Speech at the Catholic Identity Conference
Pittsburgh - October 1st, 2023
This address was prepared in order to be given at the Catholic Identity Conference. However, at the last minute, it was “cancelled” from the roster. It is unfortunate that, in the current climate of fear within the Church, the free exchange of ideas and viewpoints is no longer tolerated. Let us pray for the unity of the Church, that unity which can only be grounded in the Truth, who is Jesus Christ.
A fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos.
Numquid colligunt de spinis uvas aut de tribulis ficus?
Sic omnis arbor bona fructus bonos facit; mala autem arbor fructus malos facit.
Non potest arbor bona fructus malos facere, neque arbor mala fructus bonos facere.
Omnis arbor quæ non facit fructum bonum exciditur et in ignem mittitur.
Igitur ex fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos.
By their fruits you will know them.
Does anyone pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit; and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Allow me to greet and thank the organizers of the Catholic Identity Conference and all who are taking part. In a moment of great confusion it is important to clarify what is happening, even by comparing different positions. That’s why I am grateful to my friend Michael Matt for giving me the opportunity to share some thoughts with you.
In this speech I will not try to give answers, but to pose a question that can no longer be postponed, so that we Bishops, the clergy, and the faithful can look clearly at the very serious apostasy present as a completely unprecedented fact, one that cannot be resolved, in my opinion, by resorting to our usual categories of judgment and action.
The Evidence of the “Bergoglio Problem”
The proliferation of declarations and behaviors completely foreign to what is expected of a Pope – and indeed in contrast with the Faith and Morality of which the Papacy is the guardian – has led many of the faithful and an increasingly large number of Bishops to take note of something that until some time ago seemed unheard of: the Throne of Peter is occupied by a person who abuses his power, using it for the opposite purpose to that for which Our Lord instituted it.
Some say that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is manifestly heretical in doctrinal questions, others that he is tyrannical in matters of government, still others consider his election invalid because of the multiple anomalies of the resignation of Benedict XVI and the election of the one who took his place. These opinions – more or less supported by evidence or the result of speculations that cannot always be shared – nevertheless confirm a reality that is now incontestable. And it is this reality, in my opinion, that constitutes a common starting point in trying to remedy the disconcerting, scandalous presence of a Pope who presents himself with ostentatious arrogance as inimicus Ecclesiæ, and who acts and speaks as such. An enemy who, precisely because he occupies the Throne of Peter and abuses papal authority, is capable of inflicting a terrible and disastrous blow, such as no external enemy in the entire history of the Church has ever been able to cause. The worst persecutors of Christians, the fiercest adherents of the Masonic Lodges, and the most unrestrained heresiarchs have never before succeeded, in such a short time and with such effectiveness, in devastating the Lord’s vineyard, scandalizing the faithful, disgusting the Ministers, discrediting its authority and authoritativeness before the world, and demolishing the Magisterium, Faith, Morals, Liturgy, and discipline.
Inimicus Ecclesiæ, not only with respect to the members of the Mystical Body – which he despises, ridicules (he never ceases to launch poisonous epithets against it), persecutes, and strikes; but also with respect to the Head of the Mystical Body, Jesus Christ: whose authority is exercised by Bergoglio no longer in a vicarious way, which would therefore be in necessary and dutiful consistency with the Depositum Fidei, but rather in a self-referential and thus tyrannical way. The authority of the Roman Pontiff is in fact derived from the Supreme Authority of Christ, in which it participates, always within the boundaries and scope of the goals which the Divine Founder has established once and for all, and which no human power can change.
The evidence of Bergoglio’s alienity to the office he holds is certainly a painful and very serious fact; but becoming aware of this reality is the indispensable premise for remedying an unsustainable and disastrous situation.
Agere Sequitur Esse
In these ten years of his “pontificate” we have seen Bergoglio do everything that would never be expected of a Pope, and vice-versa everything that a heresiarch or an apostate would do. There have been occasions when these actions have appeared manifestly provocative, as if by his utterances or certain acts of government he deliberately wanted to arouse the indignation of the ecclesial body and urge priests and faithful to react by giving them the pretext to declare them schismatic. But this typical strategy of the worst Jesuitism is now uncovered, because the whole operation has been conducted with too much arrogance and in areas on which not even moderate Catholics are willing to compromise.
