FrankenPope the Mystic? Spare us, O Lord!

FrankenPope the Mystic? Spare us, O Lord!

by Christopher A. Ferrara
April 23, 2018

The Italian Catholic academician Massimo Borghesi has produced a book-length defense of Pope Francis entitled Jorge Mario Bergoglio: An Intellectual Biography.  As reported by National Catholic Register here, Borghesi argues that Francis is “an ‘original and profound’ thinker who has drawn on numerous Church thinkers of the 20th century to seek a ‘third position’ between conservatism and progressivism.”  According to Borghesi, Francis “has been influenced by thinkers who view the Church as ‘the complexio oppositorum, the point of contrasting unions that, on the natural level, do not find a solution.’”  He “‘is a mystic’ who sees his mission as resolving these tensions.”

Have we not heard far more than enough of this pseudo-profound Modernist hooey over the past fifty years?  The Petrine office has no need of “original and profound” thinkers who see themselves as intellectual missionaries in search of a new synthesis between conservatism and progressivism.  There is no “third way” between what the Church has always taught and practiced in defense of her teaching, on the one hand, and progressivist departures from orthodoxy and orthopraxis on the other.  The Church is not the cottage of the Three Bears, and the Pope is not a Goldilocks who selects the dish of porridge that is just right or the chair that is neither too large nor too small.

Romano Guardini and the Pope’s other 20th-century “influences” — as if Popes were supposed to be “original thinkers” whose “influences” determine their own unique contribution to the “thought” of the Church — all have one thing in common.  They all reject what the moderate Modernist or progressive dismisses as a mere “return to the past” or “nostalgic restoration”, by which is meant a return to the Church’s traditional teaching, discipline, and approach to this fallen world, largely abandoned by the post-conciliar revolutionaries whose ruinous novelties have left us with a Devastated Vineyard. All of them, even the supposed “conservatives” among them, imagine there is some kind of new thing the Church must become since the dawn of the 20th Century, although they are never able to articulate what exactly this new thing is except to say that it cannot possibly be the old thing, meaning what the Church always was and must be by her very nature: the one rock of stability in a world of diabolical flux. Or, to quote the motto of the late great Cardinal Ottaviani, determined foe of the revolutionaries at Vatican II: Semper Idem — always the same.  Because God is always the same, and the Church He founded in the Person of Christ is the earthly reflection of His divine nature.

This nonsense about mystical Popes seeking new syntheses is all a lie.  And Borghesi, in defense of it, must lie himself.  Thus, for example, he falsely asserts that those who defend the Church’s traditional teaching and practice against Francis’ unprecedented and outrageous authorization of Holy Communion for public adulterers in “second marriages” merely “exchange the dogmatic level — the indissolubility of marriage — with that concerning canon law: the possibility for the Church to exceptionally allow the Eucharist in particular cases.”

On the contrary, the very Pope that Francis the “mystic” canonized insisted on precisely the point that the Church’s Eucharistic discipline barring the divorced and “remarried” from Holy Communion is not a matter of changeable canon law but rather is “one of those norms over which the Church has no discretionary authority” because “[t]he indissoluble nature of marriage… goes back to Christ Himself and is thus identified as a norm of divine law.”  Accordingly:

“The Church cannot sanction pastoral practices – for example, sacramental pastoral practices – which contradict the clear instruction of the Lord.

“In other words, if the prior marriage of two divorced and remarried members of the faithful was valid, under no circumstances can their new union be considered lawful and therefore reception of the sacraments is intrinsically impossible. The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception.”

May God soon deliver His Church from the clutches of “original and profound thinkers” who are nothing but clumsy meddlers in what the Holy Ghost has wrought in the Deposit of Faith and the great ensemble of apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions that sustain it.  For it is the Truth revealed by Christ, not the muddled musings of badly formed intellectual dilettantes, that makes us free.

At this moment in Church history, however, the human element of the Church is enslaved by the vain imaginings of deluded men, who think they can improve upon what was handed down to them by generation after generation of saints, beginning with the Apostles themselves. And now we witness the final stages of the unparalleled disaster these hubristic innovators have caused. The disaster from which Our Lady, the Mediatrix of all Graces, will deliver the Church when a humble, courageous and holy Pope, not yet another “original and profound thinker,” finally does what She requested of the Vicar of Christ at Fatima.

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