CFN Special Report: Socci on the Francis Pontificate A Historic IndictmentA Review of Antonio Socci’s La Profezia Finale
by Christopher A. Ferrarawww.cfnews.org
Again and again the Italian Catholic and public intellectual Antonio Socci has shocked the Catholic “mainstream” with explosive exposés that confirm the diagnosis of the current crisis in the Church in “traditionalist” and “Fatimite” circles. Unlike so many of his colleagues in the Catholic commentariat, Socci will not refrain from publishing what intellectual honesty demands respecting our situation. Hence his Fourth Secret of Fatima, which placed the massive evidence of the Vatican’s failure to disclose the entire Third Secret squarely before the public eye, where it will simply not go away. Likewise, his Non é Francesco (It’s Not Francis, a play on the title of an Italian pop song) fearlessly confronted the disaster of the current pontificate, even if one demurs from Socci’s dubious arguments against the validity of Cardinal Bergoglio’s election (as Socci himself has apparently since done).
Now comes La Profezia Finale (The Final Prophecy), which consists principally of an open letter to Francis following an introductory review of approved Marian apparitions and other prophecies, especially the Message of Fatima and the integral Third Secret, which converge on each other and “indicate our time as the time of an almost apocalyptic turning point.”
As this book has thus far appeared only in Italian, and may never see an English edition—the translations herein are mine—what seems appropriate here is a book review that is more a tour of the text than a mere summary description. What elevates the work to the status of an historical document is the open letter to Francis. Here we encounter a text beneath which simmers barely concealed but entirely justified fury over the baneful effects of what Socci has dubbed “Bergoglianism”—a mixture of popular piety, leftist ideology, disdain for strict adherence to the traditional doctrines and disciplines of the Church, and a personality cult fomented and sustained by a mass media delighted with a Pope who, as Socci writes, seems to have “set about attacking the Church” rather than defending her against attackers.
The title of the open letter, “A terrible responsibility before God,” sets the tone for what is a scathing indictment of the entire pontificate, which, precisely on account of its perceived hostility to Tradition, enjoys “the unbearable general adulation of the media, above all the laicists and enemies of Christ, who propagate with regard to you a veritable cult of personality" (p. 92).
Francis, says Socci, is promoting the error of a “pure” Christianity (quoting Andreas Hoffer), “a sort of ‘superchristianity’ that purports to be “more good than even Jesus Christ himself” because it holds that “it is no longer enough to love the sinner… It is necessary even to love the sin (98).” Not without reason has the ironically entitled “Synod on the Family” been widely disparaged as “the Sin-Nod” and “the Synod Against the Family.” Indeed, as I write this piece the Catholic world awaits with dread a 200-page “Apostolic Exhortation” that may accomplish what the Synod failed to approve despite its blatant manipulation by Francis and his fiery denunciations of the “rigorists” and “Pharisees” among the Synod Fathers: the admission of public adulterers in second or even third “marriages” to Holy Communion and a greater “acceptance” of those involved in cohabitation and even “homosexual unions.”
In sum, Socci alleges, Francis has engaged in the “abolition of the external enemy and the fabrication of an internal enemy”—not the Modernists, but the defenders of the Faith in all its integrity, whom Francis habitually mocks and derides as “rigorists and fundamentalists (p. 99).” Socci charges that in the midst of the “dictatorship of relativism” lamented by Benedict XVI, which “is now consolidated in the West,” the Catholics who oppose it are “beaten with a cane and emarginated from the highest summit of the Church: by you [emphasis added, here and throughout].”
Yet, with the Church facing an apocalyptic turn of events in the realm of the spiritual, Francis has published an encyclical on ecology, addressing “the separation of waste and the abuse of plastic bottles and air conditioners.” Socci asks: “Are you sure that this is the response a Vicar of Christ should give to a truly apocalyptic spiritual crisis…?”
Socci provides a bill of particulars for his indictment under a series of headings that represent various aspects of the Bergoglian program.
Under the heading “Confusion” Socci remarks the unprecedented nature of the “Jubilee of Mercy,” the first Jubilee in Church history that “does not involve the memory of the earthly life of Jesus.... [and] celebrates only an ecclesial event: the fifty years since the Second Vatican Council (p. 108).”
