Surprise: no surprise!
On Epiphany, Bergoglio hijacks Three Magi to slam Traditional Mass, push Surprise Theology
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany (Theophany), which commemorates the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles with the arrival of the Three Kings (Magi) at the crib of the Infant Savior.
For Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., (“Pope Francis”) this was another opportunity to inculcate his ideological talking points into unsuspecting souls, and that is exactly what we saw in the sermon he gave today during the Novus Ordo worship service at St. Peter’s Basilica:
- Antipope Francis, Sermon for Solemnity of the Epiphany, Jan. 6, 2022 (Vatican.va)
In the wake of the controversy about Traditionis Custodes and the subsequent Responsa ad Dubia that greatly restrict the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (aka “Tridentine Mass”), the fake pope Francis could not resist the temptation to use the great Feast of the Epiphany, which actually ranks higher than Christmas itself, to slam the ancient Roman rite of Mass. He did so, of course, in the typical indirect, between-the-lines, cryptic-covert, passive-aggressive way we have come to expect from him:
Brothers and sisters, as it was for the Magi, so it is for us. The journey of life and faith demands a deep desire and inner zeal. Sometimes we live in a spirit of a “parking lot”; we stay parked, without the impulse of desire that carries us forward. We do well to ask: where are we on our journey of faith? Have we been stuck all too long, nestled inside a conventional, external and formal religiosity that no longer warms our hearts and changes our lives? Do our words and our liturgies ignite in people’s hearts a desire to move towards God, or are they a “dead language” that speaks only of itself and to itself? It is sad when a community of believers loses its desire and is content with “maintenance” rather than allowing itself to be startled by Jesus and by the explosive and unsettling joy of the Gospel. It is sad when a priest has closed the door of desire, sad to fall into clerical functionalism, very sad.
(italics given; underling added)
Everyone knows that Latin is known as a “dead language”, probably the dead language par excellence. It is quite clear what Francis means, therefore, when he complains of “liturgies” that use a “dead language”.
Never mind that Latin is particularly conducive to the Sacred Liturgy precisely because it is “dead”, that is, fixed and not subject to constant change. This is most fitting for the solemn worship of the God who says of Himself: “For I am the Lord, and I change not…” (Mal 3:6); who is “Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever” (Heb 13:8).
Hence the Council of Trent thundered:
If anyone says that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned, or that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only, or that water should not be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice because it is contrary to the institution of Christ: let him be anathema.
(Council of Trent, Session 22, Canon 9; Denz. 956)
Even the first of the usurpers of the Holy See after the death of Pope Pius XII, Angelo Roncalli (“Pope John XXIII”), whom Francis himself has “canonized” (declared a saint), notes the advantage of “dead” Latin for the Church:
Furthermore, the Church’s language must be not only universal but also immutable. Modern languages are liable to change, and no single one of them is superior to the others in authority. Thus if the truths of the Catholic Church were entrusted to an unspecified number of them, the meaning of these truths, varied as they are, would not be manifested to everyone with sufficient clarity and precision. There would, moreover, be no language which could serve as a common and constant norm by which to gauge the exact meaning of other renderings.
But Latin is indeed such a language. It is set and unchanging. it has long since ceased to be affected by those alterations in the meaning of words which are the normal result of daily, popular use. Certain Latin words, it is true, acquired new meanings as Christian teaching developed and needed to be explained and defended, but these new meanings have long since become accepted and firmly established.
(Antipope John XXIII, “Apostolic Constitution” Veterum Sapientia)
A few months ago, Francis had already expressed his utter contempt for the Tridentine Mass by noting that “it would be like laughing at the Word of God” to proclaim the epistle and Gospel at Mass in Latin. Our commentary on that can be found here.
In any case, it takes a particularly diseased soul to use the zeal of the Magi for the newborn King of the Jews to slam the ancient Roman rite of Mass. His claim that Latin “speaks only of itself and to itself” is both false and stupid, but it’s clear he was looking for a way once again to hurl one of his favorite criticisms at his opponents, namely, that Traditional Mass adherents are “closed in on themselves”.
Speaking of being closed in on oneself: Ironically, it is the 1969 Novus Ordo Missae, the “New Mass” of “Pope Saint” Paul VI, that creates a closed, often circular, arrangement, where people and clergy face each other, since it is typically offered versus populum, that is, facing the people. The Traditional Latin Mass, on the other hand, has the priest, together with the congregation, facing God in the Tabernacle, because the Holy Mass is a Sacrifice offered to the Most Holy Trinity, not a meal shared among friends. Facing God together as one people, with the priest acting in Persona Christi as the mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim 2:5), signifies transcendence, openness towards that which transcends this created world. The Traditional Mass is directed towards Heaven, the Novus Ordo Missae… well, let’s just say it’s not.
