Why does the Lord at times threaten His Church with chastisement?

Rome, January 21, 2015:  Nearly four years ago, while I lived as a hermit in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Noto, Sicily, I heard of other hermits living on the Island of Sicily, and sought them out for spiritual advice.  In the course of my travels I met a few such hermits, living in obscurity in the mountains of Sicily, and had the occasion to come to know of a vision which the Lord gave one hermit.  At that time, since I do not value private revelations that much, and because I did not know whether this vision was from God or not, I did not put much value in it.  But since that time I have come to see, with the passing events of time, that it was a prophetic vision of the doom into which the Church of Rome would fall.  For that reason, I now recognize it as of God, and for that reason I will publish it here, below.

But since many do not understand why the Lord, at times, threatens the members of His own Church with chastisement, let us first hear what St. Alphonsus dei Liguori, the Doctor of the Church, says on this matter, in his short treatise, entitled, Calamities, Chastisement, and the Love of God, in the first discourse:

CALAMATIES, CHASTISEMENT & THE LOVE OF GOD

FIRST DISCOURSE

by St. Alphonsus dei Liguori, C.Ss.R.

“Heu! consolabor super hostibus meis, et vindicabor de inimicis meis.”

“Ah, I will comfort Myself over My adversaries: and I will be revenged of My enemies.” Isaias 1.24.

SUCH is the language of God, when speaking of punishment and vengeance: He says that he is constrained by his justice to take vengeance on his enemies. But, mark you, he begins with the word Heu, “Ah”: this word is an exclamation of grief by which he would give us to understand, that if he were capable of weeping when about to punish, he would weep bitterly at being compelled to afflict us his creatures, whom he has loved so dearly as to give up his life through love for us. “‘Alas!'” says Cornelius a Lapide, “is uttered by one who is lamenting and not insulting; God signifies by this word that he is grieving, and that he is unwilling to punish sinners.”1 No, this God, who is the Father of mercies, and so much loves us, is not of a disposition to punish and afflict, but rather to pardon and console us. For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction.2

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1 “Heu! dolentis est, non insultantis; significat Deus hac voce se dolentem et invitum punire peccatores.”

2 “Ego enim scio cogitationes quas ego cogito super vos, ait Dominus, cogitationes pacis, et non afflictionis.” Jer. 29.11.

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But some one will say, since such is his character, why does he now punish us? or, at least, appear as if he meant to punish us? Why so? Because he wishes to be merciful towards us: this anger which he now dis- plays is all mercy and patience.

Let us then, my brethren, understand how the Lord at present appears in wrath, not with a view to our punishment, but in order that we may cleanse ourselves of our sins, and thus enable him to pardon us. Such is the subject of our discourse: GOD THREATENS TO CHASTISE IN ORDER TO DELIVER US FROM CHASTISEMENT.

The threats of men ordinarily proceed from their pride and weakness; and so, if they have it in their power to take vengeance, then they will not threaten anything, lest they should thereby give their enemies an opportunity of escape. It is only when they lack the power to inflict their vengeance that they resort to using threats, in order to gratify their passion, by awakening at least the fears of their enemies. Not so the threats of which God makes use; on the contrary, their nature is quite different. His threats do not arise from his inability to chastise, because he can be avenged when he wills; but he bears with us in order to see us repentant, and thus exempt from punishment. You have mercy upon all, because You can do all things, and overlook the sins of men so that they may repent.1 Neither does he threaten from hatred, in order to tor ment us with fear; God threatens from love, in order that we may be converted to him, and thereby escape chastisement: he threatens, because he does not wish to see us lost: he threatens, in sum, because he loves our souls. But You spare all, because they are yours, O Lord, who love souls.2 He threatens; but in spite of this he bears with us and delays in punishing, because he wishes to see us converted, not lost. He deals patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.3 Thus the threats of God are all acts of tenderness, and loving calls of his goodness, by which he means to save us from the punishment which we deserve.

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1 “Misereris omnium, quia omnia potes, et dissimulas peccata hominum propter poenitentiam.” Wis. 11.24.

2 “Parcis autem omnibus, quoniam tua sunt, Domine, qui amas animas.” Wis. 11.27.

