Since his election and installation in March 2013 as Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, we now have sufficient evidence from Jorge Bergoglio’s words and deeds to raise serious questions as to whether this pope is Catholic or even Christian:
He calls Christian gun-manufacturers hypocrites, but the Vatican’s own Swiss guards are well-armed with a dizzying array of traditional (sword, command baton, partisan, halberd, flamberge and cuirass) and modern arms (SIG P220 pistol, Glock 19, Steyr TMP, Heckler & Koch MP5A3, Heckler & Koch MP7A1, SIG SG 550, and SIG SG 552).
As pope, Bergoglio has made pronouncements that are contrary to both Catholic doctrine and Christian theology. As an example, in an interview with his longtime atheist friend Eugenio Scalfari, published March 28, 2018 in La Repubblica, Pope Francis claims that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just “disappear.” This is a denial of what Jesus Himself said in Mark 9 about Gehenna of “unquenchable fire”, and the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul.
Pope Francis hides the Crucifix meeting Israeli rabbis
Here’s the latest — and the last straw for me — on the apostasy of Pope Francis:
(1) The Wiccan Stang
The pagan religion of Wicca or witchcraft uses a range of “magical” tools in its rituals — at an altar or inside a “magic” circle. Each of the tools has different uses and associations, but all supposedly direct magical energies.
The stang is one such “magical” tool — a pronged wooden staff, topped either with a naturally occurring fork or with antlers affixed (Wikipedia). Wiccans claim that witches not only rode on broomsticks, but also on stangs.
On October 3, 2018, Pope Francis opened the Synod of Bishops in Saint Peters Square in Vatican City, holding what appears to be a Wiccan stang, instead of the traditional papal ferula with a cross at the top. (PJMedia)
Contrast the stang carried by Pope Francis with the papal ferula carried by Pope John Paul II:
(2) The LGBT Rainbow Cross
It’s bad enough that homosexuals have appropriated the rainbow, which God sent after the Great Flood as a sign of His promise that He would never again punish humanity and other living creatures with “a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9).
On World Youth Day on October 17, 2018, Bergoglio signaled his solidarity with homosexuals by adorning himself with an LGBT rainbow cross pendant (LifeSiteNews).
The photo of Francis wearing the rainbow cross was also provocative given its timing amid widespread apprehension that the Youth Synod is being used to advance the normalization of homosexuality within the Church. For the first time in a Vatican document, the term “LGBTQ” has been included in the Youth Synod working document. Small groups within the Youth Synod have already called for the Church to recognize “other forms of family” and to pay more attention to homosexuals and the “realities” they face, specifically mentioning “marriage,” surrogate pregnancy, and adoption.
I second Archbishop Viganò’s call for Pope Francis to resign. If U.S. bishops have any integrity, they should do likewise.
H/t Robert R.
Update (Nov. 16):
In an interview, published Oct. 13, Msgr. Nicola Bux, the theologian consultor to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, warned that Pope Francis is issuing statements that are generating “heresies, schisms, and controversies of various kinds” and that Francis should issue a profession of faith to restore unity in the Church. (LifeSiteNews)
Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!
On November 25, 2016, Cuba’s longtime dictator Fidel Castro finally died at the ripe old age of 90.
Reuters reports the next day:
Pope Francis said the death of Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro was “sad news” and that he was grieving and praying for his repose.
Francis expressed his condolences in a Spanish-language message to Fidel’s brother, President Raul Castro on Saturday.
The pope, who met Fidel Castro when he visited Cuba last year, said he had received the “sad news” and added: “I express to you my sentiments of grief.”
The dictionary defines “grief” as sadness, pain, or great sorrow over a loss.
Below is a glimpse of the kind of man Fidel Castro was, for whose death Pope Francis, real name Jorge Bergoglio, “grieves”:
Though baptized as a Catholic and educated in schools run by the Jesuits, the same religious order as Bergoglio, Castro was an avowed atheist who persecuted the Catholic church during his reign, sending priests to re-education camps and restricting the celebration of Christian holidays. Castro was reportedly excommunicated under an anti-Communist decree by Pope Pius XII in 1962.
Forbes magazine reports that despite the warm reception given Pope Francis last fall, the Cuban government not only continues to persecute Christians, a new report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide warns of “an unprecedented crackdown on churches across the denominational spectrum,” which has fueled a spike in reported violations of freedom of religion or belief to 2,300 cases of violations in 2016 from just 40 cases in 2011. Many of the government’s crackdowns “involved entire churches or, in the cases of arrests, dozens of victims.”
