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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2 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.

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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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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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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?

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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 …?

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PopeWatch: Bugged

Saturday, March 18, AD 2017



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


The Vatican has refused to say whether an apology was in the works after eavesdropping allegations were made by Francis last week against his predecessor.

Pope Francis’ claim that his confessional was wiretapped by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has yet to be supported by evidence, but the Pontiff isn’t ready to apologize for the accusation just yet.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Director of the Holy See Press Office Greg Burke told reporters on Friday when asked if Francis would apologize to Pope Benedict if his allegations were debunked. “I think it’s important to see where this goes, and I don’t want to prejudge the investigation at this time.”

Pope Francis has alleged in a number of tweets last Saturday that Benedict had let Vatican officials conduct surveillance on his Buenos Aires confessional before becoming pope.

“Terrible! Just found out that Benedict had my ‘wires tapped’ in San Roberto Bellarmino Church In Buenos Aires just before my papal victory. Nothing found!”


Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch attempted to contact the Vatican for comment, but when his phone began to make odd sounds like a Bulgarian singing a Gregorian chant backwards, PopeWatch hastily ended the call.

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3 Responses to PopeWatch: Bugged

  • Believe it or not, Fr. Raymond de Souza actually took this seriously. He took to Facebook warning people that this was fake news. A Catholic media figure who is too ignorant to realize EOTT is satire. Now there’s a real hoot for you. Sad too, when you think about it.

  • The international C.H.A.O.S. group is behind the wiretap. They were behind the Crow drone in the infamous Peace Dove attack at the Vatican a few years ago;

    CHAOS is; Catholics Honoring Another Oracle than holy Spirit.

    This movement is catching on and some believe woman Priest’s​ will be the next big development since the election of its first Pope.

  • Fr. de Souza was right to spell it out. I knew several who thought Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” was non-fiction.

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PopeWatch: Saint Patrick Weeps

Friday, March 17, AD 2017


Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture demonstrates that if you are a faithful Catholic cleric in this pontificate, you have a target on your back:


In Agatha Christie’s classic Murder on the Orient Express, the great detective Hercule Poirot faces an unusual challenge. There are too many suspects—too many people with obvious motives for committing the crime.

That’s how I feel about the news that Archbishop Charles Brown, the apostolic nuncio in Ireland, is being transferred to Albania.

This is not a subtle move. The Vatican is explaining that it’s just a routine rotation; every now and then papal diplomats are given new assignments. That would make sense, except that:

  • Archbishop Brown is not a career diplomat. Pope Benedict sent him to Ireland, at a time of crisis for the faith, precisely because he trusted his orthodoxy.
  • When nuncios are moved, they are usually sent to assignments of equal or greater importance. A switch from Ireland to Albania is an unmistakable demotion.

Who would have wanted Archbishop Brown removed from Dublin?

– The Irish government, which is working to end the constitutional ban on abortion? Check.

– The Irish bishops, who don’t want pressure to act like Catholic leaders? Check.

– Liberal Irish priests, for the same reason? Check.

– The lavender mafia, always? Check.

– The Secretariat of State, which resented having a non-diplomat appointed as nuncio? Check.

– Pope Francis himself, who’s busy removing all Ratzinger loyalists? Check.

Too many suspects.

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5 Responses to PopeWatch: Saint Patrick Weeps

  • “I am neither Conservative or Liberial, I’m Apostolic!” Pope Francis.

    May the snakes be lead out of the Vatican by the demand of God through His Saints! Sooner than later… Please.
    St. Patrick…Pray for us.
    St. Joseph…Pray for us.
    St. Peter…Pray for us.

    May Our Lady of Knock come to the aid of Ireland and the entire Catholic Church.

    Clean your Church Mother of God.
    Create a clean heart in Rome.
    One worthy of the Chair of Peter.

  • “..the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…”
    I’ve developed a more complete understanding, Jesus must have known that sometimes things would look like hell.
    Thank you, Pope Francis

  • David, I always view that quote about The gates of Hell….as one with a key word in it–prevail.
    Prevail to me, means that there must be one heck of a struggle first. The good guys also prevailed in WWII, but the cost of lost lives was enormous, and so it will be with souls, before this is all over.

  • Not only St Patrick but all of us should weep for the Church as the wheat and chaff are separated and mixed together by that grimmest of reapers, Pope Francis. This is truly a time of testing for all of us. Let us pray that we are able to discern the truth of God.

  • I keep feeling that the Church is leaving me and not me leaving the Curch

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PopeWatch: Anti-Semitism

Thursday, March 16, AD 2017



It would take a blind man not to notice that anti-Semitism is growing in strength on the left.  Unsurprisingly with the advent of Pope Francis, definitely a man of the left, anti-Semitic tropes are beginning to emerge within the Church.  Sandro Magister gives us the latest:


“Israel, people of a jealous God. Consistencies and ambiguities of an elitist religion.” Already from this conference title wafts an air that is by no means friendly for Jews and Judaism.

But if one goes to read the original text of presentation, there is even worse to be found: “thinking of oneself as a people belonging in an elitist way to a unique divinity has determined a sense of the superiority of one’s own religion.” Which leads to “intolerance,” “fundamentalism,” “absolutism” not only toward other peoples but also in self-destruction, because “one has to wonder to what extent the divine jealousy may or may not incinerate the chosen’s freedom of choice.”

And yet these were the initial title and presentation of a conference that the Italian Biblical Association has scheduled from September 11-16 in Venice.

The statutes of the ABI are approved by the Italian episcopal conference, and its members include about 800 professors and scholars of the Sacred Scriptures, Catholic and not. Among the speakers at the conference in September is the leading biblicist at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Belgian Jesuit Jean-Louis Ska, a specialist in the Pentateuch, which in Hebrew is the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. No invitation to speak, however, has been extended to any Jewish scholar.

But the rabbis could not remain silent. And they have made themselves heard with a letter to the ABI signed by one of their most authoritative representatives, Giuseppe Laras, the news of which was first covered by Giulio Meotti in “Il Foglio” on March 10.

An extensive extract from the letter is reproduced further below. But first a couple of notifications are in order.

When Rabbi Laras writes of a “Marcionism” that is now emerging with ever greater insistence, he is referring to the school of thought that from the second-century Greek theologian Marcion until our day contrasts the jealous, legalistic, warlike God of the Old Testament with the good, merciful, peaceful God of the New Testament, and therefore, as a result, the Jewish followers of the former with the Christian followers of the latter.

Not only that. Laras – still remembered for his dialogues with Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini – makes reference to Pope Francis as one who perpetuates this contrast.

And in effect it is not the first time that authoritative representatives of Italian Judaism – like the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni – have criticized Francis for the distorted use of the term “pharisee” or of the comparison with Moses to cast discredit on his adversaries.

This is what Francis did, for example, in the concluding address of the synod of bishops, when he lashed out against “the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases.” Not caring that he was contradicting himself, because one innovation that the pope wanted to introduce into the practice of the Church was the restoration of divorce, allowed by none other than Moses and instead prohibited by Jesus.

But now it’s Rabbi Laras’s turn.


Dear friends,

[. . .] I have read, together with my esteemed fellow rabbis and with Prof. David Meghnagi, cultural commissioner of the UCEI [Union of Italian Jewish Communities], the event guide for the ABI [Italian Biblical Association] conference scheduled for September 2017.

I am, and this is a euphemism, very indignant and embittered! [. . .]

Of course – independently of everything, including possible future apologies, rethinkings, and retractions – what emerges conspicuously are a few disquieting facts, which many of us have felt in the air for quite some time and about which there should be profound introspection on the Catholic side:

1. an undercurrent – with the text a bit more manifest now – of resentment, intolerance, and annoyance on the Christian side toward Judaism;

2. a substantial distrust of the Bible and a subsequent minimization of the Jewish biblical roots of Christianity;

3. a more or less latent “Marcionism” now presented in pseudo-scientific form, which today focuses insistently on ethics and politics;

4. the embracing of Islam, which is all the stronger as the Christian side is more critical toward Judaism, now including even the Bible and biblical theology;


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8 Responses to PopeWatch: Anti-Semitism

  • I suspect most Europeans with some tertiary schooling are anti-semites in a very contemporary way. They despise the state of Israel – not because of any acts of the government therein or properties of social life therein – but because Israel’s political class sides with it’s own population in making public policy and has no time for the talking cure in international relations or domestic security. There are anti-semites in loci like this. About 1/3 of them are ‘social justice’ types, 1/3 are old-school cuckoos babbling about the Rotshchilds, and 1/3 are palaeo types. One thing that bothers me about Traditionalist literature is that (The Latin Mass the exception) editors are willing to open their pages to these types.

  • This is deeply disturbing because I can feel the frustration and concern in Rabbi Laras’s response and it greatly saddens me. The specter of anti-semitism is ever at the door and, to many of the Jews I know well, the Pogroms, Holocaust, and the Edict of Expulsion are as yesterday. What I mean is that I am friends with Jews DESPITE what has been done by my culture to their ancestors so every fresh insult and offense is going to cut deeper than our learned Jesuit friends imagine.

    Academia is rotten and one of the elements that is rotting that tree is an overabundant need to “publish or die.” We research, write, and publish to justify position, not to enlighten or spur thought. One of the results is that disturbing that status quo is its own purpose. We see that Shakespeare’s work is “homoerotic,” “Jesus” is an amalgam and, so, neither human, nor divine, or, as here, reinterpreting Scripture to create a stir.

    Here, we are, regular, ordinary Christians who seek to live as Christians in a diverse world that includes Jews. By declaring the fundamental beliefs of Jews to be elitist and potentially extreme, the presentation gets notoriety at great cost to the faith.

