A Headless Thing

 

Thought for today

“The day that a sizable body of Roman Catholics, clergy and laity, become convinced—rightly or wrongly—that the then occupant of the apostolic throne of Peter is not, perhaps never was, a validly elected pope, that day the presently continuous piece-by-piece deterioration of the organizational structure will be quickened into a muffled collapse of the entire organization. The already schism-split and heresy-ridden Roman Catholic body will then be a headless thing, a complicated machine exploding in all directions into fragments, because its secure casing and capstone cover were shattered.

“For the only tangible guarantee Roman Catholics have that a man has truly become Pope is the legal guarantee of valid election in a legal Conclave of legal cardinals. Their faith then assures them that through this man and his predecessors they are in historical relationship with Jesus Christ, who founded the Church, and in supernatural relationship with Christ as he now is in the Heaven of God’s glory. The legality—or validity, to use the ecclesiastical term—of a papal election depends on the exact observance, in the presence of witnesses, of the various visible and controllable procedures laid down in the rules for papal elections.

“The final outcome of the election—a validly elected pope—is attained only with the freely pronounced Accepto of the Pope-elect. This is why Cardinal Laurenti, who became Pope-elect at the Conclave of February 1922, could never be regarded as Pope: He did freely decline to accept the pontificate, having been validly elected by the due majority. No one has to accept the Petrine Office. A pope-elect who refuses to accept is not obliged to explain why he has refused it, just as a pope who resigns the office is not obliged to explain why he has resigned.

“What does the term “freely” mean when we say that the Pope-elect must freely accept or reject his election to the pontificate? Take, for example, the Conclave of 1903, which produced as Pope Pius X Giuseppe Melchiorre Cardinal Sarto. But Sarto was not the prime choice of those sixty-two Cardinal Electors. After one voting session and scrutiny of the votes, on August 1, the first day of the Conclave, it was clear that the required majority (twenty-nine in this instance; Sarto got only five votes in that session) went to Italian-born Mariano Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro. Rampolla, if allowed, would have pronounced the required Accepto, would therefore have become Pope automatically. But he was not allowed to accept the pontificate.

“At that time, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria had the privilege from the Vatican of vetoing any pope-elect he did not fancy. Rampolla he did not fancy—but the majority of Cardinal Electors never found out in their lifetime why it was so. The ostensible reason given for the Emperor’s veto was Rampolla’s record of political opposition to Austria and his support of France. So, on August 2, the Polish-born Jan Cardinal Puzyna of Austria-Hungary stood up in the Conclave and announced the Emperor’s veto on Rampolla. Rampolla and the other Cardinal Electors bowed to the Austrian veto, because he and all the cardinals knew exactly what damage the persnickety Franz Joseph could cause the Churchmen in Central Europe, where the domains of the Austro-Hungarian empire stretched.

“In that sense, Rampolla’s Non accepto was free. He and the other cardinals freely accepted the existence of that veto. But insofar as the Emperor’s veto impeded the cardinals’ having the pope they freely chose, and impeded Rampolla from acceding to their overwhelming wish, neither they nor he was free. Yet no one then or since would hold that Rampolla was the real Pope, that Sarto-—the Pope-elect produced by a later session of voting and scrutiny—was not validly Pope.

“It was only in subsequent years that the true motive for Franz Joseph’s veto was revealed. The Emperor was privy to a very closely held secret: Cardinal Rampolla had joined the Lodge of Freemasons. Without any doubt, the Emperor had the right to veto a papal candidate he did not fancy. Rampolla and the Electors bowed to the exercise of that privilege.

“But an entirely different situation would arise if a pope-elect were prevented from accepting the papacy by someone who had no right to do so, someone who threatened ruin and death to a pope-elect’s reputation and family and person if he accepted his election as pope. Such a threat would be unjust, would be an undue limitation on the freedom of the Cardinal Electors. In that instance, the Pope-Elect would be in no way free. Unjust force and pressure would rob him of his freedom and would rob the Church of its validly elected Pope.

“But very tortuous questions can thus arise. Nowadays, for instance, there is no state power or individual to whom the Holy See has granted a formal veto power on popes-elect. There is, however, a different category of persons outside the Conclave that the Holy See recognizes as having a legitimate interest in the actual identity of the new Pope. The Cardinal Electors entering a Conclave today are aware of which papal candidate is persona non grata to which interested outside party. Veto it is not, in the old formal sense; yet the likes and dislikes of such outside parties are certainly taken into account. And, therefore, at least theoretically, the situation can arise in which a duly elected candidate for the pontificate is vetoed.

“In such a case—and it is not as theoretical as it would sound—very puzzling questions would emerge concerning the election of a second pope-elect in the same Conclave. Those questionings could blossom into a persuasion that the second election was invalid, that indeed the freedom of the Electors had been unduly manacled, and that the Church had been hoodwinked, and that the valid Pope-Elect had been sidetracked. If such a persuasion was shared by a sizable body of Roman Catholics, the consequences could be dire for Church unity.

“The same catastrophe of disintegration would desolate the Roman Catholic institutional organization—this is the second dreadful possibility—if a sizable body of Roman Catholic clergy and laity became convinced, rightly or wrongly, that the then occupant of the Throne of Peter was elected quite validly but over time had become heretical, and was actually collaborating, actively or passively, in the piece-by-piece dismemberment of the sacred Petrine Office and its ministerial organization. For a pope who became a heretic would cease to be pope. In such a situation, the principal cause of disintegration would be the lack of any authoritative voice in the Church structure by which Catholics would be assured authoritatively that their Pope had or had not fallen into heresy.

