The Rewards of Rebellion against Pope Francis

I don’t recall the name of the man. He was a bishop. He had a role of teaching and authority. He had a title and money, influence and the respect and admiration of others. Actually, he was an Anglican Bishop, and when he converted to Catholicism, he lost all of the benefits that came with being a leader in the Anglican Church. Moreover, he did not become a Catholic priest or Bishop, but merely a layman. Yet he converted.

One can easily imagine a lesser man, in that circumstance, having decided that the Catholic Faith is the truest form of Christianity, making a selfish decision to decline to convert. He lost much in converting, but he still converted.

As a hypothetical, imagine a new schismatic church, which claims to be the true Catholic Church in a type of Babylonian exile. Imagine also some persons with little real influence in the Catholic Church, and some sincere complaints about the leadership, being faced with a decision. He could remain in the Catholic Church, without much influence. Or he could take a position in the schismatic church, a position of leadership, teaching, authority, money, and influence. And in making this latter choice, he would be guaranteed respect, admiration, and copious praise from the schismatic flock. A lesser man or woman might take that position.

But what we have right now, before a schismatic church is established, is a similar situation. Conservative Catholics who are uncomfortable living in a Church led by a liberal Roman Pontiff have found that speaking out against him has its rewards. The more they speak against Pope Francis, the more praise they receive, along with more of many other worldly things: influence, power, money, and a much larger audience. He who was not well known in the Church, suddenly become world renowned, by speaking against the Roman Pontiff.

Bishop A. Schneider

Name a Bishop from Kazakhstan. No, I mean other than one who has spoken out against Pope Francis. Name a Bishop from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan. How do you know the name of an auxiliary Bishop from a nation that many persons could not locate on a map? No disrespect intended to the nation, but it is not so well known in the West. And yet, by rebelling against Pope Francis, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has achieved notoriety and influence far beyond what he would have if he was simply a member of the body of Bishops in communion with the Pope.

When Bishop Athanasius Schneider writes a letter or article, it receives front page coverage on multiple conservative Catholic online publications. When he decides to issue a document, the conservative Catholic subculture treats it like a new papal encyclical. They put his teachings above those of the Roman Pontiff. If he asks for signatures for some of the many petitions of rebellion against Pope Francis, a vast number will sign. He obtained power and influence by his rebellion against the Pope, by speaking as if he were above the Magisterium, or as if he were the Magisterium.

Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano

Name the Apostolic nuncio to the United States before or after Vigano. I couldn’t, and neither could many U.S. Catholics. This one has notoriety by rebelling against the Roman Pontiff, whose representative he was from Oct. 2011 to April 2016. Is that irony or hypocrisy?

He had very little influence when he was nuncio. At one point, he misused that influence to put Kim Davis, the county clerk who refused to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in a brief meeting with Pope Francis. This appeared to be calculated to make it seem as if the Pope was siding with Davis in that particular dispute, which he was not.

Now that Vigano rebels against Pope Francis, he has notoriety like that of Schneider. His articles or letters are published very broadly. He can issue documents that many conservatives will treat as if issued by the Magisterium. He is inexplicably treated as if he were wise and holy. And every time he expresses his rebellion against the Vicar of Christ, he is rewarded by the conservative Catholic subculture with more praise and notoriety.

It seems to me that Vigano and Schneider speak out so often because they wish to be constantly in the limelight. They both seem to be motivated in large part by that attention. The recent exchange of letters, in which they both reject the Second Vatican Council, in different ways, and they quibble with one another about the details of this grave sin, is a good example. Why is this public? Why is it being given so much favoritism from conservative Catholic outlets? (As for me, I’m warning the flock about wolves in sheep’s clothing.) They both know that they will obtain more notoriety, and will continue to receive praise, for this type of public expression against an Ecumenical Council. I can’t believe that that is not a substantial part of their motivation.

Petitions and Open Letters

* The Open Letter — accuses Pope Francis of the canonical delict of heresy
* The Filial Correction — accuses Pope Francis of propagating seven heresies
* The Filial Appeal — accuses Pope Francis of errors on marriage
* Others

Who wrote these documents, which accuse the Roman Pontiff of various grave sins against faith? They each have signatories. But we are not told who the authors were. And the initial signatories are generally an odd collection of “scholars”. The signatories include a reputable person with appropriate credentials here and there. But mostly it is a set of not very well known persons who are gaining influence and notoriety by this rebellion.

