THE CHURCH MILITANT - BELEAGUERED BY BERGOGLIANISM

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TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, January 21, 2018 10:06 PM


Perhaps by this time, Bergoglio has already told the newsmen travelling back to Rome with him from Peru that it was the Holy Spirit as the
'god of surprises' who prompted him to perform his pre-planned 'marriage' gesture on January 19. Get that? Case closed! Who would dare
question the Holy Spirit???...


Conservatives criticize pope’s
impromptu airborne wedding



LIMA, Peru, January 20, 2018 (AP) - The honeymoon, as it were, is apparently over.

A day after Pope Francis grabbed headlines by pronouncing two flight attendants man and wife while flying 36,000 feet over Chile, the conservative Catholic commentariat on Friday questioned the legitimacy of the impromptu sacrament and warned it could cheapen the church’s marriage preparation down the line.

“Do you know what’s a ‘marriage’ ripe for annulment?” tweeted the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli. “One celebrated apparently on a whim in an airplane whose celebrant cannot even be sure if parties are validly baptized.”

For those who missed the news, Francis on Thursday presided over what the Vatican said was the doctrinally and canonically legitimate wedding of Paula Podest and Carlos Ciuffardi, two flight attendants from LATAM flight 1250 that brought the pope, his delegation and travelling press from Santiago to the northern city of Iquique.

As the happy couple told journalists after the fact - and after serving breakfast - they had hoped to just get a blessing from the pope. They told him that they had been married civilly in 2010, but that their plans for a church wedding fell through when an earthquake hit.

As Ciuffardi told it, the pope proposed that he marry the couple right there, in part to motivate other couples to contract a church wedding at a time when more and more couples are merely cohabitating.

“He told me it’s historic, that there has never before been a pope who married someone aboard a plane,” Ciuffardi told reporters from the back galley
.
[Even if Carlo and Paula had gone to confession and received absolution before they boarded the plane where they would be married, and had - improbably - told their confessor that they were about to participate in a hoax, they were sinning again when they did go ahead and perpetrate the hoax with the pope as their accomplice!]

The surreal scene had the effect - at least temporarily - of giving Francis a bit of a reprieve after his visit to Chile was dominated by a church sex abuse scandal.

Canon lawyer Ed Peters, a consultor on the Vatican high court but a frequent critic of Francis, questioned whether a host of church laws were followed, including the requirement that the couple undergo pastoral counseling and that the church have evidence that there were no obstacles to the marriage.

In a follow-up blog post Friday, Peters noted a Chilean media report from December saying the couple was hoping for an airborne wedding presided over by Francis, suggesting the portrayal of the surprise ceremony was anything but. Ciuffardi said Chilean reporters had suggested it before the fact, but he insisted he and Podest were only looking for a papal blessing, and that nothing was confirmed until they were airborne.

Conservative blogger Phil Lawler mused that priests might have a harder time trying to properly prepare Catholic couples for marriage, now that Francis had set the papal precedent of completing the process between takeoff and landing.

“Does he ask them to reflect seriously on their commitment? Nope,” Lawler wrote at Catholic Culture. “Does he question them about their years of cohabitation? Evidently not. Does he hear their confessions? Not likely. Plan a dignified ceremony? Not at all.”

To be sure, the naysayers all hail from the Anglo-Saxon blogosphere, which is among the most vocal in criticizing Francis, especially on issues of marriage. [The AP ignores the Italian and Spanish Catholic writers who promptly denounced the pope's 'sacramental games'. I imagine there are a handful of French orthodox Catholic writers as well who have joined in.]

Francis has caused controversy over his cautious opening to allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, so any issue related to marriage is particularly sensitive.

At The Tablet, a more liberal leaning British weekly, Vatican correspondent Christopher Lamb suggested that the airborne nuptials were part of the “paradigm shift” that Francis is trying to press in the Church.

“It’s not that the pope is doing away with the need for rules, for canon law or for paperwork, but rather ensuring it is correctly prioritized,” Lamb wrote. “For the pope, these things must support the spread of the Gospel, and not become like the thorns that grow up and strangle the seeds in the parable of the sower.”
[So Lamb thinks that the Sacraments are 'thorns that strangle the Gospel' instead of dutiful rituals meant to obtain sanctifying grace???]

****************************************************************************************************************************************

I searched all available images online for the papal Masses in Santiago, Maipu, Temuco and Iquique, and these are the best I could come up with:



The best attendance was the one in the capital, Santiago, where 250,000 was the crowd estimate. The sparse attendance is understandable in Temuco (especially
for the indigenous Mapuche) and in Iquique, a port city on the Pacific coast of northern Chile, neither of which is a metropolis. But the sparse crowd in Maipu,
just 15 kms away from Santiago, which was intended as a meeting with young people, seems inexplicable unless it was due to poor organization by the papal trip
coordinators and/or lack of interest on the part of young people in Chile.


Antonio Socci is predictably gloomy about what all this indicates - other than the pope's low approval rating in Chile (lowest in all 18 Latin American countries).


January 22, 2018
P.S. The media report that there were 1.3 million at the papal Mass in Lima, Peru.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, January 22, 2018 7:22 PM
Just when you think there may be a brief respite - like a couple of days, maybe? - from Bergoglian 'shockers', comes this news from China which is appalling at first glance, and more so, when one thinks of its obvious implication: that this is among the compromises this pontificate is ready to make - and has made - with the godless regime in Beijing, just to achieve that 'breakthrough' in Vatican-China relations that could possibly earn Bergoglio the distinction of becoming the first pope ever to visit China.

The Vatican asks legitimate Chinese bishops
to step aside in favour of illegitimate ones

by John Baptist Lin


In short:
Last December, Mgr Peter Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou (Guangdong) was forced to go to Beijing where 'a foreign prelate' from the Vatican asked him to retire now and give up his See to illicit bishop Joseph Huang Bingzhang. He had received the same request last October.

Mgr Joseph Guo Xijin, ordinary bishop of Mindong, is expected to give up his See to illicit Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu, and become his auxiliary bishop instead.

All part of Beijing's program to 'Sinicize' the Church in China, i.e., support that it is independent of the Vatican and must follow
the leadership of the Communist Party.


Guangzhou, January 22, 2018 (AsiaNews) – The Holy See has asked Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou in southern Guangdong province to retire in order to give way to an excommunicated bishop, while another Vatican-appointed bishop was asked to downgrade himself to become assistant to an illicit bishop who is taking his place.

This is the second time in three months that the Holy See made the resignation demand on Bishop Zhuang, who was secretly ordained in 2006 with Vatican approval. However, he is only recognized as a priest by the Chinese government, which on the other hand is in full support of the excommunicated Bishop Huang Bingzhang, a long-time member of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament.

A Vtican letter dated 26 October 2017 demanded that Bishop Zhuang, 88, resign to give way to the excommunicated bishop, whom the Holy See is going to recognize. “Bishop Zhuang at that time refused to obey and rather ‘carry His Cross’ for being disobedient”, a church source in Guangdong who asked not to be named told Asia News.

In the latest incident, Bishop Zhuang was escorted to Beijing on December 18 from his southern diocese to meet some senior officials from the central government and a delegation from the Vatican, according to the church source.

Before the 4-day trip, the officials had begun to monitor Bishop Zhuang starting Dec. 11. Even knowing the bishop was not in good health and the weather was freezing in Beijing, they rejected his demand not to travel north, but did send a doctor along, as well as seven local government officials, but no priest, the source said.

Lodged at the Huguosi Hotel in Beijing, Bishop Zhuang was taken 'sightseeing' on December 19 and then to the headquarters of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) and the bishops’ conference the next day, where he met with Bishops Ma Yinglin, Shen Bin and Guo Jincai, the president, vice president and secretary general of the bishops’ conference respectively, the source continued.

The CCPA and bishops’ conference, as well as Ma and Guo, two illicit bishops, are not yet recognized by the Holy See.

On December 21, Bishop Zhuang was taken to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. He was first greeted by three officials from the State Administration for Religious Affairs. Then he was led by Fr Huang Baoguo, a Chinese priest who served at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, to meet with a foreign bishop and three foreign priests from the Vatican.

Since China and the Vatican resumed official contact in 2014, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, a veteran in China Church affairs, is known to be responsible for the negotiations and has been in China several times for this purpose. It is believed the prelate whom Bishop Zhuang met is Archbishop Celli.

The foreign bishop explained the aim of their travel to China was to do something in order to reach understanding with the Chinese government, and in this case, the 'something' was to let Bishop Huang to become the bishop of Zhuang's diocese.

He reiterated the demand made in the Oct. 26 letter but added an additional term as a 'consolation' to Zhuang - before retiring, he could nominate three priests for his successor to select from as his vicar general.

“Bishop Zhuang could not help his tears on hearing the demand,” the source said. "Because it is meaningless to appoint a vicar general whom the new bishop can remove anytime".

Some bishops in southern China oppose the idea of hastily recognizing Bishop Huang, who was officially excommunicated by the Holy See in 2011 when he accepted illicit episcopal ordination without papal mandate. One of the bishops who asked not to be named told AsiaNews that the Vatican has asked for their opinions. “I do not know the outcome, but this is a bad solution,” he said.

AsiaNews also asked the Vatican for confirmation of the situation in Shantou. A representative familiar with the China dossier said that the letter the bishop received was just a request for opinion on the illicit bishop Mgr Huang. Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, confirmed the information obtained by AsiaNews.

While Bishop Zhuang was summoned to freezing Beijing, the Vatican delegation reportedly went southward to eastern Fujian province to meet with Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu, one of seven illicit bishops awaiting recognition by the Vatican.

Local sources said Bishop Joseph Guo Xijin, the ordinary bishop of Mindong,and who belongs to the 'underground Church', has been asked to downgrade himself to the level of assistant to Bishop Zhan, as h has to do this in order to be named a coadjutor bishop.

One of the sources said that signing a document agreeing to a 'voluntary' downgrade in rank was previously demanded by government officials from Bishop Guo when he was under one-month detention before the Holy Week in 2017.

Bishop Zhan declined to confirm the meeting or disclose details about the progress of his 'recognition' by the Vatican. He only told AsiaNews that Vatican and Chinese officials have been meeting regularly on the 'negotiations'.

An underground priest in Mindong said he did not know about the Vatican delegation’s visit. “We of course feel that the new situation is difficult to accept, but do we have the right to oppose the Vatican?”, adding that if things goes the way they seem to be going, “I may consider quitting and leaving the priesthood.”

Though downgrading the status of a bishop seems extraordinary or unbelievable in the universal Church, it is not surprising in China. Last October, General Secretary Xi Jinping’s work report for the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party called for “new approaches” adopted for works related to ethnic and religious affairs.

An earlier article in Qiushi, a top-level journal on Communist theory run by the Party’s Central Committee, published on 15 September also carried the title “Theory and Innovative Practice on Religious Work since the 18th National Congress of the CPC” in 2012.

Though without clear elaboration on what will be the innovations to be applied to the Catholic Church, the CCPA and the bishops’ conference last December 14, 2017, passed a five-year plan to “sinicize” the Catholic Church in China.

“Sinicization of religion” is a term first mentioned by Xi Jinping in the Central United Front Work Meeting in 2015. It means demanding all religions now practising in China to uphold their independence [from any foreign or international organization, such as the Holy See is for the Catholic Church] and follow the leadership of the Community Party.

For the Holy See to recognize seven illicit bishops (originally eight but one died in 2017), among whom Bishop Huang and two others were publicly excommunicated by the Holy See, is among the issues to be resolved in ongoing China-Vatican negotiations. In exchange, China would have to recognize about 20 bishop-candidates appointed by the Holy See to the 'open' Church and close to 40 bishops in the underground Church. [And how does that square with the regime's Sinicization policy? 'Independence' from the direction or control of any organization or institution outside China would mean the Vatican would have to butt out completely from the Church in China, which would be left at the complete mercy of the regime through the CPCA. Unless Bergoglio and his diplomats have so charmed the Chinese that the latter are willing to make an exception for the Vatican! Is that realistic at all?]

The other obvious question is: If Archbishop Celli's delegation was in China recently to persuade Bishops Zhuang and Guo to give way to two illicit bishops, does that not mean that the Vatican has agreed, at least in theory, to the Chinese demand?]


According to an article by Cardinal John Tong in 2017, the core problem to be resolved in these negotiations is the appointment of bishops.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, January 22, 2018 8:00 PM
How to deal with a PR snafu, Bergoglio style...

Pope Francis apologises to abuse victims,
but reaffirms support for Bishop Barros

[But he did not apologize for calling their accusations 'calumny',
only that he should have used the word 'evidence' instead of 'proof'! -
i.e., to him, without 'evidence', the accusations remain nothing but 'calumny']

by Junno Arocho Esteves

January 22, 2018

Pope Francis apologised to victims of clerical sex abuse, saying he unknowingly wounded them by the way he defended a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse by his mentor.

Speaking with journalists on his flight to Rome from Lima, Peru, the Pope said he only realized later that his words erroneously implied that victims’ accusations are credible only with concrete proof.

“To hear that the Pope says to their face, ‘Bring me a letter with proof,’ is a slap in the face,” the Pope said.

Pope Francis was referring to a response he gave in Iquique, Chile, when local reporters asked about his support for Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, given accusations that the bishop may have been aware of abuse perpetrated by his former mentor, Fr Fernando Karadima. The priest was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

“The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I will speak. There is not one piece of evidence against him. It is calumny. Is that clear?” the Pope had told the reporters in Iquique.

His response provoked further outrage, especially from Fr Karadima’s victims who said the Pope’s response made his earlier apologies for the Church’s failure to protect sex abuse victims seem hollow.

Asked about the incident during the flight back to Rome, Pope Francis said he meant to use the word “evidence,” not “proof.” The way he phrased his response, he said, caused confusion and was “not the best word to use to approach a wounded heart.”

“Of course, I know that there are many abused people who cannot bring proof (or) they don’t have it,” he said. “Or at times they have it but they are ashamed and cover it up and suffer in silence. The tragedy of the abused is tremendous.”

However, the Pope told reporters on the papal flight he still stood firmly behind his defence of Bishop Barros, because he was “personally convinced” of the bishop’s innocence after the case was investigated twice with no evidence emerging. [Forgive my cynicism, but was it ever really investigated? I followed the Barros story from the time the first protests were raised against his appointment to Osorno. No such 'investigations' were announced at the time. In fact, the impression was that Bergoglio just wanted Barros installed ASAP, as indeed he was, even if his episcopal consecration Mass was left unfinished because of the protestors in the church and outside it.]

Pope Francis said that while “covering up abuse is an abuse in itself,” if he punished Bishop Barros without moral certainty, “I would be committing the crime of a bad judge.” [The point at the time, in fact, was for him to at least suspend the nomination until a proper investigation could clear Barros. It would not have been a punishment, just a prudent measure that Barros cannot have resented if he is truly as guiltless as he claims to be. But the pope would not even do that! Why not? In the matter of clerical sex abuse, every priest and every bishop - and yes, the pope - should be, like Caesar's wife, above suspicion.

BTW, it was confirmed that Cardinal O'Malley travelled to Peru to join the pope in Lima shortly after the cardinal issued his 'rebuke' but that this was something previously planned. I don't doubt O'Malley's arrival was providential in preparing what the pope eventually said on the plane to salvage whatever is salvageable of the papal snafu.]


During the in-flight news conference, Pope Francis answered eight questions over the course of an hour, although the conference was interrupted by turbulence, which forced the Pope to sit for about five minutes.

As he did in November on his return from Bangladesh, he said he only wanted to respond to questions related to the trip. [No, he would not have anyone bring up the Ploumen case, for example!]

Pope Francis told reporters he appreciated the statement made by Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, acknowledging the pain survivors of abuse felt because of the Pope’s statement about Bishop Barros.

“Words that convey the message ‘If you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed’ abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile,” the cardinal wrote.

He also said, “Pope Francis fully recognises the egregious failures of the Church and its clergy who abused children and the devastating impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones.”

The Pope said he was grateful for Cardinal O’Malley’s statement because it struck the right balance between listing what he has done to show his support for sex abuse victims and the pain experienced by victims because of the Pope’s remarks.

Pope Francis also spoke about the scandal-plagued Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a Catholic movement based in Peru.

The movement’s founder, Luis Fernando Figari, has been accused of the sexual and psychological abuse of members; he has been ordered by the Vatican to remain in Rome and not have any contact with the movement.

“He declared himself innocent of the charges against him,” Pope Francis told reporters, and he has appealed his cause to the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s supreme court. According to the information the Pope has received, he said, “the verdict will be released in less than a month.”

Pope Francis also was asked about the status of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which he set up in 2014. The three-year terms of its members expired in December and some have questioned whether child protection really is a priority when the commission’s membership was allowed to lapse.

Before the terms ended, he said, the members decided to recommend who should serve a second term and offered the names of possible new members.

The final list, he said, arrived on his desk a week before the trip began “and now it is going through the normal channels in the Curia”.


P.S. Another trueblue Bergoglian, the Chilean-born editor and founder of the semi-official Vatican website IL SISMOGRAFO, has apparently come out to openly show his disagreement with Bergoglio over Barros, according to this paragraph in a Crux story today about reactions to Cardinal O'Malley's unexpected reaction to the pope's 'calumny' remark:

Luis Badilla, writing in the well-known Italian blog “Il Sismografo”, often labeled as close to the Vatican, published a piece Sunday calling for Barros’s resignation and for the pope to “promptly” accept it, saying that it’s not only the Chilean church that is suffering from the “Bishop Barros War” but the whole Church.

I will check out Badilla's article and translate it in full if warranted. I don't think Badilla will be mollified by the pope's half-apology to the victims but will be consternated to find that Bergoglio is even more firmly behind Barros now!... BTW, Badilla has credentials to speak of, insofar as judging the situation in Chile. He had been a minister in the Allende government overthrown by Pinochet, and has lived in Europe since 1973 when he went into exile, but obviously, has kept up his contacts in Chile. For many years, he worked at Vatican Radio.

Well, no, Badilla was not quite mollified, because he claims in a commentary on the pope's 'apology', that if everything is aboveboard about Barros as the pope claims, why has the Vatican not provided any details in the past two years to clear him? I will translate his new commentary before the first one referred to by Crux. As you will note, however, the Bergoglian in Badilla makes extravagant claims for how the pope responded on the Barros case itself.

P.S. for the day: When lack of transparency
creates most serious problems for the Church
that are avoidable or remediable

by Luis Badilla
Translated from
IL SISMOGRAFO
January 22, 2018

Listening today the responses of Pope Francis on his inflight news conference returning from his South American trip regarding the complex and tragic question of clerical sex abuses in Chile and Peru, but specifically on the case of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros, certain events have been clarified which up to now had been perceived, narrated and amplified in radically different ways. [I have not seen any reference to those ‘events’ in any of the news reports I have read so far on the latest Bergoglian newsgab, and if they were significant, not previously disclosed facts as Badilla makes them out to be, I do not see how the major news agencies would have left them out at all.]

What happened on this trip of the pope whould be studied in depth especially by the experts responsible for Vatican communications so they can draw the appropriate lessons.

For no apparent reason, the Vatican and the bishops of Chile chose to keep silent for a long time on the Barros issue.
Which is surprising when one listens to what the pope said today, because that silence would seem to be unjustified and self-damaging. If things were and are as the pope claimed today, one cannot understand why silence was the chosen strategy. It seems like self-damaging behavior. [What are the reasons anyone might want to keep silent about an issue? Silence would be the most prudent way to go if 1) there is really no defense to offer against accusations and/or 2) the accusations are correct to a degree one may consider damaging because of actual facts or as a result of formal investigations made to verify claims. So take your pick, Mr. Badilla, and use your common sense. An added reason would be, as in the case of ‘the silence of the shepherd’ in the face of the flock’s dubia, to show contempt for those who oppose you in any way.]

Listening to the pope – who for the first time, explains and clarifies with details that are to the point, precise and authoritative – decisive moments for the priests associated in the past with Fr. Karadima (who has been tried and sentenced both in Chile and the Vatican for sexual abuses and other crimes), one immediately asks:
- Why were these things not reported to the public at the time they were known with certainty?
- Why were they kept ‘secret’ unnecessarily, and why was it thought necessary not to be transparent, and above all, why was it decided to marginalize the lay faithful of Osorno knowing that they could have provided an essential contribution to ‘straightening out’ the Barros question?

[Again, ask yourself, Mr. Badilla: who chose to ‘marginalize’ the Osorno faithful? Who chose to ignore all the letters they sent to the Vatican? Who called them dumb and stupid for being ‘led by the nose’ about Barros?]

Why do they continue to think that in 2018, and in the age of the Internet, the Church can continue to communicate as it did 50 years ago, or even centuries ago?[I don't think the 'silence' had anything to do with that at all! Bergoglio is certainly the last person in the world to hide his light under a bushel - if he really had any such light (advantageous to him) on the Barros case.] To think that way is an anachronism that seriously damages the image of the Church as we have seen in recent decades because of clerical sex abuses that were kept hidden.

In this sensitive matter on the Barros-Karadima case, some episodes have been made so complicated, chaotic and obscure that today Pope Francis had to justify them, and to do so he had to narrate some things which, had they been published or explained adequately by the Vatican and the Church in Chile in a timely manner, then things would not have proceeded to where we are now. [Yeah, right!]

Perhaps this experience, and these sad events for everyone in the Church – even if not yet definitively clarified – will finally teach that covering up and a lack of transparency does not pay at all today, and will come back with a terrible vengeance.


Here is Badilla’s earlier commentary today – in which however, his call for Barros to resign and for the pope to accept the resignation immediately has been roundly batted out by the pope’s remarks on his airborne news conference as reported by Reuters.

In his comments on the plane, the pope disclosed that Barros had offered to resign twice in recent years but Francis rejected the offers. "I can't condemn him because I don't have evidence and because I am convinced he is innocent," Francis said. He said Barros would remain in his place unless credible evidence is found against him.

One notes Badilla did not reiterate in his new commentary what in his first commentary below he calls the most evident first step that must be taken in order to proceed to an adequate solution for the ‘Karadima-Barros curse’.

A devastated Church community which was once
a luminous part of Latin-American Catholicism
awaits the resignation of Bishop Barros

by Luis Badilla
Translated from
IL SISMOGRAFO
January 22, 2018

In the sad history of the Chilean bishop Juan Barros, weighed down with reiterated accusations of having covered up the repugnant behavior of his mentor Fernando Karadima, the Church in Chile and the Vatican did not always make the right decisions. There have been errors to the present, including during the pope’s visit to Chile last week.

At first glance, one has the impression that he himself had not had the possibility of evaluating in depth what has been happening in Chile and outside it with regard to this problem which has been going on for years and which Chileans have been calling ‘the Barros war’. Now, one also has to consider the statements by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston [about the pope dismissing victims’ accusations against Barros as ‘all calumny’.]

It is important to bear in mind that there is no room for further errors, and everyone who bears any responsibility of the present state of affairs in re Barros must evaluate the issue with great seriousness. We have now come to the penultimate error in how this issue has been dealt with – and usually, this next-to-last error is more serious even than the straw that will finally break the camel’s back.

It is not just the Church of Chile and the protagonists of this war who are in play. It is the Catholic Church herself, in her totality and in all her parts, that has to live through this experience with anguish and concern, and as the pope has said many times [he has???], no one can feel he is master of the Church. The community that Christ formed does not belong to the pope, to the cardinals or to the bishops. It is for all Catholics, including the lay faithful who many times, matter little, unfortunately.

Yet, in the circumstances of the Barros war, the lay faithful could be decisive for emerging from the swamp ito which this story has fallen. The Catholic Church will never emerge from the tragedy of clerical sex abuses without the support and contribution of the lay faithful.

Right now, we are getting news from Chile that is concerning and certainly, very serious. It seems that some of the Chilean lay faithful engaged in the Barros war, after the pope made his remark about ‘calumny’ against Barros, has take the opportunity to ‘avenge’ themselves against the weak, terrified and vacillating part of the local Church [How exactly, and in just a few hours since the pope made his remark???] which has been trying to give a new life to a wounded Church that has suffered so much and has been in crisis and declining for many decades.

For the Church in Chile, the problem has become the ‘Karadima-Barros curse’ which has already caused serious havoc in the Chilean community, once a luminous part of the history of Latin American Catholicism.

At this time it is evident what the first thing that must be done in order to restore peace and reciprocal respect and embark on an adequate solution: The bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros, must resign, and the Pope must immediately accept it.

[Badilla's bravura proposal apparently did not withstand the pope's explicit statement that he had already twice rejected Barros's offer to resign and will keep him in place until there is 'evidence' of wrongdoing on his part...I will not translate the concluding parahraphs in which Badilla blames John Paul II – along with the bishops he named to Chile and the succession for apostolic nuncios who supposedly gave him ‘wrong advice’ during the years of the Pinochet dictatorship – for having brought about the decline and crisis of the Church in Chile.]


IL SISMOGRAFO has published a letter from the Community of Laymen and Laywomen of Osorno about the recent developments. I shall post a translation when I can..
www.reflexionyliberacion.cl/ryl/2018/01/22/el-papa-no-nos-escucho-el-cardenal-oma...
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, January 22, 2018 11:25 PM

Cardinal Spellman with ex-prime minister Winston Churchill in New York City in 1946.

Where are the churchmen with chests?
[And bishops with backbones?]

by FR. GEORGE W. RUTLER
angelqueen.org
January 22, 2018

To have been the proverbial fly on the wall during a conversation, one good time would have been during dinner in the White House on September 2, 1943, when Franklin Roosevelt was hosting Winston and Clementine Churchill with their daughter Mary and the newly appointed ambassador to the Soviet Union, Averill Harriman. The other dinner guest was Cardinal Spellman, just back from a lengthy tour of overseas military units.

Mary was devoted to her father and accompanied him on many wartime trips including Quebec, Washington, and Potsdam. In 1966 when I was a student, she befriended me and invited me to Chartwell when it was being prepared for a public opening, and I had time alone with her father’s paintings. She was better than any fly on the wall and seemed to have total recall of table talk great and small.

The conversation on September 2, fresh from the Quebec Conference, was about the future of Russia. On the next morning, the cardinal had a longer conversation with the president, first about declaring Rome an “open city,” a subject the president had addressed in a press conference on July 23, and then about post-war prospects for Eastern Europe, especially Poland. Roosevelt had expressed a desire that Rome be an open city, but cited Nazi German and Fascist Italian opposition to the idea.

Spellman would recount the conversation himself. In short, he was taken aback by what Roosevelt said so cavalierly about Soviet designs: “There is no point to oppose these desires of Stalin, because he has the power to get them anyhow. So better give them gracefully.”

For the cardinal’s benefit, Roosevelt hoped “although it might be wishful thinking” that the Russian intervention in Europe “might not be too harsh.” Likewise, despite Winston’s embrace of Roosevelt, the Soviet threat strained him greatly, and his plangent message when the president died did not obscure his conspicuous absence at the funeral.

Churchill was not to be ranked among the mystics or ascetics of Christendom. He avowed: “I am not a pillar of the church. I am more of a flying buttress: I support it from the outside.” His instincts were impatient with the Fathers, but he could be moved to tears by good hymns and carefully prescribed the ones he wanted when he died. Loyalty to the Established Church was a patriotic impulse rather than a matter of faith, for the restless dogmas that supported the Establishment varied with the tides; yet he saw through religious sham enough to avow that if he had become a clergyman, he would have enjoyed unsettling the bishops by preaching sermons highly orthodox in character. Of practical ecclesiastical matters he was amusingly ignorant and in 1942 he wanted to have Cardinal Hinsley appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. But that expression was not insignificant, because he saw in Hinsley’s strong voice during the dark war years, a manly and indeed prophetic courage that resonated in ways that could save nations as well as souls.

Of interest here is the deference that someone like Spellman or Hinsley could engender from secular leaders not innocent of cynicism but respectful of integrity. It recalls the tribute that the magnificent curmudgeon, H.L. Mencken, surprisingly paid to Cardinal Gibbons: “a man of the highest sagacity, a politician in the best sense” who never “led the Church into a bog or up a blind alley.” That kind of virile exemplar would find it hard to take root in the ecclesiastical soil today, notwithstanding some venerable figures.

The clerical vacuity that proposes itself as a substitute for apostolic prophecy is especially disappointing, and even dangerous, in our difficult times. In the First World War, Cardinal Mercier said that the sentimental and vapid preaching of his clergy in his tortured country “told the people to love but not why they should do it.”

There should be unflagging caution when clerics are hauled in to add a pious gloss to a political event, which is why strained and cobbled events such as Presidential Prayer Breakfasts court humbug, but these can also be opportunities for flexing the sinews of the Gospel. Nonetheless, on some national civic occasions, benign Catholic prelates miss the opportunity and disappoint the faithful by deliberately neglecting the counsel of Luke 12: 8-9.

Franklin Roosevelt’s fifth cousin once removed, Theodore [who was President three decades before him], did not like Churchill, whom he had met only once and briefly, during the latter’s lecture tour as a youth in 1900. Churchill’s first offense was that he did not rise when a lady entered the room. Theodore told a friend, “He is not an attractive fellow.” Winston was eighteen years younger than Theodore, who had charged up San Juan Hill two months before Churchill had charged at Obdurman, but in ways they were too much alike to get on well.

When Churchill published a biography of his father six years later, Teddy’s assessment written to Senator Henry Cabot lodge, might have been a sketch of himself: “Still, I feel that, while the biographer and his subject possess some real farsightedness … both possess or possessed such levity, lack of sobriety, lack of permanent principle, and an inordinate thirst for that cheap form of admiration which is given to notoriety, as to make them poor public servants.” Similar words are spoken sniffingly today by the media, superior clerics, and preening intellectuals about a president they think is “heinously unsuitable” and a “connoisseur of low culture” and generally not up to snuff.

But carrying the heavy baggage of his many calamitous missteps, such as Gallipoli in 1915, Dieppe in 1943, the Bengal famine of 1943 and his ambiguity about the Normandy invasion, Winston could honestly fit the same Roosevelt’s 1910 description in a lecture at the Sorbonne:

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


These observations provoke an anxious solicitude for the present state of the Church, for it would be hard to find a surplus of church leaders in the arena of such men. The common instinct for Rotarian jocularity rather than true Christian prophecy resembles the manner of Churchill’s Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, whom the prime minister called “A curious mixture of geniality and venom.” [Brings to mind someone we all know!]

Those anointed to proclaim Christ seem not infrequently reticent about enlisting his Holy Name in what is no less than a spiritual warfare that cannot be won by appeasement. When our bishops were assured by President Obama that there would be no imposition of civil regulations on the Church’s moral standards, specifically in matters of health care, they left a meeting in the White House boasting that they had been promised a good deal. It was their Munich.

It conjured the ghost of Neville Chamberlain waving his piece of paper securing “peace for our time” after meeting Hitler in 1938. When Chamberlain died, Churchill refused to humiliate his memory and paid an eloquent tribute in the House to his predecessor’s virtue, but he could not hide the naiveté that paved the steps winding the way down to near destruction.

As it is a nervous business for prelates to court and be courted by civil power, one might question the wisdom of popes addressing the United Nations or parliaments. A pope is not merely another head of state, and the whole history of the economy of Christ and Caesar makes clear that popes are never stronger than when they are weakest in things temporal.

Surely a man resolved as Pope Francis is to do what is right for mankind was ill-served by those who counseled him on what to say in addressing a joint session of Congress. On that awkward day, the Holy Father spoke of refugees, human rights, the death penalty, natural resources, disarmament, and distribution of wealth, but there was no mention of Jesus Christ. The speech invoked acceptable figures like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton, but no canonized saint that the nation’s legacboasts. [You're being ironic, right? Surely you cannot be among the naive who think that the pope would have said anything he did not feel like saying, especially since the topics he chose to talk about are, in fact, his 'favrite things'.]

The resources of the Church in the material order are vast, if fading, but her supernatural resources are beyond calculation. An indicting finger points to the neglect of such treasures of talent and grace in lands of privilege, as for example in the mercenary hypertrophy of the Church in Germany. This affects all limbs of the Body of Christ.

Where there are bishops of moral vigor, there will be an abundance of young men willing to take up the call of priestly service. Where the spirit is tepid and refreshes itself on the thin broth of a domesticated and politically correct Gospel, seminaries will be vacant. As C.S. Lewis gave account: “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

In his Idea of a University, Newman wrote: “Neither Livy, nor Tacitus, nor Terence, nor Seneca, nor Pliny, nor Quintillian, is an adequate spokesman for the Imperial City. They write Latin; Cicero writes Roman.”

The Church needs a Roman vigor that persuades men to rise above self-consciousness. An English bishop reflected: “Wherever St. Paul went, there was a riot. Wherever I go, they serve tea.”

In spiritual combat, there is no teatime, and effective strategies cannot be plotted at conferences, synods, workshops, and costly conventions at resort hotels with multiple “break-out” sessions and mellow music. One fears that a fly on the wall at any of those conversations would drop to the floor out of boredom. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8)
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, January 24, 2018 2:44 AM
This certainly is not a churchman with a chest!



OK, so now we do have the Vatican's English translation of the pope's January 22 inflight news conference, from which I said I would look up
exactly what he said about 'the Barros war'. It piqued my curiosity that Bergoglio-loyalist Luis Badilla - despite calling just hours earlier
in no uncertain terms that the only way to begin clearing up the Barros mess was for the bishop to resign and for the pope to accept
his resignation immediately
- would then end up unquestioningly Bergoglio's words and describing what the pope had said in these terms
:

"for the first time, [the pope] explains and clarifies with details that are to the point, precise and authoritative – decisive moments for the priests associated in the past with Fr. Karadima (who has been tried and sentenced both in Chile and the Vatican for sexual abuses and other crimes)"(about which) "some episodes have been made so complicated, chaotic and obscure that today Pope Francis had to justify them, and to do so he had to narrate some things which, had they been published or explained adequately by the Vatican and the Church in Chile in a timely manner, then things would not have proceeded to where we are now."


The best way to judge Badilla's assessment of how Bergoglio handled the question at the inflight newscon is to examine the pope's own words:

Juan Pablo Iglesias (La Tercera): At first, your message was very strong about [clerical sexual] abuse, but the last day [in Chile] you made a statement [saying some victims] are committing slander. Why do you believe Barros more than the victims?
JMB: I understand the question perfectly. On [Bishop] Barros, I only made one declaration. I spoke in Chile, and this was in Iquique, at the end. I spoke two times about the abuse, with a lot of strength, in front of the government, which was to speak in front of the country, and in the cathedral with the priests.

What I said to the priests is what I feel most deeply about this case. You know that Benedict XVI began by taking a zero tolerance [approach], and I have continued with zero tolerance. After almost 5 years of being Pope, I have not signed any “permission of pardon.”

In the cases of dismissal from the clerical state, it’s a definitive sentence in first instance. The person condemned has the right to appeal to the tribunal of the second instance. The tribunal knows that if there is clear proof of abuse, they cannot appeal the sentence. What can be appealed are the procedures: lack of procedures, irregularities, then there you have to make a review of the process. If the second instance confirms the first, there’s only one exit left for the person and that is appealing to the Pope, as a grace.

In five years, I have received — I don’t know the number — 20 or 25 requests for “grace” that have come in. I didn’t sign any. Only in one case, which wasn’t grace but the argument of a juridical sentence, in the first year of the pontificate.

I found myself with two sentences, one very serious from the diocese, and one from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was the strongest. The one from the diocese was very serious and very conditioned… with these conditions, one needs to wait a time to see that… that is, the case wasn’t closed. [Editor's note: The comments appear to refer to the case of Italian priest Mauro Inzoli aka Don Mercedes.]

As must be done with good jurisprudence, always in favor of the accused. I opted for the most lenient sentence, with the conditions.

After two years, it was decided that the conditions weren’t completed and so I let the other work. It was the only case in which I hesitated because there were two sentences and there was a juridical principle in dubia pro reo [in effect, doubt works in favor of the accused, the principle behind the injunction that a jury must convict a person when he is shown to be guilty 'beyond reasonable doubt'] and so for this I opted for that. That is my position. [Bergoglio has grossly misrepresented the Inzoli case here. The man was defrocked under Benedict XVI, but apparently, Bergoglio now says that Inzoli was entitled to appeal his sentence on the grounds of procedural irregularities, i.e., technicalities, what he calls a case of the second instance. But when a CDF tribunal finds someone accused of sex offenses to be guilty because it has clear proof of abuse, by Bergoglio's own definition, it would have been unappealable. Is he saying now that he took it on himself to determine that Inzoli could appeal his case and therefore he - as the person appealed to - restored Inzoli's priestly faculties? Only to revoke it again two years later when an Italian court finds Inzoli guilty of sex offenses (the same or different from the offenses that the CDF tribunal fond him guilty. In this one case alone, Bergoglio chose to use his discretionary power twice to overrule what the CDF and his predecessor had done ( namely penalize Inzoli for his crimes by defrocking him) - first, by even considering that he could act on what appears to be clearly a 'first instance' unappealable verdict, and second, by reversing that verdict on an apparent pretext of 'irregularities' in the first verdict.]

