INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Here is the troubling story of how 1 Franciscan brother petitioned Cardinal Napier of South Africa, urging him to see that the final version of the Synod’s document would not contain any deviation from Christ’s teaching regarding the absolute necessity of repentance and faith as criteria of membership in the Church and directives for pastoral praxis.
I wrote this petition in response to the now infamous 3 paragraphs in the Relatio post deceptationem (the Report after received responses) which was published at the Extra-Ordinary Synod of the Family, at Rome, on Monday morning, October 13, 2014, by the drafting committee headed by Cardinal Erdo. Which paragraphs, regarding the unspeakable vice, sodomy, where subsequently attributed in the press to Bishop Bruno Forte (famous for his book on Christ, in which he declared that if the body of Christ crucified were found, he’d still believe in the Resurrection!).
However, when it was reported in the UK press that the revised document contained something worse, the explicit affirmation of the value of a vice, namely the requirement that Catholics “value the homosexual orientation”, I was utterly shocked.
In those paragraphs, there was an obvious and intentional attempt to introduce the language of the homo-agenda and homo-heresy into the Synod’s final document. The homo-heresy is a term coined recently to refer to the political and ideological doctrine that homosexuality is a good to be appreciated, valued, accepted in all human society, even in the Church. It is a heretical doctrine, because it contradicts the clear teaching of Moses and St. Paul that this vice and its practice are abominations to God and contrary to nature, and because it directly contradicts the teaching of Our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, the Lord of the Ages, the Creator of Man, the Author of Scripture, the Most High, Eternal, All Holy God of Israel! In that He teaches that the fundamental rule or requirement for membership in His Church and for communion with Him is that one first repent of his sins and then believe all his teaching.
These were Our Lord’s first words, when He opened His Mouth and began His own public ministry: Repent and Believe! The Apostles, His faithful and infallible disciples after the Pentecost Day of grace, taught clearly in all their writings, gathered now in the New Testament, that these words are to be understood as the utter repudiation of carnality, immorality, and all that is contrary to the moral precepts of the Mosaic Law and of the Evangelical Law, and of the natural, moral, and divine laws implicit in these.
For this reason, and because by my vocation as a son of St. Francis of Assisi, I deemed it necessary to speak out against the tide of grave, manifest, public scandal given to the faithful throughout this world. Especially since as an Italian citizen, resident at Rome, I consider it a duty as a member of the Diocese of Rome, which shall never loose the Faith, to speak boldly in favor of Christ’s Magisterium against the false magisterium of the flesh being proposed in the Relatio post deceptationem.
When the Holy Father, in response to the outcry against the patently racist and very insulting remarks of Cardinal Kasper against the Synod Fathers from Africa, appointed Wilfrid Cardinal Napier, OFM, the Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, (Cardinal-Priest of San Francesco d’Assisi ad Acilia, at Rome), as member of the drafting committee, I was encouraged on account of the reports showing that he was a faithful Cardinal and fighting to protect the faith.
You see, according to the Rule of Saint Francis of Assisi, we sons of St. Francis are bound to give and receive remonstrations in the Lord, so that as brothers in one family we might assist the salvation of one another. Seeing that Cardinal Napier was before his elevation to the episcopate on Feb. 21, 1981, was a member of the Order of Friars Minor of the Leonine Union, I saw this as an opportunity and sign from God to plead with him to fight the good fight and see to it that the final draft of the Synod Document not contain any approval of the abomination of sodomy, whether in act or in vice, directly or indirectly, or even in some sort of linguistic construction whereby the Church would seem or in fact, be bound to surrender to the homo-heresy of our age.
This is the historical background to the exchange which now follows.
The Petition sent to Cardinal Napier
The petition sent on Thursday, October 16, 2014, via twitter to Cardinal Napier. His Eminence had followed me on Twitter the very night before, which enabled me to send him a private message. First I wrote the petition, then I presented in in a series of Direct Messages.
First, the petition, which contains several tweets, in this order:
This final tweet was favorited by Cardinal Giuseppe (@vaticanvalet) who, however, unlike @CardinalNapier, seems to be someone feigning to be a cardinal.
My Presentation of the Petition to Cardinal Napier
After tweeting the petition, I presented it in a Direct Message to His Eminence, since, as I have said, he had followed me the night before, and I was already following him. On twitter those are the 2 necessaries for sending and receiving Direct Messages; these are a form of private, non-publicized communication.
