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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

UPDATE: Opus Dei's Pope

Within the past week the Italian website InfoVaticana published an interview with Mariano Fazio, the Vicar General of Opus Dei--which is to say, the #2 guy at Opus Dei.  Fazio took the occasion to harshly criticize the members of Opus Dei who have signed the recent Filial Correction.  That would include Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg, although only Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, former president of the Institute of Works for Religion (IOR, the Vatican Bank), was mentioned by name.  With regard to the Filial Correction, Fazio set forth this blanket position, that would condemn any number of saints of the past: 

"Any faithful, bishop, cardinal, lay person has the right to tell the pope what he sees fit for the good of the Church, but it seems to me that he has no right to do so publicly and to scandalize the whole Church with these manifestations of disunity."

Fazio specifically included Gotti Tedeschi--as well as all the other signatories:

"I think he was wrong, too, like the others who signed."

Fazio even put forth the tired argument that Bergoglio hasn't actually changed any doctrine--as if Bergoglio's Cultural Marxist tactics somehow immunize him from criticism for the predictable results.  "Feed my lambs," and if the lambs are fed poison, well, they're still being fed, right?  No one, according to Fazio, would have a right to criticize the shepherd publicly.

This is, I think, a significant development.  Opus Dei has taken an "under the radar" approach to Bergoglio from the very beginning--even allowing an Opus Dei member, Greg Burke, to serve as Bergoglio's spokesman.  The Three Monkey approach.  But of course, this is unacceptable for Modernist revolutionaries in the long run.  For Modernist revolutionaries push always comes to shove and the question posed in the old union song becomes theirs: Which side are you on.

It's clear that Bergoglio has been looking to discredit by any means possible the signatories of the Filial Correction.  His tools may attempt to make light of the Filial Correction--Greg Burke attempted to mock it based on the number of signatories--

​“You can’t really imagine we would do this [block the Filial Correction website] for a letter with 60 names,” he joked to the Italian newspaper Il Giornale.)

but Modernist revolutionaries take all criticism very seriously indeed.  Which is why Fazio was trotted out to savage fellow members of Opus Dei: scandalizing the whole Church!  What's next?  Will Gotti Tedeschi have a millstone tied round his neck and be tossed into the depths of the sea?

But of course this goes far beyond attacking Gotti Tedeschi.  By agreeing to take this step, Opus Dei has given a clear indication of what side they're on: they're on Bergoglio's side.  They have revealed themselves as the GOPe of the Church.

Of course, Opus Dei--like so many, many "conservatives" in the Church--set themselves up for this over the decades after Vatican II.  Never speaking up while Wojtyla and Ratzinger pursued their Modernist agenda, setting the stage for Bergoglio. But the stupidity of this is still fairly breathtaking.  The fact is, Bergoglio--as bad as he's been--has yet to fully rip the mask off.  Count on this: given time, his assault on the Apostolic Faith will get worse--MUCH worse.  And at this moment in time, with the Filial Correction out there and the Dubia Brothers still to correct, with the future of the Church looking ever more parlous, Opus Dei jumped on the Bergoglio band wagon?  This was a signal not merely to two Opus Dei members--it was a signal to all "conservatives" and to the whole Church.  As Fazio would say, a scandal to the whole Church: If Opus Dei is down with Bergoglio, it's all over--right?

What does Fazio and the rest of the Opus Dei brain trust think this will do to the Opus Dei brand?  Yes, standing up to Bergoglio might have been very unpleasant, but look at the consequences, which we are starting to see already.  We all remember how it was, how Opus Dei built itself up into a power brokering organization.  For years they slyly whispered in people's ears: we're your only hope; everyone else has sold out--or are nasty schismatics.  We alone have kept the Faith!  So far I've only seen one comment on this, on a Spanish language website, but it's telling  The overall tone of the article is quite "moderate," but halfway through the author simply states as fact: 

Por eso el Opus Dei era un bastión de la ortodoxia, una guía firme … y hoy no lo es. Necesitan volver a San Josemaría. [That is why Opus Dei was a stronghold of orthodoxy, a firm guide ... and today it is not. They need to return to St. Josemaría.]

