THE POPES AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER – PART II
The primary cause of the sexual and cultural revolution is ideological. Our Lady of Fatima has said that Russia’s errors would spread all over the world. It was first done under a violent form, classical Marxism, by killing tens of millions. Now it’s being done mostly by cultural Marxism. There is continuity from Lenin’s sex revolution, through Gramsci and the Frankfurt school, to the current-day gay-rights and gender ideology. Classical Marxism pretended to redesign society through violent take-over of property. Now the revolution goes deeper; it pretends to redefine family, sex identity and human nature. This ideology calls itself progressive. But it is nothing else than
the ancient serpent’s offer, for man to take control, to replace God,
to arrange salvation here, in this world.
—Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea, speech at the Synod of the Family in Rome;
October 17th, 2015
THE Catechism of the Catholic Church warns that the “final trial” that would shake the faith of many believers would constitute, in part, the Marxist ideas of arranging “salvation here, in this world” through the secular State.
The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment… especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675-676
This trial constitutes the Church’s own Passion “when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.” As the United Nations “sustainable development” goals take traction (many of them hiding these very Marxist ideas), and the Church increasingly appears to endorse them, it is not a lack of Romanita to wonder “what is going on?” The temptation though—and it is a dangerous one—is for Catholics to turn against the popes as if they are in fact allowing the gates of hell to prevail against the Church. Here’s another view.
Just as Jesus deliberately handed over His body to the authorities to be crucified, so too, the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, must be handed over to follow her Lord through her own passion, death and resurrection. Is it not true that on the eve of His Passion, Christ dined with Judas, even dipping bread in the same bowl? So too, our popes in this last hour have engaged men who do not have the Church’s best interests in mind. This is to say that the popes are not Judas; rather, it is those who “make a pretense of religion but deny its power,”  those who “dialogue” with the Church but who ignore her message; those whose lips impart a “kiss” but whose hearts hold a hammer and nails.
Yes, there are unfaithful priests, bishops, and even cardinals who fail to observe chastity. But also, and this is also very grave, they fail to hold fast to doctrinal truth! They disorient the Christian faithful by their confusing and ambiguous language. They adulterate and falsify the Word of God, willing to twist and bend it to gain the world’s approval. They are the Judas Iscariots of our time. —Cardinal Robert Sarah, Catholic Herald, April 5th, 2019
“But wait,” some of you are saying. “Isn’t Pope Francis using ‘confusing and ambiguous language’?” The answer is both yes and no (which is why this article is a bit longer than usual). Those who wish to interpret this pontificate in black or white inevitably fail—fail to see how Christ is guiding His Church in these last moments of our era, even through popes who can and do make mistakes.
Christ does not fail His Church. Hell will never prevail.
SUSPICION WILL COME
At the turn of the 20th century, Pope St. Pius X set forth a beautiful and prophetic vision of the coming resurrection of the Church, the “restoration of all things in Christ” that will be accomplished within the boundaries of time. It will not only bring nations back into the fold of Christ but establish true justice and peace on earth for a time. Fourteen years later, Our Lady promised that it would be accomplished through her Immaculate Heart.
The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. —Our Lady of Fatima, The Message of Fatima, www.vatican.va
Yes, a miracle was promised at Fatima, the greatest miracle in the history of the world, second only to the Resurrection. And that miracle will be an era of peace which has never really been granted before to the world. —Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, papal theologian for Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, October 9th, 1994, The Apostolate’s Family Catechism, p. 35
However, St. Pius X admitted that some would become suspicious of the popes in their work of helping to bring this divine task to fulfillment:
Some will certainly be found who, measuring Divine things by human standards will seek to discover secret aims of Ours, distorting them to an earthly scope and to partisan designs. —E Supremi, n. 4
Perhaps no pope in recent times has come under such suspicion more than Pope Francis.
A NEW POPE, A NEW DIRECTION?
Like a prophet crying out in the digital desert, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio exhorted that…
The Church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries not only in the geographic sense but also the existential peripheries: those of the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance, of doing without religion, of thought and of all misery. —homily before the papal conclave, Salt and Light Magazine, p. 8, Issue 4, Special Edition, 2013
Days later, he would be named the 266th successor to St. Peter—and almost immediately signalled that it would not be business as usual. Shunning traditional papal living quarters and honors, driving in small cars and standing in line for dinner, deriding clericalism and the status quo, the Latin American Pope challenged the entire Church to simplicity and authenticity. In a word, he was trying to model the very “justice” the Gospels invoked.