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And now, here is what this Sicilian hermit told me he saw:*

Deutsche-Bank-Verantwortung-Responsibility_Villa-Romana

A beautiful house with a fence and garden: and in it there dwelt a most beautiful, immaculate virgin with her spouse.  Then came the day, when her spouse had to go on a long trip, and he left her at home to wait for him. At first, she waited with great fidelity, inside her house, and did not go out; but, as she allowed her impatience to overcome her, she started to look outside through her windows, to see if her spouse was returning; then, moved by greater impatience, she fell into imprudence, and she open the door and looked out on occasion for his return.  Moved by greater impatience and imprudence, and tinged now with the movement of curiosity, she would leave the door open for long hours, and occasionally go out into the yard of the home, to walk along its fence, and look out for her spouse.  But therein she was deceived, because her curiosity betrayed itself to vanity, and she began to take pleasure in going outside her house and spending time in her yard; and then, in looking beyond its fence, ostensibly to see if her spouse was returning, but more and more to enjoy what she saw there.

Then, one day an evil man dressed in the manner of a man of virtue came down the road, and caught her eye. She violated her marriage promise with her own spouse by delaying outside to speak with him. His speech was very pleasing and he praised her with many false words, seducing her with the appearance of virtue, so she betrayed her spouse by allowing this stranger into her house, where shutting the door, she fornicated with him.  He lived with her some time and squandered all the riches of her home on a life of impurity with her, until he died and she died. And that house fell into darkness and great was its ruin …

These are not the exact words, but rather my own attempt to remember what he told me and repeat it succinctly.

This vision is a warning from the Lord, our God; prophetic in the sense that it spoke of what had not yet come to pass, but what would come to pass if men did not repent.

The virgin is the Church of Rome, or rather, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church; the house is the Diocese of Rome.  Who the seducer is, is now obvious to everyone in the world.

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* Here, I add the photo only for the sake of illustration. I heard of this vision in April of 2011, when I traveled to western Sicily to visit various hermits. For the hermit’s sake, I will not identify the hermit. Nor was I told the full import of the vision.

 

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Gagliarducci: There’s a rumor that Francis is considering calling Vatican III

Rome, January 19, 2015:  Andrea Gagliarducci, a Roman journalist, who gathers his stories from the bars and restaurants around the Vatican, where the curial officials go after hours, writes in his Monday at the Vatican blog, yesterday:

This concern for the peripheries is the reason behind the rumor of papal trip to Erbil, Iraq: to meet Christian refugees. The upcoming encyclical on ecology – which the Pope made clear he will strive to complete in March – will certainly be filled with references to a missionary Church. Meanwhile it is also rumored that a first draft for the announcement of a Third Vatican Council is circulating, but no source has confirmed the report. However, other sources acknowledge the possibility of a papal document that would increase the limit of Cardinals voting in a conclave (i.e., Cardinals under the age of 80) from 120 to 140, thus increasing by 20 the limit that Paul VI established.

Father Z, a popular internet-blogging Catholic priest, very knowledgeable about all things in the Church, responded publicly on his blog to this “news”, thus:

It’s a rumor … but… God help us all.

From the Rome blog asks:  “Why the rush? What about first resolving the scandal of Team Bergoglio? which impinges upon the very validity in law of Cardinal Bergoglio’s papacy.”

Every Single Cardinal-Elector has right to demand resolution of “Team Bergoglio” scandal

UDG 5 and Canon 1530

The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 2014 Conclave

The College of Cardinal-Electors convenes for the 2014 Conclave

Rome, January 17, 2015:  Ever since the revelation of an organized campaign by 8 Cardinals to promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave, which elected him as Pope Francis, there has been a grave public controversy and doubt as to the validity of his election.  This is because the current papal law on elections, the Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, lacked the specific term which would have exempted it from being interpreted according to the general norms of Canon Law: specifically from canons 171 and 1329.

In paragraph 81 of Universi Dominic Gregis (here after UDG), the crime of vote-promising is penalized with automatic excommunication, such that in the very act of promising a vote, a Cardinal elector is excommunicated.  On account of canon 1329, that automatic excommunication is extended to the one asking for the vote promise, even if the one asking is also a Cardinal elector.  On account of the terms of canon 171 §1, the votes of excommunicated electors, even Cardinals in a conclave, cannot be counted in favor of the candidate they name; and on account of canon 171 §2, if they are counted among the number in favor of the candidate in such wise that they cause that number to be sufficient for victory, according to the norms of the election, the election is nullified in all its effects.

