Rorate Caeli

A Catastrophic Pontificate, Undermining the Structural Elements of the Church - by Father Benoît de Jorna

 A Church Shaken to the Core

Fr. Benoît de Jorna, FSSPX
Superior of the District of France (SSPX)
Letter to Brother Priests, March 2023

The pontificate of Pope Francis has just passed the ten-year mark, which is already an honorable length of time. It is therefore possible to take a first look back, as we did last time on the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. To begin with, to clarify our position, we have no personal animosity towards Pope Francis. On the contrary, he has made several significant gestures toward the Society of St. Pius X, which are important to us.

Everyone recognizes that Pope Francis has a very personal, somewhat authoritarian mode of government, that he acts at will and often unpredictably. The number of Motu Proprios he has already promulgated is an unmistakable sign of this. In absolute terms, of course, one could argue about this way of doing things, but he is certainly not the first Pope to act in this way. In any case, it is not his method of leadership that we will discuss today.

What really seems important to us is not how Pope Francis acts, but what he does, the very content of his action. And here, it must be said clearly, the results of the pontificate seem to us rather catastrophic. Pope Francis is constantly undermining the structural elements of the Church, the pillars of Christian life, and he is thus shaking them to the core, leaving us to fear or foresee their total ruin.

It is not precisely in the speculative, dogmatic order that he attacks. It is not, it seems, a domain that attracts him and fascinates him. He concentrates rather on the practical domain, that of action, and there he makes great strides, unfortunately in the wrong direction.

He first attacked morality, a field that had been, somehow and only partially, preserved from a systematic questioning. Through various documents and initiatives, he has paved the way for the satisfaction of "societal" demands, such as access to the sacraments for remarried divorcees and homosexual 'couples', recognition of trans-identity, access of women to ordained ministries, etc., as the German Synod has well understood.

The second stage of the barrage is the massive and coordinated assault on the traditional liturgy, which is so modestly and marginally celebrated. It is a matter of eradicating everything that would recall not only the Church before Vatican II, but even simply the Church before Francis, since, after all, the official return of this ancient liturgy dates only from his predecessor.

Pope Francis, by his actions in these and parallel areas, will undoubtedly leave behind a deeply shaken Church.