    Now, we have to answer for this nonsense, assuring our friends and the general public that we are not anti-semites, despite our history and the reinforcing realities of the now.

    Nice going, guys!

  • Saint John Paul II called Jews “our older brothers” because, since Abraham, the Jews carry the Truth of the Triune God, the law of God and the Ten Commandments. “(T)he laws of Nature and Nature’s God” allow “their Creator” to be a jealous God, in Justice. Those who would deconstruct “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and “their Creator” as Lord must aggregate together to eradicate the Truth. We are all Jews in Jesus and Jesus Christ’s Virgin Mother, our Mother and Mother of the Church. It is atheism.

  • These people have no grasp of the obvious. They uncharitably judge entire nations/groups of their brothers and sisters based on dishonest, counter-factual stereotypes. and outright falsities

    Anti-Semitism isn’t the only “anti” of which many on the left are guilty. Many misguided, mal-educated ideologues apparently are also anti-facts, anti-free-markets, anti-historical, anti-personal responsibility, anti-marriage/nuclear family, anti-unborn, anti-economic growth, anti-white, anti-American, etc.

  • I have read a fair amount of rad-Trad items around the ‘NET. Many of them remind me of a Sponge Bob Squarepants episode when Sponge Bob chases around jellyfish with a net without catching anything. The thing is that the Jews reject Christ as the Messiah and Savior. There is no getting around that.

  • “The thing is that the Jews reject Christ as the Messiah and Savior. There is no getting around that.”

    Who is trying to? They share that with the majority of mankind. That says nothing as to how they should be treated by those of us who are fortunate enough to enjoy the gift of the Faith.

  • I think one of the reasons we’re seeing a resurgence in anti-semitism on
    the left is that the Democrats are cozying-up to muslims, and anti-semitism is
    practically as much a Pillar of Islam as making a pilgrimage to Mecca.

    The recent “Women’s March” held in DC right after Trump’s inauguration was
    chaired by a Brooklyn-based Islamist named Linda Sarsour, recruited by the event’s
    organizers. Ms. Sarsour has ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and is
    an outspoken proponent of sharia law for the USA. She is deeply and outspokenly
    anti-semitic, and runs with that unsavory BDS crowd. And the left recruited her
    to be a chair of that march. She was chosen to be the face of feminism by today’s

    The recent “Day Without Women” organized by the left was also chaired by the
    odious Ms. Sarsour, in tandem with others such as Angela Davis and Rasmieh Odeh–
    muslims all, and each more anti-semitic than the next. Interestingly, Ms. Sarsour
    recently made the news when she publicly stated that “Jews cannot be feminists”.

    And of course, the DNC’s recent selection of a new party Chair saw Rep Keith
    Ellison come close to securing the position, landing endorsements from Bernie
    Sanders, Rep. John Lewis, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Sen. Elizabeth
    Warren, and Sen. Chuck Schumer. Ellison has a long history of anti-semitic
    statements and well-documented associations with Nation Of Islam and the Muslim
    Brotherhood– both groups being deeply, proudly anti-semitic. And yet this man
    just came within an ace of being elected chair of the Democrats’ party. Such is
    the willingness of the left to overlook (or not-so-secretly accept and normalize)
    hatred of Jews and of Israel.

  • Robert Redeker has suggested that, post Cold War, the French left has replaced “sovietophilia” with “islamophilia,” and that “Palestinians and the contemporary Muslim masses replace the proletariat in the intellectuals’ imagination” as the pure, ideal alternative to Western capitalism. (Le Monde, 11/21/01).

    Similarly ,in an essay on anti-Semitism, Au Nom de l’Autre: Réfléxions sur l’antisémitisme qui vient (In the Name of the Other: Reflections on the Coming Anti-Semitism), Alain Finkielkraut took aim at the left, explaining that anti-Jewish hatred of today comes not from those nostalgic for Pétain and Vichy but rather the activists of the anti-globalization and anti-racism movements. He explains that European unity is constructed around a series of ‘never agains.’ No more war, nor power, nor empire, nor nationalism. Progressive Europe has disavowed its embarrassing past. This makes it ill at ease with a state, Israel that clings to its borders just as Europe renounces its own, that nurtures its army just as Europe demilitarizes, and that must combat implacable enemies just as Europe denies such things exist.

    in La Nouvelle Judéophobie, Pierre-Andre Taguieff points to a myth current among many young people, Christians, third-worldists” and anti-globalization activists. The myth “is constructed on the demonized figure of ‘Jews-Israelis-Zionists’ supported by the ‘Americans’ and in opposition to that, no less mythical, of the Palestinian Arab ‘innocent victims.’“ On one side, Taguieff continues, stands the “cosmopolitan Satan,” the unholy trinity ‘United States/Israel/The West.’ On the other side stands the “dominated and the oppressed.” Thus the new judeophobia recycles old stereotypes such as the rich Jew and the dominating Jew under the “varnish of progressivism.” The Jew is once more the stand-in for capitalism, imperialism, cosmopolitanism, indeed the whole economic order

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PopeWatch: First Sight

Wednesday, March 15, AD 2017


An interesting observation by Steve Skojec in regard to his first viewing Pope Francis:



On March 13, 2013, I sat in my office and watched my screen as a new pope — a man whom I had never seen before that moment — walked out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. I had never heard of him. I did not even know his name. Like most Catholics, I had approached the papal conclave with a sense of hopeful anticipation. But the feeling that came over me when I saw the man the cardinals had elected was shockingly forceful. It was a feeling of icy cold dread. As I looked at him, standing there, staring out at the crowd, I heard seven words distinctly in my mind, unbidden: “This man is no friend of Tradition.”

It was a strange sentence. Oddly phrased. I knew, just as surely as one knows that the voice of someone speaking to them in a quiet room is not their own, that this was not my thought, but some sort of external prompting. It would have been impossible for me to even attempt such an assessment, since I knew literally nothing about the man, this Argentinian cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio.

I am admittedly oblivious to the minutiae of ecclesiastical dress or custom. I cannot, therefore, claim that my feeling was rooted in the observance of some obvious deviation from the protocols of a papal election. I did not notice, for example, that he chose not to wear the papal mozetta. I was not jarred by his unusual greeting of the crowd with a “good evening,” instead of something more spiritually profound. I can’t say I recall hearing, in those first moments, that he was a Jesuit. To be honest, I may very well not have noticed these things even under normal circumstances, but these were not normal circumstances. My impression of the man was something that took place on a visceral level. And the feeling was so strong, it distracted me from everything else.

There was something in his face. In the way he stared down at the gathered crowd. There was something…wrong about his eyes. What I saw — what I thought I saw — was something other, looking out through that unreadable mask. Something triumphant, haughty, contemptuous, leering out at long last from atop the pinnacle of a long and hard-fought battle. It was incredibly strange.


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10 Responses to PopeWatch: First Sight

  • Can’t say I had that premonition, but I went to a CCD seminar later and there were many persons saying Pope Francis this and Pope Francis that, a man selling a young person’s magazine with Pope Francis on the cover. I thought to myself “no, Jesus, is our savior”. Glancing around I realized something was indeed wrong.

  • I still feel uneasy when I see his photo as I enter the vestibule or on a magazine somewhere.

  • I still feel uneasy when I see his photo as I enter the vestibule or on a magazine somewhere.

    The clergy at the novus ordinary parish I’ve been attending have quit mentioning him. The photo in the hallway is the only acknowledgement of him.

  • While not as strong as Steve’s, I felt a sense of unease. Something was off.

    The last four years have confirmed that first impression, and then some.

  • If you haven’t read Eponymous Flower’s Mar 10th post, “Why Can’t He Just Knell?”, I recommend it:


    It is originally from the German site, Katholischesnet.de FYI. Especially, the comments and their citations are very good: the present Pope is alleged to have “sciatica” and unable to kneel: but there are many occasions (such as washing of the [Muslim women’s and other’s] feet on Holy Thursday) when, if he wished to make a point, he has knelt and knelt at length. Why is this? Why this clear obstinate refusal to kneel, especially when he wishes to make a bold statement?

    Now, couple that with EF’s comment on “The Invisible Last Supper under Pope Francis” (3/5/17). The Lateran Basilica is the ancient seat of the Pope going back to (at least the site) of Constantine and the year 313AD when a synod was held against the Donatist heresy. EF makes the point that the Lateran Basilica celebration of the Mass In Coena Domini was historically always open to the public and maintained the ancient tradition going back via the popes to Peter and the Apostles celebrating the Mass with Our Lord in the Upper Room.

    So where has Pope Frank celebrated the Last Supper these years of his pontificate?
    2013: Visit to the Youth Prison
    2014: visit to a disabled facility
    2015: visit to prison
    2016: visit to refugee home
    2017 😕
    (source: EF: http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-invisible-last-super-under-pope.html )

    Like Skojec (and I have read and pondered his comments before), there is something unsettling about this pontiff’s opposition to giving absolute honor to Christ in the Sacrament, and to respecting the ancient Petrine tradition, without which he would just be another babbling Argentine socialist.

  • Jorge Bergoglio had no business being elected Pope and he had no business ever being a Cardinal. Like so many Latin American prelates, his diocese has suffered a lack of vocations. Rorate had to shut down its combox which was melting down over his election.

    For someone who spends too much time castigating capitalism, he sure is friendly with the German bishops, who live fat and happy…at least Marx and Kasper do.

  • Not all of us have Steve’s gift of premonition. My immediate reaction was to find out more about Pope Francis. And the more I found out the more I was concerned. Note at that time I was not into the Catholic blogosphere in any way. Basically, it was Pope Francis that got me interested in learning more about Traditional Catholicism. Anyway, the blog sites such as American Catholic were most helpful in sorting out Pope Francis as a proponent of Modernism.

