Rorate Caeli

The Triumph of Liberation Theology

The dream of Liberation Theology priests everywhere has come true this Sunday as Bishop Fernando Lugo (Emeritus of San Pedro) was elected the new President of the Republic of Paraguay.

In early 2007, the Holy See had made clear that Lugo had been suspended, but not released from his episcopal dignity (Document in Spanish). That was completely irrelevant to Lugo, who pressed on with his candidacy in favor of his vision of "Cambio" ("Change").

Lugo presented what he means by change in a political conference in Ecuador last August, concluding his speech with these words:

We are attempting to build the Socialism of the 21st Century, a fresh and new Socialism, a legitimized pact, impelling participatory democracy, that is, real democracy. With our attitude.
There will be no Socialism without economic transformation, there will be no Socialism without participatory democracy, with emphasis in economic [matters], there will be no Socialism without Socialist ethics; love, solidarity, equality among all men and women, among all, are the fundamental elements of Socialism and of ordinary people.

Fernando Lugo was named Bishop of San Pedro by Pope John Paul II in 1994.


  1. Anonymous12:56 AM

    Great Job, JPII, Optime, Maxime! You sure could pick'em!

  2. Anonymous1:55 AM

    Inasmuch as Socialism is incompatible with the Catholic faith, and inasmuch as a cleric may not lawfully hold public office, the only thing to do now is to declare Bishop Lugo's excommunication.

    By the way, "participatory democracy" in a truly Socialist society means, "You will show up to cast ballots when I tell you to, or I will kill you and your family -- and the vote you cast will be for me and my party, or I will kill you and your family."

    On another subject, regarding the alleged quote from St. Catherine of Siena (“Alas, Most Holy Father! At times, obedience to you leads to eternal damnation.”), she is also known to have said, in a letter to Bernabo Visconti of Milan, that we have an obligation to obey the Vicar of Christ -- "Even if that vicar were a devil incarnate, I must not defy him," she wrote.

    St. Catherine's letters may be read here:

    Obedience, including obedience to the Pope, is one of the recurring themes of her letters. For example, in a letter to Brother Antonio of Nizza, she says, "divine obedience never prevents us from obedience to the Holy Father: nay, the more perfect the one, the more perfect is the other. And we ought always to be subject to his commands and obedient unto death."

  3. Anonymous2:14 AM

    Moreover, many of the above quotes cannot be confirmed or are totally out of context or are even mmanipulated. If legitimate sources are not given, I do not trust quotes. There is too much danger and inaccuracy in the web-world.

    Of course, not all, which still gives some reflection. Let us pray for our Holy Father!

  4. Anonymous3:47 AM

    A good rule of thumb is that an article, comment, or blog post comprised mainly of quotations with little or no linking text or exposition can be safely ignored.

  5. Anonymous4:41 AM

    Yes, dcs, I agree. That is how we can continue to process the traditioning of the Great Architect's morals and dogma. Let us continue to process the double-mind. So mote it be!

  6. Anonymous5:14 AM

    A few weeks' reading posts here should make it clear that there are change agents posing as "trads." Those neo-Pharisees squeal "context" and "unverifiable" even when the verifiable references are provided. To defend the indefensible post-conciliar "traditioning" of modernism, these change agents use the rabbis' tricks.

    When the perennial truths are put before your very eyes and references provided, these change agents do their gnostic Kabbalistic mind games, "context," "unverifable," "These aren't the 'droids you want," wave their hands, and too many return to their fugue only half-aware of what is being wrought against them.

    Links to photocopies of the actual source of the St. Francis quote are available at:

    Verifiable references for the others are also provided.

    A favored link of this weblog is The Seattle Catholic. Find a full article, "DIFFERING FROM OTHER COUNCILS" at:

    or, if the link is obscured, simple search for "Differing from Other Councils" and choose the link at the Seattle Catholic.

  7. From Bernadin to Lugo......Levada to Niderauer............what lack of discernment from those who are responsible for appointing them.

  8. Anonymous7:41 AM

    All those quotes strung together, out of context as dcs said, add no light but deepen the darkness. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, as they say.

