Pope Francis: Another Cultic Papacy Arises
By Joseph Andrew Settanni
“There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.” – Lord Acton
Commentators and assorted sycophants who increasingly praise Pope Francis are becoming believers in the ever growing papal cult surrounding his exalted personage. But, is this really a good thing? Cultic papacies, as had been also true of John Paul II, ought to always be thought of as just highly anomalous, distinctly abnormal, in that a pope is to direct requisite attention to the living Christ, not himself, as to the true focus of needed worship at all times. Otherwise, something is ever profoundly wrong. What is meant by such an assertion?
They, those who rather excessively adulate him, do adore his loving stress upon what is said to be a heightened concern for pastoral, not doctrinal, efforts to then deal with how Christian religion can openly show its human side to the poor, the suffering, the downtrodden, the underprivileged, the forgotten. etc.
He so seeks to quite deliberately, one does easily suspect, renew the Spirit of Vatican II by dramatically pursuing an ever expansive and, of course, decidedly humanistic engagement with the world, with the home of primarily earthly people. An affectational religiousness, intent upon hiding its ugly hubris, is proclaimed for the seeking after of a community of Man, but, as always, nemesis awaits.
And, this modern terrene engagement will surely expand, his troubled traditionalist/orthodox critics do contend, until that which is of the vital essence of what is (or what was?) firmly Catholic will, eventually, be mostly taken out of a then redefined understanding and cognate redefinition of Roman Catholicism. This thought is heartbreaking to many people, who feel scandalized, in a time when exigency is not balanced with the need for maintaining an enduring standard matched to an expectation of the cardinal virtue of prudence that ought to be practiced.
The plainly nominalist cognition of Pope Francis, due to his very considerable devotion to the Spirit of Vatican II (VCII) totally reverses and, in effect, holds in cold contempt the classical notion that doctrinal integrity ought to correctly govern all spiritually valid pastoral work; this had been of the basic essence of proper Catholicism within, of course, the preconciliar Church, which is sadly scorned by the aggressive modernists as an antediluvian absurdity best left to the unwanted past.
His manner, one suspects, overtly suggests his mode as to a modus operandi that, in turn, reflects so surely upon the mode of his odd existentialist manner, which then bodes ill for doctrinal certainty, in a postmodern world, given to much phenomenological speculation and existentialist angst. A spiritual immiseration, logically, should be expected as a direct consequence of this then dispiriting experiential vacuum where faith, troubled by needless ambiguity, gets a short shrift; he is, as was said, at ease with himself. At first, admittedly, it all seem paradoxical and, perhaps, simply inexplicable on the plain surface of events. But, what is really indicative of the truth concerning what is going on with this papacy?
Pope Francis: Idolater and Revolutionary
Thus, it is seen, by critically astute and intelligently informed observers, that Francis is a revolutionary 1 [See: Notes] zealot really determined to viciously undermine the traditional underpinnings of Catholic orthodoxy by such (aforementioned) deliberate theologico-epistemological corruption. Many and, perhaps, most of the hierarchy is quite ready, willing, and able to join him in this demonic effort to wreck the very foundations of Holy Mother Church, though, of course, it will finally fail. Subversion is being attempted deliberately that is usually quite subtle, not an outright activist toppling of structures; but, the effect, by and large, is still a type of revolution done from the top down to the laity.
Moral and religious neoterism guided by extreme apriorism, however disguised, offends God, though it warmly pleases Satan, of course. However, the Holy Father, as to attitudinal expression, does not care to be horribly inconvenienced when he prays, as was publicly expressed recently, and prefers to sit it out, with a version of—what—noblesse oblige no doubt. It is an oh-so-better natured insouciance that gently, tepidly, inspires lesser souls toward an enervating aspiration, not thoughts of a severe sainthood certainly. Nor exactly, for that matter, the heavy sacrificial spirit of suffering Christian martyrs in the second and third centuries of the Church.
What is actually going on is the often covert replacement of what had been the spiritual sense of proper Catholicism with a form of theological primitivism disguised as a supposed merely postmodern and sophisticated type of Christianity quite suitable for the dawning postmodern age. Prime elements of authority, prescription, veneration, and tradition, the guideposts for sagacious Christian men aware that contemporaneousness possesses no inherent virtue, tend to get rather pervasively and, thus, perversely ignored under such odd circumstances.