Mercy, Socci writes, “was not invented in 2013,” but this event—with its thousands of “mercy doors” and no clear requirements for obtaining a plenary indulgence, seems to suggest (quoting Sandro Magister) “the total cancellation of sin, no longer with any hint of the remission of the consequent penalty. The word ‘penalty’ is another of the words that have vanished (p. 113).” Even the call for repentance and conversion is “set aside because you—as you have said publicly—do not wish to convert anyone and consider proselytism to be nonsense.”
Socci cites Francis’s homily of December 8, 2015 wherein he declares how wrong it is affirm of God “that sinners are punished by His judgment, without preferring instead that they are pardoned by His mercy.” The impression is that God “has pardoned everything ‘a priori’ and that it is not even necessary to amend one’s life.” Socci notes that Our Lord Himself lamented this “terrible self-deception” in an interior locution recorded by Saint Bridget of Sweden, wherein He tells her that the Church’s foundation in the Faith has been undermined “because everyone believes in me and preaches mercy, but no one preaches and believes that I am the just judge… I will not leave unpunished the least sin, nor without a reward the least good.”
Socci asks: “But why has your pontificate taken this turn?” The rest of the open letter presents the evidence for what he believes to be the answer to that question, and the answer could not be more explosive:
"… nstead of combatting errors (and certain of the erring) you have set yourself to combatting the Church…. I would remind you that the Church is the bride of Christ for which He was crucified, and the servant who has received from the King the task of defending pro tempore His bride cannot humiliate her in the public square, treating her like a naughty child…. It is necessary to kneel before the Lord, not the newspapers" (pp. 119-120).
Synod of Subversion
Under the heading “Bewilderment,” Socci trains his sights on the tempestuous Synod, which he rightly describes as “a deadly attack on the family and on the sacrament of the Eucharist that was systematically… carried forward by the Vatican summit,” “assisted for two years in the overturning of the perennial Magisterium of the Church” and was “promoted by the one who should be the custodian and defender of that teaching (p. 126).”
Socci quotes Cardinal Pell’s observation that the Synod was a “theological war” in which the indissolubility of marriage was like a flag to be captured in the “battle between what remains of Christianity in Europe and an aggressive neopaganism. All the adversaries of Christianity want the Church to capitulate on this point.”
But, writes Socci, while Francis “should have headed the resistance to the forces that wanted the Church’s capitulation, instead everyone—with ever-greater evidence and force—saw you heading the revolutionary faction (pp. 126-127).” Thus Ross Douthat of the New York Times was able to write: “in this moment the first conspirator is the Pope himself.” No wonder, Socci notes with disgust, even Newsweek magazine ran a cover story entitled “Is the Pope Catholic?”—a question that “was never posed as to your predecessors and no Catholic would ever have posed, but with you we find ourselves before a Pope who, as reported by a noted laicist daily (La Repubblica), declared literally ‘A Catholic God does not exist.’” In the same vein, The American Spectator depicted Francis “sitting atop a wrecking ball that was reducing a building [a church steeple] to dust" (p. 124).
A Meteorological Pope?
Under the heading “Climate Obsession,” Socci contrasts the apocalyptic decline in faith and morals throughout the West with this Pope’s inexplicable obsession with a supposed “climatological apocalypse.” Socci’s question is devastating: “Does the Church really have need of a climatological and meteorological Pope? (p. 131).” Noting that there is “no scientific certainty which proves indisputably that today there is a catastrophic change in climate and that this is imputable to human activity,” Socci declares to Francis:
"Yet you, Holy Father, who are always cold and detached regarding the dogma of the Church, have uncritically wed yourself to absurd ecological dogmas … making a granitic profession of faith in that absurd climatist ideology… t is improper and ridiculous that a Pope makes the climate and the environment (to which he dedicated the first encyclical he penned) the heart of his preaching… The Lord did not say: 'Convert and believe in global warming,' but rather: “Convert and believe in the Gospel.” And He never commanded: 'Separate your refuse' but rather 'Go and baptize all peoples'" (p. 134).
Socci’s scalding conclusion (quoting an editorial by Riccardo Cascioli) is that “One has the impression that the fundamental message of the Church has changed: ‘From the savior of men to the savior of the planet.’”
