Jorge Wants "Democracy"--But Only If You Agree With Him

Exasperation is perhaps the only word that can describe reading the histrionic reactions of many “conservative” and resist-while-recognize Catholics within the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism when their “heretical pope” says or does something that they know to be opposed to the Catholic Faith. As I have noted repeatedly, Modernnists Say Nothing Original and there is Nothing New Under Jorge's Sun.

It is thus truly exasperating to see anyone who is in the least bit surprised that the Argentine Apostate considers the conciliar “Petrine Ministry” to be a license to do as he pleases with anything contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith that is not to his liking, which is just everything. Indeed, Jorge Mario Beroglio’s entire agenda was spelled out in explicit detail by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, twenty-nine years before Bergoglio was born:

It remains for Us now to say a few words about the Modernist as reformer. From all that has preceded, it is abundantly clear how great and how eager is the passion of such men for innovation. In all Catholicism there is absolutely nothing on which it does not fasten. They wish philosophy to be reformed, especially in the ecclesiastical seminariesThey wish the scholastic philosophy to be relegated to the history of philosophy and to be classed among absolute systems, and the young men to be taught modern philosophy which alone is true and suited to the times in which we live. They desire the reform of theology: rational theology is to have modern philosophy for its foundation, and positive theology is to be founded on the history of dogma. As for history, it must be written and taught only according to their methods and modern principles. Dogmas and their evolution, they affirm, are to be harmonized with science and history. In the Catechism no dogmas are to be inserted except those that have been reformed and are within the capacity of the people. Regarding worship, they say, the number of external devotions is to be reduced, and steps must be taken to prevent their further increase, though, indeed, some of the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head. They cry out that ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic departments They insist that both outwardly and inwardly it must be brought into harmony with the modern conscience which now wholly tends towards democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy and even to the laity and authority which is too much concentrated should be decentralized The Roman Congregations and especially the index and the Holy Office, must be likewise modified The ecclesiastical authority must alter its line of conduct in the social and political world; while keeping outside political organizations it must adapt itself to them in order to penetrate them with its spirit. With regard to morals, they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are more important than the passive, and are to be more encouraged in practice. They ask that the clergy should return to their primitive humility and poverty, and that in their ideas and action they should admit the principles of Modernism; and there are some who, gladly listening to the teaching of their Protestant masters, would desire the suppression of the celibacy of the clergy. What is there left in the Church which is not to be reformed by them and according to their principles?  (Pascendi Dominici Gregis, No. 38)

The list of "reforms" that Pope Saint Pius X knew that the Modernists wanted to implement stands out as a prophetic warning as to the agenda that was formed by Modernist theologians in the years before the "Second" Vatican Council and became the fundamental basis for the whole ethos of conciliarism. Consider the prophetic nature of Pope Saint Pius X's list of "reforms" that the Modernists wanted to implement:

1) The passion for innovation. Innovation, which the Church has always eschewed, has become the very foundation of conciliarism. Indeed, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI praised novelty and innovation repeatedly, doing so during his now infamous December 22, 2005, Christmas address to his conciliar curia. Since when has this been the case in the history of the Catholic Church? It is standard practice in the counterfeit church of conciliarism, and "innovation" is the hallmark of the carciature of conciliarism, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

2) "They wish the scholastic philosophy to be relegated to the history of philosophy and to be classed among absolute systems, and the young men to be taught modern philosophy which alone is true and suited to the times in which we live." This is a cogent summary of the belief of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI himself, which he outlined in Principles of Catholic Theology and in his own autobiography, Milestones. Bergoglio has no regard for philosophy of any kind as he is moved solely by pure subjectivism without the window dressing of his predecessors "new theology."

3) "Dogmas and their evolution, they affirm, are to harmonized with science and history." Thus it is, of course, that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI told us, both before and during his false "pontificate," that such things as Pope Pius IX's The Syllabus of Errors and even Pope Saint Pius X's Pascendi Dominci Gregis, among other encyclical letters and papal pronouncements (see Witness Against Benedict XVI: The Oath Against Modernism) itself served a useful purpose at one point in history but lose their binding force over time. In other words, we must harmonize Catholicism with the events of history (the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King, the institutionalization of Protestant "churches," the rise of the secular state) and not be "tied down" by a "time-centered" view of the Faith. As repetition is the mother of learning, perhaps it is good to repeat once again that this Modernist view of dogma was specifically condemned by the [First] Vatican Council. No Catholic is free to ignore these binding words and remain a Catholic in good standing:

For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward

  • not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence,
  • but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.
  • Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.

God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth.

The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either: the dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the mind of the church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions of reason.

Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false. . . .

3. If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from that which the church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.

And so in the performance of our supreme pastoral office, we beseech for the love of Jesus Christ and we command, by the authority of him who is also our God and saviour, all faithful Christians, especially those in authority or who have the duty of teaching, that they contribute their zeal and labour to the warding off and elimination of these errors from the church and to the spreading of the light of the pure faith.

But since it is not enough to avoid the contamination of heresy unless those errors are carefully shunned which approach it in greater or less degree, we warn all of their duty to observe the constitutions and decrees in which such wrong opinions, though not expressly mentioned in this document, have been banned and forbidden by this holy see. (Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session III, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4, On Faith and Reason, April 24, 1870. SESSION 3 : 24 April 1.)

4) "Regarding worship, they say, the number of external devotions is to be reduced, and steps must be taken to prevent their further increase, though, indeed, some of the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head." This describes the liturgical thrust of conciliarism quite accurately. Indeed, the last sentence in this sentence has particular application to Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who was somewhat disposed to be "indulgent" to the symbolism of the liturgy but was nevertheless committed to "reforming" the conciliar "reform" Obviously, Jorge Mario Bergoglio comes from a more "liberated" background than his predecessor. The modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition can have its place, according to the falsehoods he published in Summorum Pontificum, July 7, 2007, for those who are "attached" to it. Bergoglio/Francis has made sure, of course, that there is no turning back on the "reform" itself, including the reduction of the saints commemorated on conciliarism's universal calendar. Indeed, then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote the following in Principles of Catholic Theology in 1982:

Among the more obvious phenomena of the last years must be counted the increasing number of integralist groups in which the desire for piety, for the sense of mystery, is finding satisfaction. We must be on our guard against minimizing these movements. Without a doubt, they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them too firmly. (pp. 389-390) 

5) "They cry out that ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic departments They insist that both outwardly and inwardly it must be brought into harmony with the modern conscience which now wholly tends towards democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy and even to the laity and authority which is too much concentrated should be decentralized The Roman Congregations and especially the index and the Holy Office, must be likewise modified." The conciliarists have summarized Pope Saint Pius X's description of their Modernist view of Church governance very succinctly: Collegiality. It is no accident that Giovanni Montini/Paul VI gave away the Papal Tiara, which is on display in the crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and that Albino Luciani/John Paul I and Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II,Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and Jorge Mario Bergoglio each refused to be crowned. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI went so far as to remove the tiara from his coat-of-arms, which is reflective of episcopal collegiality with his own bishops and a gesture in the direction of those steeped in the heresies of Photius, the Orthodox. And Jorge Mario Bergoglio has divested what little remained of "papal dignity" in the conciliar Petrine Ministry in the past nearly sixty-eight months ). 

6) "The ecclesiastical authority must alter its line of conduct in the social and political world; while keeping outside political organizations it must adapt itself to them in order to penetrate them with its spirit." This is of the essence of Gaudium et Spes, December 7, 1965. And it is of the essence of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's belief that the the "Second" Vatican Council represented an "official reconciliation" with the principles of 1789. Just as a little reminder so that readers with short memories do not think that I am misrepresenting the thought of the man who does not believe it to be the mission of the Catholic Church to seek with urgency the conversion of Protestants and Jews and the Orthodox and all others who are outside her maternal bosom: 

Let us be content to say here that the text serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789. Only from this perspective can we understand, on the one hand, the ghetto-mentality, of which we have spoken above; only from this perspective can we understand, on the other hand, the meaning of the remarkable meeting of the Church and the world. Basically, the word "world" means the spirit of the modern era, in contrast to which the Church's group-consciousness saw itself as a separate subject that now, after a war that had been in turn both hot and cold, was intent on dialogue and cooperation. From this perspective, too, we can understand the different emphases with which the individual parts of the Church entered into the discussion of the text. While German theologians were satisfied that their exegetical and ecumenical concepts had been incorporated, representatives of Latin American countries, in particular, felt that their concerns, too, had been addressed, topics proposed by Anglo-Saxon theologians likewise found strong expression, and representatives of Third World countries saw, in the emphasis on social questions, a consideration of their particular problems. (Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 381-382)

Pope Saint Pius X wrote the following in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906 about those who would dare to contend that the Church had to "reconcile" herself to the separation of Church and State, which the Catholic Church condemned repeatedly and vigorously throughout her history prior to the "Second" Vatican Council:

That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error." (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)

Pope Saint Pius X condemned as "absolutely false" the thesis that the State must be separated from the Church. Absolutely false. The conciliar "popes," including Jorge Mario Bergoglio, have accepted as true and good that which a canonized pope, repeating the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church, which no one has any authority to contradict, condemned as absolutely false. Are you beginning to see, possibly, that there is a problem with the conciliarism in its entirety? Are you beginning to see, possibly, that there is no reconciling the unprecedented heresies, sacrileges, apostasies, blasphemies of novelties of conciliarism and conciliarists,  with the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church?

