VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis has added three invocations to the medieval litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, two of which were chosen to reflect the liberal and globalist emphases of his pontificate.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship, wrote to the presidents of the conferences of bishops on Saturday, stating that Pope Francis had ordered the new titles "Mater misericordiæ" (Mother of mercy), "Mater spei" (Mother of hope) and "Solacium migrantium" (Comfort of migrants) to be inserted into the Litany of Loreto.
In his letter, Cdl. Sarah noted where each invocation should be slotted into the litany: "Mother of mercy" should be placed after "Mother of the Church," "Mother of hope" should follow "Mother of divine grace," and "Comfort of migrants" should follow "Refuge of sinners."
The Vatican dicastery offered no explanation for the theology behind the new titles or the reason for their addition at this point in Francis' pontificate.
"The titles and invocations which Christian piety has reserved for the Virgin Mary over the course of the centuries, as the privileged and sure way to an encounter with Christ, are innumerable," it said. "Even in this present moment which is marked by feelings of uncertainty and trepidation, devout recourse to her, which is full of affection and trust, is deeply felt by the people of God."
A source close to the Vatican told Church Militant that "the addition of two of the three Marian titles are yet another attempt to stamp the buzzwords of this pontificate on the Church."
"Though, this time, Francis is pushing it on helpless old women who faithfully recite the age-old litany, forcing them to re-consider the mostly Muslim-migrant invasion that has left Europe reeling as if Mary were the patron of these migrants," the source noted.
"A key clue to the agenda behind the new title 'Comfort of migrants' is the clever and subversive choice of the term 'migrant' rather than 'refugee.' Why not call Mary the 'Comfort of refugees,' since these are the people most in need of comfort and constitute a category far more desperate and vulnerable than 'migrant'?" he queried.
Pope Francis "takes a far more radical position of not only demanding that we admit every asylee and refugee claimant without question, but also that every economic migrant be allowed onto our soil," says Catholic Michelle Malkin, recently interviewed by Church Militant on her book Open Borders Inc: Who's Funding America's Destruction?
"The Catholic leadership's institutional resistance to our sovereignty [on immigration] is an act of treachery, not an act of faith, which destabilizes an ordered society," stresses Malkin. "In April 2019, Pope Francis donated $500,000 through his Peter's Pence collection fund to fund 27 projects associated with 16 Mexican dioceses and congregations for 75,000 migrants who arrived in Mexico in 2018 as part of six caravans."
Critics have charged Pope Francis with using "mercy" as a code word for watering down doctrines — "especially those related to sexual morality" — as pro-Francis author Stephen Walford writes in Pope Francis, the Family, and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy, noting:
It is unquestionable that Pope Francis has advanced the doctrine of divine mercy a step further than St. John Paul II. For the great Polish pontiff, it was also a recurrent theme (although not to the same extent) throughout his pontificate, but it was always strictly allied to the objective moral truths, thus there was little danger or risk of misunderstanding.
Walford defends as an illustration of "mercy" Amoris Laetitia — the pontiff's opening to Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics — explaining that since "four decades later ... the flock has largely rejected these teachings," Pope Francis' charism "to cut through the doctrinal nettles but without jettisoning them ... is helping to open closed hearts."
For Italian ethicist and political philosopher Guido Vignelli, "mercy" is one of the six "talismanic words" of the current pontificate, together with "pastoral," "listening," "discernment," "accompaniment" and "integration."
In A Pastoral Revolution: Six Talismanic Words in the Ecclesial Debate on the Family, Vignelli asks: "What is meant by mercy today?" First, instead of rebuking a sinner for his sins, he is preemptively pardoned "without the necessary conditions for absolution: confession of sins, sincere repentance, resolve to sin no more and atoning penance."
Second, the "new pastoral policy goes further and ends up becoming merciful not only with the sinner but also with sin, which is more excused than forgiving," he laments.
This litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary was formally approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1587 after long-standing popular use and other Marian litanies were suppressed for public use.
"We hope that most Catholics who recite the litany of Loreto and know it by heart will simply ignore the new additions made by Pope Francis," Church Militant's source remarked.