Our Lepanto Moment: The Splash Heard
|Whom do you serve, Pope Francis? Missionaries tell us that, in the Amazon, Pachamama is worshiped above Jesus and Mary. Four exorcists warn that “These events [honoring and worshiping idols in Rome] bring home the reality that we are in spiritual warfare and that warfare is happening within the Church itself.”|
When Alexander Tschugguel traveled from Austria to Rome to attend a conference prior to the Amazon Synod, he had no notion of making a big splash in the Catholic World. But when he saw the Pachamama idols desecrating the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, the 26-year-old felt he had to act. He told his wife he thought he should remove the idols. She advised him to consult a priest. Is it morally licit? They prayed many rosaries and he asked a trusted priest. “May I remove Pachamama from the church?” The priest’s swift reply? “You may not do it; you must do it!” And so he did. Splash!
The ensuing uproar revealed the deep divide in the Church and exposed the goals of those behind the Amazon synod. The liberation theology gurus, the Protest-minded liberals seeking to enthrone the spirit of the world, the wolves in roman collars – they all used the synod to foment revolution in the Church, a revolution aimed at globalism, religious syncretism, and moral relativism. But worse than that, they invited Satan into the Vatican, a move that inspired four exorcists and many others to call for atonement and reconsecration of churches.
Rather than wring our hands like the climate change hysterics (as if the Church can ever be destroyed even if the planet can be); we must pray for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, analyze the situation realistically, and consider well what we, as laity, can do effectively to fight heresy and apostasy coming from many in the magisterium.
Let’s start with what I’ll call the litany of lament. These evils didn’t begin with Francis; they began in the Garden of Eden. Satan established a firm foothold in the world when our first parents shifted their allegiance (temporarily) from God to him. They destroyed our birthright and left us a legacy of shadowed intellects and weak wills. To combat that, we desperately need the sacraments, especially Confession and the Eucharist. That is the first priority for living an authentic Catholic life. If I don’t daily examine my conscience, confess regularly, and receive the Eucharist as often as possible to make my body the literal Body of Christ, I’m doomed to failure from the start.
Among the laments would certainly be the biggies: the Arian heresy, the Protestant Reformation, Islam’s invasion of the West, the evil Enlightenment philosophy resulting in the barbaric French Revolution and the massacre of Catholics in the Vendee, the grisly genocides of the 20th century, the rise of modernism (the heresy of all heresies), and our own age of denial, not only of God, but of truth and reality itself.In this article, I’m going to focus on the laments caused by Pope Francis, although the rot is long-standing! At first I had great hope seeing the pope’s apparent humility when he eschewed pomp for a simpler life in Rome. The release of the encyclical Lumen Fidei, called the “four-handed encyclical,” appeared to promise continuity with the papacy of Benedict who wrote most of it. Evangelii Gaudium, Francis’ first papal exhortation released a few months later outlined the “new evangelization,” which also held promise, although it too was mostly penned by Benedict. All in all, things appeared to start well. Francis affirmed truths of the faith. He talked about mercy. He smiled a lot. He kissed a lot of babies.
But then the smoke of Satan, ambiguity and confusion which never come from Christ, billowed into the sanctuary. Francis made his famous “who am I to judge” statement about homosexuality. He downplayed the intrinsic moral evils of abortion, contraception, and sodomy and replaced them with issues which involve prudential judgment: integral ecology, sustainable development, the economy, and mass migration. No scientist or economist himself, the pope’s opinions were treated as infallible by liberal media led by cafeteria Catholics like Michael Sean Winters and Austen Ivereigh. Many pope worshipers claimed those who disagreed with papal novelties excommunicated themselves or were in schism because Francis was “elected by the Holy Spirit,” a belief with no basis in Catholic doctrine.