    By the way, for a stinging premonition of Pope Francis papacy try Ann Barnhardt:

  • @Steve Phoenix

    Holy Thursday night and the Pope?

    My guess….He will be washing the feet of these criminals from his beloved Argentina; http://www.lifenews.com/2017/03/15/abortion-activists-kill-baby-jesus-in-graphic-abortion-on-virgin-mary-outside-catholic-church/

    A hometown boy in the Vatican…
    ….a bloody mess indeed.

    Jesus Christ alive in the Blessed Sacrament will not be mocked forever.
    Even if the mocking comes from the so-called leader of the Holy Church.

  • My first impression of Pope Francis is that this Pope cannot be serious, that Pope Francis is a joke. Stan Laurel comes to mind. Pope Francis even looks like Stan Laurel with a silly smirk on his face. However, Pope Francis’ aggression against tradition is simply his abdication of his office.

  • I was disconcerted a bit and felt let down when, as Pope Francis made his first appearance he said a rather banal, “Good evening”.

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PopeWatch: Marie Collins

Tuesday, March 14, AD 2017


Sandro Magister brings up the resignation of Marie Collins from the pontifical commission of the protection of minors and an example of why she resigned:


But there is one point that has essentially met with silence. And it is the criticism that Marie Collins has leveled against Pope Francis himself.

The most pointed criticism dates back to two years ago.

When on January 10, 2015 Francis promoted to the diocese of Osorno, Chile the bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid, Collins and other members of the commission protested strenuously.

The new bishop, in fact, was under substantiated accusations from three victims of sexual abuse, who charged him with having shielded the priest Fernando Karadima, for many years a celebrity of the Chilean Church but in the end condemned to “prayer and penance” by the Holy See for his countless verified misdeeds.

The new bishop’s installation in his diocese was heavily contested. But on March 31 the Vatican congregation for bishops stated that it had “attentively studied the prelate’s candidacy and had not found objective reasons that would block his appointment.”

So in April, Collins and other members of the commission for the protection of minors went to Rome to ask the president of the commission, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley (in the photo), to urge the pope to revoke the appointment.

But they got the opposite result. One month later, in May, Pope Francis responded to questions from a former spokesman of the Chilean episcopal conference he met in Saint Peter’s Square. And he went after the bishop’s accusers, in his most indignant words ever.

The video of the encounter was made public afterward. And these are the pope’s actual words:

“It is a Church [that of Osorno] that has lost its freedom because it has let its head be filled up by the politicians, judging a bishop without any proof after twenty years of service. So think with your heads, and don’t let yourselves be led by the nose by all those leftists who are the ones who drummed up the business.

“Furthermore, the only accusation that there has been against this bishop has been discredited by the judicial court. So please, eh? Don’t lose your serenity. Yes, [the diocese of] Osorno is suffering, because it is stupid, because it is not opening its heart to what God is saying and is letting itself get carried away by the stupidities that all those people are saying. I am the first to judge and punish those who have been accused of such things. . . But in this case there is a lack of proof, or rather, on the contrary. . . I say it from the heart. Don’t let yourselves be led by the nose by these people who are seeking only to make ‘lío,’ confusion, who seek to calumniate. . . .”

The “leftists” – “zurdos” in Argentine slang – who had particularly irritated the pope included the 51 Chilean deputies, for the most part of the socialist party of president Michelle Bachelet, who had signed a petition against the appointment of Barros as bishop of Osorno.

So then, when the video with Francis’s words were made public, Marie Collins said she was “discouraged and saddened when you see the claims of Karadima’s courageous victims categorized in this way” by the pope.

That of the bishop of Osorno is not the only case in which Jorge Mario Bergoglio has commandeered judgment for himself, nullifying or sidestepping canonical procedures.

In Italy there has been an uproar over the act of “mercy” with which he has graced Fr. Mauro Inzoli, a prominent priest of the movement Communion and Liberation, reduced to the lay state in 2012 by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith for having abused numerous young people, but restored to the active priesthood by Francis in 2014, with the admonishment that he lead a life of penance and prayer. In the civil arena, Inzoli has been sentenced to 4 years and 9 months in prison.

Marie Collins also protested against such indulgences: “While mercy is important, justice for all parties is equally important. If there is seen to be any weakness about proper penalties, then it might well send the wrong message to those who would abuse.”


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9 Responses to PopeWatch: Marie Collins

  • “Mercy without justice is always injustice.”

    And it is unmerciful to grease the skids to hell for the perpetrator of the wrong-doing by exonerating him in the public eye.

    “So think with your heads, and don’t let yourselves be led by the nose by all those leftists who are the ones who drummed up the business.”

    That’s rich, coming as it does from the commie crucifix wearing Argentinian Marxist Peronist Pontiff himself who endorses every left wing fling there is.

  • Pope Francis has shown considerable indulgence towards abusers and those who shield
    them– I’m surprised that the article didn’t also mention Cardinal Daneels. Cardinal Daneels,
    despite being retired as Archbishop of Brussels, was personally appointed by Francis to attend
    the Synod on the Family and helped shape the results. Back in 2010, Cardinal Daneels had
    urged the nephew of the Bishop of Bruges not to go to the police with accusations that
    his uncle had been molesting him for 13 years, citing the bishop’s upcoming retirement as
    a reason. The nephew had been recording the conversation and went to the police despite
    the Cardinal’s advice not to “make a lot of noise”. Ultimately, the Bishop of Bruges admitted
    to the abuse. Later that year, the Church in Belgium released a report on 488 cases of sexual
    abuse in the Church in Belgium occurring between 1950 and 1990. In 50 cases, the Cardinal’s
    name was linked– not as an abuser, but as someone who knew of the abuse by the clergy.

    In 1990, Cardinal Daneels had also advised King Baudouin to sign into law Belgium’s liberal
    abortion legislation. The Catholic King balked, and in the end his government declared His
    Majesty temporarily “incapacitated” so the legislation could be enacted without royal assent.

    It is astonishing that Pope Francis brought this man out of retirement to help shape the
    results of the Synod on the Family. Evidently, Cardinal Daneels spends a great deal of time
    in Rome, having the ear of this Pope. For all his protestations about his “zero tolerance”
    for molesters and those who’d cover for them, Francis seems willing to look the other way
    if a man has the correct ideology and can make himself useful… Marie Collins was right
    to resign from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors– it’s become a bit of
    a joke.

  • Ultimately, the Bishop of Bruges admitted
    to the abuse. Later that year, the Church in Belgium released a report on 488 cases of sexual
    abuse in the Church in Belgium occurring between 1950 and 1990. In 50 cases, the Cardinal’s

    If they had 50 cases where the chancery in question had been informed of anything in real time, I’d be quite surprised, much less the Primate. Cdl. Danneels was an academic and held no episcopal position until 1977.

  • I’d also point out there’s a difference between something ‘occurring’ and a complaint that something occurred.

  • Art Deco, it was a commission set up by the Church in Belgium which
    came up with the report and the statistics I quoted– I believe the report was
    made from the same records seized in a police raid on the Cardinal’s residence
    after the story broke over the Bishop of Bruges’ abuse of his nephew.

    Cardinal Daneels was Archbishop of Brussels almost 30 years. The 50 cases
    I referred to are those out of 488 that had been brought to the attention
    of the chancery and had received the attention of the Cardinal. Several involved
    that same Bishop of Bruges, by the way, with other minors. The news reports
    I’ve read suggest that those accusations of abuse were all withheld from the
    police–certainly the Bishop of Bruges remained in his position despite several
    complaints to the chancery until his nephew went to the police and the press
    with his story.

    Did His Eminence learn of these cases of abuse “in real time”? Certainly the
    accusations involving the Bishop of Bruges came to his attention while the man
    was still a bishop. De Standaard reported that 2 Belgian priests, Frs. Rik
    Deville and Norbert Bethune had personally informed Cardinal Daneels about
    accusations against Bishop Vangheluwe several times over a 10-year period.
    Fr. Deville told the AP that he’d told Cardinal Daneels about several cases of
    sexual abuse, and the response was “(t)he cardinal sometimes got angry and
    said it wasn’t my job, that I should not get involved”. So yes, it appears that
    Cardinal Daneels received credible information about sexual abuse of minors
    “in real time” and failed to either act or to involve the police, and the records
    seized by the police bear out that conclusion.

  • Bad Pope being bad.

  • “[C]ommandeered judgment for himself, nullifying or sidestepping canonical procedures….”

    An odd way of putting it, given that Pastor Æernus teaches, “And since, by the Divine right of Apostolic primacy, the Roman Pontiff is placed over the Universal Church, We further teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all causes, the decision of which belongs to the Church, recourse may be had to his tribunal, and that none may re-open the judgment of the Apostolic See, for none has greater authority, nor can anyone lawfully review its judgment.”

    Moreover, all the old canonists agree that the pope may proceed “summarie et de plano, sine forma et strepitu juris.” – Summarily and without argument, without the forms and measures of law.”

  • Cardinal Daneels was Archbishop of Brussels almost 30 years. The 50 cases
    I referred to are those out of 488 that had been brought to the attention
    of the chancery and had received the attention of the Cardinal. Several involved
    that same Bishop of Bruges, by the way, with other minors. The news reports
    I’ve read suggest that those accusations of abuse were all withheld from the
    police–certainly the Bishop of Bruges remained in his position despite several
    complaints to the chancery until his nephew went to the police and the press
    with his story.

    Did His Eminence learn of these cases of abuse “in real time”?

