Why Did the Mainstream Catholic Media Get the Commie Crucifix Story So Wrong?

Wednesday, July 15, AD 2015

Commie Crucifix


Pat Archbold at OnePeter5 asks a very interesting question:  Why did the Catholic Mainstream Media get the Commie Crucifix story so wrong?


It is immensely troubling, therefore, that many of the primary sources of Catholic journalism completely misreported the events surrounding the gift of the hammer and sickle crucifix of Bolivian President Evo Morales to Pope Francis on Thursday July 9, 2015.  Worse, even as facts about the events themselves were clarified, and subsequent to additional clarifications from the Holy See spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, some of Catholic media outlets refused to correct what was shown to be a false narrative, leaving stories with erroneous reporting on their websites without correction for days after updated information was available.

In any situation like this, it’s important to understand the timeline of events:

Following the publication of video of Pope Francis smiling while holding the gift of the troubling crucifix early on Thursday morning, initial reactions from Catholics could largely be characterized as confused and negative. Criticism began mounting, with many suggesting that the Pope should have rejected the blasphemous object.

On the video, when the gift is first presented to him, Pope Francis appears to register some slight surprise at the crucifix. He quietly says something, shaking his head slightly, but because of the poor audio quality, it is unclear what the Pope said.  Later that same morning, some suggested after examining the video that what the Pope might have said was “No está bien eso,” or “that’s not right.” Soon after, an article at Romereports.com suggested the same comment by the Pope. Catholic social media fired back at those criticizing the pope’s response, wielding this new development. Critics were accused of jumping the gun.

But as we moved later into the day on Thursday, better quality audio of the incident became available and it quickly became clear that instead of saying “No está bien eso,” that the Pope actually said, “No sabía eso,” or, “I didn’t know that.”  It became clear that the Pope was not rejecting the item, but rather reacting to something President Evo Morales had said to him. Coupled with his subsequent reactions – all smiles – it was obvious that the Pope had indeed accepted the gift without rebuke or concern.

This sequence of events was largely confirmed later on that same Thursday, July 9, when Holy See spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope had expressed “I didn’t know” in reaction to the gift because he was unaware the crucifix was a replica of the one carved by Jesuit Father Luis Espinal Camps.

All of this occurred on that Thursday. By the end of the day, a clear and verifiable sequence of events of events had emerged, a sequence of events that made clear the Pope happily received the gift, and in no way rejected or expressed any concern about it.  These facts, confirmed by the Holy See, were widely known and discussed across Catholic social media by Thursday afternoon.

So it came as quite a shock to me when on Friday, reports began to emerge on prominent Catholic media outlets reiterating the erroneous reports that the Pope expressed dissatisfaction at the blasphemous object saying, “That’s not right.”

Continue reading...

10 Responses to Why Did the Mainstream Catholic Media Get the Commie Crucifix Story So Wrong?

  • Why did they not tell us?

    Because the truth (uncomfortable or not) shall set us free?

  • Because liar and liberal are synonymous?
    In charity, they are not lies. They are propagandists.
    For them truth is that which advances the devolution. Ideology trumps truth.

  • I agree with T Shaw.

  • God bless you, Donald McClary. You are very courageous.

  • That tremendous whooshing sound you’re hearing is the sound of the spin that folks like Armstrong, Shea, Madrid, Akin, Keating, and Voris are making to explain away this latest Papal action!

  • “That tremendous whooshing sound you’re hearing is the sound of the spin that folks like Armstrong, Shea, Madrid, Akin, Keating, and Voris are making to explain away this latest Papal action!”

    You can put crap on a baguette. In the end, its still a s–t sandwich no matter how good the bread. No matter how good the spinning, they’re not going to get me to swallow it.

  • From the in-flight PF interview now posted at Catholic Online:

    Aura Vistas Miguel, (Radio Renascenca): Well, there’s no group. It’s just me from Portugal. (laughing) Holiness, what did you think when you saw the hammer and sickle with Christ on it? And where did this object end up? What did you think when you saw the hammer and sickle with the Christ on it, given to you by Evo Morales? And where did this object end up?

    Pope Francis: Ah, yes, truly. I heard ‘mantello’ (editor’s note: mantle, cloak: ‘mantello’ is similar to ‘martello,’ the Italian for hammer, that’s why the Pope needed the question repeated), and I didn’t understand. It’s curious, I didn’t know this, nor did I know that Fr. Espinal was a sculptor and also a poet. I learned this in these days. I saw it and for me it was a surprise. Secondly, you can qualify it in the genre of “protest art” – for example in Buenos Aires, some years ago, there was an exhibit of a good sculptor, creative, Argentine, who is now dead. It was protest art, and I recall one, it was a crucified Christ on a bomber that was falling down, no? It’s Christianity, but a criticism that, let’s say, Christianity allied with imperialism, which is the bomber. The genre that first I didn’t know, and secondly, I would qualify it as protest art, which in some cases can be offensive, in some cases. Thirdly, in this concrete case, Fr Espinal was killed in 1980. It was a time when liberation theology had many different branches. One of the branches was with Marxist analysis of reality. Fr Espinal belonged to this, this. Yes, I knew because I was in those years rector of the theology faculty and we talked a lot about it, about the different branches and who were the representatives, no? In the same year, the general of the Society (of Jesus), Fr. Arrupe, wrote a letter to the whole Society on the Marxist analysis of reality in theology. Stopping on this point saying, “it’s no good, these are different things, it’s not right, it’s not correct.” And, four years later in 1984, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published the first small volume, the first declaration on liberation theology that criticizes this. Then comes the second, which opens to a more Christian perspective. I’m simplifying, no? Let’s do the hermeneutic of that time: Espinal was an enthusiast of this Marxist analysis of the reality, but also of theology using Marxism. From this, he came up with this work. Also the poetry of Espinal was of this kind of protest. But, it was his life, it was his thought. He was a special man, with so much human geniality, who fought in good faith, no? Making a hermeneutic like this, I understand this work. For me it wasn’t an offense, but I had to do this hermeneutic, and I say it to you so that there aren’t any wrong opinions.

    Vistas: Did you leave it there?

    Pope Francis: No, it’s traveling with me. Maybe you heard that President Morales wished to give me two honors, the most important of Bolivia (editor’s note: the Condor of Andes) and the other of the Order of Fr. Espinal, a new order (editor’s note: the Senate of Bolivia approved it June 30). If I … first, I’ve never accepted honors. I don’t do it. But, he did it with so much good will and with so much pleasure to please me. And, I thought that this comes from the people of Bolivia. So I prayed about it, what I should do. (I thought,) If I bring it to the Vatican it’ll go to the museum and end up there and no one … I thought about leaving it with Our Lady of Copacabana, the Mother of Bolivia, which will go to the sanctuary. The two honors will be in the Shrine of Our Lady of Copacabana, the Madonna, while the Christ is coming with me. Thanks.

    The whole shootin’ match:


  • “Making a hermeneutic like this, I understand this work. For me it wasn’t an offense, but I had to do this hermeneutic, and I say it to you so that there aren’t any wrong opinions.”
    Simple as that. Like the pope, the Catholic media have used a faulty and false hermeneutic. That is why they got it so wrong.

  • It’s a sad thing to see the Catholic press willing to abandon the reporting of objective
    fact in order to further some predetermined narrative. Of course, the moment the press
    starts to do that, they’ve stopping doing journalism and started to manufacture propaganda.
    How much of their eagerness to provide the Pope with journalistic cover is due to his
    ‘receptivity’ to so much that is leftist? Secularist leftists, and not just dissidents within the
    Church, are enthusiastic about this Pope — is that why so much of the Catholic media are
    looking the other way for him?
    Would all of these Catholic media that are currently avoiding objective facts that might
    put this Pope in a bad light behave the same way if we had another Alexander VI as Pope?
    Recall, that Pope was a fornicator, openly kept concubines and fathered children by them,
    poisoned political enemies, looted the papal treasury to enrich his family, and sold offices
    in the Church. Would today’s Catholic press also cover for him? If not, why Alexander but
    not Francis?

  • I was disheartened to hear Catholic Answers taking a little from 1-4 in regards to Pope Francis. Their position is PF has not been disagreeable but that his quotes are constantly taken out of context by a media that wants to shape his pontiff to their image. He’s not confusing in what he says, just in how others report what he says.

Yes, I am Really Getting Tired of It

Friday, April 25, AD 2014




Steve Skojec at his blog takes aim at the endless excuses many Catholic commentators come up with to ignore the obvious:


Is anyone else getting really, really tired of this game?

Pope Francis consistently says things that cause serious concern among Catholics who know what the Church teaches. No sooner have the words left his mouth (and of course, been reported on far and wide) than the spin machine goes into high gear – powered in large part by Catholic bloggers who make a living promoting the status quo within the Church (no conflict of interest there!) — telling us why we should not worry about the obviously controversial thing because of one of the following reasons:

  1. It’s a translation issue
  2. It’s a contextual issue
  3. When he said “X” it’s clear that he probably meant “Y”
  4. The source is unreliable
  5. The information is not first-hand
  6. We must look at the issue through the Argentinian cultural lens
  7. The media is misrepresenting what he said
  8. He contradicted himself in another thing that he said during a homily last week
  9. Fr. Lombardi says it ain’t true

Take your pick. There are probably others. I imagine the Catholic apologists in the tank for this nonsense have a sort of flow chart they pass around every time they add a new option. “Did the Pope speak in Italian? –> IF YES, it’s not his native language. Lost in Translation. IF NO…”

It’s a spin-the-wheel sort of system. Maybe there’s a papal 8-ball out there (in white, of course) where you shake it up and it gives you a series of half-believable reasons why whatever he said wasn’t really heterodox. Across the spectrum of Catholic publications and social media, it’s become a giant excuse-making enterprise. Almost like the Pope Francis edition of whack-a-mole.

You’ll have to excuse my sarcasm. I’m starting to find this all incredibly offensive, and insulting to the collective intelligence of Catholics who see what is really going on.

Continue reading...

36 Responses to Yes, I am Really Getting Tired of It

  • We have had a string of good Popes in modern times. Statistically what we are seeing is inevitable. Besides, this is what the peepul want! Vox populi vox Dei, right?

    Horse manure!

  • I guess the best we can hope for is that the Church is able to tread water until he shuffles off this mortal coil. He has a life expectancy of about nine years, give or take. The period running from 1962 to 1972 was an awful ride for the Church. When he’s done, the Church in the Occident may look like the Church in France today: comprehending just shy of 3% of the population, a quarter of them attending schismatic services.

  • The self appointed spin control group definitely gets silly at times. There are a few bloggers that I’ve finally given up on reading as a result.

    At the same time, Skojec seems to me to fall in the school of those who seem bound and determined to find heretical meaning in the pope’s words and actions, and I think that often as not it’s being willfully read in.

  • 1. Vaya lio-ing along the highway means no crowds for the eye of the needle pathway to Heaven which was mentioned sternly around the time that pigs ran together off a cliff and around the time when rewards were offered increasing the fold for Heaven.

  • I’m different in that I always saw John Paul II and Benedict as strict on sex BUT ravingly unorthodox on Old Testament violence via modernistic concepts of inspiration ( Evangelium Vitae sect.40… death penalties of OT really from culture not from God/ Verbum Domini sect.42… herem /massacres not from God either)…so that Francis until this recent phone call seemed similar to them and decoupled from what inspiration means. Hence all three opposed the death penalty as unrefined even though 6 Popes from 1796 til 1865 executed 516 criminals for whom they could have found a cell til death.
    . Nothing new there. But this phone call should be explained…it’s another level. Canon law says Popes have power that is “supreme” and “immediate”. Does that mean Francis based on details given of the first marriage on the phone call…can annull a marriage as Pope? And thus his permission to receive Communion was based on that private annullment. Nothing is being said if that is the case. It should be said or a lot of irregular spouses may be headed for Communion because nothing is being said.

  • Treading water, keeping head up, looking for Rescuer.

  • Art Deco wrote, “the Church in the Occident may look like the Church in France today…”

    Do you mean we shall have philosophers like Rémy Brague, Chantal Delsol, René Girard, Pierre Manent and Jean-Luc Marion and writers like Max Gallo, Jean D’Ormesson, Jean Raspail, Denis Tillinac, Michel Tournier and Denis Tillinac?
    I can’t wait.

  • I see I repeated the name of Denis Tillinac; a slip of the pen, but it bears repetition.

  • I don’t think a Church that has a large clergy, a fistful of intellectuals and a staggering amount of available seating on Sunday is something to be looked at with joyful anticipation. And I happen to like Manent.

    It sounds like a church of self-selecting and not-very-inspiring elites.

  • Thanks for the link.

    And DarwinCatholic – I’ve gotten so used to seeing troubling statements in what he says that I admit to a certain difficulty NOT looking for it. But it takes so little effort, I’m not sure it’s my fault.

  • Do you mean we shall have philosophers

    In this country, not at all. More like the succession of characters who’ve occupied the See of Canterbury the last 35 years or so.

  • I have often wondered what St. Peter thinks of many of the Popes, bishops, and priests who came after him, especially some of the currents ones. Now I wonder if in the past, people were “tired” under the Popes, bishops, and priests of their day.

  • Clarification? It muddies the waters even more. He says one thing one day, something else the next. Confusion and division are the hallmarks of this papacy.

  • Agreed, Mr. Skojec. And it is very, very tiring.
    I get the impression this Pope is a bit of a politician–saying one thing to a person (or group of people) that is sure to please him, then turning around and saying another thing to a different person/group.

  • In a few short hours is Divine Mercy Sunday. Today we finish the novena.

    The message is clear! No muddy waters here. Jesus tells us to trust in HIM.
    As for me and mine; “Jesus I Trust in YOU.”

    Let’s please, as a collective, pray for Pope Francis. Jesus will lead us, but He does ask us to pray. Come Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your people with trust hope and forgiveness. Make us one with Jesus to help the lame blind and wayward souls receive renewed strength sight and welcome in a world that rejects these poor ones. That all may be one in Jesus we pray.

  • Karl: many people I know would be very offended by Mundabor’s blog, but I find it comforting to say to myself “We’ve got a bad Pope.”

  • Bill Bannon: Even when a Pope declares the marriage annulled, invalid, it would seem proper for the pope to put it in writing so that the persons involved will have proof. If the Pope was speaking of a spiritual communion, the person must have the right disposition. Evidently, this particular person is more interested in the display of closeness with the Pope. What bothers me is that the parish priest was vetoed.
    Let us request that paper.

  • This “spin machine” allows us to see who is faithful and who is not in the arena of the web, magazines, TV, books, conferences, etc. In short, who is making money in the catholic sphere while playing on the sympathies of poorly catechized catholics. You are seeing the divide within the church – maybe. Could this be just another phase of one group, the heretics, trying to sway the faithful in the one true Church. History is repeating itself in this regard. What to do? Redirect your $$$ and time and effort.

  • The boring, if alarming, repetitiveness of these hit and run episodes leads me to be strongly suspicious the pattern is not one of accidental slip-fall-rise, but of a wily Jesuit Pope, an Argentinian Jesuit, lighting deliberate little fires to test the drift and create chaos: something Saul Alinsky did and taught well.

  • I agree with you Sydney O. except for the boring part. It’s very unsettling for me.
    I was volunteering at a Catholic place this week and my negative gut reaction to the photo they have displayed of him there even surprised me– I said – to my self- “but that is our Pope!!! You can’t react like that!”
    My self doesn’t answer.

    it was his habemus papam photo

  • “Vox populi vox Dei” The voice of the people of God is the voice of God.

  • Art Deco wrote, “More like the succession of characters who’ve occupied the See of Canterbury the last 35 years or so.”

  • Pingback: JP2's Vision of Family & Marriage for New Evangelization-BigPulpit
  • I have a theory about Pope Francis’s unwillingness to wear the traditional red shoes. It wasn’t a fashion statement nor a humility thing. He simply didn’t like the taste they left in his mouth.

    P.S. The slash in the circle slopes the wrong way. Here’s a memory aid, the ‘no’ slash begins on the left and like everything else of the left it runs downhill from there.

  • I went to the link and read the story. Perhaps I missed it, but I failed to see where, despite the divorce, this woman had done anything wrong. A spouse divorced in the secular sense but remaining sacramentally married has not committed a sin per se…..or am I not getting the full story.

    Mind you I have no fondness for the Pope’s dialectic and emotive style but do we have a complete picture here.

  • @Cthemfly25: this is from an article on Catholic Word Report:
    “[Julio Sabetta, Lisbona’s husband] was married into the Catholic church in 1985, but got legally divorced in 1992. In 1994, he was re-introduced to Jaquelina – they had been boyfriend and girlfriend in their teens – and the two started to live together in a civil union. Since then, they had two children, Candela and Josefina, aged 17 and 14, respectively. ”
    Lisbona, herself, appears not to be divorced from anyone; but her “husband” was married in a Catholic Church and obtained a civil divorce. There does not appear to be a Declaration of Nullity of his first marriage–ergo, as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, he is still married. This would make Lisbona’s relationship with Sabetta not one of husband and wife but one of adultery.

  • Thanks DJ. I must have misread Skojac’s article but your link gave a much clearer description. What a mess.

  • Also, the civil marriage would be invalid, where one or both parties are bound by the forma (Can 1108)

  • Most people here seem to have forgotten who is the enemy is here. You’re not tired of Pope Francis’ phone calls, but of the media rabidly spreading rumors about them. Basically you’re feeling the pain of a new way the media has to attack us – and blaming it on the Pope.

    What’s pernicious about such statements is that they are unverifiable, and so the media is able to distort them way more than his public ones. Of course they’re having a field day with this. And many people who would usually ignore such misinformation are lapping it up…

    Please join me in praying for guidance to the Holy Spirit.

  • You’re not tired of Pope Francis’ phone calls,

    Oh, yes I am. The Pope’s statements to this woman over the phone may be unverifiable, but the Vatican press office is not now in the business of disabusing the public of the idea that he counseled her that she could take communion.

  • The Pope can’t change the teachings of the church so most of the time I ignore this one.

  • Not precisely the setup in this instance but it seems to me the problem with the canon law approach to marriage and annulment is that marriages do actually fail. Even though “what God has joined together, let no man put assunder” men and women sometimes do. It’s a huge tragedy and source of much suffering. Sometimes there is even an innocent party, though who can really say. And of course there is “collateral damage” too. I have always felt it should be an occasion for compassion rather than retribution. That seems to be Francis’ poiint of view too. Annulment effectively says you were never married, which some who have been through the trauma after years of a deep and loving relationship find it impossible to accept.

  • “I have always felt it should be an occasion for compassion rather than retribution.”

    Heeding the command of Christ is not retribution but fidelity to the Gospel. The Apostles were aghast at this teaching and thought that rather than come under it, it was better not to marry at all, so it has been a subject of contention from the first time Christ uttered it. The fate of families and kids in our day of easy divorce amply demonstrates how right Christ is and how wrong his critics were and are.

  • Pingback: Yes, I am Really Getting Tired of It!! | Catholic4Life

Our Vicars of Bray

Tuesday, December 17, AD 2013

I have been roaming around Saint Blogs since 2003 and have become familiar with the work of most of the major Catholic bloggers.  Since the election of Pope Francis I have noticed a curious phenomenon, especially among Catholic bloggers who make their livelihood by hocking books, speaking before parishes, etc:    A  swift reversal of long held positions, combined with a sudden desire to denounce “reactionaries” and a new found respect for liberal Catholics.   No doubt such conversions are heartfelt and not merely time serving, transparent attempts to stay in lockstep with the powers that be.  However, if any such sudden conversions are not heartfelt, I dedicate this poem to them:

“In good King Charles’s golden days,

 When Loyalty no harm meant;

 A Furious High-Church man I was,

 And so I gain’d Preferment.

 Unto my Flock I daily Preach’d,

 Kings are by God appointed,

 And Damn’d are those who dare resist,

 Or touch the Lord’s Anointed.


And this is law, I will maintain

 Unto my Dying Day, Sir.

 That whatsoever King may reign,

 I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!

When Royal James possest the crown,

 And popery grew in fashion;

 The Penal Law I shouted down,

 And read the Declaration:

 The Church of Rome I found would fit

 Full well my Constitution,

 And I had been a Jesuit,

 But for the Revolution.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Our Vicars of Bray

  • It’s interesting how politics and religion were always so closely tied together in England. One could become high church or broad depending on what was politically expedient. What a wonderful tradition we’ve inherited in America: freedom of religion enables us to own what we believe and believe what we own.

  • There is a a little village outside Oxford called Hinksey. The church is St Peter’s (and the pub is the Cross Keys)

    It has a list of its rectors on the board inside the church and one of them was the incumbent from 1529 (Four years before Henry VIII’s Act of Appeals that marked the breach with Rome) until 1563 (Four years after Elizabeth i’s accession) In other words, he retained his living under Henry’s Act of Supremacy and the anti-Protestant Act of Six Articles, the Articles and First and Second Prayer Books of Edward VI, the Reconciliation with Rome under Mary and the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity under Elizabeth I

    That certainly rivals the Vicar of Bray.

  • Pingback: Jesus Was Born on December 25 - BigPulpit.com
  • Pingback: WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | iwannabeasaint