Is This How It All Ends?

This is not a column I wanted to write. And I certainly didn’t want to post the following video. But I’m afraid it’s come to this.

As you all may know, I have stated that I have a great admiration for the Catholic Church. Besides the fact that I was born in a Catholic hospital (as were both my sons) and that they were educated in Catholic schools, I’ve always believed that from a historical standpoint, the Catholic Church was the matrix in which Western Civilization incubated. I had great admiration for Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI as well. (Not so much John XXIII, Paul VI and the present pontiff.)

I’ve also believed that reunification with the East was possible with only a minimum of fuss; basically the repudiation of the filioque clause. Once that is gone, the kitsch and carnality of Catholic spirituality that crept into Catholicism after the Council of Trent would cease as well (at least in my opinion). Likewise the dogmatic errors such as the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility that filled the vacuum left by demotion of the Holy Spirit because of the filioque.

That’s my opinion anyway.

Having said that, it’s no secret that I follow several traditionalist/conservative Catholic websites. I’m particularly fascinated by the whole sedevacantist movement. For those who may not know, that term comes from two Latin words: sede + vacante, which means that “the Seat [of Peter] is empty”.

This movement began several decades ago when it was first rumored that Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, the Patriarch of Venice, was illegally elected as Pope John XXIII, in 1958. According to many sources, Roncalli was a secret Freemason and/or Rosicrucian and thus was automatically excommunicated according to Catholic canon law. According to this narrtive, another cardinal (Joseph Siri) was elected but he was pressured to step down in favor of Roncalli (for whatever reason). Therefore according to this narrative, the Seat of Peter has been vacant since that year and thus every subsequent pope has been an “anti-pope”.

I’d rather not go down that rabbit-hole if you don’t mind. It’s not that important in light of what is going on now. Indeed, we Orthodox could say that Rome has been vacant for over 1,000 years when the filioque was first normalized in the West. But that’s all a story for another day. The reason that I bring it up is because the video which is below, is put out by conservative Catholics who are not sedevacantists. Michael Voris of Church Militant is squarely within the folds of post-Vatican II Catholic ecclesiology. He has gone so far as to criticize all schismatic sects (regardless of whether they are sedevacantist or not). And that makes his criticism particularly stinging.

While the people of Church Militant have been respectfully critical of Pope Francis for his many confusing pronouncements, it appears that the dam has finally broken. Voris and others like him can no longer hold back. The reason of course is the latest round of allegations regarding the paedophilia scandal in the State of Pennsylvania. The final straw however was when Archbishop Carlo Mario Vigano, the former Papal Nuncio to the United States, boldly accused Pope Francis of being part of the cover-up.

As you will see for yourself in the video below, Voris lays it all on the line. It’s not a pretty picture and there is no way to sugarcoat the depravity. The case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (the former Archbishop of Washington, DC), who sodomized a boy whom he had baptized many years before, is particularly egregious. Bridges are being burnt and Voris no longer has any compunction against grabbing a torch and helping to light the fire. The cold civil war that has been brewing between the homosexual faction and the traditionalist camp is now turning hot. What Vigano did essentially was explode a nuclear device over the other sides capital city (as Rod Dreher recently wrote).

There simply is no going back now. What has transpired lo, these many decades is beyond depraved. It is wicked.

We are Orthodox however. This should’t concern us. Maybe it shouldn’t but it does concern me. Not because of my many friends who are Catholic, but because I see certain segments of the Orthodox Faith going down this same path. In my opinion therefore, we do have a dog in the fight.

If I were an Orthodox Christian traveling in Roman circles (such as our friends at Fordham), I would be seriously thinking of an exit strategy. If I were in the Ecumenical Patriarchate, I too would tread lightly and stop looking wistfully across the Tiber. It’s over. There’s nothing there. Not anymore.

The glory days of Pope John Paul II are long gone. The mythology peddled by Morris West in The Shoes of the Fisherman is nothing more than nostalgia for a better, more refined age. Kind of like Downton Abbey for the religious set.

It’s over. And it ain’t coming back. And those Orthodox who think that we should emulate papalism in order to better harness the spirit of the age should think long and hard about what has befallen our brothers in the West.

‘Nuff said.



  1. Yes, the Roman party is over says

    George, yes this is terrible for the modern Roman church, but really the reality of the huge gay cults in the Roman church for the past few decades is finally coming to light.

    Read through the Pennsylvania report. It reads like a gay pornographic novel where the main characters are Roman priests and bishops. And the kids and young adults they abused were the sacrifices. Everyone hid the truth “for the good of the Church.” How appalling. These are indeed crazy times.

    The modernists in the Roman church will likely spin this as gay priests who are suffering in that they not able to fully express their reality and their gayness. It very well could lead to full-blown acceptance of open homosexuality in the Roman church, among both clergy and laity. And then the conservative Catholics will leave. Schism is a real possibility.

    Any Orthodox Christian who wants to tag on to the wealth and power in the Roman church these days needs to have his head examined. We need to treat them the way we do the modern Anglican Church: pray for them, but the time is well past for “talks” or “dialogue.”

    Someone needs to tell Sister Vassa to stop playing footsie with her Latin Church friends in Vienna.

    We need to pray for the suffering American Roman Catholics. Particularly those who live under the delusion that salvation is only under the omophor of the Church of Rome, and thus the more faithful among them may feel “stuck” and at a loss of what to do or where to go.

  2. Ronda Wintheiser says

    Voris says that this isn’t a theological question but a moral one.

