Cardinal Pell joins the Cardinals lining up against Pope Francis

Here is the story at Catholic News Service blog. And the following quote is from the written homily of Cardinal Pell:

“The role of the successor of St. Peter has always been vital to Christian and Catholic life, especially as the touchstone of doctrinal fidelity and as a resolver of disputes, pastoral as well as doctrinal,” the cardinal wrote.

“The church is not built on the rock of Peter’s faith,” he wrote, “but on Peter himself, despite his faults and failings.”

Cardinal Pell first waters down the role of the Pope. He reduces the Pope’s role to “the touchstone of doctrinal fidelity” and “a resolver of disputes”.

To the contrary, the First Vatican Council teaches: “the Church of Christ becomes one flock under one Supreme Shepherd. This is the teaching of the Catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.” [Vatican I.

Cardinal Pell claims the Church is not built on the rock of Peter’s faith, but on his person, despite faults and failings.

To the contrary, the precursor to the Church, the assembly of the Israelites in Old Testament times, was built upon the faith of Abraham. And the Church is built upon the faith of Peter. When Peter expressed his faith in Jesus, the reply was the famous teaching of Jesus on the indefectibility of the Church:
{16:16} Simon Peter responded by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
{16:17} And in response, Jesus said to him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven.
{16:18} And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
{16:19} And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound, even in heaven. And whatever you shall release on earth shall be released, even in heaven.”

What Cardinal Pell is implying is that the faith of the Pope can fail. If so, then how would the Church still be safely founded on the Rock of Peter? She certainly would not be safe and indefectible if the Pope could possibly fall into heresy. Take a lesson from Saint Robert Bellarmine on Popes and heresy.

And then the sermon of Cardinal Pell gets even worse:

“Pope Francis is the 266th pope and history has seen 37 false or antipopes,” he wrote.

“The story of the popes is stranger than fiction,” the cardinal wrote, and today “we have one of the more unusual popes in history, enjoying almost unprecedented popularity. He is doing a marvelous job backing the financial reforms,” he wrote

Pell blatantly suggests that Pope Francis could be or could become a false pope or an antipope. He calls Pope Francis “unusual”, and then he gives the Pope a backhanded compliment, praising his “financial reforms”, not his work with doctrine or discipline.

This type of public expression against Pope Francis, by one Cardinal after another, is a public proclamation of an impending schism. These Cardinals — Burke, Sarah, Pell — are lining up against the Pope and against the Cardinals and Bishops who support him. They are presenting themselves as if they were the Rock on which the Church is founded, as if they were the Supreme Pastors of the Church.

I am reminded of the October 13, 1973 message of Akita: “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.” [Mary Pages]

This prophecy of the Blessed Virgin Mary does not mean that any Pope will ever go astray. Christ promised that the Church would be indefectible because She is founded on the Rock that is the Faith of the Pope. Jesus prevents the faith of Peter and his successors from ever failing (Lk 22:32).

The type of infiltration in the quote above is the work of the devil leading astray cardinals, bishops, priests, and religious (consecrated souls). The devil can never infiltrate the Church in the sense of choosing a Pope, leading a Pope or a Council to teach error, causing a Pope or Council to go astray in doctrine or discipline, nor any other type of infiltration that would affect the never-failing faith of the Pope, the teaching of the Holy Spirit through the Magisterium, or the indefectibility of the Church.

Instead, what Mary refers to is a schism in which some Cardinals and Bishops depart from communion with the Pope. This schism unfolds as the tribulation begins, and that is why “churches and altars [are] sacked”.

I no longer consider Burke, Sarah, or Pell to be Cardinals or Bishops in the Roman Catholic Church. They are schismatic Bishops. For they have publicly rejected the authority of the holy Roman Pontiff over both doctrine and discipline. It does not matter if their position is that they WOULD reject the Pope IF he were to teach or act contrary to their own understanding. Even such a hypothetical implies an actual present-day rejection of papal authority. For if you only accept the teachings and rulings of the Pope which agree with your own mind, you have not accepted his authority at all.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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