do. I will expose this Pope and all those under his command for all the corruption he and the Vatican have been involved in for centuries…. This Pope, the Vatican and all its leadership, will come crumbling down. I will pull back the veil to show how deep and dark the deception has been. You whisper in your inner chambers ‘we answer to no one. No one is above us; No one can hold us accountable.’ I the Lord God see it all and the time has come when I will now hold you accountable for your darkness. This exposure will be of such magnitude that the people will say. ‘What do we do now? Where do we go now? We want nothing to do with this. We have no religion now.’ Millions will walk away from their religion, as this will affect other religions as well.”

“The church is facing a crisis that it hasn’t faced perhaps since the Middle Ages,” said Joan Mann Thomas, chair of the parish council at St. Anselm Parish in Ross, California.

Thomas was not exaggerating.

On August 22, 2018, Archbishop Carlo Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio (the Vatican’s ambassador) to the United States, called for the resignation of Pope Francis for protecting pedophile Cardinal and former Archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick.

Note: As of January 1, 2019, the Vatican has still not responded to Vigano’s letter. (Source)

McCarrick is but one of the triggers of the Catholic Church in crisis. The subjects of this post, the first of a series of posts on the crisis of the Catholic Church, are:

  1. Cardinal McCarrick.
  2. Pennsylvania pedophile priests.
  3. Homoerotic church service in Germany.

(1) The Pedophile Cardinal

On July 28, 2018, after shielding Cardinal McCarrick, Pope Francis “accepted” the former Archbishop of Washington, DC’s offer to resign from the College of Cardinals, and ordered the cardinal’s suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, pending “accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

Although McCarrick’s pedophilia had been known for some time, Pope Francis  covered up for McCarrick, ignored the sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed on McCarrick, and even made McCarrick a trusted counselor in U.S. clerical appointments, including the promotion of far-Left bishops such as Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark to the College of Cardinals. (The Remnant)

Accusations of 88-year-old Cardinal McCarrick’s sexual abuse include:

  • Fondling an 11-year-old boy over 40 years ago when McCarrick was a priest in Manhattan, New York. The victim, now a mature man, says the sexually abusive relationship continued for two more decades. (NY Post)
  • Groping and having sex with seminarians: Six priests of the Archdiocese of Newark said that when then-Archbishop of Newark McCarrick visited the seminary, he “would often place his hand on seminarians while talking with them, or on their thighs while seated near them.” One of the priests said McCarrick “had a type: tall, slim, intelligent – but no smokers” and that McCarrick would invite young men to stay at his house on the shore or spend the night in the cathedral rectory in central Newark. Another priest, who was an aide to New York Cardinal Terence Cooke in the early 1970s, said McCarrick’s “reputation” was already well-established by that time, and that a classmate of McCarrick, the dean of a theology school, knew about the rumors and spoke about them with the other faculty and theologians very openly.” So well-known was McCarrick’s reputation that when he was a “standing joke” that when McCarrick visited the seminary, they had to “hide the handsome ones” before he arrived. Another priest, who worked in close proximity to then-Archbishop McCarrick in the chancery, said “Priests would tell me ‘he’s sleeping with them’ all the time, but I couldn’t believe it – they seemed like perfectly normal guys.” Seminarians and priests from ordination classes spanning 30 years during the terms of McCarrick and his successor, Archbishop John Myers, said there was an active homosexual subculture of priest and seminarians within Newark’s Immaculate Conception Seminary. (Catholic News Agency)
  • The latest (Jan. 2, 2019): A man who says he was sexually abused by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick testified on behalf of a Vatican investigation that he was repeatedly groped and assaulted during confession.

Despite McCarrick’s well-known reputation of groping and “sleeping with” seminarians, the Vatican promoted him to the cardinalate and to archbishop of Washington, DC, in 2001.

On August 31, 2018, Catholic News Service, the news agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, published a 2006 letter from then-Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, which confirms that the Vatican had received information in 2000 about the sexual misconduct of McCarrick. Sandri’s letter lends credibility to accusations of a cover-up of McCarrick’s deeds at the highest echelons of the Roman Catholic Church. (New York Post)

Two other cardinals have also be accused of sexual misconduct: Australian Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers; and Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who is accused by former seminarians in 2013 of sexual misconduct. Two years after the first revelations came out, Francis accepted O’Brien’s resignation after the Vatican’s top abuse prosecutor conducted a full investigation.