But he went further. He ignored rubrics and washed the feet of women and Muslims on Holy Thursday; he appointed liberals to high positions; he warmly welcomed controversial figures into papal audiences and conferences; he embraced global religious leaders with aims at “human fraternity,” and he explicitly endorsed the UN’s climate change agenda.
Dear friends, time is running out! …A carbon pricing policy is essential if humanity wants to use the resources of creation wisely… the effects on the climate will be catastrophic if we exceed the 1.5ºC threshold outlined in the Paris Agreement goals. —POPE FRANCIS, June 14th, 2019; Brietbart.com
Now we had a pope personally endorsing a UN document that surreptitiously included those other troublesome targets:
Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health… as well as gender equality, empowerment of women... —Paris Agreement, 2015
Goal number 5 of the UN’s Agenda 2030 is to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” This goal includes the following target which, as explained in Part I, is a euphemism for abortion and contraception:
Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights… —Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, n. 5.6
The Pope’s efforts at interreligious dialogue were no less controversial. He signed a declaration alongside a Muslim Iman which states that “the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom…” Since color, sex, and race are implicitly willed by God, some thought the Pope was saying that God actively willed many religions instead of the one Church Christ established, and was, therefore, contradicting his predecessor.
…they thereby teach the great error of this age—that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion… —POPE LEO XIII, Humanum Genus,. n. 16
While the Pope did correct this understanding when Bishop Athanasius Schneider met him in person, saying it was God’s “permissive” will that many religions exist, the controversial statement remains as is on the Vatican’s website. In fact, that declaration has progressed to another level, with Francis’ cooperation, whereby to promote its tenets of “human fraternity,” an “Abrahamic Family House” will be built in the United Arab Emirates.
A church, a synagogue and a mosque will share the same foundation… the project will represent a new typology of world architecture. “There has never been a building which houses the three faiths in one form.” —Vatican News, September 21st, 2019
All this was followed days later by a controversial gathering in the Vatican Gardens to mark the opening of the Amazon Synod. As the Pope looked on, an indigenous group formed a “sacred circle” and bowed prostrate to wooden effigies and a mound of dirt, thus sparking an uproar from Catholics all over the globe.
A priest and martyr of the Nazi holocaust once said:
At some future date the honest historian will have some bitter things to say about the contribution of the Churches to the creation of the mass mind, of collectivism, dictatorships and so on. —Fr. Alfred Delp, SJ, Prison Writings (Orbis Books), pp. xxxi-xxxii; Fr. Delp was executed for resisting the Nazi regime.
Is Pope Francis helping to bring all things into a “restoration in Christ,” or has he at times departed from the divine narrative?
On Interreligious Dialogue
Popes have made and make mistakes and this is no surprise. Infallibility is reserved ex cathedra [“from the seat” of Peter, that is, proclamations of dogma based on Sacred Tradition]. No popes in the history of the Church have ever made ex cathedra errors. —Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, theologian and patristics expert
When meeting with Muslims at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II was presented a copy of the Quran. While it is usual for pontiffs to receive gifts, what happened next shocked many Christians: he kissed it—a book that contains some grave incompatibilities with Christianity. Like the “Pachamama scandal” in the Vatican Gardens, the optics were terrible.
And then there was the World Day of Prayer for Peace held in 1986 in Assisi, convened by Pope John Paul II to gather religious leaders. The question was how men of different religions, even perhaps different gods, could join together in prayer? Cardinal Ratzinger apparently opted not to attend the event, later stating:
…there are undeniable dangers and it is indisputable that the Assisi meetings, especially in 1986, were misinterpreted by many people. —Clerical Whispers, January 9th, 2011
The purpose of the meeting was not to merge various faiths in a kind of religious indifferentism (as some claimed) but to promote peace and dialogue in a world marred by two World Wars and increasing genocides—often in the name of “religion.” But dialogue to what end? Pope Francis answers that question:
Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and so it is a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities. This dialogue is in first place a conversation about human existence or simply, as the bishops of India have put it, a matter of “being open to them, sharing their joys and sorrows”. In this way we learn to accept others and their different ways of living, thinking and speaking… True openness involves remaining steadfast in one’s deepest convictions, clear and joyful in one’s own identity, while at the same time being “open to understanding those of the other party” and “knowing that dialogue can enrich each side”. What is not helpful is a diplomatic openness which says “yes” to everything in order to avoid problems, for this would be a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others. Evangelization and interreligious dialogue, far from being opposed, mutually support and nourish one another. —Evangelii Gaudium, n . 251, vatican.va
Consider Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well. He didn’t launch into a proclamation that He was the Savior of the world but rather met her, first, on the level of basic human need.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (John 4:7)
Thus began “dialogue.” Still, Jesus did not reveal His identity—yet—but explored with her a deeper basic human need: a thirst for the divine, for the meaning of life, for the transcendent.
