It has been integral to the vision which inspired the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church that the entire Church is in need of purification, and that the most visible aspects of the current crisis of the Church are like cancerous excrescences on the surface of the body, which point to a much deeper malady within. We see this sickness as stemming from two primary sources: the surrender of the intellectual foundations of our Faith (theology and philosophy) to reductive science; and, secondly, to our having nourished an adulterous relationship with this world which tends towards making us an “enemy of God” (James 4:4) and therefore fully deserving of God’s chastisement. In our prayer for the Church’s purification we have chosen therefore not to focus on obvious evils such as the Cardinal McCarrick scandal. We do not believe that any investigation into this scandal (although necessary), or any amount of “getting rid of bad bishops” (including the Pope), will solve the present crisis. This is why we seek Our Lady’s help in reaching to the depths of what is in need of purification within each one of us. As Simeon foretold to Mary “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” (Luke 2: 35).
However, absolutely necessary for the integrity of our effort is that the Rosary itself be prayed with intentions which are in accord with the truths of Jesus Christ. The Rosary, being a sacramental, is subject to sacrilegious use. And this is precisely what is now being promoted by Pope Francis.
On September 29, 2018, the Press Office of the Holy See issued a Communiqué in which Pope Francis invited all the faithful during the Marian month of October to pray the Rosary, the Leonine prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and the prayer Sub Tuum Praesidium to protect the Church from the devil, “who always seek to separate us from God and from each other.” Twice in this communiqué, we are asked to offer these prayers “against the Great Accuser who ‘goes around the world seeking to accuse”.
Pope Francis’ choice of the title “the Great Accuser” for the Devil is not random. It has evolved out of the catastrophic events which have occurred over a period ranging from the last part of August to the end of September, and has a very specific meaning and intention attached to it. We will here briefly describe these events:
On August 22, 2018, former Papal Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Viganò issued an eleven page “Testimony” accusing Pope Francis not only of covering up the McCarrick scandal, but of promoting McCarrick’s status in the Vatican and making him his trusted advisor. He also documented a “cabal” of higher members of the American hierarchy who bypassed the Papal Nuncio in order to recommend bishops friendly to Pope Francis and his “gay-inclusive” agenda. Since that date much of what was in Archbishop Vigano’s Testimony has been corroborated, and there are many bishops who have now called for a full investigation. In addition, there have come to light other instances of Francis’ protecting abusers while he has been Pope, and his defense of a serial abuser (and persecution of his victims) while Archbishop of Buenos Aires. When asked about these accusations, Pope Francis replied, “I will not say a single word about this”, and he has retained this position to this day. At the very least, these accusations demand a thorough and complete investigation.
But Pope Francis, while refusing to answer these accusations, has not remained silent. Beginning on September 11, he began a series of thinly veiled attacks on Archbishop Vigano (without specifically naming him), and others who are demanding a full investigation into these allegations, by equating their efforts with the work of the Devil – the “Great Accuser”.
On September 11, Pope Francis said, “in these times, it seems like the ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The ‘Great Accuser’, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse.’”
On September 13, he said: “Only the merciful are like God the Father. ‘Be merciful, as your Father is merciful.’ This is the path, the path that goes against the spirit of the world, that thinks differently, that does not accuse others. Because among us is the ‘Great Accuser,’ the one who is always going about to accuse us before God, to destroy. Satan: he is the ‘Great Accuser.’ And when I enter into this logic of accusing, of cursing, seeking to do evil to others, I enter into the logic of the ‘Great Accuser’ who is the ‘Destroyer,’ who does not know the word mercy, does not know, has never lived it.”
On September 14, he said: “Our victory is the cross of Jesus, victory over our enemy, the ancient serpent, the Great Accuser.… And the ancient serpent that was destroyed still barks, still threatens but, as the Fathers of the Church say, he is a chained dog: do not approach him and he will not bite you; but if you try to caress him because you are attracted to him as if he were a puppy, prepare yourself, he will destroy you.”
On September 18, the Vatican News service offered the following summation from Pope Francis’ homily:
“The Pope brought up that it was also the people who yelled ‘crucify him’. Jesus then compassionately remained silent because ‘the people were deceived by the powerful’, Pope Francis explained. His response was silence and prayer. Here the shepherd chooses silence when the ‘Great Accuser’ accuses him ‘through so many people’. Jesus ‘suffers, offers his life, and prays’, Pope Francis said.”
It is clear from all of this that Pope Francis has cast himself in the role of Christ who is silent before the “Great Accuser.” This is in itself blasphemous. Christ’s silence did not mask involvement in sexual abuse and its cover-up. He did not attack those who sought honest answers in regard to such heinous sins, nor did He claim that they were doing the work of the “Great Accuser”. He did not deny justice to the innocent who have been horrendously violated by such sins. Pope Francis’ “silence” in the face of what appear to be justified accusations is not therefore the silence of Christ in the face of the Great Accuser. It is rather the silence promoted by Satan in service to the Father of Lies.
To commit the sin of sacrilege is to “desecrate or steal a sacred person, place, or thing”. The Rosary is a sacramental (and the St. Michael the Angel Prayer and the Sub tuum are also holy things) which, if used with the intention to deceive or commit some evil, entails the commission of the sin of sacrilege. As documented above, this is precisely what Pope Francis is doing with his campaign to pray these prayers against the “Great Accuser”. His actions are especially grievous, because the Rosary is the designated means proposed by Our Lady for our own purification, the purification of the Church, and the conversion of all peoples.
We therefore completely reject this proposal of Pope Francis.
Our rejection is obviously not a refusal to pray the Rosary, but rather the contrary. We ask all the faithful to pray every Rosary For the Purification of the Church in order that, in accord with the mission entrusted by God to Mary’s Immaculate and Pierced Heart, “out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed”. We also ask all faithful Catholics to join us on February 2, 2019, Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, in order to unite in praying, not only for the purification of the whole Church, but also for the purification of the minds and hearts of each one of us.