Lions and Tigers and Bears
Under the heading “Disturbing Show,” Socci denounces the preposterous and scandalous ecological light show projected onto the façade of Saint Peter’s on no less than the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Entitled Fiat Lux (Let there be Light), the show was “a mocking challenge and a parody of the Gospel in which the expression indicates the act of the Creator and then identifies the Light that is Christ who has come to illuminate the darkness.”
Replete with pictures of animals but devoid of even a hint of Christian symbolism, this spectacle represents a complete reversal of the message of the Gospel: “the world projects its light on the Church immersed in darkness. And in that show the Church receives the light of the world (p. 138).” And as the world’s imagery was cast onto the basilica that stands at the heart of the Church, the light on the crèche in Saint Peter’s Square was extinguished because “the light of the Baby Jesus must never disturb the staging of the new ecological religion (p. 139).”
Here Socci points to a stunningly appropriate passage in Scripture, from the Epistle to the Romans: “For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of creeping things (Rom. 1:22-23).” And here yet another devastating assessment thrown at the feet of Francis:
"But above all, Father Bergoglio [a reference to the Pope’s penchant for introducing himself thus], how is it possible that you do not notice and do not indicate other emergencies than those of the climate, or at least with equal insistence? The apostasy of entire peoples from the faith of the true God is not a drama that merits your most ardent appeals? The war against the family and against life? The neglect of Christ and the massacre of Christian communities? It seems that only the environment and other themes of the religion of political correctness merit your passion.
"A great French intellectual, Alain Finkielkraut, has described you as “Supreme Pontiff of the world journalistic ideology.” Is he wrong? Does he exaggerate?
"In effect, in 'your' Church it seems that the themes of separating refuse and recycling take precedence over the tragedy of entire peoples who, in the turn of a few years, have abandoned the faith. You sound the alarm over “global warming” while the Church for two millennia has sounded it concerning the fire of Hell" (p. 142).
From here, Socci launches into a discussion of the Message of Fatima and precisely its warnings about the loss of souls in Hell for all eternity. The Madonna of Fatima, he writes, “did not present the calculations of environmentalists on the climate of the planet, but caused the little children to see the eternal fire of Hell, and told them, sadly: ‘You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. Many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.”
This, Socci continues, “is the real tragedy, Holy Father, the eternal perdition of multitudes. Not—if you will permit me—the loss of biodiversity, or at least not for us Christians. Yet you never speak of it. Rather, sometimes you almost induce the belief that everyone will be saved because ‘God does not condemn. (p. 142-143).’”
Summing up his unconcealed contempt for the Pope’s preoccupation with global warming rather than the eternal fire of which Our Lady came to warn the world at Fatima, Socci writes:
"Before the spiritual catastrophe of the eternal perdition of multitudes, which induced the mother of God to come earnestly to Earth, I find it frankly incomprehensible that you preoccupy yourself for the most part—as you did in your encyclical Laudato si —with biodiversity, the fate of worms and little reptiles, the lakes, and the abuse of plastic bottles and air-conditioning" (p. 148).
A Pope Who Doesn’t Like Catholics?
Socci’s indictment next proceeds to the heading “Attack on the Faith,” a reference to enemies within the Church since Vatican II, whose subversion has been lamented (too little and too late) by every Pope since the Council, including Benedict XVI. It was Benedict who (during the Mass for the opening of the conclave that elected him) declared that today having “a clear and certain faith” is denounced as “fundamentalism.” Citing that testimony, Socci throws a series of gauntlets Francis’s feet:
"I invite you, Father Bergoglio, to reread attentively these words because they describe dramatically what is occurring during your pontificate. In fact, it is precisely you personally, Holy Father, who accuse of 'fundamentalism' those who have a clear and certain faith and bear witness to their fidelity to Catholic doctrine….
"You, curiously, are convinced that the danger for the Church of today is Christians fervent in their faith and those pastors who defend the Catholic creed. In your Evangelii gaudium you attack “some who dream of a monolithic doctrine” and those who “use a language completely orthodox.”
"Should we then prefer those who are carried here and there by every ideology and use heretical language? Evidently yes, seeing that they are never attacked by you.
