The Public Consistory of Feb. 14, 2015 A.D. : Pope’s Discourse

The Official English translation, by the Vatican Press office:

Discourse of the Holy Father

Dear Brother Cardinals,

The cardinalate is certainly an honour, but it is not honorific. This we already know from its name – “cardinal” – from the word “cardo”, a hinge. As such it is not a kind of accessory, a decoration, like an honorary title. Rather, it is a pivot, a point of support and movement essential for the life of the community. You are “hinges” and are “incardinated” in the Church of Rome, which “presides over the entire assembly of charity” (Lumen Gentium, 13; cf. IGN. ANT., Ad Rom., Prologue).

In the Church, all “presiding” flows from charity, must be exercised in charity, and is ordered towards charity. Here too the Church of Rome exercises an exemplary role. Just as she presides in charity, so too each particular Church is called, within its own sphere, to preside in charity.

For this reason, I believe that the “hymn to charity” in Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians can be taken as a guiding theme for this celebration and for your ministry, especially for those of you who today enter the College of Cardinals. All of us, myself first and each of you with me, would do well to let ourselves be guided by the inspired words of the apostle Paul, especially in the passage where he lists the marks of charity. May our Mother Mary help us to listen. She gave the world Jesus, charity incarnate, who is “the more excellent Way” (cf. 1 Cor 12:31); may she help us to receive this Word and always to advance on this Way. May she assist us by her humility and maternal tenderness, because charity, as God’s gift, grows wherever humility and tenderness are found.

Saint Paul tells us that charity is, above all, “patient” and “kind”. The greater our responsibility in serving the Church, the more our hearts must expand according to the measure of the heart of Christ. “Patience” – “forbearance” – is in some sense synonymous with catholicity. It means being able to love without limits, but also to be faithful in particular situations and with practical gestures. It means loving what is great without neglecting what is small; loving the little things within the horizon of the great things, since “non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo divinum est“. To know how to love through acts of kindness. “Kindness” – benevolence –means the firm and persevering intention to always will the good of others, even those unfriendly to us.

The Apostle goes on to say that charity “is not jealous or boastful, it is not puffed up with pride”. This is surely a miracle of love, since we humans – all of us, at every stage of our lives – are inclined to jealousy and pride, since our nature is wounded by sin. Nor are Church dignitaries immune from this temptation. But for this very reason, dear brothers, the divine power of love, which transforms hearts, can be all the more evident in us, so that it is no longer you who live, but rather Christ who lives in you. And Jesus is love to the fullest.

Saint Paul then tells us that charity “is not arrogant or rude, it does not insist on its own way”. These two characteristics show that those who abide in charity are not self-centred. The self-centred inevitably become disrespectful; very often they do not even notice this, since “respect” is precisely the ability to acknowledge others, to acknowledge their dignity, their condition, their needs. The self-centred person inevitably seeks his own interests; he thinks this is normal, even necessary. Those “interests” can even be cloaked in noble appearances, but underlying them all is always “self-interest”. Charity, however, makes us draw back from the centre in order to set ourselves in the real centre, which is Christ alone. Then, and only then, can we be persons who are respectful and attentive to the good of others.

Charity, Saint Paul says, “is not irritable, it is not resentful”. Pastors close to their people have plenty of opportunities to be irritable, to feel anger. Perhaps we risk being all the more irritable in relationships with our confreres, since in effect we have less excuses. Even here, charity, and charity alone, frees us. It frees us from the risk of reacting impulsively, of saying or doing the wrong thing; above all it frees us from the mortal danger of pent-up anger, of that smouldering anger which makes us brood over wrongs we have received. No. This is unacceptable in a man of the Church. Even if a momentary outburst is forgivable, this is not the case with rancour. God save us from that!

Charity – Saint Paul adds – “does not rejoice at the wrong, but rejoices in the right”. Those called to the service of governance in the Church need to have a strong sense of justice, so that any form of injustice becomes unacceptable, even those which might bring gain to himself or to the Church. At the same time, he must “rejoice in the right”. What a beautiful phrase! The man of God is someone captivated by truth, one who encounters it fully in the word and flesh of Jesus Christ, the inexhaustible source of our joy. May the people of God always see in us a firm condemnation of injustice and joyful service to the truth.

