An Open Letter to Pope Francis

A guest post by Mark Citadel:

Your Holiness:

I write to you as an outsider. A sincere Roman Catholic might not write such a letter out of his admirable respect for the Papacy, and a letter written by a non-Christian might mean little to you. And so it falls to me to say what must be said. I want to start by saying that we of the Eastern Orthodox tradition consider ourselves to practice our faith in the character of the earliest Christians, and though it might seem arrogant, we hold that through tired eyes Orthodoxy has witnessed many great tragedies; the Diocletian Persecutions, the fall of Constantinople, the abduction of thousands of Serb boys and Greek girls to serve as Janissaries and courtesans, and of course the scourge of Bolshevism that cloaked the entire East in poverty and despair for almost a century. Though you consider us schismatics, I would hope that you do not think us fools, and your cordial relations with His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, as well as your historic meeting with His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus, leaves me with hope that you will consider this carefully.

You wash the feet of ‘refugees’ in front of the world, for the T.V. cameras to see, in a distorted emulation of our Holy Lord Jesus Christ. You have decried Europe’s negligence towards them. You have demanded Europe take more. You have spoken of an Arab invasion as some great opportunity, in an address to the European Parliament:

We can speak today of an Arab invasion. It is a social fact.” […] “How many invasions Europe has known throughout its history! It has always known how to overcome itself, moving forward to find itself as if made greater by the exchange between cultures.

No, Your Holiness, we did not ever exchange culture with Muslims. Whenever they invaded, they destroyed our culture, and indeed our peoples; we fought them, and did so with the full endorsement of the Papacy. Confronted by a force which had conquered most of Christendom and oppressed and harried Christians, Constantinople requested the assistance of the Roman Catholic West. You obliged us, not with washers of feet, but with valorous men of war. Were those Popes fools? Did they not have the remit of God to declare those entirely defensive wars of religion?

Let me be clear: I see no malice in you, but what I do see is a man who knows nothing of the Occident. You were born and raised in a country whose cultural connections to the mother continent have eroded almost to nothing, a nation that today is infused with the twisted doctrines of Bolivarian Socialism. Perhaps that is adequate background for your ministry in Buenos Aires. It is a gaping hole when faced with the present situation confronting the Occidental world.

The people of the UK have welcomed Muslims, and they have seen their school-aged children systematically raped in Rotherham by gangs of Muslim men. The people of France have welcomed Muslims, and they have had scores mowed down by Muslim gunmen. The people of Germany have welcomed Muslims, and they have had their women molested in the metro by a mob of Muslim men. The people of Sweden have welcomed Muslims, who have turned it into the rape capital of the world. The people of Belgium have welcomed Muslims, and have now reaped their own bitter fruit. Your Holiness, the people of the Occident have shown everything but neglect for Muslims. They have welcomed Muslims as have no other nations today, or for that matter in the history of the planet. You propose that they do yet more, and in doing so you propose a de facto death sentence for the peoples who have trusted in Christ and your Church, and spread His Word since the fall of Rome. You do not perhaps remember when Iberia was in the hands of this foreign religion for over 700 years, but we remember vividly when the Balkans were, for centuries that ended less than 100 years ago. We remember well the horrors the Muslim invaders perpetrated against the people there, including my own Slavic brothers and sisters.

Why cannot the refugees be sent to Latin America? Don’t those nations have the money to support these stateless people, or has it all been plundered by the woefully corrupt governments who have not received nearly the same Papal scorn as Occidentals? What of the Gulf Arab states who refuse to take in a single refugee in most cases? Jordan has taken them, why not Saudi Arabia?

I don’t know the hearts of those whose feet you washed before the crowds, but I know for a fact that many were not Syrians at all, but Sub-Saharan Africans (economic migrants). Perhaps the others are good, honest Syrians in flight from a tragic situation, but the solution for these people can never lie in Europe. They belong in Syria, and thus all of your energy should have been spent condemning the United States and its puppet surrogates for destabilizing the government there, and continuing to arm rebels against the Syrian Army who are trying to restore order. What is going on in the Middle East is painfully obvious for us, so why is the same not true for you?

Ten years ago, Syria was a successful nation where religious groups lived together in peace; Druze, Alawite, Sunni, Kurd, and Christian living side by side without any hint of the sectarian strife which not too long ago turned Lebanon into a warzone. The Arab Spring – funded, supported, and armed by the United States – brought a hurricane of chaos to Libya, led to terror for our Coptic brethren in Egypt such as had not been experienced in centuries, and transformed Syria into a land filled with the screams of the dead and dying. This violence has spilled over into Iraq at the behest of the once ‘moderate rebels’ turned rampaging jihadists. The oldest Christian communities in the world have been driven from Mosul; many have been killed, their churches leveled. In Syria the genocide of Christians numbers in the thousands of men, women, and children. These are not just Orthodox, these are your own as well, Maronite Catholics. You will find that the Christians of Syria overwhelmingly support President Bashar al-Assad who has made all efforts to protect them. Many fight alongside his army and in local militias. The president said to a group of Syrian Christians last year: “I know you are suffering, but please don’t leave this land, which has been your home for thousands of years, even before Islam came.” With the Alawites we have a natural kinship. As we celebrate Christmas, so do they. They also join us in the celebration of Theophany, Pentecost, and the feasts of the blessed St. John Chrysostom and St. Mary Magdalene, among others. They have been friends to us since the era of the Crusader States, and like the Christians they face extinction at the hands of the genocidal Sunnis, the same Sunnis who as recently as March 4th caved in the heads of nuns in Yemen.

Your Holiness, I would hazard a guess that this is all news to you, because from your corner of the world, you have been blissfully unaware of the truth about the darkness that has engulfed the entire European continent since the 1700s, and about the brutal and bloodthirsty side of Islam which is rearing its head again after decades of slumber. These two foes are relentlessly dedicated to the absolute destruction of the Christian faith. Do you seriously think the European Parliament is an ally of the Faith? Do you not know the European Union went to every length to purge all mention of Christianity from its foundation? As much love for the other that these men and women might show, it is more than matched by their hatred of the native populations of Europe, whom they blame for every evil their Luciferan ideology has concocted.

Father Félix Sardà y Salvany, a much celebrated priest from Spain, articulated a truth you ignore, that Liberalism is a sin:

Hence heretical doctrines, and works inspired by them, constitute the greatest of all sins with the exception of the formal hate against God, of which only the demons in hell and the damned are capable. Liberalism then, which is heresy, and all the works of Liberalism, which are heretical works, are the gravest sins known in the code of the Christian law.

And you entertain this new theology of Liberalism? You ally yourself with its sinister plotting against the natives of the European nations who have every ancestral claim to the lands upon which they reside, a claim no Muslim has? You grant them coups against Christianity with your bizarre statements on sodomyatheism, communism, even Islam itself? Where is the Papacy that opposed the French Revolution?! From our bastions emerging out of rubble in the East, we Orthodox look westward and see a Poland and a Slovakia torn between their loyalty to you and their loyalty to their survival and their faith, a choice they should never have to make. And beyond them, we see a wasteland of nations soaked in depravity and apostasy, in desperate need of a masculine, muscular Roman Catholicism. How can I blame him, who says that those on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain were after all the lucky ones!

It was with a raucous rejoicing that the Poles liberated themselves from the tyranny of Bolshevism, greeted by the loving embrace of Pope John Paul II, and now like a child who has been slapped they recoil as their Church tells them to relinquish their precious land to foreigners – most of whom by the way are not refugees, but parasitic welfare-seekers from as far away as Malawi!

Your Holiness, I do not write to insult you, but to plead with you either to change your conduct or resign from your position. Who am I to counsel such a thing? A concerned Christian. We tend to be a stoic sort, but I would be damned if I didn’t speak up now. You are supposed to be a leader, and yet your lack of sound leadership is becoming so intolerable for your flock, truly faithful Roman Catholics, that they will be compelled sooner rather than later to take righteous action independent of you. I know; I’ve spoken to some of them. And I trust that they will have every saint and every previous holder of your office at their backs. As I understand the Roman Catholic Church, it is bigger than you, it is not defined by you despite your power. The Roman Catholic Church is an organism of transcendent significance that could never be contained in one man. The Poles will not follow you if you lead them towards Hades. Trust me on that, we Slavs are some of the most obstinate people in the world.

The following are four very simple things that you could initiate as a matter of Vatican policy tomorrow. To implement them would make you a pariah in the Western media, but why should we cast our pearls before swine? To implement them would make you a defector from the age, but was not Jesus a defector from the age of the Pharisee? You would lose the respect of many who call themselves Catholic only because mommy and daddy did, but you would gain the respect not only of those who have devoted themselves to the Great Tradition, but those who have been left lost and wandering outside the Church, in search of truth, the ‘refugees’ from the Modern World itself.

  1. In the loudest voice that the Vatican can muster, declare the truth of what has gone on in Syria. Demand that the United States and its allies cease the armament of Syrian rebels and bombardment of the Syrian government, as well as their endless and intolerable harassment of the Russian Federation supporting Assad. If Catholic politicians in these countries refuse to back this notion, excommunicate them. I know you and your recent predecessors have not issued such proclamations against Catholic politicians for their worst indiscretions in the past, but if there is ever a time for it, then it is now. Not to do so would be to give communion to men and women who put guns in the hands of those who slaughter Christians – and that includes America’s vice president. The Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Aphrem II made himself very clear: “We are not asking the West for military intervention to defend Christians and all others. We are asking them to stop arming and supporting terrorist groups that are destroying our countries and massacring our people.”
  2. Make clear that the refugees from Syria have a homeland that they must rebuild, and that every single one must return there after the scourge of ISIS is destroyed. Until then, such people who are Sunni Muslims should be settled in Islamic countries: Turkey, Morocco, Arabia, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, the Emirates. They should not be forced upon the nations of Europe, with whom they are incompatible and toward whom they show only contempt. Would we force hens to live with foxes? Christians and other minorities should be settled in Armenia, Lebanon, or in the areas of Syria protected by the government. Nobody has any right to force these people to abandon the homes of their forefathers.
  3. Proclaim Christianity for what it is in the Modern World, the antithesis of everything the apostate governments of the West say they support. The West is full of men who do not subscribe to Liberalism, and their numbers grow stronger every day as the leftist agendas of feminism and other such social catastrophes drive them to lives of misery, poverty, or worse. They have no refuge, no one to support their case, where once such an institution existed in the Catholic Church. When Italians resist the disgusting program proposals of their government, do not just support them, join their protests in Rome. If the government wants to pass legislation as if they were apostates, make them apostates. Let them suffer the consequences of their choices as Christ let the Jews suffer the consequences of theirs, wandering the world lost and accursed.
  4. And finally, support and finance sacred fraternal orders once more. Men thirst for initiatic brotherhood, they thirst for purpose, and they thirst for instruction. You have good priests who could organize such things, if they were not obstructed by the Vatican’s appeasement of secular hegemony. There should be no need for a German PEGIDA, as there ought to be a Christian order dedicated to preventing the Muslim invasion of Christendom’s hearth. They have only risen where you have abdicated. Every ‘far right’ movement in Western Europe today exists only because the Church refuses to do what it ought.