Update: On December 11, 2018 in Australia, Cardinal Pell was convicted by a unanimous jury on all charges he sexually abused two choir boys there in the late ’90s. Pell is the Vatican’s third most powerful official as its finance chief, and is the highest Vatican official to ever go on trial for sex abuse. (Daily Beast)

(2) Pennsylvania Pedophile Priests and the Bishops Who Enabled Them

In 2016, Pennsylvania’s 40th Statewide Grand Jury began an investigation into allegations of child sex crimes by Catholic priests across the dioceses of Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton and Greensburg. The six dioceses account for 54 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

In June 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that large portions of the grand jury’s report would be released to the public. But about two dozen current and former clergy named in the report succeeded in blocking its release, claiming it would violate their rights to due process and reputation. On July 27, Pa. Chief Justice Thomas Saylor ordered an interim report be released, with identifying information about those clergy petitioners redacted. (Penn Live)

On August 14, 2018, the 1,356-page, redacted version of the long-awaited grand jury report was released. You can read the report here. Below is a summary of the grand jury’s findings:

  • The grand jury heard the testimony of dozens of witnesses, and subpoenaed and reviewed half a million pages of internal diocesan documents.
  • The grand jury found “credible allegations” against over 300 predator priests, and identified more than 1,000 child victims from the church’s own records. “We believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward — is in the thousands.
  • Most of the victims were boys; but there were girls too. Some were teens; many were pre-pubescent. Some were manipulated with alcohol or pornography. Some were made to masturbate their assailants, or were groped by them. Some were raped orally, some vaginally, some anally. But all of them were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all.
  • Secrecy: In every diocese, abuse complaints were kept locked up in a “secret archive” because the church’s Code of Canon Law specifically requires the diocese to maintain such an archive.

Every diocese adopted the same strategy on pedophile priests:

  1. Use evasive euphemisms to describe the sexual assaults in diocese documents, e.g., “inappropriate contact” and “boundary issues” instead of  “rape”.
  2. Don’t conduct genuine investigations with properly trained personnel, but assign fellow clergy members to ask inadequate questions and then make credibility determinations about the colleagues with whom they live and work.
  3. Send priests for “evaluation” at church-run, wholly-inadequate psychiatric treatment centers where experts “diagnose” whether the priest was a pedophile based largely on the priest’s “self-reports,” but ignore whether the priest had actually engaged in sexual contact with a child.
  4. When a priest does have to be removed, don’t say why. Instead, tell his parishioners that he is on “sick leave,” or suffering from “nervous exhaustion,” or say nothing at all.
  5. Even if a priest is raping children, keep providing him housing and living expenses.
  6. If a predator’s conduct becomes known to the community, instead of removing him from the priesthood to ensure that no more children will be victimized, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a pedophile.
  7. Above all, don’t tell the police. Although child sexual abuse, even short of actual penetration, is a crime, don’t treat it as a crime. Instead, handle it “in house” as a personnel matter.

Some especially egregious cases:

  • In the Diocese of Allentown, confronted about an abuse complaint, a priest admitted, “Please help me. I sexually molested a boy.” But the diocese concluded that “the experience will not necessarily be a horrendous trauma” for the victim, and that the boy’s family should just be given “an opportunity to ventilate.” The priest was left in unrestricted ministry for several more years.
  • In the Diocese of Erie, despite a priest’s admission to assaulting at least a dozen young boys, the bishop wrote to thank him for “all that you have done for God’s people…. The Lord, who sees in private, will reward.”
  • Another priest confessed to anal and oral rape of at least 15 boys, as young as seven years old. The bishop later met with the abuser to commend him as “a person of candor and sincerity,” and to compliment him “for the progress he has made” in controlling his “addiction.” When the abuser was finally removed from the priesthood years later, the bishop ordered the parish not to say why.
  • Another priest, grooming his middle school students for oral sex, taught them how Mary had to “bite off the cord” and “lick” Jesus clean after he was born. The diocese finally removed him from ministry after 15 years and numerous additional reports of abuse.
  • One priest raped a seven-year -old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she’d had her tonsils out.
  • Another priest made a nine-year -old give him oral sex, then rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water “to purify him.”
  • One boy drank some “juice” at his priest’s house, and woke up the next morning bleeding from his rectum, unable to remember anything from the night before.
  • Another priest, who finally decided to quit after years of child abuse complaints, asked for, and received, a letter of reference for his next job — at Walt Disney World.