Finally, “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”. Here, in four words, is a spiritual and pastoral programme of life. The love of Christ, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, enables us to live like this, to be like this: as persons always ready to forgive; always ready to trust, because we are full of faith in God; always ready to inspire hope, because we ourselves are full of hope in God; persons ready to bear patiently every situation and each of our brothers and sisters, in union with Christ, who bore with love the burden of our sins.

Dear brothers, this comes to us not from ourselves, but from God. God is love and he accomplishes all this in us if only we prove docile to the working of his Holy Spirit. This, then, is how we are to be: “incardinated” and docile. The more we are “incardinated” in the Church of Rome, the more we should become docile to the Spirit, so that charity can give form and meaning to all that we are and all that we do. Incardinated in the Church which presides in charity, docile to the Holy Spirit who pours into our hearts the love of God (cf. Rom 5:5). Amen.

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Extra-Ordinary Consistory, Feb 12: Discussion and Critique of Papal Address

Editorial — February 12, 2015:  As part of our coverage of the Extra-ordinary Consistory of Cardinals, which opened today, we have begun with our English translation of the Pope’s opening discourse, and will follow, now, with our discussion and critique of that discourse, in the light of last years events, revealing grave doubts concerning the validity of the papal election itself and the push by “Team Bergoglio” to advance the heresy of Modernism in the Church, which has been criticized by Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Lenga and Bishops Schneider, among many others.

The first and most obvious thing about the Papal Discourse is that it is a highly crafted text, which aims above all to impose the ideological and moral context in which the Consistory is to proceed and thus, a discourse, which attempts to preclude any substantive discussion of the real problems in the Church, in the present hour, as if, by pretending the Church is not in a most grave crisis brought on by the apparent invalidity of the papal election in 2013 and the manifest and public heresies of the Pope and his “Team Bergoglio” members and players, one could proceed to a reform of the Roman Curia under the guidance of men mired in such deeds and words.

This attempt and goal of the discourse is emblematic of the fundamental theological error promoted by Cardinal Bergoglio during his pontificate as Pope Francis and throughout his life, as recently indicated by Jack Tollers, a criminal prosecutor from Buenos Aires, whose interview we published this morning.  This error consists in a sociopathic presentation of the Catholicism, that is, the insistence that “being a Catholic” has nothing to do with the observance of the moral law or the assent of dogmatic faith to the teachings of Jesus Christ, but consists rather in a merely human convention and agreement to go-along and get-along no matter what heresies or immoralities are practiced or promoted by other Catholics.

This insistence is heretical because it presents a notion of faith divorced from truth in the mind and divorced from virtue in the will and senses: it is thus an unparalleled form of atheistic protestantism, in which private judgement wed to a denial of all that is supernatural is exalted as the true faith of Christ.  Nothing more blasphemous and heretical could be supposed.  But yet, this is the personal faith of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and he is doing everything, even in this Discourse, to promote it.

The Pope opens his discourse with the traditional greeting, “Brothers”, because the Popes for centuries have considered themselves in humility the brothers of the Cardinals who have elected them, since normally the Pope is a former cardinal.  The citation from the Psalm which follows (Ps. 133:1) is normative for meetings of chapters in religious houses or of Bishops, but as we can see from the text which follows, is interpreted according to the religion of Bergoglio, of the insistence on communion without faith or morals.

Next, the Pope makes clear who is in charge, by thanking only members of “Team Bergoglio” and their closest collaborators. This is to indicate to the Cardinals assembled that he will not brook any interventions by Cardinals which do not fit his prearranged plan to reform the Curia in such wise as he personally thinks fit.

Second, he states his personal religion in the form of an express statement:

The goal to reach is always that which favors the greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, for the purpose of realizing a more efficacious collaboration in that absolute transparency which edifies an authentic sinodality and collegiality.

In this statement, which has no reference to the Gospel or to Tradition, there is asserted as the goal, ideals which have nothing to do with faith or morals of themselves, but which are merely micro-managing principles which mean only, “Do what I tell you”, and “Pretend that what you are doing is a democratic process of equals”!