Your Holiness, even if you do not take these proposals under consideration, I hope that many of your flock will, and thus may attempt to carry them out of their own volition, in whatever capacity they possibly can.

Before I end this letter, which by now has become long-winded, as the writings of the Orthodox are wont to do, I want to relate to you a message from my own people’s history which cannot be misunderstood. In the early 1900s, Russia was under threat both from the outbreak of WWI and from a foreign and vicious ideology, brought by rail from Germany. These threats grew and grew, festered and metastasized. We were cursed with a Church that had been structurally hindered in its functioning, and a woefully inept tsar whose entire family was mesmerized by a conjurer as the empire burned around them. Without leadership, the Orthodox people took matters into their own hands, but their efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful. It was complacency that led to our downfall, and to seventy-four years of darkness. The prospects of this recurring in the West to a far greater extent loom now too large to ignore.

We bled for the failure of our leaders. Do not make your children bleed for yours.

Sincerely, and with the earnest prayers to our God in heaven, that He may intercede and guide you to sound judgment in these matters,

Mark Citadel

140 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Pope Francis

  1. Pingback: An Open Letter to Pope Francis | Neoreactive

  2. Mark, this is fantastic. I don’t really know what to add. Except SlowClap.gif

    Well this part was probably a little off:

    … a letter written by a non-Christian might mean little to you.

    Bergoglio seems to care overly much what non-Christians think.

  3. … and a letter written by a non-Christian might mean little to you.

    Hahahaha! Mark, your opinion would matter more to Bertoglio if you were a gay Muslim tranny Jew. Hell, he may even slobber over your feet if you were.

    It’s time to ignore that fruity nutcase and place our hope in the nationalists and the populists, not in the clergy. Bashir Al-Assad and Hezbollah has done more for our Christian brethren in the Middle East and of Europe than this narcissist ever has.

    I say this as a Catholic.

      • Eh, Jack Donovan is a bit off. Too much weird LARPing and gay stuff. But the general premise of having a spine and taking our own side I agree with. Ask Charles Martel.

    • Hear, hear!

      (You left out some important ways in which perverts ‘identify’. According to the LGBTQIA Resource Center Glossary, part of the ‘new normal’ includes Queer, Intersex, and Asexual ‘communities’. They shall not be ignored, you heartless bigot [sarc]. )

  4. Pingback: An Open Letter to Pope Francis – CHRIST THE MORNING STAR

    • The editors and most of the regular Catholic writers disagree with Bertoglio and don’t like him at all. They have actual diversity of opinion at Chronicles and you’ll see a few of the more respectable (read: in my opinion milquetoast) writers there like William Murchison who is very Republican and supported taking down the Confederate Flag or some woman who was pro-Trump but compared Trump to Ronald Reagan (most of the paleos are not fans of Reagan and I strongly preferred the comparisons to Charles Lindbergh and Fr. Coughlin. Some liberal compared Jeff Sessions to Lindbergh and Catholic Tom Piatak returned by defending both Sessions and Lindbergh. I am a staunch Trump supporter).

      So I’m certain you’ll see a few completely non-edgy conservative Catholics who try to see Tradition in Bertoglio. The funny thing is that 90% of the time after Bertoglio says something vague and/or stupid, you see these conservatives come out and say “Well what he REALLY meant was….”. Lots of mental gymnastics involved in trying to turn what is obviously a weak, soft, heretical Liberation Theologist into a conservative orthodox Catholic. I see lots of sickening amounts of fangirling for this Pope from these types even though his heart belongs to the Marcusian Left both within and outside of the Church than it does to them. I have heard Bertoglio opine more about the rapefugees than he has the poor Christians of the Middle East or the European victims of Islamic murder, terrorism, and rape. He has judged gun manufacturers to burn in hell in an obvious ploy to curry favor from the Left while he says “who I am to judge” regarding sexual deviants. That’s right, Paul Mauser, Olin Winchester, and Ferdinand von Mannlicher are burning in hell while Harvey Milk is probably in some bath house in the sky. He proposed the heretical doctrine of the Dual Covenant which entails that the Jews are still the Chosen People and by the virtue of their magic DNA can get into the Kingdom of God without Christ. He has said that non-Christians and Christians worship the same God in a way that surely appeals to theologically ignorant liberals.

      From his actions, we see what we need to know. He is a traitor to the Christians of the Middle East, to Europe, and to Christ.

      To turn that back around to Mark, these are all the reasons why trying to appeal to the Pope with this eloquent and well-reasoned letter is ultimately futile: the Pope is either weak and will refuse to stand up to the forces that be or he is in cahoots with them and could care less.

      God in the end will decide whether or not we deserve to be saved, but it’s the nationalists and populists who will be the vessel of His plan, not the currently corrupted Church.

      • What is this in reference to, A.T.? This particular comment or just in general? Please not that I’m taking your criticism seriously and respectfully and want to know where you’re coming from so keep that in mind before you decide to snark at me or something.

        But look man, the time for civility and quiet polite discussion have long past. Things are dire now, the naysayers like Pat Buchanan have been proven right. We’re now in the hour of decision and now it’s time for action.

  5. Pingback: An Open Letter to Pope Francis | Reaction Times

      • Firstly, it is in large part correct, however…

        The Pontiff is completely taken out of context (as always, I’m getting tired of this). He did not say half the things he is reported to have, and the other half that he did say a completely different meaning in context. Secondly in the choice between Polish Nationalism and the Roman Pontiff, Catholics must choose loyalty to the Successor of Peter. To act against the Pope is to be schismatic. And don’t even get me started on King-bereft Slovakia. Thirdly, Russia is not a bastion of Christendom, and will not be so long as it remains outside of Christendom (I say this a part Russian). Russia has its own ideological heresies, it was Russia who “spread her errors throughout the world”.

      • I don’t think any human being in history has been “quoted out of context” more than Francis I, except maybe the author of the Koran. This excuse is getting old.

      • It’s quite humorous how those Catholics who like to LARP as Monarchists are the amongst the first to defend a man that is obviously antithetical to the Roman Church and Christendom.

      • Hapsburg Restorationist, truly with all due respect…

        Popes must be Catholic; Catholics today certainly have ample grounds for making the prudential moral judgment that Francis (and perhaps some other recent persons) have not been Catholics or pontiffs despite pretenses to the contrary. If the pope himself becomes an heretic or schismatic, the obligation to avoid him is just as strong as is the obligation to honor and obey a true pontiff – stronger, in fact, since submission to heretics and schismatics is a far worse sin than failing to tender due obedience to a superior.

        But, even setting that aside: when even a legitimate superior commands anything positively contrary to the Faith or morals, men are morally obliged to disobey. Plenty of popes have been opposed on such grounds in history, and the opposition has been praised for doing so; we live in evil times where the need to do this is now quite frequent, both with ecclesiastical and secular officials.

        No individual movement of Polish Nationalism is more important than the Holy See or (true) successors to the primacy thereof; but many goals championed by such movements are legitimate, morally obligatory goods, and it would be contrary to the Faith and morals to oppose a misguided altruism to them, no matter who commanded it.

      • I’ve always been a little perplexed by the constant defense of ‘context’ because I don’t remember it ever being an issue with previous Popes, at least not to the extent it has become with Francis. Is he just a poor speaker?

      • “I’ve always been a little perplexed by the constant defense of ‘context’ because I don’t remember it ever being an issue with previous Popes, at least not to the extent it has become with Francis. Is he just a poor speaker?”

        Yes he is, God help us. But even you must admit that the bias against Catholicism exists, and often the Pope’s words are twisted by this biased reporting. If I were to selectively quote you, and plaster the internet with “Mark Citadel is a convinced Leftist,” unless one went back to the original source, they would assume that you are in fact a Leftist (albeit your own words are harder to twist than the current Pope’s statements).

        I challenge any one of you to directly quote a Papal statement from a trustworthy source, and then directly quote the council, encyclical, or article of the catechism which proves it is heretical. I could give you several quotes condemning several of your own “reactionary” principles as heresy in regard to the Catholic tradition. As a member of the HRM, I solemnly promised to defend and uphold the Roman Pontiff, and I intend to do so.

      • @THR – Okay, that is probably fair, but if something I had said was misconstrued as leftist then I would immediately issue a statement that clarified my status as being so far from leftism that I was over the horizon line. If every bad or weak thing the Pope has said is a mischaracterization, then where are the good, strong statements, such ones that would make the media gnash their teeth? The media seem to adore the Pope. Why is this?

        Let me give an example: the Pope injected himself into American politics while in Mexico, concerning Donald Trump. But he has been completely disconnected from mass movements in Italy to try and protect the familial institution from mutilation by the government there. What gives? Perhaps he hasn’t issued praise of sodomy, but I don’t see the exact opposite either, and that is what is needed. We need STRONG words. Remember, the Lord did not hold back when speaking of the pharisee.

        I didn’t say the Pope was heretical, because he has done little ex cathedra. It is not doctrine-tampering that worries me with Francis, it is his off-the-cuff statements which while some could say were inconsequential, actually carry great symbolic and even practical significance.

        Also, as to what you have said of Reactionary principles, this only designates a set of core beliefs and assumptions about the world that were normal prior to the French Revolution. If doctrine has changed since then to condemn any one of those principles, then the Church has changed with the times. I honestly respect ultramontanists, even those most hostile to me, because above all they show loyalty. However, realism need not demean the office of the Papacy itself. There have been awful monarchs, but that doesn’t mean monarchy itself is bad.

      • @Mark Citadel

        The second part of my comment was addressed in general, especially to those who simply stated that the Pope was a heretic, which you certainly did not. I had in mind the “Catholic Reactionaries,” and not yourself.

        However, taking your definition of “Reactionary Principles,” does this imply that Reactionaries hold as a core principle the Supranational Authority of the Holy Roman Emperor, which was held as such by Western Christendom for a long time prior to the French Revolution, even by Protestants (Henry VIII)?

      • THR, how does Bertoglio kissing and slobbering on the feet of “Syrian” “refugees” work out in your reactionary fantasy of reviving a long dead royal family?

        How does his statement that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and just about everyone else believes in the same God as us bolster your belief that Bertoglio isn’t a heretic?

        Open up your eyes, you’re as deluded as the non-LARPing, non-edgy JPII/BXVI Catholics who jumped on the Pope Francis fan girl train. All Bertoglio has done has vindicated the SSPX and the nationalists.

      • @Svar:

        Prefect case in point. His Holiness did not say that everybody worships the same God, but (and I directly quote), “we are all children of the same God.” Do you deny that God is the Creator of all human life? If anything this statement proves the Pope’s Orthodoxy and humility as well as your own cacodoxy and arrogance. If the SSPX are so vindicated, why then are they now seeking communion with Rome?

