We must not capitulate before this world, but recapitulate all things in Christ

An interview with the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X on the pontificate of Pope Francis.

[CP&S comment below]

DICI: Reverend Father, it has been eight years since Pope Francis ascended the throne of Saint Peter, and on the occasion of this anniversary, you have kindly granted us this interview, for which we are truly grateful.

For some observers of the pontificate of Pope Francis, particularly for those who are attached to Tradition, it seems that the battle of ideas is now over. According to them, it is now a praxis that dominates, namely concrete action, inspired by a wide-ranging pragmatism. What is your opinion of this?

Father Pagliarani: I am not really sure that actions and ideas should be opposed in this way. Pope Francis is definitely very pragmatic. But being a man of government, he knows perfectly well where he is going. A large-scale action is always inspired by theoretical principles, by a set of ideas, often dominated by a central idea to which all praxis can and must be related.

One must realise that all attempts to understand the principles of Pope Francis’ pragmatism are not without trial and error. For example, some people thought they had found his principles of action in the teologia del pueblo, an Argentinean variation of liberation theology – but which is much more moderate. However, in reality, it seems to me that Pope Francis is beyond this system, and even beyond any known system. I believe that the ideas that direct his actions cannot be analysed and interpreted in a satisfactory way, if we limit ourselves to traditional theological criteria. He is not only beyond any known system, he is above them all!

What do you mean by that?

With Pope John Paul II, for example, in spite of everything that can be deplored, concerning his pontificate, certain points of Catholic doctrine remained untouchable. Then with Pope Benedict XVI, we were dealing with a spirit that was attached to the roots of the Church. His considerable effort to square the circle, by reconciling Tradition with conciliar or post-conciliar teaching, though doomed to failure, nevertheless revealed a concern for fidelity to Tradition. But with Pope Francis, such a preoccupation no longer exists. The pontificate under which we are living is a historical turning point for the Catholic Church: bastions that still remained have now been demolished forever – humanly speaking; and at the same time, the Church has redefined, by revolutionising it, its mission towards souls and the world.

It is still too early to appreciate the full extent of this upheaval, but we can already try to analyse it.

Sin and mercy

You say that bastions that were still standing have been demolished. Which bastions are you talking about?

I am thinking, in particular, of the last moral foundations on which not only Christian society, but any natural society is established. It was bound to happen sooner or later, it was only a matter of time. Until now, despite sometimes being vague, the Church has maintained its moral demands quite firmly, for example concerning Catholic marriage, and She still clearly condemned all sexual perversions… But these demands were unfortunately based on a dogmatic theology that was diverted from its purpose, and thus made unstable. It was inevitable that one day they would also falter. Solid principles of action cannot stand firm for long when the idea of their divine author is weakened or distorted. These moral principles could survive for some time, even for a few decades, but deprived of their backbone, they were condemned to be one day classed as “outdated”, and practically denied. This is what we are witnessing under the pontificate of Pope Francis, in particular with the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia, of March 19th, 2016. This document not only contains serious errors, it manifests a completely new historicist approach.

What is this new approach? What would have determined his choice?

Pope Francis has a very precise general vision of contemporary society and of today’s Church – and even of the whole of history. He seems to me to be affected by a kind of hyperrealism, a sort of “pastoral” hyperrealism. According to him, the Church must face the facts: it is impossible for it to continue to preach moral doctrine as it has done up to now. She must therefore resolve to capitulate to the demands of modern man, and consequently, to rethink her role as a mother.

Of course, the Church must always be a mother. But instead of being a mother by transmitting her life and educating her sons, she will be one in as far as she knows how to listen, understand and accompany her sons… These concerns, which are not bad in themselves, are to be understood here in a new and very particular sense: the Catholic Church can no longer – and therefore should no longer – impose herself. She must be passive and adapt. It is the ecclesial life, as it is lived today, that conditions and determines the very mission of the Church, and even its raison d’être. For example, since she can no longer impose the same conditions for receiving Holy Communion as previously, because modern man sees them as an intolerable intolerance, the only realistic and truly Christian reaction, when following this logic, consists in adapting to this situation and redefining its requirements. Thus, by the force of things, morality changes: the eternal laws are now subject to an evolution, made necessary by historical circumstances and the imperatives of a false and misunderstood charity.

In your opinion, does the Pope feel uneasy about this development? Does he feel the need to justify it?

Without a doubt, the Pope must have been aware, from the outset, of the reaction that such a process would provoke in the Church. He was probably also aware of the fact that he was opening doors that had remained, for more than two thousand years, well and truly closed. But for him, the historical demands outweigh all other considerations.