    If the dioceses from which the accusations originated are ordinary, the Cardinal was typically reviewing a report of an incident which occurred perhaps 15 years earlier. The Cardinal may have been a perfectly awful assessor and adjudicator. The trouble is, even had he been conscientious, he’d still have a high error rate.

  • Re law enforcement, was the accusation against the priest in question justiciable? We had a case in the Diocese of Syracuse where a monseigneur who had been in Bp O’Keefe’s camarilla had a mess of accusations against him. The thing is, he’d retired in 1989 with no accusations against him. He was accused by one young man in 1998, an incident to which he confessed. He received 4 additional accusations in 2002 which he denied. One concerned incidents in 1962-63 and one an incident in 1949. So, should Bp. Moynihan have told the police?

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PopeWatch: Music

Monday, March 13, AD 2017


The Pope thinks some Church music is terrible:


Certainly the meeting with modernity and the introduction of vernacular languages into the Liturgy has raised many problems: of musical languages, forms and genres. At times, a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality have prevailed to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of the liturgical celebrations. That is why the various actors in this field, musicians and composers, conductors and singers in scholae cantorum, and those involved in the liturgy, can make a valuable contribution to the renewal —especially in quality — of sacred music and liturgical chant. To facilitate this process, we need to promote proper musical formation, also for those who are preparing to become priests, in dialogue with the musical trends of our time, with organizations representing the different cultural spheres, and with an ecumenical attitude.

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15 Responses to PopeWatch: Music

  • “You will know them by what they do.” Everything a person does bears some of who he is. To impart holiness the author of music and writing must have holiness to impart holiness to others. Only this way can holiness be shared and spread about the world. Sacred music raises up the heart and mind to God. Sappy music drains the soul of holiness. There can be no ecumenism in sappy music, as all people search for Truth.

  • No kidding. The trouble is, your parish diva doesn’t, the parish council doesn’t, and the pastor doesn’t. I was told a tale about a music professor, a specialist in early music, who was hired to improve the music program at the local novus ordinary parish. He failed completely and quit in frustration after an interim period of time. It might just help if the pastor does not regard the music directrix as having a property right to her job a la the Bourbon civil service. In the case of that parish, she’d never recruited a choir much less trained one and played the piano one service a week with musical selections courtesy Oregon Catholic Press. About 85% of the selections were composed after 1965. No one sang, either.

    It’s not that difficult. Three women in the balcony, one man in the sanctuary, the former chant the ordinary, the latter the propers. You’ll never see it anywhere, of course.

  • Art, I was on our “Parish Worship Commission” (where my primary task was to say “no”) for nearly six years when I presented multiple Catholic Church documents which described what the Church thought was necessary and proper music and chant for Mass. We took a vote and surprise, surprise, the Church lost. I was stunned. It was all very Protestant. That was the last meeting I attended.

  • We are early risers. However, a main “attraction” of 7:30 AM Sunday Mass is there is no singing.

    “Holy God we praise thy Name . . . “

  • I understand Oregon Catholic Press sends suggestions regarding music for the Sunday Mass. Unimaginitive or unadventurous music directors seem to go along passively. Either too busy, too lazy, or whatever. Saw hymn boards at 2-3 churches that had the numbers still up from previous Sunday. there were 2-3 songs that were the same at different parishes. The worst thing about the music is since it is derived from folk and pop and other instantly learnable genres, it is also instantly dislikeable. Think about any pop tune you once liked and now hate because of overexposure. Catholic parishes have a playlist of perhaps 30 or so songs that you will find played in any parish on any weekend. Usually be Haugen, Haas, etc. etc.

  • They’re not too busy. The Anglican parish I grew up in had a youth choir and an adult choir with about 30 members total. The choirmistress managed at least two evenings a week. The hymnody I was not attached to, but it was head and shoulders above anything you hear in a contemporary Roman-rite parish, and the congregation actually sings.

    Keep in mind that Ukrainian parishes do a handsome job with a limited repertoire of traditional music (St. Josephat’s in Rochester had a set of stapled photocopies that the (all female) choir was thoroughly familiar with. A Roman-rite service based on plainchant (where only the propers varied) would be less time consuming then OCraP’s selections. They don’t do it because they just don’t feel like it.

    What gets me is that about a dozen years ago, the Diocese of Rochester did a survey of parishioners about their preferences in music. The results were as follows: 24% favored strictly traditional, 18% favored strictly modern, 29% favored a mix, and 29% did not care or did not like music. The Diocese of Syracuse is right adjacent. How often do you have services of each type? Well, you have strictly modern, a mix, and no music each about 1/3 of the time. The mix is typically 75% modern, 25% traditional. A strictly traditional service is rare, and to my knowledge found in the Diocese at that time only at indult masses and at St. Malachy’s in Sherburne, New York. Not more than 10% of the parishioners in the diocese live within 35 miles of St. Malachy’s. It’s nearly the most isolated parish therein.

  • Mary De Voe.

    True statement.
    “You can’t give what you don’t have.”
    If the music isn’t inspired to raise hearts heavenward or lead one into deeper realms of contemplating then leave it behind. The,…I….Me…..Us….Is the sixties and seventies schlock that took the focus off of heaven and God, and reflected a false praise of MAN.

    Man isn’t great! He’s a mess.

    The powerful hymn’s of our grandparents and their grandparents are inspiring because they focus on Christ, The Holy Spirit and Marion devotion. At That First Eucharist…Faith of our Fathers…Sing with All the Saints in Glory..And Marty Haugen’s, My soul in stillness waits ….Marty’s being a recent addition compared to the others.

    Is it a matter of taste?

    To a point, maybe. I only picked out a couple off the top of my head.
    The Latin Mass and the hymns that mingle with the incense is my favorite.
    Chant is mentioned by Pope Francis.
    I’m happy to see that.

  • The biggest thing that bothers me about the music is that it doesn’t worship God. it might or might not be good musically, but is not pastoral in the sense of ministering or giving an education about what we are about as we gather there. The songs are not pastoral and often not really liturgical at all- more of a campfire song, which can be humanly appealing but more about the
    we-ness of us and less about the majesty of God.
    We talk about “gathering us in” “companions on a journey breaking bread and drinking wine”, and going to “Make a Difference” because we are “many parts but we are all one body” Our songs are all about us!
    We should enter his courts with praise and thanksgiving ( psalm 104) Holy God We Praise Thy Name!
    Recently at mass we sang the melody of Pange Lingua- but the words were social justice.

  • I have not heard a really first-rate organist in a Catholic Church since the late ‘80s – That was Olivier Messiaen at the sainte-Trinité in Paris.
    Perhaps, Olivier Latry (a great improviser) qualifies, but he is primarily a teacher at the Conservatoire, who plays occasionally at Notre-Dame-de-Paris and there is Johann Vexo, who has recorded performances on many historical organs throughout France.

  • Most of the lyrics we hear these days seem to imply how lucky God is to have us to worship Him

  • I have not heard a really first-rate organist in a Catholic Church since the late ‘80s –

    Of the last three novus ordinary parishes I’ve attended, one had no organ and the organ in the other was never used. They had an upright piano on which the music directrix played greeting card text set to music.

  • Art Deco wrote, “They had an upright piano…”

    I don’t mind betting that Messiaen would have given a better performance on an upright piano than most parish organists could manage on the best pipe organ ever built.

    I once heard George Malcolm, play Bach’s Italian Concerto on a harpsichord, as an interlude before mass at St Mary’s, Cadogan Street in London. The church was crowded to the doors with students from the nearby Royal College of Music; the applause was deafening; it rose to a crescendo, died away a little and then rose and swelled again for a full five minutes (which is a very long time), mingled with cries of “bis” and “encore.”

    Malcom was a fine organist, too, and I recall him playing Bach’s “Sheep may safely graze” (or as he called it in conversation afterwards, “the Butcher’s Funeral) at Brompton Oratory at the wedding of a friend of mine. It was a Saturday and the wedding guests had to struggle through the crowd standing in the aisles, who had come to hear Malcolm play, in order to reach their reserved seats.

    There is no doubt people appreciate good music and will flock to hear it.

  • There is no doubt people appreciate good music and will flock to hear it.

    That’s nice, but I’m not interested in the Mass as a setting for fine chamber music or organ recitals. If the music is ‘good’, that’s gravy. Music that’s congruent with the service and not left over scores from Hallmark Channel productions would be acceptable. Plainchant, please.

  • Art Deco wrote, “Music that’s congruent with the service…”
    And every age, except our own has produced it; to take only the Requiem, listen to Mozart’s or Cherubini’s, that Beethoven wanted for his own funeral. These were followed by Berlioz, Fauré and Verdi. We even have Saint-Saëns, not a believer, but who, in his own words, knew “how to respect what is respectable,” and produced a truly touching Missa pro Defunctis.

  • And every age, except our own has produced it;

    They’re not producing anything new, and that’s regrettable. You still have an enormous body of music from which to chose, dating back at least to the 10th century.

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PopeWatch: Liturgical Dance

Saturday, March 11, AD 2017



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


After a humiliating loss for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, desperate La La Land stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have signed a one-weekend deal to teach liturgical dance at next year’s Religious Education Conference.

“Our theme next year will be ‘Embrace The Body Motion,’” Conference executive Bill Thompson said this morning. “All our dance lessons and events will focus on how we express our love for Christ by way of bodily gyration.”

The liturgical dance seminars will include more than 300 workshops on a variety of topics ranging from hallelujah hip-thrusting to pelvic praise.

“One of the main issues we want to tackle next year is people simply standing like robots as they pray,” Thompson said. “A number of workshops will also focus on not only what types spandex to wear, but how to get more men involved. We believe Mr. Gosling will be the catalyst to bringing in a fresh crop of men to participate.”

