Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Archbishop Vigano Defies The Holy Spirit

Most of the coverage concerning Archbishop Vigano's allegations against Pope Francis and his call for the Pope's resignation have centered around the veracity of the allegations themselves.  I have written several posts in which I seriously question Vigano's credibility.

But there is another issue that we, as Christians, need to consider that is actually far more serious with much graver consequences than the truth or lack thereof of Vigano's accusations.

Did Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano have the right and authority to publicly accuse Pope Francis of corruption and insist that he resign as Pope?

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga said calling for the resignation of the Pope is a sin against the Holy Spirit. 

Is the Cardinal correct?

Cardinal Maradiaga is head of the “C9” council of cardinal advisors. He is also very close to Pope Francis.

Maradiaga did an interview with a Spanish publication, Periodista Digital after Vigano released his testimony.

An article from Crux reported:
In an interview with Spanish portal Periodista Digital, Maradiaga said that he was being attacked because, as coordinator of the C9, he was working on reforming the Curia.
“The enemies of this reform want to end this council,” the cardinal said. “The main objective is Pope Francis.”
Here is a translation of the full quote from the original Spanish article:
About three years ago I am the victim of a "hit man" who practices media harassment. His name is Edward Pentin and he works for an EWTN newspaper called the National Catholic Register. I have never talked to him, but he has used the "anonymous libel" that was published by another Honduran "hit man" in a local media that constantly insults me and slanders me. Who am I, Archbishop of a small diocese and a small country to appear in the slandered and defamed world press, with no possibility of defending myself? Clearly the only reason is because I am the Coordinator of the Council of Cardinals who are working on the reform of the Vatican Curia. The enemies of this reform want to end this Council. The main objective is Pope Francis.
There is little doubt that the real goal of Vigano and those who conspired with him is to oust Pope Francis.  These enemies of the pope are capitalizing on the sexual abuse crisis because they feel that if they can link Pope Francis to sexual abuse, they will get the support they think they need to end his papacy.

Anyone who doubts or denies this fact is not living in reality.

From the Crux article:
On Viganò’s letter, he said that he was “surprised by it,” and said that for the author to be forgiven for incurring in the sin of slander he had to “repair the damage done.”
To ask for the resignation of the pope, in my opinion, is a sin against the Holy Spirit, who ultimately is the guide of the Church,” Maradiaga said.
The Google translation of the original Spanish language interview:
I have been surprised by Monsignor Viganó's writing, since he is not the person I have known for several years. The sin of slander and defamation is very serious, and to be forgiven they need the author to repair the damage done.
It seems to me that they have not understood that the Church is human and divine, natural and supernatural, immanent and transcendent. Without faith you can not understand. To ask for the resignation of the Pope in my opinion is a sin against the Holy Spirit, who ultimately is the guide of the Church, as we say in the Creed: "Lord and giver of life"
Cardinal Maradiaga's statement - that it is a sin against the Holy Spirit to ask for the Pope's resignation - was flatly contradicted by Cardinal Raymond Burke.  Burke, of course, has been in constant conflict with Pope Francis during the entirety of the Holy Father's papacy.

According to America Magazine, Burke gave an interview to La Repubblica and said the following:
“I can only say that to arrive at this one must investigate and respond in this regard. The request for resignation is in any case licit; anyone can make it in the face of whatever pastor that errs greatly in the fulfillment of his office, but the facts need to be verified.”
So which of these princes of the Church is correct?  Is it a sin to ask for the resignation of the one who sits in the Chair of Peter?

The first major difference in these comments made by Maradiaga and Burke is they way they view the papacy.

Maradiaga says it is a sin against the Holy Spirit to ask for the Pope's resignation.  Why?  Maradiaga says the Holy Spirit "ultimately is the guide of the Church, as we say in the Creed: 'Lord and giver of life''.

Maradiaga is telling us that the office of Pope is not like the rest of Church hierarchy.  The Pope has ultimate authority in the Church that can never be challenged by any human being.  Why?  Because no human being gives the Pope that authority.  It comes directly from the Holy Spirit.

Lumen Gentium completely backs up Maradiaga's statement.

Lumen Gentium 22 [emphases mine]:
But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power.
The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this headThis power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff. For our Lord placed Simon alone as the rock and the bearer of the keys of the Church, and made him shepherd of the whole flock; it is evident, however, that the power of binding and loosing, which was given to Peter, was granted also to the college of apostles, joined with their head.
This college, insofar as it is composed of many, expresses the variety and universality of the People of God, but insofar as it is assembled under one head, it expresses the unity of the flock of Christ. In it, the bishops, faithfully recognizing the primacy and pre-eminence of their head, exercise their own authority for the good of their own faithful, and indeed of the whole Church, the Holy Spirit supporting its organic structure and harmony with moderation
As can be seen in this passage from Lumen Gentium, bishops apart from the Pope have no authority. As Lumen Gentium says, "But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head."