Now I’m sure that they really believe that they are right, and that the Roman Pontiff, the body of Bishops, the many theologians who support them, and the Magisterium itself is wrong. But I also believe that the influence and notoriety they gain by signing is part of the reason they sign. If signing caused them to be disowned by the conservative Catholic subculture, which they treat as if it were their mother, they would be much less likely to sign. Signing is a type of flag-waving, a way of proclaiming their faith in this subculture. And when they sign, they are rewarded by a lot of other conservatives patting them on the back. They each praise the other for their rebellion.

Book Authors

I am well aware, as someone with over 40 titles in print, that I could have a large audience and a book that sells very well by selling out the Pope, just as Phil Lawler and Taylor Marshall did. Lawler, not content with attacking and rejecting the Roman Pontiff in “Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock”, went on to attack the body of Bishops in his book “The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful.”

{8:36} For how does it benefit a man, if he gains the whole world, and yet causes harm to his soul?
{8:37} Or, what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
{8:38} For whoever has been ashamed of me and of my words, among this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he will arrive in the glory of his Father, with the holy Angels.”

How does it benefit an author or a Bishop, if he gains a large audience, who praise him to the highest heaven, if he must exchange the state of grace in his soul for that gain? Whoever is ashamed of the Roman Pontiff, is ashamed of Christ; whoever is ashamed of the body of Bishops, is ashamed of Christ.

We all know that God permits limited error and sin even to the extent of mortal sin among Popes and Bishops. But the Church, the Roman Pontiff in his decisions of doctrine and discipline, and the body of Bishops in the same manner as the Pope (though only as a body) are indefectible. They cannot fall away from Christ. So whoever claims they have fallen away, has instead fallen away himself. (There are some women who have rebelled against Pope Francis, but it seems to be more men than women.)

Taylor Marshall’s book accuses every Pope from Pius 12 to Pope Francis of having gone astray from the true way of Christ. He begins with Pius 12 being led astray by a nefarious Cardinal named Montini!! Who is this Montini? It’s the future Pope Saint Paul VI. Not satisfied with attacking Pope Francis, he has accusations for all the Popes since Pius, including Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

And Marshall knows which side of the bread has the butter on it. He knows that this book is what his audience wants to hear. He wrote this book for notoriety and for money.

And he guaranteed both by the deceitful method used to promote the book. He signed up 2015 members of a “launch team”, gave them a free advance copy of the book, and he put each of their names in the final edition of the book, in exchange for their agreement to review it on Amazon and help promote the book. See my previous posts here and also here. In this way, he guarantees over 1500 of the 4- or 5-star reviews of his book on Amazon. [My complaints to Amazon went unanswered.]

Peer Pressure

I told this story before. Many years ago, I was in an old stone church for confession on Saturday, and as I sat in the pews (before or afterward?), I saw a couple of children sitting near one of the booths. The church had the old style of confessional, with a booth for the priest, and then two booths, one on each side of him for penitents. And of course the priest’s booth had a door, but the penitent booths had heavy curtains.

Then one of the children ran up to the booth, pulled aside the curtain, stuck his head into the confessional, and shouted a rude remark at the priest-confessor. He laughed and apparently took great enjoyment in this behavior. Then he ran back to his peer, who praised him for this act. The peer then took his turn, ran up to the booth, pulled aside the curtain, and shouted an obnoxious remark at the priest-confessor.

The two boys took great delight in this objectively grave sin. And they encouraged one another. It seemed to me that each one behaved this way due to the support and encouragement of his peer. And so, when each boy sinned by this act, the other was guilty of formal cooperation. And the sin is of course grave, since it was an act of malice, which is always mortal, and a sacrilege. Here’s the full account.


