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Tag Archives: Fr Hunwicke

June 20th, 2017

Courage, Clarity and Collegiality

I see that the Four Cardinals, having had no reply to their dubia about Amoris Laetitia have asked for an audience with Pope Francis. I hope he agrees, but I’m not holding my breath.

Fr Hunwicke has a very helpful blogpost, in which he points out that “collegiality” did not wait to be invented by Vatican II.  In the 1950s Pope Pius XII wrote to every Catholic bishop to ask whether he believed in the Assumption of Our Lady, and whether he considered it opportune for the dogma to be defined. The positive response to both questions was overwhelming.

More than a year has passed since the emergence of the divisive and poorly drafted document called Amoris laetitia. In this time, many Bishops and  episcopal conferences have issued guidelines making clear that nothing has changed since S John Paul II in Familiaris consortio, and Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis, reemphasised the Church’s immemorial discipline: ‘remarried’ divorcees who will not repent of their adultery and undertake either to separate or at least to try, with the help of God’s grace, to cohabit chastely, exclude themselves from the Sacraments during the time of their impenitence.

A few conferences and Bishops have issued statements understood as meaning that the thusly impenitent may, by virtue of Amoris laetitia, receive the Sacraments. Yet other conferences, such as that in England and Wales, have been manifestly unable to agree among themselves. It is clear that the Universal Episcopate is not united behind a ‘German’ interpretation of Amoris laetitia. Very far from it.

In the context of the Unity of the Una Catholica and of the collegial nature of the Universal Episcopate, cum et sub Petro, the time has surely come for this ‘dialogue’ to be moved to a new stage. Manifestly, if we are to persist with the embarrassing notion that we belong to one Church with one Teaching about the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, steps must be taken to move in the direction of coherence, harmony, and united witness. The idea that someone who is excluded from the Sacraments by his own impenitent rejection of the Gospel needs only to walk across the border between Poland and Germany, or from one American diocese to another, to be welcomed enthusiastically as a communicant in good standing, is obviously a profoundly unCatholic absurdity which needs speedily to be resolved.

The time has surely come for the Four Cardinals who intervened last year with their Dubia to revisit the question. And the time for Bishops, Successors of the Apostles according to the teaching of Leo XIII and of Vatican II and not mere vicars of the Roman Pontiff, to speak with courage, clarity and unanimity. And for clergy, laity, and academics to do the same. Remember that, at the height of the Arian Crisis, it was not among the Bishops or even in Rome that the Faith was most conspicuously preserved and defended.

Fr H. adds that parrhesia, boldness in witnessing to the Truth—a virtue which was once  incessantly on the lips of the current occupant of the Roman See—is still an obligation for all faithful Catholics. And as he says,  the more people speak boldly, the more difficult it will be for individuals to be put under unsympathetic pressure.

June 6th, 2017

Bergoglian Banditry

I haven’t posted  for a very long time—a couple of weeks, in fact. That’s because we’ve been in Vienna visiting our son Joe and his family, who are now based permanently in the Austrian capital. It must be the most beautiful city I have ever seen, and probably the most interesting. But I must leave praise of Vienna for a later post, as today I want to tell you about the latest episode in the unjust  treatment to which the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have been subjected. Their only offence, as far as I can see, is to combine Catholic orthodoxy with an ability to attract large numbers of vocations.  You can read a lengthy account of the affair  in the blog Eponymous Flower, but it has been well summarised by Fr Hunwicke of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

A common Protestant myth in mid-Victorian England concerned gullible young ladies who were also the heiresses to considerable fortunes. They were induced by cunningly persuasive Catholic priests, so it was widely believed, to join religious orders and to hand over the caboodle … after which, mysteriously, they very quickly died. Blessed John Henry Newman, a superb exponent of the Swiftian traditions of English Satire, once delivered a hilarious send-up of this jolly topos. Some things are best dealt with through satire; I rather like the hypothesis floated by Mgr Ronnie Knox to the effect that Satire is the purpose for which God created Humour. Satire is at the heart of the cultural identity of the Ordinariate.