After the Cardinal’s initial shocking response to the petition, I captured the DM in a jpg image, to preserve the historical record. Here is that image:
Direct Message from @BrAlexisBugnolo to @CardinalNapier on Twitter, presenting the Petition re Fidelity to Christ
These direct messages make clear the intent of the Petition and my grave concerns about the dangers to the Faith and to the Church, inherent in the revised version of the Relatio, which Relatio emanated from the drafting committee of which Cardinal Napier was the newly appointed member, “representing” the Synod Fathers who came from Africa.
The Stunning Replies of Cardinal Napier
Now it is obvious to anyone, who knows anything about the Catholic Church and what it means to be a member of Her, that the above cited petition is most respectful, serious, and one made fully in accord with the norms of Canon Law, which regard the rights of the faithful to petition members of the Sacred Hierarchy. By the time Cardinal Napier replied, 30 members of the faithful from Europe, Africa and North America had signed it. Subsequently, at least 6 more signed it that night.
But to this sensible, sane, calm, fully catholic, dutiful, honest and zealous petition, Cardinal Napier chose to respond with this tweet, which I have captured in a jpg image:
Cardinal Napier’s First Response to the Petition
Moved by my love for Cardinal Napier in Christ, and mindful that if I were silent, I would consent to his scandalous remarks, I replied with a series of tweets:
To These tweets, the Cardinal surprised me, by replying a second time:
Cardinal Napier’s second reply to the Petition, remonstrating with Br Alexis Bugnolo
You can see my own subsequent replies, in that image, but for ease of reading, I recite them here:
If it might seem that I am being to bold in my “dialogue” with the Cardinal, remember that we are both sons of St. Francis, and are obliged to this give and take, according to the Rule of St. Francis: also, because of his membership on the drafting committee Cardinal Napier has a direct capability to have his own input and correct errors. In addition, seeing the grave scandal going on at the Synod, I considered it morally necessary, as St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, to speak to His Eminence with boldness.
The Cardinal, however, chose to reply to me again, here is the jpg image.
Cardinal Napier’s Third Reply to the petition of Br Alexis Bugnolo and 30 other faithful.
It was clear from this response, that in the Cardinal’s mind there was some confusion, so I replied with a series of tweets to explain and attempt to remove that confusion, spurred by my zeal for God and for the Cardinal’s soul.
And thus, I boldly asked:
At that point, I shut down my computer, for it was very late, and the Cardinal seems to have done likewise; in the morning, upon waking early around 5 AM Rome time, he tweeted me 1 last time:
Cardinal Napier’s 4th reply to the Petition submitted to him by Br. Alexis Bugnolo and now 36 members of the faithul
As you can see, the Cardinal was taking the Petition totally out of context, and twisting scripture to oppose it. I have seen this tactic on many a street-corner, but it is one used by non-Catholics who are insisting in their perverse or erroneous doctrines against the teaching of the Catholic Faith, so I recognized it immediately, and replied thus, on Friday Morning, when I logged on Twitter and saw it:
Final Remarks from Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Throughout this exchange of tweets with His Eminence Cardinal Napier of Durban, South Africa, many members of the faithful tweeted, retweeted, replied, or favorited the Petition, his replies or my replies to him. I have omitted these in the course of this report, since they had no bearing upon the exchange between the Cardinal and myself.
Let me remind the faithful of 2 great truths. First, that we must always remain faithful to Christ Jesus and His Magisterium, as it has been recorded in the Gospels, explained by the Apostles, handed down in Tradition by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, explained in the perennial, perduring, constant and unchangeable Magisterium of the Church, which expresses Herself in an infallible manner only when our Sacred Pastors, who have the authority, teach in harmony with Christ, the Apostles, Scripture and Tradition.
Secondly, even when our Sacred Pastors might not live up to what we expect of them in Christ, or up to what Christ expects of them, we should remain respectful in our discourses, even if we might at times have to be bold (So long as they do not become pertinacious, public heretics, because if they did we’d be obliged by faith, hope and charity to no longer regard them as members of the Church). We are Catholics not stoics, so we do not hold it to be a sin to be passionate or emotional about our Faith, rather we repudiate all the false morals of the world, the errors of Modernism which would reduce faith to sentimentalism, to the errors of Freemasonry which want to return mankind to the slavery of the idols of Egypt and Babylon, and the false and so-called wisdom of the flesh in our own day, which would have us be so polite as to offend God, not man.
Let us pray for Cardinal Napier and all the Fathers at the Synod; resolving to reject the final document if it deviates from the Faith in any particular. And finally, I ask your prayers, that I might give a humble an zealous witness to the faith, expecting as I do to suffer for the witness I have given here today.