PopeWatch: Pietro De Marco




Sandro Magister publishes a post by Pietro De Marco, one of the signatories of the Correctio who explains how the “spirit of Vatican II” is the source of the attempt by Pope Francis to transform the Church:


by Pietro De Marco

What convinced me to sign the “Correctio” is its doctrinal core, meaning the clarification of the “false and heretical propositions propagated in the Church” even by Pope Francis. The propositions under censure in fact have the value of going to the heart of intellectual opinions and attitudes of theological-dogmatic significance that for decades have been spread in the intellectual Catholic “koinè.”

Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio participates spontaneously in this “koinè.” It is a result of what is currently called the “spirit of the Council,” meaning of the Council as constructed by the intelligentsia on the sidelines and asserted over the subsequent years. Whole generations, in particular those that are now growing old, have been impregnated with it and are still acting as its representatives with no self-criticism, as if the Church had not gone through more than half a century of travail on account of the errors and perverse effects induced precisely by that “spirit.”

With the current pontificate, a “conciliar” vision made of few formulas, mostly dismissive of that which is the essence of Catholicism – reason and institution, dogma and liturgy, sacraments and morality – is spreading and imposing itself as the public opinion of the Church, sure of the pope’s personal support, brimming with certainty, without discernment of the implications and not without conceit or disdain against those who are opposed to it: in fact, just like every ideology works.

In effect, one grasps an argumentary and rhetorical aspect of this not only of the pontiff’s opinings, but also in official documents like “Amoris Laetitia.” Thus, by way of example, the distinction between regular and irregular is taken as “artificial and exterior”; the age-old judgment on Protestantism is attributed to “fear and prejudice about the other’s faith”; respect for tradition means “keeping in mothballs, like a coating against parasites”; the age-old legitimization of the death penalty on the part of the Church is traced back to the “preoccupation to hold on to power and wealth”; and so on. A dismissive attitude and typical “grassroots” rhetoric, in addition to the anticlerical repertoire, that infested the 1960’s and ‘70’s (I have a detailed and abundant memory of this, between Florence and Bologna) from which the militant conciliar “momentum” never freed itself, but which were in decline until the election of Bergoglio as pope paradoxically re-legitimized them at the very top.

Premises and effects of this culture are indeed expressed in the propositions defined as “false and heretical” by the “Correctio.” Such propositions must be understood as implicit assumptions, or as major premises, of what that “conciliar” vision has for years consistently affirmed or proposed for belief, and implements on the so-called pastoral terrain. When word and practice are brought to their objective premise of a doctrinal nature, their erosive and destructive power appears. These are, in fact, the doctrinal chasms that for decades have made it possible for pastoral practice to drift along on formulas that are liberating, approachable, generous, accompanied by reassurances for the faithful relative to their “evangelical” foundation: a foundation that is taken as self-evident, given the conformity of Jesus, a Jesus weak and “sinful,” to the human as ordinarily experienced.

In the face of all this, the “Correctio” is like a little “Pascendi,” the anti-modernist encyclical of one hundred and ten years ago, but however – and dramatically – does not come from a pontiff but is addressed to him as a censure.


It has been pointedly noted how, precisely in the “critical” theological and pastoral cultures that accompany the action of the pope, always aimed at downgrading canon law, unprecedented attention is now being paid to norms. Why? Because the pastoral sensibility, devoid of any theological rationale, has become a pursuit of reduction, of exoneration.  The pastoral concerns that guide clergies and episcopates today consist in seeking to guarantee a sort of egalitarian treatment for the faithful, to gratify them with a public recognition of equal rights of which access to the Eucharist is only the tip of the iceberg, no matter what their situation with regard to moral theology and canon law.  Not many seem to realize this, not even the pope, but the pastoral practice of mercy today runs, particularly in the urban and secularized societies of the whole world, in the petit bourgeois “existential peripheries” more than in the “favelas,” precisely the perverse machinery of the hypertrophy of individual rights.


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  1. Spirit of Vatican Council II or ignorance of Catholics?

    NOVEMBER 10, 2017
    No clarification or response from Bishop Robert J.McManus or Brother Thomas Augustine MICM on Catholic doctrine : how did they interpret Vatican Council II and EENS?
    The Slaves of the Immaculate have been recognized by the Catholic Church as a religious community with canonical status who follow the magisterium and can teach Catholic doctrine.But there is still no clarification on doctrine and theology from Brother Thomas Augustine MICM, Superior, St.Benedict Center, Still River, Massachusetts or the Chancellery Office at the Diocese of Worcester or Bishop Robert J. McManus, the bishop of Worcester.Posts on this blog have been e-mailed to them.

