In Part I and Part II of this series, we covered how the synod process has been systematically hijacked by the Pope and his henchpersons to advance the progressive agenda. When the rules allowed for the few remaining faithful to impede the results or embarrass the cabal, those few remaining faithful were removed from the invite list and the rules were changed to prevent discussion and even prevent voting.
Then we saw how the Pope and his henchpersons systematically use and abuse the apostolic visitation process to demolish any order or prelate that they deem too traditional or just not sufficiently part of the team with no sense of fairness, order, or due process. It reminds me of Al Capone walking around the table talking about his love of baseball and teamwork. But when the rules allowed for other Bishops to possibly provide an escape hatch for the abused, those prelates were threatened and the rules were changed to make sure that no bishop could allow new faithful Catholic groups to form in some far flung diocese.
And now we come to the nuns. As angry and as pessimistic as what I have already recounted might make you, what is being done to the nuns boggles the mind. While the above actions are targeted at individuals and groups, individual missiles, these rule changes are nuclear. This change “signals the end of the contemplative monastic life.”
The Pope has rightly identified cloistered monasticism as the lifeblood of the Church. Hilary White has done the most comprehensive investigation into what is happening here. Her work is crucial and will be cited throughout the rest of this article. Go read every link in full. Anyway, Hilary says of the cloistered religious:
Once they’re inside, the world forgets about them. But contemplative religious life is like the mitochondria of the Church. The power source of the cell that makes all the other systems function. The mitochondria are the most unobtrusive and hidden of the organelles of the body, and for a very long time their purpose was not fully understood. But now we know our lives depend on the health of this tiny, secret and hidden little thing. And mitochondrial disease – when the mitochondria fail to function – is devastating.
It has been clear for years that Pope Francis clearly dislikes contemplative orders and he has made numerous unkind remarks about them in the first few years of papacy. In 2016, Pope Francis issued the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere which contains new “guidelines” that showed clearly that the eye of Sauron had spied the contemplatives. The first thing it did was set a minimum time of formation to nine years. Nine Years. Different orders had traditionally been left to do things there own way and some had long formation period and some shorter. But to now impose a minimum 9 year formation across the board. Especially in this time of later vocations, this change could be a back-breaker for certain communities.
But that isn’t all, VDQ also promoted the use of Federations of Monasteries as the universal governance model. These federations are universally progressive institutions, think the Leadership Conference of Women’s Religious, that take over all the administrative functions of the associated monasteries. This governance model along with the progressives in the Church has been the death knell of any traditional Catholic orders and we have seen the complete collapse of these groups over the last 50 years.
But that Apostolic Constitution was just the opening salvo in bombing run determined to wipe traditional Catholic monasticism off the planet. In April of 2018, the Pope issued “Cor Orans” which is the instructions on how to implement VDQ. It makes impossible the continuation of traditional Catholic monstasticism.
In addition to imposing the minimum 9 years of formation, it imposes upon every order that they must belong to a federation. These federations effectively take over the formation of all the nuns. No longer can individual monasteries form those that live with them. No, those seeking the cloister will be forced to ongoing travel to these conferences in which they will be formed by the progressive federations.
One nun said:
“In the past, each Community has been free to implement whatever type of ongoing formation program that they see fit. We were not required to implement some one size fits all (liberal re-education) program into our daily lives. I cannot imagine how this is all going to play out.”
Well, we know exactly how this is all going to play out. But for clarity’s sake, this report on the words of José Rodríguez Carballo, responsible for this document’s implementation.
The congregation’s Secretary, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, is reported as saying, “With this explicit reference to the Second Vatican Council, we point to our profound conviction that the council is the point of reference, non-negotiable, in the formation to the consecrated life.”
Not the charism of the order, nor the rule, nor the Patristic tradition, nor the Doctors, nor the mystics, nor any of the 2000-year-old tradition of religious life, from the Desert Fathers to the giants of the Tridentine period; just Vatican II. And only, apparently, a single “interpretation” of it, if we are to judge by the soap and oil Braz de Aviz poured on the ruffled feathers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious – the most virulently anti-Catholic organisation of “Catholic” religious in the world – and by his vicious persecution of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.