The pope’s ridicule of anyone who disagreed with him, or loved the traditional Latin Mass, or expressed piety by sending him a spiritual bouquet, or welcomed a large family sent shock waves through the faithful, at least those paying attention. Among the clergy who expressed concern as confusion spread were cardinals, bishops, and priests. Heads of Vatican dicasteries and other Church leaders who spoke out were removed from their positions and replaced with notorious cheerleaders for the homosexual and liberal agendas. Praising himself as open and transparent and willing to be questioned, Francis refused to answer the dubia about Amoris Laetitia or many other issues requiring papal clarity. The dubia questions were simple. Has the perennial teaching regarding the indissolubility of marriage changed? May those in irregular unions receive Communion? ...........Cricket time!
Despite his silence, the pope’s actions, especially his affirmation of the Argentina bishops’ letter allowing those in irregular unions to receive Communion, made it crystal clear where he stands. Francis also repeatedly ignored calls for clarification about bombshells dropped by atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari. After every interview, whether Scalfari said the pope doesn’t believe in the devil or the pope said Jesus Christ was not divine, etc., Vatican mouthpieces responded that Scalfari doesn’t keep notes and it’s “his interpretation.” There is, however, never a correction of error or affirmation of Church doctrine. More confusion! Since the pope continues to engage with Sclafari, one must ask, is the confusion deliberate? Frankly, I believe it is. Keep everyone stirred up. Call those who fight the gay agenda Nazis and your critics “rigid Pharisees.” And I haven’t even touched on the notorious airplane interviews which continue to wreak havoc.
Now we come to 2019 which may mark the tipping point in the crisis. I’ll just mention three troubling events of the past year: the Abu Dhabi statement in February, the airplane press conference on the flight from Madagascar in September when the pope told us to obey the United Nations and that he’s not afraid of schism, and, finally, the shockingly scandalous Amazon Synod in October which I wrote about last issue before it began. Many sleeping Catholics are waking up and recognizing the truth of what Alexander Tschugguel described in several talks in the U.S. about the “clear agenda” coming out of Rome which is anything but orthodox.
The Abu Dhabi declaration signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb on February 4th was mostly innocuous. But one paragraph set off shock waves:
Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept.
There are a number of things wrong with this paragraph, but I’ll focus primarily on the sentence (in bold) that raised the red flag for many clerics and lay experts. God does NOT will false religions! When Bishop Athanasius Schneider asked the pope to clarify, Francis said, “You can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God.” But no correction came so the error remains that God actively wills religious diversity, a syncretism totally at odds with the gospel. It implies that worship of Buddha, Allah, Gaia, Jupiter, and even Pachamama are “willed by God.” It’s also problematic to say it’s wrong to impose a culture “that others do not accept.” That reasoning leads to the logical conclusion that we should not fight abortion, contraception, human slavery, or even human sacrifice all of which are embraced today in certain cultures (including our own). All laws involve imposing and forcing people to live by certain cultural norms whether they agree with them or not! To do otherwise leads to anarchy and chaos.
The same syncretism appeared repeatedly during the Amazon Synod when worship of idols was dismissed as no big deal. The primary writer of the scandalous working document for the synod, Fr. Pablo Suess, in an interview with Vatican News, verbally shrugged when asked about the pagan ceremony in the garden: “so what. Even if it would have been a pagan rite, then it is nevertheless a pagan worship of God.” Really? What god exactly? Moloch, perhaps, to whom the pagans and even the Israelites fed their children? According to missionaries, child sacrifice continues in the Amazon. Is their human sacrifice, “nevertheless a pagan worship of God” acceptable and willed by Him? Anyone with an ounce of logical sense, knows such statements and beliefs to be utterly false and utterly evil!
But syncretism is one of the hallmarks of this papacy. Enshrining Martin Luther at the Vatican and celebrating him as a “reformer” sent a strong message of indifferentism as did telling a teenager not to evangelize her friends. Francis condemns “proselytizing” without ever explaining what that means or offering a better way to obey Christ’s Great Mission to baptize the whole world in His name. But it appears Francis isn’t really interested in converting the world. In fact, his allies oppose it. Bishop Erwin Kräutler, who played a major role at the recent synod, brags that he never has and never will baptize an indigenous person in the Amazon. Is that even Catholic? Does Francis agree? It seems so.
