In 2013 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor told Paul Vallely of The Independent, “Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.” In a story published in March 2017, LifeSiteNews quoted from a speech given by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick that there was a pre-conclave plan to elect Jorge Bergoglio as the one who could “reform the Church … [and in] five years, he could put us back on target.”
The LifeSiteNews article was itself about an interview with Cardinal Donald Wuerl that had appeared in the Jesuit magazine America. The essence of that interview was that, after the Second Vatican Council, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI had gone astray, but Francis had set the Church back on the path laid out by Vatican II. Wuerl’s assessment was that “[the papacy] will never look like it did 25 or more years ago.”
That assessment was too narrow. As Ross Douthat shows in his book, To Change the Church, Francis is not only changing the Papacy, but also changing Catholicism itself.
We now see why Pope Benedict XVI resigned. In early 2013, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was already 76 years old. He had been identified by certain cardinals as the right man for the job, but if he needed five years to get the job done, time was running out. Benedict was (and is) still alive. Benedict needed to be forced out. Someday, the full story how they did it will come out.
We can also see why the Vatican not only commemorated, but celebrated the riforma protestante in 2017. Francis, the Great Reformer, needed to be seen as following in the footsteps of the last great reformer.
Various Catholic media, awakening to the possibility that we might have a bad pope on our hands, have begun to observe that the Church has had bad popes in the past and survived. But this time it’s different.
On September 13, 2018, Fr. George Rutler appeared on The World Over on EWTN and told Raymond Arroyo that even in the most corrupt periods of papal abuse, the integrity of the faith was not challenged. Now, he pointed out, “we have corruption commingled with an attempt to re-dress the authentic faith of the church.” He nailed it.
The denouement is upon us. The new version of the faith is being forced upon Catholics with magisterial authority. The pope must not be questioned. The bewildered faithful do not know where to turn for the truth. They do not know because the Novus Ordo Church never told them where to find the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Instead, after 1965, Catholics were conditioned to accept every innovation that came out of the Vatican.
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