What Victorian Protestant bigots absurdly believed about the Catholic Church is being metamorphosed into truth in this Age of Bergoglian Mercy. Circe and her wand are alive and well! According to rumours supported by various sources, Fr Manelli, Founder of the once vibrant young order called the Franciscans of the Immaculate, is being held under house arrest on Vatican orders, and denied normal contact with people outside the House of his incarceration.

[I suspect that most readers will know about the merciless persecution to which that order has been subjected. I refer those who are unaware to the facts available on the Internet.]

According to recent reports on the Internet, Fr Manelli, who is well into his eighties, was recently presented with a demand that he swear an oath of obedience to the current occupant of the Roman See. Perhaps unwisely, he did this. Soon afterwards, he was presented with a demand that he hand over the assets of his foundation.

I understand that in fact, the ‘properties of the Friars of the Immaculate’ are held by lay trustees, since the Friars do not hold property. Is the intention now that Fr Manelli should use his influence to persuade these Trustees to hand the assets over??

Readers may well recall reports that the resignation of Fra Matthew Festing from the Grand Mastership of the Sovereign Order of Malta was secured by the same ruse of appealing to a sense of obedience to the current occupant of the Roman See.

Choppy weather.

Let’s hope the FFI trustees have the sense to tell Papa Francis’s emissaries to get stuffed, and keep hold of the caboodle until  the Age of Bergoglian Mercy comes to  a merciful end.

By the way, I think Father should perhaps have mentioned that although Jonathan Swift was responsible in large measure for the traditions of English satire, he was in fact an Irishman.

January 9th, 2017

Daft Ecumenical Games

Following the Christmas festivities, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will soon be upon us. Fr Hunwicke has some profound thoughts on the subject:

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, invented by Anglican Papalists and originally, admirably, known as the Chair of Unity Octave, starts on Wednesday January 18; which, in the Old Calendar, was the Feast of the Chair, the Cathedra, of S Peter. This year the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity in collaboration with some Ecumenical Partners, has set out quasi-liturgical formulae for use. These forms constitute successful attempts to scale heights of risibility which have not to my knowledge previously been attempted. This is your real hard-core Guinness-book-of-records rubbish.

The central ritual involves the moving of stones. But, because carrying real stones might be a bit like hard work for the aged biddies of each sex who are likely to be symbolising their second childhoods by taking part in these events, the ‘stones’ will in fact be shoe boxes covered with packing paper. No, I’m not making this up. Twelve of them. With labels. Labels naming ‘things that divide’. The ‘stones’ will be built up to make a ‘Wall of Division’ which will then be dismantled and formed into a Cross. (What happens if the officiants disagree about the neatest way in which twelve empty shoe-boxes can be arranged into a Cross, and end up in a melee of fisticuffs, is a rubrical detail which these curial nut-cases have not catered for.)

At least two things worry me here.
(1) Some of the names on the stones involve non-statement, since they imply a tautology. How helpful is it, for example, to say that Division Divides?
(2) The Divisive Factors selected by the PCCU, of course, imply a specific (and distinctly narrow) mindset. I can best illustrate this by telling you some of the things which will not be written on any of the shoe boxes. ‘Heresy’ is not included. Nor is ‘Disobedience to the Commandments of God’. No mention of  ‘Divergence from Holy Tradition’. Or of ‘Failure to Worship God as He has commanded’. Try guessing what, in the Spirit of the Zeitgeist, these Ecumenists have come up with, then turn to the Vatican Website and discover how close you have got to analysing accurately the Spirit of the Age. And, No: ‘Following the Spirit of this Passing Age’ does not claim the dignity of a shoebox.

Nor does ‘Encouraging grown men and women to play daft games with shoe boxes’.

This ritual is  all there on the Vatican’s official website. In our efforts to be Ecumenical with a capital E, we have become as batty as any liberal Protestant sect.