It is in this perspective that the idea of “mercy” acquires its full value and scope. This idea of “mercy” is omnipresent in his speeches. It is no longer the response of a God of love, welcoming the repentant sinner with open arms, to regenerate him and give him back the life of grace. It is now a fatal mercy, which has become necessary in order to meet the urgent needs of humanity. Henceforth considered incapable of respecting even natural law, men have a strict right to receive this mercy, a kind of condescending amnesty from a God who also adapts Himself to history without dominating it any longer.

In this way, not only faith and the supernatural order are renounced, but also the moral principles that are indispensable for an honest and upright life. This is frightening because it means definitively renouncing the Christianisation of morals: on the contrary, Catholics are now to adopt the morals of the world, or at least have to adapt – on a case-by-case basis – the moral law to current morals, including those of “remarried” divorced couples and even same-sex couples.

This mercy has thus become a sort of panacea, the foundation of a new evangelisation to be proposed to a century that can no longer be converted, and to Christians on whom the yoke of the commandments can no longer be imposed. In this way, souls in peril, instead of being encouraged and strengthened in their faith, are reassured and comforted in their sinful situations. In so doing, the guardian of the faith even abolishes the natural order: which means absolutely nothing remains.

What underlies these errors is the total absence of transcendence or verticality. There is no longer any reference, even implicit, to the supernatural, to our life after this world, and above all, to the work of Redemption by Our Blessed Lord, who has definitively provided all men with the necessary means for their salvation. The perennial effectiveness of these means is no longer preached and is no longer recognised. They no longer believe in them! Consequently, everything is reduced to a purely horizontal and historicist vision, in which contingencies prevail over principles, and where only the earthly well-being matters.

Does this turning point, you mentioned, still remain consistent with the Second Vatican Council, or does it already belong to a Third Vatican Council, that did not take place?

There is both a continuity with the premises laid down at the Council and a superseding of them. This is for a very simple reason: with the Second Vatican Council, the Church wanted to adapt itself to the world, to “update itself” with the aggiornamento promoted by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Now Pope Francis continues this adaptation to the world, but in a new and extreme sense: the Church must now adapt to the sins of the world – at least when the sin is “politically correct”. Therefore, it is then presented as an authentic expression of love, in all the forms allowed in contemporary society and thus permitted by a merciful God. Always on a case-by-case basis, but these exceptional cases are destined to become the norm, as we can already see in Germany.

The utopia of Pope Francis

Alongside this progressive annihilation of traditional morality, does Pope Francis propose values to be promoted? Or, to put it another way, in your opinion, on what foundation does he want to build?

This is a very pertinent question, to which the Pope himself gave the answer, on October 3rd, 2020, in his latest encyclical Fratelli tutti, when he affirmed that “all this calls for an alternative way of thinking”; and he continued by proposing that we “rise to the challenge of envisaging a new humanity. […] This is the true path to peace.” This is what is called a utopia, and this is what happens to all those who cut themselves off from their roots. The Holy Father, breaking with Divine Tradition, aspires to an ideal and an abstract perfection, totally disconnected from reality.

Admittedly, in the same passage, he defends his position, conceding that what he is saying “will sound wildly unrealistic”. He also specifies the basis on which he intends to justify his position: “the great principle that there are rights born of our inalienable human dignity”. But precisely, Divine Revelation and Catholic Tradition teach us that human nature and human dignity are not self-sufficient. As Chesterton says, “Take away the supernatural, and what remains is the unnatural”. Without God, nature alone tends to become, in practice, “unnatural”. By calling and elevating man to the supernatural order, God has ordered human nature to grace. Therefore, nature cannot remove the supernatural order without introducing deep disorder into itself. Pope Francis’ dream – his “alternative way of thinking” – is profoundly naturalistic.

Another sign of this utopian character, his dream takes on a universalistic scope: it is a question of imposing it on everyone, and in an authoritarian and absolute way. Being conceived in an artificial way, dreams can only be imposed in an artificial way…

But what does Pope Francis’ utopia consist of?

In perfect osmosis with the aspirations of modern man, imbued with the rights he claims and detached from his roots, it can be summed up in two ideas: those of integral ecology and universal fraternity. There is no coincidence that the Pope has dedicated two key encyclicals to these subjects, which, as he himself maintains, characterise the two main parts of his pontificate.

The integral ecology of Laudato sì’ (May 24th, 2015) is nothing other than a new morality proposed to the whole of humanity, leaving aside Divine Revelation and therefore the Gospel. Its principles are purely arbitrary and naturalistic. They harmonise without any problem with the atheistic aspirations of a humanity that is passionate about the earth where it lives, and mired in purely material concerns.