        As to my “reactionary fantasy of reviving a long dead royal family,” last I checked, His Imperial, Royal, Catholic, and Apostolic Majesty, Archduke Karl, is still very much alive, as are his son Ferdinand, his brother, and his innumerable cousins. Please stop betraying your ignorance, it doesn’t help you.

        All this reminds me of a certain Nazarene, who happened to belong to a “long dead royal family.” He went around saying that even when we are forced to fight our enemies, we still must love and pray for them. Then he got together with a fisherman pal of his and founded an obscure religious sect. Folks started calling him a sorcerer and a heretic, and eventually they killed him. But when they came to look at his decaying body, they found it wasn’t there.

      • “Prefect case in point. His Holiness did not say that everybody worships the same God, but (and I directly quote), “we are all children of the same God.” Do you deny that God is the Creator of all human life? If anything this statement proves the Pope’s Orthodoxy and humility as well as your own cacodoxy and arrogance. If the SSPX are so vindicated, why then are they now seeking communion with Rome?”

        That’s one. How do you explain away the others?

        “As to my “reactionary fantasy of reviving a long dead royal family,” last I checked, His Imperial, Royal, Catholic, and Apostolic Majesty, Archduke Karl, is still very much alive, as are his son Ferdinand, his brother, and his innumerable cousins. Please stop betraying your ignorance, it doesn’t help you.”

        Cool story, I’m sorry, I didn’t know that some random royal family in Europe still exists when the issue of Syrian rapefugees streaming through the continent is still a pressing matter. Btw what exactly are they doing? Are they basically nothing but a collection of quaint ornaments like the British royal family? Or are they treasonous like Juan Carlos and the Spanish royal family after the death of Franco?

        I will admit that I am ignorant. Ignorant of your prissy, blowhard ways.

        But please, describe in detail of your fantasy of how they rise up and rule over all of Christendom, ushering an era of peace and prosperity.

        For those of us who aren’t into LARPing, we’ll stick to the nationalists and the populists who actually have a practical platform for the current political and cultural situation where we have invaders, cultural defilers, and traitors to contend with . Your monarchists aren’t doing anything that the Freedom Party couldn’t do far better.

        “All this reminds me of a certain Nazarene, who happened to belong to a “long dead royal family.” He went around saying that even when we are forced to fight our enemies, we still must love and pray for them. Then he got together with a fisherman pal of his and founded an obscure religious sect. Folks started calling him a sorcerer and a heretic, and eventually they killed him. But when they came to look at his decaying body, they found it wasn’t there.”

        What is this? Are you comparing Bertoglio to Christ?

        I’m certain that Jesus loved His enemies. Hell, I hope that I’ll have love in my heart when the time comes to string up and shoot every rapefugee and traitor, just like the Crusaders did when they fought against the Mohammedan Menace before us or like how Charles Martel did when he drove the Turks out or like how Fr. Torquemada and the Spanish Catholic Church did when he expelled the Jews and Muslims out of Iberia.

        Just because I love my enemies doesn’t mean I’m going to let them hold a knife to my throat.

  6. He is a heretic. He belongs to the religion of Leftism with a thin layer of Christianity. His desire is to transform Catholicism into a Leftist NGO with some Christian language. As a devout Catholic, it pains me a lot to say this, but it’s the truth.

    • Don’t be pained by it. It’s better to recognize the truth than to live in a fantasy, which is what most Catholics are doing. They engage in papolatry in order to ‘recognize’ but ‘resist’. It is not Catholic to recognize but resist.
      Bergoglio had demonstrated his heterodox/heretical ideas prior to election, which means his election is void. Read Pope Paul IV’s “Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio”.

      • I agree, but it’s worth pointing out that Cum Ex Apostolatus phrases many things in a way concerned primarily with Canon Law and discipline; it’s worth pointing out the teachings of the Fathers, St. Robert Bellarmine, Vatican I, Satis Cognitum and Mystici Corporis (not to mention the ordinary teaching of the approved manuals, catechisms, theologians, etc.) affirming that these principles hold as irrevocably true by Divine Law, quite apart from whatever is stipulated in Canon Law.

  7. Mark, as an Orthodox Christian are you not aware of that old Orthodox sayings:
    “Better the Turkish turban than papal tiara!”
    and
    “Never trust the wicked Franks.” (Franks is how Byzantines called Catholics)
    ?
    There’s a reason for that you know.

    • How’s the Turkish turban working out for you? How does it feel to know that Constantinople is now Istanbul? How does it feel to see the minarets on the Hagia Sophia?

      You’re free to go kneel at the feet of Ergodan and have your sons become janissaries and your daughters harem girls if filthy Papists like us are just that anathema to you. For Eastern Orthodox who realize that your mindset is suicide, let’s unite to Make Istanbul Constantinople Again.

      The East-West Schism was a mistake as was the 4th Crusade and as is any further antagonism between our churches. It’s time to put that behind us and look forward.

      • @Jim
        The original version was by Loukas Notaras.

        @Svar
        Constantinople is dead and buried. If I could have a wish I would choose rejuvenation of parishes and the Christian way of life, rather than reclamation of some ruins (whether in Rome, Constantinople, or Jerusalem), churches are made of people, not bricks. Don’t get me wrong, as a reactionary I like Catholicism and the achievements of Catholic nations (I think that Protestant crimes, like e.g. dissolution of the monasteries, are absolutely unforgivable), but as a Christian I find Catholic doctrines utterly reprehensible and… well let’s just say that Turban worked out better than tiara would have. Five centuries of slavery to Mohammedans left the Church alive, if not well (five decades of Communism have proven to be infinitely worse than five centuries of Mohammedanism). Had we been conquered by the Habsburgs (for the record, I adore Habsburgs), everyone would have been forced into the Union, and the Orthodox Church would have ceased on this Earth. It was a small price to pay for the survival of the True Faith.

        Mohammedans are a Scourge of God. Mohammedans may serve their purpose in waking the Rotten West up from its progressive torpor, but ultimately they are of no consequence, the real enemy is in our midst.

      • Bro, c’mon, Mohammedanism was better than Communism? I say Better a Red than a Raghead.

        Btw, this isn’t just toward aimed at you but all other partisans here(including the Catholics ones): Do you not think that the breaking up of Christ’s Body wasn’t a grave sin that has led to all of this pain and misery?

        Regardless, I am less of a reactionary and more of a nationalist and populist in the revolutionary rightist mold. I respect the past but I’m not beholden to it. Right now, we know who the enemies are and it’s not each other. We can all have cute little slap-fights over doctrine after we deal with the pressing issues, but now is definitely not time for that. It’s the hour of decision and we can’t be bogged down over inane crap like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin when Achmed has a knife to our throat.

      • @Ahote – the decades of communism were indeed hideous, but I always provide the caveat that communism was preferable to Liberalism, which is what I meant with my comment on the Iron Curtain. Active oppression in its most brutal form, has hardened religious groups over time. See the Shi’ites at the hands of the Sunnis. Also, look at Catholic nations where at one time or another Catholics were persecuted in some horrible vindictive ways, and then compare them to countries that don’t have that kind of history. Catholicism is typically doing better in the former than the latter. Spanish commies shooting the heads off of Virgin Mary statues was like a rallying call for Spaniards to resist. No such thing really happened in Sweden to my knowledge. It was death by slow boiling.

        @Svar – The schism of the Church in my mind is a catastrophic and tragic event that should never have happened, and Christianity is weaker for it, however I think Ahote’s point was that if Catholicism had been continent-wide, it is likely that the events that followed in Catholic countries would have played out in currently Orthodox countries as well. (remember, Orthodoxy had virtually no impact on either the Protestant Reformation or the ‘Enlightenment’). In this way, I suppose one could say the schism hermetically sealed the east from political errors of such gravity as Liberalism… for a time at least.

        But, one could then say, were the Church not in schism, and Christianity had continued along the Orthodox model of decentralized church power, the events leading up to the Reformation may have been less likely to occur, and even if they had, you might have had greater forces to quash such a religious uprising than existed to combat the new ‘Lutheran’ states. This is wildly speculative of course. It’s impossible to know how things might have played out.

        I do wish to mend the schism, but think we’re looking at the very least at a 300-500 year time frame on that. Such things go at a snails pace, and its only relatively recently the two sides have even been willing to talk to each other.

      • Don’t get me wrong, as a reactionary I like Catholicism and the achievements of Catholic nations

        Huh?

        Don’t say that. Just say this I find Catholic doctrines utterly reprehensible and spare us the empty compliments.

      • @Svar
        Yes, infinitely better.

        It was, but I don’t think that people here are going to come to agreement on who exactly is guilty of said sin.

        Nationalist, huh. That explains the different priorities I suppose. Nationalists are the original enemies of Reaction, they started out as liberals of the worst sort, before becoming socialists (for crying out, they even went to war against the Papal States!). I’m not saying that the enemies are other Christians, banish the thought, I’m saying that the enemies are leftists in our midst (I don’t know what’s your position on the issue, but I’ve witnessed a nationalist say that he would even support the Communists, were the Communists in question of his ethnicity).

        @itascriptaest

        Saying “burn in hell filthy heretics” to people, in addition to not being the most constructive way to have a conversation, does not actually describe my feelings on the matter. You CAN love and respect someone, while at the same time having fierce disagreements.

        @Mark Citadel

        Unfortunately, liberalism is coming to post-Communist countries, being forced upon the long-suffering peoples by Washington and Brussels: “yeah, well, we may have given yous up as a gift to Stalin, which wrecked your economies and made your peoples into nations of depressed alcoholics, what you must do now, you see, is hold a gay pride parade in your capital, it’s of UTMOST importance… of course, gibz for gypsies and feminist policies than not even the old-school Commies could ever think of, are implied”.

      • @ahote
        Had we been conquered by the Habsburgs (for the record, I adore Habsburgs), everyone would have been forced into the Union, and the Orthodox Church would have ceased on this Earth. It was a small price to pay for the survival of the True Faith.
        Hmm, the Habsburgs did not even drive out protestants from their lands…

      • @svar
        Nationalism and populism? That’s basically liberalism. You’re fighting liberalism with liberalism. Good luck with that.

      • Ahote,

        It’s not about loving someone it’s about not saying you respect something while you find it to be so fundamentally wrong that it sends a person to hell. I for one certainly don’t admire and respect your religion.

      • @ Svar

        I would look what the saints did. They did not go like: look, the
        Church today sucks and society is corrupted, let’s do some politics and
        when nation gets better the Church will start to flourish. No, it works
        exactly the other way around. It starts with the Church and if the
        church is not capable of leading a serious counter-revolution then we
        have to wait and do our homework until she is. That’s what the saints
        did a what we do too little.