But we saw the apex of syncretism at the Synod when paganism was incorporated into every ceremony from the worship of Pachamama in the Vatican gardens to parading her in honor during the Stations of the Cross to the final Mass. While the naked statues were absent from Mass, the goddess, in the form of a bowl of earth (which included a red flower, Pachamama’s favorite color) was placed on the altar. Not only was it a liturgical abuse; it was blasphemy. Ecumenical meetings and statements by this papacy also spread confusion and obstruct the truth that the Catholic Church is the one, true Church founded by Jesus Christ.
But let’s move on to the papal press conference on the plane returning from Africa and Madagascar. Jean Luc Mootoosamy (Radio One, Mauritius) asked the pope about the political situation in the Chagas Islands where the British maintain a military base and are being asked to leave. Here’s how the pope responded:
I would like to repeat the doctrine of the Church, that international organizations, when we understand we give them the ability to judge internationally. We think for example to the international court of AJA, and many times also the United Nations, when they speak. If we are a humanity we should obey. It is true that things do not always seem right for all humanity, they are right for our pockets, but you should obey international institutions, the United Nations was created for this, the international courts were created [for this]. Because when there is an internal fight between countries it should be resolved as civilized brothers.
Where, pray tell, is the “doctrine” saying “we should obey” the U.N. and other international organizations? Social doctrine of the Church stresses subsidiarity: respect for the individual, the family, and the sovereignty of nations. With regard to international organizations, The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (2004) reads:
In general, the Church's social doctrine views positively the role of inter-governmental organizations... However, it has reservations when they address problems incorrectly. ...441. Concern for an ordered and peaceful coexistence within the human family prompts the Magisterium to insist on the need to establish “some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all and endowed with effective power to safeguard, on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights”. ....[I]t is essential that such an authority arise from mutual agreement and that it not be imposed, nor must it be understood as a kind of “global super-State”.Political authority exercised at the level of the international community must be regulated by law, ordered to the common good and respectful of the principle of subsidiarity. “The public authority of the world community is not intended to limit the sphere of action of the public authority of the individual political community, much less to take its place. On the contrary, its purpose is to create, on a world basis, an environment in which the public authorities of each political community, their citizens and intermediate associations can carry out their tasks, fulfil their duties and exercise their rights with greater security”.
Is this the “doctrine” requiring us to “obey the United Nations,” a “global super-State” working for abortion population control, and gender fluidity? Austin Ruse, president of the watchdog group C-FAM (Center for Family and Human Rights), warns that the U.N. “seeks to harm three sacred sovereignties: the sovereignty of the state, the sovereignty of the Church, and the sovereignty of the family.” The U.N. introduces many intrinsic moral evils into international law. It resembles the monstrous bureaucracy in C.S. Lewis’ novel, That Hideous Strength. For the pope to say, “we should obey” the U.N. and claim that Church doctrine demands it is outrageous!
On the same flight the pope said he doesn’t fear schism:
A schism is always an elite condition of an ideology separated from doctrine. An ideology may be right, but that enters into doctrine and separates and becomes 'doctrine' in quotes, but for a time. For this, I pray that there are no schisms. But I am not afraid... But this is one of the results of Vatican II. It is not from this Pope or from another Pope or that other pope. For example, the social things that I say are the same that John Paul II said, the same. I copy him. "But the Pope is very communistic, huh?" Ideologies and doctrine enter, and when the doctrine strays into ideology, there is the possibility of schism.