“For the first time next year the conference will include an interactive, multimedia dance experience where people will be able to feel what it’s like to be inside the body of a liturgical dancer,” Thompson concluded. “No one knows the necessity for true praise and worship until they’ve delved deep into the dark abyss of someone who wakes up one day and realizes that they’re putting on tights so that they can go up in front of a bunch of people at church to dance like idiots on the sanctuary of God.”

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6 Responses to PopeWatch: Liturgical Dance

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PopeWatch: Smart

Friday, March 10, AD 2017


In his latest interview Pope Francis was asked about the posters in Rome criticizing him:


In an interview with Pope Francis released today by the German newspaper Die Zeit, Pope Francis comments on the controversial posters that went up around Rome last month criticizing him for lacking in mercy. The posters, which one Vatican Cardinal called “the work of the devil,” Pope Francis called “great” and developed by “a clever person.”

The posters, found all over Rome, read: “Ah Francis, you have intervened in Congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored Cardinals … but where is your mercy?” The posters featured a photo of a cranky looking Pope Francis on his throne wrapped in a thick coat.

Asked by Die Zeit if he felt attacked by the Curia, Pope Francis said he was at peace, adding: “I can understand how my way of dealing with things is not liked by some, that is totally in order. Everybody can have their opinion. That is legitimate and humanly enriching.”

When the interviewer followed up asking if the posters were enriching, Francis replied “the Roman dialect of the posters was great. That was not written by anyone on the street, but by a clever person.” The interviewer interjected, “Somebody from the Vatican?” to which Francis quipped, “No, I said a clever person (laughs).”

“Either way, that was great!” he concluded.

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Smart

  • Cleverness is using ambiguity to allow for small cracks in doctrine. “Somebody from the Vatican?” – DZ “No, I said a cleaver person.”-PF

    Pastoral Care for the sinner’s who have repented and those yet to repent are found in the teachings of the Holy Church and ministered from Priests in each diocese.
    The fashion of our current culture shouldn’t change the teachings, should it? No.

    My concern is that once a fissure starts it can weaken the vessel. If the vessel fails the absence of living water can not satisfy the the thirsty souls who seek Truth. The Church will not fail. Regardless of Pastoral Care/carelessness.

    Praying for clear water.

  • “Clever person” seems like reference to the devil. “Every person can have an opinion a reference to Relativism and “peace” a reference to spiritual discernment, but in this case thick necked.

  • I assume a papal endorsement of Eye of the Tiber will be forthcoming!

  • That was funny. Humor and truth go together. Perhaps prayers for the Pope are working. Let’s hope so.

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PopeWatch: Celebrating the Worst

Thursday, March 9, AD 2017



Pope Francis is a big fan of the late Father Bernard Haring.  Jeff Mirus of Catholic Culture explains what that tells us:

The era to which Pope Francis referred when he acclaimed the work of Bernard Häring, was the period which morphed quickly into and encompassed the 1960s and 1970s. Fr. Häring, as I learned very quickly (and quite on my own) as soon as I went off to college in 1966, was one of the ringleaders of the so-called “new morality” (which was adopted with far more enthusiasm than the new math, and at about the same time). He was hardly breathing new life into moral theology. Instead, he was stripping it of its relationship to Divine Revelation—the very thing which makes authentic Christian theology possible in the first place. Bernard Häring and thousands like him, from Hans Küng to Charles Curran, sought not God but professional relevance in a faithless world. Refusing to be constrained by what Our Lord had revealed and His Church had defined, they claimed instead that the Holy Spirit enabled the fairly cohesive fraternity of academic “experts” alone to discern the real truth.

It goes without saying that the Holy Spirit was widely applauded for teaching what the secular world had already discovered! Häring himself was among the most vocal dissenters from infallible Catholic teaching such as the deep truths authoritatively set forth during his own professional life in Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI and in Veritatis Splendor by Pope John Paul II. His utter ruin as a Catholic thinker is so obvious that, however one interprets his motives (and I grant that only God can know them perfectly), we are forced to conclude that anyone who would praise him as one of the first to give Catholic moral theology new life in the twentieth century must be ignorant, confused, or subversive.

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PopeWatch: Yes, Next Question?

Wednesday, March 8, AD 2017


Father Z asks if a schism exists in the Church:


I pay scant attention to Patheos, but for a couple contributors.  This caught my eye after a frequent commentator here alerted me.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker wrote, with my legendary emphases and comments:

Headlines last week were proclaiming that a group of cardinals believe Pope Francis should step down to avoid a catastrophic schism in the Catholic Church.

Schism? What schism?

In fact, the modern Catholic Church is already in schism, but it is an internal schism, hidden to most people.  [He is using the term “schism” equivocally, but read on…]

The divide is very clear and yet virtually unspoken. Nobody dares to really speak of it.  [I don’t know about that.  HERE] The divide runs between cardinals. It runs between bishops and archbishops. It runs between theologians. It runs between parish priests. It runs between liturgists and catechists, church workers, musicians, teachers, journalists and writers. [All true.]

It is not really a divide between conservative and liberal, between traditionalist and progressive. [Wellll…]

[NB] It is the divide between those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Virgin born Son of God and that as the second person of the Holy and undivided Trinity established his church on earth supernaturally filled with the Holy Spirit which  would stand firm until the end of time, and those who believe otherwise. [As I read, I am acutely aware of my post about yesterday’s “Anthema” ceremony for Orthodoxy Sunday of Eastern Christians.]

Those who believe otherwise are the modernists. [Let’s also use “heretics”.] They are the ones who think the church is a human construct. It is a historic accident that occurred two thousand years ago and succeeded by a few twists of fate and a few happy circumstances. Because the believe the church is a human construct from a particular time and place, the church can and MUST adapt and change for every age and culture in which she finds herself.

This is the great divide. This is the schism which already exists.


I direct the readership’s attention to just about anything offered by Card. Kasper lately and, in particular, the incredible comments made by Card. Coccopalmerio to Edward Pentin HERE:

PENTIN: One last topic: At a recent plenary meeting with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, you reportedly encouraged the members to push for a less rigid understanding of the priesthood, essentially telling them to give up on an objective and metaphysical notion of priesthood. Your notion was that as we have an understanding of different levels of communion with the Church among the baptized, we should have different degrees of the fullness of priesthood, so as to permit Protestants to minister without being fully ordained. What exactly did you say, and why did you say it?

CARD. C: I was saying we have to reflect on questions. We say, everything is valid; nothing is valid. Maybe we have to reflect on this concept of validity or invalidity. The Second Vatican Council said there is a true communion even if it is not yet definitive or full. You see, they made a concept not so decisive, either all or nothing. There’s a communion that is already good, but some elements are missing. But, if you say some things are missing and that therefore there is nothing, you err. There are pieces missing, but there is already a communion, but it is not full communion. The same thing can be said, or something similar, of the validity or invalidity of ordination. I said let’s think about it. It’s a hypothesis. Maybe there is something, or maybe there’s nothing — a study, a reflection.

Call into question the very concept of validity?  What are the implications?

Effectively, that means the obliteration of the Catholic Church.

What do libs do? They launch things out as ideas, “hypothesis”, and then they walk them back or they add “nuances”.  In the meantime the needle has been bumped a half a point in the desired direct.  Card. Kasper put some ideas out there to kick around.  Chaos ensued.  But now we have some bishops who say that the divorced and remarried can be given absolution and Communion while others don’t.  This, based on an objectively unclear papal document.  It’s surreal.  Now, Card. Coccopalmerio (as LutherFest 2017 revs up) lofts the notion that, perhaps, there are shades or, a spectrum of validity.  Maybe there isn’t really any such thing as validity.

Are there 50 Shades of Gray Validity?

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36 Responses to PopeWatch: Yes, Next Question?

  • Schism has a clearly defined meaning in the Code of Canon Law; “[S]chism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” [schisma, subiectionis Summo Pontifici aut communionis cum Ecclesiae membris eidem subditis detrectatio.] c 751

    Apart from a handful of Traditionalist and Sede Vacantist groups, there is no new schism in the Church. There has been no breach of visible communion.

  • Ah, legal definitions, my bread and butter! In their relationship to reality they frequently remind me of this quote from Lincoln:

    In discussing the question, he used to liken the case to that of the boy who, when asked how many legs his calf would have if he called its tail a leg, replied, ” Five,” to which the prompt response was made that calling the tail a leg would not make it a leg.

  • Pope Francis is not to blame for the schism. He merely has allowed those who created the schism to come forward into the light, now that they think they have a Pope of their own.

    No. That would be the case if Pope Francis is a weak Pope. Pope Francis is actively promoting those pushing schism and actively rebuking and undermining those who hold to Orthodoxy. As to whether the Pope can be in schism with the Church, that is an old question that won’t be answered until he tries to make an infallible doctrine that is in contradiction with infallible doctrines in the past. For all Pope Francis’ manifest heresy, he still hasn’t crossed that bridge. In the case of Ecumenical Councils, this has been answered….Ecumenical Councils can be fallible and thus be declared false councils (e.g. Robber Council, e Fourth Council of Constantinople of 879) by a Pope.

  • The “full Communion,” will rush upon heretics that knowingly subvert the Holy Catholic Church. Cardinal Kasper and Cardinal Coccopalmerio may wish to hold their tongues tightly to the roofs of their mouths. Mill stones are being made faster than the wordsmith’s can create chaos. Oh eternity! The splendor and the horrifying.

  • Mark 7:6: “He answered them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” I suppose there have been all sorts of schisms of incomplete, imperfect, and unapologetically heretical practice and belief, from the individual on up since the beginning. A schism need not be explicit
    or formal to exist.

