Vatican II ecclesiology in action…
Francis to Russian Orthodox Patriarch:
“We are Shepherds of the Same Holy Flock of God”
Over the last 9+ years of his fake pontificate, the papal pretender Jorge Bergoglio has given interviews too numerous to count. We must be somwhere in the 60+ range at this point, and that is especially ironic since in 2013 he was known, based on his own testimony, as “a Pope who does not want to give interviews…” (source).
The main thrust of the exchange concerned the peace efforts being made to bring the war between Russia and Ukraine to an end. It is in that context that Kirill, the Russian Orthodox patriarch of Moscow, came up, and it gave Francis the opportunity to put his false Vatican II theology on full display:
Is it maybe Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, the one man who could convince Putin to crack that door open? The Holy Father shakes his head and says: «I spoke with Kirill for forty minutes on Zoom. For the first twenty minutes, he read from a piece of paper he was holding in his hand all the reasons that justify the Russian invasion. I listened to him and then replied: I don’t understand any of this. Brother, we are not state clerics, we shouldn’t speak the language of politics, but rather the language of Jesus. We are shepherds of the same holy flock of God. For this reason we must look for a path to peace, we must stop the fighting. A Patriarch can’t lower himself to become Putin’s altar boy. I had a meeting with him, scheduled for June 14, in Jerusalem. It would have been our second face-to-face, nothing to do with the war. But we called it off, we agreed that it could send the wrong message».
(Luciano Fontana, “Pope Francis: «I am ready to meet Putin in Moscow»”, Corriere della Sera, May 3, 2022; underlining added.)
In case there was ever any doubt that the ecclesiology of the Vatican II Church is erroneous and heretical, this puts it to rest.
Yes, Bergoglio really does believe that the Russian Orthodox patriarch of Moscow, who is not only a schismatic but also a heretic, is a valid and legitimate shepherd in the Church founded by Jesus Christ, set over a portion of our Lord’s flock. How is this possible? The answer is as simple as it is predictable: Vatican II.
It is the apostate Second Vatican Council (1962-65) that created the New Ecclesiology that underlies this absurd position. Ecclesiology is the doctrine concerning the Church, what the Church teaches about herself.
Before Vatican II, this doctrine was rather straightforward:
If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ — which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church — we shall find nothing more noble, morre sublime, or more divine than the expression “the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ” – an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Fathers.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 13; underlining added.)
Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Humani Generis, n. 27; underlining added.)
Going back as far as the 19th century, ecumenists of various Protestant sects had put forward an utterly false conception of Christian unity, which was condemned and corrected by the Popes, lest Catholics should fall into the same errors. Here are some examples:
…[A]ll groups entirely separated from external and visible communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff cannot be the Church of Christ, nor in any way whatsoever can they belong to the Church of Christ, namely, to that Church, which, in the Creed after the commendation of the Trinity, is proposed to be believed as the holy Church, the one Church, the true Church, [and] the Catholic Church….
(Pope Pius IX, Holy Office Letter to Certain Puseyite Anglicans, Nov. 8, 1865)
No one can deny or doubt that Jesus Christ himself, in order to apply the fruits of his redemption to all generations of men, built his only Church in this world on Peter; that is to say, the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic; and that he gave to it all necessary power, that the deposit of Faith might be preserved whole and inviolable, and that the same Faith might be taught to all peoples, kindreds, and nations, that through baptism all men might become members of his mystical body, and that the new life of grace, without which no one can ever merit and attain to life eternal, might always be preserved and perfected in them; and that this same Church, which is his mystical body, might always remain in its own nature firm and immovable to the end of time, that it might flourish, and supply to all its children all the means of Salvation.
Now, whoever will carefully examine and reflect upon the condition of the various religious societies, divided among themselves, and separated from the Catholic Church, which, from the days of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles has never ceased to exercise, by its lawful pastors, and still continues to exercise, the divine power committed to it by this same Lord; cannot fail to satisfy himself that neither any one of these societies by itself, nor all of them together, can in any manner constitute and be that One Catholic Church which Christ our Lord built, and established, and willed should continue; and that they cannot in any way be said to be branches or parts of that Church, since they are visibly cut off from Catholic unity.
(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes, Sep. 13, 1868; underlining added.)
