First in a series of falling dominoes?
Louie Verrecchio has had enough:
“Francis is an Antipope”
Deo gratias! Another Semi-Traditionalist has finally had enough and publicly confessed the truth that is plain for all to see who are courageous enough to look: Francis is not the Pope of the Catholic Church. Mr. Louie Verrecchio, formerly a star pundit of the conservative wing of the Novus Ordo Sect who came to embrace a recognize-but-resist type of traditionalism, has just made the following declaration on his blog, AKA Catholic: “Francis has judged himself a formal heretic. He is, therefore, an antipope” (source).
After a number of somewhat well-known recognize-and-resist adherents had already dumped Francis only to go back to Benedict XVI — “Fr.” Paul Kramer, Ann Barnhardt, and Eric Gajewski come to mind — Louie Verrecchio is the latest high-profile addition to the group of those who have correctly discerned that Jorge Bergoglio may be a lot of things, but Pope of the Catholic Church isn’t one of them.
The final straw came for Verrecchio with the latest “Pope” Francis interview published by the Italian Avvenire. Obviously referring to the five questions (or “dubia“, doubts) regarding certain parts of the “papal” exhortation Amoris Laetitia submitted by “Cardinals” Burke, Caffarra, Meisner, and Brandmuller in September and made public this past Monday, Francis, instead of giving clear and straightforward responses to very specific and direct questions, responded as follows: “Some still fail to grasp the point. They see things as black or white, even though it is in the course of life that we are called to discern.” Ah, yes, Francis doesn’t like black and white. He likes grey — all 50 shades of it.
Unlike Kramer, Barnhardt, and Gajewski, Verrecchio may not jump on the “Benedict XVI is still the Pope!” bandwagon — an idea we have termed “Resignationism”, as its adherents hold that Benedict’s resignation was not valid) — at least not enthusiastically. Here is what Verrecchio said in September within the context of the suspect circumstances surrounding Benedict’s resignation:
God knows that Benedict himself is a modernist wolf. Given that he wears sheep’s clothing more convincingly than Bergoglio arguably makes him more dangerous still.
As such, there is no “rally ‘round the old guy” movement taking place on these pages, I can assure you; it’s simply a matter of facing a dreadful reality head-on.
(Louie Verrecchio, “Pope or Anti-Pope: Does it really matter?”, AKA Catholic, Sep. 23, 2016)
It remains to be seen how Verrecchio’s new position on Francis — and, possibly, on Benedict — will be received by his friends in Resistance Land. John Vennari, Michael Matt, Chris Ferrara, John Salza, Robert Siscoe, and the Society of St. Pius X have all endorsed Louie in one way or another. This will be particularly hard on the SSPX, where Bp. Bernard Fellay is still trying his darndest to be fully accepted by Francis — yes, Antipope Francis! — lest they remain in that pesky and highly-undesirable “irregular situation” (pun intended!) with regard to the Vatican.
Consider this: A mere six days ago, Louie Verrecchio was supposed to speak at an SSPX conference together with the Society’s Superior General, Bishop Fellay! He ended up being replaced by James Vogel, editor of the The Angelus, but the original plan was to have Verreccio speak (as he did before, in 2014). Here is a cutout of the original ad (click here to see Verrecchio’s own post on it with the complete flyer):
Since Bp. Fellay and his gang are currently putting the finishing touches on the big reunion-with-Rome party, they can’t let a rogue Verrecchio rain on their parade. Perhaps Louie will get a phone call tonight from John Salza to talk him back into accepting Francis. If he doesn’t comply, well, he might just end up like “Fr.” Kramer on Salza and Siscoe’s bully page.
Chris Ferrara and Michael Matt have recently opted for what may improperly be called a “soft sedevacantism” — taking an “it doesn’t matter if Francis is the Pope” position. In particular, Ferrara let it slip the other day that he considers the term “Pope” to be but a label that is entirely interchangeable with its opposite, “Antipope” (a new Novus Ordo Watch blog post on this is forthcoming). Anyone who says such a thing does not have the foggiest idea about the Papacy and has no business speaking on matters of Catholicism, much less explaining to thousands of readers and viewers what is the “authentic” Catholic anything. Until we can publish our post on this, we’ll just refer you to some of our prior spankings for The Remnant‘s chief rhetorician:
It will be interesting to see what happens as the evidence against Francis reaches overwhelming proportions — so much so that the usual mainstream “traditionalist” outlets and their talking heads are at risk of losing any and all semblance of credibility.
No doubt the agony is great among the various pseudo-traditionalist pundits as they find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place, for neither option — that of conceding that they’ve been wrong about Sedevacantism for all these years, nor that of continuing to recognize Francis as the Pope of the Catholic Church — can salvage or restore their credibility. Slowly but surely, they must now be coming to realize that their decades-long hegemony over what constitutes authentic traditionalism (i.e. real Catholicism) is nearing its end: The falseness of their position is now staring everyone in the face; and this is entirely irrespective of their personal intentions or sincerity. Bad theology does not cease to be a danger to souls just because the one who promotes it thinks he’s saving the Church.
With Louie Verrechio, perhaps the semi-trad dominoes will finally begin to fall. Of course, we do not mean to suggest that Louie is now a sedevacantist, at least not in the sense in which the term is typically used (namely, the position that the “Popes” since 1958 have been illegitimate). As far as we know, Verrecchio still espouses the same Gallican-like “resistance” errors as before, he has simply set a de facto “enough is enough” limit for himself. The theology behind recognizing Francis as an Antipope only now, and precisely now, is itself disastrous. It goes back to the idea that formal heresy cannot exist unless someone without sufficient actual authority (but with perceived authority — because, hey, they’re “cardinals”!) “warns” the one suspect of heresy. This has everything upside down, as explained in this video and in this article.
In any case, we don’t want to be too severe in our criticism of Mr. Verrecchio here, at least not at this point. Let’s be grateful he’s come to reject Jorge Bergoglio and pray that he will figure out the rest now as well.
A great place to start: The Syllogism of Sedevacantism.