You can hear the pope shouting his ideology of a religion without morals or doctrine by his used of the words “sinodality” and “collegiality”, terms which means “working with the Pope as brother bishops” and “working together as equals“.  In other words, “Don’t buck me!” and “Don’t imagine for the moment that you can take the moral high ground and criticize my agenda!”

Next, the Pope explains that the reform is not aimed at the salvation of souls, but about control:

The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to favor a more efficacious evangelization; to promote a more fecund, ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.

Control of everything by himself: control of Christian witness, control of the work of the Church, control of the relations with other “churches” and this for the purpose of promoting friendship (“ecumenical spirit”) and conversation (“constructive dialogue”), code words for “watering down everything to a common denominator” and “shut-up all criticism”.

With this obvious insistence on all which does not regard the supreme law of the Church, the salvation of souls (“salus animarum”) the Pope ends his talk exhorting the Cardinals to work for that.  Quite a contradiction in terms. But a deliberate contradiction to emphasize that he is all about keeping up appearances while tearing down realities.

Pope Francis opens the Extra-Ordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals, Feb. 12-13, 2015

Rome, February 12, 2015:  Catholics the world-over have waited with much anticipation for the Consistory of Cardinals convoked by Pope Francis for 2015, which opened this morning at the Vatican.  And this, for the reasons and doubts raised both by the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” and the facts uncovered by Antonio Socci, as published in his book, Non è Francesco, showing that the election of Cardinal Bergoglio is doubtful as to its validity.  In session, the Sacred College of Cardinals has rights to address these issues openly and directly.  From the public announcements, the From Rome blog will attempt to discern what is going on behind closed doors.

As our first installment of coverage, we publish our unofficial English translation of the Italian text of the official Vatican Press communique, which was itself published only minutes ago:

+ + +

The Extra-ordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals
February 12-13, 2015

[B0115]

The Consistory of the College of Cardinals (Feb. 12-13, 2015) began this morning at 9 A.M., in the Hall of the Synod of Vatican II, which Consistory saw the College of Cardinals in meeting with the Holy Father, Francis.  The work of the Consistory — part of which will include the creation of Cardinals in the ordinary public session this Saturday — will be undertaken in 2 days, today and tomorrow, with sessions at 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. (Rome time).

This morning, after the recitation of Terce and the opening salutations of the Cardinal Dean, Angelo Sodano, the Pope addressed the Cardinals present with the discourse which we now cite:

The Discourse of the Holy Father

Dear Brothers,

« How beautiful it is and how sweet that brothers live together » (Psalm 133:1).

With the words of the Psalm we give thanks to the Lord that He has convoke us and given us the grace to welcome in this assembly the 20 new Cardinals.  To them and to all, I address my cordial salute.  Welcome to this communion, which is expressed in collegiality!

I thank all of those who have prepared for this event, in particular, His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Deacon of the College of Cardinals.  We thank the Commission of Nine Cardinals and His Eminence Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, its coordinator. We also thanks His Eminence Marcello Semeraro, the secretary of the Commission of Nine Cardinals: it is he who presents to us today the synthesis of the work undertaken in these recent months to elaborate the new Apostolic Constitution for the Reform of the Curia.  As we know, this synthesis there has been per-arranged on the basis of so many suggestions, even on the part of the heads and responsables of the Dicasteries, not to mention of experts in these matters.

The goal to reach is always that which favors the greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, for the purpose of realizing a more efficacious collaboration in that absolute transparency which edifies an authentic sinodality and collegiality.

The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to favor a more efficacious evangelization; to promote a more fecund, ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.  The reform, urged in a lively manner by the majority of the Cardinals in the course of the first general Congregation of the Conclave (of 2013), will have to perfect the identity of the Roman Curia itself ever the more, that is, of co-assisting the Successor of Peter in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and the service of the universal Church and of the particular Churches: an exercise with which the unity of the faith and the communion with the people of God are reinforced and the proper mission of the Church in the world is promoted.

Certainly, to arrive at such a goal is not easy:  it requires time, determination and above all the collaboration of all.  But to realize this, we must, before all else, entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who is the true guide of the Church, imploring in prayer for the gift of authentic discernment.