In the case of Bishop Barros, I had it studied, I had it investigated, I had it worked on a lot. [Sandro Magister has a good presentation of Bergoglio's tangle of contradictions (I call them simply lies) about the Barros case, in the light of a letter he wrote to the bishops fo Chile in January 2015 in which he indicated he would ask Barros to resign (this was months before he finally decided to name him Bishop of Osorno) - I will post it after this.

For my part, I can only add that precisely, part of the problem for the opponents of Barros's nomination as bishop was that the pope never ordered a formal investigation of Barros, so we only have Bergoglio's word that "I had it studied, I had it investigated, I worked on it a lot"].


And truly there is no evidence. I use the word evidence. Then I will speak about proof. There is no evidence of culpability, it seems that it will not be found. There is a coherence in another sense. I am waiting for evidence to change position, but I apply the judicial principle basic in any tribunal: nemo malus nisi provetur — no one is guilty until it is proven.

I used the word “proof” and I believe that gave me a hard time. I said it in Spanish, as I remember, I was entering ,and a journalist from Iquique asked me: ‘In Chile we have a big problem with Bishop Barros, what do you think?’ I think that the words I said were these. First I thought about whether to respond or not, and I said yes [I would], because he had been bishop of Iquique, and a parishioner is asking me. I said, the day that I have proof I will speak. I think I said, ‘I don’t have proof,’ but it is recorded, you can find it.

The answer was: the day that I have proof, I will speak. The word ‘proof’ is what caused [concern]. No one is bad si no probetur (if there is no proof). I would speak about evidence and, of course, I know that there are a lot of people who have been abused and that they cannot show proof, they do not have it. They cannot [show it] or sometimes they have it, but they are ashamed and hide it, and suffer in silence. The drama of those who have been abused is tremendous. Terrible.

Two [months] ago I tended to a woman who was abused 40 years ago — married with three children. This woman hadn’t received Communion from that time, because in the hand of the priest she saw the hand of the abuser. She couldn’t go near. And she was a believer. She was Catholic. Sorry to continue in Spanish, but I want to be precise with the Chileans. The word “proof” wasn’t the best [word to use] in order to be near to a sorrowful heart. I would say evidence.

The case of Barros was studied, it was re-studied, and there is no evidence. That is what I wanted to say. I have no evidence to condemn. And if I were to condemn without evidence or without moral certainty, I would commit the crime of a bad judge.

I have another thing to say… I’ll explain it in Italian. One of you came up to me and said: Have you seen the letter that came out? They showed me a letter that I had written years ago when the problem with Barros began. I need to explain that letter, because it is also a letter in favor of prudence, how the problem with Barros was managed.

That letter does not tell of a momentary fact; that letter is the narration of more or less 10-12 months. When the scandal with Karadima was discovered, we all know this scandal, we began to see many priests who were formed by Karadima who were either abused or who were abusers. In Chile there are four bishops who Karadima invited to the seminary. Someone from the episcopal conference made a suggestion that it would be better perhaps if these four bishops renounced their positions, resigned, took a sabbatical year while the storm passed, to avoid accusations, because they are good bishops. [Omitted from his account is that while he implicitly agreed with the suggestion [having asked his nuncio in Chile to inform the bishops concerned], he then explains in his letter to the Chilean bishops that while Barros dutifully submitted a letter of resignation, the pope decided not to accept it because Barros quoted the nuncio in his letter as having said he was going to ask the same thing of the two other bishops associated with Karadima. I will post below Bergoglio's lame and ueber-technical explanation for why he turned down Barros's resignation and the intended one-year sabbatical was changed to merely a monthlong retreat in Spain. It is a pathetic excuse. As Magister said, why did he so readily excuse someone he was prepared to send on a sabbatical just months earlier?]

And Barros, Barros already had been bishop there for 20 years and was about to finish his military bishopric. He was an auxiliary, then bishop of Iquique and then military bishop for almost 10 years, and 20 years a bishop. But let us ask if the accusations against him, perhaps explaining them…and he diligently resigned. And he came to Rome and I told him: ‘No, we don’t play this way, because this is to admit culpability in advance, and then, as in any case, if there are culpable parties, it will be investigated.’ And I rejected it. This is about the 10 months contained in that letter. Then, when he was appointed and all this protest took place, he gave me his resignation for the second time. I said, ‘No, you go.’ I spoke with him for a long time, others spoke at length with him… you go. You know what happened there the day he took possession, the protests. They continued to investigate Barros, [Who is 'they'? It can't be the Vatican, because the pope already said he had the Barros case 'studied, restudied, investigated, worked on a lot" - even though none of this was made known at the time!] but there is no evidence and this is what I wanted to say: I cannot condemn him because I don’t have the evidence and this is what I wanted to say. I cannot condemn him because I do not have the evidence. But I am also convinced that he is innocent. [i.e., he has been acting as the one-man court-judge-jury on Barros.]



*The ff comes from the letter Bergoglio wrote the bishops of Chile in January 2015 to respond to them about the protests against the nomination of Barros as a bishop:

However, there then arose, at the end of the year (2014), a serious problem. The distinguished nuncio asked Mons. Barros for his resignation and urged him to take a sabbatical period (one year, for example) before taking on another pastoral responsibility as diocesan bishop. [Obviously, no nuncio would have done that without having been instructed by the Vatican. He is only a go-between.] And he mentioned to him that the same procedure would be used with the bishops of Talca and Linares, but not to tell them about this. Mons. Barros sent the text of his resignation, adding this remark from the nuncio.

As you can understand, this remark of the distinguished nuncio complicated and blocked any further move in the direction of offering a sabbatical year. [Why and how exactly???] I spoke about the matter with Card. Ouellet, and I know that he spoke with the distinguished nuncio.

At this time, following the express indication of the Congregation for Bishops, Mons. Barros is doing a month of Spiritual Exercises in Spain.

Magister continues with his account:

As can be seen, in this letter of his, Francis does not explain why a mere impropriety in writing - and moreover a correctible one - was enough to nullify Barros’s resignation.

Nor much less does the pope cite, or explain, the bewildering about-face that he made with the promotion to the diocese of Osorno of the bishop whom just a short time before he had intended to remove.


This is, in any case, what happened next.
- On March 6, 2015, Francis received in audience the archbishop of Concepción, Fernando Natalio Chomalí Garib, apostolic administrator of Osorno in the interim before the installation of the new bishop.
- On March 21, 2015 Barros made his official entrance into the diocese of Osorno, amid a hurricane of protests.
- Ten days later, on March 31, a statement from the deputy director of the Vatican press office declared that “prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.” [This was the only statement made by the Vatican at the time about any inquiries into the Barros case. Even then, I was saying, "Given all the passion and anger raised by his nomination of Barros, why does the pope not order a formal investigation to clear the issue once and for all, and suspend the nomination of Barros until an investigation clears him formally and definitively of any offense?" One cannot say it often enough that in the matter of clerical sex abuse with or without cover-up, or the appearance of such, everyone involved must be 'above suspicion'.] Which does not explain why instead until the very end of 2014 the Holy See had opted for the resignation of Barros. [Or why nothing more has been said about the two other bishops who were also Karadima proteges and are presumably under a cloud of suspicion.]


Magister's commentary on the pope's January 22 exercise in self-indulgence which was in itself an attempt to justify his extreme self-indulgence:

Why this pope married two 'strangers'
and refuses to listen to inconvenient witnesses


Jnauary 23, 2018

As predictably as a functioning cuckoo clock marks the hour, Pope Francis’s words spoken at high altitude, this time during his flight back from Peru to Rome on the night between January 21-22, have produced the umpteenth great confusion:
> Video of the press conference with Pope Francis

There were two explosive subjects of the press conference, both having to do with Chile: the fate of the bishop of Osorno, Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid, and the lightning wedding celebrated by the pope between a hostess and a steward, during the flight from Santiago to Iquique.

In this second case, Francis said that he had judged at once that “all the conditions were clear” for the validity of the sacrament, and therefore it could be celebrated right away. To come to this certainty he explained that the words of the two spouses were enough for him.

Concerning the bishop of Osorno, the opposite took place. The pope said that he “studied and restudied” the case for a long time, but there was no “evidence” for his guilt. And because of this he is keeping the bishop at the head of the diocese, in spite of the accusations that continue to be brought against him, accusations that for the pope are in reality “calumnies.”

In Chile, responding curtly to a question from a journalist, Francis had spoken not of missing “evidence,” but of “proofs.” And for the use of this latter word - in reality little or not at all different from the former - he apologized on the airplane. He held firm, however, to the correctness of the word “calumny” as he applied it to those who say they are victims of sexual abuse that the pope maintains never happened.

He also said, however, that he had never listened to the “victims” because they neither “came to” nor “were presented to” him. When in reality they asked over and over again, publicly, for the pope to listen to them so that he could verify on the basis of their testimony precisely that “evidence” which he continues to say is missing. [Why aren't more Catholics outraged that 'our pope' lies so easily and habitually when it suits his purposes??? How can you have a lying pope and believe in anything else he says???]

During the flight back from Rome, Francis also furnished a new exegesis of the letter he wrote to the Chilean bishops on January 31, 2015, made public by the Associated Press just before this journey to Chile.

From how the letter was written, in fact, it seemed to be clear that Pope Francis himself thought it was right, until the end of 2014, to remove this bishop, only to change his view and promote him, on January 10,2015, to the See of Osorno.

But now it seems that this was not the case. From what Francis said on the airplane it would seem he always maintained that this bishop was “good and capable,” even when “a few people of the episcopal conference” of Chile wanted him to resign. And in fact, not once but twice the pope said that he had turned down his resignation, both before and after the appointment to Osorno, because to accept it would have meant “admitting his guilt,” when instead, he stated categorically: “I am convinced that he is innocent.”

In this tangle of contradictions, it remains unexplained why the victims of the Barros's spiritual guide and mentor, Fr. Antonio Karadima, should have been given the greatest credence at the CDF's deliberations over Karadima's offenses, while some of these same victims are instead not given credence and not even listened to when they accuse the bishop.

Returning to the lightning wedding 'performed' by Francis on the flight between Santiago and Iquique, it must be noted that the event had been anticipated by the spouses themselves a month before, in an interview with the Chilean newspaper “El Mercurio” of December 19:
> Con emoción y nerviosismo: Tripulación del avión que trasladará al Papa en Chile cuenta cómo recibieron la noticia

On the airplane, however, everything seemed to happen by surprise, to judge by the video of the “breaking news” given immediately afterward by the spouses themselves to the journalists on the flight with them:
> The pope: “I’ll marry you, come on, let’s do it!”

And even Francis - according to what he said during the flight to Rome - appeared to have been taken by surprise by the idea of marrying the hostess and the steward, but decided to proceed on the spot, giving immediate credence to the two.

Again, best to give the word to Bergoglio himself:

Aura Miguel (Radio Renascenca): The wedding on the airplane. From now on, what would you say to the parish priests, to the bishops will be asked by couples if they can marry them I don’t know where, on the beach, on boats, airplanes?
Pope Francis: You’re imagining a cruise with a wedding. Eh, this would be… One of you told me that I’m crazy for doing these things. The thing was simple. The man was on the first flight. She wasn’t there. I spoke with him… then, I realized that he had become awkward. I spoke of life, of how I thought of life, then the life of the family. A nice chat.

Then, the day after both of them were there, and after we took a photograph, they told me this: ‘We were going to get married in a church, we were married civilly, but the day before’ – you could tell it was a small city – ‘the church was toppled by an earthquake and there was no wedding.’ This was 10 years ago, maybe eight, the earthquake was in 2010, eight years ago. And then [they thought]: “tomorrow we’ll do it,” and “the day after tomorrow.” That’s the way life goes and then the daughter [came] and another daughter.

I interrogated them a bit. And the answers were clear, for their whole life…. “You know these things. Do you have a good memory of the catechism?” “We have taken the pre-matrimonial classes.” They were prepared and I judged that they were prepared. They asked me. Sacraments are for people. All of the conditions were clear and why not do today … and not delay it for tomorrow… and maybe after ‘tomorrow’ it would have been eight or 10 years more.

This is the answer. I judged that they were prepared, that they knew what they were doing, that each of them was prepared before the Lord with the sacrament of penance. [Did they say that?] When they had arrived at that point, it was all over. They told me that, they said it to some of you… “We’re going to the Pope to ask if he’ll marry us.” That’s how the thing went. [He's participating in their fiction - er... lie!] But tell the parish priests that the Pope interrogated them well. And then they had done the pre-marriage course, and they were aware. [Well, brownie points for at least thinking of 'interrogating' them, but given the brevity of the flight and the fact that the two plane attendants could not just excuse themselves from their duties for longer than, say, 5 minutes, the interrogation cannot have been much more than pro forma! Regardless, it still was a banalization of the sacrament of matrimony. Did the pope even think of putting on a stole when he 'performed' the marriage? I've checked the pictures - he did not. One would suppose there are things that become ingrained as second nature in a priest, much as an ER trauma doctor immediately proceeds to carry out a required set of protocols the moment he faces a trauma victim.]


Jorge Bergoglio's inherent indiscipline is evident also in his loose use of language. Of course, loose and even licentious language is expected from anyone who spits out invectives the way this pope does, but should that verbal indiscipline extend even to the use of 'technical' terms to make a point when the speaker himself is not clear about the terms he flings about?

The Pope’s misuse of 'calumny' distracts
from deeper, more troubling questions

The problem with his defense of Bishop Barros is not just that the pope has
a poor grasp of technical legal terminology or that he misuses certain words,
but that he thinks he knows better and refuses to listen to the people who do


[Not a surprise, surely, since he constantly seems to be telling us
that he really knows better than Christ what His Church ought to be]

by Christopher R. Altieri

January 23, 2018

Thursday last week, Pope Francis accused Chilean victims of clerical sexual abuse and their supporters in the Church of “calumny”. It isn’t that the Pope doesn’t believe their accusations of abuse. After the Vatican found their accusations credible, and sentenced their abuser, Fr. Fernando Karadima, to a life of prayer and penance – this was in 2011, under Benedict XVI – Pope Francis decided in 2015 to put one of the criminal cleric’s protégés, Bishop Juan Barros, on the See of Osorno, over the objections of the victims, at least one of whom, Mr. Juan Carlos Cruz, says Bishop Barros knew of his mentor’s crimes and even witnessed them.

Things took an ugly turn, when, later in the same year of Barros’s nomination to the See of Osorno, Francis insulted the people protesting Barros’s appointment. “The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” the Pope told a group of pilgrims on the sidelines of a General Audience in May of 2015. The story made the rounds in the worldwide press at the time, and then disappeared.

When a Chilean journalist, who was part of a press gaggle at the gate of the venue in Iquique, where the Holy Father was to celebrate Mass on Thursday last week, asked Pope Francis about Bishop Barros, the Pope replied, “The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak.” Then he doubled down. “There is not one shred of proof against [Barros],” he said. “It’s all calumny, is that clear?”

On the plane home from Perù – the second and final leg of his South American voyage – Pope Francis revised and extended his remarks, saying, “[If] anyone says with obstinacy, without evidence, that [so-and-so] did [such-and-such], it is calumny.” He then said that Barros’ accusers have brought him no evidence, and concluded, “One that accuses without evidence, with obstinacy, this is calumny.”

The first thing to note is the Pope’s problematic use of the term “calumny”, which is not the leveling of accusations in the absence of evidence, but the leveling of accusations for the purpose of damaging another person’s reputation, and/or the repetition of such accusations for the same malicious purpose, without respect to the truth of the accusations. A person who claims to have seen someone commit a crime, however, is not accusing without evidence. The evidence he brings is essentially co-extensive with his own credibility as a witness.

In the case of Bishop Juan Barros, his principal accuser is a witness, whose testimony a Vatican court found credible enough to use against Barros’s mentor, Fr. Fernando Karadima.

This would not be the first time Pope Francis’s lexical idiosyncrasies were cause for confusion. I still have not met anyone trained in the sacred sciences who can tell me what Francis means when he speaks of “casuistry” – or “abstract casuistry” – though it is clear he does not mean what is generally meant by the term, i.e. the resolution of moral problems by investigation into the specifics of the case and careful application of the general principles of moral science to the specific case, from within the specifics of the case, themselves.

In this case, the trouble is that no one is asking the right questions.

Why is Pope Francis taking a series of maxims lifted from criminal law, and applying them to a personnel decision? Also during the course of the in-flight presser, in explaining his analysis of the Barros case, Pope Francis said, “I am waiting for evidence to change position [on Barros], but I apply the judicial principle basic in any tribunal: nemo malus nisi provetur – no one is guilty until it is proven [so].”

At the risk of belaboring the obvious: the “presumption of innocence” applies to criminal procedure; the only protection it can afford Bishop Barros is found on the other side of a criminal indictment. The other maxim, in dubio pro reo, which Pope Francis invoked in defense of his decision to reduce the sentence against the convicted pedophile, Fr. Mauro Inzoli – over and against the recommendation of the Vatican’s own tribunal – applies principally to the determination of guilt, which in the case of Inzoli was never in doubt, and in any case would have been well known to the legal professionals and trained jurists who handled the case and gave the sentence.

The problem here is not that the Pope has a poor grasp of technical legal terminology. The problem is not even that he keeps using those words, even though they do not mean what he thinks they mean. The former is merely a fact; he is not a lawyer, after all. The latter is symptomatic of an unfortunate quirk of character, which might be overcome or overlooked.

The real problem is that he thinks he knows better, and refuses to listen to the people who do. While that quality of character will be frustrating in a parish priest, consternating in a religious superior, and genuinely difficult to manage in a local Ordinary, it will always – always – prove disastrous in anyone who attains to a position of high leadership.

There is another, prior question, though, which no one is asking: Why is Barros a bishop in the first place? During the presser, Pope Francis gave a summary of the matter, saying, “When the scandal with Karadima was discovered – we all know this scandal – we began to see many priests who were formed by Karadima, who were either abused or who were abusers.” That is what abusers do. They insinuate themselves and their favorites – some of whom are also their victims – into the formation process and then into the leadership structures of the Church, and use their advantages of place and position to protect and promote one another.

“In Chile,” Pope Francis went on to say, “there are four bishops, whom Karadima invited to the seminary.” Barros is one of the four. He was consecrated in June of 1995, when Pope St. John Paul II was in Rome and Archbishop Piero Biggio was Nuncio in Chile. Barros served first as an auxiliary in Valparaiso, then moved to the See of Iquique, then to the Diocese for Military Services. When the See of Osorno became vacant, Francis tapped Barros, even though he was known to have advanced under the aegis of a notorious pedophile, and faced allegations of aiding and abetting his mentor’s abuse, allegations that came from at least one victim, whose testimony a Vatican court had deemed credible.

The bishops of Chile had written to Pope Francis, expressing their concern over Barros’s appointment. Francis responded with a lengthy letter, explaining that he had asked Barros to resign as bishop to the forces and take a year’s sabbatical, only after which he might have been considered for another post. The AP reports that Francis’s Nuncio in Chile, Archbishop Ivo Scapolo, conveyed the request, and explained to Barros that similar arrangements were being made for two of the other bishops who came up under Karadima. Scapolo reportedly asked Barros to keep the plan quiet, but Barros named the two others in the letter he wrote announcing his resignation from the military see.

So, Francis decided that the way to handle this tainted and insubordinate prelate was to give him care of the souls of Osorno.

“When [Barros] was appointed [to Osorno],” Pope Francis said, again during the in-flight presser, “and all this protest took place, he gave me his resignation for the second time. I said, ‘No, you go.’ I spoke with him for a long time, others spoke at length with him. ‘You go [back to your See]’,” Pope Francis told reporters he told Barros. The Holy Father went on to say, “They continued to investigate Barros, but there is no evidence – and this is what I wanted to say,” in the remarks outside the venue in Iquique. “I cannot condemn him because I don’t have the evidence,” Pope Francis repeated, “and this is what I wanted to say. I cannot condemn him because I do not have the evidence. But I am also convinced that he is innocent.”

In short, Pope Francis feels he has to leave Barros in place, because he does not have enough evidence to convict him in open court, and because he is personally convinced of Barros’s innocence.

Speaking in Santiago de Chile in 2011, after the Vatican court came back with the guilty verdict against Karadima, Fr. Antonio Delfau, SJ, of the Chilean province – currently serving as Assistant to the General Treasurer of the Society – is quoted in a New York Times report on the story as saying, “[The conviction] is going to mark a before and after in the way the Chilean Catholic Church proceeds in cases like these, or at least it should.” Delfau went on to say, “From now on, every case of sexual abuse must be treated with meticulous care and not be based on the gut feeling of a given Church official.” [But Bergoglio obviously thinks his gut feeling - in his omniscience borne of direct communication with the Holy Spirit, if we are to go by his words shortly after he became pope - is enough to qualify him, as I said earlier, as one-man court-judge-and-jury as to Barros's guilt or innocence.]

How to explain Bergoglio's pathological compulsion to speak, and speak at length on anything whatsoever? The more he talks, the more he entangles himself in contradictions. Whoever his confessor(s) may be, perhaps they ought to be courageous enough to give him a weekly penance of mortifying himself by giving less interviews, making less off-the-cuff statements, thus avoiding ever-new occasions of sin (lying, especially).


The pope's non-apologetic apology
by Steve Skojec

January 23, 2018

As I reported last week, the pope, while in Chile, the accused victims of clerical sexual abuse perpetrated by Fr. Fernando Karadima of “calumny” for alleging that his protege, papal appointee to the Diocese of Osorno, Bishop Juan Barros, of having either known of or even observed the abuse being performed. “There is not one shred of proof against him.” Francis said.. “It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”

The most vocal accuser, Juan Carlos Cruz, offered a stinging rebuttal, saying, “As if one could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others, and Juan Barros standing next to him watching everything.”

Barros maintains his innocence, but Karadima, despite his crimes falling outside the legal statute of limitations, was ordered by the Vatican, following an investigation, to retirement and “a life of prayer and penance” and a “lifelong prohibition from the public exercise of any ministerial act, particularly confession and the spiritual guidance of any category of persons”. A judge in Chile also said that while she could not legally move the case forward, proof of Karadima’s crimes “wasn’t lacking.”

So, in a situation where both the state and ecclesiastical courts have found evidence of guilt, the pope effectively called one of the victims a liar because he cannot bring “proof” that his hand-picked bishop stood by and watched while the young man was abused.

There has been more pickup in the secular media than the last time Francis lashed out at the victims in Chile, calling them “dumb” or “stupid” (depending on the translation), but why isn’t every media outlet everywhere running this story? If Pope Benedict had said this, they would have been digging up the most hideous pictures of him they could find and splashing them across front pages everywhere.

Meanwhile, the pope hasn’t learned his lesson. He was chastised in the most pusillanimous way by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston over the weekend. O’Malley — who chairs [chaired - the Commission 's three-year term has expired and it has not been reconstituted] the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) — said in a statement that “It is understandable that Pope Francis’s statements yesterday in Santiago, Chile were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator”.

A good start, right? But O’Malley didn’t stop there:

What I do know, however, is that Pope Francis fully recognizes the egregious failures of the Church and it’s clergy who abused children and the devastating impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones.

Accompanying the Holy Father at numerous meetings with survivors I have witnessed his pain of knowing the depth and breadth of the wounds inflicted on those who were abused and that the process of recovery can take a lifetime. The Pope’s statements that there is no place in the life of the Church for those who would abuse children and that we must adhere to zero tolerance for these crimes are genuine and they are his commitment.

Having sufficiently ameliorated his criticism, “Cardinal Sean” was allowed to remain a useful minion of the papacy, and the pope decided to use his comments as a teachable moment. A moment in which he could say he was sorry – and then double down on what he did wrong in the first place.

During today’s plane presser, the pope explained how he had had the case of Bishop Barros “studied” and “investigated.” He went on:

I had it worked on a lot. And truly there is no evidence. I use the word evidence. Then I will speak about proof. There is no evidence of culpability, it seems that it will not be found.

He said he would follow the maxim of “no one is guilty until it is proven.” But he also admitted that

When the scandal with Karadima was discovered, we all know this scandal, we began to see many priests who were formed by Karadima who were either abused or who were abusers.

He then discussed how Barros had tried to resign more than once, but Francis had turned him down, saying it would look like an admission of guilt. He then continued:

I will pass to a third point, that of the letter I explained clearly: what those who have been abused feel. With this I have to ask forgiveness because the word “proof” wounded, it wounded many people who were abused, but I must go to look for the certificate, I have to do that — a word on translation, in the legal jargon, I wounded them. I ask them for forgiveness because I wounded them without realizing it, but it was an unintended wound. And this horrified me a lot, because I had received them. (But) in Chile I received two [abuse victims] as you know, I met others that I kept hidden. In every trip, there is always some possibility. The ones in Philadelphia were published, three (meetings) were published, then the other cases no… And I know how much they suffer, to feel that the Pope says in their face ‘bring me a letter, a proof.’ It’s a slap. And I agree that my expression was not apt, because I didn’t think, and I understand how the Apostle Peter, in one of his letters, says that the fire has been raised.

This is what I can say with sincerity. Barros will remain there if I don’t find a way to condemn him. I cannot condemn him if I don’t have — I don’t say proof — but evidence. And there are many ways to get evidence. Is that clear?

[In other words, "I may be wrong but you will never find 'evidence' that I am wrong! Hell, no! "I cannot ever be wrong because everything I say and do as pope is dictated by the Holy Spirit". Satan perhaps, disguising himself as a white dove? Is that clear?]

Note that he is not apologizing for accusing them of “calumny” (or “slander”, depending on the translation) but for insisting on “proof” instead of “evidence.” And note that he is only apologizing for the offense, not for the belief he still holds that caused it.

So we have a known victim of sexual abuse by a Chilean cleric — a cleric whose abuse, the pope admits, produced subsequent abusers, as is often the case — and that victim also accuses one of that abuser’s proteges of standing and watching while the crime takes place. And the pope accuses the man of making it all up to slander a man.

It is certainly a possibility that the pope is right. In the absence of evidence, accusations like these have been used to destroy reputations before.

But if it is true, what proof can possibly be brought forward? What evidence? What does the man have to gain by saying it? And what benefit did the pope derive from appointing such a controversial figure in the first place over the protest of his would-be diocese — protests that have made him unable to effectively lead his flock? Why would the pope continue to leave him in place after all of this?

Marie Collins, the abuse survivor who quit the PCPM in 2017 over obstacles to its mandate that included limitation of resources and curial interference, said at the time of her resignation that she believed “the pope does at heart understand the horror of abuse and the need for those who would hurt minors to be stopped.”

She tweeted some quite different messages this morning:

The Pope is reported as unconcerned by the month long delay in member appointments to PCPM, the proposed names are being vetted by the Roman Curia. These facts says all that is needed to be said about the priority being given to this Commission and this issue in the Vatican #PCPM...

I have been asked by media to comment on the words of the Pope today on the Commission for Protection of Minors and Barros “evidence”. Why comment? It’s a pointless waste of effort. Sorry for such a negative non-comment. It’s just the way I feel right now.


Even though this story isn’t showing up as broadly or in as damning terms as one might expect were Francis an orthodox Catholic, for some, his papacy has more than lost its luster.

Notice the editorializing language in the Reuters piece I cited above. It shows how serious a stumble this has been for a man who has been a non-stop media rock star: “the pope replied in a snippy tone”... “in an extremely rare act of self-criticism”... “an unusually contrite pope”. These are not complimentary phrases.

In another piece entitled, “Pope Francis, Company Man“, Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe takes an even bigger swing at the pontiff:

Let the record show that the promise of Pope Francis died in Santiago, Chile, on Jan. 18, in the year of our Lord 2018.

When Pope Francis slandered victims of sexual abuse, ironically by accusing those very victims of slandering a Chilean bishop who was complicit in that abuse, he confirmed what some critics have said all along, what I have always resisted embracing: Pope Francis is a company man, no better than his predecessors when it comes to siding with the institutional Roman Catholic Church against any who would criticize it or those, even children, who have been victimized by it. [This offensive anti-Catholic broadbrush tarring is why I did not quote more of Cullen's Globe column earlier.]

I offer my hearty congratulations to His Holiness, His Eminence, or whatever self-regarding, officious title that his legion of coat holders, admirers, apologists, and enablers insist we, the great unwashed, call him. Because he has revealed himself like no one else could.

By saying he needs to see proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the abuse perpetrated by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Francis has shown himself to be the Vatican’s newest Doubting Thomas. And it’s not a good look.


“He has revealed himself like no one else could.” Indeed he has. And now the narrative is beginning to fall apart. [From your pen to God's ears. But I can't be that sanguine. He is pope now, and no one else is, alas, so his is the power and the authority and the wherewithal to continue to do as he pleases.]



I have been wondering why none of the recent reports about the Karadima-Barros case has mentioned that the principal witness against Karadima had accused Barros not just of witnessing some of the abuses Karadima committed but that Barros himself engaged in questionable acts with Karadima. Now, one blogger has brought it up:

Victim accusing Barros of complicity with Karadima
is a 51-year-old Fortune 500 executive

CATHOLIC MONITOR
Monday, January 22, 2018

Did Pope Francis slander sex abuse victims of predator Fr. Fernando Karadima, for whom Francis-appointed Bishop Juan Barros covered up despite witnessing their abuse?

On July 12, 2016, Catholic activist lawyer Elizabeth Yore wrote in THE REMNANT:

"Juan Carlos Cruz, now a 51-years-old Fortune 500 executive has repeatedly maintained the culpability of Bishop Barros: "This bishop witnessed my own abuse and that of many other boys over a period of 35 years. Barros was there, and he saw it all."

His statement was corroborated by another Karadima victim, Dr. James Hamilton, now 49: " I saw how Barros watched it all." Cruz also disclosed: "I saw Karadima and Juan Barros kissing and touching each other"...

Over 1300 Catholics in Osorno, along with 30 diocesan priests, and 120 members of the Chilean Parliament sent a letter to Pope Francis urging him to rescind the appointment of Bishop Barros."


Yore's 2016 article is a comprehensive account of the Karadima-Barros mess:
https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/2628-vatican-watch-so-much-for-pope-s-child-protection-commission
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, January 24, 2018 4:18 AM
On the other hand, when the Bergoglian-to-the-marrow FishWrap sees fit to publish this editorial, is this not a new crack in the image?



It is hard even to imagine the pain survivors of clergy sexual abuse have had to endure. After being raped or brutalized by people their communities had taught them to see as nearly infallible, many were left silent for decades, ashamed or just unable to speak.

When they did come forward, their motives were questioned and their integrity impugned. They were savaged, re-victimized, in court proceedings and public announcements, as bishops, diocesan lawyers and church officers denied their charges.

History has shown that the great number of survivors were telling the truth. Any reform that has happened in the church is due to their courageous resolve. The hierarchy was caught in its lies and humbled, but not before unknown numbers of believers were driven out of the Catholic Church. The scandal has cost the church moral authority, credibility and billions of dollars.

In recent years, we had thought chastened church leaders had begun to correct mistakes of the past. We were wrong. The supreme pontiff apparently has not learned this lesson.

Within the space of four days, Pope Francis twice slandered abuse survivors. On the papal flight from Peru Jan. 21, he again called testimony against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros Madrid "calumny." Despite at least three survivors' public accounts to the contrary, he also again said he had not seen evidence of Barros's involvement in a cover-up to protect notorious abuser Fr. Fernando Karadima.

These remarks are at the least shameful. At the most, they suggest that Francis now could be complicit in the cover-up. The script is all too familiar: Discredit the survivors' testimony, support the prelate in question, and bank on public attention moving on to something else.

The insistence with which Francis defends Barros is mystifying. Three separate journalists on the papal flight gave the pope opportunity to say why exactly he believed the bishop instead of the survivors accusing him. The second journalist to ask Francis about Barros on the flight was a Chilean woman. As she spoke to the pope, her voice cracked with nervousness at questioning the church's top leader. She asked: "Why are not the victims' testimonies proof for you? Why do you not believe them?" The pope gave no satisfying answer, only repeating a claim of "no evidence" against the bishop.

Unfortunately, Francis's defense of Barros is only the latest in a number of statements he has made in his nearly five-year papacy that have hurt survivors, and the whole body of the church.

The pope's statements on zero tolerance for abusers have been strong, but again and again he has refused to deal decisively with those who provided cover for the abusers. When he met with the U.S. bishops in September 2015, for example, he praised the "courage" they had shown in the "difficult moments" of the abuse crisis and even noted "how much the pain of recent years has weighed upon you."

One psychologist who counsels sex abuse survivors said at the time that those comments left survivors "punched in the soul-ar plexus by a Catholic pope who discounted their suffering to hold up the supposed suffering of the bishops."

In Chile last week, Francis held a meeting with members of the country's clergy. He recounted several kinds of pain clergy abuse had caused in the country, including that of the victims and their families. But he also spoke of pain suffered by priests not caught up in the scandal.

"I know that at times you have been insulted in the metro or walking on the street, and that by going around in clerical attire in many places you pay a heavy price," the pope told the clergy.

How can the pope compare being insulted on the metro with the terror of a child raped? How?

Apparently, even one of Francis's closest collaborators was flabbergasted by Francis's remarks two days later, when he slapped away journalists' questions about Barros and first called the charges against the bishop "calumny." In a bluntly critical statement, the likes of which we have struggled to find parallel in recent church history, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said the pope's slander against survivors had caused them "great pain."

Here, we must applaud O'Malley's action. He could have quietly spoken to Francis. Perhaps he knew that would have left abuse survivors yet again without any prominent defender.

Francis has a beautiful metaphor for the work of bishops and priests as shepherds who walk among the flock and at times behind the flock, allowing sheep to follow the path they sense. The pope had ample warning of what to expect in Chile. That he didn't follow his own advice and listen to the people is much more than disappointing.

Francis's colorful railings against clericalism are often recounted. He has scolded the Vatican bureaucracy for being gossips and careerists and has described the "sicknesses" that afflict them. In 2014, he said one such ailment is the "mental and spiritual petrification" of those "who have a heart of stone and a stiff neck."

Would Francis be chagrined to learn that that is how many would describe his words in Chile and on the papal plane? When it comes to confronting the clericalism that is the foundation for the abuse scandal, the pope's stony countenance is part of the problem. The question we must ask is: Why isn't Francis listening?


And as if the editorial were not enough, there was this blogpost:

Chile controversy contrasts
with image of Pope Francis

by Ken Briggs

January 23, 2018


Illustrating Briggs's blog post is a photo taken in Lima on Jan. 19, showing a sign that reads, "Yes, Francis, here we have proof!", apparently a reaction to the pope's cutting remark in Iquique. Of course, one wishes
there had been more information about this sign...


Pope Francis is suddenly in the midst of a crisis that could damage his papacy irreparably. It swirls around his handling of an issue millions of his admirers believed he was especially equipped to resolve — clergy sex abuse. His personal touch, marked by modesty, candor, compassion, social justice and humor raised hopes that he could stanch the scandalous bleeding. Such optimism arguably became decisive in his election to the papacy.

But that potential is being questioned by his testy reactions this past week to criticism that Bishop Juan Barros, a Chilean bishop he appointed in 2015, had covered up many sexual crimes by a high-profile priest, Fr. Fernando Karadima, a close associate of Barros'. The Vatican found Karadima guilty in 2011.

Francis's open, charming demeanor faded as he angrily chided critics, including those claiming to have been victims of the priest, who contend Barros buried evidence.

Francis bluntly dismissed that charge as hollow "slander."

"It is calumny," he snapped. "Is that clear?" Denying any evidence against the bishop, he added, "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I will speak."

In the face of adverse reactions to his comment, Francis allowed that a potential witness against the bishop may see it as a demand to "bring me a letter with the proof" and as a "slap" in the face, but otherwise held his ground.

Victims claim that they can supply evidence but that the pope's hasn't met with them to allow them to state their case.

The standoff became the centerpiece of the Chilean stop on the Jan. 15-21 papal visit to South America.

It isn't unusual, of course, to find opposing views on the same incident. If the pope is right, he deserves praise as a protector of human rights. He will stand as a much-needed champion of fair treatment of the accused.