Plainly, any bishop who separates from the Holy Father, and by extension the Holy Spirit, no longer holds any authority in the Church.

To rebel against the Holy Father and publicly call for his resignation is, unquestionably, separating from the Holy Father.  To engage in such an action is also to separate from the authority of the Holy Spirit.

Ergo, to call for the Pope's resignation is not to sin against the man sitting in the Chair of Peter, but against the Holy Spirit, who is the ultimate authority.

This is Cardinal Burke's statement:
The request for resignation is in any case licit; anyone can make it in the face of whatever pastor that errs greatly in the fulfillment of his office.
Cardinal Burke is wrong because he equates the Office of the Papacy with "whatever pastor."  The Pope is not just "whatever pastor."

The Pope is the Supreme Head of the Church.  All bishops derive their authority from the Holy Father.

The Holy Father derives his authority not from any human source, but directly from the Holy Spirit.

Since the Holy Spirit is the One who gives the Pope his authority, only the Holy Spirit has the right to depose the Pope from the Chair of Peter.

All those who are trying to depose Pope Francis are literally trying to usurp the authority of Holy Spirit. They have sinned against the Holy Spirit and their souls are in grave danger.

Any bishop who is in rebellion against the Chair of Peter has lost his authority.  We, as the laity, are no longer obliged to listen to or obey any such bishop.  In fact, to listen to and give heed to any bishop who is not under the authority of the Pope is to separate ourselves from the Holy Spirit.

It is that serious.

Lumen Gentium 25:
Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.
. . .
Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. 
A man can be a legitimate bishop of the Catholic Church ONLY if he is in communion with the Holy Father.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano committed a grave sin when he came forward and publicly called for the resignation of Pope Francis.  Vigano separated himself from the Successor of Peter and sinned against the Holy Spirit.  All those who joined with Vigano are guilty of this grave sin as well.

Although I do not personally believe that Vigano's allegations have any credibility, let's say for the sake of argument that Vigano is telling the truth.  Let's say Pope Francis is guilty of ignoring sanctions imposed upon McCarrick by Pope Benedict.  Let's say that Pope Francis actively conspired with McCarrick to push the homosexual agenda in the Church and to deliberately install cardinals and bishops who are also trying to change Church teaching.

If Pope Francis is truly an evil man who is trying to destroy the Church, what is our recourse?

This is the procedure given to us directly by Our Lord Jesus Christ when we have a conflict with someone in the Church:

Matthew 15:15-17, given directly to us by Jesus Christ:
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Supposedly, Vigano carried the secret of Pope Francis's association with McCarrick for over five years.  Vigano alleges that he knew from the beginning of Pope Francis' papacy in 2013 that the Holy Father had purposely elevated a known sex offender, McCarrick, to a high level of responsibility in the Church, even though the Holy Father knew that McCarrick was under secret sanctions from Benedict.

Why didn't Vigano go privately to the Pope at some time during that five-year period with his concerns?  If Vigano truly felt that the Church was in spiritual danger from the Holy Father, how was it possible for him to just sit on the sidelines for over five years and do nothing?

As Our Lord told us, if you are aware that someone has sinned, it is imperative that you privately confront that person.  If the person will not listen to you, take two or three witnesses.

We know that Vigano never privately confronted Pope Francis with his allegations, and so we certainly know that Vigano never went to the Pope with anyone else, either.

Vigano did exactly what Jesus Christ said not to do.  Vigano went public with his allegations and caused great division and strife in the Church, setting bishop against bishop.  Michael Voris has referred to it as a civil war, and for once, I actually agree with him.

Is this the work of the Holy Spirit?  Was the Holy Spirit a part of blindsiding the Pope and accusing him of the most heinous of crimes in a public forum?  Not according to Matthew 15.

Vigano's actions have resulted in some of the greatest division that we have ever seen in the Church, possibly rivaling the Reformation.

What does Scripture tell us about those who cause disunity among brethren?

Proverbs 6:16-19:
16 These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
I think it is safe to say that Archbishop Vigano and those who conspired with him are guilty of all seven abominations listed in Proverbs 6.

We are living in very evil times in which the devil is turning us against one another.  The world needs the Church more than it ever has.  Yet we in the Church are too busy fighting with one another to fulfill the Great Commission given to us by Our Lord.

Archbishop Vigano is not acting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  I say that without apology. No one who causes division, disunity and pure hatred among brethren as he has is acting in accord with the Holy Spirit.

You cannot be a part of the Mystical Body of Christ without being in communion with Christ's Vicar.  Separate yourself from the Pope, and you have separated yourself from Christ, and have put your soul in mortal danger.

From Lumen Gentium 25:
And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith, by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals. 
And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.
The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.
Pray.  Pray,  Pray.


  1. Replies
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