In addition to the above-noted paragraph in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Pope Saint Pius X went on to note the arrogance of the Modernists in their desire for novelty and in their contempt for scholastic theology and their efforts to view the Fathers in light of their own Modernist predilections:

Would that they had but displayed less zeal and energy in propagating it! But such is their activity and such their unwearying labor on behalf of their cause, that one cannot but be pained to see them waste such energy in endeavoring to ruin the Church when they might have been of such service to her had their efforts been better directed. Their artifices to delude men's minds are of two kinds, the first to remove obstacles from their path, the second to devise and apply actively and patiently every resource that can serve their purpose. They recognize that the three chief difficulties which stand in their way are the scholastic method of philosophy, the authority and tradition of the Fathers, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war.Against scholastic philosophy and theology they use the weapons of ridicule and contempt. Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is tending to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the scholastic method. Let the Modernists and their admirers remember the proposition condemned by Pius IX: "The method and principles which have served the ancient doctors of scholasticism when treating of theology no longer correspond with the exigencies of our time or the progress of science." They exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority. But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those "who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind...or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church"; nor that of the declaration of the fourth Council of Constantinople: "We therefore profess to preserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by everyone of those divine interpreters, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church." Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: "I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.''  (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, No. 42)

This paragraph is a ringing condemnation of the work of conciliarism and of its progenitors, the so-called "new theologians" (Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, Joseph Ratzinger, et al.). Look at how Pope Saint Pius X zeroed in on the three things that Joseph Ratzinger spent nearly 400 pages trying to deconstruct and explain away in Principles of Catholic Theology: (1) The Scholastic Method of Philosophy; (2) The Authority and Tradition of the Fathers; and (3) the Magisterium of the Church  The then "Cardinal" Ratzinger had to rely upon his Hegelian view of the world to explain away dogmatic pronouncements and articles contained in the Deposit of Faith that constituted part of the Church's Ordinary Magisterium.

The Syllabus of Errors?

Well, right for its time perhaps, Ratzinger and other conciliarists say, but we can see now that it was a "hasty" and "superficial" overreaction to events of the day. 

Jorge Mario Bergoglio's solution to all of this?

Simple. Don't even making a passing reference to the centenary of Pope Saint Pius X's death on August 20, 2014, and don’t mention it anytime thereafter.

As Pope Saint Pius X noted; "They exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all of its weight and authority." This is so very important. The conciliar popes hae not used the word "tradition" to mean what Holy Mother Church has always taught it to mean. They have sought to "weaken the force" and to "falsify the character of tradition" precisely so as to "rob it of all its weight and authority," considering the word "tradition" to be an empty vessel into which he can pour whatever meaning these apostates have believed is appropriate for "modern man."

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born just twenty-two years after the following letter was written by Gaetano Cardinal De Lai in 1914 to Father Angelo Roncalli, in whose heretical cradle Bergoglio was formed in his seminary days:

According to information that has come my way, I knew that you had been a reader of Duchesne [whose book, History of the Early Church, had been placed on the Index of Forbidden Books and used in Roncalli's seminary lectures] and other unbridled authors, and that on certain occasions you had shown yourself inclined to that school of thought which tends to empty out the value of Tradition and the authority of the past, a dangerous current which leads to fatal consequences. (quoted in Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, Tumultuous Times, p. 297)

Do you see a pattern here?

Thus, there is no reason at all why anyone should be surprised that the recently concluded “youth synod” called for an increase in one of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s strongest Modern desires: to devolve doctrinal and liturgical decision-making to the diocesan and parish levels, creating a cacophony of different approaches to Ecclesiology, Christology, Mariology, Eschatology, Moral Theology and Pastoral Theology throughout the world. This cacophony will result, Bergoglio, believes in a universal consensus over time as Catholic doctrine comes from the bottom up, not from God down. In other words, it’s all a matter of popular sovereignty. Just as many “conservative” commentators believe that the “legality” of surgical baby-killing should be decided by the voters in the states, so does Bergoglio believe that the moral liceity of actions has to be decided by the Catholic laity over the course of time.

It was only four months into his false “pontificate” that Bergoglio’s agenda in this regard was made very clear:

On the agenda of Pope Francis, the chief administrative item is the reform of the Roman Curia. This was the radical commission he was given by the College of Cardinals at his election. He has recently been telling friends how difficult it is proving, while being urged to get a move on by Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, former chairman of the German bishops’ conference. In fact, with the Roman August shut-down fast approaching and the group of cardinals he has appointed to advise him on curial reform not due to meet until October, it is a little early to become impatient.

The issue he has already been wrestling with is about personnel. He inherited Pope Benedict’s appointments, including the key figures of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as Secretary of State and Archbishop Gerhard Müller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Cardinal Bertone had become the focus of much of the discontented grumbling that grew inside the Curia as Pope Benedict’s papacy drew to its unexpected close. That problem may solve itself, as at 78 he is overdue for retirement. Whether the position of Secretary of State survives the impending curial reform is for the Pope’s group of cardinal advisers to consider. But the grand title does not immediately resonate with the Sermon on the Mount, which seems to be the tone in which Francis is trying to restyle the papacy.

Archbishop Müller is a more complicated case, not least because he was the personal choice of Pope Benedict with whom Pope Francis still has regular discussions. But the archbishop is clearly out of step with the new mood, for instance in his astonishing recent statement that divorced and remarried Catholics who want to receive Communion cannot appeal to God’s mercy. He is not going to be able to live it down. It is well known that many of his fellow German bishops – and others elsewhere in the world – strongly disagree.

One option would be to divide the Congregation in two, one part taking on responsibility for the discipline of the clergy – suitably modernised to avoid a repetition of the disastrous mistakes in handling clerical child abuse – and the other responsible for policing doctrine, an issue that Pope Francis himself has implied need not be taken too seriously.

Thus downgraded, the role of prefect of the CDF would disappear. Both these functions should in the first instance be handled by local bishops’ conferences, with Rome reverting to its traditional role as a court of appeal. That would demonstrate the principle that under collegiality, the governing body of the Catholic Church is not the Pope and the Curia but the Pope and the bishops, with the Curia in support. The era of the “one size fits all” decree from the Vatican would have come to an end.

Pope Francis is already encountering resistance, and recently told a friend that the changes he was making in the Vatican had been difficult: “It has not been easy, there were many ‘masters’ of the Pope here and they have been in their positions for a very long time.” That also suggests the changes he has in mind are far-reaching. If so, he has indeed grasped the measure of the challenge he faces – to save the Catholic Church from itself. (An Antipope with only one master.)

Here is a bit of what I wrote at the time about the news story, which is to be found these days only on this site and on a resist while recognize forum that appeared in the Catholic Tablet, a British publication:

There are several "take-aways," a phrase that has come into vogue in recent years, from this article.

First, although noting that the article contains a great deal of speculative analysis, there is the observation, clearly correct, in my view, that Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis does not believe that doctrinal matters should be taken seriously. This is something that Bergoglio/Francis has made eminently clear in the past four months as he has disparaged those who are concerned about the integrity of the Sacred Deposit of Faith as "rigid," "stubborn," "Pharisaical" and lacking concern for the poor.

Second, the contention that Gerhard Ludwig Muller, of all people, is unacceptable to Bergoglio/Francis because he, Muller, has said, remarkably in and of itself for its rare adherence to authentic Catholic teaching, that divorced and remarried Catholics cannot appeal to God's mercy to receive what purports to be Holy Communion in the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service is nothing other than stunning in that Gerhard Ludwig Muller is one of the most astounding heretics alive on the face of the earth today (see  (see Deft? Daft Is More Like It, part twoDaft? Deft Is More Like It, part threeDoes The Defense of Catholic Truth Matter To You?When Will The Madness End?, part oneMemo To Bishop Fellay: Ratzinger/Benedict Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Loves Gerhard Ludwig Muller and Integral Denial of Our Lady's IntegrityHaving More Integrity Than Catholics and Forever Preserving False Traditions"on this site and Muller denies Dogma of Perpetual Virginity of Our LadyMuller denies Dogma of the Resurrection of Our LordMuller denies Dogma of Transubstantiation and CDF Head Muller: Vatican War with Liberation Theology is over at the Novus Ordo Watch Wire site).

Then again, a possible downgrading of the role of the counterfeit church of conciliarism's successor to the Holy Office of the Inquisition in order to devolve "doctrinal" decision-making to the level of the local conciliar "bishops" and their national "episcopal" conferences is nothing new. It is exactly what I heard a conciliar presbyter say to me when riding from Emmaus, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II's liturgical extravaganza at Logan Circle there on Thursday, October 4, 1979, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, as he envisioned a day where "Rome was nothing more than a clearinghouse for the ideas and liturgies developed at the local level." While such has been the case on a de facto basis for a long time now, there does appear to be the real possibility of Bergoglio/Francis's making this devolution of power de jure (a matter of law).

The very first document issued by the "Second" Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, November 1, 1963, authorized a devolution of liturgical decision-making to the level of the national "episcopal conferences" and to diocesan liturgical commissions (cf. Paragraph 22 of Sacrosanctum Concilium). Coupled with the great latitude that was given a diocesan ordinary to have churches designed or "renovated" according to the dictates of local customs and the "genius of the peoples" found in the General Instruction to the Roman Missal, all a conciliar "bishop" had to do to justify that which is ugly and actually demeaning both to God and to His Church was to say that a particular design reflects the relative circumstances and tastes of a particular people and the time in which they live. Obviously, this vitiates entirely the sense of the transcendent that is meant to be captured until the end of time in a Catholic Church. Postconciliar churches, built according to the specifications of revolutionaries intent on building churches in their own warped images, actually damage the Faith.

Conciliarism's penchant for experimentation and "innovation" at the local level in the name of the "inculturation of the Gospel" is enshrined in both the aforementioned General Instruction to the Roman Missal and in Paragraph 23 of Sacrosanctum Concilium:

23. That sound tradition may be retained, and yet the way remain open to legitimate progress careful investigation is always to be made into each part of the liturgy which is to be revised. This investigation should be theological, historical, and pastoral. Also the general laws governing the structure and meaning of the liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the indults conceded to various places. Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing. (Sacrosanctum Concilium, November 1, 1963.)

