‘Servant of Freemasonry’: Viganò rebukes bishop who approved pagan ritual before Mass at cathedral – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò issued a stinging rebuke of an American bishop who allowed a pagan ritual to be performed inside his cathedral earlier this month.

In a X post published last Friday, Viganò condemned the ceremony as a “sacrilegious act.” He referred to the prelate who permitted it as a “squalid official of the ecumenical religion.”

“The shamanic ceremony … constitutes a sacrilegious act that desecrates the Cathedral of the Diocese of Superior (WI) on the very day on which the Holy Chrism is consecrated,” His Excellency declared.

“This makes Bishop (John) Powers, present at the rite, responsible for a very serious sacrilege and for the scandal caused to those present. This is not a Successor of the Apostles, but a servant of Freemasonry.”

Viganò is the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. His courageous and sharply worded commentaries on Vatican and international affairs have won him many admirers in recent years, even non-Catholics. He recently opened a house of formation in Italy for aspirants to the priesthood so they would not be “subjected to the blackmail of having to accept the errors of Vatican II or the deviations of Bergoglio in order to exercise their ministry.”

In his X post, Viganò did not hold back in his criticism of Powers, who was tapped to lead the diocese, located in northwest Minnesota, by Pope Francis in 2015.

“The way he celebrates Mass reveals his total alienation from the Divine Mysteries,” His Excellency remarked. “What is ‘comforting’ — so to speak — is to see that the participants in the profanations of the Bergoglian sect are almost all of advanced age (especially the shamans, who are truly pathetic). The generation of Vatican II, sterile and senescent, is heading towards the sunset.”

Powers previously served as diocesan administrator under Bishop Peter Christensen, who had been overseeing the diocese since 2007 until he was reassigned to Boise, Idaho. In 2020, Christensen banned priests from offering Mass facing the tabernacle. He also outlawed communion rails.

In December 2023, Powers, who is 70, issued a statement in full support of Fiducia Supplicans, the Vatican’s document calling for blessings of homosexual couples. “The blessing is simply an encouragement to those involved that they may be open to God’s love and find joy in their call to holiness,” he misleadingly claimed.

During the ceremony, four women dressed in Native American attire stood around the altar and simultaneously turned to the north, east, south, and west while a person at the pulpit implored help from “the creator” to grant them “strength and courage… to perceive the sacredness of life, of mother earth, and all creation.”

LifeSite reached out to the Superior diocese for clarity on the event. LifeSite wanted to know who the women were, what their religious beliefs are, and what they were saying.

LifeSite also sought an explanation as to how the ritual didn’t violate the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which holds that an altar “must be reserved for divine worship alone, to the absolute exclusion of any profane use.” It also teaches that “sacred places are violated by gravely injurious actions done in them with scandal to the faithful.”

LifeSite was informed by Dan Blank, the director of administrative services, on Monday that diocesan offices had a “snow day” due to bad weather. He said he would confer with those who were copied on the email in order to “determine a reply, if any.” LifeSite included Bishop Powers, Fr. Adam Laski, who serves as parochial administrator/adjutant judicial vicar, and several other employees of the diocese on the email. LifeSite has not received a response from the diocese as of the publication of this story.

Hundreds of Catholics attended the liturgy, officially known as the Chrism Mass where holy oils are anointed by the bishop for priests to use for the sacraments. The Mass was held on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph. Video evidence suggests most every priest in the diocese was present. Members of the Knights of Columbus and many young people attended as well. It is not readily known if the women who performed the ritual conduct it every year, were invited this year alone, or are a regular fixture at other churches in the diocese.

Catholic Family News managing editor Matt Gapers expressed outrage about the ceremony in an X post. “Bp. James Powers invited those present to ‘repent from your sins and to dispose yourselves’ to receive the Apostolic Blessing — after allowing a non-Christian ritual in the sanctuary,” he said.

Deacon Nick Donnelly of England likewise remarked: “The heresy of Bergoglianism in six words: Latin Mass banned; Pagan rituals encouraged.”

A priest who resides in the diocese and offers the Latin Mass exclusively spoke to LifeSite on condition of anonymity. He said the ritual was “tragic” in that it was an “abomination of desolation” that effectively makes Powers a “minister of Satan.”

“They invoked foreign deities with strange emblems, dancing, and incantations to consecrate the altar to Pachamama and the forces of darkness. Thís is an act of spiritual fornication carried out by the representatives of the Mystical Body of Christ, making it a grievous sin,” the priest said.

“The bishop defiled his soul and this diocese by forcing his priests, who stood by in silence, to approve of it. They have collectively reconsecrated this diocese to Satan by an act of apostasy of unanimous consent that now permits demons to come and go as they please wherever they please, even in churches. They have deceived their sheep, presenting evil as good, and defiled the altar and the Cathedral itself, which now requires an exorcism.”

The priest further remarked that “the oils that were ‘made holy’ at this un-worthy liturgy were approved by an entire group of clergy in the state of mortal sin. These very oils will be used in all sacraments for the next year, defiling all who receive them. Never has anyone heard of such an indescribable sin as what took place, and because the Vatican has been encouraging this all over the world, people think it’s just an ecumenical gesture of mercy. The truth is, there is nothing on earth so unmerciful as to condemn to eternal fire your whole body of clergy, and all of your sheep. This makes them the ministers of Satan, and like him, murderers of souls.”

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