The sexual scandals of the clergy, and in particular the response of the Holy See to the scourge of moral corruption of Cardinals and Bishops, have shown a shameful disparity of treatment between those who belong to Bergoglio’s so-called “magic circle” and those he considers adversaries. The recent case of Marko Rupnik is evidence of one who exercises power like a despot, legibus solutus, who considers himself free to act without being accountable for any of his actions. It often happens that the consequences of the decisions taken personally by the Argentine are then passed on to his subordinates, who find themselves accused and discredited for choices which are not theirs. I think of the case of the London building in which officials of the Secretariat of State were involved, while the contract of sale bears the august chirograph. I think of the shameful handling of the Rupnik case, which in addition to having rehabilitated a criminal responsible for horrendous crimes, in contempt of the numerous victims, has also discredited the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ladaria. I am thinking of the McCarrick case, which with the farce of a secret administrative procedure was hastily liquidated without any compensation to the victims, and declared res judicata unappealable. And the list goes on and on. It remains evident that the unfortunates who willingly or unwillingly collaborate with Bergoglio find themselves thrown overboard as soon as the press discovers the Vatican scandals. Many are noticing this cynical utilitarian behavior, which in fact brings them to decline appointments and promotions precisely so as not to find themselves in the uncomfortable role of scapegoat.
Breaking Down the Wall of Silence
The silence of the Episcopate in the face of the Bergoglian nonsense confirms that the self-referential authoritarianism of the Jesuit Bergoglio has found servile obedience in almost all the Bishops, terrified by the idea of being made the object of the retaliation of the vengeful and despotic satrap of Santa Marta. Some diocesan bishops are beginning to no longer tolerate his devastating action, which undermines the authority and authoritativeness of the whole Church. Bishop Joseph Strickland, for example, has commendably reiterated immutable doctrinal truths that the Synod on Synodality in the coming months is preparing to demolish. And Cardinal Gerard Ludwig Müller has rightly recalled that the Lord did not give power to the Pope to “bully” good bishops.
Something therefore is beginning to change: alignments are taking shape, and we see on the one hand Bergoglio’s “synodal church” – which he emblematically calls “our church” – and on the other hand what remains of the Catholic Church, towards which he does not fail to reiterate his absolute extraneousness.
The Sanatio in Radice of the Irregularities at the 2013 Conclave
Bishop Athanasius Schneider maintains that any irregularities that may have occurred in the 2013 Conclave have in any case been healed in radice by the fact that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been recognized as Pope by the Cardinal Electors, by the Episcopate, and by the majority of the faithful. Practically speaking. The argument is that, regardless of the events that may have led to the election of a pope – with or without external meddling in it – the Church, practically speaking, places a time limit beyond which it is not possible to challenge an election if the person elected is accepted by the Christian people. But this thesis is called into question by historical precedent.
In 1378, after the election of Pope Urban VI, the majority of Cardinals, Prelates and the people recognized Clement VII as pope, even though he was in reality an antipope. Thirteen out of sixteen cardinals questioned the validity of the election of Pope Urban due to the threat of violence from the Roman people against the Sacred College, and even Urban’s few supporters immediately retracted their election, convoking a new Conclave at Fondi which elected the antipope Clement VII. Even Saint Vincent Ferrer was convinced that Clement was the real pope, while Saint Catherine of Siena sided with Urban. If universal consensus were an indefectibly valid argument for a pope’s legitimacy, Clement would have had the right to be considered the true pope, rather than Urban. Antipope Clement was defeated by Urban VI’s army in the battle of Marino in 1379 and transferred his See to Avignon, leading to the Western Schism, which lasted thirty-nine years. Thus we see that the universal acceptance argument does not withstand the test of history.
Bishop Schneider’s Via Tutior
Bishop Athanasius Schneider reminds us that the via tutior, or surer way, consists in not obeying a heretical Pope, without necessarily having to consider him ipso facto fallen from his office as separated from the Church and therefore no longer capable of being at its head, as St. Robert Bellarmine believes. But even this solution – which at least recognizes that Bergoglio is a heretic – does not seem decisive to me, since the obedience that the faithful can deny him is only marginal compared to all the acts of government and magisterium that he has carried out and continues to perform without his subjects being able to do anything about them. Of course, one can organize the clandestine celebration of the Catholic Mass, but what can a priest or a layman do when a subversive group of Bishops maneuvered by Bergoglio is preparing to introduce unacceptable doctrinal changes through the Synod on Synodality? And what can they do when in their parishes a deaconess blesses the “wedding” of two sodomites?
