BY WILLIAM F. JASPER
Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.
Pope Francis is facing a mounting insurrection within the Catholic prelature, clergy, and laity in response to his ongoing radical efforts to change Catholic doctrine, moral teachings, Church governance, liturgy, diplomacy, and other matters. A prominent cardinal has characterized Pope Francis’ actions as tantamount to “a hostile takeover of the Catholic Church.” An archbishop and former Vatican official has accused the pope of being an “authoritarian tyrant” whose “violent and destructive” actions are causing “incalculable” damage to the Church and the faithful. An internationally renowned Catholic professor at Princeton University called Pope Francis's appointment “shocking and scandalous.” A conference in October of prominent Catholic laymen and women, featuring a bishop and an archbishop, issued a formal declaration of resistance to Pope Francis. And there is much more.
Among Pope Francis’ latest scandals are the outrageous and heretical proposals of his Synod on Synodality; his appointment, on October 15, to the Pontifical Academy for Life of Professor Mariana Mazzucato, an atheist, globalist, pro-abortion feminist, and advocate for the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset; his betrayal of China’s persecuted Catholics and the aged, heroic Cardinal Joseph Zen with the Vatican’s agreement with Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party; and his harsh attacks on faithful Catholics and suppression of the traditional Latin Mass, while at the same time refusing to root out homosexual clerics and refusing to condemn or rein in wild liturgical abuses.
The pope’s Synod on Synodality, a three-year-long process culminating in October 2024, has already stirred widespread opposition for its calls to embrace same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, radical “inclusion” of LGBTQ groups, and ordination of women, as well as for the synod’s inclusion of dissident ex-Catholics and anti-Catholics. In an essay for the (U.S.) National Catholic Register, Australia’s Cardinal George Pell wrote, “The synodal process has begun disastrously in Germany, and matters will become worse unless we soon have effective papal corrections on, for instance, Christian sexual morality, women priests, etc.” “We find no precedents in Catholic history for the active participation of ex-Catholics and anti-Catholics in such bodies,” he continued, warning against the synod’s allowing of “serious heresies to continue undisturbed.”
Germany’s Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s oldest department of the Roman Curia, has been even more pointed in his criticism of the synod, calling it “a hostile takeover of the Church of Jesus Christ.” The synodal leaders, said Cardinal Müller in an October interview with Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), “are dreaming of another church that has nothing to do with the Catholic faith … and they want to abuse this process, for shifting the Catholic Church” and for “the destruction of the Catholic Church.” In a subsequent interview with LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Müller blasted the introduction of same-sex “blessings” by the bishops of Belgium’s Flanders region as “an absolute heresy and schism.” “No bishop or pope has authority to bless something which is against the will of our Creator and our Redeemer,” the Vatican’s former doctrinal chief said.
In tandem with the destructive Synod on Synodality, Pope Francis’ manifest subversion of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL) over the past several years appears to be a concerted effort to destroy the Catholic Church’s global moral opposition to abortion, euthanasia, and other assaults on the sanctity of life, while simultaneously redirecting the Church’s attention to global warming, ecumenism (including “indigenous” pagan religions), “stakeholder” capitalism, Universal Basic Income, and LGBTQ inclusion. He has taken a sledgehammer to the PAL, founded in 1994 by Pope John Paul II, casting out veteran members who are stalwart defenders of life and replacing them with non-Catholics and anti-Catholics who militantly oppose the Catholic Church’s teachings on life issues.
Pope Francis’ appointment of Mariana Mazzucato to PAL is but one of the most recent and obviously strident examples of this subversion. Professor Mazzucato, for those who do not know, is a celebrity economist who has been catapulted to star status over the past few years by the World Economic Forum, Bill Gates, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the Aspen Institute, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bank for International Settlements, The New York Times, CNN, BBC, The Economist, Politico, Project Syndicate, and the rest of the usual cabal of globalist malefactors. The globalists have crowned her as one of their “It girls” for their Great Reset. Kind of like an older Greta Thunberg with a Ph.D.