The largely surreptitious effort involved, because kept necessarily hidden from the bulk of Catholics, is the morally harmful suggestion that the Church, through this current Holy Father, can do the humanism of secularism better than the secular humanists themselves can do it. The shallow dispute, with the laicists, only concerns the particular source and not the ultimate goal of a spiritualized humanism that clearly flirts with elements of the demonic concerning its here revealed primitivism.
One can read, e. g., the by now quite classic volume entitled: The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith after Freud by Philip Rieff for the deeper gaining of knowledge of the true horror involved.
It is, therefore, the taking of the “Catholic” doctrinal sense out of Catholicism that must, also, have the effect of perverting pastoral concern toward mainly anthropocentric values centering upon emotions or feelings. This should now be fairly expected, therefore, to have religiously and spiritually deleterious consequences for the faithful, for the pontiff manifestly has, e. g., a soft spot in his heart for liberation theology, as ought to be better known; in short, he should stop this terrible scandalizing of too many of the faithful, regardless of his personal ideological preferences.
More and more, the proverbial tail is to wag the dog: Pastoral involvement, efforts, attitudes, concerns, programs, policies, missions, etc. are now to control and govern redefined doctrinal matters. This is surely a form of idolatry, the proverbial cart before the horse, as the worship is made greater than God.
Thus, the current pontiff, imbued with his postconciliar emotionalism, is so revealed to be an idolater, which is, of course, entirely unfitting in terms of what ought to be the religious and spiritual attitude of the Vicar of Christ on earth. No pope is ever to be or act as an idolater, as ought to be obvious in the pious and informed minds of sincerely religious believers.
One sees this, quite empirically, in how the Holy Father, e. g., wants to publicly deemphasize various Catholic doctrines/dogmas through the greater public effort to supposedly stress the predomination of pastoral concerns. It can only, in the end, lead to the debatable creation of the triumph of a kind of feel-good religiosity, not a holy religious attitude prefaced upon sound theological structures, for instance, as to dogmatic faith with its then own proper doxological and doctrinal orientations as such.
Appeals to proper doctrines, especially as they may entail integral adherence to the three main pillars of the Catholic teachings, namely, Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium, may “unfortunately” seem much too harsh to many non-Catholics, liberal Catholics, apostate Catholics, and so-called reform-minded (read: radical) Catholics. And, this unfortunate fact is known.
They do then quite fervently look toward him in the hope that he can act as an accommodationist and mediate and ameliorate quite significantly what are thought to be the harsher aspects of all so-called extremist dogmas and doctrines that, (from their truly demonic point of view), do not fit in with the postmodern dictates of the “new morality,” of the postmodern era and its cognate sweeping dictates; these do, of course, completely include triumphal and militant homosexuality, as is, e. g., covered in Degenerate Moderns: Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior by E. Michael Jones and, much more recently, in Robert R. Reilly’s Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything.
Thus, Pope Francis seeks to (wrongly) revolutionize his version of Catholicism in a vainglorious attempt to exercise his massing cultic powers toward a reformed style of syncretistic secularism turned inside out and into a paralleling Church-based form of neo-Catholic humanism aligned firmly with the Spirit of Vatican II. But, this overt thaumaturgic nonsense can only have a bad end to it, since it is so lavishly steeped in heavily erroneous cognition and radicalized pseudo-theology strictly foreign to the ancient and everlasting Faith, to the perennial fundamentals of Catholicism itself.
It is all part, one suspects, of a last gasp effort to somehow perversely revive and revivify what he thinks was most relevant in that Vatican Spirit matched to the postmodern era’s blatant neopaganism, which has, in fact, resulted from the utter failure of a pandemic secularism to so fully capture the mind of the (often depraved) masses. Good reading would include Robert P. George’s Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Our Age that satisfies the moral need for gaining truly useful and explicatory insights and comprehension.
This vainly primitive religious and theological fiasco qua effort can only ultimately fail, however, once enough people are no longer that enthralled by the influences of the tendentious papal cult and its once, one may hope, seductive powers. Phenomenology, however disguised, is not theology, certainly not Catholic theology that ought to rigorously confirm the requisite sensus Catholicus; this is versus the various rationalizations of evil pandemic to most of contemporary society and culture.
