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Papa Gaga’s “Pastoral” Code: The modernist trick of undermining faith through “experience”
Quidlibet ^ | December 18, 2013 | Rev. Anthony Cekeda

Posted on 12/20/2013 5:46:30 AM PST by IbJensen

“WHEN I HEAR the word, ‘culture,’ I reach for my revolver.” The idea behind the pithy saying, usually attributed to Nazi Hermann Goering, is that a soothing term often hides a poisonous agenda. So it is with the term “pastoral” used in the context of the post-Vatican II religion.

Every priest, bishop and indeed, pope worthy of his calling, of course, must strive to imitate the solicitude of the Good Shepherd as he goes about the work of teaching, ruling and sanctifying the flock in His Master’s name. But as those of us who lived through the first chaos-filled decades following Vatican II can tell you, “pastoral” on the lips of a modernist had another, more sinister connotation. It was the common code for “promotes the revolution in doctrine and morality.”

And it is this word that we find Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) using in just about every public pronouncement he makes — daily homilies, Angelus messages, talks to priests and bishops, pastoral exhortations, and interviews. Everything and everybody in the post-Vatican II establishment must now must be “pastoral.” Soon, no doubt, someone will feed his statements into a computer and come up with a count for how often this word and related concepts appear.

What is the real message Bergoglio wants to convey by constantly employing the word “pastoral”? And what does it tell us about his long-term program?

1. The Post-Vatican II “Pastoral” Bishop

Since Bergoglio began his priestly work (and seems forever fixated) in the heady post-Vatican II ’60s and ’70s, this is era we must look to for clues about how he understands the descriptive term “pastoral.” And here we encounter the species known as the Vatican II “pastoral” bishop. It existed everywhere in the world. Some prime examples in America were Joseph Cardinal Bernardin (first of Cincinnati, and then Chicago), John Cardinal Dearden (Detroit), Roger Cardinal Mahony (Fresno, Stockton, Los Angeles), Walter “Bucky” Sullivan (Norfolk), Matthew Clark (Rochester), and the recently-retired Howard Hubbard (Albany).

This sort of bishop tolerated every sort of heresy and attack on Catholic moral teaching in his diocese. He let priests engage in sacrilegious (if not insane) liturgical practices. He brought in radical modernist theologians to brainwash priests into accepting the new theology. (New York’s Terence Cardinal Cooke sent every priest in his archdiocese Raymond Brown’s modernist screed Priest and Bishop, an attack against Catholic teaching on apostolic succession.) He allowed every sort of error to be taught in his seminary, which he put in the care of modernists who then systematically expelled any seminarians still adhering to “old Church” notions of faith and morality.

He was a believer in “proportionalist” (=no real rules) moral theology. He promoted, by winks, nudges and silent acquiescence the idea that contraception was not a sin. He assaulted the indissolubility of marriage by installing modernists in his marriage tribunals who handed out phony annulments like party favors on spurious grounds (“immaturity” and “psychic incapacity” were two favorites.)

He created a bloated diocesan lay bureaucracy, staffed by uppity feminists with chips on their (bare) shoulders over patriarchy and “reproductive freedom.” He imposed heretical catechism texts that left generations of children utterly ignorant of the fundamental truths of their faith, and he instituted sex “education” (i.e. initiation) programs that stripped the same children of innocence and any sense of Catholic morality. He looked the other way or to godless psychology when his clergy preyed upon the little ones. At the same time, he ruthlessly persecuted old priests for adhering to the true faith, by driving them into early retirement, supporting parishioners or younger priests who rebelled against them, punishing them with threats of suspension, and in some cases, trying to get them certified as insane.

When conservatives challenged his loyalty to Catholic dogmas and moral principles, the “pastoral” bishop feigned offense and proclaimed himself utterly faithful to church teachings —without, of course, ever being too specific about what these teachings were.