Thus the fattispecies, or appearance of facts, in the narrative of Dr. Ivereigh’s book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, argue for the invalidity of the election of Pope Francis, that is, that Pope Francis did not obtain his office by a legal, lawful, or legitimate means.  That would mean that Catholics not only could legitimately break off communion with him, but would be morally obliged to do so, under pain of mortal sin.

Thus, the probity of the allegations regard a true scandal.

UDG 5 gives a simple solution to the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Thankfully, Pope John Paul II provided in his papal law on conclaves an easy solution, which any single Cardinal can take advantage of: the terms stated in the 5th paragraph of that law, UDG 5, the official Latin text of which is:

5. Si quae autem dubia exoriantur de sensu praescriptionum, quae hac Nostra Constitutione continentur, aut circa rationem qua ad usum deduci eae debeant, edicimus ac decernimus penes Cardinalium Collegium esse potestatem de his ferendi sententiam; propterea, eidem Cardinalium Collegio facultatem tribuimus interpretandi locos dubios vel in controversiam vocatos, statuentes, ut, si de eiusmodi vel similibus quaestionibus deliberati oporteat, excepto ipso electionis actu, satis sit maiorem congregatorum Cardinalium partem in eandem sententiam convenire.

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

5. Moreover, if which doubts rise up concerning the sense of the prescriptions, which are contained in this Our Constitution, or about the reckoning by which they should be put into practice, We decree and judge that the power to make judgement concerning these is within the College of Cardinals; moreover, We grant to the College of Cardinals the faculty of interpreting doubtful passages and/or those called into controversy, so that, if having deliberated concerning questions of this kind and/or the similar, excepting the very act of the election itself, it be sufficient that the greater part of the Cardinals gathered together agree upon the same sentence.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshote by From Rome blog, cropped)

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes the vow of secrecy at opening of the 2013 Conclave (BBC, screenshot by From Rome blog, cropped)

In this paragraph, Pope John Paul II establishes several specific things.  The first of which is the authority and jurisdiction of the Sacred College over questions regarding the meaning of the individual paragraphs and about the method to be used to put them into practice; second, about the interpretation of doubtful paragraphs and those about which a dispute arises.  Third, he establishes that the Cardinals are to deliberate about these, and that a vote is to be taken, and that the decisions are to be arrived at by a majority of the assembled Cardinal electors.

In other words, then, the papal law in UDG 5 establishes the Cardinal Electors, gathered together, to be the judge of cases which arise regarding the papal law itself. The only matter excluded, is that they cannot judge the very act of the election, that is, they cannot judge whether the act took place or not, only if the terms of the papal law were properly adhered to or followed.  The papal law, in UDG 4 already establishes that any non-compliance with it terms renders the election null and void, so, thus, there is no need for the Cardinals to decide upon the validity of the act itself.

Thus, it is sufficient that the Cardinals gather together, deliberate the matter of the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, and decide the case.  They would discuss whether the allegations are true and investigate them by asking the eye-witnesses, one another, whether UDG 81 was violated by vote-canvassing conducted by the supporters of Cardinal Bergoglio.

Canon 1530 guarantees the right to investigate charges

Canon 1530 guarantees the right of every Cardinal to have the allegations regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal investigated in Consistory.  This is because it grants to the judge of every contentious trial, the right and duty to investigate the facts of the controversy and rule upon them, at the request of any party to the case.  The text of that canon reads:

Can. 1530 — Iudex ad veritatem aptius eruendam partes interrogare semper potest, immo debet, ad instantiam partis vel ad probandum factum quod publice interest extra dubium poni.

Our unofficial English translation of which is:

Canon 1530 — The judge can always interrogate the parties to draw the truth out more aptly, nay he ought, at the insistence of a party and/or to prove a fact which is of public interest, to put it outside of doubt.

