Catholic Family News

Dies Irae – Day of Reckoning for False Shepherds

(Image: Christ in Majesty mosaic in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.)

“For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God. And if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the Gospel of God? And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

~ 1 Peter 4:17-18

In the 1962 Roman Missal, there are a number of Latin hymns and sequences that, sadly, are no longer familiar to the average Catholic. Examples that come to mind include the Pange Lingua (Holy Thursday), Victimae Pascháli Laudes (Easter), Veni Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost), and Lauda Sion (Corpus Christi). Generally speaking, sequences are hymns of praise sung on joyful occasions, but there is at least one notable exception to this rule: The Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”), a severe and somber hymn chanted on the Feast of All Souls (Nov. 2) and during sung Requiem Masses.

As its name implies, the Dies Irae describes the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgment, when He will return in all His glory “to judge the living and the dead” (2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Pet. 4:5). The first two stanzas are often translated into English as follows:

“Day of wrath and doom impending.

David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,

Heaven and earth in ashes ending.

Oh, what fear man’s bosom rendeth,

When from heaven the Judge descendeth,

On whose sentence all dependeth.”

The Dies Irae reminds us of a truth oft-forgotten in our times, that God is a Just Judge and that, sooner or later, “we must all be manifested before the judgement seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10). And for those who have lived a wicked life, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).

A Day of Judgment

August 25, 2018 will no doubt be recorded in the Church’s annals as a day of judgment, the date on which one courageous member of the episcopate refused to be silent any longer, the date on which he gave “testimony to the truth” (John 18:37) for the good of the Church and of souls, including his own.

I am referring, of course, to Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States (served 2011-2016), and his eleven-page “Testimony” which he released this past Saturday evening (Sunday morning across the pond) via LifeSiteNews and the National Catholic Register (official English translation by LifeSite’s Diane Montagna). Archbishop Viganò’s explosive revelations relate to Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., and the concerted efforts of numerous high-ranking prelates to cover up his decades of homosexual predation and crimes. The major difference this time, however, is that Pope Francis himself has been indicted as a knowing and willing accomplice. As of this writing, Bishop Joseph Strickland (Tyler, Texas), Cardinal Raymond Burke, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider (Astana, Kazakhstan) have voiced public support for the veracity of Viganò’s claims.

Viganò himself explains in his statement, dated August 22 (Queenship of Mary on the post-conciliar liturgical calendar), his reasons for going public, which he had “avoided” in hopes that “that the hierarchy of the Church could find within itself the spiritual resources and strength to tell the whole truth, to amend and to renew itself”:

“To restore the beauty of holiness to the face of the Bride of Christ, which is terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes, and if we truly want to free the Church from the fetid swamp into which she has fallen, we must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truths we have kept hidden. We must tear down the conspiracy of silence with which bishops and priests have protected themselves at the expense of their faithful, a conspiracy of silence that in the eyes of the world risks making the Church look like a sect, a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia. …

… now that the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy, my conscience dictates that I reveal those truths regarding the heart-breaking case of the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, which I came to know in the course of the duties…”

Summing up his reasons, he told LifeSiteNews on the same day his testimony was released, “I am an old man and I want to present myself to God with clean conscience.”

Lavender Mafia Indicted

Archbishop Viganò’s testimony, which he is “ready to reaffirm…under oath by calling on God as my witness,” constitutes the most detailed and devastating indictment to date of prelates who have deliberately covered up McCarrick’s “grave misdeeds” (among other scandals), “beginning,” as Viganò states, “with the Roman Curia.” Those identified throughout the document, curial and otherwise, include:

  • Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Vatican Secretary of State (1991-2006) and current Dean of the College of Cardinals, who is notorious for his role in covering up the sexual crimes of the late Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado (founder of the Legionaries of Christ). In the words of Archbishop Viganò, “It is known that Sodano tried to cover up the Father Maciel scandal to the end.”

  • Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Sodano’s successor as Secretary of State (2006-2013), who, together with Sodano, has been instrumental in covering up the full Third Secret of Fatima.[1] According to Viganò, Bertone is also notorious for “promoting homosexuals into positions of responsibility, and was accustomed to managing the information he thought appropriate to convey to the Pope.”

  • Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Bertone’s successor and current Secretary of State (notice a pattern?), the point man for Rome’s scandalous Chinese Ostpolitik earlier this year, which is serving to further the “errors of Russia” about which Our Lady of Fatima warned.

  • Cardinals William Levada (former Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Marc Ouellet (Prefect, Congregation for Bishops), Lorenzo Baldisseri (former Secretary, Congregation for Bishops; current Secretary General, Synod of Bishops), and Archbishop Ilson de Jesus Montanari (current Secretary, Congregation for Bishops), all of whom, Viganò explains, were “aware by reason of their office of the sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict on McCarrick.” (It must be noted that Cardinal Baldisseri was instrumental in rigging both Synods on the Family, in favor of pre-determined heterodoxy, and is no doubt doing the same with the upcoming Youth Synod.)

  • Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, a resolute defender of Amoris Laetitia (despite its blatant errors) whose personal secretary, Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, was caught engaging in a homosexual orgy involving illegal drugs last year – in a Vatican apartment, no less!

  • Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the man chosen by Pope Francis to head the “reorganized” (i.e. gutted) Pontifical Academy for Life, who claims it is “dangerous” to refer to the family as “a little church” (thoroughly debunked here) and is responsible for an obscene sex-ed curriculum as well as a homoerotic mural.

  • Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick’s shady successor in Washington, D.C., and Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras, both of whom (together with McCarrick) “orchestrated” the “appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark” and were “united by a wicked pact of abuses by [McCarrick], and at least of coverup of abuses by the other two [Wuerl and Maradiaga],” according to Viganò.

  • Cardinal Kevin Farrell, a former auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C. (consecrated by McCarrick himself) and current Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, who shared an apartment with McCarrick for six years (2001-2007) and yet ridiculously claims to have known nothing about McCarrick’s predatory practices.

  • Fr. James Martin, S.J., the “well-known activist who promotes the LGBT agenda,” states Viganò, and who was “chosen to corrupt the young people” at the World Meeting of Families (see here for a transcript of his scandalous speech in Dublin).

Fr. Martin was not the only man identified by Viganò who spoke at the recent World Meeting of Families (Aug. 21-26) – so did Cardinals Maradiaga, Cupich, Tobin, and Farrell (full list of speakers/topics available here); and further, Cardinals O’Malley and Wuerl were originally scheduled to attend but cancelled their plans.

In other words, a significant sampling of the most notorious “bosses” in the Lavender Mafia were featured speakers at a Vatican-sponsored event for families. This is the shocking degree to which unnatural vice has infested the Mystical Body of Christ – and it must be “eradicated” now, as Viganò emphasized, quoting Professor Janet Smith’s recent comments.

Pope Francis Included

And last, but certainly not least, Archbishop Viganò revealed how he personally informed Pope Francis on June 23, 2013 about then-Cardinal McCarrick’s “thick” dossier (personnel file in the Congregation for Bishops), explaining that McCarrick has “corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.” How did Francis respond?

“The Pope did not make the slightest comment about those very grave words of mine and did not show any expression of surprise on his face, as if he had already known the matter for some time, and he immediately changed the subject. But then, what was the Pope’s purpose in asking me that question: ‘What is Cardinal McCarrick like?’ He clearly wanted to find out if I was an ally of McCarrick or not.”

Further on, Viganò summed up the problem at its root (emphasis in original):

In any case, the Pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013 and continued to cover for [McCarrick]. He did not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him and made him his trusted counselor along with Maradiaga.

I strongly encourage readers to review the full text of Archbishop Viganò’s testimony, as Francis himself has said (evading scrutiny during a recent press conference): “Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment.” After doing so, it will be clear why Viganò was so bold as to state (emphasis in original):

“Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock.

In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.