“For there is no official mechanism within the structure of the Church that is authorized to pass judgment on pope and papacy.  Indeed, the Church’s official code of ecclesiastical law, canon law, expressly denies to anyone the right or duty of passing official judgment on pope or papacy.

“Only once so far in this century did a situation arise when a pope, Paul VI, did contemplate and take the first steps along a course of action that some of his closest advisers throught would have entailed certain heresy. This arose because of the way in which Paul VI originally proposed to change the age-old and all-important ceremony of the Roman Mass. His first version of a new Mass ceremony, those advisers argued, if ever it had been imposed and enforced throughout the Church Universal, would effectively have done away with those elements of the ceremony that were and still today are dogmatically essential to the successful confection of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of His death.

“At least two cardinals, Ottaviani and Bacci, made it clear privately to Pope Paul VI and publicly to third parties that if he went ahead with his plans for the new Mass ceremony, they would not hesitate to denounce him publicly to the whole Church as a heretic and as deposed from the Throne of Peter. They were prepared to denounce his new Mass ceremony as reeking of heresy. The faithful would thereby have been released from all allegiance and obedience to Pope Paul VI. He would have ceased to be pope.

“In the event, Pope Paul, under such a dire threat from two prestigious cardinals, retreated from his original proposal; and the Church was spared a harrowing experience. But it is to be noted that neither Ottaviani nor Bacci nor any of the other Churchmen involved had any juridical right to make the threat or to carry it out. The mere threat frightened Paul VI into retreat; by modifying his first version of the new Mass in order to eliminate the most glaringly offensive elements of his original text, and by counterthreatening Cardinal Ottaviani with deprivation of the Sacraments, he escaped official censure at the hands of his Vatican colleagues. That 1967 crisis was kept under Vatican wraps.

“Thus a great searing and divisive rift could split Church members, some siding with the Pope, others declaring him invalidated by his alleged heresy. Inevitably, at least two Church bodies would emerge, each contesting the other, each claiming to be orthodox. Whether an attempt to elect a new (and supposedly orthodox) pope would be made by those who believed the original Pope to be heretical, or whether solid segments of the Catholic body would detach themselves from obedience to the accused Pope, the effect—disintegration—would be a wholesale loss of faith in the papacy, resulting in abandonment of Catholic religious practice and observance of Catholic moral precepts, which would be followed by the adoption of the “cafeteria” religion John Paul II has derided, the “pick-and-choose” Catholicism of many millions of Catholics today in North America and throughout the Western world.

“There is one other possible development within the Roman Catholic body that, if unchecked, could shatter its unity of structure. Briefly, this is the Conclave election of a papal candidate whose policy would be to dissolve the unity and change the structure of the Roman Catholic Church by simply abandoning the exercise of the Petrine Office and privilege on which the structural unity of the Church is built as a visible body and by disassociating the approximately four thousand bishops of the Church from their collegial submission to the papacy—the principle on which they have been, up to now, structured. All this would mean a new function for the Bishop of Rome, and not the traditional one; it would also entail a new relationship of all bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, to each other.”

The above quote was written by Father Malachi Martin in the late 1980’s and published in his book, The Keys of this Blood in 1990. I post it today as a reminder that the speculation which is now causing such an uproar is ignoring several basic facts of our situation and I believe, is playing right into this pope’s hands.  Consider carefully:

“For there is no official mechanism within the structure of the Church that is authorized to pass judgment on pope and papacy.  Indeed, the Church’s official code of ecclesiastical law, canon law, expressly denies to anyone the right or duty of passing official judgment on pope or papacy.”

If the persons now so busily stirring up the faithful succeed in their efforts, and get a good groundswell of public opinion going, and the faithful rise up and demand “something must be done” like the good revolutionaries they are becoming, what do you think will happen? Is there anyone today who has prayerfully considered what Our Lord Jesus Christ would think of this?

The error in all this stems from not recognising that this crisis is the spiritual chastisement Our Lady came to warn us of. She gave us the remedy, which I have spoken of often. But her message is treated with indifference, even by those who repeat it as their justification for their own plans, which in no way resemble what Our Lady of the Rosary requested.

Once again, no matter how many times you shout that Benedict’s resignation was forced, that the St. Gallen/Lavender Mafia rigged the election, that Bergoglio is a heretic, all these hysterics will achieve is to play into the destroyer pope’s hands. He wants to change the church irreversibly as he and his supporteers have stated numerous times.

We have been given the most simple and effective means for countering this pope’s destructive intentions. But who will follow Our Lady? To be clear: I am not proposing that we engage in a form of catacombism, that is, of withdrawing to a pacifism or ghettoism.

Not at all. I am only reminding traditional Catholics that this is a spiritual battle first and foremost. And the victory has already been given to the Immaculata. By her, we will win. Obeying her, we shall not fail.

At this point, I am so thoroughly disgusted with so-called traditional Catholics, so heartbroken.  This is truly the power of darkness.

And this chastisement will not pass until sufficient reparation is made. Do what you will, you cannot correct arrogant disobedience with anything other than humility and obedience, a humble and contrite heart. We must make reparation, not seek our own wills.

Return to Fatima. Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him.

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!