Millions of people, as could be here guessed, will finally come to so realize that they cannot, in fact, viably sustain their deepest beliefs merely based upon a feel-good religiosity, which, in the end, is no real substitute for genuine religion, for deep faith in Christ. But, since Pope Francis will have by then stripped away, in the minds of most Catholics, the Church’s vital ontological essence of everlasting dogmas, the damage would have then been already done and the ecclesial establishment, consequently, would justly be turned into a grand sociocultural mess unworthy of true belief, much less respect.
This must, as an adjunct consequence, fully accelerate the predictable downward slide of the main postconciliar Church, though it will not have such an affect, harsh influence, on the traditional Latin Mass Community that still rightly rejects the Novus Ordo Missae (New Mass) of Pope Paul VI. But, what’s the indicative point commanding attention here? The sacred teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church are increasingly set to nought. And, what has happened?
The theologico-epistemology of the New Mass “rapes” the orthodox ontology put forth by the Holy Faith as it was properly understood, of course, by the preconciliar Church and its consistant teachings. However, traditionalist Catholics, concerning the larger reality involved, have not been fooled, which shows, once again, how the Mystery of Good battles against the Mystery of Evil.
Within that growing and vibrant religious community, orthodoxy will not merely survive but, moreover, continuously thrive onward with the sense of the Church Militant that this current Pope does not have much use for in his own calculations; this militant remnant, now no more than about 5% of the Church, will survive and thrive, which partly, at least, suggests that it is a true miracle brought forth by the Holy Ghost.
The absurd effort at one last try to finally and fully effectuate the intra-attitudinizing Spirit of VC II can, therefore, only result in an unmitigated disaster, along with all and every idiotic attempt to reform the reform; this is manifestly because, among other reasons, true Catholicism is always opposed to any merely ersatz version of it, even when aided by the ever questionable powers of a seemingly triumphal and prevailing papal cult. And, historically speaking, it has, in fact, totally failed before to achieve an expected success.
John Paul II, during a papacy that seemed, at times, on the verge of a triumphalism of a sort, had utterly failed to achieve this assumed theologico-humanist revolution carried out in the (dark) light of VCII; it is, thus, rather highly doubtful that the amazing adulatory prestige of this now current Sovereign Pontiff can really pull it off any better even with most of the Leftist media readily and forcefully on his side.
In full contrast, orthodox Roman Catholicism, the integral truth of the Faith, possesses always the both substantive and substantial energy and vitality for picking up the pieces of the aberrant postconciliar Church by so infusing it, as could be then rightly expected, with the ever true strength and sure integrity of religious and theological orthodoxy in the true spirit of St. Athanasius, a good guide for truth.
Papal cults, in reiteration, are truly a bad thing. They do improperly confuse a particular pope with the entire ecclesiastical meaning and Sacred Office of the Papacy. For instance, Alexander VI (Borgia) was personally a very evil man, as had been documented, e. g., by Warren Carroll and many other Catholic historians; however, regardless of all his sad faults, Alexander VI was, nonetheless, an orthodox pontiff; nothing he ever publicly said as to, pertaining directly to, any Church teachings could be interpreted or misinterpreted as heretical. Reading, on this general subject, can include Patrick Madrid’s Pope Fiction.
Although in all matters of faith and morals the Holy Ghost always guards every pope from heresy as to ex cathedra matters, however, the personal opinions or private conduct of any pope can still involve sinfulness and heretical opinions; the problem is, of course, that a papal cult obnoxiously wraps up the Vicar of Christ into a kind of protective cocoon, which then ends up wrongly exempting/protecting him from what ought, in fact, to be valid and profitable criticism. This has had too many baleful consequences as can be empirically below perceived.
Michael Voris, S.T.B., the Catholic President and Founder of St. Michael’s Media and Senior Executive Producer of ChurchMilitant.TV, thus, exemplifies supremely this kind of terribly improper adherence to Pope Francis’ papal cult. Having a degree in sacred theology, he ought to know better. Papal infallibility only covers faith and morals (inclusive of ethics); a pope cannot, e.g., declare that all Roman Catholics should stop believing in the existence of gravity; he cannot violate any Natural Law teachings nor can he impose, e. g., his particular aesthetic beliefs upon the faithful. Neither reasoning nor rationality gets suspended.
The very narrow spiritual power that is papal infallibility, equally, does not mean that a pope, thereby, becomes a sinless creature, exempt fully from criticism, due to his papal office, which ought to better clarify matters here.
