It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. But it must be done.
After the news of Cardinal Sarah being appointed as the New Prefect of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, (CDW – see here) the momentary joy of reading this development dissipated quickly, and upon reflection, I was left with a feeling that a “cynical manipulation” might have taken place.
The initial joy arose from the fact that Archbishop Piero Marini (see here), a former personal secretary to the notorious Annabele Bugnini and destroyer of the liturgy of the Roman Rite and the Holy Mass (see here), who was rumored to be Francis’s choice (see here), was not appointed. What also brought a feeling of joy was the fact that Cardinal Sarah, a solidly orthodox and Tradition friendly prelate originally from Guinea (see here) , a country in western Africa, and who is presently the head of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, had received the appointment.
After the quick reflection, what caused amazement, if not a feeling that a “manipulation with sinister intent” has taken place, was the fact that the Prefecture at the CDW had been vacant for almost 3 months, while during that time very high level personnel changes were implemented. Based on information in the public domain, significant staff of the CDW was removed and replaced with followers of Annabele Bugnini, just before Cardinal Sarah’s appointment. These personnel changes had to be made on someone’s directives. Furthermore, this new personnel “designed and executed” changes to the liturgical rites for canonization of saints (see here), changes made when there was no Prefect to authorize them. So a lingering question I have is this: what is the point of making changes before the appointment of the Prefect, in whose mandate those personnel decisions would rest? Furthermore, who authorized the changes in the canonization rites when no Prefect was in place?
And naturally, parallels immediately arose with those events which transpired at the recent Shameful Secret Synod of 2014. As we know, this Synod was one large exercise in manipulation, starting from a pre-written Relatio post disceptationem, in which fraudulent text appeared that was not discussed by the bishops, Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest and general rapporteur of the synod signed a document which he did not write (see here), and did not know what it meant and after four days of intense work by the bishops to straighten out the final version, some of those fraudulent passages were still “affixed” to the final version of the Relatio. The individuals behind the manipulation, card. Kasper, card. Marx, card. Baldisarri, bp. Forte were identified, however no disciplinary actions were taken against them. Furthermore, the latter two individuals were retained in those same position of authority for the 2015 Synod. (see here).
Therefore, give all the above, the question that has to be raised is this: is the appointment of card. Sarah a “cynically manipulative exercise as well?”
Before I answer this question, a chronology of what transpired at the CDW and then at the Secret Synod is in order.
First the situation at the Congregation for Divine Worship:
Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera was prefect of the congregation during the reign of Benedict XVI. Card. Cañizares was unceremoniously disposed of, degraded and moved to the See of Valencia in his native Spain (see here). Rumors started circulating that his demotion could come as early as Dec 2013 (see here). However, this move came in August of this year (see here).
Up to yesterday, the CDW had no head. However, during this time, there was a wholesale change of personnel. Rorate Caeli blog has the details via the French blog Riposte Catholique: (see here)
Monsignor Anthony Ward and Monsignor Juan Miguel Ferrer learned the day before yesterday, November 5, practically at the same moment that the nomination of their successor was being made at the Daily Bollettino of the Holy See Press Office, that they were not reconfirmed in their function as undersecretaries of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and that Fr. Corrado Maggioni, until that moment head of bureau [Capo Ufficio] in this same Congregation was named Undersecretary.
It must be be made known that Msgr. Corrado Maggioni, a steadfast Bugninist, a great friend of Abp. Piero Marini, had been named to the Office of Liturgical Celebrations [of the Supreme Pontiff] at the time of the “rearrangement” of this office’s personnel at the beginning of the current pontificate.
As to the destruction wrought to the liturgy of the Roman Rite by Bugnini and his associates, this paragraph gives an excellent insight into who these new people at the CDW are:
It must also be made known that Msgr. Juan Miguel Ferrer Grenesche, who had been Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Toledo [Spain], a great savant of liturgical matters, was the right-hand man of Cardinal Cañizares, [when the latter was] Archbishop of Toledo, who, when named Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship by his friend Pope Benedict XVI, had called him to be at his side. As favorable to the Extraordinary Form as Don Antonio, his Cardinal, Don Juan Miguel is THE expert on the Mozarabic Rite. This ancient Visigothic Latin rite, dating from before the introduction of the Roman Rite in Spain and preserved thanks to the Muslim invasions, is still celebrated in some rare spots in Toledo and Salamanca. It had, of course, been massacred by Bugnini’s reform, from which nothing escaped, not even the last evidences of this venerable liturgy of Saint Isidore of Seville! Msgr. Ferrer has therefore accomplished an intelligent “reform of the reform” [in the Mozarabic Rite] reintroducing in it in scholarly fashion venerable texts.