"If one chooses any day, one will almost always find that you, in your discourse, attack those you call 'rigorists,' 'rigid,' that is, men with fervent faith, whom you identify with 'Scribes and Pharisees'" (p. 153-155).
Socci does not mince words in addressing Francis’s well-known constant resort to a false antithesis between mercy and doctrinal rigor, citing one of the innumerable discourses in which Francis declares that so-called “doctors of the law,” who know doctrine well, are estranged from the mercy of God. “But you, Holy Father,” writes Socci:
"should overcome your personal resentment toward those who have studied; you should know that, in the Christian horizon, it is completely absurd to oppose mercy to Truth, because both are incarnated in the same Jesus Christ. Thus it is false to oppose doctrine to the pastoral, because that would be to oppose the Logos (doctrine) to the Good Shepherd (the Truth made flesh): Jesus is the Logos (the Truth made flesh) and, at the same time, the Good Shepherd" (p. 159).
Socci also focuses on Francis’s justly infamous speech attacking his conservative opposition at the close of Synod 2016, wherein he blasted the prelates who had resisted having the pre-written, heterodox Instrumentum laboris shoved down their throats as “the Synod’s” final report. As Francis declared in that harangue, his opponents had:
"… closed hearts that often hide even behind the teaching of the Church, or behind good intentions, to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superficiality and superiority, to judge difficult cases and wounded families….
"The true defenders of doctrine are not those who defend the letter but the spirit; not the idea but the man; not the formula, but the gratuitous love of God and of his pardon."
Here we see the umpteenth example of Francis’ penchant for the false antithesis: the letter versus the “spirit” of doctrine; the idea versus the man; the “formula” versus the love of God and his pardon. But there is no opposition at all between these concepts; in fact, they are inseparable.
Socci has had quite enough of the past three years of this sort of Modernist sophistry, and he fires with both barrels:
"So doing, do you not think that you have disqualified your predecessors and all the Magisterium of the Church, in order to affirm your strictly personal concept of mercy different from the doctrine of the Church?...
"Evidently, even Jesus would have been, according to you, doctrinaire, a rigorist, one who defends the idea instead of the man.
"In effect—applying your criterion—we would have to say that Jesus would not have been accepted to a seminary during your pontificate because he was the most fundamentalist of all; in fact, not only was he certain of the truth, but he proclaimed himself the Truth made flesh ('I am the way, the truth, and the life.' Jn 14,6)."
Next in the dock, under the heading “Nullity,” is Francis’s surprise attack on the process for determining matrimonial nullity, which Francis “streamlined” with new canons devised in semi-secrecy and without consulting any competent Vatican dicastery. The net effect of the two motu proprios introducing these “reforms,” Mitis Iudex Jesus (for the western Church) and Mitis et Misericors (for the eastern Church) is, Socci writes, “a total overturning of perspective: no longer the defense of the sacrament above all (for the salvation of souls), but rather the ease and speed of obtaining an annulment (p. 168).”
Socci notes Francis’s curious insistence on the notion of “marital failure” in the sense of a breakdown in relations, which he seems to equate with grounds for nullity (original nonexistence) of the marriage. But, as Socci rightly observes, “there are many failed marriages that are perfectly valid” while, on the other hand, “there are many ‘null’ marriages (that is, they have never been such from the beginning) that are not failed” in terms of personal relations (p. 169). What Francis has done with his “reforms,” says Socci, is to authorize “imposition of a sentence of nullity as therapy for couples in crisis,” producing what many commentators have termed “Catholic divorce.”
The net result, Socci concludes, is “a true revolution in the history of the Church.” And the supreme irony of this revolution is that not even Cardinal Kasper called for it, but rather, in his intervention at the Consistory of February 2014, rejected precisely “the hypothesis of a generous broadening of the procedure for matrimonial nullity” because “it would create the dangerous impression that the Church is proceeding in a dishonest way to concede what are in reality divorces (p. 171).”
Incredibly, then, Francis has outdone even Kasper in his attack on the foundations of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. As I have noted elsewhere
, Francis admits in his own motu proprio
the danger of what he has done: “It did not however escape me that a shortened procedure may endanger the principle of the indissolubility of marriage
Returning once again to the theme of Fatima, Socci reminds us that Sister Lucia warned Cardinal Caffarra in a letter to the prelate that “The final conflict between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be over marriage and the family.” Socci here pleads with Francis to undo his improvident reform: “I fervently hope that you will withdraw everything. As soon as possible (p. 173).”