With this spirit of collaboration our meeting begins, which will be fecund thanks to the contribution of each of us will be able to express with parresía, fidelity to the Magisterium and conscientiousness for all which is concordant with the supreme law, that is with the salus animarum. Thank you!

[00260-01.01] [Testo originale: Italiano][B0115-XX.01]

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).

From Ivereigh to Abdication, the Canonical steps implied by the “Team Bergoglio” scandal

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, screen shot by From Rome blog, cropped)

Rome — January 6, 2015:  On the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, the Catholic Church celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of the Eternal Light over the darkness merited by this world by the sin of Adam, the darkness which is the demerit of sin, the alienation of God, the loss of God’s Light which would have led Adam’s race from its first progeny to a most splendid glory. For on this day, the Church celebrates the revelation of the Eternal Light incarnate in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin, revealed now to the Gentiles who seek Him out; and not all gentiles, but only those who like the Magi of old, seek Him with sincerity and zeal.

This great Mystery which we celebrate today must be echoed in all the choices of life which we make, must be echoed in the entire life of the Church in all the choices She makes, must even be echoed in the governance of the Church by all the choices which the Sacred Hierarchy makes.

A Church which does not observe Her own laws, thus, can never be the Church which proclaims the Mystery of the Epiphany; and for this reason, corruption in the Church is an abominable denial of the truth of all that the Epiphany represents.

Hence, it is most appropriate, once again to affirm that the facts which surround the “Team Bergoglio” scandal and its consequences in law merit in the most extreme and supreme manner the resolution of the doubts and questions raised.

For this reason, the From Rome blog will now summarize the Canonical Case against “Team Bergoglio” and show why the validity of the election of Cardinal Bergoglio is ostensibly invalidated thereby, and this with a high probability that the contrary is not true.  A summary of reports on the “Team Bergoglio” scandal as well as those blog posts from the From Rome blog can be found in our Chronology of Reports on Team Bergoglio, which is updated regularly. The facts contained in the articles listed in this Chronology, will now be summarized for the facility of the reader:

The crime against UDG 81

Dr. Austen Ivereigh, the former spokesman for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, in the ninth chapter of his biography of Pope Francis, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, says that 8 Cardinals conspired to and did succeed in promote the election of Cardinal Bergoglio by means of seeking vote-promises from 25 Cardinal electors to be cast in the first balloting of the Conclave on March 12, 2013.  From the text of Ivereigh, it can be supposed that of the 8 conspirators, 2-3 were not electors.  In accord with the terms of the papal law, Universi Dominic Gregis (UDG) paragraph 81, all pacts, agreements or promises forged under any kind of obligation, however light or strong, merit for the participants who are electors the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae.  The terms of UDG 81 indicate clearly that the excommunication is ipso facto, that is imposed in the very act of the transgression. Dr. Ivereigh, on March 12, 2013 in a BBC broadcast admitted to have met the alleged ring-leader of the campaign, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor; Ivereigh further confesses in the same BBC appearance that all agreements regarding voting are forbidden by the papal law.  The Cardinal in a newspaper interview on Sept. 12, 2013 admitted to being the head of the campaign and that Pope Francis knew this and thanked him for it on the day after the election; the Cardinal also confirmed that as of March 12, 2013 Cardinal Bergoglio knew he was going to be a candidate, and that he would make a strong showing on the first ballot. As regards these claims, none of the Cardinals implicated by name have substantially or totally denied them, since they first came to public knowledge, six weeks ago, on Nov. 23, 2014. (cf. The improbity of Team Bergoglio’s Recent Denials).

The penalties in virtue of Canon 1329 expand to Cardinal Bergoglio

In accord with canon 1329, all Cardinal electors who assisted in suchwise, as the crime could not have not be accomplished without them, are also punished with the same kind of excommunication.  This includes Cardinal Bergoglio, since it is morally impossible that he did not know of the nature of the campaign, when he could have stopped it by merely communicating his abhorrence for the perpetration of a crime.  Dr. Ivereigh in a recent video interview admits that Cardinal Bergoglio came to Rome for the Conclave with the desire to be a candidate. His insistence to purchase undergarments the day after election, may also argue that he was aware that the manner of his election would incriminate him unless he showed himself free of any intention to be elected.  To hold that Bergoglio was unaware of the nature of the campaign would be to hold that he never talked to any of his supporters prior to the closed sessions of the Conclave; that he did not take control of his own election, that he did not seek to obtain the papacy, that he did not expect to be elected.

