PopeWatch: Checkmate

Saturday, April 8, AD 2017


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


Society of St. Pius X chess grandmaster Larcel Mafebvre has turned four of his pieces into bishops without approval from the World Chess Federation, officials have confirmed.

“Mr. Mafebvre has, without approval from the Federation, created bishops out of pawn pieces,” said World Chess Federation head Antonio Salamanca. “After speaking with Mr. Mafebvre regarding abiding by the new chess rules, wherein players are given the freedom to concelebrate the match, and to say the words of ‘checkmate’ in the vernacular, he has sadly decided to ignore our requests.”

Salamanca went on to tell reporters that Mafebvre had automatically incurred excheckommunication because of his disobedience.

“I must do what is in my conscience to preserve the dignity of the game,”  Mafebvre told EOTT in an exclusive interview. “Therefore, I have decided to consecrate four of my pieces into bishops to help my depleted side, for, from some Fischer, the smoke of Satan has entered the chessboard of God.”

At press time, one time follower of Larcel Mafebvre’s, Bavid Dawden, told EOTT that he has decided to become head of the World Chess Federation, though he only has three pawns to play with.

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PopeWatch: Separated at Birth

Thursday, April 6, AD 2017


Carl Olsen at The Catholic World Report something that has frequently struck PopeWatch:  how similar Pope Francis and President Trump are:


As I’ve stated before, Francis often seems more comfortable being a politician than a pope. And, I would argue, he does indeed seek popularity; that is, I think, blatantly obvious. He follows a very simple and consistent course: he seeks to win over certain people or groups of people while lashing out at those he perceives as enemies, almost always resorting to a rather astounding list names and, yes, labels rather than any sort of arguments—that would be the “firm stance regarding critics.”

Giangravè concludes by asserting: “Populism is not so much a phenomenon as a utility belt, one that Pope Francis is well equipped to use. But when it comes to what to use it for, the pope chooses to focus on the root causes of the problem, such as poverty and inequality, rather than its symptoms.”

And how is this different, say, than what Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders did in the recent presidential election? Both of them continually, in their own ways, reached out to those on the margins, claimed to the champion of the poor and those barely making it, and campaigning for the votes and support of the blue collar workers ignored or scorned by the elites. Pope Francis presents himself as a champion of the poor and ignored; Trump and Sanders presented themselves as the champions of the poor, the blue collar, and the disenfranchised. There are some differences, of course, as Francis is not campaigning for votes. Yet he reaches out to the nameless, downtrodden masses—and often does in political, “us vs. them” terms. And, besides, does anyone doubt that Trump and Sanders (among others) don’t use such their populism in calculated, utilitarian ways? And didn’t both men, whatever their respective policy positions, address poverty and inequality in many different ways (answer: yes).

The spate of recent pieces about Francis as the “anti-Trump” fixated, naturally, on differences over immigration and economics, but ignored the striking similarities in both methodologies and personalities. Both men are scolding or even verbally abusive, emotive, crafty but not interested in nuance or careful distinctions, impatient with details, pragmatic in an often superficial fashion, confusing or ambiguous in language and action, temperamental, autocratic, and—I would suggest—rather incompetent. Such characteristics aren’t uncommon in populists, who use their appeals to certain groups to cover up serious deficiencies or contradictions.

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6 Responses to PopeWatch: Separated at Birth

  • DaDonald and DaDon, the Caudillo Brothers.

  • Curious that while the Pope and Trump are supposedly so much the same, it is interesting to consider that those who generally support the Pope don’t support Trump and visa versa
    For orthodox Catholics the Pope is an embarrassment to himself and the Church; for conservative Republicans Trump is an embarrassment to himself and the Republican Party.

  • Sorry, I don’t see the comparison. Who our Pope does remind me of is Obama. This is why this Pope sent my radar to twitch from the start.

  • I’m not seeing the analogy, either. Trump is a vulgar and exhibitionistic man, unscrupulous in many of his dealings, but also oddly capable in some others. He’s off on some unfathomable lark going into politics, and I doubt will understand his administration until it’s long over. Francis is a common clerical type and he’s jonesing for the approval of the modal type of parish clergyman and the modal type of (occidental) parishioner. If the survey research I’ve seen referred to is not a false meme, about 2/3 of the people who show up for Mass are not shuffling into the confessional even once a year. A great many parish priests are perfectly happy with that (along with the issue of OcRaP Press).

  • The Holy Father comes from that cadre of Latin priests who rather scorned John Paul II as the Polish pope. Even Mexican priests with the example of the ‘20s seem to have sided with those in the Polish hierarchy who were willing to live with the scraps left by the politicians.

  • Maybe not separated at birth, but they use the same cologne.

    Eue d’ ¡Hagan Lio!

    I hear it smells like La Revolución

3 Responses to PopeWatch: Open Thread

  • Watch what?

  • Today is the 100th anniversary of our entry into the Great War. Reminding me that Leo XIII wrote an encyclical at the start of his reign lamenting how Europe listen so much to the guidance of the papacy. France, Italy, Germany, England, Russia, even Austria largely disregarded his exhortations and blindly pursued the accumulation of wealth and power, full of pride in their domination of the world. Then came the collapse of wager Barbara Tuchman described a “proud Tower” in the disaster of the Great War. At the end of 19i4, even when it was obvious that no side could win, Pope Benedict called for an end to hostilities and a beginning of negotiations. The leaders of Europe merely doubled their determination to win. Thus began thirds years of rack and ruin for Europe. For the “Christian’Powers has already forgotten Christ. Today they are even more blind to reality. Rome has become become Corinth.

  • “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” As when two souls give informed consent to become one flesh as in marriage and when God joins the immortal human soul to the physical human body, no man may put asunder. This would be the Fifth Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill” Eternal life is predicated on God joining the human soul with the human body forever.
    The human being may not be desecrated by amputation except to save the human being’s life. Transgendering, vasectomy, tubal ligation, body piercing, even tatooing are disordered.
    It is disingenuous that anyone would vie for the office at the Vatican of The Vicar of Christ.
    Love and Justice are one way streets. MERCY is a two way street. Unless the soul accepts God’s mercy on God’s terms, God’s mercy takes no effect on the soul. A human mercy without God is just that: human mercy. Human mercy without God is atheism.

PopeWatch: Conspiracy

Tuesday, April 4, AD 2017



Sandro Magister discusses the conspiracy that was launched to make Pope Francis Pope:


There is however one key factor that meets the expectations of a historic turning point of the Church capable of making up for its emblematic lag of “two hundred years” with respect to the modern world that was denounced by Carlo Maria Martini, the cardinal who loved to call himself the “ante-pope,” meaning the anticipator of the one who was to come. And it is the factor of “time.” Which for Bergoglio is a synonym for “initiating processes.” The destination matters little to him, because what counts is the journey.

And in effect it is so. With Francis the Church has become an open construction site. Everything is in movement. Everything is fluid. There is no longer dogma that holds up. One can reexamine everything and act accordingly.

Martini was precisely the sharpest mind of that club of St. Gallen which engineered Bergoglio’s rise to the papacy. It took its name from the Swiss town in which the club met, and included the cardinals Walter Kasper, Karl Lehmann, Achille Silvestrini, Basil Hume, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Godfried Danneels. Of these only two, Kasper and Danneels, are still at the forefront, rewarded and treated with the highest regard by Pope Francis, in spite of the fact that they represent two national Churches in disarray, the German and the Belgian, and the latter even fell into discredit in 2010 for how he tried to cover up the sexual misdeeds of one of his protege bishops, whose victim was a young nephew of his.

Bergoglio never set foot in St. Gallen. It was the cardinals of the club who adopted him as their ideal candidate, and he adapted himself perfectly to their plan.

