May 3-5, 2002
volume 13, no. 85

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The Humanism of
John Paul II

Part Five:
Assisi Revisited:
Responding to a Defense (I)

          The Crisis in the Church has indeed reached a state of emergency as heresy, schism, and confusion roar out of control and the "Fire Chief" is only pouring gasoline on the fire with more abominations such as the ecumaniacal Assisi sessions!
    "The crisis in the Church has taken on such enormous proportions that the subjective intentions of the Pope are only relevant to his own personal degree of guilt before God. What the Pope thinks or intends is totally irrelevant to what he does. If he asks false religions to pray for the peace of Christ by praying to their idols and sacrificing to them, and still believes this is the orthodox Catholic thing to do, then he has either lost his mind or his Catholic Faith. Either way, he shouldn't be Pope."

    This installment was really not planned. It is the result of a few Catholics' attempt at defending the Assisi interfaith prayer meetings in 1986 and 2002.

    I was quite shocked to learn that the latest defense of Assisi came, not from the usual neo-Catholic suspects, but from a priest at the supposedly traditional Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP). You may recall that this is the priestly order which Pope John Paul II founded in 1988 as a "gracious alternative" to the Society of St. Pius X, which the Pope wrongly claims has gone off into schism.

    Anyway, one can only hope that the defense of Assisi by this priest exclusively represents that particular priest's opinion and does not represent the official view of the FSSP. This hope on my part rests on flimsy grounds, however, given that the priest who wrote the defense is Fr. Xavier Garban, the FSSP's District Superior in France.

    The entire text of Fr. Garban's article, which is fairly short, can be found at

    At the outset, Fr. Garban remarks quite correctly that the media, mostly liberal, cannot be relied upon and certainly not so exclusively in reporting all the facts, which are, after all, necessary to evaluate what went on that fateful day of January 24, 2002:

    "One cannot appreciate the sense of such an event if taken from the diffuse echoes, often simplified, of the media. It is without doubt that at Assisi a few televised images and reports in the press have left an impression with the public which was far removed from the reality of the facts and even more from the intentions of the Church. The image, under first apparent objectivity, is somewhat misleading. Perhaps it would have been necessary to take this into account at Assisi because of possible misunderstandings."

    Ah! But guess what!? The no-nonsense traditional Catholic newspaper The Remnant was smart enough to send their own reporter to the scene in order to forego any such possible accusation by people after the fact. The line "Oh, but you're relying on bits and pieces from the liberal media" there cannot be used against the coverage of The Remnant! The highly-talented and well-respected Christopher A. Ferrara, Esq., made a trip to Assisi just to be sure that we would have all the facts of what took place - just so no one could later say, "You don't know for sure; you weren't there."

    In fact, all the knowledge of Assisi 2002 that I have comes from Chris Ferrara's eye-witness account and the Vatican's web site. And what he reported was startling to say the least. You can read all three dispatches for yourself at You can also see the abuses in living color on the Vatican Web Site. Now, as another sort of preliminary, Fr. Garben claims:

    "An act, like a text cannot be considered isolated but must be considered in the light of the whole work or teaching . . . This rule, we understand, applies equally to the Church when she teaches or acts."

    Nice copout, but it's just that - a copout. You will see why in a minute. Let me continue quoting this priest from the FSSP:

    "Thus Assisi cannot be 'read' without reference, among other things, to the recent declaration 'Dominus Iesus' which reminds us of the ardent obligation of evangelization and the mission vis-à-vis non-Christians and inter-religious dialogue. Still more generally, nothing that the Church does should be considered without reference to her ancient Tradition, still living, which nourishes and illumines her actions as it does her teachings, the contrary of which cannot be proven. To build a critique on the appearance of discontinuity, without searching first of all to solve the former, is radically contrary to the elementary reflexes of the Catholic faith."

    But who said that the traditionalist critique of Assisi I and II have been done "without searching first of all to solve" the apparent discrepancy? Obviously, charity and a Catholic spirit oblige us first of all to try to reconcile that which is at least seemingly a real problem with what the Church has always taught; at least this would be the normal way to proceed during ordinary days (for instance, in the 1910's). However - and I hate to break it to the neo-Catholic daydreamers - we're not living in ordinary days as far as the Church is concerned. This "benefit of the doubt" mantra of the post-conciliar church (which it has had to use time and time again given the many novelties it has proposed) has an end. For me, the "benefit of the doubt" with regard to John Paul II, for instance, ended when I read his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope.

    At one point, an act or a teaching is so blatantly and evidently wrong and irreconcilable that the "benefit of the doubt" can no longer be applied without intellectual dishonesty or fooling oneself. At one point, so much evidence has accumulated that one can no longer in good conscience say, "Ah, well, that wasn't meant that way. We have to interpret this by going back to a document from yesteryear to whose introduction's footnote the Pope referred in a homily in 1979." Come on! Whom would you be kidding?

    So, again, if we were living through sane times in the Church, I would stress very much the fact that we ought to weigh everything very carefully when we think something blatantly wrong in the Church has occurred. And still today, our first thought should be, "Maybe it's been misunderstood." However, it is not correct to say that Catholic traditionalists have simply not yet tried to solve an apparent discrepancy and that this is the only reason for their resistance. Oh, no. As I said, at one point, you have to stop fooling yourself. At one point, you simply have to admit the previously inadmissible: Rome, we have a problem.

    Fr. Garban continues:

    "Whatever the case, the Church, in the end, is her own interpreter. She alone is qualified to give the sense and authentic interpretation to her actions."
Now, may I interrupt here for a second. Can Assisi really be considered an event of the Church as a whole? I am inclined to think it really was only an event of Pope John Paul II. This is his doing, his theology, his mess. I am not stating a rhetorical question but a sincere one: can Assisi really be considered an act of the entire Church as a whole? I sure hope not.