 

July 15th, 2016

Fathers, Don’t Let Cardinal Sarah Down

You have probably heard about  the row involving Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and Cardinal Nichols of Westminster about the priest’s orientation during Mass. (Re-reading that sentence, as the word “orientation” has too often come to mean, in our smutty and prurient age,  sexual preference,  maybe I should explain that I’m referring to whether the celebrant faces versus populum—towards the people—or versus  Orientem—towards the East. The latter is often  described by those who should know better as “with his back to the people”.)  I had always rather naively thought that Monsignor Klaus Gamber, the greatest liturgist of his age, had settled the matter beyond argument in his masterly work The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background: that, contrary to what the modernists argue, the primitive practice was to face East—towards the Lord.

Anyway, I think the best comment  has come from Fr John Hunwicke:

Versus Orientem or Versus Populum? An important point which I don’t think anyone has emphasised, in all the wordage concerning the attack of Vincent Cardinal Nichols upon the Address of Cardinal Sarah, is this:

Both of these Eminent gentlemen are totally agreed that this is a subject that really matters.

Cardinal Sarah makes this abundantly clear in his text. And he must have thought carefully before speaking in a way which he must have known would create a violent reaction. His act was not legislative. But it was a considered action on the part of the official appointed by the Roman Pontiff himself to have charge of the Roman Rite. It was an act of some considerable personal bravery. (For that reason, it seems to me that clergy should themselves have the courage not to let Robert Sarah down.) And the fact that he mentioned the First Sunday in Advent means that this is not some flaccid and timorous vague aspiration to which we might one day get round in the decade after next. He has called on us to do something concrete on a specific day quite soon.

And Cardinal Nichols is equally convinced that this really matters. He instantly emailed all his clergy. Cardinals do not go on to the public record as rubbishing what a brother cardinal has just said, unless they are feeling quite … er … excited. And the facts in the public domain strongly suggest that Nichols instantly got in touch with Papa Bergoglio, who in turn summoned Cardinal Sarah. And the usual machinery started to work in the Vatican Press Office in order … as we say in Anglo-English … to hang Sarah out to dry. Fr Lombardi and … more especially … the sinister Fr Rosica manifestly warmed to their unwholesome task. Nichols would not have set all that in motion over some little detail which no sensible person could possibly consider to matter. 
Sarah and Nichols are both 100% right: this does matter. It goes to the heart of the question of what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass really is. It touches upon that whole raft of practical changes (“reordering”) which were not in any way whatsoever mandated by the Council but which were put into effect by those who subsequently got their hands on to the levers of power. It bears powerfully upon the crucial question of whether the mighty task of the redintegratio of Catholic worship, set in motion by Papa Ratzinger, will continue under Papa Bergoglio’s successor.

Even further than that, it encapsulates the fundamental question raised by Benedict XVI, of whether we should see Vatican II in terms of reform within a hermeneutic of continuity, or whether the structural ruptures inflicted on the Church in the 1970s, with such catastrophic effects within the Church over the following four decades, are now to be set in dry, cold, inflexible stone.

We have reached a turning point at which every priest knows that if he heeds Cardinal Sarah’s exhortation, he makes it easier for his brother priests also to do the same; and that that if he opts for a quiet life, it will be that bit easier for The Tablet and ACTA  [A Call To Action] to pick off his bolder brother clergy by demanding their episcopal persecution. There is no reason why a start cannot be made, after catechesis, by introducing versus Orientem on alternate Sundays, or even just on the first Sunday of each month. Advent, when priest and people go forward together to meet the Lord who Comes to us, is indeed a highly suitable occasion.

In the Veni Sancte Spiritus we ask God the Holy Spirit to water what is parched, to heal what is wounded, to bend what is rigid, to warm what is cold, to govern that which strays from the way.

But to do these things, the Holy Spirit needs willing human cooperators. The Body of Christ operates on Grace, not on Magic.

June 13th, 2016

Exploiting a Massacre

Today, like  everyone else, I have been pondering the probable results of the fearful massacre perpetrated at a “gay” nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by a fanatical—possibly deranged—Moslem of Afghan extraction. When I  heard about it, my first reaction, like that of most people, was one of sympathy and outrage. My second  thought was: the homofascists are going to milk this for all it’s worth. Then tonight,  Sky News devoted about 20 minutes to demonstrations in Soho and elsewhere, with two minutes’ silence, rainbow flags entwined with the Union Flag and the Stars and Stripes, expressions of “gay pride” and  defiance (of whom I’m not quite sure) cheers, clapping and  whooping. Interviewees thought “far more needed to be done” to enlighten people about the “gay lifestyle”.