Everyone in Argentina remembers him very differently from how he later revealed himself to the world as pope. Taciturn, withdrawn, somber in expression, reserved even with crowds. Not once did he let slip a word or a gesture of disagreement with the reigning pontiffs, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. On the contrary. He praised in writing the encyclical “Veritatis Splendor,” very severe against the permissive “situational” ethics historically attributed to the Jesuits. He had no qualms over condemning Luther and Calvin as the worst enemies of the Church and of man. He attributed to the devil the deception of a law in favor of homosexual marriage.

But then he sent back home, “to avoid mixed messages,” the Catholics who had gathered outside of parliament for a prayer vigil against the imminent approval of that law. He knelt and had himself blessed in public by a Protestant pastor. He forged friendships with some of them, and also with a Jewish rabbi.

Above all he encouraged his priests not to deny communion to anyone, whether they be married, or cohabiting, or divorced and remarried. With no fuss and without making this decision public, the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires was already doing what the popes at the time prohibited, but he would later permit once he became pope.

In St. Gallen they knew and were taking note. And when Bergoglio was elected, the world learned to recognize him right from the first moment for what he really was. With no more veils.

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6 Responses to PopeWatch: Conspiracy

  • Daniel’s interpretation might be revisited in the case of the former archbishop of Buenos​ Aires; Mene, Mene,Tekel, Upharsin.

    I don’t believe God’s Church will fall, not at all. Francis’ (kingdom is finished.)
    His pontificate is being”weighed in the balance,” and my guess is that it will be found wanting.

    The use of the Sacred vessels was an abomination before God, in King Belshazzar’s case. And today? Holy Communion?

    My hunch is that Pope Francis will not have many years at the Chair.

  • Seriously? Why do you post this dribble? How much hear-say can be packed into one article? Apparently, quite a bit.

    This is exactly why I no longer trust “Catholic” media. They have become wretched hives of villainy and scumbaggery.

  • We will somehow soldier on without you Andrew. By the way, hear-say is a legal term. Hear-say is not excluded from legal proceedings because it is unreliable, but because it is not subject to cross examination. Outside of courts we all rely heavily on hear-say each and every day. Ignoring bad news does not make it go away but rather makes the person doing so blind.

  • This is further proof that not only the smoke of Satan is present but the fire. In the mind of God this must be a purification process about which we understand little. Let us pray for perseverance.

  • I’ve stopped trying to figure out why a defender of the Faith that should be of par-excellence caliber, is content to ignore a request for clarification on communion for those living in less than favorable conditions. Instead, I’m trying my best to pray for his discernment on listening to the Holy Spirit.
    His soul is immortal as ours, yet his responsibility to defend the Faith and faithful is enormous. A shepherd must be diligent in leading his flock away from wolves and poisoned watering holes. To invite a pig to speak at the Vatican is poisoning the water; https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/experts-blast-vaticans-scandalous-decision-to-host-pro-abort-population-bom

    Who is the Good Shepherd and his mouthpiece?

    I’d say Jesus and Cardinal Burke.

    Francis is lacking in good judgement Andy. But hey…Catholics voted in the likes of Obama. The faithful have been drinking the poison for years.

  • Revision.

    Last sentence should read; “Some of the faithful have been drinking the poison for years.”

PopeWatch: Missed This One

Monday, April 3, AD 2017

Apparently a new papal exhortation was issued on April 1:

Pope Francis issued an unexpected apostolic exhortation today titled Merdae Cumulus. The exhortation may be the most momentous action coming from the Seat of Peter in recorded history.

Beginning with Church appointments and new canonizations; after the Holy See’s most recent debacle with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Pope Francis decided to remove Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager from his position as Grand Chancellor of the Order in favor of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who Francis referred to as “a true warrior, a worthy heir for a position occupied by great Christian knights of old.” In addition to this appointment, Francis revealed the future pronouncement that Joel Olsteen is to be declared a Doctor of the Church upon his death, and that the seat of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will be relocated to Lakewood Church, known for it’s awe inspiring architectural style and it’s past function as the home of the Houston Rockets.

The bulk of the exhortation is composed of a string of admissions, concessions, apologies, and affirmations composed by the Holy Father. Perhaps the most exciting is an admission of the superiority of the Protestant movement started in the 16th century by the newly canonized Martin Luther. In the document, Francis states: “Saint Martin Luther was correct in stating that the holy fathers have erred, that the apostles have erred, that the magisterium has erred, and that the whole church has often erred. That error ends now. The saying that the Protestant churches are where heresy goes to thrive is false; it is actually the case that the opposite is true.” In the same vein was a statement regaling that Thomas More died for nothing, and that King Henry VIII was completely justified in his legal actions and formation of the Church of England. In the same spirit of humility and unity, Francis made full concessions of past Roman Catholic assertions regarding theological differences and papal authority to all Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs; this was quickly followed by Francis’ submission to all the demands of the Society of Saint Pius X, and the return of their status to full communion with the Roman See. Both the Orthodox churches and the Society of Saint Pius X have yet to respond to our requests for comment.

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5 Responses to PopeWatch: Missed This One

  • Haha…Lol.

    There’s only one thing stranger than a clown mass…a clown wedding.

    I’m so happy that he stated; “That error ends now.” It’s about time!
    Now we can invest in drive-thru communion service operations.
    In and Out…..It not just burgers anymore.
    McJesus. Serving over a billion.

  • The devil cannot stand being ridiculed. Good job.

  • “Merdae cumulus” , if my vague recolection of Latin is serving me well, means – “a pile of poo”.
    Better translated in the vernacular as – a load of b***s**t. A very accurate assessment of what is happening in our Church today. I’d better not say any more – what more can be said?

  • Ecclesia Mellow
    Guy McClung
    Catholic Lane 4/4/2017
    Go and sin, sin on more.
    Mercy, my mercy, sin galore!
    The joy of love, not the sword,
    No division, praise me lord!
    An eye offends? That’s OK,
    Look again, not away.
    Fire everlasting not forever.
    Eternal damning, never, never.
    “Yes is yes” hurts so much.
    “No is no” is out of touch.
    No dog vomits, none returns.
    No sow wallows, no one burns.
    A rigid cross so unreal,
    Good news logic, feel, feel, feel.
    I need a church so I can sin, no hell;
    A mercy church, so all is well.
    Go and sin, sin on more.
    Mercy, my mercy, sin galore!

    Guy McClung, San Antonio TX

  • Ecclesia Mellow.

    Nice work Guy McClung.

PopeWatch: Diplomatic Jesus

Saturday, April 1, AD 2017


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

Cincinnati, OH––Catholic book publisher and distributer St. Clare Press announced today that their new non-confrontational translation of the Bible will be released sometime this September. St. Clare executive Roger Hammond told the press this week that he hopes the new translation helps to appease the minds of critics that have long called the Bible violent and judgmental. “It took close to a decade to complete this ambitious translation, and we’re confident it’ll help people better understand the all-encompassing compassion contained within the scriptures. Hammond goes on to explain one of the most riveting scenes in the New Testament where Jesus, after having overturned the tables of the money changers, goes back to help clean up, apologizing profusely as he does so. Another scene in which the compassion and kindness of Jesus shines forth is Matthew 16:23 where, after having been asked by Peter to not enter Jerusalem and eventually into the hands of the Pharisees, Jesus asks Peter to “hold that thought for a moment,” before addressing Satan; “Satan, if you wouldn’t moving just a tad bit behind me? I’d really like to get this little point across to Peter. I feel so rude asking you this, but…I mean don’t go out of your way or anything…” Hammond went on to tell reporters that the project has become a kind of therapy for all those involved in the project. One employee of St. Clare Press, Beverly Tomas, said that seeing Christ in a new, more tender, and compassionate way helped her get over years of abuse she suffered by “strict and judgmental nuns.” “I remember sitting back just a year ago and reading a newly translated verse in which the old Christ would’ve said something like “Woe to you, Pharisees, you hypocrites,” but now he gently places a hand on the shoulder of a Pharisee, pleadingly, and says,”Come on guys…I was gonna call you a whited-washed sepulchers, but honestly, I don’t think you’re a bad person…I just think maybe you’re hurting,” and lightly tapping the Pharisee on the chest, Jesus said unto him, “Hey, guy…you wanna know what I think? I think you’re hurting inside…hurting right there in that big ol’ heart of yours. Is that’s why you’re acting like this? Wanna talk about it?”