And the universal fraternity of Fratelli tutti, advocated by the Pope in a very solemn way during the Abu Dhabi Declaration, co-signed by the great Imam of Al-Azhar (February 4th, 2019), is nothing less than a naturalist caricature of Christian fraternity, founded on the divine paternity common to all men redeemed by Our Lord Jesus Christ. This fraternity is materially identical to that of Freemasonry, which, over the last two centuries, has done nothing but sow hatred, particularly against the Catholic Church, in a fierce desire to substitute itself for the only truly possible fraternity among men.

It is not only the negation of the supernatural order, reducing the Catholic Church to the dimensions of a philanthropic NGO, but it is also the lack of understanding of the wounds of original sin, and the oblivion of the need for grace to restore fallen nature and to promote peace among men.

In this context, how can the role of the Church still be distinguished from the role of civil society?

Today, the Catholic Church offers the image of a priestly power at the service of the contemporary world and its sociopolitical needs… However, this priesthood is no longer dedicated to the Christianisation of institutions or to reforming morals that have become pagan once more. It is a tragically human priesthood, without any supernatural dimension. Paradoxically, civil society and the Church thus find themselves, as in the heyday of Christianity, associated to fight side by side for common goals… but this time, it is the secularised society that suggests and imposes its own views and ideals on the Church. This is truly frightening: secular humanitarianism has become the light of the Church and the salt that gives it its flavour. The doctrinal and moral stampede of recent years is a good illustration of the inferiority complex that men of the Church maintain in relation to the modern world.

And yet – this is the mystery of our faith and it is also our hope – the Church is Holy! It is Divine! It is Eternal! In spite of the sorrows of the present hour, its interior life, in all its highest dimensions, is certainly of a beauty that delights God and the angels. Today, as always, the Catholic Church fully disposes of all the means necessary to guide and sanctify souls!

The necessity of Christ the King

In your opinion, how can the Church get rid of these errors and regenerate itself?

First of all, we must reject all utopias and return to reality, a return to the foundations of the Catholic Church. We can identify three key points that the Church must reclaim and start preaching again, in a straightforward way without concession or compromise: the existence of original sin and its effects (which are the triple concupiscence of which Saint John speaks of, in his first epistle) – and this is against all forms of naturalistic naivety; the necessity of grace, fruit of Redemption, which is the only remedy – but it is an all-powerful remedy – to triumph over those devastating effects; and the transcendence of an ultimate end which is not on this earth, but in Heaven.

Preaching this once more would be beginning again to “confirm thy brethren”. The true Catholic faith would once again be proclaimed. It is the necessary condition for every supernatural life. It is also the indispensable guardian of natural law, which is also divine, eternal and immutable in its origin, the necessary foundation to lead man to his perfection.

These three concepts can be summed up in a single ideal: that of Christ the King. He is the essence of our faith. He is the author of all grace. He is the author of this natural law that He engraved in the hearts of all men when He created them. The divine legislator does not change. He does not renounce His authority. Just as this law cannot be altered without altering the faith itself, neither can it be restored, without restoring to its divine legislator the honour due to Him.

To put it simply, we must not capitulate before this world, but “recapitulate all things in Christ”. It is in Christ the King and through Christ the King that the Catholic Church has all the means to overcome the world, whose prince is the father of lies. Through the Cross, He has already overcome him once and for all: “I have overcome the world”.

Do you think that the Blessed Virgin Mary will have a special role in this victory?

Since this victory is a victory for Christ the King, it will necessarily be one for his Blessed Mother. Our Lady is systematically associated with all the battles and all the victories of her Son. She will certainly be associated with this one in a very special way because never before has there been such a triumph of so pernicious and subtle errors, that have caused such widespread and profound ravages, in the concrete life of Catholics. The proof of this is that among the most beautiful titles that the Church attributes to Our Lady are those of “Destroyer of all heresies” – she crushes the head of those who conceive them – and “Help of Christians”. The more definitive the victory of an error appears, the more glorious will be the victory of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This interview took place at Menzingen, on March 12th, 2021,
Feast of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope


[CP&S comment: Could any truly orthodox Catholic argue with any of the clear points made by Father Pagliarani, Superior General of the FSSPX, in this interview? They are wholly Catholic, faithful to traditional magisterial teaching, and totally relevant to the grave situation in the Church in these last eight years during the pontificate of Pope Francis. With the pope’s untiring attempts at demolition of the solid “bastions” of holy Christendom’s most basic moral teachings, Fr Pagliarani discusses how to confront what he terms, the worldly “utopia” of Pope Francis. He leaves us with hope that in time these errors will be overcome.

Long Live Christ the King!]

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1 Response to We must not capitulate before this world, but recapitulate all things in Christ

  1. Had to make a reblog @ lawrencemora.com Zero Lift-Off
    This is a tremendously well written and explained overview; that I’m so very thankful for this earnest clarification and illustration of very imperative points of contention within the Church at this time; some of which I agree with, but there are a few big points that I must with my passion speak out against those that do harm to the Church, and thus our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

    “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

    I must quote this as an opening to my disgust!