What potentially lends this controversy particular significance is that it appears to reveal a side of the pope that contrasts with his popular image as a "people of God" leader who ordinarily grants a hearing and dignity to the rank and file of the church. He is a "leveler" who has mocked the pretenses of elite church officials and identified strongly with the poorest and most workaday Catholics in his vast community. [Of course, that's the image that the Fishwrap and Bergoglidolators like Mr. Briggs have loved to cherish about Bergoglio - as if they have never read any of his Casa Santa Marta homilettes and his endless litany of invective for Catholics he does not like. And that the persistent stories of his behind-the-scenes temper outbursts appear to be confirmed by the few times he has allowed that outburst to be displayed in public. And what about his boorishness in refusing to even treat cardinals with elementary courtesy because they happen to ask inconvenient questions?]

The rebuke to those very Catholics in Chile who appear to fit that profile poses the troubling question. While his denunciation of social ills was in line with his papacy, his outburst in defense of his appointed bishop shocked many observers. The fact that the flare-ups continued over the next days added an element of surprise and hinted at something more profound.

For Francis to speak harshly and dismissively to people who claim sexual abuse by clergy may be a passing incident. But given the subject and the circumstances, it could portend a major stumbling block: inability to face clergy sexual abuse and cover-up when it hits home.

This obstacle has already caused the downfall of clergy from all ranks. It involves the most volatile parts of personal pride and defensiveness. When the imperative is to look for that speck in one's own eye rather than the log in the eye of the other, the normal coping mechanisms often shut down.

If the pope has shown an outsized response to this grievance in Chile, it may be because one of his own bishops is under suspicion, a matter we might presume is very personal. No doubt it's just as hard for a pope to believe allegations against a valued colleague as it would be for any of us.

I'm not assuming that's the case, but the fiery, categorical retorts from Francis sound as if they come from a place we haven't known in him.

If the reason was that he felt fervently convinced Barros has been wrongly treated and felt compelled to defend him, there's honest courage in that. If evidence isn't being sought and victims' accounts aren't being solicited in pursuit of truth, however, then a papacy's legacy might be on the line. [Before speaking of legacy, how about the pope's sincerity and honesty, to begin with?]

January 25, 2018
P.S. Yet another Bergoglian criticizes the pope on his obdurate (one of the synonyms for this is 'pigheaded') pro-Barros, anti-Karadima-victims position that is incomprehensible to any Catholic who has had to endure the blanket insults from the secular world as a result of the clerical sex abuse scandals in the past three decades. The pigheadedness is even more remarkable in this media-savvy pope who has taken more and more to lying brazenly - one egregious example: that none of the Karadima victims ever requested to meet with him - in order to justify his reprehensible behavior. [He even participated in the convenient lies of the Chileans he 'married' on the plane without benefit of the sacraments (and not even a sacramental stole), just to indulge in a PR stunt to overcome the double embarrassment of the Ploumen case (though it doesn't look like the Vatican is even remotely embarrassed about it, given the absurd 'no big deal!' explanations they have given for that misbegotten 'honor) and the poor reception in Chile.].

Anyway, Fr. Reese, who certainly spared no invectives for Benedict XVI, cannot bring himself to call Bergoglio's double standard for dealing with clerical sex abuse (one for his favored clerics and prelates, another for victims who dare accuse his favorites) anything worse than 'a blind spot' when it is really willful selective blindness for the sake of God-knows-what!


Pope Francis’s blind spot on sexual abuse
By Thomas Reese

January 25, 2018

The overwhelming consensus in the media is that Pope Francis has a blind spot when it comes to sexual abuse.

He may be on the side of refugees, migrants, the sick, the poor, the indigenous and other marginalized peoples, but he just doesn’t get it when it comes to victims of abuse.

The evidence for this assertion is the pope’s unwavering support for the Rev. Juan Barros, whom he appointed bishop of Osorno, Chile, despite accusations from victims that he witnessed and covered up abuse by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, the charismatic priest who in 2011 was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing minors in his upscale Santiago parish.

In a leaked letter to the Chilean bishops, Francis defended his January 2015 appointment of Barros to Osorno. Francis acknowledged that the Vatican was so concerned about the crisis in Chile that it planned to ask Barros, who was the bishop for the military, and two other bishops to resign and take a sabbatical. Despite these concerns, Francis appointed Barros anyway.

Francis’s defense of Barros has been excessive, accusing his detractors of calumny and being leftist agitators. He said he would not believe the accusations until he was given proof.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley publicly corrected the pope’s words:

It is understandable that Pope Francis’s statements yesterday in Santiago, Chile, were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator. Words that convey the message “if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed” abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile.


Francis accepted O’Malley’s criticism and apologized for saying the victims need to show “proof” to be believed. But he continued to say that anyone who made accusations against the bishop without providing evidence was guilty of slander.

“I can’t condemn him because I don’t have evidence,” Francis said. “But I’m also convinced that he’s innocent.”

But O’Malley is right. It is often impossible to produce evidence of crimes that are committed in secrecy. It can often come down to whether you believe the victims.

One of the few journalists to come to Francis’s defense is Austen Ivereigh, contributing editor at Crux and author of one of the best biographies of Francis.

“Victimhood doesn’t just elicit sympathy,” he writes, “it lends credibility, and confers moral authority. So, despite the fact that the bishops consistently and firmly deny that they witnessed Karadima’s abuse (and, in the case of Barros, that he ever received a letter detailing that abuse while serving as secretary to Cardinal Juan Francisco Fresno of Santiago), and despite no verified evidence in any civil or canonical case so far that the bishops are lying, the charges against them have stuck in the media.”

He notes that the victims are so far unsuccessfully suing the Archdiocese of Santiago for $450,000. The case “depends on demonstrating that those in authority knew and failed to act on the abuse they suffered.”

“There are plenty of other questions to be asked about the victims’ case,” he concludes, “but few dare to do so for fear of being accused of ‘revictimizing’ them.”

I would argue that both Barros and the victims deserve their day in court, both in civil court and in ecclesiastical court. [Exactly. But whereas the 'Church', specifically, the CDF under Benedict XVI, listened to Karadima's victims in adjudicating Karadima guilty of sex abuses and penalizing him, these same victims making charges against Barros for, at the minimum, complicity with Karadima, are now 'judged' by Bergoglio to be engaging in calumny.Yet he himself never ordered any formal investigation of the charges against Barros. He claims now that he had him investigated, that he studied and re-studied the case, and found no evidence whatsoever of culpability, but all we have is his word for it - which isn't worth very much these days - when at the peak of the protests in Chile against Barros, the most that the Vatican said was this: “The Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment". Nineteen words against the protests of thousands of Chilean faithful and a letter of protest signed by almost half of the members of the Chilean Parliament! Nineteen words that nowhere conveyed any personal initiative by Bergoglio for any formal investigation whatsoever that he now claims he did. It seems the extent of his initiative at the time was to tell the Vatican Press Office what to say - those 19 words, precisely - as a pro forma sop to satisfy those who were protesting Barros's appointment.]

Francis is not helping by throwing around accusations of slander and calumny. It is wrong to declare, before the process [What process? There is no ongoing process in the Church to clear up the Barros case once and for all, although there may be in Chile's criminal courts!] is completed, that he is convinced the bishop is innocent and his accusers are lying.

His job is to see to it that there is a transparent and legitimate process in place to handle such accusations and then get out of the way. To appoint a bishop to a new diocese before his name was cleared was a serious mistake. Francis’s advisers were correct; the bishop should have taken a sabbatical. [The point, Fr. Reese, is that Bergoglio obviously never wanted any such process to take place. Again, I will say: he decided he would be the only competent one-man court-judge-and-jury ("Heck, why not? What for am I pope if I can't do that?") to decide that Barros is completely innocent of any wrongdoing or the appearance of wrongdoing. There never was such a process and there isn't one now.]

The fundamental problem is that the church has no process for judging bishops that is transparent and has legitimacy with the public.

The bishop may or may not be innocent, but no one will trust a secret process that involves clerics investigating clerics, clerics judging clerics.

The past decades have shown that no profession is good at judging its own, whether police, doctors, lawyers, teachers, politicians, government workers, athletes, coaches, entertainers, spies, the military or clergy. Too often colleagues look the other way and don’t want to believe that their friend is guilty. When guilt becomes apparent, there is the temptation to deal with it internally and keep it secret lest the profession suffer.

It took too long, but the church now has procedures in place for dealing with abusive priests that involve lay review boards, suspension while an investigation takes place, collecting evidence, hearing from victims and zero tolerance for abusers. It is not a perfect system, and sometimes it is ignored, but at least it exists.

There is no similar process for handling accusations against bishops for failing to report and deal with bad priests.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors recommended that Francis set up a separate office in the Vatican to deal with bishops who fail to do their job protecting children. At first, he agreed, but then he left the job with the Congregation for Bishops and existing Vatican offices. That was a mistake. The office that creates bishops will never be eager to uncover evidence that the man it helped become a bishop is a failure.

The Catholic Church could learn from secular governments on how to structure itself to deal with crimes and cover-ups, especially those that do not come under the jurisdiction of secular authorities.

The Vatican needs a department of justice with professional investigators and prosecutors who could deal with sexual abuse and cover-ups, as well as financial corruption, theft and other crimes. A separate judicial system should determine whether the evidence of guilt is convincing. The roles of investigators and judges could appropriately be held by lay women and men.

No one should be above the law. It compromises the system when someone like Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is not called to testify under oath in the case involving the misappropriation of funds to pay for the renovation of his apartment. [I agree. And Bertone himself ought to have volunteered to testify, since he made quite a few statements exonerating himself. Testimony perhaps to the kind of service Bertone rendered to Bergoglio during the months he stayed on as Secretary of State that the Bergoglio Vatican's justice system was willing to 'exempt' Bertone from the court implications of the renovation fund scam, or whatever it was.]

The [Bergoglio Vatican] status quo is not working. [At least, the status quo ante, with Benedict XVI, had none of these scandals, no matter how hard the world's biggest media giants huffed and puffed to 'create' them.] Pope Francis needs to make dramatic changes in the way in which the Vatican investigates crimes, especially those by bishops.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, January 24, 2018 4:58 AM


When communion for the remarried was reintroduced into Catholic discussion a few years ago, we were informed that it was a “pastoral” and “merciful” initiative. Those of us who pointed out that the Church had condemned the idea were told not to worry. Doctrine would be untouched, it was said. The question was merely how to apply the unchanged teaching to a diversity of circumstances.

But as the proposal slowly spreads, and as Rome wavers, it is increasingly clear that the abandonment of traditional practice will only create more suffering and confusion. In trying to get round the Church’s teaching, bishops and theologians are inventing a new set of restrictions, whose consequences are harsher than anything that the most rigidly judgmental traditionalist could dream up.

Committing adulterous sex bars one from the sacraments: So Catholics have believed for the last two thousand years. To skirt this doctrine, it has become necessary to distinguish fit adulterers from unfit ones. The fit ones, by various forms of “discernment,” will be encouraged to take communion and also commit adultery. The unfit ones, also by a process of “discernment,” will be barred from communion.

This is the division that runs through the new guidelines from the archdiocese of Braga, Portugal, which lay out a proposed path to the sacraments for divorced-and-remarried Catholics.

The Braga document, like other examples of the genre, buries its spectacularly controversial proposal amid a long list of truisms. Like a teenager trying to slip an awkward request past his parents, it discusses every subject under the sun before saying, “By the way….” [But that was exactly the modus operandi of AL!]

It reflects, without any great profundity, on the nature of education (“a process of empowerment”), the stresses of modernity (“family life has never been easy”), and relationships (“love cannot be reduced to mere attraction”). Reading the document, you would not know that the controversy over communion has caused so much confusion and division in the last four years.

The Braga pathway is supposed to take “a few months,” in which individuals will “discern” whether they can receive communion.
- There will be “regular meetings” with a priest, in order to “distinguish properly each individual case.”
- The discernment will take several things into account, such as the state of one’s marriage, the condition of one’s children, the impact on the community.
- The individual will meditate on Scripture, and on Amoris Laetitia. - At the end, the discerner is advised to “make a list in two columns of the pros and cons of access to the sacraments.” (But don’t get ahead of yourself: “A pro can equate to many cons or vice versa.”)
- Having made a decision for or against receiving communion, one double-checks it in prayer. “If the Lord does not show signs contrary to the decision taken, then, with freedom, accept it.”

When this is imported from the land of abstractions to the real world, it becomes obvious that it is a recipe for spiritual distress and desolation. Under the Church’s perennial teaching — so deep-rooted in history, so strongly affirmed in modern times — everyone in such a relationship is treated equally: If they avoid having sex with their new partner, they can receive communion. But if they join the Braga fast-track, they can be one of two kinds of person: Fit or Unfit. After six months, Mr. Fit discerns that he can receive communion. Mr. Unfit discerns the opposite: that God wishes him to abstain.

Why does Mr. Unfit decide this? However many “pros and cons” he has discerned, none of these can quite explain the prohibition. There is no algorithm to show that being 65 percent on friendly terms with one’s estranged spouse, one’s children being 43 percent OK, and the community being 37 percent scandalized, means that one cannot receive communion. There must be some mysterious, decisive factor which means Mr. Unfit is cut off from God. Like an eighteenth-century Evangelical convinced that he is predestined to damnation, Mr. Unfit is trapped in the darkness.

If this is cruel to Mr. Unfit, it is scarcely kind to Mr. Fit. Can he be sure that he is so much closer to God than Mr. Unfit? And what if, after Mr. Fit has been taking communion for a couple of months, he “discerns” that he is unfit? He must wonder whether he is deceived now about the will of God, or whether he was deceived before.

Discernment is common in Catholic life: People discern whether to enter religious life, to accept a new job, to make a New Year’s resolution. But the Braga guidelines apply discernment to something completely novel: whether one is shut out from the relationship with Jesus of which the Eucharist is the source and summit.

In a diocese that follows the Church’s perennial teaching, you can confess your sins, resolve to avoid them in future, and get on with your life. In Braga, you are asked to spend months brooding on your own worthiness.


Moreover — and this is hardly an incidental point — the deeper the discernment goes, the more certain it is that adultery will achieve that “full knowledge” and “full consent” which are necessary for a mortal sin that kills the life of grace in the soul.

Throughout the Braga guidelines there is an intellectual vagueness, which gives rise to one absurdity after another. For instance, the document mentions confession, but does not explain how Mr. Fit will act in that sacrament. Since he is not asked to renounce adultery, what is he meant to say when he kneels in the confessional? Should he not mention adultery? Should he conclude his act of contrition with: “by the help of Your grace, I will try not to sin again — with the exception of adultery”? The Braga guidelines point to such bizarre consequences, but cannot be bothered to address them.

This remains one of the great ironies of the present doctrinal crisis: Those who talk most about “pastoral realities” and “people in concrete circumstances” (they have been known to say “concrete people”) are also willing to champion the most unworkable ideas.

How refreshing it is to turn from this spectacle to the teaching that St. John Paul II described as “by virtue of the very authority of the Lord, Shepherd of Shepherds”: that anyone who has strayed from their wedding vows is called to return to chastity, and that a generous God will pour out abundant graces to help them do it.

This God is not mentioned in the Braga guidelines. He might get in the way of all that mercy.

How can Bergoglio and his Bergoglian bishops and priests read critiques like this and not wake up to the utter absurdity of discernment, Bergoglio-style, which is really a pretentious hypocritical way of saying "Do what you want to do - your conscience has absolute primacy!"
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, January 26, 2018 5:39 AM


The Bergoglio modus operandi of wreckovation can be summed up in the words 'slippery slope strategy' - the whole point being to take some seemingly
insignificant step that is really a broad jump to the edge of a slippery slope that leads straight to hell...


Operation Catechism: Homo-heresy attempts
the final assault Catholic doctrine

[Or how the church of Bergoglio is heading straight to hell in a handbasket]
by Andrea Zambrano

January 24, 2018

Change the Catechism! If its doctrine does not coincide with the new desired orthodoxy concerning homosexuality, it will be better to adopt the solution of Alexander the Great, who with one stroke of his sword decided to untangle the Gordian knot in his own way: by cutting it in two.

In the same way, in order to accept and definitively clear the way for homo-erotic practice, it is necessary to address the fundamentals, and from there everything will be easier.

Now that an attitude of laxity and acceptance of homosexuality as a natural variant of human sexuality is becoming increasingly common, there remains only one small obstacle to adding a full affirmation of LGBT rights as an ingredient in the “Christian salsa” – to remove the Catechism of the Catholic Church, considered the last obstacle to be overcome.

Thus the battle will now move to a doctrinal level, but everything must be prepared with an affected and reassuring language which only a certain attitude of clericalism knows how to do.
- Above all, there must first be sent forth pioneers who make themselves interpreters and spokesmen of this line of thought. A small group of theologians and priests, a few bishops and even so-called pastoral workers, who lead a solitary battle outside of all restraint [from the Magisterium], but who place themselves prominently in view in their dioceses, while the silent majority is dozing.
- The last shot, chronologically, is given to certain lay people, according to the precisely-ordered tapestry of the tearful cause.

So reports Repubblica, telling the story of two parents who have accepted their lesbian daughter and have now joined the team put together by the Bishop of Civitavecchia, Luigi Marrucci, who himself belongs to the so-called Christian LGBT movement. “We were firmly convinced that homosexuality was a sin,” they say.

And now? “We prayed and read the parable of the Prodigal Son, and we came to understand that Lord accepts all without judging. Martina is living in the truth and we love her as she is.”

What truth are they speaking about? Certainly not the truth of the Gospel or the story of Sodom in the Bible nor the truth of the Catechism, to which they make a little peep towards the end of the story: “The problem is with the Catechism, which says that homosexuality is an intrinsically-disordered orientation.”

Here we have found the stumbling stone. This is the key observation necessary in order to “finally” clear the way for the homo-heresy in a Catholic tone. In fact this interview did not just happen by chance, rather, it was initiated from afar. Above all, to affirm the incompatibility of the Catechism, i.e., Catholic doctrine, with the world as it is experienced to be, which would be a worldview based on immanent experience and thus not based on truths of the Divine Law. But so it is.

Chronologically, [those who want a Catholic revolution] must now put in doubt the truth about homosexuality as taught by the Catechism, as Avvenire observed in a well-laid out editorial by Luciano Moia: “There are those who, recognizing the Catholic Tradition contained in the Catechism, maintain the necessity of an affective life conducted in chastity. But there are also those, including bishops and theologians, who ask the Church to make a more profound reflection on the significance of sexuality, not excluding a [permissive] revision of moral theology.”

Who is right in this flirtation with moral relativism? The latter group seems to understand. Look at how here they are laying the groundwork to consider the Catechism no longer untouchable, introducing the virus of revision, as if the truth about man and the divine plan for the human race was merely a social construct subject to changing opinions.

After the Avvenire article [May 2017] a top-secret mini-council was held, in the course of which was laid the foundation, so to speak for the future dismantling of articles 2357, 2358, and 2359 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in which it says that “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, Tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”

The meeting was promoted by one of the Jesuits who has been most closely involved with the work of clearing the way for homosexuality, a certain Fr. Pino Piva, who for some time has been the most “listened to” – at least in Italy – among homosexuals who profess to be Catholic but who do not accept the way of chastity proposed by the Catechism and also by the 1986 Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons written by then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

This Fr. Piva, newly moved to the Jesuit house in Bologna, has been gathering together groups of LGBT Christians and those operators who have been working in recent years in various dioceses following specific agendas, always being very careful of course to make sure that there are no experiences of prayer offered by Courage or the group called “Lot” run by Luca di Tolve, which hold views on homosexuality faithfully in line with the Magisterium.

Joining this little team is also a bishop, who has helped out at these meetings but without intervening. [Who is he???] The meeting is open to LGBT believers and to priests who have joined them in undertaking the most “diverse” lifestyles, without any pretense of trying to correct them, but rather desiring to throw into the dragnet all of these experiences and approaches as a way of addressing the theme of homosexuality in the life of the Church. There is only one common denominator: being critical of the Catechism, now considered the principal obstacle to a full gay-friendly opening to homo-erotic practice.

Expressions like “sin”? Old-fashioned. “Welcome”? Only if you accept homosexuality as a natural variation of sexuality. “Love”? Only as a jumble of feelings and not as a naturally-ordered plan desired by God.

Little is known about what takes place at this meeting, but something came out on the blog of Fr. Mauro Leonardi, another promoter of the homo-erotic cause, who has been in the game for a long time, even to the point of interviewing Vladimir Luxuria [an Italian “transgender” celebrity who as a Communist politician was the first openly “transgender” member of Parliament in Europe] without discussing or questioning any of her [his??] thinking.

Leonardi, who writes a widely-followed blog, has dropped some real zingers, such as this one: “If however, as is true for the large majority of homosexual persons, one is convinced that the homosexual condition is natural and desired by God, can the only response of the Church really be: ‘As long as you don’t adhere to the Catechism (and besides, the Catechism is not the Gospel) you cannot receive the Sacraments?’ Is it even possible to confess sins which one’s conscience does not believe to be sins?”

In sum, once we have eliminated all objective data on human nature and the divine order, homosexuality is also nothing other than a matter of each person’s opinion. And as such it must be accepted and promoted. In fact, also quoting the bishop present at the Bologna meeting, Leonardi said, “I do not tell you to adhere to the Catechism. I say: the Church still does not have an answer.”

It would be an objectively grave matter if a bishop promotes the thesis of rebellion against the Catechism, which represents not a mere code of laws taken off the street but the normative architecture on which the Faith is based. And it would be just as disturbing that a bishop affirms that the Church still does not have an answer.

Because in reality there actually is an answer which displays a united charity and truth in a truly thrilling way with respect to chastity, to which homosexuals are also called, as the experience of Courage has demonstrated. But now the gauntlet has been thrown down and the crusade against the Catechism must go forward.

How will they proceed? They have also been sharpening their weapons on this strategy:
- Drawing their inspiration from the “revision” of the Catechism proposed by Pope Francis on the death penalty and his pronouncements about the past concerning [the teaching of the Church about] the abolition of slavery. Arguments which are completely different, but useful here to justify a method of dismantling [the Catechism] that can now be useful for the homo-erotic cause.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, January 27, 2018 2:21 AM

Icons of the Argentine Pantheon: Their common thread is Juan Peron, whom Che Guevara, from Cuba, sought hard to bring home from exile. They had become friends but Peron disapproved of guerrilla warfare and warned Che not to start it in Bolivia
because it would be 'suicide'. He was right.


Fr. Blake, thanks to his Argentine waiter-friend, has nailed a great insight into one aspect of Peronism - its caudillismo, the cult of the leader-who-is-always-right - and how this has bled over into Jorge Bergoglio.

Peronism and corruption

January 25, 2018

I had a lesson in Peronism from an Argentinian waiter recently, in Argentina he was a PPE graduate. [PPE - for philosophy, politics and economics - is probably the most 'popular' undergraduate major in British universities and those that style themselves after the British universities.]

Peronism, he said, was the most corrupt form of politics, because you could be a Communist, or a Facist, or a Capitalist, the only thing that mattered was support for Peron, and post-Peron, any other head of State. It is a remnant of 1920s-30s Fascism, where the will of the Fuhrer or Il Duce was all that mattered. Right or Wrong, Good or Bad, Custom or Tradition, Law or Morality, or anything else pale into insignificance and have no validity compared to the Will of the Leader.

Therefore the ideal is to be as close as possible to the Leader, failing direct proximity the next best thing is to be close either to those who are close to the Leader or those know, or claim to know, the mind of the Leader.

Under such a system, moral automony is reduced to slavery because is no mral compass, such abstracts as Right and Wrong are of no importance. All that does matter is Dux Vult (The leader wills it). If the leader is somewhat erratic that doesn't really matter, it just means his followers have to be closer and listen even more intently, and it could be that what was the Leader's will last year or even this morning, might not be so now, or his will expressed to A might be the complete opposite of what was expressed to B.

To the Peronist, the old elite, who based their authority on intellectual expertise or their understanding, or knowledge of - even their fidelity to - the law must be supplanted, as nothing other than the leader's will matters. They represent an alternative authority, and therefore a possible alternative source of power, and certainly a source of evaluation and criticism. Peronism hates intellectuals - they are always totally arbitrary and concerned with what is expedient, what adds to or deepens the leader's power.

Nowadays everyone identifies the rule of Francis as in some sense Peronist. It is a popular conclusion, and I identified it at the beginning of his reign, somewhat positively, as appealing to the ordinary man in that he tried to make the Papacy 'popular'. That was a bit naive of me - it is actually Peronism, which is essentially about making the leader powerful.

The trouble with Peronism, as my waiter friend explaine,d is that far from being a cure for corruption it becomes a source of it The corruption in the Vatican is based on nepotism and patronage. It is the old Italian thing, as dominant in Rome as it is in Palermo: X has done me a favour, therefore I will do a favour for Y, who will do you a favour, in return for you helping Z, who will then be indebted to me.

Peronism thrives on this because relations with the leader, rather than integrity, honour or honesty, are all that matters. It does indeed reduce everyone to slavery because personal integrity is always subject to whatever the leader wants. North Korea is perhaps the Peronist ideal, or at least its reductio ad absurdum.

Peronism [which in this case, has mutated into Bergoglism] cannot tolerate upright men of integrity. But it does approve and welcome the servile and weak and those who are either stupid, indebted in some sense or lack integrity, who are therefore always corruptible. One could list a huge number of Bergoglio courtiers who fit into this category.

In his recent comment in Chile on Bishop Barros, while denouncing Barros's sccusers of being calumnious liars, the Pope quite rightly says "bring me evidence and I will act". It is right and just to have proof, and innocence should be presumed. The problem, of course, is that in other situations he has removed bishops on mere rumour or gossip, as in the case of the [orthodox and traditional and vocation-building] Bishop of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. [Thank you, Father, for bringing that up. It is certainly a most apposite case to cite. I had forgotten all about it in my outrage with Bergoglio's obsession with Barros.]

In the English-speaking world the norm is: if a priest or bishop is accused of sexual abuse, he is suspended until he is exonerated, and the burden of prove is on him, not his accuser. In Italy, Francis has a reputation of extending 'mercy' to the friends of friends of sexual abusers such as Fr Mauro Inzoli, suspended by Benedict, then rehabilitated by Francis, then suspended again when he was convicted and imprisoned. His own record on sexual abusers in Buenos Aires is reportedly not quite a shining example - it compares very poorly to Cardinal Pell's, even in the 1980s. It is a very Peronist way of acting, where due process or good practice is over-ridden according to the leader's will or friendships.

The same could be said of the 'wedding on the plane' - due process, ritual, law, all seemingly ignored for the sake of what many might see as a stunt.

The Papal award to Liliane Ploumen or his repeated praise of Emma Bonino can be seen in Peronist terms: what matters is not Catholic belief but what is political expedient. It is a good thing in the eyes of the world, or just his friends to praise or honour famous women who might be pro-abortion but, more important to Bergoglio, they are anti-trafficking, anti-violence against women [and pro-indiscriminate immigration].

The latest action of asking Chinese 'underground' Catholic Bishops to step down in favour of State appointees is indeed a Peronist act. The orthodoxy, the past suffering and loyalty of such bishops and their people, counts for little compared with rapprochement with the Chinese Government. [But not for the sake of rapprochement per se, but to pave the way for Bergoglio to become the first pope to visit China. In which he appears to be willing to sacrifice the millions of Chinese Catholics who have chosen to be in the 'underground' Church.]

The message sent to the world is that in its relationship with the world, everything the Catholic Church once believed is up for grabs - and with China, almost as if what is most desired is a Papal visit to China and the 'image' it might bring the Holy See and the Pope personally.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, January 27, 2018 5:24 AM


Am I suddenly in an alternate universe – where the Fishwrap editorializes against Bergoglio, Fr. Reese calls him ‘blind’ to the clerical sex abuse issue, and now the German bishops are not siding
with him on his ‘great Bergoglian inspiration' to change the words of one of the key petitions we make to the Lord, in the prayer taught by Christ on that hill overlooking Galilee more than 2000 years ago?


German bishops reject pope’s
translation change to Lord’s Prayer



BERLIN, January 25, 2018 (AP) - Catholic bishops in Germany say they’ve debated Pope Francis’s suggestion to tweak the translation of the Lord’s Prayer, but will leave it unchanged.

France recently changed its translation of “lead us not into temptation” to “don’t let me fall into temptation,” which Francis has suggested was better, to make clearer that Catholics do not believe God ever induces someone into sin.

The pope told Italy’s Church-owned TV2000 last month that a father would never push a son into sin, and “what pushes you to temptation is Satan.”

TV2000 had been broadcasting a series of conversations between the pope and a Catholic prison chaplain, looking at the Lord’s Prayer line by line. The episode broadcast Dec. 6 focused on the line, “Lead us not into temptation.”

But the German Bishops’ Conference said Thursday there were strong “philosophical, exegetical, liturgical and, not least, ecumenical” reasons to leave the present wording unchanged. Among other things, they say the line speaks of “the trust to be carried and redeemed by almighty God.”

Francis recently allowed individual bishops’ conferences greater leeway in translating liturgical texts, after the Vatican had previously centralized the process under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, making it appear unlikely that Rome will attempt to compel the German bishops to take up the pope’s suggestion.

To some observers of Church affairs, the decision by the German bishops may seem slightly surprising, given that they’re usually perceived as among the staunchest allies and supporters of Pope Francis in the Catholic world.

Mario Tosatti riffs on the issue, venting on the Italian bishops who seem bent on changing their Lord's Prayer the way the pope wants it.
Safe to say they will, after their TV channel dedicated six programs featuring Bergoglio, no less, to tout their 'new' translation.



Perhaps a new Dead Sea scroll will show that
the pope and the Italian bishops are right
about 'editing' the Lord's Prayer?

Translated from

January 26, 2018

I hope that the first-century Gospel fragment written in Aramaic, Greek and Latin (sort of like a Rosetta Stone), on the basis of which the Italian bishops’ conference will be discussing how to change the most important prayer in Christianity, will prove to be authentic.

It dates back to the last years of the first century A.D., and who knows? – in the absence of tape recorders to dear to the Jesuit superior-general – perhaps it may be signed by the Christ, or at least, carry his initials! No, the existence of this fragment (or fragments) has not been revealed, but it ought to exist! Otherwise, with what nerve would any Christian dare to manipulate a 2000-year-old text that has always been considered authentic and prayed this way by generations of Christians?

The last faint hope is that in their fall assembly, when the bishops will decide on the change – from “lead us not into temptation” to “do not abandon us to temptation”, which is the professed preference of [Scriptural and Christological expert[ Jorge Bergoglio – the vote in the secret balloting (God knows what each bishop will vote, but not Galantino, and not even Bergoglio would know), the Italian bishops will vote NO in an act of belated repentance and recovery of faith and pride in the faith. Alas, I am only too aware of how illusory this wish is!

We spoke about the Lord’s Prayer issue with Fr. Nicola Bux recently, and this is what that wise and learned man explained:

“As for the clause “et ne nos inducas in tentationem", this what St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in his Comment on the Lord’s Prayer. After having pointed out that God ‘tempts’ man to test his virtue, and that to be ‘led into temptation’ means to consent to it: "Here, Christ teaches us to ask God to help us be able to avoid sin, that is, not to be led into temptation from which we would slide into sin, so he teaches us to pray ‘And lead us not into temptation’...

Aquinas, who makes clear that it is the world, the flesh and the devil who tempt man to evil, notes that we conquer temptation with the help of God. How? "Christ teaches us to ask not that we shall not be tempted, but to ask that we not be led into temptation…

Finally, he asks: ‘But perhaps God leads us to evil the moment we say “lead us not into temptation’"? I answer that God leads us to evil in the sense that he allows it because, given man’s repeated and multiple sins, he withdraws his grace, without which man easily falls into evil. That is why we say with the Psalmist: ‘As my strength fails, do not forsake me’ (71,9). And God sustains man so that he does not fall into temptation, through the fervor of his charity, which little as it may be, is enough to preserve us from sin”.


In short, that phrase was already ‘problematic’ in Aquinas’s time, but no one thought to change the line, certainly not to sugarcoat it, but rather, it was sought to understand it more profoundly.

In the same conversation, don Nicola called on me to verify some data (which I am guilty of not having done) – namely, if it is true that in Germany, even atheists objected to the change favored by Pope Francis, and that the Protestants announced they were not changing anything. Not to mention that Biblical exegetes of every race and color have been asking whether Bergoglio also intends to change the original Greek text of the New Testament, of which the Latin is an exact translation. [Well, now we have the official stand of the German Catholic bishops - No, they will leave the prayer as it is.]

Recently, the priests who run the blog 'Anonimi della Croce' have been addressing this issue. In one article, they write:

The line, as it has been translated and universally prayed for centuries, comes from Matthew 16, verse 13a: “and lead us not into temptation”, but which has been maladroitly translated as “do not abandon us to temptation” [in the new official Italian translation of the Bible]. Of course, what prevailed here was the usual ‘political correctness'. How could God possibly ‘lead’ to temptation? [Bergoglio's question and objection!] Let’s change that to a translation that is softer, ‘sweeter’, more sentimental. Which is very very wrong. But I will get back to this point later.

Let us take the verse in question from the original Greek text: “καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν”. The word that interests us her is “εἰσενέγκῃς” (eisenekes), which, for centuries has been translated as “lead to”, but in the new translation, we see it replaced by the verb 'abandon to', which is completely out of place in the clause’s syntax and construction.

The greek verb eisenekes is the aorist [uninflected verb of action simply describing the action, not its time] infinitive of eispherein, made up of the adverbial prefix eis- (in Latin ‘in’ or ‘verso’, indicating a movement in a certain direction) and -pherein (Latin portare, to bring), meaning ‘bring towards’, or ‘bring into’, or ‘lead to’. Moreover the verb is linked to the substantive peirasmon (‘trial’ or ‘temptation’) through another eis. same particle we saw in the verb but used this time as a preposition which requires the accusative form for the object or complement of the verb of motion. Unlike however in Latin or German, eis can only be used with the accusative.

So we see that the Greek construction presents a clear redundancy – it underscores twice the movement towards temptation, and so, evidently, a translation that substitutes ‘do not abandon us to temptation’ is simply wrong, because it implies an essentially static process. [I would say ‘passive’ as against an 'active' mood – as if falling to temptation were God’s fault for allowing us to do so, instead of it being a result of our active will and desire.]

The Latin translation inducere, opportunely used by St. Jerome in his translation of the original Greek to the Latin Vulgate in the 4th century, is composed of ‘in-' and ‘ducere’ which is an exact translation of eispherein, followed by another 'in' and the accusative form ‘tentationem’, therefore in strict correspondence to the Greek construction. Likewise, the Italian ‘indurre in' (again with in- repeated) reproduces the construction of the Latin verb from which it comes and conveys the same significance.

Therefore, the most correct Italian translation which is faithful to the original text is what it has always been: “non ci indurre in tentazione” – lead us not into temptation – and any other translation is misleading and even grotesque.

As I have always said, respect for Sacred Scripture is fundamental, and this is demonstrated in the faithfulness of the translations to the original text [and it’s where the Novus Ordo deviated consciously and most appallingly in terms of the Mass prayers and the Scriptural readings therein]. But the tendency today is to favor the politically correct, always the ‘soft ‘ version, the sugary one, the honeyed. Completely uprooting the true significance of what the Word says to us.

Indeed, many are now asking: How can God lead to temptation? Yet there are so many Biblical passages that show how God puts temptation and trial in the way of man. Which scandalizes those in the ‘new church’ who think that God only has ‘honeyed mercy’, which means they ignore the Cross, and the trials and temptations that come with our being human.



It all comes back to my hypothesis that Bergoglio does not really think much of Original Sin – because if he did, he ought to know, as all Catholics are catechized, that all the ills of the world and of mankind are the consequences of God driving man out of Paradise because of Original Sin, and how can we complain?

All his campaigning against poverty and hunger, war and violence - and thinking he and his cohorts may be able to eliminate them from the world – is yet another form of the Original Sin, thinking man can do better than God. Bergoglio probably thinks that he would have done better than God in Eden - he would never have driven Adam and Eve out, and never punished them at all, because punishing them – and all mankind with them to the end of time – was not merciful at all.

But the test God required of his first human creatures was a test of the free will he had endowed them with – that was the first trial God put man through:Was man’s free will strong enough to resist the actual temptation that Satan presented them when he showed up in Eden? It was not – and that’s been the human story ever since.

Which is why it became necessary for God to send down his Son to live among men and teach them through his words and deeds what God expects of every human creature so he can take them back to the Paradise from which they had been expelled. The redemption Jesus brought to mankind was the second chance God has given man to recover the nature he was originally endowed with as ‘the image and likeness of God’.]


