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Pope Francis at 2016 Rome consistory, when "progressive" archbishops Cupich, Joseph Tobin, and Farrell were made cardinals.Steve Jalsevac / LifeSite

August 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Should we be surprised at Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s detailed testimony about Pope Francis covering up ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s abuse? We have seen this level of mendacity and depravity coming for years. From the first moment of his papacy, Pope Francis showed disdain for papal traditions, a sign of disrespect for the duties and limits of his office. His minimalist and lackluster celebrations of Mass suggested that for him, the liturgy was not “the source and summit of the Christian life.”

His torturous and often doctrinally suspect homilies exposed an uncatholic mind. His sloppy interviews with newspapers and on airplanes sowed confusion about basic Christian teachings. “Who am I to judge?” appeared in every newspaper and eventually on thousands of pieces of online merchandise as a message of liberation from God’s commandments. The sweet name of “mercy” was co-opted for an agenda of secularization. The word “Pharisee” became the favorite taunt for anyone who still believed in the Bible or any identifiable version of Christianity.

The papally rigged synods on the family and their spawn, Amoris Laetitia—authoritatively clarified by the Buenos Aires guidelines—bestowed papal honors on the normalization of adulterous liaisons. Changes to the annulment process fast-tracked the granting of “Catholic divorce.” Internal reorganizations and initiatives at the Vatican weakened the anti-abortion message and muddied the waters of Humanae Vitae even in its anniversary year. Notorious anti-Catholics were invited to the Vatican, given a platform, and applauded.

The moment anyone got too near to the wretched truth about Vatican financial corruption, the supposedly “reform-minded” pope ensured that the threat was removed—be it the C-9 cardinal who was conveniently framed or the professional external auditors who were summarily fired.

The pope’s condemnation of homosexuality was never better than ambivalent; the traditional teaching seemed to be heading for the same dustbin as capital punishment. (If you don’t like what Church tradition has to say, why not just change the Catechism, while speaking the magic words “Abracadabra, development of doctrine”?) The handling of the global sexual abuse crisis, as seen in the situation in Chile, demonstrated a flaccid commitment to justice at best, and a trend towards complicity at worst.

And now this news, which has rightly created shockwaves around the globe, a collective astonishment at the depths of alleged wickedness in high places.

It is not only that we lack justice in Casa Santa Marta; we have dwelling there what appears to be a calculated, premeditated resolve to support, honor, and promote injustice. It is not only that we have a “trend towards complicity”; the upper echelons of the Vatican are the factory where the evils are being manufactured, with an efficiency Henry Ford would marvel at. The ineluctable progress of events is unmasking Pope Francis more and more as a facilitator of that lavender mafia in whose limp-wristed bureaucratic grip the Church on earth is suffering strangulation. Bergoglio’s Vatican is a kind of sinkhole in which the worldly accommodationism of the Second Vatican Council and the worst ideas and behaviors of the postconciliar rebellion have gathered in concentrated form.

An article I published at OnePeterFive on August 15 contained the following statement: “To hear well-meaning people say Bergoglio must impanel some investigative body to set things right [in the USA] is Alice in Wonderland lunacy. It’s like putting Himmler in charge of Nuremberg.” For some, this was too strong a statement. How dare I say such a thing about “the Holy Father”?

Today, in light of Viganò’s revelations and so many other pieces of evidence, I stand by that statement, and a thousand others like it. For he shows no probable signs of being holy, nor is he acting like a father. A holy father would not treat Catholics the way Francis has treated them. A holy father would not mislead his children into sin about the mysteries of sexuality, marriage, and the Blessed Sacrament. A holy father would not oppress those of his children who found spiritual strength in the recovery of family traditions, while sponsoring and promoting children who rebel against the family, or even strangers who care nothing for it. A holy father would not tolerate for a moment the eldest children in his family when they are caught grossly abusing the littlest; he would strip them of all dignities and put them out. 

Who knows what is going on within the convolutions of his own mind? God alone knows. What we know is that God has permitted this period of tribulation for the testing and strengthening of the faith of His servants, to see if we will be loyal to His revelation, His commandments, His gift of tradition, His righteousness, come what may. 

Divine Providence has tested Christian fidelity many times in the Church’s long history, be it with the gruesome tortures and bitter exiles of Roman or pagan persecution, rampant clerical immorality and corruption, doctrinal chaos and compromise, or simply the terrible hardships of war, famine, plague, and disasters that our fallen world will never be without. “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (Jas 1:12).

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Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in California (B.A. Liberal Arts) and The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC (M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy). He taught at the International Theological Institute in Austria and the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austria Program, then helped establish Wyoming Catholic College in 2006. There he taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history and directed the choirs until leaving in 2018 to devote himself full-time to writing and lecturing.

Today he contributes regularly to many websites and publications, including New Liturgical Movement, OnePeterFive, LifeSiteNews, Rorate Caeli, The Remnant, and Catholic Family News, and has published thirteen books, including four on traditional Catholicism: Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis (Angelico, 2014, also available in Czech, Polish, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Belarusian), Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness (Angelico, 2017), Tradition and Sanity (Angelico, 2018), and Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright: The Genius and Timeliness of the Traditional Latin Mass (Angelico, 2020). His work has been translated into at least eighteen languages.

Kwasniewski is a scholar of The Aquinas Institute in Green Bay, which is publishing the Opera Omnia of the Angelic Doctor, a Fellow of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, and a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center. He has published over a thousand articles on Thomistic thought, sacramental and liturgical theology, the history and aesthetics of music, and the social doctrine of the Church.

For news, information, article links, sacred music, and the home of Os Justi Press, visit his personal website,


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