    And if one thinks the Holy Father is responsible directly and intimately involved in the appointment of every bishop, then one would be way off track: that alone would fill his every day! The Holy Father appoints on the recommendation of the Congregation for Bishops, who work on a list of candidates provided by the local nuncio in consultation with the local bishops.

    As another wrote here, the Holy Father needs prayers not vitriol. Indeed, it is hard to see how vitriol towards the Holy Father and Catholic identity can go together. By definition a good Catholic is subject to the Pope in faith and morals. If one is not, then one might be something very worthy in many respects, but not a Catholic.

  9. My comment stands - I know perfectly well who is responsible - the bishops.

    From Bernadin to Lugo......Levada to Niderauer............what lack of discernment from those who are responsible for appointing them.

  10. Anonymous8:32 AM

    The political proyect of ex Bishop Lugo shall crash very soon. You'll remember this!

  11. Thank you for warning me, Fr. Hugh, Anons, and DCS: I have deleted these same comments so many times in the past few days in different threads... Quite tiresome...

  12. Anonymous11:02 AM

    It's excommunication time!!

  13. Anonymous11:06 AM

    Dig up the root of the problem regarding the appointment of bishops.
    Houseclean the Sacred Congregation for Bishops, and remove it's sitting prefect....Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, of the most radical and most modernist Cardinals in Rome. Violently opposed to the Tridentine Latin Mass and Catholic tradition.

    It's time for the Pope to give Cardinal Re (in office since 2000), his walking papers and clean out the entire department.

  14. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Socialism is for sick people.

  15. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Indeed, New "Catholic," what is Catholic about deleting quotes from the Scripture, Saints, Popes, and Councils? Are you afraid of the perennial Faith that you claim to had adopted?

    Here they are again. No matter how much you and your Novus Ordo "presiders" play neo-Catholic Gestapo, you cannot run away from the Faith.

    "...differing from other Councils, this one [Vatican 2] was not directly dogmatic but doctrinal and pastoral" - Paul VI, "Weekly General Audience" (8/6/1975)

    "In view of the conciliar practice and the pastoral purpose of the present Council, this sacred Synod defines matters of faith and morals as binding on the Church only when the Synod itself openly declares so." Lumen Gentium footnote [not cited] W. Abbot, "The Documents of Vatican II" (1966)

    "There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church's infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility." Paul VI, "Weekly General Audience" (1/12/1966)

    "Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolates Vatican II and which provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it, which give the impression that from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II... The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council." - J. Cardinal Ratzinger, "Address to Chilean Bishops -Santiago, Chile" (July 13, 1988)

    Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff that aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and to prevent his will form being executed; it is not licit however, to judge [canonically or temporal court], punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior. —St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book II, Chap. 29.

    And in this…way the Pope could be schismatic, if he were unwilling to be in normal union with the whole body of the Church, as would occur of he attempted to excommunicate the whole Church, or, as both Cajetan and Torquemada observe, if he wished to overturn the rites of the Church based on Apostolic Tradition… if [the Pope]… gives an order contrary to right customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be lawful to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defense.” —Francisco Suarez, 16th century theologian, never rebujed in times when rebuke was certain and swift, in De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16.

    Galatians 2:11 “But when Cephas [Peter] was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.”

    St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 33, A. 4: “There being an imminent danger for the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith. And, as the Glossa of St. Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2.14), ‘St. Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if sometimes they stray from the right way, they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from their subjects.”

    Acts 5:29 “But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men.”
    St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 104, A. 5: “It is written: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore, superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.”

    Blessed Pius XI, Letter to Bishop Brizen: “If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him.”
    St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory, Chapter 3, Section 7:“What then should a Catholic do if some portion of the Church detaches itself from communion of the universal Faith? What choice can he make if some new contagion attempts to poison, no longer a small part of the Church, but the whole Church at once? Then his great concern will be to attach himself to antiquity which can no longer be led astray by any lying novelty.”