      • @itascriptaest

        You must be a very asocial person… I guess it’s hard to live having to, on a day-to-day basis, interact with people whom you would rather put to the sword. It is not necessary to go around yelling at everyone and their grandma that they’re going to hell in order to be a faithful Christian (I for one don’t know who is going to hell, God is the Dreadful Judge, not me). Nor is it, for that matter, necessary to dehumanize infidels.

      • Thats right Ahote I spend my days thinking about burning heretics. Of course I can only do that in between my preparing (in conjunction with Zbigniew Brzezinski) for the next crusade against Holy Russia.

      • Fjwawak:

        “I would look what the saints did. They did not go like: look, the
        Church today sucks and society is corrupted, let’s do some politics and
        when nation gets better the Church will start to flourish.”

        The saints were mostly focused on the matters of the next life, not on that of this one.

        “No, it works exactly the other way around. It starts with the Church and if the
        church is not capable of leading a serious counter-revolution then we
        have to wait and do our homework until she is. That’s what the saints
        did a what we do too little.”

        Yes, and by the time the Church is finally ready to push back, the West will have already perished and we’ll be in the same position as the North African and Middle Eastern Catholics. Franco didn’t wait for the Church to fight the Redfront and the Republicans. We don’t need the permission of the Church to defend our homes, Charles Martel didn’t require permission to drive out the Turks, why do we?

        The fact of the matter is that secular nationalist Assad is doing more for our brethren in the Middle East than the Pope is. That’s just something that has to be acknowledged.

        What exactly is so wrong with standing strong with your nation and advancing her interests? Right now we see the beginnings of the Middle American Revolution that Sam Francis predicted back in the 90’s. We can’t make the perfect become the enemy of the good.

        At the same time, these things are not mutually exclusive. We can better both the nation and the Church simultaneously.

        I’ve heard your argument before that we need a spiritual revival before we address the hard, concrete issues of our country but I feel that is cop-out that a certain type of traditionalist uses to justify inaction.

      • @itascriptaest

        What are you on about? I don’t even like Russia, let alone consider it holy (I wouldn’t even call Tzarist Russia holy, let alone the post-Communist one).

      • Shouldn’t we all focus on the matters of the next life?

        As for the rest, listening to you one would think we are at Vienna 1683 😉 It’s not yet evident we are at such situation but my point is that without God and His help there can be no revival worthy of that name. At best you may succeed at becoming another social reformer. And if your nationalism is not informed by Catholic Christianity it will end up as good old liberalism. Perhaps less vulgar than the present one but that’s
        even worse.

        I understand that as men we need action. I just don’t think we need political action right now. The first Christians focused on building their communities around an altar and after a few centruries they took over politically. It was effect, not cause.

      • “As for the rest, listening to you one would think we are at Vienna 1683😉 It’s not yet evident we are at such situation but my point is that without God and His help there can be no revival worthy of that name. At best you may succeed at becoming another social reformer. ”

        Do you read the news? Do you not have any idea with what’s going on in the world right now? Or are you just deluded?

        “And if your nationalism is not informed by Catholic Christianity it will end up as good old liberalism.”

        That’s meaningless conjecture, we can worry about that after we get the rapefugees out and punish traitors.

        Franco had that sort of nationalism but unfortunately the Catholic Church stabbed him in the back as did the Spanish monarchy. I don’t want to make that mistake again.

        “that’s even worse.”

        LOL, please explain.

        “I understand that as men we need action. I just don’t think we need political action right now. The first Christians focused on building their communities around an altar and after a few centruries they took over politically. It was effect, not cause.”

        What does that have to do with anything? That situation is not similar to the one we’re in at all.

      • Last time I checked the news there was no Mexican cavalry around Alamo or did I miss anything? 😉

        And the refugees/rapefugees problem? Even Merkel slows down. Recently Germany did not let in a group of 25 Iraqi Christians. Some of them are trying to return home because of the success of Syrian army. The population of EU is more than 500 mil. Do you think the Europe can’t assimilate a few millions of people from elsewhere? I do not deny the politics of inviting those people will in the long run lead to serious problems but we are not there yet and there is a good chance we will not get there. And the birth rates of European Muslims are declining so even the next decades belong to current form of liberalism.

        Liberals will now focus on the growing European nationalism. So they are slowing down and regaining control. The right time has not yet come and while the nationalists will soon beat a dead horse of “refugee crisis” liberal will move on something else. Even if they win will we be better? I don’t think so. Nationalism is yesterday liberalism.

        I really do think our situation is more similar to that of first Christians than to Spanish Christians in 1936. We can’t beat liberals politically, not yet. I wonder if we ever will without some outer help like serious disaster, war etc.

      • @fjwawak I don’t know where you’re from, but it doesn’t seem to be a place where the things you say are no big deal are happening. I’m having a hard time believing some of your posts aren’t facetious.

        At least in 1683 the Church and the secular leaders fought back. That these people can’t be “assimilated” has been proven over and over again (though I’m not sure any assimilation would be desirable to me, unless they convert end masse, which is not a reasonable expectation).

        And to say that the northern immigration from Mexico hasn’t been a disaster can only be the result of ignorance. It is one of the largest movements of peoples in human history and its bringing the drug war of a failed state with it.

        We need to realize we are in a war, one of a new sort. Traditionally, throughout human history, mass migration and war were synonymous. This has not changed, no matter what bleeding hearts say. Migrants, even those of the best sort, are predisposed to violence, criminality, and subversion, since they’ve been displaced.

        Employing the clinical “physician’s gaze” to our problems, dissecting reality and dividing it into “spiritual” and “temporal” issues is a modern vice, and often an excuse for indifference. The material and physical struggle are so interwoven that they are nearly one and the same.

        Ignoring things and letting things work themselves out just doesn’t cut it anymore. The Church is in peril. What would St. Dominic say?

      • Fjwawak: “or did I miss something”?

        Yeah, you’ve apparently missed quite alot. It’s called LaRaza, The Race, and it’s here to reclaim its “rightful territory.” It’s called Mexican drug cartels and Mexican Mafia. There is a reason Phoenix is second only to Mexico City in child abduction rates. And so forth and so on.

        And may I ask what *exactly* you mean by the term “assimilate?” Judging by what you’ve already said, I take it that by “assimilate” you refer to the least common denominator. I.e., externally they take on certain of our (less than illustrious) characteristics, but internally they are ravening wolves who despise us.

        Look, man, it takes two to tango, so to speak. That is to say that in order to “assimilate” immigrant populations, *both parties* – the host population and the immigrant population(s) – have to be willing participants. And it must have somehow escaped your attention that *neither* party is a willing participant in anything meaningfully assimilating. In other words, we couldn’t assimilate them if we wanted to. And we don’t want to in any case.

        The whole point of liberal multiculturalism is non-assimilation of our immigrant populations, for goodness sakes! Hence, “we’re a nation of immigrants,” “our diversity is our greatest strengh,” leftist propaganda declaring any form of immigration restrictionism “unAmerican,” “celebrations” of cultural and ethnic “diversity” while we defile and denigrate our own. etc.

        You have truly not realized this?! I find that very hard to believe.

      • @ Jim and Terry

        My Alamo remark was a reaction to Svar’s exalted words, esp. to “…we can worry about that after we get the rapefugees out and punish traitors.” That sounds funny to a guy living in Central Europe with all its complicated history. Apparently, I wasn’t talking about Mexican immigrants. I am probably too pedantic but immigration is not the same as invasion. Perhaps I should write something more neutral like “French army besieging Fort William Henry”. Otherwise I don’t have a special interest in America’s internal problems though I sympathize with your case.

        I used the word “assimilation” in a broad sense. Turks and others live in Europe for decades and while there have been problems with these people the states could handle them. Europe can deal even with the new ones, up to a certain point. If they can’t be assimilated in a narrow sense, i.e. become like us they can rule themselves in their areas and still be ruled over. Empires were often multiethnic or multinational so multiculturalism isn’t impossible–under any political system but liberalism. Austrian Empire was multinational for several centuries. Christendom is quite naturally multinational under the pope and/or the emperor.

        Which brings me back to my original point that fighting liberalism with liberalism is nonsense. And nationalism just is liberalism. Again, history of Austria-Hungary is illustrative. The empire was destroyed by growing nationalism from the inside and by war from the outside. A war for self-determination of nations, according to your president Wilson. Germany or Italy make another good example. If you want liberal monolithic national state, support the “nation first” sort of liberalism (or socialism).

      • It seems you’re in an area not being affected then, so you should probably withhold your opinion until you know more.

        The explicitly stated goal of the invasions, if you just look at statements from any imam or immigration activist, (I’m very comfortable using the word) is to conquer territory, displace the native population, and redistribute wealth by force, and the practical results, for now, are an increase in crime, drug use, and terrorism, and a decrease in social trust. This is especially true in Europe. If you don’t think so, you’re blind and I kinda wonder what you’re doing here, if you don’t think these are problems and that everything will somehow solve itself.

      • Give us a real solution then. If you can’t, then shut your mouth while us nationalists get down to work actually taking care of our countries and countrymen. I could care less if nationalism is liberalism because if being conservative means importing millions of savages into my country, then I am not a conservative. That line won’t work on me. I’m wise to the manipulations of the clergy and the pseudo-cons. Nationalism is fine for the paleocons of Chronicles but it’s too liberal for you, Mr. Open Borders? Yeah, right.

  8. Sorry, I wish to make clear that my above link was intended to refer to the “On Contemporary Critiques of Ultramontanism; With a Comparison of Recent Supreme Pontiffs to Liverpool FC Managers” article.

  9. Mr. Citadel, I concur with your moral reasoning, but I think your letter is doomed to fail because I disagree with your premise: I think there is unmistakable evidence that Bergoglio is indeed malicious. Those who know more about his past, and who attend to his and his collaborator’s direct actions, see clearly that this man’s actions against tradition and sound doctrine are deliberate, often unjustly prosecuted, and sometimes even have a mean streak to them.

    In this Great Apostasy and crisis, the devil has mastered the art of attracting more flies with honey than with vinegar. The modern anti-popes act just like the SJWs: always pursuing vicious, immoral and deleterious goals through an innocent pretense of kindness and justice.

    • I think Mr. Citadel may be following an old tradition of always assuming the absolute good intentions of the current sitting monarch, no matter how dissolute, since he embodies the divine sanction of the state. The tradition dictates that any wrong action undertaken is the fault of wicked counsel given by those around the sovereign. The letter isn’t so much for Francis as it is for those anyone in power who can steer the Church back on the right track.

      • Correct Jim. As you can see from this comment section, it includes those who have rushed to the Pope’s defense, and those who have declared him a “fruity nutcase”. I have taken the diplomatic approach by walking a line between. That isn’t to say I’m right by the way, just trying to be as tactful as possible.

    • Br. Aurelius Moner, I’m very grateful to you for pointing out a common misapprehension about Pope Francis. Bergoglio is malicious in his pronouncements and in his actions. He is acting in bad faith. He is not a Catholic.

