“Lost Shepherd” being released today…

Playing Favorites:
Francis’ Accountability Double Standard

Exclusive Excerpt from the new Book Lost Shepherd by Phil Lawler

Today is the day a new book against Francis is hitting the shelves in the United States: Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock. It was written by Philip F. Lawler, who is a conservative Novus Ordo journalist, author, and commentator who will no longer remain silent about the damage the “Pope” has been inflicting on souls under the guise of Catholicism.

Lawler currently publishes a popular column at Catholic Culture, where he has been venting some of his frustration about the man he, despite all, still believes to be a valid Pope of the Catholic Church. Lawler even has a profile at Catholic Answers, home of professional Francis explainer Jimmy Akin. Like most others attached to the conservative branch of the Vatican II Church, Lawler began by trying to find ways to reconcile Francis’ utterances, teachings, and actions with Catholic doctrine. Unlike his co-religionist Tom Hoopes, however, there came a point at which Lawler could no longer deny what was becoming increasingly obvious (for more on how that went down with other “Catholic” pundits, see here).

The official book description characterizes Lost Shepherd as follows:

Faithful Catholics are beginning to realize it’s not their imagination. Pope Francis has led them on a journey from joy to unease to alarm and even a sense of betrayal. They can no longer pretend that he represents merely a change of emphasis in papal teaching. Assessing the confusion sown by this pontificate, Lost Shepherd explains what’s at stake, what’s not at stake, and how loyal believers should respond.

(Source: Regnery Publishing)

Lawler’s book contains eight chapters in total: “The Surprise Election”; “The Francis Effect”; “Stalled Reforms”; “Manipulating the Synod”; “The Unanswered Question”; “The Document and the Dubia“; “Allies and Enemies”; and “Tradition in the Balance”.

The following excerpt is a portion from Chapter 3 (“Stalled Reforms”), pp. 69-71, which we are making available here with the kind permission of the publisher, Regnery Gateway.

Playing Favorites

Disturbing as it is that the campaign for reform has bogged down, it is still more disturbing that Francis has shown a pronounced tendency to exempt his own allies from such reforms as he has proposed, thereby rendering those reforms ineffectual. The Vatican has a long and unhappy history of allowing prelates to escape the consequences of their own missteps; any successful Vatican reform must begin with a determination to hold Church officials accountable. The high cost of playing favorites was illustrated by two damaging incidents that became public in the summer of 2017, just before this book went to press.

First, the Vatican indicted two former officials of the Bambino Gesù Hospital (which is owned and operated by the Holy See) on embezzlement charges. This indictment was the first such action brought by Vatican prosecutors under the new rules designed to promote transparency and accountability in financial transactions. The Vatican had been under pressure from European banking authorities to prosecute violations of these rules.

Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina — the president and treasurer, respectively, of the Bambino Gesù Foundation — were charged with improperly spending more than four hundred thousand euros in foundation funds on the renovation of an apartment owned by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Investigators unearthed a series of financial transactions that suggested a contractor was paid by two different Vatican offices for his work in a case that has given rise to the Vatican’s first indictments for financial misconduct. The contractor, Gianantonio Bandera — who was recommended for the job by Cardinal Bertone — eventually filed for bankruptcy and did not complete the renovations. Neither Bandera nor Cardinal Bertone was named as a defendant in the case.

The indictment came just a week after an Associated Press report uncovered evidence of serious mismanagement at the Bambino Gesù Hospital in the past: mismanagement that had compromised the quality of patients’ care. Vatican officials said that the report had been exaggerated and that the existing problems had been addressed by new hospital administrators.

In the second scandal, Vatican police broke up a drug-fueled homosexual orgy in the apartment of the private secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. It is not clear how the secretary, Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, had landed an apartment in a residence reserved for the highest-ranking Vatican officials. Apparently he had influential friends, and there were reports that he was in line for appointment as a bishop.

Capozzi had access to a car with Vatican license plates, another sign of influential friends, which made him virtually exempt from searches by the Italian police and could have facilitated the transportation of illegal drugs. The location of his residence — in a building with one door leading onto Vatican territory, the other onto the streets of Rome — was also ideal for someone avoiding police oversight. He finally pushed too far, however. Other residents of the building (presumably including some of those top Vatican officials) complained about a steady train of young male visitors and of noisy parties at Capozzi’s apartment. Those complaints prompted the police raid.