Although, because of the church’s coverup, almost every instance of abuse the grand jury found is too old to be prosecuted and many of the priests are dead, “presentments” — written notices that a crime occurred — have been issued against two priests in the Greensburg and Erie dioceses, respectively, who sexually assaulted children within the last decade. There may be more indictments in the future because the grand jury is continuing its investigation.

It is noteworthy that the Catholic Church neither denies nor disputes the veracity of the grand jury report. See the official responses by the Vatican and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Exorcist Fr. Gary Thomas calls the Church’s pedophile priests scandal “demonic” and predicts worse is yet to come.

(3) Priest hosts homoerotic service in church

LifeSiteNews reports, July 23, 2018, that a newly ordained priest, Fr. Fabian Ploneczka, 33, of the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese, celebrated his first Mass on Sunday at his home church of St. Moritz in Augsburg, featuring a homoerotic dance.

According to the Augsburger Allgemeine, the worship service included the premiere of a ballet entitled “Jeremiah: Passion of the Prophet”, featuring ballet dancer Clemens Fröhlich of Munich and a narrated libretto written by Ploneczka himself. Observers said the dancer performed dressed only in tight, skin-colored underpants.

According to an account in Kath.net:

The whole church became a dance floor, even the altar area. There the dancer took the Gospel in his hand, stepped almost naked to the ambo, and lolled suggestively in front of the altar.

A young man, naked to his waist, interrupted the service by shouting that everyone should undress. Some of the attendees, among whom were children, left early. Worshipers told kath.net the service in a consecrated church was clearly homophile and homoerotic.

Afterwards, Fr. Thomas Steiger of Tübingen, a pastor and radio personality, gave a talk on the “eroticism of the faith,” speaking of “a sensual love for Jesus.”

This series on Catholic Church in Crisis will continue tomorrow.

~Eowyn

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The Illegitimate Pope: Election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis was contaminated by lobbying in violation of papal laws

Prophecy of St. Francis of Assisi concerning a false shepherd.

“At the time of this tribulation, a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error…Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor, but a destroyer.” (1226)

(Taken from Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, R. Washbourne Publishing House, 1882, pp. 248-250, with imprimatur by His Excellency William Bernard, Bishop of Birmingham)

In 1996, then Pope John Paul II (now St. John Paul II) promulgated papal constitution Universi Dominici Gregis forbidding the canvassing or lobbying for votes by the cardinal electors in the selection of pope. Violators would be automatically excommunicated, i.e. immediately imposed, without necessity of declaration. (The Latin expression for “automatic” is latae sententiae, which means “incurred as soon as the offence is committed”.) The result of the election would be “null and void.”

Universi Dominici Gregis, which means “the Lord’s whole flock” in English, is an Apostolic Constitution of the Catholic Church issued by Pope John Paul II on February 22, 1996. It supersedes all previous apostolic constitutions and orders on the subject of the election of the Roman Pontiff.
Universi Dominici Gregis begins:

The Shepherd of the Lord’s whole flock is the Bishop of the Church of Rome, where the Blessed Apostle Peter, by sovereign disposition of divine Providence, offered to Christ the supreme witness of martyrdom by the shedding of his blood. It is therefore understandable that the lawful apostolic succession in this See . . . has always been the object of particular attention.

Precisely for this reason, down the centuries the Supreme Pontiffs have deemed it their special duty, as well as their specific right, to establish fitting norms to regulate the orderly election of their Successor . . . .

While it is indeed a doctrine of faith that the power of the Supreme Pontiff derives directly from Christ, whose earthly Vicar he is,8 it is also certain that this supreme power in the Church is granted to him “by means of lawful election accepted by him, together with episcopal consecration”.9 A most serious duty is thus incumbent upon the body responsible for this election. Consequently the norms which regulate its activity need to be very precise and clear, so that the election itself will take place in a most worthy manner . . . .

[T]he College of electors of the Supreme Pontiff is composed solely of the Cardinals of Holy Roman Church . . . whose members come from every continent.

Universi Dominici Gregis then specifies, among other laws, that:

  • The cardinal electors are to vote by secret ballot (Universi Dominici Gregis II:10).
  • Anyone who commits the crime of simony — the buying and selling of church offices and votes — will be automatically excommunicated (Universi Dominici Gregis VI:78).
  • Cardinal electors who attempt to influence (lobby) or are influenced (lobbied) in the election of the pope will be automatically excommunicated (Universi Dominici Gregis VI:80-83).

