Cardinal Pell says the SSPX are talking absolute rubbish when they call Pope Francis a ‘genuine modernist’

Cardinal Pell, one of the eight cardinals advising Pope Francis, has told La Stampa that Bishop Fallay and the SSPX are talking absolute rubbish when they criticise Pope Francis as being a ‘genuine modernist’.

Q.  Bishop Fellay has denounced Pope Francis as “a genuine modernist”, and charged that while the Church was “a disaster” before he was elected, he is making it “10,000 times worse”. What do you say to this?

Cardinal Pell.  To put it politely, I think that’s absolute rubbish!   Francis said he’s a loyal son of the Church, and his record shows that.  He’s very, very concerned for the day-to-day life of the people, and for those who are suffering, those not well off and those in difficult situations.  He’s a completely faithful exponent of Christ’s teaching and the Church’s tradition.

Q.  So people like Fellay have completely misread Pope Francis?

A.  Yes, it is a gigantic misreading!  In actual fact, the Lefebvrists – many of them – have misread the situation for decades.  It was to Benedict’s great credit that he tried to reconcile with them, but they didn’t respond. Now the Church today accepts the Second Vatican Council. You don’t have to accept every jot and tittle of it, but it is part of Church’s life now, there’s no way around that.

Q. An Argentinean theologian, Father Carlos Galli, recently told me that he sees “the elder brother syndrome” emerging in the Church as Pope Francis goes out more and more to meet the prodigal sons.  What do you say to that?

A.  Well I think it is up to us elder-brothers, unlike the elder-brother in the parable, to get behind the father as he goes to meet the prodigal son.   It’s our task to help him in that, to defend him.

Q.  Pope Francis has called an extraordinary synod to focus on the pastoral challenges to the family. Why?

A.  He called this extraordinary synod –only the third of its kind, to emphasize the sorts of challenge there are to the family and married life just about everywhere in the world today.  The statistics are quite striking. The more marriages deteriorate, the more there is marriage and family break-up and the more you are undermining the foundations for human flourishing in society.  So it’s a very, very profound challenge and it shouldn’t just be taken up by the Church, it should also be taken up by governments – even if they are only concerned for the financial consequences, but obviously good governments are concerned for the human consequences too.

Q. Did Pope Francis consult the Council of 8 cardinal advisors and the Council of the Synod before calling the synod?

A.  Yes, it was discussed in both places. The need for it was clear to everyone. The Pope took the decision; he’s the only one who can take the decision.

Q.  He seems to have started a new synod process: he called an Extraordinary Synod on the pastoral challenges to the family for October 2014. The results of that event will be fed back to the local churches for further discussion.  After that it will all come back to an Ordinary synod in 2015.

A.  I think there will be a slightly different topic in 2015 but, yes, there will be a substantial overlap between the two synods.

Q.  Therefore the family will feature big in both synods?

A.  That’s what I anticipate.

Q.  So the Pope is changing the way the synod works?

A.  I’ve been on the synod council three or four times and we’ve never had a Pope come, sit down and talk with us for two half-days as Francis did. The bishops are very grateful for this and for having the chance to make their input and be heard.

Q.  Does this new process give you a lot of hope?  

A.  Every process has to be well managed to succeed. I anticipate this  will be, and whatever temporary problems there might be I think that in the middle and long term this will very much strengthen Catholic life.

Q.  After these days of sharing with Pope Francis, what is your overriding impression of him?

A.  He’s a very good man!  He’s a man who practices what he preaches in terms of simplicity and poverty, and has done so for very many years.  I think he’s a very good example of the old-style Jesuit – very well educated, formidable self-control, self-discipline, and a long experience in a variety of positions , and certainly prayerful.  The Jesuits are not famous for liturgical niceties, but he says a beautiful, beautiful mass.

Q. Does he inspire you?

A.  Yes, he does. He does, and I think he will be able to make a profound and beneficial contribution to the life of the Church.

Protect the Pope comment: Cardinal Pell is well known to faithful and loyal Catholics in the West as a staunch and courageous defender of the Faith and the Church. We should pay attention when he says ‘Francis said he’s a loyal son of the Church, and his record shows that.’ And that he expects Pope Francis to ‘ make a profound and beneficial contribution to the life of the Church.’

18 comments to Cardinal Pell says the SSPX are talking absolute rubbish when they call Pope Francis a ‘genuine modernist’

  • In the U.S. these are called soft ball questions.

  • D.Brooks

    Yeah, faithful sons of the Church say: “there is no Catholic God” .. and that non-Christians should “follow their conscience” (never mind their conscience may not be formed correctly; e.g. abortion is “good” to some people)… etc…

    Read #4 of Pascendi Dominici Gregis. This is precisely what our Holy Father does.

