Thursday, December 4, 2014

Team Bergoglio: A Brief Résumé

Over the past few weeks, a growing number of blog and news articles have appeared treating the revelations contained in Austen Ivereigh's newly released biography of Pope Francis entitled The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope. The newsworthy part is that Ivereigh's book reveals information on the concerted effort by several important Cardinals to get Jorge Bergoglio elected, the - now disowned - admission that Bergoglio knew about the campaigning and possibly even condoned it, and some inadvertent evidence that Pope Francis was elected on the condition that he advance the reforms most desired by his electors, whom Ivereigh, in a rather apt allusion to the campaigning strategy of the failed American President Obama, calls "Team Bergoglio." It's a story that has even more explosive potential than the recent 2014 Synod Midterm Relatio, and yet the mainstream media outlets are largely ignoring it.

Who makes up Team Bergoglio? There can be little doubt that there were many individuals pushing in their own ways for the election of Cardinal Bergoglio, but four men stand out above the rest as the most active campaigners:

Team Bergoglio:
Cardinals Kasper, Lehmann, Daneels, and Murphy-O'Connor

A brief résumé:

Cardinal Walter Kasper, that widely famed champion of public adulterers, holds the miracles of Christ to be "non-historical legends":
The result [...] is that we must describe many of the Gospel miracle stories as legendary. Legends of this sort should be examined less for their historical than for their theological content. They say something, not about individual facts of salvation history, but about the single saving event which is Jesus Christ. To show that certain miracles cannot be ascribed to the earthly Jesus does not mean that they have no theological or kerygmatic significance. These non-historical miracle reports are statements of faith about the significance for salvation of the person and message of Jesus.
Not to be outdone by his fellow German in things heretical, Cardinal Karl Lehmann denies even the historicity of the Resurrection of Our Lord:
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ through the Father is, strictly speaking, an event in the sphere of God which, at its core, does not belong to history. But it manifests as an event in space and time.
That is to say, the Resurrection, while not a real, historical event, is still "historical" because real people in history believed in it. Right. Oh, and he explicitly renounces faith in the Catholic Church: 
I do not believe in the Catholic Church. I believe in God.
Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, while hesitating to venture into the dizzying heights of speculative heresy, is very much at home in denying the right of the Church to inform civil law, has shown himself to be quite receptive to a change in Church praxis regarding the reception of Holy Communion by public adulterers, and openly condones state legislation approving homosexual unions, saying:
I think it's a positive development that states are free to open up civil marriage for gays if they want.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor appears, at first glance, to be something of the odd ball in the bunch. For one thing, he doesn't live anywhere near the Rhine. For another, he has spoken out numerous times against the evils of abortion and contraception - the latter of which Cardinal Kasper believes the Church can and should approve. So what's the connection? Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, like his teammates, believes all men, regardless of religion, are saved:
I think that the [religious] divisions manifest here on earth will be reconciled in some mysterious way in heaven. I'm not thinking just of Catholics and Protestants, but people of other faiths and people of no faith. We are all children of God.
So, these are the men who campaigned to raise Jorge Bergoglio to the Chair of Peter. Is anyone surprised by this?

Lest you be left with a sour taste in your mouth, gentle reader, I offer the following quote from St. Gregory Nazianzen:
These men have the houses, but we the Dweller in the house; they the Temples, we the God; and besides it is ours to be living temples of the Living God, lively sacrifices, reasonable burnt-offerings, perfect sacrifices, yea, gods through the adoration of the Trinity. They have the people, we the Angels; they rash boldness, we faith; they threatenings, we prayer; they smiting, we endurance; they gold and silver, we the pure Word. (Orations, 33:15)

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