      • At the risk of sounding like a crackpot fundamentalist protestant I have for some time believed Bergoglio could be one of many Anti-Christs living amongst us today. Bergoglio, Obama, Hilary to name but a few

  10. Very good one. Next year send an adapted version to some caliphate somewhere. Make sure of the date to test their sense of humour.

  11. This post was terrible. Yesterday, when I initially read it I thought it was an April Fools joke it was that bad.

    Though you consider us schismatics,

    No, the Pope obviously doesn’t. He likes you guys more than Catholic traditionalists.
    Let us look at what precisely the prelates of “Holy Orthodoxy” have to say on the subject, shall we?

    Patriarch Kirill: West Should Accept More Islamic Immigration; Muslims the ‘brothers’ of Orthodox

    http://nftu.net/patriarch-kirill-west-should-accept-more-islamic-immigration-muslims-the-brothers-of-orthodox/

    “From the humanitarian, humanistic and Christian points of view, we need to help those who suffer. Assistance can vary – as one famous metaphor goes, there’s a difference in giving a hungry man one fish and a fishing rod which he can use to catch more fish”
    http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=12761

    So why are you criticizing the Pope when your own leaders say the exact same thing and in fact urge the West to take in more? Do you think Duginism is going to appeal to the tens of millions of Muslims in Russia?

    Moscow is the largest Muslim city in Europe-

    http://www.ibtimes.com/moscow-largest-muslim-city-europe-faithful-face-discrimination-public-authorities-2020858

    Surely the “Orthodox” should be the last people on earth to criticize anybody else about this stuff.

    For all their problems the last three pontificates condemned the same US intervention that precipitated this migrant crisis. Even Francis called for a week of fasting and prayer in 2013 when it looked like the US would directly intervene, which I think actually did some good. All of Russia’s talk about protecting Christians in the Middle East is just propaganda for Moscow’s geopolitical designs. There are good reasons for criticizing the Pope, when he commemorates Martin Luther for example. Pope Francis could also start making amends by backing Greek Catholics against the so-called “Orthodox” who cleansing them in the Ukraine – but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    For anyone interested here is serious critique of Francis’s modern ecumenism – https://thejosias.com/2015/02/18/dubium-can-non-catholics-be-martyrs/

    • Mark is not the problem, Ita. I don’t understand why we need to be antagonistic towards the Eastern Orthodox. What’s up with all of these Christians who prefer the Turkish turban or the Jewish yarmulke to the Papal Mitre and vice versa? We’re in the hour of decision right now and it’s not the time to argue about doctrine. I mean, are we going to argue with Assad the Alawite or Hassan the Shia who are both wrecking ISIS when we have to deal with both Islamic invasion and Jewish shenanigans? First things first.

      As for Ukraine, that’s an ethnic and political thing not a religious thing.

      • Old hatreds run deep. I fully expected there would be distractions from the issues discussed, including the following:

        – “Russia has LOADS of Muslims”… mostly from central Asia incidentally, which has pretty much a pristine record on terrorism. To put a fine point on it, London has a total of 415 mosques. Moscow has… 4. Lots of Muslims in Tatarstan. Perhaps Ita doesn’t understand how imperial territory works? There were also quite a lot of Muslims in the British empire at one point.

        – “The statements of Kirill or others”. Ita fails to note I’ve criticized them in the past, but that has nothing to do with this letter whatsoever, it is a distraction.

        – Russia apparently ‘doesn’t care’. Of course, because feelings and motives really matter to Christians who are being butchered.

        – Ukraine stuff is again, distraction.

      • These issues are not distractions. Your post is fundamentally incoherent.

        Ita fails to note I’ve criticized them in the past, but that has nothing to do with this letter whatsoever, it is a distraction.

        Really? Whereabouts? Why not mention it then when you attack prelates of a different tradition? Your whole letter comes off as gratuitous and hypocritical. Eastern so-called “orthodoxy” often gets away with this type of hypocrisy because frankly, your tradition is just not at all relevant in the West (and it is not particularly relevant in the East anymore either) so most people don’t care what you have to say. Its also pretty rich of you to act all concerned for the Catholic peoples of Eastern Europe when they (rightly) despise and fear Russia more than anything.

        Ukraine stuff is again, distraction

        I beg to differ. So the Patriarch can congratulate Muslims building a mosque in Moscow, but he condones the shutting down of Catholic churches in the Crimea and the Donbass. Is that the spirit of cooperation you are blabbering about above?

        – Russia apparently ‘doesn’t care’. Of course, because feelings and motives really matter to Christians who are being butchered.

        The “orthodox” Russia apologists are almost as bad as evangelicals and Mormons who see the US as divinely ordained to take action in the world. Russia is much closer to the US than it would initially appear, it is, at least in part, derivative of Europe yet it is fundamentally hostile to Europe. A continental, cosmopolitan, technocratic empire that goes through periodic bouts of millenarianism.

        Much like the Protestants here you bash the Catholic Church for its apparent “modernism” except where it comes to modern Catholicism’s one-sided ecumenism with your “church.” I suppose that is the right sort of modernism for you?

      • Ita, the fact that you have interpreted criticism of a particular pontiff (and that is SPECIFICALLY what this letter addresses, NOWHERE in it do I criticize Catholic doctrine or the broad Church itself, or indeed other members of the Church) in the way you have frankly speaks of nothing but rank hatred of the Eastern Church. As many Americans do, you appear to be suffering from Cold War flashbacks which of course require the demonization of Russia at every turn. The fact is the bloodshed in Ukraine is entirely the fault of the US State Department. Mark Yuray has exposed as much in numerous articles on the colonial projects of the Obama administration.

        I specifically went after the contemporary Russian church hierarchy in the following article, since my religion doesn’t actually require I worship priests who do bad things and defend them at every turn (I don’t think yours does either by the way):

        http://citadelfoundations.blogspot.com/2016/01/dressing-puppets-as-priests.html

        But this is entirely irrelevant to what the letter was talking about. That is why what you are saying is in fact a distraction, and a very poor one at that. I’m also puzzled when people declare that “nobody cares what we have to say” after ranting about how outrageous we are. In excess of 200 million followers of the eastern faith, I doubt your Pope would have sought dialogue with us at all if we were completely irrelevant. He probably has better things to do with his time.

        Look, I don’t need to have a drawn-out argument with you, Ita. Other Catholics have read this and found no problem with it, much less a broadside sneak attack on Roman Catholicism itself. This is about Pope Francis, it isn’t about Roman Catholicism, it isn’t about Eastern Orthodoxy, or Russia, or Ukraine, or penis-measuring contests about numbers of adherents, or the Great Schism, or Patriarch Kirill, or Djibouti, or the moon landing.

        On a closing note: I’d point out your entire diatribe consists of hypocrisy accusations. You don’t seem to be in disagreement on the content, only the man who wrote it, and slings and arrows of that type are more an annoyance than something I’d dwell on.

      • Actually Mark I care very much for the Eastern Church hence my outrage over you pooh poohing it as a “distraction.”

        Of course if one offers even the most mild criticism of Holy Russia, one must be a neo-con with a bad case of Cold War nostalgia. There is no other option. The Ukraine mess is the fault of both powers but that doesn’t excuse your leaders from celebrating the construction of mosques in Moscow while closing down Catholic churches in Ukraine. It renders all you melodramatic calls to unity here completely hollow.

        As far as the “critique” of your leaders – so what? It is not at all on this topic. You should have just left it a generic condemnation of religious leaders who support immigration. I probably would not have cared at that point but you instead gratiously singled out Catholics. Your coreligioinst Rod Dreher also constantly does this as well. He attacks Catholicism 24/7 yet he will assiduously ignore Orthodox problems. Like you he tries to insulate himself by saying that he admires Catholicism and stands with traditional Catholics….. BUT.

        There is no “meta traditon” here where traditionalists in different groups can stand together. Orthodox no less than Protestants give aid and comfort to our modernists. You don’t bother to address that because you can’t. It would refute the entire purpose of your call to unity. The best you could do is refrain from giving any sort future advice.

        Maybe you should just content yourself with writing columns for PUA websites? You can talk about Holy Russia there on a site where the owner enjoys debauching Russian women. Talk about contradictions.

      • “As far as the “critique” of your leaders – so what? It is not at all on this topic. You should have just left it a generic condemnation of religious leaders who support immigration. I probably would not have cared at that point but you instead gratiously singled out Catholics. Your coreligioinst Rod Dreher also constantly does this as well. He attacks Catholicism 24/7 yet he will assiduously ignore Orthodox problems. Like you he tries to insulate himself by saying that he admires Catholicism and stands with traditional Catholics….. BUT.”

        Ita, Rod Dreher is an absolute coward who hops from church to church to fulfill his hipsterish need for an Artesianal Christianity. He’s not well-respected by most people, since he’s too limp-wristed for the Right and the muscular elements within Christianity and he’s too tough on the queers and other deviants (but barely, he just says that they’re wrong but doesn’t have the guts to tell his shitlib combox to jump in a law). He’s nothing but a joke who has even defended Bronies on his site to the glee of his combox freaks.

        We should both be glad that he isn’t in our Church anymore to screw things up. He should really go back to the Evangelical Church, that’s where he belongs.

        “Maybe you should just content yourself with writing columns for PUA websites? You can talk about Holy Russia there on a site where the owner enjoys debauching Russian women. Talk about contradictions.”

        Mark, Ita brings up a REALLY good point here. How do you explain writing for an audience full of losers headed by a creepy, serial-killer looking Turk and a thumb-headed imbecile, both of whom can not be trusted due to their opportunism and shilling?

        Ita, just a head’s up, I’m quite certain that any debauching that occurred is either personal fantasy or romps with prostitutes.

      • Svar, thanks for pointing out that Dreher’s commentariat is just awful. Truly a tedious parade of godless free-‘thinkers’, perverts, and nihilists; I pointed this out to him once and his response was something irrelevant like “Hey, not all my readers comment here.”

        Did he really defend bronies, though? I must have missed that.

      • This has drifted so far off topic, responding at this point hardly furthers any rational discourse, but I’ll do so anyway

        – The Russian government acts in its geopolitical interest. When threatened by a hostile colonial power moving borders right up against it, it reacts, and reacts with violence. I’m sorry the world isn’t a hugbox. This is how nations behave. Maistre was intelligent enough to realize this. If any Church is suspected by the government of being in any way acting as some forward operating base of Washington influence (rightly OR wrongly), it is likely to come under threat. This is not an apology for any single event in Ukraine, only an elucidation of how geopolitics works in the world of today.

        – “It is not at all on this topic.” Says the person who brought up Ukraine when it is mentioned NOWHERE in the damn article.

        – Rod Dreher has banned me from commenting on his articles, evidence of the fact that he and I are poles apart politically.