He taught by example — bad example. Everything he did — and more importantly, failed to do — reinforced the idea that Vatican II definitively broke with the past, and that the old beliefs and rules no longer applied.

The “pastoral” bishop did not openly deny traditional Catholic doctrine and morality in words. He didn’t need to. He denied them with his deeds. His actions and inactions spoke far louder and far more eloquently than anything he could have ever said from the pulpit or published in his crypto-Arian diocesan newspaper. His clergy got in line and followed along.

And the “pastoral” bishop’s flock learned the lesson he taught. Fifty years later, the typical American Catholic is utterly ignorant of the most fundamental truths of his faith, which he reduces to good feelings, and a relativist in morality, which he reduces to being “nice,” not “judging” and “following your conscience.”

This, then, is the world Bergoglio, a dyed in the wool member of the post-Vatican generation — perhaps more polyester than wool — summons up when he utters the word “pastoral.”

2. De Mattei’s Warning on Bergoglio’s “Pastoral Revolution”

Naturally, conservatives of the Wanderer and Father “Reading-Francis-through-Benedict” Zuhlsdorf stripe dismiss such notions as exaggeration, leftist/National Catholic “Fishwrap” wishful thinking or even — shock! horror! — sedevacantist propaganda. But some respected voices in the Novus Ordo church, especially in Italy, have figured out Bergoglio’s “pastoral” code, and have started to warn fellow Catholics of the danger it represents.

One example is the well-known Italian author and church historian Roberto de Mattei, who made a considerable reputation for himself by attacking the conclusions of the “School of Bologna,” a group of church historians with a more “progressive” take on Vatican II. De Mattei has already criticized Bergoglio several times, notably his appalling interviews for the atheist Scalfari and the Jesuit publication Civiltá Cattolica this past year. Earlier this month, the Rorate Caeli blog translated and published two lengthy de Mattei articles that dissected Bergoglio’s “pastoral” code. The titles convey his dire message: “Meltdown of the Church” and “The Process that has led us to the New Modernists.” The articles are written in a high-toned style that may make them tough going for the average U.S. reader, but here are some significant points from the first, Meltdown of the Church:

◾Vatican II was repeatedly termed a “pastoral” council.

◾But on some points, nevertheless, it did in fact want to teach new things.

◾Overall these novelties do constitute a true and real magisterium, which was presented as an alternative to the traditional one.

◾The innovators expected to reform the whole Church by their praxis or pastoral application of the Council. By doing this, they made it into doctrine.

◾This approach is sometimes called “the spirit of the Council” or “the virtual Council,” and its advocates enthusiastically welcomed Francis.

◾Benedict XVI’s interpretation (“heremeneutic”) of Vatican II as “continuous” with the past was bound to fail, because this admits that a variety of interpretations were possible.

◾So, the virtual Council — what progressives did with it — is just as authentic as what is in the V2 documents themselves.

◾Because the language of the Vatican II documents “was deliberately ambiguous and vague,” the progressives interpretation “offered the authentic key to the reading of the final documents.”

◾Vatican II represents “a moment of un-doubtable, and in certain terms, apocalyptic historical discontinuity.”

◾Bergoglio is not interested in theological discussions, “but in the reality of the facts, and it is in [practice] that he wants to show that he is the true ‘implementer’ of Vatican II… he incarnates the essence of Vatican II.

◾“Pastoral revolution” is the primary characteristic of Francis’ pontificate, and “pastoral” is a key word in his ministry.

◾The pontificate of Francis is “the most authentically conciliar one, in which praxis is turned into doctrine, and which “attempts to change the image and the reality of the Church.”

◾The roots of this “pastoral” approach lie the “new theology” condemned by Pius XII in the 1950s, a theology that reduces faith to nothing more than “religious experience” or “encounter.”

◾The consequence of this “pastoral theology of experience” is that “doctrines, rites and the interior life are submitted to a liquifying process so radical and so perfected that you can no longer distinguish between Catholics and non-Catholics.”