  • Mark 7:6: He answered them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Informal schism, intentional deliberate departure from defined faith and practice, has been there from the beginning. A group formally breaking off is
    not the only kind of schism, nor perhaps the most serious. It is the hidden schism of quislings, firth columnists, traitors, and Judases who rot from within, and the useful idiots that unwittingly aid and abet them. Let us not fall into facadism, trusting the pleasant appearance without is an indication of the pleasant environment within. Beware the ‘whited sepulcher’ full of dead bones.

  • Sorry for duplicate post. Thought I hadn’t successfully posted at first.

  • It appears that Pope Francis has confused the priesthood of the laity with the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the ordained priesthood. In the matter of the Sacrament of Matrimony, Pope Francis is calling forth the priesthood of the laity to redefine the Sacrament of Matrimony. The priesthood of the laity a Vatican II concept must be impeccably imbued with the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, so help me God. He would be Jesus. Only the Catholic Church can remove excommunication once a person has been excommunicated. I believe Luther was excommunicated. When Pope Francis formally removes the excommunication of Martin Luther and his followers, then the conversation might begin. Up until then, Pope Francis is tormenting the faithful with absolute maybes and definite nothings.

  • As to whether the Pope can be in schism with the Church, that is an old question that won’t be answered until he tries to make an infallible doctrine that is in contradiction with infallible doctrines in the past. For all Pope Francis’ manifest heresy, he still hasn’t crossed that bridge.

    Unless & until he crosses that bridge, I don’t believe he’ll be in formal heresy either, in spite of his apparent unorthodoxy.

    Edward Peters addressed the schism question over the past weekend.

  • The opening for the schism was Vatican II which quickly resulted in SSPX and perhaps another 10-20% of Catholics who sensed the Church had lost it’s way and consequently rejected much of Protestantization taking place. Now, with Pope Francis the veil of clerical hypocrisy is being removed as we see the moral compromises being revealed in their many shades of black and gray. To me the legal formality is irrelevant. We now have a defacto schism by certain members of the clergy.

  • Not unlike the efforts to repeal obamacare, a new Pope will make a correction to chapter 8. Clarification will come. It isn’t coming from the dubia. My guess is that Pope Francis will step down. The pressure will build and become unbearable. Ego will win. Humility will not prevail. He will not address chapter 8. His health will deteriorate.

    Pray for him.

  • Ernst Schreiber wrote, “Edward Peters addressed the schism question over the past weekend.”

    Dr Peter’s conclusion: “Bottom-line: as to the specific possibility of a pope himself committing (as opposed to, Deus vetet, causing or occasioning in others) the crime of schism—I’m not seeing it.”

    That is obviously right. It follows from the decree Pastor Æternus of the First Vatican Council: “If anyone, then, shall say that the Roman Pontiff has the office merely of inspection or direction, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the Universal Church, not only in things which belong to faith and morals, but also in those which relate to the discipline and government of the Church spread throughout the world; or assert that he possesses merely the principal part, and not all the fullness of this supreme power; or that this power which he enjoys is not ordinary and immediate, both over each and all the Churches and over each and all the Pastors and the faithful; let him be anathema.”

    There is an obvious corollary: those in visible communion with the Pope cannot be in schism either.

  • “There is an obvious corollary: those in visible communion with the Pope cannot be in schism either.”

    How far do you carry that MPS? Let us say that we have a Pope who denies the divinity of Christ. Would being in visible communion with such a Pope mean that no schism had occurred in the Church? If Catholics cast off allegiance to such a Pope and assembled a group of Cardinals who elected a new Pope who was orthodox, would the old Pope now be in schism or would the Catholics defending the divinity of Christ be in schism? There is much more to Catholicism than “Thus sayeth the Pope!”

  • Mr.McClarey,

    Assuming that your hypothetical pope didn’t speak in the capacity of his office as shepard and teacher of all Christians (as Pope Francis has not done), then it would be impossible to justify supporting schismatic cardinals in good conscience. I would be especially weary of putting my trust in a splintering group of cardinals who elected such a man to begin with. Honorius I doesn’t become less-than-pope for running his mouth nor Benedict IX for being profligate and a disgrace to the chair.

  • I quite agree with Mr. Dowd. “Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven especially those in the MOST need of they mercy”

  • “Assuming that your hypothetical pope didn’t speak in the capacity of his office as shepard and teacher of all Christians (as Pope Francis has not done), then it would be impossible to justify supporting schismatic cardinals in good conscience.’

    There we will have to disagree. A Pope who denied the divinity of Christ would be an anti-Pope and not a Pope, even if he did not use the ex cathedra incantation devised by Vatican I when engaging in apostasy.

  • Let us say that we have a Pope who denies the divinity of Christ. Would being in visible communion with such a Pope mean that no schism had occurred in the Church? [. . . .] A Pope who denied the divinity of Christ would be an anti-Pope and not a Pope, even if he did not use the ex cathedra incantation devised by Vatican I when engaging in apostasy.

    My guess would be that that “ex cathedra incantation” as you call it would be why your scenario would never happen. What I mean by that goes back to all the speculative theology by Bellermine (?) et. al. on how a Pope who taught heresy would cease to be Pope. But he has to teach it, not just speculatively ramble and prate with his marxist drinking buddy who then posts his “exclusive one on one interview” to snapfacechatterbooktwit But I’m no expert. Heck, I’m not even staying at the Vatican Holiday Inn Express, if you know what I mean.

    And your scenario is too simple. The real question is what, if anything, can be done about a Pope who privately denies the divinity of Christ.

    Honorius I doesn’t become less-than-pope for running his mouth nor Benedict IX for being profligate and a disgrace to the chair.

    Honorius’s problem was that he didn’t run his mouth when he should have.

  • “The real question is what, if anything, can be done about a Pope who privately denies the divinity of Christ.”

    History tells us that: elect a new Pope. It has happened many times in the history of the Papacy. We are not familiar with it, because it has been centuries since we last had a lunatic as Pope. Lucky us to live in such times.

  • Since I was too busy there trying to be clever to bother with clarity, what I’m saying is this:
    Francis may want to change unchangeable doctrine about divorce and remarriage, homosexuality (q.v.), cohabitation, birth control, and any number of other things concerning dogma. Liberals/Progressives?Modernists, clergy and laity alike, may want Francis to change those things (and those in the position to do so may be actively encouraging or utilizing Francis to do just that). Francis may just be a fuzzy headed scatterbrain who thinks love (and mercy!) conquers all and everything else is just commentary. The important point is that regardless of what Francis wants and regardless of what the aforementioned Liberal/Progressive/Modernists want, he can’t change dogma. All he/they/(whomever) can do is use ambiguity to pretend like he can.

    But that doesn’t mean we should react to their studied ambiguity, (or anything they –I’m looking at you, German & Maltese Bishops– try to build on that ambiguity) as if they’ve succeeded at doing what they can only pretend to accomplish.

    Bruce Jenner can grow out his hair and paint his nails and rouge his lips and shave his legs and wear short skirts, high heels and a padded bra and call himself Caitlyn. And Google and Wikipedia can redirect “Bruce Jenner” to “Caitlyn Jenner” and call him “she.”

    But he’s still a man.

    Because what can’t be changed


  • Actually what history tells us is to assassinate the current incumbent before we elect his replacement.

    You left that step out.

  • “The important point is that regardless of what Francis wants and regardless of what the aforementioned Liberal/Progressive/Modernists want, he can’t change dogma.”

    Oh, he certainly can attempt to do so, and take countless souls to Hell as a result. Changing dogma by stealth is precisely what the gang in the Vatican currently is all about and I do not think sitting on our hands and praying for better days is proving to be an effective strategy. I hope that a group of Cardinals can convince him to resign. If not, depending upon the man chosen, I would endorse a group of Cardinals finding that Pope Francis has ceased to be Pope and electing a replacement Pope in his stead. An old remedy from Church history that I wish was not required, but I fear that we have not seen the worst of Francis yet.

  • Hah! I just saw this Clarence Darrow worthy legal move. Mentioned on Fr. Z’s site.

    A Miami defense lawyer’s pants burst into flames Wednesday afternoon as he began his closing arguments in front of a jury — in an arson case.

    Stephen Gutierrez, who was arguing that his client’s car spontaneously combusted and was not intentionally set on fire, had been fiddling in his pocket as he was about to address jurors when smoke began billowing out his right pocket, witnesses told the Miami Herald.

  • The last Pope who may have been murdered was the last Pope to resign, Celestine V.

  • Some lawyers will do anything to win a case! Probably a mistrial I would think.

  • I would endorse a group of Cardinals finding that Pope Francis has ceased to be Pope and electing a replacement Pope in his stead.

    I’m going off of memory here, and I don’t have the time to make sure I’m remembering correctly, but as I recall, the last group of Cardinals who did that were promptly excommunicated by the guy they’d just elected. Because nobody, not even a Council, has the right to judge the Pope. One of us will have to try to look it up. n.b. I’m not saying that that means the Pope is always right.

  • “Because nobody, not even a Council, has the right to judge the Pope.”

    Not a right, but a necessary duty depending upon the circumstance. Necessity in emergency situations is its own law, even in Canon law. A close examination of the machinations surrounding the Council of Constance may be instructive reading for Cardinals who have the good of the Church at heart.

  • I have a soft spot for Conciliarism, the Holy Roman Empire and the Dual Monarchy too, good republican & constitutionalist that I am…

    But, do you really want to encourage and empower the factionalism of the gossipy, clucking grannies in the College of Cardinals like that?

    Whose to say that the stupid faction and the the evil faction wouldn’t get together and do something both stupid and evil?