Voris forgets, conveniently, that St. Paul had publicly rebuked St. Peter concerning the vital question of whether the Gentiles had to be, first, Judaized before becoming Christians, that St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Ávila both criticized popes, and, moreover, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Common Doctor, wrote that it was, in fact, the true moral duty of Catholics to admonish, respectfully, of course, any pope in defense of the need to guard or uphold Catholicism. He does not know better, in short, than the Angelic Doctor of the Faith, which ought to be obvious.
The requisite freedom to rightly defend holy orthodoxy, as well as the always inherent justice of it, is certainly coterminous with true faith; such freedom and faith are reciprocating hemispheres that thematically do form a coherent, never disparate, whole in an obligatory furtherance of Catholicism for the salvation of souls; it should never be a question, for instance, of possibly hurting the feelings of a particular pontiff through some appopriate manifestations of public disapproval.
As is so typical of most conservative Catholics or neo-Catholics (as they have been better denominated), he addresses only secondary or tertiary principles and does not epistemologically ground his theological argumentation in first principles, namely, the hearty promotion and adamant defense of orthodoxy. As an educated man, with a religious degree no less, he definitely ought to then know better. Mr. Voris improperly commits the vulgar cognitive reductionism of saying that it all, meaning the real controversy surrounding Francis, gets subject only to a simplistic Right v. Left series of interpretations. This is false.
The truly paramount issue and definitely substantive crux of religious and theological argumentation and disputation, ever most certainly, revolves significantly around the highly contested matter of Roman Catholic orthodoxy, not lesser concerns, and certainly not any political disputations. Therefore, Voris, whether ignorantly or not, commits a distinct disservice to the Catholic faithful; this is by so deliberately confusing the issue and diverting wanted attention from what ought to be of central concern, of focused thought, and not the various alleged or observed peccadillos produced by this papacy.
Furthermore, it is how the forces of the Left pick up or abuse the words of the Holy Father that ends up provoking an agitated response from those who disagree with the supposedly erroneous interpretations or ideologically-inspired misinterpretations. If the Sovereign Pontiff would be much more careful and circumspect, suitably sober and judicious with his often imprecise or poorly worded verbiage, in serious terms of the interviews given, then there would be a great difficulty whenever the radicals may attempt to utilize such words for their own nefarious ends.
The many worried and troubled Catholic traditionalists, therefore, are only reacting in response to what these secularists are writing about that, therefore, causes the questionable cultic aura to be created; this is by which the Pope’s words can be then manipulated or operated upon successfully and easily, as has been, too often, the unfortunate case.
Public criticism is said to give scandal and aid to the enemies of the Church; the scandal, for instance, is said to negatively impact converts or would-be converts and severe critics of any papal censure point to the noted divisiveness that results, with this broadly in-your-face pontificate.
Although it is freely conceded without question that the papacy is an elective monarchy, however, it is not equivalent to (an oriental-style) despotism; converts, thus, are not ever required to simply check their brains in at the door of the Church. Voris, one suspects, has forgotten this important fact, for there is no scandal in loving charitable rebuke; the contrary is, however, true.
But, Voris (in, perhaps, being naïve) stating that Catholics ought to be writing private letters of concern to the Pope brings up the pathetic fallacy, meaning “if only the Czar knew, if only the Pope knew,” etc. then he would not do or say certain things, or allow certain things to happen. He, in fact, obviously knows. How may this be, therefore, easily verified?
He, e. g., had swiftly and publicly replied to Rush Limbaugh’s accusation against him for seeming to side with Marxism, which does empirically, of course, prove that this informed “happy time” Holy Father is then most clearly cognizant and surely aware, not ignorant, meaning supposedly being in a state of genuinely not knowing that he can and does aggravate, dismay, annoy, or upset many faithful Catholics. An increasing bunch of letters is not really at all needed, as should be logically guessed by now.
Instead, let there be a critical analysis through supplying an appropriate analogy. Are newly naturalized citizens of the USA (read: recent/potential converts) to be wholly freed from ever being “scandalized” by public criticism of the President (read: the Pope) such that any possible animadversions are then to be spoken of only in private? Good citizenship, on the contrary, would rather morally dictate otherwise, and the vile perversity of saying that this speech ought to be completely concealed from public hearing is best reserved to dictatorships, not free governments. Though all analogies have their limitations, of course, however, the truth of the principle involved yet remains.