◾The measure of faith is not “in the doctrine believed [the traditional definition] but in the life and action of the believer,” in which it becomes “religious experience, freed from any objective rule of faith whatsoever.”

Here, then, is the key to decoding what Bergoglio and other modernists like him mean by “pastoral” — through actions, silence or dissimulation one seeks to undermine Catholic dogma and morality by changing men’s experience of them.

Want to dump the dogma of transubstantiation? Say nothing about it from the pulpit, except maybe that it’s an explanation of the Eucharist, abolish Benediction, reduce signs of reverence, promote hand communion, sing songs filled with all sorts of “bread” terms, and hide the tabernacle. Want to change teaching on hell? Never mention it. Want to bless contraception? Never preach against it, remain silent in the confessional if anyone bothers to confess it, talk a lot about the “primacy of conscience” and “mature decisions.”

Change the experience — through action, silence and dissimulation — and the dogma and objective moral principles will follow. That’s the diabolical genius of the modernist method.

3. Papa Gaga and Content-Free “Catholicism”

Modern society rejects dogma and reduces religion to mere personal experience, and this is why it has made Bergoglio a media superstar, if not a supernova. His interviews have already clearly conveyed the idea that he regards doctrine and church law as falling into the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” category, a winning proposition in a secular culture that dismisses differences in faith among various “denominations” as so much hair-splitting. Bergoglio’s exaltation of the individual conscience and his “who am I to judge” remark appeals to a generation of self-absorbed “seekers,” each of whom feels free to fashion his own commandments and call himself “spiritual but not religious.” Advocating material help for the poor is a perfectly acceptable message to preach to modern man, because it can be done without it impinging on either modern man’s vague religious beliefs or his personal moral (i.e., immoral) conduct. Providing sandwiches for the hungry and clean needles for addicts is a lot less taxing than “small minded rules” about tossing out the birth control pills and ditching your third trophy wife.

Bergoglio is adored and idolized not because of what he says, but because of the image he projects and the experience he delivers. In this respect, he is like the pop stars Madonna or Lady Gaga (both grossly immoral apostate Catholics and, not incidentally, products of Bergoglio’s “pastoral” post-Vatican II church). He is an attractive and recognized brand you can endlessly talk about without any impact whatsoever on your day-to-day-existence. The “spiritual insights” of his preaching — sometimes a recycling of various ’60s liberal obsessions — are as trite as a Hallmark card; one fully expects to find him to delivering a homily at Casa S. Marta about caterpillars turning into a butterflies.

For these reasons, there was nothing to prevent Bergoglio from being proclaimed “Person of the Year ,”not only by Time Magazine but also even by a national “gay” publication — the latter fact being proof once again that events in the Novus Ordo are beyond parody.

In sum, Bergoglio’s “pastoral revolution” does exactly what it is intended to: It delivers religious experience without real faith — a content-free “Catholicism,” one that is Catholic in name only.

So when in the coming months and years, you hear from the secular press and the Novus Ordo hierarchy that Papa Gaga’s “pastoral” approach is really reaching people, remember what you should “reach for” yourself…

KEYWORDS: catholicism; newreligion; popefrancis
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FYI and comment.
1 posted on 12/20/2013 5:46:30 AM PST by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

sent this out in my email its that good- may have lost a ‘friend’ or two but its just so well written

2 posted on 12/20/2013 5:56:28 AM PST by BonRad (The world is full of educated derelicts-Calvin Coolidge)
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To: IbJensen

I will pray for you and that God shows you the truth. To label Pope Francis as Papa Gaga does not come from Christ. It comes from the Prince of Darkness. You screed is full of untruths and distortions. If you really feel this way, then pray for the Pope. If you can’t do that, then that tells me all I need to know about you because it does not reflect a charitable and prayerful spirit.

3 posted on 12/20/2013 6:11:14 AM PST by CWW (Pray for God's Protection!)
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To: IbJensen
FYI and comment.