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One Response to PopeWatch: Diplomatic Jesus

  • I like the new interpretation where Jesus is telling the woman at the well; “Hey it’s okay….One, four, FIVE husband’s..It doesn’t matter…As long as your happy.”

    Happiness and good well water.
    What else is there?

PopeWatch: Judas and the Beggar

Friday, March 31, AD 2017


An interesting difference between the Pope and a Bishop.


A month after Pope Francis endorsed giving money to panhandlers, the Roman Catholic bishop in Rhode Island has posted three reasons not to.

Pope Francis was asked last month by an Italian magazine for the homeless “if it is right to give alms to people who ask for help on the street,” according to a transcript of the interview posted on the Vatican website. He replied that there are many arguments to justify not giving money, such as being concerned the person will go buy himself wine. But, Francis said, “Help is always right.”

He added that when people give, they should do so not by throwing coins, but by looking the person in the eye and touching their hands.

Bishop Thomas Tobin, who has previously criticized Francis, posted a Facebook message Tuesday entitled “Three Reasons Not to Give to Panhandlers.” Tobin’s spokeswoman said the post was prompted by recent local debate on the panhandling issue, not in response to anything Pope Francis has said.

Tobin said it can be a safety hazard if someone standing on a curb or roadway is asking for help, and said the practice enables dishonest people to prey upon others’ compassion when they do not have legitimate needs. He also said throwing loose change at a panhandler is demeaning to that person’s dignity.

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9 Responses to PopeWatch: Judas and the Beggar

  • That is an interesting tale (Judas tossing money absent-mindedly?) since it was his addictive thirst for money that may have cost him paradise.
    I often have the same feeling of doubt (about where the charity money is going) when a “Bishop’s collection” is asking.

  • In Biblical times, beggars were blind, crippled, or otherwise incapable of making “a living.” Today, not so much.

    True story: A panhandler would stand outside a NYC breakfast café asking for money. One morning, a co-worker, who grew up in Minnesota, went inside, bought a buttered roll, and gave it to the man. The man told him he didn’t want it. My friend was shocked. Better to put money in the Church poor box, or send a check to St. Vincent de Paul Society. That being said, I used to give to panhandlers as an act of penance.

    Each Lent, I “try” to read all the Gospels. Of course, I note the four evangelists’ treatments of well-known Gospel themes. It is often noteworthy how some are related in all four and some only one Gospel. (I have a Catholic HS textbook which cross-references the Gospel chapters and verses) Regarding the woman at Bethany who anointed Our Lord with expensive perfume; three Gospels (Luke doesn’t have it) have it and teach the vital lesson is that the woman will be remembered for what she did (the Spiritual charity) for Jesus. A lesser theme is that the money (from selling the perfume) could have been given to the poor (who will always be with you) but it was appropriate to anoint Our Lord. St. Matthew states that disciples were angry. St. Mark states that some of the people were angry. St. John (12:4- 6) names Judas as the complainant. St. John also states Judas didn’t care about the poor, but was helping himself with coins from the Apostolic purse, which he controlled. Was Judas looking for a Worldly messiah? Was Judas more concerned for money (30 pieces of silver, the price of a man) than the Kingdom of God? How could a man who walked and talked with Our Lord betray him?

  • “In Biblical times, beggars were blind, crippled, or otherwise incapable of making “a living.””

    Or faking it. Professional beggars are as old as Sumer.

  • T.Shaw, I try to do much like your friend and give food to beggers. More than once I’ve handed over a doggie bag I had brought from a restaurant and I’m trying to figure out some “cookie project” thing where I get a dessert or treat from a place (usually cookies) and hand those to the first needy person I see.

    But I know it’s not enough. I was listening to this podcast and the guy talking on it made it a really excellent point: most of what today’s poor are in need of is social capital, not monetary capital. And despite being free, it’s so much harder to give that to people.

  • When a panhandler approaches me on the street for a handout, I ask if I can bring him to the AA meeting to which I am about to go where there is hot coffee and fresh (well, maybe not so fresh) cookies. The answer is always NO. End of story.

    NO FREE HANDOUTS! That was one of the unspoken rules my 2nd 12 step sponsor gave me some 30 years ago. “Bring him to a meeting,” he would always say. But never any money. And his sponsor, a Franciscan priest at the Greymoor Monestary in Putnam County, NY, and my priest confessor, would always agree with him.


  • We lived outside of Boston in the early 90s so my husband would take the T into the city for classes. At the entrance to the T station downtown
    there was a fella living in a refrigerator box. My husband went to hand him some money and he said no; he just wanted something to eat so my husband handed over his bag lunch. From then on I made two sandwiches for his lunch. Sometimes the homeless man was there; sometimes he was not. The number of homeless showing up in Braintree increased dramatically when the town became the last stop on the T. The local priest told us he often had men showing up at the rectory asking for money. He refused to give them money but always had $5 gift certificates to the McDonalds down the street. For awhile in one city there was a group of men and women show up in a shopping center parking lot with cards printed in English asking for money. They appeared to be Central Asian/Mid-eastern. It was closing time at the local coffee shop so I asked waitress for the day’s leftovers. She gave me two big bags of rolls and pastries. When I handed them to the woman she gave the breads back to me and said, “We want money.” In rather good English at that. That said it is hard to see someone apparently in need and not hand them a dollar bill.

  • I generally give money to anyone who asks. But am never sure I am doing the right thing.

  • Saint Mary of Mercy Parish in downtown Pittsburgh has, for many years, operated the Red Door Program. There is a red door at the back of the church building along the Boulevard of the Allies. Every day except Sunday a bagged lunch is offered to anyone who comes to the door and asks. I have contributed to this program through the United Way for I don’t know how many years. Inside the church there is a sign asking those attending Mass or going to Confession or the rosary that they NOT give money to panhandlers, who frequently congregate at the front door of the church. I have followed that advice. Through a reputable charity, I will give money to help poor and homeless people. I won’t give cash to someone asking for it so he can go to the liquor store on Liberty Avenue or go buy illegal drugs. These people know where they can go to get a hot meal or clothing or other assistance. I can’t make them accept that help.

    Inside one of the office buildings leased by my employer is a public area with a food court. There is a cafe and bake shop that donates the unsold inventory at the end of each day to nearby charities so none of it goes to waste.

  • The last time I gave a beggar money I told him the truth, that I was nearly broke myself, and I asked him to pray for me. Besides my need for prayer, perhaps he needed the motivation. A win-win moment?