The folks at Catholic Culture collected a sampling of her many pro-abortion tweets (which can be seen here). While Mazzucato has no qualms about killing unborn children — indeed, she enthusiastically supports it — she is fanatically passionate about the supposed moral imperatives of “climate change,” “sustainability,” “inclusivity,” Covid mandates, the Green New Deal, a zero-carbon economy, “stakeholder capitalism,” and all the other trendy, buzzword snares put forward by the elites for whom she shills. How does that qualify her for a slot in the Pontifical Academy for Life? That’s the question that has many faithful Catholics puzzled — and angry. Judie Brown, the founder and president of the American Life League for 15 years a PAL member, says the Mazzucato appointment is further proof that the “Pontifical Academy for Life has abandoned its purpose under Pope Francis.”
“This outrage is only made worse,” says Mrs. Brown, “when we recognize that the Academy was established to fight against abortion, contraception, euthanasia, and all practices that threaten the life of the innocent. The principles that were held by the Academy’s first members, and that were once the bedrock upon which we all stood, have disappeared from view.” She notes that “regardless of the current debacle involving the pope and his minions, one thing never changes, and that is truth itself. As the academy’s Declaration of Principles once said, ‘Before God and men we bear witness that for us every human being is a person and that ‘from the moment the embryo is formed until death it is the same human being which grows to maturity and dies.’”
Dr. Robert P. George, a Catholic and a professor of jurisprudence and constitution and international law at Princeton University, questioned Mazzucato’s appointment in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (CNA), calling it “shocking and scandalous.” “The Pontifical Academy for Life exists to advance the Church’s mission to foster respect for the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of each and every member of the human family, beginning with the precious child in the womb,” George said. “Either one believes in this mission or one does not. If one does not, then why would one wish to be part of the Pontifical Academy?” “And why,” he continued, “would someone with appointment authority appoint someone to the academy? I can think of no explanation that is not shocking and scandalous.”
A Disturbing Pattern
The appointment of a militantly pro-abortion atheist to the Catholic Church’s premier pro-life institution would be outrageous and bewildering under any circumstances, but the move has been all the more disturbing because it is not merely a one-off fluke; it has occurred amid a whole series of shake-ups and similar appointments to the Pontifical Academy for Life by Pope Francis that appear to be aimed at destroying the very purpose for which it was founded.
According to CNA, among the changes the pope has made to the Pontifical Academy for Life is his removal of the requirement that members sign a declaration that they are pro-life and Christian. His appointments speak to this issue, inasmuch as even his chief appointee, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, has a sketchy background and as president of PAL has made troubling statements and carried out Francis’ purges and appointments. President Paglia, for instance, commissioned a homosexual artist to paint a blasphemous homoerotic orgiastic mural in his cathedral church that includes an image of the archbishop himself (naked) in the embrace of a nude man.
In an interview with one of Italy’s largest television networks, Paglia made the stunning statement that Italy’s notorious Law 194 legalizing abortion “is now a pillar of our social life,” which he (and PAL) will not oppose. Besides Mazzucato, among the new Francis/Paglia appointments to the Pontifical Academy for Life are:
- Roberto Dell’Oro, moral theology and bioethics professor at Loyola Marymount University, supports abortion up to 16 weeks of pregnancy and has criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade;
- Nigel Biggar, an Anglican clergyman and professor of theology at Oxford University, supports abortion and euthanasia;
- Father Maurizio Chiodi, who has written and spoken in contradiction to the Church’s teaching on contraception, divorce, and adultery;
- Marie-Jo Thiel, professor of ethics at the University of Strasbourg, has written in support of assisted suicide;
- Monsignor Pierangelo Sequeira, who was reportedly one of the organizers of the secret “Shadow Synod” of revolutionists within the Church that conspired to overturn Church teaching on sexual morality, marriage, divorce, same-sex unions, and more at the 2015 Synod on the Family;
- Anne-Marie Pelletier, a “biblical scholar” who was a key leader of the pro-gay 2015 Synod on the Family and a participant in the secret Shadow Synod of liberal-left clergy and academics that worked behind the scenes to redefine Church teaching on morality and the family; and
- Laura Palazanni, professor of law at the University of Rome and vice president of Italy’s National Committee of Bioethics, supports giving puberty blockers to children so that they can later “change sex.”