    • 1) God transcends the Catholicity

      2) And never mind that you have unilaterally and falsely ascribed the secular-atheist definition of “conscience” to the Pope, rather than understanding the proper Catholic definition of that word.

      Read #4 of Pascendi Dominici Gregis. This is precisely what our Holy Father does.

      Rubbish. You’re just inventing stuff out of thin air to attack the Pope with.

    • Michael B Rooke

      The word catholic is derived from the Greek katholikos from katholou — throughout the whole, i.e., universal. This occurs in the Greek classics, in Aristotle and Polybius. Early Christian writers used phrases the “the catholic resurrection” (Justin Martyr), “the catholic goodness of God” (Tertullian), “the four catholic winds” (Irenaeus).

      One example of this understanding is found in the “Catholic Epistles” as applied to St. Peter, St. James, St John and St Jude which were so called because they were addressed not to particular local communities, but to the Church as a whole.

      The word combination of Catholic and Church may be identified as linked to St Ignatius around AD 110 .
      Cf Newadvent ‘Catholic’.

      If we ask how is the Catholic Church ‘Catholic’ or universal we must go the the Words of Christ.
      Mt. 28: 18-19
      Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
      Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

      The universality or catholicity of the Church to make disciples of all nations came from Jesus Christ.

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church states

      830 The word “catholic” means “universal,” in the sense of “according to the totality” or “in keeping with the whole.” the Church is catholic in a double sense: First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. “Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.”307 In her subsists the fullness of Christ’s body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him “the fullness of the means of salvation”308 which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession. the Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost309 and will always be so until the day of the Parousia.

      The Catechism on interpretation states
      100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.

      The Encyclical PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS exactly does that.

    • Dr. Judy Meissner

      Thank you, Brooks, for standing for the Truth. Too bad, for those who prefer to bury their heads in the sand to avoid seeing and having to acknowledge the Truth.

  • Lynda

    Well, what certainly can be said is that several of the Pope’s statements can be used and are being used by modernist heretics to further their cause against Church doctrine. And if I were such a heretic, I would be glad of those particular statements and use them to support those heresies and oppose the Church’s timeless and universal truths.

  • Mary

    In the Prodigal son parable, the father stays at home with the older brother. The two share in the goodness of their labor and love. The younger son, out of his own free will, returns home. The father rejoices. The older son is jealous and hurt. Francis, the father, is doing something different. He is saying to some of us: ‘Hey – I’m selling the house, leaving you behind if you just don’t get what I’m now about, and I am going to look for your brother and bring him back. Fend for yourself or come along to the periphery in search of him’. And the older brother is not jealous but angry and confused – ‘what about the house and fruit that we labored over, it has ripened will become even more rich and good with further tending? what about the free will of the prodigal and my free will to stay and help you the field. You made promises about love to me too? I believed in your promises of faithfulness. It’s fine if you go out to look but why are you abandoning me?…’ or as I more aptly put it – why are you throwing me under the bus on your way to the periphery?

    What I hear Cardinal Pell is saying is ‘hey everyone knows I tell it like it is. I used to agree with those old Popes who let us meet by ourselves to talk about how the Synod should work and the one, you know the last one, who actually changed the Synod instructions because he listened to the Bishops for 25 years and acted on their complaints and advice. But, it is so much cooler now to have a Pope who sits at the meetings listening to us, unlike those non-listening Popes of the past, you know the ones I used to support and tell it like it was.’

    So, my trust level of the Pope, Cardinals and Bishops is down but I do think the Lord works through them and eventually we will discover how the current crooked lines will be made straight. Francis will do beneficial things just as Benedict did with his not so straightforward path. I just don’t like being thrown under the bus.

  • Marietta

    In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the prodigal came back to his father and was sorry for his sins. How many of the atheists, gay activists, pro-aborts, etc. and other prodigals have come back to the Church after hearing Pope Francis?
    In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the Father tenderly told the older brother, “All that I have is yours, but your brother who was dead is again alive.”
    In the Church today, Pope Francis hatefully castigates the traditionalist “elder brothers” and calls them the vilest of names: pelagians, restorationists, small-minded, triumphalists, legalists, unChristians, faith-security seekers – without explaining the terms and without identifying whom he is castigating.

    No, the Pope is not quite the father in the Prodigal Son parable. Sorry.