As ought to be properly said, Voris totally forgets that a pope’s personal religious, theological, moral, or ethical opinions are just that, they are (only) his personal opinions, not the true perennial teachings of the Faith. They, therefore, hold no dogmatic or doctrinal sanction whatsoever because these opinions are not within the scope of faith, morals, or ethics needed for achieving holiness, for then affirming the economy of salvation.
More to be significantly noted, the (Leftist) Church dissidents agree with the neo-Catholics that the orthodox objectors are to be appropriately silent, which ought to give one pause. The attempted faux censorship, favored by Voris, is so evidently seen here to be disproportionate, besides being, in effect, morally perverse as well. Thus, both sociologically and psychologically speaking, the basic potency of popular impressions, within human thought and interaction thereof, generally so depends upon the existent valuation of preconceived ideas; in short, perception (often) defines reality. And, humans, fallen creatures, are prone to sin in a fallen world.
An epoch strongly antagonistic to religion necessarily perceives events and meanings through (warping) secular lenses, which Voris, a neo-Catholic, may have forgotten to remember as a noted function of the massive de-Christianization of the West, which has vitiated a humble questing in the real world of being. Both elements of neopaganism and secularism, the former provoked into existence by the latter, have come, more or less, to predominately define and vilely saturate societal and cultural reality in the present Western world.
The only adequate spiritual response to civilizational crisis, regardless of the advancing postmodernity, is an authentic revitalization of divine revelation in the soul of every man, for which an appeal to the Holy Ghost may be properly made. As ever, Christ is the Truth, not public opinion surveys or democratic votes, especially in an anti-Christian age.
The traditionalist critics are, therefore, being merely reactive and not at all excessively “provocative” regarding many given responses just openly rendered; this is so because of the quite too deliberate or, perhaps, intentionally corrupted popularization of such (often carelessly expressed, as admitted by Voris himself) papal statements, as is freely done by the progressive intellectuals, degenerate cognoscenti, and their logically associated press outlets.
There is, nonetheless, an aforementioned suspicion and, yes, firm suggestion as to what may be really going on beyond the many creative apologies thought up for defending Pope Francis, for silence may help to damn many souls to Hell. A papal precision and rectitude of behavior and seemliness seems too often lacking beyond intrasubjective communicational efforts, which disregard a holy dependence upon transcendent intention for the highest meaning of Christian life, not transactional analysis.
And, an extremely excessive defense of a pontiff, set beyond proper and appropriate religious respect for his office and naturally cognate theological status, may lead to a form of idolatry. Objections to what is going on are being made by many sincere and devoted Catholics, not just supposed nutwings or sedevacantists or Radi-Tradies (aka Radical Traditionalists), as is too often alleged; bitter recriminations and the anti-Christian casting of aspersions, furthermore, will add much heat, not light. Scurrility and perfidy, however, are not exactly subtle substitutes for applying properly calm discussion, informed valid criticism, and cogent analysis.
Once again, it is snobbishly assumed that if certain people get “labeled,” they do not have to be debated with nor are worthy of any genuine continued discourse or desired discussions. Those who detest the modernization of dogmas and doctrines are, thus, casually dismissed as mere freaky Catholics filled with petulant aspirations, repugnant mental gestures, and sore loser attitudes; a bunch of supposed sour cranks and vile nonconformists proverbially “whistling Dixie in the dark.”
For the (orthodox) traditionalists, this fierce verbal combat, as should be here intelligently recognized, necessarily helps to so continue the intended vicious marginalization and, of course, cognate contempt; Voris mentioned the traditionalists in a rather snide context with Eastern Orthodoxy that suggests, by innuendo, that they are like these, in effect, first Protestants or, perhaps, proto-Protestants of the Greek or Russian Orthodox Church. But, ever regardless, such mere nasty polemics or invectives are still no truly viable substitute for substantive and rational, considerable and objective, argumentation and disquisition.
Of course, many prayers for the Pope are needed in the hope that God may mightily dissuade him from committing grave moral errors founded upon his own idolatry and its attendant superstition in the odd endeavor to favor an ecclesiastical revolution similar, in many respects, to Protestantism; the faithful can, therefore, positively send up their many prayerful supplications to Heaven in attempting to help destroy such very ill-founded papal intentions that do quite necessarily conflict with the appropriate understanding of the nature of Catholicism, of the will of Jesus Christ for the Church He founded.