Certainly disobeying the illegitimate orders of a heretical or apostate Superior is a duty sub gravi, since obedience to God comes before obedience to men, and because the virtue of Obedience is hierarchically subordinated to the theological virtue of Faith. But the resulting damage to the ecclesial body is not prevented by an action of simple resistance: the root of the question must be resolved.
The Defect of Consent in the Assumption of the Papacy
Thus, taking notice of the fact that Bergoglio is a heretic – and Amoris Lætitia or his declaration of the intrinsic immorality of capital punishment would be enough to prove it – we must ask ourselves if the 2013 election was in some way invalidated by a lack of consent; that is, if the one elected wanted to become Pope of the Catholic Church or rather head of what he calls “our synodal church” – which has nothing to do with the Church of Christ precisely because it stands as something other than it. In my opinion, this lack of consent can also be seen in Bergoglio’s behavior, which is ostentatiously and consistently anti-Catholic and heterogeneous with respect to the very essence of the Papacy. There is no action of this man that does not blatantly have the air of rupture with respect to the practice and the Magisterium of the Church, and to this are added the positions taken that are anything but inclusive towards the faithful who do not intend to accept arbitrary innovations, or worse, full-blown heresies.
The fundamental question hinges on understanding the subversive plan of the deep church, which, using the methods denounced at the time by St. Pius X with regard to the Modernists, has organized itself to carry out a coup d’état within the Church and bring the prophet of the Antichrist to the Throne of Peter. The mens rea in infiltrating the Hierarchy and ascending its ranks is evident, just as it is evident that the plans of the ultra-progressive faction could not stop in the fact of Benedict XVI, whom they considered too conservative, and whom they hated above all because he dared to promulgate the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. And so Benedict XVI was pressured to resign, and immediately there was ready the unknown Archbishop of Buenos Aires. On October 11, 2013, in a conference at Villanova University (here), then-Cardinal McCarrick, Bergoglio’s longtime friend, revealed that Bergoglio’s election was strongly desired by a “very influential Italian gentleman,” an emissary of the deep state to the deep church: those who work in the Curia know well who is called “the gentleman” par excellence and what his links are with the power on both sides of the Tiber [the Vatican and the Italian Government], and they also know his embarrassing penchants that explain his close connections to the Vatican homosexual lobby. It is also significant that McCarrick said he was convinced that Bergoglio would “change the Papacy within four years,” confirming the malicious intention to tamper with the divine and unreformable institution of the Church.
Seeing Bergoglio participate in an event sponsored by the Clinton Foundation, after other no less scandalous endorsements from the globalist elite, confirms his role as bankruptcy liquidator of the Church, with the purpose of substituting the constitution of that Religion of Humanity that will serve as the handmaid of the synarchy of the New World Order. Ecumenism, ecology, vaccinism, immigrationism, LGBTQ+ and gender ideology, and other instances of the globalist religion are appropriated by Bergoglio, not only through an action of ostentatious and proud support for the proponents of the 2030 Agenda, but also by means of the systematic demolition of everything that opposes it in the Magisterium, and the ruthless persecution of those who express even prudent perplexities.
So: Bergoglio is a heretic and blatantly hostile to the Church of Christ. To carry out the task assigned to him by the deep church, he concealed his most extreme positions, so as to find a sufficient number of votes in the Conclave. To ensure total obedience, those who hatched the plan made sure that he was widely blackmailable, as always happens. And once elected, Bergoglio was able to show himself for what he is and begin the demolition of the Church and the Papacy.
But is it possible for a pope destroy the papacy that he himself embodies and represents? Is it possible for a pope devastate the Church that the Lord has entrusted to him to defend? And again: if a cardinal’s participation in the Conclave is intended to be malicious, if it intends a subversive act against the Church, if the aim is to commit a crime, then even if the procedures and norms of the election are apparently respected, there is undoubtedly a mens rea. And this criminal intention emerges from the cunning by which the cardinals who were accomplices to the plot collaborated in deceiving the cardinals who voted in good faith. I wonder, then: are we not in the presence of a defect of consent that affects the validity of the election? Without saying that the very co-presence of a renouncing pope and a reigning pope is already in itself an element that leads us to believe that they had a false concept of the essence of the papacy, considered to be a role that can be shared with others. Let us not forget that the distinction between munus and ministerium is arbitrary and that there cannot be a Pope who dedicates himself to the “ministry of prayer” and another one who governs. Christ is one; the Church is one; and there is only one Successor of Peter: a body with two heads is a monstrum that is repugnant to nature even before the divine constitution of the Church.