The judge in this case would be the entire College of Cardinal Electors, the parties in the case would be any single and all the Cardinal Electors and those accused of canvassing votes.  Thus any single Cardinal could demand the Sacred College to investigate the charges.  This would be done by interrogating collectively each individual Cardinal.  The kind of questions, that could be asked, are any whatsoever.  Canon 1531 requires that all questioned answer truthfully. The Cardinals could do whatever is proscribed for contentious trials in the 1983 Code of Canon Law (cf. canons 1501 ff.).

The solution is simple. The matter of “Team Bergoglio” can easily be resolved.  Why then is there any controversy at all? or Why do the supporters of “Team Bergoglio” argue so angrily against an investigation?

Francis became Pope thanks to Belgian Cardinal Danneels

Cardinal Godfried Danneels was a part of Team Bergoglio, a group of cardinals that got the Argentine elected as pope in 2013 :  a new biography about pope Francis claims. — “If that is true, the election might be invalid,” says Vatican expert Tom Zwaenepoel.

by Michaël Temmerman of Nieuwsblad.be —  (English transl.; original Flemish article: source)*

Godfried Cardinal Danneels, retired Archbishop of Brussels, Belgium & Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Anastasia al Palatino

Godfried Cardinal Danneels, retired Archbishop of Brussels, Belgium & Cardinal-Priest of Sant’Anastasia al Palatino

If it’s a short conclave, Bergoglio will be elected pope. You can be sure of that.” Those words were whispered by the British cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor just before the start of the 2013 conclave. He was talking to Austin Ivereigh, his spokesman at that time. Those words are now repeated in The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, a recently published biography about pope Francis written by that same Austin Ivereigh. The author of the book claims that those words prove the existence of Team Bergoglio, a group of five cardinals who would have canvassed for votes in favor of the Argentine. “And the Belgian cardinal Danneels was among those five cardinals,” says Vatican expert Tom Zwaenepoel. “He is mentioned seven times in the book.”

Conspiracy theory

According to the book, the team not only lobbied for Bergoglio in 2013 but also in 2005. “I suppose some of it is true. But how much?” says Zwaenepoel. “Propagandizing and recruiting votes for a specific candidate are illegal and would make the election invalid.  But there’s a big difference between lobbying for someone and expressing sympathy for a certain candidate in an informal talk. According to the book Bergoglio knew about the lobbying in 2013 and would even have given his permission for it. But those statements are being retracted from the newer versions of the biography. Because they aren’t true or because the Vatican pressured the author to do so? We will probably never know for sure.”

Less than two days after the book hit the shops, the Vatican already stated that the accusations were all lies. Toon Osaer, spokesman of cardinal Danneels, also doesn’t believe in a conspiracy theory. “If you see how glad Danneels was after the conclave, you can be sure that Francis was his favorite candidate. But that doesn’t mean there was some sort of a master-plan to help the Argentine to the papal seat. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the cardinal didn’t canvass for votes for Bergoglio in the days and weeks before the conclave.”

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The Flemish original was published on Jan. 6, 2015, p.  10, by Nieuwsblad, a Belgian newspaper in Antwerp. — Note that Belgian copyright law extends to this English translation (done for the From Rome blog), neither of which can be reproduced for commercial ends. — Michaël Temmerman is a staff reporter for the Nieuwsblad.

Cardinal Napier says there is no evidence for “Team Bergoglio” scandal

Rome, January 15, 2015.  His Eminence Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban South Africa, spoke today regarding the “Team Bergoglio” scandal, affirming that there is no verifiable evidence and that it is not on the agenda for the upcoming Consistory of Cardinals to be held in February.  His comments were made during a Twitter dialogue with the editor of the From Rome blog, which began after the Cardinal insisted on the recognition of the hierarchy of rights. A hierarchy which the author of the From Rome blog zealously recognizes.

Here is a transcript of that conversation.  Note that the tweets of each participant are repeated to authenticate the thread of tweets.

 

(Ed. note: Here the Cardinal is referring to the importunity of being Twittered on the “Team Bergoglio” scandal in the past, by the editor of this blog).

This is no joke. To ignore the scandal, would be to mock the Catholic Faith.

The Verifiable evidence

Here we must recognize a fundamental, threefold distinction in every forensic consideration regarding the probity of evidence.

