The Hispanophone media has not let Jorge Bergoglio get away with his obdurate personal silence on Venezuela. Left, under a headline that reads "Bergoglio refuses to criticise the dictator Maduro" shows
a protest march in St. Peter's Square by family and friends of Venezuelans who have been killed by the Maduro regime in its suppression of anti-government demonstrations. Too bad, of course, that there is no one
in the papal apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square to have taken note of the marchers. Right, a newspaper 'immortalizes' Bergoglio's blessing of Maduro last October.
Everyone who has eyes to read and ears to listen should know by now that for Jorge Bergoglio, there are no 'musts' other than those he imposes on himself. Setting aside for now that he ignores whatever he wishes to ignore of Jesus's words in the Gospel, he obviously ignores, as far as his duties as pope go, that the Pope must be the visible symbol of unity of the Church, and that he must confirm his brothers in the faith – because on both counts, he chooses to do the opposite.
To take just the DUBIA as an example, he fosters disunity by refusing to even discuss them with four cardinals of the Church (and by extension to all those who harbor the very same DUBIA and more about his teaching). And he confuses his brothers in the faith, rather than confirming them in their faith, by even refusing to answer a Yes or a No to the five DUBIA.
Any Catholic of common sense will simply and rightly conclude that when a Pope does not want to give a Yes or a No answer – without ifs and buts – to five simple questions that touch on the very essentials of the Catholic faith, then he does so because he cannot give a simple Yes or No answer. Yet Christ said very clearly in his Sermon on the Mount: "Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one"(Mt 5:37) – and he meant that for everyone who listens to his Word, so how could it be less for the man who is supposed to be his Vicar on earth?
(A correspondent of Marco Tosatti today used an interesting term to describe Bergoglian relativism, 'NI,NI, SO,SO' – instead of a NO,NO or a SI,SI. In other words, anything is permissible, and Bergoglio would say Jesus should have learned that in real life, one has to be NINI-SOSO on most things!) (The English equivalent would be YOYO-NESNES, which doesn't sound as euphonic as NINI-SOSO.)
Of course, Bergoglio chooses to gloss over much of the Sermon of the Mount – the verses before 5:37 contain the Beatitudes, the passages on salt an light, his teaching about the law, about about anger, about adultery and about divorce – but apparently, that seminal catechesis by Jesus himself, in the gospel according to Bergoglio, does not go beyond Verse 3 ("Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven) which he also grossly misinterprets to mean Jesus was referring to the materially poor.
Verses 27-32, in which Jesus is very explicit about divorce and adultery, would never be found in the gospel according to Bergoglio ("Hey, JC, just take a look at Amoris laetitia, Chapter 8, would you? You will see there how I, Jorge Bergoglio, am more merciful than you are! I'm improving your word wherever I see fit – after all, I'm your Vicar on earth, aren't I?")
This is all by way of a prelude for yet another rightful and well-meaning "The Pope must speak out on…" No amount of 'MUST, MUST' prodding or provoking will get Bergoglio to do anything he does not want to do. Why can't he see it is his duty to address Maduro directly as the main if not singular culprit for the present catastrophe in Venezuela? Obviously, his very public blessing of Maduro on the forehead last October halted nothing in the tyrant's totalitarian agenda. And still Bergoglio stands by him.
To those who follow US news, it is much like Donald Trump condemning a despicable white-supremacist anti-Jewish rally-turned-riot in Charlottesville yesterday simply as an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides" - without saying it was white supremacists and neo-Nazis brandishing anti-Semitic placards, Confederate battle flags, torches and a few Trump campaign signs who started it all. The same Trump who repeatedly criticized Barack Obama for never identifying Islamic terrorists when condemning any terrorist attacks.
What would it have cost Obama to single out Islamic extremists, or Trump to single out white supremacists, or Bergoglio to denounce Maduro by name? It is incredible how personal biases can so prevent presumably intelligent adult men – elected to be national leaders (and leader of the Catholic Church) – from openly stating any truth that offends their biases!
Pope Francis must speak out on Venezuela
By Phil Lawler
August 9, 2017
Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro is forcing the question: Will Pope Francis take a clear public stand in opposition to a leftist leader who styles himself as a populist?
For years Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, have used the Catholic bishops of Venezuela as their whipping-boys, charging that the Church is aligned with the traditional power structure. The rhetoric of Maduro’s latest statement is typical:The hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the country has traditionally been allied to the sectors that held onto powers and privileges, and destroyed the country for almost a century."
The Venezuelan bishops have been firm and consistent in their opposition to Maduro’s campaign to consolidate his power. In recent months, with the country in the grips of a crippling economic and political crisis, the bishops have issued a series of urgent statements, warning against the drive toward authoritarian rule. In advance of a government-sponsored referendum (which was seen by most international observers as a rigged process), the bishops prayed that the Virgin Mary’s intercession might “free our country from the clutches of Communism and socialism.”
From the Vatican, however, there has been silence. And Maduro, a skillful demagogue, has not hesitated to call attention to that silence, claiming that while the Venezuelan bishops oppose him, the Pope does not. Until just this week, there has been no clear statement from the Vatican to prove Maduro wrong.[Not to prove Maduro wrong, since the statement does not even mention him by name, and is worded impersonally - deliberately so - as if the recent election farce to elect a constituent assembly that would give Maduro everything he wants happened all by itself, and that some nameless authority would suspend the convening of that rubberstamp assembly!]
And now? To appreciate the current challenge to the Pope, it is necessary to appreciate the background.
A year ago, Maduro asked the Vatican to mediate a dispute between his regime and the opposition, which controls the country’s Parliament. The Vatican agreed, the terms of the negotiations were hammered out, and sessions were scheduled.
But then the Maduro government failed to fulfill the conditions set for the talks (which included release of political prisoners and permission for humanitarian agencies to deliver food and medicine to Venezuela’s suffering poor), and government representatives failed to show up for the talks.
Eventually the Vatican representative, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, pulled out of the process, indicating that he would be available if and when real talks took place.
In effect the Maduro regime had scuttled the talks. The Venezuelan bishops placed the blame for failed negotiations squarely on the government. But the Vatican, while issuing repeated calls for new talks, avoided taking sides in the dispute. So Maduro was able to issue his own propaganda, claiming that the opposition was balking at negotiations.
As conditions in Venezuela deteriorated, and Maduro’s heavy-handed methods prompted mass protest demonstrations, Pope Francis issued his own calls for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. But he too carefully avoided any language that would have indicated support for one side of the conflict.
By June, the gap between the statements of the Pope and those of the Venezuelan bishops had become impossible to ignore. A delegation of Venezuelan prelates visited the Vatican, conferred with the Pontiff, and returned home without any major public statement. [In other words, Bergoglio said to them: "NINI, SOSO, get over it!"... This is infinitely worse - and of a different order of gravity - than Benedict XVI shutting up Cardinal Meisner about Bertone, with "He stays. BASTA!"]
As one perceptive analyst observed, there were two ways to interpret that silence: Either the Venezuelan bishops had failed to persuade the Holy Father to take a stronger stand, or they had actually asked him to maintain his silence, because they feared a clear papal intervention would be detrimental to their aims!
Bear in mind that Pope Francis has shown a special sympathy for “popular movements,” [read 'communist/socialist united fronts']
and that Maduro claims to be acting as a populist [read 'communist/socialist tyrant']. [Bergoglio is a master of newspeak, in which if you approve of something bad, you would never call it by what it really is!]
As William McGurn observes in a fine Wall Street Journal
column, Pope Francis has been harsh in his judgment of the sort of “populism” practiced by Donald Trump, but seems loathe to denounce the “populism” of a Latin American leftist.
Still the Vatican did side with the Venezuelan bishops this week, with a statement from the Secretariat of State opposing Maduro’s plan to set up a new national assembly and write a new constitution expanding his powers. The Vatican statement was not nearly as strong as the language used by the Venezuelan bishops, but it was clear enough: the Secretariat of State was warning against Maduro’s plan to seize power.
So how did the Venezuelan leader respond? He fell back on his old reliable rhetoric, claiming that the Vatican Secretariat of State, like the Venezuelan hierarchy, was in the hands of the old power establishment. Maduro still insisted that Pope Francis was on his side: "One thing is us, Catholics, the people of Christ; another is the trajectory of Pope Francis as a defendant of the peoples with his humility, and another very different one is the structure of the Vatican’s Secretary of State, the bureaucracy."
Maduro is playing a classic gambit of the would-be dictator: trying to sap the power of the Church while claiming that he represents the true spirit of Catholicism — that he, and only he, understands the future goals of the brave new Church led by Pope Francis. In a country that is still overwhelmingly Catholic, this rhetoric is helping Maduro to silence his Catholic opponents and expand his power.
The Venezuelan bishops have done their utmost; they need support. Another strong statement by the Secretariat of State won’t solve the problem; Maduro has already shown how he will explain it away. The word must come from the top; Pope Francis himself must speak out.
Good luck with that! Or maybe, we should ask ourselves what force majeure – it could be something as commonplace as Italian Catholics overwhelming the Vatican telephone system with their protests about the pope's obstinate silence on baby Charlie Gard - could possibly constrain Bergoglio to denounce Maduro, even if he kicks and screams that he has to do it at all?
Jose Luis Rodriguez, now 71, also known as El Puma, is Venezuela's Julio Iglesias, a singer whose albums are international best sellers and, doing
one better than Iglesias, also starred in a number of telenovelas seen across the Hispanic world.
The tweets say: (Left) "All the priests and Christian pastors of Venezuela are against the dictatorship. And you Bergoglio, maximum
authority, remain silent. Why?"
(Right) "The silence of the pope amazes me - it makes him complicit in all the deaths that have happened and will happen in this
narco-regime. What's wrong with you, Bergoglio?"
Things have come to such a point that a pope is denounced for keeping silent about EVIL!
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 8/14/2017 12:59 AM]