The pope’s incoherent comment was hard to follow, but for Francis to claim he “copies” Pope John Paul II, who made defense of the unborn and the culture of life central, is patently ridiculous! And if anyone follows an “elite condition of an ideology separated from doctrine” it is our current pontiff. He paraded that ideology, based on liberation theology and “integral ecology,” in rainbow colors and pagan worship at the Amazon Synod. What followed, at the recent meeting of the U.S. bishops, was a call from the apostolic nuncio, Christophe Pierre, for the bishops to measure “to what extent we and our local churches have received the magisterium of Pope Francis,” a puzzling statement that seems to imply the pope is the sole arbiter of magisterial doctrine. The nuncio went on to cite two controversial Francis documents:
The pastoral thrust of this pontificate must reach the American people, especially as families continue to demand of dioceses and parishes the accompaniment and vision of Amoris Laetitia. Other parts of the magisterium under Francis have been well received by young people....Here I think about the Holy Father’s message about our common home and the environment articulated in Laudato Si.... A communion with the Holy Father can be expressed in the concrete actions we take to make his magisterium better known among our people.
I was so disturbed by the term, “Francis Magisterium,” that I researched the meaning of the word and posted an article on the Les Femmes blog. Is this a new strategy to label Francis’ critics “traitors”? Will we next hear that the faithful who fail to “receive the Francis magisterium” are heretics and schismatics? Pierre’s claim that the Francis magisterium is “well received by young people” is laughable! Bishop Robert Barron’s presentation to the bishops later in the week cited the appalling statistic that eight out of ten young people abandon the faith by age 23, most to become “nones.”
We are, indeed, at a Lepanto moment in the Church; but instead of facing an enemy outside, the fleet of our modern Holy League carries enemies on board drilling holes in the vessels of those who defend the faith. Their own flagship sails under the U.N. logo with the image of Pachamama on its mainsail. Our Lord and Our Lady are rarely to be seen. The enemy has replaced the crucifix with a stang and the Ave Maria with hymns to Mother Earth.
In interviews about throwing Pachamama in the Tiber, an act faithful Catholics saw as cleansing the temple, Alexander Tschugguel described the nature of the fight, both its religious and political aspects. The religious aspect seeks changes in “battles that are already won,” e.g., ordaining women which is impossible. The political aspect works for globalism and one-world government. The Amazon Synod wasn’t just about the Amazon but about creating a new worldwide Church with an Amazonian face. Speaking with Georges Buscemi of the Quebec Life Coalition, Alexander explained:
The church with an Amazonian face is now to kneel at everything...it does not matter what you believe...it doesn’t matter which religion you are. Everything is good, everything is nice. Jesus was a very nice person, kind of a hippie. That’s not how I think. Jesus came to earth, sacrificed himself for us, took away our sins, and then went up to heaven.... He gave us His holy Mother.... Either you believe in what Jesus told us or you think Jesus only is a story, a fairy tale person. I believe in what Jesus told us because I see that whenever you follow him, He’s always for the good. If you follow Christ, it’s never bad. Nothing bad can happen.... Of course, you can suffer, but there’s nothing that can destroy your soul and your spirit.... To abolish that just in order to serve now the new one world globalism...is wrong and the Catholic Church is not on earth to do that.
In other interviews Alexander emphasized that the United States is seen as a light to Europe because they lack our freedom of speech. Like Canada, many countries in Europe have draconian laws that persecute hate speech. Afraid to lose friends and their livelihood, people hide their beliefs, which magnifies the courage of this new Don John from Austria. He recently began the St. Boniface Institute with the mission:
to rally those who do not want to bow down to ‘Mother Earth’, those who understand that it is the mission of the Church to show us the way to save our souls and to live as disciples of Christ, rather than to participate in secular politics and to adulterate the teachings of Our Lord for fear of offending the exponents of the current zeitgeist. No to paganism in the Church! No to the globalist agenda in the Church! No to the ongoing destruction from within!”
The Church Militant has a special challenge today: to fight within the Church like the saints who fought the Arian heresy. We must increase our prayer and sacrifice and speak and live the truth with boldness and charity. Like Don John of Austria, immortalized in G.K. Chesterton’s poem Lepanto, Alexander Tschuguell shows how laity must respond to the challenges of our own Lepanto moment - with swift action motivated by love of Christ and His Church. Viva Cristo Rey!