The Consequences of Liberalization
Reaching the climax of his long indictment, Socci, under the heading “A Catastrophic Balance,” drops one bomb after another in assessing the claim that Francis is merely attempting to attract souls by mitigating the Church’s supposed rigor. It suffices merely to recite Socci’s explosive remarks:
• “No one has ever held that in order to draw people to the Gospel it is necessary to disown or overturn the Gospel.”
• “Of the many saints and great Popes who have evangelized peoples and entire continents, no one has ever done it by watering down and adulterating the doctrine of the Faith.”
• “We must be the salt of the earth and the salt burns wounds. Like the truth. We must choose: either with Him or against Him. Either salvation or perdition.”
• “[W]henever a religious confession lowers the bar to accommodate worldly customs or to attract adherents it decrees its own suicide.” pp. 177-179.
Socci cites the study of a renowned sociologist whose data confirm that Christian religious confessions that liberalize begin immediately to decline, while those that maintain or return to their traditions thrive, and that this is precisely what has happened in the liberalized Catholic Church of the post-Vatican II epoch.
In this connection, Socci presents Francis with “heavily negative data regarding you personally,” showing that the vaunted “Francis effect” has really meant a steady decline in attendance at papal audiences, despite “the always more powerful planetary propaganda machine that daily hails and exalts your smallest gesture, mythologizing it more than any star.” In fact, he notes, despite the myth that Benedict was “a cold German professor, from whom the people felt distant, in reality the people were much more attracted by Benedict XVI,” whose audience addresses were far better attended. And even though, in contrast to Francis, the media were uniformly hostile to Benedict, “evidently the Christian people, even when bombarded by the media, recognized the authentic accent that its heart expected (p. 180-181).”
In sum, Socci concludes:
"Evidently your message not only does not attract the distant, but even causes those near to run away… You speak instead to the elite, who have acclaimed you, feeling themselves confirmed in their laicist convictions. Your personal popularity has grown to excess. They call it the 'Bergoglio effect,' believing that the interested applause of unbelievers and the adulation of the media will fill the churches again.
"Instead, data in hand, we can say that for the Church the Bergoglio effect has been the contrary. The contents of your magisterium have distanced the people from religious practice rather than attracting them to it" (pp. 181-182).
The Franciscan Friars Affair
Socci next treats of the case of Francis’s brutal persecution of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI), dismembered and destroyed by his personally appointed “apostolic commissioner” without any concrete reason ever having been given to the victims. Here Socci recalls the astounding remarks by Francis during a meeting with some members of the already-shattered FFI, wherein, at one and the same, he admits that he approved the FFI’s destruction but that the FFI has suffered persecution by “the demon” on account of its devotion to Mary! To which demon is Francis referring? Socci protests to Francis that
"their [the FFI’s] true ‘crime’ is that of being true Christians, fervent in the Faith, those you harshly describe as 'fundamentalists' and who are in reality only living the authentic Gospel. Dear Father, reverse a decision for which one day God could ask you to account…. You have many who adulate you, but few among your fans pray for you; surely very few pray for you as much as the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate "(p. 186).
A Love Affair with Lutherans
After noting that Francis evinces no concern over the internal enemies of the Church who, as Saint Pius X warned, work to undermine the foundations of the faith, Socci next discusses how, on the contrary, Francis seems to have little regard for the doctrinal differences between Catholicism and the various forms of Protestantism.
Under the heading “In the House of Luther,” Socci recalls Francis’s scandalous appearance at a Lutheran church in Rome to participate in a Sunday service during which he rambled on for some ten minutes in answer to a woman’s question about why a Lutheran cannot receive Holy Communion. In the process he characterized the Catholic dogma on transubstantiation as a mere “interpretation” differing from the Lutheran view, ultimately rather coyly suggesting that the woman to “talk to the Lord” about whether she should receive Communion from a Catholic priest—an act of sacrilege. “I dare not say more,” said Francis, having already said quite enough.