    Here are 10 questions I ask them to please clarify for Catholics.What is the doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church and what has been accepted by the MICM community ? Can one interpret Vatican Council II in harmony with the strict interpretation of the dogma outside the Church there is no salvation?
    For me the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith/Holy Office 1949 in the Letter of the Holy Office made a mistake. The Letter assumed invisible for us baptism of desire(BOD), baptism, of blood(BOD) and being saved in invincible ignorance(I.I) are visible and known exceptions to Feeneyite EENS,these being examples of salvation outside the Church.I mentioned this in a previous blog post.1
    So for me Fr.Leonard Feeney was correct and the Holy Office was irrational in its philosophy and new theology.Fr. Leonard Feeney was orthodox and the Holy Office was in heresy, with its visible examples of salvation of invisible people.
    1) So my question is do the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the St. Benedict Center,Still River and Bishop Robert J.McManus interpret invisible for us BOD, BOB and I.I as referring to visible exceptions to EENS? Unknown people are known exceptions to EENS?
    2) Do they acknowledge that BOD, BOB and I.I refer to unknown people in 2017? We cannot meet or see someone saved as such in 2017, would they agree ?

    In the same blog post I mentioned that Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger were wrong to excommunicate Archbishop Lefebvre.The central issue was Vatican Council II. He was correct. Vatican Council II,with LG 16, LG 8, UR 3, NA 2 etc mistaken as known people saved outside the Church, has to be a rupture with the past exclusivist ecclesiology and the Syllabus of Errors.With an irrational premise there is a non traditional conclusion. Archbishop Lefebvre rejected this interpretation of the Council which was accepted by the CDF Prefect and the pope.
    3.For canonical status did Brother Thomas Augustine MICM have to interpret Lumen Gentium 16 etc as referring to known and visible people saved outside the Church?
    4.For canonical status can the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary(MICM) in general, interpret Lumen Gentium 16 etc as referring to hypothetical cases, known only to God.So being invisible and unknown in our reality, they cannot be exceptions to EENS, as it was interpreted by the missionaries in the 16th century?
    5.Are the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary able to interpret Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in harmony with the strict interpretation of the dogma EENS? This would be EENS as the missionaries intepreted in the 16th century.
    6.Can they interpret Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, assuming hypothetical cases (BOD, BOB and I.I/ LG 16, LG 8, LG 14, UR 3, NA 2 etc) are simply hypothetical.They are not concrete and personally known people in our reality?
    7.So all Catholic religious communities in Worcester and elsewhere,can affirm the strict interpretation of EENS along with Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church ?
    8.It would mean the International Theological Commission made a mistake when it considered ‘possibilities of salvation’ as being exceptions to Feeneyite EENS? Possibilities are not concrete and known people in 2017.So they cannot be exceptions to all needing to be incorporated into the Catholic Church for salvation.People who do not exist cannot be exceptions.
    10. Exclusivist ecclesiocentrism—the fruit of a specific theological system or of a mistaken understanding of the phrase extra ecclesiam nulla salus—is no longer defended by Catholic theologians after the clear statements of Pius XII and Vatican Council II on the possibility of salvation for those who do not belong visibly to the Church (cf, e.g., LG 16; GS 22)…’-International Theological Commission, Christianity and the World Religions(emphasis added)
    9.Did Bishop Bernard Fellay make a mistake in the Letter to Friends and Benefactors no. 82 in the following passage ? LG 8 and UR 3 refer to hypothetical cases.So they cannot be relevant or exceptions to Feeneyite EENS or EENS as it was known to the missionaries in the 16th century?

    The same declaration (LG, 8) also recognizes the presence of “salvific elements” in non-Catholic Christian communities. The decree on ecumenism goes even further, adding that “the Spirit of Christ does not refrain from using these churches and communities as means of salvation, which derive their efficacy from the fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.” (UR, 3)
    Such statements are irreconcilable with the dogma “No salvation outside of the Church, which was reaffirmed by a Letter of the Holy Office on August 8, 1949″. – Bishop Bernard Fellay (April 13, 2014 ) Letter to Friends and Benefactors no. 82
    10.How can the dogma ‘No salvation outside the Church’ be reaffirmed by the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 for Bishop Fellay, when the Letter infers that invisible cases of BOD, BOB and I.I are visible examples of salvation? This was not mentioned in the Council of Florence 1441 which defined outside the Church there is no salvation ?
    -Lionel Andrades

  2. Further evidence that Vatican II was a catastrophe for the Church and now we have Pope Francis as it’s apotheosis. All of this was, of course, predicted by many, e.g., ‘Trojan Horse in the City of God’ —The Catholic Crisis Explained, by Dietrich von Hildebrand in 1967. Later he published ‘The Devastated Vineyard’ in 1973.

    Here is an appropriate quote from St Francis de Sales.
    “It is an act of charity to cry out against the wolf when he among the sheep”.

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