    And my guess is, the duty born of necessity is to attempt to correct the Pope, not depose him.

  • He has a life expectancy of about 8 years. The Cardinals may hope nature takes its course before he does irreparable damage (above and beyond what he has done). I do wonder if his acts might be considered invalid if it is discovered that Benedict’s departure was coerced in some way.

  • And my guess is, the duty born of necessity is to attempt to correct the Pope, not depose him.

    Francis was pretty irritated that the most recent synod did not give him precisely what he wanted. A certain amount of contumacious and passive-aggressive behavior on the part of bishops may one hopes do the trick.

  • “But, do you really want to encourage and empower the factionalism of the gossipy, clucking grannies in the College of Cardinals like that?”

    Ideally no I would not. However, the election of Pope Francis illustrates that conditions within the Church currently are very far from ideal.

  • Donald R McClarey asks, “Let us say that we have a Pope who denies the divinity of Christ. Would being in visible communion with such a Pope mean that no schism had occurred in the Church?”

    What have opinions to do with visible communion? As Bl John Henry Newman said, “We are called upon, not to profess any thing, but to submit and be silent, as Protestant Churchmen have before now obeyed the royal command to abstain from certain theological questions.”

    He adds that “Such injunctions as I have been contemplating are laid merely upon our actions, not upon our thoughts. How, for instance, does it tend to make a man a hypocrite, to be forbidden to publish a libel? his thoughts are as free as before: authoritative prohibitions may tease and irritate, but they have no bearing whatever upon the exercise of reason.”

  • “What have opinions to do with visible communion?”

    In your view MPS apparently nothing matters except blind obedience to a Pope no matter what he says or does. Thanks for the clarification of your position.

  • “Here, of course, I must explain: — in saying this, then, undoubtedly I am not denying that the great body of the Bishops were in their internal belief orthodox; nor that there were numbers of clergy who stood by the laity, and acted as their centres and guides; nor that the laity actually received their faith, in the first instance, from the Bishops and clergy; nor that some portions of the laity were ignorant, and other portions at length corrupted by the Arian teachers, who got possession of the sees and ordained an heretical clergy; — but I mean still, that in that time of immense confusion the divine dogma of our Lord’s divinity was proclaimed, enforced, maintained, and (humanly speaking) preserved, far more by the ‘Ecclesia docta’ than by the ‘Ecclesia docens;’ that the body of the episcopate was unfaithful to its commission, while the body of the laity was faithful to its baptism; that at one time the Pope, at other times the patriarchal, metropolitan, and other great sees, at other times general councils, said what they should not have said, or did what obscured and compromised revealed truth; while, on the other hand, it was the Christian people who, under Providence, were the ecclesiastical strength of Athanasius, Hilary, Eusebius of Vercellae, and other great solitary confessors, who would have failed without them. I see, then, in the Arian history a palmary example of a state of the Church, during which, in order to know the tradition of the Apostles, we must have recourse to the faithful….”

    Cardinal Newman

  • Crossing the line: History tells us that there is no definite list of infallible statements by the popes. Like England, we have a living constitution in which certain great events and declarations stands out. When great controversies arise, such as the Arian heresy, Council propose definitions which, unfortunately, lead on to more controversy and even schism. Chalcedon was rejected by a majority of the bishop of the Church, which led to the first of the eastern schisms which remain with us today. Then the strictly political schism between Rome and Constantinople, which we managed to twist into a theological one. Then comes Luther. Then comes the modernists–which really starts with the efforts of Pope Benedict XIV failed dialogue with the philosophes and so here we. What gives me hope is that despite all this the Church manages to stay afloat in the stormy seas of the world.

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “In your view MPS apparently nothing matters except blind obedience to a Pope no matter what he says or does.”

    Pastor Æternus is chiefly remembered for its assertion of the sparingly exercised power of Papal Infallibility. However, it also insisted on two other things: the power of government and the power of jurisdiction.

    Thus, “the Roman Church possesses a superiority of ordinary power over all other Churches, and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate; to which all, of whatever rite and dignity, both pastors and faithful, both individually and collectively, are bound, by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, to submit, not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also in those that appertain to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world” and “We further teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all causes, the decision of which belongs to the Church, recourse may be had to his tribunal, and that none may re-open the judgment of the Apostolic See, for none has greater authority, nor can anyone lawfully review its judgment. Therefore, they stray from the right course who assert that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman Pontiffs to an Ecumenical Council, as if to an authority higher than that of the Roman Pontiff.”

  • John Shuh wrote, “History tells us that there is no definite list of infallible statements by the popes.”

    Were Cum Occasione and Unigenitus infallible? Most theologians think so but, whether they were or not is, in a sense, irrelevant; Innocent X, Alexander VII and Clement XI succeeded in unchurching the Jansenists. It is the old story: the Jesuits had the bishop of Rome in their party and the Jansenists did not.

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PopeWatch: More on Paglia

Tuesday, March 7, AD 2017


Sandro Magister brings us more info on Archbishop Palgia who Pope Francis has placed in charge of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family:

It made news in recent days and for some was a scandal when a glowing eulogy was given in memory of Marco Pannella (1930-2016) by Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, a prominent member of the Community of Sant’Egidio, former president of the pontifical council for the family, and as of a few months ago the president of the pontifical academy for life, as well as being the chancellor for the pontifical John Paul II institute for studies on marriage and family.

It was precisely life and the family, in effect, that were the battlefield of political action for Pannella, a leader of the radical party and a relentless promoter of abortion, divorce, homosexual marriage, and euthanasia.

But this did not stop Pope Francis from praising as “among the greats of Italy today,” in an interview last year, Pannella’s most active comrade in arms, the honorable Emma Bonino, for her commitment to the issue of migration. Just as he did not prohibit Fr. Federico Lombardi from bearing witness to the “highest admiration for Francis” of Pannella himself, an admiration reciprocated by the pope, for efforts on behalf of the incarcerated.

Paglia, therefore, is deliberately following in Francis’s footsteps. Exactly as he is doing in the institutes he oversees, which the pope has not by coincidence entrusted to him.

Settimo Cielo has already covered the news, back when it came out, of the new statutes of the pontifical academy for life that went into effect on January 1, carefully crafted to facilitate the purging of members not in line with the new course, as for example cardinals Carlo Caffarra and Willem Jacobus Eijk, or the renowned scholars Josef Maria Seifert and Luke Gormally.

But now it can be said that the purge is complete. If one goes to the official website of the academy and looks at the three lists of ordinary, corresponding, and emeritus members, one will find that no one appears on them anymore. Absolutely nobody. To find the names of those purged one has to consult the two lists of “former,” with 172, and “late,” with 10.

In other words: everyone fired or buried. And without the slightest forewarning. Not a memo. not an e-mail, not a thank you, not a requiem.

And the new academics who will take the places of the purged? The casting call is already underway, with supervision at Casa Santa Marta, but it will take time. The academy’s own website candidly confesses this, in justifying the delay until October 5-7 of the general assembly that is usually held at the beginning of the year:

“Just for the complexity of the process of appointing new Members of the Academy, made necessary with the approval of the new Statute desired by Pope Francis, the Assembly, will be held next October.”

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14 Responses to PopeWatch: More on Paglia

  • A radical, homosexual pro-abort. If you were Satan, who else would you put in charge of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

  • This pontificate cannot end soon enough. His successor will have an Augean stable to clean out (presuming his successor his a decent pope – ha ha). We’re living in our own variant of the 10th century.

  • If Sandro Magister is correct, than indeed we have a Masonic monster at the helm. Oct. 5-7 of ’17 for the general assembly. I pray that another miracle of the Son ( on purpose ) will overshadow this assembly to the point that it is striped and cleansed of reprobates that would be the “new” academics.

    This overthrow of the JPII institute is demonic. A sure sign of our times.

  • “This pontificate cannot end soon enough. ”
    Agreed. A line has been crossed here. I am now to the point where at the end of this pontificate I will thank God for Francis’ emphasis on mercy and ask God why Franics de-emphasized the sinfulness of that which requires mercy.
    (and yes I pretty much know why. just being rhetorical)

  • Should have added, my wife, who up until now has been a big PF fan, is starting to waver. “When you’ve lost Mrs. D….”

  • Loosing “Mrs. D.”

    It was a struggle for me, big time!
    Separating the Papal office from the man.
    Pope Watch has been a type of scanning apparatus. I didn’t like the scan, but regardless of the imagery, I became aware of the illness. Not unlike cancer, there isn’t much one can do in this uncomfortable setting. Prayers are the best antidote.

  • I stopped putting my tithe into the basket unless the homily spoke of God and His Son, Jesus. There are congregations of teaching sisters and nuns doing good. Support them and see to one’s neighbors in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

  • Casting call? More like casting couch.

  • Back to the future.
    Pope Benedict the XVI.
    We miss you.


    The lavender Mafia is doing just fine..just peachy.

    If the future JPII Institute for studies on Marriage and Family starts suggesting an expansion of Southern Decadence festivals..well you know….don’t cry to Francis. After all…. It must be the fault of those wacky traditionalist. ( Liberial defense mechanism at work. Lie until everyone believes it true. )

  • I have read your comments and wholeheartedly agree with them. What are we to do if our own pastors keep silence? Jesus never visited blood thirsty tyrants responsable for the death of unborn chldren for economic gain or a dictator responsible for thousands of Christian martyrs. Open your eyes. This Pope holds hands with Satan himself in Cuba ! Gave Castro his approval lovingly. May I remind you that Christ only visited the persecuter and murderer of his people when He was apprehended and had His hands tied ! He did not smile lovingly at those tyrants. He did not bless or approve their satanic principles. . Christ is our Heavenly Father, our only Pastor. Rest assured the Holy Spirit will give us His Wisdom to fight this imposter

  • If God is to blame for free will in man then, God must be to blame for addiction to sodomy and lesbianism. Same sex attraction is an accident of birth. Addiction to sodomy, lesbianism is addiction to the capital sin of lust. The violation of man’s free will through addiction is a free will act for which man must accept responsibility before man can be rehabilitated.