Noting Luther’s venomous hatred of the Mass, Socci asks Francis: “how is it possible not to be disturbed? (p. 193).” Dialogue with Lutherans, he writes, must involve “reciprocal clarity, not tossing into the thorn bush the heart of the Catholic faith (p. 194).” Here Socci quotes what may be the single most outrageous remark Francis has ever made. Said Francis to the Lutherans on that occasion:
"The final choice will be definitive. And what will be the questions that the Lord will ask us that day: 'Did you go to Mass? Did you have a good catechesis?' No, the questions will be on the poor, because poverty is at the center of the Gospel."
Socci reminds Francis of what any well-formed child would understand: the infinite value of the Eucharist, Eucharistic adoration, and its worthy reception as compared to even a mountain of good works for the poor:
"But instead you, Father Bergoglio, seem to affirm that what counts are humanitarian merits that we acquire ourselves with our activism, with our 'service' to the poor."
"This would seem to be a Pelagian idea. But—I repeat—the most amazing thing is that you contrapose [yet another false antitheses] “serving the poor” to the Mass, which almost reduces it to something superfluous (along with catechesis)" (p. 197).
Quoting the famous saying of Padre Pio that “It would be better for the world to be without the sun than without Holy Mass,” Socci confronts Francis with the implications of his own words and deeds over the past three years, including his curious refusal to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament:
"Permit me to confide to you, Father Bergoglio, that—from the entirety of your words and gestures—one gets the impression that you have some problem with the Holy Eucharist, and that you do not really comprehend its value and its reality.
"There are so many facts and actions that raise this doubt. The most evident… is your decision not to kneel before the Sacrament during the Consecration at Mass, nor in front of the tabernacle, nor during Eucharistic adoration (moreover you do not participate in the Corpus Christi procession in which your predecessors, kneeling, always participated) (p. 200).
And yet, Socci notes, Francis had no problem kneeling when, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he knelt to receive “the laying on of hands at the convention of Pentecostals in the Luna Park Stadium… Suffice it to say that your intermittent pain in the knees, which seems to arise only when before the Most Blessed Sacrament, beyond seeming rather bizarre, would not appear to be an acceptable explanation (p. 201).”
An Unconscious Joachimist?
This strange attitude toward the Holy Eucharist leads Socci to pose this challenge to Francis regarding his apparent affection for Protestantism:
"… one has the impression that behind your particular opening to the Protestant world and behind your hostility to the structure of the Church—that is, to the visible Church and her doctrine, which they would surpass by listening to the Holy Spirit—flickers a sort of “Church of the spirit,” longed-for in certain affirmations you made in the meeting with Pentecostals at Caserta, on July 28, 2014… As if the Catholic Church, with its doctrinal structure and hierarchy, would in some way supersede itself in the same way the Old passed to the New Covenant (and he who “lingers” to defend doctrine would be… like the ancient Scribes and Pharisees)" (p. 204-205).
Here Socci levels the stunning accusation that Francis exhibits a “sort of unconscious mitigated Joachimism”—a reference to Joachim of Fiore, the deluded 12th century “visionary” who imagined a coming new age of the Holy Spirit that would supersede even the New Testament.
Socci’s indictment (p. 207) reaches it climax with the suggestion that Francis, being a Pope who “promotes his own ideas,” may go the way of another Pope who did the same: Honorius (r. 625-628), who was posthumously anathematized by an ecumenical council—a sentence confirmed his own successor, Leo II—for aiding and abetting the spread of the “monothelite” heresy (denying any human will in Christ). Socci levels against Francis the same condemnation Leo II leveled against Honorius: “Those who aroused contention against the purity of apostolic tradition, at their death certainly received eternal condemnation, [including] Honorius who, rather than extinguishing the flame of heresy, as befits apostolic authority, fed it by his neglect.”
Paying Homage to Dictators
Socci nears the end of his indictment with a positively scalding account of Francis’s visit to Cuba, where he said nothing about the tyranny under which it suffers while he condemned the “god of money” in capitalist countries. Unlike John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who demanded the release of prisoners and met Fidel Castro on neutral ground (John Paul) or received him at the apostolic nunciature in Havana (Benedict), Francis made no demands on the Castro regime, either of Fidel or his brother Raul, and conducted a veritable pilgrimage to Fidel’s home, where the bloody dictator received the Pope in audience.
