Vatican’s “Cold” Civil War Going to Defcon 5?

[ Hilary White, in The Remnant, today ]

Well! What an exciting week it’s been! All the Catholic bloggy world is in a froth over the Dubia of the Four Cardinals and the pope’s non-response. It has taken me the best part of a week to complete this because events kept changing so fast I couldn’t keep up. But it seems we are in another little lull.

Francis is thought to have refused to meet with his own cardinals at the consistory this weekend in order to avoid being confronted personally in a venue where it would be impossible to avoid answering the question whether he is or is not a Catholic. A pope hiding from his own cardinals in order to avoid being called out on heresy – oh, sorry, on “errors” – is something I’m not sure the Catholic Church has ever seen in all her long and strange history.

And now, since Cardinal Burke’s two interviews last week confirming their intentions, everyone is asking, “What happens next?” And the grand soap opera of the Bergoglio pontificate has closed out the week on yet another cliffhanger.

The cardinals’ questions were not on small matters. In so many words and by implication, they asked the pope whether the Church still taught that there is such a thing as objective moral reality; whether scripture could be trusted as a moral guide; whether the Church has been wrong for 2000 years; whether God is a liar. Is there still a Catholic Faith, or were we all fools? And, perhaps of most immediate moment, are you, your holiness, still interested in being the pope of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?

I don’t know anyone who isn’t either privately or publicly suggesting that this is the “beginning of the end” of the Bergoglian pontificate, that we have all known has been heading straight for exactly this precipice. And now, after fifty years of struggle in our quiet civil war, the cliff is finally in sight. However politely the questions – and interviews – are worded, the truth is that the choices before the pope are now simple: recant or be deposed. The questions, despite what he seems to believe, cannot be dodged. Does the pope adhere to the Catholic religion? Is he trying to overturn it and put something of his own – and his handlers’ – devising in its place? Remaining silent isn’t an option.

Cardinal Burke himself hinted at the next necessary steps when he told Edward Pentin, “There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.”

None of the cardinals is yet publicly using the D-word, of course, but a quick Google search will reveal that there is a growing body of historical, theological and canonical information being made available, most of it very recently, on the subject of deposing a pope for heresy. For the moment, however, we’re all still one big happy family, just having dialogues and asking politely for “clarifications” of “errors”.

And we also can only guess at who and how many in the episcopate are supporting them. But the guesses can be educated. The American archbishop Thomas Gullickson, canonist and nuncio to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, for instance, posted to his Facebook page the note, “Father does a great job in this article.” This was above the now-famous 2014 piece for the Remnant by Robert Siscoe titled, “Can the Church depose an heretical pope?” A signal if ever I saw one. 

There’s a long way to go yet. “Error,” even serious error, isn’t the same thing as heresy, still less “obdurate, formal” heresy. But Rorate Caeli and others are dead-on when they say that it is astounding, almost unprecedented that bishops or cardinals have been forced to effectively demand that the pope assert that he is a Catholic and that he is not deliberately acting to overturn the Catholic Faith. And Cardinal Burke’s hint at what they will be obliged to do if the pope refuses to answer must now, following this weekend’s papal antics, be seriously considered…

[ click on link, above, to continue reading… ]

Get AQ Email Updates

One comment on “Vatican’s “Cold” Civil War Going to Defcon 5?

  1. The only Honorable solution is the Pope committing Seppuku ! With Burke as his second to deliver the finishing blow. Cupich, Tobin and Farrell should also follow their masters example. Throw in Wuerl and Dolan, and maybe the Good Pope Benedict could come back and purge the Vatican of the low life’s destroying the Church. Oh Well, one can Hope !

Leave a Reply