Carballo continues his remarks, giving us a clue as to his feelings towards strictly cloistered, contemplative religious life: “A consecrated life, a life in God but inserted in the ecclesial family, in the church – inserted in the world. Not in conflict with the world, but inserted in continuity,” he said.
In another speech, Carballo “called “some forms” of religious life “antiquated” and claimed that they “say hardly anything to people today.” These, he said “will not remain even though they have [had] a certain success.”
To this end they have also made sure that they can kill off any holdouts. Under these rules the Congregation can evaluate the “autonomy” of any monastery and if they don’t like what they see. You. Are. Gone.
Someone else pointed out that under this document none of the currently flourishing conservative or “traditionalist” monasteries or communities could have been founded. This includes the specifically traditionalist Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles in Missouri or more mainstream “conservative” groups like the Sisters of Life in New York.
The deadman’s switch: Too many oldies? Too many Trads? You’re done.
Art. 8 §1. Juridical autonomy needs to be matched by a genuine autonomy of life. This entails a certain, even minimal, number of sisters, provided that the majority are not elderly, the vitality needed to practice and spread the charism, a real capacity to provide for formation and governance, dignity and quality of liturgical, fraternal and spiritual life, sign value and participation in life of the local Church, self-sufficiency and a suitably appointed monastery building. These criteria ought to be considered comprehensively and in an overall perspective.
§2. Whenever the requirements for a monastery’s genuine autonomy are lacking, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life will study the possibility of establishing an ad hoc commission made up of the ordinary, the president of the federation, a representative of the federation and the abbess or prioress of the monastery. In every case, the purpose of this intervention is to initiate a process of guidance for the revitalisation of the monastery, or to effect its closure.
And no sneakily recruiting from other countries either…
§6. Even though the establishment of international and multicultural communities is a sign of the universality of the charism, the recruitment of candidates from other countries solely for the sake of ensuring the survival of a monastery is to be absolutely avoided. To ensure that this is the case, certain criteria are to be determined.
There is actually so much more to this story and I cannot do it justice in this short treatment. Traditional Catholic monasticism is done. It cannot and will not survive this onslaught, if nothing changes.
So now we have seen how they can and do destroy any religious group or prelate who crosses them, we have seen them change the rules to disallow any new orders to form in a diocese without their approval, and we have seen how they have changed the rule to destroy traditional contemplatives and prevent any new groups from being formed.
Step by step they have been destroying avenues for religious to practice traditional Catholicism. They are simply not giving traditional Catholics with a vocation anywhere to go, except where they want you to go. They are diligently and systematically cutting off all avenues of escape. This is critical in understanding my thesis about how they may in the future cause the split in the Church for which Pope Francis has openly pined.
So we have covered a shocking amount of destruction, all documented, that has already occurred. We have discovered their playbook and we can see how they repeatedly use the same process. In the next installment, we are going to take a look at a recent story that didn’t get much attention. But I look at it with an eye to all that they have done and extrapolate it further. This is where things get really interesting.
November 29, 2018 at 8:49 pm
The Abbeys and Monasteries will have to become independent communities who "happen to be" Catholic and aren't answerable to Rome or the local bishop. They "happen" to dress like nuns, brothers and friars and "happen" to follow all of the "old rules" of the ancient Orders of the Church. Like the long fall of the Roman Empire, in time the corruption will fail and pass away and these "independent communities who "happen to be" Catholic" will be all that is left. And from them the Truth will flow again.
December 7, 2018 at 11:14 am
Will they be accused of being in schism?
November 29, 2018 at 9:36 pm
Exactly so. Independent adherence to the true doctrines of the faith is the only way forward…barring a miracle.
November 29, 2018 at 10:19 pm
Don't discount the possibility of a miracle. Pray that Just Judge will shorten the days of trial that fewer souls may be lost.