    Isn’t theology the foundation of morality?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Good question. One of the problems I have with Catholicism is their endless parsing of words and phrases. This leads us to Catholic politicians who “uphold” the tradition of the Church as to regards (say) abortion but then vote to countermand it. Biden is particularly adept at this bait-and-switch. In a debate in 2012 he said the magic words “de Fide” which absolved him from actually upholding the moral tradition.

      It’s phariseeism like that that gives sophistry such a bad name.

  3. Zaras Neriscopis says

    RC believe their faith is held together by Beauty, Truth and Goodness. Folks come out of habit to experience Beauty (the very thing your waco “traditionalists” expunge). They believe there is some underlying Truth. They see good works and the love of their own families as Goodness. They forgive the other stuff. Only anxiety can change faith according to Will James (1902).

  4. Having listened to many sources/media outlets of faithful Roman Catholics (not sycophants, but those who would otherwise never question their ‘holy father’), I cannot help but see a silver lining in all this ugliness. The inherent weakness and ‘house of cards’ nature of Roman papist ecclesiology is being revealed.

    If their supreme pontiff, for example, chooses not to strep down in the face of what may well prove to be overwhelming evidence, what then? Where does that leave the very foundation of their ecclesiology? Whatever ultimately happens, even the thought of the possibility is enough to make a person wonder. How can a Roman Catholic remain faithful in such a case? Faithful to what and to whom?

    May the Lord have mercy on our Roman brethren who love Him and gently lead them to the fullness of the Truth.

  5. GOA Priest says

    Many of our own bishops are homosexuals. The Fanar is replete with homosexuals.

    We share more with them than we want to admit.

  6. The RC position on the indelibility of the priesthood is a major issue in all of this too. As Orthodox, a priest can become “the former priest x”. While they are promoting a cardinal losing his red hat. These are ancient shared canons about priests and bishops being deposed. I would rather see them all go to the graybar penitentiary. I would actually like a lot more than that but that borders on being a non Christian

  7. Yesterday evening my parish prayed the Akathist for All Saints who Shone Forth in the Western Lands, particularly for our suffering brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church, that they might draw closer to the true Faith. Lord have mercy on us all.

  8. Thank you, George, for addressing this subject.

  9. George,
    I think at this point is important to listen to this viewpoint:

    Jay lays it all out as clear as anyone has done with an Orthodox view that needs to be absorbed. He connects the dots.

  10. George Michalopulos says

    Here’s more info from The Vortex. (Hint: it ‘s all gay):

    • M. Stankovich says

      Mr. Michalopulos,

      wow. Russians, Communists, Socialists, infiltrators, faggots, and the church. “This little piggy ate roast beef…” until the roof fell in. Tight, tight package when all is said and done. But my thought is that there is at least some consolation and confirmation in my mind as to why we have never developed a comparable “climate of paedophilia” as in the American RCC, and it has nothing to do with the fact that Orthodox Clergy, for the most past are married. As some here, including myself, have attempted to point out, there is a fundamental distinction between heterosexuals, homosexuals, and paedophiles: heterosexuals and homosexuals prefer intimate relationships with adults, while paedophiles have a serious mental disorder that prevents them; they prefer intimate relationships with children that they can control. Looking at the epidemiological data in the US, the overwhelming number of sexual predators against children are male, but their victims are overwhelmingly female. And as I have posted here numerous times, the paedophillic perpetrators of these female victims are overwhelmingly known relatives or peers (though not necessarily someone with whom the have a formal relationship). Further, as I mentioned in another thread about speaking with priests regarding the issue of gender and orientation, one said to me that in his pastoral experience, most homosexuals were interested solely in “consensual activity,” an impossibility with a child,” and this is most certainly demonstrated in the literature. It would stand to reason that, by definition and characterization, a systematized infiltration of “homosexuals” would satisfy one another with other homosexuals, not with children.

      Returning to my original point, I believe the American RCC was successful in this systematized child sexual predation because of the culture of respect, dignity, trust, and appreciation the RCC maintained for the ordained clergy. I will never forget when two friends of mine – both priests in ROCOR – who were raised in the Byzantine Catholic Rite and converted in college showed me their school pictures and the absurdist songs they would sing to the priest who came to their class room on Fridays to teach “catechism” as (they say) “the nuns swooned.” Before he left, the entire class would sing a bizarre, but lively, “Three cheers for our priest! He is God’s representative on earth…” Whether this sort of smack was actually justified, in reality, obviously is in question, but it was a mentality by which parents confidently sent their children overnight to the parish rectory… We Orthodox, on the other hand, such as we are, have not afforded the ordained a similar respect; the recent account Greatly Saddened posted of the Greek man reminiscing the painful life of his father, a GOA priest, as he lay dying, speaks volumes to the stories I have heard from friends & classmates alike. My one, never-to-be-repeated experience on a parish council nauseates me to this day: “Why does he need a raise? He works 5-hours a week – if that – on two days a week?” He has a graduate degree and student loans to repay. “His degree is in t-h-e-o-l-o-g-y. Duh.” No, it doesn’t provide complete “prophylaxis” against predators, but the fundamental lack of a similar level of trust, dignity, and respect goes a long way. In some odd way, I suppose we should feel lucky.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Roman Catholics have an understanding of the indelibility of priestly ordination and that Roman Catholic priests can serve mass by themselves. These both seem to contribute to a very strange “priestly” culture.

        That fact that Orthodox priests can be laicized and are almost never allowed to serve Liturgy by themselves is probably much healthier.

      • Constantinos says

        Dr. Stankovich,
        As far as consentual sex is concerned, tell that to the victims of Jerry Sanduski, Kevin Spacey, Gerry Studds, and Dennis Hastern.

  11. You need to read this, from Dubya’s favorite pastor

  12. Zonas Karaticlas says