    St. Athanasius, Epistle to the Catholics: “Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”

    St. Catherine of Siena, Letter to Pope Gregory XI: “Alas, Most Holy Father! At times, obedience to you leads to eternal damnation.”

    First Vatican Council, Pastor Aeternus §4: “For the Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.”

    "In those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor, but a destroyer." —St. Francis of Assisi, Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi translated by a religious of the Order, Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250

    Shortly before he died, St. Francis of Assisi called together his followers and warned them of the coming troubles, saying:

    "1. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

    "2. The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.

    "3. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

    "4. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

    "5. Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

    "6. Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, [Christ] these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

    "7. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer."
    (Except for breaking up the narrative into numbered paragraphs, the prophecy is presented without any alteration, as given in the Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, p. 248)

    "THUS, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to the Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ." (St. Athanasius, 4th Century)

  16. Anonymous12:28 PM

    It is very revealing how the perennial teachings so upset those who make great pretense of being Catholic.

  17. Anonymous12:52 PM

    typo should read: "Are you afraid of the perennial Faith that you claim to have adopted?"

  18. Anonymous1:50 PM

    An anonymous "more-Catholic-than-God" anti-Semite said: A few weeks' reading posts here should make it clear that there are change agents posing as "trads." Those neo-Pharisees squeal "context" and "unverifiable" even when the verifiable references are provided.

    What you and your ilk never provide, however, is the context. Strings of prooftexts without context are useless, as the St. Catherine of Siena example shows. Whether or not she really said what she is alleged to have said (maybe she did), we know beyond all doubt that she said other things that fly in the face of the alleged quote. But it's poor scholarshop and irrational to lift quotes out of a source without supplying context to help us interpret what she meant and why she may said what she said. The person or persons who have been spamming this weblog with lengthy non-contextual florilegia (a redundancy, I know) has not grasped that most basic principle of intellectual inquiry.

    By the way, it's ironic to encounter an accusation of "neo-Pharisaism" from someone who judges himself more Catholic and a purer traditionalist. The very name "Parush" means "Separatist," one who withdraws and separates himself from those persons and things he judges to be ritually and religiously impure.

    To defend the indefensible post-conciliar "traditioning" of modernism, these change agents use the rabbis' tricks.

    "Rabbis' tricks" is an anti-Semitic shibboleth. Anyway, pointing out the uselessness of florilegia is not a "rabbis' trick," it's just good Catholic scholarship.

  19. Anonymous2:07 PM

    The context is this. The perennial teaching of the Magisterium is that we owe allegiance to God, the Logos, not man AND that we may legitimately resist prelates, even the Pope, when they lead us into sin or heresy.


  20. Anonymous2:08 PM

    It is neither shibboleth nor "antisemitic" at all to observe that you use "context" precisely as the rabbis use "context" to defend the indefensible.


  21. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Mr. Potter, who, having read your posts, could be surprised that you find a compendium of quotes in support of perennial teaching from Jesus, the Apostles, Fathers, Doctors, Saints, Popes, and Councils problematic, "florilegia"?

    The novelties cannot be supported by "florilegia."

  22. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Now for something that is truly out of context.


    Your Holiness, I, Richard Sipe, approach you reluctantly to speak about the problem of sexual abuse by priests and bishops in the United States, but I am encouraged and prompted by the directive of Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, Chapter IV, No. 37. “By reason of knowledge, competence…the laity are empowered—indeed sometimes obliged—to manifest their opinion on those things that pertain to the good of the Church.” And also moved by your heartfelt demonstration of concern for victims on your recent visit to the United States I bring to your attention a dimension of the crisis not yet addressed. It is closer to the systemic center of the problem and one most difficult for you to address.

    As the crisis of sexual abuse of our children and vulnerable adults by priests and bishops in the United States is unfolding the dynamics of this dysfunction are becoming painfully clear.

    This sexual aberration is not generated from the bottom up—that is only from unsuitable candidates—but from the top down—that is from the sexual behaviors of superiors, even bishops and cardinals.