In other words, despite Sacrosanctum Concilium's admonition, contained in Paragraph 22.3,. that "no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority, experimentation and innovation are permitted if it is contended that the "good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them," something that Paragraph 22.2 states is to be determined by the " competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established." And it is this devolution of liturgical decision-making that has the conciliar-occupied Vatican to become a "clearinghouse" for unprecedented sacrileges, including those that are to take place in Rio di Janeiro, Brazil, as the abominable freak show and celebration of paganism known as World Youth Day takes place under the loving eye of none other than Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis himself.

It was while Bergoglio was in Brazil in July of 2013that he addressed the conciliar “bishops” who then constituted the coordinating committee of the Latin American “bishops’” conferences about the need to “decentralize” according to the program of “liberation theology” that was adopted by the Apareceida conference in 2007:

The Continental Mission is planned along two lines: the programmatic and the paradigmatic. The programmatic mission, as its name indicates, consists in a series of missionary activities. The paradigmatic mission, on the other hand, involves setting in a missionary key all the day-to-day activities of the Particular Churches. Clearly this entails a whole process of reforming ecclesial structures. The “change of structures” (from obsolete ones to new ones) will not be the result of reviewing an organizational flow chart, which would lead to a static reorganization; rather it will result from the very dynamics of mission. What makes obsolete structures pass away, what leads to a change of heart in Christians, is precisely missionary spirit. Hence the importance of the paradigmatic mission. . . .

That is why I like saying that the position of missionary disciples is not in the centre but at the periphery: they live poised towards the peripheries… including the peripheries of eternity, in the encounter with Jesus Christ. In the preaching of the Gospel, to speak of “existential peripheries” decentralizes things; as a rule, we are afraid to leave the centre. The missionary disciple is someone “off centre”: the centre is Jesus Christ, who calls us and sends us forth. The disciple is sent to the existential peripheries.

2. The Church is an institution, but when she makes herself a “centre”, she becomes merely functional, and slowly but surely turns into a kind of NGO. The Church then claims to have a light of her own, and she stops being that “mysterium lunae” of which the Church Fathers spoke. She becomes increasingly self-referential and loses her need to be missionary. From an “institution” she becomes a “enterprise”. She stops being a bride and ends up being an administrator; from being a servant, she becomes an “inspector”. Aparecida wanted a Church which is bride, mother and servant, more a facilitator of faith than an inspector of faith. (Bergoglio Addresses Fellow Liberation Theologians in Rio di Janeiro, July 28, 2013.) 

Bergoglio emphasized this program of de-centralization during his in-flight interview from Rio di Janeiro to Rome on Monday, July 29, 2013, the Feast of Saint Martha:

Francis: The steps I have taken in these four and a half months, come from two sources: the content of what had to be done, it all comes from the source of the General Congregations that we Cardinals had. They were things that we Cardinals asked for to the one who’d be the new Pope.
I remember that I asked for many things, thinking of someone else. 

That is, we asked, this has to be done… for instance, the Commission of eight Cardinals, we know that it’s important to have an outside consultation, not the consultations that take place, but from the outside. And this is in line — here I make a sort of abstraction, thinking, however, to explain it — in the line increasingly of the maturation of the relation between the Synodality and the Primacy.

That is, these eight Cardinals favor Synodality, they help the different episcopates of the world to express themselves in the government itself of the Church. Many proposals were made, which have not yet been put into practice, such as the reform of the Synod’s Secretariat, the methodology; such as the Post-Synodal Commission which has a permanent character of consultation; such as the Cardinals’ Consistories with topics that aren’t so formal, such as, for instance, canonization, but also subjects, etc. Well, the source of the contents comes from there. (Press Conference in English.) 

In actual truth, however, the only things are left for the conciliar revolutionaries to transfer downward from the various Vatican dicasteries to the national "episcopal" conferences are the actual appointment of men to be "bishops," pending "ratification" by the "Bishop of Rome," and complete authority to render decisions on doctrinal matters that have been under the purview of the conciliar Congregation for the Deconstruction, Deformation and Destruction of the Faith. Other than those matters, however, the conciliar creation called national episcopal conferences (each has a smattering of true bishops as those of the Uniat rites are, at least for the most part, validly consecrated as bishops) already have great latitude.

Indeed, some of them have been pioneers in blazing the path for such things as the approval of the "Plan B emergency" abortifacient in some cases and for Catholics who are divorced and remarried without even the fig leaf of a conciliar decree of nullity to receive what purports to be Holy Communion in the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service. The German "bishops" have already approved the use the "Plan B" abortifacient. (See German bishops OK emergency contraception assault cases. For a refutation of the false claims made by the German conciliar "bishops," please see Crushed By The Weight Of Error, Part Two and Victim Of His Own Obliviousness.) And the "happy 'bishop'" himself, Timothy Michael Dolan, approved the use of this baby-killing potion when he was a member of the Wisconsin Conference of Catholic "Bishops" (see Where The Lesser Of Two Evils Lead: The Gates Of Hell).

Bergoglio’s program for de-centralization in the form of a synodality has nothing to do with the Catholic Faith. It has everything to do with the heretical and schismatic Orthodox churches and the Protestant sects, although it goes beyond those into the realm of paganism as Bergoglio is a through caricature of Modernism that his entire concept of “religious faith” is based on the “inner consciousness” of “believers.

Consider how incessant Bergoglio was about criticizing the “closed-in-on-itself” and “self-referential” church during the first eight months of his false “pontificate” five years ago:

To wit, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has said on many occasions that the "no church" of the "past" was "too closed-in-on-itself" and "self-referential," absolutely sure of possessing all truth. Here some examples to document this statement for those who have short memories and/or whose memories have been blurred by the constant stream of words out of the mouth of this Argentine apostate:

This is important not only in the great moments in history, but also in the moments of our life: we all have the memory of salvation, everyone. I wonder, though: is this memory close to us, or is it a memory a bit far away, spread a little thin, a bit archaic, a little like a museum [piece]… it can get far away [from us]… and when the memory is not close, when we do not experience the closeness of memory, it enters into a process of transformation, and the memory becomes a mere recollection.”

When memory is distant, he added, “it is transformed into recollection, but when it comes near, it turns into joy, and this is the joy of the people.” This, he continued, constitutes “a principle of our Christian life.” When memory is already close, said Pope Francis, “it warms the heart and gives us joy.”:

“This joy is our strength. The joy of the nearness of memoryDomesticated memory, on the other hand, which moves away and becomes a mere recollection, does not warm the heart. It gives us neither joy nor strength. This encounter with memory is an event of salvation, it is an encounter with the love of God that has made history with us and saved us. It is a meeting of salvation - and it is so wonderful to be saved, that we need to make feast.” 

The Church, said Pope Francis, has “[Christ’s] memory”: the “memory of the Passion of the Lord.” We too, he said, run the risk of “pushing this memory away, turning it into a mere recollection, in a rote exercise.”: 

“Every week we go to church, or rather when someone dies, we go to the funeral … and this memory often times bores us, because it is not near. It is sad, but the Mass is often turned into a social event and we are not close to the memory of the Church, which is the presence of the Lord before us. Imagine this beautiful scene in the Book of Nehemiah: Ezra who carries the Book of Israel’s memory and the people once again grow near to their memory and weep, the heart is warmed, is joyful, it feels that the joy of the Lord is its strength – and the people makes a feast, without fear, simply.” 

“Let us ask the Lord,” concluded Pope Francis, “ for the grace to always have His memory close to us, a memory close and not domesticated by habit, by so many things, and pushed away into mere recollection.” (Miss Frances, Ding Dong School, Thursday, October 3, 2013, Casa Santa Marta, Occupied Vatican Territory on the West Bank of the Tiber.)

“A Christian,” said Pope Francis, “must proclaim Jesus Christ in such a way that He be accepted: received, not refused – and Paul knows that he has to sow the Gospel message. He knows that the proclamation of Jesus Christ is not easy, but that it does not depend on him. He must do everything possible, but the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the proclamation of the truth, depends on the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us in today's Gospel: ‘When He shall come, the Spirit of truth, shall guide you into all the truth.’ Paul does not say to the Athenians: ‘This is the encyclopedia of truth. Study this and you have the truth, the truth.’ No! The truth does not enter into an encyclopedia. The truth is an encounter - it is a meeting with Supreme Truth: Jesus, the great truth. No one owns the truth. The we receive the truth when we meet [it]. (Miss Frances at Wednesday Mass: build bridges, not walls.)

Q. In short, it is the Holy Spirit who performs the mission.

BERGOGLIO: The early theologians said: the soul is a kind of sailing boat, the Holy Spirit is the wind that blows in the sail, to send it on its way, the impulses and the force of the wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Without His drive, without His grace, we don’t go ahead. The Holy Spirit lets us enter the mystery of God and saves us from the danger of a gnostic Church and from the danger of a self-referential Church, leading us to the mission.

That means also overthrowing all your functionalist solutions, your consolidated plans and pastoral systems …

BERGOGLIO: I didn’t say that pastoral systems are useless. On the contrary. In itself everything that leads by the paths of God is good. I have told my priests: "Do everything you should, you know your duties as ministers, take your responsibilities and then leave the door open". Our sociologists of religion tell us that the influence of a parish has a radius of six hundred meters. In Buenos Aires there are about two thousand meters between one parish and the next. So I then told the priests: "If you can, rent a garage and, if you find some willing layman, let him go there! Let him be with those people a bit, do a little catechesis and even give communion if they ask him". A parish priest said to me: "But Father, if we do this the people then won’t come to church". "But why?" I asked him: "Do they come to mass now?" "No", he answered. And so! Coming out of oneself is also coming out from the fenced garden of one’s own convictions, considered irremovable, if they risk becoming an obstacle, if they close the horizon that is also of God.