PopeWatch: They Have the Buildings, We Have the Faith

Thursday, March 30, AD 2017


As this Pontificate winds on its merry way my fondness for Saint Athanasius grows.  In writing to Catholics dismayed because Arian heretics had been placed in control of the Church in the Eastern Empire, Saint Athanasius wrote:

May God comfort you. I know moreover that not only this thing saddens you, but also the fact that while others have obtained the churches by violence, you are meanwhile cast out from your places. For they hold the places, but you the Apostolic Faith. They are, it is true, in the places, but outside of the true Faith; while you are outside the places indeed, but the Faith, within you. Let us consider whether is the greater, the place or the Faith. Clearly the true Faith. Who then has lost more, or who possesses more? He who holds the place, or he who holds the Faith? Good indeed is the place, when the Apostolic Faith is preached there, holy is it if the Holy One dwell there. (After a little:) But ye are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from Apostolic tradition, and frequently has accursed envy wished to unsettle it, but has not been able. On the contrary, they have rather been cut off by their attempts to do so. For this is it that is written, ‘Thou art the Son of the Living God,’ Peter confessing it by revelation of the Father, and being told, ‘Blessed art thou Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to thee,’ but ‘My Father Who is in heaven,’ and the rest. No one therefore will ever prevail against your Faith, most beloved brethren. For if ever God shall give back the churches (for we think He will) yet without such restoration of the churches the Faith is sufficient for us. And lest, speaking without the Scriptures, I should [seem to] speak too strongly, it is well to bring you to the testimony of Scriptures, for recollect that the Temple indeed was at Jerusalem; the Temple was not deserted, aliens had invaded it, whence also the Temple being at Jerusalem, those exiles went down to Babylon by the judgment of God, who was proving, or rather correcting them; while manifesting to them in their ignorance punishment [by means] of blood-thirsty enemies. And aliens indeed had held the Place, but knew not the Lord of the Place, while in that He neither gave answer nor spoke, they were deserted by the truth. What profit then is the Place to them?

For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, and with madly making the Holy Place a house of merchandise, and a house of judicial business for themselves to whom it was unlawful to enter there. For this and worse than this is what we have heard, most beloved, from those who are come from thence. However really, then, they seem to hold the church, so much the more truly are they cast out. And they think themselves to be within the truth, but are exiled, and in captivity, and [gain] no advantage by the church alone. For the truth of things is judged…

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15 Responses to PopeWatch: They Have the Buildings, We Have the Faith

  • Thank you, Donald McClarey. I love St. Athanasius, for he writes beautifully about the Catholic Faith. The translation however suffers. “For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, …” must be: “For behold they WHO hold the Place are charged by them WHO love God with making it a den of thieves, …” Even the devil is a person WHO has forfeit his sovereignty over himself to say “NO” to God. Later on in the piece the person is referred to as “WHO”. “WHO” denotes the PERSON.

  • The One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church ABS was born into in 1948 no longer exists outside the Caves of Covadonga; SSPX, FSSP, ICK etc.

    One prays that in those caves many Pelayos are being formed who will go to war against the revolutionaries who control the Hierarchy to such an extent that putative courageous cardinals quail at the idea of publicly confronting Franciscus.

    They could start slowly and identify how his praxis is perplexing before, slowly, spiritually rounding that up to heresy.

  • But if any are tied in any way to the false church by written agreements with compromises, how can they consider themselves to not be in THEIR buildings and to be in the caves? They have not been kicked out but are indeed united to it.

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: St. Athanasius, Save Us From These Pro-Death FrancisFiends! – The Stumbling Block
  • Very encouraging in these times! We need to hear this! Thank You!

  • Thank you, Donald McClarey. I love St. Athanasius, for he writes beautifully about the Catholic Faith. The translation however suffers. “For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, …” must be: “For behold they WHO hold the Place are charged by them WHO love God with making it a den of thieves, …” Even the devil is a person WHO has forfeit his sovereignty over himself to say “NO” to God. Later on in the piece the person is referred to as “WHO”. “WHO” denotes the PERSON.

    In the olden says “that” could be used for both people and objects; hence in the BCP translation of the Lord’s Prayer, it has “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive THEM that trespass against us.”

  • “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive THEM that trespass against us.” “…as we forgive them WHO trespass against us.” Who is the Holy Spirit. “That” refers to the physical while objectifying the spiritual. People are WHOs because of the image and likeness of God in WHOM people are created. God’s Name is “I AM WHO I AM” and “I AM WHO IS” Some outside the Catholic Bible refer to God as a “that” and a “which”. Some refer to other people as “that” and “which” . Would refers to yourself as “that” and “which” instead of WHO? All the little WHOS in Whoville will miss you for WHObilation. I do not know what the BCP translation is? I do know that all sovereign persons are referred to as WHO.

  • Correction: Would you refer to yourself as “that” and “which” instead of WHO?

  • That same “who” or “what” issue crops us so many times and I always react to it as you do Mary De Vie
    I also love the strength and feisty faith of Athanasius.
    He says ‘For if ever God shall give back the churches (for we think He will) yet without such restoration of the churches the Faith is sufficient for us.’
    The only problem that wears at me is that the “us’ suffers decimation in the meanwhile. Maybe not the “us” but many souls who do not know any better.

  • Good point Donald. Who needs the building anyway when they stand for nothing or even worse than nothing? Let us hold to the true faith and worship God within us.

  • “….But the Faith within you.”

    You are the Holy Catholic Church to everyone you meet. Especially the unchurched. The wanderer who has chosen to go it alone.

    “The Faith is sufficient for us.”

    Each of us has the privilege and responsibility to be the reflection of the true light, just as the moon reflects the brilliance of the sun. Those that know you know that you are a beacon of light.
    That is why they ask you for prayers.

    Indeed, the Faith within you is sufficient and extraordinary as it can nurture the sanctification of your soul and then the help in the sanctification of your neighbors soul.

    Sanctifying grace is a sharing in God’s work and continues on as long as we don’t get in His way. John 3:30 ..”He must increase and I must decrease.”

    If you received Jesus from the hands of a poor Priest who is suffering in unrepentant sins or from a humble Priest that just received reconciliation a hour before Mass…You are still receiving Jesus… Fully.

    Praise God.


    Five times banished
    Exiled seventeen
    Excommunicated champions
    God puts at each scene.

    Saint Athanasius,
    Feast day of worth
    On the second of May
    The month of great mirth.

    Out in the deserts –
    As history has charted –
    You preserved the true Mass
    Great lion-hearted.

    Now Lefebvre
    And the sixties egalitarians
    Like Athanasius,
    His time his Arians.

    For He who abolished
    Death by death
    Sent him to absolve
    Sin width and breadth.

    And yes the same moon
    The same sun we’re all under…
    We venal rain – but Lefebvre

    Righteous thunder!!


    Five times banished
    Exiled seventeen
    Excommunicated champions
    God puts at each scene.

    Saint Athanasius,
    Feast day of worth
    On the second of May
    The month of great mirth.

    Out in the deserts –
    As history has charted –
    You preserved the true Mass
    Great lion-hearted.

    Now Lefebvre
    And the sixties egalitarians
    Like Athanasius,
    His time his Arians.

    For He who abolished
    Death by death
    Sent him to absolve
    Sin width and breadth.

    And yes the same moon
    The same sun we’re all under…
    We venal rain – but Lefebvre

    Righteous thunder!!

  • If the Supreme Sovereign Being’s name is “I AM WHO I AM”(there can be ony one Supreme Sovereign Being) and man is made in the image of The Supreme Sovereign Being (as all men are created equal but are unique persons), man must be referred to as “WHO”. “That”and “What” are insults and referring to The Supreme Sovereign Being as a thing is blasphemy.

  • …because all things are finite. All physical things are created finite, created with a beginning and with an end. The rational human soul, made in the image of God, has a beginning and is immortal, that is, the rational human soul has no physical matter to corrupt. The human soul is created and is therefore not infinite, that is, without beginning and without end.
    Only The Supreme Sovereign Being is infinite, that is, without beginning and without end. God’s name is “I AM WHO I AM”, and “I AM WHO IS.”
    The breath of life in man, man’s rational, immortal soul made in the image of God must be referred to as “WHO”.
    Anzlyne. Frightening for me to hear at Mass is : ” For all the FAITHFUL here assembled.” Jesus , I trust in you.