    “I believe that the ideas that direct his actions cannot be analysed and interpreted in a satisfactory way, if we limit ourselves to traditional theological criteria. He is not only beyond any known system, he is above them all!”

    No, no “contrario” he is BELOW them all; so far below that he is sitting with Satan in the pits of hell!  You speak foolishly about this man and his agenda with the world; God and Jesus are unchanging and TRUE forever! The world is ever-changing and now these minions of hell look to change the “Church” the “Will of God” and in turn REJECT “Jesus Christ” in the process!  Who do they think they are; to transgress God and his Plan!

    Jesus told us not to love the things of this world or its ways, but to be praying vigilantly to be taken away from this fallen world of sin, which is everywhere now in this Modern New Age, New World Order; FRAUD! Bergoglio loves to play with the worldly ways and thinks himself a conquistador “he who conquers,” and great leader, when he is nothing but a FRAUD, just like the Puppet POTUS he so readily supports; who pushes Full Term Day of Delivery Abortion with the evil Democrat Party! This Bergoglio is shackled with unbreakable chains to Biden and Satan; now and forever!

    People should face reality that we are all going to die and be nothing but maggot rot and fodder for Satan’s Furnace in Hell!!! Unless; we turn to Jesus Christ on bent-knee begging for forgiveness as we repent and in our genuine sorrow with sincere humility He the ever living God will forgive, redeem and “SAVE” us from that eternal damnation that waits!

    “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12  

    All people should be shaking in their boots by the sheer fact of what we see going on in the sick, perverted and damned world; where there is NO HOPE outside of “Jesus Christ” and His Glorious Salvation! Cut the rhetoric and BS before it’s too late!  Man, Science, the Occult, Wishing Upon a Star or anything else in this world can bring you to “everlasting life and peace; but only Jesus Christ!” You decide for yourself what your end will be! Fodder in Hell or a Child of God’s in His Kingdom!

    Bergoglio is a renegade for the Devil!  He will burn in hell for eternity for his transgression against God Almighty!

    “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    Reading these words of wisdom I see how Bergoglio doesn’t just do nothing, but actually cheers evil on just like Biden America’s Man of Perdition, rotting with evil throughout his body and soul this “Installed Puppet POTUS” not elected fairly; and then Bergoglio joins evil for a banquet!  Way of The World!

    “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but {o} had pleasure in unrighteousness. (o) They liked lies so much that they had pleasure in them, which is the greatest madness that may exist”. 2 Thessalonians 2:12

    Now do me a good turn, while doing yourself a great service, and read all of these Holy Scriptures; then tell me to my face if you wish and can or any which way you must, but foremost say it all straight up to God in heaven in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ; that Bergoglio is living and abiding by all of these Holy Scriptures! 

    I tell you this, I’ve searched my own life experience and conscience probing deeply for the Truth and see my own sin eating me alive, but then I look at this heretic evil FRAUD masquerading as the “anointed one” of Jesus Christ’s Church here on earth, and I can’t bear to even look at this blaspheming man without revulsion and repudiation coming from deep in my gut and heart; because for his own purposes this man would lead as many of the flock as he can to Satan and indeed he is doing that to a large extent!

    1 John 2:15-17 ESV “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

    John 8:23 ESV “He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”

    James 4:4 ESV “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

    Philippians 3:20-21 ESV “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

    Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

    1 John 5:19 ESV “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

    1 John 2:17 ESV “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

    John 15:18-19 ESV “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

    Romans 12:1-2 ESV “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

    Philippians 3:20 ESV “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

    James 1:27 ESV “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

    Matthew 6:24 ESV “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

    1 John 3:13 ESV “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.”

    1 Peter 2:11 ESV “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”

    John 15:18-21 ESV “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”

    Matthew 16:26 ESV “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”

    1 John 4:1 ESV “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    Luke 1:37 ESV “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

    2 Timothy 3:16 ESV “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

    I now must quote wit this to close my writing here to say this is how most people are going and where they have their heads, but most importantly their hearts; thus souls!

    “The perennial effectiveness of these means is no longer preached and is no longer recognised. They no longer believe in them! Consequently, everything is reduced to a purely horizontal and historicist vision, in which contingencies prevail over principles, and where only the earthly well-being matters.”

    Ah, the old let’s rewrite history to make it what we want it to be in order to suit our own gut and desires or willful ways; not the Truth! All of these are damned!

    God in heaven in the Holy Name of Jesus please hear me and forgive me! Amen.
    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence Morra III

    Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”

    James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

    Numbers 23:19 “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”

    Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

    Romans 8:35 “Hold On To God’s Unchanging Hands.”


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