Fool me once, shame on you…

Francis lies to Athanasius Schneider, tells him he meant God wills Diversity of Religions merely Permissively

Is that a Masonic handshake? Just asking…

Last Friday, Mar. 1, it was time again for the quinquennial ad limina visit of the Novus Ordo bishops of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Canon Law stipulates that diocesan bishops report in person to the Pope every five years to inform him of the state of their dioceses and discuss any problems and concerns with him (see Canons 340-342 of the Catholic 1917 Code; Canons 399-400 of the Novus Ordo 1983 Code).

One of the prelates who thus visited “Pope” Francis last week was Tomash Peta, the ordinary of the “Archdiocese” of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan. Peta brought along his auxiliary, the well-known and ubiquitous Athanasius Schneider, who has profiled himself as one of the most outspoken critics of “Pope” Francis, as shown in the following examples:

  • In early 2015, Schneider urged people to “create groups of true Catholics, scholars, families, and clergy who will spread courageously the full Catholic truth, especially on the Church’s teachings on the family, on nature, and the commandments of God” in opposition to Francis’ apostate agenda
  • In mid-2015, Schneider said that Francis “must one day render an account to God” and that “after his pontificate there could be judgments about his behavior”
  • In late 2016, Schneider publicly backed the four “Dubia cardinals”, who had respectfully challenged Francis on some of the contents of his infernal exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which effectively downgrades adultery from a mortal sin to a petty failure to attain a heroic ideal that sometimes God desires us to commit
  • On Dec. 5, 2016, Schneider went on French internet television to complain about Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, basically accusing the “Pope” of being in schism with Christ
  • A day later, Schneider spoke in Rome at a conference sponsored by the Lepanto Foundation, at which he accused Francis of promoting the “joy of adultery”
  • On Dec. 31, 2017, Schneider co-signed a statement affirming truths about Holy Matrimony in conflict with Amoris Laetitia
  • On Apr. 7, 2018, Schneider spoke at a symposium entitled “Catholic Church: Where are you heading?”, in which he indirectly rebuked Francis for not fulfilling the duties of his (putative) office and indirectly accused him of pretending to be the “owner” of truth rather than its “servant and vicar”

Yesterday, Mar. 7, the conservative Novus Ordo news portal Life Site published an extensive interview with Mr. Schneider, asking him about his ad limina visit to Francis the prior week. In it, Schneider reveals that he brought up the issue of the apostate declaration on fraternity with Francis, the document he signed together with a Muslim imam in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in early February. The document contains the heretical blasphemy that God in His wisdom has willed there to be a pluralism and diversity of religions, just as He also willed different races, colors, sexes, and so forth. Here’s a quick refresher:

Instead of denouncing Francis for this manifest apostasy, however, Schneider decided to “ask for clarification”. This is nonsensical inasmuch there was nothing unclear about the statement. It was a damnable blasphemy and heresy, to be sure, but unclear it was not!

In any case, Schneider relates what transpired as follows:

On the topic of my concern about the phrase used in the Abu Dhabi document – that God “wills” the diversity of religions – the Pope’s answer was very clear: he said that the diversity of religions is only the permissive will of God. He stressed this and told us: you can say this, too, that the diversity of religions is the permissive will of God.

I tried to go more deeply into the question, at least by quoting the sentence as it reads in the document. The sentence says that as God wills the diversity of sexes, color, race and language, so God wills the diversity of religions. There is an evident comparison between the diversity of religions and the diversity of sexes.

I mentioned this point to the Holy Father, and he acknowledged that, with this direct comparison, the sentence can be understood erroneously. I stressed in my response to him that the diversity of sexes is not the permissive will of God but is positively willed by God. And the Holy Father acknowledged this and agreed with me that the diversity of the sexes is not a matter of God’s permissive will.

But when we mention both of these phrases in the same sentence, then the diversity of religions is interpreted as positively willed by God, like the diversity of sexes. The sentence therefore leads to doubt and erroneous interpretations, and so it was my desire, and my request that the Holy Father rectify this. But he said to us bishops: you can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God.

(Athanasius Schneider in Diane Montagna, “EXCLUSIVE: Bishop Schneider wins clarification on ‘diversity of religions’ from Pope Francis, brands abuse summit a ‘failure'”, Life Site, Mar. 7, 2019; italics given.)