  • Mark Thorne

    An interesting pair of discussions from you both, Mary and Marietta, regarding the parable of the prodigal son; I’ve been reflecting on this parable recently in the light of the attitude of the loyal son and the current environment in the Church. Was the prodigal son really genuinely sorry for his sins, or was he more concerned about his material poverty? “All that I have is yours”: going so far as to kill the fatted calf and put a ring on the prodigal son’s finger demonstrates the father’s love for having his lost son returned to him, although having squandered his own inheritance the father makes it clear that he will not be “carving up” that part of his inheritance rightfully due to the loyal son. Presumably, in order for justice to prevail, the prodigal son will have to work in his father’s employment in order to materially support himself, according to his expectation, although the parable doesn’t specify unequivocally whether or not this is the case. I often see a tendency in reflections on this parable to regard the loyal son as being the hard-hearted, obstinate “villain” of the piece: while we must be on our guard to ensure that our hearts and minds aren’t closed to compassion or forgiveness of those who have strayed from the right path, it causes genuine distress and a lessening in confidence on the part of loyal and dutiful disciples in the Church when justice isn’t perceived to be being meted out fairly, as you are alluding to.

    Mercy is extremely important and lies at the heart of a compassionate Church; however, this must always be tempered with justice, for the betterment and the spiritual improvement of the erring Christians concerned. I believe that the parable of the prodigal son does accurately convey this sense of perspective and justice, for without it, mercy cannot be genuine. I certainly hope and pray that our Christian brothers in the hierarchy of the Church do not lose sight of this fact.

  • Sean North

    Cardinal Pell is a Modernist. Read his rubbish concerning Holy Scripture.

  • St. Christopher

    “Rubbish” you say, good Cardinal Pell? Of course he will say this, as a loyal and true company man. What of Pope Francis? We need to pray for him as he is the Vicar of Christ. And what of the SSPX? Many feel saddened that they seem to have missed the boat with Pope Benedict, himself no Traditionalist. This is the problem with being apart from the Church: a group begins to believe itself special and likes its own nest, too much. It is unlikely that the SSPX will ever reconcile, much like the “Old German” Catholic Church and others. The few that wish to be part of it will marry and raise their children in it, so it will have adherents here and there, but they will not be within the Church. But is Francis a “Modernist” — most likely that describes him reasonably well.

    • Sean North

      St Christopher: there is a huge historical difference between the “Old Catholics” and the SSPX. The former broke away from the Church as a consequence of the First Vatican Council’s definition of Papal Infallibility (at least that was the pretext). The SSPX has NOT broken from the Church: even Pope Benedict said they are NOT outside the Church; they are in an irregular situation WITHIN the Church.

  • Lucy

    Why don’t our prelates use similar language and denounce dissidents and brother bishops across the world who fill our dioceses, instead of words such as understanding and dialogue, when they espouse false doctrine. Cant Cardinal Pell turn around to Curia Cardinals and old has been 60s groups, when they articulate error and say : “To put it politely, I think that’s absolute rubbish! ”

    But of course brother Bishop Fellay, who has espoused no false doctrine and traditionalists across the world, who are quite rightly concerned about the post-conciliar madness that we are live in, have to face daily name calling and abuse for upholding truth. Once again the good is punished and the bad is rewarded in the Vatican II church.

  • Benedict Carter

    It is entirely apparent from the interview that Pell offered not one whit of argument in defence of the Pope. Bishop Fellay’s allegation of Modernism is serious and real. His Eminence just brushed it off. That is not an argument. The allegation stands unless refuted properly and in detail.

  • Lionel (Paris)

    I hope that what Cardinal Pell says is right!…

  • Lionel (Paris)

    For more than half a century, the Church Authorities acted without regard for the sensibilities of the faithful who were rightly scandalized and mostly deserted churches, the other most assiduous were precipitated into schism… Now, such authorities are undoubtedly responsible for this situation and will have to be accountable.
    It is sad to see, but after such conduct, the credibility of the Magisterium has been durably undermined and this could lead us to doubt the reliability and even the existence of papal infallibility… It would be very serious, possibly even worse than the antics and tribulations of the past!…
    How can we trust personages who have deceived us for so long?

  • Lionel (Paris)

    Pendant plus d’un demi-siècle les Autorités de l’Église ont agi sans égard pour la sensibilité des fidèles, lesquels ont été à juste titre scandalisés et, pour la plupart, ont déserté les églises, tandis que les autres plus assidus ont été précipités dans le schisme… Or, ces Autorités sont indubitablement responsables de la situation et devront donc rendre des comptes.
    C’est triste à constater, mais après de tels comportements, la crédibilité du Magistère a été durablement mise à mal et ceci pourrait bien nous conduire à douter de la fiabilité et même de l’existence de l’infaillibilité pontificale… Ce serait extrêmement grave, probablement plus encore que les frasques et tribulations du passé!…
    Comment pouvons-nous faire confiance à des personnages qui nous ont trompés pendant si longtemps?

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>