        – “I probably would not have cared at that point but you instead gratiously singled out Catholics”: Oh for crying out loud, I criticized ONE MAN. Is your reading comprehension that awful? I singled out one man who is making a TV spectacle of pandering to ‘refugees’. I did not attack Catholics as a whole, and to say I did is nothing but a flat out lie.

        – “There is no “meta traditon” here”: in your opinion, but past men far more intelligent than you on such matters have stated otherwise.

        – Oh wow, you are aware of my publishing record? Well, as it turns out, Aurelius Moner, who is in fact a MONK writes for the same website in a permanent capacity. The ROK website furnishes a wide audience of dissident men of various political persuasions, with articles on a vast number of topics. I submit articles to them on issues that I think should be publicized. I have never written anything on PUA, nor have I affirmed everything that has been put out on that site. The fact that you have engaged in this line of attack is in fact a swipe at the staff at the Orthosphere who agreed to publish me.

        In the end, Ita, you are just a commenter. As far as I am aware, you have produced absolutely zero content, so forgive me for not thinking your condescending ‘advice’ carries even a tiny bit of weight, or is worth even a second of consideration on my part. I’ve endured similar critics at other outlets, always the same, always people with no record. As I had pointed out, Traditional Catholics (and yes, ones with greater credentials than yours) have not raised the rancor that you have, and if anything seem to believe I didn’t go far enough. I respect the opinions of such Catholics who actually do real intellectual legwork rather than snipers from comment sections. You will notice that the Hapsburg Restorationist above has also dissented from what I wrote, but not with nearly the kind of venom that you have shown, hence why he’s a respectable man in spite of our disagreement.

        I’m not interested in pursuing this any further. You can talk to yourself if you want.

      • Of course there’s a tradition here in which traditionalists stand united. It’s of a philosophical and not of a religious nature. Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus and even St. Thomas in his Summa Contra Gentiles represent this “meta tradition” as you call it. Since it doesn’t rely on revelation, we are free to argue about its exact outlines, but it unites all traditionalists in the rational belief in the intelligible world of metaphysical and moral realism; i.e. the objective existence of formal and final causality. This philosophical agreement still leaves us with deep disagreements about which revelation to accept as final, but it nevertheless puts all traditional believers on a plane of understanding wholly different from that of the atheistic materialists who seem dead set on destroying all that is good and beautiful.

      • @ Nilakantha
        You are right. However, such metatradition without revelation is seriously lacking. For revelation can fill gaps that our insufficient human understanding cannot. In a sense, revelation might be (and as Catholic I believe it is) the most important thing for defeating modernity.

      • @fjwawak

        The metatradition I offered is philosophical and not religious. Of course revelation is necessary for the practice of any civilized religion, but what I propose is a practical framework in which those of different faiths or different varieties of Christianity can work together to establish and defend what might best be seen as a type of the Thomistic Common Good. Philosophy is not a substitute for revealed religion, and I’m sorry if my post presented it as such. However, if we are to come together and fight a common enemy, we need a non-religious unifying vision and perhaps leave off our internecine religious battles until we can debate our differences in a stable, rational and safe civilization.

      • Proph,

        http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/rise-of-the-bronies/comment-page-1/#comment-3915267

        “First and only time I met a Brony was at church. Dude was a young professional soccer player, totally masculine and hip. And he loved him some My Little Pony.”

        I lol’d. As if a hipster-lite pseudo-traditionalist would know what masculinity was.

        Absolutely pathetic. This was the magazine created by Pat Buchanan and Taki and has degenerated thanks to the the limp-wrist demographic. Dreher is an effete embarrassment and part of the problem.

        Any movement needs to be harsh in dealing with these types, to make sure they don’t corrupt it i.e. like the neo-cons and movement conservatism did to the American Right.

      • @Svar and Mark

        Return of Kings was once an awful site (90% still is), but it’s changing. I ignore pretty much everything there, but now that they have writers like Quintus, Mark Citadel, and our own Aurelius (natus Cui Pertinebit), I check it out every now and then, if only for their articles.

        Writing for a site like that reaches more men than most of us here would ever dream. It is safe to say that if you’re reading Kristor’s critique of the ontological argument, Dr. Bertonneau’s review of Girard’s corpus, or Dr. Smith’s ideas on sacred geography, you’ve got down from the fence a long time ago.

        The problem is that there are a huge number of men who hold intimations that there is something wrong with the modern age but don’t know why. They’ve been lied to their whole lives and are just now finding out. A lot of seething anger is starting to boil below the surface.

        Enter Return of Kings.

        The site is great for capturing a lot of these angry young men and focusing their energies. Aurelius’ articles especially inform men of the tradition they never knew they had. A few weeks ago, Aurelius posted an article on Aristotle’s four causes. The universal reaction was “Aristotle just blew my mind! Why was I never taught this?” People are hungry for the Truth.

        As for Roosh and Forney, yeah I wish they would just fade into the background. I’m willing to give an ally the benefit of the doubt, but Roosh has always struck me as a sleazy opportunist. I hope I’m wrong but I still won’t be buying his books anytime soon. Forney I’m pretty sure is a giant cootie in human form. He lost my respect when he went after two bloggers on a personal level, which included a lot of stalker level intrusions into their private lives.

        But we are in a war here, and we while we can argue amongst ourselves, we can’t afford to totally cut ties with potential allies, especially those offering a free platform like Return of Kings, so I support anyone choosing to write there.

      • Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Jim. I see what you mean, but those two (Roosh and Forney) squick me out and more importantly strike me as opportunists (like you said) and con men. Roosh has recently gone out on a limb to denigrate the Right as he’s done before (he goes in and out of the far-right leaning scene). As for Roosh’s books hahaha!! I wouldn’t buy a book that starts with “Bang” and then some random country even if you paid me to.

        As for potential allies, we have to be very careful about who we ally with. The Paleocons made the mistake of allying with libertarians who later on backstabbed them and pushed them out of the mainstream.

        Movements can be easily infiltrated by destructive elements, just look at what the Buckleyite faction did to the American Old Right and Interwar Right, and what the crypto-Trotskyite “neo-cons” and the aforementioned libertarians did to the paleocons.

        We must hold them off at distance and ultimately, we must remember Carl Schmitt’s Friend-Enemy distinction: Just because a group or faction is our ally in the moment doesn’t mean that they’ve become our friends. The RoK “Manosphere” faction and the Milo Yannopopopopopopolous types are not our friends. We can’t trust them and surely they’ll turn on us once they get what they want.

        I believe that we’re already seeing the mainstreaming of previously verboten Old Rightist and (non-Marxist)Old Leftist views thanks to the rise of Donald Trump, the leader of the Middle American Revolution, a revolution that was predicted a long time ago by Sam Francis and which was attempted, unsuccessfully by both Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot.

      • @ Nilakantha

        Your post was quite clear. Mine was rather lacking. I don’t believe we can overcome our common enemy without help from above. And God will help those who are united with Him not in a unifying non-religious vision but through His Church, His Mystical Body. That’s not to say that such vision of Common Good is not important or will not be important in the future after the war is won. In my view it is insufficient.

  12. Bravo, Mark. Sadly, just as the Pope remains unaware of the truth of the situation (I follow you in the tradition of assuming ignorance instead of malice) he will remain unaware of this letter. It is, despite all its beauty, more of a rallying cry than a potential corrective.

    Therefore I urge you to actually write it down and send it to His Holiness. On paper. Through the Post.

    Certainly it will probably accomplish nothing. But it will transform your act from a simple signal (however truly virtuous and useful) into an actual attempt at realizing that virtue in the world. And who knows? God works in mysterious ways, but one of His favorite mysteries is the connection between the heart of one man and another.

    If you do not feel moved to actually send this missive to the Pope, pray at least give me permission to copy it down and do so in your stead.

  13. Mark, I’m really impressed with this article. I’ve forwarded it on to a few editors of Catholic publications in the hope that they will take notice. This needs to be read widely by Catholics.

    I think you’ve correctly identified the problem. It is liberalism. Francis appears to be as blind to the threat to Christianity as are the atheist European bureaucrats. I still do not know whether it is out of ignorance or actual malice.

  14. I am a life-long Roman Catholic, and a professor at one of the leading orthodox Catholic universities in America, and I will state openly that Bergoglio is a disaster. I would not call him a heretic, because that would be an insult to heretics, who – though mistaken – are often willing to die for their beliefs, no matter how misguided. Bergoglio’s only belief is in his own fabulousness. He is obviously a chastisement for our sins, nothing more. When we have been sufficiently chastised, we will be given a real pope again. Until then, he must be resisted and called out publicly for what his is: a typical modernist Jesuit, a member of a religious order that ceased being Christian many decades ago

  15. @Mark – I agree with your analysis – although I do not believe this trend can be fought by worldly means.

    I was surprised, however, that John C Wright argued that Pope Francis was misrepresented, and that Peter Kreeft said he is exactly what the RCC needs (in a positive way, in terms of his emphasis) and was for that reason sent.

    But nonetheless I do believe he functions as a secular Leftist, subversive fifth columnist. My reasoning is that no man is neutral nowadays between the Left and religion (which are the two true political/ ideological poles). When mainstream ideology is on the Left then it must be actively rejected or else one is a Leftist (of course, Leftism may falsely be asserted to be rejected – as among some not-religious people.) Nobody could plausibly claim that Francis is NOT a Leftist, therefore he IS one.

    I also regard Francis as the most mediocre individual to be Pope for some time – the slowness of his selection by the conclave and the fact that he was not talked about as a possible Pope (and also that his name was unrecognized by the Vatican expert who was covering the TV announcement of the new Pope) all suggest that Francis was chosen only because agreement could not be reached on the most able candidates — presumably, eventually, the electors reached a name sufficiently unknown that nobody could formulate a strong objection.

    (Interestingly, and probably significantly, something very similar seems to have happened with the Archbishop of Canterbury – Justn Welby – who is such an inexperienced, unscholarly, non-holy and mediocre middle manager of a man that the only thing anybody could find to say about him was that he had once been a non-line manager in industry. Thus the tow man Christian denominations that have a Head are ‘led’ by incompetents. And when incompetents are made leaders but cannot, then they usually try to cover up their inability with stunts.)

    • Thanks for responding with intelligent insights, Bruce. As I mentioned above, this was purposefully a diplomatic letter (not that this appears to have done me much good). I give the most charitable interpretation possible, that the Pope is a product of his home country, and that because of this he is simply ignorant of the realities… and I would argue the innate value as well, concerning the Occidental world.

      The comparison to Welby is actually one I had considered putting in the original letter, but cut it for length and because I wasn’t sure how relevant that would be outside of the UK.

      I won’t speculate on how exactly Francis was selected, best leave that to Catholics who might be more familiar with the process and the other candidates who had a shot of being chosen but fell short.