Socci expresses entirely appropriate disgust at Francis’s acceptance from Raul of the gift of a crucifix supposedly made from the oars of “refugee” rowboats in the Mediterranean—no rowboats were involved. Yet Francis ignored the 100,000 refugees who have drowned attempting to escape the Castro brothers’ communist prison state. Socci concludes: “These are the tyrants you to whom you have paid homage and who have given you the gift of your ‘migrants’ (p. 214).”
The Folly of “Open Borders”
The indictment proceeds to the heading “Walls,” wherein Socci dismantles Francis’s demagogic insistence on “an indiscriminate opening of the frontier that would destabilize peoples, states and systems.”
Socci points out that not only Saint Thomas but the Bible itself defends the use of “walls” to protect the integrity of nations and peoples from invasion and malign influences—the Vatican walls themselves being an example of this—and that the modern national frontier is not a “wall” to be denounced as unchristian.
Socci asks Francis: “Is it possible that you do not perceive a phenomenon as macroscopic as the failure of assimilation? And can you not see the unresolved problem that Islam has with violence, as Benedict XVI explained at Regensburg? (p. 217).”
The indictment concludes under the heading “the Poor,” wherein Socci, son of a miner, protests Francis’s constant talk of the poor as “unacceptable: because it is in a mode that is ideological, demagogic and sociological…. But the Church does not dream of instrumentalizing the poor, making of them an ideological-theological category like that Argentine theology of liberation from which it emerges…”
Summing up his whole indictment, Socci writes:
"the first poverty of peoples is not to know Christ… This is the problem, Holy Father. It is necessary to announce to men the only one who can save them, because this is what really counts, as Jesus tirelessly warns: “What profit a man if gains the whole world but loses his soul?...”
"So, you should reverse the entire orientation of your papacy: Thus, instead of occupying yourself with separating refuse, you will defend sound Catholic doctrine against attacks by the world and by Modernism; instead of obsessively sounding the alarm about the climate, you will warn humanity about the overhanging threat of eternal damnation; instead of an encyclical on the fate of worms and little reptiles, you will write one on the persecuted Christians and the world’s hatred of the Savior….
"As Vito Messori said to then Cardinal Ratzinger: 'Without a vision of the mystery of the Church that is also supernatural and not only sociological, Christology itself loses its reference to God: a purely human structure ends by corresponding to a human project. The Gospel becomes the Jesus Project, the social liberation project, or other historical projects… which seem religious only in appearance, but are atheistic in substance… '"(p. 224).
The closing words of this truly historic document are Socci’s personal plea to Francis to change his course before it is too late:
"Do not be afraid of disappointing the world, which until now has enthusiastically applauded you… The only fear to have is that of disappointing God….
"Dear Pope Francis, be one of our true pastors on the way of Christ, with Pope Benedict who assists you with prayer and advice: also assist the Church, today bewildered and confused, to recover the way of its Savior and thus reignite the light that will enable humanity not to lose itself in an abyss of violence. All of the saints of heaven pray for this…."
Francis Applies the Butter
One can be forgiven for thinking that so clever an ecclesial politician as Francis might have in mind a bit of buttering up of his most effective and widely read critics. But the letter to Socci (as well as the phone call to Palmaro) puts to rest any suggestion that “traditionalists” offend the Faith when they publish strong criticism of this Pope. Francis himself explodes that contention.
In any case, Socci, while not unmoved by this personal attention from the Supreme Pontiff, has not backed even one step away from his indictment. His most recent column (as of this writing) laments the enormous damage “the ‘new Church’ of Bergoglio” is causing to “the Church of all time,” threatening to be “more devastating than Luther.”
In closing one must ask: Where are the prelates who, undoubtedly seeing what Socci sees, will come forward to stand with him—and with concerned laity around the world—in opposition to the rushing tide of “Bergoglianism,” a phenomenon unlike anything seen before in the annals of the papacy.
Whether or not you read Italian, buy this book. You will be the owner of a piece of history. And may God bless and protect its courageous author.
+Christus vincit!+Christus regnat!+Christus imperat!+