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Mister Bergoglio’s Neighborhood

Berg Bro BpsFrancis greets his Pentecostal “brother bishop” and gives away the store.

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

For thirty-five years Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, a TV show presided over by a likable and low-key Calvinist minister named Fred Rogers, taught American children the advantages of cooperation and generic “niceness,” and did so utterly without reference to any religious dogma, Calvinist, Catholic or otherwise.

It was Fred’s sweater-clad specter that came to mind when I chanced upon a video message Jorge Maria Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) recently made for the Protestant charismatic Bishop Tony Palmer and a Kenneth Copeland Ministries conference. Here was Bergoglio — supposedly Successor of Peter, Roman Pontiff, Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth — delivering an address to American Protestants that undermines one Catholic teaching after another.

It is a cringe-inducing dose of emotional, dogma-free, Vatican II ecumenical “niceness.” Give each other “hugs”! If you have even an ounce of Catholicism left, you want roll your eyes, say “yuck,” move the cursor, and quickly click on something (anything!) else. But as much as we might feel like averting our eyes from the horror of this train wreck, we have to force ourselves to look closely at the devastating doctrinal carnage that Bergoglio has strewn throughout a mere 600 words:

  • Bergoglio says he will not speak Italian or English “but ‘heartfully,’ a language more simple, and more authentic, and this language of the heart has a special language and grammar. A simple grammar.”
  • For Bergoglio, Tony Palmer, a bishop in something called the  Anglican Episcopal Communion of the CEEC (Celtic Anglican Tradition) and a pentecostal, is “my brother bishop.
  • It is a joy to Bergoglio that pentecostal groups like this come together “to receive the Spirit,” because this way “we can see that God is working all over the world.
  • Bergoglio is filled with yearning because it happens “in our neighborhood [quartiere],” where there are “families that come together and families who separate themselves. We are kind of… permit me to say, separated.”
  • Why are the Catholic Church and pentecostal groups separated from each other? “It’s sin that has separated us, all our sins. The misunderstandings throughout history. It has been a long road of sins that we all shared in. Who is to blame? We all share the blame. We have all sinned. There is only one blameless, the Lord.”
  • Both of us, the Catholic Church and pentecostal groups, have our “currency” — “The currency of our culture. The currency of our history. We have lot of cultural riches, and religious riches. And we have diverse traditions. But we have to encounter one another as brothers. We must cry together like Joseph did. These tears will unite us. The tears of love.
  • “Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.”
  • I ask you to bless me, and I bless you. From brother to brother, I embrace you.”

It almost sounds like a parody of reheated ’60 liberalism. Or, as if a sedevacantist ghostwriter were regularly feeding Bergoglio talking points over the Casa S. Marta breakfast buffet: “OK, Jorge, today start by calling the Protestant your ‘brother bishop,’ hint that the Holy Ghost is behind the jabbering in tongues, and wind up with teary hugs. Let’s see how the SSPX and The Remnant crowd will try figure out a way to insist you’re a real pope after that!” (Full disclosure: Bergoglio has not phoned me — at least within the past two weeks….)  But duty obliges us to step beyond parody in order to examine the array of errors and heresies encoded in these idiotic vaporings.

a2d6419328a0dea271bed110.LI. Bergoglio-Speak Decoded

1. Language of the Heart. Mushy, emotional clap-trap, of course, but what’s behind it? The classic modernist notion of religion in general and faith in particular as a “personal experience” or an “encounter with Jesus.” Bergoglio’s public statements are shot through with this theme, and it is the opposite of the Catholic understanding of faith — adhesion of the intellect under the influence of grace to truths revealed by God (dogmas) on account of His authority as revealer.

For modernists like Bergoglio, subjective emotion trumps objective revealed truths, especially when these truths have been systematically presented, because they then become what Bergoglio denounced in an address to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith  as “an ensemble of abstract and crystallized theories.” Instead of all this precise and picky dogma stuff, we get what Bergoglio calls “a simple grammar.” Don’t sweat the dogma with Protestants, because they can “encounter Jesus” without it.


A bro from da hood!

2. My Brother Bishop. This is another Bergoglian two-fer. First, you continue the program of diminishing the traditional Catholic teaching on papal authority by putting the pope on the same level as a bishop — and not even a putatively Catholic one, mind you, but a functionary in a heretical Protestant sect.

Second, you trash Pope Leo XIII’s teaching on apostolic succession and holy orders, according to which Bishop Palmer (photo above) would be nothing more than a layman. More “abstract and crystallized theories,” no doubt. Modernists utterly reject the standard teachings of traditional Catholic theology on what is required for the validity of a sacrament. The concepts of sacramental matter and form are not even found in the so-called Catechism of the Catholic Church. So while it is not surprising that a ’60s modernist like Bergoglio believes that a Protestant is a “brother bishop,” it is indeed quite shocking to hear a man in a white cassock who claims to be the pope say it out loud. Where is the outrage from the pretzel-minded conservative cheerleaders like Fr. Zuhlsdorf, Jimmy Aikin, and The Wanderer staff?

You need a hug!

Aww, he needs a hug!

3. God Working through Heretics Speaking in Tongues. Pentecostals like Palmer, Copeland and their followers jabber incomprehensible gibberish aloud at their gatherings and claim it is the Holy Ghost speaking. According to Bergoglio’s reasoning, this way “we can see that God is working all over the world.”

Uh, God works. We receive the Holy Ghost. Through gibberish. Spouted by heretics.