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, January 27, 2018 5:24 AM

Just a bit of chronological context: 'INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIANITY', which became an almost-instant theological classic, was published one year before Jorge Bergoglio was ordained a priest.




ALWAYS AND EVER OUR MOST BELOVED BENEDICTUS XVI







Am I suddenly in an alternate universe – where the Fishwrap editorializes against Bergoglio, Fr. Reese calls him ‘blind’ to the clerical sex abuse issue, and now the German bishops are not siding
with him on his ‘great Bergoglian inspiration' to change the words of one of the key petitions we make to the Lord, in the prayer taught by Christ on that hill overlooking Galilee more than 2000 years ago?


German bishops reject pope’s
translation change to Lord’s Prayer



BERLIN, January 25, 2018 (AP) - Catholic bishops in Germany say they’ve debated Pope Francis’s suggestion to tweak the translation of the Lord’s Prayer, but will leave it unchanged.

France recently changed its translation of “lead us not into temptation” to “don’t let me fall into temptation,” which Francis has suggested was better, to make clearer that Catholics do not believe God ever induces someone into sin.

The pope told Italy’s Church-owned TV2000 last month that a father would never push a son into sin, and “what pushes you to temptation is Satan.”

TV2000 had been broadcasting a series of conversations between the pope and a Catholic prison chaplain, looking at the Lord’s Prayer line by line. The episode broadcast Dec. 6 focused on the line, “Lead us not into temptation.”

But the German Bishops’ Conference said Thursday there were strong “philosophical, exegetical, liturgical and, not least, ecumenical” reasons to leave the present wording unchanged. Among other things, they say the line speaks of “the trust to be carried and redeemed by almighty God.”

Francis recently allowed individual bishops’ conferences greater leeway in translating liturgical texts, after the Vatican had previously centralized the process under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, making it appear unlikely that Rome will attempt to compel the German bishops to take up the pope’s suggestion.

To some observers of Church affairs, the decision by the German bishops may seem slightly surprising, given that they’re usually perceived as among the staunchest allies and supporters of Pope Francis in the Catholic world.

Mario Tosatti riffs on the issue, venting on the Italian bishops who seem bent on changing their Lord's Prayer the way the pope wants it.
Safe to say they will, after their TV channel dedicated six programs featuring Bergoglio, no less, to tout their 'new' translation.


Perhaps a new Dead Sea scroll will show that
the pope and the Italian bishops are right
about 'editing' the Lord's Prayer?

Translated from

January 26, 2018

I hope that the first-century Gospel fragment written in Aramaic, Greek and Latin (sort of like a Rosetta Stone), on the basis of which the Italian bishops’ conference will be discussing how to change the most important prayer in Christianity, will prove to be authentic.

It dates back to the last years of the first century A.D., and who knows? – in the absence of tape recorders to dear to the Jesuit superior-general – perhaps it may be signed by the Christ, or at least, carry his initials! No, the existence of this fragment (or fragments) has not been revealed, but it ought to exist! Otherwise, with what nerve would any Christian dare to manipulate a 2000-year-old text that has always been considered authentic and prayed this way by generations of Christians?

The last faint hope is that in their fall assembly, when the bishops will decide on the change – from “lead us not into temptation” to “do not abandon us to temptation”, which is the professed preference of [Scriptural and Christological expert] Jorge Bergoglio – the vote in the secret balloting (God knows what each bishop will vote, but not Galantino, and not even Bergoglio would know), the Italian bishops will vote NO in an act of belated repentance and recovery of faith and pride in the faith. Alas, I am only too aware of how illusory this wish is!

We spoke about the Lord’s Prayer issue with Fr. Nicola Bux recently, and this is what that wise and learned man explained:

“As for the clause “et ne nos inducas in tentationem", this what St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in his Comment on the Lord’s Prayer. After having pointed out that God ‘tempts’ man to test his virtue, and that to be ‘led into temptation’ means to consent to it: "Here, Christ teaches us to ask God to help us be able to avoid sin, that is, not to be led into temptation from which we would slide into sin, so he teaches us to pray ‘And lead us not into temptation’...

Aquinas, who makes clear that it is the world, the flesh and the devil who tempt man to evil, notes that we conquer temptation with the help of God. How? "Christ teaches us to ask not that we shall not be tempted, but to ask that we not be led into temptation…

Finally, he asks: ‘But perhaps God leads us to evil the moment we say “lead us not into temptation’"? I answer that God leads us to evil in the sense that he allows it because, given man’s repeated and multiple sins, he withdraws his grace, without which man easily falls into evil. That is why we say with the Psalmist: ‘As my strength fails, do not forsake me’ (71,9). And God sustains man so that he does not fall into temptation, through the fervor of his charity, which little as it may be, is enough to preserve us from sin”.


In short, that phrase was already ‘problematic’ in Aquinas’s time, but no one thought to change the line, certainly not to sugarcoat it, but rather, it was sought to understand it more profoundly.

In the same conversation, don Nicola called on me to verify some data (which I am guilty of not having done) – namely, if it is true that in Germany, even atheists objected to the change favored by Pope Francis, and that the Protestants announced they were not changing anything. Not to mention that Biblical exegetes of every race and color have been asking whether Bergoglio also intends to change the original Greek text of the New Testament, of which the Latin is an exact translation. [Well, now we have the official stand of the German Catholic bishops - No, they will leave the prayer as it is.]

Recently, the priests who run the blog 'Anonimi della Croce' have been addressing this issue. In one article, they write:

The line, as it has been translated and universally prayed for centuries, comes from Matthew 16, verse 13a: “and lead us not into temptation”, but which has been maladroitly translated as “do not abandon us to temptation” [in the new official Italian translation of the Bible]. Of course, what prevailed here was the usual ‘political correctness'. How could God possibly ‘lead’ to temptation? [Bergoglio's question and objection!] Let’s change that to a translation that is softer, ‘sweeter’, more sentimental. Which is very very wrong. But I will get back to this point later.

Let us take the verse in question from the original Greek text: “καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν”. The word that interests us her is “εἰσενέγκῃς” (eisenekes), which, for centuries has been translated as “lead to”, but in the new translation, we see it replaced by the verb 'abandon to', which is completely out of place in the clause’s syntax and construction.

The greek verb eisenekes is the aorist [uninflected verb of action simply describing the action, not its time] infinitive of eispherein, made up of the adverbial prefix eis- (in Latin ‘in’ or ‘verso’, indicating a movement in a certain direction) and -pherein (Latin portare, to bring), meaning ‘bring towards’, or ‘bring into’, or ‘lead to’. Moreover the verb is linked to the substantive peirasmon (‘trial’ or ‘temptation’) through another eis. same particle we saw in the verb but used this time as a preposition which requires the accusative form for the object or complement of the verb of motion. Unlike however in Latin or German, eis can only be used with the accusative.

So we see that the Greek construction presents a clear redundancy – it underscores twice the movement towards temptation, and so, evidently, a translation that substitutes ‘do not abandon us to temptation’ is simply wrong, because it implies an essentially static process. [I would say ‘passive’ as against an 'active' mood – as if falling to temptation were God’s fault for allowing us to do so, instead of it being a result of our active will and desire.]

The Latin translation inducere, opportunely used by St. Jerome in his translation of the original Greek to the Latin Vulgate in the 4th century, is composed of ‘in-' and ‘ducere’ which is an exact translation of eispherein, followed by another 'in' and the accusative form ‘tentationem’, therefore in strict correspondence to the Greek construction. Likewise, the Italian ‘indurre in' (again with in- repeated) reproduces the construction of the Latin verb from which it comes and conveys the same significance.

Therefore, the most correct Italian translation which is faithful to the original text is what it has always been: “non ci indurre in tentazione” – lead us not into temptation – and any other translation is misleading and even grotesque.

As I have always said, respect for Sacred Scripture is fundamental, and this is demonstrated in the faithfulness of the translations to the original text [and it’s where the Novus Ordo deviated consciously and most appallingly in terms of the Mass prayers and the Scriptural readings therein]. But the tendency today is to favor the politically correct, always the ‘soft ‘ version, the sugary one, the honeyed. Completely uprooting the true significance of what the Word says to us.

Indeed, many are now asking: How can God lead to temptation? Yet there are so many Biblical passages that show how God puts temptation and trial in the way of man. Which scandalizes those in the ‘new church’ who think that God only has ‘honeyed mercy’, which means they ignore the Cross, and the trials and temptations that come with our being human.



It all comes back to my hypothesis that Bergoglio does not really think much of Original Sin – because if he did, he ought to know, as all Catholics are catechized, that all the ills of the world and of mankind are the consequences of God driving man out of Paradise because of Original Sin, and how can we complain?

All his campaigning against poverty and hunger, war and violence - and thinking he and his cohorts may be able to eliminate them from the world – is yet another form of the Original Sin, thinking man can do better than God. Bergoglio probably thinks that he would have done better than God in Eden - he would never have driven Adam and Eve out, and never punished them at all, because punishing them – and all mankind with them to the end of time – was not merciful at all.

But the test God required of his first human creatures was a test of the free will he had endowed them with – that was the first trial God put man through:Was man’s free will strong enough to resist the actual temptation that Satan presented them when he showed up in Eden? It was not – and that’s been the human story ever since.

Which is why it became necessary for God to send down his Son to live among men and teach them through his words and deeds what God expects of every human creature so he can take them back to the Paradise from which they had been expelled. The redemption Jesus brought to mankind was the second chance God has given man to recover the nature he was originally endowed with as ‘the image and likeness of God’.]


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, January 27, 2018 5:33 AM
Cardinal Zen stands in line at St. Peter's Square
to deliver letter from China's 'underground Church' to the pope

by Duncan DeAeth


TAIPEI, January 25, 2018 (Taiwan News) - Ties between China and the Vatican appear to be getting more complex with recent news that a retired Hong Kong Cardinal made a secret mission to deliver a letter directly to the Pope on behalf of Catholics in China.

CNA reports that on Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the Vatican, Hong Kong’s 86-year-old emeritus Archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Zen, appeared in Saint Peter’s Square, lined up in the cold with other petitioners, seeking to deliver a letter directly into the hands of Pope Francis.

Reportedly, he was coming to deliver a letter from the “underground” Catholic congregation in China, so that the Pope would better understand the situation on the ground.

According to Italian media, Zen said the letter was successfully delivered, and the Pope promised him that he would read it. [If the DUBIA cardinals had Cardinal Zen's initiative and stood in line to confront him, how would Bergoglio have snubbed them? Meanie me, I assume he would have!]

Cardinal Zen’s impromptu 'meeting' with Pope Francis [I wonder how many seconds it lasted - like maybe the 20 seconds Bergoglio gave to Asia Bibi's family?] follows the Pope's negotiations with representatives from China’s government, and the concession of the Vatican to allow Chinese government-appointed bishops authority over the church’s religious affair in parts of China.

The report about the cardinal hand-delivering the letter from the underground church in China, has led to speculation that Joseph Zen and other Catholics in Hong Kong and China are signaling their objections to the concessions of Pope Francis.

Joseph Zen has been an advocate for democracy and religious freedom throughout his life and service to the Holy See in Hong Kong. For this reason, he has often been the target of criticism and surveillance from the Communist government of China.

In December 2017, CNA reports that Joseph Zen publicly made clear his views about the talk to “unify the churches” in China, speaking about the underground Catholic community, and the officially sanctioned Catholic Church under the Chinese government.

The Cardinal lamented what he saw as a misguided change in policy on the part of the Vatican, and he stated that he did not believe it was the aim of Pope Francis to pursue such an “evil plan.”

According to Zen, “unifying the Church” in China would amount to an open persecution of true Catholics and a silencing of the underground church.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, January 28, 2018 1:01 AM

Now even the foremost 'Catholic' pusher for the LGBT cause, James Martin, SJ, has joined those Bergoglians questioning their idol's rock-firm allegiance to
a Chilean bishop he named two years ago despite significant and widespread protests that continue to this day - in a case that is festering and smelling
more and more of the poisonous pus that Bergoglio has chosen to 'nourish' in this most grave wound to his image and to 'the Church' (since the church of
Bergoglio continues to be universally regarded, alas, as the Church that Christ founded). The questioning Bergoglians do not say it but I believe their attitude
is best described as appalled, that all this should come to pass. Brownie points BTW to Fr Martin for seeing clear on this issue.



Observers remain 'mystified' over Pope’s remarks
on clerical sex abuse and call for bishop accountability

The Vatican deemed Bishop Barros’s accusers credible against Fr. Karadima.
Why doesn’t Bergoglio believe them when they say Barros knew about their abuse?

by Christopher Altieri

January 26, 2018

Pope Francis has faced a great deal of criticism since he leveled accusations of calumny against victims of clerical sex abuse last week. Those victims claim that Bishop Juan Barros, whom Pope Francis appointed to the Diocese of Osorno, Chile, on January 10, 2015, had first-hand knowledge of their abuser’s crimes and was an active participant in their cover-up.

The highest-ranking churchman to respond has been Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who is also a member of the C9 Council of Cardinal Advisors and the man the Holy Father personally chose to head the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (an organization for which people within and without the Church had high hopes when it was launched in 2014, but which quickly proved both toothless and dysfunctional, and now exists in a sort of juridical limbo, its members’ appointments having expired late last year without renewal or replacement).

“It is understandable that Pope Francis’s statements yesterday in Santiago, Chile were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator,” Cardinal O’Malley’s January 20 statement begins. It goes on to say, “Words that convey the message ‘if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed’ abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile.”

Another prominent US churchman with ties to the Vatican, Father James Martin, SJ — who serves as a consultor to the Holy See’s Secretariat for Communications — is expressing disappointment over Pope Francis’s comments.

“Like many of Pope Francis’s admirers,” Father Martin told CWR when contacted about the story, “I was disappointed in the Pope’s comments regarding Bishop Barros’s accusers, and found Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s insights a much-needed contribution to the discussion.”

Father Martin recognized that Pope Francis made an effort to ease the hurt his words have caused. “To that end, I was also grateful to see the Pope’s apology,” Father Martin said. [Altieri ought to have pointed out to Martin that the Pope only apologized for hurting the victims for having said he needed 'evidence' instead of 'proof' against Barros, but not for the fact that he accused Baros's accusers of 'nothing but calumny'.] Nevertheless, he remains perplexed at the broader situation.

“In general, what mystifies me is that there is rarely, if ever, any hard and fast evidence in clergy sex abuse cases, because of the nature of the crimes ([viz.] someone preying on a child in private),” Father Martin said. “Consequently, we must take what the victims say very seriously, because, needless to say, there are not going to be photographs or records of any kind. Moreover, some of these same victims were believed in the case of Bishop Barros’s mentor, Father Karadima, so I’m not sure why we would suddenly disbelieve them now. As I said, it’s mystifying to me.”

[One must also bear in mind that Barros stood by Karadima all along and denied he was ever aware of Karadima's wrongdoings - when at least three of Karadima's accusers who testified against him at the CDF have said Barros was present during some of the abuses committed against them, and worse, that he himself was engaged in some petting and kissing with Karadima.

For Bergoglio to simply say, "No, Barros is innocent until you bring me evidence" defies commonsense. ecause it would have been prudent back in 2014-2015 to simply put his nomination of Barros as a diocesan bishop on hold, until a full and formal investigation could be carried out to clear the suspicions and accusations, perhaps once and for all. Barros was willing to take a yearlong sabbatical at the time, but the pope himself now says he urged Barros to stay.

Could Bergoglio's pigheadedness now be because he does not want to admit he was wrong in having pushed Barros's appointment at the time? That he should have done what has become SOP for dealing with sex abuse accusations against a priest or bishop (i.e., suspend him pending a true and proper, not a whitewash, investigation of the charges)? Your Holiness - if that is what you are - when even your staunchest front-rank minions start questioning your sincerity in public, does not that tell you anything at all???]


Father Martin also said the Church must implement systems capable of holding the Church’s hierarchical leadership accountable.

“Until we see real accountability for bishops, we will not be able to get past the abuse crisis,” he said. “The papal commission, then, really needs teeth. In particular, bishops who have offended must be removed, and when they are removed it must be said that this is why they are being removed.”

Martin is not the only prominent US Jesuit to make such a call. Writing for Religion News Service, Father Thomas J. Reese argued, “The fundamental problem is that the Church has no process for judging bishops that is transparent and has legitimacy with the public.”

Pope Francis maintains that he has chosen to leave Bishop Barros in place, because, “There is not one shred of proof against him.” Pressed on the plane trip home from South America, the Pope explained, “The word ‘proof’ wasn’t the best [word to use] in order to be near to a sorrowful heart. I would say evidence. The case of Barros was studied, it was re-studied, and there is no evidence. That is what I wanted to say. I have no evidence to condemn. And if I were to condemn without evidence or without moral certainty, I would commit the crime of a bad judge.”

The Pope does have the claims of the three victims, though. Not to put too fine a point on it: that is evidence, in the form of witness testimony; witnesses a Vatican criminal tribunal believed when they said Father Fernando Karadima abused them. Barros, moreover, is one of four Karadima protégés to have been made bishops before their mentor’s crimes came to light. The accusations against Barros have been in the Chilean press at least since 2012.

So, it simply is not true that Pope Francis has no evidence. Pope Francis does not believe the witnesses. Why the Pope would choose not to believe the victims’ witness against Bishop Barros now, when his own court has found them credible, is, as Father Martin says, “mystifying.”


[It really is not 'mystifying' if you go beyond the image of Bergoglio as a sweet and kindly avuncular man who wishes nothing but good for everyone. This is a very calculating man who enjoys all the privileges, power and authority conferred on him by being pope - he has become the absolute caudillo of caudillos (Franco, Peron, Fidel Castro and an endless line of dead South American caudillos must be green with envy from whatever hell they are in) - and cannot bear to be crossed on anything. And whose first reaction to those who cross him is "Off with their heads!", or pretend they don't exist, like the DUBIA cardinals, while taking every opportunity to denounce their 'disloyalty' to the caudillo in any way he can.

And just as he did on his 'nothing-can-be-more-important-than-this' cause of championing remarried divorcees receiving the Eucharist - and thereby implicitly championing divorce as a routine recourse for 'married' couples in today's world (calling two 'family synods' under false pretenses to give him cover for his never-hidden intention of sacramental leniency, and when they did not, he went ahead anyway and unloosed AL on the world) - he is simply sinking deeper and deeper into a moral and ecclesial quagmire of his own making in the Barros case.]


It also raises a serious question about the Holy Father’s governance of the Universal Church. The presumption of innocence, in its strict juridical sense, is the explicit basis on which the Holy Father has justified his behavior in the Barros case. Even if the Holy Father is correctly applying the principle — and there are strong reasons to believe he is not — it is not the standard a prudent leader employs in making personnel decisions. [Especially not when it involves clerical sex abuse offenses, where every cleric involved must be, like Caesar's wife, above suspicion - failing which the cleric under suspicion must be suspended and the necessary investigation pursued to uncover the truth.]

Over at the UK Catholic Herald, their resident canonist Ed Condon - who has usually bent over backwards to justify some of Bergoglio's outright errors - pitches in. One is not surprised, however, that he characterizes the Bergoglio-Barros remarks as a mere 'media blunder'.

Pope’s defense of Bishop Barros
is a rare media blunder

The subject of child abuse does not lend itself well to off-the-cuff remarks

[Except, of course, that in Bergoglio's case, his off-the-cuff remarks are often his 'most honest' statements]

by Ed Condon

January 26, 2018

The storm surrounding Pope Francis’s latest defence of the embattled Chilean Bishop Barros has, following an unprecedented public correction from Cardinal Séan O’Malley and a penitent retraction from the Pope himself, begun to abate.

It is hard to discuss anything touching clerical sexual abuse with a level of dispassion, and specific cases even more so. When the matter involves such a large number of victims of a convicted abuser, as it does in this case, it’s almost impossible. But for those of us who want justice for victims and for the Church’s moral authority to be restored, and especially for those of us who wish the Pope well in his personal ministry, some evaluation of the affair needs to be made. In this specific instance, leaving aside the wider questions of Bishop Barros’s appointment in the first place, it was a deeply regrettable failure of style. [But you cannot leave aside the wider question here, because that is precisely the fundamental issue with the pope's pigheaded defense fo Barros.]

Pope Francis’s enormous media image has allowed him to command attention like few popes before him. He has a number of personal traits which play incredibly well in the age of rolling news and social media. He is spontaneous, and has little or no fear of speaking off-the-cuff, even on sensitive issues. He has a natural candor, something which shows through whenever he speaks, so that when he does address an issue, few are ever left wondering what he actually thinks. He also has a known impatience with process, formality, and what is often termed “legalism,” instead he favours what is often styled a “pastoral” approach, jumping right in to messy situations. [Get my point about Condon leaning over backwards to excuse Bergoglio when and if he can???]

In some instances, these instincts have served him well. When he chooses to, he can get his message across at a volume previous popes would have struggled to reach. But his free-wheeling style can sometimes backfire, this certainly happened last week.

A number of victims of a serial sex abuser, Fr Karadima, have accused Bishop Barros of helping cover up their abuse. Despite this, Pope Francis has stood resolutely behind Barros. On Friday, he was asked again about Barros while in Chile. He responded: “The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak. There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”

It was a characteristically blunt response from the Pope, but it kicked off a serious, and totally understandable backlash from Fr Karadima’s victims, whom he’d effectively accused of slander.

The whole affair has drawn fresh attention to the terrible scandals of clerical sexual abuse, something which many Catholics had hoped was receding from the spotlight following serious efforts to address past failings. Ensuring that there be no repetition of horrible past events, and instilling confidence in the faithful that the matter is well in hand, is a task to which Pope Francis’s otherwise effective gifts of communication seem singularly ill-suited. [No, Condon is willfully misrepresenting the situation here. Bergoglio's hubristic belief that no pope has ever been as popular and as powerful as he is have led him to this point - he really thinks he can do nothing wrong in the eyes of the media which truly and literally 'mediate' his self-image to the world. He really believes they will forgive him for any 'lapses' which show that 'the pope-emperor-caudillo is really naked', because they are as invested as he is in the image of Bergoglio that they have sold to the world. The media are as loath to be revealed as liars as Bergoglio is loath to have himself revealed as the phony 'Catholic' that he is.] As we have seen, it is not a subject which lends itself to off-the-cuff remarks.

Past failures, especially those involving bishops accused of cover-ups and collusion, were failures to follow law and proper procedure – something Benedict XVI did considerable work to correct. [Thank you for that acknowledgment, but watch next how Condon seeks to exculpate Bergoglio:]

Pope Francis’s impatience with formal process, and his famous allergy to “doctors of the law” place him at a unique disadvantage when confronted with cases like that of Bishop Barros.

Victims of sexual abuse are only ever truly respected when their abusers are seen and treated as what they are: criminals. This extends to those accused of winking at their abuse. Convicting the guilty, and exonerating the innocent, is a legal task.

For all we know, it could be that the allegations against Bishop Barros are unfounded. But in order to make the kind of full-throated defence which the Pope made of Bishop Barros, it is not enough to say you have not seen any proof. To have any kind of credibility, there needs to be a full legal process which examines the allegations and finds them baseless.

Such a process does exist, it was Pope Francis who set it up with his motu proprio Come una madre amorevole, which established legal norms for handling allegations of negligence, especially when connected with sexual abuse. But since its issuing in June of 2016, little has been done to bring this mechanism to life. The section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which handles cases connected to sexual abuse continues to complain of a serious shortage of qualified staff and resources. [And what does that say of Bergoglio's sincerity about tackling the clerical sex abuse issue other than that it has all been pro forma? To make it seem he is doing something and is sincerely interested in cleaning out the 'filth' completely from the Church. But all he has done so far is to show that if the filth happens to involve some of his favored clerics (or clerics favored by his close associates), then he makes it known that no, that isn't filth you are smelling or thinking you smell - it's really the smell of roses, perhaps the odor of sanctity, in men like Ricca, Inzoli, Capozzo, Barros et al, who, even if they may have been guilty of offenses against chastity, at the very least, have all made it right through confession and absolution, so where's the filth here? And where is your 'mercy'? Of which, BTW, the victims pointing an accusing finger at Barros do not deserve an iota! So much for our selectively 'merciful' pope!]

Similarly, Cardinal O’Malley’s intervention commanded headlines because he was the head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors – past tense, the Commission lapsed at the end of last year, and the pope has yet to renew its mandate and membership.

These examples illustrate a blind spot in the Francis pontificate, one which has dogged his sincere efforts to reform the curia and which becomes even more problematic when it touches on sexual abuse: his impatience. [Here we are again, with Bergoglio's pigheadedness (I love how appropriate the word is) about Barros being shrugged off as 'a blind spot'. No, it's not a blind spot at all. Bergoglio sees clear and wide through it, but he insists on doing it his way, anyway.]

This Pope is very comfortable making big decisions, for example setting up the C9 Council of Cardinals, the Prefecture for the Economy, and the Commission for the Protection of Minors. But the good intentions of these institutions are doomed to stall without patient and consistent papal attention and support for the nitty-gritty of their work, and, in sweeping works of legal reform, that means lawyers.

So-called doctors of the law are, as we know, a suspect class in the Vatican right now. And even before the Francis pontificate, conscientious canonists are often saddled with the reputation of being nay-sayers. In fact, a good canonist, whether serving the Pope or a diocesan bishop, almost never says “no,” far more often their job is to say “not that way.”

Pope Francis might find that his priorities and interests were served rather better if he had a few more lawyers working for him. Properly deployed he would find that they strengthen his hand, rather than tying it back.

Whether in bringing justice to victims, or reforming the curia, Pope Francis needs help. The Church is a society of more than a billion people. Governing it properly requires dedicated labourers as much as dynamic leadership. It is a great shame, and coming at an increasingly obvious cost, that those around Pope Francis have convinced him the two are mutually exclusive. [Oh well, there's always that old standby: it's not him, you know, it's those around him! John Allen was sooooo wrong in claiming recently that since someone as closely associated to Bergoglio like the better Farrell in the Curia Brian, not Kevin) bears witness with great awe that Bergoglio really knows everything that is taking place and that is being said in the Vatican, it also means that he is also blamed for everything that goes wrong! No, as we see with Condon and other Bergoglio apologists like the odious Austen Ivereigh, when something goes wrong, suddenly they trot out the pluperfect pope and strong leader who can do nothing wrong - it's really those around him who are making him go wrong! Was anyone prompting him when, in Iquique, he snapped back that calumny line to the journalist who asked him about Barros? Was it those around him who said that naming Ricca, with his blatant homosexual infamy behind him, as spiritual adviser to the IOR, would be a great advertisement for Bergoglian mercy? I could go on, but puh-leeze, spare us the 'it's really not him' line!!!! Don't they realize that by using that excuse, they're also saying that their pluperfect absolute monarch is actually being led by the nose by his sycophants and made to dance to their tune? ]


While I'm at it, here's another one of those horrible fallouts from AL. Dan Hitchens of Catholic Herald already wrote about it in FIRST THINGS (posted on the preceding page of this thread), but here canonist Ed Peters lays out the canonical and doctrinal breaches committed by bishops who have decided to implement AL as they think the pope wishes them to do...

Sometimes one side is simply right
and the other side is simply wrong

The Archdiocese of Braga in Portugal has reportedly endorsed Communion
for unqualified remarried divorcees after a 6-month period of 'discernment'.
If so, the Archdiocese is wrong — patently and gravely wrong.


January 26, 2018

That’s the situation here.

It doesn’t matter what reasons might be offered by the storied Archdiocese of Braga for its plan to authorize the administering of holy Communion to basic divorced-and-remarried Catholics. If that is, as reported in the Catholic Herald, their plan, they are wrong. Patently and gravely wrong. Just like the Maltese. Just like the Germans. And just like a few others, if only in terms of the wiggle room they allow themselves in these cases, as do, say, the Argentinians.

Of course, one more post here won’t convince the Lusitanians of this point, so I shan’t bother to make all the arguments that I (among many others) have already offered on this matter. We are right about this point and they are wrong about this point, and that’s that.

I suppose, though, I could reiterate for others what “the point” is in its tedious but crucial substantial specifics:

Per Canon 915 (papally issued law, resting on divine law foundations, and, till the current crisis, uncontested by pastoral and canonical tradition in this regard), ministers of holy Communion may not offer that Sacrament (similar problems arise in regard to offering absolution in Confession, but one crisis at a time) to
- Catholics (who are generally the only ones eligible for holy Communion in the first place, per c. 844) who, having entered a marriage that enjoys the presumption of validity (c. 1060),then civilly divorce (or are divorced, in other words, regardless of whose ‘fault’ the divorce is), and, failing to obtain (because they never applied for or were refused) an ecclesiastical declaration of nullity (or a variant on the uncommon dissolutions of marriage as discussed chiefly here and here), purport to enter a new marriage (civilly or by some other mechanism, even one that looks religious, but which, as long as the first spouse is alive, of course, isn’t a “marriage”, but we call it that for convenience, and yes this applies also to
- Single Catholics who purport to enter marriages with divorced persons as described above, but decline to live as brother-and-sister (as befits all people who are not married and which is necessary for them even to approach for holy Communion in accord with Canon 916) and, even if they do live continently (may God bless them), are nevertheless
a) known (always if ‘actually’, and usually even if ‘legally’) to be divorced and remarried outside the Church and so(notwithstanding their arguable eligibility for the Sacrament in conscience)
b) give objective scandal to the faith community (even if no one is surprised by divorce and remarriage these days, and they thereby occasion, moreover, the giving of scandal by ecclesiastical ministers who are thus tempted to disregard their certain obligations under Canon 915).


I think that’s everything.

One might well conclude that Bergoglio was 'unaware' there was any such thing as Canon 915 when he and his ghostwriters drew up AL, but since it strains credulity to think not one of them was aware of what Canon 915 says, one must conclude they decided to proceed nonetheless etsi Canon 915 no daretur because - what?
a) Bergoglio is pope and as the supreme legislator of the Church, his very word is law? and
b) he can always have Canon Law amended to suit his purposes, as he is even now thinking of amending the Catechism - i.e., the articulated doctrine of the Church - to suit his purposes.

Now I must trawl the Web to see if I can find one single Catholic action Bergoglio has performed int he past few days that I could possibly report to offset in some way his current string of imprudent, unpapal and un-Catholic words and deeds.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, January 28, 2018 5:11 AM

Aldo Maria Valli's disenchantment with Bergoglio and his Pontificate cannot be better described by the fact that in the course of a year, he has written two books
to critique it - the first, '266', a direct account of all the things that the 266th Successor of Peter has said and done to harm the Church; and a new one
that imagines the 'church' of the future after a series of popes all named Francis, to each of which he attributes words and deeds picked up directly from the
chronicles of 'Francis I', but artfully portrayed as 'new' developments by all his Bergoglian successors. I have been remiss in not translating this earlier,
but he regaled us with two of the chapters from his new book last December. In much the same spirit, he has been alternating his serious commentary lately
with what I have called his fantasy satires. Except that all the 'fantasy' is based on, alas, the all-too-true daily chronicles of this unfortunate pontificate.


What became of the Church
Translated from

December 27, 2018

My new book has been on sale since December. It is entitled Come la Chiesa finì (What became of the Church) and this time, it is not an essay or commentary but a dystopic narrative. Set in an imaginary future, it describes the progressive transformation of the Catholic Church from being the bulwark of truth and freedom to becoming an entity that increasingly became a friend of ‘the world’, ready to make compromises just be able to ‘dialog’. Dialog, along with welcoming, becomes the true objective of the ‘new church’, which by doing so, falls victim to the new masters of the world and is extinguished. Or at least, so it seems. I post here two of its chapters…

****************************************************************************************************************************************

How the Church came
to rehabilitate Marcion


Dear reader, I am about to tell you how it came about that the Church decided to rehabilitate Marcion, a protagonist of Christian thought in the second century A.D. For you, it must seem to be about events that are truly very remote so allow me a brief epilogue.

A native of Sinope on the Black Sea, Marcion lived in Rome where he died around 160 AD. He was a bishop and theologian, and the founder of his own church that was based on heresy. Indeed, he maintained that, given the radical difference between the Old and New Testaments, there was an irremediable contradiction between the two books: the God of the Old Testament could not be the God of the New Testament who is the father of Jesus.

Struck by the extraordinary novelty of Jesus, Marcion saw the Old Testament not as the premise for the coming of Jesus but a past that had to be completely overcome. Not by chance, he wrote a book called Antitesi, which appears to open with exclamations of joy and surprise over the New Testament which he thought could not be compared to anything else.

Those who have studied Marcion say that the most recurrent word in his words is ‘new’. The newness of the Gospel of Jesus seems to him so overwhelming and great as to justify a clear break from the past: Christ as the new God, the new man, bringer of a new kingdom, a new doctrine, new virtues. So, on his part there was clearly a rejection of the idea of continuity and completion. It is not true, he said, that the salvific plan is unique, and that Jesus had realized this plan starting from everything that the Bible narrates since the beginning of time.

For Marcion, behind the revelations of Scripture, there is not one God, but rather two opposing visions of the Divine: one belonging to the Old Testament, the other to the New. The first God, so to speak, was the creator, but then, there was a second God superior to the first because he was merciful and a savior.

And this is what the second new God brought: his mercy, his goodness, his love. Whereas the God of the Old testament was hard, perhaps even cruel and vindictive, the God of the New Testament was a loving father, always ready to forgive. While the first God looks at the law, the second God looks at man. So we have an incurable dualism, Marcione says: on one hand, creation; on the other, salvation. On one hand, justice, on the other, mercy.

Marcione was so convinced of his hypothesis that he ended up mutilating the New Testament: since he considered unacceptable those parts which linked to the Old Testament and which exalted the humanity of Jesus (he thought this was unworthy of a God), he simply eliminated them, considering them not ‘inspired’. [Remind you of someone?]

[BTW, everything Valli writes here about Marcion is historical fact. To begin with, just consult the Wikipedia article on Marcion. But it is hilarious how he condenses Marcion's teachings exactly the way 'Francis I' has been preaching and teaching Bergoglian thought. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Jorge Marcion Bergoglio!]

Now it is easy to understand why the Catholic Church considered him a heretic. Nonetheless, many centuries later, a pope decided to rehabilitate him. This pope was Francis XVII, the Colombian Gustavo Gonzalo Sergio Paulo Ángel Guzmán. Who, after having sought the opinion of the usual commission of cardinals (this time, there were 44, the C44), he promulgated Sic et simpliciter (Thus and simply) in which, precisely on the basis of rehabilitating Marcione’s thought, he established the following:
- God punishes no one, otherwise he would be violent and cruel. The God who punishes is a pagan god, or at most, the God of the Old Testament, but not the Christian God.
- God gives each of his creatures permission to sin freely with the certainty of impunity. Sins must be de-penalized.
- Original Sin is not a historical fact but a myth. God, after Original Sin, did not punish mankind, and Original Sin did not at all generate in men a tendency to sin.
- On the contrary, mankind is good. Everyone is projected towards God and are in God’s grace, even atheists. No one will go to hell, because God forgives everything and everyone.
- Sinners must not be punished, but at most, we must commiserate with them (misericordism).
- There is no moral law that is objective, unchaging and universal, but every man is free to follow his own conscience.
- Dogmas change according to human needs.
- Even moral law is necessarily changeable.
- We must never defend ourselves from the enemy or the oppressor with the use of force: better to allow ourselves to become his slaves.
- There is no just use of force. God could never wish the use of force, or he would be a violent God.
- To defend oneself from an aggressor is sin, violence and injustice itself.
- All disputes must be resolved with dialog, even when one is in a condition of objective subjugation.
- Christ is not the only Savior of mankind, and one can be saved even if is not Christian.
- A Catholic must never seek to convert non-Catholics to Catholicism: Th is proselytism, which is always reprehensible because it shows a lack of respect for diversity.
- One must firmly reject the idea that Christ had offered an expiatory or reparatory sacrifice to make up to the Father for the sins of man. God pardons freely without the need of any sacrifice.
- Therefore, the celebration of Mass is largely idolatry and superstition – to be tolerated only for the sake of those faithful who are less responsible and ill informed.
- To eliminate injustices, divine grace or religious faith are not necessary – rather, good will and good world policy.
- To be virtuous and to be saved, it is not necessary to belong to the Church. One only ahs to be honest and to belong to the human race.
- There are no supernatural virtues, only natural ones.


You can well, understand, dear reader, that Sic et sempliciter had a shattering effect on the faith, the doctrine, and the very life of the Church. From that moment, the Church’s conformity with the spirit of the world underwent an unprecedented acceleration.


How it came about that the Church judged
it was not appropriate to judge


Dear reader,
I now wish to narrate how the Church arrived at imposing on the faithful the rule that they must not judge nor express any opinion on reality and on persons.