The militant sodomites don’t miss a trick. Already, they have turned the gunman’s victims into martyrs,  in much the same way as  militant Moslems exploit the deaths of their suicide bombers. And the media are happy to play along with this.  It’s all very depressing, but I draw considerable comfort and encouragement from today’s post by Fr John Hunwicke, which so impressed Fr Zuhlsdorf of wdtprs  (What Does The Prayer Really Say) that he lifted it in its entirety. I’m going to do the same:

Those who died in the most truly appalling events at Orlando … may they, through the all-atoning Sacrifice of our most sweet Redeemer and our suffrages, have remission of their sins: we pray this for them as we pray it for all the departed, since as Christians we believe that anyone who claims to be without sin is deceiving himself and the Truth is not in him. This, of course, goes equally for popes and for rent-boys and for you and for me.

Humanly, we may surely hope that many of those killed in a situation which prima facie may have been at least a proximate occasion of mortal sin, may, through their own ignorance, not have had that full knowledge and consent which would render their deeds and intentions as lethal subjectively as they are objectively. It is a sobering thought that it may be easier for us, who are instructed Catholics, to go to Hell than it is for the uninstructed.

And we pray for the wounded; for the families, friends, survivors, witnesses of those who died. Perhaps a particular prayer is appropriate for those who were not aware that their sons or daughters were being drawn into intrinsically disordered actions: parents for whom the horror of so dreadful a bereavement may even be  increased by that realisation.

And I think we need to be aware that the Hierarchs of the Spirit of this Age will use this fearful atrocity for their own purposes. Treating the victims of a deranged murderer as martyrs for a noble cause is likely to become a stock element in the perverted parody of the moral high ground which the Powers of Evil seek to inculcate. And it will become part of a campaign which, if it succeeds, will lead to the increasingly violent persecution of anybody who articulates the teaching of Scripture and of the Catholic Church (Catechism paragraphs 2357 and following).

And here are those appropriate paragraphs:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

June 6th, 2016

More About That Tiara

In our last post we carried some very telling pictures of Pope Francis looking ungraciously at a splendid tiara made by the nuns of the Orthodox monastery of St George in Rajcica, Macedonia. Papal tiaras are not exactly the present Holy Father’s thing, but I think one might have expected his face to register at least some gratitude for the beautiful gift  painstakingly made especially for him by these good sisters who are not even part of his Catholic Church.  But no, one would have thought the Holy Father was looking at something rather unpleasant on the bottom of one of his plain black shoes.

Fr Hunwicke, as ever, puts it nicely:

Pity he was not big and generous,  human and humble enough to pop it on his head for a tiny moment just for the official photographer. (Think of the simple but immense pleasure such an impulsive gesture would have given to the women who laboured upon it.)

I wanted to know more about this monastery, so I googled around a bit till I came across this video. For some reason I wasn’t able to pick out just the best bits, so here it is in its entirety (about six minutes). Sorry the text is in Macedonian, which I assume to be a variant of Serbo-Croat, but there isn’t any translation. I don’t think it matters too much, as the tiaras speak for themselves. I understand that Orthodox bishops wear them instead of the two-horned mitres to which Catholics are accustomed.

Rajcica has a major relic of St George, which I think must be the hand briefly displayed in the course of this video. He was a soldier martyred under the emperor Diocletian and is patron saint of England, among other countries, though the English haven’t made much  fuss about him since the late Middle Ages. However, I remember as a boy that on the Sunday nearest to St George’s Day, April 23rd, a rousing hymn to the saint was always sung at Benediction in the Catholic Church of Bovey Tracey in Devon. I have never heard it since. The first line was Leader Now on Earth  No Longer, and the refrain was as follows:

Great Saint George, our patron help us, In the conflict be thou nigh; Help us in that daily battle, Where each one must win or die.

The local squire Colonel Walmesley, member of an old Catholic recusant family, used to come to Benediction each year on that day and bawl the refrain in a loud voice. From what I can recall, he must have been tone deaf.

