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Pope Francis during the global rosary for peace, May 31, 2022, in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.Vatican News

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has attacked “traditionalists” in the Church, saying that the “current problem in the Church is precisely the non-acceptance of the [Second Vatican] council.”

In a wide-ranging interview with Jesuit magazines held on May 19, but published June 14, Pope Francis spoke on the role of the Jesuit order in the Church today and the Russia-Ukraine war, but chiefly attacked “restorationism,” which he said had “come to gag the Council.”

Attack on ‘restorers’ who don’t ‘accept’ Vatican II

Referring to the Second Vatican Council as the point from which to base evangelization efforts, Francis said that “it is very difficult to see spiritual renewal using old-fashioned criteria.” Instead of such “old-fashioned” methods, he praised the “movements, groups, new bishops who remember that there is a Council behind them.”

“Because the Council that some pastors remember best is that of Trent,” Francis complained.

Pope Francis meeting with editors (both lay and clerical) of Jesuit-run magazines in May 19.

“Restorationism has come to gag the Council,” he said, before addressing the American Church in particular. “The number of groups of ‘restorers’ – for example, in the United States there are many – is significant.”

Francis mentioned an un-named Argentine bishop who told the Pope “he had been asked to administer a diocese that had fallen into the hands of these ‘restorers’,” saying that “they had never accepted the Council.”

Pope Francis critiqued the “ideas, behaviors” which came from the groups of “restorers,” advising the assembled Jesuits that the Council must be more heavily promoted in order to be accepted:

There are ideas, behaviors that arise from a restorationism that basically did not accept the Council. The problem is precisely this: in some contexts the Council has not yet been accepted. It is also true that it takes a century for a Council to take root. We still have forty years to make it take root, then!

RELATED: Pope Francis appoints pro-LGBT bishop to replace faithful Phoenix prelate

‘Traditionalists’ are making trouble in the Church 

Pope Francis cited the account of progressive Jesuit Superior General Pedro Arrupe, who led the Jesuits from 1965 – 1983 and was instrumental in promoting the “spirit” of the Second Vatican Council in the order despite opposition from what Francis called a “conservative reaction” against the “prophetic voice of Arrupe” from other Jesuits.

“Today for us that General is a saint, but he had to endure many attacks,” said Francis, who recounted the example of the Jesuit father in order to tell the assembled Jesuit editors “what the post-conciliar period was like” with regard to pushback from “conservatives” against progressives promoting the post-Conciliar teaching.

“This is happening again, especially with the traditionalists,” said Francis. “That is why it is important to save these figures who defended the Council and fidelity to the pope.”

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Bishop Robert McElroy (right) is to be made a cardinal in August, despite his inaction on allegations against notorious ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

We all have a responsibility to speak up when serious wrongs are being brought to our attention, but McElroy didn't.

SIGN this petition to demand Pope Francis not reward a bishop who failed to report allegations against McCarrick

The Bishop of San Diego was told about serious sexual wrongdoing by McCarrick in 2016 when psychotherapist Richard Sipe, who had interviewed numerous victims of McCarrick, sent him a detailed letter, but McElroy sat on that information and is now being made a cardinal.

Appointing him to the College of Cardinals is not only an insult to those who suffered clerical sex-abuse, but also to those who are intent on ridding the Church of such evil.

This decision to make McElroy a cardinal must be reversed, and the only way to make that happen is with pressure from the laity.

SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the appointment of Bishop McElroy to the College of Cardinals

Sipe told McElory that numerous seminarians and priests reported sexual advances and activity by McCarrick in a letter that also detailed extensive abuse by other clerics.

"I have interviewed twelve seminarians and priests who attest to propositions, harassment, or sex with McCarrick," the psychotherapist told McElroy in the 2016 letter, adding: "None so far has found the ability to speak openly at the risk of reputation and retaliation."

McElroy, who claims there was no corroborating evidence, could have brought the allegations to the pope, or even to the Papal Nuncio, but instead ended the correspondence with Sipe, himself a clerical sex-abuse victim.

It would take another year for the truth about McCarrick to slowly emerge in public.