  1. the probity of evidence necessary to impute a crime to an individual or group,
  2. the probity of evidence necessary to investigate a crime,
  3. the probity of evidence necessary to prove the crime imputed,

What is had via the published text of Dr. Austen Ivereigh’s book, regards the first; the analysis of that evidence along with published statements, documents, interviews, etc., regarding the implicated individuals, regards the second; the findings which the Sacred College would obtain by an inquiry in Consistory, regard the third.

Regarding the first 2 kinds of probity, we have the verifiable evidence, published thus far, which can be found as reported in the following 3 articles by the From Rome blog: the testimony of Dr. Austen Ivereigh, regarding the activities of “Team Bergoglio”, in our analysis of the text of the 9th chapter his book, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, and his recent reaffirmation of that narrative’s veracity, in Ivereigh: I am confident of the veracity of my account; the canonical implications of what Dr. Ivereigh recounts are summarized in, From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal.

And all reports, by news agencies around the world, including our own posts, can be found in our Chronology of Reports regarding “Team Bergoglio”, which is updated regularly.

Ivereigh’s claims appear to be verified by the endorsement of his book by Cardinal Dolan of New York City, an elector during the 2013 conclave, by the 2 Cardinals whom Ivereigh on Jan. 6th, 2015 claimed were sources for his information, and by 3 of the 7 accused Cardinals who have not denied that they canvassed for votes, though they deny asking Cardinal Bergoglio for his consent to do so; not to mention by the other 4 Cardinals who are named by Ivereigh, but who have denied nothing since the book was published on Nov. 25, 2014.

All this leads to a great probity which merits the investigation of the allegations.  But this can only be done by the Cardinals in Consistory, behind closed doors, since they cannot violate the vow of the conclave, and since they alone are first hand witnesses.  Canon 1530 and 1531 demand this.

For the record, we note, here, only that Dr. Austen Ivereigh in his book says “Team Bergoglio” targeted the Cardinals from Africa for vote promises. If any of them, such as Cardinal Napier, gave such promises, it would have been a violation of the papal law on conclaves, punishable by automatic excommunication (cf. Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 81).

Who tallied votes for “Team Bergoglio”?

German cardinals Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx and Italian Severino Poletto arrive at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals' Congregations on March 4, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by  Franco Origlia | Getty Images Europe — Cropped Screen Shot)

German cardinals Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx and Italian Severino Poletto arrive at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals’ Congregations on March 4, 2013 at the Vatican. (Photo by Franco Origlia, Getty Images Europe — Cropped Screen Shot, not for commercial use)

Rome, January 11, 2015:  Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the author of The Great Reformer:  Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope recently reminded the world that the Conclave of 2013 contains many secrets of which the world has yet to know.  One of the more intriguing mysteries to which he refers to in the ninth chapter of his book, where he describes in detail the organized effort to solicit and obtain the promises of votes for Cardinal Bergoglio — which this blog has shown is a formal violation of the papal law on Conclaves, punished by automatic excommunication for those Cardinal electors promising them, and by the Code of Canon Law, c. 1329 for those soliciting them — is the identity, as yet not revealed, of the aged Italian Cardinal who kept a tally of the votes.

Who this is, is unknown. And one can only make inferences on published facts, inferences which have not much probity.

Since Cardinals attended the open sessions of the Conclave in 2013 at the same time in which from Dr. Ivereigh’s account it appears “Team Bergoglio” was actively soliciting support for Cardinal Bergoglio, it can be presupposed that their closest collaborators were those who were the men most frequently in their company, and in whose company they feared not to be photographed. This conjectural probability is valid in anthropology or sociology, but not in forensics.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that the one aged Italian Cardinal, in whose company one of the leading alleged members of “Team Bergoglio” was seen in that period — according to the photo record — was Cardinal Severino Poletti, retired Archbishop of Turino, Italy, and Cardinal-Priest of San Giuseppe in via Trionfale.

Seen also in the photograph above is Cardinal Marx, one of the more prominent supporters of the theological and pastoral proposals of Cardinal Kasper, rejected by the majority of Bishops at the recent Extra-ordinary Synod on the Family, in October.

For a complete Chronology of reports on the “Team Bergoglio” allegations, from around the world, including our own, see our Chronology of Reports on “Team Bergoglio”.