PopeWatch: Ban the Bomb

Wednesday, March 29, AD 2017



Pope Francis has called for banning all nukes:


ROME – Pope Francis has called for a “collective and concerted” multilateral effort to eliminate nuclear weapons, telling a United Nations conference working on a treaty to prohibit such weapons that international peace and stability “cannot be based on a false sense of security, on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or on simply maintaining a balance of power.”

The conference took place March 27 in New York, after the UN General Assembly voted in December to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, with the aim of working toward their total elimination.

Such a treaty would make explicit what is implied in the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which calls on declared nuclear powers to aim for complete nuclear disarmament.

The talks seemed doomed from the start, since every state with nuclear weapons – including the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council – boycotted the congress.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. representative to the UN, said she “would love to have a ban on nuclear weapons, but in this day and time we can’t honestly say we can protect our people by allowing bad actors to have them and those of us that are good trying to keep peace and safety not to have them,” specifically mentioning the threat of nuclear-armed North Korea.

The pontiff answered these objections directly in a letter to the congress, noting the current “unstable climate of conflict” might not seem the best time to approach the “demanding and forward looking goal” of nuclear non-proliferation, and even nuclear disarmament.

However, the pope said nuclear deterrence is ineffective against the principal threats in the twenty-first century, mentioning in particular terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity, environmental problems, and poverty.

“These concerns are even greater when we consider the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences that would follow from any use of nuclear weapons, with devastating, indiscriminate and uncontainable effects, over time and space,” Francis writes, adding “we need also to ask ourselves how sustainable is a stability based on fear, when it actually increases fear and undermines relationships of trust between peoples.”

The pope said the world needs to go beyond nuclear deterrence: “The international community is called upon to adopt forward-looking strategies to promote the goal of peace and stability and to avoid short-sighted approaches to the problems surrounding national and international security.”

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15 Responses to PopeWatch: Ban the Bomb

  • MAD doesn’t work?

    His Holiness assumes much not in evidence.

  • I notice, Donald, you wrote you had a “few” questions. I’m certain your list could be much longer. But really, let’s just get to the heart of the problem. Why didn’t the Pope just propose a ban on mean people? That way, even if nuclear weapons existed, there would be no worries. Everyone would be nice. He’s just the man to propose something that will truly benefit all mankind. Thank God for Pope Francis.

  • It is not as if President Trump needs another reason to defund the UN.

    Mutually assured destruction worked in the Cold War. Chamberlain-style appeasement, and the so-called League of Nations’ arms restrictions on Germany, didn’t work in the first half of the 20th century, when cold reality crushed sunny theory and unicorn farts.

    There are only two outcomes of appeasement: surrender or war. The reality is that there are lunatics (Hitler, Stalin, Kim) that will never honestly respond to a generous gesture.

    Here we have a secular humanist (globalist elite) essay about perfecting the World, which is the only World we have, and which we must feverishly work to make better.

  • “Why didn’t the Pope just propose a ban on mean people?”

    Comment of the week F7!

    Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Very hard to imagine a situation in which use of such weapons could be done in a morally licit way. Yet the situation is such that many bad actors have these weapons, and the most plausible way of deterring their use is our own arsenal. Not an ideal situation, but until and unless the bad guys get rid of them in a verifiable way, our continued possession of them must continue as a deterrence.

    The Pope is merely stating the obvious, that the existence of these weapons is a tragedy, since even one use of a modern warhead would have devastating consequences on innocent noncombatants. I don’t think opposing the existence and maintenance of these wretched weapons is some kind of pacifist, tree-hugging, “librul” position, it’s the consistent Catholic position since the time they were developed. If they could be gotten rid of, it would be a net moral gain for humanity.

  • “The Pope is merely stating the obvious, that the existence of these weapons is a tragedy,”

    Nope, he is calling for their elimination without caring a fig about the practical difficulties that prevent such a policy from having an ending that does not involve the use of nuclear weapons by some very bad actors. Good intentions are never a substitute for intelligence.

  • The Pope’s remarks ever remind one of recycled opinion journalism, like he had a mind which consisted of back issues of The Nation (with a few copies of Commonweal tossed in).

  • Clerics have have spent not a single day aboard a nuclear submarine or in a Trident missile silo should shut their freaking mouths about nuclear weapons. They do NOT get to have an opinion. We gave this Argentinian Marxist Peronist the freedom he abuses to spout froth his liberal progressive feminist nonsense.

    I despise the Church of Jorge Bergoglio.

  • Can Death, War, Famine and Pestilence ever be eradicated?

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: Open Your Heart and Your Brain to the Faithless FrancisGospel – The Stumbling Block
  • FYI, due to a lack of berthing space on a 688 class submarine, I slept next to one of these in the torpedo room.


    I was a junior reactor operator back aft in Engineering, and as such had no choice where I berthed. Nevertheless, death from below was a real deterrent. However, my real hope wasn’t that we would never have to use these, but that as we did angles and dangles, the metallic straps securing the weapon would not let loose and pancake me beneath a metal tube containing solid rocket fuel, plutonium-239 and deuterium-tritium.

  • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus: I have always held your great sacrifice in high esteem. Thank you for your service. I know it was not easy. God bless and keep you always.

  • Pope needs to advocate prayer not pie in the sky pieties.

  • The BOMB?

    This is the BOMB our pontiff should be concerned about;


    This insidious weapon kills body and soul.

  • Philip Nachazel: Thank you for the link. Forty three years and sixty million human souls later, the civil right of “We, the people” to our constitutional Posterity is the eternal truth.

    In atheistic communism, “We, the people” must follow the dictates of the Party. “We, the people” have no right to think, to say or to do what the human soul in search of God indicates. “We, the people must disenfranchise ourselves of our conscience, our civil rights and our freedom. “We, the people” must do what the Party dictates.
    Michael Dowd: My exact thought, “with a reliance on the support of divine Providence.” (Declaration)

PopeWatch: Peron the Papal Role Model

Tuesday, March 28, AD 2017



John-Henry Westen at Lifesite News conveys some observations of the Pope by an Argentinian priest:


For those who knew Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio prior to his election to the pontificate, this is nothing new. I spoke to a few priests from Buenos Aires who worked with Cardinal Bergoglio in different capacities and from them learned that confusion is emblematic of his ministry. One anecdote in particular was very instructive. I was told that people from opposite camps would both come out of meetings with Cardinal Bergoglio believing he supported their position. “He’s with us but can’t say so publicly,” they would relate, as would those who met with him from the opposing camp.

While in an archdiocese this may work for a time, this learned priest told me, in the Vatican where just about everything the Pope says is trumpeted to the world, these kinds of discrepancies become evident more quickly. Francis, the priest told me, is very much a Peronist — named for former Argentina President Juan Domingo Perón. Like Perón, Pope Francis plays with both left wing and right wing factions.  

The priest tells a story about President Peron that helps to understand Francis. Once Peron was in his car and at a fork in the road his driver asked him which way he would like to go, to which Peron replied: “Put the flicker on for a right turn, but go left.” One last note about Bergoglio, related by the priest, is that when pushed, he will go left out of a great apprehension of being labeled a right-winger by the media.

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2 Responses to PopeWatch: Peron the Papal Role Model

PopeWatch: Hmmm

Monday, March 27, AD 2017



From Pewsitter:



Speaking at a March 16th conference in Limburg, Germany, the long-time Vatican correspondent Andreas Englisch has delivered an explosive allegation: In contradiction of public appearances, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI “are in complete disagreement” and “never speak to one another.” The Pope Emeritus has apparently stated that he only appears in public “at the explicit request of Pope Francis.” What is shown on these occasions, Englisch continues, is “only the pretense of friendship.”