The election of Cardinal Bergoglio had by 78 votes

According to reports, Cardinal Bergoglio obtained 16 votes in the first round of voting, and won the election on the last ballot of March 13, 2013 with 78 votes, that is only 2 votes more than the necessary 2/3 majority to win (76). The actual numbers are known to the Cardinal Electors and those who assisted them in the Sistine Chapel on March 12-13, 2013, all of whom, however, are bound by oath not to reveal the information, without explicit permission of the Pope. The numbers reported come from apparent indiscretions, made by individuals, following the euphoria of Pope Francis’ election.

Canon 171 invalidates the election by reason of the violation of UDG 81

According to the norm of canon 171 §1, the votes of excommunicated electors cannot be tallied; and if they are tallied as part of the required number for victory, then in accord with canon 171 §2, the election is null and void.  This canon in §1, °3 cites those excommunicated by judicial sentence or decree; canon 20 specifies that all papal laws such as UDG are general decrees; the Latin text of UDG 81 uses the same verb of imposition specified as a condition for canon 171 §1, ° 3 (innodare).  Thus there is no doubt that canon 171 invalidates papal elections in which the number of votes necessary for election (2/3 majority) is obtained by counting 16 votes from excommunicated electors, as appears to be the case in the “Team Bergoglio” scandal.  While it is possible that some of the original 16 votes cast in the first round were not promised, it is morally improbable that less than 2 were.

What must now be done

The case having attained a sufficient level of probity according to its facti species, that is, according to the appearance of the facts, it must be judged by the competent authority.

Since the case regards the invalidity of the election, the validity of such a judgement must itself be secured in such wise that no matter the outcome of the judgement, the result will be obtained by a method in which all parties agree is lawful, legitimate, licit and valid.

If Cardinal Bergoglio was validly elected, then as Pope his authority would be necessary to resolve the matter.  If he was not validly elected, the Sacred College of Cardinals in virtue of the authority granted to them in UDG 5 can resolve the matter.

Hence, to judge the case of the scandal of “Team Bergoglio” it seems wise to propose the following:

  1. That the Pope convoke to consistory all  the Cardinals, both those who were electors and those who were non-electors in the conclave of 2013, with the Cardinals created since the election of Pope Francis in attendance but remaining silent and not voting, by their own free decision.
  2. That the Pope in consistory express, in humility, his willingness to abdicate if it should be found that his election was invalid.
  3. That the Pope in consistory grant to all the Cardinals assembled, release from their vow of secrecy regarding all affairs of the Conclave, so that they might speak freely.
  4. That the Cardinals agree by unanimous vote, that the successor to Pope Francis, in the eventuality of his abdication or invalidation, grant to all Cardinals the same release from their vow.
  5. That the Cardinals be called by the Dean of the College to give individual testimony as to whether they were asked to promise their vote for any specific Cardinal.
  6. That the Cardinals in virtue of the authority granted to them in UDG 5 determine whether the testimony puts in doubt the validity of the election of 2013, and by unanimous decision judge whether the doubt is sufficient to harm the unity of the Church.
  7. That Pope Francis confirm whatsoever they determine.
  8. That Pope Francis, in the case of a positive determination, abdicate his office by written decree in the presence of the entire Sacred College; in the case of a negative determination, publish the findings of the investigation and grant the Cardinals freedom to speak about the entire affair in public, after the consistory is concluded, so as to confirm its authenticity and put all doubts to rest.

If those who know that any of the above facts or canonical interpretations are false or true, now remain silent, they will sin gravely either in regard to a lack of charity for the truth and reputation of those involved, or as accomplices after the fact.  If the competent authority does not judge the undisputed case, the Church Herself will be gravely injured in Her reputation and adhesion to the Mystery of the Epiphany, of the manifestation of the Eternal Light and Truth, incarnate among us.