I don’t understand the icon of St George shown near the beginning of the video. Why does St George have a bleeding—and apparently broken—nose? Can anyone tell me?

 

 

 

May 24th, 2016

Do We Need Spluttering Expletives?

Do you recall my noting a month or so ago ago that some ultra-Traditionalists  were accusing Cardinal Raymond Burke of pussy-footing around  because he doesn’t yell abuse at Pope Francis?  Hilary White of the blog What’s Up With Francis-Church went so far as to suggest that the Cardinal had thrown his most loyal supporters under the bus. And all because he has confined himself to noting that Amoris Laetitia is not part of the magisterium. Well, Fr Hunwicke has recently defended Cardinal Burke in much the same terms as myself—only with wit and learning, as you would expect:

Cardinal Burke has made himself quite unpopular in some Traddy circles by not denouncing  Amoris Laetitia ut Leo rugiens* from his Maltese housetops. There are fierce people around who feel that, for a top lawyer simply to say that the document has no Magisterial authority, is just not nearly angry enough. Spluttering expletives, apparently, are called for. Raymond Leo Burke, they say, should put a lot more work into his spluttering techniques.

I must declare an interest here. When AL emerged, my own first comment (April 9) was to observe immediately that an Apostolic Exhortation  is “not doctrinally constitutive nor juridically legislative”. Burke … and I! … are exactly right. That is why we do not splutter.

Some critics have claimed that AL must be magisterial because Bergoglio is on record as saying “I wrote an encyclical … and an Apostolic Exhortation, I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium.”

If this Pope really does imagine that his Petrine Magisterium extends to Apostolic Exhortations, to “statements”, and even to his endless homilies, then this is quite a serious and worrying misunderstanding on his part of his own office.

But however much this apparent claim may impress the hyperultrapapalists who surround the Holy Father but have never read Pastor aeternus of Vatican I, it should be an irrelevance to those of us who know better.

Apostolic Constitutions are way above the pay grade of Apostolic Exhortations. And the principle that “remarried” divorcees should not receive Holy Communion is embodied in the Catechism, which rests upon the authority of the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum of S John Paul II. Moreover, it was given to the Ordinariates as our doctrinal norm in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus of Benedict XVI.

This is the Catholic Faith which we have received.

It is the duty of every Catholic, high and low, to guard and hand on the Deposit of Faith which we have received, sancte et fideliter. Vatican I, unsurprisingly, took the view that this is especially the duty of the successor of S Peter (Denzinger 3070).

I still share that view, even if some of Bergoglio’s closest associates do not.

*like a roaring lion. 1 Peter 5: 8.

Now, if you’d like to see some real foam-flecked spluttering about the Holy Father, here is some:

April 1st, 2016

Fun with Pope Francis

Our Holy Father Pope Francis, in an address to young  altar servers, reminisced about how things were in the Bad Old Days:

The Mass wasn’t in Italian then. The priest spoke but I didn’t understand anything. and neither did my friends.  So for fun we’d do imitations of the priest, messing up the words a bit to make up weird sayings in Spanish. We had fun, and we really enjoyed serving Mass.

Fr Hunwicke’s comment on this is very much to the point:

Of course, since Bergoglio was young, the Church has moved on from vetus to novus Ordo. But I’m sure the essential principles have not changed; Hermeneutic of Continuity, doncha know.

Gosh! What a splendid reason for having lots of children, so that they can all join serving teams and do comic parodies of what Novus Ordo celebrants get up to! Lots and lots of scope there for imaginative tinies! What ‘fun’, what jolly japes, to ridicule what a priest does and says while offering Mass! Actuosissima Participatio! Ex ore infantium and all that!

How, I wonder, might an imaginative eight-year-old mime the concept of ‘dewfall’?

I’m sure readers will be able to devise funny imitations of the priest and words messed up to make ‘weird sayings’ for the kiddies to deliver in order to liven up banal and dull renditions of the  Novus Ordo. Shops like TOYS R US could market special ‘Sacrilege Kits as approved by Pope Francis’!

