Echoes in the Distance
Today, so the Internet tells me, is the first day of a month which Pope Francis has dedicated to the intention of praying for women who have been the targets of violence and abuse. As one such person among many, I would like to offer to him these fragmented reflections by way of a thank you
It is ten years now since I have gotten safely away. When I was still in that dreadful situation and trying to break free, I used to look forward to a time of happiness and productivity, provided I lived to see it—which I have, by the grace of God and the loyalty of good friends. What I never imagined was that, towards the beginning of my renewed life, something would happen to touch off a “fresh hell” of victimization not only for myself but for everyone else as well. We now, all of us, endure a kind of suffering far worse than that which any given man is capable of inflicting on any given woman (or vice versa), because no merely private person, however malevolent, possesses the means of inflicting it. Let me explain.
What people don’t understand about domestic violence is that the wounds themselves—physical, verbal, financial, psychological—are the least of it. They are not the problem itself, but only its symptoms. The problem is a corruption of the concept of love. Love, like everything else, is something in and of itself, while not being anything that it isn’t. Love, qua love, has a shape and a trajectory. That is why the traditional formula has it, “love, honor, and obey,” instead of just, “love, period.”
Love is a matter of honor because it necessarily involves the truth about the other person, as about all things. Long before they start to hurt you in other ways and long afterwards as well, abusers abandon this aspect of love because they are liars. If my experience is anything to go by, they will intentionally misrepresent the totally inconsequential as breezily as they will the mightily serious. It is profoundly degrading, to be lied to deliberately—especially in the form of shading the truth so that it is the person who desires and insists upon factuality, and not the one toying with it, that ends up sounding treacherous and obsessed.
Love is a matter of obedience because people made in the image and likeness of God have free will, and not even an abuser can change that reality. There is an obedience which may be a matter of positive obligation, as between husband and wife, superior and religious, governor and governed. It seems to me, though, that obedience is built right into the nature of love regardless, however it is externalized, because even in “mere” friendship and the absence of duty of any kind, one who loves says to the other, in effect, “Your wish is my command.”
The liar insists that his word be obeyed not because it is verifiable, not because it is beneficial, but because he holds the sheer power to enforce it. That, actually, is where the violent part comes in. It isn’t a question of violence for violence’s sake, you know. Force is only there to serve a false reality in which the one who demands an unjustified degree of control over others refuses to submit to legitimate authority himself. “Go along to get along,” is the way it works. “Don’t rock the boat” (by mentioning, for instance, that the bills need to be paid and the children clothed and fed) and “thank your lucky stars” because if you don’t, things could get a lot worse. Well, it’s an old story and a tedious one. I thought, just about a decade ago, that I had closed the book on it in my life at last.
Instead, Benedict XVI stepped down; Jorge Bergoglio was rather suspiciously donned the duplicate white; and my petition for a declaration of nullity has been tied up in the Roman Rota ever since. I have never wanted the case to turn our one way or another; what I want even now is what I have always wanted—the truth. To be denied it by a man willing to harm me and our children is one thing—a thing I have, most unfortunately, gotten used to. To be denied it by the Holy Father himself is quite another.
First, there was Amoris laetitia. I have to say that my violent ex-husband was Bergoglian before Bergoglio was cool, because I, for one, had Footnote 351 memorized before it was ever published. How many times did I have to hear that—in flagrant dereliction of duty---he was “doing his best” and if that was good enough for God, it should be good enough for me? Confronted with the expectations associated with being a Catholic husband and father, which he readily assented to before and after the ceremony, he now stated that such things were of course “the ideal” but that nobody, much less himself, should be seriously expected to live up to it. As for mercy? Ah, yes! It was my job to “forgive seven times seven times”—about this Scriptural imperative, at least, he was most decidedly rigid.
Then came Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus which, as the popular verbiage puts it, “reformed” or “streamlined” the annulment process entirely. What this means in practical terms (and I am quoting my canon lawyer practically verbatim here) is, first of all, that it will now take forever rather than simply a long time, since “nobody knows what the hell is going on any more,” and that, secondly, any result will be far from morally certain, because of the truncated procedures and the packing of ecclesial courts with theological “liberals.” So in effect, by ensuring final ambiguity even if a judgment is ever handed down, Pope Francis has already ruled in favor of my abuser. Either a “yes” or a “no” would have constituted a stand for the truth, but according to the man from Buenos Aires, the “grey area” still reigns supreme.
My friends—who finally agree me about the disastrous nature of the Bergoglian pontificate, by the way—remain amazed at my ability not only to interpret, but actually predict, what the South American man in white is going to do next. “You called it, right from the very start!” they tend to gush. “How did you know?” Because I’ve been there and done that, that’s how. The personality of a supposedly Christian man who would punch someone in the nose for allegedly “insulting” his mother (in my case, for instance, by raising the children as you think best, not as she does; or by setting priorities not precisely reflecting her own) is one I have already had the opportunity of studying at all too close a range.
What I grasp clearly, and what others grasp only indistinctly or not at all, is that the man rightly or wrongly acknowledged as Supreme Pontiff since March 13, 2013, is in any case inflicting textbook domestic violence on the Bride of Christ. Just as in an individual home of this description, no one in the institutional Church is allowed to discuss the issue directly—or else. Whether Bergoglio has taught heresy formally or in any other way, I will leave to the experts to sort out. What I am experienced about, however, I will speak to, and I say this: there is no use, Cardinal Muller et al., extolling your own “loyalty” to the man. It means less than nothing to him, except as a means of facilitating his exploitation of you yourself and, through you, of everybody else. But don’t worry; we’ve all done it, we victims of abuse. Like you’re doing right now, we’ve tried our best; we’ve looked for the good in other people, even the ones harming us; we’ve trusted in God to guide us in all things to a blessed end. The time will arrive, for you as it does for all of us, that you will come face to face with the fact that, try though you might, a man may not serve two masters. A man who makes himself master over you in a way that conflicts with the authority of God Almighty, who acts without honor and deserves none, cannot in the last analysis be obeyed. You don’t think so yet; but you will.
Back to that gratitude I mentioned wanting to express, a few pages ago. So, it’s a month of praying for the women victimized by Amoris laetitia and Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus, is it now? You, Jorge Bergoglio--just like the man who once knelt with me at the altar and later brought me and our children to the very brink of mortal peril—now wish to whitewash with the sublime name of “prayer” your shading of the truth and your reverse transformation of salvific obedience back into the brick tally of Pharaoh? On behalf of all victims of domestic and other violence I really would like to say, “Thank you, Pope Francis”--as in, “Kindly don’t distress yourself on my account, thank-you-very-much.”
Note: This is written by a friend of the Catholic Monitor.
of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt
the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church
in such a situation:
"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)
Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."
- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html
- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html
- LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial
weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:
The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"
- On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:
"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."
- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:
"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.
- Intel Cryptanalyst-Mathematician on Biden Steal: "212Million Registered Voters & 66.2% Voting,140.344 M Voted...Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden" [http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/intel-cryptanalyst-mathematician-on.html?m=1]
- Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times "Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003": http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/will-us-be-venezuela-ex-cia-official.html
Pray an Our Father now for the grace to know God's Will and to do it.