The reason that I reproduced the above paragraph is to give some insight into the type of damage that the followers of Bugnini had done in the area of the Roman Rite liturgy. Therefore, it is by no coincidence that these Bugnini’ites took advantage of a situation where the CDW had no head, and instituted major reforms to the Cananoization Rite as was in place after the reign of Benedict XVI.
This is the post from Rorate Caeli dealing with the changed canonization rite. (see here) In the post, we can read the following about the “new” Rite to be used on the 21 of November 2014:
The Rite of Canonization introduced on October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI and which was largely based on the Rite of Canonization before Pius XII is now gone. (This rite had been last used, with minor modifications, for the canonization this past April of John XXIII and John Paul II.) Naturally the threefold petitions are gone, and with them the formulae that emphasized the authority of canonizations, composed under the Pope Emeritus.
But the story does not end here. Further we read:
Instead, the “reformed”, post-Conciliar rite in use for canonizations from the time of the liturgical reforms of Paul VI until the canonizations of 2011 (called from here on as the “Paul VI rite”) will mostly be brought back into use tomorrow. We say “mostly”, for this shortened rite has been subjected to further simplifications that, we genuinely hope, do not betoken more truncations of the liturgy in the coming years. (For the rest of this article we will call the rite to be used tomorrow as the “2014 rite”.)
So it’s not even the Paul VI rite, but an abridged version. What is taking place is that the “destroyers”, just like at Vatican II, are creating something new under the guise of something that exists. And since they call it nominally the Paul VI rite, only paranoid crack pot conspiracy theorists would even notice, let alone mention it.
So the question at this point is: does the new Head of the CDW have to authorize this latest novelty cooked up before his appointment, just as card. Erdo had to authorize the Relatio post disceptationem written behind his back? (see here)
But back to the issue of Card. Sarah’s appointment. Give the above, we see that ‘manipulation’ is rampant in the CDW, similar to the level observed at the Secret Synod of 2014. And since we returned to the issue of the Synod, the question becomes this, is there a relationship between the appointment of card. Sarah and the card. Kasper incident?
Next the situation that transpired at the Secret Synod of 2014:
When taking into account the above situation, further discomfort is added by the fact that Cd. Sarah is from Africa.
Here one needs to be cognizant of the situation that arose with Francis’s point man for changing the Catholic
doctrine practice with respect to remarried receiving communion and “affirmation” of aberro-sexual unions at the Shameful Secret Synod, card. Kasper. (see here ) When the synod fathers revolted on the famous “JPII/Familiaris Consortio Thursday Miracle”, card. Kasper made disparaging and racist remarks about the African bishops (see here). This led to a controversy, which involved the journalist Edward Pentin. (see here). Kasper claimed that he did not say what was reported, and threatened to send out his friends in the media to destroy the reporter. But when the reporter produced the recording, Kasper backed down after a few days, and apologized. However, the question that remained, and still remains unanswered is this: if the journalist did not have the recording, would Kasper have any qualms (as in moral) with destroying the career of an honest man. (see here) This latest episode brought about the following question posed by RC blog:
Lie and threaten, lie and threaten, with the occasional disdainful remark: it seems to be his modus operandi. Does this merit a theological award or perhaps, rather, another kind of more thorough evaluation?
The answer to the above question would appear to be: absolutely not! (see here).
Nothing to see here folks, move along.
Now that we have a good idea as to the pertinent background of the present situation with respect to the appointment of Card. Sarah to the CDW, we can make some observations as to the appointment itself.
The situation is as follows: what we have is a orthodox Catholic Cardinal being appointed to a congregation where “radical” Bugnini’ite personnel were recently installed during a time when the prefecture of the CWD was vacant, between the 28th of August and the 24 of November of this year. These radicals have already made changes to at least the canonization rights in a period preceding the arrival of card. Sarah. The changes were authorized by someone who we do not know. Furthermore, we find card. Sarah taking over a Congregation with personnel changes that were made, effectively creating a situation where he accepts these appointments and changes by fiat accompli. Sound familiar?