On the other hand, in fairness, one can note that some observers do think that he is still very much a mystery man or enigma, which then adds, of course, to his growing personal (read: cultic) aura. 2
But, much valid criticism yet exists. Equally, there ought to be a definite end to the spiritually unhealthy modern phenomenon of papal cults, as has been said, that began with John Paul II whose more pedantic sycophants, e. g., do still publicly call him John Paul II the Great. Moreover, the ugly heretical fads and fashions being put forth by this Bishop of Rome should be appropriately found simply intolerable in the proper theological and moral context of orthodox religious teachings concerned with the dogmas and doctrines of the Holy Faith. His attempt at a papal revolution through internal subversion is, however, much more disturbing. 3
The fads and fashions, in thought, evidenced by the Holy Pontiff do not correctly fit in with the proper understanding of man as made in the image of God, rather, humans get reduced into just being seen as rather clever (though somewhat irrational) beasts from the anthropocentric point of view, as favored by the Spirit of VC II. The spiritualization of advanced beasts, through an accommodationist Church, is not what the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension was about, though, unfortunately, this needs to be explicitly said today. Why?
The secularization of Pelagianism, since about the late 15th century, was brought about by the ideologies of modernity, which, in turn, had created the neo-Pelagianism of a decadent and degenerate secular society and culture within modernity; this then favors the spread of neopaganism, 4 the broad apostasy of the West, as pure or unadulterated secularism gets rejected by the masses, though not by most of the cognoscenti, the intellectuals, within the now dawning postmodernity. There are, moreover, certain rather definite implications.
Consequently, the still valuable Platonic critique of sophism must, thus, be revived for this unfortunate era. This situation is, in essence, a moral problem in that a basic spiritual alienation has occurred that existentially separates morals from ontology due to intellectual hubris. But, usually praised rationalist autonomy, as intelligo ut credam gets fully rejected, is simply a form of this (often unrecognized) alienation, as it needs to be understood. To all this, the resounding Catholic battle cry must, of course, logically be: Athanasius contra mundum!
The Revival of Catholicism Needed
An authentic Christian anthropology, as enunciated by, e. g., Pope Benedict XVI, starts first with the desire for maintaining an ever proper Christocentric attitude that ought consciously to fill all requisite discussions and considerations of human nature as being fixed, not plastic. Why is this to be always adamantly said?
If human nature is not, by definition, a true nature, then it cannot be discussed as something innate to conscious, cognizant, sentient biped beings. Any supposed protean or changeable nature is an oxymoron, which sheer logic demands recognition of as being true, though a fully false understanding of man’s humanity, for there must be a restoration of authority, prescription, tradition, order, value, purpose, and belief; these are all, moreover, to be rightly held as being intimately within and defined by the Catholic cosmos represented, in truth, by the Holy Faith.
But, the behaviorists, materialists, positivists, pragmatists, and others, all surely dedicated nominalists, absurdly insist that there is no truly fixed human reality pertaining to the human species, meaning no defined and knowable human nature as such. Unsurprisingly, both the soulless cadres of modernist subjectivists and the postmodernist deconstructionists agree absolutely on that demonic point.
They share a truly grave contempt for the idea of the desired sanctification of human lives for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom, not service toward those earthly ideals that aid the malicious efforts of the Prince of this world (aka Satan); man’s inherent humanity, moreover, becomes optional and oriented toward ideological preferences; the personal has become political and vice versa as with, e. g., cultic preferences that are denounced in this article.
By them, it is said to be mainly polymorphous, more or less, to greater or lesser degrees of definition; some would go so far as to say that it is unknown; thus, e. g., sodomites are, more and more, popularly said to be normal, not obvious perverts. By being in needed defense of classical Natural Law teachings and what used to be called right reason, Catholicism, in its orthodox-traditionalist interpretation, openly understands and affirms the rational existence of there always being a definite human nature logically applicable to all human beings qua human beings. Oddly enough, this seems a most “radical” statement today.
This had normally been backed by what had been once just called common sense, which, as Aristotle recognized many centuries ago, is not really common and, thus, the need for philosophy. Both Catholic theology and classical philosophy, unsurprisingly, adheres to the positively directed upholding of the humanity of mankind, which is, of course, always fully consist with right reason, with self-evident truth; this is contrary to the attempted demonic subversion of the Holy Faith, especially since VC II.