This is valid also for lay people…  (30Giorni | What I would have said at the Consistory (Interview with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio by Sefania Falasca. This interview was published in 2007 when Bergoglio was the conciliar "cardinal archbishop" of Buenos Aires, Argentina.)

1. Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, programme and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision. We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own.

A second thought: the Holy Spirit would appear to create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony. In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. One of Fathers of the Church has an expression which I love: the Holy Spirit himself is harmony – “Ipse harmonia est”. Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within the communion of the Church. Journeying together in the Church, under the guidance of her pastors who possess a special charism and ministry, is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit. Having a sense of the Church is something fundamental for every Christian, every community and every movement. It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me to Christ; parallel journeys are dangerous! When we venture beyond (proagon) the Church’s teaching and community, and do not remain in them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Jn 9). So let us ask ourselves: Am I open to the harmony of the Holy Spirit, overcoming every form of exclusivity? Do I let myself be guided by him, living in the Church and with the Church? (Super Duper Apostate at Pentecost: Newness, harmony and mission.)

Pope Francis focused on the first reading from Acts which recounts the first steps of the Church which, after Pentecost, went out to the "outskirts of faith" to proclaim the Gospel. The Pope noted that the Holy Spirit did two things: "first it pushed" and created "problems" and then "fostered harmony within the Church."In Jerusalem, there were many opinions among the first disciples on whether to welcome Gentiles into the Church. There were those who said "no" to any agreement, and instead those who were open

"There was a ‘No’ Church that said, 'you cannot; no, no, you must not' and a ‘Yes’ Church that said, ‘but ... let’s think about it, let’s be open to this, the Spirit is opening the door to us '. The Holy Spirit had yet to perform his second task: to foster harmony among these positions, the harmony of the Church, among them in Jerusalem, and between them and the pagans. He always does a nice job, the Holy Spirit, throughout history. And when we do not let Him work, the divisions in the Church begin, the sects, all of these things ... because we are closed to the truth of the Spirit. "

But what then is the key word in this dispute in the early Church? Pope Francis recalled the inspired words of James, Bishop of Jerusalem, who emphasized that we should not impose a yoke on the neck of the disciples that the same fathers were not able to carry: 

"When the service of the Lord becomes so a heavy yoke, the doors of the Christian communities are closed: no one wants to come to the Lord. Instead, we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus we are saved. First this joy of the charism of proclaiming the grace, then let us see what we can do. This word, yoke, comes to my heart, comes to mind”.

The Pope then reflected on what it means to carry a yoke today in the Church. Jesus asks all of us to remain in his love. It is from this very love that the observance of his commandments is born. This, he reiterated, is "the Christian community that says yes". This love, said the Pope, leads us to be faithful to the Lord" ... "I will not do this or that because I love the Lord”: 

"A community of' yes' and 'no' are a result of this' yes'. We ask the Lord that the Holy Spirit help us always to become a community of love, of love for Jesus who loved us so much. A community of this 'yes'. And from this 'yes' the commandments are fulfilled. A community of open doors. And it defends us from the temptation to become perhaps Puritans, in the etymological sense of the word, to seek a para-evangelical purity, from being a community of 'no'. Because Jesus ask us first for love, love for Him, and to remain in His love. 

Pope Francis concluded: this is "when a Christian community lives in love, confesses its sins, worships the Lord, forgives offenses, is charitable towards others and manifests love" and thus "feels the obligation of fidelity to the Lord to observe the commandments." (A Robber Church that says ‘Yes." That "robber church" title is in tribute to the late +Mr. Patrick Henry Omlor, R.I.P.)

In this as on many points, Jorge Mario Bergoglio follows in perfect continuity with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict, who said the following when he was the "cardinal" prefect of the conciliar Congregation for the Destruction and Deformation of the Catholic Faith in 2001:

Q: However, can the Church really renounce its aspiration to be a Church of the majority?

Cardinal Ratzinger: We must take note of the decrease in our lines but, likewise, we must continue to be an open Church. The Church cannot be a closed, self-sufficient group.

Above all, we should be missionaries, in the sense of proposing again to society those values that are the foundation of the constitutive form that society has given itself, and which are at the base of the possibility to build a really human social community. The Church will continue to propose the great universal human values. Because, if law no longer has common moral foundations, it collapses insofar as it is law. From this point of view, the Church has a universal responsibility. As the Pope says, missionary responsibility means, precisely, to really attempt a new evangelization. We cannot calmly accept the rest of humanity falling back again into paganism. We must find the way to take the Gospel, also, to nonbelievers. The Church must tap all her creativity so that the living force of the Gospel will not be extinguished.

Q: What changes will the Church undergo?

Cardinal Ratzinger: I think we will have to be very cautious when it comes to the risk of forecasts, because historical development has always produced many surprises. Futurology often crashes.

For example, no one risked forecasting the fall of the Communist regimes. World society will change profoundly, but we are still not in a position to predict what the numerical decrease of the Western world will imply, which is still dominant, what Europe´s new face will be like, given the migratory currents, what civilization, and what social forms will be imposed. What is clear, in any event, is the different composition of the potential on which the Western Church will be sustained. What is most important, in my opinion, is to look at the "essence," to use an expression of Romano Guardini. It is necessary to avoid elaborating fantastic pre-constructions of something that could manifest itself very differently and that we cannot prefabricate in the meanderings of our brain, but to concentrate on the essential, which later might find new ways of incarnating itself. A process of simplification is important, which will enable us to distinguish between what is the master beam of our doctrine, of our faith, what is of perennial value in it. It is important to propose again the great underlying constants in their fundamental components, the questions on God, salvation, hope, life, especially what has a basic ethical value. (On the Future of Christianity - Cardinal Ratzinger)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is merely expressing in a more vulgar, crude and profane manner what Ratzinger/Benedict expressed in the convoluted Hegelianism of the "new theology" he learned from the likes of his most influential mentor, Father Hans Urs von Balthasar. Bergoglio is simply making the revolutionary teaching and practices of conciliarism more "accessible" to the multitudes.

As noted earlier in this commentary, the principal means by which the conciliar revolution has taken root in the “inner consciousness” of Catholics is the ever-changing and ever-changeable Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service. After decades of long and hard-fought battles between the conciliar Vatican’s liturgical appartchiks and the apparatchiks at the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (I.C.E.L.), “Pope Francis” effectively gave local episcopal conferences a carte blanche when he issued Magnum Principium on September 3, 2017.

This is very important as it was meant to presage a devolution of doctrinal decisions to the national “episcopal conferences” and to make what appears to be the Catholic Faith a matter of “consensus” from arises from the people in various areas. Bergoglio quite deliberately wants to have differences in what constitutes Catholic belief, liturgy and pastoral practices as he believes that the only thing common to each of the “local churches” is the “mercy” of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Everything else, the Argentine Apostate believes, is unimportant and must be left to the “people” according to their needs.

As revolutionaries of any sort are inherently blind to the consequences, “Pope Francis” and his band of Jacobin/Bolshevik revolutionaries not associate their desire for “diversity of beliefs, liturgical ceremonies and pastoral practices with the exodus of so many Catholics into the arms of waiting “evangelical” and “fundamentalist” Protestant “ministers,” many of whom are baptized Catholics, who preach with certainty about some moral truths that a lot of conciliar revolutionaries treat with disdain. After all, why lock arms with fellow Catholics at the conciliar liturgical hootenanny and suffer through a longwinded screed about climate control or the supposed “necessity” of accepting the illegal invasion of foreign nationals into one’s country in the name of “social justice” when one can have that allegedly “old time gospel” at the local Protestant hootenanny?

In truth, however, the business of synodality as practice by the schismatic and heretical Orthodox churches and almost each of the Protestant sects did not originate with Jorge Mario Bergoglio as it has been one of the principal goals of Modernism, something that Pope Saint Pius X identified in the passage from Pascendi Dominci Gregis quoted above and was used frequently during the false “pontificate” of Karol Josef Wojtyla/“Saint” John Paul II, especially by the peddler of heresy named Water “Cardinal” Kasper, who is now eighty-five years of age and was the conciliar church’s chief ecumaniac between March 3, 2001, and June 30, 2010. Here is a telling passage from the infamous address that Kasper gave to the Anglican sect on May 24, 2003:

These insights have led to a re-interpretation of the dogma of the Roman primacy. This does not at all mean that there are still not enormous problems in terms of what such a ministry of unity should look like, how it should be administered, whether and to what degree it should have jurisdiction and whether under certain circumstances it could make infallible statements in order to guarantee the unity of the Church and at the same time the legitimate plurality of local churches. But there is at least a wide consensus about the common central problem, which all churches have to solve: how the three dimensions, highlighted already by the Lima documents on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (1982), namely unity through primacy, collegiality through synodality, and communality of all the faithful and their spiritual gifts, can be brought into a convincing synthesis. (A Vision of Christian Unity.)

Yes, the Holy Faith is a matter of consensus for the conciliar revolutionaries as everything, including ecclesiastical governance itself, comes from the bottom up, not from the top down, starting with a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter, who is, of course, the Vicar of Christ on earth.

Holy Mother Church is not based on a democratic model that Pope Saint Pius X identified so presciently was an instrumental part of the ecclesiology of the Modernists. No, Holy Mother Church is monarchical, not democratic, something that Saint Robert Bellarmine wrote about at length in reply to the errors of that autocratic, murderous “democrat” of a heretic, John Calvin:

Finally, there is the last proposition, which ways that the government of the Church chiefly should be monarchic. And first of all the reason whereby it can be proved can be deduced from what has already been said. For, if there are three forms of government – Monarchy, Aristocracy, Democracy, and if it has already been proved that the government of the Church should not be democratic or aristocratic, then the only remaining possibility is that it be monarchic. Then, if monarch is the best form of government, as we said above, and it is certain that the Church of God having been established by its very wise founder, Christ, is to be governed in the best way: who can deny that its government must be monarchic?

