Opinion

The Fool in the Vatican

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Posted: Sep 11, 2019 1:30 PM
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The Fool in the Vatican

Source: Alberto Pizzoli/Pool Photo via AP

I never thought I would refer to a Pope as a fool, but it has come to that. If in so doing my fellow Catholics condemn me as somehow blaspheming against the Mother Church or God, so be it. But after reading Francis X. Rocca's article in the September 11 edition of the Wall Street Journal, which has the pontiff saying that it would be "an honor that [conservative Catholic] Americans attack me," for not standing up for traditional Catholic teachings on marriage, sexuality and bioethics, while instead opining on climate change and migration, I can't hold my tongue.

Dear God, give me strength.

The photo the Journal chose to accompany Rocca's piece is very fitting. It depicts Pope Francis gesticulating with his left hand with a moronic grin, raised eyebrows and wild eyes, which just screams "I'm in so over my head, you have no idea!" 

The article's title, "Pope Francis Doesn't Fear Schism", pretty much sums up how benighted is this man in the Vatican. While he ventures into waters in which he has no expertise, like "man-made climate change," he is making fundamental changes to Catholic doctrine where he presumably does have some expertise, that is sowing confusion and turmoil among tradition-minded Catholics.

One of Pope Francis's most egregious moves was elevating a known homosexual pederast, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, from the disgraced obscurity to which Pope Benedict had consigned him back to lofty heights within the Church, as one of Francis's top advisors, despite Pope Francis being forewarned of McCarrick’s perversions. The mind reels. Eventually, thankfully, Pope Francis removed McCarrick following a public uproar and Cardinal McCarrick, now Mr. McCarrick, was finally defrocked.

Even Pope Francis's comment, cited in the Journal article, on the potential of a schism within the Church caused by his changes (or confused thinking) evidences a cognitive incoherence that should make the entire College of Cardinals question whether this man is fit to lead the billion-member Church. He said, "There is always a schismatic option in the church," but added that the "path of schism is not Christian."

Huh?

By saying that schism is always an “option” in the church and then, in the very same breath, saying “schism is not Christian”, he contradicts himself. No, schism is not an option for Catholics. Look what has happened to the Episcopal Church created by their Francis-like schizophrenic social teachings and policies. That denomination has fractured. Domestic Episcopal church attendance has declined 13 percent over the last five years, largely due to “doctrinal disagreements.” Think the Roman Catholic church can’t fracture similarly? Think again.

We're in real trouble with this individual at the helm of arguably the most powerful institution for the protection of humanity that the world has ever known. The Church’s contributions to education, medicine, science, the rule of law, and caring for the world’s poor have been immense. The Journal reports the Pope saying, "I pray that there will not be schisms, but I am not afraid."

Well, Your Holiness, my recommendation is that you should be afraid. As the article points out, you have very powerful, very erudite, and I think truly holy men within the church who recognize the damage you are causing and are so afraid for its continued unity, that they are directly challenging you. That is not something to be taken lightly.

One top-ranking Catholic prelate, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who served as Papal Nuncio (ambassador) to the United States from 2011 to 2016, was so incensed by his first-hand knowledge of Pope Francis covering up for Cardinal McCarrick’s crimes, and then elevating him despite his awareness of them, that he bravely wrote an extraordinary 11-page open letter blowing the whistle on Pope Francis that every Catholic should read. He called on Pope Francis to resign.

And Archbishop Vigano is not alone among the remarkable men who are questioning whether Pope Francis should continue in his holy office. The very estimable American Cardinal Raymond Burke, a conservative who was the chief of the Vatican supreme court until his removal by Pope Francis, has more subtly suggested that a removal or resignation of Pope Francis may be in order or, to use his word, “licit”, based upon Archbishop Vigano’s allegations. 

Some Catholics have questioned whether the election of Pope Francis, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, was illicitly engineered in an orchestrated campaign prior to or during the papal conclave which elevated Bergoglio, in violation of the rules of the apostolic constitution, based upon revelations and comments made by the late  Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium, and by former Cardinal McCarrick. In an interview in August, Cardinal Burke was a bit more circumspect regarding whether such plotting would void Francis’s election as pontiff.

Francis’s confounding policies and statements have so alarmed senior Church officials that four cardinals, with the support of Cardinal Burke, have petitioned Pope Francis with a letter asking for simple yes/no responses to five simple questions seeking clarity on Church doctrine. That’s a very serious matter.

I do not believe one should blindly follow a celebrity-obsessed man who finds time to lecture Americans about eliminating their borders, allowing illegal aliens to flout their laws and flood their country, all while he lives in a palace safely protected by the Swiss Guard.  And as I wrote earlier this year in a column titled “The Silence of the Shepherd”, Pope Francis’s failure to speak out against the abhorrent comments of Virginia’s governor/physician in which he effectively advocated for infanticide, was a gross dereliction of duty.

I love the Church. I love its history, its majesty, its enormous contributions to human civilization, and its teachings, imperfect as I may be in following them. And it requires the finest of men to lead it. Where is Pope (now Saint) John Paul II when we most need him?

William F. Marshall has been an intelligence analyst and investigator in the government, private, and non-profit sectors for more than 30 years. He is a senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Inc. and a contributor to Townhall, American Thinker, and The Federalist. (The views expressed are the author’s alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.)