Moreover, there is no supposed division of faith versus reason as is falsely contended by modernity, inclusive, of course, of Protestantism as one of the chief (nominalist) products of modernity in cognition. False reasoning and rationalism parading as a form of rationality must then both be condemned as harming rational cognizance for religious and theological ends, not just for purposes of determining appropriate social discourse; there is to be, moreover, a teleological affirmation of the Faith counter to any nihilistic immanentism, and a religious basis must properly exist for ever directing people toward theological truth, regardless of the often popular preferences of modernity or postmodernity in thought.
All of this easily explains and elucidates why orthodox Catholicism’s revival, as with the traditional Latin Mass Community being socially organic in nature, is clearly needed, meaning that it appears, in bizarre contradistinction, to be a mostly quite foreign entity to the vast bulk of the Church’s hierarchy and its prelates, including the general clergy, which is, indeed, a rather sad admission of fact.
It must be remarked upon, however, that any kind of cultic papacy, a contemporaneous media-induced phenomenon, harms greatly the valuable transmission of Catholic teachings and is a hindrance to the advancement of orthodoxy; this is because, as it has been covered, the colorful and dramatic personality of a current pontiff, as it needs to be here said, can come to improperly cloud men’s minds with all the variable foibles, eccentricities, or idiosyncrasies that may, in fact, characterize greatly the quite colorful person holding, currently, the highest ecclesiastical office in this world, unfortunately.
What is truly required for genuine spiritual renewal, contrary to all the absurd papal shenanigans going on, is a traditional return to Catholic consciousness that must be opposed to the continuing neo-Catholic (read: nominalist-inspired) defense of the ugly “regime of novelty,” as it has been called, spawned by VC II, which has little regard for a sense of freedom raised to indefectible obedience in the beatific vision that is to be the salvific goal of all sincere and believing Christians. There is to be no supposedly amnesic regard for what had been the historic teachings, the fundamental theological framework, of the Church, which righteously includes the desired sanctification of souls, not fashionable or flashy showmanship.
A true and developed Catholic conscience is, therefore, authentic, fully aware and cogently conscious of the theological fact that new-fangled heresies are still, when all is said and done, heretical, not at all newly normative or special spiritual revelations for the faithful. The rightful interpretation and integral consideration of proper Catholicism, moreover, has never and will never actually begin or end with any particular papacy with attempts at creating a merely ersatz religiosity, not the proper sensus Catholicus.
Affirmation of such includes the notions of lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi, as all these are valid aspects of integral authenticity and are to be within an integrated Catholic culture, for reason, against the vile heresies of Martin Luther, is not the enemy of faith.
Being a true papist Catholic does not mean having a myopic regard and affection for the quirkiness of any particular pontiff, ever ready with creative or elaborate argumentation on his behalf; profound respect given for the exalted Office of the Holy Father ought logically and theologically to mean and imply much more than that blatant and ludicrous kind of, in the end, reductio ad absurdum.
Any neo-Catholic apologia, done on the questionable behalf of the new orthodoxy stemming from VC II and its aftermath, and connected to continual reinterpreting of papal statements, puts verily into question the rationality, if not necessarily the sincerity, of the apologists. Catholicism, furthermore, must never axiologically degenerate into becoming an adjunct feature of any cult, no matter how prestigious it may seem or be; in opposition, Christocentric orientation must stress genuinely holiness, sanctification, for it to ever be an authentic witness for the Christian life of living men, for the upholding of the usus antiquior of a still living spiritual tradition, meaning the nature of Catholicism.
No amount of publicity is to become a substitute for sincere religious devotion and studiously Christian behavior, for as long as the enemies of Christ and His Church so loudly praise Pope Francis, it will be morally and spiritually necessary to admonish, to denounce, him publicly; thus, he is not to be wrongly considered exempt from religious enlightenment, the pursuit of the light of Christ, not the fantasies of this fallen world. Christianity is the true hope of this world, not any supposed humanism of the secular order of triumphant Man.
The Faith, moreover, is not to ever be an optional matter seemingly weighed against the variable dictates or subtle demands of cultic inspiration centered on the popularization of dramatic words or gestures; symbolism should not be confused with Catholic substance, regardless of the hip attitudes of pop culture and its odd devotees. Vital Catholic consciousness, instead, requires true devotion to the perennial dogmas and doctrines of Holy Mother Church, as they have been, appropriately, explicated and inculcated by the three main pillars of the Faith: Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium, with each always theologically and religiously reinforcing the other and none contradicting any of the three.
