Most articles I highlight a portion or two that I reflect on. Rarely, I note n article really should be read in its entirety. This article is one of those rare ones. I have more excerpts than usual to entice you colleagues.
Age of Apostasy.
“To understand the Bergoglian conversion of the papacy we need to understand the larger crisis – many are at last admitting that there is a crisis – to which it belongs. That crisis is a concatenated one that has taken some time to break into the open. It involves, first, a loss of faith in tradition and a failure to stand fast (2 Thess. 2:15); second, widespread sexual immorality among the laity and the clergy; third, malfeasance in high office, including the papal office, regarding doctrine, discipline, appointments, and finances; fourth, a nexus of deceptions and cover-ups in which even the otherwise well-behaved have too often become enmeshed, despite the fact that “no prelate should desire that any good be achieved by a lie” (Aquinas, Super II ad Thess., C2, L1, 32); fifth, in service of those cover-ups a gross and, in some mouths, richly hypocritical distortion of respect for the pontiff, a distortion that does not stop short of substituting a false doctrine of communion such as that which appears in Ouellet’s letter; sixth, abandonment of the Great Commission in favor of a mission of inclusiveness, where “making disciples of all nations” decidedly does not mean “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19f.); seventh, a deliberate plan to use the papacy to dissolve what is left of the centralized, authoritarian Tridentine Church and to overcome the synthesis of Vatican I and II that was attempted, with limited success, by the previous four popes – that is, to generate a decentralized, morally and doctrinally flexible, post-modern Church that is open both to Protestant and to pagan elements, with a vast and welcoming Courtyard of the Gentiles.”
“For “Tradition comes before the Pope and not the Pope before Tradition.” He also supplies a useful analysis of the possibility of a pope falling personally into heresy, and of the situation that must then appertain. Recognizing that possibility, he asserts, “does not mean in any way diminishing the love for and devotion to the Papacy. It means admitting that the Pope is the Vicar, not always impeccable and not always infallible, of Jesus Christ, [the] only Head of the Mystical Body of the Church.”
“The pope is steward of the keys, and this undoubtedly belongs to the visibility of the Church. His use of those keys lends definition to the Church through the regular process of rendering judgments as well as through speaking to and for her. But we must be very cautious in claiming that he concentrates in himself what belongs to the Church, whether evangelically, ontologically, or juridically, for it belongs to Jesus Christ himself to do that (Col. 1:15–20), not to the bishop of Rome or any other bishop.”
“It is by making too much of the papal office that we have ended up making too little of it, even electing a pontiff who gives every appearance of combining these mistakes; that is, who allows communio to be converted into uncritical adulation of his own person while converting his office into that of referee between the orthodox and the heterodox in the looming wars of “synodality.”