by Christopher A. Ferrara
July 4, 2017
Today I attended a remarkable lecture by one of the most extraordinary speakers in the Anglophone world. He must remain anonymous, given the current climate in the Latin American banana republic the human element of the Church has become during this pontificate.
The theme of this riveting talk was an amusing examination of the claim, promoted incessantly by Pope Bergoglio’s henchmen — at this point in the Bergoglian debacle there is no other word for them — that the Pope is chosen directly by the Holy Ghost and that the Holy Ghost speaks through the Pope in some oracular fashion, so that his every utterance commands unquestioning obedience as “the voice of the Holy Spirit.”
This is nonsense, as our speaker reminded us, belied by even a cursory review of the history of the papacy (with evil intrigues and shockingly immoral behavior by a number of pontiffs) and by the very limited scope of papal infallibility as defined — infallibly — by the First Vatican Council. Our speaker noted that, as Cardinal Ratzinger once explained in answer to the question whether the Holy Ghost personally chooses each Pope: “There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!... [T]he Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.”
That is, the Holy Ghost acts to prevent the worst from happening, that being the total destruction of the Church, while allowing the operation of free will even to the extent of permitting acts and omissions that bring on an ecclesial crisis, including the election of a bad pope.
Thus, our guarantee of the integrity of Catholic doctrine is not that a particular Pope has said X or not-X for the first time in Church history, but rather that he says X or not-X in line with the constant teaching of the Church by the Popes, Councils and bishops down through the centuries. For as the First Vatican Council declared, “the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”
Yet the papal henchmen now declare that Pope Bergoglio is the handpicked oracle of the Holy Ghost. But only him. For no such preposterous claim was made by the same characters (for example, Cardinal Schönborn, Cardinal Maradiaga, Cardinal Kasper and Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto) regarding the teaching of Paul VI, John Paul II, or Benedict XVI on marriage and procreation (which Pope Bergoglio — alone among all the Roman Pontiffs in Church history — is busily attempting to undermine, as we see with the chaos designedly engendered by Amoris Laetitia, and his evident departure from the constant teaching of the Church on the intrinsic immorality and absolute permissibility of contraception).
Just how far the papal henchmen are willing to go with this nonsense in order to justify the words and deeds of the current Pope, over and against all the others, is seen in Cardinal Schönborn’s ludicrous anecdote about an encounter he had with a Latin American hours before the conclave of 2013:
The Cardinal said that just after a special Mass before the Conclave began he came across a couple from Latin America who are friends of his.He said: “I met them outside the Basilica and I asked: ‘You have the Holy Spirit, can you give me advice for the Conclave that will start in a few hours?’“And the woman whispered in my ear ‘Bergoglio’, and it hit me really: if these people say Bergoglio, that’s an indication of the Holy Spirit.”
Oh, come on. As if the plotting and scheming of the “St. Gallen mafia” had nothing to do with Bergoglio’s election. As if the history of the papacy were not littered with intrigues regarding the election of Popes.
Can we not think that this reduction of the Holy Ghost to a cheap deus ex machinain a humanly contrived narrative — Bergoglio the Chosen One — is, at least objectively, a sin against Him? And can we not think as well that the Church is suffering the consequences of this shameful abuse of the name of “the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father” and Who, as Our Lord Himself promised, “shall give testimony of Me” (Jn 15:26)?