They adamantly, among other virtues, do support the Culture of Life. This leads to a wanted orthodox renewal, contrary to the odd speculations of the neo-Catholics and their neo-orthodox supporters who insist on defending the dying regime of novelty, meaning as the Novus Ordo steadily depopulates the churches and parishes. A conscious Catholicism, known to orthodoxy, is so requisite to the glorious task of restoration and reaffirmation that cannot rest upon a simple piety, though in a profound sense there must be yet a proper piety toward the constitution of being and achieved truth found solemnly within the Church.
From all of this stems mightily, thus, the true origins or provenance of confirmed Papal Sovereignty, contrary to the too often post hoc, ergo propter hoc ratiocination found to be absurdly present in most neo-Catholic reasoning. It is the truth and dignity of the Faith, backed by an orthodox sensibility, that confers title and legitimacy, authority and power, to the papacy, not vice versa.
Therefore, no popular cult can, in truth, substitute for the legitimate authority, power, and prestige of the papacy, regardless of whom, in particular, holds the papal office itself; the exalted Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome, is always equally the Holy Sovereign Pontiff of the entire Roman Catholic Church and, by logical extension, he is also the Pastor for all the people of this world.
Thus, it is so religiously and morally best that Pope Francis cease acting in such an unseemly manner, entirely inappropriate to what ought to be the proper demeanor and decorum, that should be normally expected of the Servant of the Servants of Christ; he is not, for instance, to be a public pop star to be constantly seeking the fawning, flattering, adulation of many crowds or, for that matter, of popular opinion. A papal cult is, therefore, surely an execrable, simply appalling, idea, contrary to the tenor and substance of the Holy Faith, of its dogmas, doctrines and traditions validly defining true Catholicism. 5
So, here is a prayer for the Pope:
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving-kindness, in the ways of eternal salvation; that, of Thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto Thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fortunately, the traditional Latin Mass Community and those allied to its cause, therefore, offers the best practical antidote to the neo-Catholic/neo-orthodox poison that wishes to truly prevent the orthodox reassertion and revivification of the substantive conscious sense of the vital preconciliar Church versus the ever troubling, modernist, postconciliar, ecclesiastical establishment.
Athanasius contra mundum!
1. For instance, it is well known that he is thoroughly adored by Hans Küng, the major heresiarch prominent in the world today, who publicly demands absolute radicalization of the Church. See: http://www.cfnews.org/page88/files/23f9e2afa6d1af9209db15a20e801220-199.html
And, moreover, he is surely a great champion of the Left. Many Communists, e. g., were actively helped by him. He was/is a man that these avowed enemies of God trusted and confided in without worry. See: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Argentina-Pope-francis-Dirty-Wars/2014/03/13/id/559256/
Note: If any pope did for Nazis what he had done for Communists, it is extremely doubtful, however, that such a pontiff would expect to get effusively good press accounts, filled with enormous adulation, about that particular kind of activism.
Other open leftist support for Pope Francis: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/11/the-secret-pope-francis…;
3. See: Pope Francis: has his revolution even started? | World … http://www.theguardian.com › News › World news › Pope Francis
4. See: M. Stanton Evans, The Theme Is Freedom, Chapter 7 The Rise of Neopaganism.
5. Many of the apologists for the Holy Father, of course, say that those leftists and others who are too intensely praising him are just using him for their own purposes and are not at all truly sincere in the widely vocal plaudits given. If so, this makes the situation much worse. Either Pope Francis is extremely incredibly naïve beyond belief or else, if true, he is complicit, to whatever degree, with the evil involved. The only resolution that denies both these alternatives is, perhaps, the thought that their interpretation(s) of him are, in fact, as truly sincere as the applause rendered is not subtle but, rather, overt and, thus, intentional. But, what could that mean?
Still, it would seem that the bottom line of prudential logic and sagacious reasoning is that he ought to cease and desist, for the sake of the Holy Faith, with any ambiguous conduct or provocative speech that might lend certain credence to the beliefs of the Left. The Pope ought, then, not to be such a source of severe scandal, which is not too much to expect or demand.