There! Francis has now clarified that the controversial statement is not to be understood in a heretical sense! Right? Wrong! Francis didn’t clarify anything, he simply lied about what the statement’s intended meaning is. How do we know this? We know this for the following reasons:

  • The statement itself is not unclear. Given the context, only one interpretation is possible, and that is the heretical one, as we proved at length.
  • Francis’ reported claim that “with this direct comparison, the sentence can be understood erroneously” is disingenuous. That “direct comparison” with different sexes, colors, races, etc., is part of the very sentence in which “diversity of religions” is enumerated alongside with the other items positively willed by God — and therefore the only way in which to understand what is said and, thus, the correct way. Francis could have said that the statement is false as it reads and does not express what he intended to convey with the imam — but he didn’t say that.
  • In an interreligious document, it makes no sense to point out that God has willed a diverity of religions permissively, unless this diversity is then denounced as an evil that is contrary to God’s positive will. Stating that God wills the existence of many different religions permissively is as much of a banality as saying that God permissively wills blasphemy, Satanic black masses, the eternal damnation of many souls, abortion, sodomy, child rape, mass starvation, and genocide. Yes, obviously God wills these things permissively, else they could not take place.
  • The document in question was not a statement put together off the cuff that Francis didn’t have a chance to review. It had long been in the making and was developed by Novus Ordo Modernists and by Muslims conjointly. During his press conference aboard Airhead One on his return flight to Rome, Francis said: “The document was made in the spirit of Vatican II. I wanted, before making the decision, to say it [is] good that way and let’s sign it, at least on my side, I had some theologians read [the document] and even [had it read] officially by the theologian of the Pontifical Household, that is a Dominican, and with the beautiful tradition of the Dominicans not to go on a witch-hunt, but to see where is the right thing… and he approved it.”
  • Had Francis truly meant to say that God wills false religions only permissively (which is true), then he would have had to say: “This statement in the document is heretical; in fact, it is blasphemy and apostasy. It must be corrected.” That would have been the honest and sincere way to deal with the problem.

Unfortunately, Schneider accepted Bergoglio’s “clarification” at face value. He must be happy that the “Pope” gave him permission to “say this, too”, because that is the extent to which this “clarification” will be made known.

During his first General Audience after the trip to Abu Dhabi, Francis said: “This Document will be studied in the schools and universities of several countries.” Will he order that the text be corrected — pardon — “clarified”? Fat chance! Francis simply needed an answer that would make Athanasius Schneider happy, and so he told him what he wanted to hear. Should the apostate Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa ever ask him, you know that’s not the answer he is going to get.

Thankfully, however, Francis’ excuse isn’t flying with everyone. “Fr.” John Zuhlsdorf wrote: “Of course, what else was Francis supposed to say?  The only way out of that quicksand was the rope of ‘permissive will’.” Semi-traditionalist blogger Steve Skojec noted: “We all know what he meant…. But now, in the hopes of reconciling the irreconcilable, we get to play make-believe as if this isn’t just blatant self-contradiction.”

People like Dr. Chad Pecknold will presumably see themselves confirmed in their attempt to spin Francis’ apostasy into orthodoxy. By contrast, Dr. Robert Fastiggi will probably not welcome the news, for he had followed Bergoglio into apostasy, arguing that Francis did indeed have God’s positive will in mind and that that was a correct and orthodox statement to make because, Fastiggi argued, “God positively willed that diverse religions would arise within various cultures…”!

How far removed from Catholicism the Vatican II religion is! In his famous 1864 Syllabus of Errors, Pope Pius IX reinforced the Catholic dogma “that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion” by condemning the opposite error (n. 21). Today, that clear supernatural truth would trigger an immediate allergic reaction among Vatican prelates, especially in “Pope” Francis. According to him, “the true religions” — note the plural! — “are the development of the capacity that humanity has to transcend itself towards the absolute”. Remember?!

Another way to see that Francis lied to “Bp.” Schneider is by contrasting his words and (in)action with how a genuine Catholic would react upon being made aware that a statement he had publicly endorsed can only be understood as a blasphemous heresy: A real Catholic would be horrified at what he had unwittingly done, would immediately order the statement to be publicly retracted and corrected, and he would ensure that every corner of the world that had heard about the declaration would also hear about its retraction and correction. He would issue a profound public apology, declare that he had never intended to state something heretical or blasphemous, accuse himself of grave culpable negligence in the matter, and explain that such a tremendous blunder ought never to have occurred, given that he and his entourage had every obligation to prevent it. He would beg Almighty God for forgiveness, do public penance, and take immediate steps to ensure such a monstrous error could never happen again.

That’s how a Catholic prelate would react. But Francis doesn’t care about heresy or blasphemy, as we know well. His desire is to see the apostasy advance in great strides while he cleverly controls or neutralizes any opposition.

As demonstrated in The Dictator Pope, Francis knows how to manipulate people. He knew that playing “bad cop” with Schneider was not going to work in his favor, so he chose the “good cop” strategy. As Schneider relates in his interview:

Regarding our meeting with the Pope, he is the Vicar of Christ on earth in this time, and he was very fraternal and kind to us. It was a very kind atmosphere.