March 7th, 2016

Je Suis Irish Catholic—et Juif Aussi

During the past 40 years or so it has become “totally unacceptable” to our cultural dictators to  criticise any religion or belief system—with one notable exception, which is always fair game. This is well illustrated by a recent blog post by Fr Hunwicke:

 I think I heard yesterday some woman called Libby Purves, on the Home Service [he means BBC Radio 4], utter the phrase “the clammy hand of Irish Catholicism was on her shoulder”.

“The clammy hand of Pakistani Islam was on her shoulder”.
“The clammy hand of Tibetan Buddhism was on his shoulder”.
“The clammy hand of Hampstead Agnosticism was on her shoulder”.
“The clammy hand of Grauniad Liberalism was on his shoulder”.
“The clammy hand of pacifist Quakerism was on her shoulder.”
“The clammy hand of Media Homosexualism was on his shoulder”.
“The clammy hand of the Russian ghettoes was on her shoulder”.
“The clammy hand of a dim BBC chat-show hostess who had come to hate the Catholicism in which she was brought up was on his shoulder”.

I wonder how many of these delightfully flippant formulae would be considered acceptable as obiter dicta on the modern Beeb. Or is there now just one single “identity” which all Sensible People can join in slagging off to their hearts’ content?

If so, then, in the modern fashion, I proclaim Je suis Irish Catholic.

Now I come to think of it, Father is slightly out of date. If you are a lefty university student, it’s recently  become OK to have a go at the Jews. Socialist undergraduates at Oxford, of all  places, now think it’s funny to sing  anti-Semitic  songs. One of their favourites, I understand,  is “Rockets Over Tel-Aviv”. Just like the British Union of Fascists  who used to paint  the sign PJ (Perish Judah) on walls.

Well, the Church is the new Israel, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing for us to suffer humiliation along with our elder brothers, as I believe Pope St John Paul called them.

November 18, 2015

Siren Voice of Sedevacantism

As this  pontificate becomes more and more catastrophic, it seems to me that sedevacantism is tempting more and more serious Catholics.  I have heard its siren voice myself. It would be a useful solution to our problems, wouldn’t it? But it won’t do, as Fr Hunwicke explains with his habitual combination of irony and scholarship:

As a Man of Mercy, I do feel compassionate towards those Catholics who express to me anxiety that our present Holy Father may not be the lawful occupant of the See of S Peter. But I re-reiterate: no Catholic can with a good conscience decide for himself/herself that the See of Rome has become vacant through heresy. The Church, in some formal and corporate way, would need either to depose a heretical pope (thus, S Cajetan; John of S Thomas) or to declare that he had himself through heresy already forfeited the See (thus, S Bellarmine, Turrecremata). DIY is no good. All traditional theologians over the centuries who have considered the question (yes, there’s nothing unCatholic in considering the question) are agreed about this. Forget it.

The practical aspects confirm the absurdity of Sedevacantism. Our Lord promised that his Church was indefectible. And the papacy is by Divine Institution a pretty central institution in the Church Militant. But, according to the Sedevacantists, the See of S Peter has been vacant for a very long time. I’m not quite sure for how long, because they disagree among themselves about when the vacancy began. If since the death of Ven Pius XII, 9 October 1958, then the See has been vacant now for more than 57 years! There is nothing remotely like that in Church History. What is the longest that the First See has ever been vacant? All Catholic sources except one would tell you that the record Interregnum came after the death of Clement IV in 1268, when the papacy was vacant for two years, nine months, and two days. (The Archdiocesan Church of Westminster, which curiously regards the Pisan Antipope Alexander V as a lawful pope and the next lawful pope after him as being Martin V, believes in an Interregnum of seven years, from 1410 to 1417.)

But fifty seven years? Fifty seven years and counting?? You gotta be joking! And who would elect a pope now? There are no cardinals left from the reign of Pius XII; and how could an Ecumenical Council do so, since a Council cannot lawfully be convoked except by … a Pope!

Francis is Pope and we need to be in Communion with him and that’s the end of the matter. You may feel that there are problems in the Church of Today, and you may even be right to feel that (who am I to judge?), but this particular anti-traditional short-cut out of such problems is not an answer.