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VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) When asked in a recent interview about the agenda and objectives of his pontificate, Pope Francis said he had “carried out the things that were asked,” referring to discussions among the cardinals at their “pre-Conclave meetings.”
“I picked up everything that we the Cardinals had said at the pre-Conclave meetings,” the pontiff related, “the things we believed the new Pope should do. Then, we spoke of the things that needed to be changed, the issues to tackle. I carried out the things that were asked then. I do not think there was anything original of mine. I set in motion what we all had requested.”
The comments about the conclave were made in an interview with Argentina’s national news agency Télam. Then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was present at the pre-conclave meetings the Pope mentioned, though McCarrick was too old to vote in the conclave itself. Present also was Cardinal Walter Casper, the outspoken advocate of what later appeared in Amoris Laetitia.
From Amoris Laetitia to Pachamama – A legacy riddled with scandal
In order to understand something of what might be meant by “the things that were asked then” in those pre-conclave meetings, it may be helpful to recall some of the notable happenings that have taken place during the current pontificate that have thrown the Church into serious crisis.
In 2016, Pope Francis published the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, in which he proposed that the divorced and remarried could be admitted to Holy Communion without the obligation to live in continence, contrary to the constant teaching and discipline of the Church, expressed by Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio. When four cardinals formally asked for clarification on how this teaching was compatible with several fundamental revealed doctrines concerning the moral life, the life of grace, the sacraments of Marriage, Confession, and the Eucharist, as well as the teachings of Christ in the Gospel, they were met with utter silence from the Pope.
Then in 2018, Pope Francis changed the Catechism of the Catholic Church on capital punishment, in which the universal magisterial teaching of the Church that it is always just for the State to have recourse to capital punishment for an irreparable and commensurate crime was set aside and replaced by the claim that capital punishment was “inadmissible” and “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”
Also in 2018, through Cardinal Parolin the Pope agreed to the Vatican-Beijing deal that handed over to the Chinese government, run by the Chinese Communist Party, the power to nominate the bishops of the Chinese “Catholic” Church, contrary to the current Code of Canon Law and the stance of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong denounced the deal as a complete betrayal of the underground Catholic Church in China, which has suffered for decades under persecution from the atheistic communist government of Beijing. The last time Cardinal Zen traveled to Rome for a meeting with the Pope, he was denied an audience.
In 2019, the McCarrick scandal revealed many levels of corruption within the episcopacy, including cover-up by Pope Francis himself. The world summit of bishops in Rome that was subsequently called to address the problems in the Church that were uncovered by the McCarrick scandal, itself headed by pro-LGBTQ Fr. James Martin, refused to name McCarrick’s predominant crime: homosexual adult rape—the rape of priests and seminarians who were under his episcopal authority. Following the scandal and laicization of the Cardinal, the American bishops formally requested that Rome release the full dossier on McCarrick, in particular revealing which episcopal appointments were due to McCarrick’s influence within the US and Rome. When the Vatican finally released its report, it was a retracted document that failed to make known what the American bishops had specifically requested, leaving many to wonder whether the “Lavander mafia” within the episcopacy and in Rome had kept uncomfortable facts from being published.
Then there was the 2019 Amazonian Synod with its attendant scandals. First, there was the worship of the Pachamama, the pagan goddess of fertility who demands child sacrifice, whose cult is still practiced within the Andes of South America, whose name literally means “mother earth.” The idolatry took place in the Vatican Gardens in the presence of Pope Francis during a tree-planting ceremony, in which pagan shamans led participants in a dance around the statue, then offered incense, knelt, and bowed down to the ground in homage. The statue was subsequently carried in procession during a public praying of the Stations of the Cross in Rome, was given a place of prominence in the official conference hall for the Synod Fathers, and copies were placed at the altars of Santa Maria in Transpontina, from which they were removed by Austrian Alexader Tschugguel and thrown in the Tiber River in protest against the idolatry. Pope Francis was called to public repentance by 100 priests and lay scholars, to which no response was ever made.
Then the Amazonian Synod raised the question of allowing married priests and women priests within the Church. This prompted Cardinal Sarah to write the book From the Depths of Our Hearts, Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church, co-authored by Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, defending the apostolic practice of the Roman Church of only admitting celibate men to the priesthood, in imitation of Christ, who lived chaste celibacy, and who chose only men on whom to confer the dignity of the ordained priesthood.
In 2020, when the question of homosexual civil unions came up in Italy, the Pope lent his support to it, saying he had always supported civil protection for homosexual couples, even when he was a bishop in Argentina. “What we have to create is a civil union law,” the Pope said at the time. “That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
Now there is the ongoing Synod on Synodality, in which the German episcopacy and clergy have gone uncorrected by Rome in their wholesale public rejection of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and sexual moral issues.
Again, there is the new environmental paganism afforded by the Pope’s Laudato Si, according to which a new category of “sins against the earth” has been introduced into moral theology. Such “sins” in turn give rise to an apparent need for “environmental conversion” and “reparation to the earth.” These at best are pious euphemisms for accepting the climate-change propaganda of globalists who include in their agenda abortion and population control; at worst they are an outright pagan divinization of nature. Pope Francis said in his interview with Télam that Laudato Si was planned to be written for the Paris climate conference, claiming “nature is paying us back” for “slapping” it.
Earlier this year the structure of the Roman Curia was changed. Presently all offices have equal legal authority, whereas previously the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith enjoyed preeminence. Women have also been admitted to positions of governance within the Curia, contrary to John Paul II’s insistence that such roles be held by clerics.
Regarding the matter of granting or refusing Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, last year the Pope reportedly encouraged pro-abortion President Joe Biden to continue receiving Communion. This past Wednesday at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi flaunted her disregard for the instructions of her own diocesan bishop, Archbishop Cordelione, that she was not to approach or be admitted to Communion because of her outspoken support of abortion. Pelosi received Communion at a Mass presided over by Pope Francis, immediately after a personal audience with the Pope. The gesture is seen by some as not only a slight to Cordelione, but also as something of a response on the part of the Vatican to the June 24 landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade by the United States Supreme Court, a decision Pelosi has vowed to fight, declaring again her intentions to push for a federal law allowing unrestricted abortions throughout the US.
Finally, with the publication of Traditionis Custodes last year, the Pope ushered in a new crisis for Catholics who love the Traditional Latin Mass, both priests and laymen. The severity of the restrictions on the celebration of the ancient form of the Roman Rite, concerning which Pope Francis doubled down just this week, has been justified in the name of a faithful implementation of Vatican II and its liturgical documents, while leveling heavy accusations of “disunity” and “rigidity” against those who wish to worship God in the form of the Catholic liturgy handed on by their fathers in the faith for two millennia.
Much has happened in the pontificate of Pope Francis. It may be chilling to think that this was all part of a “pre-Conclave” plan.