Here are Universi Dominici Gregis laws 80-83:

80. In the same way, I wish to confirm the provisions made by my Predecessors for the purpose of excluding any external interference in the election of the Supreme Pontiff. Therefore, in virtue of holy obedience and under pain of excommunication latae sententiae, I again forbid each and every Cardinal elector, present and future, as also the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and all other persons taking part in the preparation and carrying out of everything necessary for the election, to accept under any pretext whatsoever, from any civil authority whatsoever, the task of proposing the veto or the so-called exclusiva, even under the guise of a simple desire, or to reveal such either to the entire electoral body assembled together or to individual electors, in writing or by word of mouth, either directly and personally or indirectly and through others, both before the election begins and for its duration. I intend this prohibition to include all possible forms of interference, opposition and suggestion whereby secular authorities of whatever order and degree, or any individual or group, might attempt to exercise influence on the election of the Pope.
81. The Cardinal electors shall further abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons. If this were in fact done, even under oath, I decree that such a commitment shall be null and void and that no one shall be bound to observe it; and I hereby impose the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae upon those who violate this prohibition. It is not my intention however to forbid, during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election.
82. I likewise forbid the Cardinals before the election to enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate. These promises too, should any in fact be made, even under oath, I also declare null and void.
83. With the same insistence shown by my Predecessors, I earnestly exhort the Cardinal electors not to allow themselves to be guided, in choosing the Pope, by friendship or aversion, or to be influenced by favour or personal relationships towards anyone, or to be constrained by the interference of persons in authority or by pressure groups, by the suggestions of the mass media, or by force, fear or the pursuit of popularity. Rather, having before their eyes solely the glory of God and the good of the Church, and having prayed for divine assistance, they shall give their vote to the person, even outside the College of Cardinals, who in their judgment is most suited to govern the universal Church in a fruitful and beneficial way.

Bro. Alexis Bugnolo of the blog, From Rome, writes:

Note that since the Papal law is wide in what it forbids, not only is it a crime to promise a vote, it is a crime to join in a conspiracy to canvass for such votes, since this is tantamount to promising to vote for one candidate and not vote for other candidates. However, note that the papal law only penalizes voting Cardinals.  Cardinals too old to vote, are not thus penalized, though they are collaborating in the solicitation of votes.

The Papal election of 2005 that selected Pope Benedict XVI was the first papal election to be held under John Paul II’s Universi Dominici Gregis. Benedict XVI made three changes to Universi Dominici Gregis:

  1. Reinstating the traditional two-thirds vote required to elect a new Pope regardless of the number of ballots it takes;
  2. Allowing the College of Cardinals the possibility to bring forward the start of the conclave once all cardinals are present, or push the beginning of the election back by a few days should there be serious reasons;
  3. Automatic excommunication of any non-cardinal who broke the absolute oath of secrecy of the College of Cardinals during the proceedings to select the new leader of the Catholic Church.

In other words, Pope Benedict XVI kept intact Universi Dominici Gregis‘s papal laws 80-83, including law 81 that explicitly forbids the cardinal electors from lobbying each other on behalf of a candidate.
But the cardinal electors who voted Argentinian cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as pope did exactly that — they lobbied fellow cardinals and were influenced by the lobbying, in violation of Papal Law 81.

What follows are three pieces of evidence in support of this assertion.

To begin, in an article for The Wall Street Journal, titled “Fifteen Days in Rome: How the Pope was Picked,” Aug. 6, 2013, Stacy Meichtry and Alessandra Galloni wrote that although Bergoglio had some support in 2005, he was “definitely a dark-horse candidate” in 2013:

Veteran cardinals who had cast ballots for Cardinal Bergoglio in 2005 saw a chance to float his candidacy again. His earliest supporters—a coalition of cardinals from Latin America, as well as Africa and Europe—viewed him as a consummate outsider. […] The challenge was getting Cardinal Bergoglio the 77 votes he needed, representing two-thirds of the conclave, to become pope.

Exhibit #1: Testimony of Cardinal Elector Theordore McCarrick

Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., was one of the cardinals in the Papal Conclave that elected Bergoglio. On October 11, 2013, during a speech given at Villanova University, McCarrick said that he was lobbied to support Bergoglio whom he (McCarrick) and other cardinals had not even considered before.

Beginning at the 18:20 mark in the video below, Cardinal McCarrick said that before the cardinal electors “went into the general conversations, he was approached by “a very interesting and influential Italian gentleman.” The man then came to the seminary where McCarrick was staying in Rome. Then, this “very brilliant man, very influential man in Rome” said, “What about Bergoglio? Does he have a chance?” McCarrick said he was surprised at the question, and replied, “I don’t think so because no one’s mentioned his name.” The man said, referring to Bergoglio, “He could do it, you know, reform the church,” and spoke about how Bergoglio had reformed the church in Argentina in just five years. McCarrick confessed, “That was the first time I’d heard there were people who thought Bergoglio was a possibility in this election.”

