In an article dated Nov. 19, 2019, Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano uses certain terminology to indicate that he believes Pope Francis is an apostate and therefore no longer the valid Roman Pontiff.
In public expressions prior to that date, such as his “Testimony” on August 22, 2018 about McCarrick and Pope Francis, Vigano calls him “Pope Francis” many times. Only when speaking about Pope Francis prior to becoming Pope does he call him “Cardinal Bergoglio”. And as late as his Sept. 2019 interview with Dr. Robert Moynihan, Vigano still refers to him as “Pope Francis.”
But the article of Nov. 19, 2019 contains what appears to be a very deliberate change. LifeSiteNews.com has an English translation of the article by Vigano on The “House of the Abrahamic Family” which will contain a mosque, a synagogue, and a church symbolically united on one foundation. This proposed building is an expression of the fraternity between religions expressed in “Human Fraternity” and later in “Fratelli Tutti”. Vigano objects so strongly to his project that he accuses Pope Francis of apostasy.
Vigano begins by quoting Pope Pius XI; he calls him “Supreme Pontiff Pius XI”. Vigano then references Pope Francis in the following manner: “Pope Francis received in audience the Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb….” He mentions the document “Human Fraternity”, and then says “and signed by the Pontiff and the Imam during the Year of Fraternity.” These are appropriate terms to use to refer to Pope Francis: “the Pontiff” and “Pope Francis”. But notice that Pius XI is called “Supreme Pontiff” and Francis is not. Then twice more Vigano calls Francis “the Pontiff”. But it gets worse.
After explaining Pope Francis’ project to build a church, a mosque, and a temple upon one foundation, Vigano changes his terminology in referring to Francis: “As explained to Pope Bergoglio.” This is the first example that I could find of Vigano referring to the Roman Pontiff Pope Francis in that manner.
Vigano then condemns the building in rather extreme terms:
“The building of the House of the Abrahamic Family appears like a Babelesque enterprise, designed by the enemies of God, of the Catholic Church and of the only true religion capable of saving man and the whole created from destruction, both present as well as eternal and definitive.”
“In the garden of Abu-Dhabi, the Temple of the World Syncretic Neo-Religion is about to arise with its anti-Christic dogmas. Not even the most hopeful of the Freemasons would have imagined so much!”
Pope Bergoglio is thus proceeding to a further implementation of the apostasy of Abu Dhabi, the fruit of the pantheistic and agnostic neo-modernism that tyrannizes the Roman Church, germinated from the Council document Nostra aetate. We are forced to recognize it: the poisonous fruits of the “springtime of the Council” are before the eyes of anyone who no longer lets himself be blinded by the prevailing Lie.
Another usage of “Pope Bergoglio” and then Vigano says it outright, he accuses Pope Francis of apostasy, the apostasy of the document “Human Fraternity” signed at Abu Dhabi. And Vigano doesn’t stop there. He accuses the Second Vatican Council of having been responsible for this apostasy. By doing so, Archbishop Vigano commits public formal schism. He rejects the authority of Pope Francis, for no Christian submits themselves to someone as Teacher and Shepherd if they believe them to be an apostate from the Christian faith. And he also rejects the teaching and authority of Vatican II.
This accusation of apostasy against Pope Francis and Vatican II contradicts the teaching of the Magisterium. The First Vatican Council taught that each Pope has the charism of truth and of never-failing faith. Vigano rejects that dogmatic teaching by saying that Pope Francis has failed in faith. Also, Blessed Pope Pius IX condemned the following errors:
Error: “22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church.”
Error: “23. Roman pontiffs and ecumenical councils have wandered outside the limits of their powers, have usurped the rights of princes, and have even erred in defining matters of faith and morals.”
One cannot reject Vatican II on the claim that its teaching is non-infallible. And it is a condemned error to accuse Popes and Councils of erring in definitions of faith and morals. Moreover, Saint Robert Bellarmine taught that Ecumenical Councils never err on faith or morals.
Vigano then says: “Let us listen to the words of the Supreme Pontiff Pius XI, when the Popes used to speak the language of Truth….” So Pius XI is “Supreme Pontiff Pius XI”, and Benedict XVI is “Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,” but Pope Francis has, as of this public expression by Archbishop Vigano, become “Pope Bergoglio”.
Then, as Vigano continues speaking publicly about the Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis, the expressions used worsen. But the starting point for this new terminology in referring to the Roman Pontiff is this article in which Vigano deliberately pivots from calling him “Pope Francis” to calling him “Pope Bergoglio”, while referring to Pius XI as “Supreme Pontiff”.
