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by Christopher A. Ferrara
November 14, 2016

Readers of Fatima Perspectives will be aware of the extent to which the words and deeds of Pope Francis have dominated this space for at least the past two years. The reasons for this should be obvious:

First, at the heart of every great crisis in the Church, such as the one we are now experiencing, stands a Pope who is either irresolute (e.g. Pope Liberius during the Arian crisis) or positively harmful to the Church’s common good (e.g. Pope Urban VI during the Great Western Schism). These great crises cannot be understood without reference to the Pope’s role in them.

Second, the office of the papacy stands at the heart of the Message of Fatima. It is the Pope alone who has the power, conceded by Heaven, to end the current crisis by carrying out the definitive consecration of Russia. The failure of successive Popes to do so explains the crisis we now endure.

Third, Pope Bergoglio, unlike any Pope before him, is clearly intent on remaking the Church according to the “dream” he enunciated in his personal manifesto Evangelii Gaudium:

“I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation….

“More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: ‘Give them something to eat’ (Mk 6:37).”

The sheer ambition and audacity of these words is breathtaking. No Pope has ever spoken in such disparaging terms of virtually everything that has been handed down in the Church in terms of ecclesiastical tradition. The results of these unbelievably reckless sentiments in practice, as these pages have chronicled, are chaos and division in the Church accompanied by all-but-universal praise from the world for the “Francis revolution”.

Nowhere has the world’s praise been more lavish, however, than when it comes to the political agenda with which Pope Bergoglio seems far more preoccupied than with strictly ecclesial affairs: i.e., open borders, “climate change”, environmentalism, “inclusion”, eliminating “inequality”, abolishing the death penalty and even life sentences, opposing capitalism (but never communism or socialism), showing solidarity with socialist dictators (Castro, Morales, Maduro, etc.), condemning the rich, exalting the poor, and so on. And, at the same time, backing away from, if not practically abandoning, what Benedict XVI called “the non-negotiables”: opposition to abortion, euthanasia and “gay marriage”. Francis has made it clear that the “culture wars” are not for him.

In short, the program of this most political of Popes corresponds almost perfectly with that of the globalist Left. So striking is Francis’ commitment to a Leftist political agenda that the respected Italian Catholic scholar Roberto de Mattei has made the startling — but on reflection quite telling — observation that with the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the astonishing rise of Trumpian populism, Francis “now remains the only point of reference for the international Left, deprived of a leader.”

Taking up this theme, however, Antonio Socci notes that Trump’s election is the “umpteenth” in a series of setbacks for the Bergoglian political agenda, including the defeat of Francis’ preferred presidential candidate in the Argentinian elections and the election of Mauricio Macri, a kind of Argentinian Trump, and the defeat of his cherished “peace accord” between the Colombian government and the Communist FARC guerrillas in a popular referendum.

In fact, with Trump’s election Francis has, “due to the massive Catholic vote [for Trump], suffered the umpteenth deadly blow, and now his overexposure as the banner of the extreme Left, especially on the theme of immigration, will accentuate his problems in the Church, where he is ever more perceived as a politician and a foreign body.”

A stunning remark. But on reflection most apt, given the past three years of our experience with what Socci has dubbed “Bergoglianism”, not to be confused with the Catholic religion.

May Our Lady of Fatima soon deliver us for this unparalleled situation!