Not to say Francis I hasn't given me a turn or two. But this chap is not a Catholic priest in good standing, and never has been. For those of you familiar with these things, both the Society of St. Pius X and the Society of St. Pius the V were too liberal for him. He's not showing all his cards here. He doesn't believe the Pope is the Pope. Many of these sedevacantist ("the seat is empty") groups actually elect their own "Popes." There are several of these.

He makes an accurate observation here or there. But he's a crank. He has no judgment. And judgment is everything.

4 posted on 12/20/2013 6:31:56 AM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: IbJensen

Excellent commentary on our current situation. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, that is what the bishops of Vatican II are. Pope Francis needs conversion, and prayers.

A devastated vineyard.

5 posted on 12/20/2013 7:06:05 AM PST by blackpacific
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To: IbJensen

Excellent commentary on our current situation. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, that is what the bishops of Vatican II are. Pope Francis needs conversion, and prayers.

A devastated vineyard.

6 posted on 12/20/2013 7:06:09 AM PST by blackpacific
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To: IbJensen

So much junk to have to remember and sort out.

Wouldn’t it be a LOT easier to go the PROTESTant route and just rely on what the BIBLE says?

7 posted on 12/20/2013 8:48:51 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Elsie

Probably so.

But the view of Catholics—at least the Catholics that I know—is that Apostolic succession lies in the Church, not in the Gospel proclaimed by the Apostles. Though in their eyes, it’s the same thing.

We Protestants believe that apostolic authority comes solely from the pure teachings of the Apostles, which came from Jesus. The Catholics I know believe that it comes from the Roman Catholic Church. Offering to share the Bible with the ones I know typically results in them telling me, “No thanks; I have a priest for that.” Because they were taught to place apostolic authority in the institution, not the message.

At least in my experience, that’s the case.

8 posted on 12/20/2013 10:35:39 AM PST by Luircin
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To: Luircin

Sounds about right.

9 posted on 12/20/2013 11:11:02 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: IbJensen

Just curious, why did you post this?

10 posted on 12/20/2013 3:33:59 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: IbJensen
The problem is that Fr. Cekada is a modernist as well. He wrote and article called, "Two Bishops in Every Garage," in which he criticized the way a lot of sedevacantist groups were having bishops ordained in disreputable ways. Yet, a few years later he remained affiliated with someone who became consecrated a bishop by a Thuc-line bishop. Only a few years before, he explained how bad this was, then he accepted it. (I assume he still knows it is wrong, since he declined to become a bishop himself)

So Cekada is just a moral relativist like any other modernist. Maybe worse than some, since he deliberately does what he knows is wrong.

11 posted on 12/20/2013 3:52:49 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Luircin

Have you ever met a Catholic?

12 posted on 12/20/2013 4:02:57 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Yes. Yes I have. Many of them.

And what I said has been the belief of the majority of the ones I’ve met. Perhaps it’s not the belief of the majority of Catholics in the world, but it IS the belief of the majority of those that I’ve met.

13 posted on 12/20/2013 6:50:17 PM PST by Luircin
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To: IbJensen

and this is how many Catholic schools are adopting the horrible “Common Core” across the country

14 posted on 12/20/2013 7:04:28 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: GeronL


15 posted on 12/20/2013 7:17:20 PM PST by IbJensen (Liberals are like Slinkies, good for nothing, but you smile as you push them down the stairs.)
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To: nickcarraway

Because I know this priest very well.

16 posted on 12/20/2013 7:18:57 PM PST by IbJensen (Liberals are like Slinkies, good for nothing, but you smile as you push them down the stairs.)
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To: IbJensen

Anthony Cekada, this author is not a Catholic Priest and never was.

He may be a clergyman in some small Christian group (there are over 36,000 sects presently) but he is not what he claims to be; a Roman Catholic Priest. Thus he is not to be believed no matter how much he feeds the misinformed prejudices on display here.