      • No, I am afraid the theoretical Mormon does not offer an intelligent perspective, though it is certainly telling that you make common cause with the most muddled and all around incompetent “thinker” here. If I ever got an endorsement from the theoretical Mormon I would I be very concerned that I said something heterodox. By comparison the theoretical Mormon makes Francis look like St. Pius X. But you both would rather tilt at windmills than engage in serious thought. It is in the end I think a fitting image for your meta-traditon, a British homosexual who “combats” SJWs on Twitter, a Middle Eastern pickup artist and a theoretical Mormon. What fitting examples for the “alt right.” De Maistre would be proud.

  16. @ Mark Citadel
    Clever form of criticism of our pope and message for (not only) Catholic reactospere. Strange times when an Orthodox who does not even speak for other Orthodox teaches our pope how to be Catholic. Nevertheless, I still find the idea we should join to fight liberals in our churches awkward.

    • It isn’t so much a ‘joining’. I don’t think we are at that point yet, nor are we likely to be in the near future. But I do think that wherever we are, and not just Church really, we should fight Liberalism with all the cunning possible to overcome its hefty advantages.

      And one thing that I think we can ‘join’ in would be the pressure and discrediting of Liberal minor churches that still exist, churches that have affirmed sodomite marriage as good for example, as well as megachurch pastors with fancy get-rich-quick schemes (see Joel Osteen).

      • By ‘joining’ I meant sticking to the sort of metatradition you seem to promote. See my reply to Nilakantha above. Surely, temporal practical alliances are ok.

  17. Though I appreciate Mark’s points, I wasn’t going to enter into the polemical comment thread on here. I prefer to follow my general “pas d’ennemis à Droite” policy, admiring even jack-booted TFPers of the most extreme papio-fascist tendencies, who probably would like to burn people like me at the stake. Hey, they have cool uniforms, banners, and drums — and their womenfolk know their place. Yet, as with the recent sorry state of affairs in the Ukraine, I must prioritize my confession over warm well wishes toward Latin reactionaries.

    With that said, like John XXIII of sorrowful memory, please let me open a window and let in some fresh air to the discussion above. ISE and others find it objectionable that Mark, an Orthodox man, criticizes the current pope (or “pope” for the sedevacantists in our midst), while our own hierarchs have a track record of voicing modernist platitudes from time to time. I think that it might be useful to compare Pope Francis to Patriarch Kirill here. Both men have leftist backgrounds. The pope sees the world through his Jesuit and South American libtheo. lenses, while Kirill grew up in the Soviet era and became the leading ecumenist bishop in the Russian Church. Both men have a long history of palling around with Communists and other leftwing dictators while criticizing capitalism and the materialist West.

    The difference is, I suspect, that Francis appears to be a true believing man of the Left in most ways and acts accordingly, while Kirill, as our bishops in general, often walks the well-trodden paths of Byzantine diplomacy when dealing with secular and heathen powers but nonetheless doggedly advocates and works for the good of traditional Christians (in fact, the words of the former serve the deeds of the latter). To be more precise, Kirill cares for his sheep, while Francis saves his disdain and chastisement for the most pious members of his own flock.

    Comments above mention Kirill’s happy talk about mosques. That is true — but it is also true that the Moscow Patriarchate has pushed for the rechristianization of Russia in every domain of life for the past twenty years with surprising success. The M.P. recognized that post-Soviet Russia was not yet ready to embrace the old Throne and Altar symphony of imperial Russia. So, it has gradually and opportunistically chipped away at official secularism — and it has been able to do so by couching its moves as a representative member of Russia’s historic faiths — along with rabbinical Judaism, Buddhism, and Mohammedanism. Moreover, imperial Russia once secured the loyalty of southern Mohammedans from the empire’s borders, and Putin and Kirill both understand what is practically needed to maintain the peace of those peoples and regions today. That understanding has allowed for the expansion of Russian Orthodoxy into the Dar al-Islam, just as British military and economic power did the same for Western Christian sects in the Middle East during colonial times. Different methods, similar positive results.

    Concerning the population issue, Kirill and other Orthodox hierarchs have been insistent on the growth of their nations’ people. How many Western prelates voice concerns about the viability of their nations’ native population levels? They’d be embarrassed and ashamed even to think it! As far as Kirill’s calling for more Mohammedan immigration to the West, I wonder if such is just taunting — kind of like Eric Holder’s scolding white Americans for making the U.S. a nation of cowards. It’s a cruel form of mockery, but a just one — the object of the humiliation deserves to be mocked because its vice keeps it from objecting to the mockery. In addition, perhaps the Patriarch recognizes that Europe’s salvation will likely come from a forced reaction to the current age and to its values — with jihad’s being the supplied force. The Russians know a lot about “the worse, the better.”

    As for the pope, personally, I really don’t know what to make of Francis. He frequently demeans his most faithful followers as well as the hallmarks of the Roman Church that he leads. Yet, any bishop who constantly reminds people of hell and of the devious power of demons — who supports the expansion of exorcism activities today — is not a complete minion of the enemy. Far from it! So, I don’t think that he is an intentional subversive leader. I am not even in the Roman camp and thus haven’t drunk any Kool-Aid, but perhaps men like Peter Kreeft are right. The current pontificate might be a brilliant Trojan Horse operation against (which is really, ultimately, for) the West’s apostates. Maybe, Francis’ role is to infiltrate the enemy’s ranks (read “lost sheep”) and ingratiate himself with their leaders by conspicuously agreeing with all their pet bigotries — while underhandedly slipping enemy propaganda (i.e. Holy Writ) into their public and private places. Indeed, could the Pope Emeritus have succeeded in getting the Gospel into HuffPo articles? Maybe the Argentinian will prove to be a devastating sleeper agent for the atheistic elite. Never underestimate the strategic wisdom of providence.

    • Even leaving aside the discussion about your Eurasian ideology’s ability to assimilate increasingly growing Muslim populations it does not address the fact that Kirill said that the West needs to take in more immigrants. Why is he is given a pass on this? He is a non-Westerner and a probable ex-KGB agent who’s religion is just as alien to the West as Islam is. If Francis is a leftist and is an enemy of the West because of his view on refugees than why shouldn’t we can’t we hold Kirill to the same state standard? It is just blatant hypocrisy.

  18. @Mark

    You probably know more about it than me, but the Byzantine Empire had no formal means for deciding the Emperor, but believed that the Emperor that they most needed would ’emerge’. This non-system worked well; in the sense that the Eastern Roman Empire survived c1000 years – far longer than any other Christian polity.

    But part of this belief was that sometimes the Emperor would be a ‘bad’ Emperor, and that happened because it was what was needed. So, God chose the Emperor, but it was sometimes a Christian’s duty to resist or depose the Emperor – the Patriarch more than once excommunicated the Emperor (even though the Emperor had appointed him, and could remove and exile him – which also happened).

    Getting to Francis, it is possible that he was God’s choce, but that he is ‘supposed’ to be resisted – and it is this resistance which is what is most needed.

    But I am not sure how compatible this idea of Bad Popes is with official Roman doctrine, and I am not sure how to find out. But I suspect that there is some provision for, and mention of, what ought to happen in the case of Bad Popes, given some of the examples of the past.

    A contrasting comparison is the Mormon Church, where it is specifically stated that God will *never* allow the Prophets and Apostles to be bad/ fundamentally wrong (e.g. there is no provision for legitimately desposing them). (And indeed, so far, all the Prophets have been very obviously good for the church! – so there has never been any temptation to doubt the truth of the assurance.)

    It remind me of the old joke that Roman Catholics officially say the Pope is infallible, but they don’t really believe it – Mormons officially say the Prophet is fallible, but they don’t really believe it!

    My point is that the existence of a Bad Pope, chosen by God, and the Christian necessity of resisting him, *ought to be* something that Roman Catholics can deal with without any threat to their faith.

    I think the problem is that until Francis and for many generations (at least until Vatican II, but mostly since), the long serving Popes have been more conservative than the laity and most of the Bishops – and traditionalists have developed an ultramontaine attitude which equates correctness with a strict international hierarchy and obedience to the Pope and Magisterium; and at the same time the assumption that the Pope is always fundamentally right because chosen by God.

    Francis has put this equation of church politics and doctrine under intolerable strain, and the answer will probably lie in developing a more complex understanding of the relationship between the serious lay Catholic and the authority structure.

    Of course, this scenario has already been played out in SSPX and the other similar (orthodox, devout, fruitful, non-heretical) splinter groups – but they were Bishop led and local. The new challenge for many serious catholics in specific places and situations is what to do when many/ most of the local and available priests and Bishops and cardinals are so very wrong?

    Since frequent (ideally daily) Mass has the basis of the Roman Catholic religious life for ?150 years – this is a very serious problem; and a reversion to the medieval (and Orthodox) practice of much less frequent Mass, and instead other forms of liturgy that can be performed by the laity, may be necessary.

    • Bruce, you propose a fascinating idea, and it certainly fits with Christian (and Hebrew) experience. I’d add that we ought to modify de Maistre’s famous line and say that every ecclesial flock has the shepherd they deserve. If we accept that, then Pope Francis is far too noble of a gift for the current communion of folks who call the Roman Church home — taken collectively, of course. I do feel sorry for the faithful remnant, who suffer the misfortunes brought on by others, but it has always and everywhere been so. But your idea rings true. Faithlessness is followed by consequent disaster as punishment (which it itself brings, being disordered), and that disaster is often typified by bad leadership, again symbolic of the disorder over which it (mis)rules. Christians have always judged themselves in light of the ancient Israelites and their trials and tribulations. Medieval westerners had their own Babylonian Captivity, and I don’t see why the same dynamic wouldn’t hold today.

      I don’t know how faithful Latins will deal with their doctrine of infallibility in such a situation, though the last fifty years are informative. Sedevacantism is one method to manage what you aptly called an “intolerable strain.” Acrobatic rationalizations of “ex cathedra” seems to be another common method among educated Roman Catholics. Given man’s capacity stubbornness and contradiction, I’d guess that many of them will suffer through the cognitive dissonance and come out as ultramontane as before. If the radical disruptions of and following the Second Vatican Council did not wake most people from their dogmatic slumber, nothing will. The few will go into schism, and the many will blindly follow their “vicar” wherever he (or, maybe one day, she) may go. God forbid that mass apostasy would last so long! I hope that the Lord will have mercy and spare that mighty herd from going off the cliff (possessed as they are by the spirits of the age). Perhaps, the ultimate divine insurance on papal infallibility and check upon papal misdeeds (in matters of faith and morals) is a stopped heart. I don’t believe that, given the last millennium, but it seems like a reasonable route for someone who subscribes to the claims of the First Vatican Council.

      • @Joseph–

        I don’t know how faithful Latins will deal with their doctrine of infallibility in such a situation…

        Well, it helps to understand the limits of infallibility. Here’s Vatican I (specifically Pastor Aeternus) on the topic:

        …we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable. (Emphasis added)

        So, note, the various conditions:

        1) The charism concerns “the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians” — hence his more-or-less formal teaching office (e.g., encyclicals, not airplane or TV interviews).