As pictures say more than a thousand words, we are including a few images contrasting the two types of liturgy at the end of this post.
But let us return to Francis’ sermon. The Modernist pseudo-pope says:
The crisis of faith in our lives and in our societies also has to do with the eclipse of desire for God. It is related to a kind of slumbering of the spirit, to the habit of being content to live from day to day, without ever asking what God really wants from us. We peer over earthly maps, but forget to look up to heaven. We are sated with plenty of things, but fail to hunger for our absent desire for God. We are fixated on our own needs, on what we will eat and wear (cf. Mt 6:25), even as we let the longing for greater things evaporate. And we find ourselves living in communities that crave everything, have everything, yet all too often feel nothing but emptiness in their hearts: closed communities of individuals, bishops, priests or consecrated men and women. Indeed the lack of desire leads only to sadness and indifference, to sad communities, sad priests or bishops.
That is certainly a valid criticism, but it is a stinging indictment of the Novus Ordo communities that are sick and dying after having drunk deeply from the toxic fountain of Vatican II (a perfect example: St. Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, Scotland). These religious communities are falling apart, including also Francis’ own order, that of the Jesuits.
Indeed it was Francis who recently noted that drastic decline but didn’t think it required changing course or taking any action. On the contrary, he encouraged his fellow-Jesuits to basically “get used to” it:
One thing that calls for attention is the diminution of the Society [of Jesus]. When I entered the novitiate, we were 33,000 Jesuits. How many are there now? More or less half. And we will continue to diminish in number. This situation is common to many religious Orders and Congregations. It has a meaning, and we must ask ourselves what it is. In short, this decrease does not depend on us. The Lord sends the vocations. If they do not come, it does not depend on us. I believe the Lord is giving us a teaching for religious life. For us it has meaning in the sense of humiliation. In the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius always points to this: to humiliation. Regarding the vocational crisis the Jesuit cannot remain at the level of sociological explanation. This is, at most, half the truth. The deeper truth is that the Lord leads us to this humiliation in terms of numbers in order to open to each one the way to the “third degree of humility,” which is the only Jesuit fruitfulness that counts. The third degree of humility is the goal of the Exercises. The great scientific journal no longer exists today. What does the Lord mean by this? Humble yourself, humble yourself! I don’t know if I have explained myself. We have to get used to humiliation.
(Antipope Francis; quoted in Antonio Spadaro, “‘The Logic of the Inexplicable’: Pope Francis in conversation with the Jesuits of Greece”, La Civiltà Cattolica, Dec. 16, 2021.)
In other words, a drastic decline in vocations means God is opening up a way to greater humility. We can only imagine what an enormous increase in vocations must lead to then!
Oh, and wouldn’t you know it: Vocations are booming for the few quasi-traditional orders/ communities the Vatican II Church has. Is it any surprise, then, that Francis is doing his utmost to shut them down or cause their gradual extinction in other ways? He complains about “closed communities” when he himself closes those that are flourishing! He spends untold time and effort on all kinds of peripheral and thoroughly mundane causes — and then complains that people “peer over earthly maps, but forget to look up to heaven”! When does Francis ever talk about Heaven except to distort the concept and make it into an earthly paradise?!
Next, the false pope begins to hijack the Three Wise Men for his own ideological purposes. He starts out somewhat modestly: “The Magi teach us that we need to set out anew each day, in life as in faith, for faith is not a suit of armour that encases us; instead, it is a fascinating journey, a constant and restless movement, ever in search of God, always discerning our way forward.”
Ah, but St. Paul speaks to the Thessalonians of “the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess 5:8), and he tells the Ephesians:
Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).
There is no opposition between Faith being a journey toward God and yet it also being “a suit of armour that encases us”. It is Francis who pits these two images against each other, not because they are actually contrary to one another but because he wants to eradicate from people’s minds the notion of Faith as protecting the soul. And yet that is precisely what Faith does, for even when a man is in great sin, only Faith allows him to make use of the divinely-given remedies to cure his spiritual leprosy and return to God through grace (cf. Rom 10:13-14). Without this Faith, forgiveness is not possible, and all is lost (see Heb 11:6).
Further on in his sermon, Francis enlists the Magi in unholy service of what we’ve nicknamed his “surprise theology”:
Finally, the Magi return “by another way” (Mt 2:12). They challenge us to take new paths. Here we see the creativity of the Spirit who always brings out new things. That is also one of the tasks of the Synod we are currently undertaking: to journey together and to listen to one another, so that the Spirit can suggest to us new ways and paths to bring the Gospel to the hearts of those who are distant, indifferent or without hope, yet continue to seek what the Magi found: “a great joy” (Mt 2:10). We must always move forwards.