Divine Indictment

For those Catholics who have “ears to hear” (Matt. 13:43), God Himself supported Archbishop Viganò and offered His own indictment through the prayers and Scriptural texts of yesterday’s Mass (Aug. 26, 2018) – not only those for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (1962 Missal), but also for the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Novus Ordo Missal).

For those who attended a traditional Latin Mass, the Epistle was quite striking (emphasis added):

“Brethren: Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.” (Gal. 5:16-24)

Likewise, Our Lord proclaimed in the Gospel: “No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon,” and also, “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:24, 33).

Providence arranged that the indictment was also clear in the Novus Ordo readings, in particular, the following verses from the Book of Joshua (emphasis added):

“Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges, and their officers. When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people: ‘If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.’” (Jos. 24:1-2)

Our Lord’s words in the Gospel, however, seemed to be much more directed at the faithful of His flock, many of whom are being tempted to despair and leave:

“Jesus then said to the Twelve, ‘Do you also want to leave?’ Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:68-69).

We must make St. Peter’s response our own, while also recognizing, as Christ Himself did, that there are “devils” within the Church’s hierarchy (cf. John 6:71-72).

We must remember and cling in faith to the reality expressed in Ephesians 5, which was likewise read at Novus Ordo Masses yesterday, that the Church is the Bride of Christ, His beloved Spouse for whom He “handed Himself over…to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the Church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).

We must not abandon our holy Mother Church at her hour of greatest need!

Stand Fast and Wait on the Lord

“Day of wrath and doom impending.” This is the writing on the wall for Pope Francis and his collaborators. The Lord has not abandoned His Church – He will never abandon His Church – and “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). He will, however, execute judgment for His people and rescue them from false shepherds:

“Thus saith the Lord God: Woe to the shepherds of Israel, that fed themselves: should not the flocks be fed by the shepherds? You ate the milk, and you clothed yourselves with the wool, and you killed that which was fat: but My flock you did not feed. The weak you have not strengthened, and that which was sick you have not healed, that which was broken you have not bound up, and that which was driven away you have not brought again, neither have you sought that which was lost: but you ruled over them with rigor, and with a high hand. … Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I Myself come upon the shepherds, I will require My flock at their hand, and I will cause them to cease from feeding the flock any more, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more: and I will deliver My flock from their mouth, and it shall no more be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord God: Behold I Myself will seek My sheep, and will visit them.” (Ezech. 34:2-4, 9-11)

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, may it be so very soon!


[1] Cf. Christopher A. Ferrara, The Secret Still Hidden (Pound Ridge: Good Counsel Publications, 2008), Appendix II: 101 Grounds for Doubting Cardinal Bertone’s Account (pp. 223-242). The late Archbishop Pietro Sambi, a fellow nuncio mentioned favorably by Viganò, personally recommended Ferrara’s book to Dr. Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican magazine.

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Matt Gaspers

Matt Gaspers is the Managing Editor of Catholic Family News. He was asked by John Vennari (1958-2017), longtime Editor of CFN and stalwart defender of the Faith, to carry on CFN’s important work shortly before Mr. Vennari’s passing. In addition to writing for CFN, Mr. Gaspers has also been published by The Fatima Crusader, OnePeterFive, and LifeSiteNews. His study and writing interests include theology, Church history, Fatima, Islam, and the spiritual life. He has spoken at conferences hosted by Catholic Family News and the Fatima Center. He and his wife, together with their children, reside in Colorado.

Matt Gaspers

Avatar photo

Matt Gaspers is the Managing Editor of Catholic Family News. He was asked by John Vennari (1958-2017), longtime Editor of CFN and stalwart defender of the Faith, to carry on CFN’s important work shortly before Mr. Vennari’s passing. In addition to writing for CFN, Mr. Gaspers has also been published by The Fatima Crusader, OnePeterFive, and LifeSiteNews. His study and writing interests include theology, Church history, Fatima, Islam, and the spiritual life. He has spoken at conferences hosted by Catholic Family News and the Fatima Center. He and his wife, together with their children, reside in Colorado.