While pretending to be for the common people, Fidel actually lived a life of luxury and debauchery, according to a book by Castro’s longtime bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Líder Maximo. As recounted by the New York Post: “With his shaggy beard and rumpled, olive-drab fatigues, Fidel Castro presented himself to the world as a modest man of the people. At times, he claimed he made just 900 pesos ($43) a month and lived in a ‘fisherman’s hut’ somewhere on the beach. But Castro’s public image was a carefully crafted myth, more fiction than fact. While his people suffered, Fidel Castro lived in comfort — keeping everything, including his eight children, his many mistresses, even his wife, a secret . . . . Castro . . . made a personal fortune offering safe haven to drug traffickers, bedded a bevy of women over the decades, and once threatened his own brother, Raul, with execution when the brother lapsed into alcoholism in the ’90s . . . . Castro kept 20 luxurious properties throughout the Caribbean nation, including his own island, accessed via a yacht decorated entirely in exotic wood imported from Angola . . . . [Castro’s 5 sons with his second wife] grew up in hidden luxury on an estate outside Havana. With its orange, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit and banana trees, the estate resembled a veritable garden of Eden — especially if one compared it with the notorious ration book that all Cubans had to use to buy food. . . . Each member of the family possessed his or her own cow, ‘so as to satisfy each one’s individual taste, since the acidity and creaminess of fresh milk varies from one cow to another.'” Meanwhile, the Cuban people lived in deep poverty — of crumbling houses, food rations, and teen prostitution. Political opponents were executed by the thousands by firing squad, or sentenced to decades of hard labor.
To call Jorge Bergoglio “Pope” is a travesty.
First Things is an ecumenical, conservative religious journal founded in 1990 by Richard John Neuhaus, a prominent intellectual and Lutheran minister who converted to the Catholic Church and entered the priesthood shortly after the journal’s founding.
Published by the New York-based Institute on Religion and Public Life, with a circulation of approximately 30,000 copies, the influential journal is inter-denominational and inter-religious, representing a broad intellectual tradition of Christian and Jewish critique of contemporary society. First Things‘ contributors include many well-known intellectuals and religious figures such as George Weigel, Michael Novak, William Bennett, Peter L. Berger, David Horowitz, Ralph McInerny, Cardinal Avery Dulles, and bishop Charles J. Chaput. So it is significant that the journal’s current literary editor, Matthew Schmitz, in an op/ed published in the New York Times on Sept. 28, 2016, declares Pope Francis a failure.
Schmitz arrived at the assessment using, as his yardstick, “the Francis effect” — whether Francis’ papacy has increased the number of Catholics, as measured, for example, by Mass attendance. Alas, in the United States, despite the (liberal) media’s hailing of Francis, Mass attendance not only has not increased since the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became Pope in 2013, attendance had actually decreased. And it’s not just in the U.S. but also in Italy, where the Vatican is located.
Schmitz concludes that the (seeming) popularity achieved by Francis/Bergoglio is a personal one, at the expense of the Catholic Church.
Below is Schmitz’ op/ed in its entirety.
Pope Francis hides the Crucifix meeting Israeli rabbis
By Matthew Schmitz • New York Times • September 28, 2016
When Pope Francis ascended to the chair of St. Peter in March 2013, the world looked on in wonder. Here at last was a pope in line with the times, a man who preferred spontaneous gestures to ritual forms. Francis paid his own hotel bill and eschewed the red shoes. Rather than move into the grand papal apartments, he settled in the cozy guesthouse for visitors to the Vatican. He also set a new nondogmatic tone with statements like “Who am I to judge?”
Observers predicted that the new pope’s warmth, humility and charisma would prompt a “Francis effect” — bringing disaffected Catholics back to a church that would no longer seem so forbidding and cold. Three years into his papacy, the predictions continue. Last winter, Austen Ivereigh, the author of an excellent biography of Pope Francis, wrote that the pope’s softer stance on communion for the divorced and remarried “could trigger a return to parishes on a large scale.” In its early days, Francis’ Jesuit order labored to bring Protestants back into the fold of the church. Could Francis do the same for Catholics tired of headlines about child abuse and culture wars?
In a certain sense, things have changed. Perceptions of the papacy, or at least of the pope, have improved. Francis is far more popular than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Sixty-three percent of American Catholics approve of him, while only 43 percent approved of Benedict at the height of his popularity, according to a 2015 New York Times and CBS News poll. Francis has also placed a great emphasis on reaching out to disaffected Catholics.