No official transcript of the press conference is yet available, but Giuseppe Nardi, another well-known Vaticanist who was in attendance, says that Englisch continued his statements by describing Pope Francis as a “strong personality” who “gets what he wants,” and that he has little in common with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI but “uses him when necessary for the optics.” Englisch concluded his dramatic remarks with a remarkable statement: that, in addition to the pressure put upon the Pope Emeritus to resign, “different ecclesiastical forces” are putting pressure on Ratzinger in a different direction: “to return.”  

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Hmmm

  • “Ordinary Catholics have been…kept in the dark” before. It is now called Good Friday, and its evil confusion and feelings of betrayal were soon dispelled by the light of the Risen Christ on Easter. We “ordinary Catholics” shall always have that gift to weather the most diabolical of storms within God’s holy Church.

  • Amen DonL.

  • It is heartening that Benedict feels this way. It would be devastating if he didn’t.

  • Like everyone here, I too have tried to make sense of this account. I went back to look at some Deutsche.de sites, employing my journeyman German, to check his background, and he has good credentials as a correspondent with die Bild and die Bild am Sonntag. He has previously written about the impending explosion of the sexual abuse problem in Catholic Germany, and from 1995 on, often personally accompanied P JP2 on his airplane on the latter’s travels throughout his pontificate. At first a papal critic, he became an admirer of JP2 and wrote book on him entitled “JP2: The Secret of Karol Wojtyla”, as well as other pro-Catholic works. He is married (to a woman, no less 🙄 ) and has a son.

    But Englisch first came to major attention outside of Germany, predicting some months prior to his abdication that P BXVI was going to resign, the first to hint at the coming crisis.
    So, it sounds like there is more fire to this smoke than originally expected.

    Plus, years in the Holy Office for P BXVI cant be a situation where he appreciates the complete doctrinal undoing of the Catholic Church that the Angry Red from Argentina is doing to the Church.

PopeWatch: Leaving on a Jet Plane

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017


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


Roman Curia officials pulled out all the stops this year to celebrate the 4th anniversary of Pope Francis’ accession to the Throne of St. Peter after scrounging together a few hundred Euro to surprise him with an unforgettable one-way ticket to his native Buenos Aires.

“He’s been working so hard lately, we thought he could use an extended, indefinite getaway,” said Msgr. Giuseppe Bernardo, an attaché attached to the Papal Household. “Plus it’s a 14-hour flight…ample time for several meandering in-flight press scrums.”

“He’s going to love this!” honorary prelate Anotonio Vada said, trying to contain his excitement. “We even had his boarding pass printed on poster-board like those giant ceremonial checks diocesan bishops are so fond of.”


At press time, the Curia was preparing to clean the universal Church while the boss was away.

“He left behind a pretty big mess,” an unnamed Cardinal prefect whispered.  “This may take a century or more.  Some of the stains might never come out.”

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Leaving on a Jet Plane

PopeWatch: Historian

Friday, March 24, AD 2017



Professor of History Bronwen Catherine McShea in First Things takes a look at some comments made by Pope Francis regarding history:

Such concerns may help explain the appeal that Martin Luther, with his stark emphasis on the preached Word and a radically spiritualized, ahistorical view of the Church, holds for Pope Francis. So let us turn to the historical claims of the Holy Father with which we began, about Martin Luther and the causes over time of deep divisions between Lutherans and Catholics. (They are remarks that, coming from a Pope of Rome, I cannot help but think would be eye-popping to the reformer himself.)

With respect to the simple assertion that Martin Luther intended only to renew the Church, not divide her, it is indeed the case that the historical consensus today is that the reformer had no intention of leaving the Catholic Church in 1517, when he first presented his Ninety-Five Theses to religious authorities and a wider public in and around Wittenberg. However, even scholars of the Reformation very mindful of contemporary ecumenical stakes do not deny that, very early during his reforming career, Luther became convinced that the international, visible Church as led by popes, cardinals, and bishops was irredeemably corrupt, “judaizing” in its emphasis on laws and rituals, and therefore inherently at odds with the “true,” invisible Church of all persons of sincere “faith” as he defined it.

In other words, from early on, Luther’s Reformation was centrally about separating, promptly—with the help of powerful territorial princes and city magistrates with local influence and armies at the ready—the hidden, faith-filled wheat from the papistic chaff, so to speak. Luther certainly believed in only one, true, Apostolic Church, but he redefined the Church in a direction that was inherently exclusionary of those who deferred to the papacy, affirmed seven sacraments and Christ’s institution of a consecrated priesthood, and acknowledged an active, participatory role for human free will in God’s economy of salvation. Any concern he might have had to preserve unity in the Church in a way any orthodox Catholic bishop or theologian of the sixteenth century would have recognized as such was, at best, a very secondary priority. Much more urgent for Luther was to rally other reform-minded men and women toward full acceptance of the creed his own conscience told him was the true creed—by 1530, that would have been the enumerated articles of the Augsburg Confession—and, in the process, reject communion with groups that departed in any way from that creed.

Scholars very sympathetic to Luther also acknowledge that he was incorrigibly pugnacious as well as deeply convinced his understanding of faith and of the Church was the only correct one. He sought out opportunities, often, to do battle not only with Catholics (or as he put it in 1545, “whatever riffraff belongs to His Idolatrous and Papal Holiness,” whose tongues “we should … tear out from the back, and nail them on the gallows”), but also with followers of the Swiss reformers Ulrich Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger, the more radical Anabaptists and Spiritualists, and Protestants closer to his own mind who nevertheless disagreed with him on this or that creedal article. Luther’s verve for creative name-calling and insults where all these groups were concerned was legendary in his own time, as it remains in ours. (Graduate students in Reformation history will confess to finding amusement in a website called the “Lutheran Insulter” in which real ad hominem attacks from the reformer’s writings are generated at random. While writing this paragraph, I clicked on its “Insult me again” button and was informed by Doktor Luther, as if I were Erasmus just daring to defend free will: “You foster in your heart a Lucian, or some other pig from Epicurus’ sty”—this from Luther’s Bondage of the Will of 1525.)

It is also the case that, during a time when some sixteenth-century reformers were actively engaged in the earliest ecumenical efforts to find common ground across the splintering confessions, and to strive toward the reunification of Western Christendom, Luther was relatively uninterested in such things.

Pope Francis, however, in order to push along the cause of Catholic-Lutheran reunification, casts Luther as someone who had no wish to sow discord among Christians. For the hardening sectarian divisions of the early modern era, Francis blames, instead, others who “closed in on [themselves] out of fear or bias with regard to the faith which others profess with a different accent and language.”

With all due respect to His Holiness, this explanation of what unfolded during and after Luther’s time is not only condescending to the full-blooded, spirited, and hardly faultless reformer himself. It is insulting to the intelligence of numerous theologians, apologists, and preachers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including Robert Bellarmine and other Jesuits who devoted years of life, and heart, to clarifying and defending serious, important Catholic doctrines against serious, important Protestant challenges. And it is cavalier toward the memory not only of countless martyrs and war dead on all sides of that era’s terrible struggles, but also of numerous families, villages, even religious communities in Reformation Europe’s confessional borderlands, which were torn apart, agonizingly—while very much speaking the same language, with the same accents!—over very serious, important, real disagreements about doctrine and praxis.

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7 Responses to PopeWatch: Historian

  • How much of The Pontiff’s admiration for Luther comes from the German episcopate? He seems to-do what Kasper and Marx want him to do.