Our meeting with him lasted two hours. I consider this an act of great generosity on the part of the Pope, to spend so much time with our group of 10 bishops and ordinaries of Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

During the meeting, the Pope invited us to freely express our concerns and even our criticisms. He stressed that he likes a very free conversation. …

The Pope was very benevolent in his response to our questions and sought to answer us from his own perspective on these problems. He answered in a more general way about principles of the Catholic Faith, but in the given circumstances we were not able to go into detail on the specific issues. Even so, I am very thankful to the Holy Father that he gave us the possibility in a very serene atmosphere to raise several concerns and to speak with him.

It is evident that Schneider was totally taken in by Francis’ tender approach. So much fraternity and kindness! The photos of the ad limina visit released by Vatican Media show a “Bp.” Schneider and “Abp.” Peta quite excited and honored to be meeting with Francis. It’s a shame that apparently they still have not figured out that Francis is a Peronist who will say one thing to one person and its opposite to another person, depending on whom he is talking to, all in service of the overall apostate agenda he is working to implement.

Recall the stunning testimony of Omar Bello (1964-2015) in his book The True Francis (translated title) about the then-“Archbishop” of Buenos Aires:

“You have to throw him out now!” Bergoglio demanded, raising his voice. The walls trembled. “Not one more day can this guy be here! Do you understand?”

He was referring to an employee of the Curia whom he couldn’t stand.

“Right away! Do you understand?”

“But he’s going to want to talk to you…”, one of the treasurers replied.

“I said to throw him out already. What language am I speaking?”

“Alright, Monsignor, we’ll throw him out right away.”

“Promoting to remove” is one of the most respected unwritten slogans of the Church. It sounds strange but someone who behaves badly can end up in a better position, yes, very far from the original place where he committed the offense. Of course, despite the motto, it is sometimes necessary to throw people out, and in those cases Bergoglio doesn’t abandon his tricks either. Once dismissed, the employee in question requested an audience with the cardinal and it was granted quickly, without asking questions.

“But I did not know anything about it, Son. You surprise me…”, the present-day Pope assured the dismissed employee when he told him of his troubles.

“Why did they throw you out? Who was it?”

The man left the cardinal’s offices without a job but with a brand new car as a gift, believing Francis to be a saint driven by circumstances beyond his control, dominated by a host of malicious assistants. The story of this dismissal is repeated even by the security officers of the Curia of Buenos Aires.

(Omar Bello, El Verdadero Francisco [Buenos Aires: Ediciones Noticias, 2013], pp. 36-37; our translation.)

Francis doesn’t try to get his way by confronting people or issues. Rather, he tends to work behind people’s backs, behind the scenes, indirectly, utilizing passive-aggressive and even deceptive methods. He is a Machiavellian and a Peronist. He publicly ignored the dubia, reportedly blew a gasket over them privately, but then said in public that he doesn’t mind being criticized. Even “cardinals” have seen through the man’s scheming. He fired three of “Cardinal” Gerhard Muller’s best employees and then, effectively, Muller himself, without ever giving a reason. He has ruled the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate with an oppressive iron fist, yet has never explained why. He decries sex abuse and its coverup but has reportedly covered up for a sex abuser himself.

At Novus Ordo Watch we have been very critical of “Bp.” Schneider because, aside from however sincere he may be or whatever good intentions he may have, by holding fast to the Vatican II Church as the true Catholic Church and Francis and his five predecessors as true Catholic Popes, he is doing incalculable damage to souls. This is especially evident in his attempts to squeeze traditional Catholic positions into this anti-Catholic framework.

In 2016, he advanced the absurd and anti-Catholic idea that one can be in schism with Christ by adhering to the Pope, and that one can be in union with Christ by being in schism from the Pope. Both of these ideas are, if not outright heretical, extremely injurious to Catholic doctrine on the Papacy. Strangely enough, however, in late 2016 or early 2017, he urged Bp. Bernard Fellay, then the Superior General of the SSPX, to quickly join full communion with Francis. In addition, Schneider has carelessly spread falsehoods about Pope Liberius in order to make it look as though there were historical precedent for resisting a “heretical Pope” such as he knows Francis to be.

Such false ideas are quickly embraced by unsuspecting souls who mean to be traditional Catholics and appear to have found in Schneider their great master who will lead them in these troubled times. The damage Schneider has the potential to cause is, therefore, even greater than that of Francis in a certain sense, as Francis’ defection from the Faith is open and manifest, whereas Schneider’s de facto anti-Catholicism comes under the guise of orthodoxy and Tradition.

We must always keep before us that what matters is not the personal intentions of the adherents of the false Modernist church but the danger they objectively present. As the 19th century English priest Fr. Frederick Faber once said: “It is the good men, good once, we must hope good still, who are to do the work of Anti-Christ and so sadly to crucify the Lord afresh…. Bear in mind this feature of the last days, that this deceitfulness arises from good men being on the wrong side.”

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