        2) It involves “definition” of a doctrine (“definition” has a specific meaning in Catholic theology: the termination of discussion about a now-settled issue),

        3) “concerning faith or morals” (hence not, e.g., discipline or prudent policy),

        4) “to be held by the whole Church,” hence it cannot apply to a document given, e.g., only to the local churches of one particular nation and only in their own tongue.

        These are definitions which, taken together, more or less conclusively rule out the neo-ultramontanism to which most are in thrall.

        So it is worth noting that, yes, Popes can (and have) taught error (though never definitively, as above), and can be (and have been) rebuked and resisted by their inferiors when they do so. I seem to recall the Chancellor of the Sorbonne threatened to burn John XXII at the stake if he refused to recant of his novel teachings regarding the Beatific Vision!

      • or, maybe one day, she may go
        Oh wow, another hysterical apostate Catholic who pretends to sympathize while dredging up doomsday scenarios. How tiresome this gets.

      • “How tiresome this gets.”

        Apparently you’re blissfully unaware of how tiresome your comments get, itascriptaest. You remind me of a juvenile delinquent who, when he isn’t shooting spitwads at the teacher through a straw, is otherwise disrupting the class with insult and argumentation directed at anyone else who makes a contribution, drawing attention away from yourself, and back to the subject at hand.

        Why don’t you grow up and try to make a positive contribution, or otherwise shut the hell up! With all due respect to your supreme Catholic holiness.

      • Proph, thank you for explaining Vatican I’s conditions of infallibility. There seems to be much confusion out there about that topic.

        ISE, I’m not throwing out doomsday fantasies for kicks — I trust that you have been alive and active in the Roman communion during the last several decades. The doomsday scenario is here, now, and has been for some time. In the West — both in the very heartland of the Roman Catholic faith and in the older imperial colonies of her children, there is mass apostasy from the faith and rampant confusion, heresy, and blasphemy in the flock — in “Catholic” schools, dioceses, seminaries, charitable organizations, and religious orders. Please don’t think that I’m casting stones at your Church for sport; my sympathy is not pretended at all. My own thoughts and feelings toward Rome are pretty complicated, but in no way do I wish to see it self-destruct — for it will carry along the West that I love to perdition. Surely, you must see how in the last fifty years, the Roman Church’s episcopate and priesthood have gone from being the greatest and most significant defenders of natural law and Western civilization (not to mention their proper work in preaching the Gospel and saving souls) to a yet another enabler (and often cheerleader) of our slouching towards Gomorrah. There have been pauses and exceptions, of course, but the reversal has been spectacular. It is horrific, and Mark (along with millions of others) are truly concerned that Francis’ pontificate might be the full flowering of a seed that was planted in the 60s. I hope that they are wrong (as I’m sure that they hope themselves), but our anxiety is well justified.

  19. Note to Kristor

    – This has been overall an excellent thread, of lasting interest – but it has degenerated into a slanging/ hatefest with merely personal insults in a few places (and from predictable sources) very clearly in breach of commenting guidelines (as well as outwith decent personal discourse).

    – Therefore I suggest that some comments need to be deleted so that they do not spoil the permanent record of this discussion. I would do it myself except that you introduced Mark’s post.

    • I’m not going to delete any comments, but I will say this: the Orthosphere is interested in, and intends, the re-establishment of a proper civilization in the West. Civilization entails civility. It requires an aristocracy of gentlemen. Who fails at civility in discussing his honest differences with others is not behaving as a gentleman. And that saps what civilization there may still be; it promotes the general barbarity of manners, diction, thought, and comportment we generally deplore. As we deplore that barbarity, so ought we to abhor it, and a fortiori to abjure it ourselves.

      Be as firm and definite as you like, please. Nothing should deter us or discourage us from discovering by our frank discourse a closer approximation to mere fact, to Truth. Speak the truth as you understand it, then. But do so politely, and with a mind open and charitable toward other minds.

      Remember in the final analysis that Beauty is an aspect of Truth. Ugliness then is a harbinger of error. As a disordered or incoherent bit of speech indicates a disordered or incoherent or at least sloppy mind, so does ugliness of any sort. Any descent to ugliness in speech thus pollutes the chalice in which you proffer your own proposals, and repels anyone who does not already agree with you (and, indeed, many who do). To wit: when we hear someone screaming a proposition, as a raver on the street who roars truly of our impending doom, we cannot but feel – rightly – that the proposition is tainted by the manner of its propagation. We feel – not inaptly – that the poor innocent proposition is suspect, is perhaps itself intellectual or moral poison, and ought to be avoided with its mad exponent. If a notion appeals to a madman, is it not perhaps itself more likely than we might otherwise think to be somewhat mad, ergo maddening? So likewise for any form of ugliness in communication or comportment. This is why the argumentum ad Hitlerum works rhetorically, even though it shouldn’t. Ditto for the argumentum ad Savonarolam.

      If therefore you truly intend to evangelize your brothers and adversaries efficaciously, and for their benefit, it behooves you before you post a comment to ask yourself, “Is it beautiful?” If not, work at it until it is. Post it only when you honestly feel that what you have said, and how you have said it, are beautiful. You catch more flies with honey. Indeed it is not possible to be quite as wise as a serpent except by seeming as harmless as a dove.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      PS: I hope it is obvious that in the foregoing I was addressing, not Bruce Charlton specifically, but commenters in general.

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  23. If Catholic politicians in these countries refuse to back this notion, excommunicate them.

    Not that I disagree at all with this, but if politicians have not been excommunicated over abortion, I don’t see over what they could be excommunicated.

    • I recall there being some liberal Democrat in California running for Congress, a Catholic whose campaigning for abortion “rights” was so unseemly that her bishop excommunicated her. She subsequently won by a ridiculous margin previously unforeseeable. I wonder if that’s why they tend to avoid it.

      • That’s an interesting theory for a strategy, Proph, but it doesn’t explain why establishment heretics like the current V.P. and the likes of Nancy Pelosi, et al haven’t been excommunicated from the Catholic communion.

        Personally I tend to think that the mainstream Catholic hierarchy is simply weak. And that’s sufficient explanation for me. But of course am subject to correction.

      • Well, yeah, they’re definitely weak. And they don’t have the strength of character to do canon 915-type stuff in a way that looks credible and respectable, so no one takes them seriously when they do.

        I wonder if that’s the whole reason for the growing movement for disciplinary laxity. “We don’t have the nuts to be tough on anyone, so let’s just change the expectations.”

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  25. Dear Mark,

    Despite the great intentions of your open letter, it fails to fundamentally understand the nature of the Church as a feminine being. Your calls for a “muscular” and “masculine” Roman Catholicism is tantamount to demanding a feminist Church. Allow me to elaborate.

    In Western Christendom, you correctly perceive a lack of masculinity and spiritual virility. However, the Catholic response is not that it is the Church that lacks masculinity, but society itself—what we in the West used to call “The Empire.” In traditional (as opposed to traditionalist) Catholicism, especially if one reads Dante whom Benedict XV in his encyclical IN PRAECLARA SUMMORUM calls “the most eloquent singer of the Christian idea,” the ideal society is composed of a feminine element (the Papacy) and a masculine element (The Emperor)–what Dante would call “the two suns.” The understanding was that the Emperor himself was the highest seat of earthly authority and that the pretensions of the Papacy for secularization was a usurpation. This can be understood in the analogue of the family which has both a mother and a father. This is why the Roman Church is referred to as “Holy Mother Church.”

    Thus, if we take the analogue of the family, one never complains that the wife or mother does not contain enough masculinity! Indeed, she would rely on the father—the husband to provide the necessary virility to protect the family. What you are witnessing is not a cowardly Church, but one who is fulfilling her vocation as a woman. And, just like women in the analogue of the family require men to govern them, so, too, does the Church require an Empire in order to flourish. You were correct to note that the Church readily endorsed the virile actions of the Crusaders, but this was because those actions were performed for the sake of “Christendom” which was just another idea of the European Ecumene—the Imperium; the masculine aspect. If the man abandons the family, is the solution to ask the woman to become a man? No! This is the secret meaning behind the passage of my namesake: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27) The Church is a widow and the poor European nations are the orphans.

    Therefore, while your polemics make good points, they should be aimed not at the woman who is being constantly pulled here and there by the ideologies of the world, but the impotence of the so called “traditional” men who have yet to resurrect the Empire who adored the Church like a man loves his wife. Real men do not let their wives and mothers fight their battles for them! Real men do not complain when their wives and mothers are not “muscular” enough to fight foreign invaders. If you consider yourself to be a man, then protect the Church rather than complain about her.

    Sincerely,
    James
    A Catholic

    • James

      Thanks for this lengthy response. I actually do understand the point you are making, and it relates somewhat to what Evola termed the ‘Solar’ and ‘Lunar’ aspects. The dominant and the subservient. The thing is, such characteristics are not totally immutable.We see a ladder of authority. God is subordinate to nobody. Nature is subordinate to God. Empires are subordinate to nature. The Church is subordinate to the empire. Men are subordinate to the Church. Women are subordinate to the men. Children are subordinate to the women.

      I’m not talking about altering that fundamental metaphysical aspect of the Church. When I’m talking about masculinity, I mean it in the very crude sense, the way the Church stood up to Liberalism during the early years. The Church may have a feminine quality as it relates to Christ Himself, but it is not an actual woman, it is an institution and one that in its religious role commands respect.

      What would be wrong with the Roman Catholic Church speaking as it did in the early 1800s? I don’t think that would compromise its essence, and that’s generally what I’m asking for here.

    • I think that the usual interpretation of the Church as feminine is because all of creation is feminine when held next to God. The Church is the Bride because She is the most pleasing thing in creation to Christ, not because Her leaders are passive in the face of the world, indeed the very opposite. The Church is not necessarily supposed to be feminine when confronted with worldly threats. It would scarcely survive otherwise.

      As for getting the Empire back, in all its worldly and spiritual glory, as it was when Charlemagne ruled, I’m not going to hold my breath, but maybe Putin or his successors will lean that way in the years to come. Hell, I’ll be happy just to see Trump stir things up a little at this point.

    • On that note, James, maybe the Church should stay out of politics then and focus on taking care of her children like a good woman. That means shutting the hell up regarding populist and nationalist leaders as well as the “duty” of Europeans states to take in hostile and parasitic aliens.

      Will Catholics ever cease to make more excuses for passivity in the face of an existential threat?

      (No.)

    • @ James

      Something to ponder. Just briefly, in the old dispute between Dante and Boniface over Unam Sanctam I would rather support the latter though I don’t have strong opinion on this matter.

      I think the Church is feminine in relationship to Her Lord but an authority towards Her children (as mother). Even the emperor is son of the Church, therefore subordinate to Church, his Mother.

      Perhaps Boniface is the pope Mark calls for.

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