  • The pontiff’s agenda requires a simplistic, contrafactual assessment not only of the moment but also of history. It is of a piece with his cringe-inducing argument [if it can be dignified with such a term] that terrorism is caused by arms dealers.

    His worldview is frozen in a progressive dreamscape from 1965-79, but he’s going to impose it, reality be damned.

  • Silence would improve the Pope’s image and impact appreciatively.

  • Francis gives his embrace of Luther as a sop to the apostate world around us because he doesn’t value the historical teachings concerning sacraments. priesthood etc. Church any more than Luther did.
    Hopefully I say that perhaps Francis’ own “unintended consequences” of his deconstruction will be that the whole Faith will be more carefully studied.

  • When our boys were infants I don’t recall them crying in church. When they were toddlers they were very active. My husband was at sea during that period and I found the nursery or the crying room to be helpful.
    I or we could concentrate on the Mass and the boys were not annoying/distracting others. Except on two ocassions: at the younger son’s baptism the older one escaped from my mother’s grip and rang the bells during the ceremony. and once in a packed crying room when I was listening intently to a good homily, suddenly the priests lips were moving but there was no sound. My 3 year old was no longer in the room. I rapidly crossed the hall to another room and saw my little fellow at the controls of the sound system. Praying that I would select the right button I restored the sound. Why is it children always know how to operated electron devices?
    I am still amazed at the parents who do not correct or remove their misbehaving children from the church during services. It is particularly bad at the Spanish language Mass with young children walking up and down the aisles and transversing past the altar at the Consecration with the aren’t I cute look on their faces. No you are not.
    Catholic school and parents teach their children the proper respect to be shown during the Mass .

  • oops wrong post. Long day and night.

  • If the evil accusations against the Catholic Church are true, then each and every person has the choice that Martin Luther had to make, namely to repair the church or to start a new Christian religion without the REAL PRESENCE, without the APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION and the without CHURCH FATHERS.

PopeWatch: Sophistry

Thursday, March 23, AD 2017


One of the defining feature of his pontificate is the endless sophistry deployed as a smokescreen.  Sandro Magister gives us an example:


For understanding how Francis acts with his opponents, the archbishop and theologian Bruno Forte is a reliable oracle, especially since he reported in public what the pope said to him during the last synod, at which he acted as special secretary:

“If we talk explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried, you have no idea what a mess these guys will make for us. So let’s not talk about it directly, you get the premises in place and then I will draw the conclusions.”

Francis has drawn the conclusions, as is known, in the postsynodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” but in such an ambiguous form that he has inevitably aggravated the opposition and confusion in the whole Church, and has induced four cardinals to ask him publicly to bring clarity on the “dubia” created by this fluid magisterium of his.

But for Bruno Forte, it is not the words of “Amoris Laetitia” that have generated the doubts, but it is these latter and those who are raising them that are “sowing uncertainty and division among Catholics and others.”

This and more was said by the archbishop and former special secretary of the two synods on the family, who is also one of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s trusted men, at the conference that he gave on March 9, in Rome, at the church of San Salvatore in Lauro, introduced by the auxiliary bishop of the pope’s diocese, Gianrico Ruzza, and as followup speaker, immediately after him, Church historian Alberto Melloni, head of the famous “school of Bologna.”

The main argument that Forte brought out in support of Pope Francis’s position is the concordance between what is written in “Amoris Laetitia” and the propositions voted on by the synod of bishops: a “consensus fidelium” – he added – which has been wrongfully abandoned by those who have raised the “dubia.”

Here are his exact words in this regard, transcribed from an audio recording of his conference:

“The final points of the synod were approved by the representatives of the episcopates of the whole world, with an extraordinary majority: almost all of them unanimously and the more delicate by at least two thirds. Francis had clear ideas, he knew where he wanted to go. When he called on me to be the secretary of the synod, he said to me: ‘For me it is important to arrive there together with all the bishops of the world, because the pope is the servant of the servants of God and I want us to grow together. It doesn’t matter to anyone if a document is written for the Church without the journey we have made.’ This is an aspect that must not be overlooked. Pope Francis has taken collegiality seriously. There are those who have calculated that the 85 percent of the contents of the postsynodal exhortation comes from texts of the final synodal relation. They are texts that ripened collegially, with the episcopate of the world working alongside the successor of Peter. We therefore find ourselves before what is truly a ‘sensus,’ an impressive ‘consensus fidelium.’ This is why the ‘dubia,’ underground, raise doubts over those who have raised them, because some of them were absent from the synod and have not seen what great power of communion there was.”

Of course, Forte didn’t make the slightest reference to how the twofold synod was manipulated from on high, resulting among other things in a sensational incident halfway through the first session – when Forte himself was accused in public by cardinal relator Peter Erdo of having written parts of the “relatio post disceptationem” entirely on his own initiative – and in an even more sensational letter of protest and of appeal to the pope from thirteen cardinals at the beginning of the second session.

Nor did he make any reference to a presumed “collegiality” that produced texts rejected in their most controversial points by almost a third of the synod fathers, and passed by a margin of a few votes only on account of an ambiguity and reticence of language even more pronounced than those afterward put into “Amoris Laetitia.”

Instead, entering into the content of the objections, Forte contested the accusation of “relativism” brought against the pope and his “Who am I to judge?”

And he did so by referring to the “great Jesuit” Karl Rahner and to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, in whose footsteps – he said – Francis is going against relativism, since “he combines the absoluteness of the truth with the absoluteness of charity, in a daily effort of discernment, from which no one should feel excluded.”

It can be presumed with a certain surety that what Forte has illustrated is also what Pope Francis thinks about the objections of the four cardinals, and not only about these.

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Sophistry

  • I had a hard time not laughing at this line; “he combines the absoluteness of truth with the absoluteness of charity, in a daily effort of discernment, from which no one should feel excluded.”

    A new way over the wall of the new Jerusalem?

    Good luck with that!

    It’s through the Gate or nothing.

  • No ambiguity here.
    A lesson for the Vatican;

  • All of this sounds very much like the way the ambiguities in the documents of Vatican II were accomplished. Let’s of double talk resulting in the transposition of truth into lies.

  • Shocking. The derision for the four dubia “cherries” who think themselves half the tree. That they have a “sound box” that magnifies them even though more numbers of people seem to believe otherwise. This barometer of truth, the “impressive ‘consensus fidelium.’ ” is only measured by the thoroughly modern and sensitive hearts of those close with Francis.
    All of this still does shock me even after four years of “fluid” magisterium.

PopeWatch: Populism for Me and not for Thee

Wednesday, March 22, AD 2017


Samuel Gregg at The Federalist notes that Pope Francis has a double standard when it comes to populism:


Asked in a 2015 interview whether he considered the pope isolated and surrounded by opponents in the Vatican, Fernández answered: “By no means. The people are with him, not his few adversaries. This pope first filled St. Peter’s Square with crowds and then began changing the Church. Above all, for this reason he is not isolated. The people sense in him the fragrance of the Gospel, the joy of the Spirit, the closeness of Christ and thus they feel the Church is like their home.”

“The people.” “Crowds.” “The people.” Such language has very specific meaning in Latin America. When used by figures such as the long-deceased Argentine populist Juan Perón or the more recently departed “twenty-first-century socialist” Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, the purpose of this phraseology is the same. It is to evoke an almost mystical connection between the leader and “the people” as they struggle together against oppression.

This rhetoric goes hand-in-hand with tendencies to caricature real or perceived opponents. The speeches of Perón and Chávez are full of ad hominem rants against “enemies of the people.” Francis himself isn’t shy about applying labels. There’s even a blog that has compiled his more memorable phrases: “rigorists,” “fundamentalists,” “Pharisees,” “intellectual aristocrats,” “little monsters,” “self-absorbed promethean neo–pelagians,” to name just a few. The targets range from younger Catholics with a distaste for 1970s liturgy to theologians who insist that coherently preaching the gospel requires a concern for intellectual rigor.