The initiative was that of Francis XVIII, the Brazilian Neimar Marcelo David Thiago Firmino, who convoked the cardinals in an extraordinary assembly to communicate to them his great decision: “Enough with making judgments about the world! Enough with all the criticism! We wish to be in harmony with the world, friendly to everyone. Only that way can we have dialog with the culture in which we live. Otherwise, we will always be considered like foreign bodies. This separation must end!”

Francis XVIII was thinking of asking the cardinals to draft an appropriate document on the theme, so that he could have a basis to work on for an encyclical. But the cardinals unanimously informed the pope that they would all be taking a yearlong sabbatical, so there would be no one to draft the document.

Nonetheless, Papa Firmino was undaunted, and alone in his office, he spent the summer engrossed in writing, so that by September, he had his encyclical De gustibus [ellipsis for the full Latin saying 'De gustibus non disputandum est' (In matters of taste, there can be no dispute)], in which the Church promised that it would never again express any judgment on the world, because faith means prayer and not judgment, faith means welcoming everyone not rupture, faith means sharing not separation.

But since a famous Vaticanista from Uzbek wrote on his blog that to speak of welcoming and hearing was in itself a judgment, and that therefore, the pope was contradicting himself, the Vatican issued a notice through its Press Office, in which the pope expressed his great mercy for the Vaticanista for whom he was praying. After which, there was no trace left of the Vaticanista.

De gustibus was welcomed with great enthusiasm in public opinion. “Finally,” said all the headlines of the progressivist newspapers, “Now we have a Church we like! Now we have a Church with a human face! Thank you, papa Firmino!”

The major commentators said that the papal document put an end, once and for all, to the era of the Inquisition, and that henceforth, dialog between contemporary culture and the Church would be much more agreeable and easy, opening up great perspectives of growth for everyone under the sign of reciprocal willingness and collaboration.

After all, the problems to be resolved, they said, were numerous, starting from global cooling (because after the global warming [that everyone had predicted to be catastrophic for the planet], the world was now getting colder), to the extinction of some animal species, to which, according to some ecological associations, the Church had contributed.

The few faithful who – stunned and disoriented – remembered having read that Jesus, although he was merciful, never renounced expressing his judgment on the realities in his time and on the persons he met, and who always exhorted men to convert in order to come closer to God, felt even more lonely and abandoned than ever. Some sought to react by coming together in groups and associations of resistance. The pope promptly let it be known that he welcomed them with great affection and mercy. After which, there was no trace left of them.

“If we do not judge,” one reads in the encyclical, “then we have nothing to propose to the world, and that is exactly what we want. We must not be proposing messages. Faith is not a judgment but a way of consolation. We must not select, deciding what is good and what is bad, The Christian does not select, he welcomes everything. We must get rid of the old views that are unequivocally Manichaean [i.e., black or white]. The Church is at the disposition of everyone, and by njudging, she welocmes everyone, so that everyone can find in her a word of accompaniment, of adhesion and of sympathy. The man of faith does not judge. The man of faith lives! He lives with others, in the midst of others. The man of faith accompanies and supports others.”

Firmino suggested to theologians that to be up-to-date, they should not stop at the idea of salvation. He loved to say that “He who loves is saved, not he who judges. Our language should be totally directed towards love”. An idea which linked to the dialoguing vision that he had about the Church’s relationship with other religions. “The Catholic,” he explained, “cannot sustain that his faith is the only authentic faith. This is an absurdity which would hamper any dialog. Instead we wish to dialog, not to push people away. We wish to build bridges, not walls”.

In a famous speech to the University of a United World in Paris, Firmino asserted that the question about the truth of religion must be considered passe. “Only the intolerant and the hypocrites,” he explained, “would even raise the question. We who do not judge are committed to ensure that our faith – in its desire to go forth and meet everyone – avoids transforming itself into a culture. If she does, that ti will inevitably become a faith that judges. Instead, ours is a faith that only welcomes.”

That day, the applause erupted at length, and Papa Firmino felt that he had given a decisive contribution to the ‘dialoguizing’ development of the Church.

But he didn’t stop there. Wishing to brign the Chruch even closer to the world, more merciful and more welcoming, he convoked at Assisi all the religions of the world and proposed to his brothers and sisters form other faiths to pray for peace. “One of our ancient predecessors,” he said, “was a protagonist in a similar gesture which we today are called on to renew. But in that remote time, an authentic common prayer was not possible. Each faith prayed on its own account, in order – as they said at the time – to avoid any superpositions and confusions. But today we wish our unity to be indisputable. That is why we will all pray together, hand in hand, and pray to our one God. No one will have a pretext to justify a presumed superiority over other faiths. Faiths are either all equal to each other, or they are not faith at all. True prayer is that which happens in a visible unity”. After which, there followed a rite of asking the one God for peace, according to a scheme elaborated and executed by the Vatican’s papal liturgy office in collaboration with the heads of all the other religions.

It was a memorable day, and it is still spoken about as a moment of real change. The commentators said that this time, the ecumenical and inter-religious journey really took a great historical step forward.

I might add that today in Assisi, one can see a hologram of that common prayer. Activated on request, it shows God as each one wishes to see him in such a way, says the label on the hologram, that no one is offended and everyone is respected.

Later, it was reported that one day, in Assisi, a friar dressed in nothing but the Franciscan cassock, stopped in front of the hologram, and suddenly started shouting: “Get away, Satan! Get out of here, Lord of evil!” Some guards stepped in and accompanied him to the local Center for Rethinking, where they would attend to reprogramming him. And now, it seems he is one of the most fervent supporters of an all-welcoming polytheism and has been giving lectures on the topic “Is Catholicism the true faith? The end to a senseless presumption!”

Valli's most recent blogpost satire has to do with the Lord's Prayer that Bergoglio apparently wishes to edit. [Well, why not? Seeing as he has been editing (mostly by omission) what the Gospels report Jesus to have said, time for him to examine - and edit - the Lord's words.

Correcting the 'Our Father'
and its obsolete text

Translated from

January 26, 2018

At that time, at the end of the council convoked to officially decree the obligation to use only the ecclesiastically correct, the reverend conciliar fathers, after long discussions, reached an agreement on the latest translation, reviewed and corrected, then re-corrected and re-reviewed, of the "Our Father", to be used in the place of the
'old formulation', judged by everyone to be inadequate.

Decisive towards arriving at the agreement was the contribution of a famous theologian who fought hard for the new translation and succeeded to convince even the most recalcitrant.

Therefore, the re-corrected, re-reviewed formulation said:

"Our father (but also mother, and in any case, without gender distinction), who are in heaven (but even in so many other places and everywhere), hallowed be your name, thy democracy come, may your opinion be heard (while respecting all other opinions and in dutiful dialog), in the world of ideals and where we are. Give us today our correct daily alimentation and be merciful about our offenses just as we may be tolerant of those who offend us, and do not abandon us to temptation, but deliver us from t which we subjectively consider evil in a given situation and considering all attenuating circumstances. Amen."


The first word 'Our' is marked by an asterisk indicating a footnote in which one reads:

"We decided to maintain the old version and to continue saying 'our', but with this possessive adjective, we do not by any means intend to advocate the claim that the father is such only for those who call themselves Christians. The father is, in reality, 'ours', in the sense that he is the father of all mankind,of all the peoples on earth, with no exclusion, because the Church, besides being universal and welcoming, is inclusive."


There were two asterisks after 'those who offend us' indicating another footnote that says:

"We decided to maintain the old version and to continue referring to 'those who offend us', but in doing so, we do not mean to offend anyone. Whoever feels that he is among such 'offenders' must know that no judgment is thereby expressed against him".


One conciliar father, although he declared himself in agreement with the necessities of ecclesial correctness, noted that the footnotes were longer than the entire prayer, and thus pointed out the disproportion. But the majority said that often, it is precisely in the footnotes that the most authentic significance of a text emerges, as was the case, one ought to recall, with the revolutionary Amoris laetitia years earlier. So the asterisks for the new 'Our Father' were approved.

And so, the re-reviewed and re-corrected version was published. But a strange phenomenon occurred. As much as the national bishops' conferences sought to impose the new version, the people – strangely - continued to pray the old version. And during Masses, this resulted in some strange turns. Because though the celebrant, mindful of his duty, would start out with the new version, he would have to go back to the old because the people continued to pray the old version.

"But all this is unacceptable!" thundered the famous theologian. "Every man prays according to the language of his time, whichch is the expression of a given culture, and that is why we should change the words of our prayers. If Jesus really prayed as we were taught in the past (but we cannot know this for sure because there were no tape recorders then), nothing prevents us from adapting his text to new exigencies and to new sensibilities".

But nothing could be done. Notwithstanding all the effort to impose the new version (even the Cagtechism had been duly corrected), the people continued to pray:

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdome come, they will be done on earth as it is in heavne. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen."


"Incredible!" the theologian fumed. "They are still saying 'lead us not into temptation' – and to think we had started correcting the prayer precisely on that line!"

One day, the theologian – who was not so old but had rather precarious health - felt ill and ended up in the hospital. He was in a state of near-unconsciousness but he understood what was happening and saw that the doctors were shaking their heads.

"So it's the end!" he thought. And started to pray. So he began: "Our Father, but also mother…" but he could not go on.

As much as he tried to apply the rules of the ecclesially correct that he himself had determined, the words that came from his heart were those of the old prayer as he had learned it when he was a child - the prayer never reviewed, corrected nor re-corrected. "How strange!", he thought. Which was his last thought before he died.

When, right afterwards, he found himself before God to be judged, the theologian was rather surprised. He would never have thought it – but God truly was an older man, with a beard, like the iconographies that he, the theologian, had always thought naïve! And God was truly seated on his throne, and to his right was the Son! This was truly the moment of judgment.

"Incredible, who would ever have thought it?" he told himself.

The God asked him to recite the Our Father, and the theologian had a dilemma. Should he pray the new formulation that he himself, as an expert on the matter, had helped to formulate, or should he just say the old prayer?

God seemed to read his mind. He said, "Son, don't stop to think. Whether you say it in Latin or the vernacular, it's all the same."

Latin or vernacular! God thought that was his dilemma, but that wasn't it at all. Yet he could not stall indefinitely because other souls were waiting in line to be judged. And that is when, once more, the old prayer came from his heart…

"Well!" God said, stroking his beard and turning to his Son with an expression of feigned surprise, "But weren't we made to understand that that text has been replaced?"

The Son said nothing and smiled.

"Have mercy on me!" cried the theologian. And broke into tears…

Two angels came to escort him towards the place intended for him. He could not believe his eyes and ears It was a very beautiful garden. And there, immersed in a melody of indescribable sweetness, thousands of children were chanting the 'Pater noster' incessantly. With the old formula.

Valli has also posted a critique much in the same vein in which he attributes to 'Francis VII' a lexicon for the 'welcoming church'. Clearly Valli has been honing his skills as a satirist. I shall post a translation ASAP...Meanwhile, I have translated an interview with Valli from the site called lettore.org, in which he is very clear about where he stands today about this pope and his pontificate.

Interview with Valli
on his new book

Translated from


Sir, you wrote the new book Come la Chiesa finì published by Liberilibri, which is a dystopic novel about the progressive dissolution of the Catholic Church. How did you come up with this book?
I think it is always difficult for an author to say exactly how a book is born, especially if, as in this case, it is not an essay or commentary but a narrative. In general, it was born in the climate that I breathe in daily, since it is my occupation to report about the Catholic Church daily as the Vaticanista for RAI (Italian state TV)'s TG-1.

Today I see a church trying hard to please the world and to be accepted by it, more concerned about dialog than about defending the eternal divine truths. A church that is mostly dominated by the politically correct and not by the truth of Jesus. I am particularly struck by the language of this church which I would call neo-modernist. Thus, starting out with language, the initial nucleus for the book became a chapter.

Then, asking myself how I could develop my arguments without becoming too weighty or tedious for the reader, nor losing incisiveness, I opted for a dystopic narrative set in a future in which all those that I consider to be the evils in the Church today reach their extreme consequences.

Stylistically, I resort great deal to irony but also a good dose of sarcasm. I am aware that doing so, I could hurt some sensibilities, but I wanted to be honest all throughout and not to dilute the fundamental content of the book, which is a passionate denunciation.

In your account, we see the conversion of the Catholic Church into the New Anti-Dogmatic Church and the proclamation of the Superdogma of Dialog. Is this already going on?
I think it is, even if not in a uniform way, and perhaps, not always consciously. When the Church seeks to present herself as friendly to 'the world', with its hierarchy preaching that no one is going to be judged, and that God himself, being merciful, does not judge but only welcomes, and when the hierarchy does not call for goodness in the objective sense but for a generic individual discernment, then I already see that New Church at work, one which appears to be afraid of the divine truths and therefore, abandons the dogmatic way to descend to the level of dialog which is actually a rejection of the depositum fidei.

How can we forget the words of Jesus, who said: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law..." (Mt 10,34-35).

Then, the question of justice cannot be eliminated or circumvented in the name of a generic 'misericordism' [an ideology of mercy]. Pastors who do that do not confirm their brothers in the faith, but only confirm those who have gone afar in their distancing. I think this is a devastating strategy.

The Church, when she is much applauded in the secular and pagan world, instead of rejoicing in this, should instead ask herself seriously about what she is now teaching and about what line she is now following. Indeed the Gospel warns us: "Woe to you if all speak well of you..." (Lk 6,26).

The events in the book which lead to the 'end ' of the Church as we know it take place through a succession of popes all named Francis. What do you think will be the principal legacy of Papa Bergoglio?
I make an open denunciation here. The church of the future, that I imagine in this book, would have previously established that all popes should call themselves Francis in homage to Francis I, champion of mercy and dialog, the humble pope so very much loved by the media, by leftist intellectuals and by progressivists. So the decision to make the papal name Francis obligatory is born out of sycophancy, conformism, and again, the desire to pander to public opinion and to the 'masters' of thought.

I speak like a jilted lover, in the sense that initially, I believedd in this pope and his ability to give the Church an authentic springtime, but little by little, I had to change my view, and after Amoris laetitia, a document characterized by ambiguity, I finally opened my eyes to a pontificate in which man appears to take precedence over God, and Church teaching on man's need to be converted at heart appears to have been replaced by a magisterium which has come to proclaim a sort of human right or entitlement to divine mercy.

As to Bergoglio's legacy, although I hve written a book set in the future, I do not give myself prophetic attributes. A lot will depend on who succeeds him. If gthe cardinals choose one in line with this pontificate, then the Church will continue to have a magisterium that is ever more 'liquid', more 'soft', ever more 'lite', which might attract some non-Catholics but will be increasingly disorienting for the faithful. If instead, we get a new pope who is attentive to the truth and respects doctrine, the Church will set off on a course that will doubtless be arduous but which will once more reaffirm her fundamental principles, especially on morals.

In the first case, we will have a church praised greatly by the dominant thought and the secular media, but that would become even more disconcerting for the faithful who continue to be anchored to the eternal truths. In the second, we will have a church attacked by 'the world' and the continual target of the media, but faithful to Truth and to Tradition.

Jesus,when he said "Non praevalebunt…' promised that the Church would always survive. In your narrative, does the Church really come to an end?
In the novel, I imagine there will be a last pope, taken into custody by emissaries of the mysterious world regime which at that point, no longer facing the ultimate obstacle of a Catholic Church that has been effectively dissolved, will have full freedom to subjugate all of mankind in the name of a false brotherhood which is really absolute domination and total denial of freedom.

The pope will be abducted and taken away from the Vatican after having made some atrocious decisions which he thinks ought to demonstrate his desire to dialog with the world, but which the regime interprets as a death certificate for the church, the last act of a church that no longer has a reason to exist.

Of course, I cannot get into the details. I can only say that there will be a final coup de theatre from which the reader can sense that the Church, in truth, does not come to an end, but mysteriously will resume her course, with tiny flocks of the faithful, keeping the faith in true humility despite persecution and martyrdom.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, January 29, 2018 1:31 AM


On January 11 - it already seems a lifetime ago (three pages back on this thread) - I posted something from Fra Cristoforo at ANONIMI DELLA CROCE of which this is the gist:

...My source tells me that a sort of "act of fidelity to the pope (obviously to Papa Omissis) and to his magisterium" is under study. (I have deliberately not capitalized any of the nouns).

This ‘act of fidelity’ will be required of all clerics in the Catholic Church – deacons, priests, bishops and cardinals. And it must be formally professed. In the various dioceses, a day will be chosen on which all clerics – from the bishop to the deacons – shall ‘solemnly’ profess this formal act of fidelity. Which would really mean ‘blind fidelity’ to the ‘magisterium’ and teachings of Bergoglio. Of course this will be obligatory, not optional. Whoever fails to declare this ‘promise’ solemnly should consider himself suspended a divinis [cannot legitimately exercise his priestly ministry].

If this particular rumor should come to pass – and I hope it does not – then we shall really be at a turning point. A schism [even if not formal] from which I don’t think any Catholic can consider himself exempt [he has to be on one side or the other]. Because how can one profess fidelity to a heretical magisterium? [And here I go again: Worse than heretical, it is apostate!]


Apropos, but independent of Fra Cristoforo's post, Fr. Hunwicke then posted the following, with the twist that it ought to be the pope who takes an oath when he is inaugurated:

The next papal inaugural
ought to feature a papal oath


January 14, 2018

Nothing would better express the Traditional, Biblical, Patristic, notion of the Petrine Office, as happily defined at Vatican I, than the following reform in what is done at the inauguration of a pontificate.

The prelate who emerges elected from the next Conclave should instantly sweep away all the unnecessary and obsessive ritual flummeries dreamed up, I think, by Pietro Marini and first used at the Inauguration of Benedict XVI.

They should be replaced by the taking of a solemn Oath of Fidelity done in public. Analogies and formulae existed for this in previous ages, which might be used to supply textual materials.
- For people who like ritual stuff, the Oath could be taken on the oldest Bible in the Vatican Libraries.
- For people who like even more ritual stuff, or are fixated on the use of vernaculars, each paragraph, before the pope recites it in Latin, could be chanted by, say, a Jewish Cantor in Hebrew and a Byzantine Subdeacon in Greek and read by laypeople in any number of vernaculars.
- For strange people who want even more ritual than that, the document could then be solemnly attested by Cardinal Notaries and sealed with lead.
- For those whose affection for ritual amounts to a lunatic obsession, the document could, finally, be solemnly processed through the congregation, held aloft by the Cardinal Protodeacon in the popemobile, while the crowd hysterically shouts VIVAT IUSIURANDUM! Meanwhile, the pontiff would remain kneeling in quiet and humble prayer before the Altar. The popemobile could then be taken away, either for immediate ignominious destruction, or for sale at Sotheby's in New Bond Street, the money (including, of course, the auctioneer's commission) being given to the Poor and the Ordinariates.

WHAT SHOULD HE SWEAR?
Essentially, the new Pontiff should swear, in words drawn from Pastor aeternus of Vatican I, to hand down uncorrupted the Tradition which is from the Lord through His Apostles, the Deposit of Faith. He should swear to resist and to put down all novitates, tam in Fide quam in moribus(all novelties, in faith as in morals).

He should acknowledge that, while he will indeed be the Supreme Legislator with full power to change the (human) Law of the Church, he will himself obey the Law and refrain from interfering with legal processes, particularly those relating to the trial, conviction, and punishment of clerical sexual predators who enjoy powerful curial protectors.

And a rather useful practical undertaking might be: "As We uncover evil practices and corrupt deeds and false teachings among Our Cardinals and their clientelae, We shall not allow Ourself to be deterred from dealing with them strictly and according to Justice, by any consideration of who supported or who resisted Our Own election."


WHAT NEXT?
To preserve the poor silly Media from their inveterate temptation to assume that a pope has or ought to have a "programme", the Oath should not be followed by a homily.

If the Tourist Industry desired the service to be padded out to a greater length and dignified with rather more 'heritage', this could be done by a reaffirmation and confirmation (with great solemnity) of the anathemas pronounced by the Sixth Ecumenical Council against Pope Honorius I.

Now, we come to Lawrence England's latest anti-Bergoglio essay:

Anarchy in the Vatican
by Lawrence England

January 15, 2018

There are rumours circulating that an embattled, deceitful and thoroughly discredited pontificate - at least discredited among faithful Catholics following events carefully - seeks to draw the clergy of the Holy Catholic Church, by coercive means, into a new vow of obedience in particular to Pope Francis and his own 'unique' Magisterium. I shudder at such rumours.

Are these rumours true? We do not yet know. How do such rumours evolve? Who wishes these things to circulate? Are they credible? Should it be taken seriously? Only the last question can I answer and only with an opinion. I fear so.

I believe clergy have reason, based on their own observation of five years of laughably less than transparent conduct within the Vatican, to be on the alert at least. The new rumour suggests that this pontificate - one in which the use of reason as a faculty has already been 'taken down a peg or two' during the intra-ecclesial 'dialogue' concerning Amoris Laetitia - is considering the nuclear option of going for broke and enforcing loyalty to a dictatorship of relativism in the Vatican. Would that really be surprising? Not really.

But would Francis contemplate going down that road? He has already said 'I might be the Pope who splits the Church', a throwaway comment that made it sounds like splitting the Church and causing global schism was a bit like ordering food at a Roman trattoria. 'I might have the cod, or I might have the steak. Oh no, I think I might split the Catholic Church instead.'

That this pontificate has sclerotic, schizophrenic but, most pointedly, psychotic tendencies has become quite apparent over the course of time - not that the Church has never seen 'psycho Popes' before. Anarchy rules in Rome. Yet, there is more than simply this to understand about this papacy, since there is simultaneously the most aggressive and to some extent the most effective and consolidated PR campaign in Church history going on, even as I type, and it is in the complete and total service of the Pope and his reputation. Christ our Lord is not a major beneficiary of this extensive publicity campaign, but we have after five years expected very little to come from the Vatican that lauds and honours the Church's [terrestrial] Lord and Head.

As The Dictator Pope made clear, the most disquieting aspect of this pontificate isn't simply that this Pope is something of a thug, with contempt for his critics, for if he were only a thug, the whole world could see it, but rather that he is more like a mafia boss, one desperate to consolidate his power base while living among his enemies, who manages to twist and discredit the message of Jesus Christ while appearing to the majority of the world as a very kind man who is nice to the poor, who kisses babies and visits the sick, imprisoned and elderly, thus making him appear to be saintly and all the while doing it with a cameraman by his side, you know, like all the Saints did.

The truth is that real mafia bosses do not need to go to such great lengths to reinforce the image of their inherent goodness to all and sundry. Such men display greater sincerity perhaps than Francis, because, in fact, they are feared because they are dangerous, not because they appear dangerously virtuous to the public, while being cruel and scheming in secret.

Within the walls of the Vatican, Francis is feared because he is terrible and has grown powerful, [No, he has not 'grown powerful' - as pope he has immense powers no other monarch on earth has - but that he has chosen to use these powers amply and absolutely to advance his personal agenda for a church of Bergoglio to replace the one true Church], not because people are afraid that he might drop round and kiss their sick grandmother.

In truth, no good deed of Pope Francis goes undocumented now, and hasn't for five years, because such deeds are clearly needed to reinforce a PR message that the Pope is wonderful and beyond reproach. It all serves as wonderful cover and camouflage for a man seemingly without much faith in the actual words or mission of Our Lord to save souls and bring the Truth to those who need it, whether they wish for it, or not and even better cover for a psychopath to abuse his Office. [England joins Mundabor in calling Bergoglio an outright psychopath - and if he really is, then there is much lethal method in his madness, which is the madness of all afflicted with overweening hubris, a legacy of Lucifer.]

If I were to suggest one reason why The Dictator Pope has the Francis Team worried, it is that such a document puts something of a break on the canonization attempts that will be a natural consequence and reaction to the day when His Holiness dies. For his changes to be permanent, the mafia need Francis to stay relatively unblemished in the eyes of most of the Church so that his changes can receive 'sanctification' with his reputation for mercy.

And yet, even as Francis's canonization day remains a possibility - could it be the date of his annual address to the Curia? - there is another aspect to this pontificate which has become stridently clear.

Criticism - even stinging criticism, even criticism that rebukes the thuggery involved in this most unique of pontificates, even criticism that levels charges of corruption against Francis's allies, or against Francis himself, is dealt with by a stunning reaction of near total silence, silence from those who should be in some way embarrassed or ashamed. It is almost as if no amount of truth or scandal can hurt those who now enjoy the benefits of power.

Those who have taken over the house at the Vatican obviously understand that if you really want to annoy your critics, if you really want to anger people who only wish to see a modicum of natural justice flourish in the Church, you ignore them. That's worse than ripping people's hearts out while they are breathing because you are doing it spiritually, not physically.

The Francis pontificate is a valuable political and military lesson in both psychological warfare and torture. Whether it is a petition, or a Cardinal in an interview, a dubia, or an article, or allegation, the best strategy is to ignore whatever they are saying - never address what they are saying or asking. Ensure that those who you consider, with contempt, your enemies - and treated with overwhelming indifference so that they feel irrelevant and unheard, while repeating your own message. What is that message? The Pope is changing the Church regardless of what Christ taught but God doesn't mind and by the way, 'Isn't the Pope great?'

Now, in the first instance, it is clear that TeamFrancis are a little, but perhaps only marginally concerned at such things as blogs, or news sites that cover with attention to detail the obvious apostasies and sublime villainy going in the Vatican with a degree of support from the man Francis himself. But the only thing they really fear is a mass awakening within the Church not only to the reality of the conduct and character of the fraud Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his mafia, which should by now have entered into the realms of infamy, but a reawakening of the Church and Her children to the Lord Jesus Himself and His Infallible Doctrines, to Her glorious liturgy and worship and the proclamation of the message of the Salvation of souls.

For Pope Francis, his overwhelming desire (and the desire of those who surround him) seems to be to ensure that his personal reputation is impeccable even while insulting the faithful or castigating priests, or sacking good men, or instigating a global movement within the Church for abandoning Christ's teachings in favour of his own, or selling out the Pontifical Academy for Life to globalist eugenicist monsters. In fact, one could say that the damage Francis does is contingent to his excellent PR team, and is perhaps dependent on it.

But the sheer level of deception that is going on during this pontificate is staggering [Thank you for using the word 'deception', one I have often used to characterize much of what Bergoglio is doing], mind-blowing in fact, if you take into account that the push for the Kasper proposal which has wreaked such havoc already upon Jesus's Church must surely have been planned well before Francis's ascension to the Throne of Peter, because he talked about how wonderful Cardinal Kasper and his book was the very morning after his election, at his first Angelus. There was no waiting around.

On day one of his pontificate, Francis was already stealthily undermining the Lord Jesus Christ and His teaching on divorce and remarriage and was busily prepping us for his earthquake Synod, at which the Bishops of the world were, like the Catholic faithful in general, ignored and the Kasper proposal, voted down by the Bishops, was retained by Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation by virtue of a single footnote.

This pontificate is all about smoke and mirrors. Nothing is as it is presented to be.
- The Synod on the Family was the Synod on the Destruction of the Family.
- The Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was bereft of much that could be described as Apostolic.
= An oath to the 'Magisterium' of Pope Francis will, should it come about - not be an oath to Jesus Christ and His teachings, but more likely to the personal interpretation of the Gospel of the man, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has distanced himself from the Church's tradition and distanced himself even from the Word of God.

If Pope Francis doesn't care if the entire faithful wake up and smell the coffee in terms of the fraud being perpetuated against them, he does care whether people realise this while he is Pope. This is probably the only thing Francis fears.

Will people realise? It is, sadly, not likely since far too many Catholics are disengaged, and far too many would see no problem with apostasy, many would not even understand the relevance or meaning of the word in terms of their faith.

Readers, you who are firm in the Faith of Christ, we need to be mentally equipped for a hard reality. Francis and his team have probably taken the Church's pulse and it is likely he sees that it is so weak he can get away with anything. Take heart, we'll always have Poland! Deo volente!

And yet, there is more to the Church's most unfathomable pope [Why unfathomable? On the contrary, he is the most transparent and the most shallow figure imaginable - everything he does comes from his boundless narcissism] than this, because even when it becomes increasingly apparent that Pope Francis is psychologically unstable, given to massive temper tantrums when his personal will is thwarted or contradicted, deals contemptuously and spitefully with those who work in his service ,and stands accused of allegedly using money from Peter's Pence to support the campaign fund of his favoured political candidate during the US election, the abortion supporting Hillary Clinton, in the mainstream media, Pope Francis finds very few critics.

This is because - if I may posit a theory - wherever Christ is persecuted and sidelined, marginalised or dismissed from public life, even life within the Church, wherever He is treated with contempt, scorned and derided, all of his enemies will gather together and work together to achieve the outcome so wished for by His enemies, enemies spiritual in nature, enemies who once were angels and now are devils but who inspire those who have, through their willful rebellion against Almighty God, made themselves his servants.

The mass media - even some Catholic media organs - are deeply complicit in the covering up of the obvious personal defects and subtle doctrinal deviations of this Pope and his overarchingly political agenda, not because they are blind to them wholly, but rather because he is serving their shared purpose, or rather the Devil's purpose, in which they are only too happy to co-operate, namely the destruction of the Church from within and especially the destruction of Christian morals. [Exactly, because he has done for them in 5 years what they have been able to accomplish in the centuries since the Enlightenment, which is to weaken the Church to the point of copping out to the world.]

Be honest, if you hated the Church and Her teachings, would you protest a bad or mad Pope who set out to undermine the very religion you hate? They do not want Christ, they do not want Christianity, they want it expunged from public life and if a faithless and rebellious Bishop or Rome does the groundwork for them within the Church they will be happy to stay silent, especially if he places himself and his personal virtue in opposition to the traditional Church and its traditional evils in the eyes of the world.

We don't, sadly, live in an age in which the Press are interested in upholding and serving the public with the truth, but an age in which the truth is manifestly resented and hated within public and private institutions, most notably in Government and in the Media, as well as within the Church herself.

From what I can see, Pope Francis, in terms of fulfilling the Office of the Papacy and doing what Popes are intended by the Lord Jesus to do, or even as what a faithful Catholic is called to do, is a complete and utter fraud, a fraud made all the more scandalous by the determined effort to appear to be such a wonderful Christian on camera, making his pontificate all the more destructive. [I was a wimp, limiting myself to calling him a phony pope, when the stronger term is fraudulent.]

By all accounts, his reputation should by now be covered in ignominy, since there are so many accounts of his behaviour and his intentions to persecute those faithful to Christ are so obvious, but I suppose that is what makes the fraudulent and counterfeit look so real and yet be so fake; the effort in public to go in extreme in the opposite direction in which you are manifestly going in private, behind closed doors, as you scheme for the downfall of your enemies and plot your egocentric outmaneuvering of your enemies, yes, even our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, whom you claim to serve in public, but whose doctrines you make it apparent you despise in private.

Pope Francis has brought total anarchy to Vatican City and the institutions of the Church in Rome, his strange teaching wreaking havoc on everything he touches and he is visiting his anarchy upon the Church across the world.

I pray very much that the rumour of an oath to attempt to put an end to the resistance to his desired interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is false, but it has got to that stage where it has become clear that those who do resist it are already being called by his favoured so-called 'theologians', 'dissenters'.

How long will Francis tolerate dissent to his 'new paradigm'? Will he go for broke and press the nuclear button? What would a dictator Pope do, knowing that through a prestige marketing and PR campaign ,he could keep the majority of the media onside and rule by fear and by fiat an episcopate and clergy who can, he believes, be easily bullied into submission?

Pray for an end to the crisis in the Church, but whatever rank you occupy within the Church, to which the Lord has called you, pray for the endurance and courage to stand firm and publicly for Jesus Christ come what may. We may be approaching the Church's darkest hour, but dawn will come and the Lord Jesus will eventually shed upon the current darkness his radiant light. Look towards Him and be radiant.

Those who persevere until the end will receive the crown of life, but for now His servants must endure this bitter crown of thorns. Stay faithful, stay true, stay close to Him, for He will never fail you. Prepare for the worst that Francis can do, and prepare for the best, the very best, that which is beyond our comprehension, which the Lord has promised for He is with until the End of Time. Come, Lord Jesus! Victorious King!

Finally, I thoroughly concur with Fr John Hunwicke's post on the Papal Oath of Fidelity, not for the clergy to 'sign-up' to whatever novelties the incumbent is preparing to unleash on Christ's Church, but for the Pope himself to swear allegiance to Christ and to the Deposit of Faith entrusted to His servant and Vicar. It is claimed - though it is not claimed with certainty, that there was such an oath, worded as follows:


That would make a great start. But then again, I guess that even oaths, solemn oaths made in public, mean little if, in our hearts, we seek the destruction of the sacred tradition for some mysterious purpose, in which is advocated some alteration of the saving faith, the saving truth from God that is our glorious inheritance for the salvation of souls.

Pray for our Holy Mother the Church.

Meanwhile, yet another critical editorial from a Bergoglian outlet in France - the weekly Catholic magazine La Vie, which is part of the Le Monde group (Le Monde being the leftist newspaper said to have been the KGB's key outlet for spreading anti-American and pro-Soviet disinformation to the French media).

Pope in an 'air pocket'
By Jean-Pierre Denis
Editorial
Translated from

January 22, 2018

Is his enviable popularity starting to change? In any case, the pope has hit a serious air pocket. For the first time, one of his trips abroad has ended in a checkmate – in a region which he ought to know, Latin America. In Chile, the problem of clerical sex abuse continues to weigh greatly in public opinion and has not been straightened out at all.

Most notably, the pope's unswerving support for a bishop accused of having covered up the sexual abuses committed by his mentor, Fr. Fernando Karadima, has been loudly protested since 2015. But far from availing of his trip to Chile last week to settle accounts, the pope chose to poison the waters farther, insisting that there is no 'proof' to show the bishop's guilt, and seeking to put an end to the 'debate' by using a particularly offensive word to describe the victims' accusations.

Because of reaction in the media and the social networks, the winds of anger raised by the pope's remarks were such that one of the cardinals most involved in dealing with clerical sex abuse, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, published a statement distancing himself from the pope's remarks [and denouncing them]. In the church of Bergoglio, such a reaction has been very rare, indeed, especially coming from one who is considered among his Grand Electors in the March 2013 Conclave, and one of his closest collaborators.

In the plane which took him back to Rome after visiting both Chile and Peru, the leader of the Catholic Church was forced to justify his words and to apologize, in part. But when one re-reads the transcript, his self-justification seems laborious. As to his apology, it could not possibly suffice because it did not go to the deeper reason for the contretemps. And it is what the victims have said: this pope's so-called 'zero tolerance' for clerical sex abuse is not real, or in any case, his actions do not match up to his words.

Who would have thought to see Francis on the defensive? Arriving in Rome, hardly supported by observers who have not stopped their reproaches, the pope does not find himself in an easy situation. Since the start of his pontificate, he has been more and more confronted by a growing protest 'movement' bordering on illegitimacy. [????] It is essentially led by the most conservative wing of the Church – diabolically titillated by the idea of being rebellious anti-papists. [This writer certainly loathes conservatives!]

But it goes beyond them, to priests who are 'perplexed' by this pontificate and to the 'confused' faithful. Just one more detail amid so many, a gesture he made last week also in Chile: Having decided to marry a Chilean steward and his commonlaw wife of eight years on board a brief flight from Santiago to Iquique, the pope then had to try to justify how he could 'cheapen' a sacrament whose importance he has been underscoring. And an action that was never, to begin with, a brilliant PR move, quickly became a true controversy.

But to deplore the attacks on this pope does not suffice. Because they bear directly on the limits of a pontificate which places less importance on a genuine reform of structures but on the direct 'spontaneous' remark addressed to the public at large, unfiltered and without a safety fuse.

In the positive sense, he has kept the prophetic dimension['pseudo-prophetic'!] of his message – on migrants, on the throwaway culture, on sacraments made for man [but to bring him closer to the divine, not to indulge human weakness, as this pope does], the need for Christians to bring their message to the peripheries, or on the rights of indigenous tribes, as in Peru. In all of which he remains the only universal conscience. [Funny Denis should use the word 'conscience', which has devolved under Bergoglio to 'individual subjective discernment', so how can he be - how can there be - a 'universal conscience' in the Bergoglian worldview?]

But on the negative side, one must question his too hasty statements, his contradictory propositions, a habitual haziness [say the word: ambiguity, which is deliberate, so it is not just an atmospheric attribute], and sometimes ,clear statements of purpose while failing to come up with concrete actions, especially on clerical sex abuse.

He will soon celebrate five years as pope. A position for which he does not need re-election. But he is pressed for time to give body and duration to intuitions that are fundamentally good for the Church [That's the progressivist bias speaking!] and to ensure that the next pontificate will not be a reactionary countermovement. [Idem!]