In an interview on Fratelli Tutti, Vigano references this apostasy again: “Thus the Church – or rather her counterfeit that eclipses her almost entirely – does not offer a Catholic answer anymore to the man who is hopeless and thirsting for Truth, but instead advances the scandal of pain and suffering whose root cause is sin, placing the responsibility on God and blaspheming Him as “unjust.” ” [LifeSiteNews.com]
Vigano declares above that the Church led by “Pope Bergoglio” is a counterfeit which blasphemes against God and no longer offers Catholic truth. Certainly, at this point, Vigano is a heretic, who denies the indefectibility of the Church as well as teachings on the never-failing faith of the Roman Pontiff, and a schismatic for rejecting not only the authority of Pope Francis, but also of Vatican II.
A month later (Dec. 2019), Vigano issued his “Letter in Defense of Mary against Francis“, in which he mockingly calls Pope Francis: “Supreme Pontiff Bergoglio”. Later in the letter, Vigano uses expressions such as “Pope Bergoglio” and even “the Pontiff”. But he also denies the authenticity of the teaching authority of the Pontiff: “For more than six years now we have been poisoned by a false magisterium….” After that public Letter, as time went on, Vigano more often used simply Bergoglio, and much less often used any words indicating that Bergoglio is Roman Pontiff.
Then, in April of 2020, Vigano claimed that Pope Francis officially disavowed the role of Roman Pontiff. This accusation is based on a minor change in the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook, in which “Vicar of Christ” is not listed as an historical title for the Pope … and I don’t really care what the explanation is. Nothing of this kind can possibly be read as Vigano reads it, as a disavowal of the Papacy.
Vigano: “Instead, it seems possible to see in it the admission – passed over in silence – of a sort of usurpation, whereby it is not the “Servus servorum Dei” [The Servant of the Servants of God] who reigns, but the person of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has officially disavowed being the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and the Supreme Pontiff, as if they were annoying trappings of the past: only mere ‘historical titles,'” he added. [LifeSiteNews.com]
It could not be more clear. Archbishop Vigano does not believe that Pope Francis is the valid Roman Pontiff. This makes Vigano a schismatic, who is automatically excommunicated. Vigano is also a heretic for rejecting the indefectibility of the Church and the never-failing faith of the Roman Pontiff. But the point at which Vigano began to accuse Pope Francis of being no longer the true Pope was in his criticism of the Abrahamic House. In that document, Vigano deliberately transitions from calling him Pope Francis to calling him Bergoglio. Thus, Vigano believes that Pope Francis is no longer the Pope largely due to Francis’ apostasy over Human Fraternity, the Abrahamic House, and Fratelli Tutti.
However, Vigano sees himself as a valid Bishop, not a schismatic and heretic, and he expresses this in the same interview about Fratelli Tutti: “I remind my brother Bishops that they were anointed with the Holy Chrism as athletes of the Faith, not as neutral spectators of the struggle between God and the Adversary. I pray that the few, courageous Pastors….” Vigano thinks that only few Bishops have remained faithful, along with himself. The only reference to Pope Francis in the above interview is a footnote, saying: “according to Bergoglio”.
On May 8th, 2020, Vigano issued his “Appeal for the Church and the World”. He pretends that he is among the true Pastors of the Church, and he references only the Bishops, clergy, religious, and people of God and persons of good will. There’s no reference to the Roman Pontiff. He speaks as if the See is Vacant.
In a public letter (published 1 June 2020) to a cloistered nun, Vigano writes this: “the top levels of the Hierarchy are openly placing themselves at the service of the Prince of this world, adopting the demands made by the United Nations for the globalist agenda, Masonic brotherhood, Malthusian ecologism, immigrationism… What is being created is a single world religion without dogmas or morals, according to the wishes of Freemasonry…it is obvious that Bergoglio, along with those who are behind him and support him, aspires to preside over this infernal parody of the Church of Christ.” [LifeSiteNews.com]
Again, Pope Francis has become simply “Bergoglio” and he is accused not merely of heresy but of apostasy and of attempting to destroy the true Church and establish an idolatrous one world religion.
Carlo Vigano no longer considers Pope Francis to be the Roman Pontiff. He does not even call him “Pope Bergoglio” any more, but simply “Bergoglio” and he speaks as if the Church has no valid Roman Pontiff. However, in an interview on the dispute about the Pachamama statues [LifeSiteNews.com], Vigano does refer to Francis as “The Pope” when saying “The Pope, the Hierarchy, and all Bishops, Priests and Religious must immediately and absolutely convert”. But apart from a few such slips, Vigano is rather steadfast in denying that Pope Francis is the true Pope by calling him only Bergoglio.
Further Reading: Is Archbishop Vigano in Schism? by Dr. Robert Fastiggi
Ronald L. Conte Jr.