Some may object: But even if Bergoglio acted with malice, he still accepted what the Cardinals offered him: his election as Bishop of Rome and therefore as Roman Pontiff. And so he assumed office and must be considered to be the Pope. I believe instead that his acceptance of the papacy is invalidated, because he considers the papacy something other than what it is, like a spouse who gets married in church but excludes the specific purposes of marriage from his intention, thus making the marriage null and void precisely due to his lack of consent. Not only that: what conspirator who acts maliciously in order to ascend to an office would be so naive as to explain to those who must elect him that he intends to become Pope in order to carry out the orders of the enemies of God and the Church? Good morning. I am Jorge Mario Bergoglio and I intend to destroy the Church by getting elected Pope. Will you vote for me? The mens rea lies precisely in the use of deception, dissimulation, lies, the delegitimization of annoying opponents, and the elimination of dangerous ones. And the proof that Bergoglio intended to carry out the criminal plan of the globalist elite is right before our eyes: all the desired goals of the emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s right-hand man, have been or are being carried out, from the adoption of gender equality as a premise for the female priesthood to LGBTQ+ inclusion, from the acceptance of gender theory to the participation in the Agenda 2030 on climate change, from the condemnation of “proselytism” to the exaltation of immigration as a method of ethnic replacement. And at the same time, there is the removal and condemnation of the other Church, the “pre-conciliar” one, composed of rigid intolerant people, starting with Our Lord, as Antonio Spadaro blasphemously wrote. And with the cancel culture applied to Faith and Morals, there is also the elimination of the Mass that intrinsically belongs to that Church, which Bergoglio considers to be in conflict with the “new ecclesiology,” to the point of prohibiting it as incompatible with the “synodal church.”
So here I am, throwing the proverbial stone into the pond. I would like us to take seriously, very seriously, the possibility that Bergoglio intended to obtain the election by means fraud, and that he intended to abuse the authority of the Roman Pontiff in order to do the exact opposite of what Jesus Christ gave a mandate to Saint Peter and his Successors to do: confirm the faithful in the Catholic Faith, feeding and governing the Flock of the Lord, preaching the Gospel to the nations. All the acts of Bergoglio’s governance and magisterium – since his first appearance on the Vatican Loggia, when he introduced himself with his disturbing “Buonasera” – has unraveled in a direction diametrically opposed to the Petrine mandate: he has adulterated and continues to adulterate the Depositum Fidei, he has created confusion and misled the faithful, he has dispersed the flock, he has declared that he considers the evangelization of peoples to be “a solemn nonsense,” and he systematically abuses the power of the Holy Keys to loose what cannot be loosed and to bind what cannot be bound.
This situation is humanly irremediable, because the forces at play are immense and because the corruption of Authority cannot be healed by those who are subject to it. We must take note that the metastasis of this “pontificate” originates from the conciliar cancer, from that Vatican II which created the ideological, doctrinal, and disciplinary bases that inevitably had to lead to this point. But how many of my confreres, who also recognize the gravity of the current crisis, have the ability to recognize this causal link between the conciliar revolution and its extreme consequences with Bergoglio?
If this passio Ecclesiæ is a prelude to the end times, it is our duty to prepare ourselves spiritually for moments of great tribulation and of true and proper persecution. But it will be precisely by retracing the Via Dolorosa of the Cross that the ecclesial body will be able to purify itself from the filth that disfigures it and merit the supernatural help that Providence reserves for the Church in times of trial: where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.
Finally, allow me to remind you that the Exsurge Domine Association I founded aims to give spiritual and material help to priests and religious brothers and sisters who are persecuted by the Bergoglian church because of their fidelity to Tradition. If you would like to make a donation towards the realization of our projects, you may do so at the Association’s website – www.exsurgedomine.org – or by sending a text message: Text 502027 to 1-855-575-7888 (for USA & Canada).