These two cases — one financial scandal, one sexual scandal — drew attention to the unfinished business of Vatican reform. Could Catholics be confident that the financial affairs of the Bambino Gesù Hospital were now in order? Or that no more powerful Vatican figures were being protected from prosecution? Did the unsavory career of Msgr. Capozzi signal the enduring power of a “gay lobby” within the Vatican? Effective Vatican reforms might have provided satisfactory answers to these questions.

[Philip F. Lawler is the editor of Catholic World News. This is an excerpt from his newly released book Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock, published by Regnery Publishing.]

The author being a Novus Ordo adherent and still believing Francis to be the Vicar of Christ, Lawler’s argumentation will necessarily contain serious theological errors. This does not mean, of course, that the work is entirely without merit. But by no means are we endorsing the book — we merely want to point out that another major public indictment of Francis has been released; and since it is not by any of the “usual suspects” but by someone deeply entrenched in the conservative Novus Ordo mainstream, this goes to show that the arguments of the typical Novus Ordo apologists (think Karl Keating, Dave Armstrong, Tim Staples, Jimmy Akin) are beginning to lose their force, for now even some of their very own prominent co-religionists find them wanting.

We ought to pray that the Lord will use this book, however flawed it must be theologically, to begin to open more people’s eyes to what the Vatican II Sect really is. Oftentimes it is books like Lost Shepherd that will prove to be a stepping stone for people to begin a journey that ultimately leads them to the truth.

What is the truth in this regard? The truth is that the current claimant to the Chair of St. Peter, as well as his five immediate predecessors, are not valid Popes. The institution of which they have been the heads is not the Roman Catholic Church of Pope Pius XII and his predecessors but a diabolical counterfeit that is the fruit of what St. Paul the Apostle described as the “operation of error” in his Second Letter to the Thessalonians 2:10, which will ultimately lead to the appearance of the Antichrist. All of this is in line with the testimony of Catholic Tradition regarding the end times, so there is no need to fear. We are merely witnessing what must come to pass, much as the Apostles had to witness the Passion of Christ, not as a negation of His mission but as its perfect fulfillment (cf. Mt 26:31; Jn 10:18):

There is no need for us to despair or lose the Faith. For although our times are very difficult, our Lord does not offer us any fewer graces to save our souls. Quite the contrary:

We know that Francis is not a true Pope, among other reasons, because Our Lord Jesus Christ has guaranteed the Papacy against ever leading the faithful astray. Yes, even very immoral Popes still did not lead people astray in their Magisterium. Consider, for example, the case of Pope John XII (reigned 955-964):

Divine providence, watching over the Church, miraculously preserved the deposit of faith, of which this young voluptuary was the guardian. This Pope’s life was a monstrous scandal, but his bullarium is faultless. We cannot sufficiently admire this prodigy. There is not a heretic or a schismatic who has not endeavored to legitimate his own conduct dogmatically: Photius tried to justify his pride, Luther his sensual passions, Calvin his cold cruelty. Neither Sergius III nor John XII nor Benedict IX nor Alexander VI, supreme pontiffs, definers of the faith, certain of being heard and obeyed by the whole Church, uttered, from the height of their apostolic pulpit, a single word that could be an approval of their disorders.

At times John XII even became the defender of the threatened social order, of offended canon law, and of the religious life exposed to danger.

(Rev. Fernand Mourret, A History of the Catholic Church, Vol. 3 [St. Louis, MO: Herder Book Co., 1946], pp. 510-511; underlining added.)

More on the difference between a morally bad Pope (like John XII) and a non-Catholic “Pope” (like Francis) can be found in this article:

Accusations that have been made against the orthodoxy of various true Popes of the past, are answered here:

Those souls who have been led to believe that they can accept Francis as Pope but simply deny him the consequences that follow from the Papacy, are entirely in error. The following articles show that the traditional Catholic teaching on the Papacy does not permit such a “have your Pope but ignore him so you’re not led astray” attitude. In fact, it would render the Papacy not only meaningless but downright dangerous:

More essays on this topic and related issues can be found on our Sedevacantism topical page.

After the release of The Political Pope by George Neumayr and The Dicator Pope by Marcantonio Colonna last year, Lawler’s Lost Shepherd is now going to pour more gasoline into an already-raging inferno about the man who claims to be the Pope of the Catholic Church.

Who knows what else we’re going to see in 2018. As we know from the last 5 years of Bergoglian chaos, all bets are off.

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