But Calvin in book 4, chapter 6 & 9 in his Institutes steps forward and denies if monarchy is the best form of government, that it therefore follows that the Church should be ruled by one man, since it is certain that her king and monarch is Christ himself.

But this is easily refuted, since although Christ is the one and proper king and monarch of the Catholic Church, and rules and directs her spiritually and invisibly, nevertheless, the Church, which is corporal and visible, need one visible, supreme judge by whom disputes concerning the religion can be resolved, and who confirms all the lower leaders in their office and in unity. Otherwise not only the Sovereign Pontiff, but also bishops, priests, teacher and ministers would be superfluous, for Christ is our Shepherd – he is the Shepherd and guardian of our souls (1 Pet. 2:25).  He is the only teacher, and the heavenly Father commands us to listen to him (Matt. 17:5). It is he, who baptizes in the Holy Spirit (John 1:33).

Therefore, just as bishops, teachers, and other ministers are not superfluous, although what they do as ministers Christ does principally, so also he is not to be done away with who, as the supreme overseer, takes care of the Church, although Christ principally provided care for the Church. (Saint Robert Bellarmine, Controversies. Translated by Father Kenneth Baker, S.J., and published by Keep the Faith, 2015, pp. 636-649. The entire chapter in Controversies on this subject is appended below.)

Saint Robert Bellarmine was a true and faithful Jesuit.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a false and quite faithless imitation of a Jesuit.

Quite a difference.



This current commentary is about the stress on “synodality” in the final draft report that was issued upon the close of Bergoglio’s “youth synod.”

You see, “Pope Francis” wants a “democratic” church. For autocrats such as the Argentine Apostate, however, “democracy” means inspiring the masses to do what they, the autocrats, want done by tickling their ears so to make it appear that they, the people, are the originators of what the elite want done. This is nothing other than the textbook program of all revolutionaries, obviously, and it is rather hypocritical as Bergoglio’s calls for “synodality” and “consultation” and “encounter” have not applied to the Franciscan Friars [and Sisters] of the Immaculate, to the four “cardinals” who issued their dubia about Amoris Laetitia nor to “Archbishop” Carlo Maria Vigano. Fake, phony, pious frauds. Bergoglio is in favor of "democracy" for some of the people some of the time.

Today is the Commemoration of All Souls, known commonly as All Souls Day.

We are to remember the Poor Souls every day of our lives as devotion to them is a sign of eternal predestination to Heaven. The Poor Souls cannot help themselves. However, our prayers can help them to satisfy the debt that they owe for their forgiven Mortal Sins, their unforgiven Venial Sins and their attachment to them that is in need of purification before they can be admitted to the glory of Heaven to gaze upon the wonder of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity in the company of Our Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph, their own Guardian Angels and Patron Saints—and all of the just whose victory over the powers of darkness is still being celebrated during the Octave of All Saints Day.

Those of us who are totally consecrated to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary surrender our liberty to Our Heavenly Queen, who uses whatever we offer her as she sees fit. We can be confident that our daily prayers offered for the Poor Souls—whether for particular souls or for all the members of the Church Suffering, especially those who have been forgotten and/or may be farthest away from entering Heaven—are received by Our Lady with loving gratitude and will be applied to the souls for whom we pray.

May our Rosaries today and throughout the month of November call to mind the needs of the Poor Souls, who are, of course, dependent upon our own prayers, good works, sacrifices and the Masses we have offered them, but also powerful intercessors for our own needs, starting with our own eternal salvation, even though they are powerless to help themselves. Such is the beauty of the Communion of Saints.

Pray for the Poor Souls, today and always!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.


Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.


From Saint Robert Bellamine’s Exposition of Holy Mother Church as Monarchical

Finally, there is the last proposition, which ways that the government of the Church chiefly should be monarchic. And first of all the reason whereby it can be proved can be deduced from what has already been said. For, if there are three forms of government – Monarchy, Aristocracy, Democracy, and if it has already been proved that the government of the Church should not be democratic or aristocratic, then the only remaining possibility is that it be monarchic. Then, if monarch is the best form of government, as we said above, and it is certain that the Church of God having been established by its very wise founder, Christ, is to be governed in the best way: who can deny that its government must be monarchic?

But Calvin in book 4, chapter 6 & 9 in his Institutes steps forward and denies if monarchy is the best form of government, that it therefore follows that the Church should be ruled by one man, since it is certain that her king and monarch is Christ himself.

But this is easily refuted, since although Christ is the one and proper king and monarch of the Catholic Church, and rules and directs her spiritually and invisibly, nevertheless, the Church, which is corporal and visible, need one visible, supreme judge by whom disputes concerning the religion can be resolved, and who confirms all the lower leaders in their office and in unity. Otherwise not only the Sovereign Pontiff, but also bishops, priests, teacher and ministers would be superfluous, for Christ is our Shepherd – he is the Shepherd and guardian of our souls (1 Pet. 2:25).  He is the only teacher, and the heavenly Father commands us to listen to him (Matt. 17:5). It is he, who baptizes in the Holy Spirit (John 1:33).

Therefore, just as bishops, teachers, and other ministers are not superfluous, although what they do as ministers Christ does principally, so also he is not to be done away with who, as the supreme overseer, takes care of the Church, although Christ principally provided care for the Church.

The second reason is taken from the similitude that the Church of mortal men has with the Church of immortal angels. St. Gregory in book 4, letter 52 also makes use of this reason. Indeed, it is certain that the latter is the exemplar of the former, and more or less its idea, as the Apostle seems to indicate in Heb. 8 and St. Bernard clearly says in book 3 of his treatise on Consideration to Eugene, where he says that the Church militant is called the book of Revelation, the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven,  because it was established according to the example of that heavenly city and is in conformity with it.

It is not less certain, among the angels, besides God who is the sovereign king of all, there is one angel who presides over all the others. But at the beginning the one who had this dignity was the one who now is call the devil; those who bear witness to this are Tertullian in book 2 against Marcion, Gregory in homily 34 on the Gospel and in book 32, chapter 24 of his Morality, Bede in comments on Job 40, and Isidore in book 1, chapter 12 on the supreme good; it can also be deduced from Job 40:15, where Behemoth, that is, the devil, is said to be the beginning of the ways of the Lord and from Isa. 14:12ff., where he is compared with Lucifer, that is, the largest and most beautiful of the stars, at least according to its appearance and the opinion of the common people, to which the Scriptures are wont to accommodate themselves. Jerome and cyril in their comments on this place teach that this Lucifer is the devil, and Augustine says the same in book !!, chapter 15 of The City of God. And then there is Ezek. 28:13, where it is said: Every precious stone was your covering: and immediately nine precious stones are listed, whereby are signified, as Gregory explains in book 32, chapter 25 of his Morality, the nine choirs of angels, who surrounded this angel as their leader.

But after the fall of the devil, it is gathered from Rev. 12:7 that St. Michael is the prince of all the angels, where it is said: “Michael and his angels” we should understand this to mean that all the good angels acknowledge Michael as their leader therefore rightly in the Church's Divine Office St. Michael is presented as the overseer of paradise, and he is called the prince of the heavenly army.

Calvin says in book 4, chapter 6 & 10 in his Institutes that one should speak very carefully about heavenly things, and that one should not seek another type of the Church except what is stated expressly in the Gospel and in the letters of the holy Apostles. It is as if he is not speaking prudently, who says nothing from his own head, but follows the Apostle and the holy Fathers.

The third reason is taken from the Church of the Old Testament. For, it is certain that the Old Testament was a figure of the New, as the Apostle says in 1 Cor. 10:6: Now these things are warnings for us.  But during the time of the Old Testament there was always one man who was over all in the things that pertained to the Law and religion. This is so especially from the time in which the Hebrews began to be formed as a people, and to be governed by laws and magistrates after their departure from Egypt. For then Moses organized the nation of the Jews, wrote the laws for them which he had received from God, consecrated Aaron high priest, and made all the priests and Levites subject to him alone. And then until the time of Christ there was never lacking one high priest, who governed all the synagogues of the whole world; this can be easily proved, if it is not conceded by the adversaries. For, this is what the Magdeburgenses say in Centuries 1, book 1, chapter 7, col 257: In the Church of the Jewish people, by divine law there was one high priest, whom all were bound to acknowledge and to obey. Calvin confesses the same thing in book 4, chapter 6 & 2 in his Institutes.

Therefore, since the Church of that time was a figure or type of the Church of this time, reason surely demands that, just as the former, besides the invisible God as ruler, also had a visible ruler, so also the latter has the same, since no perfection should be found in the figure, which is not found even more perfectly in the exemplar.

John Calvin in book 4, chapter 6 in his Institutes gives two answers to this argument. The first is that there is no comparison between the small number of the Jewish people and the Christians in the whole world. For the one people of the Jews, he said, beset with idolaters all around them, had to have one supreme ruler, who would maintain unity lest they be drawn away by the different religions. But it is absurd to want to establish one ruler for the Christian people spread out in the whole world. And he adds a similitude. Just as, he said, the whole world should not be put under the control of one man, because one field is cultivated by one man.

But it seems to me that this first answer does not really solve the problem, but rather makes our argument more and more convincing. For, if the re4ason why the Jewish people had one leader was, as Calvin says, to keep the unified, and not to go over to the idolaters who surrounded them, the Church of Christians should have one head for a greater reason. For, one head is required more there where it is more difficult to maintain unity and where there is more danger lest the people be drawn apart by different religions. But it is more difficult to maintain unity in a large multitude than in a small group, and there is more danger where there are many enemies of the Faith than where there are fewer. But the Christian people are much larger than the Jewish people ever were, and Christians, have more enemies, since they are attacked not only by Turks, Tartars, Moors, Jews, and other infidels, but they are also trouble by innumerable sects of heretics. Therefore, it is more difficult to maintain unity among Christians, and a greater danger threatens them from enemies of religion that was the case formerly with the Jews: so if unity is not preserved, the danger becomes more threatening.