    The problem facing us in the American church is systemic. I will present Your Holiness with only a few examples:

    Bishop Thomas Lyons, now deceased, who was an Auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. groomed, seduced, and sexually abused a boy from the time he was seven years old until he was seventeen. When that boy grew into manhood he in turn abused his own child and young relatives. When I asked him about his actions he said to me, “I thought it was natural. Father (Lyons) told me a priest showed him this when he was growing up.” A pattern was perpetuated for at least four generations.

    Abbot John Eidenschink of St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota sexually abused some of his young monks during confession and spiritual direction. He admitted this behavior in regard to two of the monks I interviewed. They described the behavior in disturbingly graphic detail. Older monks that I interviewed told me that they knew that John’s Novice Master was inappropriately affectionate with him during his two years as a novice. More than a dozen of the monks of this monastery have been credibly accused of abuse of minors while Abbot Eidenschink was promoted to President of his Monastic Congregation, the American Cassinese.

    While I was Adjunct Professor at a Pontifical Seminary, St. Mary’s Baltimore (1972-1984) a number of seminarians came to me with concerns about the behavior of Theodore E. McCarrick then bishop of Metuchen New Jersey. It has been widely known for several decades that Bishop/Archbishop now Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick took seminarians and young priests to a shore home in New Jersey, sites in New York, and other places and slept with some of them. He established a coterie of young seminarians and priests that he encouraged to call him “Uncle Ted.” I have his correspondence where he referred to these men as being “cousins” with each other.

    Catholic journalist Matt C. Abbott already featured the statements of two priests (2005) and one ex-priest (2006) about McCarrick. All three were "in the know" and aware of the Cardinal McCarrick’s activities in the same mode as I had heard at the seminary. None of these reporters, as far as Abbott knew, had sexual contact with the cardinal in the infamous sleepovers, but one had first hand reports from a seminarian/priest who did share a bed and received cards and letters from McCarrick. The modus operendi is similar to the documents and letters I have received from a priest who describes in detail McCarrick’s sexual advances and personal activity. At least one prominent journalist at the Boston Globe was aware of McCarrick from his investigation of another priest, but until now legal documentation has not been available. And even at this point the complete story cannot be published because priest reporters are afraid of reprisals.

    Your Holiness, you must seek out and listen to these stories, as I have from many priests about their seduction by highly placed clerics, and the dire consequences in their lives that does end with personal distress.

    I know the names of at least four priests who have had sexual encounters with Cardinal McCarrick. I have documents and letters that record the first hand testimony and eye witness accounts of McCarrick, then archbishop of Newark, New Jersey actually having sex with a priest, and at other times subjecting a priest to unwanted sexual advances.

    Your Holiness, you must seek out and listen to the stories, as I have from many priests about their seduction by highly placed clerics, and the dire consequences in their lives that does end in their victimization alone.

    Such behavior fosters confusion and makes celibacy problematic for seminarians and priests. This abuse paves the way for them to pass the tradition on—to have sex with each other and even with minors.

    The pattern and practice of priests in positions of responsibility for the training of men for the priesthood—rectors, confessors, spiritual directors, novice masters, and other clergy—who have sexual relations with seminarians and other priests is rampant in the Catholic Church in the United States. I have reviewed hundreds of documents that record just such behavior and interviewed scores of priests who have suffered from this activity. Priests, sexually active in the above manner have frequently been appointed by the Vatican to be ordained bishops or even created cardinals.

    I approach Your Holiness with due reverence, but with the same intensity that motivated Peter Damian to lay out before your predecessor, Pope Leo IX, a description of the condition of the clergy during his time. The problems he spoke of are similar and as great now in the United States as they were then in Rome. If Your Holiness requests I will submit to you personally documentation of that about which I have spoken.

    Your Holiness, I submit this to you with urgent concern for our Church, especially for the young and our clergy.

  23. Anonymous4:32 PM

    But I guess it is better to put yourself under this man rather than a priest of thee SSPX, since the SSPX is in schism.

  24. Anonymous4:53 PM

    What a coward you are for censoring the Faith.

    You make yourself a change agent by leaving Potter's dissembling unopposed.

