Beyond bad Francis nukes own Church

by PAUL COLLITS – IT MUST be God’s sense of irony that has delivered us the very worst Pope at the time of our greatest need for clarity and spine. 

We have been delivered a pontiff lacking any commitment to push back against the culture of death, the secularist, relativist dictatorship that his two immediate predecessors described so well. 

Cardinal Pell once said Pope Francis would be a pope of surprises. Well … he wasn’t wrong there. The surprises have all been awful.

Crisis magazine is a solidly Catholic, orthodox, muscular magazine. It takes few prisoners.

A recent contribution, written by Kennedy Hall, has an arresting title: “Pope Francis’s Schism”.


Cutting to the chase, Hall says that Francis has “dropped a nuclear bomb on Tradition”. And “tradition” is, in a sense, just what the Church is for.

Criticise the Pope? Papolatry can be a curse.

Hall writes: “Fr Henri Le Floch, who was the rector of the French Seminary in Rome under Pope Pius X, Benedict XV, and Pius XI, said the following in the 1920s. ‘The heresy which is now being born will become the most dangerous of all; the exaggeration of the respect due to the Pope and the illegitimate extension of his infallibility.”

People now openly talk of two churches. The Church of Benedict and the Church of Francis. All true. We are in Blind Freddie territory here. The schism is that clear.

When that great nineteenth century liberal, Lord Acton, suggested that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, he wasn’t referring to the State, but rather to the Pope.

Popes are not infallible (except in a very narrow, clearly defined way). Certainly not this one.

The perceptive British observer of all things Roman Catholic, Damian Thompson, when asked if the Church could survive this Pope, replied that it could, provided that the successor to Francis didn’t follow his path. Two in the mould of Francis would be a deal breaker. It is that serious.

Cardinal Pell once said that Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio) would be a Pope of surprises.

Well …  he wasn’t wrong there. The surprises have all been awful. The Barque of Peter is listing, not just on Pope Frank’s watch, but almost entirely driven by him. He has been a disaster.

The latest in a long line of hideous and catastrophic decisions has been his undisguised attempt to crush the Old Mass. The Tridentine Latin Mass. The Mass of the ages. This is not some esoteric liturgical matter. It is core business.

Pope Benedict XVI stated: “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”

Francis’s Traditionis Custodes is said to have broken Benedict’s heart. Nice.

Now, a local Bishop has to get Rome’s permission to allow the celebration of the Old Rite in parish churches.

As Damian Thompson says, the Vatican “seems completely obsessed with persecuting traditionalists”.


Thompson also sees the current Pope’s manic attacks on a goodly number of his flock as ironic in view of Francis’s oft stated emphasis on “mercy” – no mercy for you lot – and doubly ironic in view of the new obsession with “synodality” which is all about decentralisation of Church decision-making.

Except, that is, when we want to centralise power in Rome. To crush perceived dissidents.

Earlier, we have had the Vatican’s merciless abandonment of Chinese Catholics in the face of Xi Jinping’s evil regime, and, in particular, the Pope’s throwing Cardinal Zen under the Chinese bus. Vatican realpolitik?

We have had the cringeworthy worshipping at the feet of the radical feminists.

We have had the admission of pro-abortion, depopulation activists like Jeffrey Sachs to Vatican conferences.

We have had the proclamation that climate change scepticism is a sin.

We have had the pagan rituals of Pachamama.

We have had the toxic synodality rubbish. About which most people, including many Catholics, do not remotely understand. Which may well have been its precise purpose.

We have had the abandonment of theology; the bagging of Catholics who “breed like rabbits” and the excoriation of pro-life Catholics.

We have had the sidelining of great prelates like Cardinals Robert Sarah and Gerhard Muller.

We have had the pro-vaxxer Pope (notwithstanding the use of abortifacient cells in the development of COVID vaccines).


We have had the Pope loved by Elton John. The Pope wedded to the Jesuit Fr James Martin’s rainbow activism.

(One can only imagine the confessional conversation in the era of climate sin. Bless me Father for I have sinned. I watched Mark Steyn interviewing Marc Morano on TV. I read Ian Plimer’s latest book. I still use my Hide the Decline coffee mug…)

The Pope’s treatment of his predecessor, Pope Benedict, has been little short of disgraceful.

As Damian Thompson reported: “The fallout from the death of Benedict XVI has been unexpectedly dramatic. Pope Francis’s behaviour at his predecessor’s Requiem on Thursday struck many observers as graceless. The liberal Catholic journalist Robert Mickens, a long-time opponent of many of Benedict’s policies, wrote that Francis ‘looked unpleasant throughout the liturgy and, surprisingly (shockingly, some would say), he did not attend the interment of Benedict’s body in the crypt after the Mass. The Vatican did not observe a single day of mourning…”

What’s not to like? The graceless Pope Frank makes the woke Justin Welby of the Anglican Communion look like a Right winger. “Is the Pope a Catholic?” is now a real question.