The reason Calvin gives for attributing one head to the Jewish people applies even more to the Christian people. And his similitude about the field misses the point; for we do not desire that one leader by himself should rule the whole Christian world, as one farmer by himself cultivates one field: but we commit the government of the whole Christian world to one supreme pastor in such a way that he rules through many lesser pastors, just as one rich head of a family cultivates many fields with the help of many farmers, and one king administers many cities and provinces through many governors and royal officials.

Then Calvin offers another answer and says that Aaron represented the figure not of the pontiff of the New Testament, but of Christ: therefor since Christ has already fulfilled that figure in Himself, the pope cannot claim anything from it for himself.

In response to that we urge not so much the figure of Aaron as that of the whole Old Testament. For since the Old Testament is a figure or type of the New, just as in the Old there was a monarchic government, so we also say there should be one in the New. Moreover, I add that Aaron himself not only was a type of Christ, but also of Peter and his successors; for, just as the sacrifices of the old Law signified the sacrifice of the Cross and at the same time were types of the sacrifice which is now offered in the Church, so the high priest of the Old Testament represented both Christ the high priest, and at the same time he was a type of the priesthood, which we now see in the Church: for the reason for the sacrifice and the priesthood is the same.

Perhaps they will deny that the old sacrifices signified the passion of Christ and at the same time our oblation, but that is what Augustine teaches in book 20, chapter 18 against Faustus: the Hebrews, he said, in the animal victims, which they offered to God in many different ways, as was worthy for such a great reality, were celebrating a prophecy of a future victim, which Christ offered. Hence now Christians celebrate the memorial of his completed sacrifice by a holy oblation and participation in the body and blood of the Lord. And in the book 1, chapter 18 against the adversaries of the law and the prophets he said:  The faithful know all this in the sacrifice of the Church, and all the former sacrifices were foreshadows of this one. And in book 3, chapter 19 on Baptism: Tho Lord himself sent those3 whom he had cleansed from leprosy to the same holy place that they offer to the priests a sacrifice for themselves, because the sacrifice was not yet available to them, which he wanted to be celebrated later in the Church for all of them, which he was announcing beforehand to all of them.

And there is no other reason why St. Gregory in his book on pastoral rule, part 2, chapter 4, interprets everything that is said about the clothing and adornments of Aaron to be referring to the virtues, which are required in Christian pontiffs. And Cyprian in book 1, letter 7 explains about our priests the things that are said in the Old Testament about the Aaronic priests, which all the other Fathers frequently do, that the new priesthood succeeds the old priesthood, and the Christian pontiffs succeed the Jewish pontiffs, as their types and foreshadows.

The fourth reason is sought in those likenesses by which the Church is described in Scripture. For, all of them show that in the Church there must be one head. The Church is compared to an army set in order Song 6:4); to the human body or a beautiful woman (Song 7): to a kingdom (Dan. 2:44): a sheepfold (John 10); a household (1 Tim. 3:5);  a ship or the Noah's ark (1 Pet. 3). Now there are no well-arranged armies or camps where there is not one emperor, many tribunes, several centurions, etc. Jerome in his letter to Rusticus said: In any large army the command of one man is expected. Therefore, how can the Church be an organized army, if all the bishops, and all the priests are on the same level; similarly, in every human body there is only one head.

And perhaps you will say: the Church has Christ as her own head; because of that in this place we are not comparing the Church with Christ, like the members with the head but at the bride with the bridegroom. Scripture uses this likeness in Rev. 21:2, 1. Cor. 11:3, Eph. 532, and in the Son of Songs frequently. And really if the Church which is on earth, excluding Christ, is not ineptly compared to a bride; also excluding Christ, it must have one head, especially since among the other members the head is also mentioned clearly in Song 7: Your head, said the bridegroom to the bride, crowns you like Carmel. And the bride says about the bridegroom: His head is the finest gold (Song 5:11). And the bridegroom indeed compares the head of the bride to Mount Carmel, since although the high priest is a high mountain, still he is nothing other than earth, that is, a man. But the bride compared the head of her spouse to the finest gold, because God is the head of Christ.

Now was there ever a kingdom which was not ruled by one person? And even though Christ is the king of the Church, still from that we conclude that the Church must have, besides Christ, one man by whom it is governed, because kingdoms are always administered by a king, that is, by one man who presides over all; and if the king is present, he does it by himself; if he is absent, by another who is said to represent the king. Also, often when the king is present, some vicar general actually runs things.

 But that he requires one flock and one shepherd is seen clearly in the Gospel: There shall be one flock, the Lord said in John 10:16, and one shepherd. There it is to be noted in passing that the phrase and one shepherd” can be understood to refer to a secondary shepherd, that is, to Peter and his successors. For, when the Lord says, I have other sheep that are not of this fold, he is speaking about the Gentiles and the Jews; but he is teaching that he has among the Gentiles many elect, who are already believers, or certainly will be in the future, and still they do not belong to the Jewish people.

However, if the concern is with the shepherd as God, the Jewish people and the Gentiles were always one flock, and the one God their shepherd; but they were not always one flock and one shepherd with respect to human government; for, the Gentiles, or those among them who belonged to the church, were not ruled by the high priest of the Jews. But Christ wanted after his coming to make one flock out of both peoples, and he wanted all men to be governed by one human shepherd. Hence Cyprian in book 1 letter 6 to Magnus, speaking about Novatian, who wanted to become the bishop of Rome, although Cornelius had already been elected and was functioning there, said the following: Therefore when the Lord insisted on our unity coming from the divine authority, he says I and the Father are one; in order to bring his Church to this unity, he says finally: And there shall be one flock and one shepherd. But it there is one flock, how can one who is not among the number of the flock be counted with the flock? Or how can one be considered a shepherd, who, while remaining a shepherd, and in the Church of God where there is presiding with a successive ordination, succeeds no one, and beginning from himself, is a stranger and not consecrated?

Then there is the example of the home and the ship. Surely every home has one Lord and one housekeeper, according to Luke 12:42: Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household? These words are said to Peter, and about Peter; for just before that when the Lord had said, Blessed are those servants whom the Lord finds wake when he come, Peter asked him: Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all? And the Lord said to Peter: Who then is the faithful and wise steward whom his master will set over his household? It is as if he were to say: Peter, above all, I am speaking to you; for, you must consider what is required in a faithful and prudent householde4r, whom the Lord established over his household

And right anfter that, to show that he is speaking about someone who is over his fellow servants, and is subject only to his master, he adds: But if that servant says to himself, “My master is delayed in coming,” and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and to get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. With these words the Lord clearly indicates that he will put one servant in charge of his whole household, who he can be judged by himself alone. Chrysostom brilliantly explains this text to be about Peter and his successors in book 2, near the beginning, of his treatise on the priesthood. Ambrose agrees with this, or whoever is the author of the Commentary on 1 Tim. 3: The house of God, he said, is the Church, whose master today is Damasus.

Finally, regarding the ship, Jerome said in his letter to Rusticus: On a ship there is just one captain; and Cyprian in book 1, letter 6, after he said that Noah's ark was a type of the Church, therefrom proves that Novatian could not become the captain of the ark because Cornelius had already been given that role, and one ship requires one captain not several.

The fifth reason is taken from the beginning of the government of the Church. For it is certain that the Church founded by Christ began initially to have a visible and external government that was monarchic, not aristocratic or democratic. For Christ, when he lived on earth, visibly directed it as its supreme shepherd and ruler as the Magdeburgenses also admit in Centuries 1, book 1, chapter 7, col. 268ff. Therefore now the church must also have an external and visible monarchic government, otherwise the Church that now exists would not be the same city of God as that one. For, as the philosopher teaches in book 3, chapter 2 in his Politics, a city is said to be the same specifically as long as the same common form of government; if it changes, then also the nature of the city changes.

The sixth reason is taken from resemblance. In individual places individual bishops are rightly installed, and they are over all the other ministers and pastors of that place; even Calvin in book 4, chapter 6 & 7 in the Institutes admits this with these words: what else do they prove except that the individual Churches should have their own bishops?

Also in the individual province individual metropolitans are rightly established, who preside over the bishops of their province; and in the larger cities there are primates or patriarchs who, as St. Leo says in a letter to Anastasius, the archbishop of Thessalonica, assume a much larger role in the Church (Calvin has not dared to deny this; for he says this in chapter 4 & 4 in his Institutes: That  the individual provinces have one archbishop among the bishops; likewise, that in the council of Nicaea patriarchs were established, who are superior in order and dignity to archbishops – all of that pertained to the preservation of discipline). Therefore, it is right that there should be one man who presides over the whole Church, and to whom the primates and patriarch are subject. For, if monarchic authority is suitable for one city, for one province, for one nation, why not also for the whole Church? Does this reason demand that the parts be ruled monarchically, but the whole aristocratically?

Then by these reasons it is proved that one bishop should preside over the parish priests, an archbishop over the bishops, a patriarch over the archbishops; so by the same reasons it can be proved that there must be one sovereign pontiff over the patriarchs. Why is one bishop necessary in individual Churches, unless it is because one city cannot be well governed except by one person? But also there is one universal Church. Similarly, why is one archbishop required, unless it is so that the bishops are held together in unity, that their disputes can be resolved, that they can be assembled together in a Synod, that they be forced to perform their duties? But for the same reasons one man is required who presides over all the archbishops and primates.

Calvin will respond that the bishops over the priests, the archbishops over the other bishops, and the primate over them are greater in honor and dignity, but not in authority and power. That is what he teaches in book 4, chapter 4 & 2 in his Institutes.