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, January 29, 2018 3:09 AM


In the traditional liturgy, the Christmas season ends on Candlemas, February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, which also doubles as
the Feast of the Purification of Mary. So the Christmas decorations are still up at Holy Innocents Church where, however, today, with the rest of the Catholic
world that celebrates the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, we marked Septuagesima Sunday, the start of the annual preparation for Lent - and the priest's purple
vestments were a counterpoint to the red poinsettias adorning the altar. Here is more information on the so-called -gesima Sundays and the whole pre-Lent
preparation:


Septuagesima Sunday:
BRING BACK PRE-LENT!


January 27, 2018

While in the new-fangled calendar Sunday is the 4th in Ordinary Time, and celebrated in green vestments,in the traditional Roman calendar this Sunday is called Septuagesima, Latin for the “Seventieth” day before Easter. Already!

These pre-Lenten Sundays prepare us for the discipline of Lent, which once was far stricter.

The number 70 is more symbolic than arithmetical. The Sundays which follow are Sexagesima (“sixtieth”) and Quinquagesima (“fiftieth”) before Ash Wednesday brings in Lent, called in Latin Quadragesima, “Fortieth”.

One of our frequent commentators here enriched my view of the numerical adjectives:

A fairly literal interpretation of the terms Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima:
• Septuagesima Sunday is the 63rd day before Easter and thus falls in the 7th (septimus) decade or 10-day period consisting of the 61st to 70th days before Easter;
• Sexagesima Sunday is the 56th day before Easter and falls in the 6th (sextus) decade consisting of the 51st to 60th days before Easter; and
• Quinquagesima Sunday is the 49th day before Easter and falls in the 5th (quintus) decade consisting of the 41st to 50th days before Easter.


Septuagesima gives us a more solemn attitude for Holy Mass.

Purple is worn on Sunday rather than the green of the time after Epiphany. These pre-Lent Sundays also have Roman stations, just as each day of Lent does. The station for Septuagesima is St. Lawrence outside the walls. St. Gregory the Great (+604) preached a fiery sermon here, which we have, and which is read in part for Matins in the traditional Office. The traditional Office also presents three figures over the three pre-Lent Sundays, all foreshadowing Christ: Adam, Noah and Abraham.

When we want to follow what Holy Church is giving us in our sacred liturgical worship we should remember that Mass is only part of the picture. We also have the Office, the “liturgy of the hours”. They mesh together and reinforce and complete each other. PLEASE don’t say “the liturgy” when you mean “the Mass”. Say “Mass”.

Alleluia is sung for the last time at First Vespers of Septuagesima and is then excluded until Holy Saturday.

There was once a tradition of “burying” the Alleluia, with a depositio ceremony, like a little funeral. A hymn of farewell was sung. There was a procession with crosses, tapers, holy water, and a coffin containing a banner with Alleluia. The coffin was sprinkled, incensed, and buried. In some places, such as Paris, a straw figure bearing an Alleluia of gold letters was burned in the churchyard. Somehow that seems very French to me. This custom has been rediscovered and it is being revived far and wide. Each year we see photos of the charming moment from more and more parishes.

The prayers and readings for the Masses of these pre-Lenten Sundays were compiled by Gregory the Great, Pope in a time of great turmoil and suffering. Looking at Gregory’s time, with the massive migration of peoples, the war, the turmoil, you are reminded of our own times.

I like to imagine the Romans who were aspiring to be brought into the Church at Easter, the catechumens. They were brought out to St. Lawrence for today’s Mass. In the echoing space, wreathed in smoke and shafts of light, they heard chanted antiphons about suffering and crying out to God. Then they heard the reading in which Paul says that God wasn’t pleased with everyone who drank from the rock. These catechumens might have looked at each other and exclaimed: “What am I getting myself into?!?” Indeed, I think that was the intended effect of the formulary.

But, if throughout the Mass formulary there are grim messages, there are also signs of great hope. God does hear the cry of those who invoke him.

In the Novus Ordo of Paul VI there is no more pre-Lent. A terrible loss.

We are grateful that with Summorum Pontificum the pre-Lent Sundays have regained something of their ancient status. May they through “mutual enrichment” correct the Novus Ordo...


Septuagesima: In the beginning

January 28, 2018

The lessons for Matins introduce the theme of the penitential pre-Lenten season of
- Septuagesima: Creation and Fall, and Original Sin;
- God's intervention in human History to purify mankind through a remnant in an ark (Sexagesima week) and to choose a People for himself; and the will of the unfathomable Divinity to reveal himself through his chosen people of Israel; and
- the Mystery of the Incarnation, through which the promise to Abraham ("in thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed", First Lesson in the Matins for Quinquagesima Sunday) would be fulfilled by the Divine Son of the Blessed Virgin ("I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel", Third Lesson in the Matins for Wednesday in Septuagesima week).

The reality of Original Sin ("I am the Immaculate Conception") and the great need for penitence in our times ("Penance! Penance! Penance!") were also the messages of the memorable events which began on February 11, 1858 [Mary's apparitions to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes]:

But the world, which today affords so many justifiable reasons for pride and hope, is also undergoing a terrible temptation to materialism ...

This materialism is not confined to that condemned philosophy which dictates the policies and economy of a large segment of mankind. It rages also in a love of money which creates ever greater havoc as modern enterprises expand, and which, unfortunately, determines many of the decisions which weigh heavy on the life of the people.

It finds expression in the cult of the body, in excessive desire for comforts, and in flight from all the austerities of life. It encourages scorn for human life, even for life which is destroyed before seeing the light of day. ...

May priests be attentive to [the Blessed Virgin's] appeal and have the courage to preach the great truths of salvation fearlessly. The only lasting renewal, in fact, will be one based on the changeless principles of faith, and it is the duty of priests to form the consciences of Christian people. (Pius XII, Le Pèlerinage de Lourdes)


May we all find good priests to guide us as we "go up to Jerusalem" (Gospel for Quinquagesima Sunday) and help us to be released from the bonds of our sins (peccatorum vinculis: Collect for Quinquagesima Sunday), for the burdensome truth remains unchanged: "many are called, but few are chosen" (Gospel for Septuagesima Sunday).

Septuagesima Sunday

January 26, 2018

Until the reformers of the 1960s abolished it, Septuagesima had, for a millennium and a half at least, pointed the Latin Church to the Pentateuch [the first five books of the Old Testament], and its structural centrality to Christian understanding and to the living of the Christian life. A proper respect for the Pentateuch is something that would come more easily to Catholics if we all had a deeper inculturation into our Jewish roots. Sadly, the the 'reformers' of the 1960s weakened this rather than enhancing it.

So: Septuagesima and its week give us Eve, and Adam, and their Creation; and their Fall. Members of the Anglican Patrimony do not need (but perhaps some others do) a recommendation to read an imaginative piece of theological fiction by the great Anglican apologist Professor C S Lewis: his novel Voyage to Venus, alternatively known as Perelandra. It constitutes an extended meditation on the Fall and on the strategies of the Enemy.

This morning, I would like to offer you a few sentences which seem to me to be highly useful solvents of "The Enlightenment" and of its demonic errors. And just the sort of thing which we need before opening the Word of God at the beginning of Genesis and submitting ourselves to what we find there. [I have made one or two tiny syntactical adjustments.]

" ... the triple distinction of truth from myth and of both from fact is purely terrestrial - part and parcel of that unhappy division between soul and body which resulted from the Fall.

Even on Earth the sacraments exist as a permanent reminder that the division is neither wholesome nor final. The Incarnation was the beginning of its disappearance ...

The whole distinction between things accidental and things designed, like the distinction between fact and myth, is purely terrestrial. The pattern is so large that within the little frame of earthly experience there appear pieces of it between which we can see no connection, and other pieces between which we can. Hence we rightly, for our use, distinguish the accidental from the essential. But step outside that frame and the distinction drops down into the void, fluttering useless wings."



(St John Paul remarked that, in God's Providence, there are no such things as coincidences.)
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:48 AM


After meeting the pope, Cardinal Zen says
Vatican is ‘selling out’ Church in China


Monday, 29 Jan 2018


Cardinal Joseph Zen has accused the Vatican of “selling out” the Catholic Church in China.

In a post on his website, the former Bishop of Hong Kong said Pope Francis offered words of consolation to the ‘underground’ Church in the country in a private audience earlier this month. However, the cardinal still thinks the Vatican is working against the Church.

A report on AsiaNews last week said a Vatican delegation had asked one ‘underground’ bishop to resign and another to accept demotion. The delegation wanted excommunicated government-backed bishops to replace them.

Cardinal Zen confirmed this report, saying: “Yes, as far as I know, things happened just as they are related in AsiaNews.”

One of the underground bishops, Bishop Zhuang, asked Cardinal Zen to pass on his words to the Pope. The cardinal then travelled to Rome so he could personally hand a letter to Pope Francis. He was able to do this after the Weekly General Audience on January 10.

Later that day, he received a phone call saying Pope Francis would receive him in private audience on Friday, January 12. Cardinal Zen said that during that audience, he asked Pope Francis whether he had had time to “look into the matter”.

The Pope responded: “Yes, I told them not to create another Mindszenty case!”

Cardinal Mindszenty was Archbishop of Budapest during Hungary’s Communist dictatorship. The regime imprisoned him, but he was able to flee to the American embassy during the anti-Communist uprising of 1956.

However, under pressure from the Communist government, the Holy See told the Cardinal to leave the country and replaced him with a successor more to the government’s liking.

Cardinal Zen said the Pope’s words “should be rightly understood as of consolation and encouragement more for [suffering Catholics in China] than for me”.

Despite the reassurance, the cardinal says he is not optimistic: “Do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months.”

He concludes on a defiant note: “Am I the major obstacle in the process of reaching a deal between the Vatican and China? If that is a bad deal, I would be more than happy to be the obstacle.”

Sandro Magister has a more comprehensive report, as he quotes the full letter Cardinal Zen posted on his blogsite addressed to the media to clarify how things stand at the moment from his viewpoint and personal knowledge of developments in the Vatican-Beijing rapprochement that bodes badly for the underground Church in China.

Cardinal Zen: "The pope told me..."
But new information revealed by the cardinal in a letter
to the media brings even worse news than we already knew


January 29, 2018

The open letter reproduced in its entirety below was published today, Monday, January 29, by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, on his blog, and was immediately republished by the agency Asia News of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.

In it, the cardinal reveals the essential contents of a conversation he had with Pope Francis, to whom he revealed his grave fears over the steps taken recently in China by Vatican representatives.

These steps consisted in asking two “underground” bishops who are recognized by the Holy See, those of Shantou and Mindong, to make way for two bishops appointed by the government, both illicit and, the first one, excommunicated.

Cardinal Zen now reveals that Pope Francis replied to him that he had given the order “not to create another Mindszenty case,” alluding to the heroic cardinal and primate of Hungary who was required by the Vatican authorities to leave his country in 1971, was removed from his position in 1973, and in 1975 was replaced with a new primate favored by the communist regime.

Here is the cardinal's letter:

Dear Friends in the Media,

Since AsiaNews has revealed some recent facts in the Church in mainland China, of legitimate bishops being asked by the “Holy See” to resign and make place for illegitimate, even explicitly excommunicated, “bishops”, many different versions of the facts and interpretations are creating confusion among the people. Many, knowing of my recent trip to Rome, are asking me for some clarification.

Back in October, when Bishop Zhuang received the first communication from the Holy See and asked me for help, I sent someone to bring his letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, with, enclosed, a copy for the Holy Father. I don’t know if that enclosed copy reached the desk of the Holy Father.

Fortunately, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai [formerly #2 man at Propaganda Fide, who was inexplicably demoted by this pope to be nuncio to Guam last year], who was still in Rome and could meet the Pope in a farewell visit. On that occasion, he brought the two cases of Shantou and Mindong to the knowledge of the Holy Father. The Holy Father was surprised and promised to look into the matter.

Given the words of the Holy Father to Archbishop Hon, the new facts in December were all the more a shocking surprise to me. When the old distressed Bishop Zhuang asked me to bring to the Holy Father his answer to the message conveyed to him by the “Vatican Delegation” in Beijing, I simply could not say “No”. But what could I do to make sure that his letter reach the Holy Father, while not even I can be sure that my own many letters did reach him?

To make sure that our voice reached the Holy Father, I took the sudden decision of going to Rome. I left Hong Kong the night of 9th January, arriving in Rome the early morning of 10th January, just in time (actually, a bit late) to join the Wednesday Public Audience. At the end of the audience, we Cardinals and Bishops are admitted to the “bacia mano” and I had the chance to put into the hands of the Holy Father the envelop, saying that I was coming to Rome for the only purpose of bringing to him a letter of Bishop Zhuang, hoping he can find time to read it (in the envelop there was the original letter of the Bishop in Chinese with my translation into Italian and a letter of mine).

For obvious reasons, I hoped my appearance at the audience would not be too much noticed, but my late arrival in the hall made it particularly noticeable. Anyway, now everybody can see the whole proceeding from the Vatican TV (by the way, the audience was held in Paul VI Hall, not in St. Peter’s Square and I was a little late to the audience, but did not have to “wait in a queue, in a cold weather”, as some media erroneously reported).

When in Rome, I met Fr. Bernard Cervellera of AsiaNews. We exchanged our information, but I told him not to write anything. He complied. Now that someone else broke the news, I can agree to confirm it. Yes, as far as I know, things happened just as they are related in AsiaNews (the AsiaNews report “believes” that the Bishop leading the Vatican Delegation was Msgr. Celli. I do not know in what official capacity he was there, but it is most likely that he was the one there in Beijing).

In this crucial moment and given the confusion in the media, I, knowing directly the situation of Shantou and indirectly that of Mindong, feel duty-bound to share my knowledge of the facts, so that the people sincerely concerned with the good of the Church may know the truth to which they are entitled. I am well aware that in doing so I may talk about things which, technically, are qualified as “confidential”. But my conscience tells me that in this case the “right to truth” should override any such “duty of confidentiality”.

With such conviction, I am going to share with you also the following:

On the afternoon of that day, 10th January, I received a phone-call from Casa Santa Marta telling me that the Holy Father would receive me in private audience in the evening of Friday 12th January (though the report appeared only on 14th January in the Holy See bulletin). That was the last day of my 85th year of life, what a gift from Heaven! (Note that it was the vigil of the Holy Father’s departure for Chile and Peru, so the Holy Father must have been very busy).

On that evening the conversation lasted about half an hour. I was rather disorderly in my talking, but I think I succeeded to convey to the Holy Father the worries of his faithful children in China.

The most important question I put to the Holy Father (which was also in the letter) was whether he had had time “to look into the matter” (as he promised Archbishop Savio Hon). In spite of the danger of being accused of breach of confidentiality, I have decidde to tell you what His Holiness said: “Yes, I told them (his collaborators in the Holy See) not to create another Mindszenty case”! I was there in the presence of the Holy Father representing my suffering brothers in China. His words should be rightly understood as of consolation and encouragement more for them than for me.

I think it was most meaningful and appropriate for the Holy Father to make this historical reference to Card. Josef Mindszenty, one of the heroes of our faith. (Card. Josef Mindszenty was the Archbishop of Budapest, Cardinal Primate of Hungary under Communist persecution. He suffered much in several years in prison. During the short-lived revolution of 1956, he was freed from prison by the insurgents and, before the Red Army crashed the revolution, took refuge in the American Embassy. Under the pressure of the Government he was ordered by the Holy See to leave his country and immediately a successor was named to the liking of the Communist Government). [Isn't the case of the two Chinese bishops asked by the Vatican to give way to two 'illegal' Beijing-appointed bishops already worse than the Mindszenty case? At least, Mindszenty was able to seek refuge in the US embassy before the Vatican gave in to the communist regime in Hungary!]

With this revelation, I hope I have satisfied the legitimate “right to know” of the media and of my brothers in China.

The important thing for us now is to pray for the Holy Father, very fittingly by singing the traditional song “Oremus”: "Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco, Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum et beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius."

Some explanations may still be in order.

1. Please, notice that the problem is not the resignation of the legitimate Bishops, but the request to make place for the illegitimate and even excommunicated ones. Many old underground Bishops, though the retirement age law has never been enforced in China, have insistently asked for a successor, but have never received any answer from the Holy See. Some others, who have a successor already named, may be even already in possession of the Bulla signed by the Holy Father, were ordered not to proceed with the ordination for fear of offending the Government.

2. I have talked mainly of the two cases of Shantou and Mindong. I do not have any other information except the copy of a letter written by an outstanding Catholic lady, a retired University professor well-acquainted with affairs of the Church in China, in which she warns Msgr. Celli against pushing for the legitimization of “bishop” Lei Shi Ying in Sichuan.

3. I acknowledge myself as a pessimist regarding the present situation of the Church in China, but my pessimism has a foundation in my long direct experience of the Church in China. From 1989 to 1996 I used to spend six months a year teaching in the various Seminaries of the official Catholic community. I had direct experience of the slavery and humiliation to which those our brother Bishops are subjected. And from the recent information, there is no reason to change that pessimistic view.

The Communist Government is making new harsher regulations limiting religious freedom. They are now strictly enforcing regulations which up to now were practically only on paper (from the 1st of February 2018 attendance to Mass in the underground will no longer be tolerated). [That is even more disturbing than asking the underground bishops to make way for illegal bishops! How will the government enforce this ban on 'underground' Masses? And where will the Catholics of the underground Church go for the liturgy and sacraments? Does Bergoglio realize that his self-serving 'Ostpolitik' is now driving the underground Church to be a 'church of the catacombs', as it were?]

4. Some say that all the efforts to reach an agreement is to avoid an ecclesial schism. How ridiculous! The schism is there, in the Independent Church! [That is, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association that is, for all intents and purposes, a 'national church' for China wholly independent of the Vatican.]

The Popes have avoided using the word “schism” because they knew that many in the official Catholic community were there not by their own free will, but under heavy pressure. The proposed “unification” would force everybody into that community. The Vatican would be giving its blessing to the new strengthened schismatic Church, taking away the bad conscience from all those who are already willing renegades and those others who would readily join them.

5. Is it not good to try to find mutual ground to bridge the decades-long divide between the Vatican and China? Yes, but can there be anything really “mutual” with a totalitarian regime? Either you surrender or you accept persecution, but remaining faithful to yourself (can you imagine an agreement between St. Joseph and King Herod?)

6. So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months.

7. Some expert on the Catholic Church in China is saying that it is not logical to suppose a harsher religious policy from Xi Jinping. However, we are not talking about logical thinking, but the obvious and crude reality.

8. Am I the major obstacle in the process of reaching a deal between the Vatican and China? If that is a bad deal, I would be more than happy to be the obstacle.

Hong Kong, January 29, 2018


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, January 30, 2018 4:50 AM


Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate:
Behind the scenes of the order's
persecution by the Vatican

by Father Paolo M. Siano
Translated for Rorate caeli by 'Francesca Romana' from

January 24, 2018

A few days ago, on January 20th there was an important anniversary in the history of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FI). On that date six years ago (2012), in our Roman convent on Via Boccea, a meeting took place between the then General Council of the FI and five friars (two Americans and three Italians) who were opponents of Father Stefano Manelli, founder and Minster General [of the Order].

Myself, along with other professors of the then FI Seminary and those in charge of formation, were invited by Father Manelli to take part in the event. The meeting, which lasted the entire day in two sessions, was shocking for the amount of vehemence and malicious attacks made against Father Manelli.

With hindsight we see now that those accusations were gradually deployed and developed in the mudslinging and the ecclesiastic, media and judiciary war conducted against Father Manelli - a war promoted and/or backed by some churchmen (even in the Vatican) - friars, laity and a somewhat “Tridentine” diocesan priest.

Over these past six years I have witnessed the objective devastation of my Religious Family (Friars, Nuns, Laity) the persecution (still going on) of our Founding Father and our authentic FI charism approved by Pope St. John Paul II.

My vocational future and that of other confreres, who like me defend the person and line of our Founders, is uncertain. In the light of various facts, I’m convinced that at least until the end of this Pontificate, we are liable to be monitored, obstructed and persecuted wherever we go and whatever we do or become.

In the meeting on January 21st 2012, those three Italian friars essentially said this to us (I’m a witness to it): If you don’t remove Latin from the Seminary (at that time, The Theological Seminary of the Immaculate Mediatrix) we will denounce you to the Congregation [CIVCSVA-The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life] where – as you know – the modernists [or progressives] are and who will have you put under a commissioner”. And that’s exactly what happened. We didn’t bend to the threat, so the Visit arrived and we were put under the Commissioner.

Now one of those three Italian priests (in the meantime one of the two Americans has gone back to the Minor Conventuals) is the chief editor of “The Franciscans of the Immaculate 2018 Calendar” (Why wasn’t it sent here to Ferrara?). In a certain sense it is an official text inasmuch as it specifies that it has been published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate “with the benediction and supervision of the Apostolic Commissioner Don Sabino Ardito, SDB”.

Strange though to see on the FI Calendar, that Pope Francis’s letter to the Young (January 13th 2017) is alongside a photo of some young people in the company of - Pope John Paul II! Anyway, the photos and texts cited from St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Paul VI and St. John Paul II are very beautiful.

Nevertheless, we cannot keep silent about some perplexities in the article from the Editor, “Young People, Families, St. Maximilian and the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate”. A good thing indeed it is to underline our discipleship as the Marian-Franciscan ideal of Father Kolbe.

Nonetheless, the exclusion with regard to our Founder Fathers, Manelli and Pellettieri, who are not mentioned at all, is very grave and symptomatic. This is in fact a sign of their damnatio memoriae, which they would like to plant among the new FI (The Editor is one of Manelli’s five accusers and opponents at the FI
meeting in January 2012) with the backing and/ or under the direction of some curial figures. [It was clear from the start of this reprehensible FFI episode that both the Prefect of the CIVCSVA, Cardinal Braz de Aviz, and its #2 man, Mons. Rodriguez Carballo, signed off on the crackdown on the FI and have given their full support to the 'commissars' they subsequently assigned to oversee the FI and its female counterpart order.]

In effect, what was and should be our “Marian Vow of Unlimited Consecration to the Immaculate”, which was the primary constitutive vow of the FI, is instead reduced by the Editor (and by the Heads) to a “fourth vow (mass-media – and missionary nature…)”. Who knows what the extended dotted line means. All of this would confirm the program imposed from “on high”: to remake, or manipulate - on the drawing-board - our FI charism, history, formation, thought and conscience.

The plan in action was already in some way perceptible in the disgraceful and calumnious interview published in the 2014 March number of the Vita Consacrata Testimoni (EDB) magazine, which certainly does not stand out for its appreciation of the reality of a somewhat “traditional” Religious Life.

In short, the plan of a few individuals was deducible for some time: to calumniate and destroy Father Manelli “identifying him” first, with Monsignor Lefebvre, second, with Father Maciel Degollado, and third, with Friar Elia of Cortona: consequently cutting off the FI from their besmirched Founder; treating the Founders like infidels of the Church and faithless to the FI charism; denying their charismatic contribution (eg. The Marian Vow and Franciscan poverty); constructing new “founders” and re-programming the FI, perhaps by making them shift slowly towards a probable “return” to the Conventual or other Minor Orders.

Do not forget that in the great Franciscan Families there is a project in the making for unification. (https://www.corrispondenzaromana.it/il-francescanesimo-del-futuro-annunciato-da-radio-vaticana/). The Editor of the Calendar seems to be even too optimistic, convinced the FI will conserve at the end of the external administration their fundamental characteristics.

It will not be so: The Marian Vow has already been eliminated, and our Marian nature reduced to a so-called “atmosphere”, an act of consecration, no longer a public and constitutive Vow. Not to mention true Franciscan Poverty and the war against the Associations. In short, in light of the last six years, it can be deduced that from the very start a few individuals had the intent to destroy us.

The resistance, even the legal and judicial one, slowed down their plans which nevertheless continue. Another painful point by the Editor is the emphasis that the external administrator is working on FI “doctrinal clarification”. The insiders know well that he is one of those who accused and calumniated us of a “Lefebvrian drift” and of betraying the Church and our charism.

In truth, in knowledge and in conscience, we now see a “drift” and it is certainly not in the traditionalist sense. For example, it would be interesting to investigate the positions of the Friars and the Heads of the FI about the matter of Communion allowed to the divorced/remarried who are living more uxorio. I, on the other hand, share the DUBIA of the four (now 2) Cardinals and many other more or less well-known prelates and priests

In effect, we fear that those who have made or have even now been making “discernments” about the FI, in other words, those who want “to re-program us”, are in fact influenced by at least some of those principles that constituted the joint plan of Karl Rahner’s transcendental Thomism and Gustavo Gutierrez’s 1971 Liberation Theology.

Churchmen and church workers formed in such a progressive mentality can do nothing other than hope for and cause our destruction [DIM87pt](http://amicideltimoneferrara.blogspot.it/2017/03/teologia-della-liberazione-anno-1971.html).

As long as they are influential in the Church we have no way out.
Appealing to the Vatican Authorities would appear useless. Our Sisters of the Franciscans of the Immaculate had appealed to the Apostolic Signatura against the CIVCSVA and probably they would have been proven right and gotten justice. However someone from “on high” - instead of respecting the correct legal course, perhaps by spurNing the Signatura’s sentence - has practically blocked everything, by accepting the CIVCSVA’s request and decreeing another external commissioning.

With knowledge and in conscience before the Divine Judgment, the God of Israel, we can no longer keep quiet and watch silently and passively at the triumph of injustice and speciousness which indeed cry out for vengeance in the sight of God.

May God and Mary Our Blessed Mother, Co-Redemptrix, the New Ester, help us to bear this suffering for the good of the Church. We do not know what our future will be: whether it will be as FI, diocesan priests, or reduced to the lay state. Only an extraordinary intervention of Grace can save us. Otherwise “we will die” vocationally, but with honor, not as traitors.

As if to remind us that the persecution of the FI is just one of the many horrible games Bergoglio is playing to institutionalize his wreckovation of the one true Church into his very own church of Bergoglio, he struck two blows today on two fronts. Antonio Socci sums up today's double-whammy from Bergoglio:


January 29, 2018
Every day, a hatchet blow (or two) on the Church. Today, [the pope] first attacked Catholic universities and ecclesiastical instruction,
and then reaffirmed the Bergoglian doctrine on [quick, easy and free] marriage annulments.



The instruction to Catholic universities comes in the form of an Apostolic Constitution, no less, which Bergoglio has entitled Veritatis Gaudium (The joy of truth) - a supreme irony for someone who daily exemplifies all the moral turpitude that John Paul II condemns in VERITATIS SPLENDOR and who has made lying and deception standard tactics to advancing his agenda.You may read about this new Bergoglio text from Andrea Tornielli:
http://www.lastampa.it/2018/01/29/vaticaninsider/eng/the-vatican/the-pope-asks-catholic-universities-for-a-cultural-revolution-Yktf3rHxCR10bKNrbj9uyH/pagina.html

And all that doublespeak about conscience was contained in an address to the Roman Rota, the Church's highest appellate tribunal whose case load is largely to make the final decision on 'problematic' requests for marriage annulments. I swear the doublespeak on conscience and discernment is truly revolting...Judge for yourself:
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/01/29/180129b.html

You might like to read Mundabor's short but merciless reaction to Veritatis gaudium (I gag even just to write out that blasted title!)
https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/veritatis-gaudium-francis-war-against-catholicism-rages-on/
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, January 31, 2018 8:24 PM

I suspect most Catholics are like the frogs who get used to the 'warmth' of Bergoglio and the changes he is bringing to 'the Church', and quite a few are like the frog who notices what's happening. Then, the analogy fails because those who notice won't jump
out of the pot in the sense of leaving the one true Church. In a cartoon world, the frog(s) who jump(s) out would probably overpower the man controlling the fire (Bergoglio as Satan surrogate) and push him into the boiling kettle or maybe directly into the flames
where he belongs...


Grrrrr... You know that story about the boiling frog? You can't put a frog into boiling water because he will simply jump out. But if you put it into warm water which is then brought to
a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. If I may alter the analogy I used in the caption above: That's what Bergoglio is doing to the articles of
Catholic faith, but with a major difference - he is making little incremental steps on many different issues (i.e., he has several pots simmering, each with a different article of
faith, for which he awaits the right time to bring each one to a boil and) and then, wham!, as at the time of the Arian crisis, the Catholic world will awake one day to find
that 'the Church' is suddenly Bergoglian and secular (not even Christian)
- because 'the Church' led and governed by the man who was elected to lead and govern the Roman
Catholic Church in March 2013 would have institutionalized the church of Bergoglio in place of the one true Church of Christ. If Sandro Magister is right, then the end to the
Catholic ban on artificial contraception may be about to end. I'd like to think Magister may be sounding a false alarm here, but given Bergoglio's record, I wouldn't be surprised.


Goodbye, 'Humanae Vitae':
Bergoglio about to liberalize the pill


January 30, 2018

Goodbye, “Humanae Vitae.” Half a century later, the encyclical against artificial methods of birth control that marked the most dramatic moment of the pontificate of Paul VI - rejected by entire episcopates, contested by countless theologians, disobeyed by myriads of faithful - is now giving way to a radical reinterpretation, to a “paradigm shift” undoubtedly desired and encouraged by Pope Francis himself.

Paradox would have it that Paul VI should be the pope whom Jorge Mario Bergoglio admires and praises the most. And precisely - his own words - for the “prophetic brilliance” with which he wrote that encyclical and for his “courage in standing up against the majority, in defending moral discipline, in applying a cultural brake, in opposing neo-Malthusianism present and future.”

But the reality is that “everything depends on how ‘Humanae Vitae’ is interpreted,” as Pope Francis never fails to comment. Because “the question is not that of changing doctrine, but of digging deep and making sure that pastoral practice takes into account the situations and what persons are able to do.” [i.e. Bergoglio's right hand giveth, pro forma, then yanks back everything with his left.]

His wish becomes command. An authoritative guise has now been given to the new interpretive paradigm of HV, with an explicit go-ahead for artificial contraception, by one of the pope’s most respected theologians, Maurizio Chiodi, professor of moral theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy and a newly appointed member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, already the author of a book published in 2006, Etica della vita, that upheld the legitimacy of artificial procreation.

The authoritativeness of his position is confirmed by two connected facts.

The first is the context in which Chiodi laid down the new interpretation of hv: a conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University on December 14, in the course of a round of meetings dedicated to that encyclical ON the fiftieth anniversary of its publication, organized by the university’s faculty of moral theology, directed by the Argentine Jesuit Humberto Miguel Yáñez, a protege of Bergoglio’s.

A detailed account of this conference was provided by the American journalist Diane Montagna on LifeSite News on January 8, followed by lively reactions from defenders of the contested encyclical:

But now there’s more. On Sunday, January 28, Chiodi’s lecture was prominently featured by the newspaper of the Italian episcopal conference, Avvenire, in its monthly supplement “Noi, Famiglia & Vita,” (We, family and life), introduced with a commentary entitled “From Pope Montini to Francis, development in fidelity,” which states:
“It is a position [that of Chiodi] that authoritatively takes its place in the debate underway, and that must not be understood as an overrun or critique of ‘Humanae Vitae,’ a text that is and remains the fruit of a prophetic and courageous decision for the time and historical situation in which pope Montini conceived of it, not without torment and not without having clarified that this was a matter of a magisterium that was neither infallible nor irreformable. [Bergoglio's working premise, in short, for overturning HV.]

In this perspective, the theologian’s reflection is to be understood as a proposal that is intended to represent the development of a tradition. And a tradition, in order to be alive and to continue to speak to the women and men of our time, must not be fossilized but rendered dynamic, which means to be in keeping with a society that is changing.

Fr. Chiodi has the courage to define the problem that is raised by some theologians and experts on pastoral practice. Are natural methods really to be understood as the only means possible for family planning?”


The commentary, as can be seen, ends with a question mark. Which is, however, entirely rhetorical. The ideas Chiodi presents in his lecture, in fact, are not hypothetical, but affirmative. There are circumstances - he maintains - that not only allow but “require” other methods, not natural, for birth control.

The complete text of Chiodi’s conference republished in “Avvenire” - with a few edits that do not substantially alter it with respect to the one delivered at the Gregorian - can be seen on this other page of Settimo Cielo:
> Rileggere "Humanae vitae" alla luce di "Amoris laetitia"

After discussing again “the subjective responsibility of conscience and the essential relationship between norm and discernment” in the vein of the postsynodal exhortation from Pope Francis, Chiodi poses “the question of whether natural methods can and should be the only form of responsible procreation.” [So now we go from the green light for artificial contraception, but also for assisted reproduction!]

And these are the conclusions at which he arrives [via a tortuous casuistry worthy of Bergoglio and the ghostwriters of AL]:

“That to which the practice of ‘natural methods of fertility’ attests is the responsorial character of procreation: these too say that to procreate is not to create. The method, however, attests to more than it can guarantee on its own. It reveals a sense that transcends it.

If the responsibility of procreating is that to which these ‘methods’ refer, then one can understand how in situations in which these are impossible or impracticable other forms of responsibility must be found: these ‘circumstances,’ for responsibility, require other methods of birth control.

In these cases, ‘technological’ intervention does not deny the responsibility of the procreating relationship, just as moreover a conjugal relationship that observes natural methods is not automatically responsible.

The insistence of the magisterium on natural methods therefore cannot be interpreted as a norm that is an end in itself, nor as mere conformity with the laws of biology, because the norm refers to the good of conjugal responsibility, and the physical laws (physis) of infertility are inscribed upon a body of flesh and in human relations that cannot be reduced to biological laws.

Technology, in certain circumstances, can allow the preservation of the responsible quality of the sexual act. So this cannot be rejected a priori, when the birth of a child is at stake, because this too is a form of acting and as such requires discernment on the basis of moral criteria that cannot be reduced to a syllogistic-deductive application of the norm.


For the benefit of the reader, this is how Avvenire summarizes, in the center of the page, Chiodi’s reinterpretation of HV:

“If there are situations in which natural methods are impossible or impracticable, other ways must be found, because responsible procreation cannot ignore what technology has to offer.”


It is helpful to add that on January 27, the day before the re-publication of Chiodi's lecture in Avvenire, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and grand chancellor of the John Paul II Institute, also said in an interview with the same newspaper, alluding to HV, that “further exploration on the front of responsibility in procreation” must be made, because “the norms are there to enliven human beings, not to operate robots,” and therefore “they require a process of evaluation that must take into account the whole of the concrete circumstances and of the relations in which the person finds himself.”

And even before Chiodi gave his lecture at the Gregorian, Bishop Luigi Bettazzi, 94, one of the very few bishops still living who took part in Vatican Council II [and with all due deference to his age and to his being a bishop, one of the most poisonous and malicious tongues against Benedict XVI in the past], had said to Avvenire on October 29, 2017, that fifty years after HV, “the time has come to rethink the question,” because “it is not the doctrines that change, but it is we ourselves, with the passing of the years, who are able to understand their meaning better and better, interpreting them in the light of the signs of the times.”

Moreover, since last spring a study commission set up at the Vatican has already been working to reconstruct the genesis of HV from the historical and documentary point of view. [Surely not as a work of scholarly research because such 'genesis' has been more than amply documented and commented upon in the years immediately following the promulgation of HV! Besides, we know by now that whenever Bergoglio decides to 're-open' any doctrinal issue, it means he is preparing to lay down 'the word of Bergoglio' in place of the Word of God.]

Its members are the Monsignors Gilfredo Marengo and Pierangelo Sequeri of the John Paul II Institute, Angelo Maffeis of the Paul VI Institute in Brescia, and the historian Philippe Chenaux of the Pontifical Lateran University. Marengo and Paglia have denied that the work of the commission has to do with the contents of HV, much less with a reinterpretation of them.

But it is all too clear that the re-visitation of the tumultuous path of the that encyclical’s preparation - in which already back then, the circles in favor of artificial contraception were stronger and more pressing than those against, espoused by Paul VI - can only benefit the paradigm shift that is underway. ['Can only benefit'? That's an understatement. It is the prelude to the actual change in doctrine that will be touted again and again as 'not a change in doctrine at all' as we've all experienced with AL! I hope some Latin wit can come up with a prospective title for the HV-overturning Bergoglian document! The first thing I can come up with, and I hope it is grammatically correct, is "Gaudium sexus non procreandi" (The joy of sex without procreating).]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, January 31, 2018 10:57 PM

In every parish in the world priests will find gaining people’s trust
that little bit more difficult thanks to the Barros case.




The news that the Vatican has dispatched the Archbishop of Malta to Chile to deal with the case of Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno is astonishing. It represents a complete volte-face on the part of the authorities in Rome.