To say that Pope Francis has tested the faith of traditionalist, and lots of other confused, Catholics is to engage in massive understatement.

His “style” and priorities have crept into the Australian Church. We have prayers in Mass now for The Voice. And climate change.

Pope Francis is from Argentina. He has been called a Peronist.

Juan Peron was a Nazi-sympathising military careerist who somehow rose to the top in the unstable and volatile Argentinian political system in the 1940s and 1950s, and proceeded to run the place with an iron fist and an affection for power that was only mitigated because he had a glamorous wife.

He wasn’t really an ideologue. He just craved power. He was a populist. Decidedly leftist. But an instinctive autocrat.

And no friend of free enterprise, a cornerstone of real freedom. A corporatist before that term had come into popular parlance. And the current Pope was very sympathetic to him. “Known sympathies” was the phrase used by The Economist.

The traditionalist Catholic media weighed in. According to OnePeterFive, in the context of the Pope brushing aside concerns he knew about the now accepted claims against the dreadful “Uncle Ted”, Cardinal McCarrick: “No matter what comes of the veracity of these accusations, one thing is fixed and certain: Pope Francis is a Peronist to the bitter end.

“An admirer in his youth of the dictator Juan Perón, the older Pope Francis seems to maintain what he learned long ago. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, it is clear. Anyone else, guilty or innocent, would act to dispel the charges being brought against him. But not the dictator pope.”


OnePeterFive added: “One recalls Seinfeld jabbing Kramer, recently accused of murder but remaining chipper and consanguine, in the ribs, saying: “Are you aware of what’s going on here – of what you’re being accused of?” In Pope Francis’s case, one wonders the same.

Nothing wrong with being a youthful Peronist (perhaps) but it explains a lot. And despite his Peronism, Francis has openly avowed his Marxist leanings since a young man, to this day.

I cannot remember another Pope about whom have been written so many critical Catholic tomes. There was Henry Sire’s book The Dictator Pope (2018).

Here is Amazon’s summary: “The Dictator Pope by Marcantonio Colonna—pen name of Henry Sire—has rocked Rome and the entire Catholic Church with its portrait of an authoritarian, manipulative and politically partisan pontiff. Occupying a privileged perch in Rome during the tumultuous first years of Francis’s pontificate, Colonna was privy to the shock, dismay and even panic that the reckless new pope engendered in the Church’s most loyal and judicious leaders.

“The Dictator Pope discloses that Father Jorge Bergoglio (the future Pope Francis) was so unsuited for ecclesiastical leadership that the head of his own Jesuit order tried to prevent his appointment as a bishop in Argentina. Behind the benign smile of the ‘people’s pope’ Colonna reveals a ruthless autocrat aggressively asserting the powers of the papacy in pursuit of a radical agenda.”

(Sire wisely called himself Marcantonio Colonna when he published the book, though he later broke cover).

Then we have Philip Lawler’s Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading his Flock (2018), and The Political Pope: How Pope Francis is Delighting the Liberal left and Abandoning Conservatives by the late George Neumayr (2017).


These authors have not been kind. I cannot remember another pope about which attack books have been written, certainly not since the allegedly pro-Nazi Pope Pius XII. The current Pope did say he welcomed criticism!

I once encountered a parish priest in Western Victoria who all but destroyed the meaning and beauty of the Mass. He is the worst I have ever seen.

One of his first acts was to make everyone in the church get up and go and sit somewhere else. A parishioner who was there once told me that after this, he never went back. Never went back. A soul lost.

Countless other souls were no doubt lost as a direct result of the actions of this clown-priest. Great men (and women) of the Church win souls. They don’t lose them.

GK Chesterton’s claim on sainthood, which sadly seems to have waned amid accusations of anti-Semitism, largely rested on his bringing many converts to Christ and the Church. One can only wonder how many souls this current Pope has lost.

Frank Brennan might have a “spring in his step”, Frank being a Francis Man.

Most of the rest of us only feel lead in the saddle. The pity is that Frankie went to Rome and not to Hollywood*.

As an American Bishop said to the President of the Lepanto Institute, “How do you remain loyal to Peter when Peter is not loyal to the Church?”

Let us finish with a quote from St Robert Bellarmine: “Just as it is licit to resist a pontiff who attacks the body, so also is it licit to resist him who attacks souls or destroys the civil order or above all, tries to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will.”

Amen to that.PC

Paul Collits

*Frankie Goes to Hollywood was a British synth-pop band in the 1980s. They were ex-punkers. They got the name from a newspaper headline about Frank Sinatra.

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Pope Francis. (courtesy National Catholic Reporter)