A closely related matter is the appointment last year of Monsignor Philippe Bordeyne as the new president of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences (JPII Institute) in Rome. The selection of Bordeyne followed a wholesale purging of pro-life loyalists among the institute’s leadership and faculty began in 2019, and the gutting of its curriculum. Shortly after taking up his new post, Bordeyne created fireworks by stating in a media interview that “we theologians cannot continue to assert certainties about the family when we see the transformations it is undergoing today.” The meaning behind his words was not mistaken, since he was — along with Anne-Marie Pelletier, mentioned above — one of the Shadow Synod schemers at the Synod on the Family. He has written extensively in favor of blessing homosexual unions and redefining the family.
In addition to the Francis/Paglia “coups” at the PAL and JPII Institute, Pope Francis has used the Chair of Peter as a political bully pulpit to criticize and condemn pro-life politicians such as President Donald Trump (whom he compared to Hitler), Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, while at the same time embracing, praising, and promoting pro-abortion politicians such as President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, French President Emanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Irish President Michael Higgins, Brazilian President Lula da Silva, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
All of this is too much for many Catholics, who agree with Cardinal Müller that the pontificate of Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is looking more and more like “a hostile takeover” of the Catholic Church.
Among the many Catholic thought leaders and veteran pro-life activists, including former PAL members, who have condemned Pope Francis/Paglia sabotage of the PAL and JPII Institute are:
- Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas;
- Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who served as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States and President of the Governorate of Vatican City State;
- Dr. José María Simón Castellví, president emeritus of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC), based in Spain;
- Cardinal Willem Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht and a trained physician;
- Dr. Wanda Poltawska, 101-year-old physician/author, a close friend of Pope John Paul II, and survivor of the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck;
- Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Lejeune Foundation, named for Catholic physician/scientist Jerome Lejeune, founder of the Pontifical Academy for Life;
- Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan;
- Dr. Thomas Ward, founder of the U.K.’s National Association of Catholic Families;
- Mercedes Wilson, president of Family of the Americas and also a founding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life;
- John-Henry Weston, co-founder, and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews;
- Michael J. Matt, editor of The Remnant newspaper and host of The Remnant Underground at Remnant-TV.com;
- Dr. Taylor Marshall, bestselling author of many books, including Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within, and host of The Doctor Taylor Marshall Show podcast;
- Dr. Steven Mosher, author, China scholar, and president of the Population Research Institute;
- Dr. Brian McCall, author, professor of law at the University of Oklahoma, and editor-in-chief of Catholic Family News;
- Joseph Shaw, president of Una Voce International Federation, chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, and lecturer in philosophy at the University of Oxford;
- Michael Voris, founder and president of St. Michael’s Media/Church Militant; and
- John Horvat, vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property.
Naturally, the corporate Fake News media that idolizes Pope Francis and completely sympathizes with the direction he is leading the Church on moral issues, ecumenism, and politics either smothers the voices of these faithful Catholics who dissent from Francis’ heterodoxy or smears them as cranks and schismatics. So, many people, including most Catholics, are completely unaware of Pope Francis’ destructive actions — or that there is a growing resistance to them.
Feeding Christians to the Dragon
Perhaps no action by Pope Francis is more incomprehensibly perverse than his betrayal of the Catholics of China. And not the Catholics only, but also Chinese Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Falun Gong, and all religious believers who are being harassed, viciously persecuted, hunted, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by the communist Beijing regime. The pope, who is forever proclaiming compassion, mercy, empathy, and the moral obligation to defend the defenseless and assist the poor and the suffering, cannot be bothered to speak up in defense of the Chinese faithful who are suffering the most brutal oppression on the planet. Worse, in 2020 he snubbed Cardinal Joseph Zen, the courageous emeritus bishop of Hong Kong when the then-88-year-old prelate journeyed to Rome in a desperate effort to convince him not to sell out China’s Catholics to the Chinese Communist Party.