Until very recently, no less a person than Pope Francis himself was telling us that there was no Barros case, and that the whole affair was the work of “leftists”, and that any accusations against Barros were calumny. Now, as the Italians love to say, cambia la melodia – the mood music has changed: it seems that new facts have come to light and there is something to be investigated after all.

Archbishop Scicluna of Malta is one of the few men high up in the Church hierarchy who has some credibility when it comes to dealing with child abuse. The fact that he is being sent means the Vatican recognises the Barros case as important, indeed urgent; one could see this as, in fact, a sign of panic after a long period of denial and indolence. Let us remember that Barros was made Bishop of Osorno back in March 2015. Since then protests have not let up. Yet it has taken three years for the Vatican to realise that it has a serious problem in Osorno. And how serious!

Barros was a bishop (of the Chilean armed forces) before the Osorno appointment. Osorno is a tiny diocese of 22 parishes, 800 miles from Santiago, and perhaps they thought that it was a good place to bury an embarrassing prelate. If that were so, it was a terrible miscalculation, and reveals that whoever was behind the Osorno appointment simply does not realise how toxic child abuse is for the Catholic Church. But they do now, or should do, given that the Osorno saga has not gone away, much as they might have hoped it to.

Moreover, the Osorno case has damaged the entire Chilean Church. One would very much like to know the pastoral statistics for Osorno and for Chile as a while. Everything one hears suggests that they are not encouraging.

Naturally, one does not want to prejudge the outcome of Archbishop Scicluna’s mission, but it is clearly going to be one of damage limitation, and it represents, sadly, too little too late. The appointment of Bishop Barros in Osorno was a huge unforced error. Even if Bishop Barros is removed, as I hope he will be, damage has been done. In every parish in the world priests will find their task of gaining people’s trust that little bit more difficult thanks to the Barros case.

One might well ask why is Archbishop Scicluna being sent in now? The official explanation is that something new has come to light. [Yeah, right!] The real explanation may be that those defending Barros in high places have suddenly decided that the battle is lost and are now looking for an exit strategy. This, in turn, means that those who have been discretely pushing for something to be done about Barros have won the argument.

Chief of these people must be Cardinal O’Malley who broke cover after the Pope’s return from Chile with an unprecedented intervention. When O’Malley spoke, something happened, the dam gave way, action was taken. [Not right away, though. Considering that O'Malley joined Bergoglio in Lima the day after he made his unprecedented intervention (going to Lima to join the pope had been pre-arranged), and yet Bergoglio continued to insist on Barros's innocence in his airborne news conference afterwards even if he apologized somewhat for saying his accusers were engaged in calumny.]

The Cardinal of Boston is clearly the one to listen to. And from now on, the one to watch. [Hmmm, don't speak too soon!]


Pope’s investigator into Chilean abuse claims
has strong track record but elicits some questions

by Steve Skojec

January 30, 2018

In what appears to be an attempt to rectify the biggest misstep of his pontificate, Pope Francis has appointed an investigator with a strong track record to look into sexual abuse allegations that have dogged Bishop Juan Barros, the pope’s controversial pick to lead the diocese of Osorno, Chile.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta has been selected to go to Chile to investigate new information brought forward by alleged victims of abuse.

Some of the victims of Fr. Fernando Karadima, a Chilean priest removed from active ministry by the Vatican in 2011 and sent to a “life of prayer and penitence”, also allege that his protege, Juan Barros, had knowledge of the abuse, or even observed as it was taking place. [Since Scicluna was the 'promoter of justice' at the CDF until Benedict XVI named him auxiliary bishop of Malta in 2012, he would have been involved in the original Karadima investigation by the CDF which at the time believed the 3 victims who subsequently named Barros as complicit in Karadima's crimes. I am afraid that if the 3 failed to mention Barros at all in their testimony to the CDF, Scicluna may decide to reject their testimony about Barros for that reason! Which would play right into Bergoglio's hand! Or was the "new information that has recently come into light" there all along in the CDF files on the Karadima investigation but never inquired into by the Bergoglio Vatican???]

The pope’s seemingly callous disregard of these claims has led to strong criticism of the media-darling pontiff by an increasingly hostile international press.

Francis’s combative stance toward Barros’s accusers is not new. It most recently made headlines during the pope’s visit to Chile in January, where he accused victims making allegations against Barros of “calumny,” saying that there “is not one shred of proof against him.” In followup comments, the pope apologized for giving offense, but continued to insist that he could not “condemn” Barros without evidence.

Francis had previously expressed his contempt for the same accusers in 2015 when he said that “The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” and that they had let their heads “be filled with what politicians say, judging a bishop without any proof.”

Archbishop Scicluna, who will work to determine if there is any evidence to support the claims against Barros, worked as the promoter of justice for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for the better part of two decades before being appointed by Pope Francis in 2015 to head up a CDF team that handles appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse.

He is credited for helping to uncover evidence of sexual abuse by Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, who was discovered to have abused seminarians, and to have fathered multiple children while living a double life. Maciel became symbolic of the larger sex abuse crisis in the Church, bringing shame and scandal on what was once considered one of the most promising and fastest-growing orders in the Church.

But when it comes to Scicluna’s objectivity in a case the pope has taken such a personal interest in, certain questions are raised about whether the Maltese Archbishop will pursue an outcome not favored by the pope.

Although known before the present pontificate as being in the mold of Joseph Ratzinger, Scicluna played a pivotal role in the Amoris Laetitia controversy. As Archbishop of Malta, he issued some of the most permissive guidelines on sacraments for the divorced and remarried of any diocese in the world. In his analysis of the guidelines for OnePeterFive, Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S., wrote:

Malta has been famous as a bastion of fervent and orthodox Catholicism almost since St. Paul evangelized it in the first century. No more. For in one fell swoop, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta and Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo have avoided superficial flesh wounds and darted straight in for the jugular.

They do admittedly try to disguise their death-blow with the standard bland rhetoric about the need for a sincere search for God’s will, serious prayerful discernment, “humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching”, etc.

But their bottom line is that in Malta there will now be no objective and enforceable limits whatsoever on the right of (non-continent) divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive the Holy Eucharist. Priest-confessors are being told they may no longer be deciders in such matters, only ‘accompaniers’; for access to the sacraments for all persons in these illicit unions will ultimately depend entirely on their own subjective decision of “conscience”.


Pope Francis went on to praise those guidelines, thanking Malta’s two bishops for them in a letter last April after they were published in L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. Archbishop Scicluna is alleged to have told a meeting of Maltese priests in February, 2017, that he had “no choice” in signing the guidelines, because his conscience would not allow him to go against the wishes of the pope. Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register also reported at the time that Scicluna confirmed he told seminarians in his country that if any of them did not agree with Pope Francis, they were free to leave [the seminary].

Adding a twist to the speculation, sources in Malta have told OnePeterFive that in the wake of the high-profile murder of popular blogger and political corruption watchdog Daphne Caruana Galizia in a car bombing last October, Archbishop Scicluna has become a de facto moral leader whom many in Malta — believers and unbelievers alike — look to for guidance.

Scicluna delivered the homily at Galizia’s funeral last November, during which he struck a defiant note:

We still do not know who killed Daphne. Whoever took part, in one way or another, in Daphne’s murder, I have this to tell you: However hard you try to evade from the justice of men, you will never escape from the justice of God. Repent before it is too late.

To you journalists, Daphne’s colleagues, I repeat what I have already told you: do not be afraid. I encourage you never to grow weary in your mission to be the eyes, the ears, and the mouth of the people. Do this without fear and with full respect of the truth. Dear journalists, we need you. We need people in your profession who are unshackled, who are free, intelligent, inquisitive, honest, serene, safe and protected.


One Catholic in Malta who spoke with OnePeterFive said that they had the impression that Scicluna had undergone a change since the events following Galizia’s death, and that he seemed more likely to take an unpopular stand.

So which Scicluna will go to Chile? The accomplished investigator of clerical abuse and champion of those fighting corruption, or the Archbishop who can’t say no to the pope?

Whatever the outcome, the pope has little to lose. Either an expert clears Barros of any wrongdoing, confirming belief that his appointed bishop is innocent, or Barros is found guilty, and Francis gets credit for taking action after his earlier mistakes. For Scicluna, however, discovering the truth of a case that has rocked the Chilean church for years could be a first step on a path to redemption.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, January 31, 2018 11:21 PM


Cardinal Zen tried so hard to be charitable to the pope, quoting him as having said "I told them [his negotiators with China] not to create another
Mindszenty case", as if to say his people know exactly what he wants in the negotiations with China, and that he expressly did not want any situation
where the regime could replace a Vatican-appointed bishop as the Hungarian communist regime did with the heroic cardinal of Hungary back in
the 1950s. But that is what one of his envoys to China, Archbishop Celli, appears to have done with two Chinese bishops so far! The Bergoglio
Vatican did not waste time smacking down the long-suffering Cardinal Zen, though not naming him, for 'fostering confusion and controversy" (Well,
look who's accusing others of their very own favorite tactic of 'fostering confusion and controversy'!)


Vatican issues statement
contradicting Cardinal Zen

by Steve Skojec

January 30, 2018

A new statement from the Holy See Press Office today indicates that despite assertions to the contrary from an outspoken Chinese cardinal, Pope Francis is fully aware and approves of recent diplomatic steps taken by the Vatican to appease the Chinese government.

Yesterday, we reported that Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop-emeritus of Hong Kong, had released a statement explaining recent events in Sino-Vatican relations from his own perspective — including his recent meeting with the pope on January 12th...

The impression of his overall assessment is that the compromises between the Vatican and Beijing — compromises Zen opposes — are the fault of Vatican diplomats, and not the pope.

Immediately after his statement began making the rounds, Crux, an American Catholic news outlet funded by the Knights of Columbus and seen by many as a virtual propaganda arm of the pope’s 'reform'agenda, ran a piece with the headline: “Cardinal Zen attacks Vatican efforts to rehabilitate government-appointed Chinese bishops“.

Such a bold headline — which almost instantly generated outrage from Catholics concerned for the plight of the faithful in China — was perhaps the first indication of how the Vatican viewed Zen’s statement.

Today’s statement from the Holy See was a less direct slap in the face of Cardinal Zen — but a slap nonetheless:

With reference to widespread news on a presumed difference of thought and action between the Holy Father and his collaborators in the Roman Curia on issues relating to China, I am able to state the following:
“The Pope is in constant contact with his collaborators, in particular in the Secretariat of State, on Chinese issues, and is informed by them faithfully and in detail on the situation of the Catholic Church in China and on the steps in the dialogue in progress between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, which he follows with special attention. It is therefore surprising and regrettable that the contrary is affirmed by people in the Church, thus fostering confusion and controversy”.


In other words, Don’t listen to the meddling old Chinese cardinal who is worried about his people who are simply trying to live their faith without communist interference. The pope is on board with the current Vatican Ostpolitik, and fully approves.

Catholics, take note.

Too bad Michael Davis at the Catholic Herald wrote his January 30 article before the Vatican bulletin came out. This was the headline and sub-head for his article:

Vatican and China: Cardinal Zen’s intervention
raises some very uncomfortable questions

If the cardinal is right, the Vatican delegation in China
went behind the Pope's back and defied his wishes

Well, now Davis knows better! More importantly, the Catholics of China now know better!

And an even stronger statement today to hammer home the point - and incidentally, to confirm the report that the two bishops have been asked to step aside in favor of illegally consecrated (and one formally excommunicated by Benedict XVI) bishops, which is supposed to be "a sacrifice within the evangelical perspective of a greater good, the good of the Church of Christ":

Cardinal Parolin defends
Vatican’s strategy in China


January 31, 2018

The Vatican’s negotiating strategy in China is in line with the Tradition of the Church, Cardinal Pietro Parolin has said.

The Vatican Secretary of State told La Stampa that although there may be differences of opinion on how to deal with China’s Communist government, “no personal point of view can be considered as an exclusive interpreter of what is good for Chinese Catholics.”

His words come just days after Cardinal Joseph Zen, former Bishop of Hong Kong, criticised a Vatican delegation for asking two bishops belonging to the underground Church to stand aside in favour of two government-backed bishops.

Cardinal Parolin said:

“If someone is asked to make a sacrifice, small or great, it must be clear to everyone that this is not the price of a political exchange, but falls within the evangelical perspective of a greater good, the good of the Church of Christ.”

The hope is that, when God wills it, we won’t have to speak of ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ bishops, ‘clandestine’ and ‘official’ bishops in the church in China, but about meeting among brothers and sisters, learning the language of collaboration and communion again.”

[But right now there are illegitimate bishops in China as well as 'clandestine' ones. They have to be described as they are, not according to some vague hope for the future!]

Cardinal Zen also claimed that Pope Francis told him in a private audience that he did not want “another Mindszenty case”, referring to Hungarian Cardinal Joszef Mindszenty who was asked to step aside for an archbishop favoured by the country’s Communist regime.

On Tuesday, the Vatican issued a statement denying any rift between Pope Francis and Vatican officials in China.

Cardinal Parolin reiterated this point. [And this henchman for Bergoglio is the man Magister et al are touting as the front-running papabile today??? GOD HELP US!]

“The Holy Father personally follows current contacts with the authorities of the People’s Republic of China. All his collaborators act in concert with him. No one takes private initiatives. Frankly, any other kind of reasoning seems to me to be out of place."

[There you have it! Archbishop Celli was merely carrying out Bergoglio's wishes. Cardinal Zen was right to conclude that, despite the pope's seemingly mollifying words about 'the Mindszenty case', the Bergoglio Vatican is in the midst of selling out the Church in China! The word that comes to my mind is VILLAINY - which is being committed by the Bergoglio Vatican right and left.]

In effect, what China wants is for the 'Catholic Church' in China to be subject to the regime's Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which would, in effect, make it an independent national Chinese 'Catholic' Church, i.e. a 'Catholic' church independent of the Vatican. Cardinal Zen explains what this means in this interview with Bussola, done before the Vatican statements today:

Cardinal Zen: 'If the Vatican
yields to China, we will resist -

The Church has always taught that an independent church is objectively schismatic'

by Aurelio Porfiri
Translated from

January 26, 2018

[The item starts with a retelling of the AsiaNews story about the two bishops, then continues:]

These events give rise to a legitimate question: Can the Holy See dismiss faithful bishops de facto, in favor of other bishops who are de facto and de jure employees ofa communist and atheist state? Even without this state showing any concrete signs that desire any collaboration involving reciprocal respect? Indeed, all signals lately point the other way.

Official government sources in China have made it clear that they are in the process of a 'sinicization' of religious activities in the country, obviously in a restrictive sense, which would mean an even stronger and more stringent control over Catholics who choose to remain loyal to the Holy See. [Bergoglio is not going to claim that Beijing agrees to make an exception of Catholics, is he? Sinicization is Sinicization, i.e., mandatory independence from any foreign control, in this case, the Holy See. If he manages to get that exemption, I will offer all my Masses in 2018 for him and the good-faith compliance of the Chinese government!]

It is interesting that the pope said last January 24: "It is unacceptable that human beings are persecuted and killed because of their religion. Every person has a right to profess his own religion freely and without constraints". [Yet another one of those pro-forma Catholic statements he makes now and then!]

So how does it become acceptable to enter into any deals [such as the one involving the two bishops] with a government that does persecute people for their religion? We asked this of Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, emeritus Archbishop of Hong Kong and a vocal opponent of the Vatican's Ostpolitik with China.

Eminence, what is the truth about the bishops?
It is well-known the Chinese government has always claimed the right to name Catholic bishops in China. Last year, the Holy Father spoke about this with great caution and we were somewhat reassured. But in November 2017, we got the news that two of our legitimate bishops had been asked to give way to two illegitimate bishops, one of them formally excommunicated by Benedict XVI. This is, of course, of great concern - and is tragic news for the Church in China.

For years, we were told to resist, to be faithful, and now, we are being told to give in! And for what? One would surrender without getting nothing in return - because the Chinese government feels it is strong, it has the upper hand, it can cause fear, it has the economic means. It would be a surrender of the weak to the strong. But the Catholics of China have great strength, which is spiritual strength.

How did we ever get to this point?
It is truly difficult to understand. We cannot see what the Chinese would concede. The government wants to control everything! And it seems the Vatican is willing to give up everything. This is incomprehensible. If the Vatican tells us to give in now, then some, after years of struggle and privation, will agree - it is easy to give in! But there will be those who will continue to resist and say that the Church has always said that an 'independent' church is objectively a schismatic church. The popes have always avoided using the word 'schism' in this respect out of mercy. But how can one say that it would be progress to force everyone to join this schismatic church? Incredible, simply incredible!

You were in Rome recently and had a chance to meet with the Holy Father. What was your feeling?
I am old and I have been travelling not just to Rome but to other parts of the world, but my age and some infirmities tell me I should be more prudent. But someone, in tears, pled with me to deliver his letter to the pope, though I myself have never been sure whether my own letters have reached him.

But the Holy Father was good enough to call me and to have a face-to-face conversation with me. I got the impression that he was not in favor of such a complete surrender, to these unfounded compromises. So let us hope that the pope stops these mistaken tendencies.

Faith is our principle! We could have difficulties in having access to the Sacraments, but we cannot renounce the faith. And what evangelization can we talk about if the Church is no longer that what she ought to be?

Also before today's definitive statements from the Vatican that, yes, "sacrifices, great and small" would have to be made "in the evangelical perspective of a greater good, the good of the Church of Christ" - How, Cardinal Parolin, can an independent church be for the greater good? - Robert Royal, who has written a book on the persecution of the Falun Gong in China and therefore knows whereof he speaks, had this commentary:

The China syndrome
by Robert Royal
Editor

JANUARY 29, 2018

In several decades of living in Washington, D.C., I’ve met my share of scamps and scalawags, fabulists and outright liars. It would take a modern Dante to determine which circle of Inferno each type of misbehavior merited. But of one thing, I am certain: at least in my own experience, I’ve never encountered more brazen and manipulative liars than Communist Chinese officials responsible for relations with religious believers.

Which is what makes it so disturbing that last week reports surfaced that the Vatican asked two underground Chinese bishops, loyal to Rome, to step aside in order to allow two bishops of the Patriotic Church, submissive to the Communist regime, to take their places. That news drove the heroic 86-year-old former Cardinal of Hong Kong Joseph Zen to go to Rome without an appointment, and ask to be allowed to present a letter from the underground believers – who are willing to resist despite personal costs – to Pope Francis. Cardinal Zen has since published an account of these events this morning that confirms the basic story and adds that he is pessimistic about the line the Vatican is pursuing. In addition, he says that the government is cracking down on religious institutions, and starting February 1, “attendance to Mass in the underground will no longer be tolerated.” [This was what alarmed me most in the AsiaNews story but Mr. Royal is the first commentator I've read who picked it up.]

Cardinal Zen has been energetic in warning about the unreliability of agreements with the Communists. (Rumors of an imminent agreement between China and the Vatican have been floating around for a couple of years now, without anything definite being revealed.) Asia News, a publication of the Vatican, itself reacted to last week’s news with a warning about substituting “illegitimate” bishops for “legitimate” ones.

The ChiComs (as we used to call them during the Cold War) are smart and shrewd. They know how to manipulate Western values, in this case, “unifying” the churches, i.e., the inclination to think we can fix all problems with dialogue, building bridges, diplomatic arrangements.

Meanwhile, China continues to cut crosses off church buildings, close some, dynamite still others. The New York Times reported just two weeks ago that China had destroyed the Golden Lampstand church – with 60,000 worshippers the largest evangelical community in the country. The reason: the large, conspicuous edifice had been “secretly” constructed, had failed to get official building permits, etc. These are the usual fig leaves of tyrannical regimes all over the world when they attack religion.

I’ve heard top Chinese leaders blame local authorities for “excesses and errors,” but these seem to recur with a suspect regularity that no one seems to take steps to stop.

The Chinese Communists studied the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the liberation of the nations behind the Iron Curtain thanks to St. John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and many others in the West who kept the pressure on Moscow. They appreciate the power of religion and clearly believe they can prevent Christianity from doing in China what it did in Poland and elsewhere. The tools are familiar: co-opt when you can, persecute and destroy when you can as well, and control information to make it appear you are simply asking for reasonable law and order within your borders.

From the regime’s point of view, there’s great need for all that. Most Chinese have a vague attachment to old folk religions. Maybe 15 percent are Buddhist and generally quiet – except in Tibet where resistance to Beijing remains alive. And then there are Christians, lots of them, if not a large percentage – yet. Reliable figures are hard to get, but 60 million (at a minimum) is a reasonable estimate. It’s safe to say that more Christians are in church on a Sunday morning in China than in all of Europe. And that despite potentially serious consequences for worshipping in “unapproved” congregations.

Protestants probably make up around two-thirds of that number, but the Catholic Church, of course, has a stronger institutional structure. The Chinese are used to playing a long game. Given that Christianity is growing rapidly there, the regime will have a hard time if there are tens of millions more Christians who believe every human being is made in the image and likeness of God, meaning they possess human dignity and freedom.

One of the common foreign-policy questions about China is precisely how Communist it is – and therefore whether it has in its very DNA the old Marxist drive to stamp out the “opium of the people,” i.e., religion. The economy is managed, but not wrecked along ideologically Marxist lines, as in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. It’s not exactly capitalist, of course, but there’s some very serious innovation and entrepreneurship all the same.

The heavy hand of the state is nonetheless quite evident, not least in the population control measures that even the Chinese now know will bring decades – at least – of trouble as their population ages. But is it a hard atheist system?

I wrote about the history of Chinese persecution of religious believers in my book The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century. At the time, the Falun Gong, about 10 million people, were being ruthlessly persecuted by the Chinese because that basically traditional spiritual movement was “a threat to social stability.” And yet it was said then and now that there were numbers of Christians in the Chinese Communist Party as well.

Whatever China’s ideological composition, the independence of the Church [from political regimes] is something that many Christians fought and died for over centuries in the Christian countries of Europe. Independence from political regimes is crucial so that the Church can be free to carry out its spiritual mission, not only evangelizing people but working and speaking out, whatever regime it lives under, about justice and right order in society.

The Vatican seems to be stumbling in its relations with a regime that we can be sure will not respect the freedom of the Church since it doesn’t respect the freedom and dignity of its own people.

Vatican negotiators would do well to remember the lessons of the Communist Era in Europe, particularly Solzhenitsyn’s warning that we must fully understand the nature of Communist regimes and not give in to the illusion that the split between us and them “may be abolished through successful diplomatic negotiations.” Because the split is spiritual, deeply so, not political. [One cannot possibly think there is anything spiritual behind the Vatican's open courtship of Beijing, even at the expense of the underground Church in China - unless papal narcissism can be considered spiritual!]

P.S. I only just read the full interview with Parolin referred to in the second story above. It is even far more appalling than the snippets quoted by the Catholic Herald. There is no other word for it but SELL-OUT, and Parolin goes to absurd lengths to justify what the Bergoglio Vatican is doing. I can't even bear to look at his words again. See if you can.
http://www.lastampa.it/2018/01/31/vaticaninsider/eng/inquiries-and-interviews/parolin-why-we-are-in-dialogue-with-china-C8mlJsD0PDNsmsx7db6ZIJ/pagina.html
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, February 1, 2018 3:10 AM

How many do you think? 2,000? 3,000? 6,000? Please tell me those who are staying away have seen through the fraud!

Francis breaks last week’s new record
set for crowd at a general audience
...for lack of people


January 31, 2018

Turns out that Francis was just getting warmed up in Chile with apathetic attendance at his events. Upon returning to the Vatican he absolutely smashed attendance records at last’s week general audience. Well, last week’s audience appeared overflowing compared to today’s. The emperor or ‘Humble’ Francis indeed has no clothes and no matter how hard his public relations team tries to cover it up they can’t.

Compare today’s crowd to the number of Talmudic Jews who showed up yesterday at the Vatican for its celebration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day — not too different. 2018 is off to a most terrible start for ‘his humbleness’...



The dictator pope: A new episode
Who is he to judge, right? He did, in this case.
Pope intervenes to keep Apostolic Signatura
from hearing a case on appeal that involved
his Prefect for the Clergy

by Christine Niles

January 30, 2018

VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis has directly intervened in a canonical case in what some canonists are calling an unprecedented overreach of authority.

On December 12, Vatican insider Kurt Martens, Professor of Canon Law at Catholic University of America, posted on his Twitter account an excerpt of a canonical decree written in Latin revealing that the Holy Father had directly intervened on behalf of the head of the Congregation for the Clergy in a canonical case pending before that Dicastery.



The prefect of Clergy [Cardinal Beniamino Stella, said to be the real resident eminence grise in Casa Santa Marta] asked the pope to intervene when the case was appealed to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (essentially the Vatican Supreme Court).

The Latin statement reads (translated):

While the summarium [evidence file] was being assembled, the Most Eminent Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy went to the Supreme Pontiff, who on the 14th day of November 2017, made the impugned decree his own by affixing his signature [onto it]. (Cf. Letter given to this Sacred Tribunal on 14th day of November 2017 under protocol no. 2017 4371)

The papal ruling is final and cannot be appealed. [Of course it can't be appealed. The pope is an absolute monarch - the sole supreme head of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of Church government. So oppose him - or any of his favorites - and he'll bring all his power to bear against you.]

By affixing his own signature to the decree of the Congregation for the Clergy that was being challenged before the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the pope bypassed directly all of the judges hearing the case in the Church's supreme administrative court.

The pope's action of personally affixing his signature to the ruling being challenged practically constituted papal approval in forma specifica ("in specific form"), meaning it carries the weight of a formal papal act. The decree being appealed became ipso facto the pope's own decree. And by doing so, according to canon 1629, no. 1 of the Code of Canon Law, no further appeal could be heard by the Apostolic Signatura.

According to A Latin Theological Dictionary, the expression in forma specifica indicates that the pope has reviewed the document [or ruling] and makes it his own by express approbation, and thus the document [or ruling] aqcuires the canonical force of a formal papal act (cf. CIC Canons 1404 and 1405, §2).

A canonist with experience in the Vatican says such an intervention is practically unheard of in modern history. Although the pope is the Supreme Legislator and has power to do as he wills, "such a thing is just not done," he told Church Militant.

This is because it "undermines the authority and position" of the supreme tribunal tasked with judging complex legal cases that can take months, if not years, involving huge case files and laws that only formally trained canon lawyers are competent to adjudicate.

"The pope is not a canonist," he told Church Militant, "and his actions essentially deprived all parties of due process by pulling the rug from under all of the Signatura's judges deciding the case. And we're talking here about expert canonists who are cardinals, archbishops and bishops — not just amateurs."

So, what's something good you have read recently about this pope? Something good he has said and/or done?
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, February 1, 2018 5:30 AM


'Faith Evaluation Service'
You pass, if you survive the Bergoglian
'catechism' with your Catholic faith intact

Translated from

January 29, 2017

I enter the church. I start saying the rosary in Latin.
A man approaches me and says:
- If I were you, I wouldn't do that.
I look at him and ask:
- And who are you?
- A priest.
- A priest?
- Yes.
- But why aren't you dressed like a priest?
- Oh, that's no longer done. We must be welcoming...
- You can't be welcoming if you're dressed as a priest?
- You like to joke, don't you?
- I'm not joking.
- Nonetheless, you wouldn't by any chance be saying the rosary against immigrants, would you, like they did in Poland?
- Actually, I was praying for the souls in purgatory.
- Purgatory?
- Yes, why?
- Are you sure it exists?
- Of course, it exists.
- Well, I wouldn't be too sure, if I were you.
- Not sure how?
- It's a medieval remnant... you know? – God judges, he punishes. Little mercy there. Who are we to judge?... Anyway, why do you pray in Latin?
- Because I want to.
- Why?
- It makes me feel nearer to God.
- Ummm...
- What is it now?
- I wouldn't be too sure of that.
- Of what?
- That Latin brings you closer to God.
- It's not Latin in itself – it's Latin as a sacred language.
- Sacred?
- Yes.
- Ummm...
- Now what?
- I wouldn't be too sure..
- Of what?
- What you say about 'sacred'...
– Yes, what about it?
- The sacred – that's an old idea. One does not have to be in a certain place or to express oneself in a different way.
- Fine, as you wish. May I continue with my rosary?
- Go on, go on... Anyway...
- What?
- Are you sure?
- Of what?
- Of the words you are praying.
- Of course I am sure.
- Even when you say the Our Father?
- Of course!
- Ummmm...
- What now?
- They didn’t have tape recorders then. How can you be sure?
- Listen, all I want to do is say my rosary.
- Yes, but if I were you...
- What?
- I would say it quietly.
- Why?
- They may mistake you for a Pole.
- Oh please, can you just leave me in peace?
- Peace?
- Yes, in peace!
- Ummm...
- Now what?
- A true Christian is always inquiet!
- Listen, friend, I have little time. Let me finish praying...
- Ah, time! Do you know that it is superior to space?
- What on earth are you saying?
- It's not me who said it...
- OK, as you wish. Now let me finish my rosary.
- In Latin?
- I've already told you why.
- Well, I wouldn't... because then they will think you are a traditionalist. On top of being a Pole.
- I really don't care – they can say what they want.
- And you're happy with that?
- Yes, I am.
- Even if... in the name of parrhesia, I must denounce you for being a traditionalist?
- What are you saying!
- But I will be merciful to you... And give you friendly advice: better not to kneel!
- Why?
- Kneeling, you are like the Pharisee, a hypocrite.
- What?
- You know... the new prescriptions.
- What prescriptions? I kneel because I want to kneel. It's part of devotion.
- I would say devotionalism!
- Really! Make my day!
- And friend, speak slowly and quietly. Don’t make a scandal!
- Well, now that's just great! I am making a scandal?
- Of course, with these practices from the past! While everything is changing. You must see the signs of the times! You must have discernment...
- Go ahead, discern! And let me pray the rosary.
- And that makes you feel at home, right?
- No, it makes me feel good.
- Right, wearing your pickled-pepper face!
- How dare you...
- We must be joyful! Instead, you prophets of doom...
- That would be you.
- Well, there's the typical aggressiveness of the traditionalist!
- I am not aggressive. I am just tired of your absurdities.
- Ah, the hard of heart...
- And you are mad!
- Don’t you know that the Christian is a missionary of mercy?
- Please, just go!
- A man of joy! – That's a Christian. Not intolerant and fundamentalist...
- I am not intolerant. And I am a fundamentalist in that I take to heart the fundamental things. And now I just want to finish my rosary.
- It is clear you lack discernment.
- And you are quite unbelievble!
- There you are – a parlor Christian!
- What would that be?
- Closed, rigorist...
- Iam not closed at all – but I close up when I meet people like you.
- Yeah, Yeah... You pass yourself off as a believer but you think only of yourself – whited sepulcher!
- Lord, help me!
- What did you say?
- I am praying to the Lord. To help me. To give me strength. To restrain me.
- From what?
- From sending you...to 'that place'!
The man smiles and says:
-Bravo! You passed the test!
- What test?
- The test I put you through! We do this once in a while.
- You??? Who are you?
- We belong to the SVF.
- SVF?
- Servizio Valutazione Fede (faith evaluation service). We ask questions and we evaluate you based on your answers. But please, go on praying and excuse me for bothering you.

I did not know what to say and could only murmur:
- Very well, thank you!
He smiles. Now his face seems luminous, as he says:
- Oh, I forgot!
He hands me a prayer card depicting St Michael Archangel, defender of the faith. Sword and all.
I turn to thank him. But he has disappeared.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, February 1, 2018 6:28 AM


Another day, another Bergoglian attack on the Catechism
From an Academy for Life member:
Catechism term 'Intrinsically evil'
is 'too restricting'


January 29, 2018

A reflection on Amoris Laetitia has been posted on the website of the Pontifical Academy for Life in which its author, a new member of the academy, proposes that the term “intrinsically evil” is outdated. [I'm almost sure the man, a German, must have consulted Cardinal Schoenborn, chairman of the CDF committee that drafted the 1992 Catechism, who would have agreed, given his advocacy in recent years of Catholics openly living a homosexual lifestyle! Uh-uh! Nothing intrinsically evil there!]

Hypothesizing on the moral theology of Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis’s principle that “time is greater than space” mentioned in his 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Professor Gerhard Höver argues that changes in perception, “namely, space and time,” have an “effect on specific theologies, such as the theological view of marriage and the family.” [Dear Lord, we have casuists crawling out of the woodwork everywhere!]

The professor of moral theology at the University of Bonn, Germany, uses selected writings of St. Bonaventure and Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI to argue — quoting from Amoris Laetitia — against thinking that everything is “black and white” which results in closing off the “way of grace and of growth.”

He believes that the principle “time is greater than space” relates to an interplay between the eternal and temporal spheres, taking on a “moral-theological significance” that “affects the previous teaching about ‘intrinsically evil actions.’”

“It is not without reason that some have requested further clarification on this point,” he adds, referring to the second of the five dubia which asked the Pope whether, after Amoris Laetitia, one still needs to regard as valid “the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions.”

The Church currently teaches that intrinsically evil acts are always and everywhere wrong and immoral, regardless of intention or circumstances. This is because, in part, they do not bring one closer to God, and prevent the common good.

But Höver argues that the term “intrinsically evil” is too restricting as it fails to account for some “regularity” within “irregular” situations, ones which could be allowed if one abides by the principle that ‘time is greater than space.’ “If even only one element is defective, the consequence is ‘badness’ and (in this sense) also ‘irregularity,’” he says.

“It seems theological reasons lead Pope Francis to refuse to go on accepting this restriction,” Höver continues. “This does not in the least dispute the necessity of calling oppositions and irregularities by their names, above all in cases of injustice and unfairness vis-à-vis other persons. But the Pope regards the path that has been taken hitherto as inadequate to cope with the differentness and complexity of the situations in which people stand or live.”
[Can you believe this claptrap????]

A moral theologian speaking to the Register on condition of anonymity expressed astonishment that Höver was “digging into obscure references to Ratzinger’s doctoral dissertation on St. Bonaventure, which doesn't discuss intrinsic evil anywhere.”

“Where are the clear statements about the topic in St. John Paul II’s encyclical on the moral teaching of the Church, Veritatis Splendor?” he asked, adding that even if Höver’s thesis were correct, which he “could not admit, he is placing philosophy over the clear teaching of Christ, St. Paul, St. Peter and the entire moral tradition of the Church, not least Ratzinger himself who admits that intrinsic evil exists.”

Höver’s article is the latest example of a Vatican-appointed figure raising questions about the Church’s teaching on intrinsically evil acts.

In a lecture last month, new academy member and moral theologian Father Maurizio Chiodi partly justified his theory of allowing artificial contraception in some cases because the Pope makes no “explicit reference” to contraception as “intrinsically evil,” and adding that “it would have been very easy to do so, given Veritatis Splendor.”

Another new member of the Pontifical Academy, Jesuit Father Alain Thomasset, has said he does not believe in the existence of the term.

Veritatis Splendor states that intrinsically evil acts “do not allow for any legitimate exception,” nor do they “leave room, in any morally acceptable way, for the ‘creativity’ of any contrary determination whatsoever.”

The Church teaches that abortion, contraception, homosexual acts, adultery, and other gravely sinful actions are deemed “intrinsically evil.”

Rendering the term obsolete therefore potentially radically changes the Church’s moral teaching, according to the anonymous moral theologian, “undermining the whole notion of morality.”


His concerns are echoed by others as the Church marks 25 years since the publication of Veritatis Splendor and its clear articulation of the Church’s moral teaching on intrinsically evil acts, as well as the 50th anniversary of Paul VI’s landmark encyclical Humanae Vitae and its ban on the use of artificial contraception, deeming its use as “intrinsically wrong.”

A spokesman for Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told the Register Jan. 25 that Höver’s position “does not necessarily correspond to the position of the academy” and that it is normal for the academy to publish abstracts of members’ published works, with links to their full versions. If they publish something the academy fully agrees with, then he said they make that known.

But allowing academy members to publish hypotheses like Höver’s, challenging the Church's moral doctrine and the teaching of previous popes, is something new. In the past, new members had to sign a declaration of fidelity to the Church’s pro-life teachings, but new statutes implemented last year ended that requirement.

In an interview with the Register last year, Archbishop Paglia offered reassurance that the new statutes “require a stronger commitment on the part of members to the Church’s pro-life teaching” and that they “promote and defend the principles of the value of life and the dignity of the person, interpreted in conformity with the magisterium of the Church.” [Paglia is getting as good at the pro-forma crap as Bergoglio.]

But last summer, the archbishop oversaw the selection of new members, including Höver, Father Chiodi and Father Thomasset, who clearly have differences with the Church’s teaching on marriage and family life.