Look, this isn't something they'll ever be able to walk back. They've trashed their brand for well and good.  They've played right into Bergoglio's hand.  As Bergoglio's right hand, um, guy, and the actual author of most of Amoris Laetitia, has publicly stated:

"There's no turning back. If and when Francis is no longer pope, his legacy will remain strong. For example, the pope is convinced that the things he has already written or said cannot be condemned as an error. Therefore in the future anybody can repeat those things without being sanctioned".

That's what Opus Dei has got on board with.  Even supposing a miracle in the short run that could somehow turn around or even just halt the runaway train that Bergoglio is, would anyone go back to trusting an organization that has been an enabler for so many years?  And after this?  Doubtful.  Very doubtful.

UPDATE: Just to be absolutely clear ... What Fazio was accusing Filial Correction signatories of was the serious sin of scandal--and not just any scandal.  He was accusing them of scandal against one of the Four Marks of the Church, its Oneness. That's a very serious accusation.  In the circumstances it should be considered as 1. a warning to all Opus Dei members to keep their mouths shut and offer no criticisms of Bergoglio, and 2. a warning to those of any stripe who would criticize Bergoglio that they should expect no support from Opus Dei.



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What's Bergoglio's Gameplan for SSPX?

Lots of people are puzzled by the extraordinarily generous treatment that Bergoglio has afforded to SSPX.  After all, wouldn't SSPX be the epitome of the "rigid" and "Pharisaical" "doctors of the Law" that he so regularly excoriates?  And yet no terms of "regularization" appear too generous--it seems that anything SSPX asks for they'll receive.  However, if you keep before your mind the idea that Bergoglio has a specific goal always in view, matters become a bit more clear.

What is Bergoglio's goal?  To fully implement Vatican II--as he understands it.  And he has made no bones about the fact that his version of a true Vatican II Church would be in line with the views of the most radical of the New Theologians, such as Walter Kasper.  How could empowering an organization such as SSPX, which steadfastly rejects precisely those elements of Vatican II that are so central to Bergoglio's plans--ecumenism, religious "freedom"--possibly help Bergoglio fully implement his goals?

To come to an understanding of Bergoglio's strategy, the key provision of the proposed SSPX personal prelature is the one that allows SSPX to incorporate religious congregations.

My view is that Bergoglio wants to set up SSPX as a sort of cordon sanitaire for tradition minded Catholics--or a parallel Church, if you prefer.  At this point he is faced with constant conflict and resistance to his agenda within the Church.  Simply excommunicating his opposition isn't an option, so the next best option would be to marginalize them. What appears to be an option--to allow tradition minded Catholics to join with SSPX--may in practice turn out to be a requirement.  In other words, Bergoglio and his allies--to include local bishops--will in effect tell those who are tradition minded: it's our way or get on the highway to SSPX.  If you try to remain in the Vatican II Church and oppose my version of Vatican II reforms--women deacons, ecumenical liturgies, divorce in practice, etc.--you'll be subjected to draconian disciplinary measures.  SSPX beckons.

Yes, that will enlarge SSPX.  But Bergoglio, in my view, is betting that most Catholics presented with this choice will succumb to his pressure, remain in the Vatican II Church on his terms by keeping their mouths shut, and that those who do make the switch will be joining a marginalized group that will remain marginalized.  The proposed personal prelature will have bishops, of course.  Some bishops.  But don't expect to see any SSPX cardinals.  Bergoglio will continue packing the College of Cardinals with like minded prelates who will guarantee a like minded successor.

What could go wrong with Bergoglio's gameplan?  Two possibilities come to mind.

First, this Bergoglianized Church--in effect, a new Church of Man--could simply implode.  It could suffer an implosion similar to what the Church suffered in the decades after Vatican II only, given the cultural changes that have occurred since those years, the implosion could be even more drastic.  For instance, the current trend toward popularism that we see in both the US and in Europe could lead to rapid alienation with a Church that is ever more overtly aligned with globalist elite opinion.

Second, Fellay has openly stated that his goal in accepting regularization would be, in essence, to convert the Church--to call it back to Tradition.  At the same time however, he has quite candidly admitted that this can only happen gradually.  If, in fact, a Prelature of SSPX were to exhibit a creative flexibility in even relatively minor ways, it might well offer a welcoming environment to growing numbers of serious and (in a manner of speaking) dues paying Catholics.  Vernacular liturgies, for example, might be an accommodation that such a prelature might be willing to make, and there could be other similar initiatives that would not betray the legacy of Lefebvre while offering a halfway house to a full embrace of Tradition.

Interesting times.