Rebelling against the Roman Pontiffs and the Magisterium has its rewards. And the persons listed above are not the only ones. What fuels this system of reward for rebellion? Innumerable little-known or unknown Catholics who comprise the audience that these teachers and leaders seek to please. When you know that a particular type of behavior will be approved and rewarded by a large set of persons, it has the effect of encouraging that behavior.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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3 Responses to The Rewards of Rebellion against Pope Francis

  1. Alex says:

    Yes…they are proud and receive award for their rebellion, but they believe themselves apparently. They believe they know better the secret of Fatima and everything, therefore they believe they are the appointed remnant leaders even if they go underground excommunicated…but they are wrong. They believe themselves first, before the pope, and paradoxically, before those few people (besides the pope) who actually have READ THE THIRD SECRET.
    So I will try to explain how they are wrong in that.

    Isn’t it strange that there isn’t even one of them who has read the real Third secret? Not every cardinal has read it. And when we have Malachi Martini speaking about the Russian role in the timing of the prophecy, then…they twist it 180 degrees saying “the socialism came to USA modified as cultural socialism, what is today’s democratic party or Obamacare”. It is just absurd! (let alone, Obamacare is so expensive, while other countries who have never been socialist have free medicare). Seems they have not visited a socialist country, and if they visit China that might not be enough because today’s China is not exactly that, regardless of all political rhetoric. (strange how Trump was so good friend with Xi, despite all the trade war and the communism…but they will skip such inconvenient facts in their theory). Today’s Russia is much more democratic either (not as “democratic party” though). It doesn’t fit the theory that Russia exported the abortions to the USA either, while even during communism the abortion restrictions in Russia in terms of months of pregnancy and number of born kids in the family were higher than those in the free USA. It just doesn’t fit their theory, that’s why I say it, not to defend or accuse any country. Abortion is always very wrong. But it is not proving the case that Russia’s errors were exported to the USA. And of course, the abortions are not the only issue to decode prophecy if we want to decode it at all.

    In a way, they bet blindly as on poker what they think of Fatima and other secrets, to be the true hidden card they pick up. It may work for a card game, it DOESN’T WORK FOR PROPHECY that the future of the world AND OF THE CHURCH counts on it! It doesn’t work for me to bet on their wrong bet. They believe themselves in that, above the popes. But that doesn’t make them anymore right.

    If we contemplate ONLY St John Paul II’s words in Fulda with the German bishops about the Third secret, we will know it contains two elements and neither of them has anything to do with “Satan in the Vatican”. The first element is a secret that if revealed would “encourage the power of Communism to make certain moves”. And the second element is a planetary upheaval
    (“…if there is a message in which it is written that the oceans will flood whole areas of the earth, and that from one moment to the next millions of people will perish, truly the publication of such a message is no longer something to be so much desired.”).
    St John Paul II doesn’t even hint at major problems in the Church hierarchy to be any part of the secret! (although they exist, but that is not really a secret for anyone informed). And we can believe a saint pope! The Third secret is simply SOMETHING ELSE! To bet on the card of “satan in the Vatican” is a LOSING BET, dear conservative readers!

    My belief will go that way, and not the way of Vigano and Schneider. They have not read the secret, they believe what they say, they think they are “saints”, but they are VERY WRONG and do not want to listen to the people who actually know the secret. Including pope Francis in first place. How would then all those honestly believing faithful who want to follow the true pastors and the directions from Heaven, assume that Vigano and Schneider (and others) know the truth more than the pope?
    A secret cannot be something that is a public knowledge, because it is no more a secret. (and no, the pope being the antichrist is just such a big absurd, that even the protestants who once claimed it, do not support it anymore!) A secret is something that is secret… One word according to Conchita starting with “A” would reveal the nature of the Great Warning (because we are not told what it consists of, we only know its result on the people’s souls).

    But of course, they know exactly Garabandal no less than Fatima, and the 10 Medjugorje secrets…and prophet Malachi, and the 666 in the vaccine, the 5G waves that make the immune system create corona virus bodies…It is just absurd! They are deluded blind leaders who lead into deception!

    • Ron Conte says:

      Alex, please make your comments a little shorter and a little less rant-y. Otherwise, though, thanks for participating in my blog.

  2. George says:

    China giving two billion to the Vatican via McCarrick says it all. That was a Pope Francis deal.

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