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
It was in this truth, this “common ground,” that Jesus was able to finally propose the “living water” for which she thirsted, and even stir her to repentance.
“…whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:14-15)
In this story, we have a compressed image of what authentic “interreligious dialogue” looks like.
The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself. —Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate, n. 2
Indeed, on the last day of that interfaith gathering in Assisi, St. John Paul II identified who the “living water” is:
I profess here anew my conviction, shared by all Christians, that in Jesus Christ, as Saviour of all, true peace is to be found, “peace to those who are far off and peace to those who are near”… I humbly repeat here my own conviction: peace bears the name of Jesus Christ. —Address of John Paul II to the Representatives of the Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities and of the World Religions, Basilica of St. Francis, October 27th, 1986
Is this also Pope Francis’ aim with the interreligious initiatives he has undertaken? We must assume that is the case, even if it often appears as if the dialogue has gone no further yet than “Give me a drink.” The day after appearing in an interfaith video in which Pope Francis said “we are all children of God,” he proclaimed at the Angelus:
…the Church “desires that all the peoples of the earth be able to meet Jesus, to experience His merciful love… [the Church] wishes to indicate respectfully, to every man and woman of this world, the Child that was born for the salvation of all. —Angelus, January 6th, 2016; Zenit.org
At the same time, we cannot pretend that the Pope has given confusing signals. Regarding the event in the Vatican Gardens, Cardinal Müller, former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the following sober assessment:
This whole sad story will give support to many aggressive, anti-Catholic sects in South America and elsewhere who in their polemics maintain that Catholics are idol worshipers and that the Pope who they obey is the Antichrist. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics in the Amazon area and wherever the videos of this Roman spectacle have been seen will leave the Church in protest. Did anyone think about these consequences or did they just assume this was collateral damage? —Cardinal Müller, interview with Die Tagestpost, November 15th, 2019
Exaggeration? History will judge, not only this Pope, but all the popes in the last half-century as to whether the Gospel has been better served or obscured through these interreligious ceremonies. To be certain, Francis does not believe in pantheism or animism. In his own words:
Saint John of the Cross taught that all the goodness present in the realities and experiences of this world “is present in God eminently and infinitely, or more properly, in each of these sublime realities is God”. This is not because the finite things of this world are really divine, but because the mystic experiences the intimate connection between God and all beings, and thus feels that “all things are God”. —Laudato si’, n. 234
Alas, the first pope is case-in-point of how the pontiffs, in an attempt to “be all things to all people,” can sometimes cross the line. Peter had caved into the pressure of the “circumcised” when he began to withdraw from eating with the Gentiles. St. Paul “opposed him to his face” stating that Peter and his group…
…were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel… (Galatians 2:14)
On the Environment
A major theme of this pontificate is the environment, and rightly so. The damage man is doing to the earth, and thus himself, is grave (see The Great Poisoning). But Francis is not on an island in sounding this alarm. St. John Paul II addressed the profound ecological crisis of our times in similar language:
Indeed, the increasing devastation of the world of nature is apparent to all. It results from the behaviour of people who show a callous disregard for the hidden, yet perceivable requirements of the order and harmony which govern nature itself… While in some cases the damage already done may well be irreversible, in many other cases it can still be halted. It is necessary, however, that the entire human community—individuals, States and international bodies—take seriously the responsibility that is theirs. —January 1st, 1990, World Day of Peace; vatican.va
In fact, in that speech, he embraced the prevalent science of his day that the “gradual depletion of the ozone layer and the related ‘greenhouse effect’ has now reached crisis proportions.” Like Pope Francis, John Paul II was relying on his advisors such as the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. As it turns out, the opening and closing of a “hole” in the ozone layer is “a seasonal phenomenon that forms during Antarctica’s spring.” In other words, the panic was overblown.
The new crisis today is “global warming.” But again, it’s not just Francis who has been led to believe that there is an imminent climate catastrophe.
Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Letter to His Holiness Bartholomaios I Archbishop of Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch, Sept. 1, 2007
Here, Benedict is using the UN’s lingo, as has Francis. While these words have come to mean something often nefarious for many of the globalists who use them, such as “sustaining the population” (ie. population control), “sustainable development” in itself is not incompatible with Catholicism. As the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states:
The close link that exists between the development of the poorest countries, demographic changes and a sustainable use of the environment must not become a pretext for political and economic choices that are at variance with the dignity of the human person. —n. 483, vatican.va
Thus, Benedict provides a pertinent warning regarding the dangers lurking beneath this ecological movement:
Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow. It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances. —Message on World Day of Peace, January 1st, 2008; vatican.va
Once again, history will judge whether Francis has been “hasty” in backing “global warming” science.
On the Economy
Francis—citing his predecessors—also calls for a global authority.
…for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. —Laudato si’, n. 175; cf. Caritas in Veritates, n. 67
And like his predecessors, Pope Francis rejects the idea of a “global super-State” calling again for the principle of “subsidiarity” that assures the autonomy of every level of society from the “the family” to international authorities.
Let us keep in mind the principle of subsidiarity, which grants freedom to develop the capabilities present at every level of society, while also demanding a greater sense of responsibility for the common good from those who wield greater power. Today, it is the case that some economic sectors exercise more power than states themselves. —Laudato si’, n. 196
Pope Francis has spared no criticism of these “economic sectors,” invoking near-apocalyptic language himself.
A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power… In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule. —Evangelii Gaudium, n. 56
Western commentators, particularly some Americans, have railed against the Pope claiming he is a Marxist, especially when he bluntly stated that “an unfettered pursuit of money” is the “dung of the devil.” Marxist? No. Francis was echoing Catholic social doctrine that is neither “capitalist” nor “communist” but rather in favor of economies that make the dignity and welfare of the person their animating principle. Once again, his predecessors said the very same thing:
…if by “capitalism” is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative. —ST. JOHN PAUL II, Centesiumus Annus, n. 42; Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n. 335
Francis was unequivocal against this calumnious charge:
Marxist ideology is wrong… [but] trickle-down economics… expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power… [these theories] assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and social inclusiveness in the world. The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the Church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist. —POPE FRANCIS, December 14th, 2013, interview with La Stampa; religion.blogs.cnn.com
But then, as we read in The New Paganism – Part III, there is a destructive backlash rising, a revolutionary spirit against the free market system: Socialism and the unjust redistribution of wealth (which is no less scatological).
This revolt is spiritual at root. It is the revolt of Satan against the gift of grace. Fundamentally, I believe that Western man refuses to be saved by God’s mercy. He refuses to receive salvation, wanting to build it for himself. The “fundamental values” promoted by the UN are based on a rejection of God that I compare with the rich young man in the Gospel. God has looked upon the West and has loved it because it has done wonderful things. He invited it to go further, but the West turned back. It preferred the kind of riches that it owed only to itself. —Cardinal Sarah, Catholic Herald, April 5th, 2019
Again, history will judge the Pope as to whether his support of the United Nations’ goals is not itself a “naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.”
All that said, from what we’ve stated above, this pontificate is not a radical departure from its predecessors.
PROPHETIC… OR IMPRUDENT?
As a spiritual family, though, perhaps it’s time to ask some serious questions. Is the Church’s mission being accomplished, or is it being obscured through “dialogue” fixated on temporal peace? Are we reforming the world, or is the Church becoming too political in aligning with institutions like the United Nations? Are we building good faith, or trusting too much in the goodwill and intentions of a secular global political authority? Are we relying upon God’s wisdom and power, or too much upon practical solutions to bring about His future plan for “justice and peace”? Those are sincere questions.
But here is a sincere answer. In a moment of prescience, perhaps anticipating the birth of the United Nations some 42 years later, Piux X said:
There are many, We are well aware, who, in their yearning for peace, that is for the tranquillity of order, band themselves into societies and parties, which they style parties of order. Hope and labor lost. For there is but one party of order capable of restoring peace in the midst of all this turmoil, and that is the party of God. It is this party, therefore, that we must advance, and to it attract as many as possible, if we are really urged by the love of peace. —E Supremi, n. 7
No matter how much we exert ourselves in the public sphere, interact with governments or establish fraternal relations with other religions, we will never bring the Kingdom of God on earth, he said, “except by means of Jesus Christ.” Our Lord himself said to St. Faustina,
Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 300
God loves all men and women on earth and gives them the hope of a new era, an era of peace. His love, fully revealed in the Incarnate Son, is the foundation of universal peace. When welcomed in the depths of the human heart, this love reconciles people with God and with themselves, renews human relationships and stirs that desire for brotherhood capable of banishing the temptation of violence and war. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of Pope John Paul II for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2000
All our missionary activity must ultimately be directed toward reconciling others with the Father through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Isn’t this task more urgent than ever?