  25. Anonymous5:03 PM


    I'm afraid poor St. Catherine wasn't facing the morass of Modernism. How do you think she would have responded to matters now?

    Also, I wanted to ask you another question: Since Semites are not a homogenous group (linguistically, culturally), how would you define anti-semitism? Does it have a basis in race, or is it primarily a political term?


  26. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Maybe these rad-trads will declare the Lord Jesus heretic for choosing Judas Iscariot. - aleksandr

  27. As the son of a trade union leader, I think people should avoid socialism wherever possible.

  28. Anonymous8:15 PM

    I have nothing to say except "Decretum Contra Communismum", Pius XII, 1949.

  29. Anonymous12:12 AM

    Compare this guy withe the great Cardinal Trujillo to see the desperate state of the Church in South America.

  30. Anonymous12:08 PM

    These aren't JP2 days. I think that the smack-down will be very swift and he will probably just leave the priesthood like Aristide did.

  31. Anonymous12:18 PM

    Socialism is for the lazy, incompetent, and for those who lack vision. Oh, and Sacred Tradition forbids it!

  32. Anonymous12:36 PM

    St. Catherine never carried the keys, nor pronounced infallible decrees to the Church. However, Pius XII condemned socialism much, as well as his predecessors. Shouldn't we listen, and heed their warnings-stiffnecked Catholics?

  33. Anonymous1:12 PM

    Try to convince him to take up ballooning as a hobby. Then he can liberate himself from the ground.

  34. Anonymous1:33 PM

    The context is that we owe unquestioning submission only to Jesus and that we may legitimately resist prelates, even the Popes, if they lead us into sin or error. The infallibility of the Pope is very circumscribed.


It is revealing that the change agents are uncomfortable when confronted by proof of those perennial teachings, quotes of Jesus, the Apostles, Doctors, Fathers, Saints, Popes, and Councils, a "florilegium."

    No wonder then that Potter et al. feel compelled to enlist New Catholic's censorship.

Of course the change agents cannot adduce the support of Jesus, the Apostles, Doctors, Fathers, Saints, Popes,and Councils for the novelties of their 40-year-old sect.

    For precisely this reason, it is neither shibboleth nor "antisemitic" to observe that the Novus Ordo neo-Pharisees engage in the process of "traditioning" their defections and novelties, just like the rabbis process and "tradition" their nullification of Mosaic Law while pretending to be heirs of Moses.

    Sadly, it appears that the defection of the Pharisees from the Mosaic Covenant is a biblical type of the Novus Ordo's defection from the New Covenant.

  35. Anonymous1:35 PM

    Context: Today's ineffectual and toadying papal diplomacy bears no resemblance to either the perennial Magisterium or the traditional liturgy.

    Vespers on Sunday Evening (Octave of Easter), Tone Seven: "O evil and adulterous synagogue, thou hast not kept faith with thine own Lord. Why then dost thou hold fast to the Testament of which thou art not the heir? Why dost thou glory in the Father, since thou hast rejected the Son? Why hast thou not accepted the prophets, who proclaimed the Son?" 

    Matins, Canticle Nine, Tone Four: "O unbelieving and adulterous generation of the Jews, draw near and look upon Him Whom once Isaiah saw (ISAIAH 6:1-9; JOHN 12:41)...See how He weds the New Zion, for she is chaste, and rejects the synagogue that is condemned."


Small Compline, Canticle Nine: "Prepare thy priests, O Judaea, make ready thy hands to kill God: for see, He has come to His Passion, meek and silent, our Lamb and Shepherd, Christ the King of Israel...O Judaea, the Master has turned thy feasts into mourning, according to the prophecy (AMOS 8:10), for thou hast murdered God..."

  36. Anonymous1:40 PM

    If New Catholic wasn't so afraid of his new Faith as to cowardly censor the perennial Magisterium that opposes Potter's novelties, especially defense of the synagogue of Satan, these threads would not need to leak into other posts.

  37. Dear anonymous;

    How brave of you to accuse New Catholic of cowardice when you don't even have the honesty to identify yourself.