  • How did this guy get approvals from JPII and BXVI ???

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PopeWatch: Archbishop Paglia

Monday, March 6, AD 2017



Further evidence that this whole Pontificate may be, in a best case analysis, a divine practical joke:


The archbishop now at the helm of the Pontifical Academy for Life paid a homosexual artist to paint a blasphemous homoerotic mural in his cathedral church in 2007. The mural includes an image of the archbishop himself.

The archbishop, Vincenzo Paglia, was also recently appointed by Pope Francis as president of the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

The massive mural still covers the opposite side of the facade of the cathedral church of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia. It depicts Jesus carrying nets to heaven filled with naked and semi-nude homosexuals, transsexuals, prostitutes, and drug dealers, jumbled together in erotic interactions.

Included in one of the nets is Paglia, the then diocesan bishop. The image of the Savior is painted with the face of a local male hairdresser, and his private parts can be seen through his translucent garb.

According to the artist, a homosexual Argentinean named Ricardo Cinalli who is known for his paintings of male bodies, Bishop Paglia selected him out of a list of ten internationally-known artists specifically for the task of painting the inner wall of the facade. Bishop Paglia, along with one Fr. Fabio Leonardis, oversaw every detail of Cinalli’s work, according to Cinalli, who approvingly notes that Paglia never asked him if he believed in the Christian doctrine of salvation.

“Working with him was humanly and professionally fantastic,” Cinalli told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica in March of last year. “Never, in four months, during which we saw each other almost three times each week, did Paglia ever ask me if I believed in salvation. He never placed me in an uncomfortable position.”

“There was no detail that was done freely, at random,” added Cinalli. “Everything was analyzed. Everything was discussed. They never allowed me to work on my own.”


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21 Responses to PopeWatch: Archbishop Paglia

  • The homoerotic Church painting is not Christ. It is anti-Christ. He has them caught in the nets alright, that is certain.
    The LBGT community has a home in Heaven. They, like all pilgrim’s, must repent and cease in activities that are not befitting to the inhabitants of Heaven. The idea of Salvation may of never crossed Paglia’s mind since it’s possible he is having his form of Heaven now. Hope not. Let’s hope a Lenten miracle destroys the image.

  • Philip above is basically correct. However, I would reword one sentence from the simple:

    “The LBGT community has a home in Heaven”

    to the more complete:

    “The Christian Church has its final home in Heaven; those with same sex attraction join that Church if they repent just as those with alcoholism may join it if they too repent.”

    There is no community in Heaven except the Church. And St Paul makes clear in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 that “…οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται…… βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν”

    Which means:

    “…nor effeminate nor sodomites…Kingdom of God shall receive.”

    St. Paul was as usual precise. He used the term μαλακός to denote male receivers of penetration by males and the term ἀρσενοκοίτης to denote male givers of penetration to males. The English translations we get are sadly sanitized.

  • PS, here is the entire excerpt from 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 in Greek, Nova Vulgata and Young’s Literal Translation into English:

    ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε: οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται, οὐ μέθυσοι, οὐ λοίδοροι, οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν.

    An nescitis quia iniqui regnum Dei non possidebunt? Nolite errare: neque fornicarii neque idolis servientes neque adulteri neque molles neque masculorum concubitores neque fures neque avari, non ebriosi, non maledici, non rapaces regnum Dei possidebunt.

    have ye not known that the unrighteous the reign of God shall not inherit? be not led astray; neither whoremongers, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, the reign of God shall inherit

    οὔτε μαλακοὶ = neque molles = nor effeminate
    οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται = neque masculorum concubitores = nor sodomites
    βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν = regnum Dei possidebunt = Kingdom [Reign] of God shall receive [possess, inherit]

    It cannot possibly be more clear than that.

  • Thank you Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

  • Addiction to lust, sodomy and lesbianism is a violation of man’s free will. Free will is the image of God in man.
    Color of skin and sexual orientation are accidents of existence. The free will choice to sodomy is one sexual sin and another of assault and battery. The most evil is denying the human being’s rational, immortal human soul and thereby making atheists of us all. Scandalizing our Posterity, all future generations deserves a millstone about the neck. Has the millstone been painted into the mural or is it simply the swindle the Great Liar has prepared for man?

  • After 15 years of this stuff, you find yourself saying “Again?”

  • No mill stones Mary.
    Spirit Daily has the story with the sadistic schlock.

    Hell is a myth to many of these unfortunates.

  • Sadly, the Vatican and some surrounding dioceses are infested by homosexual and Free-mason clergy, and appear to be untouchable; well, in this life, anyway.
    Pray for the Church and for the conversion of Pope Francis.

  • The painting in question is a lie and a betray of the truth. The folks in the painting are on their way to hell. That is how the painting should have been done with a background of fiery red.

  • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus
    Does μαλακός mean effeminate?
    Its literal meaning is “soft.” Our Lord uses it twice, on both occasions referring to “soft” clothing: ἄνθρωπον ἐν μαλακοῖς ἠμφιεσμένον ἰδοὺ… οἱ τὰ μαλακὰ φοροῦντες ἐν (Matt 11:8) and ἄνθρωπον ἐν μαλακοῖς ἱματίοις ἠμφιεσμένον (Luke 7:25). The connotation is of luxuriousness, rather than effeminacy.
    The only other occurrence in the NT is St Paul in 1Cor 6:9.
    In Classical Greek, besides it literal meaning, μαλακός can mean mild or gentle, but also faint-hearted or cowardly, depending on the context.
    ἀρσενοκοῖται occurs only in 1 Cor 6:9. It appears to be a coinage of St Paul’s. It is made up of ἄρσην (male) + ἄρσην (lie) and may be an echo of Leviticus 18:22 (but I’m guessing).

  • Apologies, I should have written “It is made up of ἄρσην (male) + κεῖμαι (to lie)

  • Philip Nachazel:: Our Lady said that souls are falling into hell like snowflakes. Our Lady asked for First Saturday reparation. Why is there a hell if there is no one in hell?

  • The picture shocks us. Jesus’ contemporaries were horrified by HIs eating and drinking with sinners. Jesus shocks us. He came to save sinners. We know that His efforts are not futile. EVERYONE who is thirsty is invited to come to the water (Isaiah 55)
    -My second reaction to Paglia and the painting is that the painting may express Paglia’s hope- his hope that is shared apparently by many others in Rome. to be caught up in the nets that Jesus casts out into the Very deep. As a mother, I also hope that Jesus, truly God and truly man, redeems the lost, even in their sinfulness, for He bears their iniquities- he makes intercession for transgressors. Because he surrendered himself to death,was counted among the transgressors, bore the sins of many,and interceded for the transgressors. (cf Isaiah 53:11-12 ). Several times He tells us to learn what it means that He desires Mercy and not sacrifice.

  • Mary De Voe.

    Why indeed?
    The unfortunates mentioned are the souls partaking in their heaven now.
    The idea that hell doesn’t exist allows for unabated recklessness and perverted self expression that is protected by political correctness.
    If the consequences of hell are removed altogether, then the debased appeties of disordered clergy can contrive a fasle narrative and abuse the Gospel message. Enter a mural located in a once holy cathedral.

  • Anzlyne, I agree that is the purpose of the painting, and the purpose is not a bad one. However, the small details of the painting show themes that are totally antinomian and perhaps also Manichaean.

  • @ Anzlyne.

    No one would disagree with needing our Divine Physician, for all are found in need of healing. All are found unworthy of the Glory to come. Sin no more is a commandment from the healing Sacred Heart. In raising the nets the artist depictions are void of repentance to a certain degree. A Christ with genitalia is making a mockery of the forgiving power of Christ. The artist himself is mocking repentance. View the mural.

    If I’m “projecting,” my feelings upon this art as one might suggest, I would defend my position because of the artworks location and it’s responsibility to all worshipers and viewers.

    Call me old fashioned if one must, but the sense of the sacred is lost in the need to satisfy the artists own sexual orientation.
    This is also revealing, as the testimony of the artist indicates; “everything was analyzed, everything was discussed.”

    Shame on them!

  • Thank you both for your replies. I am not antinomian- just a mother fiercely clinging to hope. My son, who embarked on this path at least intellectually at the Gregorian; making this lifestyle choice a reality after leaving seminary is only one of many many bright and beautiful young men encouraged to follow this temptation. I am not one who believes we can absolve ourselves (internal forum). Not manichean either though rearing 5 and grand-mothering 13 one become very aware of the spiritual warfare…
    anyway I sense the kindness of both of you TomD and Philip and I appreciate it.

  • Anzlyne.

    God grant your hearts desire regarding the beautiful soul that is your son. Temptations abound, yet this culture is fueling the fire with reckless abandon.
    Your heart is sustained and those you love will be protected under the mantel of Our Loving Mother, Queen of Peace. She will see to it Anzlyne.

    Peace of Christ dear soul.

    Your son is going in my prayers. Name not needed. Your Angel and my Guardian Angel are working this out as we write.

  • Than you Philip for your loving response to Anzlyne. If the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION is not in the painting then, Jesus Christ is being abused and the nets belong to Satan. Our Mother and Queen, Mary IMMACULATE is the one human being who is not in Satan’s grasp.

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