This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops. —POPE SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Homily, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, August 15th, 1993; vatican.va
Otherwise, we risk falling into idolatry, that is, adultery with the spirit of the world. There is a prophecy from St. Anthony of the Desert worth visiting, particularly as the Church is appearing more and more as a spokesman for the United Nations’ “sustainable development” goals:
Men will surender to the spirit of the age. They will say that if they had lived in our day, Faith would be simple and easy. But in their day, they will say, things are complex; the Church must be brought up to date and made meaningful to the day’s problems. When the Church and the world are one, then those days are at hand because our Divine Master placed a barrier between His things and the things of the world. —catholicprophecy.org
It’s interesting that the theme of how “complex” situations are in the family today, and how “complex” the solutions… frequently appears in Amoris Laetitia—a papal document that has created more disagreement than any since Humanae Vitae (this time, for being too liberal rather than too conservative).
St. Nilus lived around 400 A.D and foretold with stunning accuracy what would occur around the time the United Nations would be formed (1945):
After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people’s minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. People’s appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair… There will be no respect for parents and elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right-hand way from the left. At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change… —(This would refer, not to Sacred Tradition, but perhaps the disciplines of the church or longstanding practices such as the form of the Mass, celibacy, and pastoral norms.) The whole prophecy can be read here.
LOYALTY vs FAITHFULNESS
Such prophecies are intended to prepare us for battle—but we better make sure we’re in the right fight. Using these prophetic words to attack the papacy is a deception; they speak of the Church as a whole, and may or may not include the Pope. If they do, the proper attitude is the one stated wisely by Cardinal Robert Sarah.
We must help the Pope. We must stand with him just as we would stand with our own father. —Cardinal Sarah, May 16th, 2016, Letters from the Journal of Robert Moynihan
We can help the popes in five ways: 1) by our prayer; 2) by being a voice of clarity when theirs isn’t; 3) by avoiding rash judgments toward them; 4) by interpreting their words favourably and according to Tradition; 5) and by fraternal correction when they are mistaken (which is primarily the role of fellow bishops). Otherwise, Cardinal Sarah offers a warning:
The truth is that the Church is represented on earth by the Vicar of Christ, that is by the pope. And whoever is against the pope is, ipso facto, outside the Church. —Cardinal Robert Sarah, Corriere della Sera, October 7th, 2019; americamagazine.org
Those who are rattled by Francis, and have thus begun seeking ways to invalidate his papal election, ought to listen to one of the more outspoken critics of Pope Francis’ pastoral approach:
I’ve had people present to me all kinds of arguments calling into question the election of Pope Francis. But I name him every time I offer the Holy Mass, I call him Pope Francis, it’s not an empty speech on my part. I believe that he is the pope. And I try to say that consistently to people, because you’re correct — according to my perception also, people are getting more and more extreme in their response to what’s going on in the Church. —Cardinal Raymond Burke, interview with The New York Times, November 9th, 2019
Loyalty to a pope who is off the mark is not unfaithfulness to Christ; it is the opposite. It is part of that “striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”  Such loyalty reveals the depth of our faith in Jesus: whether we trust that He is still building His Church, even when popes wander.
For even if a pope steers the Barque of Peter in the wrong direction,
it will go nowhere so long as the wind of the Holy Spirit does not fill its sails.
In other words, “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  And what could possibly be God’s purpose at this hour?
…there is the need for the Passion of the Church, which naturally reflects itself on the person of the Pope, but the Pope is in the Church and therefore what is announced is the suffering for the Church… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, interview with reporters on his flight to Portugal; translated from Italian, Corriere della Sera, May 11, 2010
Even when our popes say and do confusing things, it is never a reason to abandon ship. As St. John Chrysostom reminds us:
The Church is thy hope, the Church is thy salvation, the Church is thy refuge. —Hom. de capto Euthropio, n. 6.
That, and as Msgr. Ronald Knox (1888-1957) once said, “Perhaps it would be a good thing if every Christian, certainly if every priest, could dream once in his life that he were pope—and wake from that nightmare in a sweat of agony.”
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