If Mister Cekada had made his status clear at the beginning of his post I would give his harsh criticisms enough respect to inspire my close examination and refutation. These claims to be clergy  are everywhere lately. In Kentucky we even have have women claiming to be Catholic Priests and holding ordinations. The Lexington Herald-Leader presents them as priests. Dishonest women and dishonest newspaper.

Cekada was “ordained” by an infamous ex-Bishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1977. Levebre had been forbidden in 1976 by  Pope Paul IV to ordain priests and had his other clerical powers removed.( see note below) It was not a Catholic ordination.

There is a tidal wave of disinformation about the Catholic Church in the public square. Many delight in believing and repeating these clever lies, but such people lack industry and virtue.

If these opponents of the Catholic Church have valid points they could have used the truth.

NOTE from wikipedia:

“In January 1975 the new Bishop of Fribourg stated his wish to withdraw the SSPX’s [Th is Lefebvre’s “Society of Saint Pius the 10th] pious union status. Though Lefebvre then had two meetings with the commission of Cardinals, the Bishop put his intention into effect on 6 May 1975,[52] thereby officially dissolving the Society.[Notes 16] This action was subsequently upheld by Pope Paul VI, who wrote to Archbishop Lefebvre in June 1975. Lefebvre continued his work regardless.[55] In the consistory of 24 May 1976, Pope Paul VI criticized Archbishop Lefebvre by name and appealed to him and his followers to change their minds.[56]
On 29 June 1976, Lefebvre went ahead with planned priestly ordinations without the approval of the local Bishop and despite receiving letters from Rome forbidding them. As a result Lefebvre was suspended a collatione ordinum, i.e., forbidden to ordain any priests.”

17 posted on 12/23/2013 5:47:29 AM PST by De La Marche (A Catholic replies to the latest clever disinformation about the Catholic Church)
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To: De La Marche

I could respond with a lengthy thesis of my own, but I know in my heart, mind and soul what I believe to be the correct situation that exists today within the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church is indeed Roman, being located in Rome, but it is no longer catholic (small c) as liturgy and tenets appear to vary from parish to parish worldwide.

What Vatican II subsequently did, in effect, to the delight of the modernists and secular humanists was to create an entirely new religion based on mankind. I in total honesty believe that our Lord cannot be pleased with the outcome.

18 posted on 12/23/2013 6:26:54 AM PST by IbJensen (Liberals are like Slinkies, good for nothing, but you smile as you push them down the stairs.)
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To: IbJensen

I join you in not being altogether pleased with Vatican II. But most of Vatican II was just moving the furniture around and starting to celebrate Mass in the local language. The criticisms are just quibbles.

For 2000 years the Catholic Church has always varied from country to country in non-essentials and surface appearances. In essentials it is unchanged and thank God for it and its lone stand against the extensive depravity of modernity. Most of the martyrs in this new Age of Martyrdom are Roman Catholics though the media insist on the generic term “Christians”.

The essential Mass is the same.

As Scott Hahn has clearly demonstrated in “Consuming the Word: The New Testament and The Eucharist in the Early Church” the “New Testament”is actually not part of a a book. The “New Testament” is the Catholic Mass.

The Mass is the opera, the Bible is just the libretto.

19 posted on 12/24/2013 6:39:34 AM PST by De La Marche (A Catholic replies to the latest clever disinformation about the Catholic Church)
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To: De La Marche

It was more than merely moving furniture around: like moving the Tabernacle into an insignificant niche or room and moving the tenets of the faith out the window. This was done IN ORDER TO CREATE A NEW RELIGION.

The mistaken purpose, that is if Marxist prelates weren’t in on the scheme and I doubt that fact, was to bring the archaic Roman Catholic Church into the 32st Century.

But they forgot one thing: Jesus Christ doesn’t wear Nikes.

20 posted on 12/24/2013 7:01:54 AM PST by IbJensen (Liberals are like Slinkies, good for nothing, but you smile as you push them down the stairs.)
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