Archbishop Viganò has published a second letter. LifeSite has a PDF, Scio cui credidi. In it, he describes the dynamic of what is going on:
“The pope’s unwillingness to respond to my charges and his deafness to the appeals by the faithful for accountability are hardly consistent with his calls for transparency and bridge building.”
Sure. That’s right. Almost 100%. But there’s one little bit that’s wrong in which one forgets the old maxim:
- Bonum ex integra causa (It’s good if it’s all good).
- Malum ex quocumque defectu (It’s bad if there is any defect whatsoever).
The presentation of Archbishop Viganò is almost 100%, but doesn’t quite make it all the way. So, what do we actually have here?
This is actually a final judgment rendered in an extra-judicial trial conducted by Archbishop Viganò over against the one who is called the Supreme Pontiff for a reason. The Bishop of Rome cannot legitimately be tried in an ecclesiastical court with or without the trappings of ecclesiastical fanfare, by Council or not. Saying something, whatever, and then demanding an answer is no way to go about things with the Pope. Making an accusation and being met by silence doesn’t always mean that one consents, the old Qui tacet, tacet consentire (the one who keeps silence, keeps silence in order to consent).
If one puts this kind of pressure on the Holy Father, there is all of a sudden something much bigger at play. It is a utilitarian usage of abuse (an insult to real victims) in order to bring about another agenda, the downfall not of a particular bishop of Rome, but the downfall of the papacy itself, the downfall of the Catholic Church. It’s all about power. It always is. Abuse of power is always ugly. It’s the old taunting “Nyeah nyeah nyeah nyeah nyeah.” That’s NOT to say that there isn’t something to the charges. It’s the way of bringing items to the Holy Father that really does count.
Long time readers will know that I myself brought a couple of matters to the attention of the Holy Father quietly, without publicizing what those two matters were other than to say that one deals with the Holy See and the other with the McCarrick affair. There was a response, an awesome response, as I have reported. Anyway…
Fighting abuse of power with the abuse of power is no way to end the abuse of power. In doing exorcisms, one might notice that Satan is especially good at mind games in getting people to abuse power. That’s what he does.
“But it’s all about the children!” splutter the self-righteous abuse of power mongers. No, it’s not about the children, except to make a utilitarian usage of them, again. That’s offensive. There are other ways.
I’ll make you a bet:
- I’m not a betting man, but I bet you that McCarrick will be dismissed from the clerical state in the not-too-distant future. The winner and loser of this bet have to say a Hail Mary for McCarrick and another for Pope Francis and another for the Church. Either way, do it.
Don’t get me wrong:
I’m all for helping the Holy Father discern all that which is good and holy. I’ve done that with Benedict XVI. I’ve done that with Francis. Let me slightly edit Saint Paul’s words to the Ephesians (3:14-21), replacing “you” with “the Pope” so as to let you know my wishes for Pope Francis:
“I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant [the Pope] in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in [the Pope’s] heart[-] through faith; that [the Pope], rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that [the Pope] may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
- What Saint Paul is talking about cuts through any mind games, any politics.
- What Saint Paul is talking about is enough to bring any Pope to confirm his brothers in the faith.
What surprises me…
What surprises me is the almost non-existent theology regarding the papacy even by those who claim to be theologians, and orthodox to boot. Almost no one knows what Infallibility is about, what it’s consequences are. The extra-judicial judgment thing is just one more sign of ignorance as to what being the Bishop of Rome is all about.