A good number of [those who call themselves Christians], for example, deny that the Church of Christ must be visible and apparent, at least to such a degree that it appears as one body of faithful, agreeing in one and the same doctrine under one teaching authority and government; but, on the contrary, they understand a visible Church as nothing else than a Federation, composed of various communities of Christians, even though they adhere to different doctrines, which may even be incompatible one with another.
…For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one [1 Cor 12:12], compacted and fitly joined together [Eph 4:16], it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head [cf. Eph 5:30; Eph 1:22].
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos, nn. 6, 10)
Pope Pius IX, in dealing with the so-called “Old Catholic” sect that had rejected the dogma of papal infallibility proclaimed at the First Vatican Council (1869-70), made clear very specifically that no bishop is legitimate who is not subject to the reigning Roman Pontiff:
But as even the rudiments of Catholic faith declare, no one can be considered a bishop who is not linked in communion of faith and love with Peter, upon whom is built the Church of Christ; who does not adhere to the supreme Pastor to whom the sheep of Christ are committed to be pastured; and who is not bound to the confirmer of fraternity which is in the world. And indeed “the Lord spoke to Peter; to one person therefore, so that He might found unity from one”; to Peter, “the divine dignity granted a great and wonderful consortium of his power, and if He wished anything to be common with him and the rest of the princes, He never gave, except through him, what He did not deny to the others.” Hence it is from this Apostolic See, where blessed Peter “lives and presides and grants the truth of faith to those seeking it,” that the rights of venerable communion flow to all”; and this same See “for the Churches spread throughout the whole world is certainly the head, as it were, of their members, from which if one cuts himself off, he becomes an exile from the Christian religion, as soon as he begins not to belong to its structure.”
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Etsi Multa, n. 13; underlining added.)
In response to the schism of the Armenians, the same Pius IX stated more generally that
the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all. Schismatics avoid carrying out their orders and even deny their very rank. Since the faction from Armenia is like this, they are schismatics even if they had not yet been condemned as such by Apostolic authority. For the Church consists of the people in union with the priest, and the flock following its shepherd. Consequently the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and whoever is not with the bishop is not in the Church.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quartus Supra, n. 12; underlining added.)
Thus it could not be more evident that according to the traditional Catholic doctrine, Patriarch Kirill, as an archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, is both a heretic and a schismatic in the objective order. That is, he publicly adheres to and preaches false doctrine that denies Catholic dogma, and he refuses submission to the Roman Pontiff, even in principle. (That Francis is not the Roman Pontiff in actual fact is irrelevant here, for Kirill refuses submission to the Pope as a matter of theology; and, although he is mistaken concerning Francis’ true identity, he believes him to be Pope and it is under that aspect that he refuses him submission.)
It could likewise not be more evident, then, that “Pope” Francis does not adhere to the traditional Catholic teaching just presented. Instead, his theology is rooted in the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium, which taught:
…[M]en who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church – whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church – do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.
Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ.
The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation.
It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.
(Vatican II, Decree Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 3; underlining added.)
So much, then, for that fabled “hermeneutic of continuity” we keep hearing about. Rupture is the name of the game, and everyone knows it.
Incidentally, for Bergoglio to tell Patriarch Kirill that he is a shepherd over God’s flock is entirely consistent with similar nonsense he has said and done in the past, such as the following:
- Francis says Monophysite Heretics are Part of the Body of Christ
- Francis: Lutherans are “Members of one and the same Mystical Body of Christ” as Catholics
- Francis: Catholics and Lutherans are “the Faithful People of God”
- “Christian Saints of all Confessions”: Francis again pushes Ecumenical Martyrdom Heresy
- Francis receives “Blessing” from Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury
Just last year, Francis doubled down on his false doctrine and “developed” it a little when during one of his Wednesday “catechesis” sessions he spoke of “the people of God, both Christian and of all other faiths”, thereby upgrading Vatican II’s “People of God” of all the baptized to essentially the members of all religions, even pagan ones. Our substantial commentary on this apostatical remark mops the floor with the false pope:
When, therefore, Francis declares that he and the Orthodox patriarch Kyrill are both shepherds of the same flock, this is but the latest manifestation of the false ecclesiology of Vatican II, in total contradiction to the doctrine of the 1900 years before that abominable council.
At the end of the day, however, Francis is right at least to this extent: He and Kirill are both equal shepherds — equally false ones, that is. Both of them fall into the category of those “who say they are apostles, and are not, and [have been found] liars” (Apoc 2:2). “For such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13).
Image source: composite with elements from Shutterstock (giulio napolitano/Nikolay Androsov)