Asked if the academy’s leaders were aware of their views before they were selected, the spokesman told the Register “we knew” but added that it was important to provide them “space,” in continuity with “Pope Francis’ preference for dialogue and debate with those holding differing opinions.” [That's a whole load of Bergoglian crap, and it really stinks!]

Archbishop Paglia was asked to comment on how these members of the academy reflect a new requirement for a “stronger commitment” to uphold the Church’s pro-life teaching, but he was unavailable.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, February 2, 2018 2:49 PM


The Presentation in the Temple

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.

He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
- Luke 2, 22-38



With many thanks to Fr Z. I had never before seen this poem by Blessed Newman. It says everything one has to say about Candlemas:


CANDLEMAS
by John Henry Newman
1849

The Angel-lights of Christmas morn,
Which shot across the sky,
Away they pass at Candlemas,
They sparkle and they die.

Comfort of earth is brief at best,
Although it be divine;
Like funeral lights for Christmas gone,
Old Simeon’s tapers shine.

And then for eight long weeks and more,
We wait in twilight grey,
Till the high candle sheds a beam
On Holy Saturday.

We wait along the penance-tide
Of solemn fast and prayer;
While song is hush’d, and lights grow dim
In the sin-laden air.

And while the sword in Mary’s soul
Is driven home, we hide
In our own hearts, and count the wounds
Of passion and of pride.

And still, though Candlemas be spent
And Alleluias o’er,
Mary is music in our need,
And Jesus light in store.



In the traditional liturgy, today marks the end of the Christmas season, and because Easter comes early this year, it falls on the first week of the pre-Lenten '-gesima' season.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, February 2, 2018 3:37 PM

by George Weigel

January 31, 2018

Ever since Thomas Kuhn popularized it with his 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, the notion of a “paradigm shift” has led to fascinating arguments about whether this or that break with previous scientific understanding counted as one.

But that a “paradigm shift” – like the “shift” from Sir Isaac Newton’s cosmology to Albert Einstein’s, or the shift from the miasma theory of disease to the germ theory of disease – is a rupture in continuity is not in much dispute. A “paradigm shift” signals a dramatic, sudden, and unexpected break in human understanding – and thus something of a new beginning.

So are there “paradigm shifts” in the Church?

We seem to have biblical evidence for one in the first chapter of the Letter to the Galatians, where St. Paul describes, very telegraphically, how he came to grasp an astonishing truth: that the salvation promised to the People of Israel in the covenants with Abraham and Moses had been extended to the Gentiles. Some might find another “paradigm shift” in the first chapter of John’s gospel, in which Jesus of Nazareth is identified as the “Word” who “was in the beginning with God.”

These are matters of divine revelation, however, and as the Church has long believed and taught, revelation ended with the death of the last apostle. So the evolution of the Church’s understanding of the Gospel over the centuries is not a matter of “paradigm shifts,” or ruptures, or radical breaks and new beginnings; it’s a question of what theologians call the development of doctrine.

And as Blessed John Henry Newman taught us, authentic doctrinal development is organic and in continuity with “the faith once… delivered to the saints (Jude 1.3). The Catholic Church doesn’t do rupture: that was tried 500 years ago, with catastrophic results for Christian unity and the cause of Christ.

So it was unfortunate that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Holy See, recently described Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, as a “paradigm shift.”

Perhaps Cardinal Parolin meant “paradigm shift” in some other sense than Thomas Kuhn’s (although Kuhn’s notion of paradigm-shift-as-rupture is the common understanding of the term). Perhaps the cardinal was suggesting that Amoris Laetitia asked all the people of the Church to treat those who have not been married in the Church but who wish to be part of the Catholic community with greater sensitivity and charity (a worthy proposal, although compassion is the norm in the situations with which I’m most familiar).

But whatever he may have intended, the cardinal cannot have meant that Amoris Laetitia is a “paradigm shift” in the sense of a radical break with previous Catholic understandings. For the Catholic Church doesn’t do “paradigm shifts” in that sense of the term, and the Pope himself has insisted that Amoris Laetitia does not propose a rupture with the Church’s settled doctrines on the indissolubility of marriage and worthiness to receive Holy Communion. [Of course, he would say that - it's his pro forma 'Catholic' cover for his apostasy. But look at what he does and what he says when he is not being pro forma Catholic!]

Where something similar to a Kuhn-type “paradigm shift” is underway, however, is in the reception of Amoris Laetitia in various local churches – and this is ominous. [But that is the Bergoglian and Bergoglist strategy - whereby a 'pastoral' paradigm shift - because it involves actual practice in the life of the Church that is dictated and overseen by priests and bishops - amounts to a de facto paradigm shift in doctrine, no matter how many pro forma professions of doctrinal faithfulness are expressed as a laughable CYA tactic that fools no one.]

The pastoral implementation of Amoris Laetitia mandated in Malta, Germany, and San Diego is quite different than what has been mandated in Poland, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Portsmouth, England, and Edmonton, Alberta.

Because of that, the Catholic Church is beginning to resemble the Anglican Communion (itself the product of a traumatic “paradigm shift” that cost John Fisher and Thomas More their heads). For in the Anglican Communion, what is believed and celebrated and practiced in England is quite different from what is believed, celebrated, and practiced in Nigeria or Uganda.

This fragmentation is not Catholic. Catholicism means one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and unity is one of the four distinctive marks of the Church. That unity means that the Church embodies the principle of non-contradiction, such that a grave sin on the Polish side of the Oder River can’t be a source of grace on the German side of the border.

Something is broken in Catholicism today and it isn’t going to be healed by appeals to paradigm shifts. In the first Christian centuries, bishops frankly confronted and, when necessary, fraternally corrected each other. That practice is as essential today as it was in the days of Cyprian and Augustine – not to mention Peter and Paul.


But what can be done if the man who is receiving all these fraternal corrections from Catholics really concerned about keeping the faith and the one true Church of Christ intact and inviolate simply refuses to be corrected because he thinks a) he knows better about everything than everyone and b) it is the Holy Spirit no less - blasphemously using the name in vain when the spirit meant is really Satan - directly telling him what to say and do.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, February 2, 2018 4:10 PM
And look how AP is trying to softsoap the series of mistakes - PR as well as substantive - that Bergoglio has made in
the first few weeks of 2018 alone... Winfield either missed or deliberately ignored John Allen's recent 'Gosh,
isn't he awesome!' gush-piece on Bergoglio in Crux:


The whole AP item being an apologia pro Bergoglio, I am posting it in purple.

Pope’s briefing system
under scrutiny after Chile gaffe

by Nicole Winfield


VATICAN CITY, February 1, 2018 (AP) - Just how well informed is Pope Francis about the goings-on in his 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church?

That question is making the rounds after the pope seemed completely unaware of the details of a Chilean sex abuse scandal, a failing that soured his recent trip there and forced him to do an about-face. It also came up after his abrupt, no-explanation dismissal of a respected Vatican bank manager.

And it rose to the fore when he was accused by a cardinal of not realizing that his own diplomats were “selling out” the underground Catholic Church in China for the sake of political expediency.

Some Vatican observers now wonder if Francis is getting enough of the high-quality briefings one needs to be a world leader, or whether Francis is relying more on his own instincts and informants who slip him unofficial information on the side.

In his five years as Pope, Francis has created an informal, parallel information structure that often rubs up against official Vatican channels. That includes a papal kitchen cabinet of nine cardinal advisers who meet every three months at the Vatican and have the Pope’s ear, plus the regular briefings he receives from top Vatican brass.

The Vatican this week issued a remarkable defence of Pope Francis’s information flow and his grasp of the delicate China dossier. The Holy See press office insisted that Francis followed the China negotiations closely, was being “faithfully” briefed by his advisers and was in complete agreement with his secretary of state on the topic.

“It is therefore surprising and regrettable that the contrary is affirmed by people in the church, thus fostering confusion and controversy,” said Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.

Pope Francis lives at the Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel rather than the Apostolic Palace, where he can more easily keep his door open at all hours, and where a network of friends, informants and advisers provide back channels of information to him.

“The problem is he’s the victim of the Santa Marta syndrome,” said Massimo Franco, columnist for the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. “The pope wanted to live there because he didn’t want any filter from the secretary of state. But the other side of the coin is that he’s condemned to receive quite casual information, and not always very accurate.”
[It's great to get information from any and all sources possible - wherever you are, in the Apostolic Palace or in Casa Santa Marta - but one trusts, or ought to trust, that the pope has the intelligence and the discretion to distinguish which information he ought to take seriously or not.]

[At Santa Marta, the Pope sets his own agenda, makes his own phone calls and arranges his own visitors’ schedule, often without the knowledge of the Vatican’s protocol office. He neither watches TV nor browses the internet but reads the Rome daily Il Messaggero and a selection of press clippings for his non-Vatican news.

Some of his information arrives in person, some of it on paper, left for him in a red leather-bound folder at the Santa Marta front desk, brought upstairs by a Swiss Guard and handed over to one of the Pope’s two private secretaries.

Pope Francis has two main gatekeepers, Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, an Egyptian Copt who used to work in the Vatican’s secretariat of state, and Monsignor Fabian Pedacchio, an Argentine priest who Pope Francis, when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, dispatched to Rome in 2007.

He also has the prefect of the papal household, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, who arranges official audiences and decides who gets to greet the Pope after his weekly Wednesday general audience.

Sometimes popes suffer when their gatekeepers fail them: Pope Benedict XVI famously lifted the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop, unaware that a simple Google search would have turned up the bishop’s belief that the Nazi gas chambers were a myth.

But more than his immediate predecessor Benedict, Pope Francis still relies on a close circle of friends from his days in Argentina and as a high-ranking Jesuit to give him the pulse of what’s going on.

And he can be fiercely stubborn once he has made up his mind based on information that does reach him, such as his recent dismissal of the respected No. 2 at the Vatican bank, Giulio Mattietti, who was fired without explanation at the end of the year.

In his subsequent Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy, Pope Francis blasted Vatican staff who have been sidelined, saying “they wrongly declare themselves martyrs of the system, of a ‘Pope kept in the dark.'”

But with Chile’s priest sex abuse scandal, Pope Francis was forced to admit he had not only made a mistake, but maybe he was the one in the dark.

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis was sending the Vatican’s top sex crimes investigator to Chile to look into a bishop accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious paedophile priest. Pope Francis had staunchly defended the bishop, Juan Barros, while in Chile and his about-face came only after “recent information” had reached the Vatican, Burke said.

Pope Francis seemed completely unaware that Chilean abuse victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima had for years said that Barros knew of Karadima’s perversions, had even witnessed them, and did nothing. One survivor, Juan Carlos Cruz, even testified to Chilean prosecutors.

But apparently that information never reached the Pope — and that led to one of the greatest gaffes of Pope Francis’ five-year papacy. He demanded “proof” that Barros was guilty of covering up for Karadima’s crimes and said without that, such accusations were mere “calumny.”

Pope Francis later issued a partial apology. But even as he flew back to Rome on January 21, Pope Francis was saying he was convinced that Barros was innocent, though he was open to hearing from anyone with other information.

In such a case, the Pope would have been receiving information from his ambassador in Chile, who like other Vatican envoys writes daily encrypted briefs to the Vatican secretariat of state that the Pope reads each morning. He also hears from the local church hierarchy, who visited him en masse in February 2017.

For information on Chile, Pope Francis also has one of his nine cardinal advisers, Cardinal Francisco Errazuriz, the retired archbishop of Santiago. Errazuriz has testified that he didn’t believe Karadima’s victims and shelved the investigation until he was forced to reopen it after they went public with their claims.

At any stage, then, anyone who didn’t believe the victims or wanted to protect Barros might have filtered out the victims’ testimony from briefings or cast doubt on it before it ever got to the Pope.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, February 2, 2018 4:25 PM
Chilean court dismisses case against
a bishop accused of sexual abuse




Santiago, Chile, Feb 1, 2018 (CNA).- The Iquique Court of Appeals in northern Chile has officially closed an investigation against the Bishop Emeritus of Iquique, Marco Órdenes, accused of rape. A canonical investigation into the bishop is still ongoing.

“There is not probable cause to substantiate the charges made in December 2008,” stated a Jan 26. decision, which confirmed the findings of a five year investigation conducted by a lower court judge, Pedro Güiza Gutierrez.

Marco Antonio Órdenes Fernandez, 53, was Bishop of Iquique between 2006 and 2013. In December 2008, he was accused of abuse by Rodrigo Pino, 27.

In October 2012, Pino told ADN Radio that he met the priest in 1997 when he was 15 and an altar server at the Iquique cathedral.

The young man maintained that “at first it was forced” but later a consensual relationship developed. However, in 2008 he met another man who also was allegedly abused by Órdenes, which motivated him to report the incidents.

The Holy See began a canonical investigation in April 2012. The outcome of the investigation has not yet been determined.

In October 2012, Órdenes’s resignation as diocesan bishop was accepted. Immediately afterwards, the Chilean Bishops’ Conference made a statement on the “gravity of the inappropriate conduct that Bishop Órdenes has publicly acknowledged” and offered its “full cooperation” in the investigation.

In a statement released Saturday Jan. 27, the Diocese of Iquique said that the “Church accepts and abides by the decisions” of the court.

However, they clarified that the Church’s investigation “has not concluded with a verdict.”

The current Bishop of Iquique, Guillermo Vera, asked the faithful “to take the news calmly and with prudence, always keeping uppermost, as the Holy Father asked us during his visit [Jan. 18] to our diocese, respect for individuals.”
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, February 2, 2018 10:22 PM



Remember this? In this scandal-a-day pontificate, the latest one always tends to push back earlier ones into the background until they don't just recede but
disappear altogether. So it was with the Knights of Malta takeover last year by an unscrupulous despot named Bergoglio who simply usurped the sovereignty of
an order which under international law enjoys the same sovereignty that the Vatican does. Now, he's marking the first anniversary of his usurpation in like manner
...



Pope blocks recruitment of new members
even as professed Knights of Malta
seek to regain control of the order

by Christopher Lamb


Pope Francis has told an elite section of the Order of Malta to stop admitting new members until reforms have been carried out, while declining a request from those knights to hand them greater control of the organisation.

The move comes just over a year after the Grand Master of the order, Fra’ Matthew Festing, resigned following a public stand-off with the Pope and an unprecedented intervention by the Vatican.

It resulted in the election last April of Fra’ Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto who took over as interim leader with a brief to reform the 11th century organisation, a religious order that combines a vast global charitable enterprise with a byzantine governance structure. Knights from across the world are due to gather in Rome next week for a major summit on planned reforms.

But Fra’ Giacomo is now grappling with a bid by a small group of knights to gain more power over the order. This emerged in a letter written on 16 December by the knight’s Grand Commander, Fra’ Ludwig Hoffman von Rumerstein, to Francis. It was sent without consultation with the order’s governing body.

In the letter, seen by The Tablet, von Rumerstein asks Francis to “impose by your supreme authority” changes to the order’s constitution, including that the professed knights and the order’s chaplains should be in the majority on all the “elective, legislative and governing bodies”.

The professed knights take religious vows – similar to monks or friars – and make up around 60 of the 13,500 knights and dames worldwide. In spite of their small numbers they currently hold more than half of the positions on the Sovereign Council, the knights’ board of governance.

In his letter von Rumerstein signals he wants them to have even more influence, by asking the Pope to ensure that the professed are given two thirds of the seats on the Sovereign Council.

He also asked Francis to ensure the next Grand Master of the order is chosen from among the professed. Traditionally, Grand Masters are professed knights who can also demonstrate noble lineage – a requirement which means only a handful of candidates are now eligible and some of them very elderly.

While getting rid of the nobility requirement is presented to the Pope by von Rumerstein as a reform, sources inside the order say it is an attempt to prevent Fra’Giacomo – a professed knight with noble lineage – from being elected Grand Master. Fra’ Giacomo is a Roman nobleman who has worked inside the Vatican and has a good relationship with the Pope. He once looked after then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s cat [Nice to know he looked after a mythical cat!] when the former Church doctrine chief was out of town.

Francis and the Holy See have made it clear they want an overhaul of the professed knights to ensure they live a religious life that conforms with Church norms, while sources from within in the order say there have long been concerns internally about the quality of religious formation for some of the professed knights.

Francis’s reply to von Rumerstein, written by his special delegate to the order, Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, is a polite decline of his requests.

In a 12 January letter, seen by The Tablet, Archbishop Becciu relays that the Pope does not wish to make a “new intervention” in the order [in which, to begin with, he had absolutely no right to interfere and intervene!] although it points out he does “reserve the right to intervene if the reform proposals are not in line with the charism of the order”.

It goes on: “The Holy Father, in order to foster a harmonious atmosphere within the order, also considers it appropriate to suspend the admission of new aspirants to the consecrated life until reform has been passed, from which it is hoped the profile of the professed is reaffirmed according to the identity of consecrated [people] desired by the Church. [And what might that 'identity' be? Obviously nothing like what it was for the persecuted Franciscans of the Immaculate whose now almost five years running persecution/suppression/takeover by the Vatican should give the Knights a preview of what's in store for them! Bergoglio obviously has no use for religious orders whose charism hews to Catholic tradition - as the FFI and the KM did before he stepped in to remake them in in his image and likeness. How did anyone ever think Jorge Bergoglio was a nice man at all???]

In a separate note sent to knights following von Rumerstein's request, Fra’ Giacomo says: “Msgr. Becciu stressed to me that especially the implementation of the Vow of Poverty and the life in community, for new members admitted to the First Class, need substantial changes in order to make both of these matters comply with the definition of consecrated life according to the Church."

Professed knights live on their own and in some cases continue to pursue successful careers. In the past, these members of the order tended to be aristocrats from European nobility, self-funded through private family incomes.

The battle between the Knights and the Vatican erupted after Fra’ Matthew sacked a senior German knight, Albrecht von Boeselager, who was accused of overseeing condom distribution in Myanmar. Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the order and arch-Francis critic, had also wrongly given Holy See backing to the dismissal [that's the Tablet editorializing and putting its spin on Cardinal Burke's personal concurrence with the decision of Grand Master Festing] - in spite of letters showing the Pope and the Vatican wanted the matter resolved with dialogue.

Cardinal Burke’s role at the order was meant to be as a liaison figure between the order and the Holy See, although his role is now minimal following the appointment of Archbishop Becciu as special delegate.

Following the sacking of von Boeselager, the Vatican ordered an investigation into the order which led to Fra’ Matthew’s resignation. [No, Mr Lamb, that's false reporting and false history. There was no investigation at all - it was announced, yes, pro forma, as mot things are with this pontificate, but there was probably less even than any so-called 'investigation' into Mons Ricca's past or Mons. Barros's Bergoglio-proclaimed innocence. Because within a few days of Von Beoselager's dismissal - and with no report adduced to - the pope summoned Fra Matthew to the Vatican and asked him to sign his 'resignation' on the spot! Was there 'due process' at all? Who cares about due process when you are an absolute monarch as despotic as Stalin or Hitler in their day, or for that matter, like the current Chinese president whose boots the Bergoglio lackeys cannot lick enough!]

While known to be highly dedicated to the knights’ work with the sick and suffering,a report following the Vatican investigatation which landed on the Pope’s desk is understood to detail a litany of leadership failings. [Oh sure! The investigation was supposed to look into the reason Festing dismissed Von Boeselager - and the finished report is about Festing's failings???] Fra’ Matthew was also known as a strong proponent of promoting the professed arm of the knights seeking to expand their number and influence. [And why not? They are the ones who chose to profess vows, and by definition, are the elite knights in the Order.]

Following the intervention, Francis and the Holy See were accused of over-reach in their action against the order, given that it is a sovereign body with diplomatic relations with countries across the world. According to its constitution, however, the religious members of the knights take a vow of obedience to the Pope. [So they owe obedience to him insofar as carrying out the teachings of the Church - that doesn't make him their sovereign in the internal governance of the Order. And how ironic - and emblematic of Bergoglio - that he stepped in with his iron arm and brass knuckles because the real sovereign of the Knights chose to dismiss Von Boeselager (promptly reinstated by Bergoglio in the KM leadership, under no power found in the Constitution of the Knights of Malta, or in any other legal document) - who not only authorized and oversaw the distribution of condoms in some Asian nations but openly justified it by saying he did so as a 'liberal Catholic'. If you were looking for other telltale signs that Bergoglio is preparing to ditch the key teaching of Humanae Vitae, do not forget his support of Von Boeselager in the KM dispute.]

One reading of the tensions in the order is that it is a battle between the professed knights and a group – represented by von Boeselager – who want to focus on its charitable endeavours. Von Boeselager is a senior knight who sits on the sovereign council but has not taken full vows because he is married. He holds the title of Grand Chancellor, which is a foreign and interior minister role combined.

The so-called “religious” wing of the knights has accused the charity-minded group of wanting to create a “Catholic Red Cross” [That is just a load of bullcrap! Since when in recent times has the Order faltered or in its charitable work worldwide??? Social charity is an integral part of their charism - and that is how they are perceived in public] while those focused on the order’s good works feel the professed are overly concerned about liturgy and gaining control of the order. [What a false dichotomy] The order’s Latin motto is “Tuitio fidei et obsequium pauperum”, meaning “Defence of the faith and assistance to the poor”. [There you go! Has Von Boeselager been true to the the first part of the motto - unless he considers flaunting his 'liberal Catholic' credentials a defense of the faith!]

A spokeswoman for the Knights said that von Rumerstein’s letter was sent “following a meeting of the professed knights” in December but was “not submitted for the consideration of the Sovereign Council” beforehand.

She said that the reform process inside the order will continue and added: “The Order of Malta will continue to be a religious order and our Professed members will continue having a significant role in it.”
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, February 3, 2018 12:38 AM


Of course, it's a different story altogether when Bergoglio is dealing with the world's most populous nation and arguably the second most powerful in the world
today - especially when he is wooing them in behalf of himself, primarily, and seemingly willing to compromise the principles of the Church so the Chinese leaders
will see fit to invite him to visit China. In which we have the spectacle of the Successor of Peter sacrificing faithful bishops like worthless pawns on the
no-win chessboard of Ostpolitik...



The Vatican’s long march
towards surrendering to China

by Riccardo Cascioli
Editorial
Translated from

February 1, 2018

So it is true that two legitimate bishops in China were asked by a Vatican delegation to resign and give way to two illegitimate bishops of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. And that Pope Francis knows this and approves all the moves made by his diplomats in China.

That is what emerges from the blunt one-two punch from the Holy See on January 30 in response to Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, emeritus Archbishop of HongKong [who came away from a January 10 meeting with the pope, charitably finding hope in Bergoglio's statement "I told them not to make a Mindszenty case out of this!" when that is exactly what is being done to the two faithful bishops. Worse really, because Cardinal Mindszenty was replaced by the Hungarian Communist regime with their own bishop only after he had sought asylum with the US embassy in Budapest].

And the one-two punch came with a communiqué from the Vatican Press Office followed by a long interview with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin [an appalling interview in doublespeak worthy of Orwell's '1984' and an outright statement that 'sacrifices' have to be made to achieve the Bergoglio Vatican's China objectives, not mentioning of course the immediate specific objective of getting an invitation for the pope to visit China].

The scandalous news of the Vatican request for the two faithful bishops to step down in favor of the Beijing-appointed bishops was first reported by AsiaNews and then confirmed by Cardinal Zen who, first in this newspaper and then on his blogsite, also reported how he had to go to Rome in order to deliver to the pope a letter from one of the faithful bishops, Mons. Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou (in the strategic southeastern region of Guangdong, more familiarly known to Westerners as Canton).

But Zen gathered from his half-hour meeting with the pope [who did ask to meet with him after he had delivered Mons. Zhuang's letter – I must underscore this is one of the few 'good' things' one can report about Bergoglio in recent days] that the pope does not at all intend a complete surrender to China as one might deduce from the Vatican delegation’s outrageous demand on the two faithful bishops.

However, along comes this prompt reply from the Vatican Press Office underscoring that

“The Pope is in constant contact with his collaborators, in particular in the Secretariat of State, on Chinese issues, and is informed by them faithfully and in detail on the situation of the Catholic Church in China and on the steps in the dialogue in progress between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, which he follows with special attention.”

Concluding with an acerbic line that does not hide the papal pique against Cardinal Zen”: “It is therefore surprising and regrettable that the contrary is affirmed by people in the Church, thus fostering confusion and controversy”.

No reference to the two faithful bishops, whereby the lack of a denial indirectly confirms the truth of the report. Reinforced, of course, by the interview with Cardnal Parolin who, beyond all his words of ‘understanding and compassion’ for the sufferings of the so-called underground Church in China, confirms that it is the latter that must pay the price for the normalization of diplomatic relations with Beijing.

One could object to the overly diplomatic language of Parolin who uses Communist Chinese jargon – ‘New China’ is what he calls Communist China [probably in the sense of being the perfect complement to Bergoglio’s ‘new church’!] and makes no mention at all of the tens of thousands of Chinese Catholics (bishops, priests and laity) who have been killed or imprisoned and tortured in the laogai (the Chinese gulags), and far underplays with the phrase "serious contrasts and acute suffering" the split in the Chinese Church because of the regime’s creation of a ‘national’ independent church, not connected in any way to the Vatican or the pope, in the so-called Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

Parolin is offended by those who use words like surrender, betrayal and compromise because, he says, they sound political, whereas the Church, he says, only acts out of ‘pastoral’ motives [there goes that anathema word again! – what could be less pastoral than a shepherd who deliberately and consistently misleads his flock???], for which reason he says, one should use words like service, dialog, mercy, pardon, reconciliation, etc. [And you wonder why those words have been debased and denatured of their original meaning when they are now commonly used as shibboleths to feign virtue in absolute evil!]

No one wants to deny Parolin’s good intentions [I do! – how good can his intentions be if he is justifying the sacrifice of the underground Church in return for less than nothing essentially? And why must they have to be sacrificed at all on the altar of Bergoglio’s narcissism?] but even he should concede that even if the motivations for the Vatican are ‘pastoral’, it is actually carrying on politico-diplomatic negotiations with Beijing [which knows or cares nothing about ‘pastoral’ reasons. But the Chinese do understand Bergoglio's self-serving personal, PR and ideological reasons for insisting on closing a deal with them ASAP, and are playing him for all they can].

And the term ‘surrender’ is more than appropriate for what we are witnessing, because the Holy See is acknowledging the Communist regime’s power to appoint Catholic bishops – a grave enough error in itself – without getting anything in return, especially considering that Beijing in recent months has intensified its repressive acts in the Catholic community, and starting February 1, turns the screw even tighter with a new law controlling religious activities.

But the move against the two bishops who are being asked to step down in favor of CPCA bishops is even more serious because the two replacement bishops named by the Chinese – and apparently accepted without question by the Bergoglio Vatican – are not even ‘reconciled’ with Rome. [But under the terms of surrender, they do not have to be reconciled with Rome at all, since by definition, Rome is not supposed to have anything to do with the independent ‘national Catholic Church of China’. Some may say, ‘Oh perhaps, the two CPCA bishops are just a ‘good faith’ test for the Vatican’. Which is the height of naivete. Ask Solzhenitsyn.]

The two replacements are not even among those who, having joined the CPCA, later asked to be welcomed into full communion with the Church. What a grand smackdown for those Catholics who for decades have undergone great suffering because of their loyalty to Rome – and of course, a source of great confusion. [What else is new in the church of Bergoglio, who is not only Jorge Martin Bergluther, and Jorge Marcion Bergoglio, but also Jorge Confusious Bergoglio.]

One must ask the Holy See if it considers that the bishops, priests and laymen who accepted even martyrdom to remain loyal to the universal Church are, in fact, the ones at fault for the split in the Church in China. [An unacknowledged schism, Cardinal Zen calls it].

Especially since Parolin acknowledges that in the relationship with Beijing, “the choice of bishops is crucial” – as, of course, it has always been. Indeed, it is at the heart of the division between the CPCA, controlled by the Communist Party of China, and the clandestine Church. [But there is an even more fundamental objection to all this third-millennium Ostpolitik: What use does an officially godless regime have for any kind of church in China other than to give their believer citizens a false sense of reassurance that they can go ahead and practice their religion? With a big BUT – only under the control of agencies like the CPCA through which Beijing can pull any strings it wants. So yes, on the surface, there may appear to be religious freedom in the People’s Republic, but totally at the whim and caprice of Beijing.]

Although since the 1990s, the Vatican has shown an attitude of desiring dialog with Beijing (even if Parolin wrongly claims this only started with his pope), this pontificate has arrived at a turning point. Till now, the CPCA and Beijing’s insistence on naming bishops were the principal obstacles to rapprochement with China. Now, Parolin’s words make it clear that the Vatican considers the underground Church to be the obstacle.

He even cites Benedict XVI’s historic letter to the Catholics of China in May 2007 to claim continuity of Bergoglio’s initiative with that of previous popes. True, both John Paul II and Benedict XVI clearly expressed the need for a way of reconciliation among Chinese Catholics, and the desire for diplomatic relations with China. Both solemnly assured that the Church has no political ends, and that Chinese Catholics can and should be both faithful Roman Catholics as well as good Chinese citizens, but always within principles the Church cannot forego, and while acknowledging the sufferings of the persecuted Church in China.

So Parolin quotes from Benedict XVI: “The solution of existing problems cannit be ursued through a permanent conflict with the legitimate civilian authorities”, but [just like his idol and caudillo Bergogli, paPapa Omissis, as Fra Cristoforo calls him], he omits the second part of Benedict XVI’s sentence which was “but at the same time, it is unacceptable to yield to these authorities when they unduly interfere in matters having to do with faith and discipline in the Church”.

Farther on, Benedict XVI writes, in reference to the CPCA: “The declared end of such organisms to carry out ‘the principles of independence and autonomy, self-government and democratic administration of the Church, is irreconcilable with Catholic doctrine, which from its very first professions of faith, has professed the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church’.

As if that were not clear enough, Benedict XVI underscores: “Communion and unity – allow me to repeat it – they are essential and integral elements of the Catholic Church: therefore, a church that is independent from the Holy See is incompatible with Catholic doctrine.”

For this pontificate to think that it can overcome the scandal of an ‘independent’ church whose legitimacy it would acknowledge just like that, is not mercy. It is unconditional surrender. It is betrayal. [It doesn’t even make any sense at all! Unless for Bergoglio, it is worth arriving in Beijing by literally stepping on the backs of the tens of thousands of Chinese Catholics who have suffered for the faith in the past seven decades.]


Steve Skojec cites Cascioli's editorial in his commentary on the ominous ongoing pas de deux between the Bergoglio Vatican and Communist China.

Is the Vatican “surrendering to China”?
by Steve Skojec

February 2, 2018

On January 31, 2018, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin gave an extensive interview to Vatican Insider in which he explains the reasons the Holy See wishes to engage the Chinese Patriotic Church in “constructive dialogue.”

Of course Parolin assures everyone that the only motive of the Holy See in this matter is “the good of the Chinese people” and “peace in the world.” Essentially, the Secretary of State says that that people who are upset about this new level of cooperation of the Holy See with the patriotic church are “too political’ in their thinking and need to look at this as a spiritual matter of “conversion, mercy, and trust.” These words are incredibly ironic given the hyper-political nature of the pontificate of Francis on every level.

Moreover, Parolin has the audacity to add that the best way to honor the numerous martyrs of the clandestine Church is to go along with the present initiative of the Holy See, because this is what God wants. [I warned you Parolin's interview sets a new level of unabashed Bergoglio-style crap!] Here’s the key quote:

Many Chinese Christians, when they celebrate their martyrs who have suffered unjust trials and persecutions, remember that they have been able to rely on God, even in their fragile humanity. Now, the best way to honor this testimony and make it fruitful in the present, is to entrust the present life of Catholic communities in China to the Lord Jesus. But this cannot be done in a spiritualistic and disembodied way. This is done by choosing fidelity to the Successor of Peter, with a spirit of filial obedience, even when not everything appears immediately clear and understandable.

About your question, it is not a matter of wiping the slate clean, ignoring or, almost magically erasing the painful path of so many faithful and pastors, but of investing the human and spiritual capital of so many trials to build a more serene and fraternal future, with the help of God. The Spirit who has so far guarded the faith of Chinese Catholics is the same Spirit who supports them today on the new path they have embarked upon.


It is noteworthy that this unilateral demand for obedience to Francis is the same argument used against those who raise any question about the validity of the teaching of Amoris Laetitia; essentially: “if you really love the Church and have always been concerned about obeying the Magisterium when previous popes issued encyclicals, you need to honor the magisterium now by obeying Pope Francis.”

The tables now have become completely turned; both the dissenters and the communists are now enforcing “orthodoxy”, while those who are faithful to Tradition and the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church are denounced as obstacles to unity. Perhaps we have more in common with the clandestine Chinese Church than we might think.


The article goes on with 1P5's translation of Cascioli's editorial.

And why is the following report by Reuters not being picked up more widely? Of course, it strains my credulity, but if a high-placed Vatican source is claiming this, it is legitimate news. regardless of its verisimilitude. I truly fail to see why Beijing, in the light of its Sinicization program, would concede to the Vatican any part at all in naming bishops - unless it is to play the stooge and simply say yes to anyone the Chinese propose. ['Hah! See? We have even the pope under our thumb!'


Exclusive: Vatican source says
China-Vatican deal on bishops
is ready for signing



VATICAN CITY, February 1, 2018 (Reuters) — A framework accord between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops is ready and could be signed in a few months in what would be an historic breakthrough in relations, a senior Vatican source said on Thursday.

An even partial resolution on the thorny issue of who gets to appoint bishops could open the way for a resumption of diplomatic relations nearly 70 years after they were cut during the Communist takeover of China.

Full relations would give the Church a legal framework to look after all of China's estimated 12 million Catholics and move on to focus on Catholic growth in a country where Protestant churches are already growing fast.

Catholics in China are split between those in "underground" communities that recognize the pope and those belonging to a state-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association where bishops are appointed by the government in collaboration with local Church communities.

Under the formal deal, the Vatican will have a say in negotiations for the appointment of future bishops, the source told Reuters, declining to give details.

"It is not great agreement but we don't know what the situation will be like in 10 or 20 years. It could even be worse," the source said.

"Afterwards we will still be like a bird in a cage but the cage will be bigger," he said. It is not easy. Suffering will continue. We will have to fight for every centimeter to increase the size of the cage," he said.

The source rejected recent accusations by a senior cardinal that the Vatican was prepared to "sell out" the Church in China and media suggestions that Pope Francis was out of the loop on China negotiations.

He said the pope followed the China dossier very closely and had backed an offer made to two Chinese bishops loyal to the Vatican in which they would take on different positions in their dioceses in order to facilitate an overall accord with government-backed bishops.

Five out of seven very complex situations regarding "illegitimate bishops", those with government backing, had been resolved. They have asked for a pardon from Pope Francis and to be made legitimate in the eyes of the Church. [That sounds like Beijing recognizes Vatican authority over 'their' bishops! Is that credible? The whole point to the CPCA all these decades is that Chinese Catholics are supposed to be completey independent of the Vatican!]

Last December, with papal backing, a Vatican delegation went to China to make an offer relating to two Vatican-recognized bishops.

One, an 87-year-old prelate would retire to make way for a state-backed bishop to succeed him. Under the scenario, the government would officially recognize the Vatican-backed prelate as "bishop emeritus".

Another Vatican-recognized bishop would become an auxiliary, or assistant, to one who had been appointed by the government. But even though he would effectively take on a lesser role, the government would grant him official recognition as part of the deal.

The source said both Vatican-backed prelates recognized they would be making sacrifices for the greater good of the Church.

There currently was what the source called "a gentleman's agreement" on seven government-backed bishops who would be made legitimate after seeking a papal pardon but that it still had to be formalized.

Dossiers on each making the case for legitimizing them have to be prepared for the pope.

The source spoke two days after Cardinal Joseph Zen, 86, the outspoken former bishop of Hong Kong, caused a stir with a long post on his Facebook page highly critical of the Vatican's recent overtures to China.

In his post criticizing Vatican diplomacy on Tuesday, Zen wrote: "So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all they are doing in recent years and months".

In a sharply worded statement the next day, the Vatican said it was surprising and regrettable that some people in the Church were "fostering confusion and controversy".

Zen, who has often criticized the Vatican's attempt at rapprochement with Beijing, suggested Vatican diplomats doing the groundwork were keeping the pontiff in the dark or even going against his wishes.

The Vatican statement on Tuesday said there was no "difference of thought and action" between the pope and his aides and the source said the pope had been fully briefed before the delegation left for Beijing in December and after it returned. [Which makes Bergoglio's Mindszenty line to Zen - whch the latter took as a 'hopeful' sign - even more misleading and intentionally deceptive.]

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