by Christopher A. Ferrara
June 8, 2017
Over the past four years, the Catholic faithful have become inured to a continuing spectacle completely without precedent in Church history: a Pope who, almost every day, uses his pulpit to hurl a seemingly inexhaustible supply of epithets at orthodox Catholics who are rightly disturbed by the course of his pontificate: “rigorists,” “rigid,” “legalists,” “Pharisees,” “hypocrites,” “self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagians,” and so on. Pope Bergoglio shows no signs of tiring in his repetition of the same theme, day in and day out for years on end, like a phonograph needle stuck in the same groove of the same old record.
But back in March, as Antonio Socci notes in a column that has not received sufficient attention, Pope Bergoglio introduced a new villain du jour from the pulpit at Santa Marta: the pastor “who does not know how to say goodbye and thinks he is the center of history,” the pastor who does not know that “he must leave completely, not halfway… and without appropriating the sheep to himself.”
Precisely whom could Pope Bergoglio have in mind here? We have a very good idea, but Vatican Insider, which Socci calls “the ultrabergoglian website,” left nothing to the imagination. Its report on this sermon included a photograph of Pope Benedict XVI departing the Vatican in a helicopter headed to Castel Gandolfo on the day his mysterious “renunciation” of the “ministry of the Bishop of Rome” became effective.
That Pope Bergoglio was targeting Benedict is obvious, given that this denunciation followed almost immediately after the appearance of Cardinal Sarah’s book on the state of the liturgy, entitled “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise,” to which Benedict, as “Pope Emeritus,” wrote a rather devastating postscript. Therein Benedict declares that with Sarah as head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, “the liturgy is in good hands.” Yet, as we know, Pope Bergoglio has sacked the entire membership of the Congregation save Sarah, and has since surrounded him with liturgical progressives as replacements precisely in order to leave Sarah in powerless isolation so that the relentless decay of the Novus Ordo liturgy can continue unabated.
As Socci reports, the appearance of Benedict’s postscript prompted Bergoglian cheerleader Andrea Grillo to declare that Benedict had “renounced his renunciation” and was now meddling “in the decisions of his successor” — meaning the decision to neutralize Cardinal Sarah without sacking him outright. Hence Pope Bergoglio’s introduction of a new category of dastardly villain standing in the way of his vaunted “irreversible reform” of the Church, including Holy Communion for public adulterers: namely, the pastor who won’t say goodbye.
Here, as usual, we have the Bergoglian twisting of Scripture to suit the rhetorical needs of the moment. In his polemical sermon Pope Bergoglio cites the episode of Saint Paul departing from Ephesus as an example of the pastor who knows how to say goodbye and does not try to take the sheep with him.
But in citing the example of Saint Paul at Ephesus, Socci notes, Pope Bergoglio has scored a spectacular goal against himself, for Saint Paul was driven from Ephesus by a riot “orchestrated by the goldsmiths who were profiting from the manufacture of idols,” and Saint Paul warned that after his departure “ravening wolves” would enter among his flock, introducing “perverse doctrines to attract disciples to themselves.”
Cue the sound of the laughing trombone, as Pope Bergoglio once again points the finger at himself while hurling accusations at others — this time his own predecessor in office. Except that this is no laughing matter, but rather yet another sign that the Bergoglian pontificate is very probably the terminal stage in an ecclesial crisis whose resolution will have to involve divine intervention of the most dramatic sort.