But Francis’s populist side manifests itself most clearly in addresses he’s given to one particular group that he has clearly supported: an organization called The World Meeting of Popular Movements. The populist edge to Francis’s thought is very evident in, for example, a 2015 speech he gave to this group in Bolivia. At various points, the rhetoric employed by the pope—“tyranny of mammon,” “this economy kills,” “bondage of individualism” etc.—is decidedly charged, even polemical. Some of it isn’t that different from the language used by populist politicians throughout Latin America.

This last point is underscored by the fact that Pope Francis delivered these remarks while seated next to President Evo Morales of Bolivia. A self-described communitarian-socialist, Morales is a quintessential Latin American left-populist. Like all such politicians, he’s steadily removed constitutional restraints on his power in the name of “the people.” Morales’ prominence at the pope’s speech, as one journalist present remarked to me, reinforced the sense that “the whole event had the feel of a deeply political, very left-wing, and somewhat secular rally.”

The pope’s apparent empathy for a type of populism was further underscored when the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences held a conference in April 2016 to mark the 25th anniversary of John Paul II’s encyclical “Centesimus Annus.” The two heads of states invited to speak were none other than Morales and another left-populist head of state, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa. The event was tilted even further in a left-populist direction by the presence of the then-candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also gave a speech.

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5 Responses to PopeWatch: Populism for Me and not for Thee

PopeWatch: Exorcists

Tuesday, March 21, AD 2017

PopeWatch agrees with this:

Pope Francis on Friday said confessors “should not hesitate” to refer penitents to exorcists, if they are suffering from “genuine spiritual disturbances.”

The pope was speaking to hundreds of priests taking a course on confession organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican court which deals with issues surrounding the sacrament.

Francis said having good confessors “was more useful than ever,” and “even necessary in our times,” and said churches should make confession more available to the faithful.

He said a good confessor must be a true friend of Jesus, a man of the Spirit, and should make the confessional a place of evangelization.

The pontiff said confessors are called to venture to the “peripheries of evil and sin,” and those who approach the confessional may come from the most desperate situations.

“They could also have spiritual disturbances, whose nature should be submitted to careful discernment,” Francis said, “taking into account all the existential, ecclesial, natural and supernatural circumstances.”

Francis was careful to point out priests should work with professionals to make sure a person is not suffering from psychological disorders, and again emphasized “discernment is necessary.”

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3 Responses to PopeWatch: Exorcists

  • Pope Francis gets an atta-boy for this one. But how difficult it is to find the thread of consistency in his various statements. Let us pray for Pope Francis.

  • Bravo to Pope Francis. In this age of increasing drugs use, mental illness, and TV shows, books and websites on the occult, it must be difficult for priests and the medical establishment to differentiate
    between sin, physical and mental ill health and genuine possession. Who ever thought that Black Masses would be in the news or a subject of Sunday homilies or there’d be an exhibition of OUIJA boards at SFO? The church is quiet about actual possession cases but I have to wonder if cases are up in the civilized world? Used to be that the missionaries to pagan countries were more apt to see possession.

  • I remember there was a post about demons, but I put off reading it. Can possession of a person be intermittent?

PopeWatch: Dirty Money

Monday, March 20, AD 2017


When it comes to Vatican shenanigans, always follow the money.  Details are coming out about the Knights of Malta and potentially dirty money, and it all stinks to high heaven.  Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register gives us the details:

Germany’s mass-selling Bild newspaper has reported that the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, Baron Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, accepted a 30 million Swiss franc donation ($31 million) on behalf of the Order from what Bild calls “a dubious trust” in Geneva. Boeselager denies any wrongdoing.

The Grand Chancellor told the newspaper that over a seven-year period, the Order would be drawing 30 million Swiss francs from the fund, which Bild calls by its acronym CPVG. So far, the Order has received 3 million francs from the trust, whose existence the Register first brought to public attention in January.

Bild correspondent Nikolaus Harbusch, a well known investigative reporter in Germany specializing in financial crimes, reports that the trustee, whom the newspaper names simply as Ariane S., signed a framework agreement with Boeselager to accept the money on March 1. The agreement came just weeks after Boeselager was reinstated as Grand Chancellor following his dismissal in December by the Order’s former Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing.

Ariane S., who also appears in the so-called “Panama Papers”, denied in a Jan. 6 email to the Register that she or her organization had any connection to the Order of Malta. In her correspondence with the Register, she referenced Swiss law and criminal penalties if the name of the trust or its members, or allegations about the trust, were published.

Boeselager and other members of the Order have had dealings with the trust since 2010, according to documentation obtained by the Register, but Fra’ Festing was unaware of its existence until only recently, after asking Boeselager directly about it.

The Grand Chancellor told Bild he had had lawyers check that the trust, which is now registered in New Zealand, was clean, and subsequently the Order’s government unanimously approved of the fund. He said he did not know details about the donor, Mr. Latour — only that the money came from a wealthy French family, and that the funds had been put into a foundation before the Second World War. “Since then there has been only investment, that’s all that I know,” he said.

“We really do not know the details because our donor is the CPVG trust and not ‘Mr. Latour’ personally,” Boeselager said — adding that the donor, so far only known as Mr. Latour, had “demanded anonymity from the trust and we had to accept that.”

Asked by Bild if it could be dirty money, Boeselager said: “To the best of our knowledge, no.”
According to the donor’s wishes, the Order of Malta was due to receive a quarter of the trust’s assets out of a total fund amounting to 120 million Swiss francs.

Bild revealed that, on the instruction of the Order, the public prosecutor in Geneva had put a freeze on the money in order to determine whether the trustee was guilty of embezzlement. The newspaper’s own investigations, using its own experts, leads them to believe that the assets in France had never been taxed properly.

Boeselager told Bild that the Order has withdrawn its “complaint against the trustee, since the accusation was baseless and no one suffered any harm.” He said the 30 million francs was by far the largest cash donation the Order has received over the past 10 years.

According to Boeselager, the Order has a policy for rejecting “dirty money,” and said it has turned down two donations from Switzerland, and one from the United States. “If money is dirty, we will not take it,” he said.

He said that, in the case of the CPVG trust, the Order carried out a “thorough risk analysis” and sees “no reason to place the order on a money laundering list. “

In the interview, Boeselager rejected the accusation that he wants to turn the Order into a normal non-governmental organization, saying anyone who makes such a charge doesn’t “know me at all” and that “the opposite is true.”

“We are continuing with our mission: evangelization through assistance and charity,” he said.

Boeselager also revealed he would be reducing the autonomy of the Grand Master, who will be “bound in the future to the decisions of the government of the Order.” His comment contrasts with the view of Fra’ Festing, who had privately complained that Boeselager had been pursuing his own policies and activities in the Order independently, without the Grand Master’s full knowledge.

Many questions, however, remain unanswered, including:

why the five-member Holy See commission set up to look into Boeselager’s dismissal was made up of three individuals closely associated with the trust, none of whom wished to speak publicly about it;
why the commission’s work was rushed and completed ahead of schedule, but in time for Boeselager to be reinstated and to withdraw the complaint against the trustee;
what the precise reasons were for Boeselager’s brother, Georg, being appointed to the board of the Vatican Bank in December;
and why the trustee was so threatening and reluctant to have any basic information related to the CPVG trust published, including its name.

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One Response to PopeWatch: Dirty Money

  • Are we sure this isn’t in an event in Chicago? Did they move the Vatican lately? How many condoms can be distributed with $31 million …?