At the general congregation of the cardinal electors, McCarrick spoke for five minutes, in which he told his fellow electors that he hoped that whoever was elected pope would be someone who, if not himself a Latin American, would “have a very strong interest in Latin America because half the Church is there . . . that’s where the people are.”

Exhibit #2: Testimony of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

As reported by the Catholic Herald on Sept. 12, 2013, former Cardinal of Westminster Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who was not an elector but is rumored to be the leader of “Team Bergoglio,” admitted that Bergoglio knew that he was being put forth as a candidate prior to the initiation of the Papal Conclave, and that Murphy-O’Connor was his lobbyist:

Murphy-O’Connor said: “All the cardinals had a meeting with him [Pope Francis] in the Hall of Benedictions, two days after his election. We all went up one by one. He greeted me very warmly. He said something like: ‘It’s your fault. What have you done to me?’ […]

The cardinal also disclosed that he had spoken to the future Pope as they left the Missa pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the final Mass before the conclave began on March 12.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “We talked a little bit. I told him he had my prayers and said, in Italian: ‘Be careful.’ I was hinting, and he realised and said: ‘Si – capisco’ – yes, I understand. He was calm. He was aware that he was probably going to be a candidate going in. Did I know he was going to be Pope? No. There were other good candidates. But I knew he would be one of the leading ones.”

Exhibit #3: What The Great Reformer book says

In the recently-published book The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, author Dr. Austen Ivereigh writes (the following quotes from Chapter 9, pp. 349-367, of The Great Reformer are from Bro. Bugnolo’s blog post):

Page 355: “They had learned their lesson from 2005” – referring to Team Bergoglio learning from their failed attempt to get Bergoglio elected pope in 2005.

P. 355: “They first secured his [Bergoglio’s] assent. Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked.” Bro. Bugnolo maintains that “such a statement is morally equivalent to a sign of will giving consent, and in the context of a proposal to launch a campaign, it is also morally equivalent to a pact. This is an excommunicatable offense given the context of the offer of a campaign. A conscientious man, observant of the law of the conclave, would have added a sign that he repudiated an organized campaign, if only out of charity for the campaigners, who would thereby fall foul of the papal law.”

P. 355: “Then they got to work touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man…” 

P. 355: “… Their objective was to secure at least twenty-five votes for Bergoglio on the first ballot.  An ancient Italian cardinal kept the tally of how many votes they could rely on before the conclave started.” Bro. Bugnolo writes that this is a violation of Universi Domenici Gregis law #81 “without any wiggle-room, because you cannot tally votes, unless votes have been promised, and if they are promised, then the ones asking have sought them, and both parties have entered into some kind of obligation or pact or agreement to vote for a particular candidate in the first ballot, while not voting for all other candidates.”

P. 355: “The Spanish cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of St. Mary Major in Rome and a former nuncio in Latin America, was vigorous in canvassing on Bergoglio’s behalf among the Iberian Iberian bloc.” 

Ivereigh then names other cardinal collaborators in the conspiracy:  Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, and U.S. Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

Pp. 356-357: “For this reason, and because the organizers of his campaign stayed carefully below the radar, the Bergoglio bandwagon that began to roll during the week of the congregations went undetected by the media, and to this day most vaticanisti believe there was no organized pre-conclave effort to get Bergoglio elected.”

In footnote 10, Dr. Ivereigh delivers the final confirmation of a conspiracy to elect Jorge Bergoglio to be Pope Francis:

In his Francis: Pope of a New Word (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2013), ch. 3, the leading Vatican commentator Andrea Tornielli says that there were no “campaigns organized in advance” of the conclave for Bergoglio.  There was one.

Assuming that the above three accounts (Exhibits 1-3) are true, then Pope Francis is an illegitimate pope, which means he and his co-conspirators should be automatically excommunicated and all his acts as pope “null and void.”
To sign an international petition asking the Catholic Church’s College of Cardinals to investigate whether the election of Jorge Bergoglio as pope was in violation of Papal Law No. 81, click here.

Update (July 13, 2018):

Bishop Gracida, bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi, TX, also believes that the canvassing during the papal conclave that elected Bergoglio as Pope is canonically illegal, which renders the validity of the papal election in doubt. (PCM)

See also:

~Éowyn

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