    Fr. Garban again:

    "When [the Church] explains herself-and some time is necessary for that-the debate must be considered closed."
Ah, yes, perhaps, but in saner times. But in our day, my dear readers, we find ourselves in a state of emergency. If this isn't a state of emergency, then, frankly, no such state exists. We're in a state of such heresy, schism, confusion, and open dissent from all sides that a man who repudiates the Syllabus of the Bl. Pope Pius IX by saying that it had to be "balanced out" by the "counter-syllabus" of Vatican II was appointed to be the "top man of orthodoxy" in the Vatican, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Yes, I'm talking about Cardinal Josef Ratzinger here. We're in a state where a modernist like Walter Kasper is raised to the status of cardinal by a supposedly "conservative" Pope. And on and on the laundry list goes.

    This is a state of emergency, and during such a state, not everything works the way it normally would or should. Thankfully, canon law comes to the aid of traditionalists here.

    Fr. Garban continues as follows:

    "Finally, for whatever remains of questions or misunderstandings with respect to an event such as Assisi, notably in the order of prudence, one last remark, more fundamentally, must be made. It touches on the mysterious function which Christ conferred upon his vicar. The Holy Father, as the Lord himself, is prophet. This prophetic function in which he (the Pope) participates, consists less in predicting the future like the prophets of the Old Testament than to foresee in the etymological sense of the term and thus to prepare. Proper to prophecy is to remain partially obscure to those who hear it, but also to he whom it is given to explain it."

    This is ludicrous! What I take from this passage is this: "Follow the Pope even blindly if you have to, for he's been entrusted with charisms you don't possess and he knows what he's doing. Who are you, after all, and look at who he is. So, follow and obey, and leave the rest to God." But take it from me, folks, such is not the Catholic teaching regarding the papacy. In fact, it is nothing but neo-Catholic nonsense! By advancing this kind of standard, Fr. Garban opens the way to papolatry and blind and unconditional obedience which we may give to no one but God.

    Now, don't take me wrong. As a Catholic, I believe in papal infallibility and papal primacy, and I affirm with all my being all the doctrinal tenets of Catholic teaching on the Pope. But this is not part of it. Let's remember that with John Paul II we're not simply faced with a Pope who may, occasionally, engage in this or that obscure act of which we can't really make sense. Oh, no! With John Paul II, we're faced with a man who engages in things that used to make one suspect of heresy, such as the public praying with Protestants, voluntarily entering synagogues and a mosque, inviting representatives of all the world's religions and telling them to pray to their demons and evil gods so that we may obtain "peace"! He kisses the Koran and prays that St. John the Baptist, one who gave his life to testify to Christ, not to error, might protect, not Muslims, but Islam!

    This is not obscure. This is crystal-clear. In fact, I wonder if John Paul II may have caused an even greater rupture with Tradition as Paul VI has - if that's even possible. But in any case, my point here is that Fr. Xavier's reference to the Pope as "prophet" is entirely ridiculous and makes him somewhat of a cult leader. That's a real distortion of true Catholic teaching regarding the Pope.

    Now, Fr. Garban claims that the objective of Assisi I and II was to have a true peace in the world, the peace of Christ. That this is not so I have already proven beyond reasonable doubt in my previous installments. However, let us say, for the sake of argument, that Father is right. Then let me ask this: why in the world would any sane human being attempt to precipitate the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ by asking false religions to pray and sacrifice to their evil demons? The absurdity is obvious. If the Pope wants true Christian peace, he must finally consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That's right - Russia! Not the world, not the universe, not humanity, not grandma's hairbrush. Russia.

    I wish to end this installment, which will be continued next week, with an analysis of one final comment by Fr. Garban:

    "We can say right away that the prayer of Assisi (I and II) happened without any ambiguity. The Holy Father had announced and warned to avoid 'not only syncretism, but also all appearance of syncretism.' In his diverse allocutions, he didn't fail to remind everyone of the serious differences which exist between the religions or committees present…"

    Has Father Garban ever heard of the ancient dictum "actions speak louder than words"? You know what, I am going to tell you in all sincerity that, subjectively, the Pope probably even believes that his actions do not endorse syncretism. He may very well believe that. But if so, he is delusional. He may not have the intention of making all religions look equal - but his mere subjective intentions do not change his objective actions.

    The crisis in the Church has taken on such enormous proportions that the subjective intentions of the Pope are only relevant to his own personal degree of guilt before God. What the Pope thinks or intends is totally irrelevant to what he does. If he asks false religions to pray for the peace of Christ by praying to their idols and sacrificing to them, and still believes this is the orthodox Catholic thing to do, then he has either lost his mind or his Catholic Faith. Either way, he shouldn't be Pope.

    More next week. God bless.

Mario Derksen

    Editor's Note: So many of the post-conciliar bishops today refer to those clinging to the true Roman Catholic traditions that were in vogue for 2000 years prior to the reforms of Vatican II as 'fossils,' 'dinosaurs,' 'old folks who will die off soon.' We beg to differ and offer as proof the youthful wisdom and enthusiasm of the younger generation in the Traditional Insights of Mario Derksen who exemplifies the thinking of many more young men and women today who realize the new thinking of the post-conciliar church does not add up to true Catholic teaching. Thus they long for those traditions so tried and true. His insight shows great promise, optimism and hope for the future of Holy Mother Church.

      Note: [bold, brackets and italicized words used for emphasis]

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May 3-5, 2002
volume 13, no. 85
Mario Derksen's young and refreshing TRADITIONAL INSIGHTS
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