But are Catholics actually coming back? In the United States, at least, it hasn’t happened. New survey findings from Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate suggest that there has been no Francis effect — at least, no positive one. In 2008, 23 percent of American Catholics attended Mass each week. Eight years later, weekly Mass attendance hasheld steady or marginally declined, at 22 percent.
Of course, the United States is only one part of a global church. But the researchers at Georgetown found that certain types of religious observance are weaker now among young Catholics than they were under Benedict.In 2008, 50 percent of millennials reported receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday, and 46 percent said they made some sacrifice beyond abstaining from meat on Fridays. This year, only 41 percent reported receiving ashes and only 36 percent said they made an extra sacrifice, according to CARA. In spite of Francis’ personal popularity, young people seem to be drifting away from the faith.
Why hasn’t the pope’s popularity reinvigorated the church? Perhaps it is too soon to judge. We probably won’t have a full measure of any Francis effect until the church is run by bishops appointed by Francis and priests who adopt his pastoral approach. This will take years or decades.
Yet something more fundamental may stand in the way of a Francis effect. Francis is a Jesuit, and like many members of Catholic religious orders, he tends to view the institutional church, with its parishes and dioceses and settled ways, as an obstacle to reform. He describes parish priests as “little monsters” who “throw stones” at poor sinners. He has given curial officials a diagnosis of “spiritual Alzheimer’s.” He scolds pro-life activists for their “obsession” with abortion. He has said that Catholics who place an emphasis on attending Mass, frequenting confession, and saying traditional prayers are “Pelagians” — people who believe, heretically, that they can be saved by their own works.
Such denunciations demoralize faithful Catholics without giving the disaffected any reason to return. Why join a church whose priests are little monsters and whose members like to throw stones? When the pope himself stresses internal spiritual states over ritual observance, there is little reason to line up for confession or wake up for Mass.
Even Francis’ most ardent fans worry that his agenda is overdue. When he was elected, Francis promised a cleanup of the Vatican’s corrupt finances. Three years on, he has started to retreat in the face of opposition, giving up an outside audit and taking powers away from his handpicked point man. Francis has also shied away from big changes on doctrinal matters. Instead of explicitly endorsing communion for the divorced and remarried couples, he has quietly urged them on with a wink and a nod.
Francis has built his popularity at the expense of the church he leads. Those who wish to see a stronger church may have to wait for a different kind of pope. Instead of trying to soften the church’s teaching, such a man would need to speak of the way hard disciplines can lead to freedom. Confronting a hostile age with the strange claims of Catholic faith may not be popular, but over time it may prove more effective. Even Christ was met with the jeers of the crowd.
To call this confusing is an understatement.
In a recent speech, the personal secretary of Pope Benedict XXVI, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, said that Benedict and his successor, Pope Francis, are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative member.”
Pope Benedict XVI’s real name is Joseph Ratzinger; Pope Francis’ is Jorge Bergoglio.
In Latin, Petrine Office is munus petrinum. The word “Petrine” is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as:
Relating to St. Peter, the first pope who was appointed by Christ, or his writings or teachings.
Relating to the authority of the Pope over the Church, in his role as the successor of St. Peter.
In other words, in this context, “Petrine” means papal, which means that according to Archbishop Gänswein, although Benedict had resigned in 2013, nevertheless he and Francis are an “expanded” papal ministry, whatever that means. Edward Pentin reports for the RCRegister that on May 20, 2016, speaking at the presentation of a new book on Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Archbishop Georg Gänswein said that Pope Benedict XVI did not abandon the papacy like Pope Celestine V in the 13th century but rather sought to continue his Petrine Office in a more appropriate way given his frailty.
The new book, Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI (Beyond the Crisis of the Church, The Pontificate of Benedict XVI), is by Roberto Regoli.
Archbishop Gänswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household and the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, said: “Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before. It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed by his exceptional pontificate.” Archbishop Gänswein also confirmed the existence of a group who had fought against Ratzinger’s election in 2005, but stressed that that had “little or nothing” to do with the latter’s resignation in 2013.
Gänswein said the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to be Pope “was certainly the outcome of a battle,” referring to Regoli’s account of “a dramatic struggle” that took place in the 2005 Papal Conclave between a pro-Ratzinger group called the Salt of the Earth Party comprised of Cardinals Lopez Trujillo, Ruini, Herranz, Ruoco Varela or Medin, and a liberal, pro-Bergoglio group called the St. Gallen group that included Cardinals Danneels, Martini, Silvestrini or Murphy O’Connor — a group Cardinal Danneels jokingly referred to as “a kind of mafia-club”. Godfried Danneels is a pro-homosexual Belgian cardinal and former archbishop of Brussels who calls same-sex marriage a “positive development“– which means he approves of homosexuality and homosexual sex that both the Bible and the Catholic Church’s Catechism abjure. Danneelscalls on the Catholic Church to recognize a “sort of marriage” for homosexuals. Despite his heretical advocacy for homosexuality and his cover-up in 2010 of a sex-abuse case involving a fellow bishop — Danneels’ uncle, Roger Vangheluwe, Bishop of Bruges — Pope Francis gave Danneels a place of honor at the all-important Synod on the Family last October.