SIGN the petition to stop Bishop McElroy being elevated to the College of Cardinals

Turning a blind eye to serious allegations of sexual wrongdoing is reprehensible in any context, but particularly when a bishop, a shepherd of souls, does so.  

He also supports giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, contrary to the Church's teaching, while he has concelebrated LGBT Masses as bishop and claimed Fr. James Martin's attempt to normalize the LGBT ideology is "fully consonant with Catholic teaching".

The sad truth is that McElroy is not fit to continue as a bishop, let alone become a cardinal.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the rot that continues to tarnish Christ's Church. 

We must do what we can to clean up this mess now.

More Information: 

Bishop McElroy was warned about McCarrick - LifeSiteNews

Pope announces 21 new cardinals, including McElroy - LifeSiteNews

Photo: Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Robert McElroy (Lisa Bourne/LifeSiteNews & Diocese of San Diego/YouTube)


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At the close of his meeting with the Jesuit magazine editors, Pope Francis repeated his open attack on traditionalists, saying: “Sorry if I went on too long, but I wanted to underline the post-Council and Arrupe issues because the current problem of the Church is precisely the non-acceptance of the Council.”

The Pope’s newly-released interview comes days after he criticized the Sicilian bishops for their use of “grandma’s lace” in the liturgy, since it is “sixty years after the Council.”

“It’s good to pay homage to grandma, but it’s better to celebrate mother, holy mother Church, and how mother Church wants to be celebrated,” he said. “Let insularity not prevent the true liturgical reform that the Council sent forward,” he added, doubling down.

In comments to LifeSiteNews, U.K. author and catechist Deacon Nick Donnelly responded to the Pope’s remarks, saying that “Traditionalist Catholics are faithful to the true Council, not to the heterodox ‘spirit of the council’ that has been foisted on the Church, especially by the Jesuits.”

Deacon Donnelly wrote that “traditional Catholics uphold the importance Latin and Gregorian Chant to the worship of God (SC 36 & 116); we teach the truth that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church (LG 14); we warn that atheism is an evil that must be rejected ‘root and branch’ (GS 21), we defend the sacrament of marriage from the plague of divorce and cohabitation (GS 47).”

Comparing this to the pontiff’s own actions, Donnelly added that “Pope Francis can’t say the same with his antipathy towards Latin, his religious indifferentism, his enthusiasm towards atheism, his acceptance of divorce and cohabitation. Before talking about fidelity to the Council, he needs to look in the mirror.”

Liturgical scholar Matthew Hazell also expressed concern over the pope’s interview, writing “Vatican II will be *made* to take root, no matter how much pastoral damage it causes!”

German Synodal Way and Russia’s war with Ukraine

While attacking “traditionalists,” Pope Francis appeared to shy away from supporting Germany’s Synodal Way, which a number of cardinals and bishops have warned is leading to “schism.”

Father Stefan Kiechle of Stimmen der Zeit from Germany asked Pope Francis about the Germany Synodal Way, which he said that while “some think is heretical … in reality it is very close to real life.” Francis replied by saying that he had told Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, that “In Germany there is a very good Evangelical Church. We don’t need two.”

READ: Abp. Viganò confirms Cdl. Ratzinger’s former secretary for 19 years was homosexual

Francis also referenced the Diocese of Cologne, the subject of recent controversy over Cardinal Rainer Woellki’s handling of sex abuse reports. He compared the “conflict” in the diocese to alleged “conflict” in the Diocese of Arecibo in Puerto Rico, whose popular, conservative bishop was recently dismissed by the Holy See, likely due to his opposition to COVID-19 injection mandates.

“I can think of one where the conflict has not yet ended: Arecibo in Puerto Rico, has been in conflict for years,” he said. “There are many dioceses like that.”

The 85-year-old Pontiff also repeated his analysis of the Russia-Ukraine war which he first made in a May 3 interview with Corriere Della Sera. Recalling the words of an un-named head of state, Francis said that NATO was “barking at the gates of Russia. They do not understand that the Russians are imperialists and will allow no foreign power to approach them.”

Mentioning the global arms trade, Francis added that “we do not see the whole drama unfolding behind this war, which was perhaps somehow either provoked or not prevented.”


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