But certainly his is mistaken and he deceives others. For (and I omit others) in 1 Tim. 5:19 when the Apostle says, Never admit any charge against an elder except on the advice of two or three witnesses,  he makes the bishop the judge of the elders, bu there is no judge without authority. Moreover, in the Council of Antioch in canon 16 it is decreed that, if a priest or deacon has been condemned by his own bishop and deprived of honor, and then approaches another bishop, in no way should he be accepted. Therefore, a bishop can condemn an elder, and deprive him of honor – and this certainly is an exercise of power and jurisdiction.

Likewise, in the third Council of Carthage, in chapter 45, the Fathers say that the primate has the power to accept cleric from any diocese and to ordain them bishops, where it is necessary, even against the will of the bishop to whom that cleric is subject. Do we not here see clearly that a primate has more power than the other bishops? Finally, Leo in the letter to Anastasius of Thessalonica, which is number 84, and Gregory in book 4, letter 52 openly teach that not all bishops are equal in authority, but that some are truly subject to others; hence St. Leo rightly concludes that authority over the whole Church pertains to the one See of Peter.

The seventh reason can be taken from the propagation of the the Church. For, the Church always grew and must grow, until the Gospel has been preached in the whole world, as is clear from Matt. 24:14: This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world... and then the end will come. But that cannot take place, unless there is one supreme head of the Church, who has the responsibility of preserving and propagating the whole body. For, no one should preach, unless he is sent according to Rom. 10:15: How can men preach unless they are sent: It is not the role of particular bishops to send preachers into other provinces. For they have the definite limits of their own diocese, outside of which they do not have authority, and what pertains to them is the care of the flock assigned to them.

Therefore, in the histories of the Madgeburgenses we hardly find any Church established after the time of the Apostles by others, except by those whom the roman Pontiffs sent to do the work of God. St. Boniface, sent by Pope Gregory II, converted the Germans, St. Kilian, sent by Pope Conone, converted the Franks. Augustine was sent to England by Pope Gregory I. Innocent I in letter 4 stressed that Churches were founded throughout Spain, Gaul and Africa by those whom Peter or his successors sent to do this work.

The eighth reason is taken from the unity of the Faith. For, it is necessary that all the faithful think exactly the same way in matters of Faith: For there is one God, one faith, one baptism (Eph. 4:5); but there cannot be one Faith in the Church, if there is not one supreme judge whom all are bound to follow. Certainly the dissent among the Lutherans teaches this quite clearly; for, they disagree among themselves, because they do not have one person, to whom all a re bound to submit their judgment, and so they have been divided into a thousand sects, even though all are descended from the same Luther. And until now they have not been able to summon a Council in which all agree. But a very clear reason explains this. For since the many are equal, it can hardly come about that in obscure and difficult matter anyone will prefer someone else's judgment to his owns.

The Magdeburgenses in Centuries 1, book 2, chapter 7, col. 522ff. Respond that the unity of Faith can be preserved by the association of many Churches, which assist each other, and deal with questions about the Faith by exchanging documents among themselves. But surely that is not sufficient. For, to preserve the unity of Faith, counsel is not enough; supreme authority is required. For what will happen if an erring bishop refused to write to the others, or if after he has written, he refuses to follow the counsel of others? Was it not the case with Illyricus himself, having been warned by his colleagues that he should retract his Manichean error about original sin, once against summoned forth by him from hell, was it not the case that he could not be made to appear or listen patiently to what they had to say? And if that association is so effective, why has it not finally produced peace and harmony among the flexible and rigid Lutherans?

You will say: the problems will be solved by a general Council; for, all will follow the majority of the bishops. But in a Council the majority can err, if the authority of te supreme pastor is lacking, as has been proved by the Councils of Ariminum and Ephesus II. Add to this that general Councils cannot always be summoned; for, during the first 300 years no general Council could be held, and still there were several heresies during that time.

Now we will refute their objections. First of all, Calvin in book 4, chapter 20 & 7 raises an objection based on Luke 22:24-26 where re read this; A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them … but not so with you.  To this Calvin said: In order to restrain their fickle ambition, the Lord taught them that their ministry is not like of kingdoms, in which one takes precedence over other.

I respond that both in this place and in Matt 20:25-28 the Lord did not take monarchy away from the Church, but rather instituted it, and admonished them that it is different from the civil monarchy of the Gentiles. For first of all the Lord does not say, you will not exercise lordship in any way, but, you will not be like the kings of the Gentiles. But, he who says, you will not rule the way they do, is signifying this: You will indeed rule, but in a way different from their way. then, does he not clearly add in this place: Rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader,  … that is, the leader and chief, as one who serves? Therefore, one leader was designated by the Lord.

Finally, he explains the matter by his own example: Just as I have not come to be served, but to serve. And: I am among you as one who serves. Nevertheless, he says about himself in John 13:13: You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. Therefore, just as Christ did not domineer, but served and worked, and nevertheless truly presided, indeed was Lord, so also he wants one of his own truly to preside, but without the longing to domineer, such as it is found among the kings of the Gentiles, who often are tyrants, and force their subjects to serve them, and refer everything to their own comfort and glory. For, he wants his vicar to preside over the Church as a shepherd and father, who does not seek riches and honor, but the well-being of his subjects, and so more than others works for and serves the benefit of all.

Furthermore, the kings of the Gentiles, also those who are not tyrants, and minister their kingdoms so that they can leave them to their sons as an inheritance; but prelates of the Church are not like that. For, they are not kings, but vicars, not householders, but overseers. Hence, St. Bernard in book 3 on Consideration said: What can you do not deny that you preside, and you are not allowed to domineer? Clearly so, as if he does not preside well who presides in solicitude: you preside in order to provide to counsel, to procure and to serve; you preside to be helpful, you preside to be a faithful and prudent servant, whom the Lord has established over his family.

The second objection of Calvin in book 4, chapter 6 & 1 in the Institutes is the following. In Eph. 4:11 the Apostle outlined for us the whole ecclesiastical hierarchy, which Christ left on earth after his Ascension; in that place there is no mention of on head, but the government of the church is entrusted to many in common. For he says this: And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors, some teachers. And he did not say: But first of all, there is one supreme pontiff, then bishops, pastors, etc.

Likewise, be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, and he did not say: one sovereign pontiff, who keeps the Church in unity. And in the same place: Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Chris's gift. And he did not say: The fullness of where is given to one, and he takes the place of Christ, but he said, his own portion is given to each one.

I respond that the Supreme Pontificate is clearly stated by the Apostle in these words. And his gifts were given to the Apostles; and even more clearly in 1 Cor. 12:28 where he says: And God has appointed in the Church first Apostles, second prophets. If indeed supreme ecclesiastical power was given not only to Peter, but also to the other Apostles, since all could say this with Paul: There is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the Churches (2Cor. 11:28). still it was given to Peter as the ordinary pastor who was perpetually to have successors, but to the others as delegates who did not have successors. For it was necessary in the beginning of the Church, in order to spread the Faith rapidly throughout the whole world, that supreme power and freedom should be given to the first preachers and founders of the Churches; however, after the Apostles died, the apostolic authority remained only in the successor of Peter. For, no bishop besides the Roman bishop ever had the care of all the Churches, and only he was called the apostolic pontiff, and his See simply “apostolic,” and by anonomasia his office was also called apostolic. We will now present a few witnesses of this matter.

Jerome in letter 2 to Damasus on the word Hypostasis said: May you follow the apostles, who follow them in honor. And I book 2 against Ruffinus he said: I admire how the bishops accept what the apostolic See has condemned.  And in the letter of many French bishops to Leo, which is number 52 among the letters of Leo, they said: May your apostleship forgive our tardiness. And at the end of that letter: Pray for me, blessed Lord, deservedly and with apostolic honor to be venerated as pope. Likewise: I venerate and greet in the Lord your apostleship. Augustine in letter 162 said: The preeminence of the apostolic See has always flourished in the Roman Church.

Finally (while I omit many similar examples) the Council of Chalcedon in the letter to Leo, which is given after the third session: And after all these things, the said, in addition and contrary to the one to whom the care of the vine was given by the Savior, he increased his madness, that is, by also going against your apostolic holiness. Hence St. Bernard in book 3, near the beginning of his treatise on Consideration, speaking about all the Apostles, concerning whom it is said in Ps. 45:17, you will make them princes in all the earth, says to Pope Eugene: You have succeeded them in inheritance: so you are their heir, and you inherit the world. And after that in this verse, and he appointed certain ones to be apostles, he understands it to be about the pontifical authority.

It can also be responded that the Apostle in this place is not defining the hierarchy of the Church, but only stating various gifts that are in the Church. For, first he says, Apostles that is, the first ones sent forth by God. Secondly, prophets, that is, those who foretell the future, as Chrysostom, Oecumenius and Theophylact explain it. Thirdly, evangelists, that is, those who wrote the gospels, as Oecumenius and Theophylact explain it. Finally, pastors and teachers, and with this word he signified confusedly the whole hierarchy of the ministers of the Church. And I 1 Cor. 12:28 he adds the different languages, healings and other things, which are not Church ministries, but charisms of the Holy Spirit.

To other objection about one body, one spirit, one Faith, one God, in which one Pope is not mentions, I respond that one Pope is included in those words “one body and one spirit”; for, just as in a natural body the unity of the members is preserved because all are subject to the head, so also then in the Church unity is preserved, since all are obedient to one head.

And although the head of the whole Church is Christ, nevertheless, since he is absent from the militant Church according to his visible presence, someone else in the place of Christ is necessarily required, who maintains this visible Church in unity. Accordingly, Optatus in book 2 calls Peter the head, and he locates the unity of the Church in him, so that all are in agreement with this head. Also john Chrysostom, in homily 55 on Matthew, says this about the Church: Its pastor and head is a simple fisherman, etc.