November 30, 2018 at 3:28 am
Those purported reforms sound much like Henry VIII's commissions for examining – that is, suppressing and looting – monastic communities in England.
November 30, 2018 at 8:33 am
You really should stop all this ranting, Patrick. It's not good for you and it's doing a huge disservice to the Catholic Faith. I'm not sure exactly what your objectives are, but you need to see that the Christian message is alive, kicking and moving ahead thanks to the devotion and the daily example of millions of simple, humble, sincere people who, thankfully, are totally oblivious to all this venom.
Of course it's good to be concerned about the handling of Church affairs at the highest levels … but have you ever considered kneeling down and asking God to guide the individuals involved instead of lambasting them publicly in what comes across as a vicious, self-promoting firework display?
Calm down, man, please!
Andy T, Spain
November 30, 2018 at 11:56 am
Oh my gosh…LOL…..you're kidding right? Just 'close your eyes' and pretend all is well in Catholic Land. All we have to do is pray and fast and everything is going to be just fine. We are not to call out or even point out those who are very openly taking a wrecking ball to the institutional Church. Just pray for them……(as if the faithful don't do that already!!) Does the term 'Church Militant' ring any bells? Somehow I don't think that term means sitting back and pretending that there are no wolves at the highest level and that 'God will take care of it all, we have no business pointing out the destruction'. Talk about putting on rose colored glasses! An effeminate attitude if there ever was one……which btw is a huge part of the problem. Prayers for them and for you.
November 30, 2018 at 12:34 pm
Andy Spain, how cruel of you! This is horrifying and you want people to lighten up?? You are a huge part of the problem ! Why do you ignore? How do you see this as good? Are you kidding?
November 30, 2018 at 12:42 pm
Also, Andy, do you not think we are praying? Who are you to assume we are not. I pray at every Mass that the hierarchy that is responsible for all of this vile evil corruption will have a conversion. I pray every Rosary with my husband. I pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, but like St. Catherine of Sienna, we can't stand idley by and ignore this or then we are a part of it..a part of the teams if the nuns who simply want to be left alone to pray for you, Andy, and me! Why don't you defend instead of ride in the limo and drive by happily?! Really?? Next thing we know, St. Mother Teresa's Sisters of the Poor will be told they are not good enough . Sick of this..sorry you are not! God bless your heart.
November 30, 2018 at 9:35 pm
If he's wrong, please explain where it is…..
November 30, 2018 at 12:45 pm
Above I meant that we should instead be a team FOR the nuns!
November 30, 2018 at 9:36 pm
December 2, 2018 at 1:32 pm
I'm not putting on rose coloured glasses, folks. I never said I want the church authorities to "lighten up", I never said or assumed that all the people who read Patrick's blog don't pray. So why put words in my mouth? I'm fully aware of the problems facing the church, and I'm all for serious, constructive debate, but in my opinion the tone of these blogs is not constructive but excessively vicious and destructive – and therefore liable to fragment the Church even more. That's all. So don't flame, please.
December 2, 2018 at 7:11 pm
You scolded Patrick about ranting, accused him of doing a disservice to the faith, implied that his motives are less than honorable, suggested he pray rather than inform the ignorant (which most assuredly does imply that he's not praying), and then accuse him of a vicious public criticism for self advancement?
Funny you accuse him of "lambasting" anybody, seems more your meter; your attack and accusations of ill-will are definitely NOT constructive– and when you're invited to be constructive by making a rational, calm counter-argument, you accuse others of "flaming," and lash out.
December 2, 2018 at 7:49 pm
Well, sorry for spoiling your cosy little party, people. You win, you intimidated me into not daring ever again to raise an eyebrow at what's going on on this site. You know, I admit my original comment was pretty barbed …. but I'm genuinely surprised by the nastiness of the replies. I dont need that, so am off here for good.
PS I wont be coming back to read any more posts, so save yourselves the trouble. Wish we could all be on the same side.
December 2, 2018 at 9:38 pm
I notice you still didn't offer anything constructive; just actually did what you accused others of doing, and then got angry when it was pointed out.
Mote, beam, etc.