The pope of compassion was too busy to meet with the most important Catholic figure in Asia, who is now experiencing his Golgotha in a Communist Chinese kangaroo court. But the pope of compassion always finds time to meet with Biden, Pelosi, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gloria Estefan, George Clooney, Martin Scorsese, Sting, Bono, Katy Perry, Greta Thunberg, NBA and NFL athletes, Melinda Gates, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, Gates-Soros minion Jeffrey Sachs, communist dictators Fidel and Raul Castro, and Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.
But poor Cardinal Zen is a different story. He has no lucre, fan base, or star power to benefit the falsely humble but immensely vain and ambitious pontiff. Besides, a meeting with Zen would upset Francis’ new comrades in Beijing, with whom he continues to work out an agreement to let Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appoint their own communist apparatchiks as China’s “Catholic” bishops. “They’re [sending] the flock into the mouths of the wolves. It’s an incredible betrayal,” Cardinal Zen said of the Vatican-Beijing deal, the details of which still remain secret. The frail, brave cardinal, now 90 years old, is currently on trial, but Pope Francis is too busy with his CCP pals, Hollywood glitterati, Silicon Valley moguls, Wall Street titans, and Davos/UN globalists to appeal on Zen’s behalf or even send him moral support.
“We Resist Him to the Face”
As a result of these and numerous other outrages and betrayals of the Catholic Faith, some 800 Catholic thought leaders — from around the world, but mostly from the United States and Canada — gathered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from September 30 to October 2, 2022, at the Catholic Identity Conference (CIC) and issued a “Declaration of Filial Resistance to Globalist Agenda of Pope Francis.”
At a CIC press conference, Michael J. Matt of The Remnant, John Henry Weston of LifeSiteNews, and attorney Eric Frankovich presented articles of resistance listing the papal offenses that compel them to resist Pope Francis. In so doing, Mr. Matt said, they were not seeking to depose him, nor were they engaging in schism.
“The use of the term ‘resist’ is taken directly from Holy Scripture, Galatians 2:11, wherein St. Paul resisted Peter to his face because he was blameworthy,” Matt noted. “But St. Paul did not hate Peter, nor did he deny Peter’s Petrine office. St. Paul was not committing a schismatic act, and neither are we.” He continued:
We resist Francis honorably to his face and in charity, as loyal sons of the Church resist an abusive father.
We neither judge nor condemn him, and we place our filial resistance in the context of the teaching of St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, who in his On the Sovereign Pontiff writes the following:
“Therefore, just as it would be lawful to resist a Pontiff invading a body, so is it lawful to resist him invading souls or disturbing a state, and much more if he should endeavor to destroy the Church. I say, it is lawful to resist him, by not doing what he commands, and by blocking him, lest he should carry out his will.”…
Ladies and gentlemen, we do not judge the pope. We would not seek to depose him even if we had it within our power to do so.
Later in the press conference, Matt stated: “We pray for Francis every day, but we are also bound in conscience, before the dread judgment seat of God Himself, to resist Francis, his novel teachings, and his public alliance with those who deny the very existence of Christ the King — those who would lock down the world in the name of climate change, close the churches, and enslave humanity in a global super state. This is not me theorizing. This is exactly what Francis’s friends in Davos have been broadcasting to the world for 50 years, but especially since 2020.”
The resistance is growing. A few years ago Cardinal Raymond Burke and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano were lonely voices challenging the ever-more disturbing path on which Pope Francis was leading the Catholic Church. Today, many more cardinals, bishops, priests, and lay Catholics are standing up and speaking out. It is a hopeful sign.
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