In an interview with the RCRegister last November and EWTN Germany, German journalist Paul Badde confirmed the existence of the St. Gallen faction, and named German Cardinals Kasper and Lehmann as members.
But Archbishop Gänswein insists that Pope Benedict resigned because it was “fitting” and “reasonable,” being “aware that the necessary strength for such a very heavy office was lessening. He could do it [resign], because he had long thought through, from a theological point of view, the possibility of a pope emeritus in the future. So he did it.”
Others, however, say Benedict had been pressured to resign. One of the latest came last year from a former confidant and confessor to the late Cardinal Carlo Martini who said Martini had told Benedict: “Try and reform the Curia, and if not, you leave.”
Despite his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI continues to view his task as “participation in . . . a ‘Petrine ministry’.” Gänswein said: “He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry” — something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“ Instead, Benedict “has built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry” as “cooperatores veritatis“, which means ‘co-workers of the truth’.”
This is why Benedict XVI has not given up the papal white cassock or his papal name of Benedict — unlike Pope Celestine V who reverted to his name Pietro da Marrone. Nor has Benedict, according to Archbishop Gänswein, “retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy,” enriching the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.”
In Mark 16:15-16, 19-20, it is written that the resurrected Christ instructed the 11 apostles:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned…. After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere….”
But Jorgé Bergoglio, whose job title is Pope Francis, knows better than the Gospel of Mark.
On December 10, 2015, as reported by NBC News, the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews issued a major new document pronouncing that God had never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people, and so Catholics should not try to convert Jews: “The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelization to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views.”
God never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people.
Once again, Jorgé Bergoglio pretends to know better than the Gospels, specifically Luke 22, when Jesus in the Last Supper consecrated bread and wine into His body and blood, and said to the apostles:
“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my Blood, which will be shed for you.”
Jorgé Bergoglio also knows better than St. Paul, who clearly wrote in his letter to the Hebrews 8:13:
“In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete.”
Not only does Jorgé Bergoglio know better than St. Paul and the Gospels of Mark and Luke, he’s also ashamed of the Cross — the symbol of the most important truth of Christianity, which is that the Second Person of the Triune Godhead humbled Himself by becoming incarnate, was grievously tortured, and allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross to die, all in reparation for the sins of humanity, beginning with the first sin of Adam and Eve in that first garden.
A part of every pope’s uniform, including Pope Francis’, is the pectoral cross — a cross that is worn on the chest, suspended from the neck by a cord or chain.
But Pope Francis is so ashamed of our Lord Jesus Christ that he concealed his pectoral cross from Jews by stuffing it into his fascia or waist sash.
On Jan. 16, 2014, Bergoglio concealed the cross when he hosted a delegation of 15 Argentine Jewish leaders at a kosher luncheon in the Vatican (Catholic Family News):
In May 2014, Bergoglio visited Israel, along with Jordan and the West Bank. Here he is on the red carpet at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, with the cross stuffed inside his waist sash. Note, however, that an accompanying cardinal displayed his cross.
3. On May 26, 2014, Bergoglio paid a courtesy call to the two Chief Rabbis of Israel in the Heichal Shlomo Center, next to the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. Once again, he concealed the cross by stuffing it inside his waist sash.
L to R: Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Pope Francis, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, during a visit to the Heichal Shlomo Center in Jerusalem on May 26, 2014. (Photo by Vincenzo Pinto, AFP)
Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003, said that “Crucifixes are an insult to Jews. The cross is against the Jewish religion and the sight of the cross is forbidden for a Jew.”
For that matter, the Talmud teaches that Jesus was a bastard, a fool, a conjurer and a seducer, who was conceived during menstruation (primitive peoples regard menstruation and a woman in menses as unclean), was crucified, buried in hell, and set up as an idol by his followers. (See Rev. I.B. Pranaitis, The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians)
Pope Francis really should heed these words of Jesus:
“But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33 “For he that shall be ashamed of me and of my words…: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38
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:
Reinstating the traditional two-thirds vote required to elect a new Pope regardless of the number of ballots it takes;
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;
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.”
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)