This is what we call reading one’s preconceived ideas into a Scriptural text. The Three Kings don’t “challenge us to take new paths”, they teach us to be faithful to God and follow His commands, no matter what.
Francis uses the opportunity to harp on “new things”, though, because since 2013 he has been introducing one novelty after another, and he is about to unload a few more big heaps of “newness” this year and especially next year at the “synod on synodality”. But this has nothing to do with the Magi, of course. Francis simply turns the fact that God revealed to them in a dream that they are not to return to Herod (see Mt 2:12) into a sales gimmick for “newness” so that he can get more people to go along with whatever novelties he is about to introduce. This isn’t a new tactic for him — he does it all the time.
What Bergoglio won’t advertise, of course, is St. Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians — given in the context of a warning about the Great Apostasy at the end of the world, we might add — that they are to “stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle” (2 Thess 2:14). Unless, that is, he finds a way to turn it on its head and spin it into an advertisement for novelty, as he did with St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.
Earlier in his sermon, Francis had already misappropriated the Wise Men and made them into peddlers for his thesis that doubt is good for Faith:
Then, in Jerusalem the Magi ask questions: they inquire where the Child is to be found. They teach us that we need to question. We need to listen carefully to the questions of our heart and our conscience, for it is there that God often speaks to us. He addresses us more with questions than with answers. We must learn this well: God addresses us more with questions than with answers. Yet let us also be unsettled by the questions of our children, and by the doubts, hopes and desires of the men and women of our time. We need to entertain questions.
This is a little cryptic, but for those who have paid attention to what Francis has been saying and to the manner in which he communicates, this is clearly an invitation to have your Faith shaken. He wants you to question, to dispute, to doubt! Get rid of those “rigid certainties” at last! That is what he told young people in Greece the other day, remember?
Bergoglio turns everything upside down and inside out: Good is bad, proud is humble, doubt is Faith, earth is heaven, right is wrong! The man is a demon!
The false pope ends his Jan. 6 sermon with these words:
In this way, like the Magi, we will have the daily certainty that even in the darkest nights a star continues to shine. It is the star of the Lord, who comes to care for our frail humanity. Let us set out on the path towards him. Let us not give apathy and resignation the power to drive us into a cheerless and banal existence. Let our restless hearts embrace the restlessness of the Spirit. The world expects from believers a new burst of enthusiasm for the things of heaven. Like the Magi, let us lift up our eyes, listen to the desire lodged in our hearts, and follow the star that God makes shine above us. As restless seekers, let us remain open to God’s surprises. Brothers and sisters, let us dream, let us seek and let us adore.
What do you know, all of a sudden Francis wants you to have “daily certainty”! It looks like that rigid clinging to certainties comes in handy at times, after all, though of course only when they are compatible with the Bergoglian agenda, which is perhaps best expressed in the false pope’s words, “…let us remain open to God’s surprises.” By “God’s surprises” he means the ideological nonsense he is about to unleash on the unfortunate souls who still recognize him as that which he manifestly isn’t, namely, the Vicar of Christ.
What follows below is the images we promised earlier. They contrast the Novus Ordo Missae (“New Order of Mass”) of “Pope” Paul VI, first introduced in 1969, with the timeless Roman rite codified by Pope St. Pius V in 1570, but which has existed in essence since at least the time of St. Gregory the Great (6th century). Look at them closely and ask yourself which rite reflects a “cheerless and banal existence”, and which a “new burst of enthusiasm for the things of heaven”:
“New Mass” of “Pope Saint” Paul VI
image credit: Shutterstock (m.e.s.t.o.c.k) / paid
image credit: unknown source / fair use
image credit: unknown source / fair use
Traditional Latin Mass of Pope Saint Pius V
image credit: Mount St. Michael’s / fair use
image credit: New Liturgical Movement / fair use
image credit: Wikimedia Commons (Joachim Specht) / public domain
These two types of liturgy Benedict XVI called “two usages of the one Roman rite” (“Apostolic Letter” Summorum Pontificum, Art. 1), which supposedly both express the same Faith, the same rule of belief.
Obviously, that is complete nonsense, and with Traditionis Custodes, Francis has put an end to the silliness and made clear that the Vatican II religion is only expressed in the Novus Ordo Missae (true enough), and therefore the Traditional Mass is to be suppressed, by being greatly restricted right away and gradually phased out over time.
It just doesn’t, according to him, “ignite in people’s hearts a desire to move towards God…”.
Title image source: composite with elements from shutterstock.com (neneo/jorisvo)