Therefore, the above situation with respect to the card. Sarah appointment raises a serious issue, an issue of HONESTY.
To be more precise, the issue rests on a question of moral honesty on the part of religious leaders who have demonstrated behavior in the past that was blatantly dishonest. And that is being very charitable on my part.
Furthermore, the issue of honesty, or lack there of is also behind the recent spate of high ranking church officials who have asked Francis to respond to the situation that had transpired at the Shameful Secret Synod among others, a situation that has led directly to a lack of “trust” for the pontiff in the wider Church. The key issue that Francis has been asked to respond to is simply this: does he approve of the “dishonest manipulation” that had taken place at the Synod. And these requests have originated from the highest levels within the Church.
To date, Francis has yet to respond to these issues.
Not only has Francis not addressed these issues, he has appointed these same dishonest manipulators to oversee the next Synod of 2015.
And it is behavior like this which has led to the larger crisis in the Church, larger then at any time since Vatican II. This exact point was addressed by a “very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace” in the following words (see here).
Whatever may be the “profound” interpretation one may give to the current pontificate, it is quite evident that it is widening this gap. Pope Francis, with all his maneuvering skills, is a man from another age. He has committed considerable mistakes, as the affair of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the submission to synodal vote of the indissolubility of marriage show, errors which have damaged his credibility (in depth) much more than the Williamson affair and Vatileaks cost Benedict XVI.
The above indicates that the present situation is one where Francis has lost trust within the institution that is the Catholic Church. All his actions are now suspect. He does have the Main Stream Media and the German bishops’ still on side at present. The later is explained by the situation with the German Church and the Kirchensteuer (church tax). The former is explained by the fact that once Francis stops pandering to the special interest that comprise the MSM, they will turn on him very quickly. And then the only support that he can count on is the Church, the same Church which he has damaged while pandering to the Germans and the MSM.
Which leads back to the appointment of Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship.
So we have a new card. being appointed to head this Congregation. His personnel were appointed behind his back. They were appointed before he came into his office. He had no say. The question that Francis needs to answer is: who made those appointments? Because it makes no sense to appoint staff before appointing the head of the congregation. Furthermore, if Francis knew that a new head would be appointed, why did he allow for the rite of canonization to be changed literally a couple of days before the appointment was announce? The Pope needs to answer “what did he know and when did he know it”.
And the final question to the Pope is this: did the fact that cd. Sarah was from Africa play an important part in his being appointed?
Because quite frankly, the situation that we find ourselves in presently appears to be one where a congregation is being managed from behind the scenes, while a token head of the congregation will be appointed just to lend it credibility. This is similar to the situation where card. Erdo signed a document that he not only did not write, but one with which he did not agree. It could also be the situation similar to that the appointment of Thurgood Marshall to the US Supreme Court by the President Lydon Baines Johnson and described in the book “The Brethren” by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong.
Given the facts and assertions above, this appointment becomes very problematic. It requires Francis, POPE OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH to make a statement. This statement needs to address the following issues:
1) How is it that card. Sarah was appointed after the personnel changes in his congregation were made, and who made those changes. Furthermore, is card. Sarah in charge, or is he just a token figurehead like card. Erdo was at the Synod of 2014?
2) Is the appointment of card. Sarah in any way related to the situation with the bishops of Africa and the racist remarks made by one of Francis’s closest collaborators, card. Kasper? How is this not an issue of “crypto-racism”, whereby an African cardinal is appointed to head a congregation in which he has no control over appointing his personnel?
3) And final question, what “crypto-Lefebvrism”has been uncovered by the dishonest manipulators charged with suppressing this order. (see here) Has any actions been brought against them for not only persecuting unjustly honest clerics of the FFI, but also threatening bishops not to incardinate FFI members in their dioceses, as was the case at the Italian Bishops’ Conference.
In this bloggers honest opinion, these 3 issues need to be addressed by the POPE.
And now I will attempt to answer the question of how I view the appointment of card. Sarah. Without answers to the above posed questions, I see this appointment in the same light as the appointment of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court:
A very good appointment made for a very bad reason.
Post scriptum: As I stated at the beginning of this post, it is with a heavy heart that I write the above. However, the level of dishonesty, manipulation and injustice that has been observed over the course of this pontificate leads me and many other faithful Catholics to say: