5

Ten Years of TAC: PopeWatch: Worst Pope Since Alexander VI

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from September 24, 2015.)

 

shapiro-pope-1

Pope Yammers Full Paragraphs About Immigration, Dialogue with Cuba, and Global Warming; Mentions Protecting the Unborn in a Single Sentence

For some time, I’ve heard conservative Catholics defend the Pope by saying that the left amplifies and celebrates the Pope’s left-leaning cant, but ignores the things that appeal to traditionalists.

The problem with that is that while he does occasionally say things that appeal to traditionalists, he rarely says them, as if he’s obligated to say such things as the cost of getting to talk about what he really wants to talk about, which is Income Inequality and Global Warming.

Today’s performance is further evidence of that.

Yes, he made an allusion to abortion, not daring to speak it by name, and similarly made the vaguest allusion to gay marriage (not actually even taking a stance on it).

Then he yammered for long stretches about Nancy Pelosi’s agenda.

I’ve tried to not speak much about the Pope due to 1, respect for my Catholic readers, 2, my complete lack of knowledge of the sorts of things Popes typically say, and 3, generally not caring, but it seems impossible at this point to continue to indulge the optimistic wishcasting of right-leaning Catholics that Francis is merely “complex” and sometimes “misunderstood.”

I think we understand him just fine.

The left media is not just hallucinating this, or presenting a biased version of the Pope as they wish he were. He is in fact on the left on every single position he’s liturgically permitted to be on the left on.

Posted by: Ace at 02:18 PM
Go here to read the comments.  One of the more bleakly amusing aspects of the current Pontificate is seeing conservative Catholics bend themselves into pretzels in order to deny the obvious:  that except for a handful of issues Pope Francis is a man of the left, and that he is hell-bent in putting the prestige of the Church in service to left wing causes.  Conservative Catholics are used to viewing the popes as champions and it is painful for many of them to openly oppose the Pope.  I was never in their number, but I long hoped that Pope Francis was not as bad as I feared.   He is not as bad as I feared, he is worse.  He is an ignorant man who embraces ideologies and causes that would succeed only in spreading poverty, misery and the triumph of a nihilistic left, followed swiftly by the triumph of Islam.  He is prostituting the office of Peter to join in alliance with people who have nothing but contempt for the Catholic Church.  He is the worst pope the Church has seen since Alexander VI.  I pray that God will grant him either new wisdom or a short papacy.  As for me, I vow to oppose him and to join with other Catholics who share my belief that his election as Pope has been an unmitigated disaster for the Church.
5

PopeWatch: Chicken

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Several bishops from across the globe announced today that they are considering allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Chick-fil-A.

The bishops considering the controversial move of allowing those in invalid marriages to receive a chicken sandwich, though in the state of adultery, told the press that it should be left to a bishop’s discretion as to whether an individual is in a state of grace, and therefore, be allowed to “indulge in a Spicy Chicken or Deluxe sandwich.”

“Though we have not yet come to a final decision, it is true that we are indeed leaning toward endorsing Pope Francis’ call to give Chick-fil-A to people who are divorced and invalidly remarried, even if they are sexually active,” representative of the bishops, Jon Dowry, told EOTT in a brief statement. “We believe that it may be more hurtful to deny them this most spectacular meal than to stick with archaic rules. It may be, in our humble opinion, better that they eat of Chick-fil-A and remain close to Christ than to leave for a more open and accepting branch of fast food chains.”

Dowry went on to call other bishops to consider whether it would be good, if only in exceptional circumstances, to allow their divorced and remarried couples from receiving this gift from God that He may strengthen them.

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch attempted to contact the Pope for contact, but was shuffled to the Pope’s Fifth Assistant Secretary, Sister Perdita.  She said that she did not know what the Pope’s opinion would be on this, but that she had heard him say, on more than one occasion, that chicken prepared by Gringos tasted like asbestos to him.  And with that PopeWatch will be on vacation hiatus until August 6.

5

PopeWatch: Duplicity

Henry Sire, author of The Dictator Pope, has an interesting article at One Peter Five, looking at the accusations of two left wing Jesuit priests in Argentina that Pope Francis back in the seventies sold them out to the military dictatorship then ruling Argentina.  Sire’s conclusions are interesting:

Information was also given to Verbitsky by the brother of Fr. Yorio, Rodolfo, who was able to tell the writer from his own knowledge that Fr. Bergoglio had personal contacts with the military regime. He recalled a meeting with the provincial, who told him he was about to receive a visit from the military, and after he left the house, he saw a car draw up outside the door and three officers get out of it. Rodolfo Yorio added that Fr. Bergoglio sometimes used these contacts to protect people: “I know people whom he helped. That shows his two faces and his closeness to the military authorities. His way of managing ambiguity is masterly. If they were killed he was rid of them, if they were saved he was the one who had saved them. That’s why there are people who consider him a saint and others who are terrified of him.”

As I began by saying, it is not my purpose to discuss whether Fr. Bergoglio did in fact betray Fathers Yorio and Jalics to the military regime. It is generally agreed that Verbitsky failed to prove his accusations, although neither were they conclusively disproved. What I am concerned with here is the picture of Bergoglio’s character that emerges from the above narrative. A politically motivated accusation that he collaborated with the military regime would be easy to invent, but it would be difficult to manufacture out of nothing the pervasive impression of duplicity and the charges and counter-charges of untruthfulness that mark the story told by Fathers Yorio and Jalics. Moreover, they correspond closely with the accounts of Bergoglio that come from other sources. The Church’s faithful are thus challenged to contemplate the possibility that they have as pope a figure who falls short of the standards of integrity that we have come to assume in that office, and who has conducted a careful and highly successful whitewashing campaign to present himself as a limpid spiritual figure, first to the Argentine public and then to the world as a whole.

Go here to read the rest.  One of the hallmarks of this pontificate has been rampant mendacity, and it apparently has a long pedigree.

7

PopeWatch: Peter’s Tax

Sandro Magister brings us this information on the financing of the Church in Italy:

 

Every year the Italian state allocates 8 per thousand of its tax revenue to the religious confessions that have entered an agreement to benefit from it.

Among these the Catholic Church gets the lion’s share. The state allocates around a billion euro to it each year. That is a lot, but it must be kept in mind that the Catholic Church in Germany, which is half the size of the Italian Church, receives five times as much from the state every year by virtue of the “Kirchensteuer,” the tax on religious affiliation in effect in that country.

In Italy, on the other hand, the allocation of the combined total of the 8 per thousand among the various religious denominations is decided every year by the taxpayers, who are free to indicate or not, with a signature, to whom they want the contribution to be given. And from 1985 until now, or in other words ever since this mechanism has been introduced, the signatures in favor of the Catholic Church have been in an overwhelming majority, reaching in the record year of 2005 nearly 90 percent of the signatories, or 89.82 percent to be exact.

2005 was the last year in which John Paul II was pope. And various commentators associated with his popularity the peak that was reached by the 8 per thousand.

Just as in 2013, the final year of Benedict XVI, it was easy to associate with the unpopularity of this other pope the drop to 80.91 percent of the signatures in favor of the Catholic Church.

But today, after five years of the pontificate of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, once again extremely popular, how do things stand?

After a timid upturn to 81.23 percent of signatures in 2014, the follow-up has been entirely on the decline:

– 81.09 percent in 2015;
– 79.94 percent in 2016;
– 79.36 percent in 2017, the last known figure and a negative record in the history of the 8 per thousand.

But take care. If instead of the percent of votes one looks at the absolute figures, meaning the number of signatures in favor of the Catholic Church, the tune changes.

One discovers, for example, that the all-time record in the number of signatures was reached during the pontificate not of John Paul II but of Benedict XVI: in 2011, with 15,604,034 signatures.

Not only that. In all the last six years of Benedict XVI, the signatures in favor of the Catholic Church were above 15 million, which had never happened in the pontificate of John Paul II.

And the same happened in the first two years of Pope Francis. Followed, however, by a clear and continuous drop:

– 14,437,694 in 2015;
– 13,944,967 in 2016;
– 13,762,498 in 2017.

Go here to read the rest.  Francis Effect?  In any event Caesar paying the Church is always a very bad business for the Church.  In our country the Church has come to rely increasingly on contracts with governments for services provided through charitable activities of the Church.  He who pays the Piper always ultimately calls the tune.

9

PopeWatch: Prosperity Gospels

Two of the dimmest bulbs at the Vatican are at it again:

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican-approved journal has dismissed “prosperity gospel” as a pseudo theology dangerously tied up with the American dream and President Trump’s politics, launching the publication’s second major critique of American evangelicals in as many years.

Two of Pope Francis’ top communications advisers — an Italian Jesuit and an Argentine Protestant pastor — penned “The Prosperity Gospel: Dangerous and Different” for the current issue of the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, published Wednesday (July 18).

In the article, the authors note that the prosperity gospel and its belief that God wants his followers to be wealthy and healthy has spread throughout the world, particularly in Latin America and Asia, thanks to its charismatic proponents’ effective use of TV and media.

But they point to its origins in the U.S. and its underpinning of the American dream and say its vision of faith is in direct contrast to true Christian teaching and Pope Francis’ emphasis on the poor, social justice and salvation.

“In truth, one of the serious problems that the prosperity gospel brings is its perverse effects on the poor,” wrote the authors, the Rev. Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa.

“In fact, it not only exasperates individualism and knocks down the sense of solidarity, but it pushes people to adopt a miracle-centered outlook because faith alone — not social or political commitment — can procure prosperity.”

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

It was the second time the two authors have joined forces to criticize religious movements in the United States, signaling once again the clash of cultures underway in the Francis papacy and Trump White House.

Last year, the authors condemned the way some American evangelicals and their conservative Roman Catholic supporters mix religion and politics in an “ecumenism of conflict,” saying their worldview promotes division and hatred.

Then again, Spadaro and Figueroa took aim at conservative religious support for Trump, accusing activists of promoting a “xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations.” Trump has sought to bar travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and vowed to build a wall on the Mexican border.

Go here to read the rest.  Now the idea that followers of Christ will be showered with material blessings as a result of their faith is truly nuts.  However, the authors clearly have their own version of the prosperity gospel:

“In fact, it not only exasperates individualism and knocks down the sense of solidarity, but it pushes people to adopt a miracle-centered outlook because faith alone — not social or political commitment — can procure prosperity.”

Note that it is not hard work, education, gaining employable skills, shrewd investment, free enterprise, etc that lead to prosperity but rather social or political commitment.  Of course this is just as big a crock of rubbish as the belief that if I pray to get rich I will get rich.  It is also more pernicious, as Venezuela is currently demonstrating.  Faith based economics work about as well as faith based plumbing.

 

9

PopeWatch: Shipwreck Policy

The Pope is concerned about illegal aliens drowning:

 

Pope Francis is calling on the international community to act swiftly to protect the safety of migrants following a sharp increase in drownings across the Mediterranean.

Speaking during his Sunday Angelus address in St Peter’s Square yesterday, the Pope talked about the “dramatic reports of shipwrecks of boats laden with migrants” and talked about his “pain” after hearing the news while assuring the victims of his prayers.

“I address a heartfelt appeal for the international community to act decisively and promptly, in order to prevent such tragedies from repeating themselves, and to guaranteeing security, respect for the rights and dignity of all,” Francis told a crowd of 25,000 pilgrims.

Last Wednesday 30 migrants died when a boat carrying 150 sank close to the coast of northern Cyprus, while charities have reported that the numbers of deaths in the Mediterranean reaching 600 in the period from the middle of June to the middle of July.

The increase in drownings, according French aid organisation Médicins Sans Frontières, has been fuelled by the decision of the new Italian government to prevent migrant rescue boats from docking in the country’s ports.

For Francis, the care of migrants has been a core concern of his papacy and after hearing news of migrant drownings of the coast of southern Italy in 2013 he chose the island of Lampedusa, a major arrival point for refugees from North Africa, as the place of his first papal visit outside of Rome.

But his defence of refugees stands in contrast to Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, who has taken a tough anti-migrant line and who polls show is growing in popularity.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Does anyone think that the Pope has drawn any connection between his “Y’all Come!” policy for illegal aliens from Africa and the Middle East and the increase in the number of illegal aliens drowning at sea.  PopeWatch suspects that the Pope does not spend a second pondering the negative consequences arising from any policy he supports.

4

PopeWatch: Maradiaga

Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register gives us this news of a protege of Cardinal Maradiaga:

 

Pope Francis today accepted the resignation of Bishop Juan Jose Pineda Fasquelle, the auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The bishop was at the center of allegations of sexual abuse and financial misconduct in the archdiocese which led to an apostolic visit in May 2017 at the Pope’s request.

The Honduran prelate was a protégé of Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, and in recent months had been left in charge of the archdiocese in the cardinal’s absence.

Cardinal Maradiaga is the coordinator of the C9 Group of Cardinals advising the Holy Father on Church reform.

A source follows up with this comment to Pentin:

 

A source with knowledge of the case told the Register July 20 that “we’ve been waiting for this day in Honduras.”

Today’s announcement means “those who have suffered obtain partial justice,” the source added. “The Church has taken steps on the path of truth.”

But he lamented that Bishop Pineda remains a bishop and that the hierarchy “keeps covering for these abusers.”

Backing reports also obtained from other sources, he said Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga was “aware of everything but always sided with Pineda and not the truth” and that the institutions meant to deal with these cases, such as the apostolic nunciature, “were overridden.”

Go here to read the rest.  Cardinal Maradiaga has always struck PopeWatch as a villain straight from Central Casting.

1

PopeWatch: Blogging the Bible

 

 

 

From the most intentionally humorous Catholic site on the net, A Catholic Misfit:

 

YOM SHLISI, SIMANU, 96

Another Vision Of An Angel

[Sorry about the delay between posts, everyone. It’s been storming the past few days, and I think a lightning strike fried my modem the other night. I was just able to get back on-line this morning. Anyway, here’s my latest vision…]

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring; when he called out, the seven thunders had sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”

And the angel whom I saw standing on sea and land lifted up his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there should be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God, as he announced to his servants the prophets, should be fulfilled.

Then the voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me. “Take it and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”

POSTED BY JOHN THE EVANGELIST AT YOM SHLISI, SIMANU, 96
LABELS: ANGELS, VISION
…………………………………………………………………………………………

16 Comments:

Bardus Skepticus said…

You keep claiming these are “visions from God”, but where’s your proof? You could be just experiencing hallucinations that anybody who’s been exiled on an island would probably have.

YOM SHLISI, SIMANU 96 8:15 AM

Polycarp said…

“…a lightning strike fried my modem…”

John – get yourself a surge protector.

YOM SHLISI, SIMANU 96 8:49 AM

Magnus Bopperitus said…

OK, let me get this straight. This angel comes out of the sky, it’s legs made of fire, and it stands with one foot in the water, but his fire leg doesn’t go out? That makes no sense at all.

YOM SHLISI, SIMANU 96 9:23 AM

Flavius Flava Flave said…

“That makes no sense at all.”

Well, whaddya expect? These are the same people who claim that a Nazarene carpenter was raised from the dead. They claim he ‘multiplied’ some bread and fish, too, but everyone knows that the crowds brought their own food. Reason and logic will never get through their thick heads.

YOM SHLISI, SIMANU 96 9:58 AM

Papias of Hierapolis said…

Magnus, these are visions. A gift from God. They are similar to dreams in that they must be interpreted in order to be better understood. Before succumbing to doubt and derision, I counsel that we wait until John’s visions cease before we try to interpret them.

YOM SHLISI, SIMANU 96 10:19 AM

Go here to read the rest.

13

PopeWatch: Canon Law

Well isn’t this special:

 

The Vatican’s former top legal advisor is calling on Pope Francis to require Catholics under canon law to care for the environment, calling it “one of the most serious duties” for the faithful today.

According to Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, is proposing that a new canon be inserted into the Code of Canon Law. The new canon would be dedicated to the “grave duty” of all the Christian faithful to not only “not harm” but even “improve” the environment.

Coccopalmerio told Vatican Insider: “The Code of Canon Law, at the beginning of the second book, in canons 208-221 under the title ‘Obligations and rights of all [Christ’s] faithful’ presents a list of these obligations and rights, and for this reason draws an authoritative sketch of the believer and his life as a Christian. Unfortunately, nothing is said about one of his most serious duties: to protect and promote the natural environment in which the believer lives.”

“My proposal,” the cardinal said, “would be to ask the Pope, on behalf of the dicastery for legislative texts, to insert into the canons I have just cited a new canon that sounds more or less like this: ‘Every faithful Christian, mindful that creation is our common home, has the grave duty not only not to damage, but also to improve, both through normal behavior, as well as through specific initiatives, the natural environment in which each person is called to live.’”

The cardinal first announced his proposal during a July 12 event in Rome titled “Dialogue on Catholic investments for energy transition.” The closed-door meeting brought together representatives of the Vatican and Catholic organizations to discuss how to invest responsibly towards a transition to renewable energies.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato si’, and by his recent address to CEOs of major oil and gas companies, participants in the July 12 event agreed on the importance of the Catholic Divest-Invest Program currently being sponsored by the World Catholic Climate Movement

According to the organization’s website, the Catholic Divest-Invest Program calls on Catholic institutions to commit publicly to completely divest from all fossil fuels within five years, and to invest in “socially and ethically responsible companies that protect creation and all who share it.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Considering how well the Church is succeeding in commanding Catholics not to shack up, slay their offspring by abortion or simply show up at Sunday Mass, PopeWatch views this proposal as a dagger aimed at the heart of the Environmental Movement!

4

PopeWatch: Nelson Mandela Day

Vatican News yesterday celebrated Nelson Mandela Day:

 

On 18 July we celebrate Nelson Mandela Day. The occasion was instituted by the United Nations to honour Mandela’s incredible witness and precious contribution to peace and freedom. 2018 also marks 100 years from Madiba’s birth.

Go here to read the rest.  No mention of course that Mandela was a fervent advocate of abortion on demand.  Go here to read about his record.  The people running the Church today are by and large ideological clones of the elites in the developed world.  Where they are in formal opposition to them, for example on abortion, they will occasionally pay lip service to the pro-life cause, but their actions speak otherwise.

4

PopeWatch: CathoCommunism

 

 

 

Journalist Hilary White, in the comboxes of One Peter Five, writes about CathoCommunism:

 

They become quite famous, these Italian commie priests, media personalities. The word for it is “Cattocommunismo”, Catho-communism. There’s a whole set of journalistic nomenclature you have to learn when you start reporting on it. You have to know what “bella ciao” means in its political context. You have to know what “the social movements” and “social centres” are and what “street priests” are.

Even outside this extreme fringe like Zanotelli, it is taken for granted that priests simply don’t have the Faith. Last Christmas it made the news when a parish priest in Turin stood up at Midnight Mass and announced they would be skipping the Creed because he didn’t believe it. The parish church of San Rocco di Torino, Fr. Fredo Olivero, replaced the Creed with a song called Dolce Sentire, a kind of hippified, sentimentalised and materialised version of St. Francis Canticle of the Creatures. This story made the news, but it is normal in Italy. In an ordinary country or suburban parish they might not drop significant parts of the Mass, (or they might, but no one cares) but you do not hear about the Catholic religion at all from the pulpit.

The biggest problem we always had with reporting on this to an American audience was the complete inability of the readers to believe this. “Why doesn’t the Church do something??” was a standard response. The only answer is, “This IS the Church in Italy.” Catholics in the Church in this country are a tiny minority and completely shut out of the structures of the institutions. “Corruption” is a word you really can’t understand fully until you’ve lived here a while.

Go here to read the rest.  Hilaire Belloc’s quote is more true than ever:

 

The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.

 

 

7

PopeWatch: Crystal Ball

Father Z brings us some good news:

 

 

 

  • The demographics of church participation are shifting.
  • In these USA…
  • The numbers of active priests will drop, impacting the number of parishes open.  The number of millennials going to church will drop, thus impacting parish income.  The number of conservative and traditional priests will rise, percentage wise, in presbyterates, thus impacting liturgy, preaching, and identity.  The number of children being born to practicing Catholics will outstrip those being born to liberals.   The number of conservative or traditional bishops being appointed will probably drop, thus creating a slowly growing identity rift between faithful and their local chief pastors.

Go here to read the rest.  I think the Pope Emeritus saw this coming back in 1969:

 

“The future of the Church can and will issue from those whose roots are deep and who live from the pure fullness of their faith. It will not issue from those who accommodate themselves merely to the passing moment or from those who merely criticize others and assume that they themselves are infallible measuring rods; nor will it issue from those who take the easier road, who sidestep the passion of faith, declaring false and obsolete, tyrannous and legalistic, all that makes demands upon men, that hurts them and compels them to sacrifice themselves. To put this more positively: The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a wider reality. Unselfishness, which makes men free, is attained only through the patience of small daily acts of self-denial. By this daily passion, which alone reveals to a man in how many ways he is enslaved by his own ego, by this daily passion and by it alone, a man’s eyes are slowly opened. He sees only to the extent that he has lived and suffered. If today we are scarcely able any longer to become aware of God, that is because we find it so easy to evade ourselves, to flee from the depths of our being by means of the narcotic of some pleasure or other. Thus our own interior depths remain closed to us. If it is true that a man can see only with his heart, then how blind we are! 

“How does all this affect the problem we are examining? It means that the big talk of those who prophesy a Church without God and without faith is all empty chatter. We have no need of a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is utterly superfluous. Therefore, it will destroy itself. What will remain is the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church that believes in the God who has become man and promises us life beyond death. The kind of priest who is no more than a social worker can be replaced by the psychotherapist and other specialists; but the priest who is no specialist, who does not stand on the [sidelines], watching the game, giving official advice, but in the name of God places himself at the disposal of man, who is beside them in their sorrows, in their joys, in their hope and in their fear, such a priest will certainly be needed in the future. 

“Let us go a step farther. From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, it will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society, it will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly it will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Along-side this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly. But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship.

“The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain — to the renewal of the nineteenth century. But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

“And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. It may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but it will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

 

 

11

PopeWatch: Population Conspiracy?

PopeWatch is always skeptical of conspiracy theories but this is intriguing:

 

ROME, July 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The demographic collapse of the West in recent decades was planned in order to create the necessary conditions to usher in a New World Order, and the authors of this collapse are now influencing the Vatican at the highest levels, the former president of the Vatican bank has said.

Speaking at the first international conference of the John Paul II academy for human life and the family, Italian economist and banker Ettore Gotti Tedeschi said efforts to decrease the world’s population by globalist elites have set in motion a series of predictable and intended economic, geo-political, and social catastrophes meant to “persuade” people around the world to accept a global “political vision” that would eliminate national sovereignty and institute “gnostic environmentalism” as its “universal religion.”

The recurrent themes of the present papacy are poverty, immigration and the environment, and we are led to believe that these are caused by “the greed of bankers,” war and man, the “cancer of nature,” he said. But this is “fake news” according to Gotti Tedeschi. For him, the cause behind all of these scourges is the “collapse in births.” 

The people pushing this fake news, he said, are “gnostic prophets” such as population control proponents Paul Ehrlich, Jeffrey Sachs and Ban Ki-moon who, rejecting the natural law and the divine order of creation, seek to proselytize the world with their “anti-Catholic gnosis.” 

According to Gotti Tedeschi, the “greatest enemy” of the New World Order is the family because it provides “education, autonomy and independence” from the state. Its second enemy is the Catholic Church, he said, and yet these gnostic prophets are “rewriting genesis in the halls of the Vatican.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Well this would certainly help explain why Ehrlich was invited to speak at the Vatican, go here to read about it, not to mention the Pope’s “breeding like rabbits” slur.  The Pope and the men around him are almost indistinguishable from the secular elites they rub shoulders with each day, and it is not shocking to assume they regard population growth as anathema even while we are in a time of plunging birth rates around most of the globe.  Alternatively, if Tedeschi is a nut, what does it say about how the Vatican does business that he was head of the Vatican Bank from 2009-2012?

 

 

15

PopeWatch: Democratic Socialism

News missed by PopeWatch courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

You can’t go into a Whole Foods or indie record store without hearing somebody talk about it: democratic socialism. Is it a radical new idea that we should try out in our nation, or is it an old idea with the word “democratic” stapled to the front to make it sound more palatable? Find out in this handy explainer from your friends at The Babylon Bee:

What is Democratic Socialism?

Democratic Socialism is a growing movement in America promising every citizen the most basic human rights, including but not limited to free healthcare, a government-guaranteed job making at least $15 per hour, free college tuition, guaranteed housing, broadband internet access, and cage-free vegan lattes.

How would the government pay for all of that?

By rightfully appropriating money from terrible, evil, oppressive, hardworking, enterprising citizens who have earned wealth via the dreaded free market economy that has led to unprecedented human flourishing. Governments are known for being the most efficient spenders of money, and so surely would do an excellent job as stewards of your wealth—err, we mean, the public’s wealth.

Isn’t it immoral to take most of the money people earn?

No—actually, it’s the right thing to do. People with money only got that money because of inherent privilege, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, patriarchy, and all kinds of other unfair power structures and phobias. You know what, we’re a little concerned with all the questions you’re asking here. It sounds like someone needs to spend a little more time in a democratic re-education loyalty center! KILL THE KULAKS!

How does Democratic Socialism differ from just “Socialism”?

It has the word “Democratic” in front of it, you see, which means it is achieved by promoting identity politics, stoking class warfare, and cranking that entitlement mentality up to 11, instead of literal violent overthrow of the government. Besides, voting for the government to seize people’s wealth is totally different from the government deciding to do so on their own, right? Err… uh… DID WE MENTION YOU GET FREE STUFF?? Say it with us: Socialism good, Democratic Socialism better!

It seems like if you try to run the numbers, there’s just no way Democratic Socialism is a fiscally feasible form of government.

“Run the numbers”? “Fiscally feasible”? Have you been paying attention, like, at all? Do you want free money, or are you part of the problem? YOU GET FREE MONEY, AND YOU GET FREE MONEY—ERRYBODY GETS FREE MONEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch is stunned to realize that the same people who write for The Bee must also write economic policy statements for the Vatican.  That explains a lot!

 

5

PopeWatch: Abandoned Churches

A perfect symbol of this papacy:

That’s why the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) and the Gregorian University in Rome have called for an international congress next November 29-30 called, “Does God not live here anymore? Disposal of places of worship and integrated management of ecclesiastical cultural assets,” to be held at the Jesuit-run campus.

Given the massive scope of Church properties around the world, it comes as no surprise that there’s no exact number of struggling and abandoned churches. Secularization, a decrease in vocations and economic mismanagement have led to significant challenges for many parishes worldwide, and speakers at the press event said that the problem exists in many countries.

“We have registered an extraordinary interest by the bishops of various countries,” Ravasi said.

The congress aims at presenting guidelines on the disposal and reutilizations of the Church’s patrimony. In the next few weeks, delegates from bishops’ conferences in Europe, North America and Oceania will discuss and approve the document.

Go here to read the rest.  One would think that in such a time the Pope would be concentrating on growing the Church, our duty under the Great Commission give to the Church by Christ:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mathew 28: 19

However that seems to be the very last thing the Pope has on his mind.

 

6

PopeWatch: Bye Sacraments

Sandro Magister brings us an article which exposes how the Sacraments are being ejected from the center of the life of the Church:

 

But in this same latest issue of “Catholica” another voice is raised – not of a cardinal, but of a Benedictine monk and talented theologian – that thoroughly analyzes and criticizes what is perhaps the most radical subversion taking place in the Catholicism of today: that which assigns primacy no longer to the sacraments – “culmen et fons” of the Church’s life, according to Vatican Council II – but to ethics.

It is the subversion that underlies, in particular, both the new discipline of communion for the divorced and remarried and “intercommunion” between Catholics and Protestants.

Giulio Meiattini, the author of this critical analysis, has presented it in its most complete form in a book he published at the beginning of this year:

> G. Meiattini OSB, “Amoris laetitia? I sacramenti ridotti a morale”, La Fontana di Siloe, Torino, 2018

While in the interview in the latest issue of “Catholica” he presents its salient passages, the most significant of which are reproduced below.

Fr. Meiattini, a monk of the Benedictine abbey of La Madonna della Scala in Noci, is a professor at the Theological Faculty of Puglia and at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm in Rome.

*

“AMORIS LAETITIA” AND THE OBLITERATION OF THE SACRAMENTS

by Giulio Meiattini, OSB
(passages selected from the interview in “Catholica” no. 140)

NOT DISCERNMENT, BUT CUNNING

The situation of confusion is evident. Naturally there are those who deny that this is a matter of confusion, maintaining that this is the positive result of a style of ecclesial governance aimed at “initiating processes rather than possessing spaces” (cf. “Evangelii Gaudium” 223). Therefore, the first discernment to be made would be precisely on the nature of this situation: can confusion, disagreement among bishops on sensitive doctrinal points, be fruits of the Spirit? To me it seems not. To discern also means understanding if it is appropriate or not to initiate processes in certain fields, and also with what timing, modalities, and objectives.

Let us observe, for example, the manner in which the new discipline for the “divorced and remarried” was reached.

After Cardinal Kasper’s talk at the consistory had prepared the terrain so to speak, the two synods, with an intermediate year of heated discussions, were unable to give rise to a common approach on the problem discussed. Those who read the accounts of the “circuli minores” of the 2015 synod realize very well that on the point in question there was not a shared perspective.

But one thing is clear: that a large majority of the fathers had not developed the conviction to change the traditional discipline. So much so that the authors of the “Relatio finalis,” on the controversial point, took care not to introduce innovations.

But – here is another small step – they drafted formulas of an indefinite tone that, while not providing for access to the sacraments, changed the atmosphere so to speak. Thus the “non-opposition” to those hesitant formulas (which had trouble getting two thirds of the votes) was enough to allow another subsequent small step: a couple of ambiguous little footnotes in “Amoris Laetitia,” which do not affirm or deny but hint at a certain direction.

This further passage smashed the interpretive boundaries, until in the autumn of 2017 – another step – there came the pope’s official approval of the “Criteria” of the bishops of the region of Buenos Aires on chapter VIII of “Amoris Laetitia.”

But these criteria, if one is honest, are not a simple interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia.” They add and say things that are not to be found in “Amoris Laetitia” and that, above all, had never been approved at the synods and never would have been. […]

Thus, through small successive steps, over the course of three years a very large one was made and the discipline was slowly changed, but certainly not in a synodal manner, in my view.

I may be wrong, but this “modus operandi” is not discernment, but rather cunning. In place of reasonable and open debate (the famous “dubia” have never received a response!), the strategy of persuasion and of the fait accompli took hold.

FAITH REDUCED TO ETHICS

Among the ethical demands and the sacramental foundation of Christian existence, the center is undoubtedly the sacrament, which is the communication to the believer of the grace that saves, and, in that it is welcomed by and transforms man, is also an act of glorification, doxology. […] Ethics is neither the first word not the last.

In “Amoris Laetitia,” however, the opposite logic is followed: the starting points are categories taken from the natural law and principles of general ethics (attenuating factors, the relationship between universal norm and subjective situation, non-imputability, etc.), and from these major premises are drawn the consequences for the pastoral practice of the sacraments.

In this way, the dimension of the symbolic and the sacramental, which should anchor, embrace, and transcend the moral sphere, loses its significance and becomes a mere appendix to ethics. […] The demonstration is given by the fact that in concrete terms the sin of adultery loses its public significance linked to the testimonial aspect of the sacrament, and can be remitted in the “internal forum” without any need to explain before the community why a spouse who publicly contradicts the sacramental sign of fidelity should publicly receive the Eucharist.

In short, the result of the decisions of “Amoris Laetitia” is the reduction of the sacramental to the moral, meaning of faith to ethics, which to me does not seem to be a mere question of pastoral practice. What is at stake here is something essential to the nature of Christianity.

A “TREMENDOUS BURDEN”?

I sincerely do not understand how a bishop, above all that of Rome, could write phrases of this kind: “There is no need to lay upon two limited persons the tremendous burden of having to reproduce perfectly the union existing between Christ and his Church” (“Amoris Laetitia” 122).

Here is the glaring exemplification of what I stated before in a general way: if the evangelical ethic is isolated from the sacrament and reduced to a general norm it becomes “a tremendous burden,” like the Mosaic law, instead of “an easy yoke and a light burden.” Whatever happened, in this perspective, to the transformative effect of the sacrament? […] So then we could ask ourselves whether the encouragement of bearing witness to faith in Christ to the point of bloodshed is not an even more tremendous burden, not to be placed on the shoulders of the people. […]

One arrives at this point only if one is accustomed to conceiving of Christianity – perhaps without fully realizing it – as ethics.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Take the Sacraments from Catholicism and what is left is not Catholicism.

1

PopeWatch: Not News

Father Z gives us the latest disturbing, if totally unsurprising, news about Pope Francis:

I saw the strangest story at La Stampa.

From Italian:

Pope Francis phones Gianni Vattimo, philosopher of “weak thought”

The Italian scholar sends a copy of his last book to Francis who calls to thank him.  A a short and pleasing conversation about the Church and philosophy: “With this Pope I am not ashamed to call myself Catholic”.

Perhaps someone will translate the whole thing.

This seems so very strange to me.  It leaves me a little confused, frankly.   I’ve written about this guy back in 2013.  HERE  Vattimo, if memory serves, is openly homosexual.  He had his … partner… euthanized in Holland.   Vattimo, who is pretty much against any truth claim and set against just about every moral teaching of the Church, has also spoken of Pope Francis.

I’ve gotten a couple notes asking me what this is all about.  I don’t know.  However, after a little digging around, I found once again a fascinating post that connected Vattimo with Pope Francis, as well as Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.  Have a look at THIS.

Sorondo applauded with obvious satisfaction, as the radical left, gay, Italian philosopher, Gianni Vattimo on 13 March 2015 Teatro Cervantes in Buenos Aires in front of all the prominent left radical figures, to form a new Communist International, which he dubbed the “Papal International” because was supposed to be led by Pope Francis. Vattimo said at the time:

“Pope Francis is the only one who is capable of a political, cultural and religious revolution to lead against the superior power of money in the Civil War, which is already raging in the world, and is disguised as ‘the fight against terrorism’ , but in reality is the class struggle of the 21st century against the large number of the critics of capitalism.”

You will recall that Sorondo was the one who said that Catholic social teaching is exemplified in Communist China. HERE

 

Go here to read the rest.  Of course this is not news, unfortunately, in this Pontificate.  If the Pope were to call a philosopher who defends orthodox Catholic teaching, now that would be news.  What a kidney stone of a papacy.

 

10

PopeWatch: No Experience

Perhaps PopeWatch is just noticing it more, but in the age of Francis there seems to be a great reek of stupidity from high ranking clergy.  An example:

 

 

Catholic priests lack “credibility” to prepare the faithful for the sacrament of marriage because they have never been married, according to the leader of the Vatican’s office for ministry to the family.

Priests are not the best people to train others for marriage, said Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

“They have no credibility,” Farrell said, “they have never lived the experience; they may know moral theology, dogmatic theology in theory, but to go from there to putting it into practice every day…. they don’t have the experience.”

The comments from Cardinal Farrell, who hails from the Dublin suburb of Drimnagh, came in a recent interview with Intercom magazine, a publication of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. His remarks were covered by The Irish Times and picked up by Crux.

The cardinal’s assertion that lack of marital experience is a handicap conflicts with Pope Saint John Paul II’s pivotal 1960 work Love and Responsibility. In it, then-Karol Wojtyla said that priests have a different and “wider” experience that allows them to minister to couples. He wrote: 

It is sometimes said that only those who live a conjugal life can pronounce on the subject of marriage, and only those who have experienced it can pronounce on love between man and woman. 

In this view, all pronouncements on such matters must be based on personal experience, so that priests and persons living a celibate life can have nothing to say on questions of love and marriage. Nevertheless they often do speak and write on these subjects. Their lack of direct personal experience is no handicap because they possess a great deal of experience at second-hand, derived from their pastoral work.

For in their pastoral work they encounter these particular problems so often, and in such a variety of circumstances and situations, that a different type of experience is created, which is certainly less immediate, and certainly ‘second-hand’, but at the same time very much wider. The very abundance of factual material on the subject stimulates both general reflection and the effort to synthesize what is known. 

Go here to read the rest.  For background on Cardinal Farrell go here.   Perhaps the best way for faithful Catholics to get through this pontificate is to view it either as God’s judgement or God’s practical joke.

1

PopeWatch: God Made Him That Way

From the most intentionally humorous Catholic site on the net, A Catholic Misfit:

 

VATICAN CITY – A Trump supporter, while touring Rome earlier this week, said Pope Francis told him his politics “doesn’t matter” to him and that “God made you like this.”

Mylan S. Yerrlan, from Akron OH, provided details of their conversation to ACMPress.

“Mylan, that you support Trump doesn’t matter,” Yerrlan said Francis told him. “God made you like this and loves you like this and it doesn’t matter to me. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

Yerrlan said his political beliefs came up after Pope Francis commented on his MAGA t-shirt, adding that the Pontiff’s words gave him great comfort.

 

Go here to read the rest.  It was just announced by the Vatican that Pope Francis thought that he was participating in a revival of The Apprentice and thus no attention should be paid to his remarks.  Sound advice!

4

PopeWatch: U-Turns

Sandro Magister describes some recent U-Turns of the Pope:

 

This year there are at least three U-turns that Francis has made on crucial questions, but always without making it clear if these are definitive and sincere, seeing what he has said and done before and after the apparent reversals.

*

The first U-turn has been activated against the ordination of women to the priesthood. Here, properly speaking, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has not contradicted himself, because every time he has been asked since becoming pope he has always said he is against it personally, for example after his voyage to Sweden, where he had however embraced a female Lutheran bishop (see photo).

But at the same time he has long allowed the favorable opinions to run free, also on the part of figures on friendly terms with him, like cardinal of Vienna Christoph Schönborn.

Last May 29, nonetheless, there appeared on “L’Osservatore Romano” a note from the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, the Spanish Jesuit Luis Ladaria, who reconfirmed that the no to women priests is “definitive” and “infallible.”

Ladaria enjoys the esteem of Francis, who a few days ago also made him a cardinal. It must be said, however, that the supporters of women priests have not given up, because meanwhile Francis has set up a commission to study the ordination of women not to the priesthood but to the diaconate, which is however still a sacrament and is the first of the three steps that culminate in ordination as bishop.

To judge by the preparatory document of the synod for the Amazon, scheduled for 2019, it is projected that this same region will see the ordination of the first women deacons. And then who knows.

*

The second U-turn has been activated against communion being given also to Protestant spouses who are married to Catholics. When asked about this very question three years ago, while he was visiting the Lutheran church in Rome, Pope Francis leaned heavily toward the favorable side. And in Germany, where mixed couples are numerous, this new practice has spread to such an extent that last February a majority of the German bishops approved a document that justifies it.

Seven bishops including one cardinal, however, have appealed to Rome. The pope called them in for consultation, took some time, but then handed the issue back to Cardinal Ladaria, who with a letter dated May 25 written “with the explicit approval of the pope,” blocked both the document and the practice that had entered widely into use, putting everything off until a future reflection “at the level of the universal Church” and of an overall ecumenical accord, meaning a remote and improbable future, since the Orthodox Churches are unshakably against so-called “intercommunion.”

Except that a few days ago, returning from his voyage to Protestant Geneva, Francis once again reopened the question, praising the document made null and void by Ladaria, and asserting that “there has been no braking.”

*

The third and most striking U-turn, that made by Pope Francis against the bishops of Chile – one in particular, Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid – complicit in the sexual abuse committed by the priest who was their teacher when they were young, Fernando Karadima, tried and convicted by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith in 2011.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The simple truth is that with this Pope anything is possible, and that is not supposed to be how popes behave.

PopeWatch: Peter’s Pence

Father Z ponders the questions of whether Catholics able to are obligated to contribute to Peter’s Pence:

 

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

To what extent are we as Catholics obligated to provide donations to Peter’s Pence? Can we abstain out of principle while still donating to our local parish/diocese and other charitable endeavors?

You are not obliged to provide donations to Peter’s Pence.

Peter’s Pence or Denarii Sancti Petri is a quite ancient custom going back to Saxon England before the Norman Conquest.  It spread the rest of the world.  In some periods it was imposed like a tax, but that is not the case now.  Bl. Pius IX brought the custom back in the 19th c. as an entirely voluntary donation for the Pope’s personal projects.

One of the Commandments or Precepts of the Church is that we must provide for the needs of the Church.  How we do that is not spelled out by a specific means.  In general, it means financial support.   Canon law has points about this:

First,

Can. 222 §1 Christ’s faithful have the obligation to provide for the needs of the Church, so that the Church has available to it those things which are necessary for divine worship, for apostolic and charitable work and for the worthy support of its ministers.

§2 They are also obliged to promote social justice and, mindful of the Lord’s precept, to help the poor from their own resources.

And then,

Can. 1260 The Church has the inherent right to require from the faithful whatever is necessary for its proper objectives.

Can. 1261 §1 The faithful have the right to donate temporal goods for the benefit of the Church.

§2 The diocesan Bishop is bound to remind the faithful of the obligation mentioned in Can. 222 §1, and in an appropriate manner to urge it.

Can. 1262 The faithful are to give their support to the Church in response to appeals and in accordance with the norms laid down by the Episcopal Conference.

So, when the Pope or the Bishop or the Pastor of the parish makes an appeal, the faithful should pay attention and consider how they can help.  They shouldn’t mere dismiss or ignore the appeal.   They should weigh it and prudently respond.   It could be that, in some individual case, prudence requires a person not to give money.   It could be that, in some individual case, a person could offer time or skills in working on some project.  It could be that, in some case, a person determines that – for whatever reason – he won’t do anything.  That reason could be that the project is not a good project or the person running the project is not trustworthy.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Since 2014 PopeWatch has sent the money he would have contributed to Peter’s Pence to some worthwhile Catholic charity.

1

PopeWatch: Tweet

The Catholic wing of the Catholic Church is out of favor in the current pontificate:

 

An indication of the true state of the Catholic Church under the Francis pontificate was unwittingly revealed by the Pope’s biographer and one of his most ardent defenders in a tweet.

“One time, the fringe at big Catholic events was made up of LGBT groups, women’s ordination & ‘Church of the poor’ advocates, complete with their friendly bishops,” observed Catholic journalist and papal biographer Austen Ivereigh in a June 18, 2018 Tweet. “Now the fringe is occupied by traditionalists (incl bishops) pushing a 1930 encyclical as a way out of ‘confusion’.”  

Ivereigh was responding to a tweet by another Catholic journalist, Ed Pentin, who had called attention to a parallel conference to be held in Ireland at the same time as the Vatican sponsored World Meeting of Families (WMOF).  

The alternate conference which will run concurrently with the WMOF is being held to defend the Church’s teaching on sexuality.  

The 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii, mentioned by Ivereigh in his tweet, will be highlighted at the parallel conference. The document was Pope Pius XI’s response to the Anglican church approving contraception — the first time a Christian denomination had done so — at the Lambeth Conference. In it Pope Pius XI defended marriage and family life, emphasizing the sanctity of marriage, prohibiting artificial birth control, and reaffirming the Church’s stance on abortion. He also took a firm stand on eugenics.

 

Go here to read the rest.  In these dire times all Catholics should recall what Saint Athanasius wrote when Arianism seemed to be the wave of the future:

 

“May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …

“You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

“Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.

PopeWatch: China

The bad deal with China gets worse.  Sandro Magister gives us the details:

 

In his recent interview with Philip Pullella of Reuters, Pope Francis was also asked about China and about what cardinal secretary of state Pietro Parolin had said about it, according to whom “dialogue moves forward with successes and failures, two steps forward and one back.”

Francis expressed confidence in an agreement between the Holy See and the Chinese authorities, even if this does not come soon:

“I think the Chinese deserve the Nobel Prize for patience, because they are good, they know how to wait, time is theirs and they have centuries of culture…They are a wise people, very wise. I respect China a lot. […] With respect to time, someone mentioned Chinese time. I think it is God’s time, forward, calm.”

And as for the criticisms of Cardinal Joseph Giuseppe Zen Zekiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, he downplayed them:

“I think he’s a little scared. Perhaps age might have some influence. He is a good man. He came to talk to me. I received him, but he’s a bit scared. Dialogue is a risk, but I prefer the risk to the sure defeat of not talking.”

Lately, however, the news from China has not been encouraging at all. In May, Settimo Cielo reported on an upswing of anti-Christian repression, and the flimsy justifications set forth by the supporters of an agreement at any cost were worthless.

On June 19, the highly informative website “Bitter Winter,” which deals with religious freedom in China, founded and directed by Massimo Introvigne, reported on a textbook episode of the terrible climate surrounding the negotiations:

> Catholic Priest Detained for Plans to Discuss Proposed China-Vatican Agreement in Hong Kong

The protagonist of the episode is a priest named Yan Lixin, 55, of Guangping in the province of Hebei, the leader of several communities of what is referred to as the “underground” Church, meaning that it is run by bishops who are appointed by Rome but not recognized by the Chinese authorities.

In April, the bishop of Hong Kong, Michael Yeung Ming-cheung – recognized by both Rome and Beijing, who a few days ago, on June 23, was on  an “ad limina” visit with the pope – had invited Fr. Yan to his city for a public discussion precisely on the negotiations underway over the procedure for appointing future Chinese bishops.

Fr. Yan booked the flight to Hong Kong on his cellphone. And on April 9, with the same phone, he got in contact with a Japanese journalist who was also invited to the same discussion. But his phone was under surveillance, so that same evening a dozen police officers descended on his home.

The priest was arrested and held at a hotel in Handan, where he was subjected to incessant interrogation. After seven days they moved him to a different hotel, in Guangping, still under arrest. And the interrogation continued, with the main objective of forcing Fr. Yan to enroll in the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

This goal is not a trivial matter. Far from it. In the 2007 letter from Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics – which is still viewed even by Pope Francis as the “magna carta” of the Church in China –  the Patriotic Association is considered the foremost of those “entities that have been imposed as the principal determinants of the life of the Catholic community,” membership in which “is the criterion for declaring a community, a person or a religious place legal and therefore ‘official,’” but whose “declared purpose to implement ‘the principles of independence and autonomy, self-management and democratic administration of the Church’ is incompatible with Catholic doctrine.”

So then, in full fidelity to the Church, Fr. Yan refused to yield. And after twenty days in custody, on April 28, he was released, but under the requirement not to leave his region and to be traceable at all times.

Since then he has been living under strict surveillance and has had to reduce the frequency of his celebration of Mass with his communities, to avoid as much as possible putting this too in danger.

Go here to read the rest.  I bet Pope Francis as a kid kept having his lunch money taken from him by sharper kids.  His deal with China gives the Church precisely nothing while selling out loyal Chinese Catholics.  Stupidity on Stilts!

2

PopeWatch: Heretic Pope?

Father Z discusses whether a Pope can teach heresy:

 

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

What if the Pope were to dogmatically declare that [insert major heresy here] was true? I don’t have an answer for this, which means I am utterly dependent on faith that God won’t let such a thing happen.

Still, what if…

So, what if a putative Pope say… what’s a really trendy name… Pope Logan (the second Jesuit to be elected) … were to call everyone to St. Peter’s Square and formally announce:

“We solemnly declare by our Apostolic authority and our office to confirm the brethren and we teach ex cathedra and infallibly so that it must be firmly and immutably held by the faithful that Christ did not rise from the dead in a physical sense, but rather in a spiritual sense in the hearts of His followers at the time.”

That would be pretty bad.

I, too, believe that God would not allow that to happen.  I am with Ratzinger in holding that the role of the Holy Spirit in the election of a Pope is not to choose the Pope, but to ensure that the choice made by the Cardinals is not a total disaster.   A Pope who would attempt to promulgate something obviously contrary to the doctrine of the faith would be a disaster.  Hence, I don’t think that will happen.

As a matter of fact, I suspect that God would end the pontificate before that would occur.  Pope Logan would get to the words “…it must be firmly and immutably held by the faithful that…” and he would more than likely clutch his chest and fall over with a long, “eehhhehhehe” sound.  There is also another less obvious way God could do it, which I’ll touch hereunder.

Theologians have debated about this point.  Most notable among them is the mighty St. Robert Bellarmine.  Bellarmine thought it impossible for a Pope to be a heretic, but he speculated that by holding a heretical view even privately as a material but not a formal heretic, he would cease to be Pope because he placed himself outside the Church, and no one outside the Church can be Pope.  That, however, can’t be entirely right because we would constantly be in doubt about the status of the Pope, if all it takes is private, material heresy.

A Pope might wind up on some point or other being a material heretic, in that it could happen that he doesn’t realize that he has erred.   A whole other pot of caponata would result were the Pope be a formal heretic, openly teaching heresy, fully culpable for both the sin of heresy and the crime of heresy.

I trust that God will not permit the Pope to be a formal heretic who attempts to promulgate something contrary to the faith.

But say that he does, for the sake of the intellectual exercise.

One problem that rises in this hypothetical discussion is that the Pope cannot be judged formally, as if in a trial.  Not even an ecumenical council could do so.  Only God can do that.

However, it is possible that – while not judging the person of Pope Logan- a council or perhaps the College of Cardinals could make a declaration that a certain thing that a Pope attempted to teach was a formal heresy and, ergo, God Himself as the Pope’s judge, would have caused that Pope’s office to cease, end the pontificate such that the See of Peter was empty from the moment before the Pope taught heresy.

Think about this. A marriage tribunal cannot break a marriage.  A tribunal can only issue a declaration that there never was a marriage.  Tribunals can’t nullify, they can only identify nullity.  Councils can’t take the Pope’s office away, they can identify that God took it away.

A council could declare that Pope Logan had lost his office because of what he had intended and attempted to do.

 

Go here to read the rest.

8

PopeWatch: Adam and Eve

Pope Francis states the obvious and receives anger for doing so:

 

Pope Francis on Saturday denounced the use of the word “family” to refer to unions that do not consist of a man and a woman, sparking condemnation from homosexual activists, who noted the mixed signals that Francis has sent regarding LGBT issues during his pontificate.

In extemporaneous remarks to a delegation of Italy’s Forum of Family Associations, Francis said that it “hurts” to speak of the fact that the word “family” is being used apart from the definition of traditional marriage.

“Then today – it hurts to say this – we talk about ‘diversified’ families: different types of families,” said Francis.

“Yes, it is true that the word ‘family’ is an analogical word, because we speak of the ‘family’ of the stars, the ‘families’ of the trees, the ‘families’ of the animals … it is an analogical word. But the human family as an image of God, man and woman, is only one. It is only one,” the pontiff said.

 

Go here to read the rest.  What insane times in which we live when it is controversial for a Pope to say that the building blocks of a human family are a man and a woman.

7

PopeWatch: McCarrick

As Joan Desmond at National Catholic Register points out, one of the key issues in regard to the Cardinal McCarrick scandal is what did the Vatican know, and when did the Vatican know it:

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., was suspended from public ministry on Wednesday, after an allegation that he had sexually abused a minor was found to be credible. 

According to a statement released by the Archdiocese of New York, McCarrick was accused of abusing a teenage altar boy almost 50 years ago, while serving as a priest in the Archdiocese of New York. The Vatican had directed Cardinal Timothy Dolan to investigate the claim and it was found to be “credible and substantiated.”

But that was not the only disturbing news to be disclosed about McCarrick’s record. 

In a statement issued by Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, the public learned that McCarrick had faced three accusations of sexual misconduct involving adults.

“In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults,” read Cardinal Tobin’s statement, which referenced McCarrick’s previous posts as archbishop of Newark (1986–2000) and bishop of Metuchen (1981–1986).

“This Archdiocese and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements.”

The shocking statement raised additional questions about whether the Vatican learned of the three allegations of sexual misconduct before or after McCarrick was named archbishop of Washington, D.C., in 2001, serving until 2006.

The Register contacted the Archdiocese of Newark and was told that neither the settlement dates, nor details about identity of the victims—whether they might have been seminarians or young priests—would be provided.

“We don’t release that kind of information because of confidentiality issues,” Jim Goodness, the spokesman or the Archdiocese of Newark, told the Register.

Without the dates of the three allegations and two settlements, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to know if the Vatican knew about the allegations in time to stop the appointment. 

 

1

PopeWatch: Separation Anxiety

From the most intentionally humorous Catholic site on the net, A Catholic Misfit:

FT LAUDERDALE, FL – An unidentified US bishop suggested that penalties be put in place for Catholics who help carry out any parish’s Worship Committee policy of separating families during Mass, when children are removed from the congregation for the Liturgy of the Word. He presented the recommendation while speaking Wednesday at the annual spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Canonical penalties are there in place to heal, not punish,” he said, according to ACMPress. “And therefore, for the good and well-being of these people’s souls, it’s time we take a look at canonical penalties.”

 

 

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch was about to call the Vatican when the Pope called him.

“Gringo, I told you I would be calling you again.”

Yes, your holiness.

“What do you think of Mark Shea?”

I’d rather not say your holiness.

“Would he be loyal to me?”

I am sure holiness if you told him to engage in self cannibalism he would immediately reach for a carving knife.

” Good gringo, good, I will be calling you again.”

Seizing my opportunity I asked the Pope about the above story.

“You gringos.  If Christ came tomorrow you would be calling me to ask about how to properly address Him!  I don’t care if you have your brats play in the streets during Mass!”  And with a loud slamming sound the phone audience came to a conclusion.

3

PopeWatch: Lying

Hmmm.  Is lying still a sin under the current pontificate?

 

 

ROME, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaking with Reuters in an interview which appeared yesterday, Pope Francis criticized Cardinal Raymond Burke and three other cardinals who joined him in begging the Pope for clarification on key issues of faith. The cardinals used the long-standing ecclesial practice of issuing dubia, or questions to the Pope. There were five such questions altogether. But, according to Reuters the Pope said that “he had heard about the cardinals’ letter criticizing him ‘from the newspapers.’” The Pope knocked the cardinals, saying that it was “a way of doing things that is, let’s say, not ecclesial, but we all make mistakes.”

Cardinal Burke, however, told LifeSiteNews that “The late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra personally delivered the letter containing the dubia to the Papal Residence, and at the same time to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on September 19, 2016, as he also delivered subsequent correspondence of the four Cardinals regarding the dubia.” 

Burke added that, “During the entire time since the presentation of the dubia, there has never been a question about the fact that they were presented to the Holy Father, according to the practice of the Church and with full respect for his office.”

Cardinal Burke suggested that perhaps the Pope misunderstood the reporter’s question. “If the question of the journalist is referring to the formal presentation of the dubia or questions regarding Amoris Laetitia by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the late Cardinals Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner, and myself, then Pope Francis must not have understood him,” he said.

The only other living dubia cardinal also responded to the Pope’s accusation in comments to OnePeterFive. Cardinal Walter Brandmuller told Dr. Maike Hickson “The dubia were first published after – I think it was two months – after the Pope did not even confirm their reception. It is very clear that we wrote directly to the Pope and at the same time to the Congregation for the Faith. What should be left that is unclear here?”

Cardinal Burke insisted that, “The presentation of the dubia to the Holy Father was done according to the long-standing practice of the Church, that is, they were presented to the Holy Father without any publication, in order that he could answer them for the good of the whole Church.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  To be fair, it is possible that the Pope is telling the truth.  He may only read newspapers, since he has given precious little evidence during his papacy of reading much of anything else.

10

PopeWatch: Open Borders

No left wing crusade these days is complete without a papal blessing:

In a new interview with Reuters, Pope Francis backed the U.S. bishops’ opposition to the separation of migrant children from their parents at the Mexican border, calling the move “immoral” and “contrary to Catholic values.”

“I am on the side of the bishops’ conference,” the pope said, referring to statements made by U.S. bishops earlier this month.

Francis’ comment was made in reference to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration, which was rolled out in May and, among other things, enforces the separation of children from parents who have been detained by border officials.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, issued a statement at during their bi-annual meeting in Houston last week criticizing the enforcement of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying “separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”

He said later the bishops would consider the possibility of sending a delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border to see the detention centers for themselves and offer solidarity for incoming migrants and refugees.

“Let it be clear that in these things, I respect [the position of] the bishops conference,” Pope Francis said in the interview with Reuters.

Go here to read the rest.  Now that Trump has signed an executive order requiring that parents seeking asylum reside with their children, we will see the illegal aliens’ lobby combating the administration’s attempt to overturn the Flores Decree to allow holding the kids until the government has ruled on their parents’ petitions for asylum.  This has always been about the attempt by Leftists to cause a renewal of the policy of catch and release and has zip to do with kids.  That our Pope is on the side of the illegal aliens and their advocates, and repeat their mendacious talking points, should come as no surprise to any sentient Catholic.

 

5

PopeWatch: Bilderberger

This papacy is the gift that keeps on giving to conspiracy theorists,  Edward Pentin explains:

 

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, accepted an invitation to address the controversial and secretive Bilderberg Meeting earlier this month in order to take the teaching of the Church to a group who would not otherwise hear it, a Vatican official has told the Register.

The Vatican official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Italian organizers of the visit were persistent in extending an invitation to the most senior Vatican official after Pope Francis to this year’s event, which took place June 7-10 in Turin, Italy. 

“The cardinal decided to take part after the Italian organizers very insistently invited him to the meeting six months ago,” the official explained. “He thought about it for a long time and, after consulting the necessary people, he decided to go.” 

Key topics for discussion at the 66th Meeting included “populism in Europe,” “the inequality challenge,” and “the ‘post-truth’ world.” 

Founded in 1954 at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, the Bilderberg Meeting has drawn controversy for its secretive nature and alleged globalist agenda, one that critics say is pushing for open borders and a one world government. 

But the organizers convey a more benign organization in which politicians, businessmen, academics and the media can come together to “foster dialogue between Europe and North America” about major issues facing the world. 

The meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of any participant may be revealed.

The organization, currently chaired by French businessman Henri de Castries, argues that the private nature of the meeting means the participants “are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions.” This allows them “take time to listen, reflect and gather insights,” it says, and so there is “no desired outcome.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Perhaps The Simpsons give us the best commentary on this pontificate:

 

10

PopeWatch: Irish Hospitals

Well this was predictable:

 

Publicly-funded hospitals in Ireland will be required to perform abortions, even if they are Catholic and morally opposed to the procedure, the nation’s prime minister announced this week.

A survey on GPBuddy.ie, an online medical directory for Irish healthcare professionals, found that nearly 70 percent of general practitioners say they are unwilling to perform abortions.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar clarified to the Dáil (Irish Parliament) on Monday that individual medical professionals will be able to opt out of performing abortions, but entire hospitals will not be able to do so, now that abortion is being legalized in the country.  

“It will not, however, be possible for publicly-funded hospitals, no matter who their patron or owner is, to opt out of providing these necessary services, which will be legal in this state once this legislation is passed by the Dáil and Seanad (senate),” said Varadkar.

He went on to say that “hospitals like for example Holles Street, which is a Catholic voluntary ethos hospital, the Mater, St Vincent’s and others will be required, and will be expected to, carry out any procedure that is legal in this state and that is the model we will follow.”

A “voluntary” hospital in Ireland is one supported by charitable contributions. Healthcare in Ireland is government-funded and free for citizens. Many publicly-funded hospitals have historic ties to the Catholic Church and operate under Catholic ethics.

Go here to read the rest.  Of course the proper response is for the Irish Church to announce that all Catholic Irish hospitals will be closed down rather than participate in any abortions.  The Pope is visiting Ireland in August.  Will he say anything about it, or will he remain ingloriously silent?

7

PopeWatch: Bravo

Now if he had only said something as devastatingly on target as this prior to the Irish abortion vote:

 

“I have heard that it’s fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let’s send it away,” Pope Francis was reported as saying.
“I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.”
Go here to read the rest.
1

PopeWatch: Mercy Me

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

The Vatican announced today that they will be opening a second Year of Mercy.

The initiative is intended to address the crisis in the sacrament of confession and is being called, “The Year of Mercy: A Second Helping.”

“Over half of the confessions in the Church today are invalid because the faithful actually do not believe any of their actions are sinful,” Cardinal Thomas Olvelli explained. “Without an actual sin confessed, the sacrament is invalid.”

“Many penitents find the confessional line burdensome and are not able to wait for confession. That is not mercy,” The Cardinal went on to say. “During this new round of mercy, an individual will simply have the ability to have a deep, inward conversation with the Lord. Then with prudent and mature reflection, that individual will determine, in the sanctity of his or her own conscience, that he or she has never actually committed any sins, and thus maintaining the sanctity of the sacrament.”

In addition, Olvelli announced that 10,000 newly appointed “Agents of the Second Helping” will begin circling the globe this January to close down all remaining confessionals.

One Agent of Mercy, Monsignor Alejandro Pipetti, explained the initiative, saying, “Let’s face it, the confessional is a medieval torture chamber, designed to instill fear of the Lord into the faithful. How can the faithful begin to grow closer to the Lord if they fear Him? I believe it is better to have fear of one’s own conscience, especially since it can so easily be manipulated and told what is right and what is wrong. After all, there is no fear in that which you control.”

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch would be afraid to confess to himself.  Saying perpetual Paternosters on his knees would make blogging problematic for PopeWatch.

22

PopeWatch: Canonical Penalties

The Pope can ignore a vote to bring abortion to Ireland, but his man in Tucson wants to go Innocent III on those trying to uphold the immigration laws of our nation:

 

Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger raised the possibility of implementing canonical penalties for Catholics involved in implementing the Trump administration’s asylum rules.Canonical penalties could range from withholding the sacrament of communion to excommunication.

Bishop Weisenburger and other leading U.S. Catholic bishops escalated their criticism of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, calling the separation of mothers and children at the border “immoral.”

The comments came as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the organizing body of bishops, gathered at their biannual meeting on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Bishop Weisenburger stated the following: “In light of the canonical penalties that are there for life issues, I’m simply asking the question if perhaps, our canonical affairs committee could give recommendations, at least to those of us who are border bishops, on the possibility of canonical penalties for Catholics who are involved in this. I think the time is there for prophetic statement. I also think, even though what I’m saying could be a little risky or dangerous, I think it’s important to point out the canonical penalties are there in place to heal.  First and foremost, to heal.  and therefore, for the salvation of these people’s souls, maybe it’s time for us to look at canonical penalties.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Before the Bishop begins excommunicating members of ICE he might wish to read this provision of the Catechism:

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

 

These clowns are doing their best to convince people that if you are not a Leftist you have no place in the Catholic Church.  That is a lie.  Our Church has endured over 20 turbulent centuries and it will endure and outlast the current idiots in charge of the Bride of Christ.  May God forgive them.

 

Ten Years of TAC: The First PopeWatch

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from October 6, 2013.)

 

 

Announcing a new series at The American Catholic:  PopeWatch.  I think it is obvious that Pope Francis will be making the headlines on a regular basis,  and I will be commenting on him fairly frequently as a result, hence the new series.  First up, a statement by papal press spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.  I have a soft spot in my heart for press flacks.  They have tough jobs, especially in the wake of feathers hitting a fan.  Then they come out to meet the media, and often have to say the most absurd things with a straight face, and it would take a heart of purest granite not to feel some sympathy for them at such times.  In the wake of Pope Francis’ colorful interviews, Father Lombardi explained what the problem is:

Perhaps the most insightful take on all this came from Lombardi himself, who said we’re seeing the emergence of a whole new genre of papal speech — informal, spontaneous and sometimes entrusted to others in terms of its final articulation. A new genre, Lombardi suggested, needs a “new hermeneutic,” one in which we don’t attach value so much to individual words as to the overall sense.

“This isn’t Denzinger,” he said, referring to the famous German collection of official church teaching, “and it’s not canon law.”

“What the pope is doing is giving pastoral reflections that haven’t been reviewed beforehand word-for-word by 20 theologians in order to be precise about everything,” Lombardi said. “It has to be distinguished from an encyclical, for instance, or a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, which are magisterial documents.” Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Six Counties

The Pope will not be visiting Northern Ireland during his visit to the Republic:

 

Arguably, the most significant item in the papal programme, at least from the secular viewpoint, will be the Missing Item, namely that oft-discussed papal visit to Northern Ireland.

This comes as no surprise. When Pope Francis officially confirmed the trip in a general audience in March, senior Vatican spokesman Greg Burke categorically told the Sunday Independent that there would be no “diversion” to the Six Counties.

The two main movers behind the visit – Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Dublin – have always been very cautious and circumspect about the possibility that he would include the North on his travels.

He will make a pastoral visit to the World Meeting of Families on August 25-26.

The visit – the first by a Pontiff since Pope John Paul’s Mass at Phoenix Park in 1979 – will include a series of events.

It includes a national opening, simultaneously in the 26 dioceses on August 21, followed by a three-day pastoral congress at the RDS, Dublin, on August 22-24.

However, most attention will focus on the weekend – the Festival of Families in Croke Park on Saturday, August 25, and the centrepiece of the visit – the closing Mass for the World Meeting of Families on the following day.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the world are expected to flock to the Phoenix Park.

The feeling remains, however, that this is an opportunity missed.

Go here to read the rest.  Well why shouldn’t he visit Northern Ireland?  As the abortion vote indicates, Northern Ireland no longer has a monopoly on virulent anti-Catholicism.  Abortion remains illegal in Northern Ireland and the contrast could have been made by the Pope.  Better to face the honest hatred of Protestant fanatics in the North than the hatred of the Faith expressed by the “Catholics” in the Republic who celebrated, and that is not too strong a term, the abortion vote.  From a Catholic point of view there is little to choose now between the Six Counties and the rest of that island.

3

PopeWatch: Sell Out

One of the few points of certainty in the current Pontificate is that we can always rely upon our Pope to sell out the interests of Catholics around the globe.  Sandro Magister gives us the details on the latest sell out:

 

The words addressed by Pope Francis to the delegation of the patriarchate of Moscow, received in audience on Wednesday, May 30 (see photo), evidently were supposed to have remained confidential.

But on June 2, the press office of the Holy See released the transcription of the discourse. Which at that point could no longer remain secret, because right away the website Rome Reports posted a video with the key passages from it, and above all the official website of the patriarchate of Moscow featured it prominently, with complete satisfaction over what the pope had stated.

An understandable satisfaction, seeing how Francis espoused the ideas of the patriarchate of Moscow and instead condemned, in very harsh terms, the positions of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Here in fact is what Francis said to the delegation of the patriarchate of Moscow, headed by its powerful “foreign minister,” Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk:

“Before you I would like to reiterate – in a special way before you, my dear brother, and before all of you – that the Catholic Church will never allow an attitude of division to arise from her people. We will never allow ourselves to do this, I do not want it. In Moscow – in Russia – there is only one Patriarchate: yours. We will not have another one. And when some Catholic faithful, be they laypeople, priests or bishops, raise the banner of Uniatism, which does not work anymore, and is over, then it causes me pain. The Churches that are united in Rome must be respected, but Uniatism as a path of unity is not valid today.”

And further on:

“The Catholic Church, the Catholic Churches must not get involved in internal matters of the Russian Orthodox Church, nor in political issues. This is my attitude, and the attitude of the Holy See today. And those who meddle do not obey the Holy See.”

To a non-specialist, these words of Francis may appear cryptic. But they become perfectly clear as soon as their backstory is known.

First of all, there is an ambiguity that must be cleared from the field. When the pope seems to say that he does not intend to create any Catholic “patriarchate” as an alternative to the Orthodox one of Moscow, he is not thinking about Russia – where Eastern-rite Catholics barely number 2,000 and are served by a Latin-rite bishop – but about Ukraine, where the Greek Catholic Church has 4 million faithful and has strongly aspired for some time to be established as a patriarchate, and in fact already often considers itself and acts as such.

In 2003, the elevation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to a patriarchate seemed almost like a done deal. And curiously, it had its promoter in Rome in Cardinal – now an ultra-Bergoglian – Walter Kasper, who at the time was the president of the pontifical council for Christian unity and sent the patriarch of Moscow a letter to announce the imminent turning point to him.

Look out below. When the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, also saw that letter, he wrote a fiery response to Rome, threatening a complete rupture in the ecumenical dialogue. Bartholomew’s letter to the pope, dated November 29, 2003, was made public in the international Catholic magazine “30 Giorni,” and the Vatican made a U-turn.

But the Orthodox camp also has its internal conflicts, with their epicenter in Ukraine.

Ukraine is the birthplace of Orthodox Russia and it is there that the patriarchate of Moscow has a large portion of its faithful and finds many of its vocations and much of its economic support.

Today, however, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is part of the patriarchate of Moscow is only one of the three Orthodox groups present in that country and is the only one that is canonically recognized by all of Orthodoxy, with Metropolitan Onufry.

There have in fact arisen in Ukraine, in recent decades, first a patriarchate rival to and declared schismatic by Moscow, with its patriarch a former top-level hierarch of the Russian Church, Filaret, and then another autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with Metropolitan Methodius.

So then, for some time there has been a growing push – also political, with the government of Kiev very active – to unify these three Churches in an autonomous new reality, under the aegis of the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew.

Who has been working hard in this direction. And has personally kept Pope Francis informed, meeting with him in Rome last May 26.

The solution designed by Bartholomew is similar to the one that put an end to the Western schism at the end of the Middle Ages, when the three popes in office resigned in order to bring about the election of a new pope recognized by all.

In Bartholomew’s plan, the three Orthodox Churches now present in Ukraine would have to give up the jurisdiction they now exercise in order to allow the creation of a new Orthodox ecclesial subject in which the respective bishops, priests, and faithful would converge.

This new unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church would not necessarily be a patriarchate, but it would still enjoy its own autonomy and autocephaly.

And for the patriarchate of Moscow this would be a high price to pay, because it would lose any jurisdiction in Ukraine that it is now guaranteed by the Orthodox Church under its rule.

In Moscow, Patriarch Kirill and his deputy Hilarion are therefore understandably very distrustful in the face of this operation. And Russian President Putin is even more hostile, being at war with Ukraine and not wanting to see any decrease in his dominion over the region by autonomist religious as well as political movements.

But it is not out of the question that Constantinople patriarch Bartholomew may want to bring the operation into port anyway, even with the opposition of Moscow. There would be a repeat, in this case, of what happened in 2016 with the pan-Orthodox council, strongly backed by Barhtolomew and ultimately celebrated in spite of the defection of the patriarchate of Moscow.

And the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, what role is it playing in this affair?

It is certainly very active in supporting the reunification of the three Orthodox Churches, in agreement above all with the most anti-Russian one, which has in Filaret its self-proclaimed patriarch. But the officials of the patriarchate of Moscow are accusing it of something much more serious: of wanting to surreptitiously lead this reunified Ukrainian Orthodox world back into unity with the Greek Catholics as well, and therefore into obedience to the Church of Rome.

This is the “uniatism” that Pope Francis as well has condemned in no uncertain terms, in his discourse on May 30 to the delegation of the patriarchate of Moscow. “Uniatism” is the most intolerable thing there is for the Orthodox. It stands for the mimicry of those who display a resemblance to them in everything, in the Byzantine Greek liturgies, in customs, in the calendar, in the married clergy, but in addition to this obey – and want to make others obey – the pope of Rome.

At the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, with the title of major archbishop, is Sviatoslav Shevchuk, 48, a dynamic figure of great intelligence, whom Jorge Mario Bergoglio knows personally on account of a period of time that he spent in Buenos Aires caring for Ukrainian emigrants in Argentina.

This does not change the fact that Pope Francis addressed against none other than him, without mentioning him by name, the harshest words of his discourse on May 30, ordering him “not to meddle in internal matters” of Orthodoxy.

Among Shevchuk, Kirill, and Bartholomew, therefore, in this matter the pope is clearly distancing himself from the first of these, as he has also done with regard to Russian aggression against Ukraine.

While between Kirill and Bartholomew he is trying to be friends with both. With a greater preference for the Russian patriarch, in the event of a tie between the two.

*

It can be pointed out, in confirmation of this last preference of the pope, that Francis has declined to grant a place of worship in Rome to the Orthodox faithful of Russian tradition who fall under Bartholomew’s jurisdiction.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Bang up job on choosing Pope Francis in 2013 Cardinals.  No Pope would have been preferable.

10

Twofer of Incompetence

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]

Saint Augustine, On the Literal Meaning of Genesis

No doubt because of the Pope’s immense expertise regarding the oil industry and as a climatologist:

 

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a dire warning to top oil executives, saying that climate change could “destroy civilization.”

At a two-day conference at the Vatican, the pope called climate change a challenge of “epochal proportions,” according to Reuters.

He also said that the world must move toward using clean energy and a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

“Civilization requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilization,” Francis said.

The conference, organized by the University of Notre Dame in the United States, brought together executives from asset manager BlackRock, BP and Norwegian oil and energy company Equinor, among others.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope is the head of a Church that, in his own words, is hemorrhaging vocations.  The Irish, once among the most ardent of Catholics, have just embraced the child-murder that goes by the name of abortion.  Catholics face persecution and murder in many parts of the globe.  There is more than enough there to keep a Pope busy if he lived a hundred years.  Instead, Pope Francis, and he is sadly not unique in this, squanders the moral capital of the Church on issues which clerics clearly have no expertise.  It often seems as if our clergy, having done a lousy job in running the Church, seek secular plaudits by embracing causes trendy among Western elites, while the Gospel of Christ goes un-proclaimed and the People of God perish for lack of a shepherd truly concerned about the spiritual well-being of his flock.  If you are a member of our clergy and bored by the Gospel you are paid to proclaim and defend, do yourself and the rest of us a favor and resign your position.

2

PopeWatch: The Great Escape

News that PopeWatch missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis again eluded his security detail Monday, this time quickly releasing statements which seem to cast doubt on the Catholic Church’s longstanding positions on polygamy and Unitarianism before he could be secured again, sources confirmed.

Francis was reportedly able to trick his handlers into thinking he was still in bed by stuffing pillows under his blankets early in the morning and leaving a CD of snoring sounds on repeat in the papal apartment. By the time his head of security discovered the ruse, Francis had already given an interview to an Italian television station possibly affirming polygamy, saying, “Listen, I don’t want to come down too heavy on that. Just seems kind of harsh—and who am I to judge?”

The Pope then led his security detail on a wild chase through St. Peter’s Square, weaving in and out of the Swiss Guard, losing his pursuers in the cheering throngs. However, he did stop long enough to give a quick, scandalous statement to the Catholic News Syndicate on Unitarians, saying he thought they were “maybe, you know, not too far off.”

Go here to read the rest.  A confidential source of PopeWatch among the Swiss Guards denied the story.  “Once they isued us the tranquilizer darts, he no longer can elude us.”.

 

4

PopeWatch: Maradiaga

Small peanuts when you consider everything the Cardinal is accused of, but why was he giving financial advice?

The widow of a former dean of the Vatican diplomatic corps has called on Pope Francis to intervene after she lost her life savings with a fund manager recommended to her by one of the Pope’s chief advisers.

Martha Alegria Reichmann, the widow of Alejandro Valladares who was Honduran ambassador to the Holy See for 22 years, alleges she and her husband were advised in 2012 by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, to make the investment with London-based investor Youssry Henien. 

But Henien then disappeared with all their life savings.

In this May 14 email interview with the Register, Reichmann says Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, who is coordinator of the C9 Group of Cardinals advising the Pope on curial reform, assured them that the investment was safe and that he too had invested archdiocesan money through Henien.

She explains that her motive for going public with her losses is simply to seek “justice.”

Reichmann says she is one of many victims of the Church in Honduras which, she says, is “governed by terror toward anyone who dares to question the cardinal’s bad decisions or, even more dangerously, to rub up against the auxiliary [Bishop] Juan Jose Pineda.”

The Register recently reported that Bishop Pineda, who often runs the archdiocese in the cardinal’s absence, has been accused of sexually abusing seminarians as well as financial misconduct. 

The cardinal and the bishop have yet to respond to Register inquiries about the allegations. The Vatican also has declined comment.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Go here for a good overview of the allegations made against the Cardinal.  Maradiaga might as well have a sign hanging around his neck saying “I’m a bad guy.”.  Judas might be the Patron Damned for all crooked clerics.

 

8

PopeWatch: Vamoose

One of the features of Pope Francis that must be kept in mind is that he is a remarkably petty man.  Case in point:

 

It is a story that reads like a passage from The Dictator Pope: Pope Francis recently accepted the age-related resignation of Héctor Aguer, the Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina — the capital city of the Buenos Aires province — and will replace him with his close confidant and ghostwriter, Archbishop Víctor Manuel “Tucho” Fernández. Not only did the pope accept the resignation of Archbishop Aguer within just a few days of its mandatory submission, he also ordered him, through the nunciature, to immediately leave the diocese and not to remain there for his retirement.

Go here to read the rest.  Like many Leftists, the Pope loves people, but only in the abstract.

3

PopeWatch: Monty Python Skit

Life in the current pontificate often seems to resemble a Monty Python skit.  Case in point, the choice by the Pope of Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez  to head the Archdiocese of La Plata in Argentina:

On December 15, 2009, Cardinal Bergoglio appointed Fernandez as rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. However, much to the frustration of Cardinal Bergoglio, Fernandez was not able to take the oath of office until May 20, 2011, after he had answered objections to his appointment raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which assessed concerns about the orthodoxy of certain elements of his scholarship.

An avid writer, by the time Fernandez was chosen by Cardinal Bergoglio as the UCA rector, he had written more than 100 articles and books, including, “Incarnated Spiritual Theology” (2004), a book that was featured in the Argentinean soap opera “Esperanza Mía,” about an illicit love affair between a priest and a nun.

The book commonly regarded as his most unusual is the 1995 work “Heal me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing.” Regarding the book, Fernandez explained that: “in these pages I want to synthesize the popular feeling, what people feel when they think of a kiss, what they experience when they kiss… So, trying to synthesize the immense richness of life, these pages emerged in favor of kissing. I hope that they help you kiss better, that they motivate you to release the best of yourself in a kiss.”

The book has disappeared from most official lists of Fernandez’ works.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Our Church is governed by fools and worse.

1

PopeWatch: Pressure

Something to remember for the remainder of this pontificate.  When the Pope encounters enough resistance he can be slowed down, if not stopped.  Sandro Magister brings us the details:

 

In receiving this morning, Monday June 4, a delegation of the German Lutheran Evangelical Church, Pope Francis cautioned against the “eagerness to run ahead” and was at pains to say that “some issues, I think of the Church, the Eucharist and the ecclesial ministry, deserve detailed and thoroughly shared reflection.”

In these words there can be glimpsed a veiled allusion to the controversy, which has exploded among the Catholic bishops of Germany, of whether or not to admit Protestant spouses as well to Eucharistic communion.

But that’s not all. Because this same morning the German bishops received a letter from newly created cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer (in the photo), prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which establishes firm guidelines on this very question.

The letter is reproduced in its entirety further below, translated from the original German. It bears the date of May 25. And the day before, on May 24, Francis had met with Ladaria to compose the definitive draft.

The background to this letter is the document approved last February by a majority vote in the German episcopal conference, headed by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, which says how and when to allow communion for Protestant spouses.

An appeal against this document was made to Rome, to the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, by seven bishops including the cardinal of Cologne, Rainer Maria Woelki:

> One Cardinal, Seven Bishops, and Four New “Dubia.” This Time on Intercommunion

After this a summit was convened in Rome by the pope on May 3, with the Vatican authorities in charge of doctrine and ecumenism and German representatives of the two conflicting sides.

The summit had concluded with a statement informing that Ladaria had communicated to the German bishops Pope Francis’s request that they “find, in a spirit of ecclesial communion, a unanimous result if possible.”

And this made the dispute continue in an even more heated way, not only in Germany but all over the world:

> Communion For Protestants. The Bomb Went Off In Germany, But It’s Shaking the Whole Church

Now, however, this letter from the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, written and sent “with the explicit approval of the pope,” blocks the publication of the document of the German bishops that ignited the controversy and reassigns the question to a more mature reflection at the level of the “universal” Church and of ecumenical relations with other Churches, apart from the Protestants.

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

4

PopeWatch: Venezuela

The socialist idiots who run Venezuela have a slogan:  Socialism or Death!  They seem to have modified the slogan to Socialism and Death, since violent death, or death by starvation, seems to be the only thing being produced by that country currently.  The Pope has largely remained silent, and Sandro Magister gives us an example of the indulgent attitude of the Pope to the Venezuela regime:

 

One of these concerns Venezuela. Against the background of the disaster into which the country has plunged and in the run-up to the false elections for reconfirming in power the heir of Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, there erupted last week a revolt – which was harshly repressed – in the El Helicoide prison in Caracas, a place of detention and torture for political prisoners who crime is that of having opposed the regime.

At the news of the revolt the archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, and then the Venezuelan episcopal conference appealed “to the state, to its responsibility for the life and well-being of all persons imprisoned.” And at the Vatican, the secretariat of state judged it opportune for Pope Francis to speak out as well, at the end of the Regina Caeli on May 20, the Sunday of Pentecost.

In fact, here is the text of the appeal as provided for the journalists accredited to the Holy See one hour before the pope spoke, naturally under embargo until the moment when the text was spoken and with the obligation of comparing it with the words actually said:

“I would like to dedicate once again a special consideration to beloved Venezuela. With the help of the Holy Spirit, may all work to find just, effective, and peaceful solutions for the grave humanitarian, political, economic, and social crisis that is exhausting the population, and avoid the temptation of resorting to any kind of violence. I encourage the authorities of the country to guarantee respect for the life and well-being of every person, especially those who, like the imprisoned, are under their responsibility.”

But then, when he addressed the crowd present in Saint Peter’s Square, Francis did not read the text he was holding in his hands. He looked up and improvised these words:

“I would like to dedicate a special consideration to beloved Venezuela. I ask that the Holy Spirit give the whole Venezuelan people – all, leaders, people – the wisdom to find the path of peace and unity. I also pray for the prisoners who died yesterday.”

Very disappointing words for Venezuelans, precisely because they are so indulgent – like other times in the past – toward the regime of Maduro, for which the pope avoided any direct call to responsibility, which instead was explicit in the severe words that the secretariat of state provided and that he set aside.

Go here to read the rest.  Like most leftists the Pope clearly believes in the maxim:  No enemies on the Left.

5

PopeWatch: Too Catholic

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Congregants of a Baptist church in South Carolina yesterday unanimously voted to remove all bibles from their church because many believe it’s too “Catholic” for their place of worship.

In a letter written to his congregation, Pastor Don Ringle said the bibles would be removed this week.

“We have discovered that there are people that view the bible as Catholic in nature,” Ringle wrote, going on to say that the bible was beginning to bring into question “the theology and core values of the church.”

“I’ve tried for years to remove certain passages from the bible, telling people to tear out this book and that, this chapter and that, until we were basically left with a pamphlet. After some consideration and dialogue with my congregants, as well as prayer, we decided the whole bible that was left to us still smelled a little too papist.”

The letter also stated that Catholic churches around the South Carolina area had until Friday to pick up the bibles if they wanted to keep them, and that if not, they would be destroyed.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in the area thanked Ringle, but said that they have no use for abridged versions of the bible.

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm that in response the Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue is contemplating a statement of concern that the Bible is un-ecumenical.

8

PopeWatch: Only Words

Good words from the Pope:

 

Ideologies that do not acknowledge and uphold the dignity of human life must be resisted and the Catholic Church’s teaching on life affirmed, Pope Francis told a group of Catholic doctors Monday.

“The Church is for life, and her concern is that nothing is against life in the reality of a concrete existence, however weak or defenseless, even if not developed or not advanced,” the Pope said May 28 in the Vatican’s papal hall.

He noted the “hardships and difficulties” physicians may face when they are faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly when they promote and defend human life “from its conception to its natural end.”

Doctors “are called to affirm the centrality of the patient as a person and his dignity, with his inalienable rights, primarily the right to life,” he said.

“The tendency to debase the sick man as a machine to be repaired, without respect for moral principles, and to exploit the weakest by discarding what does not correspond to the ideology of efficiency and profit must be resisted.”

Pope Francis spoke with members of the International Federation of Associations of Catholic Physicians ahead of a congress on the theme of “Holiness of Life and the Medical Profession, from Humanae Vitae to Laudato Si” in Zagreb, Croatia, May 30-June 2.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Now what actions can we expect to back up the words?  (Please stop laughing!)

 

Here are a few suggestions:

  1.  Cancel the Papal trip to Ireland.
  2. Dissolve the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland as being worse than useless.
  3. Proclaim Ireland as mission territory.
  4. Order that all students, parents and teachers in Catholic schools in Ireland must sign an oath in support of the right to life from conception until natural death.
  5. Proclaim a day each month for fasting and repentance in Ireland.
  6. Begin a root and branch visitation of the Catholic Church in Ireland and expect to reduce the ranks of the priesthood by at least half.
  7. Close down all Irish seminaries.  Future Irish priests to be trained in seminaries noted for their orthodoxy.

Of course nothing like this will be done, because when it comes to the sickening dehumanization of the West through abortion and euthanasia, Pope Francis is merely paying lip service to the fight against these crimes that cry out to Heaven.

10

PopeWatch: Married Cardinal?

Hattip to commenter Phillip.  From Rorate Caeli:

 

Scandalous news first broken by our Spanish-language partners at Adelante la Fe. The information has been appropriately and thoroughly checked from multiple sources on the ground.
On May 2th, 2018, Pope Francis announced that in the consistory to be celebrated on June 29 this year, Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, he will raise to the cardinalship Bp. Toribio Ticona, titular bishop of Timici and prelate emeritus of Corocoro, Bolivia. The 81-year-old bishop was born on April 25, 1937. He was ordered priest in 1967 and consecrated as Timici’s bishop and axiliary bishop of Potosí, Bolivia, on May 31st, 1986. In 1992 he was appointed prelate of Corocoro, retiring in 2012.
During his frequent visits to Oruro at the beginning of his office, the then bishop of Oruro and future Third World ideologist cardinal, Julio Terrazas Sandoval, CSsR, boasted visiting Oruro’s bishop and called him his “padrino” or sponsor, since he said he had been promoted to the bishopric thanks to Terrazas,who on several occasions as president of the Bolivian Conference of Bishops, and obviously was very influential on the other bishops and the apostoloic Nunciature.
Ticona participated in two Ad Limina visits, in 2008 and 2017. He served as alcalde, according to the local traditional customs of a 12-person community in Bolivia. During his 10-year tenure in the Corocoro prelaturre, the Catholic flock went down from 94.6% to 87.6%, while the Protestant sects’s following grew. It is a well-known fact that while he was servirng his office in Corocoro, he was living more uxorio with a lady in Oruro’s chancery. She and her children are proud to be called wife and children of  the Patacamaya bishop, as Bishop Toribio Ticona is also known.
The family of Bp. Toribio Ticona, Patacamaya bishop, lived in up to three different places of residence in Oruro.
Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch is beyond being shocked by the antics of the Pope.
Update:  The Bishop has denied the allegations.  Go here to the twitter feed of Edward Pentin for the latest.  Pass the popcorn, as this looks to be the best Vatican soap opera of this Ponificate since the trial of Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui.

 

 

6

PopeWatch: His Base

John McCain sometimes jokingly refers to the media as “his base”.  (McCain seems to still be completely clueless, in spite of 2008, that the media gives him good coverage simply because he is a Republican who can always be counted on to stab other Republicans in the back or in the front.  When he is up against a Democrat who can beat him, the media then views him just as another knuckle dragging Republican.)  Recent developments indicate who the Pope considers to be his “base” as the author of the Dictator Pope notes:

 

A few days ago Pope Francis told the bishops of the Catholic Church that they need to be prepared to resign when the right time comes for them. He even said that he hoped he would know when the Holy Spirit wants him to resign, a remark that was taken as a hint (not the first he has given) that he intends to do so at some point. As we waited for a manifestation of this resolve, on 18 May we were given a dramatic sign. The entire Catholic hierarchy of Chile (all thirty-one active bishops, with three retired ones thrown in) have offered their resignation, supposedly because of failings in the handling of clerical sexual abuse in that country.

Any thought that this represents the new promptings of the Spirit would be off the mark. It is an effort to save face after the biggest public-relations blunder in Francis’s pontificate, the one he committed on January 18, when he defended Bishop Juan Barros against accusations of complicity in sexual abuse by the notorious Father Fernando Karadima in Chile. Pope Francis’s off-the-cuff pronouncements, which have earned him such popularity with the journalistic profession, on this occasion backfired on him. He declared that he had seen no proof of the sexual crimes alleged and that the accusations were slander. It was later demonstrated that Pope Francis had indeed seen the evidence, and he was dismissing the claims of victims who had been trying to gain justice for years.

The reason why this was such a disaster for Pope Francis was that, for the first time, it earned him criticism not only from such a senior figure as Cardinal O’Malley but from the liberal media, to whose applause he had been successfully playing for five years. A rescue operation was urgently needed. First of all, the Pope organised one of what may be called his “humility opportunities”, which he welcomes the way other celebrities like photo opportunities. There was a meeting with victims, and Pope Francis admitted his own failings; but this was nowhere near enough. To expiate his mistake, the Pope called all the Chilean bishops to Rome and told them — what? — that they were all to blame. One sentence from his rebuke is especially worth quoting: “No one can exempt himself and place the problem on the shoulders of the others” — a classic case of Francis’s frequent habit of denouncing other people for the faults of which he is the prime exemplar.

 

Go here to read the rest.  To understand the Pope one must view his Pontificate through a political prism, and an Argentinian political prism at that.  One must always pretend to be on the side of the poor and downtrodden while carefully cultivating the politically well connected and powerful.  That explains why the Pope rarely takes an action, as opposed to words, that would not garner him positive reviews in the New York Times, and its think alike colleagues throughout the West.  The role of a Pope is to convert the world to Christ.  The role of this Pope is to convert Christians to positions acceptable to the dominant mindset of the secular elites throughout the West.