How can Bergoglio say something so stupid about a Pentecostal sect like Palmer’s and Copeland’s? Easy. Because of Vatican II’s teaching on ecumenism, according to which even non-Christian religions are means of salvation used by the Holy Ghost, and because faith for Bergoglio is not dogmas, but personal religious experience or “the language of the heart.”

4. Church and Sect are “Families” in the Same “Neighborhood.” Got that? The article in the Creed “I believe in one… Church” has been updated to “I believe in one neighborhood,” and the understanding of the Church as “the kingdom of God on earth governed by apostolic authority” (D. Palmieri) is replaced by the Neighborhood Family Club. You don’t have one family of God under one authority (Christ’s Vicar) over all its servants (famuli) but multiple families who “separate themselves” from each other — do not participate, perhaps, in the same barbecues, sack races and water balloon fights at the neighborhood clubhouse.

Good neighbor!

Good neighbor!

5. Church and Sect are Separated Because of “Sin.” By this Bergoglio certainly doesn’t mean a sin of heresy on the part of non-Catholics. Given his concept of faith, such would be impossible, because for him dogma does not exist except as “abstract and crystallized theories.” “Sin” for him, rather, seems to mean nothing more than moral faults and misunderstandings that lead to quarreling among families in the neighborhood — the Pope, Calvin, Luther, Tudor and Kenneth Copeland families.

The Copeland Ministries family believes in the “prosperity Gospel” (God wants Christians to be rich, and “faith,” positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase your material wealth), that “Adam was God manifest in the flesh,” that God is a man and a woman, and for that matter, so was Adam. Do doctrines like this really separate us from the Copeland “family”? Oh please, don’t sweat the small stuff, and let’s concentrate on speaking the “language of the heart.”


Now THAT’s “rich”!

6. Church and Sect Alike Have Cultural/Religious Riches. They also have “diverse traditions.” Catholic: Gregorian chant, transubstantiation, Thomistic theology, authority handed down from Christ and the apostles. Pentecostals: snake-handling, jabbering in tongues, spirit-slaying, one-man television ministries. Lots of diverse religious riches there, and all equally precious since “tears” (rather than dogma) are the new currency to deposit at Bergoglio’s reformed Vatican bank.

7. Mutual Blessings and Hugs! The superior usually blesses the inferior — the father, the son; the pope, the bishop; the priest, the layman — but since we’re all equals in Mister Bergoglio’s Neighborhood, there’s nothing anymore to prevent a Protestant brother bishop (or even a gaggle of his Pentecostal followers) from blessing that twinkly-eyed, garrulous, grandpa-like geezer, the “Bishop of Rome.” And — seal the dogma-free deal with a nice big hug!

Simple grammar alert.

Simple grammar

II. Claptrap Has Consequences

In 600 words, Bergoglio has once again given away the store. As I pointed out in 9/11 for the Magisterium: The Francis Interviews, his public statements have created “a magisterium which destroys its own foundations.” There is no doctrinal certitude about anything in his system, nor is there any real need for any. All you need is “encounter with Jesus,” the “simple grammar of the heart,” respect for other “religious traditions,” neighborly spirit, “tears,” hugs and mutual blessings — more of what Italian theologian Peter De Marco has already called Bergoglio’s “relativistic slippage.” Everything — everything — is subverted.

Some conservatives would be tempted to shake their heads and say that such a debacle would never have occurred under that Rotweiler of Orthodoxy, Ratzinger. But not so fast! It turns out that Bergoglio’s brother bishop, Tony Palmer, said at the same charismatic conference where the video was played that there is no reason  now for divisions to exist between Catholics and Protestants.

We are not protesting the doctrine of salvation [taught] by the Catholic Church anymore. We now preach the same Gospel.

Ratz Peek

Peeking at the future.

Huh? Since when? Well, His Excellency Bishop Palmer tells us, since the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, which was approved, of course, by Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith chief, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. (For a critical analysis of this heresy-laden document, see here.)

At an ecumenical colloquium in 1993, moreover, Ratzinger said we could not predict what the papacy would look like twenty years later. In a contemporaneous article entitled Ratzinger: 99% Protestant, Don Francesco Ricossa offered a penetrating analysis of Ratzinger’s thinking and concluded that it would lead to the creation of a dogma-free ecumenical super-church.

Berg Clown Small

The future is here!

Well in Bergoglio, we have seen the face of this new papacy: it wears a clown nose, poses for selfies, trashes traditionalists, says “no Catholic God,” and reduces the Church’s dogmatic and moral teachings to mush in pursuit of ecumenism. After the Palmer/Copeland video fiasco, the “Francis Phenomenon” has prompted even some Protestants to express their worries that Bergoglio is creating “an emerging one-world religion.” This prospect should spook faithful Catholics all the more. The centuries-long goal of the Church’s enemies — the organized forces of naturalism that have existed since the 18th century — has been to create a dogma-free, one world religion that appeals to emotion without imposing doctrinal or moral constraints. In Bergoglio they have the man for the job.

Of the reign of Bergoglio, conservative commentator Professor Roberto di Mattei recently warned:

The events succeed one another more quickly. The Latin motus in fine velocior is commonly used to indicate the faster passing of the time at the end of an historical period…. The more one distances himself from God the more chaos, produced by the change, increases.

February 11[, 2013] marked the start of an acceleration of time, which is the consequence of a movement which is becoming vertiginous. We are living through an historical hour which is not necessarily the end of times, but certainly the end of a civilization and the termination of an epoch in the life of the Church….

The city is already in ruins and the enemy soldiers are at the gates.

Nay, more. The enemy is already within the walls, and the most dangerous of its leaders now rules the neighborhood, a smiling Mister Rogers type in reassuring white robes — but with the heart of a Robespierre.


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