Concerning the question about the fullness of power, I respond that the Supreme Pontiff, if he is compared with Christ, doesn't not have the fullness of power, but only a certain portion of it, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. For, Christ rules the whole Church, which is in heaven, in purgatory, on earth, and which was from the beginning of the world, and will be until the end. Furthermore, as he wishes he can establish laws, institute sacraments, and confer grace, even without the sacraments.

But the Pope rules only that part of the Church which is on earth, while he is living, and cannot change the laws of Christ, or institute sacraments, or forgive sins without the sacrament. However, if the Supreme Pontiff is compared with the other bishops, he is rightly said to have the fullness of power, because the others have definite regions over which they preside, and also a limited power. But the Pope is the head of the whole Christian world, and he has the total and full power, which Christ left on earth for the use of the Church.

The third objection of Calvin is in book 4, chapter 6 &9 where he presents this argument: Christ is the head of the Church (Eph. 4:15): therefore, whoever designates another head does injury to Christ.

I respond that no injury is done to Christ because the Pope is the head of the Church, indeed rather his glory is increased. For, we are not saying that the Pope is the head of the Church with Christ, but under Christ as his minister and vicar. No injury is done to a king, if the king's representative is said to be the head of the kingdom under the king, rather his glory is increased; for, all who learn that the king's representative is the head of the kingdom under the king, realize immediately that the king is the head in a more noble manner,

You can add to this that in the Scripture Christ himself, who said of himself, I am the light of the world (John 8:12), said the same thing to the Apostles in Matt. 5:14, you are the light of the world, but saying that he did no injury to himself. And the Apostle who said, no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11), also said, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Eph 2:20). and since Christ is the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (1 Pet. 2:25), and the apostle of our confession (Heb 3:1), and a prophet (Luke 24:19), and a teacher of justice (Joel 2:23), nevertheless Paul did no injury to him when he wrote in Eph. 4:11 that in the Church there are apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers. Finally, what name is more majestic than that of God? Nevertheless, more than once in the Scriptures men are called gods without any injury to the true God: Ps. 82:6: I said, you are gods. Therefore, why will it be an injury to Christ, the head of the Church, if another man under him is also called the head?

But, they say, nowhere is the Church said to be the body of Peter, or of the Pope but only of Christ. I respond that the reason for this matter is because Christ alone is the principal and perpetual head of the whole Church. For, just as the kingdom is not said to belong to the king's representative, but to the king, and as the house does not belong to the overseer but to the householder, so the Church is not the body of Peter or of the Pope, who governs it only for a time and in the place of another, but it is the body of Christ, who rules it by his own authority and perpetually.

Furthermore, when the Church is said to be the body of Christ, that word “Christ” can be referred properly, not so much to Christ as head, as to the same Christ as the hypostasis of his body, as when we say “there lies the body of Peter, there the body of Paul” we do not mean that Peter and Paul are bodies, but persons to whom those bodies belong. For, Christ is not only the head of the Church, but he is as it were a huge body, composed of many members. St. Augustine mentioned this is book 1 chapter 31 in his treatise on Merits and Remission of Sin, because the Apostle in 1 Cor. 12:12, when he says: For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many are one body, he does not add, it is with the body of Christ, but, so it is with Christ. Therefore, the Church is the body of Christ, not of Peter, because Christ as the hypostasis of this body sustains all the members, and works all things in all of them. He sees through eyes, he hears through ears, for it is he who teaches through the teacher, baptizes through the minister, and finally does everything through all of them. This certainly applies neither to Peter nor to any other man.

The fourth objection comes from Theodore Beza, who in chapter 5, article 5 of the Confessions, says that only god can carry the burden of governing the whole Church. Therefore he says that we are affirming something impossible, when we commit the government of the whole Church to the Supreme Pontiff. Earlier Luther had said the same thing in his book on the power of the Pope: and the little book on the primacy of the Pope, written at the Smalkaldic Synod, agreed with him on this matter.

I respond that it cannot happen without a miracle that one man alone could rule the whole Church by himself, and no Catholic teaches such a thing. But that one person can do it through many ministers and pastors under him not only is possible, but we think it is also very useful and fitting. For, first of all, does not the apostle say in 2 Cor. 11:28 that he had solicitude for all the churches? And he is not speaking only about all the Churches he had founded, but simply about all of them. For, Chrysostom, concerning this text, writes that Paul had the care of the whole world; he says he could prove this from the letters to the Romans, Colossians and Hebrews. For he writes to those to whom he had not preached, and still he thought that they were under his care.

And although the Apostles among themselves allotted to each on his own area to preach the word of god, however in spite of this they did not limit their care for the Church to just one province, but each one of them assumed care for the whole Church, as if that care pertained to him alone.

Next, many secular princes had huge kingdoms from God, and certainly larger than the present whole Christian world; if they had not been able to administer them, they never would have been given to them by God. We have examples in Nebuchadnezzar, about whom we read this is Dan. 2:37-38. You are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, whenever they dwell, the sons of men. Similarly, we read about Cyrus in Isa. 45:1: Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and ungird the loins of kings, et.

But how huge this empire was is known from Esther 1:1 where the Persian king Ahasuerus is said to have reigned over 127 provinces reaching from India to Ethiopia. In Luke 2:1 we read about Augustus: A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. And certainly the world has never been administered more favorably than it was during the time of Augustus. But that his kingdom had been prepared by God so that the gospel could be spread more easily through the whole world is mentioned by Eusebius in book 3, chapter 9 of his Demonstration of the Gospel, and by Leo in sermon 1 on Saints Peter and Paul.

Therefore, since god willed that almost the whole world should be under the command of one man, why could he not also commend the whole Church to the prudence and care of one man? – especially since ecclesiastical government is easier than the political king, and those kings did not have any more help than their own human prudence and the general providence of god. Our Pontiff, however, has the supernatural light of faith, the Holy Scriptures, the heavenly sacraments, and the special assistance of the Holy Spirit.

You can add to this that democracy or aristocracy in the Church is much more difficult than monarchy. For, the democracy of the Church would not be such as it was for the Romans and Athenians, where men were in charge of only one city, which they could without difficulty convene together and take many votes concerning whatever they wanted. For, if there were popular government in the Church, all the Christians in the whole world would have the right to vote: but who could assemble all Christians in order to decide something in common for the whole Church?

Similarly, the aristocracy of the Church would not be such as it was for the Venetians, in which only the nobles of one city ruled, who could easily assemble and decide whatever they wanted. But the Church would be such as Venice never was, namely, where all the magistrates of the whole world, that is, all the bishops and priests of the whole Christian world would have an equal right of governing, and it would be extremely difficult or impossible without a miracle to father them all together.

The fifth objection is in that little book, which the Lutherans published about the primacy of the Pope at the Smalkaldic Synod. Paul, they said, in 1 Cor 3:21 makes all the ministers equal, and he teaches that the Church is over the ministers, when he says: all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas.

I respond that I am not sharp enough to grasp the force of this argument. For, if on that account the ministers are made equal because they are numbered together, since it says –whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, then also generals, consuls, and emperors will be equal, because Chrysostom in homily 83 on Matthew says: If a general, if a consul, if he who wears the crown, enters unworthily, prevent him and force him to stop. Etc. Also, it does not follow that the Church is superior to the ministers in authority and power, because they were instituted for the sake of their usefulness to the Church, just because Paul signified it with these words, all things are yours. Otherwise students would be ruling their teachers, and the people would preside in authority over kings, because teachers are for the sake of student, and kings for the sake of the people, and not vice versa.

The sixth objection is in the same little book: Christ sent all the Apostles in the same way, since he says in John 20:21, I am sending you; therefore, he did not put one over the others.

I respond that with those words his is not place one over the other, but other places are not lacking in which one is made to preside. Certainly in John 21:17 it is said to one, feed my sheep.

Finally, others object: if the world should be governed by one person in the things pertaining to religion, then it would also be a good thing that it be governed by one person in things pertaining to the political order. But this has never taken place, not is it necessary: for, as Augustine teaches in book 4, chapter 15 in The City of God: It would be better for human affairs, if all kingdoms were small and enjoyed harmonious neighborly relations.

I respond that the government of the Church and of the State are not the same. Since it is not necessary that the whole world be one kingdom, therefore it does not require one person to preside over all; but the whole Church is one kingdom, one city, one house, and therefore it should be ruled by one person. The reason for this difference is that for the preservation of political kingdoms it is not required that all the provinces observe the same laws, and the same customs; for they can, depending on the diversity of persons and places, have different laws and customs; and therefore one prince is not required who maintains order for all. But for the preservation of the Church it is necessary that all agree in the same Faith, the same sacraments, the same divinely given laws, which surely cannot take place, unless they are one people, and are maintained in unity by one leader.

But whether it would be a good thing for all the province of the world to be governed by one great king in political affairs, although it is not necessary, is an interesting question. But it seems to me to be a very good thing, if it could be accomplished without injustice and destructive wars; especially if the supreme monarch had under himself not vicars or substitute kings, but real princes, as the Sovereign Pontiff has under himself the bishops.

But because it does not seem possible to establish such a monarch, unless it is done with great force and many wars, therefore St. Augustine rightly says that human relations will be much more happy, if there are small kingdoms everywhere enjoying peaceful relations with each other, rather than if each one by good means and bad attempt to extend its own domination. You can add to this that St. Augustine indeed approves small kingdoms, but he does not deny that it would be helpful, if one supreme emperor were to be over those small kings; rather he seems to affirm it, since he says that those small kingdoms ought to be living in harmony with each other, as many homes in a city relate to each other. For, it is certain that there is one official over all the homes, although each home has its own master of the house. (Saint Robert Bellarmine, Controversies. Translated by Father Kenneth Baker, S.J., and published by Keep the Faith, 2015, pp. 636-649.)